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Showing posts from March, 2018

Rikki Don't Lose That Number [Sci-Fi Telephone Booths]

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We're all familiar with a certain Time Lord and her preferred mode of telephonic transport:

But while the Doctor was one of the first, she is far from unique - in fact there's a long and respectable tradition of science fiction heroes travelling in telephone booths. Excluding the good Doctor, here are my top five long distance callers:

#1 Bill And Ted

Doctor Who has spawned many spin-off series and movies over the years. My favourites were the Bill and Ted movies - Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bogus Journey (1991). It's a blast - a great time-travel comedy and a decent attempt to create an American Doctor Who. It's absolutely canon. The eponymous heroes, played by Alex Winter and Keanu someone or other, travel through time in a US phone booth "borrowed" from Time Lord Rufus (who strictly speaking should be called The Rufus), encountering historical celebrities in their quest to complete their homework and ultimately secure the future of civi…

Fifty Angry Men [Review: Circle]

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Fifty people awake to find they are standing on glowing red spots in a circle in a dark room. They quickly learn that they are playing a deadly game – every few minutes one person is killed instantly by a shock from the hemisphere in the centre, their body then dragged out into the darkness by unseen forces. If they step off their circles they also die. It takes them a few rounds, and a few deaths, to understand that while they cannot prevent the scheduled rounds, they can choose who dies in each round.
Circle is a literal, minimalist version of the balloon debate – if the balloon is losing altitude and you can’t all survive, who gets chucked out of the balloon and how do you persuade others to do the chucking. The starting fifty are diverse enough to (loosely) represent all of humanity. As the players learn how to vote for each other, alliances and dividing lines appear around age, race, gender, sexuality, politics and profession. Players try to use this to their advantage, but if the…