Peter's Blog

Just commenting on things that interest me

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Tough Week for Clowns!

Last week was a tough week for the clowns to the east and west of us here in Ireland.

The evil clown to the east, BoJo, was told by the Supreme Count that he had acted “unlawfully” in trying to suspend parliament for 5 weeks. This was a unamimous judgement by all 11 judges.

The evil clown to the west, DonDon, was told that an impeachment inquiry has (finally!) been launched against him. Of all of the things which could have lead to such an inquiry, the one which finally did is in relation  to his dealing with Ukraine.

A tough week indeed for evil clowns, but a great week for people like me who hate them!

 

Best Quiz Show – The Chase

When I was traveling to Cork a lot last year for work, and staying in a hotel at the airport, I would find myself back in my hotel room early in the evening and turning on the TV to find something to help me relax. That’s when I discovered “The Chase”.

The Chase is the best quiz show on TV by far.

In the past I have enjoyed “Fifteen to One” and “The Weakest Link”. And I still enjoy watching “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” occasionally.

But I am addicted to The Chase.

The format is just perfect. The focus is very much on the questions. And the elimination element provides just the right level of jeopardy.

And Bradley Walsh is a great host. He has a great way with the contestants, and the chasers. And he’s very funny.

I think he’s related to my cousins. And I didn’t think I liked him before I became addicted to The Chase. But now I love him.

I even went so far as to check to see if I could be a contestant. But it’s limited to people who live in the UK unfortunately. And much as I would like to take part, I think moving to the UK is too high a price!

Here is a picture of Bradley and the chasers:

Star Trek Voyager

I had never really watched much STV until recently.

I decided to give it a chance for three reasons:

  1. It is easily available on Netflix
  2. I figured I should give it a try after the disappointment of STD
  3. I listened to an interview with Kate Mulgrew on Ryan Tubridy’s radio show and I was really, really impressed by her

I decided to watch all of the episodes with an IMDB with the highest ratings, generally 8.6 or higher.

The following is a list of the episodes I watched:

Star Trek Voyager Episodes
Episode Title
S03E23 Distant Origin
S03E26 Scorpion: Part One
S04E01 Scorpion: Part Two
S04E08 Year of Hell: Part One
S04E09 Year of Hell: Part Two
S04E14 Message in a Bottle
S05E02 Drone
S05E06 Timeless
S05E10 Counterpoint
S06E12 Blink of an Eye
S06E26 Unimatrix Zero: Part One
S07E01 Unimatrix Zero: Part Two
S07E24 Endgame Parts One and Two

 

I have reached the following conclusions about the series:

  1. The series is quite good, and some of the episodes are very enjoyable
  2. It took until near the end of the third season for an episode to reach the 8.6 rating
  3. The series ended on a high, with an enjoyable episode also rated at 8.6
  4. I can see myself going back to watch more episodes. For example, I see there is one which features George Takei as Captain Sulu

Since I wanted these episodes, I saw a video of Kate Mulgrew being interviewed and the interviewer mentioned that STV is the most watched Star Trek series on Netflix. So I’m not the only one who is rediscovering this series.

Star Trek Discovery – the first two seasons

I did a post about STD before.  That was after watching the first two episodes.

I have now watched the first two seasons. And things aren’t much better.

The main problem is still the same: I can see no reason to like the central character, Michael Burnham.

In the first two episodes she had committed mutiny, started a war, and failed to save the life of her captain.

Since then she has fallen in love with a Klingon who has been converted to a human (Ash Tyler – I don’t really know what that is all about) and she seemed to spend most of season two crying for one reason or another.

The series is littered with unsympathetic characters: Burnham, Tyler, Lorca, new Georgiou, Leland, etc. How does any showrunner expect people to like a show where there are so few likeable characters?

Some people do like Doug Jones(Saru) and Mary Wiseman (Tilly). I quite like Tig Notaro (Reno).

But the main glimmer of light was the appearance of Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Romijn and Pike, Spock and Number One respectively. But that is only for another potential spin-off show as there is no reason for them to appear in the next season.

The most interesting episode was the one where they go (for no real credible reason) to Talos IV, linking back to “The Cage” from TOS.

I also recently watched the extra short episodes which are available under “Trailers and More” in Netflix. Nothing of any real merit there either.

The show has a rating of 7.4 on IMDB (compared to 8.3 for TOS, 8.6 for TNG, 7.9 for DS9, 7.8 for Voyager, and 7.5 for Enterprise).

Here is a picture of Pike, Spock and Number One:

Yesterday by Richard Curtis

Let me start by saying that it’s a genius premise for a movie.

No – I don’t mean the idea that you could write about a world where a guy discovers that he’s (almost) the only person to know the songs of The Beatles.

I mean the idea that you could create a movie which really just features a series of Beatles songs one after the other!

I went to see this movie a few weeks ago with the family. We all enjoyed it really, but that was more about the songs than anything else.

I am a long-term fan of Richard Curtis (he was involved with Blackadder, Spitting Image, Four Weddings, Love Actually, About Time, etc. after all) so I was happy to go to see it. Not his best work though.

It does score 7.0 on IMDB though (which unbelievably is the same score as Four Weddings!) The Rotten Tomatoes ratings are probably a better guide being 63% and 89% respectively from critics and audience (Four Weddings got 96% from critics).

Himesh Patel does well in the lead role, and Lily James (although she doesn’t have much to do) really lights up the screen. And hats off to Ed Sheeran for being willing to appear as himself and for having to good humour to say and do the funny things which were asked of him.

Here is a picture of these three (Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images):

Rutger Hauer

Rutger Hauer passed away on the 19th of July, aged 79.

It must be great to know that you have created something which will never be forgotten. I am referring, of course, to his portrayal of Roy Batty in Blade Runner (1982).

The genius behind Blade Runner was Ridley Scott, of course, but Rutger made an unforgettable contribution.

He is also remembered for other movies, including 1986’s The Hitcher.

And for his role in a series of ads for Guinness.

Here is his iconic final scene in Blade Runner, which apparently was improvised to some extent.

Clowns and Jokers

There are lyrics in a song which was released by a group called “Stealers Wheel” in 1972 which sums up the way Irish people are feeling at the moment:

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you

And here is a picture of the clowns and jokers in question:

The man on the left is definitely a clown. He even has a clown’s name: “BoJo”.

Unbelievable.

Un…be…liev…able!

BTW: Stealers Wheel was formed by the genius who went on to record one of the best songs of all time.

Make Your Own Star Trek Episode

The sets which were used to make Star Trek Continues have been purchased by a gentleman by the name of Ray Tesi. He is promising to keep them safe.

But the even better news is that (if you can make your way to Kingsland, Georgia) you can make your own fan film there and it only costs $300 to rent the sets per day!

I think that’s amazing value for anyone who has a dream, a cast, cameras, mics, etc. and a story!

Ray’s company is now called “The Neutral Zone”.

Details about hiring the sets are available here.

Here is a link to a Star Trek fan film vignette which involved Ray in writing, directing and producing roles.

Star Trek Continues – No Longer

Back in November 2017 I make a post about looking forward to the last episode of “Star Trek Continues”. Later that month the eleventh and final episode was made available on the website.

The penultimate episode had received a rating of 9.3 on IMDB – the highest of the series to date. The last episode surpassed that with a rating of 9.6.

The last episode does what the team set out to do, and what the original series never managed to do – it brings the five year mission to a conclusion.

The episode itself is very good. But I have to say that the last ten minutes (from Kirk’s speech to the crew on, it very subdued and a bit of a downer). I think it’s a pity they decided to end it that way.

Still, the series itself is excellent – and a great tribute to the love and dedication of all of those who worked on it.

Overall the series has a rating of 8.0 on IMDB – very impressive for a fan production, especially when you consider that Star Trek Discovery (with all of the money that was put into it) has a rating of 7.4

Joan Wilson

They used to say that “behind every great man is a great woman”. I think in these PC days we need to replace the word “behind” with “beside”.

In any event, beside Gordon Wilson (see my last post) was his wife Joan. And she is obviously a fabulous person too.

Alf McCreary (who wrote the book about Marie with Gordon and later wrote his biography) interviewed Joan to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Enniskillen bomb and the killing of Marie. You can read it here.

She talks about Marie’s death, and the subsequent deaths of her son Peter and of Gordon himself.

Like Gordon, she is clearly a deeply religious person.

She says the following of her life since Marie’s passing:

“I have been spared by God for these 30 years since Marie’s death, and for whatever time I have left I want to make the most of each day – to appreciate the beauty of a flower or the power of the sea and all of nature, and I want to try to bring help and comfort to as many people as I can.”

And of Marie she says the following:

I still think of Marie as my bright, rebellious and deeply loving daughter. I know we will meet again some day. I think we both deserve that, and I am convinced that it will happen through the power and strength of God Almighty. That will be a wonderful day for both of us.”

I sincerely hope that she is right.

Here is Joan holding a picture of her daughter:

© picture by John McVitty, Enniskillen, Co.Fermanagh, N. Ireland – 07771987378 ©
Mrs Joan Wilson with a picture of her late daughter Marie.

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