Author: Joseph Dilworth Jr.

Joseph Dilworth Jr. has been writing since he could hold a pencil (back then it was one of those big, fat red pencils, the Faber-Castell GOLIATH. Remember those? Now that was a pencil!). As editor-in-chief and instigator of this here website he takes full responsibility for any wacky hi-jinks that ensue. He appreciates you taking the time to read his articles and asks that you direct any feedback, criticisms, questions about life directly to him by clicking here.

Doctor Who 4.01 – Partners In Crime

The fourth series of Doctor Who has kicked off and what an excellent start it is. You can tell things are new right off the bat as the signature title music has been jazzed up a bit. I’m not sure I like this new mix, but each change to the theme over the years has took a bit of time to grow on me so we’ll see how this one does. Then we go right into the Doctor and his companion doing what they do best, snooping around. Except Donna Noble isn’t the Doctor’s companion yet. Their paths crossed previously in the 2006 Christmas special, but Donna chose not to travel with the Time Lord at that time. Since then we discover the character has wandered aimlessly, unable to resume a normal life after the Doctor gave her a glimpse of all the wonders in the universe. Now, she has thrown herself into becoming an amateur detective, investigating any report of the unusual and otherworldly in the hopes of running across the Doctor again. There are indirect name checks to previous episodes and even a possibly oblique reference to Doctor Who’s sister show Torchwood.

Which all leads to Donna and the Doctor independently investigating Adipose Industries, a company that claims to have invented a miracle diet pill that only requires you to take one pill a day to lose weight. The first twist here is that, while both are doing the same thing and often in the same room, the two don’t actually encounter each other until about halfway through the episode. This meeting is the highlight of the episode as the two characters are on opposite sides of the room wherein the bad guys are interrogating a prisoner. The Doctor is in a window washers carriage outside a window looking in while Donna is peeking through the glass in a door when the two spy each other and then proceed to carry on a conversation, except in mime. Really, trust me on this, it’s possibly the funniest scene that’s ever been on television. From there wacky hi jinks ensue. It’s a terrific and thoroughly enjoyable tale. Oh, and the trigger is pulled on the big mystery of the season in the closing moments as…no, you need to see it for yourself. If you’ve been watching since the show’s return your jaw will drop open with shock as we get a huge reveal right away instead of the slow buildup of previous series. This promises to be the best series of Doctor Who yet.

The script by Russell T. Davies is just brilliant and further proof that he was the man to bring the show back. He has a keen grasp of what makes great Doctor Who and his pacing is, as usual, impeccable. David Tennant is fast becoming my favorite Doctor and he just owns the role. There is a scene early on where he starts to talk to a companion that isn’t there that just hits you in the gut. Beautiful stuff. Catherine Tate, either in spite of or because of her lengthy career as a comedienne, will really surprise everyone with her performance as Donna. The guest actors Bernard Cribbins and Sarah Lancashire absolutely shine on screen are a joy to watch. Thankfully Cribbins, at least, will be showing up in later episodes. And the director, James Strong really does a marvelous job with this one. There are several scenes that convey their meanings in very subtle, yet unmistakable ways, most notably when Donna is in her kitchen with her mother berating her. Again, beautiful stuff. In the end, I give this one five out of five stars. Next week, Pompeii in late August, 79 AD. Should be a hot time (yeah, sorry for that!).

Come join the discussion about the current season over in our Lounge.

ECCC ’08: Fifty Hulks Initiative

Looks like the Emerald City ComiCon is going to have more Hulks than you can shake a stick at this year! ECCC will be the first stop on the newest Hero Initiative’s Ultimate 100 tour. The book chosen to get 100 covers this time is the latest Hulk #1 and fifty of the covers will be on display at the Hero Initiative booth the weekend of May 10th and 11th. Be sure to stop by the booth to peep the covers and to see what the Initiative is all about.

Charlton Heston Dead At 84

Legendary actor Charlton Heston has died at age 84, according to his family. Heston was suffering the late stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. His wife, Lydia, was by his side at the time of his death and he is survived by a son, a daughter and three grandchildren. His most iconic film roles were Moses in The Ten Commandments, Colonel George Taylor in Planet of the Apes and Judah Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur, not to mention his memorable starring roles in The Omega Man and Soylent Green. His last film role was as the infamous Nazi doctor Josef Mengele in My Father, Rua Alguem 5555, which had limited release in 2003. Heston’s political beliefs as well as his stint as president of the National Rifle Association drew a fair amount of controversy over the years, but hardly anyone can deny his acting ability and his impact on Hollywood over the last 50 years. He was a giant and a legend and he will be missed.

ECCC ’08: Quick Update: Guest Swap!

Laura Vandervoort (Kara on Smallville) will be unable to attend the Emerald City ComiCon due to a scheduling conflict. Taking her place will be the lovely and wonderful Julie Benz! Currently appearing on Dexter, Julie is arguably best know for playing the vampire Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Also added today are Matthew Southworth (Infinity Inc, Stumptown) and Stefano Gaudiano (Daredevil, Gotham Central). And it looks like Daniel Way has had to bow out, but has already signed up for next year. Keep checking back for updates, interviews and more as we get closer to the show and head on over to our Lounge to discuss the guests and let us know if you’re attending.

Doctor Who – The Skull of Sobek

The latest eighth Doctor offering from Big Finish Productions, The Skull of Sobek is another fantastic story and yet further evidence that Marc Platt should really be given a shot writing for the current TV series. This is a taught thriller and unfolds at a satisfying pace. I’ll just go ahead and say that Paul McGann is my favorite Doctor so I may be slightly biased in this instance. Also, I think the eighth Doctor and Lucy are on of the best Doctor-Companion pairings ever. Sheridan Smith is simply fantastic as Lucy in this outing and she really gets a chance to stretch her legs a bit, as it were.  I think that the eighth Doctor and Lucy team is right up near the top of best Doctor/Companion matches and their chemistry is magic here. The Doctor and Lucy find themselves on the planet Indigo 3, a literally blue planet with blue people.  The TARDIS lands them on the roof of the Sanctuary of Imperfect Symmetry, a place of comtemplation besieged both from within (by mysterious visions that make a violent mark in the physical world) and without (by a legion of pilgrams there to find the source of the visions).  Soon an ancient conflict manifests itself, threatening everyone and it’s up to the Doctor and Lucy to solve the mystery of the Skull of Sobek.  Sounds like your usual Who romp, but Platt deftly avoids making this an adventure-by-numbers with some interesting twists, dynamic characters and snappy dialogue.  The able direction of Barnaby Edwards keeps this story going at a brisk pace.  The only thing that I don’t like about this audio play is the American accent by Mikey O’Connor.  It just sounds like his efforts at sounding American detract from his voice acting, enough so that it’s nearly cringe-worthy and very out of place.  That’s really only a minor gripe, though and this play hits all high marks otherwise.  Mention must also be made of the cover illustration by Grant Kempster, possibly his best yet and a nice image to go with a terrific tale.  All in all, I highly recommend you check this out.