April 2005 Archives

April 30, 2005

Doctor Who - Dalek

The Doctor and Rose get drawn to a bunker underground Utah by a distress signal. What follows is an awesome episode.

Continue reading Doctor Who - Dalek.

April 29, 2005

Revenge of the Sith certificate

In the UK The Revenge Of The Sith has been rated a 12A. See the BBFC details

Whilst the fanboys will whoop with joy, what about all the young kids? Kids can still go with an adult as mandated by 12A but will parents want them to see it? Perhaps some dads might have to make a few trips just to be sure....

Simon Pegg, Kevin Smith and Edgar Wright talk Star Wars

Can you imagine a better conversation than Simon Pegg, Kevin Smith and Edgar Wright talking about Star Wars? Nope, thought not. The transcript is here, courtesy of Empire magazine.

Favourite line by Kevin Smith "...apparently the path to the Dark Side isn't very quick. It starts with 'I hate my hair' and ends with wanting to destroy Alderaan"

New Batman Begins trailer online

I thought the first (teaser) trailer for Batman Begins was great, then the first full trailer was a bit disappointing (all action and fighting). Now the newest trailer puts it all together, and it looks quite brilliant.

New Revenge of the Sith pictures

ComingSoon.Net has a gallery of Revenge of the Sith pictures, including production stills and some new film stills. They also have a family tree, which is quite frankly rubbish and the sort of thing you get in a cereal packet, and an equally lame timeline. But the pictures are nice.

April 28, 2005

Vader's blog

This made me laugh, ala The Hulk's blog comes Darth Vader's blog [Via SFSignal].

Example style of entry...

"Typical day at work. Rebel Alliance remains at large.I feel uneasy, but I do not wonder why. [snip] Tomorrow I may strangle General Veers."

Kevin Smith reviews Revenge of the Sith

Kevin Smith, ace filmmaker and serious Star Wars geek, reviews Revenge of the Sith on his website.

Warning!! BIG SPOILERS and BAD LANGUAGE (certificate 18).

I only read the first sentence which says "Revenge of the Sith" is, quite simply, ******* awesome"

[Via TheForce.Net]

April 27, 2005

Full Power

The Guardian is reporting that BBC2 has greenlighted a new comedy SF show called Full Power (use BugMeNot to get past the registration).
[Via SciFi-247]

Whilst the article mentions Red Dwarf and says enough things to make my heart sink (eg. Full Power is set in 2182, when Britain has launched a fleet of spaceships to explore the galaxy "in the only way they can - with a stiff upper lip and regular tea breaks") there is some hope, because the writers responsible are Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley who also wrote the incredibly funny (and bizzarre) Black Books', although they need great comedy actors as well.

It's due to be broadcast on BBC2 next year.

George Lucas in Wired

The latest issue of Wired is dripping slowly online and it has a couple of great articles on George Lucas, firstly an in-depth look at GL's influences and secondly a Q&A. Both of which talk about GL's urge to get back to his filmmaker roots.


The Serenity trailer is online and it looks very cool. [Via SFSignal and SolarFlare]. I still haven't seen Firefly (the TV series)...yet.

The Star Wars TV series

Time to break my day long fast of Star Wars news....

So, the Star Wars TV series. We'd heard the rumours and then on Monday read StarWars.com for what George had to say at Celebration III, then watched as every single news site in the world re-ran the story (usually without crediting the source).

But what interests me is how Lucas is going to approach the TV projects. The Clone Wars series sounds the most straight-forward, do the Clone Wars cartoon in full 3D. But is it that easy? Perhaps ILM will want to do the series and then where does it take it? Will they do cartoon style, Pixar characters? Or will they go for as real as possible, state of the art characters (think hordes of Clone Troopers in Attack of the Clones)? One would imagine however that the audience will be the same either way, kids.

The "real people" TV series depends a lot on what the intended audience is, and this could be anything. Family like the new Doctor Who? Or adult like the new Battlestar Galactica? Action based or character based? Including CGI or not? Who nows? Too many options, although I'm sure a lot of people reading this are wishing for an adult based Star Wars drama ala BSG (I am).

In fact that would be the perfect outcome, the CGI cartoon for the kids and the real person show for the adults. Enticing...

Bookwrap Video Interviews

There's a nice video interview with Susanna Clarke online, chunked up into chapters for easy consumption. [Via Neil Gaiman].

This in turn led me to investigate BookWrapCentral, where there are a selection of video interviews with SF and Fantasy authors, well actually they're all Fantasy except for Orson Scott Card, which I couldn't watch because the sight said...

"Bookwraps are currently unavailable on Mac platforms.  They will be available soon."

Despite being able to watch the Susanna Clarke one. Hmmm.

April 26, 2005

Neal Asher stuff

I've just started reading Gridlinked(UK/US) so I thought I'd check out Neal Asher's presence on the web. He has a home page and low tech blog, the latest news is that he has a new 3 book deal. There's also www.nealasher.com which seems to be a prettied up (but not as up to date?) version of the other site, although it does include some forums.

In case you're wondering I'm two chapters into Gridlinked and it's great.

Susanna Clarke interview excerpt

Locus has some new interview excerpts online including one with Susanna Clarke.

"I try not to read too many reviews -- even good ones -- because they fill your head up with all these buzzy voices and opinions about what you're writing. Colin can read them and tell me if somebody's going to sue me or whatever! He did say, 'I think you should probably read Clute's.' I don't understand quite a lot of it and some of it I don't agree with..."

April 25, 2005

Wise words from George

It's all Star Wars today whilst I try and get over my ticket failure.

To cheer me up, some words from George Lucas...

"Star Wars is something to enjoy and take away what you can from it that maybe helps you in your lives. Don't let it take over your lives. That's what they all say about Trekkies, and I know Star Wars fans don't do that. The point of the movies is to get on with your lives, to take that challenge, to leave your uncle's moisture farm, to go out in the world and change it to save the universe."

...he said addressing a crowd of fans dressed up as Stormtroopers.

Thanks George

I know there's a lot of cynicism about Star Wars around these days, but some people remember the thrill of seeing the first film, for the first time and they've set up a website. It's called ThankyouGeorge.com.

Not sure where the money from the T-Shirts is going though. If it was on cafepress then at least we'd know the markup.

Star Wars Marathon tickets

The six film marathon on May 16th at the Empire Leicester square (including Revenge of the Sith 3 days before its worldwide release) sold out in 19 minutes.

I failed to get tickets :-(
I have redial RSI.

I spent 15 minutes listening to a BT message saying "the network is busy". Then I actually entered my credit card details but the transaction failed to confirm. The UCI website didn't even get close, I couldn't load the first page (and that was before 9am when the tickets went on sale). Don't you just hate these companies that can't scale their web sites?

I'm now sad.

Anyone accidently buy more than they needed and want to sell me two tickets?

UPDATE : Looks like some people got some tickets they didn't want.

April 23, 2005

The Fear Forecasters

Meet Amy, Harry, Samuel and Adam BBC Cults new Fear Forecasters. They sit them in front of the coming Doctor Who episode and gather their comments and their scare score. By the way they are 4, 6, 8 and 12 years of age.

This weeks fear forecast for World War III is warmly amusing.

Doctor Who - World War Three

Carrying on where Aliens Of London left off, there are aliens in Downing Street and the Doctor and Rose are in trouble.

Continue reading Doctor Who - World War Three.

April 22, 2005

Revenge Of The Sith finished

Coming Soon! - Latest News

"Rick McCallum announced at the "Star Wars Celebration III" convention in Indianapolis, IN, that the third and final prequel was finished on Wednesday."

With almost a month to spare. Now ILM workers, go and sleep. Your work is done.

This weeks Doctor Who excuse missing?

Perhaps they can only engineer one a week and last weeks was used up early by the announcement of the new Doctor? Dunno. But the BBC have failed to get Doctor Who into the headlines this week for the first time since the new series started. They have released The Doctor Who Press Pack -Phase Five though, but I think the media were distracted by The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, oh and something about an election here in the UK.

Anyway the new press pack contains interviews with Rob Shearman, the writer of "the Dalek episode", actor Bruno Langley (also in "the Dalek episode") and Nicholas Briggs the voice of the Dalek in "the Dalek episode".

Oh, and "the Dalek episode" is called "Dalek" (I like the logic) and airs Saturday 30th April.

Meanwhile, tomorrow, there's aliens in 10 Downing Street!! (Cue topical election jokes).

It came from the WEB!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

April 21, 2005

H2G2 vs ROTS

This made me laugh, someone (rather stupidly) asked the question whether Revenge of the Sith may steal some of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy's audience (surely interviewers, with all that waiting around, have time to come up with better questions?). Anyway, the always witty Martin Freeman replied...

"I'm so not bothered. Last time I checked you are allowed to go and see more than one film a year.

"People can go and see Hitchhiker's and then, guess what, they can go and see Star Wars."

Lost coming to Channel4

Ignoring the headline about Desperate Housewives (please), there is some news here about Lost on terrestrial UK TV.

"ABC has said that 'Lost', another of its shows that has been picked up by Channel 4, will also get a second run"

I haven't seen any of Lost yet, but it sounds intriguing, and that's just going on the conversations about whether it is SF or not, which probably means that it is and I'll like it.

Battlestar Galactica season two teasers

Ron Moore has a blog update wherein he throws us tidbits about the coming awesomeness of season two of Battlestar Galactica. Oh the tease.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy premiere

The premiere of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was last night in London. They rolled out the blue carpet (because it's in space and er... red isn't) and the actors duly answered lots of questions about whether the film was British or not and whether it would be big in the US. The BBC has some details. Lots of TV crews and radio crews and interviews, but to be honest the clip I saw on TV looked a bit subdued, it wasn't exactly a high octane, frenzied crowd type of premiere.

April 20, 2005

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy review on BBC

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Review: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Not entirely encouraging. It's on general release in the UK on 28th April (and in the US the next day).

Side by side comparison of Hitchhikers

The BBC has a series of pictures comparing the classic (to me anyway) Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy BBC series with the new movie. I like the old series, it's how I remember H2G2 because I saw the series before I read the book (or heard the radio play).

April 19, 2005

3 more Revenge of the Sith trailers

New Revenge of the Sith trailers online at Star Wars: Episode III | Ads & Trailers Archive. Including some new footage. It's all pretty fast and furious so you may want to step through it in slow motion (not that I have of course). Want to see General Grievous fighting (for about 1 nanosecond)? Get there now.

More details on the Star Wars Marathom

TheForce.Net - Latest News - UK Star Wars Marathon Press Release

Although it's a bit confusing. Can you get into the premiere or not? I think not, which means that they are showing it again after for mere mortals. Probably.

An interview with Lou Anders

More on Lou Anders, here's a great interview from The Agony Column Book Reviews and Commentary. Interesting resume, including being an on set journalist for Trek and Babylon5, dotcom refugee and of course Argosy editor.

On the state of Science Fiction

Cool, two SF authors talk about the past and present state of Science Fiction literature.
Ken MacLeod on remembering the past state of SF and Charlie Stross on the current state of SF.
Sounds like they had a good night down the pub...

Battlestar Galactica season 2 airdate announced

Via battlestarblog, the season 2 airdate for the quite wonderful (new) Battlestar Galactica is going to be Friday July 15 at 10/9c. I don't know what all that weird timezone stuff means, please stick to the only true timezone GMT (sorry slipping into shades of Eastern Standard Tribe timezone tribalism there). The rumour is that the first 10 episodes will be shown and then there will be a break until January. I hate that, don't get it much in the UK, why not just wait for the whole show to finish filming and then show it? I don't want repeats midway through the season. Sorry, turning into a bit of moan, that's probably because there is no news (that I can find) about the UK debut. Bummer. Time to crank up those BT clients.

April 18, 2005


New books from Pyr

Pyr, which is a new science fiction and fantasy imprint from Prometheus Books, is definitely signing up some great authors. See their forthcoming books here. Interestingly I think that at least four of those authors are British, so it looks like the editor, Lou Anders is getting some UK books published in the US. Nice one.

Lou also has a blog , which is where I found this news.

An interview with Cory Doctorow

Great Writing has a nice interview with Cory Doctorow online. [Via CrapHound].

Great Writing is a continuation of the project that the BBC started and to some extent abandoned called Get Writing.

April 17, 2005

Happy Birthday to Big Dumb Object

A year ago today was my first post to Big Dumb Object. Happy birthday!

543 posts later and I'm still here. I started with lots of enthusiasm, then had trouble with the notion of single topic blogging for a while and then suddeny it clicked and now I'm in a kind of happy science fiction blog groove. Thanks to everyone who has read, does read, subscribes or has commented (well apart from those spammers, just for the record - you're all twats).

And for the coming year? More of the same, blogging about SF stuff, whatever that maybe and wherever that may take me. I hope you enjoy it.

April 16, 2005

Doctor Who - Aliens of London

The Doctor takes Rose home, just 12 hours after she left (he claims). But then an alien spaceship crash lands and things start getting exciting. Spoilers ahead.

Continue reading Doctor Who - Aliens of London.

New Who, the next Doctor

Blimey, the new week hasn't even begun, this weeks episode hasn't even aired and the BBC are already launching next weeks excuse to keep Doctor Who in the news. And this time it's a big one...

The 10th Doctor will be David Tennant, who is currently being excellent in Casanova. Here's the press release. The BBC news website also has coverage, of course, including a section for comments about the choice, a picture gallery of previous roles, and the same text from the press release reformated in every place they can.

Personally I think that he'll be a great Doctor, plus I can't wait to see the regeneration.

Meanwhile, tonight, aliens crash in London.

April 15, 2005

oh my god

This weeks excuse by the BBC to get Doctor Who in the headlines

Yes! It's that now weekly game: what excuse can the BBC use to splash Doctor Who all over it's media? This week it's Doctor Who is too scary.

Apparently what happened is that loads of people complained that the last episode was too scary. In response the BBC said that only children aged 8 or above should watch the show. In response lots of people were puzzled. Then the BBC retracted its statement and said that it was completely the responsibility of parents to decide whether the show was too scary for children younger than 8 to watch. (link)

I heard the writer Mark Gatiss interviewed on the radio and he said that he was "quietly thrilled" that there had been complaints, saying that Doctor Who scaring him when he was a child was the reason he was where he was now. The whole episode has sparked a debate about whether we wrap modern children up in cotton wool, and are in fact "safe" scares a good thing....?

April 14, 2005

Zombies in Doctor Who gets complaints

You know that a TV programme must be okay when you get complaints. Although a mere 91 complaints is not exactly an outcry. (And who are these people who complain about TV shows anyway?)

Star Wars pet costumes


From the official Star Wars shop comes, pet costumes. including Yoda, Leia and Darth Vader.

"The family pet can now be one of your favorite Star Wars characters! Dress up your pet as the Sith Lord Darth Vader. Includes headpiece and jumpsuit with attached arms, cape, and belt. Pet costumes recommended for dogs only."

Hmm, might get one for my dog.

April 13, 2005

Flow My Tears... the play

If you're in LA, The Evidence Room has an adaptation of Flow My Tears The Policeman Said..(UK/US) which sounds very cool. Anyone out there seen it?

[Via Yahoo! News]

Robert Sawyer drumming up publicity

How does a Science Fiction author try drum up some publicity for his new book? By saying...

"The worst thing that ever happened to science fiction occurred in May 1977 when Star Wars premiered."

..in a newspaper interview (National Post)

Of course, he's wrong.

Hayden's not worried about being typecast

Revenge Of The Sith trailer with 133t subtitles

April 12, 2005

Revenge Of The Sith in Lego

I'm not sure why exactly, but there is a LEGO Star Wars Mini-Movie Coming Soon. Star Wars: Revenge of the Brick!


April 11, 2005

Harry Potter and the WHSmiths employee

So I was in WHSmiths on Saturday (buying an A5 notebook if you really want to know) and I handed it to the guy at the till he said,

"Would you like to preorder the new Harry Potter book?"

I'd heard him say this to everyone else in the queue in front of me, obviously WHSmiths are trying to drum up some business. Anyway I looked at him with a tired expression and shook my head (I hate that sort of sales approach). He said

"I'll take that as a no."

"I will buy it," I replied, "but I'm not going to preorder it." Although the truth is that I'll probably preorder it from Amazon.

And then the guy said, "Well they'll have probably scanned it in as soon as it's released and you can download it off the internet."

I was a bit aghast, I couldn't believe that a WHSmiths employee was suggesting I just download a ripped book! Perhaps he thought he was being cool?

"Actually I prefer reading books to reading on a screen," I said. But by then he had given up any interest in the conversation.

Now let me clear up my feelings on the subject. I'm not a rabid RIAA style IP crusader. But ripping books seems like such a waste of time. Just buy the book! Of course it will be great when books exist in digital format as well as physical format, then you can do all the searching, mashup, addon shennanigans you want. But I'll probably still buy the book, and I'm quite happy to pay for the production (although give more money to the authors please). An example of this, I downloaded Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom (UK/US) but then bought the book to read it, all for reasons that have been well documented by Charles Stross [1] [2] and Cory Doctorow [3] and probably many others.

HitchHikers article in the Guardian

The Guardian has a nice article/review of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Battlestar Galactica HD

Via Slashdot, "Universal HD is going to be broadcasting Battlestar Galactica. They're going to run the miniseries and the first Season (2005) of the new Battlestar Galactica, starting Sunday night at 8PM, with HD repeats coming every week"

and as one comment adds...

"And the hdtv divx version airs at 9pm Sunday night on bittorrent"

And then it hits me, another Star Wars film is coming

I was in WHSmiths on Saturday (more tales from this trip later) when my eye caught a book on the shelf. It was The Art Of Revenge Of The Sith (UK/US) (which includes the entire screenplay). I flicked very quickly through it, trying to get an impression without reading/seeing any spoilers. I succeeded, I resisted the pull of the Dark Side. I am truly a Jedi. Depsite that I was still pretty excited.

Then reading my local paper I saw that the local cinema are selling Revenge of the Sith tickets now. I know that I have already bought mine for a nearby multiplex, but somehow when the local (3 screens and a bar) cinema starts selling them it suddenly seems more real.

And then it hit me. There is a new Star Wars film coming in about a month, and it will be the last one ever. After 28 years I'll finally see the origins of Darth Vader. I'm nostalgic and a little bit sad. But most of all I'm EXCITED!


Battlestar Galactica season 2 spoilers

Well it seems from my logs that quite a few people are looking for Battlestar Galactica season 2 spoilers. Do you have no patience?!

Anyway, if you are looking for spoilers then here are some. [Via BattleStarBlog]. Of course they could all just be made up...who knows?

River of Gods now out in paperback

The wonderful (and award winning!) River of Gods is out in paperback, now you have no excuse not to read it. [Via Forbidden Planet blog]

April 9, 2005

Doctor Who, new series DVD's

According to BBC Cult

Four volumes, two editions, no Confidential.

1: 16 May 2005: Rose, End of the World, Unquiet Dead
2: June 2005: Aliens of London, World War 3, Dalek, Long Game
3: August 2005: Father's Day, Empty Child, Doctor Dances
4: September 2005: Boom Town, t.b.a., Parting of the Ways

Retailing at £15.99, the DVDs will contain no special features.

Doesn't sound too great. Perhaps they've just decided to put all the extras on the web?

Doctor Who - The Unquiet Dead

The Doctor and Rose travel back to Cardiff in 1869 (although the TARDIS thought it was Naples in 1860!) where the dead are coming back to life.

Continue reading Doctor Who - The Unquiet Dead.

April 8, 2005

SF Site rss feeds

Via SF Signal, The SF Site finally gets some RSS feeds, including a podcast feed. This is a good thing, because if a site doesn't have an RSS feed I always forget about it and end up never reading it.

Star Wars Clone Wars cartoon series Volume 2

I've just finished watching the new Star Wars Clone Wars cartoons (episodes 21 - 25) and they're very good. The new 15 minute format allows more story than the previous 5 minute episodes, which seemed to be entirely filled with fighting. The new episodes do contain a serious amount of jedi's fighting in outrageous ways, but the existence of a plot makes it easier to justify it to yourself with out feeling like some jedi-action-starved-maniac. The last episode runs right up to the start of Revenge of the Sith, which is coming out soon apparently.

April 7, 2005

More Doctor Who Press Releases

The BBC seem intent on keeping Doctor Who in the headlines, the latest press release has an interview with Penelope Wilton, the one before that has an interview with Simon Callow and the one before that an interview with CGI house The Mill.

Does that mean an upcoming Simon Pegg interview? I hope so.

(BTW the BBC Press Office website is a whole mine of information that I've just discovered.)

Ian McDiarmid on Revenge of the Sith

SciFi Wire offers a few quotes from Ian McDiarmid on Revenge of the Sith. I wonder if this is culled from a bigger interview somewhere? I'm always interested to hear what he has to say, I think his portayal of Palpatine in Episode I and II was just fantastic.

April 6, 2005

I Am Legend

Via Solar Flare, news that a new version of I Am Legend (UK/US) is going to start filming soon. I love I Am Legend, it's a wonderful book, claustrophobic and scary. So Will Smith starring? Sounds like an action movie makeover, not good. Please prove me wrong.

Simon Pegg in Doctor Who

Woohoo. Simon Pegg, comedy genius, is appearing as a villain in one of the new DOctor Who episodes according to Nuts magazine, via u.tv.

If you are unaware of Mr. Pegg checkout Spaced (TV series) and Shaun Of The Dead, last years best Rom-Zom-Com.

Doctor Who in Oz

ABC snaps up Dr Who, that's the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Are no broadcasters in the USA interested at all?

April 5, 2005

Star Wars figures

April 4, 2005

The April edition of Ansible

The April edition of ansible is online, Ansible 213, April 2005, and a great (essential) read as always.

Battlestar Galactica. What took you USA?

So finally the season finale for Battlestar Galactica has aired in the US! What took you? And wasn't it awesome?!! Multiple cliff hangers, new story lines, what a setup for the new season.... Roll on summer.

New Revenge of the Sith trailers

Three TV ads for Revenge of the Sith have been released on StarWars.com, "Tragedy", "Dark Side Unleashed" and "Teaser". The "Teaser" trailer is a shortened version of the original teaser trailer, starting with the awesome "Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiise" from the Emperor. The other two trailers are new, a lot of the footage has been seen before but there's a few new bits in there.

April 2, 2005

Doctor Who online update

The BBC continues to add loads of stuff online. The media player itself now contains lots of teaser trailers (including the one for episode 2), a video diaries sections with some of the main crew interviewed, the second episode of the Project Who radio show, Dr Who 60s which is clips from the sixties, and the first episode of the BBC 3 TV show Doctor Who Confidential which gives behind the scenes stuff.

This seems to me to be a pretty big deal, putting a whole episode of one of their TV shows online. Nice one.

Keep it coming Autine Beeb.

Doctor Who - The End Of The World

The Doctor and Rose travel far into the future to see the final destruction of Earth.

Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading Doctor Who - The End Of The World.

April 1, 2005

Revenge Of The Sith tickets

I forgot to mention amongst all the Doctor Who excitement that I bought my Revenge Of The Sith cinema tickets the other day. 9am showing, May 19th. There may be midnight showings (or not, seems a bt of a debate) but my friends and I have decided to go for the early morning showing, like we did for Attack of the Clones. That means we can get there, have a big fry up breakfast at the cafe opposite, see the film, have lunch, see it again maybe? Have dinner. See it again. (All depending on how much we like the film!)

Anyone else got any Revenge of the Sith plans?

Locus links portal

I've just notied that the Locus Online: Links Portal also include blogs now. No BigDumbObject yet though (hint, hint).


Via SFSignal comes a link to StoryCode which is a book recommendation service. Users rate books by a series of questions and the app decides which other books are a good percentage match.

What is interesting for me is that I used to work with the CEO, Steve Johnston. Steve told me about their alpha code for this a few years ago, and it sounded intriguing then. Glad you finally got it live Steve, nice website!

Spielberg gets the fight scenes

So apparently Spielberg has been helping out his old mate Georgie boy on Revenge of the Sith. I'd loved to have seen where they decide which scenes.

SS: Can I have those cool lightsaber fights?
GL: No I'm doing those.
SS: Go on.
GL: No I want them.
SS: Right I'm not helping then


I love the bit in The Phantom Menance docmentary (on the DVD) where George is showing Spielnerg a battledroid and Spielberg pulls its arm off. That made me laugh a lot.