swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Oct. 1st, 2017 21:22)
I just found this post, which I apparently wrote on August 6th, and have no memory of at all. I do remember [personal profile] lost_spook doing the poetry meme again, and me thinking what a good idea that was; but it's news to me that I actually did it! Anyway, it's a simple enough endeavour (and I recommend it). You write down five fandoms, and then go here, and write down the fifth line of the random poem that you land on - whatever it is, and believe me, there's some doozies. Then hit refresh a few times until you've got five. Use them as inspiration for a ficlet for each fandom. Usually you'll end up with at least four poems by Emily Dickinson, but try not to find it too disheartening. The internet has always been obsessed with her.

(Not posting for two months isn't one of the rules, incidentally. That just happened, for reasons. Mostly involving stupidity.)

... )
swordznsorcery: (face)
( Jul. 31st, 2017 20:56)
I don't think I've done one of these in a while. I don't seem to have done much of anything in a while, except race about the countryside in a whirl, attempting to Get Things Done. Still, on the plus side, one of the Things to get Done is the allotment, which has just started to produce profusions of runner beans, courgettes (bright yellow ones this year!) and raspberries. So I'm tired, but also well fed.

Anyways, I'm reading an especially good book at the moment. I don't really know what it's about, although I'm more than three quarters through - or, that is, I have absolutely no idea where it's heading, or why, but I do sort of know what it's about. Something Awful just happened, and I'm frightfully annoyed, but still loving the book, and looking forward to getting back to it. Seriously, the prose is an utter joy. It's called Golden Hill, and it's by somebody called Francis Spufford. It's about a young man who arrives in 18th century New York, and it's entirely written in 18th century style - so it's a sort of pastiche, in the same way that Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is, although set rather earlier. Apparently it won the Ondaatje prize (I don't believe I've ever heard of that, but Google tells me its quite prestigious). I recommend it unhesitatingly, if you are not scared off by meandering prose, and sentences that can go on for months.

Telly-watching-wise, I've now seen the first episode of Marchlands, so can claim to have actually seen our new Doctor in something. It's an ITV drama from a few years back, set in three different time zones (the 1960s, the 1980s, and whenever now was at the time). A young girl dies in the sixties, and her ghost makes friends with another young girl in the eighties. It clearly has some knock-on effect for the modern lot, but I haven't found out what yet. That will presumably come later. Jodie Whittaker is the dead girl's mother, and has dark hair, so I didn't recognise her at first. A Yorkshire accent - I wonder if she will keep that. So far it's diverting enough. If you're in the UK, she'll be on the BBC from August 8th, incidentally, in a new series. Trailer here. It also stars Emun Elliot who - after the eternal Paterson Joseph, naturally - was my first choice for the 13th Doctor, so I can amuse myself watching them both being doctors together. If I remember to watch it. Eagle-eyed viewers will of course recognise him from Paradox, The Paradise, and Los Malvados (cough).

There are probably other things, but I do not remember them. So I may just go and collapse in a heap. Albeit a slightly satisfied and accomplished-feeling one. With a nice book.
swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Jul. 17th, 2017 21:33)
Clocks ticked. So many clocks, lining the walls, ticking and tocking away the seconds of inexorable time. Inexorable, that is, for some. Crawling through the shadows, sonic screwdriver in one hand, a hotch-potch of home-made mischief in the other, came the Doctor. The Clockmaker sought to manipulate time; to twist it to his own evil ends; and the Doctor was the universe's best line of defence. One meddlesome Time Lord, and a great deal of improvising.

Clocks ticked. Time – and so much else – moved on. And yet, mused the Doctor, as she ducked a laser beam, some things never change.
Day Twelve: A song from your pre-teen years.

But all my songs so far have been from my pre-teen years! Or nearly all. I think. I'm being lazy and not checking, but it's a fair assumption. Still, taken literally this one does require something from my lifetime, so we're going for something between 1975 and the beginning of 1988. In which case I choose this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm9drIwmmU4

- and my apologies that the official upload has rubbish sound quality! Somebody's over done the bass. Adam, however, is not to be discouraged.

That is still the best jacket in pop music.

In other news, I have found out that this is a thing: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1405930055/

Look at it, and marvel at its wonder. And there's a whole series of them! Up to and including Peter Capaldi. Of course they might be awful, but their mere existence has made me smile, so that's good.
swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Jun. 12th, 2017 21:44)
Lately I have been cruelly ignoring the Kindle, in favour of proper books. This is at least partly [personal profile] elenopa's fault, as she recently went on an Arthur Ransome Society weekend, and made me think (for the hundredth time) that I really ought to give his books another try. I scorned them rather as a child, for not being "proper" adventures, in that there are no bad guys/proper peril/fisticuffs, etc, and did my best to avoid them. Grown Up Me (well, slightly) decided that We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea might be a good place to start a reappraisal, as it has (nearly) proper pirates, and actual proper danger in it. It seemed too long for the amount of plot, and got a bit repetitive in places, but it was good, and I shall probably try another soon. In the meantime I've fallen down an old book rabbit hole, and am currently two thirds of the way through Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals, which I also studiously avoided as a child, probably for much the same reason. It's not such a good read. Much funnier, but suffers from the most horrendously purple prose. It's like swimming up hill through treacle, but with witty anecdotes. It has its attractions, mind. It's my mother's edition, from 1959, and I think [personal profile] lost_spook will appreciate the cover:

... )

I do like a colour-coded Penguin!

On the telly front, I'm still wandering through a rewatch of the Beeb's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I love it muchly. This week was episode four, with the King's Roads, and Edward Petherbridge as George III (looking rather older, and considerably less dapper, than when he was Lord Peter Wimsey, just about the only other thing I've seen him in). Why are there only seven episodes? It's not fair. I find myself wanting a wartime spin-off, all about Jonathan doing magic for the army; and that's just for starters.

Oh, and hey - Doctor Who this week! I know it was a bit ridiculous, but I thought it was fun, and I was greatly entertained to see Anthony Calf in it (he was the captain). In 2015 I watched The Monocled Mutineer, Beau Geste and Fortunes Of War more or less at the same time, and he cropped up in all of them, so it was nice to see him again. And, yet again, being a period army type. Still, he didn't get shot this time, which is a step up.

And I think that's all for now. Which is just as well, as if I don't produce some kibble sharpish, I will be eaten by a small ginger cat. Bye.
In honour of John Barrowman's 50th birthday today (11th March, for those of you awkward enough to have drastically different timezones), here's an old favourite from days gone by:



JB is celebrating by launching a t-shirt highlighting trans issues in the States. Go John.
I'm sure that I should probably have been doing useful things today, but instead I have been making clockwork dinosaurs. They don't quite work, at least without some disassembling, and careful sanding down of bits and pieces, but they sort of waddle a bit. My sister found them in Poundland. They're a brilliant design, if very small and fiddly, and putting them together was something of a comedy of rescuing bits from the cats, rescuing bits from the floor, and being incapable of telling one bit from another in the instructions. Clockwork dinosaurs under here )

So that's the only interesting thing that's happened lately. I don't seem to have posted in ages. (No change there then.) I keep meaning to, but I only ever get as far as thinking about what I want to say. I've been intending to mention a book that I read last month, as I know that it may well interest one or two of you. It's called Life With Kenneth Connor, by Jeremy Connor (he of the fisticuffs cameo in Carry On Nurse). It's not a particularly well-written book, and at less than two hundred pages it's not a particularly in-depth book, but it does provide a nice bit of insight into a fascinating life. It also gives a good account of the making of the Carry Ons, and also quite a bit of period theatre, briefly in wartime, and then mostly in the 1950s to the 1980s. Then there's He-de-Hi and 'Allo 'Allo later of course. Some interesting stuff for anybody into vintage BBC TV and radio, or Pinewood Studios. Jon Pertwee pops up, as you might expect given that he was an occasional Carry On-er, and Patrick Troughton also makes an appearance (on a motorbike!), as apparently he and KC were at drama school together. Yep, everybody on TV back then really did know each other.

Anyways, if you don't expect literary brilliance, it's a good little read. Some nice stuff about Kenneth Williams, proof that everybody in the world really does love Joan Sims, and some genuinely pleasant little LGBT moments as an added bonus. Recommended.

Also had some interesting viewing lately. I found this Screen One production on YouTube, called The Police. It's from 1990, and tells the story of a group of primary school children who set up their own police force to combat bullying. Everything goes wrong of course. An odd subject for a Screen One, since they were usually about adults, but then for all that the cast are young kids, it's not a childish story. Not cheerful or happy, but worth a watch!

Other than that, this month I have mostly been staring in mounting horror and befuddlement at the daily news, and getting caught in the rain. Meanwhile it's apparently February already. Whoever put the year into fast-forward, kindly put it back to normal speed. There's snowdrops out and daffodils coming up, and I've barely got the hang of January.

PS: Festivids happened! And there was much good stuff. Here, have some links (beneath the cut):... )

And now I have to go and do something more useful than clockwork dinosaurs. Bye.
[community profile] fandom_stocking fic for [personal profile] lost_spook.

Fandom: Press Gang
Characters: Lynda and Spike
Gen, 3200 words

... )
swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Dec. 31st, 2016 20:48)
Obligatory end-of-year post. I was going to do the meme that everybody's posting today, but it's got too many questions! I get bored after answering about ten. So instead I'll point you at this rather wonderful 2016 song, which nicely sums up everything we've all been thinking. Not safe for work; but then it probably couldn't have been. It's tempting to hope for better for 2017, but bearing in mind that Trump hasn't even come to power yet, my natural tendency towards optimism is currently feeling a tad wobbly.

2016, then. The good bits. Best telly (other than the mothballed old stuff that I usually watch) has probably been Lucifer. I heartily recommend that one to most of you. Season one was fun last year, but season two has been terrific, and Tom Ellis is a revelation. Here he is (in character) belting out a jazzed up version of All Along The Watchtower.

Best book... I wish I could say the final Temeraire, but it seemed a bit of a damp squib, somehow. Mind you, my expectations were probably set a bit high. Instead I think I'll go with The Tyrannosaur Chronicles by Dave Hone, because tyrannosaurs. Basically he wrote the book I've been wanting since I was about four. Now all I need is for somebody to write similar ones for all the other types of dinosaur! And Dimetrodon while they're at it. And listen! The first fireworks of the evening.

Best music is an awkward one, as I don't listen to much modern stuff. Lee Mead put out a new album earlier this year, called Some Enchanted Evening, which I like a lot. Nice to see him doing some old standards, as he always was good at them. And Holly Johnson had a new single out this year called Ascension, which was good. Even if did come from the Eddie the Eagle film. (Sorry, I grew up in Cheltenham. I have an Eddie the Eagle allergy.)

Best film is another awkward one. Pretty sure I've only seen one 2016 film this year, which was the live action (well, mostly CGI, actually) remake of The Jungle Book. Fortunately I absolutely loved it, which is just as well, as I guess it wins by default. Trailer here.

Looking back at my list, I see that the first book I read in 2016 was Immortal In Death by JD Robb. Sounds frighteningly prescient for the year that was to follow, so if all of that was in any way my fault, I apologise! Last book of the year was Is There Life Outside The Box? by Peter Davison. Less murder, more jokes. Also, a special pair of sentences for you, [personal profile] lost_spook! On page 196: "I was keen to make The Last Detective; it reminded me of a show I'd watched as a teenager called Public Eye that starred Alfred Burke. With its easy pace and gentle humour and world-weary central character, it had been a success for many years." (Yeah, he's not in love with punctuation. Sorry about that. ;) The index, however, is a thing of beauty.) But see! All you need to do is abduct Peter Davison, and extract the missing episodes from his brain! This is a faultless plan for 2017.

Um. And I shall leave it there. Happy 2017, everybody. Let's try to keep the NHS; try to stop Trump inadvertently starting a nuclear war with China via Twitter; and, I don't know. Hope that Trump takes his head off, and reveals that he was Hillary Clinton all along? Well, it's a thought.

See you in January.
swordznsorcery: (methos)
( Oct. 6th, 2016 21:42)
Earlier in the year, [personal profile] lost_spook posted a ficmeme using lines from poems as prompts of a sort. It looked interesting, but I had a lot on at the time. Then this morning I read that today is National Poetry Day. What better day to take out that old meme and dust it off? The rules are fairly straight forward. Write down five fandoms in alphabetical order. Go here. Note down the fifth line of whatever random poem you land on. Partner it with the first fandom in your list. Click refresh, and rinse and repeat for all five.

And good luck if, like me, you have a mild allergy to Emily Dickinson.

Five poems, five ficlets, five fandoms )
Dear Brain,

If there's some reason why I've spent the last few days singing a selection of songs from the BBC Radio for Schools production Queen Beryl & the Romans, which my school performed in 1982, then I'd love to hear it. Equally, if there's some reason why I can faultlessly sing a bunch of songs that I haven't heard in thirty-four years, when my memory regarding anything that might be a bit useful is pretty much non-existent, I would also like to know. Really, Brain. It's embarrassing.

Oh hey, look: Peter Davison's got an autobiography coming out! Sounds promising. We already know he can write. I like the write up at Amazon:

His fans have spoken, but despite their requests, Peter Davison has gone ahead and written his autobiography anyway. It wasn't the book they tried to stop it was more like the book they didn't want him to start.

I think I shall look forward to that one.
It's been a pretty rubbish week, hasn't it! We accidentally broke Britain, we accidentally broke Europe, we accidentally broke the national - and possibly the international - economy. We also appear to have broken both the Government and the Opposition, meaning that the country is currently being run by Larry, the Prime Minister's cat. And as if that wasn't enough, we made Nigel Farage happy. Oh Britain. If there are any world leaders reading this: this is what happens when you ask ordinary people to make your extremely complex economic and political decisions for you, when all they have to inform them is the media. Anyway. Beneath the cut is a five minute video from an American comedy series, and trust me, you need it in your life right now. Sarcasm, with added Tennant and Capaldi.

Click! )

Never have I missed Drop The Dead Donkey more.
I've been Ambassadors of Deathing. This is an early Pertwee Doctor Who, and I found it quite splendid. Astronauts who aren't really astronauts, and lots of slightly wobbly SFX killing people willy-nilly with flashes. I do like a good bit of Jon Pertwee. It's funny how different my favourite Doctors are. Hartnell, all deceptively bumbling, with Ian and Barbara to do the energetic stuff for him; Pertwee striding about the place with his cape all a-swirl, never missing the chance to speed around on a motorbike or a helicopter; Davison with his butter-wouldn't-melt approach, all enthusiasm and improvisation; and McGann, switching from joy to broodage in a heartbeat, randomly snogging passersby and actually managing to get a girlfriend. But none of that is anything remotely to do with "Ambassadors Of Death".

It's a good fun adventure, with a very good guest cast. A seven parter, which could sometimes be the downfall of the Pertwee era, as at times you can't help but think that they'd have been better off being just the usual four. This one uses its episodes well though. The story doesn't outstay its welcome, and if anything it could almost use a few extra minutes to stop the ending being so sudden. I imagine that anybody reading this who is remotely interested has already seen it - but just in case, some astronauts turn out not to be astronauts, to the consternation of the British Space Agency (who pays for all this stuff in the Whoniverse?! Britain must have the best economy in the world!), but to the grim joy of psycho renegade General Herne the Hunter Carrington. He wants carte blanche to annihilate all aliens everywhere, and is hoping to manufacture hostilities between humanity and its visitors, in order to trigger a UN-sanctioned aliengeddon. Meanwhile, HAVOC hurl themselves and each other all over the television screen, and lots of stuff goes snap, crackle and pop.

Here, have some pictures:

... )
Which would be a fascinating crossover, but instead is just a post. One heck of an anticlimax, but there you go.

I am distinctly unFacebookian, so ordinarily I wouldn't link to anything there, but this has been doing the fandom rounds, and I love it. It may be the best Star Warsian thing ever created (except for anything involving Han, Chewie and Lando going very fast in a spaceship, obviously).

https://www.facebook.com/BANGBROSDISCIPLE/videos/134452133246064/?theater

Fans are brilliant. When they're not being ranty anyway.

Elsewhere, I have been feeling very ungrateful. The BBC has kindly made me much New Who, with proper SFX and an actual budget, but all that I really care about is the old stuff. I've been watching "Inferno"! Grumpy green werewolves from the centre of the Earth! Parallel UNIT! Benton with fangs! And they were all wearing eyepatches, the rotters! It's wonderful. I haven't finished it yet (one more episode to go), but I can't see it going bad before the end. And even if the story itself weren't fun enough on its own, HAVOC certainly are. I couldn't have chosen a better tribute to Derek Ware if I'd tried. Every five minutes, one of his gang seems to leap off something, or through something, or into something. Also fisticuffs. Hurrah! I do sort of wish we could have kept parallel Liz though. Not that I have anything against the regular flavour as such, but that blonde wig of hers is ridiulous, and the dark one suits her much better. Also I liked parallel Liz's sarky attitude, and her Brigadier-shooting. Also also, more telly should involve people called Olaf Pooley, just because - and especially if they're mugging at the camera whilst painted green.

So yes, that was fun. I've actually never seen "Inferno" before - there's a few of those very early Pertwees that I've still to see. He's one of my favourite Doctors, so it's nice to still have a few gaps to fill. They are running out though. (No fair). Even though Sean Pertwee is ageing into a splendid reconstruction of his father, he is so far failing to rush about in a cape and fight monsters. Except when he does. And they wouldn't make it right these days anyway.

Elsewhere, in a world sadly devoid of spaceships (although AJ Simon does spend chunks of the first season wearing the Third Doctor's jacket), my rewatch has turned up what must be one of the most hilariously fan-servicey episodes of Simon & Simon ever made. Rick gets AJ into a competition with a body-building nut. Watch AJ do push-ups! Watch AJ do chin-ups! Basically watch AJ flexing bits for a prolonged period. Then watch AJ get the stuffing beaten out of him, and Rick go on one of his over-protective rampages. It's like somebody back in 1986 hacked into fanfiction.net via a timewarp.

Oh, and I finished reading Once A Crooked Man, otherwise known as the first book by David McCallum. It's good, for the most part. Massive amount of brand names getting thrown about. As an habitual viewer of ye olde BBC, which had a terror of anything that might be seen as advertising, this tends to make me twitch. I did like the characters though, and the story was a good one, with at least one decent trope annihilation. He shouldn't be allowed to write sex scenes though. I say this not to be a prude (though I am, admittedly, the sort who rolls their eyes at such things, and waits for a return to the fisticuffs), but he really, really shouldn't be allowed to write sex scenes. At least without a lot more practice.

And that I think is that.

PS: Beneath the cut, AJ Simon, modelling a brilliantly Thirdish outfit. Only in the 1980s would a bookish introvert wear a conservative black three-piece that's bright red on the inside. Oh, 1980s. Stylistically you were bonkers, but your telly was good.

... )
So, I bought a new computer keyboard. It's good, because there's lights in the keys, as there's not a lot of light here at the best of times. I have my suspicions that the keyboard is not of British manufacture though (well - what is). The box reads:

The Hight Wird Keyboard (I'm assuming the first word is meant to be "Light". The second is a bit of a mystery):
  • Cool backinghting (back lighting, I'm guessing)
  • Wnjoy typing (Enjoy typing - that one is almost right!)
  • High qualith (Again it's obvious what they mean (I'm very impressed by the ability to get a typo on every line though))
  • Stable spray (Um... thanks?)

So yes, that's a thing that happened. Another thing is that I've been watching Grange Hill again on YouTube. I started from season two, as season one is a bit rubbish. I know we're all supposed to like Tucker, but I always find him a bit of a loudmouthed yob. As far as that first intake is concerned, I much prefer Justin and Andrew, the quiet, nerdy boys, who manage to be bizarrely slashy for a pair of underage schoolboys on a children's TV show (oh internet, what have you done to my brain?) I knew a few too many Tuckers at school, and none of them were what you might call friendly, especially if you were one of the quiet, nerdy lot (hello). Anyways, I bring it up because midway through season four it turns into an unexpected Doctor Who crossover, as we're introduced to River Song: The Secondary School Years. I've embedded both episodes below the cut, and they're fixed to jump straight to her bits. There's the set up in the first episode, and the pay off in the second. And I can only apologise for the horror that is Mr Humphries, father to Alan, Tucker's mate. He is the most horrible actor.

... )

That is some impressive hair. How she expects to do judo with those bunches in the way is anybody's guess.

Beyond that, I am still Simon & Simon-ing. Eight seasons! Why can't all the shows I love last that long?! I suppose some shows would get a little repetitive, but the great thing about S&S is that even if it did I wouldn't care. Half the joy is in the characters. Rick and AJ (and their mother, who I love) are so nice to spend time with. I'm trying to keep it to one or two episodes a week, old-telly-watching style. Sometimes that works.

In other other news, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band are back out on the road, and in their tour opener in Pittsburgh last night, they played a nice tribute to David Bowie. So here's a second cut, with them doing Rebel Rebel.

... )

And that is all. Not that it was much to begin with.
swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Dec. 30th, 2015 19:34)
2013 was the year of Roger Taylor's long-awaited (if you're me) fifth solo album, Fun On Earth. Absolutely nothing else happened though, honest. Well, maybe a few things. Television gave me Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD, and then amazingly didn't take it away again after a half dozen episodes. It's still going now, even. Or will be, once they've stopped pootling around with their mid-season hiatusing, and have given it back. It's fab. It's got Agent Coulson and a flying car.

What else? I mentioned Roger's album already, didn't I. Damn. It's very good. Lousy cover, good songs. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were still on tour, so possibly the reason I didn't notice much else happening was because I was busy stalking them on YouTube? It was fun. As a hobby I highly recommend it. (Look! Cover Me! No Surrender! Live from London in June! Hurrah)!

Um. Some other stuff happened. Maybe I should do this entry as a fill-in-the-blanks? I remember watching Hostages, which was hilarious. I still don't know if it was supposed to be. It was a one-off, which was just as well, as no way was it going to get recommissioned; but despite that less than sterling recommendation, if you didn't see it, you should. It was very, very funny. I especially loved the episode when [spoiler] got shot. Funniest thing I've seen in years.

The Beeb aired Dancing On The Edge this year. It was a mini series by Stephen Poliakoff, who has impressed me greatly in the past (Caught On A Train (1980); Perfect Strangers (2001); The Lost Prince (2003)), but this was just a mess. It was supposedly the story of a black jazz band in London in the thirties, but it turned out to be about lots of white people instead. It even had white people telling black people how to deal with racism, which really shouldn't still be happening on the telly in 2013. Soundtrack was excellent, mind. I bought it before the end of the series. Some lovely bouncy jazz.

And then the Doctor had a birthday. :) And there was feasting and merriment. Well, there was a film, with Ten and Eleven and Eleven-and-a-half, or whatever we're supposed to call him. Best of all was Peter Davison being very silly with Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy though. The Day Of The Doctor was fun, but The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot was demonstrably the best 50th birthday present ever. I hope we don't have to wait until 2023 before they're similarly silly again.

... )
swordznsorcery: (e street)
( Dec. 28th, 2015 20:42)
The rioting year. Still not sure what happened there, but Britain seemed to go collectively mad this summer. I remember it primarily as the year when Clarence Clemons died, so I spent the summer mainlining E Street bootlegs - which make a pretty good soundtrack, it turns out, for a summer filled with rioting. Not that I was near any rioting, I hasten to add. At that point I was still living up a hill in the middle of nowhere, and aside from some slightly pissed off squirrels, when the dog chased them, things remained largely calm. London went nuts though. It was very strange. I can understand dissatisfaction, especially with the way that the economy is these days, but in Britain people tend to show their dissatisfaction by quiet muttering. Or, if they're really annoyed, by not voting in elections, just in case that might prove something. Rioting is quite new.

Tellywise, this was the year when Torchwood came back, all Americaned up. I didn't mind that - change is good - but I did mind the five episodes worth of story being spun out over ten weeks, with a nonsensical ending tacked on. Ah well. It's all in the past now. It was also the year of The Cape, a terrific fun superhero show that I only discovered long after it was already axed. Poor little show. Another to add to the list of programmes that deserved much better. Likewise Zen, a police drama starring Rufus Sewell that the BBC debuted this year, only to axe after three episodes. Viewing figures were great, critical feedback was excellent, but there was a change at the top in the drama department. There's always something, isn't there!

Musically, this was the year of Adele, who seemed to sell about fifty billion records for no conceivable reason. Not that she's bad, but I really don't see what all the fuss is about.

Elsewhere, it was the year when Nicholas Courtney died. Dear old Brig - he was supposed to go on forever! It was also the year when Jimmy Savile died. Boy did that ever open up a can of worms. To begin with, everybody wondered why his will stipulated that his coffin should be buried in a huge chunk of concrete. Then we found out. Sorry, Brig. You really didn't deserve to be in the same sentence as him.

... )
swordznsorcery: (paradox)
( Dec. 24th, 2015 19:26)
Having reached 2007, I can now look back on LJ as an aid to memory. Needless to say, this is spectacularly little help. On this day in history, as it were, I helpfully aided the would-be historical researcher with an exhaustively in-depth review of Richard Hammond's interview with Evel Knievel, and some warbling about the BBC's Christmas concert, in which that year's prospective Josephs sang some songs (though not enough, apparently) with the previous year's prospective Marias. Which, if taken as any sort of aid to memory, would make my year appear to be all about insane crashing and wannabe West Enders. Although, in all fairness, that's not a bad summary of my year. 2007 did not go well. It started out deceptively normal, then took a wild swerve in May, and attacked with all guns blazing. And I apologise to all of you who got caught up in that summer's appalling floods. They fitted my mood so well, I've always half-considered myself responsible.

As I said, the year didn't start off badly at all - in fact quite the opposite. ITV debuted Primeval, and I fell in love with the whole ruddy thing. Although I enjoyed most of New Who that year, Primeval was more fun than almost anything had been in years. Some great characters, a great set up, and giant prehistoric beasties at every turn. Joy and merriment, although sadly only for half a dozen weeks. Over on the BBC, Outnumbered aired for the first time this year as well. That was good, at least for the first few years. The little girl in that, Ramona Marquez, is the daughter of Martin Marquez, my stalker Hotel Babylon guy (see last year), so that was nice. Less nice of course was the fact that this was the year that Verity Lambert died. She gave us some terrific television over the years. A remarkable woman.

And then of course there was Any Dream Will Do. Who could have thought that I, with my reality TV allergy, would have become so ridiculously attached to a little group of guys trying to be chosen as the lead in a production of Joseph?! But I did. Enough so that I've tried to keep up with the careers of a handful of them, particularly the winner, Lee Mead. Although I'm not watching Casualty, Lee. Sorry. Not for you, not for anybody.

Musically, not a bad year. I said that with complete confidence, didn't I, but I was no longer really listening to the radio by this point, and have no idea of the pop scene. There was a new album from Springsteen this year; a proper one with the E Street Band. None of his dire solo nonsense. Sorry, Bruce. I never have liked your solo albums. So far as the cinema is concerned, there was the superb Pan's Labyrinth; although technically I think that was released in 2006, but who's counting. Also this was the year when they tried to remake The Hitcher. Why?! I don't think anybody saw it though.

Did anything important happen in 2007? No? Oh good. On to the music then.

... )
swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Dec. 22nd, 2015 20:19)
Let's be honest, 2005 is going to be the Who entry, isn't it. I can't really remember anything else anyway! This was the year when the BBC finally gave us our ball back, with Christopher Eccleston in the TARDIS this time. I have to be honest - I've never really been happy with New Who. I liked Matt Smith in the role, and I think Capaldi is great, but by and large the plots leave me cold these days. It's been so great though, these last ten years, watching kids playing at Daleks, and waving forks at each other and claiming they're sonic screwdrivers. The forks. Not the children. Doctor Who is popular! For those of us who don't really remember the alleged golden age of Tom Baker, let alone the sixties, when the show was really a phenomenon, it's quite remarkable. Our little show, with Christmas Day specials, and international interest, and toys on supermarket shelves.

This was also the year that Russell T Davies hit gold with another production - namely Casanova, which if memory serves came along at the same time as a major Hollywood version of the story, and blasted it good and proper. With a sonic blaster, probably. David Tennant and Peter O'Toole were terrific sharing the lead, all youthful exuberance from the former, and wistful but still sparkling old age from the latter. Episode one is a true highlight, and if anybody hasn't seen it yet - do so! Go on, hurry along. What's keeping you.

Filmwise, Zorro came back for a sequel, but I don't remember a thing about it. They had a kid I think? But if there was anything major in the cinemas this year, it clearly passed me by. Was Corpse Bride big? That was this year, but I didn't see it for centuries afterwards. It was very good though.

It was the year that Michael Sheard died - I read that on Wiki when I was looking for hints, and was very surprised. So long ago! He appeared on Doctor Who and Blake's 7 of course, upping his cult status (he may well have appeared on Doctor Who more than anybody else who wasn't a regular) - but he also did Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and a shedload of other culty things. His forte appears to have been playing Hitler, which he did at least three times! In Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, The Tomorrow People and The Dirty Dozen, without checking with the IMDb. There may well have been other times.

John Spencer died too of course this year, turning the end of The West Wing into something unbearably poignant. Poor Leo! That episode wouldn't have aired until 2006, I guess. Doesn't seem nearly that long ago.

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