Visit the official Doctor Who website

Visit the official Doctor Who website
Look to the future

Asylum seekers...

Asylum seekers...
Refuge of the Daleks

Doctor Who picture resource

Doctor Who picture resource
Roam the space lanes!

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website
Step back in time

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood
Armed and extremely dangerous

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures
Fearless in the face of adversity

Call on Dani’s House

Call on Dani’s House
Harmer’s a charmer

Intercept the UFO fabsite

Intercept the UFO fabsite
Defending the Earth against alien invaders!

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse
Programmable agent Echo exposed!

Hell’s belles

Hell’s belles
Naughty but nice

Love Exposure

Love Exposure
Flash photography!

Primeval portal

Primeval portal
Dressed to kill or damsels in distress?

Charmed, to be sure!

Charmed, to be sure!
The witches of San Francisco

Take on t.A.T.u.

Take on t.A.T.u.
All the way from Moscow

Proceed to the Luther website

Proceed to the Luther website
John and Jenny discuss their next move

DCI Banks is on the case

DCI Banks is on the case
You can bet on it!

On The Grid with Spooks

On The Grid with Spooks
Secret agents of Section D

Bridge to Hustle

Bridge to Hustle
Shady characters

Life on Ashes To Ashes

Life on Ashes To Ashes
Coppers with a chequered past

Claire’s no Exile

Claire’s no Exile
Goose steps

Vexed is back on the beat!

Vexed is back on the beat!
Mismatched DI Armstrong and bright fast-tracker Georgina Dixon

Medium, both super and natural

Medium, both super and natural
Open the door to your dreams

Who’s that girl? (350-picture Slideshow)

Monday, 1 December 2008

aRTy without the Drivel!


The beauty of a “Doctor Who” Radio Times cover is that you can admire the visual without having to listen to what passes for a script in this day and age, not unlike watching Girls Aloud or the Sugababes on television with the sound switched off!

The opening couple of minutes of “The Next Doctor”, seen twice on “Children in Need”, showed exactly where Russell’s mind is at, regarding a possible future incarnation of the lead character… and I’m talking about the Doctor, not his companion! The next Doctor’s few lines of dialogue were enough to present its audience with an identikit version of the current incumbent of the TARDIS.

I believed David Morrissey would make an interestingly swarthy Doctor, well before I knew he’d been cast in this year’s Christmas Special. When I saw him as Colonel Brandon in “Sense and Sensibility”, at the very beginning of the year, I thought there’s your man!

But, folks, like Mr. Morrissey’s immediate predecessor and his predecessor before him (that’s Chris Eccleston, if you’ve lost me!) Morrissey’s Doctor is incorrigibly rude and very up his own bottom!! RTD’s Doctors will always be characterised thus so it doesn’t really matter who the eleventh Doctor will be…

More pertinent a question is whether or not the style of writing will change radically under a new leadership, if indeed there really is a new man at the helm of “Doctor Who”. Russell, it seems, is holding onto the reigns of “The Sarah Jane Adventures” which also refuses to move forward following the introduction of… yawn… a new family. Pretty as Rani is, she has yet to make her mark!

I’m ever hopeful “The Next Doctor” will surprise me. I know David Morrissey is simply playing what’s written, and following orders like John Simm before him, but I’m praying the new arrival will still shine, despite!

Three reasons to look forward to the “Doctor Who” Christmas Special include David Morrissey, the return of the Cybermen (even despite their bastardisation, it’s about time a familiar foe was featured in a festive instalment), and the fact that part of the story was filmed in College Green in my hometown.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Who Survives(?)


“Doctor Who” celebrates its forty-fifth anniversary today and there’s not a single programme on television to mark the occasion!

“The Bill” recently celebrated its twenty-fifth year, ITV slipping in a couple of special episodes just in the nick of time, before giving over most of its precious airspace to jungle idiocy. So, why can’t the BBC manage something similar, between dancing bouts, for its flagship science fiction series, especially now they claim it’s so popular once again? Too busy trying not to hurt the feelings of Jonathan Ross no doubt!

Ironically, the BBC are resurrecting Terry (Dalek creator) Nation’s post-apocalyptic “Survivors” tonight, based on his highly original novel and television series from the mid-Seventies. I don’t know whether I should be excited or give up the notion of ever seeing anything as remotely creative as television once was.

“Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)”, “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons”, “Doctor Who” and now “Survivors”… what are the chances of the latter being as good, second time around, considering the quality of those other revivals when compared to their originals? The changes to the structure of the programme don’t bode well…

Two of the three lead characters of the original first season of “Survivors” are now a politically-correct shade of black while the endearingly brilliant Talfryn Thomas, as Tom Price, has morphed into Mr. chunky-hunky Max Beesley.

The new “Survivors” is brought to the Beeb by the same team who sold ITV “Primeval”. Fun as that was, the present undertaking needs to be grim.

It’ll be interesting to see how “Survivors” fares in the ratings up against the aforementioned, oh-so-popular, celebrity lunacy. I won’t hold my breath. Or, perhaps I should, given the nature of the epidemic! People want fun and what better way to have it than see people humiliated down under, credit crunching on bugs. Hopefully, “Survivors” will be intelligent, at the very least…

“Survivors” is the closest we’re going to get to “Doctor Who” (1963-89) tonight, to which I wish a very Happy Birthday!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Learning Curves


Supermodel Lily Cole has made her debut on the cover of French Playboy. The Marks and Spencer model has her hair in pigtails and is wearing only white socks for the cover shoot. She is seen clutching a giant teddy bear to her breasts, strategically positioned between her legs, and is pictured above the tagline Sweet Sixties Lily Cole. Flame-haired Cole, 20, has posed for a 14-page spread inside the men’s magazine. The shoot is said to have been inspired by the cover of French musician Serge Gainsbourg’s 1971 album “Histoire de Melody Nelson”.

Even before the pictures were published, some Christian groups immediately condemned the Playboy images as degrading without actually having seen them! They have called on customers to boycott M&S, saying the store is indirectly supporting Hugh Hefner’s notorious publication by continuing to employ Cole. But a spokesman for M&S said, “It’s entirely her own choice as to what other work she accepts and we would not wish to interfere with her career.”

“St. Trinian’s” star Lily deferred her place at Cambridge University. She won a place at King’s College two years ago to study social and political sciences but took two gap years off to concentrate on her modelling career. She has now switched to the three-year history of art degree. Miss Cole is also rumoured to be dating actor Jude Law, 35, after they were spotted together in public on several occasions during the summer. And there was me, 49, thinking I was in with a chance!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Dreamy Lady


The Second Season of “The Tudors” concluded recently on BBC Two and was promptly released on DVD on Monday, as was a set containing both last year’s run together with this latest offering. The total of twenty episodes reached a grisly culmination with the heartless execution of Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn. I think this was a shame! And, for all her stoicism, I expect she probably thought the same!!

Why do you think Anne’s death was a shame, Tim, I hear you all cry? Well, it means actress Natalie Dormer won’t be in the next series! History should’ve been rewritten in order to accommodate a lady with such gorgeous eyes. Some may think them narrow but that is part of her beauty. She positively smoulders.

Even when in danger of losing it, the girl kept her head! The doomed royal had Hans Matheson hear her last confession… that she hadn’t actually done anything wrong!!

Ironically, Hans, as the dastardly and corrupting Alec d’Urberville, in “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”, had donned preacher’s robes over on BBC One, whereupon one of our heroine’s milkmaid chums comments that he doesn’t look much like a man of the cloth…

Obviously, the producers of “The Tudors” thought otherwise. But, Hans could do nothing to save the lovely Natalie, despite the repeated postponement of her wanton slaying due to the late arrival of the axe man. And, I’m not talking guitar heroes here!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Tess’s Lament by Thomas Hardy


I

I would that folk forgot me quite,
Forgot me quite!
I would that I could shrink from sight,
And no more see the sun.
Would it were time to say farewell,
To claim my nook, to need my knell,
Time for them all to stand and tell
Of my day’s work as done.

II

Ah! dairy where I lived so long,
I lived so long;
Where I would rise up staunch and strong,
And lie down hopefully.
’Twas there within the chimney-seat
He watched me to the clock’s slow beat -
Loved me, and learnt to call me sweet,
And whispered words to me.

III

And now he’s gone; and now he’s gone; . . .
And now he’s gone!
The flowers we potted perhaps are thrown
To rot upon the farm.
And where we had our supper-fire
May now grow nettle, dock, and briar,
And all the place be mould and mire
So cozy once and warm.

IV

And it was I who did it all,
Who did it all;
’Twas I who made the blow to fall
On him who thought no guile.
Well, it is finished - past, and he
Has left me to my misery,
And I must take my Cross on me
For wronging him awhile.

V

How gay we looked that day we wed,
That day we wed!
“May joy be with ye!” they all said
A-standing by the durn.
I wonder what they say o’us now,
And if they know my lot; and how
She feels who milks my favourite cow,
And takes my place at churn!

VI

It wears me out to think of it,
To think of it;
I cannot bear my fate as writ,
I’d have my life unbe;
Would turn my memory to a blot,
Make every relic of me rot,
My doings be as they were not,
And gone all trace of me!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Paranoid Android


The Second Season of “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” has begun broadcasting in the States with a surprise piece of casting. In retrospect, the addition of Shirley Manson, lead singer of rock band Garbage, to the original team of actors shouldn’t have caught me unawares, due to the recent penchant for substituting pop stars for actresses in science fiction, but, nonetheless, I was slightly taken aback. I think that’s probably down to the fact that unlike Billie Piper, Hannah Spearritt and Kylie Minogue, Shirley Manson at least has some credibility! The difference is that Scot’s lass Shirley hasn’t built her career on a succession of namby-pamby pop hits exploiting the easily satisfied. I mean, let’s be honest, who on earth handed Billie her initial success for “Because We Want To”?!! It’s unmitigated dross. But, she wouldn’t have landed her plum role in “Doctor Who” without it! And, while Garbage isn’t exactly Beethoven, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” is a step up from the likes of songs in the mould of “I Should Be So Lucky” or “Don’t Stop Moving”!! Some may argue each to their own, in defence of the Pied Piper, but what makes Billie anymore suitable a piece of casting, in a serious sf series, than the much-maligned Bonnie Langford? If Bonnie was wrong for “Doctor Who”, because she lacked the necessary authority, why, twenty years on, do fans who criticise her then accept someone equally suspect of wanting in gravitas?

Shirley Manson has yet to prove herself as an actress, of course, but her image, in the rock arena, is that of a tough cookie. “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” is a hard-as-nails series so it’s likely to suit her perceived persona. There’s no light relief waffle about handy hands in this show! She trained at a theatre school before joining a band so, like Billie Piper, it could be claimed Shirley is returning to her roots. In “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”, Manson plays both Catherine Weaver, the CEO of a major technology company, ZeiraCorp, and also a new type of liquid-metal terminator, T-1001, sent by SkyNet to continue the hunt for the Connor family. In addition, she sings the Blind Willie Johnson song heard in the opening scene of “Samson and Delilah”, the first episode of the new season. The episode concludes with an already much-discussed cliff-hanger in which one of the characters, about to take a leak in the men’s washroom, suddenly observes the urinal before him morph into Miss Manson! Happens to me every time I feel the call of nature!! One can only hope she managed to complete the transformation before the possibility of receiving what she herself sings about in the Garbage song “When I Grow Up”. And, before you all rush off to checkout the lyrics, let me reassure you that the guy - having royally pissed her off - is, naturally, quickly dispatched in a manner similar to one of the early death scenes in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Flower Power


There I was quietly sitting there, minding my own business, when suddenly my ears pricked up on hearing the strains of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” emanating from the television set. Immediately, I looked up. I’m not one for watching commercials. Can’t stand the things if I’m honest. Someone once told me the ads are better than the programmes but I remain unconvinced. Perhaps they are, I just don’t watch the poorer shows the better advertisements, periodically, interrupt. On this occasion, however, it was worth my while. I was greeted with the telly vision that is catwalk model-turned-actress Lily Cole. She really is a stunner. I must have a thing for fiery redheads because the other lady for whom I have a burning passion is, of course, t.A.T.u.’s Lena Katina. These two gorgeous-looking young women top and tail the three hundred-picture twenty-minute slideshow you can view at the foot of this blog. If I had my very own TARDIS, I know which two ladies I’d want to be my companions and their names aren’t Billie Piper or Catherine Tate! Although, even they would be preferable to Fiona Phillips and Kate Garraway!! But, why I particularly dislike those two GMTV “presenters” - journalists my arse - is the subject for another day…

The advert in question turns out to be the latest trendy promotion for the Marks and Spencer chain and, in particular, their fashion line. Set on a fairground, other attractions, besides our Lily, include sold-out classical musician-turned-pop-star-turned-television-presenter Myleene Klass and Sixties’ fashion icon Twiggy. Black model Noémie Lenoir sports two sets of natty-looking undies, not at the same time you understand! These include polka dot panties, which she wiggles in close up, and a rather fetching set of pink bra and knickers to match the candy floss on which she is nibbling. I was going to say munching but being a slim model that’s probably unlikely! I expect you can tell, I was paying especially close attention to detail!! It’s all very fast, very slick, very stylish, and unburdened with product detail - different to those commercials insistent on telling you the price of everything where you end up remembering absolutely nothing. “Fashion Fairground” simply promotes a brand. If you’d like to watch it, without sitting through numerous commercial breaks hoping for an appearance from the lovely Lily, simply click on the link on the right to my “Jukebox”! “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues”!! Watching her figure, I can tell you that, at the start, sadly, and I know it’s a missed opportunity, Lily doesn’t actually lick her lolly!!!

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Warden’s Watch: Bonekickers & Spooks: Code 9


The BBC doesn’t seem to be having much luck with some of its latest fantasy-drama output! I watched the first episode of “Bonekickers”, “Army of God”, on BBC One, and decided that, amongst its many faults, the series’ title is four letters too long!! I didn’t watch any more, not feeling the need to dig deeper into this illogical archaeological nonsense. I tuned in, in the first place, because “Bonekickers” is written and produced by the same team who brought us “Life on Mars”, and that series’ excellent sequel “Ashes to Ashes”. And, because Martha’s sister, from “Doctor Who”, is in it! I can only presume “Bonekickers” is an attempt to replicate “The Da Vinci Code” for television with a touch of “Indiana Jones” thrown in for good measure. Unfortunately, it appeared ludicrous and, with the inclusion of a gratuitous decapitation of a Muslim, at the hands of ex-“EastEnders” actor Paul Nicholls, over the top… I believe a second series has already been commissioned!

Hot on the heels of the BBC One disaster, and switching to BBC Three, follows “Spooks: Code 9” which I haven’t really warmed to either, although, in this case, I have stayed with the series so far. That’s probably, solely, because Georgia Moffett plays one of the MI5 operatives! I am a fan of parent series “Spooks” and especially enjoyed its Fourth Season, when the show seemed to start all over again with renewed grit and determination. The spin-off killed one of its main characters in the opening episode, obviously inspired by the notorious demise of Lisa Faulkner’s character, Helen Flynn, in the second episode of the original. “Torchwood” had already copied “Spooks”, in killing off Susie, in its debut story so, by now, it’s all getting to be rather old hat. The remaining cast of hip young things with poor diction, in “Spooks: Code 9”, includes (from left to right) Andrew Knott as Rob, Georgia Moffett as Kylie, Heshima Thompson as Jez, Liam Boyle as Charlie, Ruta Gedmintas as Rachel and Chris Simpson as Vik… Only two more episodes to go, thank goodness!

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Time Lord Pensioned Off


Happy 65th, Sylvester! Today (August 20th, 2008), Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy turns sixty-five and becomes a pensioner!! He played the Time Lord for forty-two episodes, over three seasons, between 1987 and 1989. Each of his series consisted of four three-or-four part stories divided between fourteen episodes making a total of twelve “Doctor Who” adventures in total. Sylvester reprised the role, quite substantially in 1996, in the first third of the American TV movie before handing over the mantle to Eighth Doctor Paul McGann. Bonnie Langford played companion Mel during Sylvester’s first year while Sophie Aldred joined during “Dragonfire” and stayed for the duration under the moniker “Ace”! His stories are a mixed bag but, then, that’s the case for every era of the programme. Percentage wise, the actor does pretty well in the classic stakes! I would claim that, of McCoy’s dozen tales, a third of them should be regarded as “Doctor Who” classics. Best of all is “The Curse of Fenric”, a story steeped in Norse mythology set during the Second World War. “Ghost Light” some fans find overly complex but is a lovely little thesis, disguised as costume drama, supporting the ideology of Richard Dawkins who, recently, made a brief cameo in the new version of the series. “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy” is set in a circus, partly filmed in the BBC car park and all the better for it, again inspired by Norse myth, while “Remembrance of the Daleks” opened Sylvester’s Second Season and, following a couple of shaky years, bred new life into the show.

Of the other eight titles, most are worthwhile. From Sylvester’s debut season, I’m quite partial to “Paradise Towers” and “Delta and the Bannermen”. The former is written by Stephen Wyatt who the following year went on to write “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy” and whom I consider the most imaginative of the writers of this period of the programme. “Paradise Towers” isn’t to everyone’s taste but at least the domestic element, involving older “Rezzies” (residents) feeding off the youthful female “Kangs” (colour-coded gangs), integrates better into the narrative than any of today’s offerings! “Delta and the Bannermen” is just great fun and anyone who isn’t carried along with this holiday-camp nonsense probably has no joie de vivre! “Silver Nemesis” was the 25th Anniversary story, essentially a reworking of “Remembrance of the Daleks” but with Cybermen. It did include some gritty battle sequences to contrast the humour of the good Doctor showing his usual politeness (in raising his hat) towards the present monarch whilst walking her corgis! My favourite director of the period was Alan Wareing. He was as tough as Graeme Harper, from earlier in the decade, but shied away from showing as much violence on screen. Alan helmed “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”, which went out as the climax of Sylvester’s Second Season, as well as “Ghost Light” and the Seventh Doctor’s ironically titled swansong “Survival” which reintroduced a much-reinvigorated Master and concluded the era and classic “Doctor Who” on a high.

Friday, 15 August 2008

If I Were Davros…


It’s no secret that under Russell T. Davies I’ve found “Doctor Who” to be severely lacking! Whereas “Fury from the Deep”, a six-part story from the late Sixties, carries an inspiring ecological subtext about the dangers of not replenishing the Earth’s natural resources upon bleeding them dry, modern “Doctor Who” appears to be about nothing in particular except sitting on your arse all day watching the telly on a council estate! No wonder I feel cheated!! If I wanted to watch the latter, I could tune into crap like “EastEnders” or open the back door. I want to watch the former served up as a metaphor featuring weed creatures rising up out of the sea to take their revenge with the aid of poison gas exhaling humans. I want terror not soap. So, if I was about to inherit the mantle of show runner instead of Steven Moffat, how would I go about correcting the numerous mistakes made over the last four series? How would I make “Doctor Who”? What would I do if I had the power, if I were Davros…

The first change I would make to “Doctor Who” is in doing away with the single episode story. They do not give enough time for character or plot development and have all but removed the all-important cliff-hanger from the programme. At present, each season gives the viewer ten stories over thirteen episodes. Keeping the thirteen forty-five minute episode format, I would reduce the number of stories to six, five two-parters would be followed by a concluding three-part season finale. This would also be more cost effective in that you are reducing the number of opening nights by four. Jon Pertwee’s producer Barry Letts was very aware of how best to utilise the budget over a full season.

My next major change would be to do away with the season arc. Under Russell, we’ve had Bad Wolf, Torchwood, Saxon and, most recently, the return of Rose. Without exception, all failures. Each of my six stories would be self-contained, with no linking devices. Trying to keep your audience hooked Russell’s way is doomed to failure if the final episode fails to deliver. Give your public half-a-dozen strongly written, well executed, stories, excitingly concluded, so they’ll want to return for more instead of trying to twist their arm into staying with the programme only to receive a smack in the face like the Doctor at the hands of the parody Master in “Last of the Time Lords”!

Another important change would be to do away with companion’s families. I’m sick to death of the Doctor touching base every other week, at his latest travelling partner’s domicile. It’s alright to start off with an assistant’s familial attachments, such as when Peri was introduced in “Planet of Fire”, but to keep revisiting home turf is way too safe for a series originally steeped in fear and terror. What a shame they didn’t lop off the final fifteen minutes of the concluding episode, this year, and keep it to forty-five minutes, rather than allowing the writer’s excessive over-indulgence. Reign it in, edit, do away with superfluous material. Get rid of the baggage!

One Doctor, one companion. Throughout. No regenerations unless the lead is moving on. If you promise a death, deliver! Russell promised in Season’s Two and Four and went back on his word. Rose didn’t die in battle, unfortunately, and Donna had her memory all-too-conveniently wiped! Absolutely no reset buttons, in any way, shape or form!! I would choose a different writer for each story and, if possible, none would have written for the series before. I wouldn’t insist on writing the finale myself but would like to have a stab at one of the adventures! I’ve no objection to returning monsters, the Ice Warriors - as depicted in their black and white episodes - would be welcome, and wouldn’t insist on naming new ones myself, as Russell did the Ood. I’m pretty certain Verity Lambert didn’t insist Terry Nation call his creations the Daleks!! I think the writer came up with the name all on his lonesome.

So, there you have it. My six-story plan for the next season of “Doctor Who”! I fear it may be too late to give me the job!!

Monday, 11 August 2008

Re-Make/Re-Model


Television seems to milk drama series for all they are worth, these days, literally capitalising on the success of any given parent show. Just look at “Doctor Who”! Running alongside the mother series, there’s “Doctor Who Confidential”, “Totally Doctor Who” (which seems to have dematerialised this year), “Torchwood”, “Torchwood Declassified” and “The Sarah Jane Adventures”… and all from a show which is itself a remake, not an original idea as it was back in 1963. To me, this burgeoning industry doesn’t suggest imagination is alive and kicking in the new millennium! Storytelling, at least in this visual medium, has become stale.

The “creator” of this “Doctor Who” retread (I’m sure you all know his name by now!) has the audacity to claim there was never any golden age of television! If that’s the case, why have the BBC just celebrated forty years of “Dad’s Army”? Hearty congratulations to the Walmington-On-Sea platoon of the Home Guard! “Little Britain” will, hopefully, be forgotten long before it reaches such a landmark. But, why will the chief writer of the Time Lord’s soap opera adventures have spent the best part of a decade, by the time he moves on from his exalted position as show runner, bringing the series back into the public eye if it doesn’t hail from a much-loved era? It’s not a particularly creative move for a supposedly talented writer. The answer is, of course, money.

The present executive producer of “Doctor Who” has, undoubtedly, made enough cash to ensure he can now go off and write whatever he wants and not have to worry whether or not any new project will recoup its investment. Never mind having destroyed a national institution to arrive at that enviable position. The common view is that he has revived the science fiction series rather than completely bent it out of shape! Other than a fat paycheque, why remodel an old show? What would’ve been wrong in having the self-confidence to invent something dazzlingly new, thus proving his worth beyond any doubt, rather than disastrously distorting a glorious twenty-six year history? “Doctor Who”, with one or two small exceptions, would’ve been better left alone, untarnished.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Telly Visions: Kristen Bell


“Heroes” seems to have the knack of casting attractive female leads. It’s better at it than, say, the revamped “Doctor Who”! Ouch!! But, it’s true. The obvious names to mention, regarding the American show, are Hayden Panettiere and Ali Larter. And, I’ve already discussed Nora Zehetner and Katie Carr in previous posts. For me, I’m sorry to say, Billie Piper will always be the female forerunner of Lil’ Chris! Although, admittedly, the Swindon lass is nowhere near as cringe worthy and tedious as that pint-sized pin brain. I can imagine Russell T. Davies mistakenly casting him, in the role of companion, had the executive producer stayed on with the Brit series. And, that would’ve been a fate worse than Adric!

The latest sex kitten on the “Heroes” block is Kristen Bell, playing cunning little vixen Elle Bishop, introduced during Season Two, and I’m pleased to see she’s to continue into the next season. I was already aware of the actress from “Veronica Mars”, which I’d wanted to see but have only recently started watching. Kristen played the title role for three seasons before it was cancelled due to poor viewing figures. Joss Whedon, best known as creator and lead writer of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, praised the writing standard of “Veronica Mars” and the pilot episode is certainly a clever little construct.

Following the cancellation of “Veronica Mars”, Kristen voiced an interest in appearing in “Heroes”, because she was a fan prior to being cast. She’s also friends with future Mr. Spock Zachary Quinto (Sylar), as well as Hayden, which no doubt wasn’t going to go against her! For my money though, Kristen has a far more interesting face than her cheerleader co-star. That’s not to say I don’t like Hayden. I do. But, Kristen is just that little bit more quirky. It was Ms. Bell’s aspect that had me interested in “Veronica Mars” in the first place! Here’s hoping “Volume Three: Villains”, of “Heroes”, will be saved by the Bell!!

Monday, 4 August 2008

Warden’s Watch: Twins of Evil


It’s fifty years since the studio affectionately known as Hammer Horror began making movies to scare the panties off their busty heroines! As part of the celebrations, a few words devoted to one of the company’s finest vampire offerings, screened on BBC Two in the small hours of Saturday morning, seem appropriate. Unlike the “Dracula” series, with director John Hough’s “Twins of Evil”, released in 1971, the inspiration isn’t from the pen of Bram Stoker but J Sheridan Le Fanu, albeit interpreted rather loosely. It’s the last in a trilogy of films centring on the legend of the Countess Mircalla/Carmilla/Marcilla Karnstein, begun with “The Vampire Lovers”, continued through “Lust for a Vampire”, and my favourite movie to feature the much-missed Peter Cushing. Here, though, he isn’t playing Van Helsing but a witch hunter called Gustav Weil, rather in the mould of the “Witchfinder General”.

The beauty of “Twins of Evil” is in the blurring of lines between who is the hunter and who the hunted. Good and evil are Twins of the same coin when both lead to the deaths of innocent young women (if there is such a thing!). The title, taken more literally, stars real life twins and “Playboy” playmates Mary and Madeleine Collinson, as Maria and Frieda Gellhorn, who, while undeniably stunning to look at, aren’t exactly the world’s finest actresses. But, the young women more than visually compensate, for any minor verbal inadequacies, and contribute to making “Twins of Evil” a very stylish and sumptuous picture. Harry (credited as Robinson) Robertson’s incidental music strangely makes the film feel like a western at times and, amongst the many delights on offer, concludes with the gruesome decapitation of one of the sisters! But, which one? A gloriously gorgeous gallery and a tantalisingly titillating trailer can be found on my “Jukebox”!!

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Meet Kylie!


Name: Kylie Roman
Age: 22
Background: Ex-psychology student on gap year.

Reckless, fun, vulnerable, lonely, worldly-wise and pin-sharp, Kylie can outwit anyone. And, she loves to show that off. Her knowledge of psychology has given her a piercing insight into people’s defence mechanisms - she has an uncanny ability to see right through to the core of you. Her brutal honesty - about individuals and humanity - is unnerving. But she’s also a great, fearless, party girl. Some say Kylie’s brave. Others think she’s just crazy.

Redheaded Kylie brings some attitude to the “Spooks: Code 9” team and is a bit of a loose cannon, but given what she’s been through it’s hardly surprising, explains actress Georgia Moffett: “When the bomb went off, Kylie was close enough to witness the devastation. By being so close to the bomb, she got radiation sickness, so has a real sense that any day could be her last; she likes the idea of going out in a blaze of glory.”

It’s the need to make every second count that motivated Kylie to join MI5 in the first place: “Before the bomb, she couldn’t decide what she wanted to do in life,” says Georgia. “In joining MI5, she finally found her calling and reason to live - to protect her country.”

Playing this reckless character meant Georgia had plenty of action scenes and got to do many of her own stunts: “If the team have to go on a mission, Kylie is the first one there, with gun in hand. I got to do loads of running on roofs, jumping on cars and shooting; it was amazing.”

Georgia has carved a successful TV career, notching up lead roles in “The Bill”, in which she played Abigail Nixon, “Where the Heart Is” and “Bonkers”. Georgia was seen earlier this year in “Doctor Who”, as “The Doctor’s Daughter”, and also guest starred in “My Family”.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Love at First Sight


It’s been highly amusing reading the press reporting of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood’s extra-marital indiscretion. Not because I approve of him or anyone cheating on their partner but because of the sheer hypocrisy of it all. My God! Mon Dieu!! The man’s sixty-one and the girl’s only nineteen or twenty… he’s old enough to be her Grandfather… he should know better! Oh, the outrage. Every day the “Daily Mail” has gone over the same facts, and I expect it’s the same in all the tabloids… how much they’ve been drinking (and we’re not talking pots of tea here!), speculating over whether or not they’ve had sex, how Ron has painted Ekaterina Ivanova nude and, finally, how he’s fobbed her off with just nine-hundred quid on their return from Ireland to London! Lord knows how the reporters are privy to such detail. Was one of them there, actually counting out the notes for the stoned Stone? Sounds like a good few days “work”, to me, for this nubile waitress-cum-hostess! Home carers are paid just £50.55 for a thirty-five hour week!! Truth is, journalists are feeding gossip to a gullible public, both parties hungry for tittle-tattle, hacks preying on their readers’ conservatism regarding age-gap relationships. Given half the chance, they’d all be right in there with the Wood! I feel sorry for his, presumably, loyal wife, Jo. But, why is he married, in the first place, if he wants to live the footloose-and-fancy-free lifestyle?

It’s reported Ekaterina says she loves Ronnie. I wonder what she means by that? Does Ronnie love the woman he’s been married to for the past twenty-three years? And, what does he mean by love? Does Jo love Ronnie and, if she does, is she a saint? What does anyone mean when they say they love someone? Everybody has a different notion of what love is. Personally, I don’t believe in romantic love. For me, it’s a bit like religion… a crutch for the weak-minded. If you believe in God, you might just as well believe in Dracula! It all makes for terrific mythical storytelling but none of it is real. You can care about someone, care for someone, but then maybe you can care for more than one person. Most people do, in different ways. If you do believe in love, when does lust become love or vice versa? Where, exactly, is the line that you can tell one from the other? Or, is it all just instinct? By now, you’re all probably thinking, “I bet this guy’s personal relationships are terrific”!!! I’m simply stating what I see as the truth. “But, what is truth? Is truth a changing law? We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?”, asks Pilate of Jesus, at the Messiah’s trial, in “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Tim Rice poses excellent metaphysical questions in the lyrics of this entertainment. We all, undoubtedly, have different perceptions of truth. Ronnie met a pretty young thing and took advantage. Katia met a haggard-looking but loaded rocker and, also, took advantage. Now, they have to deal with the society-imposed fallout, the consequences…

Saturday, 12 July 2008

A Dirty Dozen!



Starting today, and for the next three weeks, the Daily Mail are giving away a free classic serial on DVD each and every day, beginning with the first three episodes of “Pride and Prejudice”. The set includes twelve productions over eighteen discs and Andrew Davies’ adaptation is first off the shelf and out of the jacket. Never mind Colin Firth’s Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, soaked to the skin in his wet shirt, with the voluptuous Jennifer Ehle gazing on as heroine Elizabeth Bennet, the moment I prefer is when David Bamber, as Mr. Collins, shields his eyes from the semi-clad Julia Sawalha playing Liz’s flighty sister Lydia! I’m not sure I could’ve managed to avert my vision so readily! Naturally, there are a fair few written by super scribe Andrew! As well as the most famous Jane Austen televisual creation, there’s also Davies’ brilliant retelling of Charles Dickens’ “Bleak House”, again spread over two discs and structured, supposedly, soap style in fifteen episodes. This one has Gillian Anderson, Dana Scully in “The X-Files”, harbouring a secret from her husband, as the prim and proper Lady Dedlock. It also features Anna Maxwell Martin, from the “Doctor Who” episode “The Long Game”, as Little Esther and Carey Mulligan, from the same series’ “Blink”, as Ada Clare. “Torchwood” actor Burn Gorman is the disgustingly grubby Guppy singularly after the affections of mild-mannered Miss Summerson until she becomes disfigured! And, if your tastes are more murkily refined, there’s always Charles Dance as the equally repulsive lawyer Mr. Tulkinghorn.

Charles Dance, as Maxim de Winter, pursues Emilia Fox to take her as his second wife in Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca”. Emilia pops up in “Pride and Prejudice” as Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, but keeps her clothes on in the Jane Austen! The things I have to remember for this blog!! Still, someone’s got to do it. I mean take their clothes off in classy drama productions! I’m sure I’m not the only one to remember!! Nudity doesn’t replace decent narrative, though, as it did in the recent Billie Piper disaster “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”. Emilia’s also in “David Copperfield”, as Clara, alongside the unfaltering Bob Hoskins as Micawber. “Harry Potter” fans will be pleased to see Daniel Radcliffe as Young Master Copperful! But, quickly returning to actresses, the lovely Daniela Denby-Ashe takes the lead in Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North & South”, as Margaret Hale, while the equally lovely Samantha Morton appears in Austen’s “Emma”, as Harriet Smith, and as the desired object Sophia Western in raunchy period piece “The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling”. Seven of the dozen titles originated on the BBC, whilst four débuted on ITV. The remaining dramatisation, E. M. Forster’s “A Room With a View”, is the only cinema release amongst the set and features Helena Bonham Carter as the impressionable Lucy Honeychurch rather than Elaine Cassidy in the recent TV version. Looks like I’m going to be camping outside Tesco’s or Smith’s over the next few weeks!

Monday, 7 July 2008

Warden’s Watch: Journey’s End


Disappointment set in right from the outset of the concluding episode of the Fourth Season of Russell T. Davies’s reincarnation of “Doctor Who”. I wanted the writer to go through with the regeneration and have a brand new Doctor conclude a story begun by his predecessor. But, it wasn’t to be. In fact, instead of having no David Tennant, we were actually presented with two of the pesky fella! And, there was me wishfully thinking he was about to get another week off!! It’s not that I dislike the actor, just not overly keen on his portrayal of the character, although I’ve grown to accept it a little more over the recent series. As if to compound my dissatisfaction with the opening of the final instalment, up pops Rose’s Mum, Jackie. Lovely woman and all that, just not my cup of tea. Very convenient, too, that both Rose’s ex, Mickey, and Mrs Tyler should appear, out of the blue, armed to the teeth, guns aimed directly at the two Daleks about to exterminate the suddenly-rather-fragile Sarah Jane Smith. The suddenly-rather-comely Gwen Cooper was also saved by something hitherto unmentioned that the late Toshiko had been working on before her death. Altogether, too convenient. At least, in the case of the Doctor, the resolution of his part in the previous episode’s triple cliff-hanger had been properly set up, that the hand would have its part to play in the denouement of the adventure. The other two instances were cheats, like a whodunit in which the murderer is revealed to be someone who hasn’t appeared in the story until the moment of revelation! It’s not the first time “Doctor Who” has resolved certain demise with the Saturday morning cinema serial approach. 1985’s “The Mark of the Rani” immediately springs to mind, in which a character is inserted into the recap, at the start of the final part, rushing out of a wood to save the seemingly doomed Doctor from the clutches of dastardly death!

Just imagine how different the episode might’ve been had a new dynamic been set up by suddenly, and surprisingly, introducing us to the eleventh Doctor. It would have taken the story, and indeed the series, in a completely new and much welcomed change of direction. I suppose Russell wasn’t ready to do that just yet and, instead, presented the viewer with the ultimate tease. A simple rule of drama is the tighter you tighten the tension, when the balloon is burst, it’s more than likely to be something of a let down. Davies made it hard for the story to recover from this point in and, sadly, it didn’t. Robert Holmes turned down the offer to write “The Five Doctors”, in 1983, citing too many leading men as the reason. And, despite there being plenty of space, the console room of the TARDIS became overcrowded in “Journey’s End” through the writer’s inability to resist this shameless get-together. Because of this, the participation of Davros is restricted. The scientific schemer doesn’t reappear, after last week’s reintroduction following an absence from our screens of almost twenty years, until nearly twenty minutes into the extended second half of the story and is despatched approximately twenty-five minutes later with still over fifteen minutes to run. Yes, on second viewing, I was watching the clock. A whopping twenty-five percent of the final episode is taken up with tearful farewells, making it even more soppy than the gushing conclusion of “Doomsday”, two years ago. On the plus side, Julian Bleach was terrific as Davros and, maybe, deserved more air time considering the iconic stature of the character within the series. Unless you believe less is more which, in just about every other aspect of the production, wasn’t the case. The other standout performance, and not just here but throughout the entire Fourth Season, was that of Bernard Cribbins, a consistently strong character. I like him. I could’ve done with a little more of Eve Myles in her red sweater, too, but that’s a personal preference rather than a dramatic one! Like the two Peter Cushing movies of the Sixties, this was good Dalek material whilst being lousy “Doctor Who”.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Warden’s Watch: The Stolen Earth


Julian Bleach, as the fourth actor to portray Davros, is possibly the best piece of villainous casting in “Doctor Who” since Christopher Gable donned mask as Sharaz Jek in “The Caves of Androzani”, way back in 1984, and certainly the most full-blooded commitment to an adversarial role since Nabil Shaban’s Sil. What a contrast to John Simm’s ridiculously childish portrayal of the Master last year. It’s a little unfortunate the audience has had to wait so long for a performance of this quality but I knew Julian would be near-perfect from the moment I saw him as the Ghostmaker in the “Torchwood” episode “From Out of the Rain”. And, judging from the trailer for the final instalment, the sixty-five minute “Journey’s End”, it looks as though Davros is about to become even more maniacal! Not quite sure what he’s going to do once he’s destroyed every last atom, when there’s nothing left over which to have dominion, but it all sounds like tremendously good fun once you put logic to one side!! It was inevitable diehard fans would claim Mr. Bleach not as good as original Dalek creator Michael Wisher and it’s a fair comment, since the earlier performance set the benchmark just as Hartnell did the Doctor. I enjoy Terry Molloy’s portrayal of Davros just as much, especially in “Revelation of the Daleks”. His trademark cackle has switched characters, now, and Nick Briggs turned in a good vocal performance, in “The Stolen Earth”, especially as demented Dalek Caan. It’s interesting to note that virtually the entire Kaled race are now verging on complete insanity. Makes for entertaining viewing on a Saturday night, eminently preferable to the equally barking Graham Norton on quest to find himself a Nancy.

I thought it a little unnecessary, in the presence of so many characters, to explain the absence in the latest episode of other regular cast members, from both the mother show and spin-offs. Especially when the explanations were so weak. Gwen told Rhys to stay indoors for goodness sake, when there is a bloody great Dalek Invasion of Earth taking place. Considering his participation during some of the Season Two episodes of “Torchwood”, hardly likely. Sarah Jane told her son not to do anything as she headed off to find the Doctor. Why not put such a brainy child to good use? And where was she off to, exactly, in her car for said meeting with the Time Lord? Why didn’t Sarah just mow down the two Daleks in her path rather than braking? That part of the triple cliff-hanger came across as contrived, not the fault of actress Elisabeth Sladen or director Graeme Harper but writer Russell T. Davies. Eve Myles was the real revelation, here, showing guts and determination as Gwen, futilely opening fire upon the Daleks in the face of doubtless annihilation. Some have likened Rose to Sarah Connor in the “Terminator” series but I saw little evidence of it in Billie Piper’s performance other than manhandling a large weapon! Gwen was the one with the balls and she carried it off rather stylishly. She looked fetching whilst screaming defiance, too, not an easy feat to accomplish in but a few seconds. And, finally, there was the start of a regeneration for the present Doctor. David Morrissey is playing the “other” Doctor in the forthcoming Christmas Special so are we about to be introduced to him an episode earlier than expected? Can’t wait to find out…

Friday, 27 June 2008

My Vision is NOT Impaired


My eyesight isn’t as good as it used to be! That said, I’m looking forward to seeing the return of the Daleks on Saturday. Some say the murdering swine from Skaro have been overused since the series returned in 2005 but, personally, I can’t get enough of them. To me, they’re what “Doctor Who” is all about.

Those who came to “Doctor Who” during the Seventies, and in particular during the Tom Baker era, may have a different perspective on the Daleks. The creatures were only seen twice during Tom’s seven-year reign as the Doctor, highly successfully on their “Genesis” outing opposite Time Lord number four but not quite so whilst seeking out their “Destiny”! The Daleks weren’t so dominant during this part of the show’s history.

I grew up watching “Doctor Who” in the Sixties. I was a child during Dalekmania. My brother and I had a toy Dalek each that ran off batteries. We collected the set of thirty-six adventure cards, ostensibly “free” with Wall’s “Sky Ray” ice lollies, in which “Dr. Who” joined forces with the Space Raiders to battle the Daleks. We went to see the two movies at the cinema starring Peter Cushing. Not inappropriately, the first was called “Dr. Who and the Daleks”. Around this time, 1965, the Daleks became synonymous with “Doctor Who”.

Bernard Cribbins played P.C. Tom Campbell in the 1966 sequel, “Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.”, and it’ll no doubt fuel a wave of nostalgia this weekend to, once again, see the actor waging war on the streets of London against the metal mutants. The time-travelling copper even came face to face with a Red Dalek! A Dalek of a similar hue can be seen in “The Stolen Earth”, the first episode of the two-part Season Four finale.

I skived off wind band rehearsal, one Saturday morning, to see both Dalek films in a double bill at the Odeon. I remember being irritated with all the younger kids, at the matinée with their mothers, who wouldn’t be quiet so I could concentrate on the exterminatingly exciting, otherworldly, enthralling entertainment!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Warden’s Watch: Midnight


I found myself groaning as the latest episode of “Doctor Who”, named after the planet “Midnight”, began in the usual comedy-laden style of Russell T. Davies but, by its conclusion, realised I had been thoroughly gripped. In a bizarre twist of the pen, episode ten was much more terrifying than the preceding two-parter by Steven Moffat, which I admired more than enjoyed. While Moffat’s adventure was experimental in nature, RTD’s story was more a case of horror by the book, though none the worse because of that. Once it got past its silliness, “Midnight” became thoroughly scary. In fact, the throwaway lightness of the opening moments only served to heighten the horror once it kicked in. Possession is always a reliable storyteller… with no need for monsters so obviously human in rubber suits. What you can’t see is often more frightening than what you can because once something is visible you can make an assessment as how, best, to deal with it.

I’ve always found Lesley Sharp to be a reliably good actress. In this week’s episode of “Doctor Who”, she played her role, as being under the influence of an unknown alien entity, for all she was worth. She didn’t look down on the show as, somehow, being dramatically inferior. Even Rusty in his writing capacity, obliged to let us know Sky was a lesbian, didn’t manage to ruin it for Lesley with his too often-repeated personal agenda! David Troughton, also, sustained a good performance as Professor Hobbes, even giving those of us with long televisual memories welcome hints of his “A Very Peculiar Practice” character, Doctor Bob Buzzard! Loved it when he shook hands with the Doctor. It was like the ghost of his dad, Patrick, greeting the present incarnation… though Troughton junior’s been in the show in his own right of course, notably as King Peladon, during the run of his father’s successor.

Much of the pre-publicity for “Midnight” focused on Lindsey Coulson because we’re all supposed to know who she is from “EastEnders”. But, not being a watcher of soaps, the BBC’s presumption was lost on me! Having looked it up, I’m able to inform those of you in a similar position to myself that she played somebody called Carol Jackson!! And, naturally, that leaves us all none the wiser!!! I was more interested in one of her co-stars. The production team seems to have developed a penchant, this year, for actresses with the Christian name Ayesha. “Planet of the Ood” featured Ayesha Dharker as Solana Mercurio and, now, “Midnight” introduced us to gorgeous “Grange Hill” actress Ayesha Antoine as the Professor’s put-upon prodigy Dee Dee Blasco. Curious how the younger characters in this story were shown as smarter than their elders. Older folk are not necessarily immune to new ideas!

Unlike Miss Dharker in the earlier episode this season, Miss Antoine survived to the end of the current story which, in itself, makes a refreshing change. Not everyone lived in Russell’s latest, a contentious issue since the conclusion of Moffat’s overly-optimistic recent opus. “Midnight” saw the demise of all three crew members together with the possessed passenger, the ship’s hostess taking the latter in a moment of self-sacrifice. The suggestion the hostess knew the Doctor wasn’t human was a nice touch, though I’m sure there will be those wanting an answer as to how she knew rather than just enjoying the joke. Rose appeared briefly again, still in a state of distress, unseen by the Doctor who had his back to the monitor on which she appeared to call his name. Next week, we’ll be able to see Billie Piper in full, so to speak, but the Doctor will have to wait that little bit longer…

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Warden’s Watch: Out of Time


While “Out of Time” is the title of one of the better episodes in the first series of “Torchwood”, it is also the name of the most recent chapter, to be broadcast on BBC Two, in the continuing epic that is “Heroes”. The seventh instalment of this increasingly surreal drama bore witness to both separation and reunion. While Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) and Caitlin (Katie Carr) were heartbreakingly ripped asunder, clinging to each other’s fingertips through wire fencing, and while Hiro (Masi Oka) felt duty bound to leave the love of his life in feudal Japan, it was life-affirming to see best mates Ando (James Kyson Lee) and Hiro back together again in the present day… and about bloody time! I’m not sure keeping these two wonderfully harmonious characters apart for a seeming eternity was such a wise idea. But, without their prolonged separation, their reunification wouldn’t have been half as joyous.

Though it has clearly slowed down the series’ progress a little, I haven’t disliked entirely the strand set in the seventeenth century, that curious ménage à trois involving Hiro, Yaeko (Eriko Tamura) and Takezo Kensei (David Anders)! This bizarrely beautiful love story is quite clearly a reworking of Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac”… but without the big nose! The cliff-hanger revelation, at the end of “Out of Time”, that Takezo and Adam Monroe, one of the founders of the company, are actually one and the same caught me completely by surprise. For those who are interested, I’ve posted ten screen caps of cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere), from series one of “Heroes”, on TimeWarden’s Jukebox. I look forward to watching the remaining four chapters of this series hoping for a return to full length come season three.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Telly Visions: Katie Carr


There’s a new babe on the “Heroes” block, this series, and her name is Katie Carr. Actually, there are several new “sweethearts” and, while they are all very pretty, the standout for me is the actress who plays Peter Petrelli’s Irish girlfriend, Caitlin, in six of the eleven episodes. I can forgive her the cod accent of the character’s homeland which, to be honest, I find quite endearing and only serves to make her more cute than she already looks! Katie is in her early thirties and was actually born in London so you might think she’d have a finer grasp of the sound of Ireland but it doesn’t necessarily follow. There are possibly many reasons why the producers of “Heroes” have opted to give all the Irish characters a similar brogue. Sadly, she will only be seen once more in this curtailed, because of the American writers’ strike, second series of the comic-book saga. If you’re interested in seeking out her appearances on the show then they’re in chapters two, three, five through seven, and ten; namely, “Lizards”, “Kindred”, “Fight or Flight”, “The Line”, “Out of Time” and penultimate episode “Truth & Consequences”. I’m also reliably informed she is an underwear model and was the Gossard Girl in Gossard’s advertising campaign of 2002-2003. Last season of “Heroes”, my crush was Nora Zehetner… this time around, it’s most definitely the cuddly Katie Carr!!

Friday, 6 June 2008

Top of My Pops: Five Favourite Albums


I’ve been tagged by Simon, of the “Old Cheeser” variety, to come up with a list of my all-time favourite popular music albums. Being too good an opportunity to waste, I’ve decided to extend the idea to future posts as I feel it’s more worthwhile to dwell a little on each of my choices, and why I like what I do, rather than just state what rocks my boat! In forthcoming “Top of My Pops” features, as well as albums, I’ll also be covering singles and individual songs/tracks. So, without further ado, and in no particular order of preference, here are five of my favourite albums…

1. Country Life by Roxy Music (1974)

The fourth studio album by Roxy Music, “Country Life”, consolidated the achievements of the previous two records without really breaking any new ground but I’ve always felt it to be a substantial collection nonetheless. “Bitter-Sweet”, for example, is a direct descendant of “A Song for Europe” from third album “Stranded” while my favourite track, “Prairie Rose”, a song expressing Ferry’s love at that time for “Siren” model Jerry Hall, builds on musical ideas established in “Editions of You”, a number from the second album “For Your Pleasure”. DJ Alan Freeman believed “Stranded” to be the classic Roxy Music album while many fans opt for its predecessor. I, however, have a soft spot for the sequel to the classic. “Country Life” includes the single “All I Want is You” as well as the energetically vibrant “The Thrill of It All” and the excellent bass-pounding “Out of the Blue”.

2. Aladdin Sane by David Bowie (1973)

While many fans opt for David Bowie’s breakthrough album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”, I prefer its successor, “Aladdin Sane”, despite the fact that “Ziggy” includes the better single in “Starman”. “The Jean Genie” is my least favourite track on “Aladdin Sane”. Much better is the follow-up, “Drive-In Saturday”, originally offered to Mott the Hoople, to cement the success of “All the Young Dudes”, but rejected in favour of building on initial success, from the Bowie composition, with material of their own creation. For years, my favourite track on “Aladdin Sane” was rock-driven “Cracked Actor” but, on recent re-evaluation, I currently rate the title track above all others in the collection. The reason for this is pianist Mike Garson. He takes conventional pop songs, bends and steers them towards jazz-tinged avant-garde, and produces something unique.

3. The Best Years of Our Lives by Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel (1975)

“The Best Years of Our Lives” was Cockney Rebel’s third album but the first with the new line-up that included classically-trained keyboard player Duncan MacKay, who would later work on number one recordings by Kate Bush and 10cc, and guitarist Jim Cregan, future collaborator with Rod Stewart and Katie Melua. This Steve Harley recording spawned the massively successful chart-topping single “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)”, later used to good effect in Brit-flick “The Full Monty”. The follow-up, “Mr. Raffles (Man It was Mean)”, while nowhere near as popular, influenced one of my early songs, “Yvonne (You Turn Me On)”, both musically and lyrically in that I essentially rewrote Steve’s song in the minor while the “Yvonne” of the title was a reference to Harley’s backing vocalist and girlfriend of the time, Yvonne Keeley! My favourite track on “Best Years”, and also my favourite Harley song, is the marvellously nutty “Back to the Farm”.

4. Magical Mystery Tour by The Beatles (1967)

The Beatles’ album “Magical Mystery Tour” probably isn’t as highly regarded as its groundbreaking immediate-predecessor, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, due to the nature of its original release in the UK. What eventually became Side One of the LP, nine years after the six songs’ initial release as a double EP, were the tracks actually used in the film of the same name. Side Two was comprised of five A and B-sides released in the same year. But, what a collection! On the first side, arguably the best compositions by both John Lennon, in the anarchic “I am the Walrus”, and Paul McCartney, with the haunting “The Fool on the Hill”, while, on the second, possibly the finest double A-sided single in the history of popular music, namely “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”. As if that wasn’t enough, to top it all, the whole album is rounded off with the anthemic “All You Need is Love”.

5. Forty Licks by The Rolling Stones (2002)

I’m not overly keen on compilation albums but The Rolling Stones’ “Forty Licks” is such good value it’s very hard to resist! It actually packs a whopping 235MB while the quality of the music, throughout the entire two-disc set, is every bit as fulfilling as the quantity. The record does what it says on the sleeve, and includes forty songs spanning a forty-year recording career. Most of my favourite Stones’ tracks are present including “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Brown Sugar”. David Bowie covered “Let’s Spend the Night Together”, at breakneck speed, on “Aladdin Sane” and, on “Forty Licks”, the original version closes the first disc. My one gripe about the collection is that it doesn’t include “We Love You”. This, piano-led, rocker of a tune can be found on the more recent “Rolled Gold Plus”. In the words of The Strolling Bones’ front man, Michael Philip Jagger himself, “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)”!

Another selection to follow, at a later date…

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Telly Visions: Talulah Riley


I’ve mentioned her before, in passing, but it was over two-and-a-quarter years ago… I even posted her picture to accompany the piece… So, it was good to see Talulah Riley back on our screens last night, in the “Doctor Who” episode “Silence in the Library”, although, sadly, her time in the story was short-lived. You can bet your bottom dollar that if I fancy someone, they’re the first character to be killed off! It happened a couple of years ago with MyAnna Buring, in “The Impossible Planet”, much to my annoyance!! I saw it coming this time, though, as I hadn’t seen Talulah in any of the prepublicity stills accompanying the hype surrounding Steven Moffat’s excellent latest adventure. She wasn’t featured in any of the trailers, either, so I was beginning to think her appearance was nothing more than a myth. In fact, I did notice the actress afterwards, in the accompanying “Doctor Who Confidential” documentary “Shadow Play”, having her photo taken, in costume, in a group shot with the rest of the astronauts. Hopefully, this picture will be made available shortly! There’s an old showbiz adage says “always leave them wanting more” and I suppose this was the case with tasty Talulah! The bizarrely named Miss Evangelista, her character, was reduced to a talking skeleton two thirds into the episode!! Sounds even more grotesque than her name but, believe me, in the context of the narrative, it worked.

Talulah is probably best known for her performance, alongside Donald Sutherland and Brenda Blethyn, as Mary Bennet in the recent movie version of “Pride & Prejudice”. I first came across Miss Riley, though, in an episode of “Agatha Christie’s Marple”, entitled “The Moving Finger”, in which she played the hopelessly lovelorn Megan Hunter to perfection. She certainly made me sit up and take notice, at any rate! Most recently, Talulah (spelling her name with two Ls and an H!) has been seen back on the big screen as sweet schoolgirl Annabelle Fritton, in the remake of “St. Trinian’s”, numbering Gemma Arterton, Lily Cole and Girls Aloud amongst her classmates. Yeah, I know, I seem obsessed with that film of late! But, Talulah does look good in uniform, though I can’t say for sure if she was wearing fishnet stockings and suspenders under her white astronaut costume in “Doctor Who”!! I’d like to think so! I was slightly surprised she’d accepted such a small role considering her steadily increasing credentials. It probably boils down to accepting the parts on offer, plus there is the added prestige of including the show on her CV. Lizo Mzimba, Entertainment Correspondent for BBC News and former long-serving presenter, reporter and assistant producer of CBBC’s “Newsround”, was also complimentary of the twenty-two-year-old’s stint on the episode saying, “Talulah Riley is fantastic as the not too bright Miss Evangelista - she’d make a wonderful and very different companion to the Doctor.” Naturally, I’ve posted some screen caps, on my Jukebox blog, over which you are all invited to ogle!

Friday, 30 May 2008

Whiter than White!


I feel I should apologise unreservedly for the gratuitous use of the word “knickers” in my previous post! I had no idea it could cause anyone the least offence. While I’m at it, I would also like to express deep regret for mentioning the unmentionable - “bra and panties” if you missed it, or couldn’t be bothered reading the text accompanying the supposedly salacious shot of t.A.T.u.’s lovely Lena! Following the premiere of Julie Walters vehicle “Filth: The Mary Whitehouse Story” last Wednesday evening, I bring the matter to your attention, now, upon the realisation that, were she still alive, Mary Whitehouse would not have found my article “appropriate”. But, then, she seems to have had no sense of humour whatsoever…

There is the possibility that the BBC are partially responsible for this country’s continuing decline in moral standards, whatever they may be, but to make a complaint, even back in 1967, over the airing of The Beatles’ witty classic “I Am The Walrus” defies belief! Mary was worried about the then-forthcoming transmission of the group’s “Magical Mystery Tour” TV movie, scheduled for broadcast on Boxing Day of said year, when many families would be watching, no doubt assuming that any mention of ladies’ lingerie would be a corrupting influence on impressionable minds. I find it hard to imagine the tireless campaigner listening to any pop record with such intensity, ready to jot down the slightest deviancy! The offending lyric, which caused Mrs Whitehouse much concern, reads…


Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen,
I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.


The inspiration for Lennon’s lyric actually comes from a playground nursery rhyme…

Yellow matter custard, green slop pie,
All mixed together with a dead dog’s eye,
Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick,
Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick.


You could argue that the latter is more offensive than the former, certainly more disgusting, yet these words were heard out of the mouths of babes and sucklings long before the advent of the Nanny State. But the word that bothered Mary was “knickers”. The undergarment is simply an item of clothing, a piece of cloth, so I can only assume it was the association, that said piece of material actually comes into contact with a woman’s vagina, which bothered her. This says more about her state of mind than anything else! Surely, next post, I should apologise for using the word “vagina” but at least I didn’t use the vulva term “pussy” or, worse still, “cunt”!!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

In the Eye of the Beholder


t.A.T.u. have released an extended video of “White Robe”, the lead single from their third studio album “Waste Management”, in which both Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova appear naked. Whether or not screen nudity upsets you, it isn’t in the least bit sensationalistic and works in the context of the narrative. Yulia is seen in the shower, water gushing over her breasts. In the original edit, the images were cropped to keep them hidden from view. Second time around, a close-up of one of her nipples is probably intended to suggest, in light of the closing revelation, that her breasts are full of milk ready to feed her unborn child. No doubt, some will suggest this is a marketing ploy. Red-headed Lena’s motives for stripping on camera are a little less clear, other than that she needs to change for work! At the start, she seems to be returning from a night on the town but it’s unclear whether or not she is moonlighting as a hooker. Her skirt is short enough to reveal her red knickers. These, in turn, are tight enough to show the cheeks of her bottom. She later removes them, together with her black bra and torn stockings, whilst lying flat on her back on her bed.

I believe the t.A.T.u. girls should’ve gone a stage further, at the end of the story, in the build up to Yulia’s execution. Rather than removing only the “White Robe” of the prisoner, it might’ve increased her vulnerability had the prison warders taken off Yulia’s bra and panties as well. With all “armour” removed, and heavily pregnant, it would have the effect of making the girl look completely defenceless. But, it’s only a minor quibble. However, I’m not sure the addition of a laughing audience, watching the “termination” of these two lives, adds significantly to the impact of the clip. I’ve never subscribed to the notion of nudity as naughty! None of it here relates, in any way, to sex but simply shows both characters as human. The girls are beautiful both in and out of clothes. After we’ve seen Lena completely naked, she appears in fresh underwear, distancing herself from her humanity by dressing in the uniform of executioner. To be honest, I think the shorter version of the song, which I posted back in January on my Jukebox blog, works better. Both realisations are hard-hitting though, regardless of preference!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Lily of the Valley


Miss Cole didn’t look like this in “St. Trinian’s”! She’s naughty in nightwear and dazzlingly demure donning unkempt school uniform, though not necessarily at the same time, but, here, looks like a heroine from a bloodcurdling Hammer Horror movie…

The lovely Lily appears as though she’s being pursued through the long and winding corridors of a great castle, somewhere in the Carpathian mountains, by a certain Count… with only a candle to guide her way.

Soft white breasts partially exposed from the plunging neckline of a deadly black ball gown, long flaming curly-red hair cascading wildly about her person, she must move quickly if she is to escape the clutches of the arch vampire.

For generations, Dracula has been looking for the perfect companion. Through all eternity, for a beauty to eclipse all others. And, now, at last he has found her… wined, dined and confined her inside the impossibly high walls of his sprawling estate.

But, the Count must make her his own. Lily must become an immortal, one of the undead… Nosferatu… be able to stride across the surface of the Earth, at his side, not just on this cold and chilly night but into infinity. She has feasted at his table and now he needs, desires, lusts, to feed on her, taste of her, drink from her… to join together, forever, in unholy matrimony.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Telly Visions: Lily Cole - Part Two


Since completing her role in “St. Trinian’s”, model-turned-actress Lily Cole has turned her attention to two other film projects. Work was actually begun on the first of these some fourteen months before landing the part of Polly in the schoolgirl crime caper. Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson, an American visually influenced by the various stage personas of David Bowie, planned to star Cole in his upcoming movie “Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll” as Alice. Shorts from the movie have been posted on Marilyn’s website and a feature-length film is, supposedly, in pre-production. From the point of view of “Telly Visions”, it would be interesting to see Lily as Alice in that my first choice of actress in this blog series, Deborah Watling, also began her career playing the same character. I wonder how different is Manson’s vision of the subject to that of Dennis Potter’s?!!

The second project, involving Lily, sees her teaming up with former “Monty Python” animator-turned-director Terry Gilliam. She was signed to play the role of Valentina in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” scripted by the director with his regular writing partner Charles McKeown. As well as Christopher Plummer and Tom Waits, the film was to have co-starred Heath Ledger. Originally scheduled for a 2009 release, production was postponed after Ledger’s untimely death. Plummer plays Parnassus, an immortal 1,000-year-old leader of a travelling theatre troupe that offers audience members a chance to go beyond reality through a magical mirror in his possession. Waits plays the Devil, with whom the Doctor has done a deal. Cole plays the Doctor’s daughter! (Another one!!) She falls foul of the Devil, when time comes to collect on the arrangement, and the troupe, which is joined by a mysterious outsider named Tony (originally Ledger), embark on a journey through parallel worlds to rescue the girl. Ledger’s role has been recast with Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell portraying physically changed transformations of Ledger’s character as he travels through different dimensions. Very interesting. It sounds not unlike “Doctor Who”, with an added touch of Peter J. Hammond’s recent “Torchwood” episode “From Out of the Rain”!

I hope Terry Gilliam’s film sees completion. Lily has suggested she finally wants to take up her place to read Social and Political Sciences at King’s College, Cambridge, to which she has already twice deferred entry. Education is important and, being an intelligent girl as well as a beautiful one, it would be wise for her not to miss out on such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It would be nice if she could fulfil both and no doubt this creates a dilemma for her. However, she seems to have already made the decision to put both her modelling and film careers on hold in pursuit of academic excellence. I must say, I don’t blame her. With the news that the go-ahead has just been given for a further instalment of “St. Trinian’s”, it would also be good to see her returning to the part of geeky-but-pretty Polly. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out for Lily.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Telly Visions: Lily Cole


I’ll be perfectly honest and tell you I could look at pictures of this girl all day - with or without her clothes on! She’s simply stunning. The supermodel type doesn’t usually appeal to me but Lily Cole is different. She has that pixie/elfin quality about her face that I, and many others, find so charming in Kate Bush. The shocking-red hair is, also, definitely an asset. And, Lily’s perfectly-shaped boobs aren’t exactly going to put anyone off either! She’s been modelling for about five years. The story goes that, when she was fourteen, she was walking through the streets of Soho, after a hamburger with friends, when a talent scout approached her. Fearing she was being chased by “some dodgy guy”, Cole ran. But, after being asked to consider modelling, she accepted and was signed on with Storm Models, the mother agency of supermodels such as Kate Moss. Lily is now one of the models in the Marks and Spencer-clothing advertising campaign, becoming the youngest model ever to participate in a promotion for the line. The Sunday Times stated, last year, that she’s already worth £6 million… and she only turned twenty yesterday!

Lily has started to break out of the modelling world and move into acting. She played Polly in last year’s successful remake of “St. Trinian’s”, alongside Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and new Bond girl Gemma Arterton. St. Trinian’s, for those of you who don’t know, is a school for what are generally termed “young ladies”! With its anarchic doctrine of free expression, this wonderful establishment of learning brings together a motley crew of ungovernable girls - posh totty, chavs, emos, geeks and first years - who, using their wit and ingenuity, save the institution from bankruptcy. Sounds like the ideal place for Kerry Katona! The bespectacled Polly is in the geek clique, though doesn’t Lily look lovely with glasses. However, don’t take my word for it… I’ve posted a selection of ten screen caps, on my Jukebox blog, in order for you to make up your own minds concerning the leggy lassie. Lily appeared in the “Comic Relief” video of “Walk This Way” with Girls Aloud and, conversely, the girl group appear as schoolgirls in the film! If the thought of all those stocking-and-suspender clad legs is getting too much, “St. Trinian’s” is now available to own on DVD!!!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Outstanding!


Myleene Klass never seems to be off our television screens these days! She’s another presenter about whom I feel ambiguous. I don’t like or dislike her but she is probably on too often. She first came to public attention in 2001, in another of those interminable talent shows that presently clog up the airways. Myleene was chosen, together with four other contestants, from the ten finalists on the ITV1 light entertainment series “Popstars” to form pop band Hear’Say. Commercially, the group was phenomenally successful, to begin with, but short-lived. Basically, Myleene and Kym Marsh didn’t get on with one another. You would’ve thought, for the sake of the cash, they might’ve agreed to disagree. Every group in the history of popular music has internal problems whatever their style of music. What I don’t understand is why a classically trained musician, such as Myleene, would enter a talent show to join such a band. I’m classically trained too, loved playing in rock bands in my youth, and still love pop music to this day but I do know its real worth. Let’s be honest, she could’ve at least joined something with a bit of credibility! I can only assume that money is more important to her than musical integrity. And, that breaks the one law of any real musician, regardless of their talent. She hasn’t remained true to the spirit of musicianship.

Myleene really is hard to pin down, so to speak! The, seemingly, classy lady is now perhaps best-known for taking numerous showers during the sixth series of “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”, in which she achieved, if that’s the right word, the position of runner-up. She’s apparently an expert in astronomy, having appeared on “The Sky at Night” with Sir Patrick Moore and Queen’s guitarist Doctor Brian May, while also being eminently knowledgeable about the world of fashion, recently popping up on “This Morning” to talk about swimwear. If she combined the two interests, Myleene could present a new show and call it “Heavenly Bodies in Bikinis”! Tonight, however, she is returning to her roots. Supposedly. I don’t really regard “The Classical Brit Awards” as having anything to do with what is now popularly termed “classical” music. It’s like lumping OutKast and Led Zeppelin in the same category in the “popular” music field. But, anyway, Myleene Klass presents from the ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall, presumably not in a bikini (and, that doesn’t mean she’s doing it naked - sadly!), with performances from usual suspects Andrea Bocelli and the beautiful Sarah Brightman. Seven awards will be given during the evening, with the Outstanding Achievement Award going to Andrew Lloyd Webber. You can catch Myleene, in all her glory, at 10.35pm on ITV1.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Warden’s Watch: The Doctor’s Daughter (or… Hello, Father-in-Lord!)


Twenty years ago, in “Silver Nemesis”, we were promised a story that would change the way we’d see the Doctor forever! Well, forever is a long time and the Sylvester McCoy/Cybermen story, not surprisingly, didn’t deliver the anticipated change in our perception of the lead character!! Now in its forty-fifth year, “Doctor Who” decided to have another attempt, in this week’s episode “The Doctor’s Daughter”, titillating the viewer with exactly the same proposition, but, once again, fell short of the mark. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I did! In fact, it’s probably my second favourite episode of the season so far, as, despite overstating the story’s intention with the preceding hype, there was still much to commend it. The audience was, successfully, taken on that emotional journey of feeling the pain, and sense of loss, in daughter-heroine Jenny’s death only to feel the joy, moments later, in her resurrection. She didn’t regenerate, despite being the offspring of a Time Lord, but it was a purposeful twist in the tale of which the Doctor is, at present, unaware. I would love to revisit this new character, at some point, and the end seemed designed for a spin-off series. I can already hear groans of disapproval, but surely a show about a space-girl adventurer would go down far better with today’s children than one about a sixty-year-old reporter, however much we all love Sarah Jane!

The Hath were highly effective. When the creatures were all stood around stroking dear Martha’s hair, they reminded me of the Silurians in their lair, from their original 1970 adventure, whilst not looking dissimilar to their cousins the Sea Devils. We’ve had four good consecutive monster episodes of which I approve. And, speaking of Miss Jones, her reaction to the death of her new found Hath friend, Peck, was totally heartbreaking. Freema does have the acting range which some deny of her. I am guilty of the same regarding Catherine Tate. My mum, certainly not a fan of Tate’s sketch show, says this actress is highly believable in the role of companion, as the Doctor’s conscience, and I’m inclined to agree. The former “Runaway Bride” is coming across as a more complete human being than she ever did in her debut. Yes, she can still be extremely irritating but, at the same time, touching and isn’t that how most people are? Before you all start claiming that that’s a bit of a turnaround, in my feelings towards Donna Noble, I’m not entirely sure I haven’t lowered my expectations just a little, this year, in an attempt to enjoy the show more than hitherto! And, my mum might well enjoy Catherine, more than Billie, for the very same reason I suggested children might prefer Georgia Moffett, legs astride a giant rocket, kicking butt in her own action series.

I enjoyed Nigel Terry’s performance as General Cobb, but then I’m already partial to the actor. Having said that, I wasn’t greatly enamoured with Phil Davis as Lucius, in “The Fires of Pompeii”, and I admire him as well. So, it doesn’t automatically follow that, just because you like someone, you’ll always warm to a favourite actor’s every appearance! Nigel has that world-weary, downtrodden, look and deeply sonorous voice that make him ideal in such roles. I was disappointed to find no wallpapers of him on the BBC site. And, while I’m on the subject, it’s even more of an oversight that there are no images of Bernard Cribbins, as Wilfred Mott, either! Talking pictures, I’ve posted a small selection of uncropped screen caps in a new “As Seen On TV” feature on my Jukebox blog, as well as the episode’s three teasers, that I hope capture the essential spirit of the main storyline of “The Doctor’s Daughter”. I’m not sure I’ll enjoy next week’s episode quite as much. On the plus side, “The Unicorn and the Wasp” is directed by Graeme Harper, who made such a good job of “Planet of the Ood”, but, alternatively, I don’t much care for the Agatha Christie subject matter. I’d be only too happy to be proved wrong, though, and make it five good episodes in a row!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Telly Visions: Georgia Moffett


As I’m sure you’re all aware, Georgia Elizabeth Moffett is the daughter of the fifth actor to play the Doctor in “Doctor Who”, Peter Davison, and the actress who played Trillian in “The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy”, Sandra Dickinson. Georgia was born on Christmas Day, 1984, on the eve of her parents’ sixth wedding anniversary! After David Troughton, Private Moor in episode six of second Doctor adventure “The War Games” and King Peladon in Jon Pertwee/Ice Warrior escapade “The Curse of Peladon”, Miss Moffett is the second child of an actor who played the Doctor to have a speaking role in “Doctor Who”. She will be appearing in this weekend’s episode, in the pivotal part of Jenny. Her character is presumed to be none other than “The Doctor’s Daughter” - irony duly noted - and, no doubt, destined to become this year’s Sally Sparrow, in that she will be seen as the perfect companion who never was! Adding fuel to the fire, it’s rumoured she originally auditioned for the role of Rose Tyler!! But, then, every young actress under the sun seems to have applied for that particular job!!!

I expect it must prey on Georgia’s nerves, to a certain extent, being the offspring of other famous thespians, if her achievements are continually undermined and dismissed because of that very fact. She has already proved herself independent of her parents, certainly in the acting profession, in a returning role in ITV cop drama “The Bill”. Over a period of more than two years, from the end of 2002 to the beginning of 2005, Georgia played DS Samantha Nixon’s daughter, Abigail, on and off for a total of twenty-five episodes. “The Tripods” actress Lisa Maxwell played her mum so the science fiction connection, in a way, arrives full circle this weekend! Despite still only being twenty-three years old, last year Georgia worked with her real-life dad, playing Tanya, on his series “The Last Detective”, in an episode entitled “Once Upon a Time on the Westway”, in which Davison stars as DC “Dangerous” Davies! The young actress says Peter still hasn’t completely grasped that she’s actually in the same series he finished making nearly a quarter of a century ago! This Saturday, though, for one night only, well - apart from repeats, a different “Doctor” gets to be Georgia’s father!! But, is David Tennant really her dad?

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Seizing Kerry’s Assets


For what, precisely, is Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona famous? Well, her original claim to this prodigiously prominent position is that she was once a part of pop-tart trio Atomic Kitten. But, rumour has it, she didn’t sing on some/any of their hits! Apparently, she merely spoke a few lines in just one of their songs!! So, what was the purpose of her being in the group, in the first place? They were put together eleven years ago by Andy McCluskey, of Eighties band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, so you might expect he would’ve chosen someone who could actually sing! Kerry left/was-booted-out the Atomics just as they were on the verge of major commercial success, with their single “Whole Again”, ostensibly because of her pregnancy. However, I don’t recall any other instance, of being with child, preventing female aspirations in the pop industry.

On leaving the Pussies, Kerry married Westlife crooner Brian McFadden. God, can you imagine the sweet music coming out of their household! But, the union helped seal her familiarity, with the great British general public, and a couple of years later, in February 2004, Katona won the third British series of reality TV show “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” and was crowned “Queen of the Jungle”. For all that, the couple separated later the same year. Since then, she’s found happiness with a taxi driver, should you choose to believe it? In-between, the 27-year-old published her autobiography, “Kerry Katona: Too Much, Too Young: My Story of Love, Survival and Celebrity”, with the ironic placement, in the title, being on the word “Much”, in that it doesn’t imply affluence, rather austerity of upbringing, although I doubt very much if it was our Kez who thought of that!

Anyway, the reason for this potted history of Miss Katona is that she now faces bankruptcy to the sum of £475,000! I can only presume she must have made a fortune in order to spend one but has, obviously, exceeded her budget. You shouldn’t laugh at those, intellectually, less well off than yourself but I couldn’t help but smile when I read that a High Court judge agreed to give her a ten-week extension period, though warned that if she didn’t meet the deadline, receivers would seize her assets. It wasn’t her predicament I was smiling over but the terminology of the court. I conjured up images of a bewigged member of the judiciary making a beeline for young Kerry’s tits and, let’s face it/them, it’s the ample size of her bosom for which she’s really famous. The mother of four is, obviously, quite a handful so perhaps I should’ve called this post “Squeezing Kerry’s Assets”!