I’m really not sure that the script writers for Season 7 of Rugby World Cup have done a very good job.
They’ve continued the habit from previous seasons of writing out fan favourite characters such as Tonga or Wales before the finale, and have decided that the season finale would be a rematch of the one from season one. So what have they added that’s new?
Well, in terms of character development, previous seasons have hinted towards France’s mental instability but this season the writers flirted with pushing them over the edge into insanity. But then the went and bottled it and failed to follow through on this development in the finale itself.
Deciding the make the England character the focus of multi-media spin-offs rather than a core part of the series itself was an odd way to treat a character with such a large fan base and which had been such an integral part of previous seasons.
The running gag about New Zealand fly halves is in rather poor taste and is just ripping off Spinal Tap anyway. And the gag about no one at all being able to kick straight is rather clumsy attempt on the writers’ part to counter criticism of too much kicking in previous seasons.
The finale itself was a rather scrappy affair, almost as if there wasn’t enough budget left for any spectacular special effects sequences. I can’t tell whether having the teams play in black and white was supposed to be some sort of post-modernist statement or not.
All in all not a classic season, but I kept on watching anyway so they must have done something right. I just hope the writing team has some fresh ideas for Season 8.
Today I went to the new Doctor Who Experience at Olympia. It’s a two part exhibition, starting with an interactive walkthrough and then a more normal array of props and costumes to gawp at.
After being swallowed by a crack in time we’re taken to a museum on Starship UK (crammed full of all sorts of props – I spotted the ‘Schlechter Wolf’ bomb, a life belt from the SS Bernice, Yeti control spheres and a Dalek trooper helmet as well as the headline items pointed out in the dialogue). Whilst in the museum the Doctor contacts us, in specially recorded Matt Smith video clips, and reveals that he’s been trapped in the Pandorica again and needs our help to escape.
The TARDIS materialises and we (or rather any children in the group – once again, little blighters get all the best things) pilot it to the Doctor’s rescue. Until we crash on a Dalek ship. Ooops. Surrounded by new paradigm Daleks ready to exterminate us all. Rescue comes in the unlikely form of some old style Daleks – “The Children of Davros” – which may point at a new Dalek civil war in the forthcoming series.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire as the escape from the Dalek ship takes us through a corridor (lots of corridors in this, which is very appropriate) containing Weeping Angels. Rushing onwards we reach the Pandorica itself and the Doctor does something sonic to teleport himself into the TARDIS. There’s a cool 3D sequence of Daleks, Cybermen and Angels flying at us from the time vortex before the Doctor saves the day.
The second half is more conventional and packed with more goodies than any previous Doctor Who exhibit (certainly more than Earls Court a few years ago or Longleat a lot of years ago) – costumes from all eleven Doctors and all the twenty first century companions. 1980s and 2010 TARDIS exteriors, 1980s and 2005 TARDIS control rooms, six different models of Daleks from 1963 to 2010, three different Sontarans, the Giant Robot, the Face of Boe, and more and more.
It’s not cheap, £20 for adult tickets and an eye watering £12 for a photo of yourself in the Pandorica chair (I passed on that), but if you’re as much of a Doctor Who fan as me you’ll love every moment of it.
15mm is where it’s at. Khurasan Miniatures have continued to expand their Mystri Island range including the very nice T. rex “He-Who-Kills” pictured on the right. Also in 15mm, there are a few new additions to the M.Y.Miniatures Ice Age range. Splintered Light have blogged the greens for some raptors and sabre tooth tigers. Finally, Acheson Creations / Primaeval Designs will also be moving into this scale and have posted some photos of greens to their Facebook and Yahoo! Groups pages.
Speaking of Primaeval they now have a UK distributor in the form of Magister Militum. The prices are high as you would expect for imports but at least you don’t get stung by customs and post office charges on top of that. I picked up a few figures (Plateosaurus, Protoceratops, Feathered Utahraptor, Mastodon and both Megaloceros) from their stands at SELWG and Warfare. Now I just need to review them for Ragnarok and get my painting desk set up (ha ha, fat chance, my computer is still on the floor five months after we moved).
And in related news, the new season of Primeval airs on ITV on New Year’s Day.