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August 2008 Archives

August 29, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Filed in: TV & Movies.

I made the mistake of going to see this movie on a weekend, and thus my enjoyment was spoiled a bit by children literally running around the cinema and making noise. That aside, I did enjoy it, oh yes. The fact that the characters had different voices didn't bug me either.

The Clone Wars started out as the pilot to a TV series, and as the story goes, Lucas liked it so much he decided it deserved to be a movie. I'm not sure what relationship it has with the animated Clone Wars series, which I've never seen (I don't think it has even played in New Zealand) but apparently there's a CGI TV series on the way.

Now, while the prequels weren't that great, The Clone Wars isn't written by Lucas, so the characterisation and dialogue is a lot better! Although admittedly the plot is wafer thin, with more of an emphasis on battles and lightsaber fights.

Original character Ahsoka, a youngling assigned as Padawan to Anakin was a cool addition and had great chemistry with Anakin. The only problem for me being the fore-knowledge of what happens in Revenge of the Sith. Meh. Disturbingly when she first appeared, someone in the theatre wolf-whistled despite the fact she's depicted as being about 12.

Admiral Yularen creeped me out in an uncanny valley way for some reason. I'm not sure why, as he wasn't any more realistic-looking than any of the other characters. He didn't get much screen time anyway.

One fun movie.

Posted at 7:59 AM | Comments (1)

August 25, 2008

Doctor Who and the City of Death

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

So, last time I made noises about putting a "coming soon" tag on the last novelisation to curb the "are you going to put City of Death online?" emails. In the end, I did, and got "when are you going to put City of Death online?" emails instead. Hehehehehe!

Doctor Who and the City of Death is the last of the TSV novelisations to go online, so all the holes left by the Target novelisation range have been (unofficially) filled. It's written by Wellington fan David Lawrence, who's a long-time contributor to TSV and has has most recently been writing a series of articles on the BBC eighth Doctor novels. He's also working on a commentary for the novelisation, which will go online at a later date.

In addition to getting the last novelisation up, I've been slowly working my way back through the archive, converting issues to the new site scheme. While I've been doing so, I've also been cleaning things as necessary - mostly making the cover images a tad bigger, putting in fancy quotes (‘’ instead of ''), tidying up some of the formatting, and so on.

Previously: TSV 59
See also: comments by Paul and Jamas

Posted at 9:44 PM | Comments (1)

August 21, 2008

Tiny Plastic Chairs of Rassilon

Filed in: Doctor Who.

So partway into Invasion of Time, there's these tiny green plastic chairs:
[plastic chairs]

Why are they there? Can you see any self-respecting Time Lord actually sitting in one of those?

Can it be... actual physical evidence of Time Tots?

(Thanks go to Jeff for pointing those out...)

Posted at 12:10 AM | Comments (2)

August 18, 2008

TSV 59

Filed in: Doctor Who, TSV Online.

TSV 59 - the first issue of the new millennium to go up (unless you're pedantic and insist the millennium started with 2001). It has one of my favourite TSV covers - a Curse of Fatal Death piece inspired by the cover of the Five Doctors novelisation.

Peter Adamson puts in two great articles: the first on Cyber-conversion (in the new series it's just "Scoop, splat, off you go") and the second on the much maligned Greatest Show in the Galaxy, plus he and Alistair Hughes view Revenge of the Cybermen for Beyond the Sofa. There's also part one of a lengthy interview with Andrew Pixley, he who did the archives in Doctor Who Magazine, which also includes a postscript update to some of what was originally said.

On the reviews front, this is the first issue to have reviews of Big Finish audios, starting with Sirens of Time, Phantasmagoria, and Whispers of Terror. Amazing that those have been going for 8 years now - longer than the Virgin New Adventures did - although as Paul mentions in the editorial, it'd still be nice to have the TV series back anyway... Oh, wait, we do!

Also added on the site recently is an index of the comic strips we have up, in series chronological order. The latest addition, of course, being Alistair Hughes' Our Final Battlefield.

Previously: TSV 58
See also: Paul, Jamas.

Posted at 9:21 PM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2008

Time's Champion Review

Filed in: Doctor Who.

You can order Time's Champion from here, although currently the first edition is sold out and they're contemplating a second...

Time's Champion, as previously mentioned is Craig Hinton's last Doctor Who book, completed by Chris McKeon and published with the proceeds going to charity. It's a direct sequel to Craig's previous sixth Doctor and Mel books, The Quantum Archangel and Millennial Rites and, as you'd expect from one of his books, is chock full of continuity references to many many television stories as well as Virgin and BBC novels. It's also a little over 400 pages, well deserving of the label 'epic', so I'm sure had it been published as part of the BBC books range, it would have been severely cut.

As a random piece of trivia - this is the first time Mel's appeared on the cover of a book (and it's one cracking cover!) since Millennial Rites and Head Games back in 1995...

Anyway, as the story starts, the Doctor and Mel are attending Benton's 70th birthday party in 2008, along with a couple of returning characters from The Quantum Archangel. In 1908, George McKenzie-Trench is attempting to work on his latest book, Time's Champion, while in 9908 another George McKenzie-Trench is working on a computer supervirus to defend his world against an impending attack by the Cybermen.

I'm going to try to avoid spoilers and keep things vague for the rest of this review, but just in case, I'm hiding it under a cut anyway.

Continue reading "Time's Champion Review"

Posted at 12:40 PM | Comments (3)

August 13, 2008

Correction to previous post

Filed in: Doctor Who.

As it turns out the article linked to in my previous post was, in fact, a pack of lies and Digital Spy have removed it. People who were actually there report no such thing as happening, and likewise The Sun's article makes no mention of it (and if anyone would pounce on such a story, it's them...)

Of course, we're lied to all the time, so this shouldn't come as a surprise. :)

Posted at 7:02 PM | Comments (4)

August 11, 2008

Doctor Who "fans" disrupt Tate's play

Filed in: Doctor Who.

Catherine Tate, who appeared in the fourth season of Doctor Who, has been appearing in a play in the West End, however it seems like a bunch of fans have decided to make a nuisance of themselves:

'Who' fans 'disrupt Tate's West End play'

Tennant showed his support for his former co-star by turning up for a performance this week, but was reportedly horrified when Who obsessives began singing the show's theme and waving sonic screwdrivers.

"Fans had heard he was going to watch former Doctor Who star Catherine, so they turned up in force, complete with props," a source told the Daily Star. "He was very charming and friendly with them during the interval, but he was rightly disgusted when they disrupted her performance by singing the show's music and waving their sonic screwdrivers."

Greaaaat, thanks for that.

Update: it's all lies!

Posted at 11:22 AM | Comments (2)

August 9, 2008

X Files: I Want To Believe

Filed in: TV & Movies.

I won free tickets to go and see this from Mintshot, and I'm sorta glad it was free... X Files was a series I watched on and off and never really got into it enough to regard myself a fan.

Given it's the first X Files we've had in a few years, I was expecting big things, which I suspect was part of the problem. I Want To Believe is more like an extended episode of the show than a movie. In an earlier time it might have been a reunion TV movie.

It's a movie that's more likely to appeal to fans of the show than anyone else... It has some good points though, like Billy Connolly. Yo, someone get Billy for Doctor Who.

Posted at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

August 6, 2008

July Mailbox: Doctor Who edition

Filed in: Doctor Who, Website Management.

More questions from the search engine queries: this time they read like a Doctor Who pub quiz.

Who shot off Davros's hand?
Lee Harvey Oswald
How did the Master escape from the eye of harmony?
A really big stepladder.
Which story featured a transparent or glass Dalek?
Modern Art of the Daleks
Which superweapon was used to stop the Sontaran invasion of gallifrey?
The Collapsible Plastic Chair of Rassilon.
When is Jason Donovan taking the part of dr who?
Well, he- WHAT?!

Or the actual answers: Bostock in Revelation of the Daleks; the Time Lords resurrected him; Revelation and Resurrection of the Daleks (and the novelisation of The Daleks); the Demat Gun; and I'm not even going to ask where you heard that rumour.

Posted at 10:24 PM | Comments (2)

August 4, 2008

Someone needs a hug

Filed in: Website Management.

At least judging by's top search term in Google Webmaster Tools:

[search terms]

Posted at 7:35 PM | Comments (0)

August 2, 2008

IE: Print versus Screen Rendering

Filed in: Website Management.

Internet Explorer, why do you suck so much?

I'm working on a new site scheme for the NZDWFC web page and recently had a brainwave that I could make a special style sheet to render the pages in a format more suitable for printing. You can specify the media type of a style sheet so that the browser selects the appropriate one to use given the situation. I can therefore provide a style sheet which includes all the menus for display on the computer screen, and another one which hides those for printing.

Unfortunately I hadn't counted on Internet Explorer being a dick. Here's a review of the NZDWFC novelisation of Shada, rendered in IE using my print style sheet:

[In-browser render]

Here's the print preview of the same document, using the same style sheet:

[print render]

So IE uses a different rendering process for displaying on the screen versus printing. It doesn't treat floats correctly (the text should flow around the image, as it does in the in-browser render) and it's ignoring the column widths I set, causing the content to be shifted to the right, and losing the right-hand side of the text.

And I thought it was bad when I had to deal with IE's in-browser differences. Grrrrr.

Edit: It wasn't that the column widths that was the problem - apparently setting page margins seems to upset the print renderer. Once I removed the margin definition, it laid out fine. The text still isn't flowing around the image though.

Posted at 1:40 PM | Comments (0)

August 1, 2008

Rockstar Redux

Filed in: Energy Drinks.

Doing a Google blog search for your competitors and leaving comments advertising your own drink: cunning, or a wee bit sleezy? Well, Ms Random Employee, I'd try 6 Hour Power, but unfortunately I was unable to determine whether it's available in New Zealand...

Apparently I should be boycotting Rockstar anyway, because according to The Truth about Rockstar Energy Drink, it was invented by a homophobe[1].

Posted at 9:16 PM | Comments (1)


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