This Week in Geek (7-13/12/09)


Nothing. I stay well clear of stores during the Christmas season. Which doesn't bode well for the people I want to give presents to.


DVDs: Time pressures have slowed down my grinding through television shows, but I did manage to flip this week's Kung Fu Friday selection, John Woo's Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979). Though it looks mostly like one of those Shaw Bros. swordplay epics, there's just enough experimentation with style and technique to help you trace Woo's development as a director. It stars Wai Bak, who played the douchebag Snake in 5 Venoms, and I'm happy to report he's actually likable in this, though he makes it once again difficult not to think of the film as homoerotic (especially the prancing scene). Though expert Bey Logan says there are a lot of things that have been seen before here, I never have, so there was a lot of originality for me, whether it be those gray ninjas, the sleepwalking sword master or the fire breathing. In addition to his usual commentary, Logan also hosts a featurette on martial arts weapons, and a couple interviews with surviving stars.

Big Finish Doctor Who audios: Lance Parkins' Davros is an excellent study of that character. In fact, I don't think I've ever been a big fan of his before this. In finding out what makes the universe's greatest tyrant tick, Parkins forgoes the usual cliché of the good man corrupted and instead gives us someone who's always been a rat bastard. And one that justifies his evil at that. We find out about his pre-wheelchair days, though the story takes place during the 6th Doctor's era. Plus, check out the guest-stars. Not only does Terry Molloy return as Davros, but Wendy Padbury (Zoe) and Bernard Horsfall (Gulliver, Goth) also play roles.

Speaking of returning companions, my next listen features Kary Manning (Jo Grant) as that crazy lush Iris Wildthyme, meeting the 6th Doctor for the first time in The Wormery. As with all Paul Magrs scripts (though co-written by Stephen Cole), it's an odd blend of comedy and postmodernism, with alien tequila worms in league with Iris' version of the Valeyard. I found the heavy narration in the opening chapters a bit tedious, but overall, I'm an Iris fan, so the story was a hoot.

Time for one more? Paul Sutton's Arrangements for War continues Evelyn Smythe's story straight from her part in Project: Lazarus, and though there's a planet on the brink of war and all that, it's really about her deteriorating relationship with the 6th Doctor. A very emotional story that gives Maggie Stables lots to do with the character (including a romance), and Colin Baker showing a new and much more humble side to his Doctor. Unusually, the story takes place over rather a long time, with news reports filling in events in between episodes. A nice device though it took me by surprise.

Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
Act I Scene 2 - Ghost Stories according to Zeffirelli

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 3 for Relative Dimensions 5, including the first ever card from The Waters of Mars!

Neglected Post of the Week
The new Doctor Who RPG has shipped, at least in the UK, so this is the right time to trot out my mini-review of the very first Doctor Who RPG (by FASA). It's an RPG That Time Forgot! Your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to post a (hopefully relevant) comment on that poor, neglected blog entry.


The Irredeemable Shag said...

Have you checked out Big Finish's four-part "I, Davros" series? It was very good. I thought they did an excellent job exploring the character.

The Irredeemable Shag

Siskoid said...

Haven't had the chance. I'm going through these practically in order. But this audio did make me want to hear more!


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