The Crystal of Achillon (1994)

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Projection room films in all honesty. In the past 5 years or so things seemingly have gone quite quiet for the fan production group from the north of England with there intricate and entangled multiverses…

My main problem I seem to remember having with them (It has been a couple of years since I last went through them all) is that they do seem to take themselves very seriously. While theres definitely an aire of fun behind all of the films they’ve produced, I do rather get the feeling that theres a subtle hint of egotism behind there projects. just a dash…I see it in there extensive extras packages which compile various minor TV appearences and making of documentaries that pretty much consist of Chris Hoyle just regailing his memories of being on set. the fact I paid money for these films at one point or another. Where as Ausweb and the likes seemed unashamedly for fun and they felt completely comfortable producing a lower budget/quality movie with its sould in the right place. the later Projection room films just seem to be missing a bit of heart. just that vibe that says “We’re having a laugh here” to me, the later films from this group just kind of feel a little bit like they quite desperately want to be closely tied to the show in any possible way, forgetting that ultimately they’re both the largest fan film group for Doctor who in the country and the longest established fan film group in the country.

I’ll probably air those grievences though next time I decide to do a Doctor who month. For now though it’s 1994 and the projection rooms little more than this movie and possible two very short stories. it’s a small group of friends making a goofy and very affectionate fan film trying to continue a series that was in the midst of the early half of a 16 year hiatus. and its all good fun really. I was maybe a bit overly harsh with this one, on its own its perfectly find I feel I may have had my enthusiasm dampened for it somewhat by the history that would be written after this movie got made.

The Crystal of Achillon is arguably one of the perfect starting points if your looking to get into Doctor who fan films. as is the projection room for that matter. through there history you’ll see fan films done right, fan films done very wrong and better still quite a few cast and crew members went on to make their own fan films independent from the projection room. In terms of british fan films. The projection room arguably is the core of a very very sprawling hobby. and I can only commend them for it in that regard.

 

(Yeh; my thoughts and feelings on the projection room are a bit garbled. they’ve been going for so long its impossible not to feel mixed about what they do and how they do it)

DR WHO: The Lost Interviews (2009)

Its not difficult to fail in the genre of Documentary, Sometimes your documentary will contain false information accidentally, quite often Documentaries simply become redundent due to new information coming to light or events occuring that make them no longer relevent.

But “Dr who: The Lost Interviews” is rather special in the sense that it completely and totally failed right out of the gate simply by not caring about the facts or about making it a worthwhile purchase. This doc is pretty much entirely built on hearsay, rumours and grossly misleading information. it looks like it was assembled by someone who’d never touched editing software before in there lives (And I say that as a professional editor with rapidly approaching 10 years experience in my field) and quite frankly it comes across as money grabbing.

I would say that Neil Sean strikes me as the kind of person who would have strong appeal amongst your casual tv and film viewer. the kind of person who’ll happily flop in front of “Corrie” for every episode through a week, the sort who’d read “Take a break” and who watched the royal wedding with tears streaming down there faces (IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME DAMNIT!)…*Ahem*…What im saying is that, had Mr. Sean booked up a bit more about Doctor who and played this as a “Beginners guide to behind the scenes” for Doctor who then it may have been a completely different approach. As it stands this DVD is marketing itself as something for the “Hardcore” fans by promising exclusive interviews, insider gossip and a deep look into the current workings of the show. and it flounders quite spectacularly in doing this.

Now Im sure Mr. Sean in real life is a lovely man and at the same time I respect that everyone has to earn a living. But the absolute cheek of this guy to try and flog a few off cut interviews with his hosting links bundled in and to try and make out tha this will be a release that no Who fan should be without is bordering on the offensive.

Quite mercifully Neil sean has since moved to youtube where if his videos views are anything to go by he hasnt garnered much interest. I feel in some ways relieved that apart from the inevitable review of his “Dad’s army” dvd I most likely wont have to go near one of his “Official releases” again.

(Also; Please please please go and check out Dave Gormans blog posts on Neil Sean, He’s much more eloquent and better at grammar than me.)

Quatermass and the Pit – (Five Million Years to Earth) (1967)

I’ve seen my fair share of Hammer films in my time. Though I always feel like I could have seen more. Take “Quatermass and the pit” (Renamed Five Million Years to Earth for US audiences) for example. its a brilliantly shot and wonderfully performed piece that I’ve seen both on the big screen and in the comfort of my own home. combined with Hammers more horror inspired movies there should be little reason for me to watch any other studios movies at all! and yet I always seem to forget the Hammer films. I really should do more of them…

(How this film and “The Web of Fear” havent been mashed up yet at this point frankly astounds me…)