Reality Is The Playground Of The Unimaginative

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Monday, 28 February 2022

Careful You Don't Get Trapped On A Local Island For Local People During Offseason...

Upon receiving a mysterious letter that her mother’s grave site has been vandalized, Marie quickly returns to the isolated offshore island where her late mother is buried.

When she arrives, she discovers that the island is closing for the offseason with the bridges raised until Spring, leaving her stranded.

One strange interaction with the local townspeople after another, Marie soon realizes that something is not quite right in this small town.

She must unveil the mystery behind her mother’s troubled past in order to make it out alive.

Offseason: playing in select theaters, on demand, and digital March 11.

Starring Jocelin Donahue, Joe Swanberg, Richard Brake, Melora Walters.

Written & directed by Mickey Keating.
Thanks to Al Bruno III for drawing my attention to this slick-looking, folksy Lovecraftian nightmare.

Morbius Is A Vampire With A Difference...

Let go of what you used to be. Discover who you’re meant to be. Watch the final trailer now. Morbius is exclusively in movie theaters April 1.

Map-A-Monday: Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Deckplans...

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Ready For The Return of Peaky Blinders?

Ahead of tomorrow's season six premiere, Guz Khan reminds us what's gone down in the previous seasons of the incredible Peaky Blinders.

Top Of The Pile: Hawk The Slayer #2

The second issue of Rebellion's superb Hawk The Slayer comic, written by Garth Ennis and illustrated by Henry Flint as a sequel to the homonymous cult 1980's sword-and-sorcery movie, continues to deliver on all fronts, just as the first issue did.

With the arrival of Crow, the elfin archer, Hawk's "Table of Five" is once again complete, now that Bella's heritage has been revealed, and the apparently useless bard, Wain, has been allowed to take the final position in the group alongside Gort and the others.

The land is diseased, brigands run riot, and holy men are being corrupted... and Hawk knows who is to blame: his brother Voltan.

Believed dead for two years, by Hawk's hand, Voltan has been returned to some semblance of life by the Black Wizards and charged with the retrieval of Hawk's legendary Mindsword.

As well as developing the characters of both the protagonists and antagonists, this issue has Hawk and his party travelling back to the evil and otherworldly Forest of Weir, which has doubled in size since we last saw it in the movie, a symptom of the sickness defiling the realm.

While subtly updating the scenario to modern tastes, Ennis has still captured the gritty, yet pulpy, essence of Hawk The Slayer perfectly.

Bilbo Bagshot (Bill Bailey), manager of Fantasy Bazaar comic shop, Spaced (1999)

However, this five-issue mini-series isn't just for die hard Hawkheads who can quote lines from the movie and will defend it to their dying breath.

Ennis has crafted the story so well that it is easily accessible to newcomers who knew nothing about the characters before they cracked open the covers of the comic.

The backstory (and plot of the original movie) is nicely woven into the dialogue, thanks to the presence of new characters who need to be brought up to speed with the goings-on of Hawk and Voltan, while simultaneously driving the new story forward.

Issue two of Hawk The Slayer came packaged with this month's Judge Dredd Megazine (#441), and issue three is due out in the UK in early April with the Megazine #442.

Don't forget Hawk The Slayer is also getting an American release, with covers from Greg Staples, in May.

Here's what the Greg Staples cover for issue two will look like when it drops in June:

Alice in Wonderland (1949)

Friday, 25 February 2022

Kickstarter Will Welcome You To A New Comic Book World of Gods and Monsters!

Cutaway Comics, publishers of a number of excellent Doctor Who-adjacent titles, have launched a Kickstarter to finance their most ambitious project to date.

Gods and Monsters will unfold across three volumes of collected comics, with volume one (Gods) the subject of this initial Kickstarter including the two-part story Faustine: Princess of Tharil, written by Doctor Who scribe Stephen Gallagher, who brought us Warriors Gate (where we first met The Tharils) and Terminus.

Next up is an Omega one-shot, Eltralla, from Mark Griffiths and superstar artist John Ridgway, spinning off of their recent Omega mini-series

Then the first volume of Gods and Monsters consludes with a one-shot from Demon of Eden writer Ian Winterton and artist Adrian Salmon, Sutekh: The Heretic.

This legendary Egyptian god first appeared in the Whoniverse during the classic Fouth Doctor outing The Pyramids of Mars.

The first chapter of Faustine will be published in the Spring, with the concluding chapter and the Omega and Sutekh on-shots following in the Summer.

Check out some sample artwork below from all three titles:

Omega: Eltralla
Sutekh: The Heretic

It's worth giving the campaign's Kickstarter page a thorough reading as not only can you learn a lot more about the project, but you will also discover the various levels of investment available, depending of whether you want the comics as they come out or you're willing to wait until all have been published (to save on postage).

As is the style with Cutaway Comics' publications, the titles come with VAM (Value Added Media) discs, which include commentaries for key Doctor Who episodes, background documentaries etc

The crowdfunding campaign has already smashed through its initial goal, so the first volume of Gods and Monsters is definitely happening, and the loyalty of Cutaway Comics' fans strongly suggest the next two volumes will have little problem finding their funding once they come to Kickstarter as well.

The epic American-style crossover event known as Gods and Monsters continues in its second and third volumes, which, among other things, will see the comic book debut of beloved Time Lady adventuress Iris Wildthyme (star of many a novel, short story, and Big Finish audio).

Still to come are:
Book Two, Monsters:
  • Eldrad Must Live
  • Drax: London Calling
  • Drax: L.A. Woman;
  • Iris Wildthyme: Partners in Time one shot. 
Book Three, Gods and Monsters: "The epic six-part crossover featuring our Gods and Monsters fighting for supremacy, survival and the Universe itself!"

So Excited To Be Uploaded Once Again!

One of the best shows of 2020, the sci-fi comedy Upload finally returns for a second season.

New episodes will appear on Amazon's Prime Video from Friday, March 11, starring The Flash's Robbie Amell and Andy Allo, HeroPress's Geek Pin-up of 2020.

Blink And You Might Miss Your Chance To Pre-Order This Weeping Angels Game...

"Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead. They are fast, faster than you could believe. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink!"
- The Tenth Doctor, Blink

Doctor Who is renowned for its iconic, and enduring, alien monsters, such as the Daleks, Cybermen, Zygons, Sontarans, Sea Devils, and Silurians, but the only ones created since the show's return in 2005 that have made a similar lasting impact have been Steven Moffat's Weeping Angels.

First introduced in The Tenth Doctor episode Blink, the Lonely Assassins have continued to pop up to trouble every subsequent Doctor - as well as putting in an appearance in the spin-off series Class.

Now, courtesy of Gale Force 9, they even have their own tabletop boardgame.

Don't Blink is available for pre-order from GF9 (for £25/$30), and should soon be listed at your friendly local games store.
The TARDIS has crashed on a derelict spaceship and the Doctor and their companions are in a race against time to collect the parts needed to repair it, while staying one step ahead of the terrifying and iconic Weeping Angels... deadly killers that can only be stopped by constantly looking at them.

In Don't Blink players are divided into two teams, with one to four players taking on the role of the Doctor and their companions as they desperately attempt to repair the TARDIS and escape, while one player takes on the role of the Weeping Angels and tries to outmaneuver and capture them one by one...

The modular board of 9 different tiles as well as adjustable difficulty ensures that it's a different and challenging adventure every time you play!

Can you survive the weeping Angels?

Just remember one thing... Don't Blink

Get Animated With John Constantine and Some Old Friends In The House of Mystery...

In the all-new short, John Constantine wakes up in the eerie House of Mystery with no recollection of how he got there.

Fortunately, Zatanna and his friends are all there.

Unfortunately, they have a bad habit of turning into demons and ripping him to shreds, over and over again!

While Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!, The Losers and Blue Beetle have all appeared as enhanced content on past DC Universe Movies, the extended-length Constantine - The House of Mystery makes its public debut as the anchor for this dynamic shorts compilation.
TV's John Constantine aka Matt Ryan once again returns to provide the definitive voice of the DC Universe's most notorious spellweaver.

DC Showcase: Constantine – The House of Mystery, the R-rated shorts collection will be available Stateside on Blu-ray and in 4K on Digital starting May 3.

Today Netflix Throws Open Its Doors To Viking Invaders Seeking Entry To Valhalla...

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Streaming Horror: Hellbender (2021)

Lonely teenager Izzy (Zelda Adams) lives in an isolated house on a wooded mountain with her mum (Toby Poser).

They have a fun life, foraging in the woods, making rock music as a White Stripes-like combo called H6llb6nd6r, painting, and homeschooling.

But Izzy wants to meet other kids of her own age.

She believes her mother is shielding her from people because she has an immune deficiency disease, but the audience very quickly learns that Izzy's mother is actually a powerful witch.

She's a Hellbender, a powerful demonic-witch that gains power from the fear coursing through the blood of their prey.

Stealing away from her mother's smothering protection, Izzy makes friends with some local teenagers, but when they are partying, she gets coerced into drinking a Tequila shot with a wriggling earthworm in it.

Consuming the flesh of a living creature triggers Izzy's latent Hellbender powers, causing her to freak out.

On one hand, her mother is pleased is that Izzy has discovered her legacy, but now she has to teach her daughter how to marshal her powers responsibly.

Unfortunately, Izzy is drawn to the allure of power.

Hellbender is a small, but mighty, character study, written and directed by, and starring, the incredibly talented Adams family.

The character chemistry is real because Toby Poser, wife of director John Adams, is really the mother of Zelda Adams, while Zelda's sister Lulu plays the first friend Izzy makes, Amber. John also pops up on screen as Amber's uncle.

With the script credited to John, Zelda, and Toby, and the latter two listed as directors alongside John, the development of Hellbender was clearly an organic process.

But just because this is a family affair - and their band, H6llb6nd6r, provides the soundtrack to the movie - doesn't mean Hellbender is a low budget am dram debacle.

The film is a cracking, psychedelic, surreal, folk horror tale powered along by escalating tension and terror, splattered with buckets of blood, and inventive special effects.

Early on there are Carrie vibes to the proceedings, but while the inciting incident does involve Izzy's peers, this isn't your typical teen-centric splatterflick, instead concentrating primarily on the relationship between mother and daughter.

A coming-of-age story with a difference, in a very real sense we're seeing a "monster" movie from the perspective of the monster.

Great thought has clearly gone into developing the mythology of the Hellbenders, from the source of their powers, through their grisly blood-magic, to their method of reproduction.

Building to a magnificent climax, for me the film was slightly let down by its open-ended denouement, where I'd rather hoped for something more definitive.

But then again, that feeds into the concept of this being a creature feature told by the creatures.

With an 86-minute running time, and small cast, the pacing of Hellbender is perfect from the get-go to the icky finale.

With a traditional antagonist becoming the protagonist, and no real antagonists to worry about, and by staying laser-focused on its central characters, with no distracting sub-plots, the end result is a truly memorable experience. 

I cannot wait to see what this unique troupe of cast and crew conjure up next, because they clearly have an affinity with horror movies, and their familial trust allows them to push their stories in interesting directions.

  • Hellbender debuted on Shudder today (Thursday).

Put Your Feet Up and Enjoy A Fireside Chat In The Latest Episode of Spellfury...

Spellfury: Fireside Chat! (Season 3 Episode 2). In this episode Druinia must make a choice between letting Xorn die or surrendering to Castle. Druinia will find out more about her father's death and meet a fellow elf who may be an ally or foe.

Welcome to the realm of Spellfury, a land filled with myth mystery and magic!

This fantasy webseries started in 2008 and is still going strong. Spellfury is a fantasy-action comedy series, Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings meets The Muppets.
Long-championed by HeroPress, you can find the previous episode of Travis Gordon's epic fantasy tale here.

WHO LOVES: The Game of Rassilon

I've always had a rather mixed relationship with "actual play podcasts", that is listening to (or watching) other people play roleplaying games.

While I've enjoyed edited highlights, or one-off outings, I just can't cope with the idea of devoting four or more hours a week to a show, no matter how charismatic the players are or inventive the gamesmaster is... that's four episodes of a TV drama, eight sitcom episodes, or two full movies I could have been watching instead.

As well as the pure entertainment value of watching gifted improv artists riff on gaming situations, there's also an educational and inspirational element for wannabe gamesmasters such as I.

Much as I like to occasionally dip into LARP theory on my hunt for innovative ideas to bring to my tabletop games, so I think 'actual play' can be a good forum for seeing clever storytelling ideas put into practice.

But I've never found one that ticked all the right boxes... until recently, when I came upon the long-running Game Of Rassilon, an actual play podcast of a Doctor Who Roleplaying Game campaign, using the game system published by Cubicle 7.

I can't believe I haven't heard of podcast before.

There have been three seasons so far, with a fourth due to begin in June (but more on that later).

Episodes typically run for 60 to 80 minutes, with a brisk style emulating the TV show, meaning that two episodes equate to a single episode of modern day Doctor Who.

The TARDIS crew consists of comedian Riley Silverman as The Doctor, a future incarnation of the TV show's protagonist; Family Guy writer Dan Peck is Travis Killian, a librarian from 1998; and Melinda-Catherine Gross plays a time-lost Amelia Earhart aka Millie.

From season two, Millie (returned to her own time) is replaced by Châu Kate Lê as television production assistant and Star Wars fan Carrie Vu.

Ben Paddon is the Game Master, ably assisted by engineer Michael Nixon, who occasionally sits in as Roman, a future regeneration of Romana.

Editing and sound design is done by David King, while the theme music has been arranged by Drew Krassowski.

With only three (sometimes four) players, there isn't the usual podcast problem of too many people speaking over each other at once.

New season, new edition
As the Doctor Who RPG isn't as obsessed with combat as other games are there's less rules-lawyering banter and the grind of listening to a drawn-out combat is sidestepped.

Don't get me wrong, I love an epic battle, full of bloody descriptions and improbable stunts, in a game I'm running or playing. It's just my tolerance for listening to other people play through those same situations is quite low.

The podcast is, however, a great way to learn the basics of the game's mechanics, as well as gain great insight into how to construct adventures that aren't dependent on kicking down doors, killing monsters, and stealing their treasure.

Not only does the show have its own very useful Wiki, and a YouTube channel, but you can also support it via Patreon.

I'm only about two-thirds of the way through season one of The Game Of Rassilon (the longest I've stuck with any 'actual play' podcast that I've listened to, or watched on YouTube), but it was announced at last weekend's big Doctor Who convention in Los Angeles, Gallifrey One, that a new season will begin on June 1, with a regenerated Doctor and a new Gamesmaster (Riley Silverman).

The group will also be switching to the recently released second edition of The Doctor Who RPG.

So, this gives me three months to finish season one, then tackle seasons two and three, and all the “behind-the-scenes” material!

New Oz Revenge-Horror Isn't For Sissies...

Invited away on a bachelorette weekend, Sissy is stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully.
Australian horror offering Sissy has its world premiere at the 29th SXSW Film Festival next month, in Austin, Texas.

Throwback Thursday: Thank You For 45 Years of Zarjaz Thrills, 2000AD

2000AD, prog one, cover date: February 26,1977

This week's issue of 2000AD, prog 2270, published yesterday, marks the 45th anniversary of Britain's most enduring sci-fi comic.

And I remember picking up that very first issue in 1977, when I was 10.

I have a vivid memory of sitting in the back of my parents' car, eagerly reading this comic that was unlike anything I had seen before.

I suspect they were taking me somewhere "fun", but I was more interested in my copy of 2000AD.

Early issues often came packaged with bonus material, such as "bionic" stickers, so you could emulate John Probe, the star of the comic's Six Million Dollar Man clone M.A.C.H. 1 with the illusion of robotic parts peeking through your skin!

It's weird now to think that the big selling point of 2000AD initially was its Dan Dare strip (which, despite some striking visuals only ran for 78 issues), and Judge Dredd - now a pop culture icon -didn't even appear until prog (issue) two.

2000AD was gritty and darker than my usual fare, and thus felt more 'grown up'.

There are stories from those early days that have firmly cemented themselves into my psyche: such as Flesh (about time-travelling cowboys harvesting dinosaur meat), Shako (soldiers versus a man-eating polar bear in the Artic), and some of the more twisted of Tharg's Future Shocks (self-contained Twilight Zone-like stories with an inevitably bonkers surprise ending).

I read the title weekly for a long time, but, as is my wont, eventually found something else to hold my attention (probably American comics, roleplaying games... and girls).

I can't pinpoint exactly when I stopped reading 2000AD regularly, although I remember several of the major Judge Dredd story arcs, such as The Judge Child, Judge Death Lives, and the Apocalypse War, which would have taken me to prog 270.

Sláine, Pat Mills' mythical Celtic berserker,  first appeared in prog 330, and I know I followed his early adventures in the magazine, as I immediately grokked the fact that the ideas presented there could be transported over into a redefining of the "berserker" character class in Dungeons & Dragons.

So that's six or seven years of loyal reading.

There was one aspect of the magazine that I never really bought into: the fact that it was supposedly edited by an alien called Tharg (a pseudonym adopted by all the actual editors), who arrived on Earth with his arsenal of "cool" alien slang.

He was an extraterrestrial Stan Lee, but gregarious Stan was always 'The Man', whereas, for me, Tharg was a pale imitation.

I've mellowed rather now and the cringe I felt as a teenager about this whole idea now simply makes me smirk a bit.

In subsequent decades, it was primarily Sláine and Judge Dredd that brought me back into the 2000AD fold, picking up either single issues from newsagents or graphic novel collections of stories from bookshops (or later, Amazon).

There's definitely not the same frisson of excitement for me reading the odd prog these days that I had when I was 10, as so much other geeky media - and society in general - has shifted in that ("don't talk down to young readers") direction, but 2000AD was the trailblazer.

These days I get regular email newsletters from 2000AD, so have been able to keep up with what they're publishing, even if I only pick up a very occasional issue or trade collection. 

I love the fact that the magazine's still going strong, and new readers are discovering the joys of these gritty, British adventures every week.

Tharg spins the decks on the Brian Bolland cover to this week's prog 2270, 45th anniversary of 2000AD

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

Weird Wednesday...

First Entrancing Trailer For Chiwetel Ejiofor's The Man Who Fell To Earth...

Based on the Walter Tevis novel of the same name and the iconic film that starred David Bowie, The Man Who Fell To Earth will follow a new alien character (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who arrives on Earth at a turning point in human evolution and must confront his own past to determine our future.
An apparent sequel to the movie (and book), this looks fascinating, with Bill Nighy portraying Bowie's character, while Ejiofor is the new alien arrival.

As is often the case, there is no indication when or where The Man Who Fell To Earth will appear here in the UK.

#RPG Episode 15: It's Always A Good Day To Punch Some Nazis In The Face...

Previously On The Theoretical Science Foundation:

Our heroes beat up a cavern full of alien creatures to rescue Dr Crowe, using a combination of wits and brawn. But soon discover the professor doesn't known how to get them all home!


Having rescued Dr Crowe and defeated his captors, you find yourself stranded in a strange land.

Dr Crowe’s portal had transported you here with no apparent way of returning to good old America and humanity as you know it.

You wander back to the area you first set foot in this red landscape to see if you could retrace your steps. Hours in you notice a metallic glint in the distance. As you head towards it, the ring takes on a familiar look…

“It’s as I expected!” he yelps with enthusiasm. “If my calculations are correct, and I’m rarely wrong, I believe I can get us all home.”

So without too much debate, you agree to his plan of action. The next thing you know the portal hums with energy and light.

“Let’s go!” as Dr Crowe take the first step in…

[As mentioned yesterday, we have switched systems from GURPS to HEX, which meant our characters had changed somewhat... and we now had access to "style" points for boosts, turns of fate etc which Pete represented with chocolate poke chips.

Except for the fact that it would be beyond my character's ken to grasp, I have a theory that our minds have been transferred, somehow, into new bodies... thus explaining our new skill sets, equipment, altered appearances, the loss of Onyx's eye etc]

The Tuesday Knights: GM Pete (left) behind the screen, Clare, Simon, myself, and Kevin

Our heroes had appeared behind the curtain of an auditorium in New York's Natural History Museum. There was some odd machinery under a covering behind us, which Dr Crowe didn't recognise, and a hubbub of a crowd in the main part of the room.

We were able to slip out while no one was paying attention and blend into the crowd of muckety-mucks and money men.

Flanked by some New York police officers - seemingly wearing old fashioned uniforms - the mayor (who we didn't recognise) and Professor László Horváth, an acquaintance of Dr Crowe's, were preparing to give a presentation.

Dr Crowe remarked that Horváth looked younger than he remembered.

With great pageantry, Horváth unveiled his Electrostatic Organo Ray (EGOR), a marvel of weird science, seemingly powered by a glowing green crystal at its heart, the size of an American football.

After claiming that the machine would end wars and solve world hunger, Horváth turned the machine on and directed it at a pot of wheat seeds... that blossomed in moments to 10 foot high stalks of wheat.

There was much applause and snapping of photographs, but before he could do anything else, the demonstration was interrupted by the sudden appearance of a gang of armed thugs, led by a stern woman.

These intruders made it clear that they were after Horváth and his miraculous invention. 

Onyx's character file, some chocolate Style chips, and my Ubiquity dice

In the ensuing chaos, one of the men was struck by EGOR's beam and transformed into a hulking, Neanderthal brute, accidentally - and fatally - shooting Horváth in the heart as he was thrown backwards by the ray.

Crowe and Fr Ned (Simon's priest) raced round to tend to Horváth, while Buck (my explorer), Freya (Clare's fiery photojournalist), and Dick (Kevin's G-man) fought the intruders... who soon revealed themselves to be Nazis!!!

The hulked-out Nazi [Der vollgestopfte Nazi] was the main problem, but, led by Onyx (our, now, one-eyed NPC), we soon all turned our guns on him and brought the beast to his knees.

The roof was partially destroyed by a random blast from EGOR, then a second not only blew apart the remains, but tore a momentary hole in space, opening an apparent portal in the sky to a strange, brightly lit, jungle... from which flew a prehistoric pterosaur!

The impossible bird dived down into the museum, grabbed one of the Nazis and disappeared out the front door, while our battle raged on.

It soon became clear that, in the pandemonium, the female Nazi and several of her goons had snatched the power gem from EGOR and disappeared out a side door of the museum.

We set off in hot pursuit, onto the streets of New York City, with Fr Ned pausing at a newsstand to check the date on the front page of a newspaper. 

APRIL 4, 1936

However, we didn't have time to process just how screwed we were as we had Nazis to chase. 

It was obvious they were making for Central Park, a place Dick knew well from his early years in the city.

The Nazis had a black dirigible, a small Zeppelin, moored behind Belvedere Castle, the park's Victorian folly.

The lady Nazi, carrying a heavy rucksack, was climbing a ladder up into the Zeppelin, while her colleagues held the ladder and mooring ropes.

Buck unslung his rifle and took aim at the woman, putting a couple of bullets into her, and one into the Zeppelin, while his colleagues closed on the Nazis still on the ground.

Fr Ned engaged one in fisticuffs, while Freya, Dick, and Onyx opened fire at close range, before being joined by an angry Buck swinging his machete at one of the evil goons.

In no time at all, Dick was on the ladder and climbing after the wounded woman, eventually catching up with her and forcing her to fall forty or fifty feet to the ground.

She lay unconscious on the damp grass, surrounded by the badly beaten bodies of her downed and bleeding, but still breathing, accomplices.

The pilot and navigator of the Zeppelin surrendered when they saw we how ably we had defeated their comrades.

Belvedere Castle, Central Park, New York City

To Be Continued...

Time Travel Can Be Good For The Complexion: Before and After!

The Theoretical Science Foundation - The Cast:
  • Buck Hannigan - played by me
  • Dick Tate - played by Kevin 
  • Father Timothy 'Ned' O’Flaherty - played by Simon 
  • Freya Larson - played by Clare 
  • Onyx Jones -  (absent, but will be) played by Meredith (still in lockdown in New Zealand)
Showrunner - Pete

Missed an episode? Catch up with this hot new show right here.   

The Time War Rages On In Explosive New Big Finish Series - Gallifrey: War Room!

The battle for Gallifrey isn’t over!

Gallifrey's moral compass is lost, Rassilon rules, and Romana is gone. But it’s not the end, it’s just the beginning. A brand-new full-cast audio drama series begins in July 2022.

Since 2004, Big Finish has chronicled the political affairs of the home planet of the Time Lords in Gallifrey, an ever-expanding range of audio adventures.

Now, the saga continues in Gallifrey: War Room – an epic, exhilarating series of brand-new stories detailing the intrigue and political manoeuvring at the seat of Time Lord power.

In the first full-cast audio box set, Leela returns, still reeling from losing Romana in the Time War. Held captive and forced to fight on behalf of a corrupt Lord President, she hasn’t yet given up on her mission to save Gallifrey from both the Daleks... and Rassilon.

Joining Louise Jameson (reprising her role as Leela) are Ken Bones (as the General), Beth Chalmers (as Veklin), Chris Jarman (as Rasmus), Carolyn Pickles (as Ollistra) and Nicholas Briggs (as the voice of the Daleks).

Gallifrey: War Room 1 is now available to pre-order on collector’s edition CD (for just £24.99) or as a digital download (at just £19.99), exclusively from

Gallifrey is at war. At the heart of the Capitol, the War Room co-ordinates the fight against the Daleks.

Leela has been forced into service, alongside the General and his soldiers, taking orders from Cardinals Rasmus and Ollistra.

But this being Gallifrey, politics are never forgotten. Some serve Rassilon, some serve themselves, and some have their own cause. The Time War will test them all.

Producer Heather Challands said: “We heard the end of Leela's fight in The War Doctor: Casualties of War. We saw the end of the General's fight in The Day of the Doctor. The War Room is the heart of Gallifrey's manoeuvres and finally we are going to understand how all that strategy will play out.”
Gallifrey: War Room 1 is now available to pre-order for just £24.99 (on CD + download) or £19.99 (on download), exclusively from the Big Finish website.

Big Finish listeners can save money by pre-ordering all four volumes of the Gallifrey: The War Room series together in a bundle for just £88 (on CD + download) or £78 (download only).

All the above prices include the special pre-order discount and are subject to change after general release.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

The Wild Cards Return To Comics In June...

Cover by Steve Morris

George RR Martin's RPG-inspired shared-world Wild Cards return to comic books in June, courtesy of Marvel and scribe Paul Cornell, in a four-issue miniseries retelling the origin story of this particular superhero universe.
For the first time in comic book form, witness the very beginning of the Wild Cards mythos with an adaptation of the very first stories in the original Wild Cards novel.

Based on stories by Harold Waldrop, Roger Zelazny and series master-mind and editor, George R.R. Martin, Wild Cards is a fascinating saga set in a whole new world reshaped by the emergence of superpowers.

The limited series, titled The Drawing of Cards, will be written by a team of comic superstars, writer Paul Cornell and artist Mike Hawthorne, and serve as a perfect entry point for Wild Cards newcomers and a must-have new reimagining for Wild Cards aficionados!
The first issue of Wild Cards: The Drawing of Cards is due to arrive in stores on June 1, and you can read more about it on Marvel's website.

The Tuesday Knights: GURPS Out, HEX In!

All being well, the Tuesday Knights will be gathering around our kitchen table again this evening to resume our adventures in Pete's weird science/1950s adventure campaign.

However, changes are afoot - behind the scenes - and whereas the game, up until now, has been played using the Generic Universal Role Playing System (GURPS) we're now switching to the Ubiquity system, which powers Hollow Earth Expedition (HEX).

During the extended downtime between episodes 13 (in September 2021) and 14 (in January 2022), Pete, our current gamesmaster, found and fell in love with Hollow Earth Expedition.

Nick had run a brief Edwardian HEX campaign for Clare and I back in 2008, but although I'd picked up the subsequent books and adventures, I haven't actually played the game since.

Pete's campaign - codenamed The Theoretical Science Foundation - will be continuing with the same characters, but he's recreated our in-game avatars all using the Ubiquity mechanics, and will be handing us 'updated' character sheets this evening.

I strongly suspect this means our band of rugged adventurers will be heading to the Hollow Earth soon then.

This would be a rather fortuitous turn of events as my character, global explorer Buck Hannigan, was - co-incidentally -  designed in GURPS with the 'disadvantage' of being obsessed with finding an entrance to the Hollow Earth.

Personally, I'm in favour of this mechanical change as I've always found Ubiquity a very intuitive and streamlined system, whereas GURPS had too many spinning plates on your character sheet to keep track of.

Now, I'm going to have to dust off my funky Ubiquity dice (not that they are required for play) and stash of poker chips (for use as 'Style' - the system's "hero points" mechanic).

Turns out I had more Ubiquity dice and poker chips than I thought!

Thor: Love & Thunder (2022) + Dr Who (2022)


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