I keep forgetting to mention it

but was I the only person in the world to catch that sneaky little gay joke thrown out in 'Time Crash'?:

"Does he still have that rubbish beard?"
"No, no beard this time - oh well, ---a wife."

Beard - wife - mwha-ha-ha-ha.

'Voyage of the Damned' -notes

Here's some of my rough notes on 'The Voyage of the Damned'. Please be aware there'd be no point in reading this if you haven't watched this episode first.

--- --- ---

I did have a mini rant all prepared about the Tardis repairing it's self – saying if it could do that – why then where any of the doctors ever seen endlessly tinkering with it. Then on the second viewing I realised that the doctor had just rewound time by a few minutes and then just simply re-materialised inside the Titanic. D'oh.

--- --- ---

That Tux again heh? 'This suit is really unlucky'. OK so when do the rumours that Tennant is being considered as the next James Bond start?

--- --- ---

Same old same old.
There is one big problem whenever you do any series - and that's the ideas start to dry up and you unconsciously start repeating yourself.

In this case -after not very much thought I came to realise how many elements there were where RTD had directly recycled from the first Season's 2nd episode 'the End of the Earth'.

Consider the similarities between the villains, in 'the End of the Earth'. Cassandra was a character who was reduced through hundreds of years of plastic surgery to being nothing more than a head and all her skin stretched flat onto a trampoline frame. She was attended by robots - 'the Adherents of the Repeated Meme' - and her Surgeon Moisturisers - (who may just as well have been robots, maybe they were - I'm not sure) - oh and those cute little spider things.

Her motive was to sabotage the Platform and create a hostage situation. Using this to manipulate the markets and trade in the stocks and shares of her own and of her rivals to make herself even richer.

In 'the Voyage' the villain Max Capricorn - is just a head in a massive life support machine attended by his robots - the hosts. His motive being to fatally sabotage his own ship and consequently make a killing (excuse the lame pun) by deals in the stocks and shares in his and other companies.

There were also a few elements of all this in Season 2's 'Age of Steel' John Lumic of Cybus Industries here too. What with his total dependency on his life support machine at first only to be finally be reduced to being only his brain transplanted into the Cyber controller body.

Two is a coincidence, but three – three is a theme. What is RTD telling us about what he thinks about the very rich, very corrupt heads of gigantic corporations?

--- --- ---

Have you noticed how all the doors and walls and shields and whatever in all these episodes spread out over all the different seasons speak. All in the same kind of female voice too.

--- --- ---

What is it with all the kissing? I'm sure that RTD saw the McGann Doctor kissing his companion for the first time ever in the TV Movie and ever since can't resist getting his companions to kiss his Doctors at every opportunity. It's a worrying trend and I do wish he'd give it a rest now. Or maybe he's softening us up to the idea that at some point the Doctor is going to settle down and have himself a family. But maybe the shock idea there is that the Timelords turn out to be biologically polygamous and can't actually even mate until they have a whole bevy of women around them. That's why there are going to be all his recent female companions returning at the end of this series all so that he can have his harem – they'll all go away for 2009 - and after he returns he'll have dozens of little baby timelords running about the place... and they can extend the Doctor Who franchise that way. They could even make the show more like a sitcom - a sort of Timelord Brady Bunch... Wouldn't that be fun?

OK I'm getting carried away now.

--- --- ---

Not nuclear fission - not nuclear fusion - but Nuclear Storm Drives. OK.

--- --- ---

Very sick and tired of hearing the phrase 'Dead Lock Seal' now. Please give this a rest.

Russell really loves his religious iconography doesn't he. It should be pretty obvious that his Doctor is a but a continuation of his version of Jesus as written in his mini drama 'the Second Coming'. Down to even having the same lead actor. But from his literal miraculous rebirth and walking on air godlike-ness in 'the Last of the Timelords' to this business being held by the angels and ascending -if not exactly into heaven but at least the control deck of the ship in this episode.

Well, it's all a bit of a worry.

Wonder if Martha will end up setting up her own 'Church of the Last Time Lord'? She's a year long practise of doing that after all.

[update: turns out I not been the only one to notice this - the rather silly Stephen Green - (a successor to Mary Whitehouse) has been making a fuss about it.

--- --- ---

What was that business with the Queen all about? That was just all out silly. From the commentary they had considered crashing the Titanic into the Palace. But they bottled out on that idea at the last minute. Which was a pity, it could have been a nice recurring theme that the Doctor should end up pissing off all the British Queens all throughout history. Second point - however did she know it was the Doctor piloting the ship?

Cancelled TV shows and resolution... [Archive] - RPGnet Forums

I'm watching the occasional episode of Odyssey 5 which currently being run on the UK Sci-fi channel. (Which is pretty much THE home for many a short lived TV series.)

It is scary how many tv series that there has been with unresolved story arcs. There needs to be a magazine or a book or a website where creators would be obligated to tell us how the story arcs where going to be given proper closure.

If I was able to do it - I'd call it - 'Raiders of the Lost Story Arc'.

Cancelled TV shows and resolution... [Archive] - RPGnet Forums

Step Away From The Credit Card: Is Consumerism Killing Democracy?

"It's what I call push capitalism. It's supply side. They've got to sell all this stuff, and they have to figure out how to get us to want it. So they take adults and they infantilize them. They dumb them down. They get us to want things."

Political scientist Benjamin Barber thinks mindless spending is killing America.

Car advertising

So there's been this prize winning tv commercial on for a while now - where bakers make a life-size replica cake car. Which y'know is all kinda cute n'all But part of me is thinking "oh,so as well as killing people in accidents, air pollution, global warming, oil wars, oil pollution, etc. Now they want to link cars with obesity and diabetes. Bizarre."

Apparently they were going to give the cake car to local schools and charities and hospitals and the like to eat. But it ended up being composted instead. What a terrible waste.

P. Hilton and Who

P. Hilton and Who

She fancies herself as his new companion...

Nu Who preview series 4 trailer

What have we got here then?

Sontarans . Ooooh, lots of Sontarans.
[not one of my favourite villains I have to confess. Although maybe the nu who will change my mind.]

Very many soldiers in red berets running around. A black soldier guy screaming or shouting (is he Martha's dad – or something? I've seen that face/actor before somewhere.)

An eeeeeevil businesswoman welding a (or is that *the*) sonic screwdriver and a red and white pill.

Ancient Rome.

A giant bee crashing through a window. No one has mentioned giant bees before. (Bet that's from the first episode of the new series. Maybe.)

Agatha Christie -lots of her. They obviously like her.

3 women in red robes – one of whom goes all Skeletor on us. (Are they in Pompeii still? Is this the 'Shakespeare Code' revisited?)


Quick shot of Martha being held back by soldiers or guards ... (reminds me of the end of Season 3 with Saxon's henchmen taking away Martha's family.)

A hi-tech coffin or freezer or something opening.

The brief return of Bernard Cribbins. That's interesting, isn't he too big a star to just be used as a cameo part? Mmmmm.

A ginger vicar... 'this has certainly been a most entertaining evening'.

---no hint of any Daleks? mmmmmmm? But as before there's never any hint of the big bad this early in the game. In fact they'll be still putting in the final touches to the CGI effects around now.

Voyage -impressions part 1

Well, that was a bit good.


A Venture Bros xmas treat

Doctor Girlfriend & the Monarch sing 'Fairytale of New York'

Titanic Survivor raps Doctor Who

Jaded tired tabloid Hack - totally desperate for a few column inches to fill a really slow news day takes it upon them self to ring up the last remaining survivor of the Titanic for a quick soundbite. Everyone involved ends up looking rather foolish. But never mind eh.

Doctor Who | Xmas special | Who Titanic survivor rap | The Sun

Speculation Who

Every year since the new series - I've kept a notebook about Doctor Who – this year I thought I might as well put some of my current notes online. Well, I have started doing a Media course. So this reviewy - newsy, gossipy stuff is all good practice for me. Or so I can tell myself.

So even before the new series starts- the speculation has already been stacking up and up.

Fitting together what we know for certain with details that have been already confirmed is...

They'll be the usual 13 episodes this year – but the year after that there'll only be four specials.

The first episode of the new season is going to see the re-introduction of Donna as the season's new regular companion. [I am so worried about this. Please don't ruin it Catherine – oh, please don't ruin it.] It's likely to be called "Partners In Crime" and it's been written by RTD.
Ex-Coronation Street actress Sarah Lancashire will be in it playing a powerful businesswoman, very probably an eeeeeevil businesswoman - and at some point she will hold up a red and white pill and proclaim "This is the spark of life".

They're going to visit ancient Pompeii on volcano day. (Wonder if they'll cross paths with a young Captain Jack wandering around in the background back when he was a conman and long before he met the Doctor? Because I like the idea of that continuity being played out. But it's unlikely to happen I guess.)

This year the writer they're going to meet is Agatha Christie. No doubt this story line will feature that part of her life where she mysteriously vanished for a few days in 1929.

[The Doctor has now met on-screen Shakespeare, Dickens, and H G Wells, and I don't know who else in other media or spoken lines. I'll have to start a list.]

They're going to visit the planet of the Ood.

There's going to be a two-parter featuring the return of the Sontarians. One of whom is going to be played by that short actor bloke that used to be in 'the Young Ones'. Which strikes me as being -ood, sorry, odd. It's going to be called "The Sontaran Strategem" - and Helen Raynor is the writer.

There's been heavy speculation that Davros will be the 'big bad' this season. Whether or not he'll be played by Ben Kingsley remains to be seen – I can easily see him in the part as a young Davros. And Kingsley certainly needs to redeem himself a bit after that dreadful Thunderbirds movie. I'm speculating that Dalek Caan has decided to have a quick temporal shift to visit the creator of the Daleks to help recreate the race – perhaps give Davros a few pointers on how to improve overall the traveling machine design. Something like that.
[another source.]

The finale is going to be a very big thing with four companions Donna, Martha, Sarah Jane, and Rose having to help or rescue the doctor or something. Will that be over two – or – three – or even four episodes? Will it spill over into next year somehow?

Extra links:
Helen Raynor interview.

A special "Where's WALL-E" edition

Rakka sent me this link.

Jim Hill : A special "Where's WALL-E" edition of Why For?

this is freaky

Only the other day I was on the phone to a friend trying to explain the idea behind Alan Moore's 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' especially the second volume that hasn't been made into a film (yet) -and in passing I mentioned John Carter (I might have misnamed him Adam - I can't remember that well) but then I read today that's someone's going to make a film....

John Carter of Mars (film)

I need to get a job working in stocks and shares 'futures' - I'd clean up. I really would.

(Having said that - the film will probably turn out to be a massive flop just to spite me.

WALL·E (2008) - Synopsis

WALL·E (2008) - Synopsis

WALL-E : Official Site

Oh my. I've only seen the trailers - but already it's pushing all the right buttons...

A cute robot. The Brazil tune. Spaceships. Junk heaps... the future... Pixar. Oooooh can't wait.

WALL-E : Official Site


(It's a pre-New Year's resolution that I'm going to start regularly writing about the TV shows I watch. So, that in mind, here's the first of them...)

As a rule I normally avoid all those 'worthy' costume dramas that the BBC has been churning out on a regular basis ever since ---forever. But today not able to find anything else better to watch (oh where oh where is that 'Paint Drying' digital channel they've been promising us for so long?) I let the new Oliver Twist drama play on ambiently in the background... and oh, it was crap. Really, really oh so, very crap. Pretty much as I'd expected really. It was chocful of big name star acting talent, (these things always are) – not actually doing very much. Despite the big names - I didn't get any sense of drama or of any good characterisation – just people with faces I know from the Telly in period clothes saying their lines and not falling over the furniture -unless actually required to. (There was a scene where someone was repeatedly kicked in the arse by a nasty woman until he fell over knocking furniture over as he did so.) So – it being a classic novel – this is what passes as quality entertainment does it? Um OK. Thanks – but if you don't mind I'll stick to the absolutely magnificent musical 'Oliver!'. Because that was real entertainment. I certainly can watch that again and again.

Of course it being Dickens and the BBC -there are all these class issues playing away on multiple levels – and don't we British absolutely love to steep ourselves in obsessing over issues about class. We're never ever interested in moving towards fairer equality or anything even remotely like that. Oh no. Just the unending painstaking mind-numbing, soul-crushing obsession. It's a sickness deep in the heart of our culture and has been holding us back from making any sort of real advancements in -well, anything much for the past hundred years or so. But never mind. Just so long as we all know our place. (*eyeroll*)

So here's the BBC is in it's old fundamental patronage (that's interchangeable with patronising) remit of bringing 'quality drama' to the masses (so that's usually just Shakespeare, Dickens, Bronte, and Austin then) and here having the tortured tale of the underclasses and the upper middle class all doing their thing. Oh please give me a break.

David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars

interesting stuff.

but how is the RIAA going to carry on picking people's pockets to maintain it's own bloated greedy existence?

never a truer word...

Just this minute seen the BBC advertise that they'll be soon showing the big movie version of 'the Hitch hiker's Guide to the Galaxy' and they ended with a sound clip from the movie of Marvin saying 'I've seen it - it's rubbish'.

He's telling the truth.

Database Nation The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century

Something for my wishlist.

And ammunition against all those drooling idiots who go around chanting 'if you've nothing to hide - you've nothing to fear'. I always want these people to give me all their bank details, copies of their medical records and any dairies they've been keeping. If they've got nothing to hide - what harm could it do?

Amazon.co.uk: Database Nation The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century: Books: S Garfinkel


Ooooh - a Googly challenge to wikipedia.

Official Google Blog: Encouraging people to contribute knowledge


So I was watching this afternoon's news on the BBC and they had this piece on how – according to a a new opinion poll - over 85% of Basra residents believe UK troops have had a negative effect on the Iraqi province since the 2003 invasion. Part of the report ( watch it here ) showed how there were dire warnings painted on street walls put there by the Militia – threatening women with death if they aren't following the strict dress codes. (As far as I can gather the Koran only actually urges that women should 'dress modestly' and which other Mullahs and clerics have since interpreted as meaning that women should cover themselves from head to toe.) It's no idle threat either – as something like 40 women have been murdered in the streets in the past few months. Consequently many women there are living in fear – well, wouldn't you be if you knew that you could just be randomly shot dead by some sniper who'd taken a dislike to the way you were dressed. Think of a sort of psychotic Trinny and Susannah welding sniper rifles. The fact that killing someone in cold blood is a far bigger sin than violating dress codes in Islamic law is something conveniently forgotten/overlooked/ignored by the Militia. Odd that huh?

All this reminded me of that news piece earlier this year when there was that 24 year old teaching assistant who made such a big ridiculous fuss over insisting on to be allowed to wear her veil to work. I wonder if she's watching all this on the news and thinking "Wow, this is great. I want to live there. That's the place for me."

Because we should set up some sort of exchange program we really should.

Credit card crunch time

Channel 4 prog on the oncoming credit card crunch. Boo-fucking-hoo.

A suggestion: Can the general public just possibly try to stop being so damn droolingly moronically sheepishly stupid for a moment. It's a plain fact you don't have to spend umpteen times your annual income to have a 'merry Christmas'. So just stop it. Tell the retailers to fuck off - simply stop spending money on utter crap. Only buy the things you need - not what you think you should have - and not what you think you deserve, certainly not what you think will make you happy. You'll find that Shops and manufacturers will soon start bringing their prices down once they find they can't rip off people as readily as they've been able to do recently.

Bizarre that it's only just started to start to dawn on people that buying things on credit is a dumb thing to do. All banks aren't ever your friend - they don't have your best interests at heart - you're just a cash cow to them... they want your money and they'll scheme and lie and connive to extract as much of it out of you as they can - and when they've squeezed out every last penny they can they'll throw your broken dried out husk aside (usually onto the debt collection agencies) and move onto their next victim.

My prediction for this year - there'll be report after report that the sales figures in the run up to Christmas will be the worst ever on record and retailers will be openly crying in the streets pretending they're facing ruin - but about five minutes later they'll be reports that the January sales will be the best ever... and so the retailers will be dancing for joy in the streets. Oh, and more people will have done their shopping on line than before. I make these predictions knowing that this has been the same 'news' year in year out for ...ever since I can remember. I'm only surprised that the media can manage to pass this off as news while maintaining a straight face.

Depressing: The Subprime Meltdown Is The Tip Of The Credit Iceberg

There are a few reasons why I'm fascinated by this whole debt thing...

1. I've been looking into going back into full education and the whole student loan thing that was started off by Conservative Government and just continued on by the Labour Government - as if it was ever a good idea, and it was only them blindly copying the American system without ever taking account of it's flaws - d'oh! All it means is that young educated people start their careers with a massive millstone of debt around their necks.

2. The growth and growth of Home ownership - yet another great Thatcher invention. Oh yes, let's get rid of social housing, have things like negative equity, boom and bust, and engineer it so that all the key workers that the self-interested, self-obsessed middle classes rely on can't even afford to live anywhere near where they work. Brilliant idea.

3. Letting banks have far too much power. Where does that come from? Why can't their customers bill their banks for compensation when they fuck up - and have to spend time and effort sorting out the bank's mistakes?

4. I've got a sneaking suspicion that keeping the population in debt is a neat way of keeping everyone under state control. Before we had plain and simple slavery - but ever since we had the Industrial Revolution and consumerism - we've had the working population putting themselves into deeper and deeper debt to maintain a lifestyle they automatically assume they deserve. No one's going to rock the boat when they think they've got something to lose. It's such a shame then that oil/fuel prices, environmental issues, are soon going to rock the boat for everyone. Maybe that's partly behind why Governments are trying to tag the population with ID cards and constantly trying to keep us afraid of terrorist threats... it'll be the next round of controls they're trying to put into place when the banking system starts to show signs of crumbling.

Depressing: The Subprime Meltdown Is The Tip Of The Credit Iceberg

Dan Dare: Yesterday's Hero Returns

You know - I don't think I've ever read an original Frank Hampson Dan Dare story - but I've definitely read the 2000 AD version (blergh) and I really liked the Grant Morrison/Rian Hughes POMO version in Revolver...

and wasn't there/isn't there a horrible CGI animated version shown on TV not so long ago -or am I getting that confused with the horrible CGI verion of Captain Scarlet?

But I digress --- so there's a new version out is there? Oh OK. If it ever comes my way I'll have a leaf through it - but thats quite unlikely... I certainly shan't be making a point of searching it out.

Dan Dare: Yesterday's Hero Returns

the 90s = the 60s done wrong.

So here I am both downloading a documentary on Andy Warhol from the internets and ambiently watching 'Spiceworld: the movie' on uktv Gold which I've actually never seen before. And they've got to a scene where where film writer/manager types are imagining what they could do with them for a film or something - and they tout this 'Spice Force Five' idea. Each Spice girl in a skimpy silver costume impersonating a 60s or 70s or 80s figure... cuing in in turn the theme music and styles from: 'Charlie's Angels', 'the Avengers', 'Wonder Woman', 'Mission Impossible'

and then it suddenly dawned on me - the whole of the 90s was all about trying to draw inspiration from and trying to recreate the energy and vibe of the 60s - and only getting it all terribly, terribly wrong.

The Spiceworld movie is the Spice Girls trying to do their own version of the Beatle's 'Help!'

Then to add support to this theory I remembered 'the Avengers' film with Ulma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes. That was ALL about trying to recreate all what was great about the 60s TV show and then making a total mess of it.

(I'm sure I could think of other examples of this if i were to put my mind to it.)

I guess this is part of what they call 'post-modern'. Blergh.

One of the things I'm finding so unutterably annoying about the Spiceworld movie - is that it's choc full of actors most of whom are vastly more talented than the Spice Girls -and here they are being totally wasted. A text book case of short term celebrity trumping genuine talent. Making it ultimately a rather depressing little document of the times.