The Usual Suspects. The Evolution of a Doctor Who Masterpiece

Yes Jodie Whittaker is the Thirteenth Doctor in Doctor Who. Ish. Well you know. Those other regenerations that confuse things. Anyway I digress that Doctor Who discussion is for another time.

Well, new Doctor, you know what that means, it is another face to The Usual Suspects, a piece of comic art produced by Lee Sullivan.

For those that don’t know Lee Sullivan is a graphic artist responsible for comic strips including Doctor Who Transformers, ThunderCats, RoboCop, William Shatner’s TekWorld, Thunderbirds and 2000 AD.

This image, now iconic to Doctor Who fans has a long history, starting way back in 1999. Named and themed around the poster for the 1995 movie of the same title.

Doctor Who's Usual suspects 1999
Doctor Who’s Usual suspects 1999
Usual Suspects 1995 Movie Poster
Usual Suspects 1995 Movie Poster

But things were not over for this piece of work once it saw print.

2000 saw the addition of Paul McGann’s Doctor in velvet frock coat, and Peter Cushing’s Movie Doctor Who. That brought the art up to date, and with “New Who” just a glimmer in Russel T Davies eye it could have all finished there.
Once New Who came around versions with Christopher Ecclestone’s Doctor and David Tennant’s Doctor came, even with the addition of the Comic Relief Doctor’s portrayed by Rowan Atkinson and Richard E Grant

New Who Doctors. Comic Relief Doctors.

Finally with the addition of Matt Smiths 11th Doctor the picture made it to be an official poster with all 12 ‘cannon’ Doctors of the time.

But just as Doctor Who doesn’t stand still neither does this image.

By 2014 we have seen the inclusion of The War Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and a costume change of the 8th Doctor now sporting the Night Of The Doctor attire. Also a slight modificatons on the image of several Doctors, and other minor costume changes. Let’s play spot the difference shall we?

Doctor Who 12th Doctor

Jacket changes for 3,4 and 7. Change of waistcoat for 6, Blue Suit for 10. Probably others I have missed.

Now 26th July 2017 Lee Sullivan has revealed his first version of the image with the new face of Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker.

Doctor Who All Doctors WIth Jodie Whittaker

In this image she is sporting a costume inspired by the (brief) reveal trailer, as there is no official word on what her costume will be like. So I am sure that we will see an additional variation of this soon.

Now then Lee, any chance of a similar poster of The Master?

See more of Lee’s art on his website here.

Lee has lately been working on the comic series of The Rivers Of London. Buy Here or Find Out More on this here.

Images of the Doctor Who Usual Suspects used with permission of Lee Sullivan.

Use of the Usual Suspects 1995 poster under fair use for illustration purposes only.

Attack The Block – Review

Attack the Block Poster

?Attack The Block Attacks The Flock!?

A new director?a new DP?eleven new actors?and a whole new shift in British-made scifi horror comedy. Joe Cornish, best known for his Channel 4 and BBC 6Music partnership with Adam Buxton, absolutely smashes the movie industry a new one with his debut feature ?Attack The Block?. The film comes from the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg studio Big Talk, and is about as British as you can get, but about as far from the sappy, romantic stylisation of Working Title films like ?Notting Hill? as it is possible to be.

The plot in a nutshell ? a gang of 15 yr old hoodie kids on a South London (Brixton/Oval/Kennington/Stockwell area) high-rise estate come face to face with a pack of rampaging alien beasts and are forced to defend their ?block? from these vicious ETs. Along the way they mug, save and are saved in return by a newly qualified nurse, and try their best to hide out with their drug-dealing mate and avoid being shot by the block?s gang-leader. Sound complicated, it is but yet it is incredibly easy to watch?and to enjoy. I won?t say anymore because I really don?t want to spoil the movie for you.

Down to the nitty gritty?the aliens?any good? Well, they are unique. They have glowing teeth and no eyes, and I would swear they are performed by men in monster suits?or maybe one man in a monster suit and then CGI?d to look like a pack? Whatever, the beasts are fast, feral and out for blood. They are a great creation and their reason for being on Earth and attacking the block is not revealed until almost the very end of the film (how refreshing is that?) Joe does a good job of putting the scares in the right places, but then shifting them a few seconds later (or earlier) than you might expect. When there is violence, it doesn?t hold back. And remember, we?re talking about a gang of kids here?most films would shy away from showing too much violence where kids are involved, but not this movie. The horror and gore are perfectly dealt with, not too little nor too much. Just enough for gore-hounds to enjoy, but not so much it?ll put non-horror fans off.

Attack the Block cast shot
Attack the Block cast shot

The genius of this film comes from two directions. First, the script. Joe has written a true modern scifi horror comedy. I fear few people outside of the UK will understand a lot of it?come to that, the sheer amount of ?kid street-speak? may be hard for many from the UK?but even if this is so, the words explode off the page and it is testament to an incredibly talented group of inexperienced actors (alongside the likes of Nick Frost and Jodie Whitaker) that you are soon following it all and working out just what the heck it is they are saying. Within this world of street language and mugging, gang culture and notoriety, you start to understand what kids like this are going through in today?s high-rise/estate world. Layered throughout the film is an infectious and, frankly, ridiculously funny streak of humour. Yes there is horror, yes there is violence, but the comedy is well-timed, well-written and just enough to make you care about the characters.

I said two things?so here?s the second?the location. All great horror films work because the heroes are stuck in a locked, small environment. Here we find our gang of kids, and everyone else for that matter, fighting off the alien invasion within the confines of a South London tower block. Everything occurs within the block, under the block, on the outside of the block or within a minute of the block. The aliens are here, but this is no world-wide invasion, they are targeting this one block, right now! The location is extremely British. It is somewhere that evokes fear and darkness and sadness and decrepitude. You see each of the kids once as a hard nut gang member, but again within their flats as something entirely different. The building starts as somewhere many of us would be fearful of going, but by the end it has become as much a hero as the kids. A big nod to the DP who pulls off some startling shots of the block and the surrounding streets?I can?t wait to see it on BluRay!

There is so much I want to tell you about this film, but I can?t as that would spoil the experience for you. I can tell you that Joe has pulled off something incredible here. I hate management pseudo-speak but for once the term paradigm-shift feels like the right thing to say. This is a fantastic science fiction film, an iconic horror/monster movie, a thoroughly original British comedy?and yet, walking away, it wasn?t the beasts or the SFX or the shots of the block that lingered in my mind, what I was thinking about was the sub-text, that inner-city and deprived kids today feel like they are under attack, they won?t be listened to or cared about by the authorities, that the police are more like ?Feds? than friendly bobbies. In Joe?s film it may be monster?s attacking the block, but in the real world, for many kids, they and their blocks feel equally under attack. It?s no wonder so many turn inwards, form gangs, look to local drug lords, and worse, to feel a sense of belonging, togetherness and protection. If the world is attacking their block, they?ll fight back!

Congrats to Joe and his DP and the entire Big Talk crew for being the first film in many years to surprise me, and show me something I hadn?t seen before. The rumour is they made this masterpiece of scifi horror comedy for just $8million. Just goes to show you, Hollywood, what more emphasis on original writing and seeking out new talent can get you. A few less remakes and sequels and lot more Attack The Blocks would do us all very nicely, thank you. ?Attack The Block? has, for me, kicked the sheep-like dross squarely up the backside, and I for one am looking forward to Joe?s ?awkward second album??how about Adam & Joe: The Movie with a Baaaad Dad mini-movie to open?

RATING ? 9/10

Recommendation ? go see this movie, you will not be let down

Attack The Block – UK Alien Invasion Comedy

Aliens meet their match in Attack In The Block
Aliens meet their match in Attack The Block

NEW 28 April 2011 – Trailer added.

Read scifind.com’s review of Attack The Block here.

Written and directed by Joe Cornish (Adam and Joe) Attack the Block is a fast, funny, frightening action adventure movie that pits a teen gang against an invasion of savage alien monsters. It turns a London housing estate into a sci-fi playground. A tower block into a fortress under siege. And teenage street kids into heroes. It’s inner city versus outer space.

Attack The Block Trailer



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Trainee nurse Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is walking home to her flat in a scary South London tower block when she?s robbed by a gang of masked, hooded youths. She is saved when the gang are distracted by a bright meteorite, which falls from the sky and hits a nearby parked car. Sam flees, just before the gang are attacked by a small alien creature that leaps from the wreckage. The gang chase the creature and kill it, dragging its ghoulish carcass to the top of the block, which they treat as their territory.

While Sam and the police hunt for the gang, a second wave of meteors fall. Confident of victory against such feeble invaders, the gang grab weapons, mount bikes and mopeds, and set out to defend their turf. But this time, the creatures are bigger. Much bigger. Savage, shadowy and bestial, they are hunting their fallen comrade and nothing will stand in their way. The estate is about to become a battleground. And the bunch of no-hope kids who just attacked Sam are about to become her, and the block’s, only hope.

In cinemas May 11th

Marchlands

Marchlands

Marchlands is the gripping, brand new five part drama that tells the story of three different families living in the same house over different time periods ? 1968, 1987 and 2010.? The families are linked by the spirit of a young girl, Alice, who drowned in the local lake, Blackwater Tarn, in mysterious circumstances in 1967.

This truly original and compelling concept blends relationship drama with an atmospheric ghost story and is wonderfully played by a highly talented cast including Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, Hope Springs, ER), Jodie Whittaker (Cranford, Wired, Venus), Dean Andrews (Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars), Shelley Conn (Strike Back, Mistresses), Anne Reid (Ladies of Letters, Five Days), Elliot Cowan (The Fixer, Lost in Austen), Denis Lawson (Criminal Justice, The Passion), Jamie Thomas King (Mad Men, The Tudors) and Tessa Peake-Jones (Only Fools and Horses).