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.
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.
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.
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.