Reality Is The Playground Of The Unimaginative

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Saturday, 30 April 2022

Does The World Really Need Yet Another 'Shaky-Cam' Horror Movie?

Two friends on a horror-fueled road trip and livestream the most terrifying night of their lives.
Rob Savage's Dashcam is either going to be a stroke of genius or the most aggravating 77-minutes of your life.

I'll confess that this trailer has my interest piqued, which I wasn't expecting.

These days, I'm generally not a fan of 'found footage'/shaky-cam movies, but every so often you do strike gold (such as The Blair Witch Project and As Above, So Below), so I'm willing to give Dashcam a chance.

The Never-Ending Game: Four Decades of Campaigning and Still Going Strong...


Another mini-documentary about The Game, Robert Wardhaugh's legendary Dungeons & Dragons homebrew campaign that has been running continuously since 1982.

Since we last dropped in, there has been a huge overhaul of the campaign's website, with plenty more background material to give interested parties an insight into the goings-on of this world.

You can visit it here.

You can also see more about this enviable achievement on HeroPress both here (2017) and here (2018).

I have to say, that probably more than anything, this campaign makes me want to run my Frankengame so much... but only if I had access to a collection of miniatures and terrain to rival Robert's and a group of players willing to invest themselves fully into the world and meet up more than once a month for a few hours.

Sadly, that's an impossible dream and I will have to resort to living vicariously through snatched moments from The Game.

Top of The Pile: Hawk The Slayer #4

Hawk The Slayer #4 arrived this week, along with the first issue of the direct market print

The penultimate issue of the Garth Ennis-penned five-part comic book sequel to cult '80s sword-and-sorcery flick Hawk The Slayer opens with the confrontation between Hawk's party and the evil Black Wizards that we were teased with in the final pages of Hawk The Slayer #3

In the caves beneath the Holy Fortress, Hawk and his friends find themselves facing the coterie of powerful Black Wizards as well as Hawk's resurrected brother, Voltan, and his army of eyeless zombie warriors. 

But not everything is as it seems.

Amidst Voltan's scheming skulduggery, Ennis weaves in some more worldbuilding, expanding on breadcrumbs dropped during the movie and filling us in on the fate of Crow's elfin people and the devastation of The Silver Forest.

This is also tied in to the backstory of the "elfin stone", famously clasped in the pommel of Hawk's mighty, magical Mindsword

The revelation of Voltan's greater plans not only allows him to step out of the shadow of The Black Wizards, but sets the stage for an epic showdown in next month's concluding issue of this sublime mini-series.

The finale had to be Hawk versus Voltan, no other combination of antagonists would have felt right.

Ennis has clearly done his homework as his scripts have dug deep into the fantasy world created by Terry Marcel and Harry Robertson for the original, low-budget movie, extrapolating elements without the need to inflate the Hawk 'verse into another Westeros or Middle-Earth.

Complementing the tight scripting of Ennis, Henry Flint's fine lines continue to bring this story to life, especially in his impactful full-page illustrations and detailed action scenes. 

As well as issue 4 of Hawk The Slayer, (coming packaged with this month's Judge Dredd Megazine), arriving this week, I'd also added the American/direct market iteration of the title to my pull-list with Andy at Paradox Comics in Poole, and the first issue is now out.

Besides the nice cover by Greg Staples; an introduction from Jason Kingsley OBE, co-founder of publishers Rebellion, explaining his personal connection to Hawk The Slayer; and a couple of full-page ads for appropriate collections from Rebellion's Treasury of British Comics (Black Beth and Karl The Viking), this printing of the Hawk The Slayer #1 appears identical to the issue I reviewed back in January.

Here are the Greg Staples covers for the upcoming issues three and four in their direct market formats:

The Many Faces of The Multiverse...

Chris .R. Notarile's Scream Fan Film (2022)

While relaxing at home, film actress Lindsey Bean, receives a menacing call from one of cinemas' most dreaded slashers.

Friday, 29 April 2022

Classic Doctors Meeting New Monsters Is The Stuff of Nightmares for Big Finish...


I'm a massive fan of this particular line of Big Finish audios, which entangle Doctors from the Classic era with creatures introduced on television during the current, Modern, run of the show.

It makes a lot of sense that when a recent iteration of The Doctor says they know a certain alien race that they would have encountered them before, and these adventures help fill in that backstory.

Five years after the second Classic Doctors New Monsters instalment come four brand-new full-cast audio dramas starring Tom Baker (The Fourth Doctor), Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Tim Treloar (The Third Doctor), and Paul McGann (The Eighth Doctor).

They are joined by Louise Jameson (Leela), Sadie Miller (Sarah Jane Smith), and India Fisher (Charlotte Pollard). 

This new box set of adventures is due for release in August, and has various incarnations of the Time Lord encounter three familiar monsters: the dangerously cowardly Tivolians that first featured in the 2011 Doctor Who TV story The God Complex; The Hoxx of Balhoon – brother of the Moxx glimpsed in The End of the World (2005); and the brain-eating Dream Crabs from Last Christmas (2014). 

The House That Hoxx Built by Tim Foley

When the Third Doctor and Sarah journey far into the future of Earth, the last thing they expect to find on the planet is a haunted house!

Invited to dinner by the Hoxx of Balhoon and his ovine ward, the TARDIS travellers experience strange and disturbing phenomena, and the Doctor is determined to discover the cause...

The Tivolian Who Knew Too Much by Robert Valentine

Taking an Italian holiday, the Fourth Doctor and Leela encounter another tourist very far from home. Timble Feebis is a particularly timid Tivolian, but he has much to be fearful about!

Guarding a vital data-chip, the three visitors are soon caught up in the machinations of a crime boss and his gang, and a dangerous alien assassin…

Together In Eclectic Dreams by Roy Gill

The Sixth Doctor takes companion Mari to the Archipelago of High Dream to try and stop the nightmares she’s having in the TARDIS.

Instead, they find the Lethe Foundation, a research facility overseen by musician Tara, lulling her clients to sleep with soothing melodies. But the Kantrofarri are hunting, and a mystery Green Man holds the key to escape…

If I Should Die Before I Wake by John Dorney (from a story by Jacqueline Rayner)

The Eighth Doctor and Charley are lost – in a labyrinth of monsters. And somewhere, lurking, are the Dream Crabs…

From the Sphinx to Gorgons, Cerberus and Pegasus, the Greek myths are alive and threatening the TARDIS duo with death at every turn. How long until their Fates unravel, and the truth is revealed?

Mike Myers' Pentaverate: The Conspiracy Theory To End All Conspiracy Theories...

An unlikely Canadian journalist finds himself embroiled in a mission to uncover the truth about the world's oldest and most influential secret society.

From the mind of Mike Myers and starring Ken Jeong, Keegan-Michael Key, Debi Mazar, Richard McCabe, Jennifer Saunders and Lydia West - The Pentaverate premieres globally 05.05.22 only on Netflix.

The Universe of Jo Martin's Fugitive Doctor Continues To Grow...

Doctor Who: Origins #3, cover art by Priscilla Petraites

Although issue zero of the first Fugitive Doctor comic series will only drop a week tomorrow, on Free Comic Book Day (May 7), publisher Titan Comics is already promoting the cover art for the third issue of this new mini-series (due out in August).

Penned by Jody Houser, Doctor Who: Origins will dig into the backstory of The Fugitive Doctor, explaining how she earned that moniker.

You can see the cover art for issue one (here) and issue two (here).

Although Jo Martin's Fugitive Doctor - despite her massive impact on the show's canon - has had precious little facetime on the TV show, the character has already crossed over into spin-off media, not only with this comic book mini-series, but also her own range of Big Finish audio adventures (announced at the Big Finish Day convention last weekend).

Doctor Who: Origins #3, cover art by Elena Casagrande

It's The Biblical End of Days Envisioned As Only The Asylum Could...


Released today (Friday) on demand (the DVD comes out next month), 4 Horsemen: Apocalypse is the thrilling tale of a team of scientists who "must race against time to stop what seems to be a cascade of global disasters signalling the possible apocalypse".

WHO LOVES: Half The First TARDIS Crew Have Materialised In My Office...


Following on from the pair of autographs I won in auctions back in February (of The Seventh Doctor and Ace), I was so impressed with the service I received from the Doctor Who Appreciation Society's autograph arm, Celestial Signings, that I invested in a couple more.

Sticking with the Classic era, I went right back to the earliest days of the show and purchased signed pictures of William Russell (Ian Chesterton) and Carole Ann Ford (Susan, The Doctor's granddaughter).

I'm totally enamoured by this period of Doctor Who and would one day love to complete a "first TARDIS crew" set with autographed pictures of the late William Hartnell (The First Doctor) and Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright), but I'm not made of money! 

I'm certainly no 'autograph hunter', but maybe, eventually, I'll go to a convention again and get some more autographs, actually 'in-person', or even some 'selfies with the stars'.

However, in the meantime, I'm very pleased with the signed Doctor Who pictures I have hanging on the walls of my office as my 'connection' to this beloved show.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

B-Movie of The Week: The Man From Planet X (1951)

Learning of an approaching rogue planet in our solar system, predicted to skim by Earth, American journalist John Lawrence (Robert Clarke) heads to a remote Scottish island where an old wartime buddy, Professor Elliot (Raymond Bond), has converted a broch into an observatory.

Arriving there, Lawrence meets the professor's daughter, Enid (Margaret Field), and his assistant, the sleazy, disgraced, and unscrupulous scientist Dr Mears (William Schallert).

Out on the fog-enshrouded moorland Enid stumbles upon a downed spaceship - an extra-terrestrial 'diving bell' - with its peculiar alien occupant.

Lawrence and Elliot attempt to befriend the alien, and bring it back to the broch.

However, Elliot's declining health means they have to leave the creature in the care of Dr Mears, who claims he can find a way to communicate with the alien.

But once he has made his breakthrough, Mears sees only the fame and fortune this connection could bring and attempts to torture the alien's knowledge out of it.

This results in the creature kidnapping Enid as it flees back to its spaceship.

Whatever its original motivations, it now appears to have adopted a very aggressive stance and starts to abduct - and brainwash - more locals to act as its servants.

With the aid of the island community - and then the army - Lawrence leads, first, a rescue mission and, then, an all-out assault to drive out 'the man from Planet X'.

The visitor from Planet X

Coming in at just over 70-minutes, The Man From Planet X is a real B-movie, shot on sets left over from 1948's Joan of Arc, shovelling bad science on top of a ridiculous script to create an uneven tale that wobbles between potentially interesting and occasionally dull.

Oddly, the most fascinating thing about this movie is - according to its Wikipedia page - the fact that no one seems to have known for certain the identity of the actor who portrayed the alien, which almost merits a story in itself.

There are nuggets of potential in writer/producers Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen's script, such as the alien only communicating through musical sounds and its motivations seemingly being benign until it runs afoul of an ignorant human, but nothing is really done with any of this.

After a promising introduction, the intriguing-looking visitor from another world, disappointingly, devolves into a one-dimensional Mars Attacks planetary invader, and it's never made clear what exactly the purpose of its growing army of mind-controlled slaves really is.

Almost until the last moments, I'd also wondered if the character of slimy Dr Mears was on a redemption arc, would eventually see the error of his ways and maybe sacrifice himself for the sake of humanity, but I guess 1950's B-movies don't really do redemption stories.

Even the skimming of Earth's atmosphere by Planet X (ultimately almost an afterthought) just causes a strong breeze that ruffles the cast's hair - rather than the apocalyptic chaos we saw the other day in Moonfall.

With its potential frittered away, and its greatest mystery occurring off-camera, The Man From Planet X - shown recently on Talking Pictures TV in the UK - is a classic case of 'what might have been', had the movie been made in a different era, with a bigger budget.

The Prehistoric Chickens Have Come Home To Roost in Jurassic World: Dominion...

This summer, experience the epic conclusion to the Jurassic era as two generations unite for the first time.
Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Oscar-winner Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill in Jurassic World Dominion, a bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe.

From Jurassic World architect and director Colin Trevorrow, Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed.
Dinosaurs now live — and hunt — alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.

Dare You Answer The Black Phone?

Director Scott Derrickson returns to his terror roots and partners again with the foremost brand in the genre, Blumhouse, with a new horror thriller.

Finney Shaw, a shy but clever 13-year-old boy, is abducted by a sadistic killer and trapped in a soundproof basement where screaming is of little use.

When a disconnected phone on the wall begins to ring, Finney discovers that he can hear the voices of the killer’s previous victims.

And they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

Starring four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke in the most terrifying role of his career and introducing Mason Thames in his first ever film role, The Black Phone is produced, directed, and co-written by Scott Derrickson, the writer-director of Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Marvel’s Doctor Strange.

WHO LOVES: Nigel Kneale


Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nigel Kneale, "the father of modern television" (according to Mark Gatiss, and who am I to disagree?), the visionary behind such pivotal stories as the Quatermass quartet and The Stone Tape.

The adventures of Professor Bernard Quatermass had a massive influence on me growing up and remain among my favourite go-to sci-fi stories, especially Quatermass and The Pit.

I wrote about the role Quatermass has played in my geekdom back in 2007, and again in 2009, when I spoke about him being the "spiritual father of Doctor Who".

Last month's Doctor Who Magazine (issue 576) published a run down of 50-plus elements of Doctor Who over the decades that owe their inspiration to Quatermass and other works of Nigel Kneale.

For a good overview of Nigel Kneale's life and work you could worse than pick up the latest issue of Fortean Times (issue 418), in which Jon Dear has penned a five-page article on this televisual pioneer.

Kneale's vast oeuvre also embraced 'folk horror' and social criticism, with his 1968 TV play The Year of The Sex Olympics predicting the grim horrors of reality television.

In 2016, there was even talk of a Quatermass revival, but that appears to have come to nothing - no doubt in part due to Covid - which is a shame, because the character, like all of Kneale's protagonists, is one we really need in this day and age.

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It is also the anniversary of the birth of the late Sir Terry Pratchett, the creator of Discworld, and today has been declared the inaugural Terry Pratchett Day.

You can find some suggestions on how to celebrate this occasion over on his official website.

Portrait of Sir Terry Pratchett by Paul Kidby

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Deep Freeze Murder Mystery...

In an underground facility, five scientists wake from cryosleep with no memory of who they are or how long they've been asleep.

They soon make a shocking realization: a killer is hunting them down there, and may even be hiding among them.
According to Quiet Earth, Cryo will be released in select US cinemas on June 24 then on VOD starting June 28.

Weird Wednesday...

 

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

DVD of The Week: Moonfall (2022)

When the Moon suddenly shifts from its orbit and enters a death spiral towards Earth, mankind's only hope rests with washed-up, disgraced astronaut Brian Harper (The Conjuring's Patrick Wilson), NASA executive Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry), and conspiracy theorist KC Houseman (Game of Thrones' John Bradley).

It turns out the problem is caused by an alien A.I. entity buried deep beneath the lunar surface, and only by defeating this can the Moon return to its normal trajectory.

In the midst of global chaos, with the support of a collapsing government, our heroes manage to salvage an old space shuttle from a museum for their 'Hail Mary' mission.

Moonfall is glorious nonsense, a 1950's "bad science" B-movie (or a ropey Asylum mockbuster) brought to life with the best 21st Century special effects money can buy and writ across a grand canvas.

It should come as no surprise to learn that this modern masterpiece is the work of writer/director Roland Emmerich, the creator of such wonderful comfort movies as The Day After Tomorrow, Independence Day, and 2012.

Emmerich definitely draws on these earlier works to inspire the non-stop action that drives the plot forward with a breathless momentum, but the  final act goes full-on Ancient Aliens-meets-The Matrix-and-2001: A Space Odyssey.

While all the weird science stuff is unfolding in space, there's a b-plot on Earth involving Harper's delinquent son, Sonny (Charlie Plummer), Fowler's young kid Jimmy (Zayn Maloney), and au pair Michelle (Kelly Yu) racing across disintegrating landscapes to find shelter from the impending apocalypse.

I'll be honest, initially, I thought I could have done without this "human interest" sub-plot, but along the way it boasted a lot of Emmerich's recurring tropes and was all the better for it. 

But it was the bonkers main storyline that truly made the whole two-hour film worthwhile.

The film knows it's totally over-the-top and ridiculous, but I love the fact that Emmerich has ensured that the script and cast take the subject matter seriously, never allowing it to lapse into easy parody.

While there are a handful of laugh-out-loud one-liners, the entire cast deserve all the awards for delivering their lines with a straight face.

Moonfall isn't Oscar bait, but then it was never intended to be. This is pure, adrenalin-fuelled entertainment of the highest calibre.

Thank the heavens for Roland Emmerich, continuing to make these epic, standalone, sci-fi disaster popcorn blockbusters.

As much as I enjoy franchise movies and earnest art films, every so often the old brain needs to kick back and relax with something that demands little beyond our simple attention and delivers a visual treat that's just plain and simple fun.
  • Moonfall was released on Blu-Ray in the UK this week.

Are You Ready For Sam Raimi's Mind-Bending Vision of The Multiverse?

Torn From The Headlines: Location, Location, Location, Location, Location...

A camp in Slab City, California

I might not be that great at cooking up scenarios for roleplaying games, but I like to think I have an eye for a good story hook.

In games where atmosphere is key - such as The Doctor Who Roleplaying Game - finding the right location to set the adventure is of vital importance.

So, here I present a small selection of recent articles and features detailing evocative locales.

SLAB CITY, CALIFORNIA: The other day I saw an amazing documentary on Channel 5 about Slab City, California, a mind-boggling, off-the-grid community of artists and free spirits, that's just crying out for a Doctor Who adventure to be go down there. One of the artists even had his Portaloo painted as a TARDIS, which I took a sign.

Below you will find another hour-long documentary about this most unusual place:

OVERGROWN HOME: On a street in Margate, Kent, sits a house fronted by a runaway garden that has even claimed the van parked outside (check the photos for the full effect). The house, which has lost most of its natural light because of the plant growth, is home to an enigmatic resident his neighbours rarely see. How is this not a set-up for a Doctor Who story... or even a possible residence of The Doctor himself?

UKRAINE: While I wouldn't want to trivialise the current horrendous war in the country, here's a collection of beautiful images from Ukraine in better times that could serve as inspiration for a variety of Doctor Who-themed adventures.

EARTH'S BLACK BOX: A scientific collective is working on the development of an "an immense steel monolith installed in a remote location in Tasmania" designed to store data about humanity's inevitable collapse, so that future civilizations can learn from our mistakes.

VOZROZHDENIYA: Once an isolated, little known, island is the Aral Sea (on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan), the ground is now part of a massive wasteland after the rivers that fed the sea were diverted. It was also the location of extensive Soviet-era biological weapons testing that have left it coated with tonnes of anthrax and other deadly germ weapons, making its one of the deadliest places on Earth.

Monday, 25 April 2022

Musical Monday: Good Mornin' (from Singin' In The Rain)

Silent movies are giving way to talking pictures – and hoofer-turned-matinee idol Gene Kelly is caught in that bumpy transition, as are his buddy (Donald O’Connor), prospective ladylove (Debbie Reynolds), and shrewish co-star (Jean Hagen).

Jo Martin's Fugitive Doctor and Sacha Dhawan's Master Join Big Finish...


Jo Martin and Sacha Dhawan are bringing The Fugitive Doctor and The Master to the audio worlds of Big Finish.

Both actors will be portraying their iconic Doctor Who characters in a series of new audio adventure box sets.

Even though we know Sacha Dhawan will be reprising his role of The Master in the last episode of the current Doctor's televised stories later this year, this news broke during Big Finish Day convention at the weekend.

So far, two box sets - each of three hour-long full-cast stories - have been unveiled for both The Fugitive Doctor (Jo Martin's pre-Hartnell incarnation of The Doctor, first seen in Fugitive of The Judoon) and the current iteration of The Master (a regular foil to Jodie Whittaker's Doctor).

No release dates have yet been announced for any of these audio dramas.

You can read more about The Fugitive Doctor here and more about the new Master series here. Both pages include links to pre-order these new audioplays direct from Big Finish.

Couple this six hours of new material for The Fugitive Doctor with her upcoming Titan comic book story and that's considerably more exposure for the character than she actually got on television.

I've already pulled the trigger on both of these exciting prospects, but it says to me that neither The Fugitive Doctor nor this version of The Master will be carried over into the second RTD era of the TV show.

While The Master swaps faces as often as The Doctor (so that's to be expected), this speedy transition from television to audio suggests that The Fugitive Doctor's storyline - probably along with Division and The Timeless Child - will be wrapped up in the forthcoming Centenary Special and then put to one side.

At least for the foreseeable future.

Musical Monday: If God Was a CCTV Control Room Operator Called Steve (Jim Bob)

If God Was a CCTV Control Room Operator called Steve is the fourth song on the Jim Bob Beach Ready EP. I thought it deserved a video (with lyrics). Stream or download the whole EP via this URL https://lnk.to/BeachReadyEP

Saturday, 23 April 2022

The Baby Is Due To Drop Tomorrow...


Cast and crew of The Baby tease us on what to expect from the show, arriving on HBO Max tomorrow (Sunday), and Sky Atlantic in the UK later in the year.

June Is George Pérez Month As DC Comics Honours This Legendary Artist...


DC Comics has declared that June is George Pérez month, in honour of the celebrated artist's 68th birthday on June 9.

All DC comics published that month will feature a two-page spread of characters associated with Pérez rendered by other artistic luminaries - including Jim Lee, Walter Simonson, Alex Ross, Dave Gibbons, Todd McFarlane, Daniel Sampere, Jerry Ordway, Nicola Scott and many more - working from a layout designed by Dan Jurgens.

You can read all about this artistic homage over on the DC Comics website.

In 2021, George Pérez revealed he had been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer.

Earlier this year, a joint Marvel/DC project was announced to raise funds in George's honour for the Hero Initiative, the charity dedicated to helping comic book creators in medical or financial need.


Massive kudos to my old blogging chum, Al Bruno III, for drawing this latest tribute to my attention.

Like many, George's instantly recognisable art has played a massive role in my comic book fandom.

It was his work on the New Teen Titans that helped really cement my life-long love of the medium back in the day.

His poster of the team still hangs proudly over my bed.

Spellfury, Season One (4K Resolution)


Writer/director Travis Gordon upscaled all 12 episodes of season one of his fantasy webseries Spellfury to 4K.
Druinia the elf finds a magic sword and battles a floating demon.

Kruskull the evil sorceror and his Grok army chase after her through the realm of Spellfury.

Druinia will meet her teammate Errol the cleric and have to outwit Xorn the thief.

Can she master the magic sword and save the realm?

Spellfury the fantasy series is loosely based on a game of Dungeons and Dragons the cast and crew played in 2007.

The actors played their characters in the game and the director Travis Gordon was the Dungeon Master.

Never Forget!

Friday, 22 April 2022

"You Know Nothing, Henry DeTamble!"

Every moment matters.

Based on the best-selling novel, The Time Traveler's Wife coming to Sky Atlantic May 16
.

Let This Zine Be Your Tour Guide To Ascoleth, A Weird Science-Fantasy Setting...


Ascoleth: The Last Great City is the latest zine Kickstarter from the ever-reliable Glynn Seal of MonkeyBlood Design & Publishing.

Produced in collaboration with Rabid Halfling Press, Ascoleth is a 28-page system-neutral weird science-fantasy city toolkit.

The crowdfunding campaign is aiming to raise at least £2,000 by May 8, with excess funds going towards stretch goals that will improve paper stock, up the page count etc

The toolkit will provide a low-prep setting for gamesmasters through a host of random tables creating outré idea prompts.


Check out the campaign's Kickstarter page (here) to see the levels of investment available (if you get in quick you can nab the print edition at the early bird price), as well as learn more about the project, the creators involved, stretch goals etc

I suspect this is primarily geared towards old school Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy campaigns, but I'm seeing it as a way to generate a unique, alien environment like the market city of Akheten (from the Eleventh Doctor story, The Rings of Akheten) or The Game of Rassilon's "meat market", for my mooted Doctor Who RPG campaign.

Christina Ricci In Monstrous 1950's Horror...

A terrifying new horror awaits Laura (Christina Ricci) and her seven-year-old son Cody when they flee her abusive ex-husband and try to settle into a new life in an idyllic and remote lakeside farmhouse.

Still traumatized, their physical and mental well-being are pushed to the limit as their fragile existence is threatened.
Monstrous arrives in cinemas, Stateside, and on demand May 13.

Bringing The Invisible Artist Into The Light...


Since 1976, Jeff Cummins has been a prolific artist on many book covers, album covers, and posters.

He thinks of himself as 'the invisible artist' due to the fact that much of his work, although known - and out there -  most people are unaware that it was Jeff who did it.

Now, publisher Candy Jar Books is entering the final stages of production on a new book collecting Jeff’s art from the last five decades: The Invisible Artist.

The deadline for pre-orders is midnight Sunday, May 1, which will be your last chance to order the limited edition hardcover, of which only 200 will be produced.

The softcover edition will continue to be available.


Jeff is well-known for his work on the Doctor Who Target novelisations of the 1970s/1980s, most notably The Face of Evil, The Three Doctors and Horror of Fang Rock, as well as cover art for several of the New Adventures of the 1990s, including the seminal Dimension Riders and Conundrum.


His cover work for Doctor Who helped redefine the look of Target books, expanding the canvas begun by Chris Achilléos.

Not only does this book cover his Doctor Who work, inside you’ll also find stories of The Beatles, of Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda; the role Jeff had in the marketing of the blockbuster film Back to the Future; painting such artists as Eric Clapton, Yes, Blondie, (and like Chris Achilléos) Whitesnake… and so much more.

If a pop/rock artist was popular in the late’70s/early-80s, the chances are you’ll find them in The Invisible Artist.

Bringing things up to date, the publication includes Jeff's most recent commission, the Doctor Who Discovers Pirates cover as packaged with the most recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Both versions of The Invisible Artist will only be available direct from Candy Jar Books.

All This, And Time Travel Too...

Check out a brand-new trailer for Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear, an original feature film coming to UK cinemas June 17.

The sci-fi action-adventure presents the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear — the hero who inspired the toy — introducing the legendary Space Ranger who would win generations of fans.

Chris Evans lends his voice to Buzz.

Annie Award-winning director and veteran Pixar animator Angus MacLane helms Lightyear.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

If There's Something Strange In Your Multiverse, Who You Gonna Call?

#RPG Episode 17: Mysterious Island

Unexpectedly we found ourselves marooned in "paradise"

Previously On The Theoretical Science Foundation:

Having stowed the bodies of the dead Nazis in one of the Dornier's lower deck store rooms, our heroes were suddenly buffeted by the plane meeting the approaching stormfront.

Like a particularly violent rollercoaster, the aircraft rose and fell as it was lashed by wind, rain, and lightning, accompanied by alarming grinding and banging sounds as various mechanical parts gave in under the onslaught.

It was noted that the friendly bar steward and the suspicious man reading a copy of Life magazine were nowhere to be seen in the chaos.

Freya (Clare's photojournalist), Buck (my explorer), Dick (Kevin's detective), and Fr Ned (Simon's priest) tried to get the (understandably) panicking passengers into their life jackets and back into their seats, but then there was an almighty crash as we hit the water... and everything went dark.

The storm was unlike anything any of the flight crew had ever encountered before!

We awoke sometime later, with bright sunlight streaming through the windows, and the plane unexpectedly immobile.

Buck (my explorer) peered out the window and saw that the Dornier had run aground on what appeared to be an idyllic desert island.

Noting that his colleagues seemed fine, Buck, eager to explore, got out onto the wing where he met the pilot, who told him that the navigator was dead, the co-pilot injured, and the plane in a bad state of repair.

Spotting a trail of footprints disappearing off around the headland, Buck jumped down and followed these.

Once around the headland, the trail disappeared into the jungle. A short way into the trees and brush, Buck discovered a pool of fresh blood and indications that something had been dragged off while another trail led in the opposite direction.

Believing this to be either the bar steward or the Life magazine man, Buck continued down the blood-splattered path, hoping his quarry might still be alive.

Hearing strange sounds ahead, as cautiously as he could, he advanced through the undergrowth... and came upon a pair of velociraptors gruesomely tearing something apart.

Velociraptors!!!

Unfortunately, he didn't have time to register what they were eating as a third velociraptor emerged right beside him!

Only through a combination of luck and his finely-honed skills (and a a heavy expenditure of Style points) was Buck able to whip his Smith & Wesson around and blast the creature in the head.

Stunned and confused by sights and sounds it was unused to, and the pain of being shot in the head at point blank range, the dinosaur ran off, giving Buck the chance to bolt back towards the beach.

Bursting out of the jungle, he espied his colleagues coming towards him and - face split by an enormous grin - he excitedly shouted "DINOSAURS!!!" as he ran up to them.

The usually level-headed Buck was unbelievably excited by his discovery and it took all his willpower to resist rushing back into the jungle with his comrades to show them the creatures he'd discovered.

However, he realised it was only by the skin of his teeth that he had survived and so a more measured strategy was certainly called for going forward.

They all decided it was probably best to return to the plane, where Buck retrieved his hunting rifle rifle from the hold and then climbed onto the roof of the resting Dornier to make himself a sniper's nest, from where he could scan the beach for further sightings of 'terrible lizards'. 

It was agreed not to mention "dinosaurs" to our fellow passengers, instead simply warn them of "hostile wildlife" and stress that they should remain in and around the beached aircraft.

Freya had been methodically compiling a list of the passengers, noting the number of dead (four); injured (five, including a young boy); and uninured (10, including a small girl); taking note if any had any skills that might prove useful in our current predicament. 

After a while, as burial parties were being organised, Buck spotted a column of smoke rising from the jungle about a kilometre away.

To Be Continued...


The Theoretical Science Foundation - The Cast:
  • Buck Hannigan - played by me
  • Richard 'Dick' Tate - played by Kevin 
  • Father Timothy 'Ned' O’Flaherty - played by Simon 
  • Freya Larson - played by Clare
Showrunner - Pete

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

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

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