Posted in autism, Family, Film, Science Fiction, Television

Doctor Who and King Arthur – together at last – sort of

Warning – no spoilers – just a ramble.

With all the problems and hence all the attention we need to give my youngest due to his autism – my older son often feels left out. In order to try and alleviate this a bit, I try and have some father and son time with him set aside as often as we can. This has led to some temporary little traditions from time to time. For example- one of these was Pizza and Robot Wars – until that series ended. Not all are based around TV – it the latest has been.

While it has been available on Iplayer we have been working our way through the modern Doctor Who’s. From Christopher Eccleston onwards. Tonight we actually hit one that I had never seen before. The Doctor’s Daughter. Now as episodes go – it’s meh. Not too bad – just nothing that good. Despite having my favourite companion Martha back in for a while – even she was not as good in this one.

But, this episode is one of those touchstone events – like the “Trouble With Tribbles”. Not because of the story but because of the convolutions off the screen. The ‘Doctor Daughter’ is in real life his wife but at the same time in real life The Doctor’s daughter. Georgia Moffett, who played the titular role, is David Tenants wife and Peter Davidson’s (5th Doctor) daughter. Granted she was not married to David Tenant at the time but still.

Even all that though was not what made the episode a strange experience for me. What did it was the fact that one of the other characters – the General leading them ragtag army – was none other than Nigel Terry.

Yes this Nigel Terry

King Arthur – THE King Arthur from THE King Arthur Film – Excalibur!

It was a treat to see him acting again. But -it was also really incongruous. Maybe it was because of my associations with him as King Arthur but hearing him in that setting seemed really out of place. I REALLY noticed his west country accent. OK, west country with gravitas – but it still seemed out of place in a SciFi setting.

But what struck me more was that I had never really noticed it before. I mean I heard it but it never really registered. And it is there – just as strong in Excalibur – I don’t even need to watch it again to hear him in it.

It adds a new facet – polished in my mind – that will shine through when I watch the film again – because despite all its failings as a film – it is still the best! Now I have an excuse to watch it again. Who am I kidding – when have I ever needed an excuse!

Posted in Music, Review, Television

Frank Castorf’s – Ring Cycle

I have been working my way through last year’s Bayreuth Festival Ring Cycle- staged by Frank Castorf. Only a little way through Das Rheingold – I am having to watch it in small instalments – such is my life. Not ideal but there it is.

It’s an interesting production – having been “modernised”. It brings something to it –  the intonations of meaning are easier to understand for some reason.

However, it lacks some of the Grandeur and Majesty. Wotan the drug lord is not as epic or impressive as Wotan the God.

It is keeping my interest, though – I will persevere and see how it goes – if only for the rumoured copulating crocodiles!

Pictures below are from this proper review 🙂

Posted in Financial, General, Politics, Television, Writing

The Strangulation of the Great

By Scott Bailey

So I was daydreaming in the bath – thinking about a book I read long ago – a biography of a famous 19th-century explorer and how he could be seen as representing men as a whole – but that’s a whole other post that will be coming soon.

Anyway – in the wandering way of my mind this lead me to thinking about how men have become demonised in the media generally. We are seen as stupid or beasts or slovenly – I could go on. But then, I thought women get it just as bad and then there’s ethnic minorities, the poor, immigrants – the list goes on. And on.

Maybe it’s just rich white people who get off lightly – but even as you read this what are you thinking? Of those Etonian brothers who keep their friend rich via nepotism and corruption while sneering at the poor? The rich wives from Chelsea with their lap dogs and expensive handbags and no clue about the real world?

See even they are demonised.

Why?

Who by  – that’s an easier question. The media. And we all know that the media is run by those in power. I am no conspiracy theory nut – I don’t believe that there’s a tightly organised elite pulling the strings. Rather I think it’s like a self-sustaining system which lifts the people it needs to maintain its stability into positions of power. But whatever the reason – the media is the tool of that system.

So again why? Why demonise every single sector of society?

Control. If you cannot be proud of where you came from how can you rise to greatness? Great people can threaten the order of things, they can lead people out of their everyday drudgery and tedium. Out of wage slavery and obedience.

So greatness is stifled. In the modern garden of the world, the land is left to weeds and overgrowth. Anything that rises above the weed line is quickly cut down or sprayed with toxins until it wilts.

In such a barren and ill-tended garden, how can we expect flowers? How can we have anything more than poor harvests?

We should tend our garden better.

Posted in Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Review, Science Fiction, Television, Writing

Game of Thrones – the Payoff

Last season (Season 5), I was getting more and more worried about Game of Thrones. Sure I loved it kept me gripped and on the edge of my seat – wanting the next episode to come as quickly as possible.

game-of-thrones-season-7-series-ending-finale

But that in a way was my worry. Most of that tension came from the sudden twists in the plot, from the fact that no one was safe and you just could not predict what was going to happen next.

However – take that away – for example, watch it a second time when you know what is coming and what is left? A lot of sex and violence – and sexual violence.

What did that make it? Would it feel a very different and lessened show as the years passed and we got a different perspective on it?

Well, this season was the reason – this season was the payoff.

How?

Well, we recently went to see the latest Star Wars film (The Force Awakens). It was entertaining enough – did a good job of what it is expected to do – it’s Star Wars, not Shakespeare.

force-awakens

But you don’t feel for the characters. OK you are tense when they are in danger but when the good guys beat the bad guys – as you know they will do – it doesn’t mean anything. They win because  they are the good guys – that’s all. In some respects, in a lot of modern films, the bad guys are often cooler!

This season’s Game of Thrones showed how to do it properly and gave meaning to all that violence. We have lived and suffered with the characters we love for a long time now. We have felt them suffer, we have felt their losses, we have shed tears over the many unjust deaths.

And we have learned to hate the perpetrators of evil – and this season without giving too much away has seen a few of the best get their comeuppance.  And we felt it! It mattered! We punched the air when they bit the dust and it mattered that the good guys won – it meant something.

The plot has played the long game properly! It has made the whole – so far – much more worthy in my opinion and one of the greats of the small screen.

 

 

 

Posted in Television

And now this! Robin of Sherwood to return – sort of

After my last post I just also discovered this is coming!

Robin of Sherwood to return with stars Jason Connery, Ray Winstone, Judi Trott and Clive Mantle!

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Posted in General, Technology, Television

Strange Computer Logic

Sometimes the algorithms computers use to serve us up stuff are just weird.

I usually watch Only Connect on BBC iplayer. The other day – when I had finished watching it had suggestions on what else I might like to watch.

Snog, Marry, Avoid!

What! How the hell did it think after watching one of the finest examples of intelligence and culture – the kind of program the BBC does best when it outs its mind to it – that I might want to watch an example of the worst kind of gutter televisual crap that has ever disgraced our screens.

I don’t even know how that programme got on the BBC – its worthy of the worst of the ITV channels. No wonder BBC Three is being dropped from the airwaves.

Tonight though – after watching the latest episode of Only Connect it suggested – University Challenge. That’s more like it.