Doctor Who : The Sensorites

It’s a muddled affair.

Ep1 :

Someone steals the Tardis lock. And traps us on a spaceship that itself is trapped in Sensorite space. Christ, it’s not the best. Hartnell is struggling with his lines, which is fine as I’m struggling with the whole script.

But just wait until you meet John. He’s the most charismatic person in space.

Ep2 :

The Sensorite’s planet is made of Molybdenum. Molybdenum? Oh, my!

But in all seriousness, I am enjoying the Sensorite’s facial hair.

Ah, so previous humans have been dicks to the Sensorites. Classic humans.

Ep3 :

Susan, going down to the Sensorite planet? Surely not. It can’t be allowed!

In all seriousness, the story has picked up. While episode one was a duffer, from two onward it picked up considerably.

And there’s some really good character development with Susan, and the poor John who is just a victim of Sensorite mind control.

And a final point, never trust an administrator with a disintegrator.

Ep4 :

Chesterton!!!

Could it be… the water? Let’s pretend it is, and see if we’re right.

Also, is the administrator evil or just incompetent?

Ooh, Doctor, now what is down the aqueduct? And I can only hope that was your tummy rumbling.

Ep5 :

The Doctor is in a fighting mood. I’m hoping he’s going to kick some ass.

And John has been returned to us!

And so has Barbara. To be honest, in all the excitement, I had kinda forgotten all about her… Oops.

Ep6 :

What’s happened to the space lady? Will the Doctor and Ian find who is poisoning the aqueduct? Will the City Administrator finally get kicked in the nuts?

Verdict :

A dodgy start but it gets much better.

The crazy humans at the end are brilliant and let the story turn full circle.

Also, the Tardis crew are just excellent. I was never much of a Hartnell era fan before but I’m really feeling it now.

the substitute (a tom berenger classic…)

Okay, this might seem like I’m pouring venom on it straight away, with a shady title like that, but let’s not forget that Berenger, at the height of his powers, was a very watchable actor.

And 1996’s The Substitute is showing those powers in the ascendant.

Here’s the deal; Jonathan Shale (Berenger) is a mercenary whose fortunes have turned. His team have returned to the U.S. after a botched mission in Cuba. Anyway, his girlfriend teaches at an incredibly rough high school in Miami, she’s pissed off the gang who runs wild in the school. She gets badly beaten up and Shale manages to set himself up as the substitute teacher of the title.

It’s a brilliant action / thriller with high quality performances from everyone. It’s brilliant. Brilliant.

The sequel, The Substitute 2: School’s Out, isn’t. It’s direct to video trash, despite being led by Treat Williams. Treat Williams is always watchable, but not even he can save the sequel.

(I mean, really, it sucks so hard from the first moment. It is the absence of subtlety in movie form. I’ve rarely seen a film so bad, and I’l watched a LOAD of shitty films. And there’s even a third and fourth film. What?)

Back to the first film, Ernie Hudson is the school principal, Luiz Guzman is one of Shale’s mercs, and the rest of the cast – none of whom I recognize – are reasonably above-average.

I know that the “white man rescuing the inner city school from itself” film isn’t a new genre, but The Substitute is still worth a watch.

doctor who : the aztecs

Episode One : Right out the gate Barbara and Susan are dicking around with Aztec stuff in some kind of temple. Then they’re rumbled! We didn’t see that coming did we, boy and girls?

As Susan runs back to the TARDIS to get the lads, Barbara is marched off! But it’s not long before our intrepid threesome are picked up by the same Aztecs (with incredibly historically accurate BBC English accents) and are shown some kindness?

Babs, is that you? A reincarnation of the priest in the tomb? That’s handy.

“Reincarnations can come out but human beings can’t go in!” I love you, Doc. I really do. Your chat is awesome.

There’s a point to be made here. This TARDIS crew – The Doctor, Susan, Barbara and Ian – are brilliant. They work so well together.

Also, the character of the High Priest of Sacrifice is magnificent.

Back in the temple… It had better rain, Barbara.

Bloody hell, Chesterton. What have you got yourself into this time.

And the Doctor is chilling with the other high priest, who has the best hat ever, and the local retirees.

And a moral quandary for the Gang. To sacrifice or not to sacrifice?

Ep 2 : An interrupted sacrifice and an angry High Priest of the same. That can’t end well.

Ian. The man with greatest thumb in history! I feel sorry for Ixta, though.

And The Doctor is quite the charming old rogue in this episode, if easily conned.

Ep 3 : Can Barbara stop Ian from being scrobbled?

Can Ian stop Barbara from being scrobbled?

Where the hell is Susan in all this?

And let’s count this as The Doctor’s first romance. “Yes, I made some cocoa and got engaged.”

Ep 4 : It’s all to play for. Will Ian escape the tunnel? Will The Doctor escape his fiancee? Will Susan escape her punishment? Will Barbara survive the eclipse?

And here comes the final battle between Ian and Ixta.

Verdict : The Aztecs is an example of Doctor Who at it’s very best. Everyone shines and the script is perfect. The story is funny, tragic, thrilling and, at the end, very sad.

bullet journals, and other things

First things first:

bulletjournal.com

That’s where you’ll find the main info behind it. Bullet Journals are part diary, part journal, part calendar. And the way it’s done means you’re in control of how the information is saved, with an indexing system that’s quite adaptable.

I got a new notebook today. That’ll serve as my new journal for 2019.

My last one covered October 2017 to June 2018. This was the period of increasingly poor mental health leading up to my wee visit to hospital. And the last message in the journal? My suicide note. Yikes.

Anyway, the plan is to see how I can use it to improve myself rather than chart my slow deterioration into madness and self-destruction.

Let’s end on a happier note.

I picked up the film Species the other day. Once the child has settled down to bed I’ll enjoy the delights of a H.R. Giger designed Natasha Henstridge.

Lovely.

doctor who : the keys of marinus

After Unearthly Child, after The Daleks, after The Edge of Destruction, after Marco Polo…

The Keys Of Marinus.

This is the first story (not counting Marco Polo, which very little of has survived) where we properly see the Tardis crew working together. Everyone shines. And despite the odd dialogue fluff it’s brilliant. The sets are simple and effective, and I’m a sucker for decent miniature work.

Episode One : The Old Guy’s machine (the old guy that isn’t The Doctor) is fucked up.

Ep 2 : If it all seems too good to be true… Also, trust Barbara you idiots. Honestly, she’s worth the three of you put together. Also, also… Brains in jars!

Ep 3 : Because of William Hartnell being on holiday it’s Companions and Pals! It does go to show that Hartnell’s supporting cast are excellent. And bloody imitation microkeys. Gah!

Ep 4 : The Snows of Terror! The Day After Tomorrow! The Beast From The East! Ahem. Sorry about that. And Ian? Brilliant idea leaving Barbara with the fur trapper. He’s not dodgy at all. Also, Susan does a fair amount of moaning and screaming, and in her defence I’d probably do the same.

Ep 5 : Oh no! Not the glass factories in the desert! And yay! The Doctor is back from his hols!

Ep 6 : I really don’t know what’s going on anymore. The whole trial / investigation lark is a tad out of place. Enjoyable, but odd.

So, there we go. All in all, a good romp. The last two episodes could have done with a rewrite and a change of pace, but 145 mins well spent.

Tomorrow, if I have time, I might crack on with The Aztecs.

movie magic : a possible new comic book movie that isn’t DC or Marvel?

I know. I don’t believe it either.

Duncan Jones, he of Warcraft, Source Code and, more importantly, Moon, has said he’s going to do a comic book movies next.

There are articles across the interwebs certain it’s not anything to do with the big two (DC or Marvel). A number of them mention publishers like Image or Dark Horse and the kind of properties they (the writers of said articles) have in mind.

But I’m hopeful a forthcoming movie will be based on a character from The Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

2000AD.

Other than Judge Dredd, there are loads, LOADS, of characters in 2000AD who could carry a really exciting film.

Rogue Trooper. A genetically engineered soldier, the last one of his kind, who searches for the General who betrayed his own.

Strontium Dog. A mutant bounty hunter business.

The A.B.C. Warriors. Seven warrior robots drawn together to go to Mars and fight for humanity.

Nemesis the Warlock. A demon shaped alien who fightes against the fascism of a distant future earth.

There are loads, loads more. I’d love for a Nemesis/A.B.C. Warriors movie. That kind of thing is probably unfilmable but, my god, it would incredible to watch.

Of course, I’d be equally as happy with a sequel to Karl Urban’s Dredd.