I'm basically being trolled by cats now. I just cleaned out my keyboard, and there was at least one full cats worth of fur stuffed under the keys. They must get together to poke it down there when I'm not around. None of which is what I came here to post. What did I come here to post? Nothing. Something. I ought to post something, as I never do, and the rest of you lead interesting lives, or at least manage to make yourselves sound interesting, and I'm just here being me.

I read a book! It was a very nice book. It's called The Tyrannosaur Chronicles, by Dave Hone (except he's called David Hone on the cover, to make himself sound more serious and sciencey). It's all about the biology of tyrannosaurs, and what we know, and how we know what we know, and it's full of nice diagrams of skeletons. Also it's purple. 99.9% of you aren't remotely interested, but I'm recommending it anyway, as I promised I would. (I read some other books too, but this one was best).

I've also been watching films, on and off. I've been trying to watch one a week, as I haven't really watched films in years, and to start with I decided it was high time I got around to seeing the Back To The Future trilogy. It's supposedly one of those iconic 80s things, but despite seeing the first one at the cinema about two million years ago, I'd never seen the others. I shan't be bothering again! Although the third one wasn't entirely bad. Then I rewatched the Indiana Jones trilogy to make me feel better about 80s films (and indeed 80s film trilogies, I suppose). That was much, much better. Also 100% more Tip Tipping. The Last Crusade also featured surprise Julian Glover, which was nice. And then after that, I watched the proper Star Wars trilogy, because they actually put out the proper, non-fiddled-with version on DVD, and Amazon was nice enough to be selling it second hand for 12p. Han clearly fires first, sorry George. It was lots of fun, but sadly Return Of The Jedi left me with the Ewok theme song stuck in my head for three days. Here: click at your peril. Dear me, the eighties were a strange place at times.

Some pictures and things )
When I was very young, I'd sometimes hear the others in my family talking about a long departed show called Man From Atlantis. It sounded tailor-made for me - a man who breathes underwater! Undersea adventures! Action, adventure and the ocean. It couldn't very well have been more perfect. And then, some thirty-plus years on, I finally got to see it. And it was awful. Not entertainingly awful - not even amusingly awful. Just awful. Lesson learned.

When I first got on the internet, there was a TV series that I'd sometimes hear America talking about: Counterstrike, a spy drama starring Christopher Plummer and Simon MacCorkindale. Simon MacCorkindale! As a fan of the long defunct Manimal, this seemed like a very good prospect. Didn't seem likely that I'd ever get to see it though. And then, a couple of days ago, I found it on YouTube. And, yes, it's terrible. Not the fault of Christopher Plummer or Simon Mac - they're doing the best they can with it. But everybody else in the cast? And the writers? And the directors? Oh boy. Lesson, once again, learned.

It's not going to go into the long term memory though, let's face it. Somehow these things never do.

In other news, I was given a 1978 Battlestar Galactica annual for Christmas, which I've just got around to reading (I wanted to finish something else first). It's in the finest annual tradition of having an appalling grasp of the premise and characters of the TV show, and the artwork borders on hilarious - but Battlestar Galactica! The annual! It made me smile throughout. I particularly like the fabulously jolly interview with Lorne Greene, that suggests BSG might last as long as Bonanza did, and be his next big hit. Hmm. Bonanza ran for fourteen seasons. Battlestar Galactica... didn't. But it was nice of them to try. The stories in the annual have some of the best titles ever, clearly written by writers who got a bit carried away with the whole SF thing. Presumably they usually had to write stories for Grange Hill or The Waltons or something. Amazons Of Space!; Chess-Players Of Space!; Hijack In Space!. When in doubt, always stick "Of/In Space!" at the end of your title. You'll be amazed at what a difference it makes. It's a bit sad actually, when they talk to the various stars about their hopes for the future. Everybody seems all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and sure that this is their great stepping-stone to wonderful things. Yeah. Don't hold your breath, guys. The only one whose long-term plan turned out the way he'd hoped was Dirk Benedict, who said that he'd like to act for a few years, then slip away into relative anonymity, live in the middle of nowhere, and write. Which is precisely what happened. Lucky sod!

And speaking of actors who write, in other other news, I've just started reading a book called Once A Crooked Man, by David McCallum (mostly because Amazon were selling it for two quid on Kindle. Sorry Illya, but I can't afford costly book experiments!) I wasn't sure about it at first, as it had a slightly rocky beginning, but the Kindle tells me I'm 25% in now, and I'm enjoying it. It relies very much on people doing things that they probably wouldn't in the real world (the whole story is basically the hero doing this), but it's engaging enough, and I like the scene setting. Some of the prose is a bit clumsy here and there (first book-itis - it's largely inescapable), but the descriptive passages are nicely done, the plot seems strong, and the characters are well drawn. I quite recommend it, if you're in the mood for a contemporary thriller. Mind you, I am only 25% in, so it could all go wrong yet.

(Sorry. I think Counterstrike just murdered my optimism).
I think I've just watched the stupidest film ever. Which is quite an achievement, both on the watching front, and on the part of the movie itself. It's not easy to be the stupidest film ever, given how many contenders there are. This one takes a pretty good shot at the title, though. Actually it takes several.

And no, it's not 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'... )
Episode 1x01: "The Beginning"

I like sixties TV. Sixties TV is fun. It gave us... well, it gave us the abomination that was Roger Moore's Saint, but you can't hold that against it. That wasn't television's fault. It gave us lots of other things, though. Department S, Ironside, Adam Adamant, The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot, The Men From UNCLE, Doctor Who... they all came out of the sixties. And yes, Ironside is rather the odd man out in that equation, but I couldn't miss it out because it's brilliant. Anyway, sixties TV is good. It may have been cheaply made, and some people may mock the FX and production values nowadays, but it's important to remember that those are stupid people. Sixties TV seems to have more imagination than just about anything made nowadays, and frequently a lot more personality too. Hence Doctor Who would give us cardboard aliens that tripped up and head-butted the camera, but frankly who cares? Well, some people do. But I don't care about them.

Anyway, I've been watching The Champions again. I like The Champions. It's fun.

Waffle, waffle, waffle... )
And yes, that is the name of the show. Men. Plural. Because there's more than one of them - distinctly more than one.

Is so. )



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