swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Jun. 26th, 2017 20:36)
Title: None
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: G
Characters: Ivanova and Marcus


prompt: #047 - shadow


Half shadow, half spider, it hung before them, all sharp spikes and razor edges. Blacker than space; a darkness well beyond anything in human experience. Light seemed to slide off it; to cower from it; to skitter away, and hide itself in places unseen. Ivanova could only sympathise. And they were to fight these things? These shadows that light itself seemed to fear? Beside her, Marcus whispered something in Minbari – a prayer, she thought – then flashed her a wholly incongruous grin. She smiled back. And why not? When light itself was afraid, what else was there to do but smile?
swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Feb. 25th, 2017 16:39)
Title: None
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: G
Characters: Londo Mollari


prompt: #024: Silence


Space was silent, so it was said. Londo Mollari knew the truth. Space was not silent. It screamed; it sobbed; it wailed with the voices of the dead and the dying. All those Centauri; all those Narns. Faceless statistics that he would carry with him to his own death – and maybe beyond.

Here at least there was silence, of a sort. Here in the Zocalo, in the constant din, the constant to-ing and fro-ing of so many thousands of lifeforms, there was a stillness. A refuge. Here, for a little while, Londo could hide from all that he had done.
swordznsorcery: (manolito)
( Aug. 3rd, 2016 00:23)
So, [personal profile] heartonsnow said that I had to post something. That was more than a week ago actually, but I still haven't thought of anything worth posting. Still, let's see where this goes. I'll start with books, as that's easy.

... )
swordznsorcery: (littlejoe)
( Dec. 21st, 2015 20:03)
I moved house in 2004. This is probably my main memory of the year. Up a hill in the middle of nowhere. Windswept, desolate, silent - if it weren't for the fact that the whole of Gloucestershire seemed to use the local roads as a race track, it would have been damned near perfect. Well - that and if the local landowners hadn't had some kind of psychotic hatred of wildlife. I used to go for long walks with my sister's dog, and spend them disassembling snares and counting illegally shot badgers. It was a nice place to live though. Illegal fox hunts notwithstanding. Got stranded up there every winter, and the power used to go off at the slightest excuse, but the middle of nowhere is definitely the best place to live. Internet speed sucked, mind.

Other than that, 2004 was a quiet sort of year. Sad one too though. It was the year that Christopher Reeve died. Richard Biggs from Babylon 5 too - and he was young and healthy, and had just said good morning to his wife, when he dropped dead. Just goes to show! It was also the year when I rediscovered pop music, by unexpectedly becoming a McFly fan. They brought out their debut album this year, and I've followed them ever since.

Angel came to an end this year, a year after Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It should have lasted longer. Frasier ended too, although that one at least had had a chance to run its course. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet aired its final episode in this year as well. It had come and gone since... 1984? Always worth watching. The Magnificent Seven were two men down by that final episode, and they found a lovely way to end that really did the show and cast proud. And it was the year that Lost began. Hmm. Now there's one that went on much longer than it should have! I think it's the year that The OC and Nip/Tuck both started in the UK too, though they'd probably started earlier than that in the US. The OC was a teen drama that hooked me completely, despite me being a good fifteen years above the target age group! It lost me after a bit, but that first season was bloody good. And I fell hard for Nip/Tuck. That tailed off too when the showrunner bailed, and went off to do Glee instead, but for several years I thought it was the best thing on television. Properly clever stuff.

Cinema! This was the year of Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow. I love that film so much. It was a flop, which was a hell of a shame, as they'd intended it to be a new franchise. I could have had lots and lots of Sky Captains, but clearly nobody else wanted them. No fair. It's a glorious film, full of giant robots, and vintage touches that hark back to the weekly cinema serials from the pre-war days. And I wanted a sequel. I shall go away now and sulk.

... )
swordznsorcery: (ratpack)
( Dec. 15th, 2015 20:17)
1998 was one of those years that we should just have skipped, and pretended never happened. Sorry if it was a good year for you. If you got married then, or born then or something. But we should just quietly forget about it, and scurry on by to 1999. Or possibly 2015.

1998 began with my sister being diagnosed with acute leukaemia. And not just acute leukaemia; that would have been far too simple. She had to contract a fabulously rare combination of syndromes that had doctors all over the world conferring on her treatment. Which was actually good, in one sense. If you're going to get really sick, you might as well go for something special, and get all the best minds in medicine thinking about you. She was down and out for the whole of the year though, and is still dealing with the consequences now - and whilst it could have been a lot worse (especially for her), it was still pretty rubbish. It was a really weird time though. When a member of your family is ill, people start asking after them in hushed tones. They don't just ask how she is, they sidle up to you, and ask like they're delivering a top secret message from the head of MI6.

The younger of my two grandfathers died this year too. I didn't know him very well, so it wasn't a personal loss, but it was a strange sort of time nonetheless. Mind you, the funeral turned out to be unexpectedly entertaining. Are funerals generally hilarious? I've not been to many, but it does seem that they wind up being a whole lot funnier than they probably ought to be. For this one I somehow got sandwiched between my two more irreverent sisters, with the one inclined to get emotional just up ahead. Every so often she'd sob, and they'd giggle. I didn't dare look at anybody!

Honestly didn't pay much attention to the wider world this year. Government being rubbish, Blair being a smarmy git, etc and so forth. I do remember that General Pinochet visited the UK, and was put under arrest on an international arrest warrant. He was supposed to stand trial for crimes against humanity, but the government twiddled its thumbs for ages, and then Margaret Thatcher said that he was a personal friend, and could they please let him go. So they did. So we very nearly did a good thing, and then didn't. Not that anybody really dared hope that he'd stand trial anyway, but it was a nice idea for a little while.

Babylon 5 ended this year. I was sorry to see it go, although obviously it couldn't have gone on any longer. It was my first proper experience of fandom, with all the obsessive discussions that used to take place on the Channel 4 internet forum. I'd never had fellow fans before! And it was such an amazing series. Cold Feet started. I did quite like that, although it was hardly a suitable replacement. Oh, and The Mask Of Zorro hit cinemas! Now there's a good film. The sword work is excellent, and it's such good fun. Dark City too, although I didn't see that until some time later. Again, though, a terrific film.

Music is a different story. I just looked up the Top #100 for the year, and that's a nightmare! Billie Piper, Aqua, Boyzone, Steps, B*Witched, Cleopatra... blimey. Must have been the International Year Of The Power Ballad too, as the top fifteen includes My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion, I Don't Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith, and Angels by Robbie Williams. Bloody hell! What happened between 1997 and 1998?! Did somebody outlaw rock music?

And, of course, 1998 was the year when Frank Sinatra went off to join Dino and Sammy. Robert Young and Roddy McDowall also died this year, and Cozy Powell, British rock drummer extraordinaire. Admittedly that was rather his own fault, but it was still a shame. Scuppered Brian May's touring plans for the year ahead, too!

... )
swordznsorcery: (ratpack)
( Dec. 12th, 2015 17:58)
A weird sort of coincidence comes with today's post. Today in real time (12th December 2015) is Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday. Happy birthday, Frankie! But today in 40 Years Of Nonsense time is 1995, which is the year that Dean Martin left the stage. On Christmas Day, no less - well, he always did hate parties! Naturally this requires marking in suitable fashion, but I shall leave that until later.

Otherwise, 1995 was basically fun. This was the year that I moved into cyberspace more or less full time. The Net was very much still growing, but there was already a lot going on, certainly in the world of fandom. Lovely early (very simple, largely text based) sites on cult movies and TV shows, many of the kind that the "real" (sadly non-geek-based) world had largely forgotten. Blake's 7 fandom! Actual, real fans, with little pictures lovingly kept from old editions of Radio Times. Fans of Jon-Erik Hexum. As much dinosaur information as I could want, kept up to date, and not written for six year olds, the way that so many of the available books are. And, in modern (for 1995!) Tellyland, lots of people to obsessively discuss Babylon 5 with, on the newly started Channel 4 internet forum. That place was my first internet home, and I loved it. It closed down in 2006, and I've never quite found another place to match it.

It was also the year of Made In Heaven of course: the final Queen studio album to feature Freddie. It made use of the last few songs that he had recorded, as well as some earlier ones that were 'Queenified' - some solo stuff, a song he'd recorded with Roger in the 80s, etc. I was a bit dubious as to how it would all turn out, but in the event it was excellent, and one of the songs on the album wound up being one of my all time favourite Queen tracks. That was a single in 1996 though, so will have to wait until tomorrow!

Lots else in the music world this year. Best of all, the E Street Band got back together! Oasis followed up last year's debut with a mega smash hit second album. The Human League came back after a hiatus of some years. Edwyn Collins was another vintage star with a major league hit this year, so maybe there was something in the water. Pulp had their biggest hit yet with the Different Class album, that really made their name. Supergrass were everywhere, if briefly. Ash made a huge debut with 1977, and Coolio was #1 forever with Gangsta's Paradise, the theme from the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds.

And James Bond came back! With the head I'd been wanting him to have for years. No disrespect meant to Timothy Dalton, who was great, but for me, James Bond is Pierce Brosnan. And GoldenEye was amazing. Fab theme song sung by Tina Turner as well, with some of the most brilliantly appropriate lyrics ever. "You'll never know how I've watched you from the shadows as a child/You'll never know how it feels to get so close and be denied." Still, as it turned out it was for the best that Brosnan did "get so close and be denied" back in 1987.

On the small screen meanwhile, the BBC premiered Due South, and that version of Pride & Prejudice. Darcy-fever, everywhere. A bad year for comedy though. We lost Peter Cook and Paul Eddington this year. Kenny Everett as well, more's the pity. And it was the year when Christopher Reeve had his fall whilst horse-riding. The news came in on the day of my final exam, iirc. A sad start to the summer.

... )
swordznsorcery: (paradox)
( Aug. 25th, 2014 19:30)
Interesting one here. A short film (twenty minutes), posted on the net by its creator. Legal films on the internet?! Whatever next! It's about a boy whose father yearns to be an astronaut, and it stars Siobhan Redmond (Between The Lines, The High Life, Bulman) and Emun Elliott (Paradox, The Paradise, Los Malvados (cough)). It's odd, but in a good way.

Mission from Phase VI on Vimeo.


In other news, I watched the pilot of Starsky & Hutch, possibly for the first time. It's strange watching it, as it's basically all the bits from the opening credits, strung together with a bit of plot. And the wrong music. And the wrong Captain Dobie. And Starsky's hair is much too short. Pilots are weird that way. Nothing could be quite so weird as the Bonanza pilot, but it's always odd watching a familiar series testing itself out. Like The A-Team, when Face has the wrong head, or Kojak, which doesn't have Crocker in it, or Babylon 5, where everything looks like it's made out of cardboard, and G'Kar is a completely different shape.

In other other news, it's wet. And cold. Make it stop being wet and cold please. Thank you.
TV meme, shamelessly nicked from several people on my f-list. Behind a cut, because it's me, and I can't not waffle.

... )
Day thirty, the saddest character death. Well there's a cheerful one to end on. I had a long think about this, but there's no real contest in the end. Wes's death in Angel still makes me more angry than sad, and although Captain Sheridan's death (or going beyond the rim, if you prefer, which could mean almost anything) is beautifully done, I don't know that I would class it as sad. It's the natural conclusion for his character. So what can it be but that of Leo from The West Wing? If you were a fan of that show, you'll know what I mean. It wasn't just that Leo died, it was that John Spencer died too, which made it all the more real. Leo was a wonderful character. He was beautifully played and beautifully written, and he was a guy that it was impossible to dislike. And then John Spencer died, and Leo had to go too. I knew that it was coming, but I had no idea when, and then suddenly at the end of one episode, when everything had been so happy, he's discovered in his hotel room, and it's just so unbearably sad. I suppose it's worse because it was a long running series, and the characters were like old friends by the end of it. And I was so very fond of Leo. It's a sign of a good show when you care so much, but that doesn't lessen the sting. Poor Leo. I really did feel that loss.
Day twenty-four, the best quote. The best thing anybody on TV ever said, ever. Well now there's an easy question. Since I don't carry all TV dialogue ever around inside my brain, the chances of me being able to remember 99% of the best lines are pretty slim, so I shall just say "Everything that got said on Babylon 5", and leave it at that.
Day twenty-two, your favourite series finale. Awkward, given that television tends to axe most of the shows that I watch, without giving them a finale. Sometimes that's a good thing - there are some shows where it's better to leave them going on to fight another day, rather than brought to an ultimate stop - but even if it's for the best, it doesn't make for a memorable finish. There are a few could-have-beens. The intended Between The Lines finale, at the close of series two, was one of the best ever, and although I liked series three more than most people did, the eventual final episode was a bit of a mess. Had Buffy The Vampire Slayer ended with season five, I might have gone for that one. Blake's 7 nearly wins it. I love the final episode (although I love the originally intended one, closing series three, rather more). "Blake" is just too downbeat to win, though. Ditto the Sapphire & Steel closer; and since neither was supposed to be a final episode, I'm not sure that they should count anyway. We're forever left wondering what would have happened next, if it had been allowed to. So, just like with the favourite TV show cast, I'm left having to choose between Babylon 5 and The West Wing. Both brought their respective stories and casts to a good conclusion, and both were handled exceptionally well. The final season of Babylon 5, however, didn't throw an unfathomable curveball at Toby, and have him act against character and lose his job. So I'm choosing it. Sorry, The West Wing. I love you, and almost everything about you. I love your characters, and I loved spending seven great years in their company, but you screwed up at the end there. So did Babylon 5, admittedly, but at least the showrunner apologised. He even said that he regretted getting rid of Marcus, which doesn't actually make up for getting rid of Marcus, damn it!, but it's a start. And at least Marcus isn't actually dead. Toby, however, is still technically a traitor, which prevented the finale from being everything that it could have been.

And besides, it's "Sleeping In Light". You really do have to go some to beat that.
I have been busy, and have been neglecting the meme. Sorry, meme. It's nothing personal. I have been busy digging, which is much more entertaining than it sounds, especially since I keep finding fossils. Everywhere there are fossils. The garden was apparently the scene of some ghastly mollusc massacre some time during the Jurassic. But anyway.

Day twenty-one, your favourite ship. A close run thing, this one. Obviously there's the TARDIS, and also my beloved White Star (the original and best) from Babylon 5. I never did quite forgive Sheridan for crashing her into a planet, even if it was in the act of probably saving the universe. But in the event, neither of them wins. Instead I'm going with the Charming Molly, the eighteenth century sailing ship from Jack Holborn. A 1982 adaptation of the book by Leon Garfield, Jack Holborn tells the story of a small orphan boy caught up in the affairs of the dread pirate Captain Sharingham, and his danger magnet brother, Sir John. The Charming Molly is Sharingham's ship, a rather characterful and exuberant three-master with a talent for atmospheric lurking. She doesn't last long, sadly, as she gets pounded to driftwood in a storm halfway through the series, but she lives on in young Jack's dreams, haunting him with memories that he can't quite reach. I love Jack Holborn. It's a terrific family adventure serial about pirates and stolen jewels and adventuring and things like that; and the Molly, and especially her red-haired figurehead, is key to a big chunk of the story. So she wins, for adventuring and excitement, and assorted escapades, and for haunting Jack's dreams all his life. And also for the opening credits, with perfect adventuring music, and her being a shameless camera whore. Why don't we have sailing ships these days? Everybody should have one. They're so much more fun than cars.
Day nineteen, the best TV show cast. Oh, yikes. Have you any idea how much TV I have watched in my life, meme? How much television I remain ridiculously attached to? Or television to which I remain ridiculously attached, if you want it in proper grammar. And yet you keep asking me to not only remember it all, but also to choose between it, and I'm not sure that that was a proper sentence. Choices, choices. The first cast of M*A*S*H? Or how about Robin Of Sherwood? Or original Torchwood, or season three Blake's 7? (I like Glynis Barber a lot, but the poor woman is so easily overlooked in season four, that I can't really rate Soolin above Cally). And then there's Between The Lines (and indeed Drop The Dead Donkey, just to stay on a Neil Pearson theme). Cardiac Arrest? Quantum Leap? How about every TV show in my tags list, with the obvious exception of Invasion: Earth?

If I behave and narrow it down - or if I just stop thinking, which is probably easier - I can get it down to two. Babylon 5, (from season two onward, as Sheridan trumps Sinclair), and The West Wing. And it's a difficult choice, so I'm not going to make it. Instead I'm going to avoid the issue entirely and, in a vain attempt to prove that I do watch modern stuff occasionally, I'm going instead with True Blood. The show is a pale shadow of its former self, but the cast has never put a foot wrong. It's a big, varied, interesting cast, and it currently includes Rutger Hauer, which says it all. Or it included him until this week. I'm hoping they're bringing him back, because Rutger Hauer. And four episodes is emphatically Not Enough. Because Rutger Hauer!

Anyway, that was day nineteen.

And this is Rutger Hauer being king of the fairies. Why doesn't more television have Rutger Hauer in it? I might watch more of it then.

Day fifteen, your favourite female character. Hmm. That's not an easy question. I don't know if it's a common problem with television in general, or just the shows that I watch, but it does seem that television isn't very good at women. Either they don't bother with them to begin with, or they have them, but ignore them. Or kill them. Or sack them for not being men. Or combinations of the above. So whereas with the guys I was spoilt for choice, with the women... not so much. Not that there aren't good ones, obviously. Victoria from The High Chaparral was awesome, although admittedly she did have to stay at home a lot and let the men have most of the fun. Blake's 7 had some great female characters, although admittedly, of the four of them, only Dayna was ever actually allowed to do anything. Buffy and Angel had a lot of really good female characters between them, although admittedly they seemed to share an alarmingly limited lifespan. Babylon 5 had Ivanova, but I can't choose her on principle, because she ran away and cost us Marcus. So it was going to be a two horse race between Delenn from B5, and CJ from The West Wing. And then I remembered somebody very special.

Back in the eighties, it largely sucked to be female and on the telly. You were mostly there to be rescued by men, or to get dressed up nicely and go out to dinner. Or die on Tenko. But then, suddenly, there was Harriet Makepeace. Dempsey & Makepeace was Britain's answer to American cop shows. It was unutterably ridiculous, and featured fleets of cars smashing into things, frequently whilst airborne; more guns than all other British TV shows combined; and more explosions than was even nearly sensible. (I loved it). And whilst Dempsey did probably win the Blowing Things Up award, Makepeace did a brilliant job of keeping pace. And she fought with swords. Not often, I'll grant you, but a lot more often than the average British police officer manages (or the average female TV character, for that matter). In a world where female characters mostly stood back and let the men have the fun, she wasn't so much a breath of fresh air as a wildly energetic hurricane. So I choose Makepeace. With the obvious exception of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, it's insanely hard to think of another action show with a woman who gets as stuck into the fights and stuff as much as she did. That's really rather sad.
Day nine, the best scene ever. Oh good grief... Meme, you are trying to drive me insane. I couldn't even choose one programme, let alone one scene. I did think maybe something from Babylon 5 or The West Wing, but you try narrowing it down to one bit of either of them. And then there's Buffy and Angel, both of which I love dearly. They both manage to combine comedy and drama in a way that I can't help but admire. But greatest? And then I thought about that fantastic scene between the two Jacks in the Torchwood episode "Captain Jack Harkness". The whole episode builds to it, and it's beautifully judged. But there again, the best scene ever? This is an insane question. So I'll fudge it, and go with one that made me ridiculously happy.

Back in 2005, I hadn't really been enjoying the new Doctor Who. I hadn't bonded with the new Doctor, and I'd found most of the writing to be too childish. But for months (probably nearly a year), Doctor Who Magazine had been muttering about a new guy. Nobody knew how many episodes he was going to be in; not at first. All we really had to begin with was one line: "A time-travelling Han Solo". And then, later, "a bisexual conman". Later on still, "bisexual" became "omnisexual", and several large chunks of the internet exploded, as angry conservatives flew into an endless rage about gay things being allowed in their programme. It was pretty crazy - and for a lot of reasons, I became very attached to Captain Jack long before he ever appeared. And then, scant weeks later, a bloody Dalek went and shot him. Time, pretty much literally, stopped. It actually can - that's a real thing. And yes, okay, he got an awesome, heroic death, and he went down fighting, but still. The bloody Daleks shot Jack! And then Rose did a weird thing, and there was shiny lighting and annoying music, and if I'd known how often we were going to be given that as a plot device in the years to come, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly so much. But it brought Jack back. And, yes, the Doctor was a bastard and ran off and left him, and poor old Jack, for all his immortality making him even more awesome, has never been written anything like so well since. But still. He came back! I have rarely been happier watching TV.

So there you go. It's not the best scene ever, but it's one that I very much appreciated. And it was either that or Richard Hammond playing conkers with cars on Top Gear. Yes, I know. But that's the good thing about having a very small brain. It's easily happied.
In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favourite interview, a book) and explain why you love it so much. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

This was incredibly difficult. My first thought was to choose a really good episode of something; but then the full extent of the prompt got me thinking, because there's movies and books to choose from as well. Also, the mention of "a favourite piece of canon" suggests that the choice shouldn't be a favourite episode, but a favourite thing that happens in a particular episode. Which complicated things even further. Eventually I narrowed it down to a shortlist of about twenty episodes, films and books; but since I had no over all favourite, I decided in the end to go for the one that's arguably the least well known. There's too much good stuff out there to try deciding whether one thing is better than all the rest; and small fandoms need support. Shortlist included at the end, just because.

... )
swordznsorcery: (true blood)
( Apr. 23rd, 2012 23:36)
True Blood has announced its return date, although I think they actually did that several weeks ago, and I've only just noticed. Also there's a trailer! Well, more of a glimpse, but they call it a trailer. It'll be nice to have True Blood back. I've given up on The Mentalist now, Hawaii 5-0 decided that we weren't going to be friends anymore, and Ringer has gone away. Probably forever, as I was the only person who watched it. So True Blood could be the only television that I watch until Steven Moffat decides to give me Doctor Who back. There are Worries, however. Seasons one, two and three of True Blood were awesome in every way, except for how there was altogether too much Sookie. Season four was rubbish, though. And this will be season five, and I am suspicious of season fives by their very nature. Should that be seasons five? No, I don't think so. Consider the evidence, anyway:

The rather-too-involved Universal Theory Of Season Five. Also True Blood trailerage in screencappery. )
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