April 29th, 2009

tardis

April Books 19) The Deviant Strain, by Justin Richards

It seems almost indecently soon to look back on 2005 with feelings of nostalgia, but the Tardis team of Nine/Jack/Rose is surely one of the great triple ensembles of Who, up there with One/Steven/Sara, Two/Jamie/Zoe, Three/Brig/Liz or Four/Harry/Sarah Jane. (Almost made the list: One/Steven/Vicki|Dodo, One|Two/Ben/Polly, Four/K9/Leela|Romana, Ten/Martha/Donna. Didn't make the list: Two/Jamie/Victoria, Five/anyone.)

This was the first book published to feature Jack Harkness as a character. It foreshadows Torchwood, no doubt unintentionally, with Team Tardis resolving abandoned alien tech and local human factionalism in an Arctic port in contemporary Russia. Richards has caught Ecclestone's portrayal of the Ninth Doctor very well, and builds up a decent sense of terror driven by blue glowing aliens with life-6orce-sucking tentacles. We fanboys would have liked some nods to the similar Who adventures of the past - thinking especially of The Stones of Blood and The Curse of Fenric - and the Jack and Rose characterisations were less firm than the Doctor's. But basically it is a good effort.
eu

MEPs tweet

Lovely article in this week's New Europe about the use of Twitter by current and prospective members of the European parliament, as tracked by the site http://europatweets.eu/. Glad to see that, of incumbent MEPs, the top twitterer is my friend Sophie in 't Veld (of the Dutch liberals, D'66), and the top Brit is another friend, Graham Watson. The top Irish MEP is Eoin Ryan of Fianna Fáil.

Somewhat dismayed to see that the only Belgian on the list is Walloon socialist Jean-Claude Marcourt, and his single tweet, from three months ago, consists of the three words "Je découvre twitter!"