Sunday, 26 October 2014

You Know You're a geek when...

1. You see ex-Sci-Fi actors in mundane situations on made for TV movies or soaps & you feel like crying, for example:

Craig Charles (Lister on Red Dwarf) in Coronation Street

Bruce Boxleitner (Captain Sheridan on Babylon 5, Tron) Hosing his lawn in a made for TV movie

Gareth Thomas (Blake in Blake's 7) as a pensioner in a children's TV programme burning his hand on a kettle & acting like a big baby.

William Shatner (No I will not explain who he is!) TG Hooker

Gillian Anderson (Dana Scully in XFiles) Bleak House

2. You felt joy when:

at the start of each episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart's voice informs us that it's a "Continuing" mission rather than a "5 year" mission as in the original series.

3. You felt outrage & anger when:

Firefly was cancelled, The Tick was cancelled, Caprica (spin-off from Battlestar Galactica) was cancelled.  The last Star Trek series "Enterprise" was an absolute steaming pile of excrement & totally killed Star Trek's chances of ever being on TV for at least another decade!!!

4. You will always think Patrick Stewart is amazing

5. You want Bruce Campbell to stay looking heroic like "Ash" forever & not be slowly putting on weight as he gets older. (You still think he is great though)

6. You still agonise about how Red Dwarf became a bit shit when one half of the writing team left

Well that's it.  if you have any other ideas on what reveals a person to be a geek, feel free to add your comments below.

Next Time: That Archers story you've been waiting for!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

What Would Chris Pine Do?

Hello to you & yes another post already.

While I write this on the sofa, Mrs Rockford is sat next to me watching another episode of Columbo.

I guess you want to know why I'm writing another post already, no? well i'll tell you anyway.

I've been taking more action lately & it's all been inspired by Chris Pine.

Chris Pine first came to my attention in the re-imagined Star Trek films.

He played Captain Kirk, a major feat, following in the footsteps of William Shatner!

In my opinion he did damn well.  The guy needed bags of charisma to fill Shatner's shoes, he absolutely phasered charisma off the screen.

As for the films themselves, I though they were ok, but something was off.

Sure Zachary Quinto was equally great as Spock - good casting guys!  But something didn't feel right.

The films were directed by  JJ Abrams, I just don't trust the guy, I get the feeling he doesn't really like Sci-Fi.

Call me crazy, but I think one day I'll be proved correct.

Anyway, I've just seen a film starring Chris Pine & Denzel Washington called "Unstoppable" a simple idea about a runaway train, but very good.

Chris Pine once again plays the action hero. He's really good a playing these flawed heroic types.  One thing these characters he plays have in common is that they get things done.

That's the kind of guy I wanna be.  I don't mean saving lives, blowing up planets or stopping trains, but just getting stuff done.

My problem has always been that I over-think stuff , & end up doing nothing having talked myself out of it.

The characters CP plays have a quick think & then take action before it's too late.

Inspired by all this I've tried to incorperate these characteristics into my daily life.

Already today I've:

  • Got Myself & Mrs Rockford across the road quicker than other pedestrians.
  • Got the attention of a waiter in a cafe who seemed oblivious to our presence.
  • Wrote more posts than usual
This is just the beginning of a new way of being.  From now on I will be asking myself "What would Chris Pine do?"

Ayoade Additional

Hi folks, it's me again.

Just wanted to update  you on the Ayoade situation:

A few days later I returned to Waterstones during my lunch hour.

The book had been removed from the window.  Perhaps my recent inquiries had alerted them to the sad lack of Ayoade, despite what the system had said.

You will be pleased to hear that I have not only ordered Ayoade from Amazon, but also The Bruce Campbell Autobiography.  Both books were second hand, but apparently in good condition, and less than half the price!

The online method wins again.  I don't want high street shops to die out, but they let themselves down with these sort of shenanigans.

I'll let you know how I get on with actually reading the books.

I can't wait to see what I write about the Archers!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Ayoade overload

While we're waiting to hear about The Archers, I thought you might want to hear about my lunchtime adventure today!

Today for a special lunch-time treat I decided to go to Waterstones & perhaps look at some graphic novels & such.  On arriving my eye was drawn to the window display of books.  In particular to a book named Ayoade on Ayoade.  An apparent biography of I.T Crowd star turned director Richard Ayoade.  I went inside & made the mountainous climb to the third floor film section.  After a few minutes searching I was sure the book wasn't there.  No luck in the biography section either.  With only a 30 minute lunch hour at my disposal, I decided to ask for help.  The 1st floor female shop assistant was certainly willing & even followed me into the street to see the book in the window.  Back inside she consulted the computer which told her that there were currently 11 in stock. She was very sure that it would be in the film section. I mentioned that I'd already looked, but thought if the computer had said there were 11, then I must have overlooked it.  I once again traversed the north face of the Eiger to reach the 3rd floor... Yep it wasn't there.

With confusion beginning to fog my world,  I asked a friendly looking young man. He was convinced it would be downstairs, smilingly descending into the unknown, I waved him off .  Reading a book while I was waiting seemed a good idea.  I glanced down & was pleased to see Bruce Campbell's "If Chins Could Kill" an autobiography of a B movie star.  Bruce Campbell is best know for his role as the wise-cracking square-jawed hero "Ash" in the comedy horror movie series "The Evil Dead"  In the introduction he talked about how other such books were usually accounts of a meteroic rise/fall to/from fame.  He pointed out that reading such books were a waste of time, since we already know so & so had a great career but a rotten life, or that Charlton Heston had a great voice but terrible toupee!  he wanted to talk about the lesser known guys, the B-movie actors grinding away in the background.  By this time the re-emerging friendly looking young man had evolved into the apologetic looking man.  No he couldn't find any, strange.  Did I want him to retrieve the copy from the window?  I advised him that not only did I just want to have a look and may or may not buy it, but mainly that my lunch break had nearly ended and there was no more time.  I took my leave.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Bring Back The Tick!


Hello everyone, something amazing has happened, or is about to happen! One of my favourite ever short-lived TV shows "The Tick" is close to being resurrected. To say this is a most unexpected development or in the words of the show "A fortuitous happenstance" is an understatement.  "What is this TV show of which you speak?" I hear you ask.  Well I'll be pleased to fill you in:

The Tick!

Created by Ben Edlund, The Tick started life as a comic book  back in 1988.  Evolving into the excellent cartoon series I know and love in 1994, it enjoyed popular success. For my flat-mate & I at the time, it's absurdist, twisted humor was the perfect antidote to a crap day at work.

Animated TV Series

The cartoon show was a surreal parody of the world of the superhero.  The Tick, defender of the citizens of a city known only as "The City" was a super strong, nearly invulnerable dunder-headed madman.  He existed in a world where most superheroes had no powers & were either sadly deluded or cowardly.  Despite his great power, The Tick did however feel pain. His enormous stupidity and significant sanity deficit often led to some absurdly uncomfortable situations.  Fortunately he was assisted by his side-kick Arthur or "The Moth" an ex accountant recently turned superhero.  Arthur had no super powers, but had a better grasp of reality than the Tick and most other heroes & villains in "The City". As the show progressed, it became increasingly obvious how much the two of them really needed each other.  The Tick provided the all important muscle, while Arthur supplied wisdom, intelligence & sanity.  Arthur also acted as a kind of mentor to The Tick, guiding him in the ways of the world.

The Tick's child-like view of things, and his enormous power seemed to suggest he was not of this world, a kind of souped-up "Mork" with his origins completely unknown to all including himself.  Unlike other super heroes, he had no alias, and existed as the Tick at all times.  The sight of the big blue-costumed crazy at Arthur's apartment, wresting with everyday tasks like watching TV & flushing the loo were hilarious.

One of the greatest things about the show was The Tick's absurd heroic sounding dialogue, for example:

Tick: "Destiny's powerful hand has made the bed of my future, and it's up to me to lie in it. I am destined to be a superhero. To right wrongs, and to pound two-fisted justice into the hearts of evildoers everywhere. And you don't fight destiny. No sir. And, you don't eat crackers in the bed of your future, or you get all... scratchy."


Tick: "Like a great blue salmon of Justice, the mighty Tick courses upstream to the very spawning ground of evil."

Another great thing about the show was the ridiculous cast of idiotic superheroes & villains. Our two heroes would periodically team up with these inept costumed do-gooders.  Heroes such as Die Fledermaus (The Bat) an obvious parody of Batman. Garbed in a stupid bat costume, DF is a cowardly, womanising ego-maniac. Or Sewer Urchin - the sworn defender of "The City" sewers, stinky, slimy, shunned by most.  The villains were even more insane, such as Chair Face Chippendale, a mafia don type, with the head of an antique chair. The Breadmaster, a disenchanted baker wreaking revenge on a society that has accepted sub-standard bread.

Comic or TV Who Knows?

After a successful run and three series, the cartoon show ceased airing some time in the 90s.  I never forgot this show however, it had lodged itself in my psyche.

Years later, when the internet & laptops had been invented, I decided to try to recapture that old Tick magic.  It was during one of these catch up sessions that I was shocked & over-joyed to find that a live-action TV show had been created!  This show starred Patrick Warburton (The voice of Family Guy disabled cop - Joe Swanson) dressed in virtually the same insane suit from the cartoon joined by Arthur "The Moth" & other characters from the animated series.

I was excited to see that they had really capured the spirit of the animated series & in many ways had improved on it.  Characters such as Die Fledermaus had been tweaked.  DF had now become Batmanuel, a Kind of latino Batman, with the same egotism & obsession with women, but perhaps a little more human than his animated counterpart.

Patrick Warburton was superb as The Tick, as was David Burke as Arthur.  I greatly enjoyed these live-action episodes and looked forward to each one.  I was  hugely disappointed then, to realise that the 9 episodes I'd watched, was all there was!  Despite critical acclaim, the network decided to pull the plug!

Roughly 10 years later, I have discovered that there is a real chance to bring the programme back!

I don't know if you've heard of it, but Amazon run a competition where the public get to vote on green-lighting pilot TV shows.  Its called Amazon originals.  You watch pilots of shows on their website & vote on the one you'd like to be made into a series.  Very soon The Tick will get this chance.

So I'm asking you to help me bring it back!

I know the show will not be to everyone's taste & that's why it needs your support.  Too often, creative formula smashing shows or movies are not given the chance they deserve.  When they are, something wonderful is born. Back in the 80s George Harrison lent his financial support to films that would otherwise never have been made.  He financed "Monty Python - The Life of Brian" and through his company "Handmade Films" unique & eccentric craziness  like "Time Bandits" were made.

There are certainly some great shows around, usually from HBO.  But we don't just need great, we need more leftfield, creative, funny stuff.

I don't know when it's coming to Amazon originals, but I'll keep you posted & hope that you can vote for an original, creative, funny formula-smashing show!

Live-Action TV Series

Next time; what would "The Archers" be like if it was about online game players?