This Week in Geek (25/04-1/05/11)


Got The King's Speech this week. Nothing else. April splurge to continue in May.


DVDs: Got into Eureka this week and flipped Season 1. SyFy's other hit series couldn't be more different than Battlestar Galactica, but its light, comic tone is why it's so much fun. The premise, in case you don't know, is that Eureka is a town filled with geniuses, most of them working on projects to help further humanity's scientific achievements. It's nerd town with a healthy helping of weird science. Thrown into the mix is Sheriff "Everyman" Carter (and his delinquent daughter), treading the line between lantern-jawed hero and awkward goofball thanks to a great performance by lead actor Colin Ferguson. The plots of the week are generally surrounded in enough mystery to escape predictability, and the characters have great chemistry and likability. I'm up for more. What's LIKE Battlestar is the care that's gone into providing extras for the DVD. Ferguson provides or hosts podcast commentaries on each of the episodes (sometimes more than once!) and on the deleted scenes and outtakes (these all have good value). There's also an extra episode in the form of "webisodes" and a couple of mock informercials for products that might have come out of Eureka.

Audios: Forty-Five is one of those Big Finish Doctor Who audios that features four short stories. Unlike Circular Time and 100, however, it's not a complete success. (Sorry 7th Doctor, Ace and Hex!) False Gods by Mark Morris might have worked as a full-length audio (especially since Benedict Cumberbatch guest stars), but nothing is explored satisfactorily. It's about Egyptian myth crossing with Time Lord interference. Order of Simplicity by Nick Scovell is an ok story about an IQ-robbing virus. It'd stand out more if Big Finish hadn't just done a bunch of virus-related shorts to tag on the end of three-act plays. Casualties of War by Mark Michalowski has Ace revisit her mum as a child, but is undercut by a silly cartoon child voice. Yanks you right out of the story. And I really don't care about the Forge, so any mention of the audios' version of Torchwood (I guess, sort of) bores me. So that leaves Steven Hall's The Word Lord as the release's redeeming value. The story starts as one of those murder mysteries you try to solve on long road trips, and then introduces the eponymous villain, an insane and entertaining creation that (I've checked) returns for more stories. It's definitely the best of the lot, not to say the only one that rises above average.

The Raincloud Man by Eddie Robson marks the return of Mancunian D.I. Patricia Menzies from The Condemned. Her quick wit is fun, though I sometimes feel like Anna Hope's performance is too flippant for her own good. This 6th Doctor and Charley story deals with a floating casino where you can gamble anything, and keeps advancing the two characters' trust issues. It also contributes to making Manchester a likely candidate for a Torchwood branch, as it seems to have more alien refugees than Cardiff. At times, there are too many alien factions and characters to keep track of, and that's the audio's weakness. Easy enough to get back on the train though, and I'd call it another strong entry in the Doc6/Charley series.

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: So I finished Reality Unbound (turns out I had only one slot to fill), crafted its virtual booster pack, and started work on the very last 1st edition product: The End of Time.
This small premium set is meant to fix all the broken links left over, as well as add things the 1st edition really wouldn't be complete without (like River). 27 down, 13 to go (already!).

Hyperion to a Satyr posts this week:
II.ii. The Players


Dylan said...

The season 2 DVD for Eureka has almost no special features, and if I remember correctly only a couple commentaries. Just a heads up.

Siskoid said...

Already on it. Fewer commentaries yes, but more extras of the other kind. Mock PSAs, featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes. Tune in next Sunday (probably).


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