This short film plays right into a long running subject that many in Geekdom have wondered about and which they only normally get to see either in fan fiction or in some (sometimes very heated!) debate – Star Trek versus Star Wars, and one of the great what ifs in science fiction. So we see the Enterprise appear floating over San Francisco Bay, dropping off some whales (as it does), but this is a San Francisco run by the Empire. Imperial stormtroopers on the street, an Imperial Walker takes pot shots at the Enterprise, a TIE Fighter launches at her and even a bulky Imperial Star Destroyer comes flying over the city to take a shot at the Big E, but the Federation ship’s superior shield technology shrugs it all off. So the Empire brings in the Death Star… Some cracking effects in this fun short:
Payload is a very well-executed short science fiction film by Stuart Willis, set in a near-future, dog-eat-dog dystopia a father and his two kids try to scratch a living in the shadow of a space elevator. Willis manages the difficult trick of cramming an interesting and complete narrative into a short timespace while still managing to give us quick character development sufficient to make us care and give us a good feel for this run-down future setting he has placed them in, well worth viewing:
Love this photo of the first lady of Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols, with President Obama; nice to see he can do the Vulcan salute too, I suspect his predecessor Dubyah was still struggling with the notion of opposable thumbs too much to be able to do that. I wonder if he asked her about her encounter with Dr Martin Luther King Jr and how he told her to stay on the original show in the 60s even though she felt her character didn’t get many lines because just having a black face – and a woman too – on prime time TV in the US during that turbulent era, let alone one who was a senior bridge officer, was an important, viisble role model for young coloured Americans. And you didn’t say no to King. (via FP blog via Live for Films)
Just been released, new version of Peter Davison’s 5th Doctor along with the same era’s Master incarnation (as played so well by the late Anthony Ainley). I really want these for my desk to go next to my Tom Baker figure; Baker then Davison were the main two Doctors when I was growing up, so they’re always going to be ‘my’ Docs.
And at the same time there’s a new figure of Davison’s Doctor as he first appeared right after the regeneration scene at the end of Baker’s swansong in Logopolis/start of Davison’s first story, Castrovalva (since the former lead directly into the latter), the Doctor now regenerated into his new form but still clad in the previous incarnation’s clothes (Baker’s later period costume of the long, burgundy coat and matching scarf):
Brian Rimmer presents a time-travelling musical slide through more than forty years of theme music and opening sequences to the world’s longest running science fiction show, Doctor Who. I confess my favourite remains the Tom Baker era ‘time tunnel opening (the main Who era for me growing up), with the same ‘slit-scan’ technique used in the stargate sequence for 2001, but it’s fun to see them all back to back like this, from the early Hartnell era of 1963 (and the logo that looks like ‘Doctor Oho’ for a second before becoming ‘Who’) through to 2010′s revamped opening and music for Matt Smith’s Doctor. And through it all that immortal, iconic bass line, duh duh duh duh, duh duh duh duh, that’s been reworked endlessly across the decades by various arrangers for the show and by other musicians like Orbital and Pink Floyd; those bass lines were the signal to generations of kids that it was Saturday, tea-time and that meant marvellous adventures and scary monsters (and jelly babies). How lovely that it still means exactly that to a new generation of kids watching the new show and still loving it. (via BoingBoing)
This is fabulous – Improv Everywhere re-enacts a scene from the start of the original Star Wars movie on a busy underground train. I absolutely love the smiles on the commuters, they obviously brightened up a bunch of people’s day for them (via SF Signal):
and behind the scenes:
Just announced new Doctor Who action figures based on the final two part tale that saw the end of David Tennant’s tenure as the Doctor, there’s a set of End of Time figures coming soon, with the injured Tennant Doctor, the blonde Master, Timothy Dalton’s impessive, be-robed Time Lord and – wait for it! – the first Matt Smith Doctor Who action figure, with him right after the regeneration, still in the previous incarnation’s clothes.
And on the fun side there’s also a new Time Squad set of Doctor Who figures coming, with the collection coming together to assemble a Master figure. Funky!
My friend Pádraig Ó Méalóid had a bit of an upset recently – organisers of the Octocon SF convention contacted him to tell him he was banned from the convention for his ‘attitude’. They then take the extremely cowardly route of saying they refuse to explain further what their reasoning is and will not debate it. Now I don’t know what their reasons are (since they make vague accusations but refuse to back them up properly), but to say there are reasons and then refuse to give them or to engage in civilised discussion makes me naturally lean to the suspicion that actually they don’t have any proper reasons that any independent person would consider serious enough to ban someone from a convention (something I’ve not heard of happening before, its pretty unprecedented, especially involving a well known member of the SF community). In fact sod being polite, I’d say that whole approach smacks of petty mindedness and childishness – by all means, Octocon organisers, explain properly and I and many others may revise that opinion, but if you won’t then I can only assume your being incredibly foolish.
Secondly I’ve known Pádraig for years; we both wrote extensively in our own spare time for The Alien Online promoting good writing; he’s written articles, essays and interviews (most recently a fabulous, in-depth piece with Bryan Talbot which we ran on the Forbidden Planet blog – part 1 here, part 2 here, highly recommended) and run successful conventions. He’s supported good reading and good authors and artists for years and as such has gained the respect and friendship of many in the science fiction and comics communities, fans, readers, writers and artists, from new talent to some of the best known names. So for Octocon to take this unprecedented action to someone many of us hold in high esteem (as well as considering a personal friend) without real explanation is not only going to give us a negative impression of them, its going to make quite a few of us rather angry to see him treated in this manner, to say nothing of it smacking of a rather undemocratic and unaccountable approach by evading establishing reasons or proper explanations, which is, frankly, baffling. I await them giving some proper explanation for this to prove they aren’t simply being vindictive over minor criticisms. And meantime I won’t be encouraging anyone to attend the convention.
Viz offers up a scatalogical take on our favourite Time Lord with Doctor Poo, traversing time and space desperately trying to find a quiet loo to take a dump, thwarted at every turn by Cybermen, Sea Devils and Daleks. I especially like the ‘handicapped’ symbol on Davros’ personal loo. Vulgar and crude (it begins with a farting version of the classic Baker-era Doctor Who theme) but funny (via SF Crowsnest):