This Week in Geek (31/05-06/06/10)


A number of buys this time around. A sale on Amazon had me get MI-5/Spooks Series 7 and the first season of Chuck for cheaps. Finishing the Martha cycle (see below) made me get 4 New Series Doctor Who books (the ones after the three I still have to read): Beautiful Chaos, The Eyeless, The Story of Martha, and Judgement of the Judoon. And because I wanted to feature Michelle Yeoh in August's screening of Kung Fu Friday, I snatched Royal Warriors, Butterfly Sword and in the thematically compatible A Touch of Zen.


DVDs: With Ip Man, Donnie Yen goes from being my favorite contemporary martial arts action star to one of my favorite actors as well. Ip Man was a Wing Chun master who taught, among others, Bruce Lee. Yen creates a wonderful semi-biographical character, much unlike his usual screen persona, who is rather serene when he fights. Until the Japanese invade, that is, and he goes all Fist of Fury on them. The action, choreographed by Sammo Hung, is incredible. I've never seen those moves before. The human drama is poignant. Wilson Yip's other directorial efforts have been good, but not incredible. This comes out of left field. The DVD has a the usual making of material, interviews and deleted scenes notable for featuring the death scenes of three main characters(!).

Books: Time, Unincorporated vol. 1 is Mad Norwegian's collection of Lance Parkin's articles from a variety of fanzines, mostly The Matrix and Enlightenment. The biggest chunk is a year-by-year review of the franchise (including the 1989-2005 wasteland), with previously unpublished material taking us to 2008. Stand-alone articles discuss everything from Quatermass to Torchwood to the novels and audios. Parkin admits to identifying with Adric when he was young, tries to find the point at which Doctor Who jumped the shark, but is most infectious in his love for the new series. As he says, "There was a war, and we won..." Because of the nature of the collection, there's some repetition between articles, but it's still a great compendium. I'll admit that I didn't read it ALL because the last section is about writing The Eyeless, and I haven't read it yet. As you can see under "Buys", I just got it. So I'll wait to read it before finishing Time, Uninc.

And I finally finished Dale Smith's The Many Hands, a new series book starring the Tenth Doctor and Martha in 18th-century Edinburgh fighting cloned hands by the loch. There are some good bits, especially near the end when things are most dire, but I felt the book was rather repetitive. The Doctor and Martha, separated, encounter the same threat, after all. There was also the problem of shifting the point of view to the ancillary characters, which would work in a longer book, but here somehow marginalizes the stars. I have little interest in a story about a British soldier who doesn't know what to think of the funny man with the wand. Consequently, this is a book I put down and only picked up again lately. Took me awhile.

On top of that, I completely read Gary Russell's first Doctor Who novel, the New Adventure "Legacy". Or as I call it, Legacy of Peladon. Russell is well known for his obsession for continuity plug-ins, which at their worst turn out like Divided Loyalties, but here, I think it stands up. It's possibly the best Peladon story in any medium (ok, the bar isn't very high, I know). There are tons of winks to continuity, as well as inside jokes, only some of which I'm equipped to get. The history of Peladon, the Ice Warriors and Bernice are all very well used, but then there are more gratuitous references like the Ogri, Goth and the Cybermen. Still, a cracking story not very much hampered by the over-obvious villain or Ace's side-lining. (It strikes me that she has become a difficult character to integrate into the action of the NAs - too competent and combat happy.) So... a 6.5 out of 10?

New Unauthorized Doctor Who CCG cards: 1 card each from each story in Sarah Jane Adventures Series 2 and each episode in Torchwood: Children of Earth. Those 11 are joined by 13 more from New Earth as I start designing cards for my Song for Ten set, celebrating the 10th Doctor's much beloved era.
Hyperion to a Satyr entries this week include:
I.ii. The Wedding Banquet - Tennant (2009)



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