Archive for the ‘Doctor Who’ Category

A lot of Doctor Who related reading this year, what with it being the 50th anniversary and everything there was a lot available to read.

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

The Doctor's Monsters

Doctor Who

  • Dark Horizons by J.T. Colgan
  • Devil in the Smoke by Justin Richards
  • About Time Volume 7: 2005-2006 Series 1 & 2 by Tat Wood
  • TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 2: Patrick Troughton by Philip Sandifer
  • TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 3: Jon Pertwee by Philip Sandifer
  • The Doctor’s Monsters by Graham Sleight
  • Who-ology by Cavan Scott
  • Time & Space Visualiser by Paul Smith
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 Volume 1
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who: Assimilation 2 Volume 2
  • Nemesis of the Daleks

Nemo: Heart of Ice

Graphic Novels

  • Nemo: Heart of Ice by Alan Moore
  • Fables Volume 18: Cubs in Toyland
  • Fables Volume 19: Snow White
  • The Invincible Iron Man: The Five Nightmares
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Death and Cigarettes
  • Justice League Volume 1: Origin
  • Demon Knights Volume 2: The Avalon Trap
  • Stormwatch Volume 2: Enemies of Earth
  • Stormwatch Volume 3: Betrayal
  • Secret History of the Authority: Hawksmoor
  • Willow Volume 1: Wonderland
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 3: Guarded
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 4: Welcome to the Team
  • Weasels by Elys Dolan



  • Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
  • Stonemouth by Iain Banks
  • Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
  • The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
  • London Falling by Paul Cornell
  • 1356 by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Iron King by Maurice Druon
  • Flashman and the Angel of the Lord by George MacDonald Fraser


  • Raw Spirit: In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks
  • Prime Minister Boris… and other things that never happened by Duncan Brack and Iain Dale
  • All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: And the Few We Never Got Round To by Stuart Laycock
  • Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero by Grant Morrison
  • A Radical History of Britain by Edward Vallance

I spent a day helping my parents start clearing out their loft. In a box marked games I found this little haul.

That’s more or less every weekend and school holiday from the mid to late 1980s right there.

Geek nostalgia heaven.

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.

Yesterday, I tweeted "According to my LibraryThing records I’ve read 141 books this year: 26 novels, 7 non-fiction, 102 graphic novels and 6 ‘other’."

Then I went out and bought another two graphic novels… But it must be said that most of the comics I’ve read this year came from West Norwood library, and now that I’ve exhausted most of their good ones, and some of their bad ones, I think 2010 may be slightly less weighted towards graphic novels.

How many of my 2009 books have you read?

Available as a poll over on Live Journal (you don’t need an LJ account to vote, just an OpenID account which means an account from, Google, Yahoo, Blogger, etc.)

Read the rest of this very true thing…

Doctor Who on Christmas Day, that was a bit of splendid nonsense, wasn’t it? And not long now until we find out how it all ends.

I’ve been passing the time between parts one and two by dipping into the festering mire of DW fandom to see what crackpot speculation people have come up.

Timothy Dalton’s character, “The Narrator”, is the Lord President of Gallifrey according to the preview scene on the BBC web site. He’s also clearly a bit of a nutter, vapourising a member of the high council and screaming “I will not die!”.

So some fans have decided that he must be Borusa. Because Borusa was, at one point, Lord President and, at one point, sought the secret of eternal life. I think this is rubbish. Borusa only went bad in his final appearance, before that he was cunning and sometimes ruthless, but basically a good guy. Many long term fans don’t like what happened to Borusa’s personality in “The Five Doctors” and even Terrence Dicks, writer of that story, has tried to redeem Borusa in a novel. RTD is more a fan of the 70s rather than the 80s so I think that he’d be unlikely to bring back the crazy Borusa from The Five Doctors.

Okay, time for my crackpot idea… Do you want to know who “The Narrator” reminds me of? Morbius. Warmongering psychopathic timelord obsessed with immortality – gotcha. Of course the timeline would be really screwed up if he was, but why not? In the middle of the Time War the Time Lords (willing to resurrect the Master after all) reach back in time and bring in a wartime leader.

(Of course, he’s also a version of the War King from the Faction Paradox encyclopaedia/novel “The Book of the War” but as the War King is actually the Master, this parallel probably won’t be followed through. Shame as we’ve had multi-Doctor stories in the past so why not a multi-Master story some day? As in multiple regenerations of the Master, not multiple copies of the same regeneration as we have as of the cliffhanger.)

Claire Bloom’s character, “The Woman”, is according to fans either Romana, the Rani or the White Guardian. Based on the facts that, in turn, she’s a woman, ditto, and where’s white. Every female character in the new series has at some point been claimed to be really Romana or the Rani. The White Guardian is definitely possible but having the White without the Black would be unbalanced, both in terms of mythology and storytelling.

My crackpot idea… (assuming for the moment that she’s far too po-faced and serious to be Iris Wildthyme) She’s Rose. An older Rose from many years hence who reaches back in time and across universes to help the Doctor one last time. It has a distressing ring of plausibility about it.

Wilf is a Time Lord who’s been transformed into a human and his real personality is inside his unfired service revolver. At the end, he will go off in his own TARDIS with his granddaughter Donna thus recreating the very start of the series. Except that this has already been done, and with better justification, in the novel “Sometime Never” where an alien empowered with some of the Doctor’s life force and the Doctor’s not-really but really really (don’t ask) granddaughter end up semi-amnesiac in a malfunctioning time machine in a junkyard with a superweapon thus providing an origin story for the Doctor, Susan, the TARDIS and the Hand of Omega in universe where the Time Lords never existed.

Having Wilf and/or Donna turn out to be another Time Lord would be heartbreaking. They are such wonderful, lovely characters and killing them to bring some Gallifreyan back to life is just tragic. I hope that Wilf turns out to be Wilf because there’s no one better he could be. RTD has shown in Torchwood that he’s not sentimental (except Rose…) about much loved characters so I’m somewhat prepared to be heartbroken.

Many people have speculated that the Time Lords are, in some way, stashed away inside the Master’s head, and there does seem to be some evidence pointing towards this. If this is the case, then RTD owes Lance Parkin, author of the novel “The Gallifrey Chronicles”, a large sum of money; because after the last time that Gallifrey was destroyed the Time Lords ended up stashed away inside the Doctor’s head (thus causing the longest lasting of the Eighth Doctor’s several bouts of amnesia). If the Time War in the TV series does happen “after” the Time War in the novels then maybe the Time Lords resurrected the Master for the sole purpose of using his talent for self-preservation in exactly the same way that the Doctor had used his own last time around.

So there you go, I’ve proved that almost everything that could happen in part two has already been done in the novels, and that I’m as anal and crackpot as any other fan.

I suspect that the reality of part two will be even more sane/crazy, predictable/unpredictable, clichéd/original than the above.

November has arrived accompanied by wind and rain and cold (and indeed a cold). How to spend the month?

Well mostly Lettice and I will be spending it buying a house. Or trying to. The other day we took a tame civil engineer to have a look round the place we’re hoping to buy (in a sort of “look for the massive faults before paying a surveyor” kind of way) and he could only see one potential problem. Fingers crossed that it isn’t.

Like last year, I’ll be taking part in NaBloPoMo as a form of half-hearted solidarity with the people who are attempting NoNoWriMo.

And I’ll be growing a moustache. Some banter in the office on Friday has somehow led to me agreeing at the last minute to take part in Movember. Now, despite having a silly name and being an Australian import, this is a very good cause so please make a donation. I promise to only post very occasional photos of the mo’s progress.

Finally I’ll be hiding from the bad weather and watching telly, not least Doctor Who which is back for a special on the 15th.


Today was the 10th anniversary of my first date with Lettice. Back in 1999 we went to see The Matrix in Streatham. Today we had an adventure to celebrate.

Robot Grasshopper from the Robot Zoo

First up was the Robot Zoo at the Horniman Museum. Did you know that it took three people to drive a chameleon?

Then we did a bit of shopping. Lettice bought beads and I bought Doctor Who books.(About Time 3 2nd edition is 500 pages long and has an end note about the Chuckle Brothers, how can you not want it?)

If you missed James May’s plasticine garden at Chelsea you can now see it at the Royal Festival Hall.

Then we went on the London Eye. Yes, we live in London. Yes, we work in London tourism. Yes, it’s been open for nine years. No, we hadn’t been on it before.

Then there was yarn shopping. Followed by Yo! Sushi (between you and me, the County Hall branch is always nice and quiet in the evenings and only a short walk from the heaving, 45 minute wait to be seated, restaurants along the Southbank).

Anyway, I’ll do a proper image post either tomorrow or on Monday, in the meantime there are pictures on Flickr.

I’ve just watched The Invisible Enemy for the first time. This is the story that added K-9 to Doctor Who and the tin dog comes across really well in his debut. The plot is as nonsensical as every review I’ve ever read says it is. There are some good ideas in there, Leela is great, the design and effects work – with the exception of the infamous prawn – are excellent. But the plot is all over the place and the technobabble is unconvincing not so much because a lack of basic science as a lack of basic common sense.

So next DVD to watch will be K-9 and Company for the first time since 1981…

Meanwhile. This is a teaser for the forthcoming K-9 series:

Oh dear.


Well, here’s what I’ve been reading this year. I said there was a lot of graphic novels.

Over on the LiveJournal version of this blog you can fill in a poll to show which of these you’ve read as well (not necessarily in 2008). I understand that you can use OpenID to log into LJ rather than creating an account there but I’ve never tested it myself.


  • A History of Venice by John Julius Norwich
  • Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson
  • Dry Store Room No. 1 by Richard Fortey
  • JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford
  • jQuery in Action by Bear Bibeault and Yehuda Katz
  • Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean by John Julius Norwich
  • Stand and Deliver: The Autobiography by Adam Ant
  • The Earth: An Intimate History by Richard Fortey
  • The Economic Naturalist by Robert H. Frank
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman


  • A Spectacle of Corruption by David Liss
  • Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell
  • Flashman’s Lady by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
  • Making Money by Terry Pratchett
  • Matter by Iain M. Banks
  • Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Coffee Trader by David Liss
  • The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

Graphic Novels

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future For You
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate
  • Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman
  • From Hell by Alan Moore
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Bloodlines by Garth Ennis
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Family Man by Jamie Delano
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Fear Machine by Jamie Delano
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Joyride by Andy Diggle
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: The Laughing Magician by Andy Diggle
  • Lucifer: Inferno by Mike Carey
  • Lucifer: Mansions of the Silence by M Carey
  • Planet Hulk Omnibus by Greg Pak
  • World War Hulk by Greg Pak
  • Serenity: Better Days by Joss Whedon
  • Ultimate X-Men :Ultimate Collection Book 2 by Mark Millar

Doctor Who

  • Ahistory by Lance Parkin
  • About Time 6 by Tat Wood
  • Doctor Who: Bullet Time by David A. McIntee
  • Doctor Who: Business Unusual by Gary Russell
  • Doctor Who: Companion Piece by Mike Tucker
  • Doctor Who: Emotional Chemistry by Justin Richards
  • Doctor Who: Endgame by Terrance Dicks
  • Doctor Who: Festival of Death by Jonathan Morris
  • Doctor Who: Grave Matter by Justin Richards
  • Doctor Who: Halflife by Mark Michalowski
  • Doctor Who: Sometime Never… by Simon A. Forward
  • Doctor Who: The World Shapers by Grant Morrison
  • Faction Paradox: This Town Will Never Let Us Go by Lawrence Miles

Odds and Ends

  • Star Wars: Dark Empire II by Tom Veitch
  • Star Wars: Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore
  • Star Wars: Dark Tide 1 – Onslaught by Michael A. Stackpole
  • Star Wars: Dark Tide 2 – Ruin by Michael A. Stackpole
  • A Magical Society: Ecology & Culture
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It’s November so some brave souls are embarking upon this year’s NoNoWriMo. Good luck to you if you’re one of them.

I’m in no way dedicated enough to try an entire novel in one month, but I do want to write more so I’m declaring November to be my NaBloPoMo – I will be endeavouring to post at least once a day for the next 30 days.

“Na No Wri Mo Na Blo Po Mo” – I think I know how RTD comes up with Judoon dialogue.