Casting Internets

If you want to see what I’ve been working on lately, head on over to my author page on CBR. I talked to Paul Pope and John McLaughlin and also did another installment of my collectible column Toying Around!justin aclin's star wars comic

My pal, one time boss and all around rad dude Justin Aclin talked about writing a Star Wars OGN for Dark Horse over on his blog. As you  might expect, I’m super proud of him and super jealous at the same time.

Karen Burger leaving Vertigo is pretty huge when you think about all the amazing series’ she helped foster. Good luck to her! (via The Mary Sue)

Everyone interested in comics and comic production should read Jim Zub’s breakdown of costs and profits for such books. Then he wrote about digital comics. Eye-opening stuff.

I fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere when I first read it. I’m very excited about the BBC radioplay version that will include James McAvoy, Anthony Head, Benedict Cumberbatch and Christopher Lee! (via Hypable)phil noto 70s storm

I love Phil Noto‘s series of original art pieces that are supposed to be photos from Hank Pym’s collection. Dig this Storm he posted.

Esquire scored an interview with June Diane Raphael, the wonderfully funny co-host of one of my favorite podcasts How Did This Get Made and a  recurring player on the equally wonderful New Girl.experiencing nirvanaI’m pretty curious about Sub Pop co-founder Bruce Pavitt’s e-book about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana in Europe in 1989. $5 isn’t too steep, but is it only available on the iPad? That’s no good. (via Rolling Stone)

Billy Corgan talked to Rolling Stone about my first ever Smashing Pumpkins album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Rolling Stone talked to Jimmy Page about his days in the Yardbirds. I’m sure I knew most of this stuff from Hammer of the Gods, but it was still a nice read.

Speaking of music, I discovered The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” by way of a cover and fell in love with it. This Guardian story about the song’s origins are pretty interesting.

Whoa, this skateboarding video posted over on One Cool Thing A Day is AMAZING. Tricks you’ve never seen before, guaranteed.

I hope you’re enjoying 25 days of Doctor Who goodness over on the BBC’s Adventure Calendar.

I’m pretty excited about Comedy Central giving shows to Nick Kroll, Amy Schumer and Anthony Jeselnik. Here’s hoping I’ll actually know when they’re on. (via THR)

Speaking of funny people, Louis CK answered the Proust Questionnaire over at Vanity Fair.

Lastly, I’m grown to really love Judd Apatow’s movies. I always liked them, but as I get a little older I can relate to the truth and honesty in them a lot more. As such, I’m very excited for This Is 40, though I have no idea when I will see it. Until then, I’m happy reading interviews about him and Leslie Mann from The Chicago Tribune.

Casting Internets

Guys, it’s been a ridiculously long time since I did a Casting Internets post. Work and life got in the way of my internet reading, but here’s what I found interesting over the past month or so.

I’ve done a ton of CBR writing since last I posted. If you’re interested, head on over and check out my author page on the site.

I also interviewed the President of the Eagles in a roundabout way by doing this piece for Marvel.com about the poster they and Marvel made for Brian Dawkins. I also did some NYCC coverage for them, but you’ll have to search around for it.

The amazing Alex Kropinak took part in Empire Strikes Back Uncut and I weaseled my way into doing the voice for Yoda in this 15 second clip. Go check it out. Now.

Speaking of Star Wars, check out this R2-D2 NES mod posted over on Ubergizmo. I’ll take one, thanks.

One more quick Star Wars-related thing. The coolest thing I saw at NYCC was this huge Lego city that combined Star Wars, DC Comics, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who and a lot of other geek faves.

My pal Kiel did an awesome interview with Once Upon A Time co-creators Eddie Kitsis and Adam Horowitz for Spinoff.

Can’t remember who sent me this, but Jim Mroczkowski, perfectly encapsulates what I’ve been struggling to vocalize when it comes to the silly idea that comic readers are a community instead of a group of people who like to absorb entertainment a certain way.Scott C. did a Road House Showdown!!!! And then he did The ‘Burbs!It won’t happen, but I would love to go see Halloween on the big screen on Halloween.

I’m really bummed to hear that Covered is donezo, what a great site.

In other bummer news, the dance/pop group LMFAO is apparently splitting up for now. That’s not really my zone of musical expertise, but I sure love those guys. The real question is, where does this leave Shuffle Bot? (via THR)

It’s official, Soundgarden’s got a new album called King Animal coming out on November 13th. I’m not the biggest fan of theirs, but I am very excited about this record. (via Rolling Stone)

This opening fold-out TARDIS bookshelf I saw over on Bookshelf Porn is pretty amazing. Only problem? Should bee bigger on the inside.

Not sure when or if I’ll get around to reading Michael Chabon’s new book Telegraph Avenue but Esquire‘s Benjamin Percy noted that it had some of the same problems I had with The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, a book I could not finish.

Check out this interview R.L. Stine did with The Washington Post about the Goosebumps books. I found his rules for those stories geared towards younger readers pretty interesting.

Like a lot of people, I’m only familiar with The Vaselines’ song “Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam” thanks to Nirvana’s Unplugged album. Even so, seeing Krist Novoselic playing accordion on the song with the band was surprisingly emotional. (via THR)

Not sure how I feel about Run-DMC reuniting, but it’s pretty cool that they got Jam Master Jay’s sons Jason and TJ to fill his gigantic shoes. I dug this interview with them on Rolling Stone. Dave Perillo‘s travel posters from movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation and Caddyshack are amazing.

Reading the HMAD review of new horror film Sinister makes me actually want to see it even though I’m not big on haunting movies.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the true story behind Argo including their own involvement in the ruse as well as Jack Kirby’s!Still not sure about the casting of Daniel Radcliffe as Ig in the film adaptation of Joe Hill’s Horns, but this photo on EW sure looks cool.

I love that Jason Statham keeps making the same kinds of movies, but bigger and bigger stars are now doing them with him. Parker. Boom.

Dolph Lundgren’s going to be on a TV show called Rescue 3. (via THR)

Jed Mayer’s IndieWire piece on going to see Dawn of the Dead over and over at his local mall is both a fun look back and a great set of observations about one of my all-time favorite movies. I haven’t seen any of the new Teendage Mutant Ninja Turtles show, but I’ve heard good things. As a long-time Metalhead fan, I fully support his inclusion in the current toy line. (via Toynewsi)

Once my oven’s back in working condition, I’m definitely going to make Smitten Kitchen‘s pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Definitely. I love Tales From The Crypt so much, you guys, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Glen Brogan drew him recently.

I haven’t been on the Masters of the Universe Classics comp list for about a year now. I miss getting those awesome boxes every month, but I’m going to miss getting the upcoming Four Horsemen-designed Castle Greyskull even more. Man, that thing looks sweet. Bandai’s Chogokin King Robo Mickey & Friends looks freaking amazing. I hope they sell it in the States. Everything should get Voltron-ized! (via Toynewsi)

Especially after the next few days we’re going to have here, I very much want to try The Southside as described by Michael Ruhlman. That reminds me, I should move the liquor away from the window…

Casting Internets

Got behind on these again, but wanted to get this post up today. I’m heading off on vacation next week, but have posts lined up for every day. Enjoy!

As always, I’m talking to people about comics for CBR including Chris Roberson about his upcoming book Reign and Fiona Staples about Saga.

I also wrote this list for Topless Robot about the raddest mall scenes in movies. I had a blast writing and researching this one.

Sean T Collins wrote a comic called Hottest Chick In The Game, give it a look.

My pal Brett White has a new column at CBR called In Your Face Jam, check out the first post about Deadpool.Did you see Rickey Purdin’s drawing of Doc Holliday, Marty McFly and The Gunslinger? You really should follow him on Sketch Attack.

There’s gonna be a Bond documentary called Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007, count me in on that one. (via SHH)Speaking of Bond, I want to get this book that features 50 years’ worth of 007 movie posters. Looks so rad. (via Illustrated 007)

If you’re not following Maude Apatow on Twitter you’re really missing out. I really dug her piece on Hello Giggles about the love/hate relationship with the social network site.

Bryan Grazer’s producing a documentary about Jay-Z’s upcoming festival that will also be directed by Ron Howard? That’s an amazing team-up. (via Rolling Stone, THR)I love this Lego Mad Love interpretation posted on Covered. Go look at the comparison.

I really enjoyed Ron Marz’s recent Shelf Life column on CBR about stealing as well as the one it inspired from Darren Kappauff. I’ve never understood how people don’t get that it’s stealing to have something you didn’t pay for or weren’t given. There are serious moral implications here even if it doesn’t seem like it.

I love this quote from Hugh Hefner about how current polities are threatening the sexual freedom he helped champion so many years ago, via my buddy Jim Gibbons. Go read it, now. Have you guys seen Doctor Who Yahtzee? Pretty rad. (via Doctor Who Merch)

RZA’s teaming up with the Black Keys on The Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack? Let’s make that a bigger thing, please. (via THR)

I’m really happy for Tom and Lorenzo. They’ve got a book coming out. Don’t know if it’s the kind of thing I’d buy, but I love browsing their site. DST‘s Star Trek Select figures look so rad they make me wish I was more of a Star Trek fan.

Speaking of action figures, this fake commercial for a line of G.I. Joe-like action figures based on The Thing is pretty amazing. (via Topless Robot)

Casting Internets

So behind on links again, but after a few trips, I think I’m going to be back on point (I hope).

I’ve done lots and lots of writing lately. I wrote about Nowhere Men, Point of Impact, Where Is Jake Ellis?, Star Bright and the Looking Glass, Multiple Warheads and Black Kiss II! Whew, that was a lot of writing.

Do yourself a favor and check out my pal Rickey Purdin’s new blog VHS Notebook. He watches movies, takes notes and draws, it’s a wonderful thing.

The question at the center of my pal Sean T. Collins’ review of Earth One: Batman over on TCJ is an important one that more comics need to ask: Why does this comic exist?

I don’t truly know what it means to be discriminated against or outwardly hated, but I do completely agree with this editorial by Lucas Grindley over on The Advocate when he says that homophobia is not a political issue, but one that can threaten a person and their families. People need to stop worrying about what’s going on in their neighbors’ bedrooms and start worrying about the starving, dying people all over the world.

Okay, on to less serious stuff. Everyone saw the BBC‘s latest preview of Doctor Who Series 7, right? It looks raaaaaaaaad.

I’ve been watching a ton of Olympics this week and will most likely do so next week as well. As such, I found this AP article about the decaying structures built for the Athens games to be quite interesting. What DO you do with an outdoor Olympic pool when all the people go home?

Oh man, there’s gonna be color versions of Scott Pilgrim? Oni‘s trying to get more of my money!

Flea released a digital EP of all original, weird, emotional soundscapes? Yeah, I downloaded that, now I just gotta listen to it. (Rolling Stone)

The possibilities of DreamWorks buying Classic Media are close to endless and very, very exciting. (THR)

I love reading interviews with Pat Carney from The Black Keys, like this one on Rolling Stone. I like how that dude doesn’t buy into the fame.

I’ve been slow on the uptake when it comes to Wreck-It Ralph, that is until I read this LA Times article about how the filmmakers scored rights to all those classic video game characters.

Denis Medri’s Steampunk Spider-Man characters look so cool, it would potentially get me to read something about Steampunk. (via Project: Rooftop)

Beau Smith suggests more comics have a little fun with their books. I agree their needs to be more humor in comics.Final Girl Stacie Ponder created this fantastic Casual Friday Jason Voorhees shirt. I like it very much.

Speaking of Final Girl, her next FG Film Club selection is Deadly Blessing which is great because it’s on Netflix Instant AND already in my queue. Now I just need to 1. remember, 2. find time to watch it and 3. write about it by August 13th. I CAN DO IT!

Finally, I was really saddened to hear about Tom Davis’ passing. He was such a huge part of SNL, one of the pillars of my concept of comedy. (THR)

Casting Internets

Check it out, I talked to John Layman about Mars Attacks and Chew: Secret Agent Poyo as well as the new McFarlane Haunt statue. Ooooh, Mike Cho drew Doctor Strange. He also did Spider-Man, click through for that one.

The SketchAttack crew is doing Doctor Who this time around. It’s interesting how many police box/phone booth drawings came up.

This is pretty rad, The Fwoosh showed off shots of DC Collectibles’ Tiny Titans set. These are great looking little toys.

I’m not much of a sweet or dessert fan, but I would definitely try deep fried Trix and Cinnamon Toast as seen on Esquire.This Nestron robot warrior T-shirt for sale on RedBubble is amazing.

YES! Daria reruns will be back on MTV in the morning between July 30 and August 3. Now I just have to remember because I’m all over that. To be honest, I will probably also watch reruns of Laguna Beach and The Hills as well. (via THR)

Who’s The Boss: The Tall Ood Man

I’ve been wanting to draw more lately. I know I’m not very good at it, but I like to exercise a few other creative muscles, especially if I’ve done some writing and blogging that day. While finishing up the second half of the sixth season of Doctor Who with the missus a few weeks back I came up with the idea to draw Doctor Who aliens. Last night, I decided to put pencil to paper and wound up landing on the Ood as my first project. But, while looking at pictures like the one above, I realized that the Ood look an awful lot like…The Tall Man from the Phantasm flicks! They’ve got similar head shapes and an affinity for circular accessories. I thought about photoshopping the two together somehow (like I did with Who’s The Boss and Doctor Who) and probably should have because drawing that giant hand in the foreground was ROUGH. I actually might still give it a shot. Anyway, here’s the quick piece I came up with:I didn’t quite capture the face tentacles and the hand is pretty bad, but I had fun with it. I highly encourage others to join me in this mash-up. I guarantee someone can top me and would love to see it!

Casting Internets

For CBR I wrote pieces about Jonathan Hickman’s The Manhattan Projects and Robert Kirkman’s upcoming projects.

I also did three pieces about the AMC show Comic Book Men, one a roundtable with Kevin Smith, one about the general Q&A and an interview with star Ming Chen.

In toy news, I helped set up the announcement of the Walking Dead MiniMate line from Diamond Select Toys at CBR and then covered Toy Fair! Here’s my reports on Mattel, Diamond Select Toys, DC Direct, NECA and Hasbro’s Marvel and G.I. Joe lines.

I also did a pair of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance posts for Marvel.com, the first was the coolest moments from Jason Aaron’s run on the comic and the second was the coolest moments from the trailers. Stoked for that flick even if it didn’t do very well last weekend. My pal Rickey Purdin joined the Sketch Attack sketch blog. Check it out!

Another friend, Matt Powell, posted a new bit of art on his Saturday Morning Is…Awesome blog. This one’s about a Khary Randolph Usagi sketch he scored.

I love buying digital records, but I don’t like that you can’t try to sell off the files if you’re not into them anymore. I know it’s complicated and people would abuse such a thing, but I want it. I dug this piece THR did on it.

I haven’t read this CBR piece on the Simpsons Arcade Game finally make its way to home systems just yet, but I’m excited to. That game was always a favorite. I really dug Phil Noto‘s rendition of Lady Mary from Downton Abbey. I also dug Chris Bishop‘s Downton Abbey infographic for PBS.

Jay-Z’s Carnegie Hall show sounds like it was pretty rad. (via Rolling Stone)

In other music news from Rolling Stone, Green Day is working on a new album, this is good news. Dan Hipp mashed up Planet of the Apes and Mario, I love it. I wish it wasn’t $80 so I could buy it.

I would be very happy if John Goodman joined Roseanne’s new sitcom Downwardly Mobile. (via Deadline)Star Trek and Doctor Who seem like the perfect things to cross over. I think I’ll give this trade a look when it comes out. (via CBR)

Casting Internets

As you can surely tell, I’ve been saving links up for a few weeks on this one. Still, I think there’s some goodness in here amongst me hyping my own stuff around the nets.

In addition to my daily Spinoff Online posts, I also wrote about Prophet, Ted McKeever’s Mondo, Lance Briggs’ Pilot Season entry, Brandon Seifert’s Witch Doctor, Mike Allred about Madman, Andy Suriano about Doc Bizarre, Tim Seeley about the Hack/Slash meets Hatchet annual, Kurtis Wiebe about Peter Panzerfaust and Brian K. Vaughan about his new book Saga!

I also wrote about The Vision’s different costumes over on Marvel.com and Dan Abnett’s Five Favorite Avengers.

I also, also wrote a list for Topless Robot called The 5 Best (and 5 Worst) Upgrades In Beast Wars History!

Meanwhile, my pal Josh Wigler got to interview TV’s Ron Swanson for MTV. I am jealous.

My other pal Brett White wrote about event fatigue in regards to Avengers Vs. X-Men for CBR. Like most big comic book events, I will ask my friends who read regular comics how it is and if they like it, I’ll maybe give it a look in a year when it’s in trade.

Dave Rapoza’s Masters of the Universe art on The Autumn Society‘s blog is so good it’s scary.

In case you were wondering, yes, Courtney Love is still batshit crazy and apparently Hole is filled with assholes. Shocker. (via Rolling Stone)

In other Rolling Stone-derived news, Black Sabbath will be recording a record with Rick Rubin. I will buy that.

If anyone wants to contribute to me seeing Roger Waters perform The Wall live this year, please contact my wife. (via Rolling Stone)

I finally got around to reading Image’s Eric Stephenson talk about the company’s blind submission successes. There haven’t been a lot, but I still found it pretty inspiring.

Wired‘s Relic Hunters talked to Richard Molesworth the Doctor Who detective! It’s fascinating how he’s helped get so many lost series’ back from the great beyond.

I really enjoyed Write Place, Write Time‘s look at Joe Hill’s office. I hope to have one like it in the future, though I’m thinking I’ll have a overboard before that these days. I wish I could live in Dan Hipp‘s brain sometimes. His Psycho/Adventure Time mash-up is wonderful.

It’s strange that bands that were relatively new when I was a kid are making their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Congrats to the Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys and the Faces. (via Rolling Stone)

I’m super jazzed that Drafthouse Films picked up the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films. I will see that as soon as possible. (via THR)

Finally, The Fwoosh kicked off the 30th Custom Con today! So far, the Dead Alive MiniMates are my favorite, but it’s early in the week!

I Watch A Lot Of Documentaries: Dalekmania, American Grindhouse, Trumbo & Mayor Of The Sunset Strip

I Watch A Lot Of Movies will most likely be a recurring feature here on the blog because it’s a plain fact. Because I work from home and I like to have something on to either watch or listen to while I do so, I go through a lot of movies, shows, podcasts and records. Sometimes I give them their own write-ups, but sometimes I don’t have as much to say. So, IWALOM will be a kind of catch-all for the things I want to say a few words on. As it happens, I’ve been on a bit of a documentary going back to when I watched and wrote about Too Tough To Die and Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop a few weeks ago.

One of the more curious documentaries I’ve seen on Netflix Instant has to be Dalekmania (1995) which I assumed would be about the history of the Doctor Who baddies. Instead, as the subtitle explains, it’s actually the story of Daleks and the Doctor on the big screen. Back in 1965 Peter Cushing starred as a tweaked version of the character in a big screen flock that remade one of the few serials I’ve actually seen: The Daleks.

Much like the 1996 Fox-produced Doctor Who movie, the movie and it’s sequel, the awesomely named Invasion Earth: 2015, neither film is in cannon, but that doesn’t mean they don’t look interesting. Seeing a documentary based on a pair of films I’ve never seen was cool because it’s not like I had heard any of these stories before. The downside? The movies aren’t on any kind of Netflix so I can’t check them out, which is a little frustrating. It seems like everyone involved (and living) was interviewed and you also get to see a cool collection of Dalek and Who memorabilia from a husband and wife collector team. Worth checking out for Who fans even if they don’t HAVE to know about these flicks.

I was kind of disappointed by American Grindhouse (2010), especially after being so impressed by essentially the Australian version of this doc called Not Quite Hollywood. While Not Quite really seemed to just jump in and celebrate their schlocky movies, Grindhouse seems to take an almost clinical approach which saps some of the fun out of the proceedings.  A big contributor to that feeling is how specifically they define “grindhouse.’ Instead of being about low budget movies sent to drive ins or cheap theaters, we’re told that an actual grindhouse was a theater that would never shut down or stop showing movies. Uh, okay. It’s the equivalent of someone telling you in great detail that what you’re blowing your nose in isn’t actually a Kleenex, but a facial tissues.

The opposite side of the specificity coin is that you actually get treated to lots of different kinds of movies than you might expect, going all the way back to the early days of film. The movie points out that, almost as soon as people figured out how to use movie cameras, they started pointing them at naked ladies. I actually learned this in either high school or college and was blown away at the time because you kind of assume that everything was super prudey back in the day, but in reality people are people and are always curious about things like that.

The film also boasts a quality group of talking heads including John Landis, Joe Dante, William Lustig and plenty of others. Everyone brings something interesting to the table, it’s just a broader table than I was expecting when I turned it on.

I probably wouldn’t have given a movie called Trumbo (2007) if not for the awesome image on this poster. A dude writing in the bathtub? I love it! The story found in the documentary is even more interesting. Dalton Trumbo was one of the infamous Hollywood Ten, a group of writers who were blacklisted for communist leanings thanks to McCarthy and the ridiculous red scare. He wrote movies like The Devil’s Playground, Roman Holiday, Spartacus, Johnny Got His Gun and plenty of others, some of which were credited to other writers who fronted for him and some of the other Hollywood Ten.

The doc has an interesting style that takes many of Trumbo’s writings and has famous actors do dramatic readings. I didn’t realize what was happening at first when people like Michael Douglas, Brian Dennehy, Paul Giamatti and others started doing these monologues in dark rooms, I was confused, but I soon caught on and enjoyed the method. Apparently, this film is based on the stage play of one of Trumbo’s  sons, which makes that all make a lot more sense.

I like that Trumbo never lost faith or face, really, kept writing and later on didn’t seem too bitter about what happened. He definitely answered some questions with a sharp wit, but he didn’t seem bitter, which is inspiring considering the mountains of bullshit heaped upon him.

Like a lot of things on Netflix,  I didn’t really know what Mayor Of The Sunset Strip (2003). For some reason I thought it was about a guy who was influential in the 80s metal scene on the Sunset Strip. It’s actually about Rodney Binginheimer, a dude who started out as a groupie in the 60s, met practically every rock star, got nicknamed in a Beach Boys song, became one of the most influential DJs in music history and is still kicking.

I found this story so fascinating because Bingenheimer is ridiculously damaged. Yes, he’s met every single important rock and roll musician since the medium was practically invented and yes he has (or at least had) a great deal of power in his business, but he is also a sad, lonely man with mom issues. The portrait painted is that of a man who prefers not to be in the spotlight, but absolutely expects to be just on the fringes now. It’s also the story of a man whose time as come and gone, though that’s not the main focus. Towards the end of the movie, the man with ridiculous hair tells the camera that he’s only got one night a week as a DJ on KROQ which clearly bums him out. The only time he expresses any real, obvious emotions happens in a scene where his radio protege finishes a show and Bingenheimer is pissed because he thinks the younger man has basically stolen his entire schtick.

For me, Mayor has two lessons to be learned. First, it shows me that anyone can become important. There was nothing truly special about Rodney Bingenheimer, nothing that would make him an obvious maven of a culture movement. But, he physically got himself where he needed to be and worked his way up to becoming ridiculously influential. That’s the American dream, right? Well, the second lesson shows what can happen if you don’t balance your life out. Even with all his power and influence, something about his personality didn’t allow him to capitalize on it too much and he has essentially faded out of prominence. The lesson is to both keep working even after reaching prominence, but also that all the importance in the world doesn’t fix your problems. You’ve got to work on that stuff on your own and it didn’t seem to me like Bingenheimer has done that.

Just Finished Doctor Who Series 6.0 (2011)

Well, that was quite the half season, wasn’t it? My initial reaction to hearing that the sixth season of Doctor Who was split in two halves was negative, but the positive aspect that I wasn’t taking into account was that it would mean I would get the episodes in my hands a lot faster (we don’t get BBC America or torrent, so we wait for them to pop up on Netflix). I also discovered that seven episodes are a lot easier to take in and absorb than twice that which is good when doing so in a fairly short period of time. Something I’ve talked about before when watching seasons like this is that, in our zeal to finish them, we miss some of the details. And even if we don’t miss the details, it becomes information overload at times. We watched the fifth season–and all the seasons of Doctor Who post-relaunch, really–that way and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure who some of the callback characters were by the end of this half of this season.

My other concern with watch a half season of a series was that it would end on a cliffhanger and we’d be waiting however long to see the next one. Halfway through the last episode of the second disc, I asked a buddy about torrents, but I wound up not downloading them. I can’t stand watching shows on my computer when I’ve got a perfectly good TV sitting right there. Anyway, this fear of getting something less-than what I’m used to proved to not be an issue.

I think these might be the seven best consecutive episodes that I can remember. Some basic plot spoilers follow. “The Impossible Astronaut” was a pretty gigantic mindbonk that set up the rest of the season. That carried directly over into “Day Of The Moon” which not only went back to the 60s, but also utilized the brilliantly designed Silence who can only be remembered when they’re seen. As soon as you turn away, they disappear from your memory. Awesome idea. “The Curse Of The Black Spot” combined pirates and aliens in such a way that I want to see a spin-off of those dudes flying through space. “The Doctor’s Wife” was a brilliant episode written by one of my all time favorite writers Neil Gaiman that took the TARDIS’ consciousness and placed it inside a human being. It was great hearing their shared history from the point of view of the TARDIS. I think this might be one of my favorite episodes of the show as a whole and I thought that even before I remembered Gaiman’s involvement.

The fifth and sixth episodes comprised a two-parter called “The Rebel Flesh” and “The Almost People.” This pair featured a group of scientists who used doppelgangers to physically do the things that they couldn’t do. As it turned out the ‘gangers were actually gaining sentience which lead to a pretty awesome series of moments reminiscent of those in The Thing where you don’t know who you’re talking to or who to trust (at least as a viewer). And that ending! Gah! Crazytown!

All of which brings us to the “A Good Man Goes To War.” Wow. Usually episodes this good and packed with awesome are two or even three parters and come at the end of a long season. This one comes right in the middle and stands out as quite the tentpole. By bringing back those characters from previous seasons (or were they all just from 5, my memory sucks) and pitting them all against an actual army of enemies with such high stakes (double high stakes, really), the writers really upped the ante and presented a quality hour of television that is also pretty high up on my “faves” list. Even better? It presumably leads into something bigger and hopefully better by the end of the actual season. Oh and they didn’t even rely on the Cybermen or Daleks too much. Bonus points there. Plus those final two reveals are just bonkers. Even with so much goodness, my favorite part of the season has to be the awesomification of Rory Pond. I don’t remember a whole lot about him from the previous season other than he was jealous of the Doctor (who wouldn’t be) and seemed like kind of a wimp. But then he did that whole Last Centurion thing, so that’s pretty great, right? They really built off that this season, developing him as a husband and potential father, leading him on a Taken-esque streak of badassness that was written and performed perfectly. I’d face those stupid Cybermen too if anyone tried to get between me and my family. Maybe that’s why I liked Rory a lot more this season, he went from being just a boyfriend to a husband. I can relate to that and I can’t wait to see what Rory does to those who get in his way with the second half of the season. Oh, and the Doctor too, I guess.