One of the things that is basic podcasting 101 is that one should podcast about a missing need. There's no point in making a podcast if the need isn't there. With that said, it's interesting how there has been an explosion of new Doctor Who podcasts in recent years and more importantly, in recent months (thanks to the approaching 50th anniversary of the series). And I have to wonder in seeing all these debuts, do we really need all these similar themed podcasts? I'm a fan of Doctor Who, but I guess I'm not enough of one to listen to every one that's available for download. I was surprised in looking at my podcast list recently on my updated iPhone podcast player (will post on this in the forums this weekend) at how many Doctor Who themed podcasts I have been listening to and I'll tell you why. You can find all these podcasts on iTunes, but I'll also include links to their websites.
Doctor Who Audio Dramas - The oldest fan run production of original Doctor Who stories. Using their own versions of the Doctor, these stories are mostly engaging and fun. And yes, I say this as someone who has written some of these (hopefully) engaging and fun stories for them. I've been making my way through the series, one episode a week, and have almost made it to the end. Current Doctor, R, Douglas Barbieri takes a little getting used to as the DWADs decided to go old school, so to speak, by having the Doctor be more in the way of William Hartnell.
Doctor Who: Verity! - A newcomer to the podcast sphere, what makes this podcast stand out is that the entire cast of about six hosts is made up of women. And they are fantastic as they monthly make their way through one Doctor at a time, looking at an episode that stands out as typical of the particular Doctor in question. In addition, they also have extras that look at various aspects of Doctor Who. I'm currently listening to their interview with costume designer June Hudson. A great listen that has managed to stand out very quickly among the lot of podcasts. The title is taken from first Doctor Who producer, Verity Lambert.
Two-Minute Time Lord - I'm of a mixed mind with this one. The contents are not always what it says on the tin. I was drawn to the podcast late last year based on the title. I find that unless the show is tight and moves along, I can't listen to podcasts that go into the one hour sphere and there are many Doctor Who podcasts that cannot stay tight in their content. Overall, this is a show that offers short audio essays on various aspects of Doctor Who. This already sets it apart from the others on this page. But there are times where the show has had interviews and convention coverage and that just isn't for me as I can find these in other shows I listen to. I skip past these episodes when I see them in my queue as the one I listened to was not tight and to the point. The show works so much better when it sticks with its premise and format. Your millage may vary.
Doctor Who: The Tin Dog Podcast - I've been listening to this show for over three years now. It's the one Doctor Who podcast I look forward to most. Michael, the host of the show, keeps a tight grip on the content, staying on target, and is clearly engaged in his subject. I expecially find his reviews useful when it comes to choosing Big Finish products and we appear to be of somewhat similar tastes when it comes to the entire run of the television series. Most of the time, the podcast is under fifteen minutes, but when a longer show is required, it's for a good reason and the content is worth it. I also love that he includes audio from radio and television events related to recent Doctor Who. My days of "aquiring" British programming are behind me as they have made more of it available more readily, but I miss the little things like news interviews and special appearances on other shows.
Splendid Chaps - This is another new kid on the block. Three Austrailians gather monthly for a live show and take a look at one Doctor's run in the series. Now, this sounds like Verity! and it would be a copycat show, but they do this live, they have special guests (loved the first one with the designer of the original Cybermen), and they have a musical guest at the end. Plus, they not only tackle one Doctor, but one running theme that we see in the series. So far, they've covered authority, evil, and family. It's a lot of fun and a great listen.
The Sonic Newsdriver - I mention this show even though host Louis Trapani hasn't done an episode in ages. This is basically a Doctor Who news show. Louis fills us in on the happenings in the Whoniverse and while many may argue you can easily get that on the web, I find Louis features news I haven't heard. I'm hoping he's able to get things back up in working order soon.
Doctor Who: The Writer's Room - Of course, the Nerdist network would have a Doctor Who related program, but I'm glad they didn't go with the obvious as is evident with so much of their programming. This is a show that takes a hard look at the writings of one particular Doctor Who writer. It's a show for the diehard fan who is aware of who the writers and producers on the show are. So far, they've covered only classic writers, so be aware if you're looking as a modern Who fan.
Bigger on the Inside - This podcast has been going for five years now and is actually nearing the end of its run. Each episode the two hosts examine one-three stories of the series, starting from the very beginning. It's a fun show and I find I'm usually in agreement with the points that are raised about a particular story. If I don't, they have a good reason to feel the way they do. My only issue with this show is that it isn't very evergreen in that the hosts read fan mail at the beginning of almost every episode. If you want to sample an episode and see one on a particular Doctor Who story you like, you might be turned off by all the time spent on reading mail from previous episodes. Skip the first thirty minutes or so. It's what I do a lot of the time.
Doctor Who: Podshock - The granddaddy of them all as far as I'm concerned. The show focuses on reviews, interviews, and discussion on all things Doctor Who. I don't listen to it as much as I used to as I do feel that it doesn't seem as focused as it once did. I also have the same problem of the hosts taking up so much time to read emails as we see in Bigger on the Inside. Special episodes should be set aside if one wishes to address all the emails one receives. Currently, the show is on hiatus due to problems following Hurricane Sandy. Worth checking out the back episodes and I hope they get back up and running soon.
I haven't had a true Must-See TV Show in ages. Frankly, network television really hasn't had anything in the way of offerings that I feel compelled to make sure I am either there as it broadcasts or that I have it recorded. Don't get me wrong, there are shows I enjoy, but I've found that if I miss an episode of those shows, it's no big deal.
That has changed though with the CW's Arrow. Based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, the show centers around a young Oliver Queen who was stranded on an island for five years after the yacht that carried him, his father, and the sister of his girlfriend, went down. The sister died instantly and the father killed himself in the hopes that Oliver would survive with the few supplies remaining. His last words were for Oliver to make up for the father's sins and return the ironically named Sterling City to its rightful place as an honest place to live.
Oliver spends five years on the remote island and so far, via flashback peppered throughout the narrative, we see how Oliver is saved and then trained by an inhabitant there. We see that they are pursued by a group of armed men all dressed in black. The flashbacks are handled nicely, woven throughout the current narrative. They give us a better insight into the man Oliver has become and hints at how he won't always be so noble.
The show itself has enought nods to the comic series to please the comics fan, but I'm into it more for the story they are weaving. Every episode ends on a high note with a cliffhanger that makes you want to quickly get back to the story. It's why I've blown through the first five episodes so quickly via Hulu. I'm anxious to see what is going to happen next.
The cast, for the most part, is solid. John Barrowman of Torchwood has just joined the cast as one of the baddies. He's not playing it bad enough yet and I think that has more to do with the fact that all he's done so far is meet with Oliver's mother (who is tied into this whole conspiracy involving the sinking Queen's yacht) and Susanna Thompson is the weakest link among the cast, so he's doing his best. I'm hoping for more though from Barrowman.
I thought at first that this was going to be an even weaker version of Smallville with the baddie of the week, only this time the baddie is simply an underworld type, but it's gone way beyond that. There is a clear mythology being quickly and deftly woven into the series.
I am also seeing the elements of Hamlet in the story as Oliver tries to make up for his father's sins and deals with the fact that his mother quickly married Queen's CFO. For those of you who are Shakespeare fans, you can really appreciate this, right down to Oliver's soliloquey's offered at the beginning of episodes.
If you enjoy the comic, if you enjoy a story with a rich mythology that's easy to follow, if you simply like archer-type characters in the vein of Green Arrow, Marvel's Hawkeye, or even Robin Hood, this show is for you.
This is my new Must-See TV.
So, Keith DeCandido, Anthony Racano, David Finnerty, Daniel Persons, and I will be appearing this coming weekend at New York Comic Con in their Podcast Alley. It's a great opportunity to network and generate content for our respective shows. We will have two tables in the Alley, one for Dead Kitchen Radio and one for the network in general. If you'd like to see us, here's how it's looking for appearances at the table.
Keith - The entire weekend
John - Thursday night on
David - Sunday
Daniel - on and off throughout the weekend based on availability
Anthony - Saturday and Sunday
Anthony will be playing games at the table, Keith will be selling his books as well as autographing them for you and we'll be recording a number of episodes of our various podcasts throughout Saturday and Sunday. Plus, we will have a number of guests at the booth conducting interviews with them, again, based on their availability. These include authors Robert Greenberger and Anthony Del Col. We will also have a mic set up just to record interviews with folks on the floor to get their impressions of the convention.
APPEARANCES AT THE TABLE
Bob Greenberger - Friday - 10-11AM
John Hartness - Friday - 11-12PM
David Alan Mack - Friday - 2-3PM, Saturday - 3-5PM
Max Gladstone - Friday - 3-4PM
So make it a point to stop by and see us. We're at booths 3362/3364. Maybe you'll find yourself on a future episode of The Chronic Rift.
I liked it. I haven't liked much of Moffat's since he took over the series; but I liked this, not because the Ponds (and I'll get to this in a moment) left, but because this story had a beginning, middle, and end and wasn't so X-Files-ish. It also used the Weeping Angels as the true menace they are, the "killing me softly" kind of baddie. I loved that.
Now, the Ponds. Sigh. I was never a fan of them, in particular Amy. I'm going to get flack for this, but I hated that they were called the Ponds. Rory Williams was the better of the two characters and while I get what Moffat was doing there, I hated it just the same. It diminished Rory as a character. Without getting into it, I loved the ending and how Rory finally got the respect I felt he deserved.
And while I liked this episode, I feel it was too little, too late to make the companions interesting.
I didn't realize it until someone else pointed it out - the Christmas special, a Victorian setting, again?
Moffat needs to move on and focus on other projects. I'm done with him. I'll still watch as the show has its moments. I loved "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and "A Town Called Mercy" tugged on my Western heartstings. (My dad would have watched that episode.) But his run as producer has been so lackluster as he tries to be more clever than actually telling a story. He did that last night though. Again, too little, too late.
So, we're moving along into our fifth year of podcasting as The Chronic Rift and are well into our second year as a network. You've seen the announcements that Generations Geek will be premiering this month, but I'm also excited by a new podcast I'm going to hopefully premiere in November.
And you're thinking, "Doesn't he have enough to do than to be producing another podcast?" I do, but I think this one will be worth it and should be a lot of fun if it works out.
Sorry that I'm not being forthcoming in the details, but my partner in this endevour wants me to wait until we've recorded a few episodes to see how she feels about doing it. I can reveal this much though. We'll be podcasting about another TV obsession of mine.
Yeah, said too much already. Hopefully, this will work out. And I hope you're enjoying the fare we're offering here. Please let us know via the multiple means we have available.
As you can see, the website has been updated. I didn't like the fact that there was so much going on on the page. It's still not perfect, but it's better than what it was before. Dave and I are going to look over the page and see how we can improve the look more.
Some people have commented in looking at the recent blogs that there is a awful lot of spam. When it comes to spam on the site, my policy is that if one blogs spam, I won't stop it. We set up the blog feature here to allow our Rift Crew and our Rift listeners an opportunity to talk about what they want without fear of censure (within reason). Even spam falls under that.
Now, if one spams in the forums and in the episode posts, they are finished. These areas are set up for a specific subject and having you hijack the discussion with news of Pentium products is not cool.
I've got to get back into the habit of posting here and I want the forums to pick up again. I need your help though. This once was a thriving community where one could visit and find all kinds of new content.
We need to get this back on track.
Thanks for listening and reading.
You Are A: Lawful Neutral Human Monk/Wizard (3rd/2nd Level)
Lawful Neutral- A lawful neutral character acts as law, tradition, or a personal code directs him. Order and organization are paramount to him. He may believe in personal order and live by a code or standard, or he may believe in order for all and favor a strong, organized government. Lawful neutral is the best alignment you can be because it means you are reliable and honorable without being a zealot. However, lawful neutral can be a dangerous alignment when it seeks to eliminate all freedom, choice, and diversity in society.
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.
Monks- Monks are versatile warriors skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. Good-aligned monks serve as protectors of the people, while evil monks make ideal spies and assassins. Though they don't cast spells, monks channel a subtle energy, called ki. This energy allows them to perform amazing feats, such as healing themselves, catching arrows in flight, and dodging blows with lightning speed. Their mundane and ki-based abilities grow with experience, granting them more power over themselves and their environment. Monks suffer unique penalties to their abilities if they wear armor, as doing so violates their rigid oath. A monk wearing armor loses their Wisdom and level based armor class bonuses, their movement speed, and their additional unarmed attacks per round.
Wizards- Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard's strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.
Anybody who knows me or who listens to the podcast knows I am a huge Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman fan. I am not shameful about it. As a kid, I tuned in weekly to the bionic duo's exploits as they took on Bigfoot, Venus Death Probes, Fembots, mad dictators, and their own relationship status (long story there). I continued to watch religiously as the show went into syndication. I tuned in whenever the show popped up on cable and caught all three reunion movies. To this day, the show holds up for me and I remember my childhood fondly as I watch them both. The same can't be said with other shows from the time. (Watching CHiPs a few years back was an ugly experience. Talk about a show that didn't hold up.)
There was a great deal of merchandising that went with both series. Lunch boxes, puzzles, games, Halloween costumes, dolls (for Steve - action figure), and comic books. Those comic books were produced by the now defunct Charleton Comics, which each series lasting about eight issues. They were very standard fare as far as comic stories went. Steve goes back in time to prevent his crash, Jaime tries to discover who is sabotaging an oil rig in Alaska. The bionic skills were on par with the show, meaning they were fantastic, but just within the range of believability (I'll get more into that in a moment.) The drawings made somewhat of an effort to make the characacters look like Lee Majors and Lindsay Wagner.
For years, there have been attempts to revive the bionic franchise. There were the reunion movies. There has been very scary talk of Jim Carrey reimgining the role in a comedic way as well as a more serious take from Kevin Smith. There was a failed 2008 Bionic Woman series that lasted only eight episodes. It failed because it realized too late what made the show a hit. It tried to go in the opposite direction by making a show that was dark and moody and it forgot that the show was about hope despite the difficulties, despite the odds. And that's why both shows always clicked for me. Our heroes may have flirted with the darkness, but they never submerged themselves in it.
We come to 2011 and the bionic franchise has gotten a kick with the releases of the original series on DVD. There are plans to release the action figures again for collectors. There is a popular twice-monthly podcast with two charismatic hosts and their affable guest hosts. (Ahem). And there are two new comic series from Dynamite.
The Six Million Dollar Man series started in late 2011 and is simply called The Bionic Man. It's based on Kevin Smith's aborted script from the 90s. We get the story once again of Steve crashing in his test plane and having to be saved by Rudy Wells, Oscar Goldman, and the OSI. The thing is this time, Oscar is an old friend of Steve's. Steve is beholden to the OSI, now with a female boss at the head who appears even more ruthless than Oliver Spencer from the original pilot movie, and grudgingly agrees to missions. His first is to stop the first bionic man (yes, Steve Austin is not the world's first bionic man as the opening credits of the show told us every week) who has gone rogue. The series has released eight issues so far and it looks like they are in it for the long run. My biggest issue with the comic is that they play up the cyborg angle too much, showing the merging of man and machine not just with the bionic action (which is extremely comic booky, more so than the show), but by visually showing the cybernetic parts in normal situations. The story's a little violent with ripped out arms and legs and one scene where a human is ripped in half by the rogue agent. I can deal with that. It's 2012. You can't do a story where Steve simple smirks and winks his way through the episode. And yet, there are little nods like that in the comic. Max, the bionic dog, even makes an appearance.
The Bionic Woman premiered this month and it's hard to judge it yet. Writer Paul Tobin wastes no time making Jaime bionic. In fact, we only get a flashback of one page of the origin story. In Bionic Man Jaime is reunited with Steve in the seventh issue and according to Bionic Woman they reignite their romance, 2012 style (Nothing shown, but definitely suggested). That's about it though. The rest is Jaime, who has somehow managed to escape from the OSI, something Steve couldn't do, and is hiding out in Paris. Jaime appears to be a modern version of Jaime from the 70s, trying to be true to herself while dealing with this harsh world. It works and despite the brevity, so did the origin story. Jaime has new abilties including a camoflage technique that allows her to change her appearance, which would have helped Jaime a great deal in the 70s as she was once a fifth ranked professional tennis player. (Although surprisingly, she managed to get by as a secret agent.)
It's not your father's bionic series, but it still has the feel of something that you can connect with. I'm sticking with both series for now and am looking forward to seeing where Tobin goes with Bionic Woman, especially since he recently tweeted that he wrote the word, Fembot, into a script.
I recently saw a blog entry of another podcaster who listed her current podcast queue and it got me thinking about what it is I listen to and decided to make a list. Wow! I didn't realize I had this much of a list.
At the Table - Host Kelly Lincoln interviews some interesting people in the world of the arts. There hasn't been a new episode in some time, but I'm holding out hope that there will be something new down the line.
Be a Better Booktalker - Andrea Lipinski offers samples of her booktalking skills and tips on how to improve yours. I have played episodes of the show to my students as they are book talking as part of their independent reading program.
Better in the Dark - The boys from Brooklyn continue to entertain me with their twice monthly program on movies with occasional detours into television, comics, and pulp litetrature.
Bigger on the Inside - Dan and Mike are almost through their twice monthly look at the classic Doctor Who series and will continue on into the modern day version. Definitely one of the podcasts I look forward to.
British Invaders - The hosts take an in depth look into the world of fantasy/sci-fi British television. I've discovered shows I never would have heard about through this podcast. I also like it as they dont' banter about other things or their week and thus keep the episodes evergreen and easy to access and listen to.
The Christmas Stocking - I discovered this podcast this past Christmas. Host Lee Cameron takes his listeners through the history of various elements of the holidays. While the show is primarily released at Christmastime, there are special episodes that pop up during the year, like Christmas in July.
Cinefantastique Online - The Rift's own Dan Persons is one of the hosts of this weekly look at the world of the fantastic in the cinema.
The Couch Potato Podcast - This show isn't as consistent as it once was, but when it comes on with a new episode, it's pretty good. The hosts chat primarily about what they're watching on television and what they're drinking as they podcast.
The Tin Dog Podcast - Another of the shows I really look forward to. The Tin Dog is only about fifteen minutes long and focuses on one aspect of Doctor Who, usually a review of a DVD release or of new episodes. It's worth it for the Who inspired music and hard to obtain radio programs featuring interviews with the stars of the show.
The Gaver's Haven - This show's on the bubble with me at the moment. Primarily they focus on gaming, but they dabble in other areas of fandom. I like the interplay with the hosts, but lately they have not been consistent with their releases and when they do, the episodes clock in at a near horse-choking three hours. I know I can stop and listen as I go, but I prefer to listen to a show in its entirety and something like that would literally take me two days of travel to consume.
Greek Radio sWeekly - I really miss the daily version of this show, but the sometimes weekly show is still a lot of fun.
The Greatest Movie Ever Podcast - Even when I don't agree with the choice of movie, I learn a thing or two as Paul Chapman and his rotating hosts praise the oddest assortment of movies.
The Halloween Haunt - I discovered this podcast towards the tail-end of its 2011 Halloween run. Like The Christmas Stocking, this podcast takes a look at various aspects of the Halloween season.
Here's the Thing - I'm going to get more into this in a future In Review, but I really like this brief show in which Alec Baldwin interviews interesting people.
HG World - I'm not a fan of zombies and yet I'm hooked on this much more interesting take on a post apocalyptic world than Walking Dead.
Hip Hop Manifesto - I'm not much of a fan of rap, but I listen and learn from this show thanks to the interaction between hosts Chivalry and B-Hyphen.
The Kingery - It's a cross between The Sopranos and Deep Space Nine. Do you need anymore?
MASH 4077 Podcast - Another podcast I look forward to. The hosts keep on topic and make sure that the podcast is about the particular episode they are focused on, thus keeping it evergreen.
Mighty Movie Podcast - Dan Persons hosts this interview show featuring some of the most interesting movie makers.
The Nerdist - I'm going to get some flack for saying this, but this show's on the bubble. I find I'm skipping over a number of the interview episodes and the "hostful" shows are too full of themselves. It's just not as interesting anymore.
Podquiz - A weekly quiz show akin to the quizzes one would find in a tavern in England. Another show I look forward to.
Podsafe Christmas - Another holiday show that focuses on podsafe holiday music. Sadly, there hasn't been a new episode since 2009. I hold out hope though and thus my subscription.
The Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd - I recently reviewed this show and always seem to be coming to the party too late when it comes to comedy podcasts. The series has stopped production, but I'm enjoying listening to the releases of their archives.
Radio Free Burrito - Wil Wheaton finally released a new episode! It took about a year.
Requiem of the Outcast - Another show I reviewed that has not released a new episode in some time. You are missed and I wait.
The Retroist - The Retroist takes a look at some aspect of pop culture from the past. I especially love his stories that he starts the show with.
Roll for Intiative - I'm almost caught up with the back episodes and this show continues to impress me as the hosts discuss first edition Dungeons and Dragons.
Save or Die! - I'm not as into this podcast dealing with classic Dungeons & Dragons but I stay on as I like the interplay between the hosts.
School of Podcasting - Dave Jackson uses the podcast as a means to promote his School of Podcasting, but you still learn a great deal about podcasting even if you don't sign up.
Slice of Sci-Fi - I'm still on the fence with the multiple episodes a week of the show, but I do like the interplay with the hosts and do find some interesting news items.
Sonic Newsdriver - Louis Trapani needs to produce new episodes of this Doctor Who news show.
Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me - Another show I look forward to hearing, especially when Paula Poundstone is on the panel.
Weekly Web Tools - Another David Jackson series that looks at web tools available for the DIY webmaster.
So, I decided to give Hulu a try. I think if it works out, I'm going to ditch cable. I already have Amazon Prime and Netflix and when you combine the three, I still pay so much less than I do for cable and I have more viewing choices.
I decided to try Hulu because David Alexander McDonald had pointed out that there was a British science fiction soap opera, Jupiter Moon, available. There are currently 36 episodes of the 150 available, but maybe they'll get more.
It's such a 90s British show. The hairstyles, the mod clothing trying to pass as futuristic garb, and the OTT performances all combine to make a show that is worth giving a chance for those who like the cheese.
Since I joined, I did a scan through their current programming and found they have Century City, a CBS program about a law firm in the future that I liked, but only got to see a couple of episodes. Nine were made in total and now I can catch up on them. There are other offerings exclusive to Hulu, making the trial run at least worth it.
My only real problem with the service is that they run commercials. I guess considering it's only $8 a month, I shouldn't complain; but the cutaways, especially in the British programs, are not always the best.
Still, I'm looking forward to seeing Ultraviolet, Eerie Indiana: The Next Dimension, and Spies. The latter looks to be the British version of Chuck and it's exclusive to Hulu according to the promo that interupted my viewing of Jupiter Moon.
Oh, and I can catch up on my missing episodes of Terra Nova. I know, many of you will ask, am I really missing it, but I saw the potential of the series and I want to see if they ever realize it.
As most of you know, I have begun a new podcast based on my love for The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman called Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast. Every two weeks, "Voice of the Rift" Paul K. Bisson and I dissect an episode of either series with a guest host. Despite our love for both series, we knew that this simply couldn't be a love fest or we would never be taken seriously.
Last night, we recorded the first two true episodes. We are starting with the TV movies that developed into the weekly series. It's interesting to note how when you turn a critical eye to something you truly love and break it down, it doesn't seem as great as it would appear at first.
Without giving too much away, we all seemed to be in consensus that the pilot movie was close to perfect. We noted the flaws and managed to give it a high number of bionic limbs for our rating.
The second movie, "Wine, Women, and War", didn't fair as well. On the surface, I like it. It's a decent movie - on the surface. But when you really stop to think about the motivations and actions of Steve Austin in this film, it doesn't ring true with the man he was in the first film or the man we'll come to know in the series. When you look at the clearly sexist atitudes being flaunted in this movie, it suddenly loses a lot of its shine. And then there's the ridiculous way he took out the baddie. Stay tuned to hear about that.
My whole point in saying all that was to say this. Sometimes, it takes a true reflection of anything you truly love to see if it's really as good as you might hold it up to be. It could be a beloved television show, an article of clothing that has clearly gone past its fashion sense time frame (if it ever really had one), or even a simple love for hamburgers (I'm so missing hamburgers at the moment). We all have blinders when it comes to the nostalgia of what was, but the reality of what is can often be harsh and so much easier to avoid. We like to think it's perfect or that we're perfect, but there is the harsh reality of it all and that's often hard to accept.
Just try not to be so harsh when you're watching those old episodes of the public access Rift. I try to keep the shine on them myself. I can't help it.
Putting it out there among the fans, would you like to appear on Cyborgs: A Bionic Podcast? We need guest hosts who have something to say about the following episodes. The months listed are when they would be recorded, usually the first Friday of the month in the evening, EST.
Jan: "The Solid Gold Kidnapping"
1974 SEASON I
Jan: "Population: Zero"
Feb: "Operation Firefly"
Mar: "Little Orphan Airplane"
Apr: "Doomsday And Counting"
Apr: "Eyewitness To Murder"
May: "The Rescue Of Athena One"
May: "Dr. Wells Is Missing"
June: "The Last Of The Fourth Of Julys"
Comment here or write John at ABionicPodcast@gmail.com.
Like birds returning north after a rough winter, the spammers appear to be back here on the website. I was actually thinking we were really dead here considering the boards have been quiet as of late and then the spammers weren't trying anything.
Well, in the last day, some eight or so accounts signed up and several tried to post garbage on the boards.
This place is still alive, somewhat.
I was never a big DC Comics fan. They were always too colorful for me and when they went dark, it seemed like they were reaching for Marvel's audience. But there has always been aspects of the DC universe I could appreciate. I loved The Super Friends. I loved Firestorm. I got into the Teen Titans animated series. I even liked the later seasons of The Justice League.
But for me, my standouts in what represented DC were the tv shows Superman in the 50s and Batman in the 60s. Not that I watched them when they originally aired. I was a child of the 70s, coming home from school and watching both shows on WPIX in New York. At the time, I didn't realize how hokey so much of what was done on each show was. I was into our heroes saving the day and doing it with what seemed, to me as a kid, like style.
Fast forward to the present. Our DC Heroes are dark and gritty. In fact, all our heroes are dark and gritty and moody. There are no fun ones left.
Enter Batman: The Brave and the Bold. This series claimed to be a love letter to the fans of the 50s Batman comic book. The problem was that in the initial episodes, the stories were very pedantic and the humor was infantile. Blue Beetle saves the day by hocking a loogie at a computer terminal that short circuits it and frees himself and Batman from the villain's clutches? This looked more like what 70s cartoons could have progressed to had they continued to care less and less about the product as was evident in so many from that era.
I also had a problem with Diedrich Bader doing the voice. It seemed to me like he was just doing a bad Kevin Conroy impression. It didn't work, at first.
I watched the first season and railed against here on the show. I don't know why I kept coming back. I think it was my morbid curiosity to see the takes on the different heroes who teamed up with Batman each week. This went on and I'd find myself taking longer and longer to watch episodes piling up on my DVR. Honestly, more than the first half of the first season is pretty lame.
But then, we come to "The Color of Revenge". In this episode, Robin is back and he's matured. We've seen the story before in the comics and in other animated versions, but this time it's the Robin from the 60s show. With this episode, it is firmly established that this Batman universe is connected to Adam West's. In doing this, I finally get a lock on the show and I think the writers did too.
We're then treated to such great episodes as "Legends of the Dark Mite" (yes, they bring in Bat Mite), "Mayhem of the Music Meister" (yes, I do still have the songs in my head), "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure" (how they managed to make Aquaman goofy and yet more interesting, I'll never understand), "The Golden Age of Justice", "A Bat Divided" (Firestorm!), "Sidekicks Assemble" (Loved it, but the Tick did it better), "The Power of Shazam" (was hoping we'd get to see Mentor from the tv series, but that'd be a stretch), "Chill of the Night", "The Last Patrol" (notable for doing a do-over of the Batgirl pilot episode for Batman), "Night of the Batmen", and finally "Mitefall".
I'm not going to get into the specifics of the last episode, "Mitefall". It only just aired, but it sums up what this whole show was all about, taking the mickey out of the Batman myth. It did it so well in the 60s and it did it again now. It's a shame the 60s show never got a chance to go out like this one did, but if you consider that it's the same universe, then it actually did.
Good-bye Batman, while your Hammers of Justice will continue to drive in the Nails of Crime in future animated fare, it won't be the same.
So, the sixth new series of Doctor Who has come to an end and it looks like the most polarlizing series finale to date. Either it was loved and considered the greatest piece of television ever written (why can't we give him his Hugo now?) or it was reviled as the most confusing mess since Lost's dark days.
I must admit that I have been leaning towards the latter when it comes to my opinion of Steven Moffat and his tenure as show runner of Doctor Who. While I will admit that Moffat's ideas are clever and his dialogue engaging, he has forgotten one basic rule of television writing - tell a story. In all his efforts to be crafty and "groundbreaking", he forgot to tell a story. There's a lot of twists and turns that we've never seen before in Doctor Who, but when you put it all together, there's really not much in the way of story.
And that is something that sadly takes away from all that this series has going for it. One of the mainstays of Doctor Who, in light of the fact that the series has historically not had strong special effects or eleborate set designs going for it, is that they had strong stories. Even Doctor Who at its worst is still leaps and bounds better than most other programs' bad episodes.
When you think about it, you have Steven Moffat who crafted such stories as "Blink" and "The Empty Child". You have Matt Smith who managed to soothe everyone's fears about replacing David Tennant. You have a worldwide following, continually growing, and what do they have to show for it? Time paradoxes involving the companions' child and disruptions of storylines of other writers in order to advance Moffat's plotline. Think about it, every time it was neccessary to mention the crack in time or the Silence, the plot of such great stories were stopped in their tracks. Moffat should have taken a page from Russell T. Davies and learned about subtlety when it came to such mentions as he did with Bad Wolf in series one or the inclusion of Rose in series four.
Here's the funny thing about Moffat. When he was just a writer, he came in, told a damn fine story, and was gone. And we revered him as the best writer in the series. Now that he's the show runner, who's the best writer in the series - Neil Gaiman. In fact, as I was watching "The Doctor's Wife" I kept thinking how sad it was that Moffat can't write like this anymore being the show runner. He's too busy being "innovative" that he forgot to tell a story that leaves them wanting more.
And yet, despite all this, I have to give Moffat credit in that he did tie up most of the loose ends by the end of the series. Not that I cared that much, as I have found myself really not caring anymore about Amy and River Song, (any chance Rory could just go off with the Doctor?) but he hasn't left us hanging.
So, now that this series is done, what do I suggest they do for series seven? Easy...