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My First Sub-Editorial: Negativity

We’ve had an incredibly strong run of Doctor Who stories this year, ranging from the beautiful (The Rings of Akhaten) to the creepy (Hide), from the funny (The Crimson Horror) to the shocking (The Name of the Doctor, obviously!) and plenty that tread the line between all the above.

They're here

But I got annoyed at the unfair negativity about the show. Thankfully, that seems to have subsided now – but in the midst of the season, my Kasterborous editor, Christian, offered me the chance to write my very first Sub-Editorial, tackling the unnecessary complaints.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance.

(A Sub-Editorial, by the way, is a glorified opinion piece, but it sounds more authoritative than just saying, ‘this is what I fink.’ I hope it’s a fairly genned-up argument, anyway…)

Here’s a brief snippet:

“[Showrunner, Steven Moffat has] also made the show too complex. Pure conjecture, there.

Yes, it’s complex – but it’s always been. There certainly are more timey-wimey stories, but that’s no bad thing, surely? It’s one of the main aspects of the show! As Peter Davison noted in the documentary for Mawdryn Undead, children seem to understand complexities more than adults, perhaps because they pay attention. Surely, a show that demands you take note is to be celebrated; it does not need to dumb down, and if it ever does, I’d prefer it be cancelled. TV should never strive to be dumb – nothing should. That attitude is disgusting.”

Okay, so it caused a stir. I bet you guessed that much.

I didn’t guess that it’d be one of the most-commented-on articles ever on Kasterborous. In fact, until Christian wrote How Leaks Are Spoiling Doctor Who’s 50th, it held the top spot. Naturally, I wept a bit when I found this out… but I suppose #2 isn’t bad, eh?

The Crimson Horror 4

Feel free to leave comments and help me reclaim that accolade, though. Go on.

Anyway, I’m happy that I provoked such an outpouring. And even happier that most agree with me, on the whole. There are some bile-filled comments, but that’s their prerogative. Let them get on with it, right!

Overall, thanks for supporting my articles. I won’t stop just because some people turn nasty. The positive ones are always the ones to listen to. Thank you for them.

Read my full Sub-Editorial here.

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100th Post: Reflecting on Nearly 3 Years

It’s really surprising to see that I started this blog nearly three years ago. And to find that this is my 100th post. Have I really had that many interesting things to say?! Excuse the self-indulgence here, then, as I look back at what’s changed since my very first blog post on 30th April 2010. (In no particular order…)

1. I’m now a freelance writer.
2. I’ve interviewed Matt Smith. (I know; I haven’t said anything about this massive event on this blog yet. But stay tuned!)

Matt and Moffat

3. I launched the Make Mine A Marvel Omnibus site in October 2010.
4. I had my first article printed in Real Travel magazine.
5. I work for the Doctor Who site, Kasterborous.
6. Amy and Rory left the TARDIS last year. (Don’t press me on the matter; I’m still a bit teary.)
7. I have an FdA in Professional Writing. (You can read more about that course here.)
8. Spooks has finished. (Thank God for DVDs!)
9. I’ve started my first novel.
10. I’ve written for the Weston College Higher Education Prospectus.
11. I did the web copy for Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf for both their own website and Amazon.

doctor-who-scarf-4

12. As well as doing the official press release!
13. I’ve started my first children’s book.
14. The Amazing Spider-Man reached #700.
15. I’ve worked for Kasterborous’ sister site, CultBritannia (and you can read my first article here.)
16. I’ve learnt how to add videos to my blog!
17. I wrote The British Comedy Guide’s 10th anniversary celebratory article of The Office.
18. I’ve started a few scripts…
19. … And am searching for an agent.

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

20. I reviewed the Armstrong and Miller Tour for Bristol247
21. … And for Guide2Bristol.
22. The latter of which has been quoted on the official A&M website!
23. I copy-edit regularly for Kasterborous.
24. I reviewed the Day of the Daleks: Special Edition DVD for Kasterborous in two parts (here and here).
25. Then reviewed it for ItchyBristol here.
26. I’ve ran two blog advents across December 2011 and 2012.
27. I’ve worked on four Doctor Who ReKapped articles (learn more about that here), with another one in the works.

A Town Called Mercy 3

28. Clara Oswin Oswald has joined the TARDIS (sort of).
29. Neil Armstrong has passed away.
30. And so has Sir Patrick Moore.
31. The Killers have released a new album, Battle Born (and you can read a review of their single, Runaways here).
32. Avengers Assemble! has been released.
33. My review of the Doctor Who graphic novel, The Dalek Project went online here.
34. I’ve contributed two features to the upcoming Kasterborous Magazine (stay tuned for that).
35. Ray Bradbury has died.

The Illustrated Man

36. I’ve joined Twitter!
37. I’ve reviewed the last episode of Sherlock, The Reichenbach Fall, for Cult Britannia.
38. I have worked in a shop, Giggs, during the Christmas 2011 period – a shop which has since gone bust! (Nothing to do with me, I might add.)
39. I’ve read countless books – and you can see my top 10 reads of 2012 here.
40. Two episodes of 1960s Doctor Who have been found!
41. I reviewed Mission to the Unknown for Kasterborous’ Doctor Who@50.
42. The Gunfighters too! (And that’s certainly not the last of my involvement in the project.)
43. I created the Introducing: Doctor Who series for Kasterborous.

The Gunfighters 4

44. Doctor Who Confidential has been axed. (And was voted the best show ever on BBC3. Typical.)
45. I previewed Forbidden Planet’s Doctor Who Fun Day for ItchyBristol.
46. And in a short piece for The Mercury.
47. And finally for Bristol 247.
48. … For whom I also reviewed it.
49. The price of a 1st class stamp has increased to 60p.
50. I reviewed Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf.
51. I write a regular column, Bristol Comics Corner, for Guide2Bristol.
52. Death in Paradise debuted on BBCOne.
53. Tuition fees increased, with a cap at £9,000.
54. … Something which I argued against in this Bristol247 article.
55. Brandon Flowers released his first solo album, Flamingo, and I reviewed it here.
56. I was thanked for my article about Jack Vettriano’s Bristol exhibition.

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

57. I previewed the Slapstick Festival in 2011.
58. I created my own website, using Moonfruit…
59. Then deleted it, as I wasn’t happy with the inability to update.
60. The Dandy ceased publication. (Read my article on that here.)
61. I’ve submitted an article to the Doctor Who book, Celebrate, Regenerate.
62. The Doctor Who Experience opened in London –
63. – Then moved to Cardiff.

JLC dress and Dalek

64. I reviewed Mack the Life, Lee Mack’s autobiography, for The British Comedy Guide.
65. I interviewed comic writer and artist, Jerry Holliday.
66. The Ice Warriors have been confirmed to return in the second half of Doctor Who, Series 7.
67. The world didn’t end on 21st December 2012. (Always a good thing, I find.)
68. The Bristol Comic Expo returned to Brunel’s Old Station.
69. I previewed the 2012 Expo here.
70. And reviewed it here.
71. The James Bond film franchise hit the big 5-0.
72. My former tutor, Marc Leverton, who’s a freelance writer, has written a guest blog post about his experience of publishers.

How To - Journalism

73. A review of his book, How to work as a Freelance Journalist, can be read here.
74. Steven Moffat has left Twitter. (Again, nothing to do with me!)
75. I’ve seen Steven Moffat at the Doctor Who Experience!
76. Sherlock burst onto television in July 2010.
77. I’ve helped Kasterborous begin their 50th anniversary celebrations with monthly Introduction articles.
78. January’s was Frontier in Space.
79. And this month’s is Vengeance on Varos.

Frontier 3

80. Tying into this, my editor called a second Frontier in Space piece I wrote one of the best articles the site has ever published. A massive compliment. You can read The World Behind: Frontier in Space here.
81. I reviewed Lee Mack’s Going Out live tour for Guide2Bristol
82. … And Bristol247!
83. I’ve visited the National History Museum for the first time.
84. Colin Baker appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
85. My article, Room with a View?, was the most-viewed article on Kasterborous in 2012!
86. I’ve begun work on a number of non-fiction books – but researching is a long task!
87. I reminisced on the anniversary of Matt Smith’s debut as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy and Arthur Darvill as Rory here.
88. And celebrated Matt’s Doctor here.

The 11th Doctor

89. I’ve started a short story collection.
90. My jewellery article, With This (Time) Ring…, was surprisingly popular, making the Kasterborous top 10 list of the most-viewed articles of 2012.
91. I looked at the top 10 guest stars in the Tenth Doctor era here and here.
92. I’ve started reading the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
93. T4 On The Beach (held in my hometown) has been cancelled.

David Tennant

94. I’m working on a particularly-exciting documentary idea – though it’s only in development in my head at the minute!
95. I’ve seen Peter Kay live at Manchester’s M.E.N. Arena.
96. Parts of Doctor Who: The Snowmen were filmed in Bristol, as were bits of Night Terrors.
97. I previewed tours by Micky Flanagan, Ed Byrne and Stewart Francis for my local newspaper, The Weston and Worle Mercury.

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

98. I’ve seen the asteroid, 2012 DA14!
99. I’ve added a new section to my blog: Testimonials.
100. I’ve written 100 posts!

But don’t go anywhere. This is just the start.

Thanks for sticking with me this long.

 
 

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Doctor Who: Series 7, Part 1 Quiz Answers!

ADVENT DAY TWENTY-THREE: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).

So how did you do on the Doctor Who Series 7, Part 1 quiz I posted a few days ago here? Let’s find out, shall we…?

Dinosaurs 1

1. In Asylum of the Daleks, which planet was the Doctor lured to by Darla Von Karlsen?

Skaro.

2. In what year is Dinosaurs on a Spaceship mainly set?

2367 AD.

3. In A Town Called Mercy, who says, “Violence doesn’t end violence; it extends it”?

The Doctor.

4. How long are the cubes in The Power of Three initially active for?

47 minutes.

5. According to their gravestone in The Angels Take Manhattan, how old were Rory and Amy when they died?

Rory: 82; Amy: 87.

6. What name does Oswin give the Daleks waiting outside her cell in Asylum?

Intensive Care.

7. The beach that’s actually the engine room in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is most notable for being Bad Wolf Bay in Doomsday. But what planet did it also feature as, and in which serial…?

Alfafa Metraxi in The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone.

8. In A Town Called Mercy, what was the Gunslinger’s real name?

Kahler-Tec.

9. The Shakri, in The Power of Three, serve the word of… what?

The Tally.

10. In The Angels Take Manhattan, what is the title of the last chapter (just before Amy’s Afterword)?

Amelia’s Last Farewell.

Series 7

BONUS QUESTION:
What was the last scene filmed by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill together?

At the end of The Power of Three, when the Doctor, Amy and Rory walk into the TARDIS…

So how did you do? Leave a comment – and get ready for The Snowmen!

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Blog Advent - 2012, Television

 

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Doctor Who: Series 7, Part 1 Quiz

ADVENT DAY EIGHTEEN: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).

Celebrating an exceptional run of five Doctor Who episodes this year, here’s a quick quiz to refresh your memory, ready for The Snowmen. Come back later this week to see the answers.

Asylum 2

Good luck!

1. In Asylum of the Daleks, which planet was the Doctor lured to by Darla Von Karlsen?
2. In what year is Dinosaurs on a Spaceship mainly set?
3. In A Town Called Mercy, who says, “Violence doesn’t end violence; it extends it”?
4. How long are the cubes in The Power of Three initially active for?
5. According to their gravestone in The Angels Take Manhattan, how old were Rory and Amy when they died?
6. What name does Oswin give the Daleks waiting outside her cell in Asylum?
7. The beach that’s actually the engine room in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is most notable for being Bad Wolf Bay in Doomsday. But what planet did it also feature as, and in which serial…?
8. In A Town Called Mercy, what was the Gunslinger’s real name?
9. The Shakri, in The Power of Three, serve the word of… what?
10. In The Angels Take Manhattan, what is the title of the last chapter (just before Amy’s Afterword)?

A Town Called Mercy 5

BONUS QUESTION:

What was the last scene filmed by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill together?

Try not to cheat – but if you really must, might I suggest perusing my ReKaps? Or you can just wait a few days to find out…

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Blog Advent - 2012, Television

 

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Sub-Editing Kasterborous

ADVENT DAY SEVENTEEN: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).

I’ve been lucky enough to be approached by my Kasterborous editor, Christian, to help sub-edit the site occasionally; a job I’ve happily taken on!

JLC by TARDIS

Aside from the usual editing tasks – checking spelling, syntax, grammar, punctuation etc – I’m responsible for adding images, tags and things like that.

My first published piece was Peruvian Who? by Meredith Burdett. I was quite nervous publishing anything that wasn’t, y’know, on this blog. Oh, the responsibility! But it went fine, and I got nice feedback from Christian. He was even supportive when I accidentally published an article before its featured image or tags had been added. (I basically pressed ‘publish’ instead of ‘preview’!)

When I first started, Kasterborous was having a bit of a makeover: there was initially a scrolling bar at the top of the homepage, featuring an image and some text to the left-hand side.

One of my jobs was picking these featured images, so once I tested the new site out, I realised that the text on the scroll bar obscured parts of the image. So I decided to pick images where the central character was offset to the right, with examples including Matt and Jenna’s “Good Chemistry”, which showed Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Oswin Oswald, and Hitchcock vs. Dream Lord.

Hitchcock vs Dream Lord

A few of my other sub-edited pieces include: Exclusive Nicholas Briggs Interview; So What (She’ll Be A Who Star?!); Andrew Cartmel Needs You!; What We Know About Christmas 2012; Matt Smith Wants Danny Boyle To Direct; and Matt Smith Teases 50th Anniversary, Live Events.

I was drafted in again to help out on the sub-editing front last week, and my most recent sub-edited articles include: Doctor Who Continues in April 2013!; Your Personal Desktop TARDIS!; and The Tiptons Talks Assimilation2.

Jenna - good chemistry

Big thanks to Christian for trusting me with one of the biggest Doctor Who sites, and fingers crossed he’ll let me loose again soon…

 

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Jenna-Louise Coleman is the Doctor’s new companion!

Jenna-Louise Coleman has been revealed as the Doctor’s new companion in Doctor Who.

The 25-year old actress will begin filming in May, though her debut won’t air until Christmas, taking over from Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill’s Rory Williams, who leave in episode 5 of the next series.

… And that’s all we know about Jenna’s appearance on the show! We have yet to find out her character’s name, what time period she comes from – and if she’s even human.

Showrunner, Steven Moffat said:

“It always seems impossible when you start casting these parts, but when we saw Matt and Jenna together, we knew we had our girl. She’s funny and clever and exactly mad enough to step on board the TARDIS.

“It’s not often the Doctor meets someone who can talk even faster than he does, but it’s about to happen. Jenna is going to lead him his merriest dance yet. And that’s all you’re getting for now. Who she’s playing, how the Doctor meets her, and even where he finds her, are all part of one of the biggest mysteries the Time Lord ever encounters. Even by the Doctor’s standards, this isn’t your usual boy meets girl.”

Jenna, who has previously appeared in Emmerdale and Waterloo Road, will, of course, be the Doctor’s companion at the time of the show’s 50th anniversary in November 2013. She said:

“I’m beyond excited, I can’t wait to get cracking; working alongside Matt I know is going to be enormous fun and a huge adventure.”

The critics are already milling about – she says she has banned herself from Google – but I remain very positive about her, despite the fact I’ll really miss Karen and Arthur.

You can see what Kasterborous editor, Christian Cawley and regular contributor, James McLean, think about Jenna in their 15-minute ‘ReaktionKast’ here:

… Although I’m really shocked neither remembered that sole Dalek in The Wedding of River Song. (Check out the regular “PodKast with a K” on Kasterborous.)

I was impressed with her performance in Waterloo Road, and think she’ll be fantastic in the TARDIS. But she’d better practice her running…

Rumour had it that Sophia Myles (who has previously appeared in the series as Madame de Pompadour in The Girl in the Fireplace) would take on the mantle of new companion, but it might’ve stretched credibility a bit too much.

You can see Jenna in ITV’s Titanic.

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Unpublished work

 

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Day of the Daleks

I don’t normally get the Classic Doctor Who DVDs immediately after they come out. As a student, with limited funds, I tend to wait until they’re a tenner over at HMV, but when the Doctor Who Appreciation Society offered Day of the Daleks for £20 – signed by three of its cast! – I just couldn’t help myself.

And I’m so glad I got it so quickly.

Firstly, it’s a great story. Nestled at the start of series nine (1972), it’s a timey-wimey tale of a group of guerrillas arriving from a bleak future to assassinate a delegate at the second World Peace Conference – in order to stop a Dalek invasion!

Secondly, alongside the original transmitted version, there’s a Special Edition, with brand new effects, scenes, and Dalek voices by Nick Briggs, voice of many-a-modern-day Who monster!

The Special Edition is amazing, really adding to the strong performances and plot.

And finally, it gave me the chance to write some reviews for Kasterborous and ItchyBristol.

Here’s the ItchyBristol one, which had to be relatively short to fit in with its surroundings. Even so, I think I managed to get in quite a bit of detail, and I’m pleased with the final piece:

http://www.itchycity.co.uk/article.cfm/25/9579/City-City-Guide/article/Day-of-the-Daleks-Special-Edition-DVD

One of the big benefits of Itchy is that the by-line is, in fact, a link… to this very blog! So if you’ve been directed here by that – Hello, and thanks for reading my work!

I’ve further explored the DVD for Kasterborous, and huge thanks must go to Christian, my editor, for giving me the chance to delve deeper into the tale. I felt that I needed to include as much detail about the serial and special features as possible, especially as Kasterborous has such a loyal following that its readers want that sort of depth. They know Doctor Who intimately. So it’s imperative to cater for this.

Though it was quite a challenge, I really enjoyed fully reviewing all aspects of the DVD, and I’m very pleased with the two articles, which can be found here:

Part One:

http://www.kasterborous.com/2011/10/day-of-the-daleks-special-edition-1/

Part Two:

http://www.kasterborous.com/2011/10/day-of-the-daleks-special-edition-2/

I hope you enjoy them. As always, any feedback is always appreciated.

And don’t forget: it’s Day of the Daleks Month over at Kasterborous (http://www.kasterborous.com/2011/11/day-of-the-daleks-month/), so if you want to discuss the story or any elements of it, get over to their forum now.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Published work

 

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