Of Musings and Wonderings











doctorwhoLast night, Doctor Who fans around the world were treated to a special 50th Anniversary episode of the show, containing not just one doctor, but three, played by Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt. The episode, as well as putting these three together, revealed a lot about the Time War, and even connected the show’s present to its past, bringing in the doctors from the past to save the day.

It’s a nicely constructed episode, giving us a little bit of a glimpse into each of the three doctor’s lives, before drawing them all together. We see Matt Smith’s doctor being taken in by U.N.I.T, to investigate pieces of art where the glass has shattered. We see John Hurt’s War Doctor, on the verge of activating the weapon that will end the Time War. And we see David Tennant, wooing the Queen of England before discovering an alien presence on their picnic.

Something beyond their control brings the three doctors together, and while trying to work it out, and find out a way to get out of the Tower of London, the three must confront their past and future choices. There are some strong moments here. Tennant and Smith work brilliantly on-screen together, and adding Hurt into the mix really brings up the dynamic, especially when he questions if they ever counted the number of children on Gallifrey, and when he asks why they look at him as they do. Hurt is answered by a girl only he can see, a girl he calls, towards the end, The Bad Wolf Girl.

gallifreyfallsThe episode was full of nods and winks to long-term fans and new fans alike, and there’s a lot I probably missed, not having seen any of the older episodes (except the first one. But watching more is on my to do list!). I know it had its flaws, but they’ve all been pointed out by other bloggers and to be honest, the flaws were very much overshadowed by the rest of the show to me. The paintings were wonderfully done and now I really want to see it in 3D. The battle in and around Gallifrey was awesome, and there were some very nice special effects used.

I should mention that last week, I went to the Doctor Who Experience. It’s taken me way too long to go, especially as I literally live about fifteen minutes away. But a very good friend came to visit for my birthday, and both being Doctor Who fans, we decided to go. Just in time, too, as I think they may be updating/revamping it now, so a good excuse for me to try to go again. Anyway. As part of the experience you do get to stand in the middle of a Dalek ‘invasion’ of sorts, and honestly…it got kind of creepy, with them screaming for the doctor and then (again) some nice special effects recreating a battle. I mention it because the battle in Gallifrey in a little way reminded me of that, which was sort of awesome.

Anyway. Yeah.

It would have been nice to have seen more companions, outside of just Clara. Not that she’s not good. She actually fills out the role nicely, acting almost like the doctor’s conscience as he moves towards the destruction of Gallifrey. And even with everything else that’s going on, that’s what the episode seems to be mostly about. It pulls us towards the defining moment, for all three doctors, and adds in a lot of suspense, a lot of tense moments, especially towards the end.

And, oh, the ending. Enough to make any Doctor Who fan squeal with joy. Especially with the addition of…

doctorwhospoilersEvery other known doctor. Yep, they all – including Peter Capaldi – make an appearance, flying their Tardis’ towards Gallifrey to ensure it isn’t destroyed. And there’s a lot of timey wimey stuff involved, with the doctor’s each realising that they are not going to remember meeting each other, or that they saved Gallifrey. After all, if they remembered, it would make the whole series, since it’s re-launch, a little…off. Instead, the saving of Gallifrey is done in a way that fits in with the rest of the show, still making it possible.

And, I cannot say this enough, I really want to see a spin-off series with John Hurt just being the doctor in the Time War. It’d be awesome!

Personally, I loved this episode, and thought it really was a great way to celebrate fifty years of the show.

 

Advertisements


A great look/review at tonight’s anniversary episode of Doctor Who. Well worth a read. And much more in-depth than my review (which I will post tomorrow) will be.

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (Review).



micahandstrangecandyI’ve been reading this series for a while, but it’s taken me this long to decide whether to review it as a series or book by book. With this one, however, I decided to do a review of it. Not because I came to a decision, but because this book wasn’t just an Anita Blake novel. Instead, it’s an Anita Blake novella (Micah) and a collection of short stories by Laurell K. Hamilton (Strange Candy).

MICAH

Before I get into the review of the book itself, it’s worth mentioning the series. The Anita Blake series follows the title character, a vampire executioner and animator, a woman who can raise zombies. The first novels saw her resisting Jean-Claude, the vampire master of the city. She dates Richard, a werewolf, even as her relationship with Jean-Claude grows into something more. As the novels progress, Anita’s love life becomes more complicated, drifting from the werewolf to Jean-Claude and to other men. She starts off as a girl who has only ever slept with one man, and by this point in the series, she’s had almost as many sexual partners as people who have died in A Song of Ice And Fire. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s still a drastic change.

And yet at some points, it works. The complications in her sex life arise when she inherits the power to feed from sex off Jean-Claude, after becoming his human servant. The power grows, as does her need to feed, to the point where she has to have some guy trailing after her just to satisfy her desire. And yeah, although I said at points it works, at times it just gets annoying, especially as it feels like more time is spent describing sex and everything around it than actually advancing the plot.

Micah in a way felt slightly different from this. At least at the start. Anita met Micah when she first gained the power of the ardeur, and not knowing what was going on, confused and possibly about to change into a were-leopard, she sleeps with him. At the time, it’s very out of character for Anita, but Micah soon becomes a key part of the novel. Yet, with the exception of being a were-leopard, he seems just like every other man in Anita’s life.

As in, she has a type. Clearly. Long hair. (When Richard cuts his hair, it feels like the world has ended) And big dicks. I mean, how many different ways can different men be described as having huge dicks? Plenty. Apparently. Seriously. There’s like pages of description for them. It’s…just odd.

ANYWAY!

The novella focuses on Anita’s relationship with Micah, as they spend their first night alone together. There is, of course, the main plot, where Anita has to travel out-of-town to raise a zombie, as the guy originally penned in to do it has other, more pressing problems to take care of. But for once, this plot and the relationship aspect are woven in together nicely, and actually balance each other out. Anita is, as usual, forced to confront aspects of herself in regards to the men in her lives. It’s a good novella, and ties in nicely with the series. It also offers a nice break from having so many different men in her life, as it focuses purely on Micah.

STRANGE CANDY

Strange Candy contains a number of short stories by Laurell K. Hamilton, including a few set in the world of Anita Blake or with Anita herself. And it’s great, really, to get a glimpse into other sides of Hamilton’s writing, as we see a woman trying to sell a haunted house, a couple who look after lake monsters, and Anita before she got all guy crazy. And those are just a few of the ones that really stick out to me, though I enjoyed all of them. Strange Candy is well worth a read, especially if you’re read any of the Anita Blake series and want to see a more varied scope of Hamilton’s writing, or even if you’re just a fan of horror and/or the supernatural. It also works nicely if you’re tempted by the Anita Blake series, but haven’t read it yet or just read the first couple, acting almost as a teaser.

Oh, and not forgetting the quirky story of two unmarrieds being chased down by cupids. Seriously. Strange Candy really is well worth a read.



Anyone else excited for tonight?

For those who don’t know, today marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. And the episode tonight will show not just one, not just two, but three doctors, side by side. The episode above, tilted The Night Of The Doctor, is sort of a prequel to tonight’s episode, and shows the eighth doctor in the middle of the time war. If you like Doctor Who but haven’t seen it yet, play it now. Go on. Not long until the actual full The Day of the Doctor episode airs, so I’ll sit back and wait for you to watch the mini-episode.

Watched it?

Good.

Right, so, we have the main set up. We have the doctor, trying to save some poor soul from death. But we also see a glimpse of something we haven’t really seen since the series came back. We get to see a touch of the time war, and not just its effects on the doctor and his enemies but the effect on the people around them, the people who have had to suffer during the war. We see that the Time Lords are so hated, a woman is willing to die rather than enter the Tardis.

And we see how much that hurts the doctor, the man who spends his whole life trying to save people.

This is a brilliant teaser for tonight’s episode, and reveals quite a lot in such a short space. It’s constructed nicely, too, with the same feel that we usually get from the full length episodes. Without giving away too much (in case you haven’t watched it yet, even though it’s right there. You don’t even have to leave the page), it gives us hints as to what the doctor has gone through, and what he needs to do during the Time War. From the last episode of the last series, we know that Hurt’s doctor has done something unforgivable, something so bad he can’t even be called ‘The Doctor’. But here, we see that it wasn’t just the doctor who had a role in this, but others around him, trying to get him to just do something rather than hide away from what’s going on.

An episode well worth watching, especially if you want to feel just a little more hyped up about the episode on tonight.



Marsh Island - Cover (Oliver F. Chase)

Oliver F. Chase is a veteran Marine with a career in the FBI, whose mystery/thriller book, MARSH ISLAND (AEC Stellar Publishing Inc., November 22, 2013), is the first installment of The Hirebomber Series.

After a crushing injury, Army Ranger Phil Pfeifer is left for dead in the mountains of Iran only days before the start of the Gulf War. America cannot reveal such a violation of national sovereignty mere days before Kuwait is invaded. The body may heal but the heart takes longer. Seeking a new life as a private investigator, Phil is hired to find a wayward husband who’s become enraptured with stars and predicting the future. A simple case and the midlife crazies stop when a boat captain is murdered at his feet and the Mafia chases him through the backstreets of Las Vegas. Pleading with Phil to continue, the terminally ill wife sends him into the tropics to face death, sharks, miles of open ocean, and prison.

Here’s what others are saying about it:

SHANNON A. THOMPSON, Award-winning author of the Young Adult Paranormal Romance, Minutes Before Sunset:

“What an absolute thrill. The mystery left me unable to guess what would happen next, and the prose was both delightful and haunting. Oliver F. Chase created a troubling beauty, even in the desert landscape, and the stars were as bright as the storyline. A great read for fans of detective fiction, suspenseful mystery, and thrillers.”

RANDOLPH PLOTTS, Avid reader of thriller books:

“The characters seemed real and knowable, and there was a wide variety of them. The author has a knack for description, not only for people but also for locations and situations! The book was a page-turner. I wanted to read just one more chapter before putting it down.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Oliver graduated high school and would be able to fly, which was really all he ever wanted. The war was on and the Marines offered a way.  He took it. Some five years later, Oliver was a vet with a Distinguished Flying Cross and a long list of combat missions – even a couple in that dark, secret world of political deniability. Oliver spent five years in a police department working narcotics and SWAT, and the next 22 in the FBI. He and his wife live on a small farm along the Gulf Coast near New Orleans.

Marsh Island by Oliver F. Chase

–   AEC Stellar Publishing Inc.          –     ISBN: 0989312801

–   Price: $13.79          ISBN-13: 978-0989312806

–   Pub Date: November 2013          –     Pages: 328, Paperback, 8.3 x 5.8



et cetera