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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Welcome To Riverdale - Episode Twenty-One...

Mad Max: Fury Road - Official Trailer...

Mythica 2: The Darkspore Kickstarter Is Now Live!




The fundraising campaign for the second of the fantasy RPG-inspired Mythica films has begun.

Continuing the story that begun in A Quest For Heroes, The Darkspore follows our band of heroes as they go up against a new villain intent on getting his hands on the powerful artifact known as The Darkspore.

For me, this was a no-brainer, Arrowstorm Entertainment has never let me down, producing the sort of films I want to see and delivering on their Kickstarters every time.
The Mythica series follows the adventures of Marek (Melanie Stone), a wizard born with the dark power of necromancy, as she learns to harness the power that threatens to corrupt her. She recruits a team of adventurers to battle Szorlok, the legendary Necromancer, and thwart his goal of uniting the four shards of the Darkspore to unleash an undead plague on the land.

When Teela’s sister is murdered and a powerful relic stolen, Marek and her friends face a sinister new enemy - Kishkumen, a foreign mystic bent on reclaiming the Darkspore for his master Szorlok. Armed with twin maps, Marek and her team race Kishkumen and his horde through creature-infested lands, to a long abandoned underground city – all the while pursued by bounty hunters intent on returning Marek to slavery.

Joined by the mysterious dark-elf warrior – Qole – the team journeys deep underground to discover that the ruined city is now home to an undead dragon. Trapped between Kishkumen and the dragon, Marek and her team must employ all their skill and magic to battle the beast, and combat Kishkumen for their hard won treasure and their lives.
Check out the movie's Kickstarter page to see the variety of investor incentives, from digital downloads, DVDs, and Blu-Rays through to personal screenings in your home, hosted by one of the producers.

The film company wants to raise $75,000 by May 1, and looks on course to hit that target - attracting over 300 backers in just 24 hours.

Although Mythica 2: The Darkspore is already shot - the second of the trilogy, filmed back-to-back last year, the funding raised through Kickstarter will go towards financing the post-production (ie. sound, music, visual effects etc)

There's Always Room For Another Cheesy Viking Movie...

Banished from their homeland by their own king, a group of ruthless Vikings bear down on Britain, intent on plunder and pillaging. Under the command of their daring leader, Asbjörn (Tom 'Black Sails, Merlin' Hopper), they embark on a dangerous mission: to rob the monasteries of their treasures and with it buy back their freedom.

Their journey is disrupted, however, when they are caught in a vicious storm, which leaves them shipwrecked on the Scottish coast. Stranded behind enemy lines, their only chance of survival is to make it to distant Viking settlement Danelaw. En route, the Vikings successfully capture the feisty Lady Inghean (Charlie Murphy), daughter of King Dunchaid (Danny Keogh). The banished warriors seize their opportunity for a high ransom, but King Dunchaid, well-prepared in battle, summons his most ruthless mercenary army, the 'Wolf Pack' – a band of men feared for their cruelty across the land.

It is only with the help of a mysterious monk called Conall (Ryan 'True Blood' Kwanten) that the Northmen finally manage to escape from the 'Wolf Pack' and their merciless leaders, Hjorr (Ed Skrein) and Bovarr (Anatole Taubman).

As Conall leads the Vikings through the only safe route to Danelaw – the long-forgotten 'Path of the Serpent' – a relentless race against time begins, a hunt for life and death.

[HOW] Merlin's Miscellany Of Magical Spells...


A selection of spells for use in Heroes & Other Worlds, inspired by the early seasons of the BBC fantasy serial Merlin.

There's a pair of flashy, but undemanding, IQ 8 spells that will be found in many wizards' spell books and then a pair of powerful, dark magics that will be virtually impossible for the player-characters to get their hands on without embarking on particularly dangerous quests and dealing with some very scary people.

LEGERDEMAIN (T), IQ: 8, EN: 2, R: Personal

This spell allows the magic-user to perform (for a number of minutes equal to his IQ plus the level of the spell) feats of minor conjuring, stage magic etc to entertain or distract a crowd. He can pull rabbits out of hats, make (worthless) coins or clouds of butterflies appear, exhale (harmless) jets of flame from his mouth etc

If this act is performed in, say, a tavern with the idea of generating an income, the magician must make a (3/IQ+Spell Level check). If he makes the roll, he will earn 3d6sp from an average tavern audience (a lower-class establishment the payment will be 2d6sp instead, while from an upper class one it will be 3d6x10sp).

If he fails the roll, the DM decides his penalty - depending on how badly he failed - from being boo-ed off stage to be being physically ejected from the tavern.

SMOKE SIGNALS (T), IQ: 8, EN: 1, R: LoS

The wizard is able to mould existing plumes of smoke, be they tiny puffs from a pipe to giant clouds from a bonfire, into shapes at will (The DM may impose penalties for complicated shapes like sailing ships complete with rigging).

Each use of the spell allows the magician to create one shape.

This spell, which works best outdoors, can be used for entertainment purposes or to send messages across vast distances - depending on the lay of the land.

MAGICAL CONCEPTION (I), IQ: 16, EN: 6, R: Touch

"To create life, a life must be given"

This is one of the most powerful, dark magic spells and it comes at a great cost. It is unlikely - although technically possible - that the magician will cast it on himself, instead he will probably be approached by a desperate man (or woman) who wants an heir, but is unable to conceive for some reason.

The sorcerer casts the spell and lays his hand on the recipient. The next time that person engages in sexual intercourse a child will be sired (of the gender chosen by the subject of the spell, no matter what obstacles there are to the act).

However, the moment the child is born a person highly prized and loved by the spell's recipient will die within 1d3 combat rounds (definitely NOT the newborn). The chances are it will be the other parent, but the DM could rule that ties are closer with a grandparent or perhaps another child.

A child born of magic this way will grow up to be a paragon with one of his stats automatically increased to 15 (roll a d6: 1. ST, 2. EN, 3. DX, 4. IQ, 5. roll again and stat is 16, 6. roll again and stat is 17).

This does reduce the number of 'Hero Points' the newborn has to spread between his remaining statistics to six (6) and no additional points can be added to magically increased stat at character creation.

Obviously, these are his stats when he is fully grown - and not when he is an infant!

SUMMON THE DEAD (I), IQ: 15, EN: 5, R: 10ft

The wizard can call up from the afterlife the spirit of a named, specific, dead person, no matter how long they have been dead. They will materialise in front of him as a solid, three-dimensional entity and will remain corporeal for 1d3 minutes and cannot move more than 30ft (six spaces) away from the spellcaster for the duration.

Their willingness to talk and impart information - the usual reason for calling up the dead - will depend on a reaction roll on the table below. The spirit will only know information it would have known in life, just because the person is now dead doesn't make them all knowing.

She will also only know of events that happened up to the moment she died and will have no frame of reference for any questions about "what's the afterlife like?" as it's not a concept easily explained to the living.

Of course, the person who chose the spirit may have other plans for them (although bear in mind they are already dead, are limited in their movement, are still governed by the reaction table and only stick around for a very short time).

Note: on the table below, if the questioner is NOT the magician who summoned the spirit the magician's level in the spell is not added to any target numbers.


Modifiers:
  • -2 Questioner is unknown to summoned spirit
  • -3 Questioner was an enemy of the spirit in life
  • +3 Questioner is a beloved, close, blood relative of spirit (ie. father, mother, son, daughter etc)
  • +1 Questioner is related by blood to the spirit in any way (can be a descendant, distant cousin etc)
  • +2 if there is an object present that is precious to the summoned spirit (e.g a painting of their child, a treasured piece of jewellery etc)
  • +2 if Questioner's IQ is greater than that of the summoned spirit

The Dungeon Master should actually time the duration of the questioning (once all the dice rolling is out the way) to ensure the spirit doesn't give away too much information.

When Will They Ever Learn That This Never Ends Well?

Monday, 30 March 2015

Please Support Alice, Rachel And I On A Sponsored Walkies...


Alice has signed us up for a sponsored walk at the end of April to raise money for Burrswood Hospital and Pets As Therapy.

The latter charity is particularly important to us as we know how much pleasure PAT dogs can bring. They were an important part of life at Mount Ephraim House, in Tunbridge Wells, where mum spent seven very happy years, before she died in 2013.

Bark For Burrswood is a sponsored walk for dogs and their owners, so we're looking forward to seeing Alice get to play with a whole slew of new friends on the day.

Three kilometers is a long walk for me, but I'll be doing as much as I can. Some of you may remember I took part in a sponsored walk this time last year, which was about a mile round the grounds of Penshurt Place. This year's walk is approximately 1.86 miles, so will be more of a challenge.


That's also a long way for Alice - she only has little legs after all - but we're sure she'll be spurred along by all the other dogs (she's a very social pup).

We're hoping to raise £200, but realise times are hard and this isn't much notice, so even just sharing the details of the walk will help us.


If you feel you can support us financially, you can do so by donating through JustGiving, which is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad (Max) World...


New Philip Reeve Novel Cover Reveal...

Come with me, Zen Starling, she had said. The girl in the red coat. But how did she know his name?

The Great Network is a place of drones and androids, maintenance spiders and Station Angels. The place of the thousand gates, where sentient trains criss-cross the galaxy in a heartbeat.

Zen Starling is a petty thief, a street urchin from Thunder City.

So when mysterious stranger Raven sends Zen and his new friend Nova on a mission to infiltrate the Emperor's train, he jumps at the chance to traverse the Great Network, to cross the galaxy in a heartbeat, to meet interesting people - and to steal their stuff.
But the Great Network is a dangerous place, and Zen has no idea where his journey will take him
Due out in the UK in October, Railhead is the latest novel from my favourite author, Philip Reeve.

Today sees the official unveiling of the book's cover (above) as well as the launch of a competition to win an invitation to an event in London where Mr Reeve will give his first public reading from the book.

To be in with a chance, just follow these simple instructions:


To learn more about the competition, the book, and Mr Reeve's thoughts on the cover design, visit The Curious World Of Philip Reeve (the author's blog)

Musical Monday: Lord Of The Rings/Let It Go...

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The World Will Go Mad For Max In May...


Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa (Charlize Theron). They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne ), from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.

[REVISED] [HOW] Odd Houserule To Add A Bit Of Grit...


I've been enjoying reading the compact excellence of Chris McDowell's Into The Odd game - which is incredibly easy to convert into Heroes & Other World, by the way - and among it's many delights I was particularly taken by its rule for "critical damage".

In spirit, this reminded me of my own stab at making combat 'more bloody' back in 2013 (for Crypts & Things at the time) and inspired me to concoct the following houserule for HOW that I'm calling "Bloodied":
When a character (or monster) takes ST(rength) damage, he/she/it immediately makes a 3/ST save or collapses for 1d6 rounds, unable to do anything except crawl and defend herself* (NB. non-humanoid monsters will, instead, attempt to flee the battlefield to lick their wounds).
Clearly this isn't going to affect heroes while they still have any EN(durance) left or enormous monsters with over 18 ST remaining, but it's also another way of changing the dynamics of battle so that two antagonists don't just stand toe-to-toe and keep whaling on each until one or other runs out of "hit points".

* Available Defensive Reactions: all out defense; block; parry. NB: attacker will receive the 'attacking from a higher position' bonus of +2 to hit & damage.

[TEXT REVISED/CLARIFIED - 4.50pm, March 29, after discussion on Facebook group]

Toilet Humour...

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Inside Game Of Thrones: The Stunts...

The Week In Superhero TV...


The Flash - Out Of Time: Back after a short break, The Flash delivered quite possibly its most impressive episode to date - which is saying a lot for such a top flight show.

It kicked off with Spartacus himself, Liam McIntyre, turning up as the new Weather Wizard seeking revenge on whoever killed his brother way back (six months earlier 'in universe') in the Pilot.
 

Meanwhile, it's starting to look as though Wells hasn't been as clever as he thought because not only is Joe investigating him but also a senior reporter at The Central City Picture News, where Iris works.

On the emotional sub-plot front, Barry and Linda had an awkward date at the bowling alley when they bump into Iris and Eddie; and Iris is clearly flirting with Barry, much to the chagrin of both Eddie and Linda.

In a brutal episode that saw the death and possible disabling of key characters, every sub-plot built to its own blockbuster climax, with major, unexpected revelations coming left, right and centre.

They all tied up with a final twist that takes the show in a whole new direction (while tying it into the comics, oh so neatly).

All comic book/superhero shows should be this good!

Next Time (spoilers!):


Arrow - The Offer: Ra's offers Oliver the chance to take over the mantle of Ra's Al Ghul, predicting that Starling City will turn on the Arrow and this way he would have an army to take his crusade for justice global, rather than limiting it to one city.

Initially Oli rejects the deal and heads back to Starling City with Dig and Malcolm. But when  it looks as though Ra's predictions are coming true, our hero starts to have second thoughts.

Meanwhile, there's a new villain in town, the decidedly creepy Michael Amar (Adrian Glynn McMorran) aka Murmur because of his stitched up lips! Amar has a vendetta against the police and is crafting diamond-tipped bullets to exact his revenge on the body-armour-wearing members of the Starling City Police Force.

As well as great storylines, The Offer delivered on the fan-service front by treating us to the waters of the Lazarus Pit (not that it was called that, but that's what it was).

Having pulled a bait-and-switch with Oliver's 'resurrection', I had wondered if the magical waters would ever actually make an appearance on Arrow. But, of course, now we know that magic - in some form - exists in the Arrow-verse (and predating the metahuman inciting incident of The Flash), I guess all bets are off and anything is now possible!

Next Time:



Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Aftershocks: Coulson and the team are faced with the consequences of the war with Hydra as revelations threaten to destroy them; Hydra makes a move.


Gotham - Welcome Back, Jim Gordon: After last week's superb double-bill, we're back to Gotham's more usual split personality with the return of young Bruce Wayne (and Alfred) to the city, looking for Selina.

Meanwhile, in the grown-ups part of the show, Jim had unearthed corruption in the GCPD and was determined to clean house, no matter how well protected the bent coppers were, and Penguin was celebrating, rather prematurely, the departure of Fish and his annexation of her nightclub.

The police and gangster plots, as ever, were the most engaging while the Bruce sub-plot felt so disconnected to the rest of the episode it was pretty much its own programme. And not a particularly interesting one at that, especially when you realise that the time spent on this sub-plot could have been better spent expanding the stronger elements of the episode.

I can only hazard a guess that the show's hardcore fan base have selective memory blindness allowing them to blank out these weak (and largely pointless) strands and only remember the grand police procedural material and the gangland politicking of Penguin and his peers.

Next Time:

James Bond: Spectre...

Mumbai Madness (Mickey Mouse Shorts)

March's Pictoral Phantasamagoria...

Friday, 27 March 2015

Don't Get Mad, Max, It's Just The Obligatory Asylum Mockbuster...


After the earth's water supply is depleted, the survivors form roving road gangs, armed to the teeth and desperate to find and protect water supplies. But when a new breed of blood-drinking humans emerges, the survivors must contend with a whole new threat to their existence.
It's The Asylum, once more, giving Mad Max the mockbuster treatment this time, with vampires thrown into the mix for good measure.

This so reminds me of the trashy VHS movies I used to watch that I'm actually quite jazzed about it. Sure, it's not going to be a patch on Fury Road, but it certainly has potential.

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Aftershocks


After too long a break, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made a welcome return to UK television with Aftershocks, an episode dealing with the immediate fallout from the shocking climax of the mid-season finale.

The team are each mourning Trip's death in their own way while S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists inspect the remains of the underground caverns where he died ... and the "alien mist" was released.

Turns out Raina's exposure to the mist has caused her to sprout spikes all over her body, and now she is on the loose in the tunnels killing off scientists.

She slips out of the tunnels and heads to the container ship that Calvin Zabo (Kyle MacLachlan) - Skye's dad - is using to flee the country.

Raina hopes he will help her change back to normal, but he is more interested in the news that Skye was exposed to the transforming mist as well. He basically tells Raina if she's not happy with her results she might as well go kill herself.

Meanwhile, Skye is in quarantine as Coulson's team try to figure if the gas has done anything to her.

At the same time, Coulson cooks up a cunning plan to strike at Hydra, while it is still adjusting to the death of Whitehall, and manages to deliver a decisive blow against the leadership of the secret organisation.

The plot of Aftershocks grew slowly, with a lot of chatter before the action really kicked in.

However, Fitz managed to drop the first mention of "inhuman", even though a pre-credit flashback with the gorgeous Dichen Lachman gave us more information on the "terragenesis" process that turns humans into mutants Inhumans!

The varied attitudes of the different characters in Coulson's to the earlier events should make for some powerful dynamics if they are allowed to develop - particularly Simmons' belief that the "mist" could be a plague and maybe the best thing to do is eradicate any "carriers" before it spreads.

Conversely Fitz sides with Skye, concealing her blood and DNA test results from the rest of the team until tempers have calmed somewhat.

While Coulson's take-down of the Hydra leadership seemed almost too easy (and no doubt, other heads will grow where these have been cut off), the highlight of the episode really was, of course, getting to see some actual powered-up villains come into play.

The blind teleporter has a definite Nightcrawler feel about his power which doesn't help conceal the suggestion that the Inhumans are being introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to replace The X-Men (who're still with 20th Century Fox), but it still looks as the metahuman content of this season is going to continue to grow.

Next Time:

Mad Max: Fury Road - Explosion...


Fleamarket Friday: Help Bring Character To The Crypt In Campaign's Final Days...


As the Crypts & Things Remastered Kickstarter heads into its final days, author Newt Newport is having one last push to finance additional content within the new look core rulebook.

In a recent update he said he had "left the best for last", with the new stretch goals meaning additonal character classes would be added to the game:
"The first two expand the ‘core’ set of Swords & Sorcery classes in the book, then the next three are Race-as-Clases and the final two reflect the fine tradition of mixing Oriental Classes with standard classes that British RPG magazines and gamebooks of the 80s indulged in.
  • Stretch Goal 6 Disciple (£7,000)
  • Stretch Goal 7 Elementalist (£7,500)
  • Stretch Goal 8 Lizard People (£8,000)
  • Stretch Goal 9 Beast Hybrid (£8,500)
  • Stretch Goal 10 Serpent Noble (£9,000)
  • Stretch Goal 11 Samurai (£9,500)
  • Stretch Goal 12 Ninja (£10,000)"
He has also included new add-ons, and investor levels, so check out the campaign's Kickstarter page before it's too late! 

Crypts and Things is a swords-and-sorcery roleplaying game based upon the Old School Rules of the 70s/80s. It also draws upon the British fantasy games and game-books of that period to bring a distinctly dark and dangerous feel to the game.

Everything Comes To A Head This Weekend...



It's the finale of season two of the brilliant Black Sails (on Amazon Prime in the UK) this weekend.

But fret not, pirate-lovers, filming is well underway on season three, which will introduce Ray Stevenson as Edward Teach aka the infamous Blackbeard.

Blackbeard

And, in complete contrast, this weekend also sees the UK airing of the season finale of Star Wars Rebels, which has been fantastic with its Original Trilogy-meets-Firefly vibe.

This is another show that I can't wait to return with new episodes.

Fleamarket Friday: Rumble In The Jungle...


Urban Jungle is a fresh, new, standalone adventure for the rules-lite supers game ICONS  written and illustrated by Dan Houser, the man responsible for single-handedly defining the 'iconic' look of Steve Kenson's masterpiece.
Free samples of garden greenery from the annual flower show—what could be wrong with that? Plenty, if the gift-giver is none other than the criminal Creeper, master of plant-life, with a new scheme to take over the city! Even worse, when the Creeper doesn't know what's really going on behind the scenes. It's survival of the fittest in ... The Urban Jungle!
The $5, 26-page PDF is available from the usual outlets.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

[HOW] There's No Place Like Home...

Bendwyn today...

The town of Bendwyn is to players of the 1970's RPG The Fantasy Trip what The Keep On The Borderlands is to old school Dungeons & Dragons players.

When Pete originally launched our campaign last year - using The Fantasy Trip - it was only natural that he base our characters in Bendwyn, the example town in the core rules, but he then hit on the idea of making us members of the town council, immediately embedding our characters in the life of the community.

Kevin's dwarf, Davian, is the town's blacksmith; my magic-user, Peter Entwhistle, is the town mage (and the tutor of Clare's sorceress-in-training Marigold); Simon's halfling bard, Harry, works at the tavern where the council meets; Meredith's character Imogen is the adopted daughter of the town potter; and Pete's ex-military healer, Kirchin, runs the healing centre on the edge of Bendwyn, where Erica's character Holly is a part-time nurse.

When I took over the campaign and we switched to the Heroes & Other Worlds system (an upgrading and modernisation of TFT), it seemed fitting to upgrade and modernise Bendwyn as well.

So I took a Biro to the old hex map (below), factored in the adventures we'd already had and places that had been mentioned, did a cursory bit of research on Medieval town/village life and then called upon the superlative cartography skills of Simon Forster to produce a 'new look' Bendwyn (see the map above).

Since then, as the campaign has developed, new characters have arrived on the scene and adventures have been had, I have continued to update the details of the town, on its dedicated page on the campaign blog, even though the map will stay as is (for the time being anyways).

It would be all to easy to crash in with zealous enthusiasm and detail every single building and business in Bendwyn, but instead I'm allowing the town to fill out organically as the campaign grows and new characters (where player-characters or non-player character) come on the scene.

Several of the players have remarked of late how they like the fact that they are connected to town life and that they feel protective of Bendwyn's inhabitants.

Maybe, eventually, they'll outgrow town life and get to see more of the world, but for the moment everyone is content to plant firm roots in the soil of Bendwyn.

Bendwyn of yesteryear...

First Trailer For Predator: Dark Ages...



New teaser trailer to the upcoming short fan film Predator : Dark Ages.
Set during the Crusades, the faith and fighting skills of a group of Templar Knights is put to the test when they encounter the Predator.
Written and directed by James Bushe, the film stars Adrian Bouchet, Amed Hashimi, Sabine Crossen, Ben loyd-Holmes, Jon Campling, Joe Egan and Philip Lane.

Director of photography was Simon Rowling.

The Kickstarter-funded short fan film is due out soon.

[HOW] Care In The Community...


Heroes & Other Worlds was originally published a couple of years ago and already has a great catalogue of support material (as mentioned previously) as well as pretty decent online representation.

It boasts a small, but ever-growing, friendly fan community that has gravitated to three particular areas of the Internet:
  • GOOGLE PLUS: The busiest gathering area for those interested in the game either as newcomers or as established players/gamesmasters is its Google+ page. The way Google+ is set up allows for sub-sections, so conversations and questions can be focused under headings such as "rules", "general discussion", "Magi Carta supplement", "Cauldron Quarterly" etc At the time of writing, this group has 86 members.
  • FACEBOOK: The game's newest outlet, and only up-and-running since the weekend, this is my baby. It's slowly gathering momentum, new members are signing on at a regular pace and conversations are beginning. HOW creator Chris Brandon is active here (as well as in the Google+ community). At the time of writing, this group has 23 members.
  • FORUMS: The game has a dedicated ProBoard Forum, with seven sub-forums for broad areas of discussion, but this is the least active area of HOW fandom at present (as I suspect the majority of members have migrated to the Google+ page, and, hopefully, some will also come to the Facebook group). At the time of writing, this forum has 41 members.
I've noticed a number of people recently who've identified Heroes & Other Worlds as a "game they've been meaning to try"...

So if you're one of those people, but still don't fully grasp the elegant simplicity offered by the system, then drop in on one of the game's communities, ask questions, and chat with established players and gamesmasters.

Or if you are already a HOW gamer, but haven't signed up to these chat rooms yet, do think about adding your voice to the growing community. The more of us sharing our ideas and experiences, the wider the game's knowledge base will become - and that has to be good for everyone.

The Richard III Ward In The Hospital For Over-Actors...


In celebration of this week's reburial of Richard III, here's the classic Monty Python sketch where Michael Palin and Eric Idle are being treated for the condition of over-acting in the role of Shakespeare's Richard III.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Supernatural: Sharp Teeth


Garth (DJ Qualls), the occasional work colleague of Sam and Dean, is hospitalised after being struck by a car, leading to the estranged Winchester brothers reuniting at his bedside.

Garth drops a bombshell on the brothers: he's now a werewolf... and married (to a werewolf). He explains that he has been taken in by his wife's family, a group of pacifist, Christian werewolves living in peace and harmony with humankind.

Dean and Sam are sceptical, to say the least. Investigating the family church they come across clues that lead them to believe the family is actually a cult of Fenris worshippers, seeking to bring on Ragnarok.

Naturally, things don't go well...

Sharp Teeth is an odd one. For more than half the episode it appears as though nothing truly Supernatural-like is going to happen and it unfolds as a character piece about the werewolf family, Garth's involvement with them and Dean's discomfort around them.

It isn't really until the brothers do their due diligence and unearth the werewolf cult that you get an idea of where the episode is going. Ultimately, almost like The Thule Society in Everybody Hates Hitler, the cult feels like it could have been a bigger, multi-episode, arc villain and, earlier in the show's epic run, it could well have been.

Is this the end of Garth's character story? It will be interesting to see where he goes from here and if he crops up again in the lives of Sam and Dean, otherwise Sharp Teeth really was a missed opportunity to explore the conflict felt by a hunter who becomes a monster.

While not the first that this has happened to, Garth retained his humanity and appears to have his lycanthropy under control. I just wish this aspect, although touched on, had been probed more deeply in the script.

Next Time:

I'm On A Winning Streak!

My prizes from Nate in New Zealand

Having winged its way around the world from New Zealand to the Garden Of England, an envelope arrived at HeroPress Towers this week containing my prizes from the recent giveaway at Natholeon's Empires - celebrating his 100th Follower.

I was the third name randomly pulled from the hat and as well as the very first issue of the vintage wargames magazine Practical Wargamer (from 1987), Nate also sent me issue one of the old Wolverine solo comic and a voucher entitling me to have three figures painted - and mailed back - gratis!

I need to choose those three figures very careful, as I said him, when thanking him for these generous gifts, there is something delightfully decadent about sending your miniatures to the other side of the world to have them painted.

All this comes on the back of an earlier prize package that arrived at the weekend containing an incredible selection of brand new horror DVDs and Blu-Rays (including the original Poltergeist, The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Rite, Trick 'r' Treat, Oculus and It).

This was the result of a random draw at the Dread Central horror movie site and was a complete surprise.

Happy times!

Retro Comic Book Cover Gallery...

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