This Week in Geek (18-24/01/10)


Nothing this week. Move along.


DVDs: Though I watched most of the episodes around New Year's, I didn't "flip" Spooks/MI-5's 4th season until yesterday. The quality of writing, acting and filming is still quite high, and I don't think I miss the first season's leads, but there's one thing missing - there's not enough about the characters' private lives. The first three series were about more than the threat of the week - they were about what it meant to be a spy. Though there's Adam and Fiona struggling with parenthood, Zaf and the non-agents get nothing of the sort.And even the parent stuff isn't on the same level as what we've seen before. Still, some great and daring episodes in the mix. The DVD has commentary tracks on each story and only three rounds of interviews, mostly on a windy balcony with crappy sound. Rather disappointing compared to past releases.

Kung Fu Friday's Asian Tour brought us to South Korea this week and we watched Ryoo Seung-Wan's The City of Violence. This story of childhood friends now clashing from different sides of the law pays hommage to a large number of directors and styles, from John Woo to Scorsese to Peckinpah and sounds like a Tarantino movie. The action has a style all its own though, incredibly raw despite the set pieces veering on the ridiculous. Watch the fight with b-boys and the baseball team for example. There are too many stylistic flourishes for them all to work, but it remains a very entertaining tragedy which I might compare to Snatch in that sense. The DVD is extra loaded, with a commentary track by the star/director (in Korean with subtitles) and a second disk with at least 3 hours of documentary features, deleted scenes and action scene breakdowns.

Big Finish Doctor Who audios: Caroline Symcox's The Council of Nicaea is a surprising gem. A pure historical that reminded me of the old Hartnell episodes, concentrating on the early history of Christianity (specifically, the debate that would lead to the Holy Trinity) that features various points of view (even the three stars - The 5th Doctor, Peri and Erimem) and doesn't tread into unwanted controversy. Solid and educational, with strong character beats and historical figures painted in shades of gray. For the third time in row, they have me thinking Erimem might leave the crew. I wonder how many times they can pull that trick before she actually does.

I also gave The Veiled Leopard a go. This is a 2-episode Doctor Who magazine exclusive by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett that features two sets of companions and no Doctors. It's a real HOOT! Some lovely comedy double acts via Peri & Erimem and Ace & Hex, whose stories intersect (though they never meet) in 1966 Monaco in events surrounding the heist of a famous diamond. The various characters each have their reasons to care and each team gets an episode in which to shine. The dialogue is as sparkly as the gem and doesn't take itself too seriously. The audio exclusives have been slight on the whole, but this one's a real winner.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 2 - Ghost Stories according to Classics Illustrated
Act I Scene 2 - Ghost Stories according to Johnny Hallyday's French Rock Opera

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 16, finishing the cards I wanted to make from The Next Doctor. I've started production on cards from The Deadly Assassin, but none were ready for "release" before I posted this.

Neglected Post of the Week
Because I'm launching into a gaming-related week, how about I showcase my painting tricks for lead miniatures? It's called RPG Week Gets Miniaturized. If you missed it the first time around, it's new to you!


Bully said...

At first I thought you wrote "Eminem."

Eminem. Now there's a Companion!

Siskoid said...

He's Slimmer on the outside.


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