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).
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Dec. 27th, 2015 19:32)
Oh, 2010. That was a year and a half. I always knew, when my grandfather and I started living together, that it was only going to end one way. Obviously. I always assumed I'd take him his cup of tea one afternoon, and find that he'd slipped away in his armchair though. That or that he'd just not come down to breakfast one morning. I didn't expect him to have to take to his bed and slip away by degrees. I imagine that neither did he! The cruel irony of old age is that, if you're strong enough to still enjoy life, you're too strong for your body to give in easily - and just a few weeks before he fell ill, he was still getting up the stairs faster than all three of his sons. I suppose it was stupid of me to expect him to go quickly. The NHS were amazing, though. District nurses are a wonderful thing. (Even if it is always a slight disappointment that they don't ride bicycles nowadays).

As to the rest of it, I think it was a quiet sort of a year. I wasn't paying attention for the first few months, admittedly, but I'm sure I'd have noticed if pirates had raided the Houses of Parliament, or Prince Charles and Prince Andrew had duelled over the succession. Or even something major that didn't involve swords. It was the year when Nip/Tuck ended, my beloved show that was now a shadow of its former self thanks to bad management. It was the year when Lost ended, and 99% of the fandom boggled at the screen in bewilderment, and wondered why we'd bothered. It was also the year when several million childhoods heaved a collective sigh, when both Corey Haim and Gary Coleman died - and Stephen J Cannell, come to that.

On the international stage, there was some brief hilarity when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano became the bane of every newsreader's existence, by spitting out lots of smoke and debris, and buggering up the airlines for a good few weeks. It was also the year when America raided the BBC's store cupboard, and nicked the superb TV miniseries Edge Of Darkness for a Hollywood remake. It seems to have vanished without trace, so clearly sometimes the the gods of the screen are just and true. Not often, I'll grant you, but sometimes. The BBC also raided their own store cupboard, and came up with a sequel to Upstairs Downstairs, annoying pretty much all the fans of the original. I enjoyed it, but admittedly I never got around to bothering with the second series, whenever that was.

And of course this was the year when a-ha called it a day, the year after their final album, Foot Of The Mountain. They released a final single, and then went their separate ways. Until this year, of course! Sometimes you do get a happy ending - albeit a temporary one. Naturally.

... )
swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Dec. 1st, 2015 21:08)
1984 was a pretty sucky year, for reasons that I'm not going into. Partly because it was miserable, and partly because I'd get shot if anybody found out I'd been posting about it! But it's not a year that I remember especially fondly. Still some good stuff though. For instance - Manimal! Only eight episodes. There should have been so many more. We also got Blue Thunder that year (cops in a helicopter); Airwolf (vigilantes in a helicopter); and Matt Houston (rich playboy PI with a helicopter). Clearly 1984 was the year of the helicopter. British TV didn't do too badly that year either, although the budgets rarely extended to helicopters. The Bill and Casualty both started that year. Both went on far, far too long, and became ghastly parodies of themselves, but they were both excellent to begin with. Dempsey & Makepeace started, and so did Robin Of Sherwood. Peter Davison ran away when we'd barely got to know his Doctor, and Rentaghost and Crackerjack both ended, probably rather later than they should have done. (And anybody who didn't just yell "Crackerjack!" is being glared at. Just so you know). How did I manage to do anything else, with all this telly-watching?! I think days must have been longer back then. Probably got chopped in half later by the Conservatives, to save money.

Elsewhere, 1984 was the year when my mother decided that, since I never mixed with people my own age, or spoke to anybody ever, I needed to start going to youth club. Oh joy. Consequently, for the best part of a year, I spent an hour every Friday evening in a room full of noisy people. I still didn't talk to anybody, but I suppose I was not talking to them in a different environment, which was possibly at least part of the idea? When she realised that it hadn't worked, she enrolled me in a local Evangelical Bible group instead. What the bloody hell that was supposed to accomplish, I still have no idea. A safe environment, I suppose! Given that the area's three worst problem children had been enrolled as well, presumably in a last ditch attempt to sort them out, it was an experiment quite hilariously doomed to failure. Anyway, we clapped our hands a lot, sang a lot of songs, and I didn't talk to anybody. I'm sensing a pattern. Being the only introvert in a family with seven noisy extroverts takes some careful explaining! Especially when you haven't heard of the word "introvert" yet.

Oh, 1984. You were a problem year. Perhaps that was inevitable, once George Orwell wrote that blasted book!

... )
Thanks go to [personal profile] liadtbunny this time!

In 2015, swordznsorcery resolves to...
Go to the fossils every month.
Drink four glasses of music every day.
Overcome my secret fear of Kronos.
Find a new Manimal.
Take evening classes in solitude.
Give up Westerns.

Get your own New Year's Resolutions:

I definitely promise to drink four glasses of music a day. I wasn't aware that I actually was afraid of Kronos; that's how big of a secret it is. But I shall nonetheless boldly overcome it. The fact that that irritating do-gooder Duncan MacLeod beheaded the poor warmongering maniac will probably help there. Kronos, how I do miss thee.

Find a new Manimal. :( Yeah. Have to, I suppose. I wonder if the big screen remake will ever come about? It would make a good film, in the right hands. But there is no replacing Simon Mac.

Evening classes in solitude not needed thanks. Got that one off to a fine art! And I am not giving up Westerns! Dean Martin would never forgive me; let alone Joe Cartwright, Jess Harper and Manolito Montoya. They live in my head. It would be rude.
swordznsorcery: (queen)
( Mar. 8th, 2007 00:23)
Well, here we are. The final episode of Manimal. *Sob* It had to come, but it's still sad. Only eight little episodes, when there should have been so many more. And the problem is, it really doesn't end on a high note.

This way )
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Feb. 20th, 2007 00:03)
Back to Manimal, then, and episode seven - "Breath Of The Dragon". And I'm never entirely sure what to think of this one. For starters we've all seen the story before. Chinatown is being terrorised by a gang of young men, martial arts experts of course, who are led by a gangster. He's running a protection racket, and anybody who stands up to him regrets it. There's a culture of silence - everybody is too intimidated to go to the police. Then of course, enter an outsider, to deal with the situation. The A-Team did it in "The Maltese Cow" (and in fact these two episodes share several cast members). Second season episode for the team, I think, and forever twinned in my mind with "Steel", since the two were novelised together into the book Ten Percent Of Trouble, but I'm meandering rather. It's a familiar story, anyway. And either Chinatown is a hotbed of protection rackets, or the local residents must be really pissed off with this particular plot by now.

This way )
swordznsorcery: (methos)
( Feb. 15th, 2007 00:06)
Really nice day today. Bit chilly, but dead shiny. Almost spring-like. The last few weeks the weather seems to have been confused even for Britain. The poor plants don't know whether they're coming or going.

But the weather is for people who have nothing better to talk about - and I have Manimal! Hurrah!

Under here )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Feb. 12th, 2007 00:09)
All the snow is gone. It's rained almost all day again today, and now I am snowless. But on the upside, I do still have Manimal. :) And so to episode five, "High Stakes".

Under here )
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Feb. 7th, 2007 23:01)
Intriguingly, there's an episode of Thunder In Paradise called "Endangered Species", which is a Manimal rip-off. Is it a rip-off, when it's the original writer doing the ripping-off?! I don't know.

Here's the entry, anyway. )
swordznsorcery: (jack)
( Feb. 6th, 2007 00:31)
Yep, folks - I've been watching Manimal again. Tonight's episode is "Night Of The Scorpion", and it's rather a good one. Mind you, only two "proper" episodes in, and I'm already sick to the back teeth of that blasted voiceover at the beginning. It's awful! Mr Deepest Voice In Television, proclaiming a lot of twaddle about who Jonathon is. Thing is, on paper it sounds good. "A man with the darkest of pasts." You could make so much of that. Probably would today. Which leads part of me to wish that somebody would remake it, and part of me to scream and hide at the very suggestion. There's so much scope for more depth in this show, particularly with the wilder side of Jonathon's nature. More of that in later episodes, though - you might see what I mean then.

Breakdown under here )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Feb. 2nd, 2007 00:03)
Seems I was too hasty in my celebrations - Simon Mac hasn't escaped the clutches of the Casualty Department yet. Shame. Still - here in the wonderful world of... whatever this place is... he's still Jonathon Chase, superhero. Hurrah! It's much more fun turning into a hawk than it is dealing with hospital politics.

Episode details under here )
swordznsorcery: (face)
( Jan. 29th, 2007 00:00)
The thing with Sunday is, it's nearly as pointless as Saturday. It just doesn't feel like it so much, possibly because it's nearly Monday again. Possibly because until recently it was Torchwood Day, and I haven't quite got out of the habit of being excited yet.

So, anyways. Watched Manimal today - the pilot episode. I threatened ages ago that I was going to have a rewatch, and share the experience with you lot (or I did if you've been following this nonsense over at MySpace, anyway), so it was only ever going to be a matter of time. And I found that I was missing my pulsating, growly friend of the piercing eyes. Also, could be that I caught a bit of Casualty recently, and decided that I needed to scrub from my eyes the image of a cult hero like Simon Mac doing the rounds in a rubbish medical drama. Actually, did hear that he's left now. Hurrah! Now it's just Peter Wingfield needing liberating. But I digress... Episode one.

Is under here )



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