Sunday, August 31, 2008

Star Trek Action Figures

Star Trek Action Figures
Star Trek Action Figures, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Mirror Universe Spock, Captain James T. Kirk, Mirror Universe Worf, Data, Geordi LaForge, Jadzia Dax

The Picard, Kirk, Data, LaForge, and Dax figures are from the Playmates company, produced for Star Trek: The Next Generation, the film Generations and Deep Space Nine. Dax appears in Klingon gear from the episode "Blood Oath" in which she teamed up with former host Curzon's friends to fulfill a promise he made with the Klingons of revenge on an enemy. The other figures are from Art Asylum's recent series of Mirror Universe figures. In the original series episode "Mirror, Mirror" Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura are accidentally transported to an alternate universe, and must convince Mirror Spock to help them get home. Meanwhile, their warlike counterparts are sent to our universe. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine visited the mirror universe several times on the television show. Regent Worf appears in the episode "The Emperor's New Cloak." The action figures by Art Asylum are very detailed and come with an array of weapons and accessories, and are also on a bigger scale than the Playmates figures.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Captain Jean-Luc Picard Action Figure

This action figure was made by Playmates Toys in 1992. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Picard commanded the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D on its mission of space exploration.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Doctor Who Action Figures

Doctor Who Action Figures
Doctor Who Action Figures, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Dalek, Ood, Rose Tyler, K9, The Tenth Doctor, The Other Tenth Doctor, The TARDIS, Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, New Earth Landscape, Robot Spider, Cassandra, Dalek

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Memoirs of the Daleks

The book Dalek I Loved You by Nick Griffiths is a funny and enthralling account of his life as a Doctor Who fan and his career as a writer. Today he works for publications like Radio Times and The Daily Mail. Through his work, he has been able to see the creation of the new series of Doctor Who, and is as much a fan of the latest episodes as the classic series he grew up with. I could relate to his story because I started watching reruns of the classic series in 1997 when the show was off the air, but my favorite Doctor is David Tennant and I like the latest episodes the most. Of course, I don't agree with everything Griffiths opines, since the first story I watched was "Robot" with Tom Baker, and he has more nostalgia for Jon Pertwee's "Spearhead from Space," his initial discovery of the program. Griffiths writes about his memories of the show and how they compare to today's program. As a fan of British television and music, Griffiths also includes lists of his favorite and least favorite things, similar to the Radio Times blogs I've read on the magazine's website.

I've watched and enjoyed the show The Friday Night Project recently, and thought the presenters, Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins, were entertaining (though Griffiths dislikes Collins' style). I saw the episodes with David Tennant (who hosted twice), John Barroman and some of the one with Billie Piper. How amazing that actors from Doctor Who were hosting the British equivalent of Saturday Night Live. Amy Winehouse chatted about Daleks! Kanye West was a good host as well. I also liked the interview with David Tennant and Catherine Tate on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, since the host is also a Doctor Who fan. The British media has really supported the new Doctor Who, showing that it really is one of the most popular shows in the UK. I'm enjoying the television and newspaper coverage from Britain, as well as the series of Doctor Who related memoirs like Griffiths', John Barrowman's and Billie Piper's books. It is a tribute to Russell T. Davies' imaginative revitalization of Doctor Who while keeping the spirit of the classic series intact.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Star Trek Montgomery Scott Action Figure

With a Macintosh SE, similar to the computer Scotty uses in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, after time-traveling to 1986 San Francisco.

Playmates Toys made this figure in 1994 for the film Star Trek: Generations, in which Captain James T. Kirk, Captain Montgomery Scott and Commander Pavel Chekov attend the first voyage of the Enterprise NCC-1701-B. Admiral Kirk falls into the Nexus Ribbon, where he meets Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Doctor Who Action Figures (BBC Wales Version)

British Flag, Dalek, Ood, Rose, The Master, The Tenth Doctor, The Other Tenth Doctor, The TARDIS, K9, Martha Jones, Welsh Flag, The Fourth Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness, The Seventh Doctor, Cassandra, Robot Spider, Dalek, British Flag Guitar, Bessie, London Taxi

The British and Welsh flags I got on a visit to London and Conwy Castle in 2000, where I also got the London Taxi. This car was made by Matchbox International, Limited in 1986. The yellow car is a model from the Hawk Model Co. in 1963, of a "Hupmobile 1909." The Daleks, The Master, Fourth Doctor, Seventh Doctor and K9 are part of the range made by Dapol, around 1998.

When the new Doctor Who series was announced, Character Options got the license to make action figures of the show's characters. The first one of these I got was the New Earth set, including the Tenth Doctor, Rose Tyler, Cassandra, a Robot Spider, and the New Earth landscape. Next, to commemorate the Series Three finale, I got the set of Electronic Flight Control TARDIS, Martha Jones, The Tenth Doctor, and Captain Jack Harkness. The two Tenth Doctors from these sets both have suits and coats, but the "New Earth" version has white trainers while the TARDIS set one has red trainers. Most recently, after viewing "Planet of the Ood," I got my own Ood to travel with the Doctor. I like the detail on the Character Options figures, and they are good representations of the people on the television program.

Doctor Who Action Figures

Doctor Who Action Figures
Doctor Who Action Figures, originally uploaded by monikalel42.
British Flag, Dalek, Ood, Rose, The Tenth Doctor, The Master, The Other Tenth Doctor, The TARDIS, K9, Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, The Fourth Doctor, Cassandra, Robot Spider, The Seventh Doctor, Dalek, British Flag Guitar, Bessie, London Taxi
I posed all my Doctor Who action figures together in tribute to that wonderful British program!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz, originally uploaded by monikalel42.
This picture is part of my Bookshelves collection on Flickr.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Daleks, originally uploaded by monikalel42.
This is my Dalek action figure made by Dapol based on the classic series of Doctor Who, along with a coaster made of the Dalek millennium stamps made in England. There is also the first Top Trumps card game based on the new series of Doctor Who, featuring a Cyberman, TARDIS, Dalek, Rose, and the Tenth Doctor as shown in 2006's series two.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rose and the Doctor, Norway

Rose and the Doctor, Norway
Rose and the Doctor, Norway, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Doctor Who, "Journey's End"

Daleks, Germany

Daleks, Germany
Daleks, Germany, originally uploaded by monikalel42.
Doctor Who, "Journey's End"

Action Figures

Action Figures
Action Figures, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Action figures from Doctor Who and Star Trek.

Doctor Who Action Figures

Doctor Who Action Figures
Doctor Who Action Figures, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Martha Jones, the Doctor and Captain Jack with the TARDIS.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Chief Miles O'Brien Action Figure

This figure was made in 1994 by Playmates Toys as part of the series that depicted the characters on the space station near the Bajoran Wormhole. Chief O'Brien transferred from the USS Enterprise-D to Deep Space Nine to direct engineering operations and renovate the station after it was abandoned by the former Cardassian crew.

Cross Stitch: Girl with Mailbox

I made this cross stitch picture from a kit.

Olympics on TV

Olympics on TV
Olympics on TV, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Watching the Olympics from Beijing, China: Womens' Table Tennis final
ZHANG Yining (CHN) defeated WANG Nan (CHN) 4-1 for the gold medal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

San Francisco Giants scoreboard

Giant Coke bottle at AT&T Park

San Francisco Giants' Stadium: I took this picture at the Giants game on August 6, 2008.

Reminded me of Rorschach's quote from "Watchmen:"
"American love; like coke in green glass bottles... they don't make it anymore" (chapter 2 page 25).

Books I'm reading

Books I'm reading
Books I'm reading, originally uploaded by monikalel42.
Superman Action Comics 800, Watchmen, Star Trek "The Trouble with Tribbles" by David Gerrold, planning to read "Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer.

Reading about Books and Watchmen

One of the books I've read recently, Nick Hornby's The Polysyllabic Spree, is a collection of columns from The Believer magazine based in San Francisco at 826 Valencia. The British writer Hornby is the author of modern classic novels like High Fidelity and the memoir Fever Pitch, about his experiences as a fan of the English football (soccer) team Arsenal. In the articles Hornby writes about the books he's been reading and how his choices relate to his life.

I also read Watchmen, the graphic novel in twelve parts written by Alan Moore, drawn by Dave Gibbons and colored by John Higgins. The comic books were first published in 1986-1987, and portray an alternate version of Earth in 1985 where superheroes fought crime but were mostly forced by the government to retire. Since its publication, Watchmen has been called one of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century by Time magazine. It certainly lives up to the acclaim, being a complex and fascinating narrative that comments on the legends of comic book superheroes as well as popular culture and relationships between individuals and nations.

I started hearing more about Watchmen because of the film version set for release in 2009. The themes of the book are just as relevant today, with all the conflict around the world. In Watchmen there is the added variable of a powerful being, Dr. Manhattan, who has advanced technology in cooperation with the American government but increased mistrust with Russia. The book begins with narration from the journal of the mysterious masked vigilante Rorschach while police investigate the murder of the Comedian. Watchmen investigates the psychology of the characters and what made them become superheroes, as well as their interactions with everyday people.

The Olympics on Television

I've certainly been enjoying the Olympics from Beijing, China, especially following Michael Phelps' extraordinary achievement of eight gold medals in swimming, the most in a single Games by an athlete. Usain Bolt of Jamaica has also excelled with a new world record of 19.30 seconds in the 200 meter track race and the first gold medalist since 1984 in two sprint races.

However, in the Bay Area NBC's prime time broadcast of the Games beginning at 8:00 PM lasts until late at night, even though they are on tape delay by three hours from the East Coast. This has also been commented on by Gwen Knapp of The San Francisco Chronicle since it prevents younger viewers from seeing some of the sports, saying that the "next generation of Olympic viewers has gone to bed before some of the best events ended." At least the scheduling is an improvement from the broadcast in 2004 Athens and 2006 Torino when the events were delayed by almost a day. It is easier to avoid finding out the results before NBC broadcasts the sports when they are almost live. In baseball, all the games are shown live, especially national broadcasts like the All-Star Game and the World Series. That way all of America sees the show at the same time.

NBC does provide extensive coverage of the Olympics, with lots of video at showing a wide variety of sports on demand. The presenter Bob Costas is one of the best in broadcasting, providing interviews with prominent personalities and commentary on sports. The Olympics is a spectacle bringing people from all over the world together, helping them to learn more about each other and celebrate the achievements of the greatest athletes on the planet.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Christmas, David Tennant and Peter Davison

At the recent San Diego Comic Con, Steven Moffat said his favorite Doctor Who episode is "The Christmas Invasion." It's David Tennant's "Castrovalva," the episode that introduced Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor. As in that episode, the Doctor's companions must combat an alien threat while he is recovering from his regeneration, when he has transformed himself and gained a new appearance to combat serious injury. The Fifth and Tenth Doctors share many characteristics, as shown in the 2007 "Time Crash" scene with Davison and Tennant. Of course, Tennant incorporates traits of all the previous Doctors in his performance, especially Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor, since the role is the same person played by different actors as the Time Lord regenerates. But the Tenth Doctor tells the Fifth, "You were my Doctor," something that might be reflected in the exchange between the actors Tennant and Davison. In fact, Doctor Who Magazine's Andrew Pixley gives a good account of the historic meeting of the two Doctors in the new Doctor Who Companion: Series Four, which also has lots of information on the making of the show in 2008.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Doctor Who at the Hugo Awards

Steven Moffat received the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in the Doctor Who episode "Blink," which he wrote for series three. This is well deserved for an entertaining and new kind of episode. "Blink" used the concept of time travel as well as a haunted house story, with statues that transport people back in time. Sally Sparrow receives some messages from the Doctor to help her investigate the statues. Hettie Macdonald's direction builds up the suspense, making the statues menacing and scary. Moffat, who will become the executive producer of Doctor Who for series five in 2010, has won the award three years in a row. In 2006 the award went to "The Empty Child" while in 2007 "Girl in the Fireplace" was honored. This year Moffat wrote the two part story "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead," a similarly intriguing mystery with lots of surprises and character development for the Doctor.

The other story from Doctor Who that was nominated, "Human Nature/Family of Blood" written by Paul Cornell and directed by Charles Palmer, is also an outstanding journey for the Doctor as he transforms himself from a Time Lord to a human in an attempt to evade an alien family who are chasing the TARDIS. This story was based on the novel Human Nature that Cornell also wrote from Virgin Publishing's New Adventures series. In both the novel, available as an ebook on the BBC Doctor Who website, and the television story the Doctor's companion has the responsibility of looking after the Doctor, who doesn't remember their adventures together. The Doctor becomes John Smith, a schoolteacher who thinks he has always been human. The television story has many references to the classic series of Doctor Who, such as when John Smith writes a diary of his time travel dreams including the faces of his past incarnations, as well as John Smith's parents Verity and Sydney. In 1963, Doctor Who was created by Sydney Newman while the first producer, Verity Lambert, took charge of the show and ensured its success on British television. This is a great tribute to the show's history and its present incarnation.

The other television episodes nominated were Torchwood's "Captain Jack Harkness," the fan produced Star Trek episode "World Enough and Time," and Battlestar Galactica's "Razor." "World Enough and Time" was created for the internet series Star Trek New Voyages by fans as the fourth season of the original show featuring Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Battlestar Galactica has received critical praise as the revival of the 1970s series. I have not seen "Razor" or "World Enough and Time," but I've heard a lot about the New Voyages and Galactica shows in relation to Star Trek and the TrekToday news site. The Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood also entered new territory in series one's "Captain Jack Harkness," written by Catherine Tregenna and directed by Ashley Way, in which Jack and Toshiko Sato are transported back to World War II Cardiff. Torchwood's Captain Jack meets another Captain Jack Harkness, a military man from Earth. The Torchwood protagonist Captain Jack took the other Captain's identity during World War II. This episode effectively shows the contrast between modern life and the previous era. All the nominated episodes are examples of the creativity and great stories going into television science fiction today.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Who Shop in East Ham

The Who Shop in East Ham, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

Scenes from London in 2000.

London Bus Cross Stitch

London Bus Cross Stitch

London Bus Cross Stitch, originally uploaded by monikalel42.

I made this from a London bus cross stitch kit, and added the "Who Shop- East Ham" sign after visiting the store.