Under Three Hundred

The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Writing

Okay, things have been going on. I’ve started my own audio production company, Average Romp, which has released its first episode of its first series, Dick Dixon in the 21st Century. I’ll blog on all that in more detail next week; today, instead, I’ll just do a quick plug for the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine and its special edition Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition.

 

In the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, number 564, I have an article about the Eighth Doctor’s adventures in spin-off media after the 1996 TV Movie. What The Eighth Doctor Did Next. Now, this is a very big subject, and one which could barely be encompassed by a series of articles ten times the length. So it’s more of an overview, drawing together threads, a taster palette if you like. There’s also a bit on the elephant on the room that has never been discussed – were the books, audios and comic strips really an influence on the TV series? Or were they just picking up on the same things that were going on at the time? Again, this is a subject that really could be an article in itself, but the short answer is, “Not really”. Books may have had giant spaceships appearing over London, but then, so did Independence Day and V and The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. And, yes, occasionally the TV series may tread on the toes of the spin-offs, or pull out rugs from under those toes, but that goes with the territory. As Timothy Zahn said about Star Wars; “We were allowed to play in George Lucas’ driveway. If and when George backs his truck out and runs over our stuff, we have no cause to complain.” And the same applies to Doctor Who. You just have your fun and hope that when the truck is backed out the wheels happen to miss your own action figures.

So, yes, a fun article to write. I could have had more interviewees but there wasn’t time or space, cos it’s an issue packed with loads of other good stuff. There’s even an article by someone very close to my heart (which I had nothing to do with, I hasten to add).

 
 
Out on the same day is Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition number 57, all about Writing Doctor Who. Now, I have quite a bit in this, as I writing the framing articles (for want of a better term) discussing how Doctor Who scripts were, and are, developed from original pitches, through to outlines/storylines, to scene breakdowns, to draft scripts, to rehearsal/readthrough scripts and finally to camera/shooting scripts. Giving lots of examples of Doctor Who stories along the way.

This was, as you might expect from my article on this blog, a bit of a dream job for me. I don’t have every existing Doctor Who script and of those I have, I haven’t quite read all of them all the way through, but I very nearly have. So I’ve got lots of interesting things to say – previous fan researchers have detailed things like deleted scenes and script changes before, but usually only to describe them in ‘making of’ articles. What I find interesting is the question of why stuff got changed; why scenes and dialogue were rewritten by script editors or changed in rehearsals, why scenes were dropped. Of course, these reasons can usually only be inferred – although sometimes there are interviews and correspondence which gives you some details. So, in the various articles, I explore that a little, looking at The Mind Robber as one case where we have all the script editors notes on the outline so we can pretty much exactly see why the changes were made to the scene breakdown.

And so on with other stories, trying to pick out examples of things that had never been reported before, or at least which I don’t remember being reported before (not the same thing). Such as some dialogue about Peri tap-dancing in The Caves of Androzani which made it all the way to the rehearsal script before someone realized how naff it was.

 
 
That’s the thing with putting together these articles. You can always go into more detail (what is now termed ‘granular’). I could write a whole book on stuff not covered by DWM Archives and Fact of Fictions, the Complete History and the various DWAS Production Guides. Maybe one day!

So please rush out to your nearest good newsagent or WH Smiths, or order the publications online.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

A Fun Bunch Of Guys From Outer Space

  

An updated updated list of every SF film I’ve seen and haven’t seen.
 
Note: I don’t count superhero films and manga as SF, they are their own marvellous genres, and where variant titles exist, I use one of them.
 
1926
Metropolis
1929
Woman in the Moon
1930
Just Imagine
1933
King Kong
1936
Things to Come
1950
Destination Moon
1951
The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Man in the White Suit, The Thing, When Worlds Collide
1953
Invaders from Mars, It Came from Outer Space, War of the Worlds
1954
20,000 Leagues under the Sea, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Them!
1955
The Day The World Ended, The Quatermass Xperiment, This Island Earth
1956
1984, Earth versus the Flying Saucers, Forbidden Planet, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Plan 9 from Outer Space, X The Unknown
1957
The Abominable Snowman, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Quatermass 2
1958
The Fly
1959
Journey to the Centre of the Earth, On The Beach, Return of the Fly
1960
The Last Woman On Earth, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Time Machine, Village of the Damned
1961
The Day the Earth Caught Fire, The Fabulous World of Jules Verne
1962
Doctor No, The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
1963
The Birds, The Damned, The Day of the Triffids, La Jetee, Unearthly Stranger, Voyage to the End of the Universe
1964
Children of the Damned, Doctor Strangelove, Fail Safe, The First Men in the Moon, Goldfinger, It Happened Here, The Last Man on Earth, The Time Travelers
1965
The 10th Victim, Alphaville, Crack in the World, Dr Who and the Daleks, Thunderball, The War Game
1966
Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD, Fahrenheit 451, Fantastic Voyage, Seconds
1967
Barbarella, Casino Royale, Privilege, Quatermass and the Pit, The Terrornauts, They Came From Beyond Space, You Only Live Twice
1968
2001-A Space Odyssey, Charly, Planet of the Apes
1969
The Bed Sitting Room, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Doppelgänger, Marooned, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Zeta One
1970
The Andromeda Strain, Colossus: The Forbin Project, No Blade of Grass
1971
A Clockwork Orange, Diamonds are Forever, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, Percy, Quest for Love, Silent Running, Solaris, THX 1138
1972
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Doomwatch, Slaughterhouse Five
1973
Battle for the Planet of the Apes, The Final Programme, Phase IV, Sleeper, Soylent Green, Westworld, World on a Wire, Zardoz
1974
The Cars That Ate Paris, Dark Star, The Land That Time Forgot, The Little Prince, The Man with the Golden Gun, The Stepford Wives, The Terminal Man, Young Frankenstein
1975
A Boy and His Dog, Death Race 2000, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Rollerball
1976
At the Earth’s Core, The Big Bus, Futureworld, The Killer Bees, Logan’s Run, The Man Who Fell to Earth
1977
Capricorn One, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Demon Seed, Empire of the Ants, The Island of Dr Moreau, The Glitterball, The People That Time Forgot, The Spy Who Loved Me, Star Wars
1978
The Boys from Brazil, Coma, A Hitch in Time, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Pirahna, Superman, The Swarm, Warlords of Atlantis
1979
Alien, The Black Hole, The China Syndrome, Mad Max, Meteor, Moonraker, Stalker, Star Trek, Starcrash, Time After Time
1980
Altered States, The Apple, Battle Beyond the stars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Final Countdown, Flash Gordon, Monster,  Saturn 3, Scanners, Superman II
1981
Escape from New York, Galaxy of Terror, Looker, Mad Max 2, Outland, Piranha II, Time Bandits
1982
Airplane II, Blade Runner, Britannia Hospital, ET, Forbidden World, Halloween III, The Thing, Tron, Videodrome, The Wrath of Khan  
1983
Krull, The Man With Two Brains, Never Say Never Again, Return of the Jedi, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, Superman III, Testament, Wargames
1984
1984, 2010, The Brother from Another Planet, Dreamscape, Dune, Electric Dreams, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, The Last Starfighter, Night of the Comet, The Philadelphia Experiment, Repo Man, Runaway, Search for Spock, Starman, Terminator, Trancers
1985
Back to the Future, Brazil, Cocoon, Creature, Enemy Mine, Lifeforce, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Morons from Outer Space, The Quiet Earth, Weird Science
1986
Aliens, Biggles: Adventures in Time, Critters, The Fly, Howard the Duck, Invaders from Mars, Peggy Sue Got Married, Short Circuit, Star Trek IV
1987
Batteries Not Included, The Hidden, Innerspace, Predator, RoboCop, The Running Man, Spaceballs, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
1988
Akira, Alien Nation, Earth Girls Are Easy, Moonwalker, They Live
1989
The Abyss, Back to the Future II, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Ghostbusters II, Slipstream, Star Trek V
1990
Back to the Future III, Gremlins 2, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hardware, Moon 44, Total Recall
1991
Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Naked Lunch, The Rocketeer, Star Trek 6, Terminator 2, Wedlock
1992
Alien 3, Freejack, The Lawnmower Man
1993
Coneheads, Demolition Man, Les Visiteurs, Jurassic Park
1994
Stargate, Star Trek Generations, Timecop
1995
12 Monkeys, The City of Lost Children, Congo, GoldenEye, Judge Dredd, Screamers, Species, Strange Days, Tank Girl, Waterworld
1996
Barb Wire, Crash, Independence Day, Mars Attacks!, Star Trek: First Contact
1997
Contact, Cube, Event Horizon, The Fifth Element, Gattaca, The Lost World, Men in Black, Starship Troopers
1998
Dark City, Deep Impact, Pi, Run Lola Run, Sphere, Star Trek: Insurrection
1999
Bicentennial Man, eXistenZ, Galaxy Quest, The Iron Giant, The Matrix, Muppets from Space, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
2000
Mission to Mars, Pitch Black, Unbreakable
2001
AI, Donnie Darko, Ghosts of Mars, Jurassic Park III, Planet of the Apes
2002
28 Days Later, Equilibrium, Impostor, Minority Report, Solaris, Spider-Man, Star Trek: Nemesis, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Signs, The Time Machine
2003
The Core, Paycheck, Terminator 3, Timeline
2004
The Butterfly Effect, The Day After Tomorrow, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I, Robot, Primer
2005
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Robots, Serenity, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, War of the Worlds, Zarutha
2006
A Scanner Darkly, Children of Men, Deja Vu, The Fountain, The Host, Southland Tales, Superman Returns, V for Vendetta
2007
28 Weeks Later, I Am Legend, The Invasion, The Mist, Next, Sunshine, Timecrimes
2008
Cloverfield, Iron Man, Outlander, WALL-E
2009
2012, Avatar, District 9, Frequently Asked Question About Time Travel, Land of the Lost, Lockout, Moon, Mr Nobody, The Road, Star Trek, The Time Traveler’s Wife
2010
Despicable Me, Hot Tub Time Machine, Monsters, Never Let Me Go, Tron Legacy
2011
The Adjustment Bureau, Attack the Block, Cowboys vs Aliens, In Time, Limitless, Midnight in Paris, Paul, Perfect Sense, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Source Code, Super 8, Thor
2012
Cloud Atlas, Dredd, The Hunger Games, John Carter, Looper, Prometheus, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Total Recall, Upside Down
2013
About Time, Continuum, Elysium, Ender’s Game Gravity, Her, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oblivion, Pacific Rim, Snowpiercer, Star Trek Into Darkness, The World’s End, Under the Skin, The Zero Theorem
2014
The Anomaly, Coherence, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Divergent, Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Giver, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1, Interstellar, Left Behind, Lucy, The Maze Runner, Noah, Mr Peabody & Sherman, Predestination, Space Station 76, Time Lapse, Transcendence
2015
Advantageous, Insurgent, EX Machina, High Rise, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 2, Jupiter Ascending, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Signal, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Tomorrowland
2016
10 Cloverfield Lane, Allegiant, ARQ, Arrival, Ghostbusters, Independence Day: Resurgence, Passengers, Star Wars: Rogue One, Star Trek Beyond
2017
Blade Runner 2049, War for the Planet of the Apes, Geostorm, The Humanity Bureau, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Time Trap
2018
2036 Origin Unknown, A Quiet Place, Annihilation, The Cloverfield Paradox, Mortal Engines, Mute, Prospect, Ready Player One, Star Wars: Solo, The Titan
2019
Ad Astra, Farmageddon, Io, See You Yesterday, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Vivarium, The Wandering Earth
2020
Last and First Men, Love and Monsters, The Midnight Sky, Sputnik, Tenet
2021
Space Sweepers, Stowaway
 

 
Still left to see:
 
1955
The Conquest of Space
1957
The Invisible Boy
1958
Teenage Caveman, Terror in the Midnight Sun
1959
Teenagers from Outer Space
1961
Mysterious Island, Night Tide, The Phantom Planet 
1963
The Mind Benders
1964
Dogora, The Earth Dies Screaming, Robinson Crusoe on Mars
1965
The Curse of the Fly
1968
Countdown, Je T’aime Je T’aime
1969
The Body Stealers, A Case For A Rookie Hangman, The Gladiators, Moon Zero Two
1970
Gas-s-s-s, Toomorrow
1971
City Beneath The Sea, Punishment Park
1972
The Mind Snatchers
1973
The Day of the Dolphin, Fantastic Planet
1974
It’s Alive, Where Have All The People Gone?
1977
Tomorrow I'll Get Up And Scald Myself With Tea
1979
Ravagers, The Spaceman and King Arthur
1981
Condorman
1984
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Caravan of Courage, Supergirl
1985
DARYL
1988
Short Circuit II
1989
Millennium
1990
Meet the Applegates
1992
Timescape 
1995
Johnny Mnemonic
1996
The Arrival
1997
The Postman
1998
Armageddon, Phantoms
2000
Frequency, Red Planet
2001
Vanilla Sky
2002
The Adventures of Pluto Nash
2003
Riverworld
2005
A Sound of Thunder, Sky High
2008
Death Race, Doomsday, The Happening
2009
9, Splice
2011
Cold Fusion, The Collapsed
2012
Mine Games, Robert & Frank, Safety Not Guaranteed
2013
The Colony, The Congress, Europa Report, The Last Days on Mars, Love,
2014 
Debug, The History of Time Travel, The Last Invasion, Survivor
2015
Chappie, Circle, Dark Planet, Infini, Rotor DR1, Turbo Kid
2016
Capsule, The Darkest Dawn, Midnight Special, Paradox, Spectral
2017
Anti-Matter, Beyond Skyline, The Discovery, The Endless, Ghost in the Shell, iBoy, Orbiter 9, Revolt, Stasis
2018
Abduction, Aniara, Anon, Attraction, Await Further Instructions, The Beyond, Bumblebee, Curvature, Extinction, High Life, How It Ends, Kin, Level 16, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, Occupation, Replicas, Solis, The Shape of Water, Tau, White Chamber, Zoe
2019
Color Out Of Space, I Am Mother, Jurassic Galaxy, Proxima, The Mandela Effect, Synchronic, White Space
2020
2067, 3022, Archive, Bill & Ted Face the Music, Anti Life, G-Loc, Palm Springs, Possessor, Skylines, Underwater, Variant
2021
Bios, Chaos Walking, Infinite, Dune, Reminiscence