Saturday, July 05, 2008

DR WHO-writes-this-crap

I sat through the finale with my lad, because it's nice to do things together. But blimey...this was truly appalling.

I really don't know where to begin trying to analyse what was basically a butt-clenchingly, excruciatingly embarrassing SciFi pantomime. Coincidence piled on coincidence....exposition layered upon exposition, convenient gadget/plot device after convenient gadget/plot device, reunion piled upon reunion. Cheesey-weesey cartoon baddies monologuing like mad, naff dialogue from beginning to end. Clearly quite expensive stage set, badly over-lit with gaudy lights, MTV editing for over-sugared low attention-span kiddie-winks. The cornball romantic sub-plot with Rose, and that unfair slight of hand over the doctor's regeneration (specifically added to the story line to generate loads of tabloid press speculation as to whom would be brought in to play the next doctor) tsk tsk. Cheap shot.

Oh, I could go on and on.

Suffice to say this was the most awful example of (high budget) story-telling I've come across in quite some time. And that's saying a lot these days. About the only saving grace, were the plentiful and no doubt expensive CG shots, which were, you know...quite nice, but not anything I haven't seen before.

I know Dr Who is for kids. I know this is 'check-your-brain-in' entertainment, and believe me, I thoroughly enjoy big budget brainless sci-fi entertainment. I loved Aliens, Predator, 5th Element, Starship Troopers, Robocop, Waterworld, Independence Day etc etc. But this...this was so bad, so amateur it went sailing past being so-bad-it's-funny, to being so-bad-I-found-myself-nodding-off.

And yet, because it's DR WHO, because it's the good ol' BEEB, because it's become a British cultural icon it is forgiven everything - it's allowed to be utterly crap. In fact I suppose it's expected.

The only real silver lining to this ridiculous finale is that it marks the end of Russell T. Davies tenure as series exec' producer and lead script editor, and that job will now be passed onto to Steven Moffat (the guys who has written the better episodes eg: 'Blink').

What I shall hope for, when Dr WHO 'reboots' in 2010, is what I hoped for when the Doctor was revived in 2004(?) with Christopher Ecclestone as the timelord - something darker, smarter and basically...well, basically entertaining.


A little coffee-time teaser for you. A game I came up with this morning.

1. A room full of nervous people...and there are three spies in there amongst them.
2. The normal people are worried about having spies in their vicinity and their colour honestly depicts how worried they are.
3. Yellow people believe there is ONE spy in the nine squares surrounding them.
4. Red people believe there are TWO spies in the nine squares surrounding them.
5. But beware...the three spies in the room are well-practiced liars and can be appear as worried or relaxed as they want.

On which squares are the three spies?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


So, has anybody found themselves nervously beginning to stockpile food yet? You know, I can't help but notice how many more canned goods I'm seeing in people's supermarket trolleys these days.

I'll be honest and confess right now that we've started building a 12 week food reserve - which is the MINIMUM reserve recommended by FEMA in the states. (I've yet to locate any useful British Govt' emergency advice on food reserves).

But, sheeeesh....that's a lot of cans.

I did a back-of-envelope calculation of the number of cans of a hi-protein/hi-calorie food type...and chose corned beef (800calories per tin) because
of all the tinned products in the supermarket it seems to have the longest storage window (stamped with 2012 sell-bys).

Anyway,for the three of us we'd need between 600-700 cans approx.

That really is a helluva lot of cans.

I noticed though, browsing the net, that there are purveyors of freeze-dried emergency supplies, and these are cleverly assembled into 1person, 2person, 3person, 4person....etc 1 year 'complete survival solutions' with a storage window of 30 years! Again, the vendors are all US vendors who either refuse to ship abroad, or slap on punitive shipping costs.

Shopping around in good ol' ill-prepared-let's-not-panic-shall-we? Britain...I can find nothing like that so far, other than a few camping stores who'll sell you 2-3 day 'Ranulph Fiennes' branded hiking rations, at £8 a 'pouch'.

Does anyone know of a UK supplier of freeze-dried emergency food supplies? If so....please drop me a line or post here in the comments section.

One does hate to sound all shrill and alarmist...but frankly, I'm inclined to believe the next 30 years aren't going to be particularly pleasant. And what's more, I'd rather buy a year's 'survival solution', and not have to worry about checking it's sell-by until I'm approaching my 70th birthday, than keep browsing through my 600 cans that need to be consumed on an on-going basis and having to ask my wife to come up with increasingly inventive ways to serve up corned beef.