Sunday 26 May 2024


 Last night I watched the new cleaned up version of the Beatles Let it Be documovie - it was great to finally see it cleaned up, thanks to Peter Jackson, and it is of vast historical importance, but it really is miserable, though compelling, viewing for a Beatle fan. 

Also last night I enjoyed  the latest episode of Dr Who -  73 yards written by Russell T. Davies, was an excellent formula breaking episode of the new Disneyfied Doctor Who. The new Doc was hardly in the episode and instead companion, Millie Gibson as Ruby, carried the episode. It was all creepy folk horror and it really was a touch of genius to film an episode which was largely doctorless. Though this may not have been by design but rather because of necessity.  Although the fourth episode aired, this was the first episode of the current season to be filmed, and Ncuti was not available for much of the filming. Still, the result was a truly memorable episode.

Wednesday 13 March 2024


 The UK's new tax on vaping which will come into force in 2026 is not only immoral but patently insane, and will hit those reformed smokers, those that can ill afford it, very hard. It will also make it less desirable for addicted smokers to finally try an healthier alternative. Let's not kid ourselves, though. The government are not concerned about public health - they just want our money. The new taxation on vaping proves this beyond any reasonable doubt.

The media, those wonderful politically motivated tabloid's, have empowered the government to push this tax by scaremongering for years about the amount of children who use vapes, because they are perceived as being cool, but this is just a smoke screen to allow the government to tax the most successful smoking cessation device there has ever been. Yeah, children should not be vaping and it is a problem - but put into perspective - Thirty years ago those self same children would be turning to cigarettes. Instead they vape and get hooked on nicotine that way, but it doesn't lead to cigarettes. 

    It just keeps them vaping. 

Something that the NHS claim is 95% safer than smoking. That's the science and not some tabloid bull-crap designed to convince concerned parents that vaping is just as bad as smoking. Even sticking your head out of the window in a busy city and breathing in the air is not 95% safer than smoking. That's a fact so let's spin this fact in the style of those irresponsible newspapers and state - VAPING IS EVEN SAFER THAN BREATHING. That statement is, of course, ridiculous but there's more actual truth in it than most of the anti-vape nonsense printed in the newspapers and then swallowed up by a gullible public.

Child vaping risks becoming ‘public health catastrophe’ in UK, experts warn - so ran a headline in that left wing bog paper, The Guardian.

Reading the Guardian is a fucking catastrophe in itself. Even their crosswords are infantile and wouldn't tax someone with the attention span of a goldfish.

 When I was eleven years old there were no vapes and like many kids my age I started smoking - everyone did in the 1970's. I quickly became hooked and remained so until I was fifty years of age. I tried countless times to quit but couldn't manage it. I tried nicotine patches from my doctor, nicotine gum, but nothing worked. There's an important point there. Nicotine in itself is not really harmful, doctors will prescribe patches and gum. I always had a roll up ciggie in my hand, at my worse point going through a pouch of tobacco a day, 50 to 60 smokes a day. Smoking defined me, from my shortage of breath to my yellowed fingers.

 When I was fifty I finally managed to quit thanks to vaping nicotine salts. I quickly went from spending upwards of sixty quid a week to around a tenner. That is after the initial outlay of buying my vape mod, of course. I've not smoked now for more than five years, and as far as I'm concerned vaping is the best public health invention there has ever been.

The government controls vaping now under the tobacco/smoking laws. Vaping is not smoking. There is no fucking smoke, and there's certainly no tobacco. And yet imbeciles swallow the rhetoric. This is the same thing as say controlling consumption of soft drinks under alcohol laws. What the fuck is the matter with everyone? Are we all that stupid? Can't we distinguish between smoke, the product of combustion with vaping which involves no combustion?

Monday 4 December 2023

Doctor Who and the Flux


The BBC's Dr Who, soon to be  Disneyfied, is now sixty years old and much loved around the world - it has a legion of committed fans - some of  whom should indeed be committed if the message boards are anything to go by.

Over the years the show has taken many bold moves; some which worked, some which did not.

 Sadly, casting a female Doctor in the form of Jodi Whittaker was a notable failure, but this was largely down to the fact that the show seemed to have lost its way under the guidance of the then show-runners, rather than any shortcomings of the actor. And given the show's concept it was not really a bold move in the first place. The Doctor after all is an alien who can regenerate when a current body has been worn down and regeneration is not limited by gender, so there is no real reason why the character can't be female. It's such a pity the Whittaker era was defined by dumb scripts and needless re-writing of the show's history.

To put this right the BBC brought back Russel T Davies as showrunner and fan favourite David Tennant as the Doctor for a run of three episodes before regenerating (as I write this is only a few weeks away) into Ncuti Gatwa, who will make history as the first black actor to take on the role.

The show is in a state of flux.

The show itself is regenerating.

The BBC have now gone into partnership with Disney for future production of the show and some fans are dubious - it is arguable that Disney have managed to ruin both Marvel and Star Wars, with franchise over saturation.

"The deal with Disney will elevate the show to even greater heights and reach new audiences so it's an extremely exciting time for fans in the UK and across the world." Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer.

Accused of extreme wokery it has now been decided that the iconic villain, Davros will be able bodied rather than a disabled character - though, the fact that the character was never represented as disabled but rather as someone who had replaced most of his body with cybernetic parts so that he is half man/half machine, seems to have been overlooked. This move has even attracted criticism from disabled viewers and rightly so, because it just may be one of the dumbest moves the show has ever taken.

“Speaking out as a disabled man in a wheelchair, I am highly offended by Russell T Davies’ claim to change Davros to no longer be in a wheelchair, for fear of offending people like me."

“What the hell comes next? Changing a Dalek for fear of offending a salt shaker? World gone mad.”

“What’s offensive is treating all ­disabled people as the same, assuming we all automatically identify with one another.”

Another iconic villain given a wokeformation is the Celestial Toymaker who is now just the Toymaker, but that upgrade is genuinely understandable given the racist connotations of the original character .

The original appearance of the toymaker even featured a character using the, N word. I kid you not, but remember this was the 1960's and the character is reciting the rhyme eenie, meenie, miney mo. 

Schoolkids everywhere used to recite the rhyme and yep, it contained the N word. It's not a word any decent person would use these days, I certainly wouldn't in any context, though back then if I recited the rhyme then I would have and wouldn't have thought anything of it. Times have changed, so I guess I understand why the Celestial Toymaker is now just the Toymaker. 

That, at least makes sense.

What makes no sense is that now every character, hero or villain, is non-gender specific with an axe to grind. It is supposed to be a sci-fi adventure show, but these days it undoubtedly has some sort of agenda attached to it. Good intentions may be driving this agenda, but it can come across as preachy.

Yes, Doctor Who is in a state of flux.

But that's always been the case.

Right from the beginning the show has been in a state of flux, - it's had it detractors, its critics and the show has never been truly secure, always teetering on the edge of cancellation. 

It would seem though that the show is truly indestructible and even during the wilderness years, when the show was off-air, it continued in one form or another - books, comics, audio-dramas and even an ill-fated TV Movie which featured in Paul McGann a rather excellent Doctor, all added to what the BBC are now calling the Whoniverse.

So what next?

Who know?


 Last night I watched the new cleaned up version of the Beatles Let it Be documovie - it was great to finally see it cleaned up, thanks to P...