warriors Of The Deep

Another Doctor Who story I would like to re watch is Warriors of the Deep which was first broadcast 5 January 1986 and sees Doctor Who and his companions Tegan Jovanka and Turlough arrive on Earth to find that The human world is divided into two opposing super power blocs. One of the blocs have created a secret underwater base, Sea Base 4, which is strategically positioned and has nuclear weapons aimed at the opposing bloc. As a security measure, the Seabase nuclear weapons cannot be activated unless a trained human operator can “sync” their mind with the computer and authorize their deployment.

The base’s crew is led by Commander Vorshak and his senior officers, Nilson, Bulic, Security Chief Preston, and Lt. Michaels, the base’s sync operator. Lt. Michaels is mysteriously killed before the start of the story, and as a result, his inexperienced apprentice, Ensign Maddox, is forced to assume Michaels’ official responsibilities. The story begins on Sea Base 4. Where Vorshak and Bulic noticed something strange on their long range sensors, but dismiss it as being a trivial glitch. In reality, the glitch is a Silurian battleship led by Icthar, the sole survivor of the Silurian Triad and his subordinates, Tarpok and Scibus, who are monitoring Sea Base 4.

Sea Base 4 has a practice missile run, but Maddox, the temporary sync operator, faints after the practice run, Vorshak begins to realize that the function of the base will continue to be compromised until either Maddox lives up to his duties or a replacement is assigned. Nilson and the Base’s chief medical officer, Doctor Solow, who are enemy agents for the opposing bloc, plan to program Maddox to destroy the computer circuitry. To do this, they ask Vorshak to release Maddox’s duplicate program disk under the pretext of helping the sync operator cope with his job. Vorshak does so, and Maddox is programmed in the Base’s psycho-surgery unit.

The Doctor’s presence on the Sea Base is detected when Turlough summons a lift. The Time Lord programs the base’s reactor to overload in an attempt to avoid capture. This fails, however, and the time travellers are all taken prisoner. Preston also finds the TARDIS. The Silurians revive the Sea Devil warriors of Elite Group One and their brilliant commander, Sauvix. The Silurians and Sea Devils launch an attack on the base and the Doctor, recognising their ship on the monitor screen, tries to warn Vorshak not to fire on them. Vorshak ignores him, and, as a result, the Base’s defences are neutralised by the Silurians’ deflection beam. The Silurians then dispatch the Myrka, a large marine monster, who attacks Airlock 1, and the Sea Devils, who assault Airlock 5 of the sea base. During the attacks, Solow and Nilson activate Maddox, who tampers with the equipment. When Ensign Karina becomes suspicious, Nilson makes Maddox kill her.

The Myrka forces its way into the base, temporarily trapping the Doctor and Tegan until Turlough gets the inner airlock door opened to save them. The creature starts making its way towards the bridge, killing people by electrocution. Doctor Solow becomes one of the Myrka’s victims on her way to an escape pod when she foolishly tries to engage the creature in physical combat. The Doctor eventually destroys the Myrka by using an ultra-violet light generator.

The Silurians prime a device called the manipulator and prepare to arrive on the base. The Sea Devils break through Airlock 5 and start the push for the bridge, killing any crew that stand in their way. Solow’s accomplice, Nilson, is revealed as a traitor and he attempts to escape by taking Tegan hostage. The Doctor blinds him with the ultra-violet device, and a group of Sea Devils appear and kill him. The Doctor and Tegan are taken as prisoners to the bridge, which is now under the control of the Silurians.

The Doctor recognizes Icthar and confronts him about the massacre of the crew of Sea Base 4. Ictharreveals his group intends to get mankind to destroy itself by triggering a global war. They undo the damage caused by Maddox’s sabotage and connect the manipulator to the systems. The Doctor escapes from the bridge and tries to find something to use against the reptiles. He discovers some cylinders of hexachromite gas, which is lethal to all reptile life. A Sea Devil discovers the Doctor’s presence and attempts to shoot him. He misses the Doctor and hits one of the gas containers which sprays all over the warrior. As a result, the warrior begins to dissolve.

Preston urges the Doctor to use the gas on all of the Silurians and Sea Devils. The Doctor adamantly refuses and accuses Preston of advocating genocide. The Doctor changes his mind when Turlough reminds him of what the Silurians intend to do if they launch the missiles. When he is unable to find anything else less lethal, he begins to connect the gas containers to a central air pump. The Doctor is discovered by Sauvix before he can turn the pump on. Preston is killed by Sauvix before he is sprayed with gas and killed by Bulic. As the Silurians prepare to fire the missiles, the Doctor feeds the gas into the ventilation system. Bulic stays in the chemical store to ensure that the gas keeps flowing, while the Doctor and his companions leave for the bridge to try to stop the Silurians and with the gas flowing and time running out The Doctor aided by Vorshak desperately tries to stop the missiles from being launched…

Attack of the Cybermen

I am a big fan of Doctor Who and the next series doesn’t start until Autumn so until then I am rewatching classic episodes and the latest story I have seen is Attack of the Cybermen which was first broadcast 5 January 1985, and sees The Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) land On Earth in the year 1985, where something unpleasant is lurking unseen and attacking people in the sewers of London, meanwhile the former Dalek mercenary Lytton (from Resurrection of the Daleks) has apparently taken up a new life as a London gangster, and is plotting a £10 million diamond raid on the Bank of England with his cohorts Griffiths, Payne and Russell (the latter is played by Terry Molloy, normally seen in the role of Davros). The four intend to enter the bank through the same sewers where the two workmen were ambushed, but Lytton activates a strange transmitter before they enter the sewer. This emits a distress signal that the Doctor picks up, and he lands the TARDIS in a scrapyard in Totter’s Lane to investigate. The TARDIS changes shape, to a rather conspicuous ornamental stove. After searching the area, he determines that the transmitter is a dummy, and returns to the TARDIS to find the real source. They arrive at the sewer entrance (where the TARDIS reshapes itself into an organ) and find the transmitter, but are held up by two policemen who are under Lytton’s control.

In the sewers, Payne falls behind the other three, and is clobbered by the same force that attacked the workers. Lytton and the others come to a dead end, and find a Cyberman approaching them. Griffiths shoots it, but Lytton disarms him and surrenders to the Cybermen, who have a base in the sewers. Russell flees, encounters the Doctor and Peri, and reveals himself to be an undercover police officer who is investigating Lytton.On the Cybermen’s adopted homeworld of Telos, two slaves, Bates and Stratton, escape from their work party and decapitate a Cyberman. They use its helmet to disguise Stratton as a Cyberman and enter Cyber Control. The Cybermen have captured a time-travelling vessel from Bates and Stratton, who intend to reclaim it and escape from Telos.

The Doctor, Peri and Russell return to the TARDIS, where they are ambushed by the Cybermen, who have brought Lytton and Griffiths with them. Russell manages to kill two of them, but is then killed himself, and the Cyber Leader orders the other Cybermen to kill PeriThe Doctor threatens to self-destruct the TARDIS if the Cybermen do not release Peri. The Leader agrees to spare their lives, and reveals that the Cyber Controller (whom the Doctor had previously thought destroyed) is still alive on Telos. The Doctor is forced to set a course for Telos, and is imprisoned in one of the TARDIS’s rooms along with Peri, Lytton and Griffiths. During the journey to Telos, he tells Peri and Griffiths the history of Telos and its former inhabitants, the Cryons, whom the Cybermen wiped out in order to use their refrigerated cities to keep themselves in cryogenic stasis. The Doctor notes that Lytton seems oddly familiar with the history of the Cybermen, Telos and the Cryons.

On Telos, most of the hibernating Cybermen have become damaged, and go on a rampage destroying anything in their path when revived. The TARDIS arrives  in the depths of the Cybermen’s cryogenic tombs rather than in Cyber Control. a damaged Cyberman breaks out of its tomb and destroys one of the other Cybermen,  Lytton, Griffiths and Peri escape in the confusion, but the Doctor does not. Peri is nearly killed by another rampaging Cyberman before two Cryons – who it turns out are not extinct, and have been sabotaging the tombs, resulting in the damaged Cybermen – deal with it and take Peri to safety. Lytton and Griffiths meet another Cryon, and it transpires that Lytton has been working for them all along.  The two track down Bates and Stratton, who are failed attempts of Cyber-conversion who have had their arms and legs replaced by mechanical equivalents. The four agree to work together in order to escape Telos.

The Doctor is imprisoned in a cold storage room with Flast, former leader of the Cryons. She reveals that the Cybermen intend to prevent their original homeworld of Mondas from being destroyed, by using their timeship to divert Halley’s Comet into the Earth, which will then be incapable of protecting itself from an attack by Mondas the following year. The Doctor is shocked to realise that he has been sent by the Time Lords to avert this situation. The doctor an Flast manage to escape the cold storage room which contains a supply of vastial, a mineral that becomes a powerful explosive when raised significantly above freezing point. The Doctor uses some to dispose of a guarding Cyberman, then gives Flast a sonic lance to heat up the vastial to detonation point before he escapes.

Lytton, Griffiths, Bates and Stratton get through Cyber Control, but Lytton is captured The Cyber Controller demands that Lytton tell him his plans, Lytton still refuses to talk, and the Controller orders that he be converted into a Cyberman. The other three make it to the landing pad, but a Cyberman emerges from the time ship . In the meantime the Doctor reclaims the TARDIS and the Cryons return Peri to him. However, they also reveal that Lytton was working for them all along, rather than the Cybermen  meanwhile The TARDIS arrives in Cyber Control  where the Doctor finds a partially converted Lytton who begs the Doctor to kill him. The Doctor tries to free Lytton, but the Controller arrives with a gun. Lytton attacks the Controller, and is killed leaving the Doctor to deal with The Cyber Leader his lieutenant and the Cyber Controller, with explosive results

Hayao Miyazaki

I am a big fan of  Studio Ghibli and the work of Japanese film director, animator, manga artist, illustrator, producer and screenwriter Hayao Miyazaki who was born January 5, 1941 . Through a career that has spanned six decades, Miyazaki has attained international acclaim as a maker of anime feature films and, along with Isao Takahata, co-founded Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio. The success of Miyazaki’s films has invited comparisons with American animator Walt Disney, British animator Nick Park, and American director Steven Spielberg.

Born in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Miyazaki began his animation career in 1963, when he joined Toei Animation. From there, Miyazaki worked as an in-between artist for Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon where he pitched his own ideas that eventually became the movie’s ending. He continued to work in various roles in the animation industry over the decade until he was able to direct his first feature film Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro which was released in 1979.

After the success of his next film, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, he co-founded Studio Ghibli where he continued to produce many feature films besides during a ‘temporary retirement’ in 1997 following Princess Mononoke. While Miyazaki’s films have long enjoyed both commercial and critical success in Japan, he remained largely unknown to the West until Miramax Films released Princess Mononoke. Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing film in Japan—until it was eclipsed by another 1997 film, Titanic—and the first animated film to win Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards. Miyazaki returned to animation with Spirited Away. The film topped Titanic’s sales at the Japanese box office, also won Picture of the Year at the Japanese Academy Awards and was the first anime film to win an American Academy Award.

Miyazaki’s films often contain recurrent themes like humanity’s relationship with nature and technology, and the difficulty of maintaining a pacifist ethic. The protagonists of his films are often strong, independent girls or young women. While two of his films, The Castle of Cagliostro and Castle in the Sky, involve traditional villains, his other films like Nausicaä and Princess Mononoke present morally ambiguous antagonists with redeeming qualities. He co-wrote films The Secret World of Arrietty, released in July 2010 in Japan and February 2012 in the United States; and From Up on Poppy Hill release in July 2011 in Japan and March 2013 in the United States. Miyazaki’s newest film The Wind Rises was released on July 20, 2013 and is planned for an international release.Miyazaki announced on September 1, 2013 that this will be his final feature-length film.but later retracted the statement. In addition to his acclaimed film work, Miyazaki has created manga that have reached world wide audiences.

national Bird Day

January 5 is National Bird Day, an annual holiday with half a million adherents who celebrate through birdwatching, studying birds, bird drinking games including ‘bird date’ and other bird-related activities. Bird adoption is a particularly important National Bird Day activity. According to the newspaper Atlanta Journal-Constitution, many bird enthusiasts celebrate by adopting birds and by educating future bird owners about the special issues involved with taking care of birds, including their “screaming, biting, constant cleanups, the need for daily interaction and a varied diet”. National Bird Day takes place every year on January 5.

Since 1979, bird lovers in the United Kingdom have taken part in the annual Big Garden Birdwatch. In the annual event coordinated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, up to half a million people spend an hour counting birds. In 2009 the Big Garden Birdwatch was referred to as “Bird Day” the The Scotsman newspaper.