Wait Till Yesterday

John Connors on the new whizz bang very special edition of the Doctor Who classic `Day of the Daleks`

This was an event and a half in 1972. The Daleks back for their first story in seven years, heralded by a stunning Radio Times cover. As a season opener, being this Doctor’s first rematch against a former incarnation’s enemy and also a time hopping tale that encompasses a possible world war it is within touching distance of classic status. Why doesn’t it quite reach? Well, when the Daleks finally travel to our time to invade there are, let’s face it, three of them. And all the beautiful autumnal Sun filtered filming cannot disguise this fact. It shouldn’t matter but it does.


Living Things

Torchwood: Miracle Day reviewed by John Connors

"We'll have four lagers, please."
It was a surprise to everyone that silly old Torchwood ended up producing something as superb as Children of Earth, one of 2009’s television highlights. The problem then became how to follow what was surely intended to be the series’ swansong. Turning up a tardy two years on, Miracle Day finds the chameleonic series undergoing yet another change, this time becoming a co-production with US company Starz. How much Stateside influence has infiltrated Torchwood was bound to be almost as intriguing as what the series was about.


Death and Taxes

Recent Doctor Who dvd `The Sunmakers` reviewed by John Newman
`The Sunmakers` has limited appeal- anyone under working age will find it dull, anyone who’s been paying taxes for a while will find the ideas here far from the ` sniping at the taxman` tale it has a reputation for.  The story is so pleased with itself that it dismisses the rather more interesting idea of making Suns in favour of what is another rebellion against a corrupt regime.

"I'm not taking credit for this story!"


Church Times

As an addendum to his Sounds of Silence article, Matthew Kilburn considers how religion is being used in a Good Man Goes to War.
Having promised a discussion of themes and symbols in my review of ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ and ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’, I barely mentioned Steven Moffat’s return to considering obsession and militarism through religion in Doctor Who. As well as enlarging upon a target of Russell T Davies’s Doctor Who, Moffat paints it with a shade of red which is both bloodier and more implicitly associable with Catholic Christian hierarchy.


Dolly Part-One (of One)

Did the Doctor Who episode `Night Terrors`scare Tim Worthington?

What a difference a short mid-season break makes. Only a couple of weeks ago, this writer was happily enthusing about how the revived Doctor Who is at its best when it's like Sizzlin' Bacon Monster Munch or something. Now it's time to review another episode, and in between, the world seems to have gone completely mad. 'Hackgate', rioting, some pillock throwing a sausage on a fork at Alan Sugar, the bewildering summer of 2011 was like an entire decade's worth of jaw-dropping news stories crammed into a handful of days, and it's something of a relief to find the apparent return to normality accompanied by the return of your favourite Saturday evening sci-fi silliness. Except that Primeval isn't actually back on yet.


Bat's Life

Batman Live reviewed by Wayne Bruce
Anyone expecting an on stage re-creation of the recent Christopher Nolan version of the enduring vigilante crime fighter is advised to steer clear of this production whose focus is very much on the brash colours of the comic book and ,especially, the look that Joel Schumacher's films achieved. Luckily it largely avoids the excesses that burdened the latter and uses broad, effective storytelling favoured by the former.


The Sound of Silence?

Matthew Kilburn analyses the Doctor Who episodes `A Good Man Goes to War` and `Let’s Kill Hitler`
‘A Good Man Goes to War’ and ‘Let’s Kill Hitler’ are not a two-part story, within whatever strictures now exist in the conventions of Doctor Who writing. They do, however, share themes and symbols which are not only common in Steven Moffat’s writing but have particular meanings in these two episodes. The effect is to suggest the trajectory of the season arc towards ‘The Wedding of River Song’.
"You're Mavic Chen's sister? Really? No! Really...?"


Tower of Half Power

Doctor Who- Paradise Towers, recently out on dvd reviewed by Chris Arnsby

The furious fan reaction to series twenty four of Doctor Who casts a long shadow. Even now, twenty four years later -appropriately enough- writing a negative review feels like conforming to fan opinion while being positive seems deliberately contrary. And the problem is `Paradise Towers` doesn't deserve either slagging off or praising as an undiscovered classic. It's like `The Sun Makers`, or `Underworld`, or `The Mutants`, or `The Invisible Enemy`, or any of those stories which knock around mid-chart when someone does a survey of fan opinion. In short, it's average. A fun story with moments of inspiration let down by questionable production decisions and compromises due to budget and resources.


Extinction Corner

Some of those things we won’t be needing soon

When we grow up, we imagine that the things around at that point will always be around but the older you get the more you realise anything could potentially become outmoded.  There has already been a lot of discussion relating to the demise of compact discs and DVDs but this is the tip of the iceberg (and icebergs themselves could be on the way out too). So, in no particular order, here’s our top things that we will probably see the end of in the next ten years.