Hello and welcome to my blog.
I'll be voicing my thoughts and opinions on the creative process as well as other random topics that enter my mind. I can't promise to be entertaining or informative, but if you like genre fiction, movies, TV or comics then there should be something to interest you.
Any errors and foul language are my own.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Dancing With Dinosaurs

Now there’s a title for a TV show. I can see it now – Anton Du Beke waltzing with a Velociraptor, while Ola Jordan performs the rumba with a Tyrannosaurus (although how well a T-Rex can dance with those tiny arms will always remain a mystery). BBC, you can have that one. How about Come Dino With Me?

Two TV shows have started in the last few weeks (there’s another, but I’ll get onto that one in a bit), one of which I’ve found is a massive disappointment, while the other remains entertaining from more or less start to finish. They are Terra Nova and Strictly Come Dancing, surprisingly in that order.

Frankly, it’s not right that a show involving a) time travel and b) dinosaurs while being c) executive produced by Steven Spielberg should be so bad, but when you can guess the plot twist IN THE PRE-TITLE SEQUENCE, you know it’s a show that’s not worth watching. Shame, as it has so much potential. I even watched Jurassic Park in an attempt to compare, but all that did was make Terra Nova look worse, while prove that – even after all these years – Jurassic Park is a mighty fine film. Strictly (as it seems to have been shortened to) is ideal Saturday night viewing, showing off a) amazing talent while b) having a good laugh.

So, the dancing remains weekly viewing, while the dinosaurs do not. That is something I never thought I’d say. Perhaps it’s my age, and I’m too old to be Terra Nova’s target audience. Saying that, I’ve stuck through a lot of series over the years – anyone remember Earth 2, Sliders, or Space: Above and Beyond? – which, while not being great, always had a hook to drag me into the next episode. Maybe it’s because The Walking Dead has also started, and it’s utterly brilliant. Its only real comparison with Terra Nova is that it deals with family, but in a much more mature and adult way. Which it will do, as it’s a gruesome, grown-up series, but the capacity for twee-ness is always a concern, one that The Walking Dead has – so far – been able to avoid.

“Shall I read Swamp Thing or Suicide Squad next?” That’s something else I never thought I’d say; twenty years ago, sure, but not in my 41st year. The thing is, DC Comics have re-launched all their titles as first issues and pulled me back into the world of comics. What I thought was a marketing ploy was a very clever trick indeed; I’m only reading five titles (at the moment…) and I’m impressed with all of them. Comics were a major part of my life as a teenager (as were role-playing games), but they filtered out by the time I reached my mid-twenties. I read the odd graphic novel now and then, but that was about it. A couple of years ago, I bought Watchmen and it was as good, if not better, as I remembered. Other classics followed – Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, The Killing Joke, some 2000AD collections – and they too have held up over the years. Nostalgia was what it used to be, and I was reminded of when I first read these works two decades ago. Marvellous.

I’ve always found reading to be inspirational, and comics are no exception. While it hasn’t been slaving over a hot keyboard that’s kept me away for so long, the good news is I’m at the final stages of editing the first novel in my fantasy trilogy (a page a day should see me getting it finished by the end of the year) and responses on a short story have been very positive indeed, so watch this space. No, this one.
Finally, a shameless plug. You can find my reviews on the Starburst and Fantasy Faction websites; two great sites that are well worth having a browse through. That's it for today - who knows, there may be another one before Christmas.