The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Sunday, 29 September 2019


Just for fun, and my own reference – a list of science fiction films I’ve seen, based on the 1985 Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies (which includes things like James Bond films and some fantasy movies etc but doesn’t include stuff like Carry on Spying, Somewhere in Time and Ghostbusters) and then wikipedia. There may be a few I've forgotten - when modern films have titles like Transcendence and Advantageous it's hard to remember what the hell they were about!)

Things to Come
The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Man in the White Suit, The Thing, When Worlds Collide
Invaders from Mars, It Came from Outer Space, War of the Worlds
20,000 Leagues under the Sea
This Island Earth
Earth versus the Flying Saucers, Forbidden Planet, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1984, Plan 9 from Outer Space
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Time Machine, Village of the Damned
The Day the Earth Caught Fire
Doctor No
The Birds, The Day of the Triffids, La Jetee
Doctor Strangelove, First Men in the Moon, Goldfinger
Alphaville, Dr Who and the Daleks, Thunderball, The War Game
Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD, Fahrenheit 451, Fantastic Voyage
Barbarella, Casino Royale, Quatermass and the Pit, The Terrornauts, You Only Live Twice
Charly, Planet of the Apes, 2001-A Space Odyssey
The Bed Sitting Room, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Zeta One
The Andromeda Strain
A Clockwork Orange, Diamonds are Forever, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Percy, Silent Running, Solaris
Doomwatch, Slaughterhouse Five
The Final Programme, Sleeper, Soylent Green, Westworld, Zardoz
The Cars That Ate Paris, Dark Star, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Stepford Wives, The Terminal Man
The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rollerball
At the Earth’s Core, The Big Bus, Futureworld, The Killer Bees, Logan’s Run, The Man Who Fell to Earth
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Demon Seed, Empire of the Ants, The Glitterball, The Spy Who Loved Me, Star Wars
The Boys from Brazil, Coma, A Hitch in Time, Pirahna, Superman, The Swarm
Alien, The Black Hole, Mad Max, Meteor, Moonraker, Star Trek, Starcrash
The Apple, Battle Beyond the stars, The Empire Strikes Back, Flash Gordon, Saturn 3, Scanners, Superman II
Escape from New York, Mad Max 2, Outland, Piranha II, Time Bandits
Airplane II, Blade Runner, ET, The Wrath of Khan, The Thing, Tron, Videodrome
Krull, The Man With Two Brains, Never Say Never Again, Return of the Jedi, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, Superman III, War Games
The Brother from Another Planet, Dune, Night of the Comet, 1984, Repo Man, Search for Spock, Starman, Terminator, 2010
Back to the Future, Brazil, Cocoon, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Morons from Outer Space, Weird Science
Aliens, Critters, The Fly, Howard the Duck, Short Circuit, Star Trek IV
Batteries Not Included, Predator, RoboCop, The Running Man, Spaceballs
Akira, Moonwalker
The Abyss, Back to the Future II, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Ghostbusters II, Star Trek V
Back to the Future III, Gremlins 2, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hardware, Total Recall
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Star Trek 6, Terminator 2, Wedlock
Alien 3, The Lawnmower Man
Jurassic Park
Stargate, Star Trek Generations
The City of Lost Children, Congo, GoldenEye, Judge Dredd, Screamers, 12 Monkeys
Independence Day, Mars Attacks!, Star Trek: First Contact
Cube, Event Horizon, The Fifth Element, Gattaca, The Lost World, Men in Black, Starship Troopers
Dark City, Pi, Sphere, Star Trek: Insurrection
eXistenZ, Galaxy Quest, The Matrix, Muppets from Space, The Phantom Menace
Pitch Black, Unbreakable
AI, Donnie Darko, Jurassic Park III
28 Days Later, Equilibrium, Impostor, Minority Report, Solaris, Spider-Man, Star Trek: Nemesis, Attack of the Clones, The Time Machine
Paycheck, Terminator 3, Timeline
The Day After Tomorrow, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Robots, Serenity, Revenge of the Sith, War of the Worlds
A Scanner Darkly, Children of Men, The Host, Southland Tales, Superman Returns, V for Vendetta
28 Weeks Later, I Am Legend, The Mist, Next, Sunshine
Cloverfield, Iron Man, The Clone Wars, WALL-E
2012, Avatar, District 9, Frequently Asked Question About Time Travel, Moon, Star Trek, The Time Traveler’s Wife
Despicable Me, Hot Tub Time Machine, Monsters, Never Let Me Go, Tron Legacy
The Adjustment Bureau, Attack the Block, In Time, Limitless, Paul, Source Code, Super 8, Thor
Cloud Atlas, Dredd, The Hunger Games, John Carter, Looper, Prometheus, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Elysium, Ender’s Game Gravity, Her, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oblivion, Snowpiercer, Star Trek Into Darkness, The World’s End, Under the Skin, The Zero Theorem
Coherence, Divergent, Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1, Interstellar, Lucy, The Maze Runner, Mr Peabody & Sherman, Predestination, Transcendence
Advantageous, Insurgent, EX Machina, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 2, Jupiter Ascending, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Force Awakens, Tomorrowland
10 Cloverfield Lane, Allegiant, Arrival, Rogue One, Star Trek Beyond
Blade Runner 2049, The Last Jedi
Annihilation, The Cloverfield Paradox, Mortal Engines, Mute, Solo
The Wandering Earth

Not seen as far as I can remember, but would like to see:
The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Them!, The Quatermass Xperiment, X The Unknown, The Abominable Snowman, Quatermass II, The Fly (original), Journey to the Centre of the Earth, On The Beach, The Little Shop of Horrors (original), The Damned, Children of the Damned, Je T’aime Je T’aime, The Forbin Project, No Blade of Grass, THX 1138, Quest for Love, It’s Alive, Phase IV, Young Frankenstein, Death Race 2000, Capricorn One, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The China Syndrome, Time After Time, Altered States, Halloween III, The Last Starfighter, Lifeforce, Invaders from Mars (1986), Innerspace, Alien Nation, Earth Girls Are Easy, Millennium, Slipstream, Naked Lunch, The Rocketeer, Timecop, Tank Girl, Waterworld, Barb Wire, Contact, I Robot, Primer, 9, Upside Down, Pacific Rim, The Anomaly, Time Lapse, Ad Astra, Io

Thursday, 26 September 2019

The Man I Used To Be

Out last week, and available in a few good newsagents across the UK, the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine has a couple of articles by me in it. Firstly, there’s another instalment of The Blogs of Doom, commemorating one of the most-loved characters of 1980s Doctor Who

And secondly, I’ve written an article exploring what we know about Time Lords and ‘regeneration energy’. This all culminates in a bonkers theory which fits all the facts and will hopefully surprise and delight.

Those of you with long memories may recall that I wrote another article about regeneration for Doctor Who Magazine over ten years ago, which I’ve archived here. So when I was asked to write this new article both I and the editor were very keen that it should not cover anything covered in the previous article. Because readers would notice! Can I just say how remarkable it is for a magazine to work this way; how many other magazines would go out of their way to avoid repeating content from over ten years ago? Even when they interview people they’ve interviewed before, it’s to get new stories or updates on what they’ve been doing. Compare this to, oh, music magazines where they ask Paul McCartney questions he’s been asked a hundred times before and where he gives the same answers he’s given a hundred times before. So, anyway, before writing my new article I went through the old one to make sure I didn’t repeat myself. I even cut a line about the eighth Doctor’s regeneration giving him super-strength because I’d mentioned that in 2009. So, yes, while it could be argued, “Oh no, they’ve got Jonny to write about regeneration again”, that means they’ve picked the one person who is determined not to repeat anything Jonny has said.

After all, the whole fun of writing (and hopefully reading) these sort of articles is to take a fresh look and come up with new ideas. And, of course, since 2009 there have been however-many Doctor Who stories giving us new information about regeneration. We’ve seen the Doctor regenerate four* times since then, and we’ve seen other regenerations and learned new information about Time Lord physiology and life on Gallifrey. There’s even been some stuff in The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood which I didn’t pick up on last time. So there’s a lot of new stuff to look at, and so my article is deliberately skewed towards the last ten years, all the way up to last year’s Rosa.

In other news, I got the chance to listen to Rose Tyler: The Endless Night last week, and thought it was amazing. My writing aside, the cast were all great, the music was gorgeous, the sound design was marvellous, and everything just came together beautifully. It really recaptured the feel of the era while also feeling modern and new. Some real chills and tears in there. So all credit to the director, Helen Goldwyn. I couldn’t be more delighted and proud. Let’s hope there are many more adventures in store for Rose, Clive, Pete and Jackie!

The Rose Tyler: Dimension Cannon box set can be ordered from Big Finish here.

* Plus a recap of the first Doctor regenerating!

Monday, 9 September 2019

Infinitely Late At Night

My Rose Tyler: Dimension Cannon story, The Endless Night, has just been released by Big Finish productions. It’s the first story in a box set of four stories, concerning Rose’s adventures as she hops from parallel universe to parallel universe to locate the Doctor (leading up to her finally reaching the right universe in the TV story Partners in Crime). So in a way we know how the quest ended... but, of course, finding the right needle in an infinite haystack can’t have been straightforward, plus there is the question of how Rose came to realise that Donna Noble was of multi-dimensional significance...

I’ve previously blogged about the story here. The process of writing it has already half-faded into the mists of time, which is lovely for me because it means that when I listen to it, it will be like listening to something new and I’ll get to laugh at my own jokes all over again.

My main memory is that I tied myself in geographical knots trying to make it all work, as Russell T Davies’s decision to put Clive’s house in Stoke Newington in the novelisation of Rose had a kind of knock-on effect for everything in my story. There was a lot of ‘Well, if x lives there, then y will have to live there, so that they will have to pass through z’ and so on. Important to get these things right!

There are all sorts of other subtle references and little nods to things in there. I was particularly proud to include an international TV News montage, as no Russell T Davies story is complete without one!

As you might expect, I’m desperately excited to hear the finished product (the trailer here is all clips taken from my story). My story, and the others in the box set, appear to have gone down extremely well so far. So please give it alisten, and if you enjoy it, please ascend to your nearest rooftop and shout it out.