Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

We only think of Patrick Stewart as a really good actor because he was the best actor in TNG.


Nicholas Grace used to boast that he was the only Sheriff of Nottingham who ever killed Robin Hood. Keith Allen and Lara Pulver can now argue over whether they can join him in that claim.

Do you think the casting director told Clive Standen “basically, you’re Jason Connery”? (Not, ahem, Jason Donovan as I accidentlly said to during tonight’s episode.) Though as a 4th series looks unlikely, I guess he’s dodged that fate.

Wasn’t Tuck incredibly active for someone who had an arrow in his shoulder at the end of last week’s episode?

They shouted “loose” rather than “fire”. Possibly the first historically accurate thing in the entire series (to the best of my knowledge people didn’t shout “fire” until after firearms were in use).

Today was the 10th anniversary of my first date with Lettice. Back in 1999 we went to see The Matrix in Streatham. Today we had an adventure to celebrate.

Robot Grasshopper from the Robot Zoo

First up was the Robot Zoo at the Horniman Museum. Did you know that it took three people to drive a chameleon?

Then we did a bit of shopping. Lettice bought beads and I bought Doctor Who books.(About Time 3 2nd edition is 500 pages long and has an end note about the Chuckle Brothers, how can you not want it?)

If you missed James May’s plasticine garden at Chelsea you can now see it at the Royal Festival Hall.

Then we went on the London Eye. Yes, we live in London. Yes, we work in London tourism. Yes, it’s been open for nine years. No, we hadn’t been on it before.

Then there was yarn shopping. Followed by Yo! Sushi (between you and me, the County Hall branch is always nice and quiet in the evenings and only a short walk from the heaving, 45 minute wait to be seated, restaurants along the Southbank).

Anyway, I’ll do a proper image post either tomorrow or on Monday, in the meantime there are pictures on Flickr.

So I found this file, last modified 10 June 1997, on a set of back ups and it’s a pub quiz that I ran in Balliol bar. In fact considering the date I suspect that this is the night that Lettice first clapped eyes on me and thought “nice guy, shame about the jumper”.

People on Facebook and Twitter said that they wanted to see the quiz, so here goes.

Read the rest of this very true thing…

I’ve just watched The Invisible Enemy for the first time. This is the story that added K-9 to Doctor Who and the tin dog comes across really well in his debut. The plot is as nonsensical as every review I’ve ever read says it is. There are some good ideas in there, Leela is great, the design and effects work – with the exception of the infamous prawn – are excellent. But the plot is all over the place and the technobabble is unconvincing not so much because a lack of basic science as a lack of basic common sense.

So next DVD to watch will be K-9 and Company for the first time since 1981…

Meanwhile. This is a teaser for the forthcoming K-9 series:

Oh dear.


Well, here’s what I’ve been reading this year. I said there was a lot of graphic novels.

Over on the LiveJournal version of this blog you can fill in a poll to show which of these you’ve read as well (not necessarily in 2008). I understand that you can use OpenID to log into LJ rather than creating an account there but I’ve never tested it myself.


  • A History of Venice by John Julius Norwich
  • Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson
  • Dry Store Room No. 1 by Richard Fortey
  • JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford
  • jQuery in Action by Bear Bibeault and Yehuda Katz
  • Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean by John Julius Norwich
  • Stand and Deliver: The Autobiography by Adam Ant
  • The Earth: An Intimate History by Richard Fortey
  • The Economic Naturalist by Robert H. Frank
  • The World Without Us by Alan Weisman


  • A Spectacle of Corruption by David Liss
  • Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell
  • Flashman’s Lady by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
  • Making Money by Terry Pratchett
  • Matter by Iain M. Banks
  • Sword Song by Bernard Cornwell
  • The Coffee Trader by David Liss
  • The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

Graphic Novels

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: No Future For You
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate
  • Black Orchid by Neil Gaiman
  • From Hell by Alan Moore
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Bloodlines by Garth Ennis
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Family Man by Jamie Delano
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Fear Machine by Jamie Delano
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: Joyride by Andy Diggle
  • John Constantine Hellblazer: The Laughing Magician by Andy Diggle
  • Lucifer: Inferno by Mike Carey
  • Lucifer: Mansions of the Silence by M Carey
  • Planet Hulk Omnibus by Greg Pak
  • World War Hulk by Greg Pak
  • Serenity: Better Days by Joss Whedon
  • Ultimate X-Men :Ultimate Collection Book 2 by Mark Millar

Doctor Who

  • Ahistory by Lance Parkin
  • About Time 6 by Tat Wood
  • Doctor Who: Bullet Time by David A. McIntee
  • Doctor Who: Business Unusual by Gary Russell
  • Doctor Who: Companion Piece by Mike Tucker
  • Doctor Who: Emotional Chemistry by Justin Richards
  • Doctor Who: Endgame by Terrance Dicks
  • Doctor Who: Festival of Death by Jonathan Morris
  • Doctor Who: Grave Matter by Justin Richards
  • Doctor Who: Halflife by Mark Michalowski
  • Doctor Who: Sometime Never… by Simon A. Forward
  • Doctor Who: The World Shapers by Grant Morrison
  • Faction Paradox: This Town Will Never Let Us Go by Lawrence Miles

Odds and Ends

  • Star Wars: Dark Empire II by Tom Veitch
  • Star Wars: Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore
  • Star Wars: Dark Tide 1 – Onslaught by Michael A. Stackpole
  • Star Wars: Dark Tide 2 – Ruin by Michael A. Stackpole
  • A Magical Society: Ecology & Culture
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There are only a few things that and I disagree on, but one of them is the concept of jumping the shark. Lettice believes that it is a binary event – a show can only jump the shark once; there’s a before and there’s an after. I believe that it is always possible to find a new and bigger shark to jump over.

This disagreement normally surfaces whilst we’re watching or discussing CSI: Miami.

Tonight’s episode. In fact the pre-titles sequence of tonight’s episode is a perfect example of my thesis.

I’m not going to put a spoiler cut for CSI: Miami, okay?

Horatio gunned down seven gangsters – several armed with automatic weapons, three in or on vehicles – armed only with a pistol without getting a scratch on him; in fact it was nine shots, seven kills. Now, considering that this show jumped the shark a long time ago (Lettice maintains that it jumped, before a single episode had aired, as soon as David Caruso was cast) was this not a new and bigger shark to jump? Will there be a scene next year where Horatio takes out a tank or a helicopter gunship with his trusty sidearm?

It’s November so some brave souls are embarking upon this year’s NoNoWriMo. Good luck to you if you’re one of them.

I’m in no way dedicated enough to try an entire novel in one month, but I do want to write more so I’m declaring November to be my NaBloPoMo – I will be endeavouring to post at least once a day for the next 30 days.

“Na No Wri Mo Na Blo Po Mo” – I think I know how RTD comes up with Judoon dialogue.

Last week I asked “Was that the most expensive piece of fanwank ever?” and correctly pointed out “Yes, but it’ll only hold that record for seven days” beacause on the fanwank scale adding Micky, Jackie, K-9, a second Doctor, two flashback montages and the TARDIS towing(!) planet Earth) adds quite a few points and on the cost scale an extra twenty minutes of explosions and CGI adds quite a few pounds.

RTD is a very evil man. In many ways parts of this could be seen as sticking two fingers up at Rose shippers, at the McGann TV movie and at Lawrence Miles. Work it out for yourself which bit is which. But as all three more or less deserve two fingers, that’s okay.

In a lot of ways this was a distillation of the RTD years, which means that it was a second hand distillation of the New Adventures novels. Really BIG space opera scope, ambiguous Doctor, high emotion and companions getting shafted all over the place.

It was just too busy to get a grip on – there were several very good ideas that needed an episode each to properly explore. I honestly don’t know whether I liked it or not.

Was that the most expensive piece of fanwank ever?