Vintage Tom Baker Doctor Who footage from 1978

Over eleven actors have played the part of the Doctor on TV, radio and the big screen, but Tom Baker remains the most enduring personality to have helmed the program. A charming and scintillating man, Tom Baker viewed himself as an ambassador of the series as well as an icon to children.

This week a rare piece of TV footage was unearthed showing a school visit back in 1978.

Completist Whovians will be cheered to learn that some seldom-seen archive footage of Tom Baker visiting Belfast schools in character as the Fourth Doctor has recently been unearthed and aired for the first time in decades.

Makers of Northern Irish BBC documentary strand Those Were the Days stumbled across the film in the BBC’s Northern Ireland archives and used clips of Baker’s visits in the first episode of the series, which was broadcast last Monday.

The footage shows Baker popping in to classrooms full of astonished children, running around playgrounds, chatting with the kids and letting them try on his hat.

“It was his own initiative,” said novelist Glenn Patterson during the programme. “He had a couple of days and decided to come to Belfast. Eventually American presidents would do that, but the idea that a Time Lord would come in [was something else].”

Fans can see Those Were the Days on BBC iPlayer until Monday 19 December.

Apparently more footage of Baker’s time in Belfast exists, depicting him variously visiting a girl in hospital, being interviewed for BBC Radio Ulster and being mobbed by shoppers, which may be made available at a later date.

Via http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2011-11-09/doctor-who-rare-archive-footage-of-tom-baker-unearthed

Video upload from Blogtor Who

Secret Avengers becomes Hawkeye’s black ops team

Ed Brubaker’s take on the Secret Avengers was large and dynamic and something of an homage to the Roy Thomas/Neal Adams material from back in the day. While I was excited to see what he could do, the Warren Ellis take on the comic was a bit too cool for me and seemed self-aware of the expectations from fans. Far too stylish and flimsy on plot, I dropped the series after one issue (a rarity in my collecting behavior).

As Steve Rogers takes up the high profile mantle of Captain America once more, having him lead a black ops Secret Avengers team makes little sense. Introducing Hawkeye as the new leader of the team is a genius move. The former leader of the West Coast Avengers, he is a fan favorite hero who will no doubt gain new followers next Summer when Jeremy Renner takes up the bow in the Avengers movie.

The addition of writer Rick Remender could easily make this comic a must read series. A brilliantly gifted scribe from Punisher and the new Venom, he has a gift for taking characters and making them come to life without sacrificing their legacy (yes, I know he chopped up Frank Castle and brought him back as a Frankenstein monster… so take that with the correct amount of salt).

Patrick Zircher is tearing up the Hulk currently with his astounding work on the Hulk of Arabia storyline, so the point one issue should be beautiful. Artist Gabriel Hardman is no slouch either. An artist of some acclaim from his work on the critically acclaimed yet sadly canceled Agents of Atlas and more recently the Jeff Parker Red Hulk series, his delineations are superb. I’m very excited to see what he does on an Avengers book!

And yes, I noticed that Hawkeye looks like a blend of the upcoming movie version and Ultimate Hawkeye. I’m not sure what to make of that.


Next year, critically acclaimed creators Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force) & Gabriel Hardman (Hulk) take readers deep under cover in Secret Avengers! Captain America has tasked Hawkeye with putting together a brand new team, ushering in a new era for the Secret Avengers. When the call is put out for heroes to save the Marvel Universe from its most dangerous foes, the biggest powerhouses will answer. America’s Secret Soldier – Venom, The UK’s premiere super hero – Captain Britain, Founding Avenger – Giant-Man and more will join ranks to create a team that will have fans everywhere demanding more. Packed to the brim with action, intrigue, insurmountable odds AND covers by legendary artist Arthur Adams, no fan can miss this!

“Our opening arc will have a big secret war, a big secret new world, a big secret new race, a big team death, a big secret team betrayal, and begin a secret affair. High stakes, intrigue, and tons of character drama as we unearth the mystery surrounding familiar automaton villains reimagined as members of a new species—The Descendants!” exclaimed Remender. “I’m a tremendous fan of Gabe’s work; he’s one of the best storytellers in the business, always puts clarity first, while still managing engaging and dynamic action. I’m beyond excited to have him joining me on Secret Avengers. And having Art Adams on covers is truly a dream come true.”

Kicking off this January in Secret Avengers #21.1 by Remender and red-hot artist Patrick Zircher, fans can get a taste of what we’ve got planned before Gabriel Hardman jumps on board as the ongoing artist with Secret Avengers #22.

“Secret Avengers gives me the opportunity to draw an exciting group of heroes who I’ve never drawn before as well as design new villains and new worlds. Hawkeye, Beast and Valkyrie have been favorites of mine since I was a kid. That combined that with the crazy big, black ops tinged action/adventure makes this a book I had to draw,” explained Hardman. “Rick is known for his wildly inventive scripts and he really delivers with Secret Avengers. This is an epic story that will have big repercussions. That’s the kind of storytelling I like to be involved with.”

With Hawkeye at the helm, Captain America’s strike force team must dodge Adaptoids, Descendants and the biggest threats to the Marvel Universe…without anyone knowing, in Secret Avengers!

SECRET AVENGERS #21.1
Written by RICK REMENDER
Pencils & Cover by PATRICK ZIRCHER
FOC – 12/26/11, ON SALE – 1/25/12

SECRET AVENGERS #22
SECRET AVENGERS #22 HARDMAN VARIANT
Written by RICK REMENDER
Pencils by GABRIEL HARDMAN
Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS
Variant Cover by GABRIEL HARDMAN
ON SALE THIS FEBRUARY!

SECRET AVENGERS #23
Written by RICK REMENDER
Pencils by GABRIEL HARDMAN
Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS
ON SALE THIS FEBRUARY!

Via i09

11/11/11 Official press release update via CBR:

Next year, critically acclaimed creators Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force) & Gabriel Hardman (Hulk) take readers deep under cover in Secret Avengers! Captain America has tasked Hawkeye with putting together a brand new team, ushering in a new era for the Secret Avengers. When the call is put out for heroes to save the Marvel Universe from its most dangerous foes, the biggest powerhouses will answer. America’s Secret Soldier – Venom, The UK’s premiere super hero – Captain Britain, Founding Avenger – Giant-Man and more will join ranks to create a team that will have fans everywhere demanding more. Packed to the brim with action, intrigue, insurmountable odds AND covers by legendary artist Arthur Adams, no fan can miss this!

“Our opening arc will have a big secret war, a big secret new world, a big secret new race, a big team death, a big secret team betrayal, and begin a secret affair. High stakes, intrigue, and tons of character drama as we unearth the mystery surrounding familiar automaton villains reimagined as members of a new species–The Descendants!” exclaimed Remender. “I’m a tremendous fan of Gabe’s work; he’s one of the best storytellers in the business, always puts clarity first, while still managing engaging and dynamic action. I’m beyond excited to have him joining me on Secret Avengers. And having Art Adams on covers is truly a dream come true.”

Kicking off this January in Secret Avengers #21.1 by Remender and red-hot artist Patrick Zircher, fans can get a taste of what we’ve got planned before Gabriel Hardman jumps on board as the ongoing artist with Secret Avengers #22.

“Secret Avengers gives me the opportunity to draw an exciting group of heroes who I’ve never drawn before as well as design new villains and new worlds. Hawkeye, Beast and Valkyrie have been favorites of mine since I was a kid. That combined that with the crazy big, black ops tinged action/adventure makes this a book I had to draw,” explained Hardman. “Rick is known for his wildly inventive scripts and he really delivers with Secret Avengers. This is an epic story that will have big repercussions. That’s the kind of storytelling I like to be involved with.”

With Hawkeye at the helm, Captain America’s strike force team must dodge Adaptoids, Descendants and the biggest threats to the Marvel Universe…without anyone knowing, in Secret Avengers!

Green Lantern: The Animated Series Premieres 11/11

The emerald guardian of the space ways will arrive in style, starring in his own animated series. The first computer generated program from Batman: The Animated Series, Superman and Justice League animator Bruce Timm, this should be quite the event.

Series producer Giancarlo Volpe spoke to Newsarama about Green Lantern: The Animated Series, his history with comics and what fans can expect from this ground breaking cartoon.

Newsarama: Giancarlo, you’ve worked on plenty of different animated series, but Green Lantern: The Animated Series is your first one that’s strictly comic book-based. Were you pretty well versed in the medium, or did this project require some amount of research?

Giancarlo Volpe: A little bit of both. I was really into comics when I was younger — early teens. My brother and I used to collect comics, and we would share them with each other so we could save on spending. [Laughs.]

I kind of lost track of it over the years; I’m not sure why. In recent years, especially with all these superhero movies are coming out, it’s really hit that nostalgia for me. I wasn’t the biggest Green Lantern fan. To be honest, I didn’t know a lot. Thankfully, a friend of mine told me, if you’re going to read Green Lantern, read the Geoff Johns stuff. So I ordered all of those graphic novels on Amazon and kind of caught up. It was actually really cool because of the way he sort of started with Hal’s origin, and then introduced all this color spectrum stuff. It was such a great introductory course to Green Lantern. I feel like a lot of what I get inspiration from is from those books.

Nrama: And very direct inspiration, it seems, as the Red Lanterns — who have only been around in the comic books for about four years — are the main villains for the first season. What motivated that decision?

Volpe: I guess that partially had something to do with the fact that Geoff Johns is so involved with DC creative right now. When I was brought on for this project, it was already sort of decided that it would be Red Lanterns, but I wouldn’t be if surprised if Geoff maybe made that suggestion. I actually really kind of believe in keeping it modern and keeping it current. If we would have gotten a little too nostalgic, then I think that the show would have contradicted the comics, or felt like a different world. The ideal is that kids will watch the show and see Atrocitus and Zilius Zox as Red Lanterns, and Kilowog as a green, and hopefully fall in love with them, and then they can go to the comics and see further adventures — and vice versa.

Nrama: What’s the typical breakdown, then, of space versus Earth scenes for the series?

Volpe: I think Bruce [Timm] was really pushing for that. He’s been doing the superhero stuff for so long that he was kind of tired of Gotham and Metropolis and all that stuff, and was like, “Man, I just want to be on crazy planets where trees are purple and upside down.” The funny thing is that I was doing that for three years on Clone Wars, so for me I was a little bit like, “Oh, more space exploration, I guess.” [Laughs.]

It’s actually really fun. It’s very liberating; you can do anything within the budget. Like 95 percent of it takes place in space. We wanted to set up Hal as a human like any of us, who just happens to get whisked away on this much bigger universe and existence.

Nrama: So did the large amount of space scenes affect the decision to make this the first CGI-animated series based on a DC comic book?

Volpe: There’s this misunderstand on the Internet that CG is less expensive than traditional, and that’s actually really not the case at all. CG is actually — I would say, ballpark, twice as expensive as traditional. It’s quite an investment and a commitment to decide to do a show in CG. But the beauty of CG was obviously that you can get very dynamic lighting, and you can get very dynamic camera angles, and I think that lighting and camera angles can really make a sci-fi show soar.

One of the challenges, though, is that in CG you actually have to be very prudent with how many models you build. Every character, every set, every prop is money. We have to kind of tell these stories very economically, which is one of the Catch-22s — the very nature of the show is that they go planet to planet and explore these entirely different civilizations, entirely different species, and so every time that happens we have to create this new set, this new planet, and this new species. It can be challenging, for sure.

Nrama: Given that, can viewers expect to see the rest of the color spectrum beyond Green and Red Lanterns at some point?

Volpe: To me, just the fact that if you make a show about Green Lanterns, and you say there are Red Lanterns, even a five-year-old kid would go, “Well, are there Blue Lanterns?” It just seems like a natural question people would ask.

That stuff gets weaved in. Sinestro is a little bit of a tricky thing because we were asked not to use him very much at the time we were developing the show, because at that time his destiny wasn’t completely decided in how they wanted to play him in the future. Now that I’ve seen it, and the final scene is pretty obvious what’s going to happen to with him — that may give us some license in the future to get him.

Nrama: What about the other human Green Lanterns — Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner and John Stewart?

Volpe: Someone asked me that at Comic-Con, and my response was basically, “As long as the show is a hit, and it keeps going, sure.” I would imagine we would have to at some point.

With the CG restrictions, we have this very short wishlist of who we actually bring onto the show. We can’t just load it up with every human Green Lantern — but we would like to. And I understand that everyone has their favorite. It’s definitely on our radar.

Nrama: It seems like a natural thing to incorporate, especially given how John Stewart was the main Green Lantern in the Justice League cartoon.

Volpe: Yeah. Even Bruce has a particular affinity for John Stewart. It could happen.

Nrama: Wanted to ask about voice acting a little bit — Josh Keaton is Hal Jordan, who is known to comic book fans as Peter Parker in Spectacular Spider-Man. What made him right for the role?

Volpe: When we were auditioning it wasn’t really going across our minds, “Do we want Spider-Man to play Green Lantern?” Honestly, the audition was just like anything else, where we’re just trying people out, and seeing who gets the jokes, who delivers them naturally, who gets the subtle stuff that’s going on in the writing the best, who sounds likeable.

Josh just really stood out. I would say that the biggest difference between Peter Parker and Hal Jordan is that if Peter Parker is sort of a nerd, Hal Jordan is kind of a jock. Josh does both well. I’ve come to know him a lot better over the year, and he’s got both sides of him. He’s got this geeky side to him that really likes superhero stuff, but he’s also sort of got a little bit of this charming cockiness to him. I think that comes through. I like that there’s a little bit of vulnerability in his delivery, he’s not totally cocky, he’s not just one-note. He’s very well-rounded.

(read the entire interview here)

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Official Press Release

“Beware My Power…Green Lantern’s Light”

Based upon the DC Comics super hero, GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES follows Earth’s Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, who is used to being in dangerous situations — but never anything like this! In the farthest reaches of deep space, Hal patrols the Guardian Frontier, where he must face down invasions from the evil Red Lantern Corps., who have sworn to destroy the Green Lanterns and everything they stand for. With ever-emerging galactic threats, Hal is soon joined by an all-new group of heroes on a mission to protect Guardian Space — and the Green Lantern Corps itself!

In the first part of the two-part series premiere episode, ace test pilot Hal Jordan (voiced by JOSH KEATON), who leads a secret life as Earth’s guardian Green Lantern, is called back to Oa. Searching for the culprits behind a series of Green Lantern deaths in “Frontier Space”, Hal and his gruff fellow Green Lantern Kilowog (voiced by KEVIN MICHAEL RICHARDSON) “commandeer” The Interceptor, a prototype spaceship powered by pure Green Lantern energy and an advanced artificial intelligence system that Hal names Aya (voiced by GREY DeLISLE).

In the second half of the two-part series premiere episode, Hal and Kilowog discover that a group of Red Lanterns, including the conflicted Razer (voiced by JASON SPISAK) and the vile Zilius Zox (voiced by TOM KENNY) have been targeting and eliminating Green Lanterns in Frontier Space. Along with the help from a surviving Frontier Space Green Lantern Shyir Rev (voiced by KURTWOOD SMITH), Hal and Kilowog must stop the Red Lantern leader Atrocitus (voiced by JONATHAN ADAMS) from destroying Shyir’s home planet of Colony 12.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series premieres this Friday, November 11 7/6c on Cartoon Network.