Archive for the ‘Sci-Fi’ Category

Well…I told you,didn’t I ?

Confession…..I wrote that yesterday,convinced in my mind as I was that the new Doctor Who would be shit.

Well it was…..but not that much.

True,the new title sequence,theme tune,redesign of the TARDIS console room,the new Doctor’s costume,the continuity announcer at the end of the episode who sounded like he was being paid per palpitation,(OK that one doesn’t count) and the continuation of the annoying trend of the female companion having a dopey (although in this case,entertaining) boyfriend—all these factors were appalling.Woeful.Awful.Dumpage.

But these are things that cannot be changed,so there’s not much anyone can do about them…so we don’t need to dwell on them….and as a lifelong Doctor Who fan (I haz the skillz) I am prepared to look beyond a naff title sequence and theme tune arrangment (by turning the sound down) if the stories are up to scratch.I’ve done it before.

First episodes are a curious beast…for every Spearhead From Space there’s a Time And The Rani.(Google them if you don’t know) The Eleventh Hour (Ooh…eleventh Doctor,lasted an hour…see what they did there?),was Matt Smith’s debut gig,and,as the saying goes,very much a game of two halves.

Despite initial misgivings as the Doctor clinged desperately to the TARDIS as it plummeted towards the next plot device,the newboy started to show some glimmers of promise,while obviously haunted by David Tennant.Matt Smith,like the episode itself,¬†was at his best during the first half hour when he wasn’t quite himself,in typical post-regeneration fashion.So good was he,in fact,that I actually said out loud (to myself-don’t judge) “He’s quite good”…and,yes,those words tasted like vinegar ūüôā

¬†As the episode progressed,we were introduced to new companion-in-waiting,Amelia “Amy” Pond who,in quite gobsmackingly perverse fashion,managed to be nowhere near as awful as I had been dreading.Cue more vinegary words….but hey,I can admit to being wrong,I’m all grown-up and mature,like.I’m not the kind of person who slags something off before it’s even started,what do you take me for ūüėõ ??? (IRONY) I’m entitled to change my mind on a whim…I’m in touch with my feminine side.

I don’t do spoilers (well sometimes),so I won’t go into too much detail,suffice it to say that there’s a slightly naff monster,a bit of running around,a little bit of padding,and what appears to be a bit of a smack in the face for Tennant fans during one of those flashbacks that used to make the fans drool back in the day.That’s assuming there’s any women still watching,of course,what with young Matt’s less-than-perfect boatrace,but then if that’s why you’re watching,then,basically,you shouldn’t be watching.

But enough Tennant-bashing–he’s history,yesterday’s Time Lord.¬†We’ve got a new bloke for the next 12 episodes,which,judging by the trailer,will feature several returning monsters,including the Daleks,Rubbish Cybermen and The Weeping Angels….and this is where Matt Smith will win or fail,by the strength of his stories-he’s pretty much on probation for his first season.Tennant had to gurn his way through some real stinkers,but had neither the presence nor the ability of previous Doctor Who actors¬†to transcend the scripts’ shortcomings.Matt’s showing a glimmer….just a glimmer,mind…of something interesting…whether¬†it develops into anything,we shall have to wait and see.

Time,as it always does,will tell.

P.S I shall be making good on my promise to eat my own spleen in public soon…stay tuned for ticket prices ūüėõ



If your hard drive is currently bursting at the seams with all that downloaded pornography music,then it may be time to upgrade.

Gigabyte,shmigabyte–that’s so last century… want a Terabyte at least.

Below is a handy,cut-out-and-keep guide to the chuffing enormous data storage sizes we may be seeing in the future (sadly some of them are science fiction at the moment).

(I’ve rounded the figures out to 1000GB=1TB for simplicity,but it is in fact closer to 1024GB)

1000 GIGABYTES=1 TERABYTE.Could hold 1000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica,300 hours of good quality video,or 3.6 million 300 Kilobyte images.Currently available as external hard drives or on Apple Imacs–will soon be standard on all PCs I suppose.

1000 TERABYTES = 1 PETABYTE=1,000,000 GIGABYTES.Could store 500 billion pages of standard printed text.The same amount of data would fit on 500 million floppy disks.

1000 PETABYTES=1 EXABYTE=1,000,000,000 GIGABYTES.This is BIG….it has been said that 5 Exabytes would be equal to all of the words ever spoken by mankind….a billion gigs,for god’s sake….

Can you take a bit more?

1000 EXABYTES=1 ZETTABYTE=1,000,000,000,000 GIGABYTES.A trillion gigs…that’s a lot of Cliff Richard songs.In 2008, Americans consumed 3.6 zetabytes of information online.

1000 ZETTABYTES=1 YOTTABYTE=now we’re getting silly-1 QUADRILLION GIGABYTES-1,000,000,000,000,000.It would take approximately 11 trillion years to download a yottabyte file from the Internet using high-power broadband. You can compare it to the World Wide Web as the entire Internet almost takes up a Yottabyte.Also 50 times the number of red blood cells in the human body…

This is where we get a bit weird….

1000 YOTTABYTES=1 BRONTOBYTE…not a dinosaur’s dinner,but 1 QUINTILLION GIGABYTES,or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 if you get turned on by zeros…

….and because someone obviously had too much time on their hands,they came up with this-

1000 BRONTOBYTES=1 GEOPBYTE-1 SEXTILION GIGABYTES…1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.Apparently the number of grains of sand on the planet….


I used to think a 512 megabyte hard drive¬†was a lot…

Space is big.

I mean really big.

Bigger than the biggest thing ever.

You might think it’s a long way down the street to the off-licence,but that’s just peanuts to space.

So wrote Sir Douglas Adams,and he knew a thing or two…..he wrote a hitch-hiker’s guide to the galaxy.

And space is fantastic,full of unbelievable,mind-blowing stuff.

AND…space is IMPORTANT-when all the Pot Noodles run¬†out,we may have to go and live there…so obviously it would be a good idea to¬†know a bit more about it before we pack our suitcases.

But…the amazing nebulae and black holes and weird sort of swirly bits are all a very long way away….

….so you need a big,fantastic,important telescope to look at it.

Well there is one…in Swansea….but maybe not for much longer.Run by volunteers,the Observatory is in danger of closing because the local council are reducing the funding they receive,so they can’t keep it open for much longer.It’s the largest telescope in Wales.

Even if,as you read this,you are nowhere near Swansea,or have no interest in astronomy,I appeal to the insatiable thirst for knowledge in each of you,the desire to touch the unknown.

A petition has been set up to save it-the link is below.500 signatures are needed by 23rd December–the total currently stands at 344.It’s completely free and only takes a minute of your time,and you will help save an important building for the next generation.


Join the Mission Swansea-Save Swansea Observatory group on Facebook-

I couldn't find a photo of Tom here's a pic of his son

Yes….I know what you’re thinking….

“Didn’t he blog that he had forgiven Tennant for his sins in the light of the new boy looking totally awful?”

Well I did…but I hadn’t seen the latest “Special” when I wrote that.

Shown last Sunday,The Waters Of Mars (or The Impossible Planet,or 42,or any episode from the last few seasons,it doesn’t matter which one you choose because they all have the same plot) was co-written by Russell T. Davies…and you could tell–55 minutes of overacting/running around aimlessly/rubbish jokes/gurning¬†and a quite interesting 5 minutes at the end.

But by then it’s too bloody late,Russell….and isn’t it about time you collected your P45?

And why didn’t she shoot Tennant in the back….that’s what I would have done…but enough of my fantasies…

And why,once again,were the monsters utterly rubbish?¬† Fecking embarrassing….though it was nice to see Trina from Eastenders alive and well…so to speak…

And why is The Master in the bloody Christmas episode…..and still played by John Simm?

And why is it going to be 2 bloody hours long?

And why is Tennant outstaying his welcome?

And why does he even exist?

What people don’t seem to understand is that I don’t hate David Tennant,the person….I am a lifelong Who fan,and speak from that perspective.Therefore,I refuse to sit idly by while MY programme is totally ruined.One of Tennant’s biggest faults is that he’s playing a part….the best Doctors played themselves-Hartnell,Pertwee,Tom Baker (Tom IS really like that).Doctor Who is not a role you should “act”…you either “are” The Doctor or you’re not. You have to BE The Doctor.

Tennant doesn’t even use his real accent-’nuff said.

Ah,I hear you scream,the show now has many more fans than it did in the old days…

I’ll admit it has more fans,yes….but not the right kind.

Quite frankly—–these “fans” don’t deserve to be “fans”.


Where were you when it was axed?

Did you queue up at HMV at midnight to buy the video of the Doctor Who TV movie starring Paul McGann as the totally excellent Eighth Doctor?

Did you queue for 3 hours to get Peter Davison’s autograph at Longleat in 1983 at the 20 years of Doctor Who Celebration (the Woodstock of Who)?

Do you have a complete collection of The New Adventures?

So you think you’re a Doctor Who fan because you’ve got a DVD boxset…..

Tell me then…who are Faction Paradox? What is Compassion? What’s the date of the Dalek Invasion of Earth? What’s the Zero Room? In which story is the sonic screwdriver introduced? What’s the Eye Of Harmony?

Have you heard of these companions—Bernice Summerfield,Anji Kapoor,Chris Cwej,Charlotte Pollard,Erimem,Fey Truscott-Sade?

Did you know that First Doctor companion,Dodo,leaves the TARDIS after contracting a sexually transmitted alien disease,or that one of the bodies that the Second Doctor is offered as his new incarnation at his trial is the face of the dictator in¬†the parallel universe in the story Inferno? Or that in Alien Bodies,several races of aliens turn up at an auction to bid on the Doctor’s corpse?

Have you read these books-Transit,Love And War,Nightshade,The Infinity Doctors,Casualties Of War,Interference?

To paraphrase Michael Caine in Get Carter-

“You’re a Doctor Who fan,but you’re knowledge is in bad shape—for me,it’s a full-time job—now behave yourselves.”

I would like to write a Doctor Who episode. (a childhood dream,actually)

It will not be a “scary” story…because if people think that Blink is “scary” then they have no idea what true horror is,and my efforts will be wasted.

No,I shall not scare the little kids (the only ones,along with the true fans,who will still be watching now that the ladies’ favourite has left—just wait for the ratings drop).

Instead,I shall mess with their heads.

I’ll have the so-called “fans” doubting their very sanity…I’ll show them what Doctor Who means—I’ll shove it right down their bloody throats.

I know stuff about Doctor Who that would make your teeth curl,but because the show has been dumbed down and turned into Hollyoaks,the production team¬†don’t want to take any risks,so we won’t get any truly original and creative stories ever again.

Expect more “surprise” appearances by Billie Piper and the Daleks and Russell’s Carnival of Crap Monsters.That’s why they keep bringing the Daleks and the Master and the Shit Cybermen back-because the new monsters are rubbish.

It’s all about the merchandise….all about the BBC making money.

Hmm….got a little ranty there.

I’ve decided I won’t be doing any more Tennant-bashing….I’ll just stick a pin in my Tenth Doctor action figure from time to time.

I shall leave you to your Xmas “special” with it’s half-formed ideas,lame running gags,overacting,gurning and a third-rate actor jumping around like¬†a twat .

TTFN ūüôā

P.S Bring on Matt Smith!!!

The next President of the United States relaxing at home,yesterday...

The next President of the United States relaxing at home,yesterday...


Look….it’s like this….

I could bang on at great length as to how Predator is Arnie’s finest hour,possibly even greater than’s certainly his best “action hero” film.

But it all boils down to one line,uttered by the Governator himself,because no-one else could do it justice…..

“If it bleeds…..we can kill it.”

Those are words to live by,dear reader….words to¬†live by.

20070525_star_wars_con2_74318146_21STAR WARS

Needs no explanation.

Neither does this photo…it’s a fan thing.


Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus....she has issues

Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus....she has issues


Made by Powell & Pressburger in 1947,Black Narcissus is a psychological drama about the emotional tensions of a group of nuns in a remote Himalayan convent.

The eternally wonderful Deborah Kerr plays Sister Clodagh,who is trying to forget a failed romance in her native Ireland,and is the top nun at the convent.Her heart is set a-flutter by the charms of the local British agent,Mr.Dean,who is the only person who can communicate with the locals and trots up to the convent everyday on the smallest donkey you will ever see.

Unfortunately,Sister Ruth,played with an eye-popping intensity by Kathleen Byron,is also attracted by the hunky Mr.Dean,and becomes pathologically jealous of our Debs.

And Sister Ruth is as mad as a lorry.

There’s only one way to sort this out….FIGHT!

Which the two ladies do,conveniently on the edge of a cliff…I won’t spoil it for you by saying who lives to “nun” another day,but will just urge you to check the film out when it’s on telly next…you will not be disappointed.I’ve only touched the surface of this masterpiece here,it’s worth a blog of it’s very own.

(As an interesting aside,Deborah Kerr was director Michael Powell’s ex-OH…and Kathleen Byron was his current one.Can’t be bad for the ego,to have two women fighting to the death over you,even if it is in a film.)

2001_a_space_odyssey_hello_dave2001-A SPACE ODYSSEY

Computers….more trouble than they’re worth.

But I’d wager your PC,prone to failure and freezing as it no doubt is,has never actually tried to kill you because it has been given conflicting orders.

2001 is not only about HAL chucking a wobbly in deep space….it’s about aboutness.

It’s about the journey of mankind from the Dawn of Man through to his death and rebirth as pure thought in the form of the Star Child.

I think.

It has so many classic moments that have become part of cinema history,and the greatest ever jump-cut as an ape throws a bone into the air,only for it to fall down and change into a space-weapon–millions of years of evolution and history in a few seconds.That’s the genius of director Stanley Kubrick—no need for superfluous scenes of exposition.

The long sequence as the astronaut Dave Bowman travels through the stargate (possibly) is perhaps a tad too long,and how he gets to his final destination,a kind of alien hotel where his every need is catered for until he dies and is reborn,is never explained…but perhaps it doesn’t need to be.


Da da da-daaah,da da daaaaaaaah.

May I be controversial for a moment,and say that there shouldn’t have been any sequels to Raiders of the Lost Ark…it’s just too perfect and wonderful.

They shouldn’t have even made The Last Crusade,and you can forget about The Temple of Doom and the latest one.

Stick with the original and the best.

OMG..they know we voted for the twins!!!

OMG..they know we voted for the twins!!! Claire Bloom & Julie Harris in The Haunting


If you’ve seen the recent version of this story with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta Jones,you should give the original a spin.

Four people move into the mega-haunted Hill House to investigate the ghostly goings-on,being driven mad in the process.

Mysterious writing appears on walls,and a wooden door breathes.

What sets this film apart is is the way a ghostly atmosphere is built-up without the use of gore or violence,and it features the line-

“Don’t make me give a name to something that…..hasn’t got a name.”

"Fancy a shag?"

"Fancy a shag?"


I am a bit of a soppy bugger at heart.

I really love a good old-fashioned weepy,and they don’t come more old-fashioned than the extremely nice and well-mannnered tale of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard meeting in a train station waiting room and falling in love.

Everyone is very English and polite…men wear hats,women are called Dolly.There are no naughty bits on show and no swearing….Celia helps her husband with the Times crossword,which thankfully isn’t a pseudonym for rampant rumpy-pumpy.

Here’s a sample of the dialogue-

“You know what’s happened don’t you?”

“Yes…yes I do.”

“I’ve fallen in love with you.”

“Yes I know.”


Adultery has never been so polite.

close_encounters_large_09CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

Richard Dreyfuss’ finest hour,it’s not only about aliens…it’s about a normal man trying to cope with something he can’t understand,while trying to hold on to his family in the process (and his marbles)

The final part of the film,with the aliens landing,is more classic than classic,and has probably actually happened in some remote part of the USA…but that’s for another blog. ūüėČ There are a couple of funny moments too…

When the mothership opens up,a bloke runs for the toilet.

A bank of cameras continually takes photographs,and a scientist type stands up behind it and takes a snap with a tiny instamatic camera….to show the wife and kids,presumably.

Interestingly,before the film came out,when people reported seeing aliens landing in their back garden,they always described them as 7ft men in shiny spacesuits….after Close Encounters,the descriptions changed to short,grey aliens in the nude.

Exactly like the aliens in the film.

I reckon Spielberg knows something.

the thingTHE THING

How’s this for a classic line-

“I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.”

Not for the faint-hearted,The Thing is a gut-wrenching remake of the original film The Thing From Another World.

With added guts.

And slime.

And awful,gungy,stretchy wobbly bits.

And the daftest cowboy hat in the history of cinema,as worn by the star,Sir Kurt Russell.

Not to mention a shape-changing,body-ripping,brain-sucking alien.

(Best bit-the doctor tries to revive one of the other scientists with those electro-shock pads things they have on Casualty (I don’t know the proper name…don’t judge me)…but the alien has already taken the poor bloke over.The Doc’s hands fall through his chest..the sides of which then slice off his hands.In the long shot of this scene,where you see the Doctor sitting on top,loudly bemoaning the loss of his appendages,it’s actually an amputee dwarf,not the original actor,as it was found to be cheaper to hire the dwarf rather than using prosthetics.)

the-wizard-of-oz-the-wizard-of-oz-925344_420_326THE WIZARD OF OZ

No explanation necessary.

Possibly a cautionary tale about the dangers of eating cheese before bedtime,possibly the biggest mind**** in cinema history…..whatever,poor Dorothy obviously needs to lay off the blue Smarties.

Also recommended is the sequel,Return To Oz,in which Dorothy,having nightmares about Oz,is given electro-shock therapy to help “cure” her of her delusions.Travelling back to Oz,she finds the place totally changed and a bit “wrong.”

Interestingly enough,in the original book,Oz is a real place….random fact for ya.

And if you’re wondering why such a virile,handsome,thrusting young buck like myself likes such a film,and not something like Die Hard,then take a look at my next bestest film–



I like Grease….get over it.

Too awesome for words,surely the greatest thing about it,apart from Olivia Newton-John being sooo thin,is the fact that all the actors were pushing 30 when they made the film.

If it was remade today,they would have young actors in the roles,and that would not be good.It would star Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers…and the only thing the Jonas Brothers should be in is a grave.

Only joking,Jonas fans. ūüėČ

(By the way,on no account watch Grease 2….I’ve seen it TWICE (don’t ask)…it’s not a pretty sight,even with Michelle Pfeiffer in it.)


"You are part of a Rebel Alliance and a traitor."

"You are part of a Rebel Alliance and a traitor....and you've got a silly hairdo." "Shut up,Dad."

Star Wars is the greatest film EVER.

The End.

Oh…you want more?

Fair enough.

By Star Wars,I mean of course Episode IV-A New Hope,but only the hardcore fans or those too young to remember it the first time around call it by that title.

The original trilogy will always be Star Wars,The Empire Strikes Back,and Return Of The Jedi (originally called Revenge Of The Jedi,and if you ever find any merchandise with that title stick it on eBay sharpish,you’ll make a packet.),although ROTJ is widely considered to be the minger of the three films.

"Quote me endlessly,you will..."

"Read Tropical Moments daily,you will..."

I would have been about 6 or 7 when I first saw Star Wars at the rather dodgy flea-pit of a local cinema…the film broke down half-way through,but I knew I’d been witness to a world-changing event.

And Han still shot first.

I was hooked….I started collecting every single action figure and toy spaceship I could beg my mum to buy.Most of all,I coveted the Millennium Falcon model…it was hugely awesome and awesomely huge.It cost ¬£20,a small fortune in the early 80s.

But I got it,of course.And I had the AT-AT model….that was about 3 feet high.

Not to mention the comics,lunchbox,transfer sets and a million other things.

Years later,after I had grown out of them,I gave all my Star Wars stuff to the miner’s children for Christmas…due to them being out of work during the strike…(ask your dad).The miners,that is…not the kids.

I still feel a pang of regret at losing my toys…after all,it wasn’t my fault their fathers went on strike.

I had Boba Fett,too…and he was rarer than rocking horse doo-doo.Talking of which,in 1980 the impossible happened….Star Wars 2!!!

ignorance-star-wars-motivationalThe Empire Strikes Back is a member of that exclusive club—The Good Sequel Society.

It’s got the lot–snow,ghosts,incest,a white C-3PO,torture,snogging,the coolest muppet since Kermit and the biggest bombshell in cinema history…although my mother had somehow already worked out the paternity issues before the film was released…she’s clever like that.It’s probably more of a “proper” film than Star Wars…more grown-up and there is none of the shameless merchandise-plugging that would plague the next film and the prequel trilogy.

And we’re introduced to Boba Fett….he has about two lines in the entire film,but women the world over fantasize about him to this day.Why?

Who knows…maybe because he’s cooler than Han Solo,who’s pretty cool to begin with.Perhaps it’s the suit….or the jetpack.

So…Darth Vader is Luke’s dad.Who knew? (apart from my mum) It’s the one of the greatest ever moments in the history of ever,sadly dulled by familiarity and the prequels…..can you imagine seeing that for the first time…you’d have wanted your mummy.I certainly did.celebrity-pictures-vader-luke-skywalkers-dysfunctional

But it is not the greatest ever Star Wars moment ever…as Yoda says….”there is another”…but I’m not going to tell you what it is.If you are a proper fan then you’ll already know what it is…clue-it’s not from the original trilogy!!! Shock horror etc…but I suppose the prequels had to have at least one good bit…it’s the law of averages.

The film ends on a bit of a downer…Han Solo deep frozen!! Luke Skywalker-Vader armless!!!

All this deep and meaningful angst is totally undone by Return Of The Jedi…though it does have some good bits…the speeder-bike chase,the climactic lightsaber battle,and of course everyone’s favourite ginormous gangster slug thing,Jabba The Hut.And no,I haven’t forgotten Princess Leia in a steel bikini…apparently this is supposed to be the sexiest thing ever,but I’ve never thought she looks that good.

And there are also Ewoks….small teddy bear-type things that manage to overcome an entire forest full of Imperial stormtroopers with a few sticks.George Lucas claims he introduced the Ewoks to show that even primitive beings can triumph over great evil…but the truth is he had one eye on the merchandising.They’re not as bad as Jar Jar Binks,but they’re close.

It all ends happily ever after…the Death Star 2.0 blows up,Han cops off with Leia and Darth Vader sacrifices himself by killing the Emperor.They have a wild party and everybody’s happy.

In retrospect,maybe old George should have left it there.

For Shannabarnarna


The title of this bloggette says it all-I chuffing HATE David Tennant.

I have never watched one of his episodes more than once….once is enough.Some I haven’t seen at all…and I’m supposed to be a Doctor Who fan.

But what I mean by this is—I don’t like him as Doctor Who.

I don’t hate him as a person…he may be a thoroughly nice bloke,or he may be a secret axe-murderer…I don’t know,and I don’t care.

But he most definitely IS a rubbish Doctor…and just like my boss,The Blog Dog,I will not be questioned…my knowledge of Doctor Who is total and absolute.

The thing is,I know what I’m talking about.

Some of his episodes are almost childishly bad,but maybe it’s not entirely his fault..after all,it’s Russell T.Davies who is,or at least was,in charge of everything.He has even admitted that he would completely rewrite scripts…this is not good.And if there is one thing that Doctor Who attracts more than anything else…it’s Egos.

Big ones.

Tom Baker reckoned he pretty much owned the show during his later years,and got his way perhaps once too often because everyone wanted a quiet life.On the whole though,he was justified….because Tom was chuffing awesome.

Russell T.Davies is NOT awesome although his ego is just as huge…some of his stories have embarrassed my son,and he’s in the target audience of Doctor Who.For example-

“Journey’s End”….the last episode of Tennant’s third season….lame,lame,lame.It makes me cringe.His lowest point…and he’s had his fair share of them.

A typical 45-minute Tennant episode consists of the following-

5 minutes of action/plot

40 minutes of over-acting/snogging

This is supposed to be Doctor Who—NOT Hollyoaks.

I suppose it is dumbed-down Doctor Who for a dumbed-down generation.

The next one will probably be just as bad…he looks different to Tennant but also exactly the same.The BBC obviously don’t want to mess with a very lucrative formula.

They don’t want to scare the kids who wouldn’t be able to cope with a good actor and intelligent scripts,so we’re stuck with a bloke who looks like an art-school reject.Things can only get worse.

So…why do I hate Tennant?

Well…I’ve seen every surviving episode of Doctor Who,so I am in good position to make an objective judgement.

Tom Baker is God….simples!

And here’s another reason why I hate him—

Because I can!

OK that’s my rant over.Feel free to hate me in a comment-based way.


Bettany Hughes...again!!!

Hello history fans! Bettany Hughes here again with another in my series of dodgy,poorly researched and painfully unfunny histories of different stuff!

This week-DOCTOR WHO!!!

To chart the history of Doctor Who one must first tell of the origins of the BBC.

The BBC was established in 1850 and has been stealing money from us ever since to make their wonderful TV shows like Hole In The Wall and to give John Barrowman something to do.

In 1963 somebody clever had the idea of Doctor Who,and it wasn’t long before it became a big hit with pale,speccy,spotty boys who would never have sex.A few weeks after the first episode,the Doctor¬†came face¬†to plunger with the fearsome Darlicks!!

Shit-scary robot mad buggers on wheels from another planet,the Darleks had a fearsome multi-functional sink plunger,borrowed from their Mum’s kitchen,which they used to unblock the toilet after they’d been,and an awesome laser zapper thing so they could kill all the extras in the episodes who didn’t have any lines.



All the Darlicks were operated by one-eyed pygmies from Belgium who were paid 1 shilling per week. (This wage was later increased to 5p and a Curly-Wurly after may not sound a lot by today’s standards but remember,this was when Curly-Wurlys WERE Curly-Wurlys.)

But it was to be in 1965 that Doctor Who really took off…when some clever scientist types in white coats with loads of biros stuffed in the pocket and really thick-lensed glasses invented an amazing ¬†invention…

Robot Women.

These could be used as the Doctor’s female companions as they were found to be less stroppy than real women.

Woman Automated Neural Controller...the W.A.N.C.

Woman Automated Neural Controller...the W.A.N.C.

They came in all shapes and sizes,but the ones that worked really well on the show were the ones that were made without many clothes on.They were remotely controlled by clever boffin types using a great big machine with wires and tubes and things sticking out of it,called the Woman Automated Neural Controller (or W.A.N.C. for short.) So successful was this machine that a toy version of it was released in time for Christmas so every geeky,greasy little 13 year old boy could watch the pretty girls on the show and have a W.A.N.C. of his own…*

*(The Blog Dog would like to apologise for the poor quality of this joke.The unfunny slacker responsible has been sorted out,and no mistake.)*

The robot women were totally obedient at all times and could be made to adopt various facial expressions and poses.These poses usually involved bending over in very short skirts and tops because this was found to add greatly to the drama of the episodes.Female viewers (real ones) often watched from behind the sofa,fearing for the brave companion as she tried to run away from the monsters in a bikini and high heels.

Barking mad Doctor Who fans high on jelly-babies at a convention

Barking mad Doctor Who fans high on jelly-babies at a convention

Doctor Who fans are the most loyal in the world of Sci-fi.In fact,some of them are madder than a handbag full of owls.Not content with collecting every single book,video,DVD,Dahlikk toy and Peter Davison underpants they can get their hands on,some of them even congregate in large buildings and argue about the most irrelevant details of the programme.Some of these fans try to outdo each other by boasting about the things they’ve done,like owning all the “lost” episodes,meeting Tom Baker in Argos and actually taking a trip in the TARDIS back to the 12th century to witness the discovery of Cup-A-Soup.

Others talk of the time they actually spoke to a girl…but nobody believes them.

Doctor Who,after lots and lots of years,is still going strong and is soon to have it’s 11th actor in the title role.Casting the part of ¬†The Doctor has always been a big problem for the makers of the programme,so in 1993,after the TV Movie starring one of those McGann brothers who’ve been in everything but not the one you’re thinking of from that thing on telly,one of the other ones,it was decided,for the 9th,10th and 11th Doctors,to get any old¬†twat with an Equity card.

Here’s to the next shedload of successful years for Doctor Who!!!

Ro_LarenRo Laren was a short-lived character in Star Trek-The Next Generation,starring in 8 episodes,and played by Michelle Forbes.

And why is she an unsung hero?

Because in most of them,she is in the mother of all bad moods.

This doesn’t go down well with the happy-clappy Enterprise crew,as you can imagine.

This girl has issues.

Like most Bajorans,she hated the Cardassians,as she was forced to watch them torture her father to death when she was a child.

Heavy stuff for Star Trek,where most characters have lived almost charmed lives being the best at everything,and being really nice and wonderful and all that.

In her first episode,entitled “Ensign Ro” (see what they did there?),she immediately pisses off Picard when she corrects him on the proper way to say her name.(The Bajorans put their family name first,and so is addressed as Ro Laren rather than Laren Ro,as Picard thinks….concentrate,I may be asking questions.)

Obviously nobody told her the cardinal rule for serving on the Enterprise….don’t talk back to the bald guy.

Riker,bless him,hates her the minute he sets eyes on her,because he is gagging to give her one,but obviously she’s having none of it.You’ve gotta love her just for that.Although,in the episode “Conundrum”,when the crew lose their memories,Ro gets it in to her head that she and Riker are romantically linked.Sadly,after everyone gets their memories back,old Will can’t remember if anything happened between them.Ha ha…the poor sod.

It turns out,Ro has been in the slammer after disobeying orders on an away mission to one of those unrealistic Star Trek-type planets which resulted in the deaths of 8 people (That’ll teach them to beam down wearing red shirts.)

Her finest hour comes in the episode “Disaster”.Some great big space accident knackers the Enterprise,leaving Ro,Chief O’Brien and Counsellor Troi on the bridge with no extras to die instead of them.Poised to take command,O’Brien drops a bombshell.Actually Counsellor Troi,you know,that woman who sits next to Picard in a dangerously tight jumpsuit getting all emotional,is in charge,having attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander….by mistake,one would imagine.

Cue major strop.

The trouble is,Troi doesn’t know her photon torpedos from her dilithium crystals,and Ro knows this,and so pressures Troi to separate the drive section (the bit with the engine) from the saucer section (the big round bit on top) and generally blinding her with science in the hope she’ll give up command to her.But Troi puts her foot down and saves everybody in time for tea…which is probably a good thing because if Ro had been in charge then most likely everybody would have been dead-ed.

She’s like that.

In fact,she is only really happy in the episode “The Next Phase” when she actually thinks she’s died herself.She loves it,despite the fact she has to spend eternity with Geordi La Forge,who is the single most boring person on the ship.Anyway,they both get better and Ro even starts to smile a bit…probably in relief from not having to talk to La Forge until the end of time.

In her final episode,”Preemptive Strike”,Ro shows her true colours and throws her lot in with the Maquis,a group of rebels fighting against the Cardassians,betraying Picard and the Federation.This is a much more satisfying ending for the character;having her turn into just another identical crew member would have ruined the character…she had to go.She even pulls a phaser on Riker,but sadly doesn’t roast him….that would have been fantastic.

Ensign Ro Laren..I salute you,for not being nice to people,for not giving in to Riker’s advances,and being happy to be dead!