CRRRRS 512 The Adventure of Escaping the Killer Star Monster

By Roy Mathur, on 2023-11-20, at 04:40:24--05:26:55 GMT, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show


The days are shortening, the evening starts in the early afternoon, and that typically English damp chill worms it's way into our bones.

What better way to beat the Winter chill than to tuck up with a hot drink and a Garibaldi or two and join me in enjoying some geek chat. Let's talk.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions

Columbia produced Sony sequel to Escape Room (2019) (410).

A survivor from the first game re-enter's the next game in New York and finds out that it's made up of survivors of previous games.

I said of the first movie, "Saw + Cube = Escape Room". This was better and more memorable, if you can get past the crazy premise that you, as an ordinary powerless member of the public, might want to confront a sadistic super-rich international conspiracy. The traps were nasty, the beach scene was particularly elaborate, one of the kills---using literal acid rain---was properly disturbing, and the plot twist at the end wasn't bad either.

Totally Killer

This is an Amazon Prime Video 2013 horror comedy produced by Amazon, Blumhouse, and Divide/Conquer (also responsible for Freaky), directed by Nahnatchka Khan, and starring Kiernan Shipka.

In a tin pot town (sorry, America) in 1987, the Sweet 16 Killer murders three girls. During Halloween night in the present, Jamie returns home from a concert to find her mother murdered by the same killer. She is later chased into a time machine built by her best friend as a school project (based on the work of her brilliant mother). In 1987, Jamie pretends to be an exchange student, meets her future mother, a mean girl teen, and eventually convinces her and her friends to try to trap the murderer on Halloween night. After the younger future mother of her best friend creates a time machine from a fairground Gravitron ride, and they explode the baddie, and Jamie returns to the present. There she finds her friends and family are alive again, though there are some minor changes to her timeline. She now has an older brother and her name is Collette.

Nahnatchka Khan promises a tribute to those bright neon 80s and 80s-style meta teen slasher horror movies. She pastiched Totally Killer from from fan favourites like Scream, Back to the Future, Freaky Friday, Freaky, as well as Happy Death Day, etc. There are comedic high jinks based mostly on looking back at how inappropriate the 80s were, I found the blind acceptance of the absurdity of time travel and Jamie's cover story very funny, there's the twin killer confusion of Scream, how the same character can change was very Freaky and Freaky Friday, the time paradox was, of course, Back to the Future; that's stated in the script and Jamie's fringed jacket was very 80s hair metal, but also symbolic of Fox's shirt in the 3rd film (I had a fringed Brando biker jacket at Uni; the embarrassing fringe lasted about a month).

Despite the good acting, the FX were low budget, though the main problem was that there was something too lax or off about how the movie was strung together. Perhaps it could have been pacier? Some of the acting looks forced, as if the cast could have done with more direction. The trailer, much like We Summon the Darkness (2019) (403), promises much more colourful neon than we get. I'd have liked more night, more light, and more saturation.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters is 2023 Apple TV+ series, produced by Toho, Legendary Television, et al, and created by Chris Black and Matt Fraction! Yes, Hawkeye Matt Traction, but also as I know him best, comic book Matt Fraction of Casanova fame (which I can't believe we haven't talked about in the pod despite reading the first volume years ago. Summary: it's a great, weird, Jerry Cornelius-ish sci-fi action).

The series is set in the aftermath of the movies as brother and sister retrace their father's secretive life as a Monarch scientist.

Not much happens in the friust three episodes that I've seen so far, except character introductions, scene-setting, and a continuing origin story exploring the roots of Monarch. The pace is stretched to make this a TV show, the backstory of Dr Hiroshi's two separate families is contrived and an unnecessary complication to big kaiju action, which is what everyone comes to see.

Doctor Who: The Daleks in Colour

As you know, I don't like classic Doctor who stories longer than four parts, so an overly long seven parter chopped down into a more management 75 minutes, together with funkier music and clearer film and dialogue were welcome.

As for the colourisation? The saturated colour palette seemed suspiciously intense. Also, why was there such an abrupt switch from black and white to colour in the opening scene, other than to show off the technology? It didn't do the story any favours. A more artful transition point would have been when Susan found a colourful plant, then bloom the colourisation outwards from the focus of the flower.

It, of course, isn't as fun as the Amicus film adaptation of the same Terry Nation story, Peter Cushing's Dr. Who and the Daleks (and it's excellent sequel Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. based on The Dalek Invasion of Earth), but it was a nice treat for Doctor Who Day none the less.

I talked about Doctor Who: The Daleks in pod 34 and The Dalek Invasion of Earth in pod 39, both in in 2014. NB the latter has the best speeches in possibly the whole series. The soliloquy includes the immortal lines spoken by the Doctor, regarding his departing granddaughter, Susan Foreman.

One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.

An Adventure in Space and Time

Right after Doctor Who: The Daleks in Colour, there was repeat of An Adventure in Space and Time (2013), the drama about the conception of Doctor Who from the point of view of Verity Lambert and William Hartnell.

I mentioned watching it in pod 18 from 2013, but the reason I've brought it up again is that this latest Doctor Who Day version ended with an addition to the original, in which William Hartnell exchanged looks with Ncuti Gatwa at the TARDIS console. Not strictly necessary and transparently a promo, I still thought it a touching piece of continuity.

Doctor Who: The Star Beast

David Tenant and Catherine Tate star in this first 2023 Special (story 301) directed by Rachel Talalay, written by returning showrunner Russell T. Davies, from a story by 2000 AD's Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons, broadcast on Saturday 25 November 2023. It follows Jodie Whittaker's final appearance as the Doctor in The Power of the Doctor The Power from 2022, which we talked about in 461 last year.

The Doctor keeps accidentally bumping into Donna Noble. The Doctor and the Nobles, while desperately trying not to trigger any of Donna's fatal memories, become involved in a suspiciously cute alien who crashes to Earth while pursued by sinister alien hunters.

I can't help being reminded of Alan Moore and Jim Baikie's Brit spin on E.T., Skizz in 2000 AD, featuring a less cute, though very nice alien. Here it's reversed with a cute alien exterior disguising a psychopathic megalomaniacal nature.

There's no doubt the David Tenant Doctor is great, though I'm dubious about roping him in to big up the Doctor between what should have been simply the Jodie to Ncuti regeneration. I can't help feeling it undermines and shows a lack of confidence in the first female and the first black Doctor.

The story was extremely predictable. The alien design was cute to the point of smashing straight into sinister uncanny valley and you knew right from the start that the alien was up to no good.

It didn't tie up any loose ends, other than giving Donna a happier ending.

That aside, I found the episode aimed firmly aimed at children, entertaining, funny, and I loved that the roundels have returned to the TARDIS, though the huge size of the of the console room lacks intimacy.

The next two David Tenant Specials will by on the 2nd and 9th December, followed by Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa's first episode on Christmas Day.

Whoniverse Non-News

In 511, I said that the news was that I had no news about the Whoniverse, but then went on to tell you about production documents and scripts archived on forgotten parts of the BBC website. Adding insult to injury, I don't tell you where to find them. That is, I dropped a lot of nonsense non-news in your lap, like a tabloid on a slow news day. Let me remedy that now. The following pages have links to both production documents and scripts:

Old Who production documents archive. ("...original production paperwork, known as the Programme as Broadcast, or P as B, form, for every Doctor Who story.")

New Who scripts.

There's probably more elsewhere squirrelled about the nooks and crannies of the official Beeb site and there's definitely more available outside the Beeb, but that should keep you going for a while.

The Official Doctor Who Podcast

It's pleasant, but is it necessary?

Return of the Revisit

Reasons to subscribe? Catch up with my classic Doctor Who and Hammer House of Horror Revisit shows, and get ready for a continuation of those.