(1) THE SEAWEED OF CRIME. BBC America has begun airing “Fury from the Deep”, another lost Doctor Who story arc reconstructed as an animated miniseries.
The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria find themselves on the east coast of England where a gas refinery is experiencing problems, and a sinister heartbeat is throbbing through the pipes.
The Wrap described the project in February: “Lost ‘Doctor Who’ Season ‘Fury From the Deep’ Gets Premiere Date at BBC America”.
The six animated episodes were produced by BBC Studios last year using audio tracks from the original installments starring Patrick Troughton as The Doctor. (The original 1968 versions are among the classic “Doctor Who” episodes that are famously missing from the BBC archives.) The updated animated versions, which aired in the U.K. back in September, will get their U.S. debut on BBC America on Sunday, March 21.
(2) MORE PREVIOUSLY-UNHEARD WHO. Now no longer muted!
(3) ALSO SAVED FROM THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR. It’s the Wonder Woman 1984 gag reel! You didn’t know WW84 was a comedy. And a musical. And a mime show.
(4) ROLL AGAIN. Gen Con, the massive gaming convention, has pushed back its date and announced they now will be putting on a hybrid online/in-person event. “Gen Con Postpones 2021 Convention to September”.
Today, we’re announcing that we are postponing Gen Con 2021 as originally planned for August 5-8 in Indianapolis and announcing plans for a hybrid slate of concurrent in-person and online experiences, including the rescheduled Indy convention, this September 16-19, 2021. We believe this is the best approach both to meet the many challenges of the moment and to explore possibilities for the future.
Gen Con co-owner Peter Adkison added comments on The Official Gen Con Blog:
…After the success of Gen Con Online last year, we know that the magic feeling of Gen Con can translate to a virtual format. It’s not a substitute for the in-person experience, but rather an extension of it. Just as many of us have learned how to run our RPG games over video chat or play board games on one of the incredible virtual tabletop platforms that have been developed, we’re learning how to adapt the convention experience to flexible conditions.
Gaming is changing, and so are we. This will be a Gen Con unlike any other, and the way we emerge from this period of tragedy will carry us into a new future for Gen Con and the hobby we share and love….
(5) WELL, EXCUSE US! Christopher Mark Rose takes a high overview of “Writing About Robots” at From the Earth to the Stars, the Asimov’s SF blog.
There will be a long, difficult appraisal of speculative fiction when artificial intelligences begin to read it critically. I think about this a lot.
Firstly, I find the expression “artificial intelligence” pejorative, and I’m sure that later, electronic voices will join me in objecting to it. What exactly is “artificial” about it?…
… Our writings are like scars we humans make on one another, or recordings of our own scars, encoded, obliquely or not-so, for the future to guess at. But robots are our future, and in the end we can hide nothing from them. It’s too late to stuff all those robot-hunter comic books under the bunkbed, it’s too late to burn all the copies of “I Have No Mouth.” It’s too late now, to rewrite Asimov’s Three Laws.
(6) STILL IN RESIDENCE. The series will be back: “Resident Alien Renewed for Season 2” – MSN has the story.
In a major victory for morally conflicted extraterrestrials posing as human doctors everywhere, Syfy has renewed Resident Alien for a second season. The pickup comes just days after TVLine bestowed upon the series’ titular star, Alan Tudyk, its coveted Performer of the Week title. Coincidence? You be the judge!
(7) HOP ON POP. Cora Buhlert has written an article for Galactic Journey about a controversial theatre production which happened in 1966 right literally on her doorstep: “[March 8, 1966] Revolutionary Art for Revolutionary Times: Friedrich Schiller’s The Robbers and the Battle over West German Theatre”. She says, “55 years later, it’s difficult to figure out just why this production was so controversial, because it was an otherwise faithful production of a classic play, starring two of the best actors of their generation who would go on to major stardom. However, people hated it because they disliked the (very cool) pop art background and the costumes.”
… In most productions of The Robbers, the actors wear 18th century garb, which Karl complements with the slouch hat of the romantic highwayman. In Bremen, however, Karl (portrayed by Vadim Glowna whose mother-in-law Ada Tschechowa was one of the victims of the Lufthansa flight 005 crash in January) dresses in a Superman inspired costume, which looks striking, though it doesn’t provide much camouflage in the deep dark woods of Bohemia. Franz is dressed up like a monkey with a tail, a hunchback and huge fake ears, probably because Franz is supposed to be ugly and the talented 25-year-old Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, who portrays him on stage, is rather handsome. Amalia (Edith Clever), meanwhile, emphasises her virginal purity by wandering about in a white nightgown. Again, you would not think that this is particularly shocking, but the furious boos and walk-outs from parts of the audience suggest otherwise….
(8) JOINTS OUT OF TIME. Atlas Obscura maps out “16 Real Places That Look Like They’re From the Future”. I loved seeing the Atlanta Marriott Marquis on the list – I had a lot to say about the design of that place in my 1986 Worldcon report (see File 770 #62.) Even more worthy of praise for its otherworldly appearance is the —
- Canadian Museum of Human Rights — Winnipeg, Canada
(9) FAN Q&A. Cora Buhlert has added several more entries to her Fanzine Spotlight series which encourages Hugo voters to pay more attention to the fan categories. Here’s an excerpt from “Fanzine Spotlight: Women Write About Comics”.
Tell us about your site or zine.
WWAC (pronounced “Wuh-Whack, according to the poll results) is an Eisner Award-winning online journal that offers diverse insight into the world of comic book culture and the comic book industry at large by amplifying the voices of women and people of marginalized genders. We’re committed to giving our readers diverse, interesting, critical, and fun content on comic books, the comic industry, books, comic book culture, and a look into differing geeky lifestyles.
(10) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.
- March 17, 2006 — On this day in 2006 in the United States Doctor Who aired “Rose”, the first episode of the new Doctor Who. It starred Christopher Ecclestone as The Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. “Rose” was the first Doctor Who episode to air since the Doctor Who television film in 1996. The story was written by Russell T Davies. Most critics and Whovians generally liked the new series.
(11) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]
- Born March 17, 1906 — Brigitte Helm. German actress, Metropolis. In her first appearance as an actress she played two roles, Maria and her double, the Maschinenmensch, plus several uncredited roles as well. She’s got some other genre credits including L’Atlantide (The Mistress of Atlantis) and Alraune (Unholy Love). Her later films would be strictly in keeping with the policies of the Nazis with all films being fiercely anti-capitalist and in particular attacking Jewish financial speculators. (Died 1996.) (CE)
- Born March 17, 1917 – Charles L. Fontenay. A score of novels, twoscore shorter stories. Outside our field, editor of the Nashville Tennessean; biography of Estes Kefauver. (Died 2007) [JH]
- Born March 17, 1933 – Ken Barr. A hundred twenty covers, a hundred thirty interiors. Here is the Dec 58 Nebula. Here is Tom Swift and His Rocket Ship. Here is Lord of Thunder. Here is his poster for The Terminal Man. (Died 2016) [JH]
- Born March 17, 1933 – Laurence M. Janifer. A score of novels, fourscore shorter stories, various pseudonyms, co-authors e.g. Randall Garrett, Terry Carr. Anthology Masters’ Choice with 18 choosing e.g. Asimov, Bradbury, Davidson, Kornbluth, Lafferty, Moore. Pianist. (Died 2002) [JH]
- Born March 17, 1947 — James K. Morrow, 74. I’m very fond of the Godhead trilogy in which God is Dead and very, very present. Shambling Towards Hiroshima is a lot of satisfying satirical fun as is The Madonna and the Starship which is also is a wonderful homage to pulp writers. (CE)
- Born March 17, 1948 — William Gibson, 73. I’ve read the Sprawl trilogy more times than I can remember and likewise the Bridge trilogy and The Difference Engine. The works I struggled with are Pattern Recognition, Spook Country and Zero History. I’ve tried all of them, none were as appealing. (CE)
- Born March 17, 1949 — Patrick Duffy, 72. Surely you’ve seen him on Man from Atlantis? No? Oh, you missed a strange, short-lived show. His other genre credits are a delightfully mixed bag of such things as voicing a Goat on Alice in Wonderland, appearing on The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne as Duke Angelo Rimini in the “Rockets of the Dead” episode and voicing Steve Trevor in the incredibly excellent “The Savage Time” three-parter on Justice League. (CE)
- Born March 17, 1951 — Kurt Russell, 70. I know I saw Escape from New York on a rainy summer night in a now century-old Art Deco theatre which wasn’t the one I later saw Blade Runner in. I think it’s much better than Escape from L.A. was. Of course there’s Big Trouble in Little China, my favorite film with him in it. And let’s not forget Tombstone. Not genre, you say. Maybe not, but it’s damn good and he’s fantastic in it. (CE)
- Born March 17, 1951 – Lian Tanner, age 70. Eight novels. Two Aurealis Awards. She has been dynamited while SCUBA diving and arrested while busking. “I get some of my best ideas while walking on the beach, which is just three houses away at the end of my street…. I recently worked out that I have read more than 10,000 books.” [JH]
- Born March 17, 1958 — Christian Clemenson, 63. Though I’m reasonably sure his first genre appearance was on the Beauty and The Beast series, his first memorable appearance on the BtVS episode “Bad Girls” as a obscenely obese demon named Balthazar. Lots of practical effects were used. His other significant genre role was on The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. as fish-way-out-of-the-water Eastern lawyer Socrates Poole. And yes I loved that series! (CE)
- Born March 17, 1970 – Patrice Nganang, Ph.D., age 51. Temps de chien won the Marguerite Yourcenar prize and Grand Prix littéraire d’Afrique noir, tr. Dog Days; eight other novels; essays. Taught German at Vassar, now Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature at State Univ. NY, Stony Brook. “What compels me to write is the feeling that the complexity of an African life has not been told yet” (he is Cameroonian); see this 2009 interview. [JH]
- Born March 17, 1971 – Sherri Smith, age 50. Two novels for us; five others and Who Were the Tuskegee Airmen? Nine years at Bongo Comics, six Simpsons titles. Flygirl (outside our field) an Am. Lib’y Ass’n Best Book for Young Adults and Calif. Book Awards Gold Medalist. Teaches at Hamline Univ. and Goddard. [JH]
(12) DRAWN THAT WAY. “Women and Monsters: PW Talks with Aminder Dhaliwal” at Publishers Weekly.
Lately, cartoonist and animator Aminder Dhaliwal has been drawing monsters. “It might have been a result of drawing women for so long,” she says, referring to her acclaimed debut graphic novel, Woman World, “but I started drawing more grotesque things. It slowly segued into the idea of sexualizing monsters.” Dhaliwal drew a cartoon of a cyclops woman with a single breast and posted it on Instagram to delighted responses. This became the seed of her latest funny, socially-aware, fantasy graphic novel, Cyclopedia Exotica, to be published by Drawn & Quarterly in April.
Cyclopedia Exotica takes place in a world where one-eyed cyclopes-folks live alongside two-eyed people and are treated as a minority group. The book opens as an encyclopedia of cyclops history, biology, and culture before a cyclops interrupts the columns of facts to say, “Blegh! What a dull way to learn about a minority.” From that point, the cyclopes take over the story….
(13) FREE READ. Cora Buhlert’s “Cold Equations” rebuttal story “The Cold Crowdfunding Campaign,” posted on her blog in 2020, is now also available as a free e-book with a neat cover in the format of your choice here.
(14) COMPANION’S PERSPECTIVE. In “Doctor Who Mandip Gill: ‘One day the Doctor will be a woman of colour’”, Radio Times has highlights from a BBC Radio 4 interview.
…Syal asks directly if Gill thinks an actress of colour will ever play the Doctor, to which she says, “Yeah, I do. I think there’s a long way to go but there’s definitely room for change. And actually I think at the BBC and at Doctor Who they are very open and forward-thinking, so yes.”
Of course Jo Martin became the first woman of colour to play an incarnation of the Doctor last year, appearing in two episodes of the show’s 12th series, but Doctor Who has never had a BAME star play the Doctor as the show’s lead. Yet.
Syal also asks Gill if she is aware that she inspires young girls in her role as Yaz, to which she says, “I am very, very aware there are little people who are watching.”
Gill, who appears alongside actress Josette Simon on the show, also reflects on how excited she was to be cast in Doctor Who in the first place. “I couldn’t believe my luck. I’d filmed Casualty the January before and that was in the same building,” she says.
‘We were at the top of the hallway and when I finished Casualty, they walked us to the canteen and they were like, ‘Don’t go in that door, that’s for the Doctor Who people!’. There and then I thought I’d never be in Doctor Who… Cut to six, seven months later and you know what? I’m like ‘Don’t go up there… that’s for Casualty!’”
(15) PEEPS GOURMAND. A Food & Drink reviewer reports“I tried every flavor of Peeps I could find, and only 2 were better than the original”.
…It once took about 80 people to make a limited amount during Easter and 27 hours to create one tray.
I was skeptical that this process was ever worth it but was also excited to be proven otherwise.
As a writer for Insider, Just Born sent me 16 flavors of Peeps to taste test so I’d be able to try all of the current offerings.
First on the list:
Chocolate-pudding flavored Peeps
Review: This choice was fine, but the chocolate taste seemed diluted and reminded me of protein powder. I didn’t mind it, but I didn’t love it either.
(16) JUST BLEW INTO TOWN. Some sff celebs slipped in under cover of a Beijing dust storm.
(17) MORE ANTIKYTHERA NEWS. In “The Antikythera Cosmos” on Vimeo, Martin Freeth shows how researchers at University College (London) have come up with new ideas about the front of the Antikythera mechanism, showing that we completely misunderstood how the front of the mechanism works.
(18) STRIVING FOR MUNDANITY. Joel Haver says “If Fantasy Characters Made Movies About Our World” then this is what the casting call would look like.
[Thanks to JJ, Nancy Sauer, Mike Kennedy, N., Hampus Eckerman, Michael Toman, Martin Morse Wooster, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, John Hertz, Cora Buhlert, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Peer.]