Thursday, September 27, 2007

Your Guide to the Short Life of the Ninth Doctor (Doctor Who Season 1, 2005)

Because I want this blog's huge following---yes, the three of you---to be rabid, Dalek-speaking, Cybermen-marching Doctor Who fans, which simply is the best show on Earth as of 1 a.m. today, eastern standard time. (Er, my east?) Time traveling, occasionally competent special effects, great action, and a blossoming love story of the purest kind. All in one show. And funny all through out. So on to greatness.

1x02 THE END OF THE WORLD Of course you shouldn't miss the pilot which is all silly and funny but really, this is where it all begins. At the end of the world 500,000 years into the future and everyone's (everyone that is an alien) partying to give the dying planet a proper send-off. Proper meaning to Britney Spears' Toxic. Really! We meet Cassandra, the last human on Earth (Moisturize me!), and a colorful bunch of aliens who wouldn't get lost in a Star Trek or Star Wars or LoTR set. Rose (Billie Piper) makes it clear that she is the heart of the show and a wobbly attraction is implied between her and the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston). But just as Earth is about to blow up, the shields fail. You know how it ends but the writing is beginning to find its footing: Subtle characterization in bits and pieces, quirky humor, foreboding extinction.

1x04-05 ALIENS OF LONDON/WORLD WAR THREE A spaceship crashes into Big Ben. The Slitheen, much like the Teletubbies only vomit green, and Harriet Jones make their first appearance. This two-parter is a little too cutesy for me but it makes good use of supporting characters Mickey and Rose's mum, Jackie. Also, the series will keep referring to the incident that took place in these episodes. And yeah, a spaceship crashes into Big Ben.

1x06 DALEK The first appearance of the Dalek! One Dalek. The last of them. First mention of the Last Time War and how Time Lords and Daleks alike were wiped out of existence. Dalek climbs the stairs. Dalek launches into the air. Dalek exterminate, exterminate, exterminate! Dalek opens its shell and its not a pretty sight. Surprisingly heartbreaking ending. Again, the series will often refer to the repercussions of Rose's contact with the Dalek so you gotta see this.

1x09-10 THE EMPTY CHILD/THE DOCTOR DANCES London, 1941. A virus spreads that turns the infected's face into a gas mask. Turns. Your face. Gas mask. And on the other side of town, a ghostly kid, also infected, searches for his mum: Are you my mommy? all over town and coming out of every receiver. Creepy stuff. Great writing with tender moments in between scares and chases. This also marks the first appearance of John Barrowman as the irresistibly charming (to all genders and species, I think) Captain Jack Harkness. One of the best arcs and one of the more satisfying mysteries ever of the series.

1x12-13 BAD WOLF/THE PARTING OF WAYS In episode 7, The Long Game, the Doctor and Rose travel 200,000 years into the future and changed the oppressive politics of a broadcasting station. Good? Not really. Never mess with the butterfly. They fucked up the future big time and an enemy once thought extinct comes back with a vengeance. And a gazillion ships. If you've been watching TORCHWOOD, then this is where everything changes for Capt. Jack. And dear sweet Rose toys with being a god. Astonishing effects. Tight writing. Extremely suspenseful. And someone dies. Then regenerates into David Tennant.

* All images from Doctor Who at

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

GEEKS UNITED Birthday Special

Tim Burton drew this for someone's birthday. So, err, right. Happy (belated, 16th) birthday, Faye! Have a smashing one.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The aftermath of war

X-men: Emperor Vulcan
Christopher Yost and Paco Diaz

If this was written by Ed Brubaker, I wouldn’t have given this a chance but it’s Christopher Yost at the helm, so yes, why not? I loved all that he has written so far (X-23 and the New X-men). Where the Shi’ar Empire dragged on for 12 months, this first issue (of five) was fast, tight, and funny. It gave you a sit-rep of the Empire and the Resistance. Public support of Vulcan is crumbling and Alex shows off his skills in strategic warfare. It delved into characterization - you knew who was crazy, who misses home more than the others, and that a big green alien had a sense of humor. Yost gave updates on insecurities, grudges, and relationships and he ended by introducing an alien race with the biggest hate-on for the Shi’ar that the name of their race was “Death to the Shi’ar.” Coolness.

Wonder Girl
Torres, Greene, and Messengill

The plot was a logical consequence of Amazons Attack – people hated Wonder Girl after what she did with Air Force One and that well, she was – sort of – Amazon. Supergirl redeemed herself a bit by saving people from a Cyclops and the media coverage didn’t hurt either. I like details that’s why I found it interesting that Wonder Girl took it upon herself to clean up after the war – particularly the weird and dangerous animals left behind. Who would have thought that a hydra had time to lay eggs. There were also the fire breathing lions that the Amazons used as mounts running around and local animal control (even the military) were definitely not equipped to handle those. Robin tries to help but angst about the kiss (the second one) got in the way again. Pretty interesting so far then big brother Hercules appears. I am hooked. One thing that I didn’t like is that the art is too cartoony but at least there’s enough detail – Cassandra has muscular arms (not the usual girly arms) fitting for an Amazon.

And I just have to add....

The New Avengers
Bendis, Yu, and McCaig

In the aftermath of the "you-are-all-Skrulls" paranoia, Logan’s wiener got shot repeatedly! And he hoped that maybe it’d grow back bigger! Heh! At least Doc Strange confirmed that no one’s a Skrull. I am hoping that with symbiotes around Bendis’ story-telling will pick up. Dialogue was still funny though.

Friday, September 07, 2007


SPOILERISH if you haven't seen any Avatar episode.

AVATAR: The Last Air Bender
took me by surprise. Tuned in mostly to satiate my Miyazaki fix. Season 1 (or Book One: Water) was great: Jaw-dropping action, great animation and very, very funny. Its finale was quite reminiscent of Princess Mononoke in theme and execution and I was slightly turned off. Slightly as in nanoseconds of slight Hey, that's familiar! but which immediately passed.

Book Two: Earth was Avatar's Empire Strikes Back! or Aliens 2 or LOST's Ana Lucia season. More benders, more Fire nation assasins, Zuko goes from evil to good to evil. Appa gets lost and goes wild. And Aang falls. Falls in love and falls defeated and dying at the end of the series.

More than any cartoons out there, and second to my must watch TV shows this season under LOST, tied with DOCTOR WHO and TORCHWOOD, and above HEROES, AVATAR has got me seriously hooked. And it looks like Book 3: Fire is bigger and better and has been confirmed by its creators as the last season (of this particular arc which means what exactly? No more Aang?).

There will be no sleeping.