Thursday, 21 February 2013

Fic 'n' Pix: Judge Minty

Fate is not an eagle, it creeps like a rat.
- Elizabeth Bowen


In painting you must give an idea of the true by means of the false.
- Degas


-Anonymous Citizen, Judge Dredd #151

All roads lead.

I’m staring through a reflection at a city that isn’t really there.  That’s how this story begins. 

On the table in front of the reflection there’s a ticket and a notebook. The notebook was a present from Cardiff – it links directly to Death Junction, where an original page of The Judge Child Quest is still hanging.  The ticket’s a more difficult thing to explain.  It seems to be real, but the way things are going lately that’s no guarantee.  Everything smells of eagles.

Judge Minty’s story began in Eagle Comics’ fifteenth issue of Judge Dredd, way back in January 1985.  Dredd had just returned from Xanadu and Don Uggie, Umpty and Des O’Connor’s surprise Christmas were waiting to meet him.  This was the first time that it had been possible to buy a Dredd comic in a British newsagents, which made it a big deal. 

The newsagents was dark in comparison to the shock of colour flashing from the pages of the comic.  The shop was on the same road as my infant school and the Adam Cortez Psychic Experience set that I first watched Hellraiser in.  Everything tasted mint green back then.  Laced with dark chocolate coatings and crunchy ice chunks. 

In thirty-five minutes time some storylines are going to intersect but not in a big enough cross-over to justify the sort of hype Bruce and Joe get.  This story’s totally improvised by the characters, so the importance, or otherwise, is entirely dependent on how they react.  There’s no-one watching the continuity either.

I’m fifteen minutes away from assaulting a Judge and having my photo appear on Twitter.  Steven Sterlacchini is about six years on from wanting his own Judge helmet but Daniel Carey-George might have the very thing (he’s been creating a veritable prop-house of custom replicas after all).  Stephen Green is five years on from the Monster Mash that he’ll meet Sterlacchini at.  In 1976, Carlos Esquerra is drawing Dredd for the first time, and in 2010 he’s wearing his honorary Judge badge. 

The image of an eagle really starts with Horus, before gliding from the scalding sands of Egypt to pollinate other ancient cultures – morphing like Simon MacCorkindale into a slightly different shape to suit each.  By Jove, the Romans can’t get enough of it.  Caesar’s crimson face stares impassively forward as he glides through the city – the sceptred eagle proving his divinity. 

1980 opened cold.  I didn’t read prog 147.  By 1985 the black and white Eagle Comics ads running in 2000AD were becoming irresistible.  I’d discovered Denmark Street and Warrior.  Things were changing all the time.  Birthday money could be swapped for a parental phone call that would be exchanged for an impossible stretch of time until a hard-backed cardboard packet of mini-series arrived with the bills.  The six-issue Judge Child Quest is the first post I can remember opening.

Rumours were spreading, and one day, wandering down the endless hill of Park Street I found another vault of dreams.  Nemesis the Warlock (in colour) – all seven issues in one mylar bag.  And the first five issues of Judge Dredd (in colour) – all covered in Bolland.  Every colour tasted fresh.  Baxter paper was a luxury that I truly deserved – and Mando, though the equivalent of wholemeal really, was just as nourishing.

It’s February 2009 somewhere, and at the Highland Expo there’s an announcement that changes everyone’s lives.  Covers are recreated.  Mike McMahon draws Minty again.

The school seen in the opening panels of M*****man’s Golden Age experiment, ‘Trends’ had two sets of main stairs.  One for up and the other for escape.  At the bottom of the escape set was the school’s reprographics room and a payphone.  When I’d graduated from drawing Dredd epics in my notebooks it was a natural shambling move to the heady world of ‘self-publishing’.  This basically involved an awful lot of enthusiasm-over-ability and harassed technician's man-hours combining to produce booklets that time would chew to bits.   

I’ll tell you the payphone story when you’re older.

Eight days after my 2009 birthday Edmund Dehn is announced as playing Judge Minty.  In November the casting of Dredd’s revealed and comic fandom does a whiplash-inducing double-take as a result. 

There’s several thousand people who were lucky enough to be exactly the right age to be comics fans through the Eighties, especially in the UK.  The weekly comic had always had its own secret societies stuffed to the gills with anonymous members.  Some of these initiates have gone public over the years, revealing the secrets that were guarded so jealousy for so long.  Often they’d wait until they’d achieved lofty positions of power, so any ridicule could be picked off with automatic lasers or attack dogs.  You know the type: that chat-show fellow who had to apologise every time he said anything out loud; the Kate Bush backing singer; the brothers who sound like sisters; the man who resurrected the Macra; the chap who wrote ‘Trends’ and brought the TARDIS to life (who also features in the, frankly gob-smacking payphone story – simmer down, I told you: when you’re older).  All of them producing a sort of fan-fiction themselves.  But, in many cases, a compromised and impure sort of fan-fiction, because it doesn’t matter how much you adore it – if you get paid then it isn’t really love.  According to the Beatles.

Ten days to Christmas 2009, and Rotherham’s become the future.

The Nineties have just arrived, and it’s all going a bit bleak and arty.  Even Kreator have released an album that doesn’t feature a painted cover.  Music and comics are starting to interconnect for me – it’s mostly hormonal though.

Let's go back at the top of the escape stairs now, because that’s where they store the music rooms.  We’ve got a couple of special guests today – a pair of studio engineers from Bristle (near Nailsea).  They’ve been working with a lovely lady called Sam Howard and they’re looking for volunteers to help with things and stuff.  I can’t remember why, but I get swept along and after helping out with a gig round the corner from Park Street end up making my microphone-enhanced stage début.  The rush takes twenty years to recede.  My hair doesn’t show the same decency.

Over the next few years I keep bumping into Sam Howard’s single in the original Spillers, just down the street from Henricks.  In 2012, one of the studio engineers releases (with a chum) an album of music for an imaginary Judge Dredd film.  All of the track titles are written in the secret language we were talking about earlier.  It’s got no connection with the 3D Dredd film.  Which is strange, as they say ‘thanks’ to it in the credits.

In June 2010 a shoot is announced.  It’s going to take place in London and the Cursed Earth of North Wales. 

It’s 1995, sometime around my birthday, and I’m sat in the Park Vaults in Cardiff, scribbling nonsense in a notebook.  I’ve had a soft spot for the Park Vaults since I found it four years before while trying to fix everything that I’d broken as a result of mixing music, comics and hormones.  Computers that weren’t the size of a car were almost commonplace, and it looked like there might be a future there - they made sense after all.  Phil Lynott had died in 1986, so it came as a shock to find I was having a conversation with him.  Lovely bloke.  Everything was flexible, you see.  The boundaries weren’t confirmed and I was invincible.  Four years later, still scribbling, a young couple started up a conversation with me.  I can’t remember what we talked about, but the gentleman said I reminded him of Iain Banks.  He didn’t say which one.   

Later that evening I watched Judge Dredd in the Capitol.  The bit with the comics was good.

It’s twelve days after my birthday in 2010 and the first work-in-progress trailer for Judge Minty goes live – comics fandom breathe a collective sigh that speeds up global warming by 15.6%.  Ten years earlier it would’ve taken a week to download the trailer.  And if someone phoned you during those seven days, you’d have to start all over again.  That November, in Johannesburg, a revolutionary 3D rig is being put through its paces.

In 2006, Alex Garland starts writing a script.  In November 2011 this blog begins properly and Judge Minty’s wrapped (in a Dorset quarry).

It’s now.  When I finish texting my friend I’m going to go into the CCA.  Everything feels sharper and clean.  Everyone’s smiling and a bit polished.  It’s like looking out from inside a soap bubble.  That’s the text sent. 

Nine months and seven days into 2012 and I’m wearing two pairs of glasses in a dark room full of strangers.  There’s no need to worry, but I don’t know that yet.  The following month the first Judge Minty screenings are announced.  It's been mentioned in the Dredd credits, but I was too busy being relieved to notice.  I’ve still got the cinema ticket in my wallet when shaking John Wagner’s hand.

The CCA’s deceptive.  Used to have a third-eye back in the day.  As soon as I’m through the door I spot the Judges patrolling and nearly lose my nerve.  I ask someone behind the counter where stuff is – mostly to try and stop the Judge looking at me.  It doesn’t work.  The lady starts to show me where stuff is, as requested, but the Judge has come over and he’s standing right next to me.  She’s talking but I can’t hear anything but blood.  Grud, he’s huge.  I’m aware that I’m having a moment, but what can you do?  Brazen it out?  How? 

“Judge Dredd always knows.”

“Judge Dredd always knows.”

This is irrational and crazy.  I’m not a kid – what the hell’s going on?  He’s still there.  He’s still there.  What have I done wrong? 

All of sudden I’m in a warehouse that seems to be an indoor concrete beer garden.  The lady’s stopped talking and - Dredd’s gone.  He’s walked over to another Judge.  Jack.  Wait a minute – Judge Jack?  But, didn’t he-? 

The lady’s stopped talking. 

Say something or she’ll think you’re a futsie.

“Ah.  Thanks.  Sorry.  Sorry about that.  I was being intimidated by Judge Dredd there.”

The moment passes and I pluck up some guts from somewhere and try and take a photograph of Judges Dredd and Jack without sounding spuggy.  I fail totally, get papped, and, instantly, I’m on Twitter.  The Judges don’t break character.  It’s massively disconcerting – especially when I bump into Judge Jack.

“Assaulting a Judge…”

The sentence just hangs there.

All roads lead.

The costumes are magnificent.  It doesn’t matter if they’re real-world practical, like the South African ones had to be, because I’m part of a secret society that knows all the magic words to fill the gaps.  I’ve proved this by nearly losing it when confronted with a fictional character refusing to be pretend.  The last time this happened wasn’t in the Alien War on Trocadero like you’d think, but in an end-of-pier exhibition in fag-end Seventies Blackpool when I was confronted with a Dalek.

The showing is announced and the beer garden starts to move up the fire-escape.  I spark a nervous conversation with a fine fellow I kind of recognise through Facebook.  Ten years ago that sort of social interaction would’ve been a madman’s dream.  Maybe it still is.

The seats are laid out fine, so I push myself to a middle seat in the second row.  I’ve been doing this since Hellraiser, I don’t see why I should stop now.

It’s February 2013 and Steves Sterlacchini and Green are being directed to their seats for the Glasgow Film Festival screening of Judge Minty.  Half of them will later admit that this is the first time they’ve stayed when there’s an audience present.  They sit in the middle of the front row.  Behind them someone’s scribbling in a Beano notebook.  Judges line the walls, daysticks ready. 

John McShane introduces the evening.  There’ll be two films.  Not fan films.  Films.  The first one is based on Battlestar Galactica.  The second one is John Wagner’s favourite Judge Dredd movie.  Then there’ll be a Q and A about making fan-films.

We start off with Foghorn Films’ Battlestar Galactica – By Your Command, which does the job just fine.

And then, Judge Minty.

From the opening shot – which made me cover my mouth – it’s right.  Years and years of effort have gone into this film – much more than just the handful since Mr Sterlacchini’s quest for a helmet.  This represents at least one lifetime.  And it doesn’t compromise, because it doesn’t need to sell itself.  It only needs to be true, because only by doing that does it justify its existence.

There’ll be talk of intellectual properties and such later on, but that kind of misses the point.  I’ll try and explain. 

You can be a best-selling author, with a fanbase that stretches around the planet – and you can write the most heart-rending love letter to your favourite series – channelling years of ideas and emotions and seemingly wasted hours into one glistening behemoth of a tale – but you’ll still have to rewrite it at least three times and settle for an Ood.   


"Because these aren’t your toys.  These are our toys.  If you want to play with them there are rules.  We call them brands.  Y’know?  Popular with cattle at one point.  Here’re your wages."

And there’s not one damn thing wrong with that.2  There’re so many professional fans involved now that it’s great we’ve got a faceless beast that cares nothing but how the product’ll play in Arkansas.  It trims the fat and the indulgence and does its best to keep the brand alive.  Because if the brand dies, then the money goes away.  Sometimes the planets align and the system spews a thing that everyone loves, but it doesn’t happen often.  The larger the budget, the more simplified the language.


Without a budget acting as a safety net you can do daring things.  In many ways there’s no choice.  No-one’s going to tell you that something can’t be done because if you believed that then you wouldn’t have started in the first place.  And because you’re speaking in a secret language you can let the audience do some of the work.  Why not hint at Otto Sump?  After all, who’s going to remember that skeleton in a swimming pool with a single gunshot punching daylight through the skull?  How about the Aggro Dome?  Des O’Connor block?  If anyone gets that, they’ll think Christmas has come early.  Stick a reference like that in a Cineplex and the critics’ll have a barney.2  

Why stop there?  You’ve got everything to lose, so chance it all and trust that this is the right road to go down and throw in a continuity shot that’s so blatantly subtle you don’t need to draw attention to it.  The cover of Judge Dredd #9 maybe?  Or how about the Land Raider?  Or Judge Urban?  Go crazy – they’ll love it.  They felt exactly the same way you did.  And if you add a character called Aquila?  Well…

Even the credits to this are superb.  No, I’m not telling you why.  Go and see it.

The lights come up and the film-makers get up from in front of me and walk to the stage and the microphones.  The Q and A goes fine – there’s no stumm.  Or hailstones.

I corner the Steves and, in the special language I’ve been going on about, blabber incoherently about how great they are and how special this moment was and would you sign my ticket please and do you mind if I talk about all the things I should have done in the Q and A but I was just too shy and - oh are you leaving here?  You are? Can I get a photo of you please? 

Thanks.  Thank you. 

And then I’m back in the beer garden and the blush is fading.  Even though Steve Niles is there and Mr McShane, being a true gentleman, asks me if I’m going to come along and say ‘hello’, I decline. 

Twenty-eight years is a long time to hold your breath, even if you don’t know you’re doing it. 

March 2013.  Judge Minty rides into Cardiff. 

All roads lead.

Special thanks to (in no particular):

John Wagner and Mike McMahon for Prog 147.
Steve Sterlacchini and Stephen Green and everyone involved in making Judge Minty.
The Judges.
The staff of the CCA and the GFT. 

1.  (Wagner/Grant/Bolland)  See also: Block War 

2.  Quiet at the back!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

#Whoniversary - 50 Years of Doctor Who

An event is such a little piece of time-and-space you can mail it through the slotted eye of a cat.
- Diane Ackerman


- Tom MacRae

So, we popped along to the Glasgow Film Theatre, which is basically Chapter for Glasgow3 – as I’ve mentioned before, oddly enough – where there was going to be a special showing of an unnanounced story picked, and written, by Tom MacRae.  Seeing as this event was being billed as ’50 Years of Doctor Who’ – this all seemed a bit random.  Bit still, it would be daft for myself and the Him not to make an effort to attend.  Just in case.
After literally seconds of research, I guessed that we probably wouldn’t be watching Mr MacRae’s Who début, The Rise of Steel1 for a couple of reasons.  That only left his second, far superior3 story, The Girl Who Waited.

After we’d trooped in and sat down, a lovely gentleman temporarily released from the Battle of the Booker Judging Panel - I missed his name but agreed with his thoughts about talent contests - confirmed the story and announced, officially, that there’d be a Q and A1 with the writer (Mr MacRae), the director (Nick Hurran) and the actor who played Milo in The Macra Terror 2: Gridlock1 (Travis Oliver).  I felt a bit sorry for Mr Oliver, who’d obviously been dragged along to distract tigers whilst the heavyweight hitters escaped.  This turned out to be unfair, as he was engaging, witty and probably just as baffled as we were as to why he was there.4  Maybe he’s the next Doctor?  That would have been sneaky.

So, we watched The Girl Who Waited and then we clapped.  Then we watched the Q and A (which had a surprising level of concentrated Classic Who Geekery – and at least one instance of age-dodging3) and its subsequent revelations.  You’ve no doubt heard the fantastic – and hugely well-guarded – information, that the Handbots were in fact based on the Vervoids, but did you know that Nick Hurran’s directing the Whoniversary Special1?  Or that it’s in 3D? 

Oh, you did?  We should’ve tweeted faster then. 

Damn.  Pipped again.

Anyway, here’s what happened next…

Me:  So, it looked different on the big screen.

Him:  Yeah, it did look good on the big screen.

Me:  You could see the grain of the TARDIS – the wood.  And the other thing that I thought was good was that the prosthetics on Amy’s face looked – they didn’t – they looked real.

Him:  What d’you mean?

Me:  Well, I found that when we watched it on the iPlayer, they looked really orange and that it all stood out and looked-

Him:  Like a teenager.

Me:  ‘Like a teenager’?

Him:  Like a teenage girl.  All orange.

Me:  Ha!  So, apart from the fact that I think this should be titled, “YET…”-

Him:  ‘Yet?’

Me:  YET…

Him:  I don’t get it.

Me:  Well, when Nick Hurran said the Ponds haven’t returned-

Him:  “YET…”

Me:  Yeah?

Him:  Yeah.  But I think that was more of a joke than anything else.

Me:  I dunno.  We were there for the announcement though.  We were there for something really… official.

Him:  Yeah, we’ve had other stuff like that in the past.

Me:  Umm…

Him:  That we’re not going to touch upon.

Me:  Well, yeah, yeah.  That.5  And the time that I guessed the title?

Him:  The Huge Mosquito’?  That’s very-

Me:  Ha!  ‘Doctor Who and the Huge Mosquito’, yeah.  I didn’t guess that.6

Him:  I know.

Me:  It was the Other that guessed that.

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  Well, that was pretty exciting.

Him:  Yeah, I suppose.

Me:  So, it was part of the Glasgow Film Festival, doing a special showing of-

Him:  I know what it was.

Me:  It was unannounced as to which episode it would be.  And no-one mentioned Macra.  But then, that’s because…

Him:  “There are no such thing as Macra.”

Me:  Exactly.


Me:  So we got some-

Him:  “Macra do not exist!”

Me:  We got some pretty good seats.

 Him:  Umm…

Me:  Well, right up until someone sat… on you.

Him:  In front of me.

Me:  Like a Yeti.

Him:  Ha!

Me:  You were Harold Pinter.  They were Yeti.  It was cushion at first sight.”

Him:  Ha!

Me:  So, we saw the episode on the big screen.  It was better with the sound on, wasn’t it?

Him:  Yeah.  Because at the start the sound wasn’t on.

Me:  It wasn’t on at all.

Him:  We had the Doctor and Rory talking about nothing.

Me:  I wondered if they were going to start it again.  Then we’d have to sit through all those warnings about not recording the thing you’ve got on four different formats of DVD at home.

Him:  What was that other one?  Oh yeah, ‘You may be watched with night-vision goggles throughout the show’.

Me:  I know!

Him:  Is that not a little bit creepy?

Me:  Did you see the guy squatting right at the front, wearing the night-vision goggles and holding a cattle-prod?

Him:  No?

Me:  There wasn’t one.  That’s why.

Him:  Awww.

Me:  I’ll cut that bit.

Him:  But how were they watching us with night-vision goggles on?  Were they hiding up in the roof?  Unscrewing the lightbulbs up the top and just looking through?

Me:  No, every single seat’s got a camera in it.


Him:  Really?  Underneath it?  Well, that wouldn’t be very interesting because if someone sat down on it-

Me:  No, not underneath it.  That’d be really questionable.  And I think it’s against the law.

Him:  Oh, that sounds like our train’s breathing.

Me:  We’re on a train.

Him:  Well, we’re not, but we were. At the time of recording this, we were on a train.  But we’re not now.  Probably.  Unless you’re reading this in the future and we are on a train, in which case we apologise.  Can you imagine if you’re just on your seat across from us, and we’re sitting here recording this?  On a train.  Just so we can type it up.  On a train.

Me:  Fair play, there are a lot of people staring at us.

Him:  Ha!

Me:  "Peachy keen."  So, shall we do the big news stuff?

Him:  Okay.

Me:  Afterwards, there was a Q and A-

Him:  Yeah, there was a Question and Answer

Me:  Tom MacRae seemed-

Him:  Or a ‘Q and A’ as all the hip and fashionable kids are calling it nowadays.

Me:  That's right, I do. 

Him:  You’re old, you’re not hip.

Me:  I’ve got a hip.  At the moment.  I’ve got two actually.  One for best.  I just favour the other one.  Anyway-

Him:  *yawn*

Me:  So during this Q and A  Do you want to say it?

Him:  Say what?

Me:  They talked about the episode initially, but you could sort of tell that everybody was trying to get onto talking about the Fiftieth.

Him:  Yeah.  “Could you… um...  read out the script for the Fiftieth?”

Me:  I know, and they wouldn’t read it out!  Shocking.  Probably because they haven’t had it.  I think-

Him:  And it’s kind of funny that the writer who had nothing to do with the Fiftieth knows all about it.  And the director doesn’t know anything about it.

Me:  It was an exclusive.  An announcement made by Nick Hurran-

Him:  Yeah, there was an annnouncement made about something…  Probably to do with the Fiftieth.

You’ll have to excuse the Him, gentle reader.  He’s messin’ with ya.

Me:  Nick Hurran said he’s directing it.  He confirmed he’s directing it.

Him:  Oh yeah, he confirmed he’s directing it.

Me:  And he also said that he’d pushed for the 3D because he’d liked Avatar.  But I wonder how true that was.

Him:  No, he didn’t say he’d pushed for the 3D. 

Me:  Well, no, Tom MacRae said he’d pushed for it.

Him:  Ha!  “Wasn’t it because of you pushing so hard that it became 3D?”
“Oh, it might have been.  Who knows?”

Me:  Ha!  “Something like that.  Who can tell?”  It was quite interesting and they all seemed very enthused about it.  I didn’t catch the name of the gentleman who was chairing it.

Him:  The guy at the front?

Me:  Yeah.  He’s on the Booker panel, he was saying, and I totally agreed with-

Just a quick interjection here, as I’ve said all this.  I just wanted to add that this was a moderator who’d done his research and certainly knew his onions.  Not to the degree of a Pixley or Hadoke perhaps, but I, for one, was impressed.

Him:  And today’s the seventeenth of February, 2013.

Me:  Yeah.  So that’s kind of our exclusive.3  As exclusive as it is, which it isn’t, because by now it’ll be all over everything.

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  There?
Me:  So, we went to the Glasgow Film Theatre to see it, and before that we saw the transmat balls left over from The Sontaran Experiment, so I’d probably better put a shot of those in.  About here?

Him:  No.  I don’t know.  A little bit ahead?

Me:  Alright, I’ll put one at the end.

Him:  No, not at the end.  Put them…

Me:  Do you know what?  The last time we were sat there – well, the last time you had lunch there on that spot – this is weird – we’d just watched – well.  We’d gone into town because I needed to buy some more pens, because I was doing a colour illustration.  We were doing our write-up of Daleks’ Invasion Earth – 2150 AD.  That’s mad.

Him:  Why?

Me:  That was last… Easter.

Him:  ‘Leaster’.

Me:  ‘Leaster’, yeah.  Leaster Eggs – like Yeti eggs.

Him:  Like a type of cheese.  It’s an Easter egg made of Red Leicester.  Which – in retrospect – would be disgusting.

Me:  Do you want me to put the ‘Doctor Coo’ illustration back in?

Him:  Not here.

Me:  ‘The second oldest question’.  Oh, and also – something that I thought was very interesting…  There were some things that were said that were a bit speculative but we probably should mention here.  Which were…

Him:  “We’re awesome.”

Me:  That’s…  Ha!  It sounds as though Nick Hurran’s having to research the history of Doctor Who.  From what he was saying.  He wouldn’t be drawn – even slightly – on older actors.  No-one got mentioned.  Tom MacRae was very, very positive about Russell T Davies and he made some really pertinent points.

Him:  ‘Platinum points’?

Me:  Pertinent points.

Him:  “Platinum points.  Like gold, but better.”  And they can actually be turned into gold points by zapping the right atoms at them, but that’s really pointless because-

Me:  It’s ‘pointless’, is it? 

Him:  Yeah, because platinum-

Me:  How can it be pointless?

Him:  Because platinum points are, you know, more valuable than gold points.  It’s always good to know.

Me:  Anyway, something that was also very interesting…  I don’t think the oldest question’s going to be answered.  I think they’re teasing at it, but it’s not going to be answered.  We’re not going to find out what the Doctor’s name is.

Him:  We’re never going to find out what the Doctor’s name is. Because that would just ruin the show.

Me:  Yeah – which is what Tom MacRae said too.

Him:  Because Sydney Newman – why would he have given a secret piece of paper…  “In fifty years time, if this show’s still goin’…”

Me:  Shall we put a link to The Pitch of Fear here?

Him:  The Pitch of Fear?

Me:  The last time Mark Gatiss did an origin of Doctor Who story.  Shall we put it here?8  This morning they were filming the Dalek Invasion of Earth section for An Adventure in Space and Time just outside the Houses of Parliament.  And of course, that was the story that got turned into Daleks’ Invasion Earth – 2150 AD.  Oh!  What about the Dalek?

1.  Yes, that’s what it’s called.2

2.  This joke lovingly lifted from Lawrence Miles’ About Time 3 annotations.

3.  Yes.  Yes it is.

4.  There aren’t any tigers native to Glasgow, you see.

5.  Not saying.  Nope.  “Spoilers…” (etc)

6.  Actually, when Neil Gaiman released the crossword clue for his upcoming story7, I correctly guessed it’d be The Last Cyberman.  In public.  Unfortunately, this was at about the same time that the script for it got left in a taxi, so my genius got lost in the subsequent drama.

7.  And while we’re talking about the second half of Series Seven, let’s not forget that it’s not had a new Moffat title as of yet.  This means it’s still Season Pond1 and not Season Clara, like what you’d think.  Yet…

8.  Seems not as they're all blocked.  I wonder why...