Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Solomon Grundy Want Pants Too!

A few odds and ends today:
  • We should know by tomorrow afternoon whether or not Jericho receives another season when CBS presents their fall schedule to advertisers. Come on CBS, there's not enough post-apocalyptic fare on TV.
  • Heroes gets a spin-off show next season called Heroes: Origins. It will run six episodes and feature a new character each week. The TV-watching audience will get to vote for the character they like best to be added to the regular series.
  • No, I haven't seen Spider-Man 3 yet. Chances are I won't be seeing it for another two weeks at the very least due to work commitments.
  • Lastly, a little eBay bragging if I may. DC Direct's Solomon Grundy action figure easily fetches $50+ in the box and usually $20-25 loose. I managed to snag this guy for $8 and change. Now if I only find Grodd at that price.

Monday, May 14, 2007

300

Unfortunately, this is not a review of either the Frank Miller comic book or the film based on the comic book. I visited my doctor for the first time in two years this past Thursday about some sleep issues (like not getting any) and was weighed in by one of the lovely nurses. Granted, I was wearing clothes at the time, but my weight came to 298 pounds—just two shy of 300. The shock of hearing that number was like getting hit in the face with a wet trout.

Needless to say, Joe (my doctor) advised me that losing some weight would be within my best interests. So today I begin some cleaner living in the hopes of getting the weight down to something a bit more acceptable.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Exterminez-vous! Part Quatre - Le Quatrieme Docteur (The Fourth Doctor)

Due to some drama, I really needed to take a day yesterday but I present to you the fourth article in our continuing series about the Doctor's history with the Daleks.

The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker, pictured right) is pretty much the incarnation that immediately springs to mind when Doctor Who is mentioned. The first episodes of the series seen outside of the UK were of Tom Baker and he lasted the longest in the role (seven years). Combine that with quirky behavior and a long-ass scarf and you have yourself a veritable icon.

This Doctor was chosen by the Time Lords (seemingly satisfied with his earlier penance) to undertake a secret mission his first year (Season Twelve)—prevent the creation of the Daleks in the first place! This mission comprised a four-part story arc called Genesis of the Daleks.

Taken to the planet Skaro, the Doctor and his companions (the super hot Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen, pictured left) and the not-so hot Harry) arrive during the planet's civil war—the war responsible for the creation of the Daleks and the mutated Thals. Almost immediately, they encounter Kaled soldiers who describe their struggle against the Thals for dominance of Skaro. If you remember the Doctor's very first encounter (discussed here), the predecessors of the Daleks were called the Dals but it was 500 years after their genocidal war so a bit of misnaming isn't that big of a deal.

Anyway, we eventually meet an old, shriveled guy in a chair with a very familiar lower half. This is Davros (pictured lower right), the greatest scientist of the Kaleds, and he unveils the Daleks. Davros admits to accelerating the mutation of the Kaleds and putting them into "travel machines." These actions, by the way, are not condoned by the Kaled government. Davros gets word that he'll be forced to stop his experiments, so he goes over to the Thal stronghold and betrays the Kaleds. You see, the Thals have been working on the mother of all rockets to eradicate Kaled-kind and Davros gives them the means to destroy the Kaled base. After the destruction of the Kaleds, Davros declares his Daleks as the superior beings of the universe shortly before his forces capture the Doctor and his companions (they had been prisoners in the Thal base and only returned to Kamp Kaled to retrieve the Time Ring—a device that would return them all to the TARDIS).

As expected, the Doctor manages to escape. His plan is to use explosives to kill the nascent Daleks, but after some soul searching, he realizes he can't do it—committing genocide would make him no better than his enemies. After the TARDIS crew leaves, The Daleks appear and recognize no one as their superior, even Davros. Their creator is killed in short order as the Doctor leaves Skaro with his friends.

It would be almost four years until the Daleks returned in Season Seventeen's Destiny of the Daleks. This time, the Doctor's companion was fellow Time Lord, Romana, who had just regenerated (now played by the adorable Lalla Ward, pictured left). The TARDIS had been using a randomizer in order to elude the physical embodiment of chaos in the adventure just previous.

Upon landing, the Doctor and Romana find themselves in the midst of a 200-year war between the Daleks and the silvery-humanoid Movellians on the good-ol' planet Skaro. After escaping from capture, they find the supposed-to-be-dead Davros alive and seemingly well. The Doctor eventually stops the war and captures Davros. He grants custody to the Movellians who plan to take to Earth for trial.

Destiny of the Daleks seemed to be the end of any future Dalek stories since creator Terry Nation decided he would not write any further stories featuring them. Fortunately, this decision would change in time for the Fifth Doctor to encounter them before regenerating again.

Unlike the Third Doctor, the Fourth incarnation of our hero went out with quite a bang. He died saving the universe from his other arch-enemy: the evil Time Lord known only as the Master. After seven seasons, Tom Baker passed the role to Peter Davison (pictured right). We'll get to him next time.

Friday, May 4, 2007

I Know I Know

I know I've been teasing the Tom Baker article for most of the week, but I've been given the go-ahead to take off early this afternoon. If I can get Internet access over the weekend, I'll finish up the entry and post it.

The good guys over at Cartoon Brew are helping out with the Woody Woodpecker DVD release coming out on July 24. In addition to 75 cartoons, check out the cool bonus material.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bakin' in the Sun

I've been up to my eyeballs in project documentation today and have had no time to work on the Tom Baker article. My hope is that there will be enough time tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Is There a Doctor in the House?

The Tom Baker article looks like it's going to take a little longer than I thought it would so I'm going to have to postpone until tomorrow. Sorry everyone.

In other news, McDonalds will be running a Happy Meal promotion in August with action figures for Legion of Super-Heroes. The promotion and a four-episode DVD in stores will supposedly build some buzz for the new season of the show. It's not the animated Batman series of the '90s, but it's fun to watch while eating Froot Loops on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Hell?!

Now we know why the Land of the Giants box set is going to cost so much. I love the show but I don't need any of that crap. Sheesh.

Exterminez-vous! Part Trois - Le Troisieme Docteur (The Third Doctor)

When last we left off, I mentioned that the Second Doctor had been forced to regenerate and was exiled on Earth for his interference in the affairs of humans and aliens during his travels—so sayeth the almighty Time Lords of Gallifrey. The Doctor's new form, his third, was played by Jon Pertwee (pictured left).

The Third Doctor made the best of his exile and formed a working relationship with UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, under the command of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (pictured right). How this era fits in with the Torchwood Institute's edict of keeping the Doctor out of the British Empire (see "Tooth and Claw") has yet to be explained. In any case, the Doctor faced two seasons' worth of aliens before opening Season Nine with Day of the Daleks.

In Day of the Daleks, rebels from the future (the 22nd century, evidently from a different era than the folks we saw in The Dalek Invasion of Earth) travel to the 20th century to stop the sabotage of a peace conference. Sabotage that would lead to a hundred years of war and a defenseless Earth ripe for picking by... (you guessed it) the Daleks! The Doctor travels to the future to face off against his old foes but is captured along with his companion Josephine 'Jo' Grant (in the middle of picture on the left). After a brief interrogation, the rebels rescue the Daleks' prisoners and the Doctor returns to the 20th century. A bomb constructed by the rebels is used to destroy the house of the peace conference as well as the following Daleks and their minions (after Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart evacuated it of dignitaries). The sabotage believed by the future rebels to lead to a century of war was actually the explosion of the house. History is saved once again.

The following year, the Daleks returned to give our hero grief in Planet of the Daleks. The Doctor and Jo arrive on the planet Spiridon and encounter a group of Thals from the planet Skaro. You might remember the Thals as the people who fought a war with the Dals, the precursors to the Daleks. Spiridon is ruled by an army of 10,000 Daleks, whose plan is to unleash a plant-killing bacteria. The Doctor stops this nefarious plan using a bomb to unleash "molten ice," freezing the Dalek army in their tracks and thoroughly pissing off the Dalek Supreme (an earlier version pictured right).

The Third Doctor's final encounter with the Daleks came in the middle of Season Eleven with the story arc Death to the Daleks. A TARDIS malfunction results in an unexpected trip to the planet Exxilon where the Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith (Jo left to get married at the end of Season Ten) encounter some Space Marines and eventually... the Daleks. The Daleks, like the Space Marines, have come to the planet to mine a valuable ore that can cure a plague currently ravaging human and Dalek planets alike. Both sides reluctantly work together (neither has power e.g., no weapons) until the source of the power drain is found and destroyed. However, the no good Daleks attempt to screw our heroes royally by firing a plague missile at the planet. Their double-cross backfires when one of the Space Marines detonates a bomb aboard their ship after stowing away.

The Third Doctor didn't meet as dignified an end as his predecessors. Radiation from a race of giant spiders eventually killed him when he returned to UNIT headquarters. With assistance from a fellow Time Lord, our hero regenerated into the Fourth Doctor, a role made famous the world over by master thespian Tom Baker and his giant scarf.

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