On The Sofa (9)

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    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    Has anyone watched the new Black Mirror episode?



    Yep – very interesting, even if it was a bit conservative about pushing the bounds of interactivity.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @pedant When I played it the second time, I almost became less excited but more interested by what he’s doing with this. The second time I deliberately tried to make different choices, didn’t find many different scenes. There seems to be several optional endings and only one absolute, though I’ve been told there are five ‘real’ endings.

    I’m probably going to have a few more goes, but it seems to be more about the illusion of free will than a genuine chose your own adventure.

    One thing I liked was all the programming things, my father was a lecturer in computer science and got his MA by creating a video game version of Connect Four I think during the 70’s, he wrote an interactive computer game for me when I was a toddler, promoted the use of computers in my primary school (he was on the board of governors) and even wrote a book about the use of computers in schools. As my use of the phrase ‘programming things’ indicates, I have no talents in that direction, but it had an odd kind of nostalgic familiarity about it.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave How did the cats cope with snow? We were fascinated by the way cats just ran over it in Sweden but they were raised with it.

    @kevinwho now that is some proper bonkerising. My head is still swimming after reading it.

    and  @missy Analysing a film or TV series adds to my enjoyment rather than lessening it and I think it is important to watch with a switched on mind because be it entertainment, adds or news, everything is trying to influence us in one way or another.  I majored in film studies at Uni so it is second nature to me.



    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    Happy New Year one and all, and I hope your festivities have been thoroughly brilliant.

    We had a few hiccups here at the Manor. A heavy Christmas cold, a “kerthunk” in the car chassis at the exact least convenient time a chassis could possibly kerthunk, and – worst of all – giblets undetected in the turkey!

    Still, a good time was had by all. The lack of a car freed us up for New Year drinking, and the dog has been feasting rather grandly on the aforementioned turkey.

    I hope to have time to catch up with the threads later, but in the meantime, I thought I’d chuck in a bonkers prediction for this evening’s episode…

    The theme of imprisonment, and/or release or escape, has been strong this series. The penultimate episode was steeped in Nordic folklore, and the title of the finale was clearly meant to be evocative of Scandiwegian – which I think could be a clue we’ll be returning to Norway tonight. We’ve also had the troll Ribbons, and a somewhat oddly-worded bit in the finale where the Doctor talks of “lashing together the best elements of everyone.”

    So on this rather flimsy basis, I’m predicting that tonight’s episode will reference Ragnarök, and particularly Fenrir – the creature who twice escaped his chains, and was eventually bound with ribbons made from a combination of impossible elements. (His ribbons are meant to keep him constrained until Ragnarök…)
    Failing a fully Ragnarök-themed special, I think we should at least see a villain who escapes imprisonment, and a couple of Vikings for good measure 🙂

    In the highly likely event I’m wrong, let us never speak of this again…

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    2019. Looking out the kitchen window this morning it seems strangely similar to 2018. Time will tell.

    @janetteb Well, fortunately, it is a surprisingly mild winter out here this year. No snow so far. As for the two cats, they are indoor cats, who at the moment get to lie around in front of the fire. In fact, the biggest decision they have to make each day is along the lines of: Do I lie on my left side, or do I lie on my right side?

    So they lead a very pampered life, structured by only one golden rule: Never, ever, think outside the box.

    As for the two human inhabitants of the Blenkinsop pile, it is…onward to “Resolution”!


    ScaryB @scaryb

    Happy New Year to everyone. And apologies for AWOL-ness from the forum thro most of this series, caught in that pesky alt universe vortex (ie too much RL) again! Mega thanks to @blenkinsopthebrave (and hi to your resident aliens masquerading as earth type felines) and @thane16 among others for not forgetting me and lighting the route back!



    I did the “Who are you” jokes the last time, didn’t I?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    How brilliant that you are back!

    I am currently sitting in front of the fire looking at one of the cats (who has, of course, far better access to the fire than I do) and I am thinking that you may well be right…they may indeed be aliens masquerading as earth-bound felines. They have, for example, turned us into their servants, who are currently categorized as Food Dispensor #1 and Food Dispensor #2.

    In fact, I am wondering if I have been misinterpreting the whining in front of the empty food dishes. Perhaps it really was: “Take me to your leader”.

    As for “Resolution”, in our far-flung outpost of empire we have to wait until tomorrow.


    syzygy @thane16

    @ragnarok I mean @idiotsavon of Savon Manor AND  @scaryb  😀

    Happy new year’s to you both.  x0 x

    I remember, yonks, or timey-whimeys agos, we had a Ragnarok theme during the end of the Smith era?

    I’ve not watched the new ep yet. In fact, I haven’t hooked into the ABC much at all except for the occasional special from The Midwives or Foyles War.

    @scaryb (This has been Thane writing today, btw): great to see you hear too! In “lighting the way back”, I had help from an adventurous helicopter ride/instruction a month ago and it was so good. I was using lights and as we were learning about Instrument Landing Systems (ILS) I thought timey whimy. (I haven’t got my actual driver’s license yet which doesn’t seem to worry dad . He’s a really good teacher but I reckon in about 2 months he’ll start freaking out when I travel over 30 miles an hour!  )

    I really hope the chassis is repaired well and not too expensively @idiotsavon and the biscuits and necessary coffees to help with staying awake were appropriate Christmas food.  Your bonkers theories are always terrific which is great to read and tells me there are “arcs and there are ARCS” -some arcs are small and catch up with you like a thief in the night and others are big, clock sized arcs like ‘Bad-wolf.’ or “remember me you clever boy, run.”

    @blenkinsopthebrave  You must have very happy and contented cats, though? I LOVE cats (nd dogs but lesser than cats) but they hate me! Too many allergies. Our neighbour has a type of indoor cat which over 10 years has ruined her couch and also the stairs for unmentionable reasons 😉

    Also why are giblets bad? Are they only in turkeys? I have turkey sandwiches (which I know are not how they are ‘built’ as it were!).

    Thank you all, from Thane16 and wishing all the best from Mum and dad. And to the moderators for doing the tough mod work during this past new season with CC and JW:   @craig @jimthefish @phaseshift. And also a big “hello” to @ichabod hoping the new year brings more comfort state-side

    Mudlark @mudlark


    why are giblets bad?

    There is nothing bad about them if they are used as intended and boiled up to make a flavourful stock to use in making gravy or, combined with the remnants of the carcase, to make soup.

    They are not so good if the butcher has tucked them inside the cavity, possibly in a little plastic bag, and like @idiotsavon you fail to realise they are there and roast the turkey or chicken with them still inside. The same thing happened once many years ago when my sister in law cooked Christmas dinner, and it made the stuffing taste a bit peculiar.

    Turkeys and chickens bought in a supermarket – at least in the UK – do not include the giblets, possibly for reasons of ‘elf, safety and public hygiene (gone mad, I tell you!)



    ScaryB @scaryb

    @pedant – I believe you did, but you’re allowed to repeat. Dammit tho, I was hoping you could help with my alt universe mind wipe! 😉

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @mudlark – Giblets – been there, and definitely not pleasant! (No one told me about that the first time I cooked a chicken. Bleurgh 😛 )

    syzygy @thane16

    @scaryb @mudlark  Oh, this is FUNNY. You’re teaching our Thane to cook! OK, so did I tell you about the pasta lesson?

    This is was nearly a year ago. I said ‘right, get ready, later you’ll place the pasta in the pot.” Foolishly I went to the mailbox. Came back and said “where’s pasta? It was just here.”

    “It’s in the pot.”

    And so it was. The pot wasn’t hot and empty of water  but droobles of pasta were at the bottom.

    Lesson 1: fill the pot with water and when it’s at a rolling boil, slowly add the pasta.

    Re: giblets. When buying frozen chickens in Brisbane, they’re usually in the packaging. When I have my wits. I make stock. The latter’s quite expensive and most people tend to buy it rather than simmer the bones etc.



    syzygy @thane16

    So in summary, as ScarySofa persons and a mudlarker  -ANY information whatsoever about cooking would be most welcoming. I  didn’t intend to mean: “YOU”RE teaching Thane to cook! You? Mwa-ha haa!”

    So, I apologise for that rather rude-ish post @scaryb @mudlark  xx  Can we put it down to the .005% of alcohol in the wine coolers?

    Hmmm, probably not: although the very yeasty fragrance in the mouldering rye bread could’ve been a factor…


    Anonymous @

    @thane16 – Puro, many many moons ago my mom got me started by having me learn to fry some of the basics – hamburgers, bacon…  Many moons ago, because those are terribly unhealthy and fried too!  But maybe have him start on grilling chicken or something?



    An ex of mine was of the view that there are four major food groups: cheese, bacon, green stuff and booze.

    This is obviously foolish since pancakes are a group of their own.

    When I was much younger and first at uni, I would from time-to-time phone mum to find out how long to cook whatever new thing I had bought, to which she invariably replied: “Until it’s done”.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    No need for apologies, puro, it didn’t register with me as rudeness anyway – although it’s possible my perception is clouded at the moment by the fact that my sinuses are bunged up and I’ve been coughing my lungs up for the past three days 🙁

    The tale of the pasta reminded me of a story I was told of two of my nephews (the froglets) when they were left to make their own supper one day. They decided they wanted chips, so got a packet of oven chips from the freezer and chucked them into a pan of hot water and then wondered why they didn’t turn brown and crisp.  Both of them, incidentally, are now excellent cooks.

    P.S. Watch that mouldering rye bread! It could be a new life form evolving.

    Anonymous @

    @thane16 @mudlark

    P.S. Watch that mouldering rye bread!

    Coincidentally, I was just reading a BBC News article on a new culprit being posited for the Salem witch trials over here, and that ergotism – from moldering rye bread – had been discredited.

    I say, you can’t be too careful, and you don’t want to bring The Witchfinders down on you!  Especially if led by a slightly creepy monarch!!!

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    WOW, I just watched the “New Year Special”….. well what can be said about the worst episode ever!

    What a sad sad sad season of a once great show. 10 episodes instead of 12, a New Years special instead of a Christmas one and the worst scripts ever devised for any show.

    The New Year special was clearly written by a 3 year old. So childish and pathetic.
    Jody is still a clone of David Tenant’s Doctor and not a very good one.

    We can only hope that someone rescues this show soon.

    syzygy @thane16

    @kevinwho  He was camp wasn’t he? A jolly fine job. We started T, again. Re-booted this time, like the Doctor did 😉  This time with bought pizza bases and our own tomato sauce with….bacon and cheese. We also had a small amount of  green things @pedant (just a few, mind) on the pizza like parsley, chive, rosemary and thyme 😀  😀

    @mudlark oh dear, the froggies boiling away their chips in water: that would’ve mystified them…”it’s not brown, waddawedonow?”

    “get cod and chips.” I was always fascinated by your cod and chips: one rainy night in the Lakes District we had the best fish’ n’ chips ever. The cod was beautiful. Here it aint all that appetising.

    @pedant oh, pancakes, Gawd love ’em. My mother used to make them with whipped cream, fine sugar and mashed strawberries. We’d pile all this delectable creamy strawberry-ness all over each one. Noses covered in cream, gunks of it in our hair. Good times 🙂

    Love the “till it’s done” comment.  It reminds me of The West Wing (everything does) where the assistants are madly trying to stop an ‘event’ from getting worse, “so end it!” barks Toby, and when they ask “how, exactly?”  He says, “by ENDING it.”


    idiotsavon @idiotsavon

    @thane16 Thanks for the little @ragnarok. It did make me laugh. 🙂

    @mudlark and @scaryb (amazing to see you back, by the way.)

    We got our turkey from a really great local butcher. It was massive and got its own oven. (We’ve got a tiny kitchen, but 50% of it is one of those “range” things with two ovens.)

    Mr Savon is the chef in our house, and rightly so. He’s an excellent cook. And he was looking forward to the challenge of Christmas dinner for our extended family.

    He had a really good rummage around the defrosted turkey for giblets, but found none. Unfortunately, the turkey was so massive that there were plenty of crevices where a shy bag of giblets might hide.

    By the time the turkey was cooked, the plastic (from the plastic bag full of giblets) had melted a bit, evaporated a bit, and the plastic taste had infused itself throughout the entire turkey.

    Personally, I never liked turkey and couldn’t care less – but the look on Mr Savon’s face when he realised all his careful cooking and seasoning and basting and googling was for nought?

    Needless to say, we’re still working through the trauma 🙂


    @thane16 @idiotsavon @mudlark

    There’s a reason my brother always does goose…

    BTW – I should be clear that mum’s comment was generally followed by excellent advice, but still…

    winston @winston

    @pedant  I used your Mothers answer today when Mr Winston asked me how long his chicken should roast for… “until its done” I answered and got a nasty grin in return.

    @thane16  @idiotsavon and @mudlark  Quite a few years back my oven quit on Christmas Eve ( as they do) and I had  about 20 family members coming for dinner so there was much frantic panic. My kind neighbor was going away so she offered her oven to us and so we got the turkey stuffed and ready and put the roasting pan turkey and all on the sled and dragged it down the road to her house.We had no car at the time so every now and then throughout the day me or my OH  would walk down the road to baste the bird and when it was done we piled it back on the sled and pulled it back home. It gave my family a lot of amusement and gave me somewhere to go and get a breather now and then. That broken oven gave me a funny Christmas tale and showed us how kind people can be sometimes.

    janetteB @janetteb

    We are terrible cooks both of us, especially when it comes to turkey. We start cooking it in the oven but move it to the BBQ mid way through to make room for the veggies to roast. the BBQ invariably catches fire and causes minor panic. This year the family decided to do Christmas dinner elsewhere, maybe it was the turkey. The boys however all wanted the traditional Christmas Dinner and as we have a firmly established family tradition of doing “second Christmas Day” on the 27th we agreed to do Turkey and ham just for “us”. Nothing went to plan this Christmas. due to a Boxing Day cinema fiasco so we ended up cooking the turkey on the 29th. The BBQ did catch fire but we had time to wait it out and the bird which was a much more modest bird than usual, turned out well,, so I am told as I do not partake myself. I like to stretch our Christmas celebrations out, making it last twelve days, the time it takes the yule log to burn, though somehow in the 30-40 c days we are suffering the concept of a burning yule log lacks appeal. What we need is more sit by the block of ice and keep cool.

    @mudlark I had a similar thing happen but not at Christmas fortunately. I had just put a rather large cake in the oven when the back element blew up. Ran the cake over the road to a neighbour who happily backed it for me. It is nice to live in a community not a street of “little boxes”. Not so good that modern ovens are so unreliable. We have had to replace the back element twice in ten years.



    Missy @missy


    That’s exactly what my friend says, and if works for you,  it works.

    If I like the characters, find them interesting and care about what happens to them, that’s all I need. If I don’t like a film, play or book, I don’t bother to work out why, I simply go on to the next one.

    In short I enjoy being entertained. If I were taking an exam, then perhaps I’d need to analyse the subject.

    Good thing we aren’t all alike. *grins*


    Missy @missy

    Our Christmas Day was a breeze, my OH, I and our daughter had dinner at Sizzler. Oysters and all.




    Missy @missy


    Yes I do and enjoyed it. Unfortunately I watched some on YT and found it to be rather dated.

    Blake’s 7 was a favourite of mine.


    ScaryB @scaryb

    @thane16 – Happy to offer any cooking tips I can, Puro and Thane, tho it may not go further than – make sure you take the giblets out! As @idiotsavon (hi back) says – melted plastic is not a recommended seasoning! (Been there, done that too, I try to stick to garlic now 😉 )

    @janetteb Sorry about the cinema disaster, but sounds like you made the best of it as usual. Not a lot of sympathies from us northerners when you can resolve turkey challenges via a BBQ (tho I’m guessing that’s not so much fun at 30+ ). 12 days of Christmas though, that’s cool.

    @winston – your turkey on a sled tale made me ROFL!

    I take exception to @pedant‘s mums food group list – cheese, bacon, green stuff and booze. And pancakes. Well, it’s OK as far as it goes… but where’s the chocolate?! (especially the dark stuff (and you can get low sugar versions as well, so good for everyone))

    @blenkinsopthebrave Good to hear from you too, old friend. Have you caught up with us further-round-the-globe people yet? (I like this internet thing – I was celebrating NYD for nearly 2 days, with good friends in Australia and all the way round to California… that may explain the blurred vision and headache on Thursday, haha).

    Now… where’s the biscuits… I’m sure I left some jaffa cakes behind the sofa a while back. @juniperfish, @fatmaninabox – I’m looking at you! (Come to think of it – that TARDIS custard cream dispenser is criminally underused. Teased us with it in Ep 2, then it’s been ignored ever since!)



    Have a word with my ex, not my mum!

    Mum supplied the helpfulnothelpful cooking advice.

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    I know what you mean. I used to love Blakes 7. I have it here, but also find it a little dated. It would be a great time for some very clever, non Doctor Who, writers to revamp and relaunch the series. Preferably with a happier ending!

    Bluffme @bluffme

    I just read that Chinball has said that 10 episodes a year is to much work! And wants to go to a split season of 6 episodes a year! If that’s true just one more reason to be sorely disappointed in the new direction of the show. I mean really, 10 episodes is to much work? American Syfy shows can pump out 22 episodes a year and he is complaining about 10. Of course the article said he was considering leaving also and that if he did Jodie would be going with him. That would not bother me in the least bit.

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Can only hope the latter is true. Good riddance.

    Missy @missy


    Thumbs up for that, I should love to watch an updated version.


    I had a look for this. For a start it should be 12 episodes a year. Split it up? The man is bonkers!

    He should try not hogging the writing, like RTD (although he was fun to watch) and giving more writers a chance as Steven Moffat did.

    I did read that he was considering leaving, whinging on about being disappointed with the show? Ahhhh ..diddums!

    JW denies going with him.

    As for the American shows pumping out 22 episodes of whatever, doesn’t mean they are quality. As SM was heard to say when Elementary was mentioned,  (Re Sherlock) he preferred quality to quantity.


    As you know, I haven’t seen any of this series, so I couldn’t possibly comment on the quality. However I agree with you. No surprises there. *grins*


    Bluffme @bluffme

    I guess that depends on what you call quality. Sherlock is so far beyond this past Season of The Doctor in quality that they are not even comparable. Sitting through 22 C.M. episodes is not what I want at all. My point was that complaining about having to make 10 42 min episodes a year sounds like he really doesn’t want to be there. I say don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Any reference for this, or are you just quoting a ‘my best friend’s mate who is third assistant focus puller at BBC Cardiff and once went within shouting distance of the Doctor Who set said’ article?

    I take it you don’t work in TV? Just guessing, because you don’t seem to have a clue how much work an effects heavy SF programme is.

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    It doesn’t matter how much work it is, it’s 12 episodes a year, well it’s supposed to be 12, for those who give a sh*t about the show. IF he wants to produce he should stick to that because as a writer he is less than ordinary which DW does not deserve, not that any of the others (writers) are much better. So pinhead with a “C” if your work load is just to much for poor widdle woo, give up the attempts at writing!

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Oh yeah. I can’t figure why this has not been done already. Coming to a 4K 75″ TV near you soon ……
    Blakes 7

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    It doesn’t matter how much work it is,

    Let me guess: you don’t work in TV either.

    seeoswald @seeoswald

    It doesn’t matter where you work, if you can’t keep up then it’s time to change jobs!!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    Try some maths.

    Eleven episodes of 42 minutes plus one of 60 minutes: 524 minutes to be written, shot, edited and SX put in.

    Nine episodes of 50 minutes plus one of 60 minutes: 510 minutes. People are wailing and gnashing their teeth over a loss of fourteen whole minutes of Doctor Who. Why, that’s nearly half one of the older episodes. 😀

    If you want twelve episodes again, write to the BBC and ask them to give Doctor Who more budget. Then step back while they laugh – they don’t have more budget to give.

    The only way I can see for the BBC to be able to increase the budget would be to split each series over two financial periods, which is where the ‘two mini series of six episodes’ comes from. As it is, the studied avoidance of episodes in 2019 (unless they decide to go with a Christmas Special again) is another signal that the problem isn’t Chibbers – it’s the BBC and the massive budget cuts they’re facing.

    [Oh, he might well be screaming about the workload – as far as I can tell, each producer in the new era has spent their first year going ‘AAARRRGH! Ohsh*tohsh*tohsh*tohsh*t, arrgh, arrgh, ohsh*tohsh*t, arrrgghhh … phew.’
    ‘You mean I have to do this again‘? ]


    syzygy @thane16

    I was born in 1967 which makes me 51 and one thing I know, @bluesqueakpip m’dear, and understand, is just how much work the arts ‘creates’ -and that was back in the late 90s and into the 00’s.

    TV is even harder. I’d say next to politics working in television certainly ages a person considerably -not necessarily in looks but as noticed in the general chat people like CC, PC, MS, ah, hang on, Peter Capaldi, Chibnall, Moffat,  Whittaker offer -they describe with excellent adjectives how tired they are and what a long rest they need. I remember looking at Tennant’s video diary and comparing him later, in 2009 with 2006 and he had aged, physically: all that running? All that night shooting…

    There appears to be a brat hereabouts? Thing is, this brat is also 51.   😀

    @pedant you definitely said “mum.” Your ex-mum? Or….never mind, that’s me mis-reading something…. Must head to pub. I had a life this past week. An actual life. I now need a camera that’s not 12 years old and a phone….no, a phone isn’t really a camera. It’s OK but not that great as I discovered falling down a water-fall. Honestly? I thought I was a gonner. I wasn’t! It was, I have to say, a bit of a thrill, because I can handle strong water.  It took me a leedle while to find which way was up but I saw an eel (urgh) and followed it up to the sun.

    To the Pub! And @blenkinsopthebrave has books… brilliant.


    seeoswald @seeoswald

    Like I said, repeating myself for some reason….
    It doesn’t matter where you work, if you can’t keep up then it’s time to change jobs!!

    No one said anything about budgets, Peanut with a “C” was complaining about work load.

    As for budgets, now they have been mentioned, it’s simple, what the hell is the Doctor doing with so many companions?
    Cut it down to one for the season! None of the current characters are note worthy in any respect and that includes the Doctor!
    Adding more characters to try and make poor stories better doesn’t, and hasn’t, worked.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    You’re complaining about the number of episodes.@bluesqueakpip pointed out that we, in fact, got a loss of fourteen minutes this last series. That’s very little difference in work load, it’s just longer episodes.

    She also pointed out that to get more episodes, they’d need a bigger budget. The greatest enemy of the Doctor has always been, not the Daleks, but the budget department.

    syzygy @thane16


    Like I said, repeating myself for some reason…

    You might consider not doing that.




    Errr…sorry…do people not know what as “ex” is? Is that unexpectedly English  idiom?

    Bluffme @bluffme


    No I don’t work in TV but there are plenty of SciFi shows that made more than 10 episodes a year..Star Trek TNG, V, DS9, Dark Matter,The Magicians, and so on to name a few ….but it sounds like you are telling me that if The Doctor was cut back to a 6 episode split season with 10 to 12 months or more in bewteen the “split” that you would have no problem with that? Ya, right.

    Bluffme @bluffme

    Bluffme @bluffme

    Can’t figure out how to put in the link, ya I’m forum stupid, but it’s a article and comic books .com. Just Google Chinball wants to leave the show

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @bluffme the shows you mention are from American networks, aren’t they? Can’t really compare that to a BBC show.

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