March 29, 2007

Rapture

News just in from Diamond Select Toys.

The first series of Battlestar Galactica action figures will feature seven different characters – five males and two females. So far this includes Apollo, Number Six and even Hot Dog!

March 20, 2007

Dark Matter

Clym, a friend whom I met as an undergraduate at Bournemouth University and worked on December Duet (1996), wrote to me to announce that Darker Projects' latest audio drama, in association with Infected Books, is now available online!

Autumn, by David Moody, is a vision of apocalyptic horror.

Autumn Trailer (MP3)

A Word from the Composer

I have been a tremendous fan of Zombie "culture" ever since experiencing Romero's Dead series. I can remember a friend's reaction of horror when he learned I had not seen Dawn of the Dead – at the time I was a little cynical and naive about the whole thing – I didn't understand what the big deal was. "You have to f***ing see it!" he exclaimed violently. That night we put on the film and around the point of the Monroeville Mall and that line "This was an important place in their lives. " I was laughing with delight, but I also felt the abject horror creeping up on me. This WAS a delicious sort of existential nightmare emerging. There were (perhaps obvious in retrospect) wonderful societal commentaries as well – the idea of a consumer culture, gobbling up everything and everyone in it's path; our collective fear in discussing or really dealing with the idea of our own mortality, and unprepared and unable to let go of the ones we lose (you're going to have to let go, or they're going come and eat you!); I realized after the film that Dawn of the Dead was not a film for gore hounds, it was a film for intellectuals. Intellectuals unafraid of facing a slightly more morbid subject matter. And, of course, intellectuals with a dark sense of humor.

David Moody's 'Autumn' feels born from the same womb. It hearkens back to the intellectual horror old school - his book had me imagining in black and white movies (pictures like Night Tide, Carnival of Souls, and of course Night of the Living...) with atmosphere and subtext, less gore and more subtly building sensations of isolation and that skin-crawling, existential type of fear. I attempted to convey these qualities in the musical score, along with a few healthy doses of schlock horror music fun!

I must also mention the level of freedom and support provided by Paul Mannering and his Darker Projects team. It's lovely to be involved in something so close to the (now virtually obsolete) genre of Radio Drama - Bernard Herrmann's work for Orson Welles' Mercury Theater productions are personal favorites of mine. And I just love hearing people being operatic and theatrical without any distracting images or CGI effects to get in the way.

Devin Anderson
March, 2007

You can listen to the full episode over at Darker Projects and download the free eBook at Infected Books. Darker Projects audio dramas compare favourably with Dirk Maggs' productions and I can't recommend them highly enough! But, then again I'm biased!

March 09, 2007

Toy Biz

Here are the second wave of figures from Marvel toys which has been formed out of what was once Toy Biz. TB were famous for their highly detailed and articulated Marvel Legends figures and now they are taking all that know how and using it to make some of the best Indy comics character figures we have ever seen. This second series has in-pack pieces which when assembled make a roughly 8" tall Monkey Man to go with your O'Brien figure. One for all you Art Adams fans.

March 08, 2007

Boe

The Face of Boe first appeared in the 2005 series episode The End of the World five billion years in the future. There, he was the sponsor of an event to safely witness the destruction of the Earth by the expansion of the Sun. He is around 5" tall complete with tendrils and a mouth that moves as if he truly is speaking.

March 07, 2007

Bubo

In early Indian folklore, Owls represent wisdom and helpfulness, and have powers of prophecy. This theme recurs in Aesop's fables and in Greek myths and beliefs. After Perseus' first encounter with Calibos in the marshes he loses his magical helmet, Zeus decides to provide him with a replacement to aid him in his quest to save the princess.

Bubo was Athena's beloved magical owl, Zeus commands her to hand over her owl to Perseus, but she "will never part" with her owl. She decides to build an exact replica of Bubo but made of brass and iron with the help of Hephaestus. Perseus, Ammon, Thalo and the princess find themselves lost in the desert in search of the Stygian Witches with nothing in the horizon as far as they can see. Out of nowhere this mysterious flying object appears in the distance, as it gets closer they realize that its an owl, an owl made of iron. Perseus seems to be the only one who understands its language of clicks and weird sounds.

Bubo shows them the way to the Stygian Witches and towards the end of the film, Clash of the Titans (1981), he rescues Pegasus from the clutches of the Cavemen and actually attacks the Kraken. In the final moments of the film when the Kraken knocks down Perseus and Pegasus and the head of medusa lands in the water but Bubo reaches for the head and gives it to Perseus who then turns the Kraken into stone.

This Limited Edition of just 500 pieces, stands 7" tall and comes with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity.

March 05, 2007

Lost Connection

During the past week I've been unable to view any site hosted on BlogSpot! Suffice to say that I contacted my ISP, Virgin Media, to report a possible DNS issue and, initially, thought that the matter would be resolved in a timely matter. However, their Technical Support team did not follow-up my complaint via telephone or e-mail. Therefore I decided to start threads on Apple Support Discussions, Digital Spy and Google Groups.

Thankfully someone at Blogger picked up the bait and investigated the matter; there was a network issue affecting certain UK-based ISPs. A workaround is in place whilst further investigations are carried out. Thus I can now safely order a Belkin ADSL Modem with Built-in 125g Wireless Router and finally experience WiiConnect24 and all its download goodness.

Due to this negative experience with Virgin Media's Technical Support, I will no longer be recommending the company. I've already started encouraging family, friends and acquaintances, caught on the receiving end of the sky/Virgin Media battle, to switch!



And don't think of Virgin Media as the underdog! It's tantamount to Manchester United vs Chelsea FC!

March 02, 2007

Jungle Joost™

This afternoon I received confirmation from Joost™ that I'm now an official beta tester for their peer-to-peer streaming video client (Intel-based Mac support only, although a PowerPC build is in the works).

Joost™

Joost™ is a new way of watching TV on the internet, which uses new and established technologies to provide the best of both the internet and TV worlds. We're in the process of making it as TV-like as we can, with programmes, channels and adverts. You can also see some things that we think will enhance the TV experience: searching for programmes and channels, for example, as well as social features like chat. There are many more new features to come!

How does it work?

Joost™ uses secure peer-to-peer technology to stream programmes to your computer. Unlike other TV and video-based web applications, it does not require users to download any files to their computers or browse through complicated websites.

Viacom Inc. and Joost entered into a content provider agreement for the Joost platform on February 20, 2007. Under the agreement divisions of Viacom (including MTV Networks, BET Networks and Paramount Pictures) will license their "television and theatrical programing" to Joost™.

As yet I don't have any invitation tokens to give out to regular readers. However, anyone who leaves a non-destructive comment (on any of my posts) will be given first consideration.