LEGO Doctor Who: A Brick by Brick Breakdown Of The Greatest Game Yet To Be Made

I love LEGO. I imagine most kids do. Perhaps it’s the creative process of assembling something from scratch. There is something very imagination freeing about sitting in front of a pile of bricks and beginning to BUILD. I love playing the LEGO video games. Some have been better than others (LEGO Batman has been particularly frustrating compared to the ease of LEGO Star Wars) but they’re all fun and enjoyable.

Earlier this month, we reported on the new Doctor Who building sets that came out, and that got me to thinking about the potential for a Doctor Who game. Then it came to me in a dream last night. A man appeared on a flaming pie. He took my hand and led me to a grove of LEGO trees. In the middle of the grove was a blue box. A LEGO TARDIS. The doors opened, and the secrets of the cosmos spilled out. Admittedly, this is fan boy day dreaming, BUT this is what I saw:

1) LEGO tie-ins feature an exciting and fun universe. – What could be more exciting and fun than Doctor Who? Just think of the backdrop this game would have!

2) LEGO games are not just about smashing things and re-building them (although that makes for a good chunk of it), they also feature puzzles to solve. – The Doctor taught Sherlock Holmes everything he knew. Think about the type of problems and puzzles the games put forth. As the universe’s greatest problem solver, the Doctor’s a natural.

3)LEGO games have a wide and impressive group of colorful characters who have special abilities. – I can see them now. Obviously we have all 11 Doctor’s, with fun costumes and the sonic screwdriver could be used to change computer polarities or open doors (minus Doctor’s five, six and seven) but, he wouldn’t resort to hand-to-hand combat when challenged by the bad guys. The companions would have to do that. And think of the list of companions and what they could do! Healers like Harry Sulivan and Martha Jones could restore hearts, K-9 (eee! Just think of a little LEGO block K-9!) could access computers and stun people, Captain Jack could have a ray gun and be invincible, Leela could find and track otherwise invisible footprints, Ace and her baseball bat could smash stronger bricks and The Brigadier and U.N.I.T. family could all have guns (which of course would be highly ineffective against most of the monsters.)

4) LEGO games have a wide and impressive group of enemies to go against. – Who has a better “Rogues Gallery” of villains and monsters than a show that’s been on for 40 plus years? Daleks (would of course be mobile shiny metal and impervious to bullets, they have to be destroyed with explosives), Cybermen (when broken, all their individual parts continue to attack!), The Master, The Rani, The Autons, The Weeping Angels (which like the ghosts in the Super Mario Brothers haunted houses, can only attack you from behind), The Yeti, the list is practically endless!

5) LEGO games features several multi-part story arcs that make up the adventure. – This is perfect format for Doctor Who, imagine a story that starts with William Hartnell and progresses all they way up to Matt Smith, each chapter giving you different villains to fight, a different Doctor and companions to champion.

6) LEGO games have gone the route of Super Mario World, with “Hub Worlds” that access different adventures. – What could possibly make for a better hub than the TARDIS console room, a nexus point with access to all of time and space?

7) LEGO games have a quirky and fun sense of humor. – Um, hello, it’s Doctor Who. Douglas Adams used to submit scripts, remember?

8) LEGO games are family friendly. – Doctor Who started (and in some ways maintains) it’s position as a “kids show”.

I am beyond jazzed for this project, and it doesn’t even exist. It’s probably not even a glimmer on Traveler’s Tales horizon. I know coming up next for the LEGOverse is LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, and I’ve heard rumors that Superman, Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean are all potential next projects. But how do we get Doctor Who added to that slate? Time to chime in fans! Time to start bombarding LEGO and Traveler’s Tales and BBC and anyone who will listen with requests for this game!

Making Headlines!

Gallifrey One’s Catch 22: Islands of Mystery the Doctor Who convention going on right now in L.A. is getting some love from the media.

NBC Los Angeles posted on it’s website, a story about this weekend’s event. Evidence that Doctor Who is experiencing an surge in popularity among those in the U.S.

From NBC Los Angeles:

It’s a long way from Los Angeles to London, which may have some California-based Gallifreyans in a bit of a funk this mid-February. After all, the brand-new, much-ballyhooed Doctor Who Experience is debuting, way far from here, across the Atlantic. And, for some, pressing a TARDIS into service might be the only way to check it out.

But, take heart, time-and-space travelers: Gallifrey 2011 is taking over the dimension known as the Los Angeles Airport Marriott from Friday, Feb. 18 through Sunday, Feb. 20. (Full name of the convention, we’ll note: Gallifrey One’s Catch 22 Islands of Mystery; it is the 22nd annual “Doctor Who” con in North America.)

From its name you might guess that it is a Doctor Who convention, and you’d be correct. It isn’t just any Who Con, though; it is billed as the “North American Doctor Who Celebration!”

For more of the story, click here.

For more on Gallifrey One’s Catch 22: Islands of Mystery, click here.

Episode 7 – It’s Finally Here!

After rescuing the data from near catastrophe, This week’s episode is finally live.

In this week’s episode, a little gratitude for the kind feedback we’ve gotten recently.

And, the day North American Doctor Who fans have been waiting for since 1996. We finally get our DVDs for a review of Doctor Who – The Movie.

Be sure to check it out!

Pats On The Back

Having spent a large portion of my adult life as a retail manager, I can attest to the fact that sometimes all people need is a pat on the back. It’s a small gesture that makes a big impact. This week we got not one, but two bits of feedback, both of which amounted to a pat on the back.

In the first, a listener from Utah mentioned us in her blog. She too, is like Keith, a relative newbie with a passion for Doctor Who, wanting a podcast in her life. She found us, and apparently liked what she heard.

That my friends, is music to a creator’s ears. We do Traveling the Vortex because we enjoy it, and likely would do it anyway because we enjoy it. But it’s a whole-nother thing to be told that someone else likes your work, and likes it enough to comment on it. That is the icing on the cake. It feeds the ego and make you feel like whatever it is you are doing is worthwhile. I personally have gotten positive remarks on things I’ve done, stories written, scripts, (hell even the Myrka poem), and each time someone goes out of their way to compliment me, I cannot help but to swell with pride.

Thank you for that!

The second piece of feedback comes from a fellow podcaster from across the pond, in the UK. IN THE UK!!! HOW COOL IS THAT!?!? He’ll have to forgive me for not having listened to the message he left on our Google mail (I’m the technological neanderthal of the group, and haven’t figured that bit out yet) but I hear from Keith that it was very positive. It’s one thing to have someone tell you they like what you’re doing, it’s another when a respected member of the community you’re involved in does it. I imagine its like a writer being told by William Shakespeare “Good job”. (And even if it isn’t, it is to me, so allow me my delusions!)

Again, thank you!

A pat on the back. Such a small thing, and yet so impactful. I challenge each of us to leave that small thing on someone today, be it a friend, co-worker, or even a podcaster. Just a note to say, “good job.”

Bolstered with a new sense of confidence, I march forward ready to do good works.

Related Links:
cj’s notebook
The 20mb Doctor Who Podcast

A Call To Those Attending Gallifrey 22

As Many Doctor Who fans know, Gallifrey 22 kicks off next week, February 18th to the 20th, in Los Angeles, CA.

We, sadly, are unable to attend this year, and will be living vicariously through those who will be there.

So, we are asking those who may be attending this years event, to send us your feedback about this years convention.

We are also looking for someone, or more than one attendees, who would like to act as correspondents for the Traveling the Vortex podcast.

We would like to feature your reports in the coming weeks on the show. Just something short and sweet about what’s going on or happening there.

If you are interested please drop us a line at travelingthevortex@gmail.com.

Newman on Torchwood?

I’m about a day behind, but several internet sites reported yesterday that Wayne Knight (of Seinfeld, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Jurassic Park fame) has joined the cast of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

From Den of Geek

We can confirm that Knight is definitely on board the new series, as has been hinted by a couple of Twitter feeds relating to the show. As Doctor Who News reported, the BBC Torchwood account sent out a Tweet saying, “We’ve got Alexa Havins here with us today with a special guest, here’s a clue ‘Uh uh uh didn’t say the magic word.'”

An interesting casting choice. While Knight’s résumé spans a variety of genre of T.V. and films, he is most known for his roll on NBC’s Seinfeld as Jerry’s quasi-adversary, Newman.

Knight first gained notoriety as Dennis, in Stephen Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, as the man who sets off the films chaotic events.

I guess we’ll find out more about Knight’s character on Torchwood in the coming months.

Doctor Who – The Movie

The day has finally come. The one I have been waiting for since the movie aired way back in May of 1996.

North American fans can now get a (legal or region 1) copy of Doctor Who: The Movie on DVD. I for one am excited to revisit this classic story and finally have access to all of the extras included on the discs.

The story has always held a special place in my heart. It was the first time I had hope that Doctor Who would make its way back to television after the wilderness years began in 1989.

I believe it also paved the way and in fact some of the inspiration for the new series that would ultimately rescue the show from the darkness in 2005.

In less than an hour I will be watching the film in all of it’s Who goodness… blemishes, continuity problems, and all.

And don’t forget we will be reviewing the story on the next episode of Traveling the Vortex, so be sure to check it out.

Episode 6 – And the Award Goes To…

Episode six is now posted!

In this weeks episode we talk about Doctor Who’s triumphant win at the SFX Awards last week.

Also, Traveling the Vortex poet laureate, Shaun reads his masterpiece, Ode to a Myrka.

And of course we finish series five discussions with a review of Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, The Pandorica Opens, and The Big Bang.

Check the feeds!

P.S. Watch your ears. Shaun and Glenn both have colds and we were not able to employ the use of a cough button.

In Memorium

This week, a very old and dear friend of mine lost his brilliant wife to breast cancer.

Steve Hylton and I have been friends since I worked at Suncoast Motion Picture Company. Like so many of my friends, he started off as a customer, a regular, someone who you looked forward to seeing because you knew they’d stay and shoot the breeze with you a while and help time pass. Steve is a fellow geek (and he knows we relish the label). STAR WARS will always be his lifeblood, but as with so many of us, his spheres of influence converge across the spectrum of sci-fi, including Doctor Who.

Steve is a good friend, someone to chat with about everything and nothing, about the importance of things going on in the world, about new movie trailers and about nothing at all. Steve might just be the best kind of friend, because he wasn’t afraid to call me out over some bullshit. He was truthful when he said that I was not an easy person to be friends with, because I expect everyone else to do the work. And he was right. I am the worst kind of friend, and I respect him all the more for being able to say it to me. I like to think I try harder, that I got better, but I’m not sure I have.

Steve met Shari, and found a quiet soul who mirrored his own. They were married in 2006, and have a lovely daughter, Laniey. Shari was an amazing woman, a good wife and mother, a true friend, and she was one of us. She was a geek. She was so like Steve in so many ways, and I regret not getting to know her better. I am reminded of how short and precious and fragile our lives are. Her loss diminishes us all.

“We will sing to you, Doctor. The universe will sing you to your sleep. This song is ending. But the story never ends.” – Sigma Ood, “The End Of Time, Part 2”

Who Doctors the Doctor?

I have been sick this week. Nothing major, (started as a cough, but now in my third day of missing work I of course am beginning to wonder if I’ve contracted Captain Tripps) but it’s laid me low. I cant help but think of the times the Doctor felt a little down and out. Most of those came as the result of a wonky regeneration, (I wonder if the Time Lords allow for sick days? “Sorry Lord Chancellor, I simply cant come in today, I’ve just regenerated and gone insane and tried to kill my companion.” Surely that falls under FMLA or something?)

Regenerations can be simple (Hartnell to Troughton) or nightmarish (Davidson to Colin Baker). As established in Peter Davidson’s debut Castrovalva, the TARDIS was equipped with a Zero Room, which is supposed to aid in keeping the Time Lord sane during the process, (but of course, plot demands caused the ejection of the Zero Room in that story). If only he’d had it for his next regeneration in “The Twin Delima” he might not have throttled Peri. The TARDIS is also equipped with a sick bay, (“The Invasion Of Time”) though we’ve never seen the Doctor use it. The ninth regeneration into David Tennant kept him in a coma for the better part of a day (cured by a cup of tea). Where as most recently, the regeneration seemed to do little to Matt Smith other than cause some interesting food cravings.

Cravings, memory loss, schizophrenia, mood swings. These almost sound more like the earthly symptoms of PMS than cellular regeneration.

At any rate, as I lie here in bed sipping my tea and hoping this damned cough will leave me, I cant help but hope for a regeneration. Maybe I’ll come back as a Ginger…

Countdown To Doctor Who – The Movie – Special Edition

The digitally remastered Doctor Who – The Movie will be release for the first time in North America on Tuesday, February, 8th.

The long awaited release first aired on Fox on May 14, 1996.

Synopsis from WBShop.com

The Doctor is returning home to Gallifrey with the remains of his arch-nemesis, the Master. Forced off course, the TARDIS arrives in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve 1999, where the Doctor is critically wounded in a gangland gun battle. At the local hospital, Dr. Grace Holloway fights – and fails – to save his life. Later, in the morgue, the Doctor wakes up a new man. But he is not the only one – the Master has also found himself a new body. As the clock counts down to the start of the new millennium, can the Doctor stop his oldest enemy from destroying all life on Earth?

Shaun and I (as well as many other U.S. and Canadian fans) have been eagerly awaiting for 2entertain to make the film available to North American audiences since it’s release in the UK in August of 2001 (The Special Edition was released in October of last year).

It’s release here was tied up in legal wranglings with Universal who owned partial rights to the production.

Now the time has come, and I for one cannot wait to finally get my hands on a (legal) copy of the discs. I have already pre-ordered it on Amazon.com.

We will be doing a review of the DVD in two weeks on Traveling the Vortex, so be sure to listen.

June 2011 North American Doctor Who DVDs

From Radio Free Skaro:

June 14 sees the next two North American releases of Classic Doctor Who stories, and this time around we get the Peter Davison story Frontios along with Sylvester McCoy’s first outing in Time and the Rani.
Frontios tells the story of a human colony in the far future, and as yet no release date is known for other parts of the world.

Time and the Rani introduces the world to Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor as he takes on the dastardly Rani in a DVD released last year in the UK.

Proper package art isn’t yet available for the titles but of course we’ll update this post once we have it.

SRP will be $24.98 each, and in the mean time check out more details at TVShowsOnDVD.com.

Ironing Things Out

Okay, I think we have everything running smoothly now with the feed. If you notice any problem, please be sure to let us know. Sorry, again from anyone who got multiple feeds of the smae episodes this week. We thank you for your patience during these technical issues.

Podcast Feed Hiccup

Due to a few technical issues last night, Episode 4 had to be deleted from the feed. It has been uploaded again, but might re-feed to your chosen podcast aggregator. We apologize for the problem. Also, we are trying to resolve the issue of our logo not showing up in iTunes for those who subscribe there. Thank you for your patience on that matter as well.

UPDATE – More technical issues with the episode. The file that is feeding seems to be corrupt. We are working to fix the issue at this time. Please bear with us.

Episode 5 – Silurians, Sea Devils, and Myrka, Oh My!

After more technical issues (and as I have discovered, a few user issues) Episode 5 is now on the feeds.

In this episode, we review three Classic Doctor Who stories, Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Sea Devils, and Wariors of the Deep. We also talk about some new DW related toys. Be sure to send us feedback on this week’s episode. Send feedback to travelingthevortex@gmail.com.