December 5th, 2009

tardis

December Books 2) The Forgotten, by Tony Lee

The Tenth Doctor wakes up in a mysterious museum which appears to contain relics of his past lives; tended by Martha Jones, he finds himself reliving certain experiences of each of his previous nine incarnations, until he works out what is really going on. (Set shortly after Journey's End.)

With any multi-Doctor story, you have to assess the writer's success in characterising each Doctor (and companions), and with comics you have to grade the artists' ability to depict the actors' faces as well. The Forgotten scrapes a pass mark on both counts. There are some seriously jarring notes in both the One/Ian and Three/Brigadier scenes, which suggests that Tony Lee doesn't quite get the male companions (Jack Harkness is in the vicinity but unseen at a later point in the narrative). And unfortunately Stefano Martino, the artist for issue 3, is rather awful at portraying Ten, Four and Five. (Pia Guerra and Kelly Yates are at least adequate for the other five issues.)

At the same time there is definitely cause for fannish glee. There are an awful lot of companions featured here (in order: Susan, Ian, Barbara, Steven, Jamie, Zoe, the Brigadier, Jo, Sarah, Harry, Leela, Romana II, Adric, Nyssa, Tegan, Turlough, Kamelion [!], Peri, Mel, Ace, Rose and Martha) and most of them are at least half-decently done. Putting aside my whining about the recognisability of the faces, the art is excellent. The story has a certain internal integrity and ties in rather well (as it turns out) to New Who's Season Four, though with a decent number of continuity references to the whole of the series. Thoroughly good fun.
buzz

Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, and other bad TV shows

I was greatly entertained the other week by SFX's list of the ten worst SF/fantasy shows of the decade (10: Hex, 9: Hyperdrive, 8: Jericho, 7: The Listener, 6: Blade, 5: Masters of Science Fiction, 4: Painkiller Jane, 3: Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, 2: Demons, and 1: Flash Gordon). But I was rather perturbed to realise that I had not heard of a single one of them; my diet of Who and its spinoffs, and earlier devotion to Buffy, somehow didn't lead me to experiment with other sf shows. (I did try the new Prisoner, but just like jekesta I lasted only 20 minutes.)

So in a spirit of sientific enquiry I obtained and watched all six episodes of Kröd Mändoon, to assess whether SFX's ratings were reliable. My mature judgement: SFX are probably right. Kröd Mändoon is rubbish, desperately trying to be funny but basically running through adolescent jokes about sex while waving swords about. At least the episodes are only twenty minutes long, and it filled a few commutes nicely.

But never mind what I thought; what do you think?

Hex (2004-05), about a remote English country school that becomes the battleground between a demonic entity and the witches who oppose it:

Never heard of it
40(38.1%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
37(35.2%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
12(11.4%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
2(1.9%)
Actually I rather liked it
9(8.6%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
5(4.8%)

Hyperdrive (2006-07), following the crew of HMS Camden Lock as they stumble through their heroic mission to protect British interests in a changing galaxy in the year 2151:

Never heard of it
43(42.2%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
20(19.6%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
27(26.5%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
2(2.0%)
Actually I rather liked it
7(6.9%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
3(2.9%)

Jericho (2006-08), about the residents of the fictional town of Jericho, Kansas in the aftermath of nuclear attacks on 23 major cities in the contiguous United States:

Never heard of it
16(15.4%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
53(51.0%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
18(17.3%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
0(0.0%)
Actually I rather liked it
11(10.6%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
6(5.8%)

The Listener (2009), about a young Toronto paramedic named Toby Logan (Craig Olejnik) with the ability to listen to people's most intimate thoughts:

Never heard of it
80(76.2%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
19(18.1%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
3(2.9%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
0(0.0%)
Actually I rather liked it
3(2.9%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
0(0.0%)

Blade: The Series (2006), based on the Marvel Comics character and starring Sticky Fingaz:

Never heard of either the comic or the TV series
24(23.3%)
I have heard of the comic but not of the TV series
32(31.1%)
Heard of the TV series but didn't watch any of it
34(33.0%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
7(6.8%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
1(1.0%)
Actually I rather liked it
2(1.9%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
3(2.9%)

Masters of Science Fiction (2007), an anthology series dramatising "A Clean Escape" by John Kessel, "The Awakening" by Howard Fast, "Jerry Was a Man" by Robert A. Heinlein, "The Discarded" by Harlan Ellison, "Little Brother" by Walter Mosley and "Watchbird" by Robert Sheckley:

Never heard of it
67(64.4%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
24(23.1%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
3(2.9%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
2(1.9%)
Actually I rather liked it
6(5.8%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
2(1.9%)

Painkiller Jane (2007), another comics adaptation starring Kristanna Loken as the eponymous indestructible undercover cop:

Never heard of either the comic or the TV series
71(67.6%)
I have heard of the comic but not of the TV series
8(7.6%)
Heard of the TV series but didn't watch any of it
18(17.1%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
7(6.7%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
0(0.0%)
Actually I rather liked it
1(1.0%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
0(0.0%)

Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire (2009), about the struggle between reluctant hero Kröd Mändoon (Sean Maguire), and the evil ruler, Chancellor Dongalor (Matt Lucas):

Never heard of it
53(51.0%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
22(21.2%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
12(11.5%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
2(1.9%)
Actually I rather liked it
12(11.5%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
3(2.9%)

Demons (2009), about London teenager Luke Rutherford (Christian Cooke), who learns that he is the last descendant of the Van Helsing line by the sudden arrival of his American godfather Rupert Galvin (Philip Glenister):

Never heard of it
47(45.2%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
23(22.1%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
18(17.3%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
8(7.7%)
Actually I rather liked it
5(4.8%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
3(2.9%)

Flash Gordon (2007-08), starring Eric Johnson and Gina Holden:

Never heard of Flash Gordon
1(0.9%)
I have heard of Flash Gordon somehow hadn't heard of this version
50(47.2%)
Heard of it but didn't watch any of it
31(29.2%)
Saw some of it, thought it was rubbish
22(20.8%)
Watched all of it, thought it was rubbish
0(0.0%)
Actually I rather liked it
1(0.9%)
Other, which I shall explain in comments
1(0.9%)