Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jared Dreams your Dream for you - he KNOPFLER'D YO ASS!

Forgive me for the unprecedentedly baffling title, it made me laugh.

It seems that it's my turn to dream filmed media after bouts of far too much time spent in a sleepless state. Sadly, I'm not anywhere near as good a transcriber as my friend Ewen nor do I dream with an equal amount of clarity. What follows may be baffling, if my own reaction is anything to judge by.

The inspiration at least is clear, having just read Ewen's review of a film almost claiming to be a Blakes 7 sequel which would have possibly been more aptly titled "Nigel Verkoff vs The X-Men". Yes, that title also doesn't fit the story, but fits it better is all I'm saying. In fact, I started writing this in response to this very post but I could start to hear the text box groaning at the seams.

Anyway, last night part of the weird dreamscape I fell into (the only other bit I remember was it being revealed that the characters in Friends were all aliens impersonating humans which made the show suddenly cool) involved a REAL sequel to B7...

Essentially, I imagined my friends and I somehow making a BBV-style ultra-cheap but copyright-evading film called "Gauda Prime" with a weird split narrative structure. The "rebels" names were erased from the record, officially so they couldn't be martyred and are known only by fairly lame titles - The Leader (Avon, who I got to play because it was my dream), The Thief (Vila, obviously, who was played by YOU(Assuming that you are Ewen)) and The Gunslinger (These are kinda obvious, aren't they? She may have been my mate's cousin, not sure).

Details... were pretty vague. Each had a Pulp Fiction-style narrative that began with their name coming up with as a titlecard like Tarantino often does - I think Avon came first, as it would have been the first chronologically, and this was just my dream-consciousness plagiarising from that post-GP script Ewen started writing, where Avon wakes up in an abandoned missile silo-thing and is found by an enigmatically acting Vila and Soolin... except Vila and Soolin were replaced by Tarrant and Dayna... who turned out to be robots sent by Servalan. I'm not entirely sure if some kind of Logic of Empire stuff followed or not, but I'm sure it ended with Avon in a cell, laughing hysterically.

Soolin was doing the showgirl/hooker gig Ewen describes from a fic (I know, I'm so original!) and.. I don't know, kicked ass after that. The usual action girl stuff. Killed people while looking oh-so-sexy and buying herself a shuttle she could fly out of there.

More thought went into Vilas - he was after enough money to 'buy his own planet' as he had hinted at in the series and live out his days in luxury, putting it all behind him. When he gets involved in a planned raid on the mining facilities. Once again he's with a group of idealists out to fight the Federation (possibly a splinter cell left over from Blake's bounty hunters) but all he's got in his sights are the automated shuttle-containers that have the ore - hijack one of those and he'll be set for life.

Somehow Avon catches wind of this (the audience presumably wondering whether it's the real deal or a duplicate) and finds Vila in a pub. Vila is extremely sceptical that Avon would even be alive, but Avon manages to convince Vila he's the real deal (and presumably Vila would be the hardest person for him to convince). He goes over the details of Vila's plan, marking out positions with beer glasses, lamps, napkins, darts to the point Vila is getting a bit sick of it all. After carefully examining the pattern, Avon asks if Vila's intel is reliable. Vila says it's fool proof before giving Avon a datapad to check for himself.

Avon agrees, before pulling a complete SHERLOCK HOLMES on VR's ass, when he points out that the containers of ore head in to the facility and empty ones come out. The only conclusion to reach is that the area has been mined out and somebody in the Federation is 'seeding' it. (This is a plot twist I believe is stolen from the Dudley Doright movie - now there's embarassment for you)

This plot twists reveals... erm, not much because I remember very little after that. Avon does his trademark unnerving smile and tells Vila not to expect anything to be straight-forward. During the raid the genuine rebels discover ...erm... bad stuff in the secret facilites that have been hidden in the bogus mines. Possibly a next step of evolution in the Mutoids that Servi is planning to use in a coup to take the Presidency once again... or defeat the Helot resistance, could go either way.

Predictably it all goes badly, but Vila does get his container shuttle full of ore. More predictably, this turns out to be not so good. Upon course deviation a signal to the Federation orbit station has been sent, and it can only be de-activated from the inside. The lock system is one that Vila, to his disbelief, has never seen before. And what's more, he suspects that it's booby-rigged with an explosive device that will kill him instantly and render it sealed. At this point Avon does an appear-out-of-nowhere routine and bluntly tells his friend to stop expositing to thin air.

Avon pulls out a Giger counter and reveals that the material inside is extremely radioactive - whatever it isn't, this isn't what Vila wants. He calmly points out, though, that with a lethally radioactive payload and an ignition system, they've got the makings of a fine bomb on their hands. All they need is a target. Cue unnerving smile.

Obviously this is followed by a narrative strand entitled "The Commissioner" focusing on Servalan, now calling herself something else again, that ties everything together and explains just what the fuck Servi is up to, what Avon is up to, what happened to Soolin and how all the threads come together into an ending that justifies audience perserverance, presumably killing off Servalan once and for all and thematically capping off the entire series that inspired the idea.

Unfortunately my dream self decided to leave the theatre at this point and watch some porn on his laptop. Sorry about that.

Anyway, is the vaguely-proposed film above "Gauda Prime" better at least than "Recon 2023: The Guada Prime Conspiracy"? You tell me!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things I learnt from Stargate: Atlantis

* Hair gel increases your wise-cracking power

* Guys who carry around guns tend to have wildly unrealistic expectations of what balding scientists can achieve single-handedly

* Connected to the last point, amazingly balding scientists' cognitive abilities and genius DO increase when confronted by furious men shoving guns in their faces

* When you travel at the speed of light into a forcefield... you get fucked up. Not an amazing fact but something I'd never thought of

* The spirit of Terry Nation lives on in American sci-fi

* If you're going to have a badass knife-fight between two female characters do not get a couple of over-excited pornstars to provide foley, as this may well ruin the effect.

* Scotland is a separate nation from the United Kingdom.

* Connected to this fact only person not from Canada or the US should be allowed to speak per day.

* Also, it's fun spotting flags.

* Too much hair-gel decreases wise-cracking power, but the mind may not be aware of this deficit.

* Guys who play chess in high school know how to make nuclear weapons

* I've no idea really who she is, but Torri Higginson is quite hot. To me personally, anyway.

* If you ever complain that a black guy in the main credits gets no lines and does nothing, the next episode he will get a ton of lines and reveal himself to be a complete arsehole.

* The Amish are evil.

* Hyper-glycaemia is HI-larious.

* Insert joke about black chicks with wigs here.

* The best way to make use of your resources when you have a 300-500 strong crew on a base is to send the same 4 people on a mission every single time. Just make sure one of these guys is a genius who is entirely indispensible to your operations with no self-defense, oft-professed cowardice, has said several times he's willing to sell everybody else down the river. If Dr Smith from Lost in Space is not available settle for Rodney McKay.

* If the final wisecrack of an episode is actually piteously unfunny, make it hilarious by showing the characters around the crack-ee shuffle around awkwardly, shake their heads before just walking out.

(NB: According to the commentary they actually showed past the end of the take because they had to fill for time. Which if nothing else explains what the fuck was going on)

Suffice it to say I am really enjoying the show a lot.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Machines v Humans

I'm really curious as to why it is that Spambots congregate on the lesser-used areas of the internet. You think it would make more sense to, say, post a bizarre message with a link saying "Hey, I've found a place to download Avatar" on a site that regularly gets 10, 000 visitors than, again hypothetically, in a comment on a blog post I made a year ago about a nightmare night out that made me really hate Guitar Hero.

It makes me wonder if the mythical 'spiders', described to me as 'software-coded robots sent out by search engines' to follow links and find matches for our search queries, eat them somehow.... I don't know, I guess I don't like simple explanations. You heard it here first, what we are seeing is the rather underwhelming aftermath of a decade-long war between robot spiders and ... robotic Nigerian clones. I like the dystopic future sci-fi vibes, seeing as this blog is already firmly entrenched in the grungy gutter of cyberspace.

Essentially I'm just posting to ask the question are we just going to sit around, crying into our keyboards or are we GOIN TA DO SUMFINK ABAAT IT? Basically I was getting mildly annoyed at the Inbox messages I get in my account from threads over a year ago, where some spambot's saying "thank u this really helped with my school project!11" in a post where I accuse Paul Margrs of buggering my goats. WHAT SCHOOL DO YOU GO TO YOU SICK BASTARD??

So I was wondering about a word-verification thing on the posts, but I realise that could be seriously annoying. Let your thoughts be known here. Or not.


Incidentally, are you ever amazed by people online who attempt to turn any topic of conversation around to their pet hates, regardless of the yawning lack of relevance?

Take this Callahan fellow, responding to news of the controversial... wait, everyone thinks that the idea sucks... the ultraversial proposed Torchwood USA series:

"As long as SyFy Channel has NOTHING, WHATSOEVER to do with it. Those Morons would turn it into a blasted Soap Opera, oops, I'm sorry, I forgot to use their Fanboi code word for Soap Opera, Character Driven Drama Series.

Bleh."

He is one of the legion of fans furious, FURIOUS, about the way that Stargate: Universe dares dedicate screen time to anything other than aliens getting shot the fuck up with M16s and guys in glasses making wisecracks about it in the background, with the idea that people scared and alone in a spaceship halfway across the fucking universe with no idea where they are or of any hopes to actually get back to Earth could be scared, uncertain, emotionally frail and feel any need to express any of this. And so, derides it as a 'soap opera'. How many soap operas involve sapient sand mites, chest-bursting space maggots, time travel, crashed alien spaceships and body stealing technology? Aside from Passions. That's what I thought.

What makes this funnier is that FOX is not known for supporting sci-fi in any form - it is probably best known for cancelling them, along with plenty of original shows that yield marginal ratings at best. Because of this, a layman like me would assume that Fox has no dealing with SyFy (shudder, love the shows, hate that fucking name..) and what do you know - I'm right! SyFy is a property of NBC.

Congratulations Callahan, you win the Golden MLock this month for Complete Ineptitude at Online Communication.



Meanwhile, ten years ago...

ME: Hey, you never know, anything is possible.

SOME DUDE: Well, obviously not everything is possible.

ME: Like what?

DUDE: Like... finding a unicorn.

ME: Unless there are unicorns. They could be like they say bigfoot are - if something unobserved you don't really have evidence that it doesn't exist.

DUDE: Okay, fine. But - jumping into the ocean and coming out completely dry.

ME: If you happened to jump through the open hatch of a submarine you would.

DUDE: Yeah, not in a submarine, though, because I said in the ocean.

ME: A submarine's IN the fucking ocean. Ergo, you're in the ocean.

DUDE: That doesn't count!

ME: Why not? You are in the ocean!

DUDE: You're in a submarine that's in the ocean! So it's not possible.

ME: Yeah it is.

DUDE: How?

ME: Maybe you're in a wetsuit that's charged with electricity, and at that moment the ocean is also charged equally and so you repel each other. And when you come out you're dry.

DUDE: ...what like a fucking forcefield? That's just retarded!

ME: Perhaps. But it's possible.

DUDE: Okay, so you jump into the ocean completely naked -

ME: Organic tissue can also be charged, you know.

DUDE: - WITHOUT a fucking magical bullshit forcefield that comes out of nowhere, into the ocean and STILL come out dry?

ME: You're putting too many constraints on this. You're being too negative.

DUDE: What do you mean?

ME: You say something isn't possible, then I give you two perfectly good examples and all you do is change the argument. That's negative, you're LOOKING for a negative answer.

DUDE: Yeah, well, you can't think of anything, can you?

ME: Maybe if the ocean's got cornflour in it-

DUDE: IT DOESN'T HAVE FUCKING CORNFLOUR!!!

ME: You see! Maybe that's really what the expression is. Anything is possible - subclause: so long as you don't go looking for more and negatives.

DUDE: ...

ME: I mean, you want to go through life constantly thinking "It will be impossible to get a job assuming I don't get a haircut, don't shave, don't wash my clothes, don't get offered any work as an extra, don't become a male prostitute, don't consider collecting trollies at Woolworths a 'job', don't have any empathic eccentric millionaire relations I don't know about so why even bother?"

DUDE: ...I hate you.

ME: Yeah, I get that a lot.

DUDE: Buy Ciaris now mega hot babes shall be cumming for more COCK!!! Viagra discounts, onlly n Nigeria.

ME: NOOOOOO! IT'S A FUCKING VIRUS!!!

DUDE: Hot teenie b1tch3s take b1g loads!!!! You w@n+? buy w0m3n n000wwUuu!!!11!

(A gigantic spider crashes through the wall and eats the dude)

ME: Oh, man, thanks.

CYBER-ARAGOG: Everybody gets one, fleshman. Everybody gets one.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lest I forget... The Race of Sham

Something I have strangely not ranted about at this point is... John Safran. I know, I'm well behind the times here. But hear me out - I watched an episode of John Safran's Race Relations... okay, not quite an episode, maybe two-thirds, and there was nothing in it to make me laugh. So why is it exactly that The Guide was hailing him as Australia's best comic genius, rating him head and shoulders above the Chaser, who ended up having their funniest year by some margin.

To sum it up... John Safran wants to find out why he likes Eurasian women. Maybe talking to sociologists, psychologists, people in modelling and plastic surgery and other people with knowledge to the cutlural construct of 'beauty' would make sense. Exercises in assessing what aspects he finds particularly attractive, cross-comparisons with his peers as to what they find attractive, etcetera. Sure, it would only last 30 minutes at best and wouldn't make any headlines, but it would address the issue.

The truth is Safran wasn't interested in the slightest in actually answering the question. He came up with a button to press - the big race card for people all round the world - and wanted to jump up and down on it. He didn't have a reason so instead he settled for an excuse. No matter how hard they try, even the people who avidly watched his show, could make no logical progression from "I'm curious as to why I find Eurasian women attractive" to "I'd better dress like a ladyboy, make out with the mothers of past girlfriends, crucify myself and encourage my cameraman to masturbate over videos of Barack Obama" It cannot be done. And without that logic you're left with the world's most deranged sketch show.

A sketch show that... isn't funny.

The episode I saw was possibly the second most infamous stunt of the show, where Safran used Hollywood cosmetics to 'transform' himself into a black man. The interesting thing was the episode showed the genesis of the idea, when Safran was talking to a white American culture expert about the race issues in the United States - she in passing mentions the seminal work Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, in a specific kind of you-should-read-this-because-you'll-never-do-anything-near-as-good.

The book is very famous for the fact that the author, without the use of Hollywood, transformed himself into a black man (er, superficially - he was not able to re-write his genetic structure and nor was he a superhero) and travelled the deep South of the US for six weeks and just wrote down all of his experiences - the absolute unbiased truth followed.

The interesting thing is that this idea is so well known it has already been duplicated in massively unsuccessful form - I can't remember the title or author but a lesbian woman disguised herself as a man and worked in a car factory or some such for a month. The review I read of this book was absolutely scathing of both the deliberate angle for marketing and the fact that all the effort was wasted - she understood so little about men that the only 'revelations' she included was stuff about men 'being less outwardly emotive'. MY GOD, SURELY THIS CANNOT BE SO??? Anyway, back to TV land..

Safran took this as his cue to say "SO, you're saying I should do that - I should become black just like he did??" Causing the talking head to mirror the audience's reaction by staring at him for a moment and saying "No... why would you want to do that? It's been done already..."

Cut to Safran walking around as a black guy. First stop - a black militant headquarters! Specifically the friendliest black militants in the world. Who show up the problems right away as a) one of them is an amateur anthropologist who is saying within minutes that Safran looks "almost like a white guy who's painted himself black" and b) Safran is the worst interviewer ever. Or simply the fact that what results is an interview in the first place.

He makes no effort to connect, to actually talk and try to convince them that he is a genuine black person - using the fact that he is from Australia as cover to not even do anything with his thoroughly nasal Jewish-Australian drawl, and asks clumsy question after question starting with "Do you find, being a black person", making no effort to segue at all. He also shows that he has no quick wit at work at all - every attempt at a joke comes via the post-production voice over. Which is itself not funny. The only faint whiff of humour comes from the two black guys presuming that every black dude on the planet can freestyle resulting in a truly embarassing display.

Following on from this Safran decides he needs to experience racism. A logical course of action, to me, would be to just walk around for a few days as a black guy. However, he clearly only has three or so days to work with and this is television - you don't WAIT for things to happen you MAKE em happen. His idea of experiencing racism, and understanding it, though was truly embarassing. Go to a hotdog store in New York famous for tensions between the black staff and the white customers, encourage the woman behind the counter to abuse the customers more and more, until one guy says variations on "Shut up", "You're so ignorant" and "Are you actually cooking food here or what?" and drops the N-word as he goes to leave.

Safran is like an eagle onto a lame mouse as he practically jumps the counter and races to the guy, demanding "Why are you so racist??" and "Why are you calling us niggers???". The scene is awkward because this is barely even a racist display and small fry for this story which has a well-established reputation for it. The white guy he attempts to button-hole for his accusations looks worried that Safran will break into tears if he doesn't apologise, such is the whining nature of his voice in the scene.

Then Safran went to a black people-only speed dating night, and spent the night, with his usual subtlety, asking every woman why they didn't want to sleep with white guys instead and what they thought about interracial relationships. Jesus.

The biggest problem was that the show offered glimpses into an interesting culture that is alien to we of the isolated white middle class, and these remained only glimpses because some tit with pretensions to either comedy or journalism kept getting in the way with bloody stupid questions. Not only was he spoon-feeding the audience facts, he did so without a message. And without any jokes.

For me, John Safran's Race Relations was The Worst Show of 2009.

Sorry, I actually found TVBurp to be a guilty pleasure. And do bear in mind I don't watch much TV...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jared Reviews "The End of Time"

I've gone back to my thing where I just write in a wordpad file when a thought comes to me. As such this is more a collection of snarky comments than a real review. At the moment I'm not entirely sure what my opinion is, so it's probably just as well. Also this contains an abandoned running gag about Australian hip-hop in addition to the usual unnecessary profanity.

Holy shit, Bernard Cribbins finally gets a massive block capital "AND BERNARD CRIBBINS!" just like I joked about some time last year. This is a little surreal, especially with the raft of guest stars in this story that I have heard about.

*

In case anybody was in doubt that The Time Lord Victorious is a complete arsehole he shows up on Oodsphere and immediately details the missing adventure gap to prevent BF or anyone else running away with that time and brags about how he went back to pop Queen Elizabeth's cherry for shits and giggles.

It's a little bit difficult to believe that there would be no royal history of Queen Elizabeth getting married. Seeing as she's fairly famous for NOT doing that. But then I guess we could be in parallel universeland right now...

*

"Last time I was here you said that my song would be ending soon... and I'm in no hurry for that." A remarkably un-Doctorly thing to be saying, as he has traditionally espoused sacrifice and certainly didn't take similar stances in Planet of the Spiders or Logopolis - both those cases were his fault and his 'death' rectified them, yes, but the suggestion definitely is that this is the case here. Another sign of Time Lord Victorious' egocentric attitude?

*

Jesus Christ "I... locked it like a car. That's funny." The act of explaining the joke excruciatingly to a non-reaction from a bit character is giving me flashbacks to The Love Guru, although Ten isn't laughing hysterically at the time helps it. Maybe the fact that Sigma lives on a planet where there apparently aren't cars could be the problem, you 21st century centric prat?

I may be seeing shadows at every corner, but to me this seems like ANOTHER mark of Time Lord Victorious (I'll call him TLV from hereon in, eh?) trying to charm his way through in a forced and stilted manner. Possibly also a mark of this being the CHRISTMAS SPECIAL which comes with a contractual level of jollility expected.

I like just how pissed off they were able to make Sigma look in response, though.

*

Like the Ood city. Wouldn't mind a story set in an alien place like that, but budgetary reasons could still be preventing it. Should be grateful for brief miniature shots eh?

*

"Something has accelerated your species far beyond the normal" It's a weird assessment to make so quickly. 100 years is a long time, and they had a culture of their own prior to their enslavement. With the three parts of the brain united you'd think the Ood would have a lot of racial memories restored, and the union between them would mean that they would naturally evolve faster than humans - afterall, they would share roughly 60% of all knowledge that there is in their world between all of them. That and the humans left a lot of high technology gear behind. TLV's being a disingenuous prick!

Sorry, this episode probably should be watched two-thirds sloshed with two kilos of turkey sitting uneasily. I'd probably have let that past in that state.

But... come on, travel back to Federation, go to Edmund Barton and say "Hey! Comb-over! I can phone a motherfucker in Mongolia and it will cost me 5 of your pence once you adjust for inflation, I can get a photo of your house in ten seconds with my ADSL3, with enough money I can buy me a holiday IN FUCKING SPACE and I can look at girl's ankles ALL DAY LONG!" Okay, that's asking a lot on my part. But assuming he isn't confused or violent, he might himself say "That's impossible - evil powers are affecting humankind's evolution!" if he was very good at interpreting this sort of needlessly confrontational dialogue - and he would be wrong.

OR WOULD HE????

*

If that last piece was especially erratic it was halfway through writing that that I had dinner, and when I came back I had a quick round of Shane Warne Cricket 96 and listened to Moby for a while.

...what? I'm only five minutes into this thing???

*

Hang on, the Doctor talks about Sigma reaching back into 'the 21st century' - wasn't WoM set in the 22nd? .. nope, stand corrected there. Just checked the .avi.

*

The Ood oracle doesn't sound alien enough to me. Okay, he's got his own voice but he sounds just like... a guy. Which makes it look uncomfortably like a guy in a latex alien head. Also, I thought that the natural born Ood didn't really have the power of speech, communicating through song instead. Sigma definitely did the talking in the last story..

Mind you, given my track record there's going to be a piece of dialogue explaining these complaints away any second..

*

It's somehow a funny notion that everyone in the Universe should be freaked out so badly by some garishly-lit footage of the Master laughing in a somewhat camp manner. Reminds m of Pertwee's nightmare in The Time Monster.

*

"Doctor.. you gotta do one thing for us... get... Friar Tuck."
"FRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAR TUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!"

..it's a Simpsons reference. It's funny. Because... yeah, Simpsons... Doctor Who... funny? No?

...that was a throwback gag. Throwback? Because.. never mind.

*

I usually hate those touches, but I'm actually glad they dubbed the Doctor saying "The Master's wife" over the footage of Lucy Saxon because I really had no idea who it was. Especially since I was expecting either Donna or Martha for some reason.

*

Oh, kay, NOW we're in the type of recap I hate... erm, wow complete with some extremely jaunty jazz clarinet work by Murray Gold. Man, you always get me before I make any statement like "Murray hasn't put a foot wrong for a couple of years, has he?" That was damned surreal. Reminds me of Death to the Daleks... am I going to be reminded of a lot of old episodes here?

LMAO at the seamless transition between "I held him in my arms, I burnt his body!" because it sounds like the Doctor's about to say "Just to make SURE the motherfucker was dead!"

*

Okay so ... it was just some random that picked up the Master's ring. Because the Doctor was not burning his body on Whatever the Last Planet in the Universe Was Called as most of us thought but just in some random quarry in the UK. Leaving the obvious question of... is this guy a fucking idiot or what? No, the Master won't return from certain death. He's only done that... let's see... The Deadly Assassin, The Keeper of Traken, Castrovalva, Planet of Fire, The Mark of the Rani, Survival, Doctor Who: The Movie / The Enemy Within and Utopida (surviving the BLOODY TIME WAR). Oh, let's throw in The War Games as well (cos it's him) but let's leave comics and novels out of this. So that's nine times previously. Do bear in mind that two of those involved stealing the bodies of nearby people.

*

"Events that have happened... are happening now..."

"Yeah... like... we're all happening. And we all have happened. So... it's us."

"Whoa... totally deep, man..."

*

There is no aerodynamic reason to suppose that gritting your teeth harder will allow you to run faster.

*

..the Doctor unlocked his TARDIS remotely? So it wasn't just a joke? How did he upgrade his TARDIS in that way in the gap between stories? He seriously spent a large amount of time building a new security system that would allow him to remotely unlock his TARDIS like some fucking prat yuppie? Could THIS be the anti-capitalist message that Mad Larry has been yearning for - TLV's pigheaded interest in decadent extras for his 'ride' is responsible for the downfall of the entire Universe as he ignores the clear and imminent danger? It's practically Ben Eltonian...

*

Lucy Saxon seems to be imprisoned somewhere in Medieaval times, seeing as the governor's office looks like an ossuary and is illuminated by candlelight...

*

So she kissed him a few times three years ago and the 'biometric signature' is still on her lips? Okay, hard(ish) to argue as I don't think anybody's written papers on the transference of biometric signatures through oral contact between hominid inter-planetary relations, but seems a little far-fetched. I mean I kind of bought the one involving Martha because that was only a few minutes after the fact...

Also, the longer this scene goes the more it feels like "Hardcore Lesbian Basement Coven 6". And I should know, having watched the original.

*

Good to see no directors asked John Simms to tone his performance down. Either that or they did and we're seeing him do a Richard Briers..

*

Okay... what? The guard just happens to be a secret agent of the Anti-Secret Book of Saxon League.. I'm betting whatever McGuffin Lucy has just pulled out is completely useless and the Master put it in the Book of Saxon as a laugh.

Hmm.. might have called that one slightly wrong..

*

Meanwhile, Friar Tuck calls Christmas off because it's a load of Pagan bullshit and Jesus was born in July.

*

Fascinating - the way Wilf shouted his lines to a completely unresponsive house suggests to me they didn't want to infect the series with any more Sylvia Noble than was necessary. Let's hope I'm right.

And thanks to popular demand even more Cribbins dancing! Will he go on to do some encore performances of his memorable spoon-selling days?

Man, some real Dad's Army stuff shaping up here. I wonder if Arthur Lowe's still alive to make a cameo...

*

LMAO! A dude drops out of the sky behind you, specifically a freaky Aryan-looking bloke in a blackie hoodie with his angry face on, and you smile and say "Somebody's lively on his feet!" Probably the funniest moment of the year.

For unrelated reasons I am watching the rest of this scene at least with Hilltop Hoods' The Hard Road (Restrung) playing in the background.

*

Is the idea that these two blokes are of the recently homeless? Knowing RTD it could well be, and that could be the reason for their vague awareness of politics and the economy. Just otherwise I can't see a pair of homeless guys running away in terror at the sight of a dude who is just crazy - in their positions the amount of mentally unbalanced people you'd encounter would be very high and they'd learn a number of ways to humour, disarm, charm and evade them without alarming them. These two guys basically scream "FUCK THIS!" and tail it. Which, incidentally, would have made more sense at the stage when he DROPPED OUT OF THE SKY behind them.

...

Okay, when he starts talking like The Karkus and transforming into Geoffrey Beavers it makes more sense to freak the fuck out. I like the way that this scary moment is being nicely underscored by Stopping All Stations.

*

The revelation that the Master has eviscerated the lunch truck has to be one of the least alarming twists in the new series, but I guess it would have freaked some kids out. The superman performance afterwards does kind of go against the Master and the concept of him being a yang to the Doctor's ying with comparable powers, but I guess it isn't the first time that he's gone and gotten himself ridiculous superpowers.. because HE CAN.

*

The Doctor arrives on the scene surprisingly quickly in terms of plot ... considering I don't know where the hell we are but I'm guessing that it's the site of the prison explosion for it to have relevance. Interesting that his arrival should be accompanied by Conversations from a Speakeasy (ft Omni).

*

Hmm, clearly not the site of the prison. Could there be a deleted scene revealed later that fills in a gap?

I would have liked more moments in the Classic series such as the moment where the Master senses the Doctor's arrival and starts playing the beat of the drums on the nearest ..well, drum .. but so far the episode seems to be a little flounder-ish in terms of actual plot. I'm still just getting 'bad stuff is going to happen' in the real scheme of things, even if the chase scene was well shot.

*

The Doctor is molested by geriatrics. There's no joke attached to that, but it didn't feel right to let it go unremarked upon.

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25:15 Man, I haven't seen dubbing that bad since Bladerunner. There is the slightest movement of Wilf's lips as he moves into the cafe, though apparently laughing and delivering a line at the time. And this is a closer mid-shot from the front! Is this a Chekhov's Gun moment for Wilf's powers of ventriloquism to save the day?

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Surely the Doctor never saw Wilf with the paintgun?

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Wait.. now there's ANOTHER reason that the Doctor and Wilf keep meeting? Christ, they've been fated once already! The Universe wants the two of them to shack up clearly. This is just like when Peter Davison was Doctor and the Time Lords kept setting him up on awkward dates to evil alien monsters.

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Donna Temple-Noble? There has to be a pun in there, surely?

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"He's making do."

"Aren't we all."

"Fuck you! You have a magical fucking time machine! Cry me a river you spiky-haired bug-eyed Scottish prick!"

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The scene seems a bit muddled - Wilf wanted the Silver Cloak to catch the Doctor so they could catch up and an off-chance of convincing the Doctor to make some effort to undo the somewhat contrived circumstances that left Donna as an abrasive human timebomb. Which I guess is understandable but doesn't entirely fit in with what he's done in the story so far - his primary worry did seem to be the Master.

If nothing else, though, I strongly support the fact that it's now effectively canon that Donna is Ten's favourite companion even if Rose was the one he wanted to boink.

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30:47 - Okay... overly portentous narrator who is telling me very little is apparently Robson Greene playing the Celestial Toymaker?

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Aaaaand the revelation that the Master is unable to hit an exceedingly slowly walking man with his newfound lightning powers at a range of twenty odd metres somehow does not make me fear him.

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Okay, what the fuck? The Master and the Doctor had homo-erotic day trips gambolling on his father's estate? They met at the Academy, and the suggestion is that they didn't know each other excessively well - the Doctor's certainly more familiar with Drax than the Master, doesn't even remember him (In his first incarnation) in The Five Doctors. Saward may have pissed in the salad with a suggestion that the two were brothers he chucked in for no reason, but I haven't seen that idea toyed with outside of fanfic, even in the EU and it doesn't bear up with anything else that we know about them. (Such as the Master not knowing who the Doctor's parents were in the TVM ... okay feel a backlash forming now, nevermind that argument...)

Aisde from that, a good scene, largely thanks to the performers - a bit odd that the Master says "All these years you thought I was mad!" referencing the drumming, which the Doctor learnt about for the first time not even two years ago. Okay, the Doctor thought he was mad at various times prior to that, but that wasn't what they were discussing. Wait, I turned negative again. A good scene, John Simm is very, very good, and the gimmick of the Master and Doctor working together doesn't seem able to ever get old. Well accompanied by Monster's Ball, as well. (Should I stop doing these jokes? Eh, I'll stop when the album stops...)

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Christ, even when he's about to die people can't shoot straight at the Doctor.

And.. he's grazed by a bullet for the six billionth time in his life.

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Aww, fuckit I just saw Sylvia in the background. I hope for the love of God it's just a stand-in and she has no dialogue.

Interesting that somebody gave Wilf a copy of Fighting the Future and Corrupt Figures of Authority With Guerilla Warfare by the mysterious Rairf Kcut. They sense the story arc is strong with this one...

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NOOOOOO! She speaks! Please no I prayed this day would never come!!!

She's saying something is lovely, though, which is unusual. I find it strange.

.. ah, there we go she's being a bitch in the same breath I KNEW IT!

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Ah, Wilf, you soddled old staunch monarchist.

Hang about... seeing as Wilf is so keen on the Royal Family and Donna does seem to live in the same house, how is it possible she doesn't even know what Thin Lizzie looks like? I know RTD likes to have goes at the Royals at any oppurtunity but come on...

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"You never killed a man" I wonder how strict that definition is, seeing as Wilf is a former airman.. maybe I'm misremembering here but wasn't there the suggestion that he fought in The Battle of Britain?

Another nice touch to Wilf's personality that he is proud of this fact.

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42:05 - Wilf, use the Chekhov's gun to shoot Sylvia down! You're out of shot now, you can do it! It'll be just like Lindsay Duncan again - it can be pre-watershed!

She's your daughter? Yes... what's that got to do with it?

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"Well you're not leaving me with her!" "Fair enough"

w00t! Finally a signal that RTD recognizes what a tremendous noxious tart he has created..

Hehe, and "I thought it would be cleaner." There is a reason he is known in fandom as Wilfred "Made of Awesome" Mott...

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Okay... he needs to check some important equipment in the basement for some reason... he needs the hottest chick in the office to carry a clipboard for him to do so... right, I'm hoping this is a storyteller's double-bluff and these two are part of a resistance. Because otherwise, with this and Doomsday it looks a bit like alien interference in scientific installations leads to workers wanting to bang each other senseless ..

Ah, aliens themselves. Is cool. The actress looks familiar... very experimental music. Go from a jazz drum beat-y thing to some techno riffs when they transform..

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Wait.. is Rairf Kcut talking about Torchwood One, Two or Three? Sigh, why even bring them into it - hasn't this story got enough stuff in it to muddy continuity?

The Master ignores all this, though and asks for a slice of The Other Black Meat.

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Okay, Rairf Kcut is a complete nutter. Can he be so eager considering that the last project Saxon was involved with about immortality ended up with a Mark Gatiss-shaped scorpion trying to eat everything it found? Is he that ignorant of events in post-11th century Britain?

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"And don't swear."

Fuck you, Doctor! Did you ever smack down Ace and Benny when they were F-bombing you across the galaxy, you crukking funt?

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There is only one legal private army in the world, and it is the property of the Duke of Athol in Scotland... I know, doesn't really count as an error as such.

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Clearly these alien scientists aren't as clever as they think they are - she says the Master's 'triplicated' the whatsit doodalimatrices (I wasn't listening that hard) when triplicated ISN'T A FUCKING WORD. You 'treble' if you don't 'triple'. If you fall over in precisely the same way you did earlier you might 'triplicate'.

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"Now please don't imagine I'm a slave driver - because that would be well racist."

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Okay, my first guess is that the Master has EVIL-RIGGED this thing to kill whoever walks through it. That or the gateway is for invaders to come to Earth. Or, maybe both at once and whoever goes through is instantly posessed...

If Rairf Kcut is up to his old standards he will send the Master through first.

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Heee, Skeletor!

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On ya, Kcut, you know you can't trust him! But now I know he's second-guessed you (Because he's the motherfucking Master) and bad shit's about to go down..

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I am totally unconvinced by that totally unconvincing stand-in playing Barack Obama. Okay, it's from the back but is it too much to ask for a stand-in to have the same HAIRCUT as the guy he's meant to be, seeing as it's the ONLY THING we effectively see in the shot? Flight of the Conchords got a good Obama-lookalike!

I do like the way the US newsreader calls it a 'worldwide depression', demonstrating that Americans are complete tools with a lack of nomenclature. Aside from any who might be engaged to people who occassionally read this blog. (Hullo Miles!)

Maan, they've even got some sound-bites of him! This is becoming faintly less unconvincing..

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"At arms!" cries Rairf Kcut's Camp Butler and Sergeant-at-Arms in one, sounding as though he is a recently castrated thespian from Blackadder, causing me to giggle at him.

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Oh, so the Master uses the gateway to infect everyone with... Master-ism... I'm kinda liking where this plot is going. Just the right side of Unnecessary Epic Bigness thus far..

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LMAO at Wilf calmly pulling out his revolver by mistake when his phone's ringing. Incidentally, I am quite worried for old Wify here. Traditionally it has not been good for companions to get locked in glass tubes close to a cliffhanger...

Oh, yes, and Donna isn't infected because she's half Time Lord! Clever throwback, RTD!

Meanwhile emos are revealed to have especially low Masterism tolerance..

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Erm.. okay. Wow. I take back all of compliments. The entire planet is going to Innerspace into John Simms. Fuck this.

*

Yes. He's EVERYONE. I get it. Stretch this out for two minutes, will you? Am I going to see some John Simms snowboarding off the Opera House any moment? A John Simms pissing on the Taj Mahal, a John Simms abseiling down the Sphinx etc? I'm currently being entertained with the mindblowing special effect of editing together a series of shots of John Simms giggling like a loon whilst wearing different jackets and shirts. This kind of radical SFX clearly deserves a lot of airtime.

Oh, got Mephisto back to do the credits?

It was pretty clear that dude was a Time Lord from the way he was dressed so that hasn't amazed me. I don't know, you think I'd be a little excited but... naah. This is filling the very familiar template of an RTD finale. There is a chance that the Time Lords could actually stick around after this story, though, for a change - because that would bring the mopey Doctor arc to an end which Moffat has already said he would like to do.

Looks like Donna could end up okay, though, which would be kind of cool but.. man, seems like RTD's stretching a bit with this one. Almost seems like we got a season's arc in the first half of the episode, in fact, with the sudden revelation that there was a cult complete with sacred texts dedicated to Harold Saxon, Lucy's fate etc - would this not have been more effective worked over the course of a season? Okay, perhaps not because you'd know the Master would be in the finale - but it's not like he was a surprise HERE, is it?

The story has gotten so blatantly in-your-face, amazingly in the last minute or so, I have little hope for the finale. But, hey, it could be as good as Last of the Timelords, the only finale I unequivocably liked (Bizarrely the one everyone else hated, as is often the way). And I must admit I went into this expected to be disappointed and, up to 53 minutes in I was hovering on the 'pleasantly surprised' line.

I guess if nothing else, the very last episode promises more Wilf and Donna. And very little Sylvia, seeing as she no longer exists. So roll it on, DJ!

*

Oh, it was Timothy Dalton. Bugger, should have recognised him from Hot Fuzz.

...what the FUCK??? Brian Cox as the voice of the Ood Elder???

Also, Silas Carson played Ood Sigma. Better known as Ki-Adi Mundi from the Star Wars prequels.

...yeah, I know, that was a lesser bombshell. Ki-Adi's the coneheaded bloke with the beard in all the council scenes. He tripled-up, actually - if I remember correctly Carson also played the pilot of the Republic ship Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan take to the Trade Federation station in Episode 1 as well as Nute Gunray (leader of the offensive coward yellow-peril aliens aka Nemoidians).

For some reason I still get a little freaked out when I see Gary Russell's name in the credits. Is it just the knowledge that he buys and sells 20 fanboys like me a week?

NEXT TIME: In the episode everyone aside from that one arsehole in Australia has already watched...

John Simms bugs out his eyes unnecessarily! Timothy Dalton paints his fingernails! The Time Lord Victorious is constipated! John Simms is ANGRY! Timothy Dalton works on his pimp walk down some corridors! The Women keeps making portentous prophecy ad fucking nauseum! Donna looks to her left while making a phonecall! John Simms laughs! Larry Miles claims they're ripping him off! The Doctor isn't really a Time Lord! (or... something else relevant) John Simms relieves himself into his trousers before blowing up his playstation! Wilf packs heat! The Doctor willingly takes a gun for the first time since Saward's typewriter exploded! John Simms still bugs his eyes out! The Doctor tells the bang-thud-bang-thud-bang-thud joke!

Now I'm going to watch some Stargate Atlantis.