March 2005 Archives
March 31, 2005
After just one episode of the new series Doctor Who is making headlines again.
Firstly another series has been commissioned for next year and secondly Christopher Ecclestone has quit as the Doctor. He'll be appearing in the Christmas special and then they'll need to find someone new to regenerate into. More details at BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | Eccleston quits Doctor Who role
March 30, 2005
Doctor Who got decent ratings last Saturday according to the BBC it "got an average of 9.9 million viewers - 43.2% of all viewers - with a peak of 10.5 million viewers, a 44.3% share of the audience".
Doesn't sound too bad.
March 29, 2005
To celebrate Ian McDonald winning a BSFA award for River of Gods, how about reading one of his short stories? Some Strange Desire i sonline at Inifinity Plus along with a couple of novel extracts from his earlier novels.
A comparison of Ringworld's Children by Larry Niven and Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. Good title.
March 28, 2005
Ian McDonald has won the BSFA award for best novel for his magnificent River of Gods.
And *all* of the Hugo Nominations for best novel are for British writers! (Although Ian McDonald moved to Northern Ireland when he was young so maybe saying UK writers might be more exact).
â€¢ The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks (Orbit)
â€¢ Iron Council by China MiÃ©ville (Del Rey; Macmillan)
â€¢ Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross (Ace)
â€¢ Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
â€¢ River of Gods by Ian McDonald (Simon & Schuster)
I can see the headlines now... "British domination of Hugo awards"
March 26, 2005
I just realised that although I put spoilers in the extended section of posts to require a click through and prevent accidental reading, that my feeds were showing the whole post.
I've just changed this, but let me know if it is more annoying than useful. It starts becoming a bit arbitrary what is a spoiler and what isn't. (Like the Rose review, is that spoilers?)
The first episode of the brand spanking new Doctor Who is entitled "Rose". I'm glad to say that with regard to the hype (of which there has been copius amounts this week), it lives up to it. More comment (with mild spoilers) after a click...
March 25, 2005
Cheryl at Emerald City is blogging Eastercon. The BSFA awards are announced on Satrurday night.
Start singing that theme tune....
This books starts with an amazing first line, but then instantly began to confound my expectations. The only previous fiction I had read by Charlie was Lobsters which completely blew me away. So to be suddenly plunged into the intricacies of the technologically repressed New Republic came as a bit of a shock. Then, the detail of running a starship was more Das Boot than Star Trek and the action detailed in a way that I imagine Tom Clancy books to be (although I've never read a Tom Clancy book, so perhaps more accurately I should say that it almost reminded me of stuff in Robert Ludlum books).
But the ideas keep coming, loads and loads of ideas. Maybe too much? By the end I was blaseÂ´ about a human size rabbit arguing with a cyborg! The plot ended well and there was lots of action but somehow it felt a bit flat. It seems a bit churlish to criticize because there's some truly great SF in this book, but I never fell in love with it. It's grown on me as a I think more about it, but at the time I never cared enough about the characters, it felt a bit emotionally shallow to me.
The good news however is that Iron Sunrise (UK/US) is supposed to be a better book (whatever that means) and everything I've heard about Accelerando sets it up to be phenomonal. (On top of that Charlie's fantasy books are getting good reviews).
So in summary, a decent debut novel that I never really fell in love with, but I look forward to reading more of the author's work.
March 23, 2005
The BBC has packaged all of their Doctor Who video and audio clips into a Doctor Who media player. The BBC media players, looking very mac osx in their shiny graphite, are pretty cool but would be so much better if they didn't rely on Real Player. (They do media players for a range of other stuff like news, weather etc.)
The media player now has the new Doctor trailer, "a trip of a lifetime"(!), which is great, although no sign of the equally briliant Rose trailer which they are showing all the time on TV. Also included is the first episode of "Bigger on the Inside" a BBC Radio 2 show about the new series.
The hype is reaching a crescendo now, every newspaper, magazine, tv show and radio show is reviewing the first episode (even BBC rivals), billboards are everywhere, tv trailers are constant. There's a real buzz.
March 22, 2005
"UKTV's commercial director Nick Betts is defecting to NBC Global Networks in the UK, to take up the managing director role left vacant by Dan Marks' move to BT Entertainment in January. Betts will also have a remit to grow and develop the Sci Fi Channel brand and widen NBC's channel portfolio."
Mr. C3P0 talks to the Daily Record. I'VE GOT THE LAST WORD ON STAR WARS. Interesting but nothing astoundingly new.
Steve Swanseet says...
"We're looking for television clearly - animation [and] we are looking into live-action television."
[Via Sci Fi Wire]
Live action TV! Could be good, could be bad...
"David Benioff (writer of the screenplay for Troy) has been signed on by Warner Brothers to write the script for the movie adaptation of Ender's Game"
Hmmm, not sure about that. Could be okay, lots of zerog fighting might be fun.
March 21, 2005
When asked what it was like to play Darth Vader, Christensen - who seems too boyishly sweet to play an evil leader - laughed. "It's, you know, cool," he said.
The BBC are showing a few more Doctor Who trailers which aren't up on the website yet. They're both very cool, one by the Doctor and one by Rose. Rose talking about leaving her life to go on adventures with the Doctor. The Doctor talking about joining him on a life of dangerous adventure. Both witty and yet moving. Cool.
March 18, 2005
March 17, 2005
It's my birthday today. Hurray.
I got some lovely presents, including Singularity Sky by Charles Stross and The Confusion and The System Of The World by Neal Stephenson.
That's probably enough to keep me going this year! My TO-READ pile now looks like this...
Singularity Sky - Charles Stross (UK/US)
Gridlinked - Neal Asher (UK/US)
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell - Susanna Clarke (UK/US)
The Confusion - Neal Stephenson (UK/US)
The System of the World - Neal Stephenson (UK/US)
After that I've got lots of other unread books that I got second hand (mainly in the SF Masterwokrs series).
March 16, 2005
Some other people think that the leak was great marketing, Wired News: New Dr. Who Leaked on Purpose?
Also, as I went into London yesterday I saw quite a few big billboards advertising it, with pictures of The Doctor and Rose and the text "Saturday 7pm". Very cool. Auntie Beeb is really trying to hype it.
Not sure if my excitement, or the UK excitement is translating around the world? I guess it's probably not a big deal in the US? And I'm not sure I can explain it either! It's just, well, Doctor Who.
March 15, 2005
I finished reading Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card(UK/US) yesterday. It was okay. I mean, I enjoyed it but it was nothing special and felt a bit dated. More boys-own-adventure than science fiction. Oh and that last chapter was terrible! It felt like such a bolt on, was that just to kick off the next book in the trilogy?
March 14, 2005
The full Star Wars: Episode III Trailer (Revenge of The Sith) is online for everyone at StarWars.com.
And they like it!
"Daviesâ€™s feel for dialogue is on a level with Joss Whedon, itâ€™s not the same type of dialogue. Buffyâ€™s characters spout perfectly formed witticisms you could never imagine anyone actually saying. Daviesâ€™s dialogue is the wit of the street: itâ€™s humour that you might actually overhear on the bus."
The mini trailers are now being shown frequently on BBC channels, normally just before the channel ident.
I'm really looking forward to it. Saturday evening, BBC 1, Doctor Who. Just like it used to be. Like it always should have been.
"Actor Tom Baker has been named Britain's favourite Doctor Who, in a poll conducted to mark the new series of the show on BBC One."
Like they needed a poll for that.
The Doctor's TARDIS from Doctor Who, probably won't tell you anything you didn't know, but it's interesting to see the Doctor's profile rising as we near the new series.
For non-hyperspace mortals the StarWars.com webdoc The Wookiees Are Back! is now online. Interesting, plus pretty funny to see wookies, minus heads, sitting around and studying Chewbacca in Empire.
March 11, 2005
I can hear annoying fanboys cheering, but I'm sad...
The sixth and final Star Wars movie may not be suitable for young children, film-maker George Lucas has said.
He told US TV show 60 Minutes that Revenge of the Sith would be the darkest and most violent of the series.
"I don't think I would take a five or six-year-old to this," he told the CBS programme, to be aired on Sunday.
If that happens it will be a real shame. I saw Star Wars in the cinema when I was 4 years old. It had a very big impact. If it's a PG 13 (or 12 in the UK) there's a whole generation of children who won't get that wow factor. And that makes me sad.
So quit your cheering fanboys and go to the cinema with kids more often.
I have just seen the Revenge of Sith trailer on GMTV. I'm gibbering with excitement.
It looks a.w.e.s.o.m.e.
May 19th here I come.
March 10, 2005
I wrote to GMTV regarding the Revenge of the Sith trailer and they replied with the following:
"I can confirm that the new Star Wars trailer will be shown in Entertainment Today, on Friday 11th March."
Entertainment Today runs on GMTV from about 8.30am - 9.30am.
March 9, 2005
March 8, 2005
Oh, one more Doctor Who thing, there's a new website with some video clips, including 50 classic Who clips. I'm off to watch them now...
The BBC are following up the Doctor Who leak with an article on downloading tv shows. I also heard a few interviews on BBC Radio 1. Firstly they say that they have caught the person responsible for the leak and are prosecuting. Secondly someone said "downloading tv shows is like walking into a shop and sticking a DVD up your jumper and walking out." Then Christopher Ecclestone said "Whoever did this is spoiling it for everyone."
What?! I may be straying into Cory's territory here, but, isn't that a load of nonsense? Spoiling what? For whom? uh? And the BBC have just been told to stop chasing ratings, so why do they care if there's a leak? They're not even supposed to worry about how many viewers tune in. Unless this is all a cunning plan....it has generated a lot of publicity. And right before the press screening tomorrow. Hmmmm.
By the way, any media reviewer types out there who are going to the press screenings tomorrow are welcome to guest post here. I'll either give you full credit or keep your anonymity if you want! Go on....unshackled from your ediorial policy....you know you want to.
"AMG has released iSci-Fi, a 650MB collection of sounds for would-be Spielbergs and Lucases creating their own science fiction films."
Which beats trying to hum a lightsaber noise I suppose.
The BBC has been criticised for bidding for Triangle...
"The corporation was defiant today over a rumoured $3m bid for the Bermuda-based mystery being made for the Sci-Fi channel by Bryan Singer (X-Men) and Dean Devlin (Independence Day)."
But it's always criticised, especially by the other channels who hate it's government funded status. I say "Hurrah!", more Science Fiction on the BBC please.
"We would urge viewers not to spoil their enjoyment and to wait for the finished version which airs at the end of the month," a spokesman said.
Except if you're in the USA, because you're not getting it at all (yet). Nevermind, seeing as I have paid for Doctor Who with my TV licence I give you all permission to download it.
March 7, 2005
Doctor Who was in a few Sunday papers this week.
First off The Observer, secondly The Sunday Times.
The Observer reporter says that the new series is okay but longed for the old Doctor Who. She then watche dthe old Doctor Who and thought that it wasn't what she remembered. So it seems she longs to go back in time and see Doctor Who for the first time again (hmmm... wonder who could help there?).
The Sunday Times (requires registration online so I couldn't be bothered to get the link) seemed to like it, especially Russell T Davies.
Oh and I read the Q review which was positive too.
Super Groovy! SciFi.Com now have audio commentary Podcasts for Battlestar Galactica episodes. Rael has coined a new term for this, podmenting.
Download the MP3's either via your from the website or via your favourite podcast software, and hear Ronald D. Moore talk about what you're watching.
All the stuff that usually comes out on the DVD seems to be getting released on the web which I approve of whole heartedly.
March 4, 2005
The BBC is producing a new version of "The Quatermass Experiment" to be shown on BBC4 on April 2 as a one-hour program. Quatermass is one of those legendary shows over here in the UK, the type that parents fondly tell their children about, stating how wonderfull and scary it was. Or maybe that was the sequel?
I've never seen it but it sounds cool...
"Quatermass" features an alien-infected astronaut's return to Earth and was considered daring when it aired on BBC1 in 1953 as a six-part series, with Reginald Tate as the title scientist trying to save the planet.
Xeni at BoingBoing has linked to a couple more Doctor Who things (or maybe it's one thing reinterpreted?).
Dark Horizons [Via IGN FilmForce [probably via someone else] ] say "the first few media reviews have started coming in although taste for the show may be divided across the Atlantic". The article quotes the positive review in Q but then it's only negative review appears to be "Sci Fi Channel has already had a chance at the new series and passed after viewing some of the completed episodes. Some of the executives at the network found the series somewhat lacking and didn't think it would fit into the network's schedule."
So it's only the SciFi channel so far who don't like it. But how often are they right?!
Whoah, we're disappearing into a fractal infinity, StarWars.com has the trailer for during The O.C. debut of the full Episode III trailer.
March 3, 2005
I've never really been sure what "slipstream" fiction is. However Ideomancer publishes stories under the labels Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Slipstream, Flash (500 words or less) and Classic. Which means that you can pick and choose which type of story you want to read. Although the disadvantages of labelling a story can be argued (when does fantasy become science fiction etc etc) it's an interesting move. Ideomancer can be downloaded free as a PDF.
March 2, 2005
Checking up on the new Doctor Who series I see that they have released the new logo above, which is for the companion Doctor Who Confidential BBC Three series. I really like how the BBC do these kind of extra, behind the scenes type shows, at the moment they are mainly for reality shows (oh and Eastenders), so doing one for a new drama production is an interesting step.
There still doesn't seem to be an official air date, the web site says "Sometime in 2005". But the good news is that the season is 13 x 45 minutes episodes. Which is very nice because that's 45 minutes with no commercials. I'm sure the old Doctor Who used to be half an hour, which never seemed to be long enough.
Personally I'm not going to read it, but if you really can't wait to see the new Revenge Of The Sith trailer here's an alleged description.
March 1, 2005
It appears that the Irish Examiner has a different definition of slams than I do.
McGregor says: "The fighting in Episode II was unsatisfactory, I think."
Hmmm, not exactly scathing is it?
So the Episode III Trailer will be on FOX during a new episode of the O.C. (on Thursday, March 10th at 9 p.m). Then on Hyperspace until the 14th March when non-hyperspace users get to see it.
Presumably in the UK someone will show it on TV on the 10th as well.
Really though, do they learn nothing? If it's online, or on tv on the 10th then it will be on Bittorrent on the 10th. Do Lucasfilm really want to waste all week shutting down BitTorrent tracker sites? I know they are trying to justify the Hyperspace membership fee but give up a lost battle please.