Lords of Time – Convention report

Two days ago, Revenge of the Film Nerds were guests of Culture Shock Events at the Lords of Time convention in Sydney.   The con featured seven guests most famous for their contributions to Doctor Who, which this year celebrates its 50th year since it first hit our television screens.

First up, the event features Janet Fielding, whom played Tegan Jovanka, companion to the 5th Doctor.   It also featured John Leeson, the voice of K-9, and Nicholas Briggs, who is the modern voice of both Daleks and Cybermen, as well as various other aliens. Most fans were there, however, to meet four Doctors.   Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann were all in attendance.   Catch the video of our interview with them below;

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iY-hqy18DM&feature=youtu.be]

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Win a Double Pass to Lords of Time this Sunday!!

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Competition time!!

Those that have been following our Podcast will be aware that in our last episode we had an interview with Robbie, director of Culture Shock Events.   In said interview, he offered us a double pass to Lords of Time this weekend at Rydges World Square.   The event features FOUR Doctors!!   That’s right, four!!    Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Paul McGann.   If that is not enough, they have Janet Fielding, who played companion Tegan Jovanka to Davison’s Doctor, John Leeson the voice of K-9, and Nicholas Briggs who is the modern voice of the Daleks.

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There are only 17 tickets left to the event, so this could be your last chance to get in.   For your chance to win, tell us who your favourite Doctor is and why in the form below.   Entries close at midnight this Friday, with winners to be contacted on Saturday.

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Your favourite Doctor and why?’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Doctor Who – The Eighth Doctor

Played by: Paul McGann

When: 1996

Significant contributions to the Whoniverse:   Doctor Who had been off the air for seven years when the first attempt at a reboot was attempted.   A such, the most significant contribution of McGann to the Whoniverse is the fact that Doctor Who has survived at all.   Talk that the 1996 telemovie was to be a reboot for the series never became reality, but the fact it happened at all proved there was still interest alive and well in the franchise.

Being a reboot, it was a big event and some significant additions to Whovian lore.   A new function of the Eye of Harmony was revealed.   The Eye has appeared previously, originally in the Fourth Doctor’s era.   It is an artificial black hole which provides the power for Gallifrey and for time travel technology.   In the telemovie, a resurrected Master attempts to use the eye to steal the Doctor’s remaining regenerations for himself.

Another element introduced in this film, though subsequently ignored in future incarnations of the Doctor, is the implication that the Doctor is half human.   While making a significant plot point in this story, it seems now to be flatly denied.   I have read that explanations have been flying around the interwebs and in print media of the further adventures of the Doctor, including that this particular incarnation alone is half human.   In the end though, I find it amazing the lengths people can go to explain away a plot discrepancy    In the end, it is just an introduced idea into the franchise which was later decided to be dropped.

Eighth Doctor

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Doctor Who – The Seventh Doctor

Played by: Sylvester McCoy

When: 1987 – 1996

Significant contributions to the Whoniverse:   Unfortunately, the most significant thing that stands out for Sylvester McCoy’s tenure as the Doctor is that he was the last Doctor in the classic run of Doctor Who.   This is quite unfair, as McCoy was fantastic in the role, and personally I would love to have seen him play the role a bit longer into the period that the Doctor was absent from our screens.

McCoy’s Doctor met with all the classic villains… The Master (still played by Anthony Ainley), the Cybermen, and the Daleks.   He also reunited with the Brigadier, on the final occasion he appeared in a regular episode of the series.   In addition to this, there is a very amusing story-line that reveals the Doctor was indeed Merlin from Arthurian legend.   In hindsight, this is extremely amusing given the same actor has taken on the role of another prominent wizard, Radagast the Brown from The Hobbit.

Of course, with the series ending in 1989, it meant the show was not running for the 30th anniversary in 1993.   A special of sorts did occur though, featuring McCoy, Pertwee, both Bakers and Davison.   It was a charity special for Children in Need, called Dimensions in Time, intersecting the Doctor with another popular BBC series EastEnders.   Many former companions also appeared, and The Rani also made a return. McCoy was to return one more time after this, to regenerate into Paul McGann in the 1996 telemovie.   As a result, though the record of most episodes still goes to Tom Baker, McCoy technically is the one man to play the Doctor for the longest period of time. Black_Sylv_26 Continue reading

Lords of Time – April 7th 2013

Time Lords have the rule of both space and time, but Homo sapiens do not.   Our time is running out to get tickets to the latest Culture Shock Event….

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That’s right, FOUR DOCTORS!!   Five through Eight inclusive.   To break it down even further, that means Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann.   That is not all, however…  Janet Fielding, whom played companion Janet Fielding alongside Davsion, will also be in attendance, as well as John Leeson, voice of K9.   Unfortunately, Frazer Hines has had to pull out, which is a real shame as he was quite the entertaining gentleman at last year’s Heroes and Villains convention.

To book your tickets, visit the Culture Shock Events website.   We here at Revenge of the Film Nerds look forward to catching up with you all.

While you are at it, don’t forget about our competition which we are currently running, thanks to our friends at CSE!!

Horatio Hornblower: “Loyalty” and “Duty” – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Andrew Grieve

Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, Paul McGann, Lorcan Cranitch, Julia Sawalha, Tony Haygarth, Paul Copley, Sean Gilder, Greg Wise, Christian Coulson, Ron Cook, Jonathan Coy

Synopsis: Hornblower is languishing on a Lieutenant’s half-pay during peace with France, the peace having been declared before his promotion to Commander could be confirmed by the admiralty.   In his cheap lodgings, he has won the heart of his landlady’s daughter.   He come across Lieutenant Bush at this time, just as Admiral Pellew gives Hornblower a secret mission to France, promoting him to Commander in the process.   He takes command of the Hotspur, bringing Bush along as his First Lieutenant.

A review by Film Nerd.

As with the last two-part story, I have opted to review these two television movies together, even though the two-story arc is less well-defined then in the last case.   What connects the two is Hornblower’s relationship with Maria Mason (Julia Sawalha, previously seen in the TV series Press Gang, and as Lydia in the BBC’s definitive Pride and Prejudice miniseries).   He meets her when he is languishing on half-pay, barely able to make his rent.   It is a relationship the defines Hornblower in the next few books of the series, a bond forged more out of obligation than affection.   Sadly, given the demise of the series, the relationship was not explored further than this point.

In showing the fleet during peace time, the success of the franchise is once again apparent in shedding light onto the concerns of officers serving in His Majesty’s navy in this time period.   We soon get back into the real action though, with Hornblower getting a command, much due to the good graces of Admiral Pellew.   The joy of these current stories are getting to delve into Hornblower’s loyalty to both superior and inferior officer’s, as we finally get to also see his relationship with Lieutenant Bush in full bloom.

And yet, I still haven’t even got around to any of the missions Hornblower is sent on here, which is really half the fun.   Suffice it to say that the peace does not last long, and we get action on the high seas galore, with traitor’s in our favourite Commander’s own crew that come back to haunt us, cowardly midshipmen (former young Tom Riddle, Coulson), an uneasy alliance with a French Royalist Major (Wise), and also being stuck right in the middle of major international political intrigue.

This is certainly the series at its peak, with Hornblower finally in command, and perhaps the saddest point for it to end.   It is fortunate we have the Gregory Peck film to follow this up for, even though it is based 15 years after the point here observed, it is just enough of a stepping stone to keep the storyline somewhat continuous.

4.5 stars (out of a possible 5)

Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty on IMDB

Horatio Hornblower: Loyalty on Rotten Tomatoes

Horatio Hornblower: Duty on IMDB

Horatio Hornblower: Duty on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEEUDLr9uUw]

Horatio Hornblower: “Mutiny” and “Retribution” – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Andrew Grieve

Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Robert Lindsay, David Warner, Nicholas Jones, Paul McGann, Jamie Bamber, Paul Copley, Sean Gilder

Synopsis: In this two-part story, Hornblower is Third Lieutenant on the H.M.S. Renown, under the command of Captain James Sawyer, a national hero and one of Nelson’s Own.   This is not the good news one would hope though.  It soon becomes evident that Sawyer has paid the price for his heroism, and has gone quite mad, proving a danger to himself, and the ship.   Unfortunately, the ship’s doctor refuses to declare him unfit for command.   As such, and attempt by his lieutenants to take control of the vessel will result in a court martial for mutiny.

A review by FilmNerd.

I have made the decision to review these movies together as they do cover a single story, and it made sense to do it this way rather than to go over repeat ground.   The viewer’s curiosity is immediately ripened, finding Hornblower under lock and key, then receiving a visit from Admiral Pellew.    Their discussion reveals Hornblower is there for mutiny, and Pellew is one of the senior officers presiding over his trial.   From this point on, the story is told in flashback, with intercuts to the present day showing the progress of the trial.   What we observe is quite an unwinnable situation for the officers of the Renown.

Suffice it to say, it is an interesting story.   “Mutiny” covers the events leading up to the Lieutenants taking control of the vessel, showing progressively Sawyer’s state of madness.   The difficulty being that despite his deranged mind, Sawyer can appear calm and reasonable on the surface, an obstacle which could prove disastrous when a court martial would inevitably be held.   “Retribution” proceeds to then cover the story of the actions of the lieutenants in command, as they try to at least fulfil the mission given to the Renown, partially in the hope it will reflect favourably on them at trial.   I will admit the ending sways wildly from the end of the story written by C.S. Forester, and in my mind not in a good way, and this is where the story loses half a star.

Aside from the plot though, these films are an exhibit of stellar acting.   Gruffudd and Lindsay are well established and comfortable in their characters now.   Warner, a veteran of more than one Star Trek appearance is terrifyingly convincing as Sawyer.   Jones is the ineffectual First Lieutenant Buckland, and Bamber is back as Fourth Lieutenant Archie Kennedy, in what is perhaps his finest performance of the series.   Perhaps the most important role to be cast though, was that of Second Lieutenant William Bush, a character that becomes very significant later in the series.   It is a role that requires a taciturn, hard-to-like nature initially, with Sawyer picking him out as a favourite early.   This appearance is slowly dropped however, to reveal he is a man of great integrity, who will always consult his honour and his duty in his actions.   To play this role we have the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann.    Though I did not know he was Doctor Who when I first saw this, he is an actor of great talent, and suits Bush perfectly.

Aside from my disappointment with the ending, this is otherwise the perfect Hornblower adventure, making the pity greater that only one more two-part story was shot after this.

4.5 stars (out of a possible 5)

Horatio Hornblower: Mutiny on IMDB

Horatio Hornblower: Mutiny on Rotten Tomatoes

Horatio Hornblower: Retribution on IMDB

Horatio Hornblower: Retribution on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer unavailable