It has been another week of not a lot really happening in the world of the sentimental Sandman, I have the distinct feeling my life is currently being scripted by Pinter or Beckett. As I type this an advert on the TV has come on and is hosted by Parky reminding everyone that they are going to die, (it’s about putting money aside to help with funeral costs).
I’ve began my sojourn through Magic Bullet Productions series Kaldor City which was the brain child of Alan Stevens and is based on the characters and concepts created by Chris Boucher for the 1977 Doctor Who story “The Robots of Death” and the follow up novel “Corpse Marker” which was published by BBC in the late 1990s, and his second season Blake’s 7 episode “Weapon”. The connection between the two is that character of Psycho-Strategist Carnell from “Weapon” features in the novel “Corpse Marker” having taken residency in Kaldor City after fleeing from the federation in “Weapon” thanks to omitting a factor into a plan to obtain a super weapon.
The first story is called Occam’s Razor and makes a good job of reintroducing Commander Uvanov and Carnell and the set up of the world while introducing a series of new characters the main one being Lago played by Paul Darrow. Lago is a hitman for hire and programming genius and is recruited by Uvanov after a number of the board of his company are murdered. As with the “Robots of Death” the mystery of who is doing the murders is made somewhat redundant by the title which is quite a clever nod to the original source material by Alan Stevens, but the driving force of story is more the why rather then the who. The world of Kaldor City is very much the Blake’s 7 universe with double dealing, greed, manipulation and ruthlessness being the MO of the people. There are no heroes in the story but to a degree there are no out and out villains, just a series of characters with alternating shades of grey in their moral and social stance.
I’ve finished “The Shining Man” by Cavan Scott and must admit it was very good and managed to toggle between the feel of modern Who and classic Who in a very satisfactory way. The story in itself is very traditional in style with the mysterious Shining Man being reported to be haunting a forest and a local resident having a psychic link to the place. In a way the story sits in the same bracket as The Daemons, The Awakening and most notably Image of the Fendahl. This is by no means a criticism as it brings the Doctor back into the heartland of the folklore which has been absent from NuWho save from in the fiercely underrated In the Forest of the Night and Scott perfectly presents it in a NuWho style. The prose gives the impression that this is the novelisation of an transmitted TV episode with Scott capturing the characters of the Doctor and Bill perfectly and the pacing reflects how when at his best, Uncle Terrance would expand upon the source material to fill the word count and add and not interfere with the flow of the story. The origin of the Shining Man is quite interesting and brings forth the notion that the world as we see it, is only part of what is going on and Scott even makes a little reference to the good episode of Torchwoodseries one. The Bottom Line? A superb mix of Nu and Classic Who which pays lip service to both without knocking or diminishing the other.
Wednesday I didn’t sleep too well thanks to the heat of the night, even with the windows open it was too warm so I resolved to sleeping on the cold leather of the settee which did do the trick.
Friday was my rare sojourn to a party, this one was a shindig held by Major Tom and was a party/BBQ to mark his wedding vow renewals, Olivia’s somethingteen birthday (15th I think), Chloe’s 22nd and I think Levi’s son’s birthday. Major Tom and Levi acted as masters of ceremony on the BBQ and being a sensible person I waited for the initial mad rush to die down before indulging in a mini-nosh up. The boys had prepared Chicken, Pork Chops, Burgers and Sausages and there was a nice cold spread available as well so there was plenty of selection. Being a BBQ in Britain, it of course rained, a lot. Prompting one of Chloe’s friends (name I can’t recall possibly Rhiannon) to attend in a wetsuit and a shower cap!