i would like to recommend these people's writing

Give These People Your Money: Night Terrace

Night Terrace is a series of hilarious, smart and witty science fiction comedy audioplays about a terrace house that travels randomly in space and time with a retired superspy and a door-to-door power company salesperson inside it.

It stars Jackie Woodburne (aka “Susan from Neighbours“) as Anastasia Black (the superspy), Ben McKenzie as Eddie Jones (the salesperson) and Petra Eliot as Sue, a mysterious disembodied purveyor of cryptic sometimes completely unhelpful advice who may actually know quite a lot about the house and why it does what it does. But why waste words describing Night Terrace, when you can listen to Episode One of Series One for free for yourself?

Following on from the success of Night Terrace Series One (including recently receiving an Aurealis Award), Series Two is currently being crowdfunded, with around a week to go to reach its target. If listening to Episode One (see above) isn’t enough to get you pledging to the creation of even more Night Terrace, here’s Night Terrace co-founder Mr. John Richards to elaborate on the show and why you really should back it.


Was doing a second season of Night Terrace always part of the plan?

John: I was always focused on just getting season one made, but others in the group (looking at YOU, Lee Zachariah) had other ideas. There’s actually something important about Season Two planted in the first two minutes of the first episode. And we know what Season Three will be about now as well. But as a deeply scientific-leaning man I worry about jinxes.

Continue reading “Give These People Your Money: Night Terrace”

crappin' on about the inconsequential, Me and my opinions

Favourite New Who Episodes by Doctor (because why not right?)

Friends of mine on Facebook were talking about a Doctor Who rewatch night they had to celebrate 10 years since the first episode of the new series was screened back in 2005. They voted among themselves to decide which episode featuring each of the four actors to play the Doctor they would watch, and came up with this list:

  • For Doctor #9  they picked “End of the World”, in which the Doctor and Rose travel to the future to watch from the safety of a satellite as the earth dies.
  • For Doctor #10 they picked “Blink”, in which the Doctor and Martha meet/escape from the Weeping Angels by recording a bunch of DVD easter eggs and using them to matchmake a young woman and a videostore nerd.
  • For Doctor #11 they picked “The Eleventh Hour”, in which the newly-regenerated Doctor meets Amy Pond twice (once as an 11-year-old and once as a twenty something), then chases off an escaped alien prisoner and the alien race that imprisoned it.
  • For Doctor #12 they picked “Mummy on the Orient Express”, in which the Doctor and Clara get caught up in a retro-1920s whodunnit on a train in space involving an ancient space-mummy curse.

All fine episodes, eminently watchable. Which I plan to do myself very soon. But it got me thinking about what my own 10-years-of-Having-Doctor-Who-on-Telly-Again one-ep-per-Doctor watchback list would be, and I came up with this (spoilers obv):

Continue reading “Favourite New Who Episodes by Doctor (because why not right?)”

i would like to recommend these people's writing, lines I wish I'd written, Me and my opinions

This Week I Are Mostly Been Reading…

Doctor Who: Fifty Stories For Fifty Years – An Unauthorised Guide To The Highlights Of Doctor Who

50StoriesIn the lead up to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, music, politics and pop culture blogger Andrew Hickey wrote 50 essays about the show, each one focusing on a different year in the show’shistory. I was most interested in the essays about the post-1989 pre-2005 time in Who history when there was no TV show being made, during which fans and creators continued to tell Doctor Who stories in novels, comics, fan-made videos and audio plays (it’s interesting to see how many of the authors – and even how many of the ideas – from that time  have turned up as major players in the making of the current version of the show).

Sometimes close reading of pop culture reveals the subject of its investigation to be insubstantial and incapable of standing up to such analysis, but this collection doesn’t quite fall into that trap. Sure, it probably thinks about its subject a little too deeply, but Hickey’s prose is engaging and compelling and never too opaque (though I may be coming from a sympathetic perspective since I’m already a long-standing fan of the show in all its iterations).

Hickey’s enthusiasm obviously lies with the “classic” 1963-1989 version of the show, and he also demonstrates affection for the spin-off comics, novels and audio plays, but even though he’s clearly down on New Who, he has interesting things to say about the show’s current incarnation as well. As I read through this book I put together a list of episodes, comics, novels and audio plays to dig up and/or rewatch, and I’m going to enjoy working through that list with Hickey’s thoughts and interpretations in mind.

This is a great intro for people fans of the show who are interested in taking the plunge into the deeper levels of who fandom.

Highly Recommended.

Download Doctor Who: Fifty Stories For Fifty Years – An Unauthorised Guide To The Highlights Of Doctor Who from Smashwords here.

i would like to recommend these people's writing, Me and my opinions

This Week I Are Mostly Been Listening To…

Zagreus

ZagreusIn the wake of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and the 15th anniversary of Big Finish beginning to release audioplays featuring original cast members from Doctor Who reprising their roles as the Doctor and his friends and enemies, veritable swathes of the Big Finish back catalogue have been made available for very cheap indeed. I’ve picked up a few bits and pieces for a dollar or two, and recently gave Zagreus a spin on the ipod.

Zagreus was released in 2003 (two years before the TV show was relaunched) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who. It stars the dulcet-voiced Paul McGann, who played the Doctor in the infamous television movie from 1996, and co-stars former 1980s Doctors Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davidson along with other voices from the history of the show: Lalla Ward as Time-Lady Romana, Louise Jamieson as former companion Leela, and John Leeson as everyone’s favourite Robot Dog, K-9. There’s also a posthumous cameo from Third Doctor Jon Pertwee as a disembodied voice, thanks to some sweet post-production tricks.

Most Doctor Who plots sound ridiculous when you write them down, but for what it’s worth: The Doctor and the TARDIS have been possessed by “anti-time”, which splits the Doctor into two personalities: his own and the evil nursery-rhyme protagonist Zagreus. Meanwhile the TARDIS turns itself into a hologram of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and travels with the Doctor’s current companion, Charlie, to investigate historical events that will reveal the secrets behind the Time Lords’ power to travel through time and also answer the question “what was here before the universe began?” (Answer: something very powerful and not very nice that sounds like a mashup of a horserace and a primary school playground at lunchtime and that would very much like to destroy us all). Along the way many Alice Through the Looking Glass references are made (including a chase scene where the Doctors are pursued by a Jabberwocky, which gets two thumbs up from this unrepentent Doctor Who and Lewis Carroll fanboy).

Unlike most stories featuring multiple versions of the Doctor, this one has the various Doctors meet and interact as holograms and inside the current Doctor’s mind instead of travelling in time to literally meet each other, which nicely sidesteps the annoying “we’ll never remember this adventure” bizzo that can make some otherwise lovely team ups feel like they never “really” happened. The requisite references to Doctor Who canon are made, but they tend to land on the side of pleasant recollection rather than OCD recitation. The plot refers heavily to Doctor Who minutiae, but never relies on it, and trundles along merrily with both humour and gravitas that should appeal to fans and non-fans alike. Zagreus seems to be regarded by whovians as something best forgotten, but I thought it was fun, clever and well executed, and that it demonstrated a real (and contagious) love of the show. Which is exactly what you want from an anniversary story, really.

Recommended.

Grab Zagreus (CD or digital download) from Big Finish Audio.


 

i would like to recommend these people's writing, my talented friends, Published work

Happy Peter CapalDAY!

Capaldi-eyes

(see what I did there?)

Yeah so the new guy is going to be doing his first episode of Doctor Who this weekend, so to celebrate (because more than 50% of whovian fandom seems to be about celebrating SOMETHING) we’re having a 50% OFF PETER CAPAL-DAY SALE.

Which means (naturally) that from now until 24 August you can purchase yourself a fine ebook containing seven essays and two poems about Doctor Who for the BARGAIN BASEMENT PRICE of TWO DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS!

That’s… hang on… three nines are… carry the three… TWENTY-SEVEN POINT SEVEN-SEVEN RECURRING CENTS PER ESSAY-SLASH-POEM!

That’s 27.77 cents each for:

  • Karen Pickering’s excoriation of Steven Moffat’s inherent misogyny
  • John Richards’s celebration of the goodness and strength of original companion Barbara
  • Emilie Collyer’s poem about Christopher Eccleston bringing her mixed family closer together
  • Jules Wilkinson’s hilarious introductory lecture to aspiring companions
  • Philip Ashmore’s exploration of fear and Doctor Who
  • Ben McKenzie’s essay on his love for Sylvester McCoy
  • LJ Maher’s essay about Whoviennes’ subversion of the male gaze
  • George Ivanoff’s plea to be allowed to write for Doctor Who
  • My fan-poetry reinterpretation of the final fate of Donna Noble

Which is  a pretty nifty bargain if you ask me. And here’s where you’ll be able to claim that bargain for your very own:

Thanks in advance for your custom. And enjoy the show, do.

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Donna Noble Has Been Saved (On The Radio)

Earlier this week I had a poem on RRR’s Breakfast show as part of their “Genius Squad” feature. My old buddy alicia sometimes is doing a regular feature in that slot, and for this particular instalment she decided to talk about Doctor Who and poetry. As you do.

This, naturally, led her to contact me to ask if I had any poems about the Doctor. To which I said, sure, pointing her in the direction of Whose Doctor? Reflections on a Time Lord, which features my poem “Donna Noble Has Been Saved”.

alicia asked if there might’ve been a recording of the spoken word event that the collection was based on, and I said hang on a mo, sneaking that lunchtime into an empty teleconferencing room at work and recording the sucker on me phone like I was in the future or something.

I wasn’t expecting the breakfasters to work the TARDIS’s trademark wheezing, groaning sound effect in at the start of the poem, nor was I expecting that funky, moog-y, swingin’ version of the theme song to accompany my words, but hey – I think it works.

Have a listen – hope you like it, and if you’re inclined to read along with your post hoc breakfast poetry about Doctor Who, don’t forget that you can score yourself a copy of Whose Doctor? in a range of ebook formats from Tomely (.epub and .mobi only) and Smashwords (pretty much any format you can think of).

writing

Published: Whose Doctor? Reflections on a Time Lord

Whose Doctor? Reflections on a Time LordBack in November 2013 there was a lot going on around the 50th Anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who, and I managed to get in on a bit of that action here and there.

One thing I got to do was a reading at the Litho Club in North Melbourne as part of the Melbourne City Library’s 50th Anniversary program.

The Not Quite the Big Finish: A Night of Doctor Who Spoken Word was a brilliant night featuring nine amazing readers from the cream of Melbourne’s authorial intelligentsia (well, eight plus me) waxing smart on the Doctor.

I was stoked and kinda nervous to be sharing the stage with folks like John Richards and Ben McKenzie of Splendid Chaps fame, as well as luminaries like Emilie Collyer, Karen Pickering and George Ivanoff. Everyone was amazing and there was a lot of Who-love in the room at the end of the night.

There was talk that night of somehow collecting the pieces that people had read for posterity, maybe as a a one-off podcast, and I chipped in to suggest that maybe an ebook collection would be an easy enough and fun enough thing to do.

Seven months later (and in the long lead-up to the first appearance on our boxes of Peter Capaldi as The Twelfth Thirteenth Fourteenth latest Doctor) I’m proud to announce the arrival of Whose Doctor? Reflections on a Time Lord.

It’s a fantastic collection of essays, commentaries and poetry that looks at Doctor Who from multiple angles, no two of which are the same.

So here’s what you’ve got:

  • John Richards’s wry essay about original companion Barbara Wright as the true hero of the show
  • Karen Pickering’s passionate excoriation of Steven Moffat’s gender politics
  • Jules Wilkinson’s hilarious opening lecture to a class of would-be companions
  • Ben McKenzie’s heartfelt admission that Seven is his favourite
  • Emilie Collyer’s touching poem about how she, her partner and her step-daughter bonded over Sunday nights with Christopher Eccleston
  • LJ Maher’s playful examination of New Who’s subversion of the male gaze
  • Philip Ashmore’s nostalgic revisitation of his relationship with the show and its monsters
  • George Ivanoff’s cheeky request to become a Doctor Who scriptwriter

Oh, and there’s also my poem about how Donna was faking it so she could leave the Doctor and have her own, much more excellent adventures without him.

So yeah. Doctor Who ebook. You can buy it right now from either:

  • Tomely (in .epub or .mobi format)
  • Smashwords (in formats including .epub, .mobi, .pdf and other reader-compatible versions)

It’ll set you back only $5US, so there’s no real reason not to, really.

If you’re a blogger or a reviewer or a Who fan of some kind, I’d be more than happy to provide you with a copy so that you can spread the word and extol our virtues (if you’re so inclined) – just leave a comment below this post, or email me at adamatsya [this is not an at] gmail [this is not a dot] com.

Thanks to all of the authors involved in putting this sucker together, and especial big-arse thanks to Aimee Rhodes and the Melbourne City Library for bringing everyone together in the first place.

Further thanks also to Mr. Nathan Curnow, award-winning poet and all-round nice guy, who worked with me on my contribution, giving me some excellent advice on how to improve on the version that I originally read in November.

[insert your own witty Who-ism by way of a pithy closing comment here.]

crappin' on about the inconsequential, i'm on the radio!, Me and my opinions

In Which I Express Some Opinions About Doctor Who

I’ve been doing a bit of Doctor-Who-related stuff of late, as part of the celebrations around the 50th anniversary of the show. Last night I hosted Night of the Doctor at Castlemaine library, a kind of talk show/showcase event that was just a whole lot of Who-lovin’ and wonderful to be part of.

At the end of the night I sat down with ABC Open Central Victoria’s Larissa Romensky to talk about Doctor Who for Breakfast with Jonathan Ridnell. Of course I was a little too busy this morning when it was broadcast at 6.40am – what with making toast and nagging small people to put their shoes on and brush their teeth – but Larissa was nice enough to send me the interview, so here it is for all of you to ignore or enjoy as you see fit.

Larissa started by asking me how I got into the show in the first place…

Being interviewed about my opinions on Doctor Who so that those opinions can be broadcast on the radio for random strangers to listen to is kind of one of those dreams come true that I never even knew was a dream. Which is nice.