New recurring character for Doctor Who Series 8 – Danny Pink

New recurring character for Doctor Who Series 8 | Articles | Doctor Who

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Looks like we have a new companion in the wings, and could it be that we’re going to see the return of the dynamic from series 1 WAAAAAAY back in 1963? Two young teachers, one older Doctor, all we need is Susan tocome back! Anyway here’s a snippet of the press release:

“Rising star Samuel Anderson (The History BoysGavin & StaceyEmmerdale) is set to join the cast of Doctor Who as a recurring character in Series 8, which will also introduce Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

Anderson will play Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School where companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) also teaches. On joining the show Samuel Anderson said: “I was so exited to join Doctor Who I wanted to jump and click my heels, but I was scared I might not come down before filming started!””

Click the above link for the whole article

 

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The Monday Meme: The Creepiest Scene in The Lodger

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I specifically remember the endless speculation about this image on various Doctor Who  message boards after The Lodger aired. Some wondered if it was a famous painting,some envisioned a new Time Lord Villain, and others even assumed that it had been specially put there as a clue to the series finale. Too Bad it was just a random creepy painting…..I hope!

 

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Who is Karen Gillan Playing in The Guardians of the Galaxy?

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Fans that saw the recently released trailer for Marvel’s new sci-fi/superhero epic, The Guardians of the Galaxy, may or may not have noticed a familiar face. Yup, Doctor Who fans may have noticed an appearance by Amy Pond herself in tons of blue makeup! People unfamiliar with somewhat obscure Marvel Comics characters may have no clue as to who Karen Gillan is actually playing, the significance of said character, and whether she is good or bad. My goal today is to be a little help! Well, she’s definitely a bad guy, perhaps really bad depending on how the script lays her character out!

Before we get rolling, here’s that trailer, just in case anybody has been under a rock all week:

This character is named Nebula, and she is a feared space pirate that has destroyed entire planets in her various battles throughout many of the more  “space-themed” comics Marvel has churned out over the years. At various points, she has claimed to be none other than the very granddaughter of Thanos. Wait, Thanos? Who’s that?

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Remember that guy at the end of the Avengers that smiled at the camera? That’s Thanos. One thing many non-comic fans may be missing is that all of these Marvel Cinematic Universe films are leading up to what I can only assume is a film depicting the famous comic story The Infinity Gauntlet, where big ol’ Mr. T. up there manages to collect a series of gems that give him unlimited power. As of the end of Thor: The Dark World, Thanos has access, through his various minions, to TWO of these six gems. One can only assume that Nebula has been sent to secure the third.

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I have no idea if they plan on hyping up the possible granddaughter-grandfather relationship between the two, but it would be an interesting way to sneak more info to casual fans about “who that purple dude was”.  Seeing as Benicio Del Toro (The Collector) also appears in TGotG, she may just be a random assassin type character working for him.

I tried to find a video of some sort to show what Nebula has been like in other media, and sadly all I could find was an episode of this mid-90’s Silver Surfer cartoon that coincidentally also stars Drax The Destroyer, a character that also features in TGotG. You can skip to around 3 minutes in to see her.

So there we have it! Nebula could be a VERY big role for Karen Gillan, as playing someone that could feature in more movies might make her a big Hollywood action star. Then again they could kill her off in mere seconds for all I know. That’s what makes speculation fun!

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Fancy buying a posh house with a Red Dwarf cockpit in it?

Original Link – Fancy buying a posh house with a Red Dwarf cockpit in it? | Den of Geek

I recall seeing a widely publicized steam-punk house, and a Star Trek apartment, but it looks like everyone’s favorite smeg-heads are getting in on the game:

“Have you got a spare £3,250,000, and happen to be on the lookout for an 11-bedroom (zoiks) home in the midst of London? We figure we’ve lost pretty much every single one of you by now, but on the off-chance we haven’t, then the home in question has one feature that made our eyebrows go north – the small matter of a Red Dwarf cockpit!”

From Den of Geek

 

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Something To Watch This Weekend: Quatermass Experiment (2005) on Hulu

Something To Watch This Weekend: Quatermass Experiment (2005) on Hulu

Looking for something to watch this weekend? How about the 2005 remake of the classic Nigel Kneale tele-play The Quatermass Experiment! Starring John Flemyng and David Tennant, this is a remake in the truest sense of the word. Using old scripts and LIVE FILMING, they went the extra mile to re-capture the sixty year old magic that basically kicked off UK science fiction as we know it today. Hulu keeps adding more BBC stuff every once in a while, so I’ll keep you posted if more gets added. And don’t be surprised if I do a review of this pretty soon!

 

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More Lost DOCTOR WHO Episodes May Have Turned Up « Nerdist

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More Lost DOCTOR WHO Episodes May Have Turned Up « Nerdist

I’ve been trying not to hype the so-called “omni-rumor” so much, but it looks like we have more recovered Doctor Who on the way. For those not in “the know”, there has been a rumor going around for months years hinting towards a MASSIVE haul of recovered BBC material that was believed to be lost. After the reveal of two such releases late last year, anything seems possible now! After the recent Gallifrey One convention, it seems that people high up in Doctor Who have all but confirmed that more is on the way, click the above link for details!

 

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Out of the Unknown (1965) The Counterfeit Man

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(AKA series 1, episode 2)

For those unfamiliar with Out of the Unknown, here is a quick run-down transplanted from my last review: “Out of the Unknown is relatively unheard of outside of hardcore science fiction fandom due to the poor archival status of the show. It’s one of those shows that fell victim to the BBC’s “junking” policy for old footage. Of the original four seasons and nearly fifty episodes of the show produced, only around twenty exist today. What remains is pretty solid TV and consists of short stories adapted from existing work with a few exceptions made for the show.” Today we’ll be looking at the second episode – The Counterfeit Man.

Based on a short story by Alan Nourse, The Counterfeit Man stands as a totally different experience than the previous episode of Out of the Unknown that I looked at – No Place Like Earth. While that episode was sort of fantasy-ish, and felt somewhat “Victorian” in it’s understanding of science, The Counterfeit Man is as close to a “hard science fiction” story as one could reasonably assume for the time frame. While I’m not too familiar with the works of Alan Nourse, I can reasonably tell (by looking at Wikipedia) that his stories seem to be largely based on medical science, and visions of what medicine could become in the future. To me, this almost feels like something along the same lines of the Quatermass series, just replacing a rocket scientist with a doctor.

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The story of The Counterfeit Man follows a space physician named Dr. Crawford (Alexander Davion) who works as the medical officer of an exploratory spaceship in the distant future. After returning from one of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede, Crawford determines the crew has been somehow infiltrated by a shape-shifting alien. He comes to this conclusion after a medical examination of a fellow astronaut named Westcott (David Hemmings) shows a medically impossible blood sugar level of zero and strange behavior. Crawford attempts to quarantine the presumed alien right there, but things are never that easy in science fiction stories are they? All Crawford has to do is force this invader to “out himself” before they get to Earth, so it can be disposed of.

One will notice that my description above is vaguely similar to the John Carpenter movie The Thing, and that’s immediately what struck me as well. I’m aware that the 1982 film is actually based on a short science fiction novella from the 1930’s, but I couldn’t help drawing the comparison.

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The Counterfeit Man excels in not looking too dated despite watching this nearly fifty years after the fact. Being a fan of older science fiction, I try to look at older productions in the context of age, but sometimes things just look terrible today no matter what. Somehow this episode hides this, and I bet one can chalk this up to the black and white medium “hiding” what were most likely garish colors and terrible sets. Luckily, the designs of everything from the costumes to the spaceships look fine, almost realistic.

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I’d say that the decent production values and tight script make watching this episode a worthwhile venture. I will say that it does “drag” a little bit in the middle, but it’s not a deal breaker by any means. Just like with the last episode, obtaining a copy of The Counterfeit Man or any episode of Out of the Unknown is basically impossible by legitimate means, but that’s where YouTube comes into play. I have included a link to the episode below,if you would like to watch this as well.

 

 

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The Monday Meme: Androids…

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We all Missed Buying Gene Hunt’s Audi Quattro :(

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Keen-eyed ebay watchers noticed an iconic classic car make its way onto the digital marketplace last week – Gene Hunt‘s 1983 Audi Quattro from the show Ashes to Ashes. Many a fan clamored to the site to bid on their dreams of saying “Fire up the Quattro” un-ironically every time they venture out to work, but it seems that someone now owns it and all of our nerd dreams are crushed. As the Telegraph points out, there were in fact two cars used in the show, and this was the second one: “The 1983 example of the legendary rally-derived four-wheel-drive coupe was used on the second and third series of the time-travelling police drama when it was driven by the engagingly politically incorrect lead character Gene Hunt.”

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You’ll notice some “battle damage” on various surfaces of the car because “The Quattro” was one of the most heart-wrenching casualties of the last moments of the show itself. Rather than restoring the car to it’s previous state, these holes were sealed and left to give it some character. The ebay listing itself gives some more details:

“In order to make it look like it was in the middle of a shoot out in the finale’ the front bumper, grille & badge were cut in half so they would fall off (now cobbled back on but still in 2 pieces), a piece of angle iron was welded to the underside of the bonnet to push it open, the o/s Headlight glass was broken (now replaced) various cowels and covers were removed under the bonnet to accommodate the wiring. Some of the switches on the dash, the dashboard to the left of the instrument cluster, the passenger headrest, passenger sun visor, and both front seats had “squibs” (small bullet hit effects) placed in them so were all damaged by either the installation or the implementation of these effects.

The windscreen, rear screen, drivers door glass and passenger quarter glass were all broken but I have replaced them to keep it watertight. The doors are missing a number of internal components, most annoyingly is the absence of the check links which means the door swing open much wider than they were designed to and could catch on the wings. The interior plastic door handles are missing so I have temporarily connected cable ties to the rods so that the doors can be opened from inside. The drivers electric window works but the passenger one doesn’t, I think there is part of the loom missing inside the door. The boot carpet, spare wheel & jack are also missing. Along with a few bits of trim around the n/s door and quarter glasses. The n/s rear lamp was damaged by the fake bullet hits along with the n/s front indicator and the o/s front fog lamp. (I have cobbled them back together but they would need replacing if you wanted to return it to the road) It has a dent just behind the petrol flap on the n/s quarter panel, this is where the SFX did a test with the bullet hole effect.

And of course there’s the bullet holes you can see in the photos, people often asked why I didn’t fill and repaint them, my reply has always been that if I did that then it’d just be another red Quattro.Of all the hundreds of people that have posed for photographs in front of this car 99% of them opt for the passenger side, cause that’s where the action is.”

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Horrific Historical Photo of the Day

doctor-who-empty-children-historicalBackground of the photo:

“The age old adage home is where the heart is finds its true meaning in Miyakejima, a small island located in southeast Japan. Despite the high level of volcanic activity that causes poisonous gas to leak from the earth that forced the 3,600 island residents to evacuate in 2000, the citizens just won’t stay away. Thus, the self-appointed gas mask town rose from the, very literal, ashes.”

Read more here, there are some more creepy pics

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Cyber City Oedo 808 (1990) OVA

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It wasn’t too long ago that most saw the science fiction sub-genre of “Cyberpunk” as a dying format. Yeah, The Matrix was a huge movie, but that was made almost fifteen years ago, and little else came of its popularity (aside from two somewhat questionable sequels). Pretty soon, things like 9/11 took all of the fun out of life, and anything that could possibly be seen as a commentary on the decay of society and runaway governments was a big “No-No”. In this climate. science fiction and fantasy media turned into escapist Hollywood CGI-fests and lost their subversive souls in the transition. We all watched endless reality shows and procedural police dramas all decade, wore stupid clothes, and listened to terrible music – man the “noughties” were awful! Their version of the future seemed to be that of excess and world domination through “democracy”. Too bad the bubble burst and we all came to our senses.

Let’s flash forward to today: People fear a global takeover by a prominent Asian country, a government agency has been caught hoarding tons of personal information on just about every one on earth, mega-corporations control world governments, and cyber-crime is on the rise around the world. If I didn’t know any better, people like William Gibson predicted the future and we didn’t even realize it! Every day, we edge closer and closer to the 1980’s view of the near future made flesh, largely due to societal and economic turmoil in the present. The one good thing coming out of this new cynical age is that our speculative fiction is cool again, and it seems cyberpunk media is coming back as a result. Fox has a new TV show called Almost Human that thrives on just about every trope the genre has ever laid out, there have been movies like Dredd, Elysium, and a new Ghost in the Shell series hitting the scene, and even Cyberpunk video games like Deus Ex hitting the shelves – Cyberpunk is back Baby!

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With all this new material out there, it’s fun to go back and watch one of the seminal Cyberpunk anime productions of the past – Cyber City Oedo 808. This show isn’t just a classic, it’s pretty damn influential for anime of the time, and one can see its fingerprints on just about everything that came after – even Ghost in the Shell. Today I feel like Cyber City Oedo 808 is becoming a forgotten gem, much like loads of other eighties anime, and people really need to get the word out on great classic shows.

Released as a three episode OVA way back in 1990, Cyber City Oedo 808 is just a tad longer than a feature film, so it’s not like a huge time investment is needed. One of the more endearing things about this show is that it reeks of late 80’s cheese. Everyone has big silly hair, garish clothing, one of them is essentially a cross-dresser, and the sounds of what could essentially be considered “hair metal” is everywhere.

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It’s the year 2808 and the booming megalopolis of Oedo (Tokyo of the future) is desperate to curb the rising tide of technology-based “cyber-crime”. The city’s governing body decides to follow the old adage of “it takes a thief to catch a thief” and brings in a group of criminals in a new initiative to take on the problem. Serving ridiculous 300+ year sentences for various crimes, Sengoku, Gogol and Benten are less than enthusiastic to be talking to their captors.

They end up being offered relief from their orbital penitentiary cells, but only if they take a deal from the Cyber Police. They are given a pathway to redemption in that each criminal brought to justice results in a shortened sentence, so theoretically they could attain freedom once again. In order to keep the trio in line, each reformed convict is outfitted with an explosive collar that would detonate if they do a poor job or try to escape their duties.

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For the purposes of this review, I actually watched this episode twice, once in the original Japanese (with what I assumed were fansubs), and a second time in English via the UK version. The reason I wanted to see the UK version is that it has an alternate musical track that is not present in either the American or Japanese releases, and to me it’s the superior version.

Manga UK hired a man named Rory McFarlane to compose a more intense soundtrack for their release, and to me the riff-laden guitar sound-scape is far more fitting to the setting than the original soundtrack. That’s not a jab at the original soundtrack by any means, but it just seems somewhat bland in comparison. The other gem from the English localization that stands out is the quality of the dubbing. I know this is a hot topic of debate for anime fans, but I base my opinions of dubs or subs on the actual quality of the product rather than the country of origin. Not all Japanese language tracks are God’s gift to mankind, and in fact I felt the script and voice acting was both more energetic, and fleshed out in the English Version.

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Speaking of the English dub, Cyber City Oedo is one of those anime titles from the early-mid 90’s that really stepped up its game with coarse language. I would even say that it’s basically hilarious in the way it weaves its vulgar tapestry. I enjoy the cursing because these characters are supposed to be anti-social former convicts, and let’s face it most people on the outskirts of society probably talk in a similar manner. Well….that, and it’s funny in a juvenile way, and in a similar vein to why Malcolm Tucker as played by Peter Capaldi is funny. Pardon my french here, but I wanted to showcase one of the most hysterical lines in the show just to get the point across as to why I loved it. This is from episode three:

“Get lost. You wouldn’t recognize a goddamn vampire if one jumped up and bit you on the end of your fucking dick. So just get off my back.”

The dialog is full of stuff like that, people swear even if it’s completely unnecessary to what they are saying. The whole thing reminds me of why I like the movie Shoot ‘Em Up starring Clive Owen. The movie is so unnatural, so over the the top that it becomes completely hilarious for all the right reasons.

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The English dub also does a great job of filling in quiet spots within the dialog. Sometimes there are long stretches of silence going on in the Japanese version, and the English dub fills this in with extra material. Even when a camera was silently panning off-screen in the original, the new version might include two characters conversing with dialog that acts as world building or character development dialog. I’m usually pretty critical of stuff like this considering I felt the “extra dialog” injected into Tekkaman Blade generally made the show cheesy and more childish, but here it really works. How else would we get a lecture from the Cyber Police liaison robot (Varsus) to Sengoku on his misuse of the word “fuck”? Outside of such a fun dub.

Cyber City Oedo 808 was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, who happens to be one of my favorite 90’s anime directors. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, his works should. Kawajiri is the guy behind Wicked City, Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust, Highlander, The Deadshot segment of Batman: Gotham Knight, and even Demon City Shinjuku. Don’t forget his name, because the material he directed was essentially what got me into anime back in the nineties. Don’t be surprised if most of my posts on here have something to do with his works! There is really no other director that captured the American Market like Kawajiri, and his films were staples of many Blockbuster video stores around the country. Granted this is generally because his shows are all pretty violent, full of action, and other things teenage boys thought were awesome back then.

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I mentioned the characters of Sengoku, Gogol and Benten earlier, but did not say much other than the fact that they are foul-mouthed former convicts. Sengoku is essentially the main character of the show, although each episode is a character piece where each one gets the spotlight. He’s your typical hot-headed badass that doesn’t take any sass from anyone. Whether it be his boss, the robot assigned to watch over him, or fellow teammates, Sengoku is usually snarking at somebody. In the English dub he is especially hot-headed but likable in a weird way.

Gogol is a huge intimating computer hacker with a red mohawk and scars all over his face. I was pleasantly surprised by his character, as one would assume he would be the one-dimensional brute of the team, but he’s really the brains of the operation. Benten is an androgynous martial arts master that fights using mono-filament wire and acts pretty sadistic towards people he is fighting. Of the three, Benten is the least likable simply because he comes across sort of creepy. He does end up fighting a vampire though, so there’s points there!

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My long-winded introduction was basically laying out Cyber City Oedo 808 as a classic Cyberpunk show, but one might wonder how much it has in common with notable literary cyberpunk stories. Cyberpunk, as a genre, deals with the conventions of post-humanism, technology running amok, and the collapse of society, or as a notable anonymous article once put it [cyberpunk is the story of] “high tech and low life.” The world of Oedo is a very dark one, and it seems to run in a similar manner to the universe of the 2000AD books that Judge Dredd eventually came from.

It’s hard to piece together the societal structure the series is based in, but one can see that it is presented as very high-tech, and yet VERY fascist. In the first OVA episode, for example, a man under pressure confesses to a murder that is responsible for a horrible crisis that Sengoku is attempting to unravel. This is enough for Hasegawa (their boss) to order Sengoku to kill the man there and then without so much as a trial. When Sengoku fails to do so he is reprimanded and his sentence is increased due to insubordination.

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Sengoku shares the sort of philosophical leaning that many cyberpunk heroes deal with. He seems to resent what the world has become, and especially the over-use of technology in Oedo. A notable scene from the Japanese version shows a little bit of dialog that really sums his stance up: “What a Joke…We built a monstrous city, then we put the computers in charge…we rely too much on you damn machines, don’t we, junkpile? ” The English edition is basically the same just with more “F-bombs”.

If you are a fan of cyberpunk and have yet to see Cyber City Oedo 808 do yourself a favor and take a trip over to YouTube and watch the UK versions of it. It may be old, and the dub is unintentionally hilarious, but this is definitely a style of anime that really isn’t done anymore. Robots, Cyborgs, and Vampires all rolled into one, it sounds like my idea of a great way to spend a snowed in winter day!

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The Monday Meme: Meeping Angels

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Amazon.com Hilarity – Doctor Who Edition

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Some of my favorite internet memes are the ones that involve sarcastic or overdone reviews for ridiculous products on Amazon.com. I think this “Amazon bomb” trend more-or-less started with the classic “three wolf moon” T-shirt, then drifted into just about every ridiculous product on the site. This recently found it’s way into Doctor Who fandom through a “placeholder” listing for as of yet not finished filming eighth series of Doctor Who. Here are some gems, and a link to the listing below:

“Series 8 was utterly Marvellous with Capaldi’s Doctor constantly dropping the F Bomb. Episode 2 was so sad with the death of Clara but it soon picked up with his new American assistant Zoe Torres. Peter Capaldi’s doctor was amazing so sad when he regenerated halfway through season 12 into Lady Gaga. My Personal favourite episode of this season was episode 4 when Capaldi audition on an episode of the X-Factor so that he could disable the android that had been hiding on earth in the body of Louis Walsh. And who can forget the classic 9th episode Cybermats on a SpaceLiner. Overall Brilliant Series!!!! Highly recommended. And available through Time Capsule if like me your from the 25th Century. To anyone reading this in the 21st Century though I’ll give you a brief Spoiler alert. Yes there is life outside of your Solar System, No you won’t be invaded and the future of the human race will be full of Peace and Equality.”

“I ordered this on Tuesday morning with Next Day delivery. Not arriving on Wednesday I was perplexed, and then informed that it was a pre-order and that I would only receive this set upon release date. Not content with this I contacted a lawyer friend and due to an obscure piece of EU legislature Amazon were strongarmed into using their new delivery service that they haven’t even invented yet, AmazonTime. By using what they refer to as a ‘Type 40 Time Capsule’ you can now get your items BEFORE you’ve even ordered them! Where will they go next?! Anyway, I now have this set in my hands!”

Here’s the rest!