Monday, 21 December 2009

SF at the Movies - December 09

OK so the last chance this year for you to see some Sciencey-Fictioney goodness on a large screen - unless you're one of the people of the show Cribs in which case you can do that any time!

On with it eh?

Planet 51

Released 04/12/09

Some astronaut lands on a planet with some kiddy type aliens - possibly some things happen, I'm not sure!


Released 16/12/09

That's more like it! One of the most anticipated films of the year - shot in stunning 3D and not so some monsters can jump out of the creen at you, but rather to give you a heightened sense of realism that makes other movies seem, well...flat! The plot concept has kinda been done before, but the way it is told is fantastic and the imagination going into the natives and the flora and fauna of their incredible world is superbly realised - well worth seeing, and if you've never seen a 3D film before this is the one to see!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A sequence of sequels

At the recent video game awards it was an opportunity for games to showcase new content. Among the awards and clips were some brand new trailers. The first of which was an announced trailer for Halo: Reach.

The trailer is exciting as it fulfils some of my wishes on the recent wishlist - there's a stack of new characters briefly introduced. Maybe a new vehicle, though it could be an interpretation of the Hawk and though the cinematics were in-game they did show off how cool this game is gonna be and look and I am more than definitely looking forward to this one.

Then came some shock announcements which certainly I didn't see coming - first up, a quick follow on from the astounding first game - it's Arkham Asylum 2!!

And a shock entry which I never even dreamed was coming: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2!!!

There were a few other entries, including a new Prince of Persia, but I'll have to leave it there - I really can't wait for next year now!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Star Wars Legacy: Cade's Crew

I realised I've been telling you all about Legacy and the different force users and Imperials, but I've neglected to tell you about some of the core characters! Despite the wished of many around him Cade is neither Jedi nor Sith and flies around the galaxy on his trusty ship, the Mynock. And on his ship are his trusty crew who have gone with him through thick and thin and all across the galaxy.

Permanent Crew

Jariah Syn
Species: Human
Sex: Male
Homeworld: Unknown
Position: First Mate (Mynock)
First Appearance: Legacy #2 (Broken, part 2)

After Cade was picked up by Rav's pirates, Jariah befriended him and encouraged Rav to make him part of the crew. At some stage they both left and got their own ship. Jariah quickly took to the life of bounty hunting, using powerful and illegal weapons such as Yuuzhan Vong bugs and a pragmatic approach, taking a 'dead' bounty if it made the hunt easier. Jariah hated Jedi because his father was killed by one and this made things tense between the two when Cade's heritage was revealed. But at the hidden temple he dealt with his issues and now he and Cade are closer than ever. Jariah has assisted in a number of important missions, notably the mission to assassinate Darth Krayt and to raid Rav's headquarters. His only real weakness is a taste for the ladies, particularly ones which get him into trouble such as Cade's cousin Annah and even his mother Morrigan Corde.

Deliah Blue
Species: Zeltron
Sex: Female
Homeworld: Zeltros
Position: Mechanic (Mynock)
First Appearance: Legacy #2 (Broken, part 2)

Deliah left her partygoing ways on Zeltros to become mechanic on Cade's ship. She is an expert and her skills are often the only thing keeping the Mynock flying. She is intensely loyal to the crew and in particular to Cade, whom she has had affections for for some time. The two are now in a relationship, though this has been rocky since the return of Azlyn Rae. As well as mechanic she also aids on hunts using her collection of blasters and concealed dart launchers to take down bounties. She encouraged a reluctant Jariah to help them spring Cade from the Sith temple and has kept the ship flying through a number of missions since, though she knows the risks - 'short and interesting' is what she says she wants and that's what Cade is promising.

Guest Crew

Along the way Cade and co have picked up a few extra crew for certain journeys and to help them out - here are some of those who joined up for a short period of time.

Naxy Screeger
Species: Sakiyan
Sex: Male
Homeworld: Unknown
Position: Gambler, informant
First Appearance: Legacy #2 (Broken, part 2)

Screeger first appeared as a bounty Cade was tracking, Cade tracked him on Lok and brought him back to Rav, who he owed. Sometime later Naxy agreed to let Cade and crew into Rav's fortress to confront him. In return they freed him from Rav and took him to a safe place, though they kept him in storage, not trusting him on the ship. Naxy is now free, but Cade has kept him availalble for other jobs.

Species: Wookiee
Sex: Male
Homeworld: Kashyyyk
Position: Captain (Grinning Liar)
First Appearance: Republic #81 (The Hidden Enemy, part 1)

Chak is a long-lived Wookiee who saw the Clone Wars and fought alongside Jedi Quinlan Vos and bounty hunter Vilmarh Grahk. He escaped the enslavement of his people by the Empire and has lived on the fringes for some time. He captained his own ship, but also made money by loaning it to others, such as Deliah Blue. When they were captured by Rav he looked for Cade, who had left the crew and knew nothing about it. He was recruited into the plan to rescue Cade by Morrigan Corde, who used his Wookie spacing knowledge to plan their escape and also made him legal owner of the Mynock to fool the Imperials. After freeing Cade he was good to his word and together they raided Rav's fortress and got Chak his ship back. Chak has since returned to the fringes, waiting for the heat to die down.

Species: Devaronian
Sex: Female
Homeworld: Unknown
Position: Co-pilot (Grinning Liar)
First Appearance: Legacy #14 (Claws of the Dragon, part 1)

Kee is a feisty young mechanic who crews with Chak in his ship. She tracked down Cade, who she and the captain knew of old, and demanded her ship back. She was recruited by Morrigan Corde into the rescue plan, uing her microcurcuitry skills to turn Vong bugs into bombs and spying devices. After getting her ship back she said her goodbyes to the crew and followed her captain to space.

OK, that's it for now - more Legacy soon!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

'Reach' for the stars

Ok this is my wishlist for the upcoming Halo game - Reach. Named after the planet and famous batle on which it is based, the game is an immediate precursor to the original Halo game. Despite the tagline 'Before the beginning you know the end' little is known about the game. The game is due for testing in a few months time and is essentially complete so saying what I want is going to have zero impact - but I'm going to do it anyway.

1. More Vehicles

ODST was a great game and introduced some new vehicles such as the civilian and police cars and the Oliphant garbage truck, but none of them were driveable, which was a pity I felt, though the usual range of warthogs and scorpions were available as well as some stashed Mongeese. But we also saw a few new vehicles in Halo Wars that would be great in game - I'd love to try driving a Cobra (above) around or flying a Vulture into battle, who knows maybe even something new. Storyline wise it woul fit and the game is operating on a new engine so a possibility I feel.

2. Blurry cinematics

Another clever title there - this refers to Blur studios who worked on the astounding cinematics for Halo Wars. OK, it doesn't have to be this studion in particular, but I think they've proved themselves. I'd be keen not to see a return of the in0game engine cinematics. I think the Halo cinematics so far have been brilliant, don't get me wrong, but once you've seen the quality a studio like that can produce you don't wanna go back - Halo deserves beautiful cinematics.

3. New Characters

This is Kelly - she's a Spartan who was at the battle of Reach and has also featured in other books and recently Halo Legends, will she appear in this game - it's a distinct possibility. I really hope - and I'm fairly sure this hope will be realised - that this game isn't going to be a rehash of Fall of Reach (I bought the novel in preparation for the game) and that it isn't just going to feature John-117 and other familiar characters, though I'd be dissapointed if they didn't make cameos. I'm really looking forward to a new set of Spartans and other military forces in the battle.

A fairly short list there - not too much to ask eh?

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Doctor Who - New Series, new species part 24

Told you I'd be back!

Well there's still a few weeks to wait for the next Doctor Who special but the Doctor and his friends haven't been quiet in the meantime oh no!

During the running of Sarah Jane there was an online Alternate Reality Game called Monster Hunt in which a number of aliens had ben copied into digital format and released onto the internet and the viewer had to help Rani and Clyde track them down. They hid on websites owned by the BBC and safe for kids, but they were still quite tricky to find sometimes and so a reasonable challenge - finding these aliens unwrapped a bigger mystery and also unlocked rewards like behind the scenes videos and screensavers.

Also online and on the 'Red Button' service was Dreamland an animated Doctor Who adventure set in the height of Roswell crash suspicion and featuring a visit to Area 51. The animation was done in a quirky CG style, which sometimes caused the characters to walk in a style almost reminiscent of Thunderbirds, but it was still good fun and featured some new aliens, which is good for the blog.


This was the key villain of the Monster hunt. Despite the somewhat cheesy acting of the intro vids to the alien hunting the mystery of this strange creature was held throughout the quest. The narrated comic that kicked off the adventure set him up as villain and as a powerful creature, given that he had captured and 'downloaded' a number of sarah jane villains in his ship. His ultimate purpose when revealed, was quite clever as a threat to Sarah Jane.

The Krulius was an artifical life form, built on the world of Dothon. Part organic, part machine he was dangerous by his meer presence, emiting foul and toxic gas from his face. A creature of battle and destruction he decided on an invasion of Earth. Deciding on Sarah Jane as the greatest threat to his plan he captured and studied a number of her greatest adversaries and prepared countermeasures for every possiblity he could forsee. On his secret battle station he built war machines and an army of aliens like himself. He unfortunately had to download himself onto Earth's internet after his ship crashed, but used this to track down Sarah Jane and trasnsport her to his station, Sarah Jane countered by summoning the Shadow Proclamation and capturing the monster.

The Pilot

This creature played a minor role in the comic but waas still interesting, though he did go along the 'guy working for the bad guy who knows he's a bad guy but ends up turning on him and redeeming himself when it's pointed out just how much of a bad guy the other guy is' role which is quite traditional in SJA stories. As an alien he was well illustrated and defined and added additional intrigue to the story.

The pilot of the Krulius was a native of Ven Kruk Nar, an aquatic world. The pilot was an aquatic creature and required a suit filled with water to survive out of his natural environment, nonetheless he was quite at home in space and piloting a starship. After the ship crashed to Earth he was in danger because his suit was damaged but Sarah Jane aided him and he was returned home by the Shadow Proclamation.

OK - on to Dremland now.


These guys were pretty good as a threat, big giant and scary with weird weapons and the ability to fly, tunnel and get around you pretty much any way they wanted to. What I did like was the Doctor's insinuation that in the future these war maniacs find a way to change their ways and become a force for good in the universe. I did have a few problems with them though, such as their confused motives which were a bit hard to pick out and also the complete Aliens rip-off of the Viperox Queen. Nonetheless they were a good use of the animation and a convincing villain.

The Viperox were a race of conquerors who had defeated the races of entire galaxies in their sweeping conquest. Their key advantage was in their rapid bredding of new drone, they could bring a single queen to a planet and breed an army in short succession. They had a number of other useful abilities such as flight and natural spear-type explosives that sprouted from their arms. Another ability was extremely good hearing, this was used against them by the Doctor who constructed a sonic weapon to halt their invasion of Earth.

Gray alien

I'd have liked it if these guys were named instead of sticking to the traditional Roswell monicker but at least the individuals had interesting names and characters. The story of the two lovers was compelling and made for good drama as the Doctor tried to reuinite them while battling the Viperox and also the military! The flashback to their war with the Viperox provided good context to the episode too.

'Gray aliens' is a term given by humans to aliens who crashed near Roswell in the 50s. One was an ambassador, shot down by pirates, the other her husband, shot down by a paranoid U.S. Military. They were a technologically competent race, capable of using advanced blasters and spacecraft. This did not advantage them when the Viperox invaded with superior numbers. In a desperate measure a biological weapon was constructed, but it was too late to use it. It is unknown what the fate of the race is, but at least two of the aliens survived on Earth.

Skorpius flies

A nifty little side story was created by these guys, when it wouldn't be convenient to have Viperox pop up everywhere, instead there was a hiding threat in the Dreamland vault. I did like these flies as an original villain defeated only by the Doctor's quirky ingenuity. The hive-mind brain concept idea has been done before, but it was still visually interesting and bold.

Skorpius flie are microscopic organisms that form swarms of billions that coalesce into one lviing creature. They are even able to form a brain out of their collective and use combined intelligence to track down and devour pray. When together they have a vaguely jellyfish-like appearance and can evade and track down prey. However they can be evaded by unusual thinking as the Doctor demonstrated by hiding in a box.

OK, that's it for now - I'll be back soon for more of the main show and the end of the tenth Doctor's story/song/whatever.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Another Legacy upload

Again I'm uploading this for posting elsewhere - it's a map of the events that happen in issue 42 of Star Wars Legacy and yes I know how nerdy that is!!

Heroes: You saw them here first!

This post is essentially here to promote the Heroes online comics available at the Heroes website.

I feel slightly stupid doing this as I haven't read any of the comics due to the Beeb's unexplained and annoying decision not to air Heroes in the UK - GRRRRRRR!!

Nonetheless if you live in the land of the free and unrestricted TV you may well watch the show. But you may not follow the wealth of material available online. I've pointed you towards the webisodes, but I've not said too much about the comics. They are a great way to flesh out the story of Heroes and have introduced us to a number of characters who crossed over into the main show. I guess if maybe I can show you the influence the comics have had maybe you'll read them - bit of a problem though, I haven't read them in ages due to the aforementioned issue so I'm struggling to remember who's who!


This character and her brother were introduced in a comic entitles 'Maya y Alejandro' giving fans a heads up as to their abilities and fugitive status prior to their appearance in Volume 2.


This speedy hero and love interest of Matt was introduced in a two part story 'Our Blessed Lady of Acceleration' again we knew her power and her background as a proffesional thief. I really remember this from when I saw her in the show and thinking 'hey, that's Daphne!' Reading the comics does give you that sense of 'I got there first' and does make the show more interesting and valuable I feel.


You might have spotted this character as one of the marines in Pinehearst or an agent for Building 26, but you only know the real story if you go online. Rachel is a teleporter who tried to hide her ability, even joining the army hunting the 'specials' but REBEL 9who also first appeared in comics) has other plans for her. You get quick glimpses of her in the show, payoffs for the full story you find online.

Gael and Bianca

You only got one glimpse of these two as Sylar killed them off, and they got a brief name mention. But these two were featured extensively in a series of comics exploring the inner workings of the company along with a number of other fully developed characters. Seeing these two was a minor thing for casual viewers but a reward for nerds!!

OK, I'll leave it there 'cause I think you get idea - there's tons of stuff online and it's all free so if you want more out of your viewing experience then I recommend the Heroes website - have fun!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Stuff: Terminator

I spotted Terminator Salvation out on DVD and decided it was high time I blogged about it, as I planned to do many weeks and indeed months ago. The new movie took us into the exciting time of the war between man and machine and saw John Connor beginning to take action against the machines and become the threat that would make it worth sending Arnie back in time. Indeed thanks to enhanced CGI stuff Arnie did make a welcome return as a prototype T-800.

But as well as bringing backt he classics the series also brought a host of new killing machines, and that's what we're going to look at.


I didn't really notice the scale and power of this craft until I saw the traditional HK-Aerial (what I assumed this one was) fly into it and then it was like 'woah!' which is always a good moment in a movie. This flying craft seems capable of transporting any number of other killing machines across long distances. This craft is critical in the early stages of the film combating resistance members and capturing humans for SkyNet.


This machine was the money shot in the trailer - a towering hulk of a machine armed with a shoulder mounted laser gun - when you sawe this you knew the movie was BIG. This beast didn't dissapoint, like Arnie it just kept on coming and had a counterattack for pretty much everything they threw at it. Despite it's size it's main purpose isn't as an attack machine, rather it 'harvests' humans for SkyNet's experiment, once it has enough humans it called a transport and left, which added variety to the enemies of Salvation.


I was really impressed with these as it really gave that sense of 'there's nowhere we can't get you' if the machines can come up with motorbike robots they can pretty much come up with something for every eventuality. I really liked how they deployed from the legs of a Harvester so that even if you escape the big guy these will come after you. We got nice glimpses of the terminator vision from them to as they assessed threats in the road and nimbly dodged them.


Continuing the theme of the other robots these machines operate in water makind rivers and possibly even seas dangerous places for the resistance. I did like that Connor and his men were well aquainted with them and easily trapped one to experiment on as if they had done it before. But they didn't stop being a threat, able to lep high out of the water and attack a helicpoter.

Marcus Wright

Obviously a key protagonist to the film. Marcus was an interesting character as he wasn't reporgrammed or mysteriously turned good, he was in fact at least partly human, though largely replaced with cybernetic parts. I don't need to go through his journey through the film, but it was interesting to see Cyberdyne takre a long-term approach, gaining Marcus' body long before the war began and activating him to infilitrate the resistance.

Another cool thing was seeing the innovative resistance HQ and General Ashdown, played by Michael Ironside, known to many as the voice of Sam Fisher.

Well I hope you enjoyed seeing the new robots as much as I did, I'll be look at the new Transformers soon seeing as that's out on DVD too.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Star Wars Legacy: Renegade (36) + Navy Personnell

OK, I am WAY behind on thse things and a new issue out has prompted me to get on with these things - you may or may not be interested in Star Wars Legacy, but I am so I intend to carry on posting them, however there is little point 'reviewing' issues if we are almost six months out of date so expect a flurry of posts over the next few weeks.

Well there are no new Sith or Jedi so we can get straight on with it.

Issue Review

Ralltir is a key financial world held by the Sith Empire and guarded by a full fleet as well as planetary defences, it is so well guarded they expect no attack, and thus are startled when Gar Stazi's Galactic Alliance fleet bursts out of hyperspace and begins to attack. They have the edge of surprise and eliminate planetary defenses, but are still outnumbered until a fleet from Bastion arrives from Emperor Fel to back them up, led by the arrogant Admiral Fenel.

They force the fleet to surrender and plan to seize the ships for their own fleets, but one frigate captain sees their plan and orders that they self-destruct their ships. Admiral Fenel orders the captured Imperials to destroy their own frigate, which pushes them too far - Fenel counters by issuing an order to destroy any escape pods. Galactic Alliance fleet commander Stazi refuses to accept such barbarism and refuses to be ordered by an Imperial, moving his own fleet to defend the escaping Imperials - the fleet is then destroyed, damaging the Sith, but also denying new ships to the rebels. The first test of the Alliance between Fel and Stazi is passed.

My Two Credits

This issue stands as one of the best of the series - as well as delivering classic fleet action in the Legacy era (expertly drawn by Omar Francia) the issue rapidly built up the tensions between the two allies as they wage war in very different ways and how close they come to breaking their truce in a well-written story worthy of any cortroom drama. A very rewarding issue in terms of drama and of consequence in the storyline - plus lots of ships blow up!!

Imperial Navy Personnell

I'm continuing to post about different people in Legacy, sticking with the Empire for now - I'm combining this part with this post as Navy people don't feature much in the story so I don't want to have to have a seperate post for each as they tend to only be around for one arc. All the people are allied with Darth Krayt's empire - I'll do Fel's people at a later date.

Vikar Dorn
Species: Human
Position: Former Governor
First Appearance Legacy #13 (Ready to die)

Dorn was associated with the Galactic Alliance, but after the war secretly allied with the Sith. His son was captain of the star destroyer Dauntless and they used it to pretend to defect to Fel's empire, but secretly delivered Darth Kruhl to assasinate Fel. The mission failed and the entire crew was killed.


Species: Human
Position: Captain (Pellaeon class SD)
First Appearance: Legacy #16 (Claws of the Dragon, part 3)

Meeshal was captain of a Star Destroyer under the command of Darth Stryfe, he orbited Ossus and sent troops down to search for Jedi. Then at Stryfe's command he bombarded the Jedi Temple from orbit.

Sha Dun

Species: Kel Dor
Position: Admiral (Outer Rim 3rd Fleet)
First Appearance: Legacy # 20 (Indomitable, part 1)

Sha Dun was tasked with hunting down Gar Stazi's renegade Galactic Alliance fleet in the outer rim. Despite a few successes, capturing or destroying some ships, he had failed to kill or capture Stazi. For this he was executed by Darth Azard.

Dru Valan

Species: Human
Position: Admiral (Outer Rim 3rd Fleet)
First Appearance: Legacy # 20 (Indomitable, part 1)

Dru Valan was disgraced by failing to capture Stazi during the Imperial victory at Caamas, he rose in the ranks and became Admiral again when Sha Dun was killed. He demanded that all crew aboard his fleet be human when he did. He believed he knew Stazi and planned to trap him at Dac, however Stazi completely outmanouvered him, stealing an advanced Star Destroyer and leaving Valan contemplating suicide, leaving the fleet to Hoge, captain of his flagship Relentless.

I don't have much data - but Rokure captained the Sith ship Relentless (different model) under Darth Wyyrlok during the mission to Had Abaddon. [Legacy: Vector]

Peto Kelsan

Species: Human
Position: Admiral (Coruscant 3rd Fleet)
First Appearance: Legacy #36 (Renegade)

Kelsan was in command at Ralltir, though Furske, the captain of the flagship Avenger was on duty when the attack came. He reluctantly issued the surrender and then the self-destruct order after he was ordered to fire on his own ships. He stayed on his ship and thanked Stazi for his aid.

Last one!

Vaclen Tor

Species: Human
Position: Captain (Steadfast - Ardent cladd frigate)
First Appearance: Legacy #36 (Renegade)

A plucky young frigate captain turned the tables of war when he refused to surrender at Ralltir. He saw the plan to capture ships and demanded that they fight or issue a self-destruct. He took a beating from the Imperials but was protected by Stazi, who respected him. He was safely returned to Ralltir, though Stazi di in the end keep his Ship, and gave it to Fel.

OK that brings us up to this issue and I'm sure you've had enough by now - I've included a few Wookiepedia links for the more minor characters - check it out, it's a great resource.

Friday, 27 November 2009

SF at the movies - November 09

OK - I've just about got it in the right month this time - I'm doing well!

You should know the drill by now - movies, out this month with Sci-Fi in, accuracy of information not guaranteed

The Men Who Stare At Goats

Released 06/11/09

Don't let the curious title put you off because this film is brilliant. The film, loosely based on the book of the same name, tells the story of a reporter in search of a story, he finds a former operative in a special operations unit codenamed 'Jedi'. This faction of the U.S. Army trained soldier to utilise psychic powers in battle. Incorporating martial and mystical arts into thier training these soldiers learned to find hidden targets without leaving a room and even stop the heart of a goat by thought - hence the title. The story, set in current times, takes the pair out to Afghanistan where they find the story isn't over. Moving and hilarious, this film is made all the better because all of it, ok most of it....well some of it is true!


Released 13/11/09

The world has a deadly enemy - Roland Emerich! I think pretty much the entire planet bites it in this one. I still haven't seen it, but I know the death toll and destruction is huge, it has something to do with the Mayan calendar and the U.S. Givernment have built ships of some sort. Looks like a lot of fun, and there are some decent actors in it, but this one may just slip by me.

The Fourth Kind

Released 06/11/09

This looks an interesting one, I was intrigued by the trailer, when halfway through Milla Jovovich turns to camera, reveals her real identity and that she is acting in a film about abduction. The film is based on documentary evidence, though most of what occurs on screen is done by actors. It looks a thrilling style to take on that most popular and haunting theme - alien abduction.

That's it I think - let me know if I missed one.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Doctor Who, New series, new species part 23

BIG SPOILERS for US viewers who are still waiting for the 'Waters of Mars' air date - you are warned!

But we'll start off with a bit of Sarah Jane Adventures, the series has recently concluded with episodes kinda sandwiched around the finale of the main show, which made it feel slightly disjointed in place, but they were still a lot of fun - and anyway, it's the aliens we're after eh?

Mona Lisa/ The Abomination

I should hate this, but despite the wackiness of the concept, bizarre accent of the eponymous villain and comedy capers of the cast - it still worked. It was amusing to completely shatter your concept of what Mona would act like to have this cocky, amusing maniac wielding a blaster and searching for a brother she knew nothing about. There were a number of confusing parts, such as her overall goal, which remained nebulous throughout, but the plot and payoff of her going too far in trying to take over the Earth, but also her desire to simply see the outside and the resolution of binding her back in the frame did actually make sense, so I'm not entirely sure why - but a thumbs up fro me!!

The Mona Lisa was constructed of a mysterious sentient pigment derived from a meteor that fell to Earth. A painter constructed his last piece, the Abomination, from it before the act drove him mad, then da Vinci borrowed the paint for his most famous work. The pigment then came to life and took on a personality of it's own, though seemingly unaware of it's origin, it simply knew the existance of being a painting and of wanting freedom. When the Abomination and Mona Lisa were brought together there was enough power for Mona to break free and also her 'brother', though the abomination was sealed away and did not escape. The creature was able of animating and 'freeing' other works of art to arm and protect itself, this ability was ultimately used against it when Lyke and Clyde tricked it into animating a picture of K-9 who destroyed the abomination and caused Mona Lisa to lose her power and return to her frame.


The Flood

Hmm, a mysterious alien race called the flood, who attack through a small, unstoppable force which involves killing people then taking over their bodies, mutilating them in the process and turning them into more powerful enemies - the Doctor Who team either have no knowledge of Halo or play it too much!! Had to get that one out of the way!! I'll leave commenting on the episode to the podcast boys (check the link in the sidebar) but the monster themselves were, I must say, incredibly well achieved. The water flowing down from their mouths was simple and yet incredibly creepy and definitively alien and their unstoppable advance through water was very effective.

The Flood is a term given to an unknown species living on Mars. The species was presumable a viral organism of some kind that lived in water and could also generate it - it is also possible that it is a type of water itself, though the fact that it was blocked by s set of filters would indicate otherwise. When coming into even the slightest contact with biological matter it can control and possess it in seconds and then use this host to create and direct more infected water where it wants. The oprganism was also very selective, only choosing humans as they could lead it to Earth, a water filled planet. The possessed humans could eject water in incredible quantities, breaking through doors, sabotaging electrical systems and more. The organism had at some point been trapped in a glacier, possible by the Ice Warriors as a way of containing it. When humans colonised Mars in 2059 they used the glacier for their water supply, unleashing the monster - the destruction of the base ended the threat and prevented the creature from inhabiting Earth.


More of an honourable mention for this one as I don't know whether plants count! The Balthereen aren't a new species and have actually appeared before, though it did confuse things when they revealed they are a Blathereen-Slitheen interbred race and actually evil, evil enough to kill Slitheen in order to further their own plan.
Rakweed was some kind on minroly intelligent plant that could communicate, it mutated and spread spores which infested the surrounding area and harmed humans who breathed them in. It can be killed by sound, that typical property of all plants, and if you've eaten it that makes it explode inside you. A bit odd, but a chance for Sarah Jane to fight for her son and also use a super soker filled with vinegar - plus the Blathereen had cool wrist blasters - Sci-Fi always needs more wrist blasters!!

OK, I'm done Sarah Jane's finished, Doctor Who's not back till Christmas yet surprisingly I'll be back with another Doctor Who post very soon - stay tuned for that, plus a lot of Star Wars Legacy posts!!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Vampires and that

I tried to think of a clever title for this, but honestly - they're all taken!

I'm talking about this stuff all over TV, Movies, the news everywhere.

Vampires are dominating popular culture at the moment - but why?

Are you reading this looking for the answer - 'cause honest, I don't got it! I'm just moaning about why I don't got it and moaning about how it's annoying and weird even though it doesn't actually affect me in the slightest!

Vampires have always been around, well they have since someone came up with the idea anyway. Who was that, hmmm - ok, Wikipedia tells me that John Polidori's 1819 novel The Vampyre is accredited as launching vampires into the world of fiction, though Bram Stoker's Dracula sealed it permenantly into popular culture.

My brief scan show I know too little about the history to write about it, but fair to say that Vampires have stuck around in fiction since then so that this modern craze draws on a long history and when we have a story about a girl falling in love with a Vampire, even kids already know what we mean by that term.

However vampires and their setting in the world have changed in our perceptions significantly in recent years and today's vampires act quite apart from their forebears.

Vampire mythology comes from supersitions and the fear of demons, over time this perception became about the undead and embelished with the blood sucking and whatnot until that became embelished in how we viewed these creatures - however they were always part of the occult world, associated with curses and the devil. In modern days we seem keen to ditch this idea, using our 'science explains everything' mentailty to depict vamps as a deviation from humanity (Blade) an ancient race (Underworld) and anything from aliens to computer programs (The Matrix Reloaded).

Yet there is still this idea of them being essentially evil and even today's tales, which often have the vampire as the hero always have them dealing with their dark side or fighting to cast-off the bad PR their kind have picked up.

I can accept the kinda Sci-Vampire setting and explanation and I do like the extrapolation that films like the forthcoming Daybreakers set out to achieve (it looks awesome by the way). I guess what I find strange is the 'romance' side of things that Twilight has brought to the fore. This is so much present that there are now 'Paranormal Romance' section in bookshops, you can find them between the Sci-Fi and the 'tragic life stories' section, next to the 'mind body and spirit' shelf and adjacent to a number of other creepy and unnecessary niches.

So what is it about the undead blood drinkers that appeals huh? I think it is a little creepy that the market is aimed at teen and even pre-teen girls (or that is my perception). Especially with same-but-different TV show True Blood featuring extremely adult scenes, but having the same romantic appeal I think it's risky ground giving this appeal to teens. I guess it's the classic 'bad boy' element, but there is also a very strong sensual pull in vampire stuff, which was present in the original Dracula and even in action titles the vamps spend as much time snogging as they do biting.

Right this is going nowhere fast - what, unplanned and no thought? No - this is classic stream of consciousness stuff here guys!!

Am I gonna try and stop this no, nor would I state that it is wrong, I just find it...weird and I'm struggling to find the reasoning behind it all. Does anyone have any ides?

I can't go without mentioning Buffy, perhaps the most responsible for bringing vampires to current culture. They also reflect on the popularity of vampires and the current comic run shows a world where vampires are 'in' - which of course makes it difficult for buffy and her gang of slayers!!

Quite while you're ahead time I think. Oh, almost forgot with all this enthusiasm for Vampires are you wondering what's next? Penny Arcade have the answer

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Doctor Who- New series, new species part 22

Hello and welcome to Blogga the Hutt, an especially warm welcome to any Podcast of Impossible Things listeners who've decided to take a look, nice to have you - I hope my stammering and bad jokes on the show didn't put you off too much!!

So as always we're covering brand new aliens in these posts, so the Trickster, a returning baddie, won't be featured, but you wont have to go far to get info on him I'm sure. However, immediately after stating my main rule I'm going to break it!

Travast Polong

This shoddy piece of CG has appeared before, but I couldn't get info on it at the time and since they decided to reuse it in the show for what seems to be it's main purpose- a distraction and cheap effect when you don't really need an alien all that much. The antics of the creature did result in some hilarious antics from K-9, and I do like the idea of an alien arriving by post from eBay, but other than a cheap laugh it didn't achieve much. Now, as always, a brief in-universe description, mostly stolen from the Tardis wiki!

Travast Polong is a slug like creature from the world of Polongus. Though animal-like and non-communicative it does seem to be an intelligent creature. It's chief aim seemed to be to explore, which frequently caused havoc on Earth, a planet unused to aliens. At one point the creature was tracked by Sarah Jane Smith in a hospital, where it dodged her though the corridors, later it wound up in the possession of an unknowing human, who put the creature for sale on eBay. Sarah Jane identified the creature and purchased it, and after a brief escape it was transmatted back to Polongus, presumably by it's own race.

Erasmus Darkening

Not overly impressed by this one, I think I heard 'science proves everything' and 'no such thing as ghosts' a few too many times. Erasmus was quite a mysterious enemy, but unfortunately for me not in a good way. I do appreciate the power of an unknown foe, but this guy was just confusing, his aims and wants were just not perceptible and what exactly he was and where he was from seemed thrust firmly to the background so he could be just evil. There was also a mystery creature roaming the grounds that was't referenced so I have no info for you other than 'red-eyed other dimension thingy'

Erasmus Darkening was an alien from another world, most likely another universe. Somehow, 300 years ago he had travelled to our universe and became stranded. Posing as an alchemist he constructed a device to send him back to his own realm, but it wasn't fully functional. By his own power he sent people in between dimensions, ready for when he could make the journey. These people were trapped in the Manor, haunting it as ghosts. Eventually Sarah Jane defeated him with the aid of some of the 'ghosts' and destroyed his machine for good.

Well not an awful lot for you on that one I'll admit, but I didn't have much to go on, oh well, with a few more episodes and a Doctor Who special on the way I'm sure there'll be plenty more to blog about before long!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Halo Waypoint, and Legends

Halo Waypoint, the new Halo destination on Xbox Live has been activated, with a new Career tracking mode awarding medals, and more interestingly additional content detailing the story.

There is community content, like multiplayer screenshots and interviews, catch-up info on the games and other media such as books.

But most importantly of all it is the home of Halo Legends a new short film anime series adding extra stories to the universe. The first film is online and available to view FREE, but ONLY FOR TODAY so if you catch this you may want to check it quick!

With content uploaded every day this an exciting corner of SF on Xbox Live that's here to stay.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Star Wars Legacy Ship Design

I'm posting this so I can upload it elsewhere, it's a design for a ship used in the Legacy comics


Monday, 2 November 2009

SF at the movies- October 09

OK, I'm late with this one...again, but while we're here lets, erm review the movies that came out in the month of October with Sciency Ficioney leanings.

On the off chance any visited the blog, welcome to any Podcast of Impossible Things listeners who are visiting, feel free to stay and have a look around.

Released 02/10/09

I don't know much about this other than I can't find it anywhere in cinemas. The trailer was intriguing, with an interesting mix of Sci-Fi and horror in the Alien tradition. The plot centres around two crewmembers who wake up in deep space on a vast ship with little memory of why they are there or what they should be doing. They find some other humans, and also something worse, something terrifying. It did look intriguing and if it's still out where you are and you like shocks as well as spaceships then you might want to check it out.


One I described to my friends as 'socks who save the world' - and with that title who wouldn't go to see it eh?!! I'm looking forward to Tim Burton's latest creation set in a post-apocalyptic future where machines have taken over the Earth. A scientist gives his 9 creations, all made out of bits and bobs the spark of life and gives them the mission of 'protecting the future'. I'd certainly check out the trailer at least for this new movie.

Well we're already rolling into November so expect to hear about movies soon, and plenty of other posts on the way.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Doctor Who - New series, new species part 21

Sarah Jane has made a return to the small screen (and even the big screen if you were lucky enough to get tickets to the special event) ahead of the next special, meaning some more Who action to fill the void.

Even the Doctor himself is set to make an appearance in this week's show, but before we get to all that let's have a peek at some of the new alien races the series has introduced so far.


When I saw the title 'Prisoner of the Judoon' I worried that this episode might just be casual reuse of an existing alien and not exciting, but thankfully the Judoon were well used, and 'Androvax the Annihilator' their prisoner made the episode very exciting and watchable. When it possessed Sarah Jane it was conveyed by some excellent acting on Elisabeth Sladen's part. His nihilistic background and reasoning behind his genocidal acts made him interesting beyond the usual 'bad guy' routine, which the series does quite well such as the child kidnapping Kudlak in series 1, though unlike him Androvax was unrepentant.

He also rebuilt a ship based on plans of a ship found in Nevada at a 'Dreamland' base, couldn't have anything to do with an animated series of the same name could it, hmmmm?

Veils were an intriguing species with powerful abilities and unique characterisctics. While outwardly appearing to be reptilian, sporting scaled, razor sharp teeth and even a forked tongue, genetically they have no significant link to reptilian species. They developed the use of particle reticulation to hide within the bodies of others, notably doing so in others smaller than themselves, a little girl, and strikingly different, a fish based species. While in the bodies they 'possess' the bodily functions of the person and can access their memories, though the mind of the captive can still be active and compete for control. They also can stun a victim through touch, leaving them in a trance like state until woken up. Tragedy beset the Veil race when ecological changes to their planet caused it to freeze overm killing all Veil members on the planet, the only known Veil to escape was Androvax, who waas travelling at the time. He vowed to teach all planets the 'way of the universe' - he destroyed 12 worlds and attempted to destroy Earth before capture by the Judoon. His sentence is execution, if carried out it may end this race once and for all.


This race is as yet unnamed - I'm tempted to call the Kyrptonians because of the Superman references in Eve's story, but I will refrain and stay slightly disgruntled at the lack of name. The species was intriguing, with her looking human and yet demonic with red skin, pointy ears and dreadlocks. The perception of the character changed subtly throughout the episode, from villain to hero to possessed puppet and finally to a confused child who was a bit of everything. The backstory and use of intelligent spaceship. The introduction of 'future Rani' telling the story made the story and it's consequences event more powerful.

Eve belonged to a powerful race with incredible abilities, they were able to percieve timelines, control equipment and even people with their minds. The ability to percieve timelines made them sought after by both sides in the Time War, 'ship' made reference to many of them being 'exterminated' in the conflict. Some members of the species sent their children away to protect them, sending them in intelligent ships that could watch over them and help them control their abilities. Eve's ship was damaged and unable to help her, but Harry befriended her and kept her safe in a fairground. She also became friends with Sam, and after reading his mind asked him to bring Rani to help her, Rani was angry at Sarah Jane and wished she wouldn't interfere, hoping to solve the mystery herself. After Sarah Jane was able to harness a black hole (the ship's fuel) Eve was able to leave with Sam and Harry, as they did Ship granted Rani's wish and erased Sarah Jane, Luke and Clyde from existence, leaving her alone and crazed in Bannerman road. Fifty years in the future Adam, the son of Eve and Sam who had human appearance, but Eve's abilities came back and restored the timeline.

That's it for now, for more info keep an eye out for A Podcast of Impossible Things, a new episode coming soon discussing the Doctor's appearance. Also, for more alien fun check out Monster Hunt of the SJA site.