John Doe is one of those movies that somehow got past my normal radar. Jamie Bamber, he of Battlestar Galactica and Law & Order (UK) fame, is the protagonist called John Doe. A man that commits 33 murders to make the point that the law isn’t protecting the innocent.

“Some call him a hero. Some call him a villain. He’s “John Doe: Vigilante” – an ordinary man who decides to take the law into his own hands. Frustrated with a failing legal system that continues to allow violent criminals to go free, John Doe begins exacting justice the only way he knows how – by killing one criminal at a time. Soon he becomes a media sensation and inspires a group of copycat vigilantes, but who is the real John Doe – a pillar of justice or a cold-blooded murderer? You decide.” ((c) Main Street), is a very succinct way of describing this movie. I personally think that society doesn’t need to go as far as Doe, but I do think that punishment for crimes like those discussed in the movie is woefully inadequate.

I would recommend everyone sees this film. It’s shocking in its content, but not because of the murders. It has a raw truth about it. Society is getting soft. We look away when we should defend and we put up with things that should never be allowed to come to pass in the first case. Prevention is better than the cure was never a truer phrase.

Let me know your thoughts.

It would seem that Constantine the TV show may not be picked up for a second season, which is a damn shame. If you are a fan of the comic, the on screen characterisation by actor Matt Ryan is nothing short of excellent.

I am a fan. I read the comic. Now all I can hear is his voice and mannerisms whenever I read that same comic.

I hope to G_D I am wrong though. All the support characters are interesting, the main character is kick ass and the plots and story are developing into something akin to Supernatural on steroids. Not everyone is going to have a good ending. Many die along the way. Thats the point though isn’t it? Using magic has consequences and there is always a price to pay.

In the US it’s the season for the kull. Yes, shows are currently being renewed and killed in a desperate bid to maintain ratings.


In the UK, shows build fans over years. They gain a loyal following and it takes a great deal of bad decisions by writers and showrunners to lose that following. The latest season of Dr Who may have just been an example. It caused a lot of bad fan response and ratings have dropped.

In the US, large networks are driven by their profits and costs. It sucks. Many good series are killed before they even get a chance to develop. It takes 5 seasons to get a show to progress to a point where it has a loyal and dedicated following. Although many would say that the original series of Star Trek, and the one series of Firefly, are the exceptions to this rule.

We don’t always watch these shows for the stories, at least not the weekly ones. The ones that draw the interest are those that develop the characters and draw you into their world.

If the networks sell via syndication they make a fortune. Much more than they get from advertisers and much more than they spend on the shows themselves. If they create a show to be syndicated, more loyal fans will develop and the shows themselves will sell more merchandise, DVD’s, Blu-ray box sets etc. It’s short sighted. It makes the viewer cynical and it alienates the fans. Fans are more likely to buy a series of box sets with hundreds of episodes because they can forget and rewatch over time. A few dozen do not make the grade.

It took them a whole season to do it, but the BBC restored my faith in Dr Who and in doing so they provided us one heck of an emotional season finalé. What a blast!


So Mr Pink becomes a Cyberman, the dead rise up, the Doctor becomes a hero once more and there is a cameo by a dead man too… You have to watch it to get it all, but if you haven’t seen it then look at the iPlayer, get it downloaded and enjoy.

Dr Who, Good or Bad?

Posted: November 8, 2014 in Articles, Dr Who, TV Reviews

Like him or loathe him, Peter Capaldi has made the roll of Dr Who his own. His character is irreverent, quirky, both hard and soft, pushy and at times surprising in his empathy. He sees Clara as a lost love, the woman he could have dated. A missed opportunity. Her humanity frustrates him, but at the same time endears her to him. He can only do without her company for so long. He also turns out to be a hard nosed mentor as well as her best friend.

Forget the bad stories, and there have been a few. Forget the confusing sub plot and the strange aliens as well. This series of Doctor Who has been the most challenging, the most frightening, (not least because of the direction the Doctors character has taken), and at times the most endearing. It has caused frustration, endless internet debate and has opened out eyes to the way the Doctor thinks and acts.

This regeneration is one of the most interesting since John Pertwee and Tom Bakers era. This version of the Doctor reminds us that he is very, very old, quite jaded, completely eccentric and above all – a Time Lord. A member of that race of beings that birthed the Master, the Rani and many more.

I started out hating him, and now I like him. Capaldi as the Doctor has grown on me.

It’s not because of the writing though. At times this has been worse than mine, full of quick fixes and unexplainable silliness. It has mostly been down to the way Capaldi is able to bring his acting ability into play. One moment unintentionally comedic, the other deadly serious.

There are other factors that come into play too.

BAD: Mr Pink. Good actor, great sub plot = get rid of him. Not needed. A robotic destroyer that looks like it came from the 1970’s? Come on guys, even a kid wouldn’t be frightened of that. The Moon is a space egg? Cybermen, again? Tired!

GOOD: Chatting up dinosaurs, Clara, 2D Monsters, a man wrapped in bandages killing people, Clara being The Doctor for a day, new TARDIS interior, that Robin Hood episode, (he’s just a fairy tale), and spoiler of spoilers – The Master is now a woman.

Whoever said TV wasn’t interesting?

Nightcrawler Makes You Squirm

Posted: October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

It’s been a day since I saw the film Nightcrawler and I am still feeling slightly uneasy about it. It got to me. Not because it’s a bad film, but because it contains a character that is so disturbed and irredeemable that you find yourself turning away when he is at his worst and rooting for him when he is just plain nasty.

Jake GyllenhaalRene Russo and  Bill Paxton all have driven characters, but it is Gyllenhaals portrayal of Lou Bloom that makes you squirm. The man is driven, desperate to find a job, mostly self educated and completely ruthless in his pursuit of the next big story. He goes as far as manipulating a desperate news editor into sleeping with him, moving a body at an accident to get a better picture and even gets to crime scenes before the police. He is intelligent, without moral compass and single minded. Gyllenhaal deserves an oscar for this performance.

I could say more, but that would reduce the impact of the movie. See it, because whether you love it or hate it, it is one of those movies that offers up an acting treat.

Constantine Hits The Mark

Posted: October 29, 2014 in TV Reviews

Since the rather lacklustre film starring Keanu Reeves, I have been waiting for a deserving screen version of the DC Comics character Constantine. So it was with some excitement and nervousness that I sat down to watch the pilot for the new TV series. I shouldn’t have been worried, because even before seeing the first episode there was plenty of promise.

When making a TV series based upon a well loved fictional character you need a great writing team, good production values and a decent actor to play the lead role. The Smallville team almost got it right, the Arrow team do a damn good job of making it interesting and Flash is proving to be bloody brilliant. Constantine follows in the tradition.

Having David S. Goyer and Mark Vereiden involved in the production means that it is starting in very safe hands. Add in Matt Ryan, who plays the lead role, and life becomes very interesting.

From the start Ryan does the job of nailing the character. It’s almost as if he jumped straight out of the pages of the comic. It’s not just the way the character looks either. His voice, his mannerisms and the way they have written in a disdain for all things authoritarian all add to the overall effect. This is the Constantine I have been hearing in my head every time I have read the comic.

Bravo for creating everything the fans wanted without dumbing him down.

NBC aired the first episode on 24th October and it has already been picked up for airing in the UK. Keep watching this space for more information as it arrives.

Extending my thoughts outward from the idea of the Higgs Field Neutralising Engine, I have decided to look more at the practical applications of this technology.

Use a directed low energy anti-Higgs particle beam or field neutraliser to negate the mass of everyday objects.

A directed low energy beam would not separate the object from our universe as we know it, but could interfere with the Higgs Field, reducing the mass of an object and nullifying its mass or velocity in a single vectored direction.

A low energy field could help reduce mass making it easier for the force beams to slow a mass with excessive velocity to a virtual stop.

Going further, the same low energy Higgs field neutraliser device could be used to reduce the velocity and the effect of g-forces on aircraft, vehicles and spacecraft.

Imagine that you crash two cars together and at the moment that they make contact, a protective field is engaged, Their velocity would be reduced to zero, their effective combined mass would be reduced and more importantly their potential mass, a product of their inertia, would also be reduced.

So, not only would the Higgs Field Neutralising Engine be a potential source for interstellar travel, it could be used for reducing impact damage from motor vehicles, it would allow us to fly our aircraft for longer distances using less fuel and allow us to put a spacecraft into orbit with the minimum of discomfort and effort for the occupants…

I hope that someone is already working on this technology. Come on people, someone do the math..

Okay, so after some serious thought I think I may have made a mistake with the idea of the Higgs Neutraliser Engine. I still think the idea is sound, but I have some initial thoughts that I think might improve the design.

Firstly, it occurred to me that everything within the field would have zero mass. Zero mass is a problem. The slightest movement with zero mass would cause someone to accelerate to unknown speeds. Or would it? Would everything be subjective? Do objects with zero mass within a zero mass environment react the same way as objects with mass in a normal environment?

Secondly, would the objects actually have zero mass, or would they still have mass but in separation from our normal universe? Would there be a region of normal space below our own, subject to similar laws but separated? It stands to reason that there would still be a Higgs field in operation within the separation field. Mass would still exist, but separated from our own universe. So within our own universe, the standard laws of mass and gravity would have no effect on any of the objects within the field.

Put a fish in a bag of water and float it in the ocean. It would survive for a while, and would still be protected from the rest of the ocean. The fish would eventually use all the oxygen left in the bag, but would still be protected. In the same way, suppose you create a space craft that uses this Higgs Anti-field generator? I surmise that a Higgs field might still exist within the bubble created by the neutralising field, but in order to maintain and protect the occupants of the field, the generators of energy might have to be placed in a ring or on nacelles that are attached to the control structure.

All these questions can only be answered by complex investigation by brains far superior to myself.

I recently read a paper by students from the University of Leicester, which proposed that using plasma as a shield against other forms of electromagnetic radiation is not only theoretically possible, but is indeed entirely plausible using todays levels of technology.

Okay, I can buy that idea. But lets take it a step further.

Instead of bottling a plasma field in a super powerful magnetic field, why not scale down the technology. Make the field elongated and continually cycling. Use a super dense portable battery solution added to a cycling plasma field contained within a device that can be directed and held within the hand. You might even use a crystalline substance to act as a lense for the energy source. You could then have a blade like device, able to cut through anything it touched or defend against laser bolts and other similar devices.

We could call it something catchy, like a laser sword or a plasma sword. I’m sure there are catchier phrases…