Thursday, September 21, 2006

Love & Falcons...

Well, I’m sitting here with my first copy of Doctor Who Battles in Time!

There it is, sat patiently in its thick cardboard backing, cards safely wrapped up on the right hand side, waiting for me to unwrap them. But I won’t…

Not yet anyway. I want this to remain pure, unsullied and perfect. I’m not waiting for any particular moment – no I’m waiting for something else. Issue 2, perhaps?

No it’s not that either. So why can’t I open the damn thing?

Could it be… yes, yes that’s it. Fear. Fear of what this represents, should I open it and examine the cards. Oh I’ve been here before, I can tell you.

1982. Millennium Falcon. Original Millennium Falcon. Huge it was, with photos of the interior and Luke and Han and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the box. I remember the box, but luckily I’ve had my memory jogged by, which also reminded me how the actual toy looked, because I no longer have that either.

1984, meanwhile, was Optimus Prime year. I still have the old red juggernaut – in three guises – but the original is the best. I remember his box too, without the help of an online auction this time, because I cut it up! All for the special points on the back of the boxes which I saved up and bought a cardboard Autobot base with!

So, you see, opening my cards does something to my copy of Doctor Who Battles in Time. It makes it used. Its value vanishes in a blink of an eye. I won’t be able to auction it for 20 times its original value in 30 years time because the cards will be played with, and the pages of the magazine well-thumbed. It will have become part of my life, part of my relationship with Doctor Who…

…and as such, making it truly valuable. Monetary value holds know sway over love, as any fan knows – we’ll buy anything, regardless, just because it says “Doctor Who” on it.

Do you know what? Even if my Millennium Falcon and Optimus Prime were still boxed, I would never have sold them, ‘cause I loved them, and I still do.

And I love Doctor Who too.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This bloke goes into a pub...

...and whips out his mobile while waiting for some friends. It’s a really flash mobile – known as a smartphone – and he’s quickly browsing online via a wireless hotspot.

He stumbles upon the unitnews forum where someone has used the anonymous posting service there to make some comments about this blokes website…

"kasterbonkers are big dissapointment because they were so very, very promising and for some short time the one of the very best Doctor Who site out there"
”Blimey!” he thought, “What brought this on?” He read more…

'Kasterbonkers used to be the bright star of new doctor who sides in 2005, exciting new outlook, fresh snazzy design, intelligent articles - very very nice artwork and wallpapers (still have one on my pc) ...'
A quick defence later lead to a set-to with the proprietor of said forum, with some admirable defence from the Kasterborous Forum regulars, and an eventual settling of the issue.

This all took place in a short space of time on Sunday night/Monday, and concluded with this forum post, from the bloke:

I'm inviting the lady or gentleman who made the post prior to Martin closing the thread on his forum to bring their concerns to me, either via this forum or by email christian@kasterborous dot com.
Well, suffice to say that the said poster didn’t get in touch, and but this whole issue lead the bloke to wonder… “What if people could post anonymously on my forum…?”

And then he quickly saw the light – it’s frankly an idea only for someone with a very tight grip on moderation. Otherwise all sorts of trouble could erupt, such as statements like those above being made. Anonymity is very useful when bidding on expensive artefacts at auction and unnecessarily troublesome when you have a comment to make.

So, one last try, thought the bloke – and once more extended the offer to discuss the matter either in person, on the phone, via MSN, this websites forum or email.

Finally… all this has got me thinking about Kasterborous’ place in the “Doctor Who websites foodchain”. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind if K was just a little articles site with a blog attached, as long as I knew people were interested, and reading what I have to write. As it is we get a couple of thousand hits a day, no one has yet come to us and said “Do you mind? How dare you?!” or anything of the sort.
This website reflects on the large my feelings and thoughts, with large contributions from Brian A. Terranova and Anthony Dry. If I feel that a particular aspect of Doctor Who isn’t what it should be then I’m going to talk about it, highlight it and invite discussion on it.

What’s more, I’m going to continue to do so for as long as I have to.

No one pays us, we have no editorial bias, and we don’t have a quota or sales target. We can criticise positively or negatively, depending on the situation, to our hearts content and that is a good thing, because NO ONE ELSE IS DOING IT.

A quick strawpoll with other Doctor Who fans and webmasters on Monday quickly proved to me that our tone is spot-on, exactly what it should be and exactly what it was before Series 1 started.

That means that for 21 months we’ve been providing critical analysis and discussion of Doctor Who.

And had no complaints.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What a Week!

Well, when I decided to take a week off, not for one moment did I expect brand new news about Sarah Jane Investigates (now Sarah Jane Adventures!), Doctor Who: Battles in Time, the November DVD release of The Invasion, a new issue of Doctor Who Adventures and the new series of Eighth Doctor audio adventures on BBC7!

There’s only one thing for it – no more holidays for me! Big thanks to Brian A. Terranova and Anthony Dry for holding the fort in my absence, of course, and hopefully you won’t have to wait too long to witness the fruits of my labours…

Imagine, however, a world without holiday. One where we’re tied to the desk, the lathe, the sink – whatever – 40 hours a week, or even more. No entertainment for us, just work, work, work, and a bland news service that doesn’t even tell us the whole story. No music, no films, no games, and worst of all no Doctor.

Without dancing down the road of politics and big statements, I would like to take a line or two to point out that the world has changed a great deal in the last five years. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything new there; but I may be telling you something new when I suggest that perhaps rather than taking at face value what is printed in the press or broadcast on the television news, we look into things more deeply, consider things for ourselves and then make our own decisions.

I have done this myself, and come to one terrible conclusion.

It is in this weekly editorial, dear reader, that I finally come clean – I thought Rose Tyler: Earth Defender would have been bloody marvellous, despite what everybody else and the dastardly press thought.

Billie for PM!

NOTE: Yes, I was of course alluding to the 9/11 Truth Movement there, and frankly you should visit Propaganda Matrix if you need some convincing.

If you don't want to open your eyes, don't worry. The Doctor will save you...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Whose Holiday?

Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of year once more… worn out and battered, your editor Christian Cawley (that’s me) must make merry with a few friends, plan his first wedding anniversary and spend a few days concentrating on the development of other projects.

As such, other than a further news update and part 2 of the Round Table 2006, there will be no site updates for a few days.

Yes, I know it is a little disappointing that no one else can brighten up your Doctor Who news items with pithy remarks and wild speculation, but the Kasterborous Forum remains open 24 hours a day and is open to everyone, new fans and old fans alike. Prospective new contributors should also voice their availability via the Forum or email contributions @ (without the spaces).

To make the week off worthwhile, we’ve got some great stuff coming up on Kasterborous from late September onwards, including a group of articles in typical Kasterborous manner based on the superb Jon Pertwee Season 7 story Inferno, a brand new series of articles about the Time Lords as well as a very special interview…

In the meantime, you might well have noticed some errors with Kasterborous pages recently. Well, I’m tentatively suggesting that these are behind us now, and we can all look forward to trouble-free Kasterborous browsing. If however you do notice anything, reply to my post at the top of the Kasterborous Forum and we’ll see what we can do to fix the issue.

Finally – get yourselves logged on to the BBC’s Official Doctor Who site and start reading Mark Gatiss’ excellent Nightshade which features the Seventh Doctor and companion Ace uncovering ancient alien interference in a northern village…

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Time for Reflection…

As we approach the last quarter of the year it’s a good time to consider the highs and lows of Doctor Who 2006.

Back in April we anticipated the new Doctor’s first full outing with excitement, looked forward to the return of Sarah Jane Smith and K9, expected great things from Rise of the Cybermen - but what really happened?

Mid-season audiences showed a dip when compared with the same stage of Series 1, yet the season finale pulled in a higher yield. TARDISODES and online commentaries complemented the series, as did the Doctor Who: Confidential series.

But did Series 2 work as well as Series 1? Well, we’re going to attempt to find out. Last year, our Adherents of Doctor Who "round table" articles discussed the return of Doctor Who, and this year we mull over the "difficult second season".

Joining the discussion are Kasterborous stalwarts Brian A. Terranova and Anthony Dry; Black Scrolls whiz kids Gareth Kavanagh and Steve Preston; OFFSTAGE Theatre Group auteur Barnaby Eaton-Jones; some-time Kasterborous artist Nigel Parry; Simon Mills of the essential Doctor Who News Service; and Daniel Bohm of German fansite

The discussions kick off this week on the matter of Sarah Jane and K9’s return, how they felt about it then, and now.

Check back every week as we move through various topics about Series 2 and establish how could Series 2 really was; click here to get started.