Wanderers in the Fourth Dimension

I’ve been promising Batman for weeks now- and there will be Batman: lots of Batman, from the 40s and the 50s. Even Yuletide Batman. But here I am in the North-East of Scotland, 45m from the capital of the Highlands.In a local authority where the IT provision is so poor, I can’t post on Blogger. The national school registration system crashes every lunch time because they’re “moving the server”.So, some things will take time.

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Meanwhile, as they said in the comics: Thor The Dark World. What a dud! I’m no fan of the Iron Man movies; I find Tony Snark (sic) irritating and his stories are dull and repetitive. Thor was the first Marvel movie since X-Men to have a sense that the creative team might honour the source material; the sequel , however, just feels like a contract-fulfilling retread of Man of Steel.

The charisma of the leads, Hemsworth and Hiddleston propels us through a turgid alien invasion by bland rent-a-baddy Christopher Eccleston, occupying the role of Walt Simonson’s capricious elven villain of the 80s, Malekith. There was one amusing cameo by “Captain America” but the victim status of Jane Foster and Thor’s mother just annoyed me. A hyper-real computer game diversion for the afternoon but inessential viewing, lacking wit or originality. My favourite part was the obligatory post-credits scene featuring REDACTED, the first Avengers villain I can ever encountered.

Of course, today is The Day of the Doctor and next week, hopefully, I’ll report on the 3D  cinema experience. In the meantime, I’ll review a couple of Big Finish audio productions.

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Emperor of Eternity: Nigel Robinson’s tale of China in 200BC is read huskily by Deborah Watling. It’s a rather slow adventure which is a change from Victoria’s monster season but not very true to it. Frazer Hines’ contribution sounds like an afterthought and Emperor Qin is portrayed as a rather benevolent figure- for a paranoid despot. Despite all that, this Companion Chronicle has an avuncular charm and gentility that reminded me of Terrance Dicks. 3/5 Talmars

 

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The Dark Planet: Brian Hayles, creator of the Ice Warriors is to my mind, a rather overrated Classic Who writer. This is another in the Lost Stories series; unsurprisingly given this simplistic and ponderous tale of warring tribes on a dying planet. It has a Star Trek morality but it is an atmospheric recording, with committed performances from William Russell and Maureen O’ Brien. However, it’s basically a less ambitious, more impressionstic retread of The Web Planet. 2/5 Talmars

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If you want to experience the mystery and magic of William Hartnell, you should watch An Adventure in Space and Time, Mark Gatiss’ dramatised love-letter to the First Doctor and his inspired, outsider creative team.  David Bradley delivers an poignant performance as the ailing, irascible Hartnell. While there are self-indulgent in-jokes about The Army Game and The End of Time part two, there are also some uncanny impersonations and the sets are stunning. Beautiful television that explores the whole flaky genesis of Doctor Who. 5/5 Talmars

Coming soon: War Doctor

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2 comments on “Wanderers in the Fourth Dimension

  1. Kid Robson says:

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing the BBC doing some new first Doctor TV Specials with David Bradley in the lead. He was good in the Tom’s Midnight Garden movie of a few years back, too.

  2. Kid Robson says:

    CD posted Wednesday evening, Dougie, and album art sent to your email address. Hopefully you’ve received CD by now.

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