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Simon Bucher-Jones

Forfatter af The Taking of Planet 5

11+ Værker 456 Medlemmer 8 Anmeldelser

Om forfatteren

Includes the name: S. Bucher-Jones

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Værker af Simon Bucher-Jones

The Taking of Planet 5 (1999) — Forfatter — 175 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
The Death of Art (1996) — Forfatter — 156 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Ghost Devices (1997) — Forfatter — 75 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
The Black Archive #5: Image of the Fendahl (2016) 14 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
The Immortal Seaton Begg (2019) 4 eksemplarer
The Hand of Fear: 53 (Black Archive) (2021) 4 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Godzilla in East Anglia (2010) 2 eksemplarer

Associated Works

Short Trips (1998) — Author "War Crimes" — 137 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Hardboiled Cthulhu: Two-Fisted Tales of Tentacled Terror (2006) — Bidragyder — 84 eksemplarer, 4 anmeldelser
The Book of the War (2002) — Bidragyder — 81 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Short Trips: The History of Christmas (2005) — Bidragyder — 49 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Collected Works (2006) — Bidragyder — 30 eksemplarer, 2 anmeldelser
Lin Carter's Anton Zarnak Supernatural Sleuth (2002) — Bidragyder — 30 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Wildthyme in Purple (2011) — Bidragyder — 9 eksemplarer
Burning with Optimism's Flames (2012) — Bidragyder — 8 eksemplarer
Shooty Dog Thing: 2th and Claw (2011) — Bidragyder — 5 eksemplarer
Occult Detective Magazine #9 — Bidragyder — 3 eksemplarer

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Simon Bucher-Jones has produced a really good Black Archive on this story, considering mainly the horror tropes. It’s quite long but has only four chapters.

The first and longest chapter, “Why Are Hands So Significant?”, looks at the history of the hand in art from the stone age onwards, and at the precedents for detached hands in horror films, looking at the obvious Addams Family, The Beast with Five Fingers and Carry On Screaming, but also a 1963 B-Movie called The Crawling Hand which features a detached body part from a spaceship explosion.

The second chapter, “‘Eldrad Must Live’: Three Types of Fear in The Hand of Fear“, points out that the hand itself doesn’t strangle anyone and isn’t bloodied; so why is it scary? Or even, is it scary? Bucher-Jones diverts via the Flixborough disaster to considering the story’s plot structure and how the narrative beats function. He’s not completely certain that it all works, but I’m more confident that it does.

The third chapter, “The Thing from the Aeons: Fossil Horror and The Shadow Out of Time“, looks at how ancient figures coming back to life are treated in Doctor Who, linking Eldrad with Omega, Davros and Rassilon.

The fourth chapter, “Gender (and Other) Issues in The Hand of Fear“, briefly considers a) the fact that Judith Parrish’s female Eldrad is much better than Stephen Thorne’s male version; b) how the Hand could have landed relatively undamaged; c) the morality of the Doctor’s disposal of Eldrad; and d) the perfection of the final scene with Sarah’s departure.

An appendix, “Kastria and the Kastrians”, considers the difficulties of locating Kastria and of the Kastrians’ biology.

It’s a rare case among the Black Archives where I think I like the story more than the writer does, but in any case he does a good job.
… (mere)
nwhyte | Jan 7, 2024 |
Apparently the editorial directive to the authors of this series was "We know you're not Douglas Adams, but please pretend to be as hard as you can so that the desperation shines through more clearly with each subsequent sentence."
3Oranges | 1 anden anmeldelse | Jun 24, 2023 |

Short and punchy.

The first chapter reflects on just how few New Who episodes are set on other planets, compared to most of Old Who (apart from the Pertwee era), the reasons for this, and how this shapes the sort of programme it becomes.

The second chapter, the longest in the book, goes in depth into the physics of black holes and how they are portrayed in fiction, notably in The Three Doctors in Old Who as well as the Disney film. I had not realised, or had forgotten, that the term “black hole” was coined as late as 1967, only a few years before The Three Doctors was shown.

The third chapter, almost as long, looks at the Devil as portrayed in Christianity, and satanic creatures as portrayed in science fiction (rather than fantasy) in general and Who in particular. Its second paragraph is (with footnotes):

As Sherlock Holmes – with whom the third Doctor has often been compared (as the Master has with Moriarty)119 – remarked, ‘The world is big enough for us. No ghosts need apply.’120 The Doctor might well have said in The Daemons, and almost will say in The Satan Pit, ‘The universe is big enough for us. No Devils from before it need apply.’
119 While the fourth Doctor dresses like him in The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977), the third arguably does so all the time: while he doesn’t affect a deerstalker like the theatrical or televisual Holmes, he does have an inverness travelling cape.
120 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Adventure of The Sussex Vampire’, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes p73.

The fourth chapter looks much more briefly at the Ood and the problematics of slavery.

The fifth and final chapter looks even more briefly at the Doctor’s fear of domestication, ie of settling down with Rose, even though he obviously loves her.

A first appendix apparently has a graph in the paper version, absent from the electronic publication, listing all of the alien planets to date in Doctor Who.

A second and final appendix very briefly goes back to the Beast, making the connection with Sutekh and with Abaddon in Torchwood, points that I felt could actually have been folded into the third chapter.

As usual with these books, recommended, even though there’s very little about the production process of the TV show in this case.
… (mere)
nwhyte | Jul 23, 2022 |

I generally enjoyed this, but I am going to start with a serious imperfection in the .epub version which I bought: endnotes and references to them are wrongly joined up, with individual endnote references sometimes taking you to the start of that chapter’s notes section, rather than to the specific note, and sometimes instead to the start of the bibliography for the book as a whole; meanwhile if you do find your endnote, read it, and then want to return to the main text, clicking on the reference instead brings you to the start of the chapter you were in, rather than to the place where you left off. Other books in the Black Archive series have got this right, as most ebooks do, and you would have thought it a fairly straightforward technical tweak, even with 180 notes to a text with rather fewer pages. This may seem like petty whining, but in a book like this where there is a lot of good stuff in the endnotes, the publisher's failure to hyperlink them correctly is a real barrier to reading pleasure.

Which is a shame, because otherwise more than any other book in the series so far, this gave new depths to my enjoyment of something I already really liked. As usual, it is neatly divided into thematic chapters, and as usual, I’ll quickly summarise them in order.

* Looking at the context framed as “audience expectations”, both from the Hinchcliffe era of Who and from wider concerns about TV horror;
a deep dive into the Gothic, especially the 1965 film The Skull;
* the origins of humanity and evolution, as depicted in fiction;
* H.P. Lovecraft, the missing fifth planet and the devastation of Mars;
* ten problems with the script (eg who lets the Doctor out of the cupboard?) and six great things about the story;
* an appendix looking at the novelisation, and at other appearances of the Fendahl;
* another appendix with a carefully argued continuity theory that the destroyed Fifth Planet is actually Minyos from Underworld, the story after next.

This is meaty stuff, all done in tremendous, affectionate and often convincing detail. Recommended.
… (mere)
nwhyte | Dec 11, 2021 |


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