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Fanboys and Fandumb – Or Why Cult Media Can’t Have Good Things…

I am a nerd. I openly acknowledge that. In fact, I revel in it. I like to think I enjoy a broad sampling of all artforms, enjoying a nice play, a well-illustrated comic book, a compelling television miniseries, a smartly put together Oscar-baiting drama and a nice book, among other things. I’m not a snob – I love ‘big dumb fun’. I also like niche and wacky nerdy stuff. And I can appreciate the occasional bad writing that creeps into these genres – because isn’t bad writing everywhere? (Anyone reading this blog would likely agree.) And I really enjoy the vast majority of fans – the people who have a genuine interest in the subject matter. I never got why if you were an expert in Lewis Carroll Stevenson you were a literary connoisseur, but if you embraced the world of JRR Tolkien you were a fan. I love that people embrace these works and discuss them and think about them. That’s something encouraging to see in any media – engagement. But there is one element about these niche artforms that does throw me for a whirl, and it’s a perception that makes my somewhat shy to acknowledge that I embrace these forms of art. Yes: it’s the dreaded fanboy.

Things David Tennant would rather listen to than fanboy complaints...

Things David Tennant would rather listen to than fanboy complaints...

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Torchwood: Children of Earth Review

That was… intense, in a word.

I really didn’t come to the miniseries expecting too much. The first two seasons of Torchwood had been entertaining – for the most part – but nothing special, and seemingly lacking the va va voom of its older sister series. The promise of a more mature and considered Doctor Who was more-or-less unfulfilled – unless you consider nudity and sex jokes to be mature. Then Children of Earth aired.

Frobisher initially thought the alien ambassador was full of hot-air...

Frobisher initially thought the alien ambassador was full of hot-air...

Note: This review contains spoilers. Really. Lots and lots of spoilers. If you want a recommendation: go watch it. It’s the best sci-fi you’ll see on TV this year. Then come back and talk about it.

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Torchwood: Children of BBC Sci-Fi

I have to admit, my family’s hooked to Torchwood: Children of the Earth playing on the BBC at the moment. For those unfamiliar with the concept and execution, it’s a five-part epic that is playing at 9pm every night this week. It’s the type of television event that shows why the BBC might just be the best broadcasters in the world – the show is perfect for the format. The tension is elevated by the fact we know the run will end on Friday, the budget is clearly there for all the spectacle and all the talent involved is top notch. It’s the kind of thing that I wish that RTE might pick up on, even once. The really beautiful thing about this run is that manages to demonstrate that not only are the Beeb doing something very well, but they’ve been doing it well all along. From what we’ve seen so far, Children of the Earth can hold its head high with all the other great science fiction events the channel has pulled off over the years.

Back in black...

Back in black...

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