Week of December 3, 2001
George Harrison, 1943-2001.
The "Quiet Beatle," George
Harrison, succumbed after a long battle with cancer on Thursday, November
29th. Renowned for writing numerous Beatles
hits including Something and Here Comes The Sun, Harrison was also
the first to launch a solo career by releasing the triple album All
Things Must Pass within a year of the group's split, consisting of numerous
songs that hadn't made the cut with the rest of the Fab Four for whatever reason
- and All Things immediately became a best seller. Harrison's solo
career continued, reaching its peak in 1987 with the Jeff Lynne-produced hit album Cloud Nine. Harrison and Lynne later
formed the Traveling Wilburys with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison. Harrison also founded Handmade
Films to help his friends in the Monty Python troupe complete production of the
controversial Biblical spoof Monty Python's Life Of Brian (which
had met with major studio opposition due to its subject matter); Handmade Films
later turned out Time Bandits and other cult classics under
Harrison's guidance. At the
time of his death, Harrison was said to be working on a new solo album - his
first since Cloud Nine - and had also completed a new single with Jules
Shear which, ominously, was credited to "R.I.P. Ltd. 2001" for
copyright and publishing purposes.
Mary Whitehouse, 1910-2001.
A woman who has been known for many years for her insistent outcries against sex
and violence on British television - including a years-long war of words with
various producers of BBC-TV's Doctor Who - died at
the age of 91 on Friday, November 23rd (coincidentally, the 38th anniversary of
Doctor Who's first broadcast). Many a Who producer has quietly echoed the
thoughts of John Nathan-Turner, who has been known to say that he'd pray at
night that Ms. Whitehouse would protest loudly about a recent episode of the
show because it would draw public attention (and maybe ratings). Ms. Whitehouse
is survived by three sons.
Man overboard from Andromeda.
Talk about gratitude. Robert Hewitt
Wolfe, former producer (and writer of many memorable episodes) of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, has been thrown
overboard from Gene Roddenberry's
Andromeda by none other than the star of the show himself, Kevin Sorbo.
(Sorbo is also an executive producer on the show.) A statement from Sorbo calls
Wolfe "a genius," but then stops just short of blaming some of the
show's ratings struggles on Wolfe's intricate, long-term story arcs, preferring
a formula with more stand-alone episodes, more focus on Sorbo's character (now
there's a shocker), less angst, and more action. There's no word on where
Wolfe will land next.
Who's in print? And will he stay that way?
Recent developments have some Doctor Who fans
doubting the future of their favorite Time Lord - and his companions - in
printed form. Big Finish Productions, which has been alternating Bernice
Summerfield audio adventures and novels, has announced that the novels
will be vanishing entirely in 2002, leaving only bi-monthly audio CDs.
(A hardcover compilation of Bernice short stories, edited by creator Paul
Cornell, is still in the works for summer 2002.) Even more troubling is
SFX Magazine's recent report that the BBC Books is conducting a review of
its Doctor Who novel range due to falling sales figures, though such
high-profile writers as Justin Richards and David McIntee have denied the
accuracy of that report.
Source: Outpost Gallifrey
Time runs out on free Star Wars fan sites.
The popular fan.starwars.com hosting service has fallen to the dark side
of the economy. The service, sponsored by Homestead and Lucasfilm, will be
dropping all of its' members sites as of December 20th. Lucasfilm has
encouraged fans to relocate their sites to other services - provided, of
course, that they still meet the copyright-oriented guidelines that all
fan.starwars.com sites had to meet to qualify for free hosting.
Source: Official Star Wars web site
The Amazing Spider-Man: Coming Home
Great power, great responsibility, Great War?
Maybe not. J. Michael Straczynski
isn't working any Babylon 5 references into
his new gig as the head writer on Marvel Comics' Amazing Spider-Man comic,
but he has already made his mark. In fact, Marvel's releasing a collected edition
of his first few issues (mere months after their original publication). Amazon.com
seems to be a little confused on the title; originally announced as
Transformations, the book has more recently been given the title of
J. Michael Straczynski
Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.
When last week's DVD of the Week, Doctor Who And The Daleks,
premiered in British theaters, kids were underwhelmed. They wanted the Daleks
to be more vicious! They wanted more killing! And Amicus Films heard the audience's pain,
delivering a sequel - still starring Peter Cushing and Roberta Tovey - with more
Dalek-induced devastation than anything that had ever been allowed on television
up to that point. Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. has been
remastered and is now available in a crisp anamorphic widescreen transfer on
DVD, complete with a commentary and behind-the-scenes documentary. It may not
necessarily be "official" Doctor Who, but
it sure can exterminate a couple of hours from your life and entertain you at
the same time.
Doctor Who six-parters to make a one-off return?
We all remember six-part Doctor Who stories,
right? A lot of running around, getting captured, escaping, running
around some more, and generally padding things out to make sure the
show's budget was amortized over six half-hour episodes instead of the
more traditional four. Producer John Nathan-Turner dropped six-parters
from the Doctor Who format in the 1980s, but now it looks like Big
Finish might bring the format back...one time only (whew). For the 40th
anniversary of the series premiere in 2003, Big Finish may issue a
three-CD adventure (presumably in the anniversary month of
November), which may also be the first multi-Doctor outing to feature Paul
Source: Outpost Gallifrey