Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Hex Picks: Horror Comics

I almost skipped this one - comics is the medium I have the least experience with and the one I always have most trouble recommending - but then, one day before the deadline, I realised there was a choice so head-smackingly obvious that I couldn't believe no-one else had already picked it.

But, while my choice is obvious, there's a couple in here that definitely aren't. There's one in particular that I've never heard of, but which sounds really creepy and awesome - I can't wait to get hold of a copy!

Click the link below to check that out, along with the rest of our scary comic picks, and don't forget, you only have a few days left to enter Hex's big Hallowe'en givaway!

What's your favourite scary movie?

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Companion Piece 10: In the Forest of the Night

Lets break this down.

The world is threatened by a solar flare (like in Time Heist), it's overrun by a real forest that became a myth (like Robot of Sherwood), and the solution to both of these problems is to Listen. The troubled children are back, the noble soldiers are back, and my fixation with the probably-coincidental eye motif is back. All of this takes place in an episode that heavily mirrors Kill the Moon in almost every respect.

I have no idea what any of this means, of course, but it's clear that this is a very dense series with a lot on its mind. That's pretty exciting, and I can't wait to see how it all pays off.

The anchor around which all these themes and their payoffs presumably orbit is Clara. Her arc continues this week as she actually surpasses the Doctor in her Doctor-ness, remaining practical in the face of extinction while he despairs. What's really interesting is that her "save who you can" speech seems remarkably similar to Donna's attitude in The Fires of Pompeii - an episode which also had an eye motif and which ended with the Doctor... saving Peter Capaldi.

Did I mention this series is dense?

As always, these more allegorical episodes are the most contentious and the most fun to talk about, so I think this week's Companion Piece is one of our best discussions! Click the image below to read the team's thoughts - and bonus points to anyone who recognises the font it uses.

Another Bad Wolf!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Hex Picks: Horror Games

I was pleasently surprised by the team's choices this week. So often computer games just stick horrible-looking monsters in front of you and call it horror - but it's the uniquely immersive nature of games that actually makes them scary. That's what all of us seemed drawn to write about, so there's some great picks in here. I particularly love David's game, which isn't usually classed as horror but has exactly that kind of atmosphere to it.

As well as this week's decidedly creepy recommendations (which you can read by clicking the image below) there's also Hex's Hallowe'en givaway, the deadline for which continues to approach with the slow inevitability of a zombie hoard...

What's your favourite scary movie?

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Companion Piece 09: Flatline

Another week where everyone on the team enjoyed the episode! Hooray!

I would never have suspected, this time last year, that Jenna Coleman might be the best actor since 2005 to play a Companion, but I think this episode settles it. Clara is amazing here - exceptional, as the Doctor puts it - and her story continues to be the main draw of this series for me.

It helps that she's surrounded by inventive monsters and a smart plot, of course, and The Companion Piece delves into all that too. To read our usual helping of discussion and crackpot theories, click the mural below (my favourite header-image so far) and don't forget to enter our gore-filled Hallowe'en draw!

Bad Wolf

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Hex Picks: Horror Movies

Hallowe'en horror picks continue at Hex Dimension this week with our film recommendations. I believe it's at this point that I'm legally obliged to ask, "What's your favourite scary movie?"

My choice is one of the first things I ever wrote about on this blog, weirdly enough, and while I'm not certain it's my favourite horror film, it is absolutely the best example of all my favourite things about horror films. I'm not sure if that sentence made any sense or not, but hopefully you can figure out what I'm on about if you click the link below.

By spooky coincidence, my pick this week is actually one of the prizes in this year's big horror givaway, too. So, if horror movies are your thing (and even if they're not) click here for the chance to win a small blood-stained pile of them!

What's your favourite scary movie?

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Companion Piece 08: Mummy on the Orient Express

"People with guns to their heads, they cannot mourn. We don't have time to mourn!"

And there it is - the explanation for all Capaldi's seeming callousness this series, and the confirmation of what I've suspected since Into the Dalek. This Doctor still cares about people, but he's almost frighteningly practical about it. Capaldi's attitude to death is actually one of my favourite things about his Doctor so far, and this episode made the absolute most of that.

Something else I love, which got touched on back in our Listen discussion, is how excited he always seems by danger. I thought back then that was just a quirk of his performance, but it turns out this week that it's an intentional and fundamental part of his character. And Clara's too, it seems, as she begins to adopt all of the Doctor's worst qualities - not least of which is the generous application of Rule One.

Hang on. An emotionally detached genius with an adrenaline-junkie sidekick? We've seen this before. But, unlike Sherlock and Watson, the balance between plot and character feels much more comfortable here. Clara's "addiction" is clearly a major piece of the plot - along with soldiers and robots and death - but that plot feels like it's evolving naturally rather than being forced upon us. Series Eight is kicking Seven's arse, in other words.

I really liked this episode, in case you can't tell. It hit all the right notes for me, and I'd have loved to get into all its juicy details with The Companion Piece this week. But, alas, I couldn't make it - there were alpacas to feed and waves to jump in - but the excellent Paul B has stepped up to the (boiler) plate and taken charge on this one. He's done an amazing job, and it was kind of wonderful to experience one of these as a reader for the first time instead of a contributor. The team has some great thoughts on all this so, as always, hit the link below!

Are you my Mummy?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Hex Picks: Horror Stories

It's October - Hallowe'en approaches - and that means that our theme this month is, inevitably, Horror.

Books are up first and, although there's only a few suggestions this week, they're very very good ones. There's a bit of an unexpected theme, too, in that we all picked books where the horror elements turn out to be less scary than the mundane ones. Books where terror is found in our everyday lives rather than something supernatural (although they have that too).

There's clearly something to that - the idea that scary monsters will never be as terrifying as the things we're familiar with. Like a book. Or a webpage. So, to cower in fear at our choices, click this spooky link...

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Companion Piece 07: Kill the Moon

The whole idea of The Doctor Who Companion Piece - the reason it's framed as a discussion each week instead of a straight review - is so that we can dig a little deeper into the ideas and themes of the episodes. And this week was a goldmine.

Not that I think Kill the Moon was a particularly good episode or anything. It was not. But it gave us more interesting things to discuss, I think, than any other episode this series - not even Listen.

We got into a bunch of interesting topics, but there's one huge one that overwhelmed all the rest for me. Which is weird, because no-one else seemed to have even noticed it. For me there was such an unsubtle subtext to this episode that it was basically just text. And it was kind of awful.

To find out exactly what it is that I'm skirting around, click the super-nerdy pic below. And click here for the chance to win a free sci-fi novel!
Kill the Moon