Let’s be honest. None of us saw this coming. This time last year, we’d have thought the announcement was a cruel joke. It seemed so unlikely. But Sixteen years after his thirteen episode run reignited the Doctor Who franchise and brought it into the consciousness of a new generation. Christopher Eccleston is back and it’s about time.
The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Ravagers, written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, is the first in a four-volume set of audio adventures.
I’ll admit, that I’ve struggled with this review. On one hand, Ravagers is an impressively ambitious set. Eccleston’s return is arguably the biggest coup Big Finish has achieved since Tom Baker returned in 2012. Billie Piper once said that when she was last in Doctor Who, she spent 3 hours looking in a mirror unable to find Rose. Eccleston doesn’t have that problem, he slips right back into character. It’s an utter joy to hear him back in the role that made me a Doctor Who fan. It’s like he’s never been away. The supporting cast is all outstanding, especially Camilla Beeput and Jayne McKenna as Nova and Audrey. Dan Starky puts in a fun performance as Marcus Aurelius Gallius. The music and sound design are flawless and match the pace of Briggs’ excellent direction. His love, passion and enthusiasm for this era of Doctor Who absolutely shines through. However, the biggest flaw is the plot. It’s a really decent 45-minute episode, stretched to 2hrs 30mins. On the bonus disc, Briggs talks about how he entered “several blind alleys” whilst trying to write this. What we end up with, is an amalgamation of various stories he couldn’t get off the ground and I think it shows.
We join the Ninth Doctor in the middle of an adventure and we work backwards, which I think is a risky move. Big Finish excels at non-linear storytelling, they do it a lot. But for many people, this would have been their gateway to the world of Doctor Who on audio. I consume a lot of Big Finish, (at least two full box sets a day) and even I, at times, struggled to keep up with the convoluted non-linear narrative. I found myself constantly rewinding a minute or two, just to see if I had missed something. At one point, I even thought I had started the wrong episode.
Overall, Ravagers is a bit of a mixed bag. I enjoyed the set, but I’d have prefered if they had gone with three individual stories. I’m excited for the future of this range.
In which a couple of backwards boys give a spoiler-free review, of a film about a couple of backwards boys (Tenet).
They also pay respect to the late great Chadwick Boseman and Norm Spencer.
They talk about Sylvester Stallone’s director’s cut of Rocky 4, as well as discuss the wrath of Bob McLeod, Christopher Eccleston joining Big Finish, Bernice Summerfield, series 2 of The Umbrella Academy, DC Fandome, Wonder Woman 1984, Black Adam, The Snyder Cut, and a quick spoiler-free review of Bill & Ted face the music.
The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to;
News-wise, It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Christopher Eccleston. Last week he opened up about his experiences on Doctor Who.
This week Showmasters announced he’ll appear at London’s Film and Comic Con in July. This will mark Eccleston’s first ever convention appearance. The actor will be appearing at the convention event on Sunday, July 29.
It’s no secret that Christopher Eccleston has a turbulent relationship with Doctor Who, he’s previously hinted at reasons as to why he left. But in a recent interview with the radio times, he opened up a bit more about the tensions behind the scenes.
“My relationship with my three immediate superiors – the showrunner, the producer and co-producer – broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me, and I lost faith and trust and belief in them”
He then spoke about the stress involved with making the series:
“Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity. They employed somebody, who was not a natural light comedian”
Speaking about Billie Piper he said:
“Billie, who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone.”
You can read the full interview, in the latest edition of The Radio Times.
Following last year’s successful five-part mini-series. Titan Comics and writer Cavan Scott have brought back the ninth Doctor for an ongoing series.
Eccleston’s Doctor is easily the most tragic incarnation in Doctor Who’s history. War-torn and holding the belief that he wiped out his entire species, he finds comfort and solace in the friendship with an Earth-woman, Rose Tyler and, another mysterious time traveller named Captain Jack Harkness. I’ve always felt there’s a romantic aspect to Eccleston’s portrayal, as he was “one and done”.
The story takes place sometime after Jack joined the team.
After escaping a giant worm, the TARDIS trio soon picks up a transmission from a past version of Captain Jack-sent before he had his memories erased. They then land on a planet where the Doctor is hailed as a celebrity, on this planet he is the star of a show called ‘Doctor Who’ (No, really) as soon as the trio step out the TARDIS, the Doctor is mobbed by people wanting selfies-much like Eccleston would have been at a Doctor Who convention in 2005.
“Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor” #1 could easily fit in the 2005 series. The story is fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled and filled with humour. It’s as if Cavan Scott spent an entire week watching and re-watching series 1. He gets the characterisation of 9, Rose, and Jack down so well. You’ll wish even more, that Eccleston had done another series.
This is essential reading for fans of the ninth Doctor.
Ninth Doctor #1 is out tomorrow, from Titan comics.
Most of our readers will be aware that over the Christmas period, we teamed up with the lovely guys over at Geeksynsicate to help a very ill Doctor Who fan have a truly great Christmas.
For those of you unaware, Daniel is a very ill 14-year old, who also happens to be massive Doctor Who fan.
He suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) and Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) he is totally bed bound and is fed via IV. He was admitted to a London hospital in November 2015 and is still there, as of February 2016. He’s also facing the minimum of another 3 month stay.
We had a tremendous start to the campaign, but we have started to stall now. We’ve hit a total brick wall with David Tennant and Matt Smith, both of whom Daniel would love to meet.
The Twitter hashtag #drwhodaniel is still running and we would appreciate it if you could spread the word.
We all know that Christopher Eccleston declined to take part in the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who. But, up until now we didn’t exactly know how the ninth Doctor would have fit in to the story.
Luckily for us bleeding cool have unearthed some early concept art, with Christopher Eccleston in place of Sir John Hurt.
What’s interesting is that had Eccleston appeared, Billie Piper wouldn’t have. Instead the moment would have taken the image of a young girl.
Tom Hardy is arguably this generations greatest actor. He’s true method and can become anyone you want him to be. Need a thug? He’s there. Need a road warrior, he’s there. Need a young Jean Luc Piccard? He’s there-although he would probably rather delete Star Trek:Nemesis from his CV.
Legend charts the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, The Krays. Hardy plays both Ronnie and Reggie.
This isn’t the first time identical-twin performances have been done, but it is the first time it’s been done this well. The visual illusion is perfect and at times, it’s all too easy to forget that both parts are being played by the same man. It’s a flawless blend of special effects, cinematography and great performances. Everyone involved in making it seamless deserves a special round of applause.
Hardy gives a mesmerising performance and at times, very nearly upstage himself. He expertly manages to convey two completely different characters with Reg and Ron, Reg is the suave and smooth talking ladies’ man. Whist Ron is gay and psychotic.
The performance is the most impressive part of the film. At times, it seems as though too much thought has been given to how they would make Tom Hardy play twins. Instead of actually making a decent film.
The narrative is weak and predictable. Supporting characters, don’t get the attention they deserve and subplots are dropped as soon as the become inconvenient. You never quite know why Nipper (Christopher Eccleston) is so intent on bringing them down.
Legend’s biggest problem is that it isn’t the first film the Krays have been the subject of, which means it doesn’t add anything we don’t already know about the infamous twins. A 10-part TV series with this cast would have been so much better.
Legend is out on DVD and Blu Ray on January 25th.
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