Saturday 27 May 2023

Forget-Me-Nots Part Two



As with so many AFT stories at the time, we were governed by what figures were available - especially in a 5" scale that ONLY Doctor Who seemed to use. In the case of this story, we had a generic old lady figure and some scarecrows.

Throw in a village church and you have all the ingredients for a quaint English Doctor Who story. So quaint in fact it was originally going to be a 5th Doctor story. But with the 5th Doctor figure sill months away, I decided to give the story to the Tenth Doctor.

At the time (late 2007) the Doctor on TV was between companions. Martha had gone and Donna was on the horizon so it was fitting that the Doctor was travelling alone. By the time it was posted online, Donna was gone, in tragic circumstances and the Doctor was alone again, reflecting on those he's lost. Suddenly this story felt more relevant.


This one uses the first release of the 10th Doctor in brown suit, along with Grandma Connolly (The Idiot's Lantern) and the two original variants of Scarecrow (from Family of Blood)

The device Connolly is holding in Part Two is from a Playmates Star Trek figure. I forget which one!


With the script completed on 19 Dec 2007, shooting began on 21 Jan 2008. The church set was built in its entirety (inside and out) and the grave yard scenes were shot first before moving to the interior.

The final scenes with the church in ruins were shot on 24 Jan 2008.

A Harry Potter story (The Star of Protagorus) was shot at the same time using the church as a museum and part of Hogwarts.


The gravestone that the Doctor is looking at was originally going to be that of Vendari 63 - long term AFT readers might remember she was a companion I created for the 8th Doctor long before Character started making figures. Dari's fate was never seen on-screen but I always intended to kill her off in a meaningful way.

When it came to this story, I felt the sudden appearance of this random person's grave was an incongruous ending to the story so I altered the grave to make it less specific. It could refer to anyone. At the time, as far as we knew Rose was gone for good, trapped in a parallel universe so it could well be dedicated to her.


This story is very much stand-alone. The reflective nature of the Doctor has particular resonance when it's placed after Journey's End or Planet of the Dead where the Doctor is alone and contemplating staying that way in the light of those he's lost. But Forget-Me-Nots makes no reference to any other TV adventure.


It was reposted online on 6th and 13th May 2023 with white frames for the first time and fresh title bar.

It was originally posted online on 24 March and 24 April 2009, over a year after it was made. This and another story New Acquisitions were made and kept on the back burner until needed. With David Tennant about to leave, this was the perfect time to post them.

Saturday 13 May 2023

Star Wars: The Shadow of Darth Vader Part Two



This was the second Star Wars AFT story I did, after a mammoth Clone Wars story. The main inspiration for doing this was the release of the Luke/Lumiya comic two pack. As an avid reader of the Marvel comics in the 80s, I loved the character of Lumiya and the ultimate revelation of her identity (which I won't spoil here). Anyone familiar with my stories (both AFT and professionally!) will know that I love strong female characters and as the first female villain in the Star Wars universe, Lumiya was a particular inspiration.


See below for the full cast list. New character Joran Klospa is a Force Unleashed Juno Eclipse with the head of Irina Spalko (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
The Vastooinians are Chap Mei Space Quest alien figures. I had two of them and changed the colour of their heads in photoshop to make them look different.
Klospa's hologram machine is made from bits of the vintage droid factory and the immobiliser unit from the vintage Imperial Troop Transporter.


The planet was always intended to be some kind of lava world and I even called it Mustafar in the script. I considered using that planet but without any Mustafarian figures, it wasn't really possible. Far better to create a new world with these non-Star Wars figures than a place steeped in continuity.
The set is simple - a number of rocks made from foam filler and a few sheets of black crepe paper.
For the scenes in the lava cave, a light is shone through orange paper on a glass table.
The Vastooine scenes were done first, followed by the Imperial facility interiors - which use printed sets based on the look of the Death Star and Star Destroyers. You might spot the Yavin 4 screen from Kenner's Death Star playset.
The Imperial hanger was last to be shot on 25th July 2010, sometime after the main shoot. This set is also a paper print-out and based on sets from the game Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith.
The arrival of Lumiya was intended to mirror Vader and the Emperor's arrivals in Return of the Jedi. As such, it features a lot of Imperial figures, vintage and (for the time) modern.


Editing was a slow, ongoing process even though it didn't need many effects beyond lightsabre glows, laser bolts and Force push effects. It was completed on 7th October 2010.


This story takes a lot of influences from the Marvel comics, the Heir To The Empire trilogy and the Dark Forces video games - all of which were erased when the Sequel trilogy began but which are slowly trickling back into existence through Disney's various ongoing TV series.

At the time it was made (2010), I'd decided to set the story 10 years after the battle of Yavin.

is one of my favourite Expanded Universe characters and debuted in Heir To The Empire, the first of a trilogy of novels by Timothy Zahn, when the ongoing Post-Jedi series began in the 1990s. During the time of the Empire, Mara worked for the Emperor as a covert operative: "The Emperor's Hand". By the end of the Zahn trilogy she's in a working with the Alliance and goes on to marry Luke (but that's another story).

LADY LUMIYA as mentioned above, hails from the original run of Marvel comics in the 80s after Return of the Jedi. She did start to appear in the New Jedi Order novels. She's an operative created by Darth Vader to be a new apprentice. When she first appeared she was hailed as a Dark Lady of the Sith.


Episode One was originally published on 23 October 2010 "without fanfair" according to my own notes. Episode Two then appeared on 23rd November. Both episodes appeared alongside The Gift of the Benevolence, the second story in a run debuting Character's Fourth Doctor figure.
It has been reposted now in honour of this year's Star Wars day May The 4th.

Now, that hefty cast list:
Chief Bast (Death Star Briefing), Officer Cass (Death Star Briefing), Lumiya (Marvel comic pack), Admiral Motti (Death Star Briefing), General Tagge (Death Star Briefing), Colonel Wulf Yularen (Death Star Briefing), Sand Trooper (Cantina diorama), Sand Trooper (Dewback Patrol), Vintage Imperial Commander x3, Vintage Death Squad Commander x3, Vintage Stormtrooper x4, Vintage TIE Fighter Pilot x3, Vintage Snow Trooper x3, Vintage AT AT Commander x2, Vintage AT AT Driver x3, Vintage AT ST Driver, Vintage Imperial Gunner, Death Star Droid (Power of the Force), Kir Kanos (Crimson Empire comic pack), Carnor Jax (Crimson Empire comic pack), Joran Klospa (custom), Luke Skywalker (Marvel comic 2 pack), Space Trooper (Legacy Collection), R1-G4, Chap Mei Space Quest aliens x2, Darth Vader (Evolutions set), Mara Jade (Heir to the Empire comic pack)