Monday, 31 December 2007

Who based updates

For Christmas I recieved the Doctor Who Encyclopedia and so have been able to make a few nifty updates to some of my articles and doubtless there'll be a few more corrections on the way. The book has been most helpful in giving names to the species and planets encountered in The Infinite Quest which has helped tidy up my article on them and make it look a bit more authoritative. Unfortunately some of the pictures used have now gone out of date and no longer appear in the article but hopefully the updated info makes up for it.

You can read the article by scrolling down my blog for ages, or better still click to it HERE

I didn't cover them in any of my Who posts, but you may be interested to know that the blue Stewards from series one belong to a species called Crespallions.

Well that's it for now till I find more gaps to fill - unless it's been delayed (again) there should be a new Legacy out soon for me to rabbit on about.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Power Trip Conflict : Round One

This is my attempt to add a bit of original prose to this blog to motivate myself to write and to hopefully make my blog a more interesting read. This is a tie in to my Heroes based Power Trip articles and features a conflict between two Heroes who remain the same each time, but the power of the good guy changes dependant on the power most recently discussed, as for the power of the bad guy'll see! It's not Shakespeare, but I hope you enjoy.

He looks different in real life. The skin’s a little lighter and he’s not as big, but I the future’s not interested in details, just facts. For example he is standing on the edge of the roof with feet wide apart; he is wearing a bizarre red coat and the sword he appears to be holding is in fact floating just behind his hand – that’s the stuff that matters. An artist knows what symbols his work conveys and so I know what he is trying to tell me. The feet wide apart, edge of the rooftop stance shows his belief that he is a fearsome warrior. The coat is a taunt, you could follow it anywhere, but he does not fear the Police or the army or any of their metallic weapons so he is content for them to know where he is and tremble. The sword is to give a fool’s hope, that maybe he is just a man with a blade, and you don’t see the power holding his weapon until it’s too late.

Like I say, it’s all in the details. You’ve got to really study a picture to know what it’s about. You see the glint of the sun off a billboard, the angle of a crane, the position of birds in the sky. You have to take it all in to understand what the painting tells you. I see it all now, in more beautiful colour than I could ever paint, in motion that my easel could never capture. I see it all, and know to duck just in time.

My study rewards me, the blade flies over my head but, as I knew it would, flies round and returns to its owner. Twice more the blade flies out, but I’ve already seen how and where it’s going to come. It’s very tempting to just watch, to see my work flow out in real motion, but if I stood and got my head cut off then it wouldn’t be what I’d painted would it?

The painting said I’m unarmed and so I am, standing here trying to face down a monster with nothing but my fists. Thing is, I figured out quite quickly that he has control over metal, can make it do what he wants. Just as I think it he rips up a metal railing with a gesture as if to prove me right. This time I run, alarmed at the speed with which he can move such a heavy object. It crashes down just behind me, but I’ve gotten close enough to land the punch I knew I would. It’s even more satisfying than I thought it would be, knocking him to the floor with blood spattering from his mouth.

It leaves me distracted long enough for the next picture to be fulfilled. Paintings only convey things through sight, they don’t prepare you (to take an example) for the pain of a sword penetrating your body. I knew I couldn’t escape it, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t hurt this much. Well I guess this is what they call facing your destiny. I fall back, making those horrible gurgling sounds you hear in films. But I know this happened for a reason, people will know of my gift and it will save them.

A red coat is easy to follow, especially when you can see the future. I’ve painted it, the whole chase, where he tries to hide, the way he tries to fight back, and the plastic cased chemical weapons they use to bring him down. I donated my paintings to the police yesterday so they will know what to do. I can’t hold my head up any longer, but I can see the helicopter catching the sunlight, just like the picture.

Minor Note: The Voyage of the Damned aliens will be discussed when series four starts as there weren't many species in the special, however the articles will resume when Torchwood starts in January

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Power Trip 1 - precognition

Well I've finally managed to get round to it so let's hope this thing works eh? Inspired by the show Heroes I will look at the various powers given to different characters and look at how they impact the show and where they originated from. This is by no means definitive and will no doubt have missed important figures in comic book history. These articles are designed more for me to give my opinion on things, which I have not been doing enough of.

The first "Hero" to be featured on the show, Isaac Mendez has a truly unusual gift that impacts all the other characters, though they seldom feel his influence. Isaac paints pictures, and what he paints comes true. At first he believes this to be influenced by drugs and so becomes dependent on them, driving away those close to him in his search for answers. This gift doesn't give him combat powers and so immediately struck as unusual for a superhero show and made Heroes interesting viewing.

The power of precognition brings an added element, that of destiny. The heroes aren't just going to get powered up, mask their identities and save the world just like that. There is a path to be taken, and glimpses of that path are shown in Mendez's paintings. However there is a certain paradoxical element in this as the Heroes accept their destiny, and yet their mission is to thwart what was laid out as a vision for the future. I think this is quite representitive of a modern mindset, we like the idea that we have a destiny and a purpose in life, but we also want the freedom to be able to change it as we see fit. People often speak about having a destiny but being able to change it, yet if you can change it then it wasn't destiny at all. This was displayed in Mendez's demise where he accept's his death at Sylar's hands, but at the same time is confident because he has revealed how to stop the bomb.

I stated in my nnouncement that I would refer to the Bible and I will do so here. I also have no intention of being politically correct and so will adress the word of God with the authority and superiority I believe it deserves. Precognition has it's roots in God, who is all seeing and all knowing and, since he created it, can see all of time and knows how and when everything will happen. God chose to reveal the future to his prophets, often in dreams or "visions", who then would pass it on to the people. People have a massive interest in the future so it's no wonder a superhero was given this gift.

Precognition often featured in mythology, the Oracle at Delphi being one posessor that springs to mind. In olf mythology the future was often set in stone, and though the hero might try and thwart what was written or spoken, his fate would always come about as said. Occasionally the hero's fate would be delivered through his efforts to avoid it, giving that extra bit of irony. Bringing it forward a bit various philosopher and thinkers have claimed to have knowledge of events to come, the most famous of who is Nostradamous who'se predictions are still being debated today. With Horoscopes and fortune telling a very popular industry even in a skeptical age it looks like seeing the future is a power many desire to posess.

Moving on to comic books and popular fiction now where precognition has not played such a dramatic role, but is still a presence. With comics being an ongoing and widly divurging medium having the future all mapped out probably isn't such a good idea, yet some characters like Madame Web of Spider-Man, Destiny from X-Men and the film incarnation of Elektra have had some for of precognition. Moving from comics to film and the most famous prognosticators are the Jedi and Sith from Star Wars. These enhanced beings can gain glimpses of events to come, but hold to a changeable destiny since "always in motion is the future." The most prolific use of precognitives I've seen in modern writing has been in the work of Philip K. Dick, the best known example being Minority Report where 'precogs' are used to prevent murder. Precogs feature in many of his writings using their powers for anything from stoping aliens to predicting market changes for businesses.

I started this idea with an eye to shooting down the Heroe's crew claims to be unlike anything else, but I have to commend the show on presenting the superpowers theme in a new way, something that seemed almost impossible. While seeing the future is a popular theme it is used well in the show, and since I don't personally know of any other character that uses painting to see what happens next I will have to hand that to them as an original creation.

Well that's it, I have a tie-in project in mind to do with this so hopefully you'll read more soon but for now, goodbye.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Doctor Who - New Series, new species part 7

Well the Sarah Jane Adventures has wrapped itself so I will continue my review of the new species encounteres here. Power trip is going to wait until the Heroes finale on Wednesday, but i have a side project linked to it which I hope will be a cool adition to the site. Well, let's have no more ado shall we?


I really liked the Uvodni, the species had an eerie mix of insect reptile in the standard humanoid form. While filling in the role of traditional extra terrestrial menace the species was original enough to make it's mark. The story behind them, if a little underdeveloped, was far beyond the typical devious plot.

The Uvodni were a proud warrior race that became engaged in a long battle with another species called the Malakh in a prolonged series of engagements known as the Ghost Wars. They fought in powerful warships controlled by a computer system known as a "Mistress" that resembled a female Uvodni and distributed tactical orders to the crew which they obeyed without question. When the Uvodni began to lost the advantage some were sent to recruit other species into their war. One scheme, headed by General Uvlavad Kudlak used combat simulating games to determine which children could be suited for war, those that excelled at the game were taken to the warship. At some point an armistice was signed between the warring species, but Kudlak's "Mistress" refused to acknowledge this because her only purpose was war. Kudlak tired of recruiting but carried on until the truth was revealed. He released the children he had captured and returned home with a promise to find any other children forced into war.

The Trickster

I liked the Trickster, even though we know pretty much nothing about it. While my eager mind remains unsatisfied I have to say as a presence it was brilliant, and the episodes it featured in were high quality programming.

The Trickster, though that is not a confirmed name by any means, was a strange and powerful being that fed on chaos caused by the disruption of time. It could move backwards forwards and in and out of time, removing people from time and feeding on the alterations made to time. It chose one incident, the death of Sarah Jane's School friend Andrea and saw a way to get all the chaos it needed. It offered Andrea a chance at life, with Sarah Jane taking her place. But Sarah Jane had the capability to prevent an asteroid coliding with Earth and with her gone Earth would be destroyed feeding it's desire for destruction. It had two weaknesses, a memory box given to Sarah Jane nullified the effects on Maria so she remembered who Sarah Jane was, secondly it seemed bound by the consent of those it changed things for so when Andrea sacrificed herself the Earth was saved.

A species called the Graske also featured in this episode, but they have featured before and since I'm running out of time I'll leave them out.


Mr Smith was a great aly to Sarah Jane, and having the super computer in the attic was always a cool addition to the story. So to have that character suddenly betray Sarah Jane in an elaborate plot was a shocker I didn't see coming and I have to congratulate the writers on planning that out.

The Xylok are an intelligent crystalline race that crashed to Earth long ago and eventually were buried under the Earth's surface, completely unknown to manking until Krakatoa erupted, sending one piece of the crystal flying to the Earth's surface. The crystal fell into the hands of Sarah Jane who realised it was intelligent and communicating with her computer. Eventually the crystal said it would help her and designed the supercomputer that would be known as Mr Smith. But the crystal powering the computer had a plan and he used Sarah Jane and her friends to launch a plot to shatter the Earth's surface, thus freeing the trapped Xylok, but killing many humans in the process. He was stopped by a powerful virus which deleted his memory. His mind wiped he now continues to serve Sarah Jane and the rest of the Xylok remain where they are.

Well that's it until the Christmas special, hope you enjoy reading