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Thursday, December 25, 2008


Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Doctor Who Day!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Doctor Who @45 Competition!

23rd November sees the 45th anniversary of the first showing of Doctor Who and to celebrate this wondrous event the nice people at Kasterborous.com are offering a few choice items as free giveaways to those people lucky enough to have their names drawn from a proverbial hat. I say "hat" because I don't know yet what the actual receptacle will be for collecting the names that are sent in via email. Head on over to Kasterborous.com for your chance to win a copy of "The Time Traveller's Almanac" and/or Lance Parkins' "History of the Universe" and/or some pretty exclusive art prints from Anthony Dry - Kasterborous' own art director whose work has also adorned the pages of Doctor Who Monthly, the Complete 3rd Series box set and numerous Big Finish productions.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Darksmith Legacy

Yours truly was privileged last week to be invited to the press launch of this new series of Doctor Who books from Penguin. The Darksmith Legacy will be a series of ten books (the first two to be published in January) accompanied by a website providing many opportunities to explore this new saga in print and online. The books will have puzzles and clues that enable the reader to unlock different locations on the website in order to help them complete a quest... The graphics on the website are superb and the preview of the first book, "The Dust of Ages" by Justin Richards, leads me to believe this will be a big hit.

You can read my full account of the launch event over at Kasterborous...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The Sarah Jane Adventures have got off to a flying start with a story about the last surviving Sontaran from the doomed invasion fleet from the two-part Doctor Who S4 story "The Sontaran Strategem". Commander Kaargh demonstrated some new tricks from the tactical armoury of the Glorious Sontaran Empire, including a rather cool Predator-style invisibility shield and a not-so-cool foldaway helmet which looked rather lame and was rather unconvincing. Story-wise, we had a simple plot with Kaargh wanting revenge on the human race and using a remote radio telescope observatory as a base to try and take over the world's satellites to launch all out nuclear war. He is thwarted in the end by a stiletto shoe. I think that sort of resolution only really works on British kid's TV - and work it does, due to the character of Chrissie being given something to do for a change and relishing the chance. Where else in the world would you find a finale like that, eh???

Rumours abound on the Doctor Who front, with David Morrisey playing "the other Doctor" in this year's christmas special, entitled "The Next Doctor". Make of it what you will, but this "other Doctor" has a companion named "Rosita". My theory is that David Morrisey is in fact playing an alternate universe version of the 11th Doctor that David Tennant would have regenerated into during "Journey's End" if he hadn't aborted the process early.

More rumours have Patrick Stewart (I think he played someone in a Star Trek series, or something...) playing The Meddling Monk in a two part Dalek story next year. The Monk is another Time Lord, last seen in the 60's era of the show as played by Peter Butterworth. So, it seems that there's another Time Lord that escaped the Time War. So much for it being time locked. Thanks to Dalek Caan for messing that up! :-)

What else is on Kopic's radar at the moment? In non-Who stuff we have the excellent Fringe which started on Sky1 this weekend. Most enjoyable modern take on The X-Files, from the very talented JJ Abrams. Which reminds me... only a few more months (alright seven...) until we get JJ Abrams' version of Star Trek with the superb Zachary Quinto as Spock. Which further reminds me of a renewed and rejuvenated Heroes which has also just started airing on the BBC. Straight back in with a bang, new characters and some intriguing glimpses of heroes-turned-villains and maybe villains-turned-heroes? Who knows? Can't wait to see how this unfolds!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Journey's End...and what a journey it's been!

Love it or hate it, you can't deny that the series finale was a ratings hit, can you? Kopic thought it was fantastic with some great character pieces from Tennant , Tate and Cribbins (dear god, why doesn't Cribbins have a knighthood?!?!?). OK, the the story was a little weak towards the end with yet another example of how the daleks get totally wiped out...again... but it felt good with lots of multi-series arcs coming to a seeming close and neatly underlining the RTD era. I hope that the specials next year are free of the last four years baggage and take the Doctor to new places and times. Would be nice to see a lot less of Earth and more exotic alien environments - or how about a nice space saga with battle fleets and politics and guerilla warfare and resistance movements and...and... just something NEW!

While you're here, why not go over there... to Kasterborous for Kopic's latest Newsround...

Wowzer! Love it or hate it, the finale sure had an impact on viewing figures after the regeneration cliffhanger at the end of The Stolen Earth which achieved 8.8m viewers. Unofficial figures put the total at 9.8m (count them!) for Journey's End which is on a par with last Christmas' Voyage of The Damned. So, whether you felt cheated by the resolution to the cliffhanger or not, the fact remains that it added around 1m viewers to the total that might not have otherwise watched. Clever RTD! For more fun with facts and figures, try Broadcastnow where they reveal that the average figure for Doctor Who over it's 13 week run was 7.3m. Now that's a healthy figure!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Russell OBE Davies

Congratulations to RTD on his being awarded an OBE for his services to TV drama!

Check Google news for widespread coverage

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't Blink!

The Gaurdian has announced that Steven Moffat will take over as Doctor Who lead writer and exec producer from 2010 (series 5) when Russell T. Davies steps down.

Yay! Congratulations, Steven!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kopic's Newsround

Yay! Week three already and its "Planet of the Ood" tonight. This looks like being a corker if everything I've read is to be believed. Look out for an important prophecy or two...

The latest edition of Kopic's Newsround is now up and about and looking for victims at Kasterborous.com. Here's an extract to entice you over to read more...

Nice article from The Daily Mail which talks about the ratings success of Partners In Crime and has some pictures of "The Fires of Pompeii", but what's most interesting about this article is the background it gives on Georgia Moffett (Fifth Doctor Peter Davison's daughter) who appears in episode six, The Doctor's Daughter. It reveals that she became pregnant at 16 during her GCSEs and was too scared to tell her father. Most bizarrely, though, she was best friends with sixth Doctor Colin Baker's daughter at school. How spooky is that???

Friday, April 04, 2008

The excitement builds to fever pitch!

The latest edition of Kopic's Newsround is now online at Kasterborous.com and here's a preview...
Wahey! At last the media feeding frenzy has begun! Tuesday evening saw the press preview and Doctor Who was all over the papers and the interweb the following day with some mixed reactions, but mostly positive.
Mind you, what amused me most was the fact that a few Doctor Who stories got published earlier on that day. That day being 1st April, I hasten to add. First up, we had the revelation (mentioned in the last Newsround… because it amused me so) that Sarah Jane Smith and Captain Jack would be getting it on in the next series of Torchwood! Thanks to Torchwood.tv’s mysterious correspondent for that wonderful wind-up!

The 3rd and final part of the Kasterborous Round Table 2007 should also be on line today for your perusal. Go visit. Read more articles. While you're there, why not join the forum and join in with the debate amongst a bunch of fans with a more mature view of the world than some other forums. When I say mature, I mean fans that are constructive rather than destructive towards the show they profess to love.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Kopic's Newsround

I am now writing a regular feature for Kasterborous.com entitled "Kopic's Newsround" just in case you hadn't already realised... :-)

Here's the start of today's bulletin:
Series 4 news is still thin on the ground, but some lucky son-of-a-gun from TV Scoop has seen the first two episodes at a press screening recently and reckons that Catherine Tate as Donna "did a good job (or certainly a better job than I was expecting)".
I’m not sure what to make of that, personally. Is "better than I was expecting" a glowing recommendation? Apart from the first episode, Partners in Crime, which seems to be another one of those lame-ass comedy efforts like New Earth (read the article if you dare), the second episode, Fires of Pompeii, seems to have impressed the author who says that it "was just dynamite" and goes on to say... READ MORE

Don't forget to read Part 2 of the Kasterborous Round Table 2007, also written by me.

That's it. Shameless self-publicity over now!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Torchwood Ends! Doctor Who Returns!

I haven't posted any more reviews of individual Torchwood episodes... I kinda lost the impetus and didn't get fired up enough to write anything. What does that tell you? Torchwood has great "moments" but the bits in-between tend to leave one feeling cheated. Go and read Lawrence Miles' blog for an excellent summary so far. I wonder what tricks they can pull out of the hat for the season finale this week that'll make people actually WANT to watch more?

As for Doctor Who... Wow! The latest trailers look good, don't they??? Hope the show lives up to the promise. Only a few days away now. Head on over to Kasterborous.com and you'll see yours truly writing a semi-regular news roundup over the coming weeks.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Torchwood: Meat

An excellent episode, IMHO. Two in a row. I don't have any quibbles with this one, so if they can keep up this standard then it will all have been worthwhile! :)

I thought Kai Owen gave an outstanding performance as Rhys and gets my award for "The Most Appropriate Use In Character Of The F Word In An Episode Of Torchwood" for that wonderful shouting match with Gwen. Great drama. Did anyone notice that the louder they got the more Welsh they sounded? So, kudos to Eve Myles and Kai Owen for bringing fantastic drama to Torchwood.

There were no cringe moments for me this week. Even Jack's joke about eating alien meat was funny.

This gets a definite thumbs-up and a 9 out of 10.

As an aside, to anyone out there who wonders why we people who write about Doctor Who and Torchwood criticize the shows we profess to love, I say this... We genuinely love these shows and what they stand for, but there's always room for improvement and open and honest debate. This is true for every aspect of life, not just our TV shows. That's why we become involved in politics, become school governors, do voluntary work, join discussion groups, etc...

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Torchwood: To The Last Man

Definitely the best of three so far, by miles. Touching performances from the Tosh, Owen and Tommy characters. It felt at times a little like classic Sapphire and Steel... and then Ianto and Jack ruin it all with that big snog. ENOUGH! WE GET IT! Jack'll shag anything with a pulse and Ianto is a love-sick puppy. Can we have at least one story where this element isn't shoved down our throats?

I'd give it 8 out 10.

BTW, I liked the rift key thing. As a plot device, it was just another 'magic wand', but as a lovely piece of Victorian/Edwardian brassware objet d'art... I love it! I want one to go with the fob watch in a display case with a copy of the Doctor's journal :-D

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Torchwood: Sleeper

Hmmmm. Not sure about this one. Ianto was starting to annoy me, sounding like a naughty/petulant schoolboy most of the time. The story itself was a bit bleh - a bit "Terminator", a bit "Battlestar Galactica". Glad to see there were still no F words in the dialogue, though. Good!

Probably not one that I'll choose to rewatch. I'll watch Ep 1 again to see the masterful Marsters in action.

5 out of 10 for this one.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

RIP Heath Ledger

Nothing to do with Doctor Who... but I couldn't let his sad death pass without comment. He was such a talented young actor, with a bright future. So sad that he should leave us so soon and in such a tragic manner. Watching the next Batman film will be so poignant - I hope it's a massive success that showcases his talent. I've only seen a few of his films - Knight's Tale, Sin Eater, Brothers Grimm - but I'd class myself as a fan. Sin Eater was excellent, but not one of his biggest movies. Brokeback Mountain, while not my cup of tea, obviously impressed "the establishment" as it earned him Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta nominations.

Nice obituary over at the BBC News site.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Article on Kasterborous.com

Head on over to Kasterborous.com and read part one of a series of Round Table articles I've written for this esteemed organ. The knights of this round table are Brian Terranova (associate editor of Kasterborous.com), Christian Cawley (master of the web and chief writer for Kasterborous.com), Nick Brown (a vocal member of the Kasterborous forum and article contributor to Kasterborous.com), Anthony Howard (known to many as "captainjackharkness" from the Torchwood.tv and SJA.tv blogs), Matthew (editor, webmaster, head cook and bottle-washer from the wonderful EyeOfHorus website) and Steve Preston (another forum member, article writer for Kasterborous.com and half of the dynamic duo behind The Black Scrolls ‘zine).


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Torchwood: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Overall, I'd say 8 out of 10. An excellent start to the new series and not an F word in sight. Or hearing. Loved James Marsters as Spike as Capt John. His British accent is getting better, for sure. :-D

[Some very slightly spoiler-tinged info ahead]

Only two things that detracted from the overall experience :-

1. We know Capt Jack is 'omnisexual' but why do they have to underline it and add exclamation marks to this fact by having him indulge in gay kisses? I am not a homophobe, but I do find this whole 'gay agenda' thing a bit overwhelming. I feel as though this is just a vehicle for RTD to write his gay drama under the guise of a gritty sci-fi action drama. Enough with the kissing, already! A short aside into Dr Who speculation... If Donna and the Doctor snog then I'll be sorely tempted to switch off until someone else takes over running the show.

2. More cases of 'deus ex machina'. It really annoys me when they come up with some techno-babble and a magic wand to 'move the plot along'. What was that rubbish Tosh spouted about triangulating on where a mobile phone HAD been used??? And what about that bomb thing that homed in on the DNA of whoever killed that woman??? How does that work? Is it psychic? Can it read DNA halfway across the universe for an event that happened in the past (or future)?

Anyway, those points aside, it was truly a great start to the second series. The old lady at the beginning was funny... "Bloody Torchwood," she mutters and shambles off. So much for them being a top secret organisation, eh!?!? :-)

So, keep up the good work and Go Team Torchwood!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


At last! After waiting for at least 28 years since the last series finished a year ago (I think my perceptions have been overfiltered there!) Torchwood returns to UK screens tonight. Woohoo!

I find that I am looking forward to this much more than Dr Who's return this springtime. The Dr Who previews after Voyage of the Damned left me in no doubt that Donna Noble will carry on her relentless shouty barrage. I hope I'm wrong! We must trust that RTD knows what he was doing when he cast Catherine Tate.

Whereas, Torchwood is now into it's second year and has hopefully toned down all that unneccessary swearing - it just distracted from the storylines. Most criminal in that respect was Owen's comments about being a ".... buddy" in that out of time story (whatever it was called). Who actually speaks like that???

Anyway, as long as the swearing is toned down and the characters get proper development beyond the cyphers they already are but not at the expense of the storylines... then we'll have a winner.

Go Team Torchwood!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dalek Art

Happy New Year!

Sorry - haven't posted in a while, what with real life crashing in with a new job before christmas and then illness over the christmas period itself. Anyway, now that mind and body are functioning again, I'm back in the saddle and ready to go.

I want to start the year by showcasing some nice Dalek pics created by my talented brother-in-law, known by the mysterious moniker of "Lycanart".

Download! Enjoy! Tell your friends!

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