RRR 35 Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction, Doctor Who: Marco Polo

By Roy Mathur, on 2014-04-06, at 21:01:54 BST, for Roy's Rocket Radio

New Show Logo (Again)

You've noticed how the show logo has changed over the years and I changed it again last week. I wanted something simple and bold though I've probably ended up with something a bit amateur!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Steve Rogers is working for SHIELD, but this time he's not happy because SHIELD seems to be overstepping the mark with a monstrous sub-orbital surveillance and weapons program that's supposed to bring peace, but looks like it's about to impose tyranny (Obama, Cameron, are you listening? Especially Obama; legalising something bad does not make it good!).

This is very much grown up (ish) spook versus spook/even colder war stuff, especially with the presence of Robert Redford (Three Day's of the Condor and Spy Game). Still, very entertaining and, luckily, enough action to save it becoming a John Le Carre novel. Good stuff. And Scarlett, OMG Scarlet, you baaad girl. It's also an open secret that Cap's best mate, Bucky Barnes, is the Winter Soldier (something I wasn't actually aware of before the movie marketing started up a few months ago...) and some of Cap's old enemies rear their collective ugly heads again.

One thing though, stay to the very, very end, do not leave early, like my fellow audience members did (idiots).

Finally, it was nice to see some minor Marvel character make an appearance. Stan Lee's cameo continues to suck, but was, this time, mercifully short. While I was there, I saw a trailer for Spiderman and man that looks good!

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Episode 1.

Neil Degrasse Tyson, takes up the mantel from the late Carl Sagan in the space ship of the imagination and zooms off around the universe explaining, er, well everything! Fascinating, enjoyable and not a little trippy.

The Walking Dead

Season 4 Finale (Season 4, Episode 16, A).

Wow, so after a traumatic few last episodes, Rick and the remnants of his team are reunited at Terminus.

A brief re-cap of what's happening with the characters. Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes has recovered his marbles (after his wife and baby died) and is turning into a capable leader again. Chandler Riggs' Carl Grimes is building bridges with his father, after he went a bit do lally, but really bonded with Michonne. Steven Yeun's Glenn Rhee has lost Maggie and then spent the rest of of Season 4 on her trail. Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon has lost Beth, then met up with a bunch of thugs that Rick had encountered later (they die in a confrontation with our heroes). Melissa McBride's Carol Peletier has had lot's of stuff happen to her in the very traumatic Grove episode 14 (the most traumatic of the whole series) and she makes her peace with Tyreese and heads off towards Terminus. Lauren Cohan's Maggie Greene (Glenn's wife) was separated from Glenn, but reunited at Terminus. Emily Kinney's Beth Greene disappeared off in a car after she and Darryl are attacked by walkers. Scott Wilson's Hershel Greene was decapitated by the Governor. Danai Gurira's Michonne is basically keeping things together for Rick and Carl, acting as a sort of surrogate mother, whilst also remaining Yojimbo cool.

So, they arrive at Terminus, remember the slogan painted everywhere?

Sanctuary for all
Community for all
Those who arrive survive
Well, of course it turns out to be utter rubbish, and the team end up right up to their eyeballs in trouble again. But, as it ends, Rick seems to be firing on all cylinders again and you can look for massive payback in Season 5.

Next season, I'm assuming that Tara (ex-Governor's mob), Abraham (who appears to be a combination of Duke Nukem and Sgt. Rock), Rosita (hot soldier-girl) and Eugene (a geeky doctor); a team on a special mission to Washington, will join the regular cast, who really need the numbers after those thinning-outs/culls/massacres they've experienced. Tara, if you think back, is Lilly's sister, the one who topped herself after killing the governor. Yeah, it's complicated, but not as complicated as GOT... of which, incidentally, Season 4 is on in a few hours!

Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction

1st Doctor, Series 1, 3 The Edge of Destruction 1--2, 1964
Broadcast: 08 Feb 1964 - 15 Feb 1964
Writer: David Whitaker
Director: Richard Martin (1) and Frank Cox (2)
Producer: Verity Lambert
Cast: William Hartnell as the Doctor, Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright and William Russell as Ian Chesterton (companions).

Synopsis: After last week's scrape with the Daleks on Skaro, the team fire up the TARDIS and the control panel promptly unleashes an explosion of energy which knocks them all out. When they wake up nothing is quite right, they feel unwell, the TARDIS doors keep opening and shutting and the display on the outside monitor keeps changing. In the end, it turns out that a spring in the TARDIS's main button and the ship has been travelling constantly between destinations. They fix the button and continue on their way.

My View: This very much feels like a filler episode, not much happens, though there is a little more bonding between the cranky Doctor and Ian and Barbara. Susan pitches is with her usual screaming damsel in distress bit, but with added psycho when she threatens Ian with the longest, most terrifying pair of scissors I have ever seen. The displaced spring in the button seemed a particularly silly denouement.

Doctor Who: Marco Polo

1st Doctor, Series 1, 4 Marco Polo 1--7, 1964
Broadcast: 22 Feb 1964 - 4 April 1964
Writer: John Lucarotti later submitted the initial The Ark in Space script.
Director: Waris Hussein (1-3, 5-7) and John Crockett (4)
Producer: Verity Lambert
Cast: William Hartnell as the Doctor, Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright and William Russell as Ian Chesterton (companions). Ping Cho, during a charming storytelling sequence, gets a surprising amount of screen time for an Asian actress on early British television, is played by, born in Burma, British actress Zienia Merton, who later went on to playing Sandra in Space: 1999. Mark Eden who played Marco Polo went on to a number of roles, but most notably played Alan Bradley in Coronation Street (1986--1989) in until his character's demise by a Blackpool tram. At the location there is now a tram stop which recalls this.(Wiki).

Synopsis: The TARDIS materialises abruptly and malfunctioning somewhere cold and high-up. The team find a huge, scary footprint in the snow. After a short look for TARDIS fuel, the whole team and the TARDIS is captured and forced to enjoy the hospitality of... da, da, daaa Marco Polo. They then journey through most of Asia to Peking where Polo is to present the TARDIS as a gift to Kublai Khan in exchange for his freedom. There are many conspiracies on the journey and courtly intrigue one they meet the Khan, but finally the team escape, though without the earlier mentioned fuel, or did I miss something?

My View: This story is one of the "lost" adventures, with audio supplemented with colourised stills and wrapped around newer live-action action by Mark Eden. It works, though I think it would have worked better as a purely audio adventure, because looking at stills in sequence is very tiring. The Doctor, or rather, William Hartnell continues to get Chesterton's name wrong, early on it was "Chesterfield" in this adventure, I think the Doctor says "Charlton". Again we see the flexibility of the Doctor Who format, easily jumping from SciFi to, in this case, rich costume drama. They were, as usual, many opportunities for the helpless females to be rescued, which is grating, though expected. Again, I am stunned by what a mature piece of drama this is aimed at such a young audience, and I actually learned some history, so it's quite educational too!

Jack Glass

By Adam Roberts (2012).

Jack Glass is an apparent mass-murderer/terrorist, like Jack the Ripper crossed with Osama bin Laden, in this series of classic whodunnits thinly disguised as sci-fi.

Enjoyable, but not quite as much fun as Stone (which features a similar, though even worse, serial-killer as the protagonist). However, I read the book over four sittings in one weekend, so that should tell you something about its unputdownableness.


Season One by Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips (2009) (Wildstorm).

Straight from the blog: "Holden Carver is James Bond with Rogue-like superpowers. He is a high level double-agent undercover in a supervillain's cabal. Noir, hardboiled with superpowers thrown in for good measure. Not bad, though it is difficult to feel any real empathy whatsoever with any of the characters. Also, I can't tell if Ed Brubaker's heading for a full Frank Miller implosion, but until then... Oh, and Lady Misery is disturbing.

The Sword

Volume 1: Fire by Joshua and Jonathan Luna (2008) (Image).

Dara's family is brutally murdered by three people with superpowers, who are after a sword owned by her ordinary teacher father, who is obviously far from ordinary. The Sword confers superpowers to the wielder and Dara uses that power in her quest for answers and vengeance.

It won't be giving too much away that this plays out like some kind of ghastly Greek tragedy. I read this in about an hour, so I can vouch for how gripping it is. Excellent stuff and looks like it will shape up into a good series.


13.10 (Saucy Salamander).

I installed Lubuntu on my netbook for no particular reason, other than I had nothing better to do with it.

It worked out of the box, but I did have to install my usual suite of frequently used software, as the default choice is a bit limited. I had zero driver problems! In fact it was easier than installing Windows, as the automated network update during the install found all the drivers I needed. Even the hotkeys work.

Ratings, Reviews, and Suggestions

I forgot to mention last week that I found a little corner of my iTunes account that tells me I actually have a couple of decent ratings, though not enough to show on the main iTunes page, so thanks to SciFi Tech Talk and Geeks Guide to the Galaxy.

Also I had a very kind piece of advice from Brian (a friend and also a big Star Trek fan) down in Surrey.

Please keep visiting and rating, and thanks to the people that have already done so.

Next Week

GOT: of course, we're going to be talking about this, of course, of course, OF COURRRSE!!!

FTL: want to play this top-down, Rogue-alike, space-sim of the Elite ilk... if my budget can stretch to it.