Saturday 30 September 2023

Play Time - part two

 





INSPIRATION


As with Story 2, this was me thinking about creepy, gothic horror. There is something very creepy about Victorian playrooms and I threw every kind of nasty scare I could.

I think Emily is one of the best villains I've created for the AFT. She has no morals at all, not because she's actually evil, but because she's selfish and has never been taught better. Coupled with the limitless power at her disposal she's a monster that you can't reason with, you can only placate her and hope to beat her in other ways.

One early idea was that the Doctor and Angel put Emily's book prison in a library where it is stolen by an enemy of the Doctor's who is collecting his recent enemies in order to unleash them on mass in the finale. It's no spoiler to say that isn't going to happen. But I wouldn't rule out a return for Emily at some point in the future.

The story I think owes a fair amount to the DWM comic strip Evening's Empire where a teenager harnesses the power of a crashed spaceship. It was by no means intentional but that excellent story was no doubt an influence.


The nursery rhyme that Emily recites in part one is a genuine Victorian children's poem.

CAST

8th Doctor - 11 Doctors boxset

Angel - Hermione Grainger (Deathly Hallows)

Emily - Eleanor Lamb (Bioshock 2)

Dad - The Master Regenerated

Boy - Empty Child (body) Harry Potter, The Philosopher's Stone (Face)

Mother - Helen Cutter (Face) Gelth Zombie (Body)


SHOOTING

The attic scenes were done first on 8th November 2010 followed by the hallway where the TARDIS appears. Filming continued on the 9th November with the rest of the scenes in the house. The final shots of the TARDIS interior were done along with all the other TARDIS scenes for the series on 7th Jan 2011.

EDITS


The first storyline had the Doctor in part two chased by animated toys but I wanted something more horrific so I decided that Emily would turn him into a teddy bear.

This story required a hefty amount of photoshop to achieve the various scares. Almost every frame has something going on. It was the first story to be completed.

In retrospect, I could have come up with something better for the Antarans themselves but the point was that they are tiny, almost microscopic.

Unlike most of the other stories this series, this didn't need any additional dialogue to be added during the edit. The script was pretty much right from the beginning.

You may recognise the Antaran ship. It was previously the Godmaker machine from Godmaker.

TRANSMISSION

Part one was posted on 26th March 2011 with part two following on 2 April continuing the weekly series of Saturday updates.

It was essential for anyone reading the story that Emily should be portrayed as the sweet innocent so I deliberately avoided showing her doing anything bad in the teaser images. Additionally I didn't want to spoil any of the horror elements either.

The title was originally Play Time but changed to The Whispering Walls to take the emphasis off
Emily. But during the edit I realised that Play Time was the perfect title and had to stay.

It was republished on 23/30 Sept 2023.

CONTINUITY

No exact date is given for the story but it's certainly Victorian.

The Doctor mentions the plains of enchanted song, a destination he promised to Sarah Jane in 2010's White Christmas.







Saturday 16 September 2023

Puppet of Fear - part two






INSPIRATION


Storylining for this adventure began in early September 2011.
The inspiration was to take something scary and let it run amock. I find clowns and puppets very creepy and this series was about tapping into that kind of horror. I did a lot of research into the story of Punch and Judy and came up with the idea of misinformed puppet that believes it has to play out the story, albeit in a loose form.
The museum setting was a relatively late addition to the storyline which saw Mr Punch draining his victims of blood in a desolate urban setting. Other ideas were setting it in a derelict fun fair and having Mr Punch steal souls or futures, a nearby hospital containing children who have been in comas for thirty years.
To simplify the story, and to give us at least one 'modern day' setting, I decided upon the museum.
By tying the plot more closely to the Punch & Judy story, the other characters presented themselves.
One of the enemies Punch encounters and actually fails to see off is a crocodile, hence the Doctor's use of a croc in the museum

CAST

The 8th Doctor - 11 Doctors Boxset
Angel - Hermione Grainger (Deathly Hallows)
The Curator - Repainted Professor Yana
Boy - Draco Malfoy (Order of the Phoenix)
Teacher - (Spy Kids 2)
Judith - Jenny Lewis (Primeval)

Roger - James Lester (Primeval)
Dave - Custom (Lester body/ Cutter head)
Mr Punch - Toby Zed

School party - Ron, George & Fred Weaseley and Neville Longbottom (Order of the Phoenix)
The titular puppet is a head made of sculpy on a Toby Zed body with a black cloak.
The curator figure was originally created to play the Time Lord Daedelus in the original draft of the 10th Doctor finale that eventually became Godmaker.


SHOOTING

This story was shot first since the museum was pretty much one set with walls that could be shifted and redressed for different areas of the museum. Some sets were required for day time and night time shoots such as the Punch and Judy exhibit and the main hallway.
Among the many artefacts are accessories from the Indiana Jones figures including the chalice that Judith attempts to steal (the fake Holy Grail) and Mola Ram's sinister skull goblet. Among the animals in the 'neolithic' section are King Kong, Penguins from Batman Returns and Dodos from Primeval. A mummy from Pyramids of Mars can also be seen in the main hall with his generator loops and a Micronaut Pharos sarcophagus.
The final scenes to be filmed were the TARDIS interiors (7th Jan) which used the same interior as the Doctor's TARDIS with the column replaced by an orange tube and the addition of the consoles previously used in the Master's TARDIS in The Gift of the Benevolence.

EDITS

This was the third story to complete editing.
A lot of dialogue was added and changed in the edit. Originally it was Angel's choice to come to the library with the Doctor bemoaning her choice.
The Doctor's ad-libs on the first page of part 2 were all added in the edit.
It was also intended that Mr Punch got a bit more physical with the Doctor as he tries to free Mr Ellison but that was cut due to space.
The final scene also had a rewrite to establish a little of the Doctor's history for Angel's benefit and to give this new TARDIS team a reason d'ĂȘtre, a mission statement: to fight monsters. And they don't come more monstrous than next week's... 

TRANSMISSION

Punch and Judy shows take their roots from the Italian commedia dell'arte (literally comedy of craft). One of the proposed titles was Commedia Della Morte- comedy of death.
Part One was posted on 12th March 2011 with part two following a week later on 19th March. The Punch puppet was kept under wraps for all publicity material, appearing as a blur or in shadow only.

The title went through several changes beginning with Night In The Museum.
It was originally the third story in the series until it was switched with Play Time.
It was reposted on 9th and 16th September 2023



CONTINUITY

Yes, this is supposed to be The International Gallery that appeared in several episodes of Doctor Who, Sarah Jane and Sherlock Holmes.
We're in the 21st Century but probably in the early years, certainly before 2010.








Saturday 2 September 2023

Fear of the Daleks - part two

 









With apologies in advance for the formatting issues below!

INSPIRATION

The 8th Doctor was the last Character Options classic Doctor figure to see release, for a long while only available in the Eleven Doctors boxset. As such, I felt I couldn't just do a one-off story for him. This had to be an EVENT.
Since his TV appearance in 1996, he'd been used a lot, appearing in monthly novels from '96 right up until the modern series in 2005, in the DWM comic strips and on Big Finish audios. On the AFT, using my (admittedly not-great) custom, the 8th Doctor had enjoyed a run of stories with new companions. So for this new figure, I had the choice of continuing where he left off or starting afresh.
I chose the latter and cast my mind right back to 1996. The TV Movie had just aired. We have a new Doctor, a universe of possibilities, unfettered by cluttered backstories. A chance to put a new stamp on the show.

A NEW COMPANION
She was originally called Miranda or Leyhla but her essence was decided very early on:
Angel Bright. She's proper aristocracy, descended from the winner of Big Brother. She's spoiled but not in a nasty and irretrievable way. She's just ignorant of the way other people live, though she thinks she knows how the lower classes behave. The youngest daughter of the House of Beckham on the planet Windsor, she's had a privileged background and wants to get away from it. She's bored and wants adventure.
she retunes her radio so instead of hearing celebrity gossip, she hears about the Dalek war. She wants to get involved but her solar yacht will only take her to the edge of the Windsor system.
Maybe a trip to Skaro wasn't quite what she had in mind but it beats another day on her yacht beating off emails from layabout wannabe suitors. 
She'll relish the excitement. She doesn't have a gun and improvises something against the Daleks. She;ll think the Doctor is a kidnapper or one of the Papparazi until they both end up in danger.

The original storyline was very much about the Doctor and Angel meeting and getting together but the Daleks' plan and motivation was very run of the mill and didn't sit well with the dark, scary atmosphere I wanted the series to have.
I was very much in favour of using the Daleks for the series opener but to justify that, they had to do something different so I came up with the gruesome plan to experiment with human fear. The confrontation in part two was originally to see the Doctor simply blast the Dalek scientist with the fear machine but then I came up with the idea of talking him into a panic.

THE ORIGINAL STORYLINE
Crashdown on the planet of the Daleks
Angel Bright is in her solar yacht when it is suddenly pulled by accident into the timestream, attached to the TARDIS. The Doctor and Angel dislodge the two ships but Angel's yacht crashes.
Now the Doctor realises they are on Skaro. Angel saves the Doctor from one Dalek but when more arrive, they are captured and taken to be scanned.
In the city, the Doctor's new sonic screwdriver proves effective against a Dalek and they escape.
They discover that the Daleks are being upgraded to a new battle form. And using a time cannon, the Supreme intends to instantly upgrade all Daleks anywhere in space.
The Doctor stops them by stealing a component from the upgrade machine and heads off with Angel in the TARDIS.
The Supreme is nonplussed. Exposure to time travel will energise the core. He plans to take it back once it is ready.
In the TARDIS, Angel realises the possible journeys ahead and elects to stay aboard.

CAST


The 8th Doctor - (11 Doctors boxset)

Angel Bright - Hermione Grainger (custom)

Papbots - Star Tours G2-9T

Mrs Bright - Lwaxanna Troi

Angel Space Suit - River Song

Dalek Drones - Imperial Daleks

Dalek Scientist - Death to the Daleks

Earth Soldier 1- Star Wars Kir Kanos

Earth Soldier 2 - Star Wars McQuarrie Concent Rebel Trooper

Dalek Supreme - Remembrance of the Daleks

When the figures for Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows were announced as being in 5" scale, I knew I'd found my Angel. Having said that, I did try to make do with figures I already had and repainted a Helen Cutter with silver hair.
With the best will in the world, she still looked like a middle aged woman and I needed Angel to be very young so as soon as they were released, I snapped up a Hermione figure and set about changing her hair and eye colour.
To bridge the gap between the classic and modern series, I decided to use the RTD TARDIS for the 8th Doctor. It's far more imposing than the small but lovely classic version.
I originally considered using the RTD Daleks but then thought they would be better saved for any kind of Time War story I may do further down the line. Saving that design would give them more of an edge later on. I considered using the Moffat Daleks, given that these are supposed to be the 'definitive' versions. I decided in the end to continue with the classic design as an extension of the 7th Doctor era.

The jobs are the same as the new Daleks though. The Black Dalek is the Supreme while the white/gold ones act as the Drones. The Scientist role is covered by the Silver Daleks while the Gold Dalek is the Strategist. There isn't an Eternal.


SHOOTING

The starliner set is the Moonbase set from The Seeds o Death turned red, with a floor of gold card.
The TARDIS interiors were the last scenes to be shot and were done on 7th January at the end of shooting for the whole series as the required set was very large.
The Dalek control room scenes use scenery inspired by the BBC Online game City of the Daleks.


EDITS

The Dalek ship is pieced together in photoshop using the sides of the Dalek Emperor from The Parting of the Ways and a Star Wars separatist droid.
The Jedwood starliner is based on the Burge Tower, the tallest (at time of writing) building in Dubai.
The frame on part two, page three where the human ship detects the Daleks uses footage from a Star Trek story I made in 2009 as a pilot to a new JJverse AFT series that never happened.
When the script was written, this little frame was earmarked as a lovely cameo if a Draconian figure were to be made in time. (We're still waiting...)

TRANSMISSION

 


Part one was posted on 25th Feb 2010 (a day earlier than planned) with part two following a week later on Satuday 5th March.
The Series was originally to have begun a month earlier but although stories one and three were completed, I felt it better to have at least half the series done before starting to post.
There was plenty of build-up in the weeks leading up to part one. Two weeks before, a trailer for the series was posted in place of the 8th Doctor page.
A week before, a bumper preview of the whole series was posted.

 


To capture the spirit of the era, some 90s magazine covers were made along with a mock billboard poster.

The series was reposted beginning with Fear of the Daleks on 26 Aug and 2 Sept 2023. In the week leading up, that "bumper preview" was posted online too.


CONTINUITY

For the Doctor himself, this story comes right after the TV Movie. A pre-credits sequence was to have been written starting with the line "Oh no, not again!" but it didn't fit with the story.
I made a conscious decision (as mentioned above) to ignore my previous 8th Doctor adventures, all of which take place after this series.
No date is mentioned on screen but it's actually 3011, a thousand years after the series was originally published.