what has been on my excuse of my mind of late?
1) Double the Fist is coming back. I honestly lack any ability to discuss this without "squee" (or, in my own enfeebled way "wheeze"). This show is brilliant. Utterly brilliant. Memorably described as The Goodies meet Jackass, this show has a 100% success rate of temporarily dispelling my depression. Not only are there nods to The Young Ones (flying sharks), Doctor Who (space time vortexes), Batman (Mephisto), Trilogy of Terror (cursed Aztec Doll), Die Hard (Alan Rickman) and Gallipoli, it... actually I completely forget where I was going with that. It's just brilliant. No one on this Earth, not even Phillip Martin, can deny that the Fist team would make Creed of the Kromon downright brilliant. This isn't the LONGEST wait I've had for a show, but it is up there. And by that I mean, "next month on ABC, new series!" type wait. The record still stands with Class Act at five years after the coming soon trailers.
2) I give up on Nyder. Alan Stevens. Whatever. Because he has blog, just like me!
And, well, my final bastion of sympathy and respect melted away as I sped-read through his "recycling watch" on Doctor Who (by the way, my earlier claims he stopped this with Survival are false - he hates that too). Now, while I have no real understanding of why he has to go through every single frame of an episode and scream "rip off rip off rip off", I could forgive some like...
Setup of great big much-trumpeted villain/group of villains, who is/are then promptly killed off, but with a vague exit clause so they can bring him/them back when they start running out of ideas: Aliens of London/World War III; Dalek, The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday, The Age of Steel, The Sound of Drums.
Which is harsh, cynical, but basically fair. But stuff like this?
Pounding on a glass door mouthing words: 42, Partners in Crime.
Testing an ultimate weapon on a convenient stooge: The Daleks' Master Plan
Red Dwarf (character stuck on a single word; character gaining superintelligence at a cost).
Now, I have to step in here. Are we really supposed to damn Journey's End because of these? Are we thinking that RTD was deliberately stealing one scene from a 1965 that no longer exists? I'm surprised Nyder didn't claim it was a rip off of B7: Project Avalon where the exact same scene is used (why, yes, both were by Terry Nation). Donna's 'death scene' is somehow poorer because Alan "You Are All Ignorant Fucktards" Stevens thought it was a bit like Kryten trying to swear? That Mickey and a window was automatically a rip off?
This is just bullshit, especially given the godawful quality of Stevens' OWN work. By the by, even his essays are crumbling before my eyes...
3) The Dalek Master Plan is the pilot for Blake's 7. Um, no. It isn't. For a very simple reason. Terry Nation didn't write it. He scribbled out a lengthy synopsis and threw it from a taxi window at the BBC. Now, that might sound like I'm dissing him, but it's not. It was a fact. He was unable to write more because of prior commitments and all the documentation showed he gave as good as he got (for example, lots of detail about Katarina/Vicki's death scene). But Nyder suggests that the SSS of this story is a forerunner for the Terran Federation and Mavic Chen is some Servalan analogue. Odd considering all the evidence he gives was down to Dennis Spooner - he ignores completely the fact that Nation wanted the yellow peril villain to be called "Banhoong" for Christ's sake. It's also interesting that when John Peel and Terry Nation worked together on novelizing The Dalek Master Plan, they made Mavic Chen a stupid, insane, backstabbing megalomaniac who not only was incapable of thinking up the complicated Carnell strategy Nyder extrapolates from one line of dialogue, but also both turn Karlton into a weak-willed pratt. If you ever watch Counter-Plot, you'll understand why this Uncle Fester/Lady McBeth character is not one you'd target for rewriting. But that's that. Terry Nation intended him to be a useless stooge, nothing deeper.
Oh, and Nyder, you still have to explain how Planet of the Daleks fits into your "Terry Nation - Renaissance Man" pitch of Blake's 7...
4) Cooking is difficult when you're me. Around 2003 I took up the culinary arts (well, more than reheating things in the microwave). I became a master of the spaghetti bolognaise. And when the bolognaise (meat sauce, to put it incredibly crudely), is left over, it gets put on bread, cheese on top and melted. Pizza toast. A delicious and reasonably healthy snack. Anyway, after four days straight of pizza toast, my parents rightly asked for something else.
So, I got the remaining raw mince and tried to turn it into hamburger patties. However, they collapsed into a meat sauce. My attempts to pull it back together turned it into something near-as-bolognaise-as-dammit. So, I go into a kitchen trying to get rid of a meal, and end up tripling it!
5) A lost YOA episode. That's lost as in "never written a single damn word but thought about it a hell of a lot". Now, they always say, write about what you know. And when it comes to aimlessly wandering around a university for days on end and not talking to anyone, or doing much of anything at all, I'm yer man. So my idea was for the gang to visit university and make mischief. I decided to go for a kind of teen slasher flick with our heroes trying incredibly stupid schemes to find a killer they weren't even sure was actually there. Tragically, I read Psi-ence Fiction not too long ago and the big scene where they try to use an ouji board to divine the truth now seems so passe. And how can anything Nigel do beat Leela breaking the thumbs of everyone who assume she's an extra from Xena: Warrior Princess? Damn you, Chris Boucher. Damn you all the way to Gauda Prime.
6) After seeing the Evil Mime Goodies, it strikes me that my favorite 1970s comedy series actually scared me more than it made me laugh. As far back as Snooze, where Graeme and Bill are drugged and wander about the place sleepwalking and refuse to wake up, kinda disturbed me. Or the entirety of Cecily. Huge parts of Goodies and the Beanstalk creep me out now, like the siren song bit or the incredibly dark music that follows Bill... looking at some chickens. So, my top ten terrifying bits from the supposed comedy... in no particular order:* Bill being chased by an alien on Knutter's Knoll as people are kidnapped, only for Tim to lock the door and leave him trapped outside
* When the Goodies are in the stomach of the T-Rex and note that the skeleton in front of them is quite similar to the kinky transvestite who vanished potholing years ago (closely rivaled with the dinosaur bursting out of the ground and killing everyone)
* The Clown Virus
* In Pollution, where the beach is so poisonous everyone has to wear gasmasks and the dog melts in the water
* The Giant Rats smashing into the office
* The bit where they all notice how quiet the countryside is... and then something that isn't a cow screams
* The Baddies - especially when Graeme and Bill turn into robots and strangle Tim to death at the end
* 2001 and a bit where they destroy the whole Earth over a game of cricket
* The End - in particular where the TV switches off and the telephone melts, trapping them
* The western ep where they all kill each other with tomato sauce guns. The bit where a "blood"-drenched Tim falls over dead with a "I donwanna die!" scream is right up there when Vila gets shot in the back
But worst of all is when Bill gets put in charge of a pornography, bondage S&M reality TV series that kills people. The way he keeps screaming, "I LIKE VIOLENCE!" and then machine gunning his cast dead. "THEY love it! I LOVE IT!" and dancing around the place as the bodies stop twitching. "Exploding Vicars: he has twenty minutes to convert ten athiests or BOOM! HAHAHAHAH!"
Also worth noting is the eps that reveal they keep girlfriends in cupboards and take them out as and when necessary. Of course, they only use them to play chess with. Anything else would be creepy.
7) In Maid Marion and her Merry Men, there's a bit where King John - furious the peasants have no idea who he is - hits upon the idea of getting famous for inventing something. Thus, he orders the Sherrif of Nottingham to come up with an idea. The first idea is a parachute, which doesn't work out. But the second is, "I shall invent the electronic foot, my lord!" which King J turns down because inventions have to be FOR something.
But now you can buy electronic feet for disabled and legless Olympians. Wow, another eerily accurate prediction from the people who took the piss out of "Jeffrey the Archer" twice a week for four years.
8) Distantly returning to my spoof of The Chronic Rift, I was listening to the last episode today and I was gobsmacked at how rubbish the ending was. Even though I knew roughly what was going to happen thanks to the Handbook. Basically, the Doctor flies the TARDIS into a time rift which is threatening every universe in existence. There he finds millions of other TARDISes there and suddenly he gets a collect call from the Master who reveals he is a nice, parallel-Master and the Doctor must heroically sacrifice himself for the greater good.
Looking back, it's borderline agony at how unadventerous the story is - they visit every single universe and there's no monsters, old companions, nothing. Just a bunch of boring characters who steal the limelight from the outgoing Doctor (who appears for fourteen seconds in part two). But that scene with the Master was even worse than I was braced for...
Master: Ah, Doctor, no matter what reality, you're still an incompetent fool!
Doctor: Piss off, I'm busy!
Master: I am the Master!
Doctor: I know, I'm busy!
Master: No, I am from another universe.
Doctor: I DON'T CARE! I'M BUSY!
Master: I'm a goodie!
Doctor: A goodie. Called the Master.
Master: Yes. Hohoho. And I fight the evil known as the Doctor.
Doctor: That would be the same incompetent fool from your universe.
Master: Well. If you put it that way...
Doctor: Why are you called the Master if you're so good anyway?
Master: Oh, look! Exploding TARDISes!
Doctor: I want an answer, asshole!
Master: There is no time. You must tell all the other Doctors to leave the rift.
Doctor: Why me?
Master: Because all the rest are TV soundbites. Look!
Doctors: Need more power to defeat Zarbi! Agh, falling into the land of fiction! Reverse the polarity! Oh, god, let us blow up the Cybermen with a Skystriker! I know what I'm doing, Adric! DOES NOTHING PLEASE YOU, PERI?!? This Hand of Omega plan really needs a rethink! By midnight tonight this planet will be pulled inside out!
Doctor: What?! That last one just doesn't make any sense!
Master: I know. Irritating huh. Now send the message.
Doctor: What message?
Master: I dunno. Any message.
Doctor: I'm still not buying you're a good guy who happens to dress in black and steal Trakenite bodies and call yourself the Master you know.
Master: Well, come and visit my universe then.
Doctor: I might do that!
Master: SHIT! RUN AWAY!
Doctor: Ah, it's all fixed. I've saved the entire universe in a single two-hander scene. Am I brilliant or what? Egads, one of Geiger's Xenomorphs is in the control room! Stupid of me not to notice. Bad alien! Down boy!
9) How to Tell You're Taking Daleks A Tad Too Seriously:
Sadly my copy lacks the next page which includes -
If you drop a Dalek from low orbit, it will land the right way up
Krakatoa, the sinking of the Titanic and the 1939 stock market crash were all triggered by the Daleks for a laugh
Daleks are so damn bastard hard they're not afraid to take ANYONE outside
A Dalek could pleasure every woman on Earth for a week
A Dalek's mum is bigger than your mum
Suddenly a story revealing the Daleks used pigs to build the Empire State Building to pick up solar flare energy to rewrite the DNA of the Hooverville Community suddenly seems reasonable, doesn't it?
10) How to Tell You're Not Taking Daleks Seriously Enough
11) And This Is When It Just Gets Silly.
And that, boys and girls, is why you do NOT mess with the Nation Estate...