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    @janetteb Well, given the date, 23 November, I am assuming it will be something demonstrate that they going to embrace the history of the show this time around, which they did rather eschew on their first outing. We’ll see.



    Christmas approaches. And so does the new BBC version of “A Christmas Carol”. It is hard to think of an improvement on the Alastair Sim version, but if you want a dark version, then this is certainly just that.



    @thane16 Congratulations, Syzergy the younger! What follows? Endless parties? A gap year? Working your way around the world as a short order cook on a tramp steamer prepatory to writing the Great Australian novel? (In other words, all the things I seemed to have missed out on at that stage of life.) Have a great post-year 12 time, whatever it may be.


    @winston, @janetteb, @thane16

    Where we live now Hallowe’en is a really big (and really rather sweet) thing. The local shopping centre is closed to traffic all afternoon and there is a band playing and everybody – mainly parents and the tinies are dressed to the nines. Mrs Blenkinsop and I wandered up about 2pm (pretty cold but lots of sun) and passed a young couple carrying a tiny on their way to the festivities. All three were dressed in (pretty expensive, I imagine) identical superhero costumes–one 6 foot version, one 5 foot version, and one 18 inch version. Not only did they not stand out, but when one arrived at the main street, the costumes were even more elaborate. There were more tiny fairies per square foot running around than you would see in a Disney movie.

    By evening, the tinies were exhausted and back in bed, and there were slightly larger versions knocking on the door, either with or without parents in tow. Since I have lived here I have see costumes ranging from Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, with attendant chihuahua (also dressed as mini Elvira) to a tiny standing with parents at the front door (so small she could only just walk) dressed in huge red satin pantaloons, a bright yellow vest and on top of her tiny head a big white blob of fabric. When Mrs Blenkinsop bent down and asked: “And who are you dressed as?” she answered in this very soft voice: “Cupcake”. It was the sweetest damn thing you every saw.

    Coming from a place where Hallowe’en had never been celebrated, I think Mrs Blenkinsop and I have ended up in Hallowe’en heaven.



    Moffat and Gattis are back.

    Here is the first trailer for the new BBC adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

    Not one for the tinies…




    I think John Arnatt was born to play the Chancellor. I loved him as the vicar in the Miss Marple “The Moving Finger”. There was something about the voice, the physical presence and the way he played the roles that was perfect for authority figures in shows that everyone understood were just for fun.




    Apparently, the episode that features a Cyberman also includes the character of Mary Shelley. Actually, the idea of a Cyberman, Mary Shelley and presumably the inspiration for Frankenstein, sounds sort of cool. I am trying to imagine how it might play out. Could the Doctor revive a Cyberman…?

    2020 seems such a long time to wait.



    Just reading that Stephen Moore, who voiced–to perfection–Marvin the Paranoid Android in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” as well as taking on the small but important role of Eldane, the leader of the Silurians in the season 5 Who episode “Cold Blood” has died. While most people will think of him in relation to Marvin the Paranoid Android, he was in so much more, including Mayor Vincy in “Middlemarch” in 1994, George Mole in “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 and three-quarter” (1985), and (a personal favourite) George in “Three Men and a Boat” (1975) with Michael Palin and Tim Curry. A great loss to the world of gentle comedy.



    Was just idly skimming through IMDB and came across a couple of Who-related tidbits. Mainly in the form of actors playing classic monsters in 2020. There has already been an announcement that the Judoon will appear (apparently in episode 6). But in episode 5 one of the characters is listed as Sea Devil. Hmm. And Nicolas Briggs, already listed as voicing the Judoon in episode 6, is also listed as voicing a Cyberman in episode 8. Now, IMDB can be unreliable, but nonetheless.

    Is it just me, or does one feel parched for Who information?



    It was the voice. And it was what she could do with other people’s songs. It was a combination of the electrifying power of her voice and a sort of ethereal, poetic take on what she sang that captured a moment (in this case, the early to mid seventies in Sydney, undergraduate days, living in share houses, going to performances like hers, etc, etc). If you can track down an album called “Freefall through Featherless Flight”…


    @janetteb and @thane16

    Been reading about the drought in Australia. As someone who spent 60 years of his life there, I have strong feelings about what is happening at the moment to the land itself and the government policy that is accepting (if not encouraging) it. It is clear that that this is not a changing of the seasons. I know that the problem has historical roots, dating back to the 19thC practice of plowing land that had so little top soil that it encouraged, in part, what we are confronted with. It is also painfully obvious that there is little interest in learning from centuries of Indigenous stewardship of the soil. What does concern me is the seeming (from my distant perspective) lack of interest at the political level in addressing climate and environmental issues.

    Dear me, all that sounds a bit grim. On the lighter side of things, apparently Donald Trump’s orange hue is caused by light bulbs. Of course it is…




    @whisht, @thane16

    come to think of it, there’s this as well. You can’t believe how important this..and the music–and performances of–Jeannie Lewis…was to me at a certain moment in my past.



    @whisht, @thane16

    this one’s for whisht and syggers…maybe because it represents a moment in my youth, or…just because…






    Hi thane16 and siggers

    You know, when I watched it, I thought the tempo was wrong–I somehow remembered it as a bit faster. Of course, originally, my pulse would have been racing a bit faster…ahem.





    I confess to being of the generation that responded to the Nancy Sinatra song (although I am not sure your clip did the song justice). But, to respond to the clip, with another clip from a different decade, that (in common with your clip) was ludicrously…well ludicrous.



    @thane16, @craig

    Hi Syzygy the elder–or, indeed Puro (the incomparable),

    l seem to to be still courted by Kayla. Not that I want to be, of course.

    p.s. Has your name changed as you indicate? Has mine? Mrs Blenkinsop still seems to recognize me, and to be honest, that is all that matters.



    In light of the passing of Terrance Dicks, it seemed appropriate share a short clip from the incomparable “The War Games”. And to remind us of of how we found out about The Time Lords.

    I really have to watch the whole thing again.



    Terrance Dicks has just died. What a loss. He wrote some of the most memorable stories of the BG era, from the stunning War Games on. Not to mention his novelizaions and much more.

    It would  be great to gave a Dicks retrospective, particularly “The War Games”, for so many reasons.

    a great loss.




    @thane16 (the elder and the younger)

    Like both of you (janette and the syzygy the elder) I lived through the same years. I too often wonder if our decisions were responsible for the options available to the generation represented by syzygy the younger.

    When I think back to my own experience the one thing that always stands out–the thing that (for me) makes all the difference–is class. Both my parents came from a working class experience of the depression. They carried those values with them, and those values were embedded in my upbringing. My brother and I were the first in the wide extended family to go to university. For me, the only reason I had that opportunity was the Whitlam government allowing me to go to university without the enormous financial burden previously imposed. My older brother (the smarter one) got there because of scholarships.

    Many years later, when I was a professor in a law school, I was at an event where the wife of a retired judge (both he and her from the old established wealth of Sydney’s north shore (only Australians will understand that reference) was complaining that the problem of the younger generation was that “simply anybody” was allowed into university. I pointed out that the only reason I was at this event (as a law professor) was because the Whitlam government had allowed people of my income bracket to attend university. She looked at me like I was something she had picked up on the sole of her shoe.

    Resistance to climate change, opposition to refugees, suspicion of higher education–it’s not just the current government, it’s the enablers of the government.




    @craig Ah, Kayla–she is persistent, isn’t she?

    @pedant How do I know that you are not Chinese?



    I was just reading the obituary of Chris Kraft, the NASA flight director during Apollo 11. Was it he who was the calm, controlling voice in the video you uploaded of “the complete descent”?  Or someone else?


    Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Some of you may have heard of this particular episode of a long forgotten TV show, but many of you will have not. It was made in 1958, it is 22 minutes long, and it is a hoot.

    When it starts you might think: what?? But bear with it…trust me, you will enjoy it.




    In the spirit of keeping alive 20th century viewing habits, there is a line from one of my favourite movies of all time, called “A New Leaf” with Walter Matthau, where one character explains to Matthau’s character: “Sir, in your own lifetime, you have managed to keep alive traditions that were dead before you were even born.”

    I have always loved that line (and secretly wanted to emulate it). It is a wonderful, incredibly funny, and strangely touching movie. I highly recommend it.



    in the spirit of maintains order on the forum, my reply is over on The Kebab and the Calculator (?) Anyway, the other one..


    This may be of interest to American Whovians. Apparently HBO Max has acquired the rights to stream all of Nu Who:

    ‘Doctor Who’ to Stream Exclusively on HBO Max

    Personally, I have managed to avoid signing up to anything. I suppose someone has to keep alive the spirit of 20th century TV viewing…




    yes, Arrival was a very emotionally effective movie. I urge you to read the story which it was adapted from. It was called “The Story of your Life” by Ted Chiang. It is easy to find (I found it for free on the web before the movie came out).

    It was really rather brilliant. (And only about 40 pages long, as I recall.)




    @whisht @thane16

    I know many of us have seen this before, but nontheless:

    It is both incredibly moving and demonstrates the genius of his acting.



    Wow. That was incredible.



    OK, I promised something even worse (or better, when you think about who you were at that moment in time) and here it is:



    OK, I will start here, and I will admit, this isn’t even the worst of it!




    In light of your post, I am starting to think that there should be a sub-thread where we reveal the embarrassing musical tastes of our youth.

    when I find it on youtube, I promise to reveal it.




    It seems that Kayla wants to get to know me. Unfortunately, I don’t really want to get to know Kayla. I am sure others on the site may be experiencing the same.


    There is a very good collection of articles on the moon landing here:

    I particularly like the one on JoAnn Morgan.


    I have been thinking back to my own memories of the moon landing in 1969, and asking myself how clear those memories are. I vividly remember all of us being assembled in the school assembly hall to watch the landing. And I also clearly remember us coming out of the assembly hall and instinctively looking up in the sky and it was one of the clear but cold July days of an Australian winter and you could see the moon even though it was daylight, and while we all liked to pretend we were sophisticated 17 year olds, we shouted “look!” more like 7 year olds.

    I have had that memory for decades, and yet I am now starting to wonder. Australian school holidays today run from the first week of July to the third week of July. Was it different in Australian schools in 1969? I can only assume it must have been. Or was I watching a clip of the landing in the assembly hall after the event when we returned from the holidays? Indeed would the school have had the capacity to show the event live to a large group of school students in 1969? After all, televisions were very small in 1969. Were we listening to it on the radio?

    Damn, it was such a good memory…


    Just following on from @whisht‘s call for items celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (and also about who has the right to be remembered):




    Syzygy the elder (and @whisht) this provides some background to the wonderful Superman poster:




    Thoughts of space and hope and striving for something better

    This seemed appropriate:

    And, although not music, this seemed especially appropriate, both for @whisht and for all of us. It is something that was produced in 1949, and in light of recent events, it qualifies, I think, as an example of “thoughts of space and hope and striving for something better.”



    Syzgy, I searched (in vain) for an old Bugs Bunny cartoon set in the medieval period that featured the Duke of Ellington and the Count of Basie.

    But I found something even better: Cab Calloway and Betty Boop doing Minnie the Moocher.



    @janetteb when I said “all you need” I confess I am not sure how easy it is to acquire a region free player in Australia.


    @janetteb It is available on the Amazon UK site; all you need is a region-free DVD player. It’s an excellent show.



    @whisht thanks for posting that. He was a wonderful character actor of great range. It is interesting what sticks in the mind for each of us. For me, it was his Claudius in “The Caesars” back in the late ’60s, and his understated, yet hypnotically effective, villain in the 1974 film “Juggernaut”.



    @winston, @janetteb

    Thought I would move this conversation over here as it is not really Who related.

    Climate change: I have never really understood the opposition to an acceptance of this. It seems like a perverse rejection of countless scientific reports. Then I was thinking back to an episode of the current affairs program on Australian TV from many years back called Four Corners. @janetteb will recall  the show. On one particular episode a group of young people who wanted to draw attention to the fact that pristine public parks were being ruined by the rubbish left behind by holiday makers went into a popular recreation park and retrieved all the rubbish that had been thrown into the bushes and foliage by the holiday makers over the years. What was fascinating was that, instead of being congratulated for cleaning everything up, they were angrily confronted by the holiday makers with accusations such as: “If you hadn’t have found it, no one would have known it was there.”

    What the anger was about, of course, was that the holiday makers did not want to accept responsibility for the mess.

    I tend to wonder if that is similar to the reasoning behind ordinary people who deny climate change.

    And interestingly, I see a similar pattern in both Canada and Australia when it comes to accepting that Indigenous peoples in both countries have suffered. There is, it seems to me, a similar angry resistance by the same cohort of people who deny climate change–to whit: “Don’t blame me!” Or, (like the rubbish in the national park) “If you didn’t draw attention to the problem, no one would know about it.”

    late night thoughts…


    Only posted here because you can never be too careful.

    News at last!…




    I should also add that, as a Time Lord, you have been gone for more than five minutes…




    Saw the news this morning. Very sad indeed. Not only was he brilliant as Avon (indeed, his Avon was both magnetic and seductive–in a way perhaps not a million miles away from River Song) but there were other shows I remember him from. In particular, he he was great as Mr. Tallboy in the Lord Peter Wimsey Story–“Murder Must Advertise” from the early 70s. He will, indeed, be missed.




    OK… actual monsters from the past. Interesting. And given who the monsters are, I get the feeling that there will be a slight change of direction in this upcoming season.

    (season…series…? I find this whole growing up with English terms and then getting used to North American terms very confusing.)




    Hi Syzygy,

    well, yes, it’s true, you should always reference (said not in a sing song voice, but a sententious disapproving voice…)

    but I am pleased to report the the blenkinsop archival skills revealed the source as the NY Times, Jan 19, 2017. (It’s a good article, as well.)

    And if anyone on the right in Australian politics starts arguing against compulsory voting, that is the time to man the barricades, as far as I am concerned.



    Hello syzygy! (it is always exciting to be at the birth of a new voice–time will tell whether the views of the new syzygy are different from those of the old Puro and Thane…)

    Where does the Waleed Aly quote come from?

Viewing 50 posts - 1 through 50 (of 1,475 total)