Monday, 20 June 2011

Torchwood is ready...

As I'm a little bit obsessed with Torchwood at the moment, I thought I'd do another mini-guide, akin to my recent 'Being Human' one, on Doctor Who's rebellious older brother spin-off show...

Starring John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd

"Torchwood - outside the government, beyond the police, tracking down alien life on Earth, arming the human race against the future.
The 21st century is when everything changes - and Torchwood is ready..."

                                                                                Captain Jack Harkness

What is Torchwood?

After her terrifying experience with the Werewolf in the Scottish Highlands, Queen Victoria set up the Torchwood Institute, named after the house at which the event took place, to counter alien threats to the British Empire. Specifically, that eternal wanderer, the Doctor, who brings destruction in his wake.
Three Torchwood bases were set up: Torchwood One in London, Torchwood Two somewhere in Scotland and Torchwood Three in Cardiff, Wales. The last of these is this series' setting.
Situated above a rift in time and space, Torchwood Three is tasked with dealing with the alien creatures and technology which comes through the rift from anywhere in the universe to Cardiff.
After the Battle of Canary Wharf between the Daleks and the Cybermen (in Doctor Who: Army of Ghosts/ Doomsday) wiped out Torchwood Three became head office and reformed the Torchwood institute. Guided by a heroic captain...

The Characters

Captain Jack Harkness is dashing and charismatic leader of Torchwood. Made immortal by the Bad Wolf (the Doctors companion, Rose, consumed by the Time Vortex), Jack can never die. Which is sort of useful in his line of work.
Jack has worked for Torchwood for over a hundred years once he had arrived on earth to find the Doctor. He rose in position over the years before becoming head in the 2000s. He built his team from the best people he could find and together they have saved the world so many times, even at terrible costs.

For a more information on Captain Jack click here.

Gwen Cooper, a former police officer, is Jack's second in command. She joined Torchwood more by her own will than any former recruitment after she witnessed Torchwood investigating a murder and pursued them to their Hub. With brave, caring and gutsy nature, Gwen will stop at nothing to do what is right.

For more information on Gwen see here.

The dependable Ianto Jones is the man who keeps the team running. No one knows more about Torchwood than Ianto.
A survivor of the Battle of Canary Wharf, Ianto's first role in Torchwood Three was as little more than a butler but he soon took a more active role in the team. Eventually, he would enter into a relationship with Jack until his untimely demise at the hands of the monstrous 456.

For more information on Ianto see here.

Dr Owen Harper was Torchwood Three's medic upon his recruitment after the death of his fiancee at the hands of an alien parasite. Abrasive, regularly rude and highly flirtatious, Owen was sometimes a difficult man to work with but his hard personality covered a deeply caring soul.
After he was killed saving Martha Jones from a gun shot, Jack brought Owen back to life with the Resurrection Gauntlet, a mysterious piece of alien tech. However, he was only half-alive as he had no heart beat or blood flow until he suffered a final death in a radiation plant during a meltdown.

For more information on Owen click here.

Toshiko Sato was Torchwood Three's tech expert and all-round genius. Never comfortable with her emotions, Tosh had a long-running love for Owen which he never reciprocated and she was repeatedly heart-broken when he would have affairs with other female team members (e.g. Gwen) but never herself.
She died after being shot by Jack's vengeful brother Gray and her final moments were spent speaking to Owen as they faced death together.

 For more information on Tosh click here.

And finally, for anyone who was interested by this concise guide to Torchwood and wants to catch the show on television or if you're already a Torchwood fan (or 'Woodie' as John Barrowman calls 'em), Torchwood: Miracle Day, the fourth series, airs this July. See you there!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Sherlock Series 2 Spoilers!

Steven Moffat, executive producer and co-creator, says: “The three stories will be called A Scandal In Belgravia, The Hounds Of Baskerville and The Reichenbach Fall.”

Mark Gatiss, the Moff's co-creator and producer, reveals that when it came to sharing the writing responsibilities, Steven chose to do the twisted love story (Scandal) while he chose the Gothic horror (Baskerville) and Stephen Thompson (Silk, Doctor Who) is writing the thrilling finale (Reichenbach).

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Story time! #1

Settled everyone? Good, 'cos it's story time! Wheee! Here's a short story I entered into a crime writing competition recently. It's only 750 words as the competition had a really concise word limit for under 18s. Anyway, I'm quite pleased with it. It's all my own idea with I like to think the feel of a Sherlock Holmes adventure:

                                        The Waxwork Woman

Jenny Knight settled down in a large armchair to listen to Alexander Wolf – her best friend, the brilliant young detective, relate the mystery of the Waxwork Woman. She was joined by the portly figure of Detective Inspector Wells, the inhabitant of the room’s other armchair and Wolf’s closest ally in the Police, his two constables, perching awkwardly on wooden stools, and Mr Finch, the owner of the office they were in and of the hotel at the centre of this mystery. They were all watching silently as Wolf began his tale.
“We all know the details of the case,” Wolf began, in his usual mesmeric manner. “The famous actress, Emerald Stone, in England to film her latest movie, Waxwork, decides to stay at this very hotel. Last night, after filming, Emerald returns to her room, her bodyguard waiting outside, ready to check on her if needed. During the night, he hears something but he checks and she’s sleeping soundly. However, when he went to wake her in the morning, he got the shock of his life when he saw that the woman in bed was not his employer but a near-identical waxwork.
 “Now, through our enquiries, Jenny and I learnt that an old partner of Emerald’s was working on the film back-stage.” Wolf pulled a photo of a long-faced man in his thirties from his jacket.
“So you think it was the ex? Oh come on, that’s as old as ‘the butler did it!” Wells exasperated.
 Wolf continued nonchalantly. “After hearing this, Jenny and I investigated Lee’s locker and found some plasticine and this.” He showed them a small scrap of red fabric, his eyes gleaming at it as if it was a piece of invaluable treasure. “This was all I needed to close the case.” His audience stared at him incredulously.
“Yes, this.” Wolf answered, reading their thoughts. “Mr Finch, did anyone join your staff at around the same time that Emerald Stone arrived?”
Mr Finch furrowed his brow with thought. “Yes!”
The manager was about to continue when a bellboy walked past the open door. In unison, Wolf and the others noticed the rip on his red sleeve that was roughly the same size as the scrap Wolf was holding in his hand. Without saying a word, the group ran after the bellboy, chasing the man through dozens of rooms - with Mr Finch apologising to his guests - until he was cornered against a brick wall.
 “You’re nicked, son!” Wolf spat in an awful cockney accent. “What? I can’t be the only person who’s always wanted to say that.”
A little later, Alex and his party had made their way back to Finch’s office with their prisoner where Alex was being blasted with questions.
 “Ssh, please. Okay, so we have two questions to answer; how and why our friend here killed Emerald Stone.
“My guess would be he found out where she was staying so found a job here to watch her and get to know her routine. He devised a plan to work his way through the ventilation shafts to her room, kill her stone dead (see what I did there?) then take the body back through the vents and out the hotel. The waxwork, taken from the film set, was to fool the bodyguard into thinking Emerald was fine until he could look at her in the morning light, giving bellboy here time to depose of the body overnight.”
Wells was still bewildered. “But why did he do it?”
“You said it yourself, Inspector. For revenge.”
Wells’ eyes widened as the answer clicked in his mind. “He’s the ex?”
“But this boy looks completely different from that photo!” Finch spluttered.
“He does now. Remember what we found in his locker, Jenny?”
Jenny gasped. “The plasticine! It was prosthetics!”
“Exactly.” Alex reached for the man’s bulbous nose which came away with one sharp tug revealing a leaner version. Alex did the same to the man’s rounded cheeks which peeled off to fully unveil the man Alex had shown them in the photo.
Alex peered down at the dishevelled figure. “Top marks for the murder, my friend, but ‘the man in a mask’ disguise is a bit ‘Scooby Doo’.”
“I don’t regret what I did,” he screamed with the voice of a madman. “And I –“
“- Would have got away with it if it wasn’t for us meddling kids?” Wolf suggested as the murderer was taken away.

Enjoy it? If you did you might be interested to know that I hope to put more stories with the same characters on here in the weeks to come. Watch this space!

P.s. It's now the 20th June and I've just come back from the competition prize-winning thing. I came joint 4th! If you're an island resident you may see me in the County Press soon.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Time for a rant, methinks.

I've learnt never to rely on technology. Every time I need to do something pretty sharpish - which is a lot of the time actually as I have a knack of leaving things not quite to last minute but the penultimate one - and I need to use technolgy e.g. computer it always let's me down. Example below:

Myself: Argh, coursework due in next week. Time to write it up (clicks Word)

Word: I'm afraid your document has been deleted. A substitute file has been created for your benifit.

Myself; OK, wel that maybe useful.

Word: (substitute file opens and appears to be an animation of a monkey wearing a fez riding a unicycle)

Myself: Or not.

Warning, above events may be entirely fictitious.

The mechanical mishap that has brought on this rant is that my laptop has decided to prevent me from completing a form which is extremely significant in my ascent to university - which is only a few months away and so needs to be done. I try to load the page and it simply won't budge. Like the page hasn't moved for so long it's got overweight and can't find the energy to shift itself.

Ah well, let's calm myself down by watching Matt Smith and Charlie the Badger pester Karen Gillan.

Although the technology wil probably fail me.

I've learnt not to rely on it.


Several days after I posted this technology got its revenge.
First, my laptop gets infected with a horde of horrendous viruses (is that the correct plural for virus? viri?) then when they're removed it deletes my internet history, favourites etcetera, stops me from having a desktop background AND has deleted my word documents!
I'm not sure even Matt, Karen and Charlie will be able to cheer me up this time.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

His Darkest Hour

Argh! It's here! Doctor Who's mid-series finale, A Good Man Goes To War, is only one more sleep away. As my bow tie is positively buzzing with excitement I thought I'd compile a list of things we know about Doctor Who's 777th episode ever so far - not sure this will calm me down though, in fact it will most likely have the opposite effect, but I'll still carry on with it.

1. A revelatory rhyme

The Doctor Who homepage reveals a chilling nursery rhyme-esque poem read by River Song - presumably to feature in the episode tomorrow - read at your peril.

Demons run when a good man goes to war
Night will fall and drown the sun,
when a good man goes to war
friendship dies and true love lies
night will fall and the dark will rise,
when a good man goes to war.

2. The crackpot cast list

Several characters to feature in AGMGTW have been revealed in some official photos:

Of course, newly-mummed Ms Pond will presumably be at the heart of this story and so will her baby daughter who, it has been revealed, is named Melody. Whether she's a Willliams or a Pond has yet to be discovered.

These mysterious men of the church are largley unknown to us as of yet other than that they are the Headless Monks. Although, I'm sure its save to say their not on the Doctor's side.

Ah, that enigmatic Eye Patch Lady who has been plaguing Amy over the past few weeks with her whispered words of "Push" and "Breathe". At last, we find out who she really is and what the heck she wants with Amy and her child - is she in league with the Silence who also seemed to have an unhealthly interest in the young Pond. For now, all we know is her name: Madame Kovarian.

This one's really got me. We don't know much about this eccentricly-dressed young woman, apart from a few short glimpses in the trailer. However, her name is what's really grabbing my attention: Jenny. If the Doctor's going into war, at the Battle of Demons Run, would he reconnect with his estranged daughter - in her second incarnation - first? We'll find out tomorrow. Hopefully.

He's back! Dorium Maldovar, proprioter of the space bar, the Maldovarium, where we saw Doctor Ten say goodbye to Jack in 2010s The End of Time, was previously in the series when River came to him to buy a Vortex Manipulator ("fresh off the hand of a handsome Time Agent") in last year's penultimate episode The Pandorica Opens. Looks like ol' Dorium always shows up when things get tough.

Weee! Those lovable potato - heads, the Sontarans, have returned! Well, at least one has in the - very minute - form of Commander Strax.

Aaand finally, to round up the Doctor's motley crew, helping him to save Amy and her child are...the Cybermen! I know, not the first species you'd expect to come to the rescue. Apparently, they're the 12th Cyber Legion. Maybe that's a rogue group of nice Cybermen?

3. Precious Prequel

The BBC have released a prequel to Good Man which shows Dorium visited by those mysterious Headless Monks. He gives them a warning not to get the Doctor angry. One I'm sure they'll not heed to. On the same link you can also find two one miute clips taken from the episode one of Dorium (again) being arrested by Kovarian and her men and the second is perhaps more intriguing as it shows a desperate Rory trying to plead a reluctant River Song to join the Doctor and he on their quest to find Amy. But that's all we're getting till tomorrow. Spoilers!

4. Super synopsis!

And to see you off, here's a tantalising synopsis of tomorrow's episode from Doctor Who Magazine:

'Hanging among the stars in the far distant future, an asteroid - and a bleak grey fortress built into the misshapen rock. This is Demons Run. In a prison hospital, Amy Pond kisses her one-month-old daughter goodbye. "Wherever they take you, however scared you are" she tells her, "I promise you, you will never be alone."
Twenty thousand light years away, the Doctor has a message for the Twelfth Cyber Legion. The Last Centurion has a question that consumes his every waking moment.
And at Stormcage Containment Facility, in the fifty-second century, River Song is preparing to escape for what may be the very last time...  '

5. And Finally...

Well, all these eye-popping, gut-wrenching, heart-tugging, teeth-clenching teasers have hopefully got you in thr mood for Episode 777 tomorrow but to ensure you don't stay awake all night, humming with excitement, here's a nice puzzle to ensure you get some sleep tonight. Enjoy!

And remember, His Darkest Hour has come, the Battle of Demons Run is about to commence and a good man, the best man you've ever known, may just die. Please, be there for him.


Friday, 3 June 2011

Some shameless plugging

I think it's about time I used links to promote my own things rather than other websites, so here are a list of my facebook pages -  if you have Facebook (and the likelyhood is you do, but if you don't, hey we cater to all sorts here) please like them if they tickle your fancy.

The Eleven Faces of Doctor Who - my general Who page, celebrating all of the programme's long history.

Sherlock (BBC TV Series) - A page decicated to my other favourite fictional world  - Sherlock Holmes, particularly the Steven Moffat/ Mark Gattiss modern-day version.

Being Human - For the excellent BBC3 series about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost who live together.

The Torchwood Page - About Doctor Who's kickass spin-off show featuring the immortal Captain Jack and his team of alien experts.

Team TARDIS - I had to have one more Who page - this time dedicated to my favourite Who leads (as you probably already guessed from the aside photo), Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Alex Kingston.
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