This week, I finally got Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest, the Doctor Who cartoon that appeared in 3-minute installments on the BBC's Totally Doctor Who. I've already flipped it, so see below, but I wonder if its success will encourage BBC World to put out some kind of omnibus DVD with Doctor Who webtoons like Scream of the Shalka, Real Time, Shada and maybe those crazy Children in Need comedy specials. I'd buy it!
DVDs: Futurama: Bender's Game: The third direct-to-DVD Futurama feature is meant to be a riff on Dungeons & Dragons, but though there is some of that, it's more about mocking Lord of the Rings and afterschool specials ABOUT the dangers of D&D. And perhaps it's because I have a role-playing background that goes way beyond D&D, but I thought those were actually the weakest and least motivated parts. Much more interesting is the plot about Mom stockpiling dark matter and the revelations that follow. Worth it just for the Enterprise joke. The DVD package has plenty of stuff to make you smile, like a character crossbreed exercise, behind the scenes material (the one on D&D is funny) and Bender's anti-piracy warning, though the commentary track is a bit unruly and there isn't really as much stuff as the previous two releases.
Doctor Who: The The Infinite Quest: Though the story is geared towards younger viewers, and the pace really fast as befits the original format, it's still recognizably Doctor Who. Tennant and Agyeman reprise their roles as the Doctor and Martha, and the villain is voiced by Anthony Head. There's some really cool animation, a lot of humor and classic bits, but also some heartfelt tragedy, all in 45 minutes. The DVD also features a look at the audio recording process, which looks like it was a lot of fun, as well as very brief animation tests and Totally Doctor Who featurettes. I'd be up for more, though perhaps tack them onto a full series next time?
Trades: DMZ vol.4 Friendly Fire: I'm a big fan of DMZ. This volume reprints #18-22, and deals with the massacre of Day 204 in the first year of the 2nd American Civil War. Our hero, the rogue journalist Mattie, gets the story from various sources on the eve of the soldiers' court-martial. As usual, it's very potent and ambiguous stuff. I'm a little sorry to see fill-in artists replace Riccardio Burchielli even when not in flashback mode, but Brian Wood's script keeps everything tightly bound.
DMZ vol.5 The Hidden War: Reprinting DMZ #23-28, this volume features 6 different short stories starring various characters that have crossed (and/or will cross) Mattie's path. Here, using different artists works very well. The stories range from the daring exploits of a graffiti artist to the hopeless tragedy recurring characters' deaths. Some are "secret origins", some are overtly lyrical. Wood gets to show off different modes of storytelling and proves rather versatile. Speaking of which...
Northlanders vol.1 Sven the Returned: Northlanders is Wood's other series, this one reprinting issues 1 through 8. The series is a real gem, telling the story of Sven, a Viking who's grown up in Constantinople and returning home to clear the riffraff from his father's house. It's a story that never quite goes where you think it will, with good characters and great historical detail. I'll certainly be picking up volume 2 when it comes out.
Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall: While I was waiting for new Fables (and Jack of Fables) trades to come out, I found 1001 Nights of Snowfall, which was advertised as an illustrated compendium of the fairy tales Fables is based on. It's not that at all. These are actually a number of short stories showing what happened in between those tales and the Fables series! Had I known, I'd have read it sooner. It's great to see King Cole, Bigby, et al. before they got to the modern era, with usually painted art from a number of great artists. I can't even pick a favorite.
Audios: Scherzo: The end of the year is when I use non-canon material to make Doctor Who cards, so I usually start intaking such material. I've picked up the 8th Doctor audios where I left off, with the Doctor and Charlie entering the Divergent Universe without a TARDIS, where they apparently stay for two seasons (8 stories). Scherzo is a really strange, surreal animal. The exploration of a romantic relationship between the two leads predates Rose Tyler by a few years, but is intermixed with acts of cannibalism, an odd sound creature, and the Doctor often being angry and even cruel to Charlie. A real mixed bag, but one I essentially liked for its originality, bizarre though it was.
RPGs: Still in the prep stage for my GURPS Torg campaign. Three characters have been generated already, with more still left to do before December's kick-off. From the Steampunk world, there's a Sherlock Holmes analogue who uses a band of orphans to collect information. From the Viking world, there's a proud and boasting warrior. And from the World of Darkness, there's a werewolf shaman who doesn't have a human form. A good start!
A quickly drawn map of my Torged Earth.
New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 12 (or 13, depends how you count) new cards, finishing up my Lords of Time set (open a virtual booster pack here; starter still to come) and starting Relative Dimensions 4, my annual "boutique product" that uses non-canon sources for card fodder. Readers of this blog may be most interested in 2 cards from the IDW comics series, The Forgotten:
And in a boutique kind of move
Someone Else's Post of the Week
Seems like Everyday Is a Wednesday gets more than its share of shout-outs from me, but how can it not when the subject is Obama's presidential dog choices? I'm not made of stone! (Then Caleb did it again with a feature on Black Lanterns he wants to see.)