Overdue Who Review: The Power of Kroll

Season 16, 1978-1979, 4 parts, Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

All the tropes of classic Doctor Who are here – a corporation looking to exploit resources which disturbs an otherwise peaceful monster, in turn worshipped by the local savages who are controlled by a zealous high priest. The only thing missing is the myopic scientist over-invested in his work.

I can’t get over Neil McCarthy’s face – he’s the actor who plays the head company man Thawn. He also played Calibos in the 1981 Clash of the Titan and was in the movie Zulu! I feel for the actors and crew having to film on location in a marsh, and Wikipedia tells me the green dye used on the ‘swampies’ (what a name) wouldn’t come off for some time after production ended. All in all not a terrible episode, but pretty par for the course.

Next: Taste of Armageddon

20 Minute Monster Series: AD&D Monster Manual

In 2022 I started a drawing series in which I attempted to draw a monster from each letter of the alphabet from the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual (1977).

These were livestreamed on my twitch channel twitch.tv/torenatkinson and I am as of this writing doing the same thing for the Fiend Folio so come visit on Sunday mornings!

You can watch the old videos on my youtube channel, I’ll post the link below. I also post to instagram @torenatkinsonartist

If you enjoy what I do please send me a dollar on patreon!

https://www.patreon.com/torenatkinson

Hey! Cheap Original D&D Art!

Yes it’s time once again for my holiday art sale. These original pencil drawings (and a couple of inks) were produced for various D&D and other RPG books and are marked down between $10 and $30.

Everything listed here is on offer for $55 USD (unless you’re in Vancouver and we can arrange in person, then $55 CAD)

CONTACT ME at :

You can see more D&D art going all the way back to AD&D/2nd edition at https://torenatkinson.com/dungeons-and-dragons-original-art/ and I’ll be giving discounts on offsale stuff too if you buy two or more pieces!

Shipping to the US is typically $20 and that includes tracking and stiffening boards for maximum protection.

From Terror in Freeport – Reikert

From If Thoughts Could Kill (Monte Cook/Malhavoc Press) – crystal consciousness amulet

From Egyptian Adventures: Hamunaptra (3.5 edition, Green Ronin)

Skull & Bones (Green Ronin)

From BONDS OF MAGIC (Malhavoc Press)

From THIEVES WORLD GAZETEER (Green Ronin)

Demonologist (slight blemish from ink bleed through on left edge)

BOOK OF ELDRITCH MIGHT

From MINDSCAPES: BEASTS OF THE ID (Malhavoc Press)

From CAVALIER HANDBOOK (Green Ronin)

Cults of Freeport (Green Ronin)

From Temple Quarter (Game Mechanics/Green Ronin)

From Advanced Players Manual (Green Ronin)

From Advanced Bestiary (Green Ronin 2004)

From Minions (Chaosium, Call of Cthulhu)

From Monte Cook Presents: Year’s Best d20 (Malhavoc Press)

From Shaman’s Handbook (Green Ronin)

From Wrath and Rage: A Guidebook to Orcs, published by Green Ronin

From Spaceship Zero: The Roleplaying Game (2001 Green Ronin)

From Liber Bestarius (Eden Studios 2003)

From Black Sails Over Freeport (Green Ronin)

From MONSTERS OF THE MIND (Green Ronin)

From Book of the Righteous (Green Ronin)

From Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed D&D 3rd edition pencil on paper

From Bastards & Bloodlines D&D 3rd edition (Green Ronin Publishing) pencil on paper:

From Black Company (Green Ronin Publishing):

Book of Fiends (Green Ronin Publishing)

Aasimar and Tiefling: A Guidebook to the Planetouched (Green Ronin)

Mindshadows (Green Ronin)

Noble’s Handbook (Green Ronin)

From ORK! The Roleplaying Game (Green Ronin)

From Chaositech (Malhavoc Press)

From Creature Collection (White Wolf)

From Jade Dragons and Hungry Ghosts (Green Ronin)

From Creatures of Freeport (Green Ronin)

From Denizens of Freeport (Green Ronin)

from Touched by the Gods (Atlas Games)

From Thieves World (Green Ronin)

From THIEVES QUARTER (Game Mechanics)

from Unholy Warrior’s Handbook (Green Ronin)

From HARP (High Adventure Roleplaying Game – Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE)

Overdue Who Review: The Androids of Tara

Season 16, 1978, 4 episodes

Fourth story in the Key of Time series. The Doctor and Romana split up immediately and Romana is captured by the evil Count Grendel, who is using android duplicates to try to seize the throne. The Doctor and K9 have to rescue Romana twice, culminating in a sword duel. Also the princess is a doppelganger of Romana for an unexplained reason. 

A fairly basic plot with low stakes, which could have been improved with tighter writing and directing. Apparently this is a take on The Prisoner of Zenda, which I have not read. Baker and Tamm have a good time. Not what I would call an essential episode by any stretch, but there’s horses and regal garb so there’s that.

Next up: The Power of Kroll

Post-Apocalyptic Movie Review: Slipstream (1989)

“By the end of the century” climate change has destroyed most of civilization and created a “river of wind” call the slipstream. A small time, fast-talking, womanizing crook (Bill Paxton) absconds with the quarry (the well dressed “Byron”) of two bounty hunters (Mark Hamill and Kitty Aldridge). An airplane chase takes the characters to a sect of wind-worshippers who crucify Byron on a kite in a windstorm, until the enemies call a truce to rescue him. We learn Byron is more than he appears. A lady appears and leads the fugitives to her home – a hidden museum – which has the residents worried for their security. Rightly so, because the bounty hunters show up and all hell breaks loose.

Sloppy, confusing outing by Star Wars producer and Tron director. The audience is just as lost as the characters, although they….might…be looking for balloons? The actors do what they can with trite lines that they shoot at eachother. Ben Kingsley and F Murray Abraham are astonishingly confined to very small roles in dark corners where the camera struggles to make them out. The aircraft are barely kept aloft by Elmer “Ghostbusters” Bernstein score as they languidly glide after each other. All in all a waste of talent and resources that could have made something good.

Tropes: opening narration explains apocalypse; asshole who is shitty to woman gets the woman; bounty hunters; poisoned hero requires antidote before critical time passes; hidden enclave of rich aristocrats; robot discovers love; plane crashes don’t hurt anyone.

Toren’s rating: 4/10

Now back to Toren’s Post-Apocalyptic Movie Guide

https://tubitv.com/movies/326258/slipstream

Post-Apocalyptic Movie Review: Rats: Night of Terror (1984)

225 A.B. (after the bomb) a gang of dimwits in leather garb, headbands and spiked gloves roams into a ghost town and investigate a… hotel? bar? where they find a greenhouse, a source of clean water and food, as well as an inscrutable computer. Each howling dumdum is killed in turn by hordes of insatiable “mutant” rats despite being able to walk away at any time.

Rats were absolutely harmed in the making of this film, including set on fire. Beyond that, the motivations and statements of the characters are mercurial and conflicting, and the acting is generally gawdawful. Is it so bad it’s good? I wouldn’t go that far, but one saving grace is the corpse that explodes with rats.

Watch out for the twist ending!

Tropes: opening narration and text crawl; sudden but inevitable betrayal; recording explains everything; woman screams and screams; mystic

Toren’s rating: 3/10

Now back to Toren’s Post-Apocalyptic Movie Guide

As of publication you can watch Rats: Night of Terror on Tubi.

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 19: Ocean Fantasy Museum at Chengching Lake, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung (A Sad Octopus)

TUESDAY MARCH 8 2022

About a half hour Easty (Northy) of downtown Kaohsiung there is a pleasant lake called Chengcing Lake. There’s lots of very pleasant park area around it.

Here’s the 2-star hotel “Chengching Lakefront Resort right next to the Ocean Fantasy Museum.

The lake looks nice, but don’t touch

Ooh – Lions Club lion looks different than the one in Canada

There’s a nice walk along the edge of the lake with many things to see!

Check out the marvelous Nine-Cornered Bridge! I think corners are supposed to confuse ghosts, so they made the bridge zig-zaggy? Maybe? I guess watch out for ghosts when you’re not on the bridge.

Finally, the Ocean Fantasy Museum, built from a converted anti-nuclear underground bunker!! It’s fascinating as a piece of cold war history, and also as a fairly humdrum aquarium with sad animals.

And now, a gallery of sad sea creatures

Tragic octopus.

Here’s a video I found on youtube touring the facility:

In conclusion, the park and lake are lovely to visit and a nice walk. I found the museum fascinating due to its history, with kitschy art, but the octopus and other marine animals in small sterile cells made me feel sad inside. I feel like this would be a nice park to bike around if I had the chance.

Toren’s Taiwan Travel Blog 18: Sanduo Shopping District (Kaohsiung)

Monday March 7

A ‘rest’ day today so we went to the FE21’ Mega Far Eastern Department Store Kaohsiung Branch to watch The Batman and do a little shopping.

it’s got The Enterprise int he little window but it looks like the Infinity Gauntlet.

I love these Japanese Hotwheels – they’re very interesting

a closer look

Did not buy

Back home I wandered around the nearby night market and got a Taiwanese shawarma. Quite different than what I’m used to in Vancouver, but tasty

Next time: Ocean Fantasy Museum at Chengching Lake, Niaosong District, Kaohsiung City

Toren’s Taiwan Trip 17: Return to Lotus Pond

SUNDAY MARCH 6 2022

Had some unscheduled time today so, after I grabbed breakfast from Mei Zi Quan Breakfast Restaurant 美滋泉早餐店 (or maybe it was Tian Tian Wu Breakfast Restaurant 甜甜屋早餐店),

I walked aimlessly and found myself at Anning Street where umbrellas decorated the space between buildings overhead

Time to grab a U-Bike!

And go where? Why a little bike tour from Lane 450 to Lotus Pond and back. Like this:

The Love River

Finally, did a little bit of shopping at PX Mart

Next: Sanduo Shopping District