Doctor Who… The Dark Side of Regeneration?

WARNING: This article contains almost no spoilers!

In the wake of BBC introducing a promising new Companion and the most recent face of the Doctor getting only one more season to play out his amusing blend of mid-life crisis and cranky grandpa (with a healthy dash of teenage angst), I’d like to talk to the Whovians out there about the plot hook that has made it possible for 13 men (15 if we’re looking outside the show canon) to play the role of our favourite TV Doc! (Sorry to all the McDreamies and Quinns and Browns out there).

Regeneration is a HUGE part of the Doctor Who shtick. Yet, so many fans don’t seem to be able to really reconcile the device with their expectations of the show. We’ve all done that thing where we watch an actor play a role and then he/she just forever becomes that character… I mean I defy you to ever watch NPH in anything and not think of him as Barney, the creator of ‘The Playbook’ and ‘The Bro Code’. Funnily enough, with the Doctor many of us tend to do the reverse. Having related to a Tennant or a Smith in the role we just can’t help thinking to ourselves as we watch Capaldi… “this isn’t the Doctor” or “this isn’t my Doctor”. That latter line has some pretty rooted significance if you’ve followed the show over the years (watch this clip to the end for a particularly moving evocation, though you may have to Google the back story a bit. Well, you’re not going to like it, but I’m here to tell you how you’re doing yourself and the show an injustice by thinking like that…

TO KEEP READING PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK TO THE ORIGINAL POST ON THE COMIC CON INDIA BLOG

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Diggin on Duggan!

Today I had opportunity to meet one of my favourite comic writers, and hands down one half of my favourite writing team – Gerry Duggan! In the words of Ice Cube, “today was a GOOD day!

Duggan was signing comics for his fans at Orbital Comics, one of London’s best little comic book stores, in my humble opinion. Free of charge and any fuss the man happily sat and signed issue after issue, sometimes a dozen per person (sadly I only had the two I had just purchased – Hawkeye vs Deadpool #0 and Deadpool: Soul Hunter – as my entire collection is sitting back home in India!). And it wasn’t just a sign and be off atmosphere either – he was super friendly and conversant. I even had the chance to tell him about “Holy Hell”, written by yours truly with my own writing partner Akshay, and our other efforts over at Meta Desi Comics. We’re no Duggan and Posehn (yet), but we can dream!

In the 5-10 minutes that we spoke (well it felt like that anyway), we also got to talking about a common inspiration – Mark Waid (whose name came up when I invited Duggan to come to Comic Con Delhi – something he wasn’t all that unexcited about Comic Con India guys!). He told me about how when he first met Waid, and got the chance to work with him, he was terrified… I failed to mention to him how apt that story was considering I was positively buzzing at the moment myself! Honestly I wish I could have stayed and offered to buy him a pint after the signing, but sadly, being my last day in London, chores beckoned. But perhaps such moments are made all the sweeter by their fleeting beauty.

Let’s hope this won’t be the last time I get to meet the great Duggan… And let’s hope next time I hit the jackpot and his writing partner is with him! Till then… Excelsior!

Comics on the Brain

So I have been a bit spaced out these last few months. With another year of University just around the corner and a whole lot more free time that I knew what to do with, I have, admittedly been a bit aimless. So it was good that I’ve had the opportunity to really throw myself into “this comic book thing” (as some of my friends have called it). And frankly… Its been brilliant!

First and foremost, I am now a full-fledged partner in Meta Desi Comics, along with my friend, cohort, and writing partner, Akshay. What does that mean? Well for one thing, as long as we can drag this out, and hopefully put out some stuff worth reading on the way, I am part-owner of an independent comic publisher… I now write and publish my own comics. So major bucket list item checked! And Meta Desi is doing pretty well. We have a new comic by Spanish artist Stephano Cordoselli called ‘Love Me Like A Psycho Robot‘ coming out at the Bangalore Comic Con, along with Volume 3 of our very own ‘Ground Zero‘.

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Paging Mr. Fish… An Evening at the London Aquarium

After many months of planning to do so, my friend and I finally made it to the London Sea Life Aquarium, located on the seemingly ever buzzing South Bank of the River Thames. Often when you build up something in your head, especially if it is a fond childhood memory, you’re in for some disappointment… But not this time! Despite a rather interesting episode where we were quickly ushered out of the building due to a “fire alarm going off”  (I have my doubts – especially because of the constant PA announcements for “Mr. Fish” to “come to the telephone” – that’s gotta be employee code!) we had a brilliantly exciting time exploring the rather extensive collection of sea and amphibious creatures at the Aquarium. We even topped off the whole adventure with a carousel ride (my first in like a decade!) and a jaunt through the rain to a whiskey house that ended up being closed.

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Doctor Who – The Good, The Bad and The Timey-Wimey

I first got into Doctor Who in 2006-07 when BBC Entertainment brought to the eyes of the budding viewers in India a strange leather clad adventurer with a blue box. Almost immediately I was captured by Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal of what would become one of my most beloved characters of all time (pun intended!) – a manic and excitable genius, who seemed to also be hiding a darker side. While I had to bid goodbye to my first Doctor all too soon, with Eccleston only getting the one season (the second shortest reign of any Doctor), I shall never forget what he awakened in me – a great love for all things Who and a slight man-crush on his successor David Tennant.

Let me stop myself there. I seem to have started on a line of thought that could go on forever (or at least roughly 1304 years, if you get my drift.) Let’s get to what we’re here to talk about – the 50th Anniversary. But before you read on, let me warn you… Spoilers sweety! (I really hope you read that to yourself in the voice of River Song, otherwise it was just creepy!)

** For the rest of this article make your way to the full version on the Comic Addicts website run by my fellow geek, author and imagineer Akshay Dhar **

It’s Adventure Time!

No matter how much time you’ve spent in London, there are always new things to learn about this amazing city, and one very interesting way to do it is with the ‘Alternative London Tours’ offered by Insider London.

Yesterday the brand new batch of LUIP Student Ambassadors and the few of us from last year who are staying on as alums had the most terrible fun running about the city on our very own amazing race style adventure. Engaging both our minds and our sense of discovery, it was a most memorable and mirth-filled day – even the lack of sun and healthy dose of English rain couldn’t dampen our spirits as we ran about investigating clues, snapping pics and incessantly tweeting.

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Euro-Trippin – Paris Je T’aime

Having taken a day to get over the sheer exhaustion of two weeks of travelling, I finally sit down to sort through the memories (not to mention some 2000+ photographs!) of what has been an amazing fortnight. It truly has been the trip of a lifetime and even though it has just ended, it already feels like a fond distant memory, perhaps in anticipation of the stories that will be told for years to come.

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The Game Is A-Hoof – My First Comic!

I am super psyched to announce that my first attempt at writing a comic shall soon see the light of day! ‘Holy Hell’ is a (hopefully) fantastic little absurdist comic which will come out later this year as a part of the second ‘Ground Zero’ Anthology. Original concept by Akshay Dhar a.k.a Sipder42, Script by Mr. Dhar and yours truly and art by the talented Abhijeet Kini.

What follows is a short little promo to give you a taste of whats to come – hopefully it will catch your interest, or at least hold it momentarily as you sip your coffee or tea or Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

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Hitting 10 K!

Woohoo! Sometime in the wee hours of the morning this blog hit its 10,000th hit. I am so psyched to reach this milestone and especially so to do it within the first year (11 months technically!). I’ve been blogging on-and-off for a long time, but I never stuck with it and really created a space where I regularly shared my opinions, my work, my thoughts.

A large thanks is definitely owed to Kim Duller and everyone else at the London Universities International Partnership (LUIP), and of course London & Partners, for selecting me as one of the Student Ambassadors from Queen Mary last year and encouraging me to blog regularly. The enthusiasm from my fellow bloggers (and constant reminders from Kim ; p) really helped me to push myself to open up and share my work and also try a new style of blogging – with new formats and new ideas. And I really think the whole thing became a lot more fun in the process.

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