CmdStore is coming for you this weekend, Ottawa!

Fewer things inspire such a hallowed combination of anticipation, excitement and devotion in the hearts of geeks everywhere than convention season. Costumes are prepared, cameras are pulled out and inventories of personal toy stashes are taken in preparation for what could be called a spiritual holiday for some of us. That’s why we’re getting pretty stoked to head over to the Ottawa Comiccon this week, and naturally we don’t want you to miss out on the thrill of it all!

The spectacle will take place at Ottawa’s EY Centre from May 8 to 10, and like every other proud gathering of nerds and pop-culture enthusiasts of all kinds, it will feature vendors’ tables and cosplayers of every persuasion imaginable. And of course, there’s no leaving out the featured guests that some of you might have been waiting a lifetime to be able to behold in the flesh. Allison Mack, known for playing Chloe Sullivan on Smallville, will be in attendance.

Source: The WB/Timothy White

Source: The WB/Timothy White

You can also nab yourself a photo op with famed comic-book artist Bob Layton, known for his work on Marvel Comics titles like Iron Man and Hercules.

Source: marvel.wikia.com

Source: marvel.wikia.com

“Guest of honour” Billie Piper of Doctor Who fame is only one of the 60-odd familiar faces from the realms of your favourite movies, TV, comic books and more that will be making the pilgrimage to Ottawa this weekend.

Source: BBC

Source: BBC

Ticket information is available here, and it looks like they might even still need some volunteers. It’s not too late to plan yourself a weekend of superheroic proportions. And of course, don’t forget to stop by the CmdStore booth on your sojourn through all of the magical sights and sounds of the Ottawa Comiccon.

Snap a photo and tag @CmdStore on Twitter or @shopcmdstore on Instagram, and we’ll hook you up with a retweet and a follow.

See you there!

Ottawa Pop Expo coming up this weekend!

After wrapping up a successful Montreal ToyCon this past weekend, we’re reminded that sometimes, the fun just doesn’t stop! On November 22 and 23, the Ey Centre in Ottawa will be hosting the Ottawa Pop Expo.

It’s looking to be a great one as a variety of notable and special guests will be in attendance! Among them is John Barrowman, known for his role in the BBC hit sci-fi drama Doctor Who and its spin-off, Torchwood.

Source: theguardian.com

Source: theguardian.com

Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s James Marsters will also be in attendance.

Source: bestof.provocateuse.com

Source: bestof.provocateuse.com

Allison Mack from Smallville will be hanging out there, too!

Source: tvguide.com

Source: tvguide.com

And don’t forget to check out the Toys on Fire/CMDStore booth while you’re there. As usual, we will be taking in the great vibes and fabulous sights with a stockpile of the latest and greatest in toys. We’re stoked to see you!

DOCTOR WHO: Future Sonic Screwdriver

River Song wields the future Sonic Screwdriver, a roughed-uo, modified version of the one you usually see in the hands of the Doctor himself. Based on its appearance in “Silence in the Library”, this one is a 7”-long replica imported from the UK. It features light and sound effects and interchangeable red and blue LED lights on either end. You might have to wait on this one as the ship date is currently August 2012, but you can order now– and who knows? With all that time travel, this one might even head your way a bit sooner.

Matt Smith: New Doctor Who and…Fanfic author?

The internet is a breeding ground for fan fiction of all kinds. Whether it’s as simple as a “What if…” scenario or a 40-chapter epic about Draco and Harry in love, it seems like half of a fandom’s online presence is devoted purely to additional fantasy content by the obsessed!

Which is why it seems particularly surprising that, this time, the obsessed is actually a part of the fandom they’re writing in!

The Mirror reports…

New Doctor Who Matt Smith has written his own tales for the Time Lord to help him understand the character.

The 27-year-old, who replaced David Tennant, said: “I wanted to feel like Doctor Who, understand where he’d come from.

“So I wrote stories of The Doctor and Einstein in Egypt which focused on their roles in the creation of the Pyramids. I had six months prep before we began filming so it gave me time to write quite a few stories.”

Matt, who also created the Time Lord’s new look of tweed jackets and bow ties, admitted he is hoping to add an overcoat to his wardrobe.

He said: “Originally I was going to have a black leather coat or a blue swashbuckling coat and possibly a hat too but, somewhere along the line, the idea got dropped.

“I hope it’s revived in time for series two.”

Now, for anyone mourning the loss of the 10th Doctor (or even the 9th), be sure to take a look at what we’ve got left over from our rather large Doctor Who collection.

More pics from Comic Con!

As I continue to sort through my Comic Con pics, here are a couple more from my collection. I’ll keep posting them for a while, as they come up. Right now, six pics of toys and costumes!

Russell T. Davies: Master of the Who-niverse

Russell T. Davies of DR WHO

aRTICLE BY ROB SALEM – TELEVISION COLUMNIST

SAN DIEGO–Who, you might well ask, is Russell T. Davies?

Who, indeed.

That would be Doctor Who, the enduring English genre icon, who thrives not merely by virtue of his imagined ability to regenerate himself but by Davies’ actual ability to do so on his behalf.

The time-travelling, global and galactic disaster-averting Doctor has been a television touchstone since the early 1960s, through several generations of fantasy fandom. But eventually the years caught up with him, and by the end of the last millennium he had become a pop-cultural anachronism, even to those who had grown up adoring him.

One of those fans was Davies, a former scriptwriter for British children’s television, later the creator of such provocative adult fare as the internationally acclaimed gay dramedy Queer as Folk.

It was an unlikely merging of these disparate sensibilities that informed Davies’ 2005 reinvention of the Doctor, and indeed his entire Who-niverse, additionally spinning the flagging franchise off into Torchwood, a darker and much more daring variation, and The Sarah Jane Adventures, which successfully re-engaged the original Who’s youthful fan base.

The reborn Doctor Who, initially co-produced by the CBC, was an instant hit, almost equally at home and abroad. All of this seems to culminate this week, with tonight’s North American debut (Space at 9 p.m.) of the first of four Doctor Who TV movies, following a week of nightly instalments of the Torchwood miniseries, Children of Earth, all of the aforementioned written and produced by you know Who.

Essentially, it’s “Russell T. Davies Week” here in North America. Davies likes the sound of that.

“I’ll get on to BBC America,” he laughs. “But I doubt they’ll go for it.”

He’ll find no argument here at the annual San Diego Comic-Con, the world’s largest and most influential pop-culture geekfest, where legions of ardent American admirers lined up for hours for their first opportunity to shake the hand of the man through Whom the legend lives on.

“This is certainly a first for me,” Davies acknowledges. “I usually try to avoid any contact with fans whatsoever.”

Who has the time? For the last few years, Davies has been doing triple duty on Who, Sarah Jane and Torchwood – the latter has not yet been picked up for another BBC season, though the unprecedented ratings there of the Torchwood miniseries would seem to make that more than likely.

“That was one of the greatest surprises of my entire professional life,” Davies marvels. “I mean, I hoped it would do well. I was proud of it. But to see it peaking the ratings every night, that was amazing. It was a blockbuster. None of us anticipated that.”

Anyone who’s been watching Torchwood: Children of Earth here this week will immediately understand. “Dark” does not even begin to cover it, even for a series so defined by apocalyptic ennui, of living on the precarious edge of all hell breaking loose. This is a show that thinks nothing of arbitrarily killing off beloved regular characters – and not just science-fiction dead, but really, really, not-a-dream-sequence, no-cloning-or-alternate-universe, not-ever-coming-back dead.

This relentless internal cleansing, as those who watched now know, continued into the Torchwood mini, though compared to much of what else transpired it could be considered comic relief. Screaming children being dragged out of their homes by armed soldiers, herded into buses to be bartered to invading alien drug addicts …

All this from a guy who used to write kiddie shows. Unresolved issues, perhaps?

“You may have a point,” Davies cheerily allows. “But we all have different moods. Nice men can be bleak, and even the bleak man can have a laugh.

“You know, if I’m talking to you it’s one voice. If I’m talking to my grandmother, it’s another voice. If I talk to a 5-year-old boy, I’ll use another voice …”

In that latter case, likely as not, Davies would have the poor little bugger dragged off to his doom by homeland storm troopers.

“Actually, there is a serious point to be made, even though it’s a fantasy show,” Davies insists. “Soldiers burning houses, taking people away to be murdered … these things happen regularly, we see that on our television. It could be happening in Africa, it could be happening in Bosnia, it could be happening 40 years ago …

“You know, the older I get, the more I realize how close things like World War II really are. I mean, I was born in the ’60s, and it felt like that was 100 years ago.”

Perhaps ironically, tonight’s Doctor Who movie, the more ominously entitled Planet of Death, is actually just a ripping good yarn in the new/old Who tradition: funny, fantastic, exciting, exhilarating … no children in jeopardy, no horrible death (okay, maybe one, but it’s no one we care about).

“It’s just a great big laugh,” assures Davies, “a jewel thief, a housewife, giant metal stingrays, a flying bus …”

The jewel thief who tops that list will be a familiar face even to North American audiences – the former reborn Bionic Woman, Michelle Ryan, the latest in a long line of potential Who travelling “companions,” following last season’s guesting arc by the award-winning star of her own self-titled sketch show, Catherine Tate.

Whether or not Ryan returns after tonight, Davies won’t say. On the other hand, he happily confirms that Tate is definitely coming back. Also scheduled to come on board the Doctor’s TARDIS is Lindsay Duncan, perhaps best known here for Rome.

“Very prestigious,” Davies boasts, adding that the lineup of interested actors only starts there. “After five years of Doctor Who, you should see my mobile phone … it’s mad, and extraordinary. Everyone wants to get involved.”

Everyone, that is, but Davies and his Doctor, the 10th and among the most popular, David Tennant, who have both now left the show behind as it begins shooting its sixth season up in Wales.

The keys to the TARDIS have been handed to fan-favourite writer/producer Steven Moffat and his new Doctor, 26-year-old Matt Smith.

“I spent five years literally working every weekend, every holiday … never really had a day off,” Davies explains. “That’s enough Doctor Who for the moment. There’s a new team. Time to move on.”

He’s hoping for a chance to write and produce some “straight” drama – something that doesn’t require flitting about through time and space.

“I think that’s naturally next,” he says. “I’ve had a brilliant time in science fiction land, but you know, I’d kind of like to flex those (other) muscles.”

But never say never – a particularly fluid concept when one is used to dealing with a Time Lord. “I could never turn my back on it,” he concedes. “I love it too much.”

There is still Torchwood, its fate hanging in the balance. “I do hope we can keep that going,” Davies affirms. “It’s not commissioned yet … I really hope it will come back in some shape or form.

“But we’re in the middle of a £2 billion deficit with the BBC, so now is not perhaps the best time.”

But then, as much for Davies as The Doctor, time has never really been an issue. “It certainly never stopped me before.”


TIME LORD TIMELINE

1963
Doctor Who
first airs on BBC television. The Doctor travels (often with one or more companions) in a craft known as the TARDIS, the exterior of which appears as a blue 1950s police box. (TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.) William Hartnell portrays the first Doctor.

The original (and memorable) theme music is composed by Ron Grainer and realized by electronic musician Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

The Doctor’s greatest adversaries (and audience favourite), the Daleks, are introduced in this first year, but their catchphrase, “Exterminate!”, is not uttered until 1964.

1966
Faced with the departure of Hartnell due to poor health, writers create the plot device of the Doctor’s ability to regenerate his body when near death. Now a major element of the series, this allows for the recasting of the lead actor when the need arises. Patrick Troughton assumes the role of the Second Doctor.

1970
Jon Pertwee becomes the Third Doctor.

1973
One of the best-loved companions of the Doctor is introduced: feisty investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith (played by Elizabeth Sladen). Sarah Jane later reappears in the series in 2006 and gets her own spinoff, The Sarah Jane Adventures, in 2007.

1974
When Pertwee announces plans to resume his stage career, Tom Baker takes over the role, portraying the Doctor for seven seasons, making him the longest-serving actor in the part. With his trademark long, striped scarf, Baker is often regarded as the most popular of the Doctor incarnations.

1976
The Doctor Who serial “The Deadly Assassin” reveals that a Time Lord can regenerate 12 times, for a total of 13 incarnations (though one Time Lord, the Master, has been able to circumvent this).

1977
The robotic dog K9 is introduced as a companion to Baker’s Doctor. Extremely popular with the audience, K9 is years later dismissed in the Guardian newspaper as “an annoyance on every level.”

1981
Peter Davison, best known for his role as Tristan in the television version of James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, portrays the fifth incarnation of the Doctor. At age 29, Davison is the youngest actor to play the role.

1984
Colin Baker
(no relation to Tom) becomes the sixth Doctor. Baker had previously appeared on the show in 1983 as the character Commander Maxil.

1987
Sylvester McCoy takes over the role and becomes the seventh Doctor.

1988
The song “Doctorin’ the TARDIS” by the Timelords (later known as The KLF) reaches No. 1 on the British charts. The song samples the Doctor Who theme and Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll (Part 2).”

1989
Due to falling viewer numbers, the BBC suspends production and effectively cancels the series.

1996
The Doctor Who television movie premieres as an attempt to revive production of the series. Co-produced by the BBC, Universal Television and the Fox network, it is a ratings success in the U.K., but does not fare well in the United States and no series is picked up. The movie introduces Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor in his only television appearance. Controversy arises among series fans when the eighth Doctor describes himself as “half-human.”

2005
Doctor Who
successfully relaunches on the BBC, with development money contributed by the CBC (which is credited as co-producer). Christopher Eccleston becomes the ninth Doctor and former pop singer Billie Piper plays the Doctor’s companion Rose Tyler.

Soon after its premiere, Eccleston announces he will not be returning for another season. David Tennant is cast as the 10th Doctor. Tennant’s Doctor becomes one of the most popular incarnations. In 2006, readers of Doctor Who Magazine name Tennant the “Best Doctor” over perennial favourite Tom Baker.

2006
The Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood premieres. Torchwood (an anagram of Doctor Who) focuses on the activities of the fictional Torchwood Institute, which deals mainly with extraterrestrial activities. The Institute is led by Captain John Harkness (played by John Barrowman) who appeared on Doctor Who in 2005.

2009
Matt Smith is unveiled as the 11th Doctor. At 26, Smith will be the youngest person to portray the Doctor. His series will air in 2010.

Doctor Who Action Figures Box Set: Cyber Controller & Guards

Torchwood Figures at Comic Con!

Fans of the Doctor Who action figures will be pleased to hear that the show’s spin-off, Torchwood, will soon be getting its own line of figures from Character Options Toys. They’ll be previewed at the San Diego Comic Con and we’ll let you know when they’re available elsewhere. For now, here’s a look and some more info from TV Over Mind:


Torchwood and Doctor Who fans have a lot to be excited about regarding next week’s Comic-Con 2009 in San Diego – and it just got even better for collectors. Underground Toys has just released images of their four exclusive new action figures, which will be available firstly at Comic-Con and then only at select online retailers following the event. If you’re an action figure collector like myself, you won’t want to miss these great new additions.

The first two selections are part of Character Options’ classic figure series. The first is the First Doctor (William Hartnell) with a Dalek Invasion of Earth ‘Black’ Dalek two-pack, harkening back to Doctor Who’s first broadcast in November 1963. Both color and black and white editions will be available, keeping in the spirit of the original black-and-white television broadcast. The second is the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), featured here with a Cybermen two-pack representing those found in the September 1967 episode ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’. This figure also has both color and black-and-white variants available. Both the First and Second Doctor exclusives have a SRP of $40.

Underground will also offer a Sixth Doctor variant figure, featuring Colin Baker’s incarnation in the alternative blue coat most visibly used in the BBC’s ‘Real Time’ webcast. This more muted, less frivolous design is a favorite among many fans, and this figure has an SRP of $20.

For Torchwood fans like myself, you’ll be thrilled to hear that a limited edition Captain Jack Harkness figure will also be offered at the convention. This figure, specially packaged for the upcoming Children of Earth miniseries, is a variant of the one released in the first wave of Torchwood figures. It features Jack in his dark blue alternative wardrobe, and is individually hand-numbered. This variant carries an SRP of $20.

All these figures will be available exclusively at the Underground Toys booth at Comic-Con (#3949), and later at select online retailers not yet known at press time.