ETA: The game is now available to play HERE.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
As a side~note, and something for the Doctor Who fans out there (I think there's a couple), The Blind Banker features the lurvely Gemma Chan (The Waters of Mars); it's directed by Euros Lyn (who helmed so many amazing moments so brilliantly since 2005); and there are numerous, very familiar location settings used. To be honest, that got a bit distracting but that'll teach me for being such a stupendous nerdoid. Anyway, this is merely a side~note to the delicious activities of Holmes and Watson.
And boy, are they delicious! Stylistically, it follows on from what we witnessed in last week's story - on screen text, numerous dissolves, wipes and transitions with loads of mobile and laptop action. Importantly, the relationship between the two male leads continues with its hilarity (for the audience) and irritation (for Watson). Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes is terrifically mean/selfish but its Martin Freeman's more human Watson that gathers the limelight here.
Still coming to terms with his 'civilian' lifestyle we see John trying to cope with Chip & Pin machines, getting a job and dealing with the thorny issue of heterosexuality. Yup, Watson gets a chick - played by the ever~so~lurvely (but not seen enough on telly) Zoe Telford. The couple manage to embark on a date but, in almost sitcom style fashion (and I don't mean that in any way negatively), it turns out slightly different than both had hoped... As one would expect Holmes is deducting right, left and centre as the complex plot unfolds.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Doctor Who Complete Series 5, will be available in stunning lenticular packaging, as well as a numbered limited edition Boxset making it the perfect gift for Christmas. The DVD also features some fantastic extras including exclusively filmed scenes giving you an insight to what has happened in the TARDIS between episodes, as well as a Matt Smith video diary, and Doctor Who Confidentials for each episode and the Monster Diaries from each volume.
is released Nov 8, priced £69.99 (DVD) & £79.99 (BR)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The hedonistic cabaret scene of Berlin in the Thirties is in full swing when wide-eyed young writer Christopher Isherwood arrives in the city, unable to speak a word of German. To Isherwood's reserved English sensibility, the city's thriving gay subculture is thrilling and intoxicating, but he soon finds himself heartbroken after the failure of a hopeless love affair, and so sets out on a process of self-discovery.
Written by acclaimed playwright Kevin Elyot, this one-off drama chronicling the formative years of Christopher Isherwood, stars Lindsay Duncan, Imogen Poots, Toby Jones and Douglas Booth, with Matt Smith in the title role.
Christopher And His Kind tells the story of how Isherwood escapes repressive English society and his suffocating relationship with his mother Kathleen (Lindsay Duncan) for the decadent and politically unstable world of pre-war Berlin.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Release Date: Aug 9
Duration: 135 mins (approx.)
The Hungry Earth
The Monster Files
Things get off to a great start with the third volume of Series 5 (though aren't we all just waiting for the box set in November?) with Amy's Choice, a story which introduced the most excellent Dream Lord played so exquisitely by Toby Jones. It's a terrific yarn and its freshness is thanks to the Who newbie, Simon Nye who takes a sci~fi/fanatsy staple and creates a most engaging tale. Top marks to the production team for making the TARDIS looked like its never looked like before. The denouement may come a little too abruptly but that chilling reminder of the Doc's dark side and his deepest admissions make this a corker.
"Corker", however, is not a word I'd use to describe either The Hungry Earth or Cold Blood. Although many "fans", and I use the word quite wrongly, seemed to take umbrage at the redesign of the Silurians the problems I have with their two~part return are not caused by their rather spiffy new appearance. Before I get to my issues, I will state that I like the Silurians update. Frankly the three eye thing they had going on in the Seventies didn't particularly convince me (though the story was top~notch). But back to 2010. Or, rather, 2020.
This series got off to such a good start but I feel that midway a certain familiarity had already begun to sink in. What am I referring to? Well, The Hungry Earth marked another story with church scenes in it (the previous Vampires of Venice for example, and there were similar environs in The Beast Below and The Time of Angels). And then Cold Blood saw more underground scenes (witness the aforementioned Weeping Angels story). If I may return to Amy's Choice, we get more dilapidated buildings and yet another monster baring teeth; The Eleventh Hour, Beast and Vampires all featured that trope (not to mention the Weeping Angels, again).
Not only that, but we get characters who, frankly, didn't interest me at all - the family and Nasreen Chaudhry fail to emotionally connect. Most galling of all was Rory's death - didn't we just see that in Amy's Choice? No shock, or even sadness, at all. As he was brought back to life in the previous story, his demise is obviously not final so any drama that was meant to have been garnished from his death here is non~existent. The story itself is adequate, the two parts giving it a chance to breathe, as it were, and the underground visuals are purty bloody great but, barring the recovery of a piece of the TARDIS, it's unmemorable.
Thanks to 2|entertain
Monday, July 12, 2010
|Release Date: Aug 9|
Duration: 175 mins (approx.)
Revenge of the Cybermen
REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN
First up is the Tom Baker four~parter from 1974 and you would think that a story which boasts the lines "Who's the homicidal maniac?" and "Harry Sullivan is an imbecile!" paraded out by Tommy B would be a lot of fun. Sadly not (though the Cybermat does induce some larfs). The return of the Cybermen should have been a much more interesting affair but Revenge is let down by the sheer dullness of the story.
The actors don't help either, specifically those inhabiting the costumes of the Vogans and the Cybermen themselves. Too big, too stagey and, as Philip "The Guv'nor" Hinchcliffe would describe it, too "Shakespearian shouty". And there's too many opposing sides, too many deceptions and not enough clarity to make it work. Which is a pity, because the production team neatly finish of the mini~Ark (ho~ho) started a number of stories earlier on the Nerva Beacon. Using the same set again was an inspired move and connects the series very well (a trick which is common now but not so much then).
Other positives include the relationships between The Doctor, Harry and Sarah who are all never less than brilliant. The plague special effect is well realised though one has to question the decision to render the Cyber helmets as guns, not convincing (and why the Cyber leader has his hand on his hips all the time is beyond me). Thankfully the Cybes would return in the 80s with more of a bang and more of a threat so best to forget this one and remember the good times.
Ruefully, the good times aren't to be found in the accompanying Cybermen tale, Silver Nemesis, it's worse. Although it doesn't have the familiar stink of Eighties production values (being filmed entirely on location certainly helps), it does suffer from poor effects, jarring acting and a story that still has McCoy perplexed (well that's what he said on the commentary anyway).
Again the Cybermen come off as useless and, ironically, a bit wooden. Most of the time they skulk about in the background while the leader proclaims how "excellent" everything is. Particularly galling is the scene where The Doctor and Ace manage to outwit the chunky robots by literally walking between and around them, evading capture. Their menace is less than impressive.
I could go on. But I shan't. Enough has been written on Silver Nemesis to let passers~by know that this is to be avoided. Though, if you like your stories to feature three sets of opposing villains and a plot that's lifted from Remembrance of the Daleks (Ace evens says so much at the end) but subtly shifted so that any sense is rendered null, then perhaps this is for you. It does feature the sight of the Seventh Doctor wearing a fez, so that should account for something.
Usually the commentaries prove to embiggen even the lamest of stories but I regret to report that this is not the case for the Revenge of the Cybermen commentary. Featuring Elisabeth Sladen, David Collings and Phillip Hinchcliffe, it's a largely dry affair though I did chuckle when Collings (so brilliant in Robots of Death and Mawdryn Undead, but no so much in Revenge) refers to The Doctor's weapon of choice as the "singing screwdriver." Also interesting to hear is Hinchcliffe talking about how highly he regards the way in which RTD brought back the Cybermen in the new series.
Thankfully the commentary for Silver Nemesis proves to be a much more enjoyable affair. Sophie Aldred is on top form, sparking with a slightly mellow Sylvester McCoy. Andrew Cartmel (script editor) and Chris Clough (director) also provide much insight and humour (the area used for filming on Nemesis is now the car park of the David Beckham Academy at the Dome fact fans), without being too precious about the story, even referring to it as "a bit iffy." An immensely enjoyable listen.
The VAM for Revenge of the Cybermen prove to be the best of the bunch with three mini~docs. First up is a rather pedestrian look at the production of the story entitled The Tin Man and the Witch, in which we get presented with a most ridiculous ghost story from director Michael E. Briant. Utter tosh, but Philip Hinchcliffe is on call to calm down matters with hard facts admitting they "didn't get it [Revenge] quite right". He's blunt and frank in equal measures when it comes to the score, writing and acting. Most refreshing but this feature suffers from character. Or characters as none of the main cast comment in any way on the story leaving it to all the behind~the~scenes boffins to yarn on. And on.
Much more entertaining is the contemporary Location Report where we find Tommy B and Co. in the caves of Wookey Hole. He's on top form describing himself as a "quiet living bachelor who likes a bit of fun" and even asking the interviewer "Would you like a jelly baby?" Short but tremendous fun and one you'll come back to time and again.
The highlight of the two disc set by far is Cheques, Lies and Videotape, a look at the lengths some fans went to in the Eighties to get their hands on videos of Doctor Who adventures. This could have been a very 'specialist' affair but the fillmmakers should be heartily congratulated on their choice of subjects - each one with their own unique tale to tell, filled with lurve, nostalgia and, best of all, bags of personality. For example, their joy at remembering when The Five Faces of Dr. Who was advertised (a series of repeats of past~Doctor adventures before the Davison era started) was sublime and reminded me of the joy I felt whilst watching those past stories for the first time (having only read the Target books for reference).
Cheques is an affectionate yet humurous piece that many fans perhaps won't fully appreciate as it's possibly "too easy" to watch Who these days. A lot of money was spent in obtaining the copies (and it was a lot!) but these fans would not have had it any other way and I salute them! Also worthy of a mention is the comparison of deteriorated copies that fans would have had to watched. Man, and you think YouTube can be a bit poor quality at times!
Silver Nemesis doesn't have quite so much to accompany it with only one feature, Industrial Action, the usual Making Of doc. It's far better than the accompanying disc's equivalent with all the actors chipping in, giving it a great sense of fun (even jazzboy Courtney Pine gets to chat!). There's also some amusing insight to the stories origins with the author of the story admitting he had no idea what he was going to do before he went to pitch it to JN~T (it does show). Kevin Clarke also states that The Doctor is God - so that answers that question then. And I thought he was meant to be Jesus...?
Those familiar with the extended version of Nemesis that popped up on VHS in the Nineties will be glad to see the numerous deleted and extended scenes viewable here on their own (not as an extended version though). It's good to see so many off~cuts kept and in such good condition. There's also a Trails and Continuity section which features a rather neat season trail with a specially filmed intro and outro from McCoy and Aldred.
As always there's the essential production text but I'll highlight the PDF extras that include a Radio Times feature from the 25th anniversary. Combined, all these extras surely do make up for two rather dismal stories but if reference materials aren't your thang, then The Cybermen box set won't be worth shelling out your hard earned bucks for. So here's to the release of the 3D versions in 2026, which will be the next time I watch these particular outings for The Doctor.
Thanks to 2|entertain