Of styro-stuffing, set-building, and starting to feel like home

When we toured the house in Utah that we’ve wound up renting, the first glimpse of the basement – an area as big as the living room upstairs, but in a decidedly unfinished state without even so much as drywall in most places – there was talk of contractors coming and going for the first several weeks that we were there until the room was done.

Having come from a house that had, for several years, had bare concrete floors, I took one look and said we’d take it as-is. I saw exposed beams and rafters from which lights could be hung, places where a camera or two could be mounted, unfinished walls where I could put acoustic foam to make the space a better recording studio, and the floor was nothing new to me. I saw the studio that this space could be. Read More

50 Shades of Shada

As is generally well known now, what was intended to be the six-part season closer of Doctor Who’s 1979-80 season, Douglas Adams’ Shada, had completed all of its location filming and roughly 2/3 of its studio filming when studio workers at the BBC went on strike, halting production of Doctor Who and most everything else in production at the time. In an attempt to sow a little bit of anti-union discord, the BBC – despite having the ability to complete production on Shada and get it ready to air – opted to not finish the show, blaming the strike for the truncated season and the never-broadcast story. (Incoming producer John Nathan-Turner, who took over in 1980, made a push for completing Shada as well, either as a movie-length special or as part of his own first season as showrunner, only to be stonewalled by the BBC brass, which needed to show to remain incomplete and unairable just to make its point. JN-T did eventually give the viewing public its first taste of Shada by including excerpts from it as “all new footage” of the fourth Doctor in 1983’s The Five Doctors, in which Tom Baker otherwise declined to participate.)

Since then, finishing Shada in one form or another has become a bit of a cottage industry. Read More

The Packening II: Also The Packening

Some further late-night packening ensued last night, and just as quickly abated because I was kidless and had an opportunity to actually sleep. But let’s look, won’t you?

Reference books

Sci-Fi reference paperbacks (small): “If I see further,” Isaac Newton is often paraphrased as saying, “it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” What you see here is just a very small portion of a pretty healthy selection of non-fiction reference books concerning the making of fictional universes, along with critiques and so on. These have been, and continue to be, incredibly valuable resources that inform my own writings on these very shows and movies. And then there’s irascible-but-not-quite-lovable Harlan Ellison’s two groundbreaking volumes of television critique, both very well-worn. (In case you can’t tell, all of these books have been read and re-read to death.)

These are just the small-format paperbacks. There’s a lot more where these came from. A lot. A site like this doesn’t spring up, unbidden, out of nowhere – it has a heap of source material.

Hopefully you’re enjoying this trip through, if nothing else, my bookshelves.

The Packening

Moving time. I hate it. I utterly hate it. I hate it with the white hot intensity of a collapsing supernova. It’s also an outstanding time to hit the pause button on your life and take stock of what you value, or have valued, or what you no longer value.

I’ll admit that I’ve been dragging my ass on this. I go to Utah in early-to-mid June to be with my kids and just kind of start over from scratch. I’m three days away from the end of March. I have April and May to get everything packed, sell the house, and get the hell out of dodge.

I wish I could be like Obi there. But I don’t have the luxury. Read More

Let’s talk books

Because that’s something I seldom bring up here, right? Except…there have been a few changes to the schedule.

VWORP!3With Peter Capaldi announcing that he is not only leaving, but his final episode will be this year’s Christmas special, VWORP!3 will be gaining a subtitle along the lines of “The Capaldi Years” and has slid back to January 2018. In line with the rethink of the WARP! series, VWORP!3 will be a thinner book that its predecessors, and it’ll cover four main topics:

  • The Peter Capaldi era on TV
  • Class
  • Big Finish audios featuring new series Doctors (10th Doctor stories, War Doctor stories)
  • Big Finish audios featuring other new series characters (UNIT, Churchill, Torchwood)

Read More