Phonicon was very popular with lots of money raised for PhonicFM, the local community radion station. I want to personally thank Sean Branney for giving us permission to show the HP Lovecraft Historical Society film The Whisperer in Darkness, which stirred a lot of interest among new fans of Lovecraft’s stories. It was also an opportunity for me to promote their work.
Incidentally, this film is scheduled for release in UK cinemas later this year courtesy of Grimm Entertainment. So keep a look out for their exciting screenings.
Phonicon also featured a Simon Guerrier film called Cleaning Up (2012), which was produced by the notorious Guerrier Brothers, who have just finished Wizard guest starring David Warner. Cleaning Up is a great short that features the talent of Mark Gatiss and Louise Jameson. This is one B&B I wouldn’t like to stay in. If you haven’t discovered it go to the Guerrier link above and have fun. Above all, please make sure that you forward the link to others who enjoy the genre of the fantastic. Simon has written “tonnes” on Doctor Who, Bernice Summerfield etc and there’s more to come.
Sunday’s Phonicon also gave me the opportunity to say hello to and interview Gary Russell.
One time child actor in the TV-series of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five he was also instrumental in being one of a large number of fans who produced high quality Doctor Who articles and stories in the 80s and 90s. His fine moment was the 30th anniversary of the show. Gary, like many other fans around him, helped to convince the BBC that the return of Doctor Who to the screen would be a huge hit. It was bigger than the Beeb expected. Gary is too humble to admit being a part of such a massive contribution but he forgets that his corpus of work inspires writers like me today who are also massive Who, sci-fi and horror genre fans to know what can be achieved through hard work and determination. Gary, I’m not kissing bottom, just appreciating your effort.
Okay. So what about series 7 episode 2 of the current series of Doctor Who? I’ve been holding this off for as long as possible – you know I don’t like ranting. This particular story, called The Rings of Akhaten, had potential for being something interesting but was rushed into a 45 min episode. My opinion is simply this…it shouldn’t have been made in this way.
I’m not going to blame the team behind it because they work incredibly hard to deliver something for the fans…it’s the way the BBC works that’s the problem in determining how programmes are produced set against budget expenditure and time schedules. Not what an angry viewer would agree with after seeing that pile of poo on Saturday evening, but the young fans I met at Phonicon told me how disappointed they were with it. That says an awful lot…it tells me that the show has lost its way and the BBC don’t understand how to structure a show’s longevity…here’s a clue…involve the fans…you’re such a dumb-ass (my favourite American word to date).
And what is it with that bloody sonic screwdriver? It can do everything and is constantly used as a plot device to resolve tricky situations. STOP IT BBC, stop being a p***k and get back to basics with the show, you’re missing an obvious trick!! Get some new blood…can’t you hear me? I’ve been ranting for so long about this.
I thought Rings had some decent elements within it, apart from the alien-scape clearly copied from the cantina from the Star Wars IV film, it had some great characters and some menacing evil aliens but not enough was made of them. This episode could have been scripted for two episodes, enough to bring out character and plot. The living planet, which is essentially Lovecraftian, appeared as nothing more than an angry hungry planet-like thing, is the best way of describing it. Not really Azathothesque or Nyarlathotepisque! But it could have been…it could have been much more and a little frightening too. So the Beeb have missed yet another opportunity. The Moff has my complete support and sympathy but Steve you need to get back to your Coupling days of writing…much more interesting. Stop focusing on female characters…this has already been done to death with them playing a pivotal role with the end of the world or the origins of the daleks (is this to come? zzz).
Sorry that was harsh so who do I direct my anger and frustration too? The BBC? Well I did send a complaint once and heard nothing back…customer service isn’t the same nowadays. To Steve? No I’ve met him and Sue and they’re lovely. No, for now I’ll just shake my fist in the air, growl and sound like a man in his 90s who couldn’t make it to the loo on time.
But seriously we need a fresh approach, new blood in the form of writers who understand Who not just good writers. How about the BBC inviting the fans, who know how to write, contribute stories to a new series of Who? A little bit of inclusivity wouldn’t go amiss here. TV companies used to do focus groups…has this been done for Who? Shrug. Crikey Aunty Beeb perhaps you lack much in the way of vision? Perhaps you suffer from tunnel vision.
Well, until next week when I’m…hopefully…excited by the appearance of Ice Warriors. As an optimist I believe in hope, well for humankind anyway.