Happy Birthday Doctor Who!


After 45 glorious years, BBC's Doctor Who is still going strong! The wonderful science-fiction show, originally designed as an educational history programme, has developed into so much more, complemented with a handful of spin-offs, still on our TVs today! This series, noted in the Guinness World Records for the longest running sci-fi show, tells the story of a Time Lord, an alien from a planet named Gallifrey. Throughout the years, the fictional now 945 year old has regenerated into a new body nine times, and has had a countless number of (mostly human) companions, joining him on his adventures in the TARDIS, in time and space.

This programme is now ingrained in British culture, and it's doubtful that you'll find a family in Britain who haven't heard of the terrifying pepper-pot 'Dalek' monsters, the Doctor's arch enemy. Doctor Who ran regularly from 1963 until 1989, and after one TV movie in 1996, the show was revived, in 2005 (with the ninth Doctor, player by Christopher Eccleston). Contrary to many producers' and critics' belief, it was immensely successful, and has been broadcast ever since.

The main character is the Doctor, and currently in his tenth regeneration (played by David Tennant), he is still discovering adventures and aliens - such as the Daleks, Cybermen, Ood and Sontarans among (MANY) others, both here and there around the universe, and on his favourite planet, Earth. He has had three companions in the new series; Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). Without doubt, this must be my favourite TV series - I simply cannot miss an episode.

A new character was introduced in the first new series - Captain Jack. His character proved to be a popular character, and an spin-off was made starring him as the main character of a secret organisation called Torchwood, dealing with alien activity on Earth (OK... Cardiff, where the studio, I mean time rift is). This is a great show. Another spin-off was created in 2007, starring 1970's companion Sarah Jane Smith as the main characters, with her teenage companions dealing with Alien mysteries. I watched a few episodes, and it was really excellent too.

To be sure that you don't miss any of the episodes of those series, here are the dates of the next shows: Doctor Who - Christmas Day BBC1, Sarah Jane Adventures - Monday 24th November BBC1 4:35 pm and Torchwood - Spring 2009 on BBC.

All of these series are exceedingly brilliant - I would completely recommend you to watch them. One of the episodes attracted 13 million viewers - imagine almost 7 Stockholms watching simultaneously! You can watch some clips on YouTube or Google Video or if you're in the UK, why not catch up on some of the latest episodes on BBC's iPlayer?

Today is the exact 45th anniversary of Doctor Who. Long live the Doctor! Here are some great resources for finding out more. Enjoy! Oh, and if you liked my post, please leave a comment!

Death Note - an unusual story


Initially I didn't really like the look of anime (Japanese animated stories), but I actually found one that is pretty good. It's called Death Note (デスノート), and it's based on the manga (Japanese comic book) of the same name. The story is a supernatural action mystery by Tsugumi Ohba and it is about a Death God who drops a notebook entitled Death Note, because he was bored. Any person's name that is written in this book will die within 40 seconds.

Light Yagami, a Japanese teenager, happened to pick up this book, and therefore became the owner of it. Now he can see the death god Ryuk, who believes that human control of the book is 'fun'. Light starts writing down the names of all the criminals he can think of, and they start dropping like flies. He wishes to become a 'God' and bring justice to the world - and make it a better place. But this doesn't go unnoticed, and now everyone from the Japanese police to a secret detective called 'L' and the FBI are after him, and Light is doing is best to protect his identity. He is now known all across Japan as the Japanese pronunciation of 'Killer' - 'Kira'.

I'm on episode three - and I'm really enjoying it. I don't know if everyone would like it, but you could always try watching the first episode below!

A Beautiful Mind - murderous maths indeed


You may say I've gone into a scary film review mood. But I just had to write about this film. The Orphanage, yes I know I'm contradicting myself, was not half as frightening as I described it to be. I realised this when I watched Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind yesterday.

Imagine being superbly intelligent. Being able to work out complicated maths problems within seconds, being able to detect patterns in thousands of numbers or words. Imagine going to university, despite being asocial. Meeting new friends there. Soon after, you join the US military's secret services, breaking codes being used by Soviet spies. But then, you suddenly find out that your job at the US military and one of your university friends is unreal. You are being followed all the time, by your own imagination. Then you cannot tell the difference between real and unreal - your brain is in a conflict. You struggle in a mental hospital - against fake guns, used by fake people.

That's what this film was about. It's really very spooky - telling the story of John Nash, a Nobel prize-winning schizophrenic genius. It's even more spooky when you find out it was based on a true story...

The Orphanage - aarrgghh!


Yesterday I watched The Orphanage. Yes. That sentence in itself is a statement of horror. I have a feeling that Juan Antonio Bayona will make many more films, after such a great debut. Yes. The awful, terribly frightening Spanish film 'El Orfanato', overflowing with suspense and a feeling of anything jumping out of anywhere at any time. If you can't speak Spanish you can't resist laughing at the fact that they speak so quickly, and it's quite difficult to keep up with the racing English subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Before watching it, I checked out the ratings on the IMDb, and they vary from PG in Singapore to 13-15 in most of Europe and 18PL in Malaysia - for over-eighteens only! This variation was rather odd, and soon I found out why. There was hardly any violence or blood, but it was all down to fear. If you understand the story, you can actually feel the horror - you understand the daunting situations, hence the post title.

The film starts with a flashback of one of the main characters Laura in her childhood, playing games. A calm start. Then we meet Simón, her adopted son, who has to take medicine every day because he is HIV positive. He has 'imaginary' friends. Laura and her husband Carlos never believe in these invisible friends. They all live in Laura's old orphanage, and they want to make it into an orphanage again, with about 5-6 children. One day at a party Simón wants to show her something, but she refuses. That was the last time she sees him alive. The story escalates from here. It really becomes a thriller. We see how she tries to find him... doing whatever it takes.

If you can stomach it, I'd really advise you to watch this film!