Friday, May 20, 2005

Various catching up

I'm back. Tired, but back. Major renovations around here, but one benefit is that for the first time in years I have ready access to just about every book, comic, recording and what-not that I own, instead of random stuff being buried in storage or unsorted boxes.

Among the things I dug up were Elliot S! Maggin's two Superman novels, LAST SON OF KRYPTON and MIRACLE MONDAY, which reminds me that I'm a few days late in wishing you all a good Miracle Monday.

In new stuff I picked up, the new JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR looks good, and I got MARVEL VISIONARIES: STEVE DITKO which should be a fun read that I'll write more about soon.

Latest previews of upcoming books should be up soon, but one I wanted to mention now is the next book from Jim Ottaviani's GT Labs, BONE SHARPS, COWBOYS AND THUNDER LIZARDS. At some point in the near future I want to do an overview of the previous GT Labs books.

Rest of this post is about DOCTOR WHO, just to warn you...

Still watching and mostly enjoying the new DOCTOR WHO. The most recent episode, "Father's Day", was interesting, as it was the first time I can remember seeing a WHO story really deal with a time paradox (except for the "Three Doctors" / "Five Doctors" stunt stories). It was interesting, didn't completely work, but good TV.

I've also been getting a lot of the original series videos from my library. They have about two dozen of them, most with a few holds already, so I reserved all of them and seem to be getting about one or two a week. Most interesting of those I've seen was "Daleks", the second storyline from the first season, and the first time I've seen the original Doctor. It was a lot of fun, a bit rough at times, but mostly fully realized. Most interesting of course was seeing the initial form of the Doctor's greatest foes. Very nice, and I can see why they caught on. I'm looking forward to seeing a few more of these early ones (including the second Dalek story).

I also saw "The Green Death", which was one I clearly remembered seeing from back when I first saw the series circa 1980, and I was surprised at how clearly I remembered some scenes. This is the kind of stuff that I first think of when I think DOCTOR WHO, with the really bad special effects but really imaginative stories. And of course Jon Pertwee is the best incarnation of the Doctor to me (although soon I'll be able to somewhat fairly judge the previous two).

"The Sontarian Experiment" and "Genesis of the Daleks" are together on one set, and another pair I remembered. And have the benefit of having Sarah Jane Smith, my favourite of the Who assistants. Good stuff, especially the Dalek story (which doesn't quite seem to jibe with the original Dalek episode, but whatever). Tom Baker was a lot of fun in the role, but sometimes didn't quite sell the more dramatic lines (like the long bit where he's questioning if he has a right to destroy the Daleks). And two stories in a row without even seeing the Tardis?

"The Talons of Weng-Chiang" is the last of the ones I've seen so far, and was new to me. It started off really awful, re-enforcing my belief that the series should never do stories set in the recent past, especially Victorian England. Fortunately the second half was much improved, so overall it was a passable episode. I will say that I never much cared for Leela as an assistant, partly because she replaced Sarah, and this didn't change my mind none.

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