davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Via [personal profile] magister 

1 Sherlock or Doctor Who?

One of them's been going for nearly 50 years, with hundreds of hours of stuff, and one's been going two years and has six episodes. While I'm the worst Doctor Who episodes are awful (although there's usually something to redeem them- I'm still waiting for [personal profile] miss_s_b  and [personal profile] magister 's review of Horns of the Nimon for example), its really no contest is it?

Unless of course we count some of the previous versions of Holmes perhaps?

2 Moriarty or the Master?

The Master. Shooting yourself to allegedly ensure your nemesis gets offed is stupid. Plus, beard of evil.

3 Benedict or Martin?

Benedict is pretty good. I do like his voice, but Martin's very good too. Having never seen The Office I'm not biased against him in that way.

I too, will have to cheat, and go for the late, great Clive Merrison. Or Edward Hardwicke.

4 Favourite Doctor Who companion?

I do like Amy rather a lot. But she is a tall, willowy redhead, so I think we can see why that is. Liz Shaw is ruddy marvellous. I shall cheat horribly and say The Brigadier, although I note you say "companion" rather than character. Why the hate for Duggan?

5 Favourite Doctor.

I really like Sylvester McCoy's chessmaster style, plans within plans, etc. ColinB is the first Doctor I saw, and everyone has a soft spot for their first. Matt Smith is really, really good though.

6 Favorite Sherlock character.

Molly Hooper. No contest.

7 Favourite Sherlock episode

Probably the first one. That or A Scandal in Belgravia apart from the last five minutes.

8 Favourite Doctor Who story.

The Daemons, City of Death, Talons of Weng Chiang, Terror of the Zygons, Black Orchid, Genesis of the Daleks, Battlefield, The Doctor's WIfe, Horns of the Nimon ("My dreams of conquest!!!!). List subject to change depending on random factors, such as what I had for lunch, and which random epsiode I last watched.

9 Favourite Doctor Who monster.

This is really difficult. Possibly the Vervoids, because even seeing clips of Day of the Triffids fucking terrified me at around that time. Other monsters have better characterisation, look better, and have had much better stories. But very few have ever really scared me.

10 Least favourite Sherlock character.

Moriarty.

11 Least favourite Doctor Who character.

10. Gods Tennant annoyed me by the end of his run.

12 The Doctor or Sherlock.

The Doctor.

13 Rose Tyler or Amy Pond

Amy. If Rose had left at the end of Tennant's first season I'd probably still like her. 

14 Least favourite companion.

Mel. Sorry, I really don't like Bonnie Langford.

15 Thoughts of Mycroft/Lestrade.

I like both of them, but as noted elsewhere, Mycroft is played by Mark Gatiss. Rupert Graves is a damned fine actor however.

16 What do you think of Molly Hooper?

Awesome in a glass, especially after that last episode.

17 Do you believe in Sherlock Holmes?

About as much as I "believe" in The Doctor, HAL 9000, or Cthulhu.

18 10th Doctor or 11th?

11th. No contest.

19 9th Doctor or 10th?

9th I liked 10's slighty silly schtick, (but then I was always a fan of Tom Baker's swivel-eyed loon) but by the end of his run (and Tom's) it had become annoying. Plus the whole "lonely god" crap was, well, crap.

20 11th Doctor or 9th?

11th. I just think he's a better actor.

21 Thoughts on Johnlock?

I have no idea what this means. I hope to stay that way.

22 Sherlock or Doctor Who cast?

Which era of Who?

23 Favourite Sherlock actor

Clive Merrison. Although Nigel Bruce was a brilliant comic performance, he's not Watson..

24 Favourite Doctor Who actor?

Silly Answer: Graham Crowden ("Lord Niiiimon???)
Sensible Answer: Matt Smith. Answer subject to change at short notice.

After Man

Dec. 11th, 2010 01:02 pm
davegodfrey: Coelacanth (Science)
I am a massive fan of speculative zoology. I adore the whole "what if the dinosaurs hadn't died out" ideas, and like many people of my generation I owned lots of books about dinosaurs many of which were written by Dougal Dixon. Who, back in 1981 wrote "After Man: A Zoology of the Future". He also subsequently wrote "Man After Man", which is essentially full on Sci-Fi, though I have to say that Nemo Ramjet did the whole "the next 500 million years of human evolution" thing better in All Our Tomorrows" (seriously, read it, its freaking awesome, if not a little nightmarish in places). In 1988 "The New Dinosaurs", which I read before Jurassic Park came out. Sadly this is the one that doesn't stand up that well to the massive amount of stuff we've learnt about maniraptorans and the like since then. Specworld is a very good modern version.

But its After Man, which was the first, and I think still the best. Not all of the future animals are particularly practical- I agree with Tricia that tusks on a mole are just dumb. but the hypercarnivorous rats are a masterstroke.

But I mostly want to point out that Japan seems to have gone completely nuts for him. There was an hour-long program (sometime in the '80s by the looks of it) with some rather lovely stop-motion animals. I think it also talks a lot about other aspects of evolution, but I don't speak Japanese, so I have no idea exactly what they're talking about, but there's shots of the Galapagos and that kind of thing.



And if that wasn't enough, someone made a cartoon sequence with all these animals in it. Which would be perfectly sane if that happy dancing bipedal baboon wasn't supposed to be the size of a Tyrannosaurus



But what I most want is this the "After Man" model kit. (It looks like there was more than one "After Man" cartoon based on that too. And yes, the Nightstalker, a flightless, blind, bipedal, killer bat, from Hawaii, really was supposed to be five feet tall. Call Roger Corman, I've got an idea for a film...
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
Pay attention [livejournal.com profile] steely_glint and [livejournal.com profile] sumerianhaze

davegodfrey: Marvin: ...and me with a terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side... (Marvin)
Imagine you've been given millions to make your film. It involves aliens. These aliens will be seen as non-moving prop remains, and live ones will be rendered in CGI. You therefore have free rein to make them look as weird as your imagination allows.

So why do they always make them look like humans with funny shaped heads. WHY GODSDAMMIT!?!? I'm not really talking about Who or Trek here, where you've got a relatively limited budget, rather more limited time, and its really the characters rather than their appearance that is the big draw. But even then Who made an effort with Rutans or the Nestene.

The skeletons are almost always tetrapod- virtually always with the pentadactyl limb. You can usually identify these things as probably mammalian, because they lack abdominal ribs. The rest of the skeleton could pass for human most of the time. The most they ever do is make the eyes bigger and stretch out the back of the skull. Even if you're going to stick with the vertebrate bauplan humans aren't that interesting. There are snakes that can give you a bite with their mouths closed, legless amphibians with sensory tentacles and protrusable eyes, and have you ever seen a baleen whale's skull? This is before we get out of the tetrapods. If you allow yourself fishes you've got all kinds of weirdness to play with. Add invertebrates to the mix and you'll get things that wouldn't be out of place in a Lovecraft fantasy. What's more because people are unfamiliar with them they'll be even more alien than some chap in green make-up with a fake eye in the middle of his forehead.

As long as you can make something like this work under gravity I don't care. Let your imagination run away with itself. Or leave their appearances hinted at, but no more. Let me conjure up bizarre flights of evolutionary fantasy if you don't have the vision to merely tweak a primate.
davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
So anyway some stuff has happenned and I s'pose I ought to comment.

Waterstone's have made it very hard for me to keep money. They've got 3 for 2 on all SF and fantasy books. I now have a big pile of books to read.

Auntie has a spiffing little radio programme called Imagining Albion, about the work of British Sci-Fi writers from H.G. Wells to the modern era. This week's was on Space Opera, previous ones have dealt with invasions, utopias, dystopias and other fun things. Iain M. Banks discusses "Space Hippies with really big guns", Alastair Reynolds gets namechecked, and E.E. "Doc" Smith is gently poked fun at. (The Brits don't go about inventing metals called X that mean you can ignore Einstein!). Sadly I've missed most of the series, but the Beeb does the marvellous Listen Again service, which is nice.

I've set myself the goal of leaving Jessops by November. I'll have been there for 5 years by then, and I really think I've served enough time in retail. Even if I leave to join the NHM as a tour guide, I really need to get out. (If you want camera-type accessories and stuff let me know sooner rather than later).

Odontogriphus omalus is one of my favourite little critters from the Burgess Shale. It's the one that prompted Simon Conway Morris' "Oh fuck not another phylum" quote on first seeing it. Well it isn't another phylum, it has a radula. Its therefore a primitive mollusc. For those of you who don't know what it looks like, it's flat, roughly oval and grew up to 125mm long. Rather unprepossessing, but its been suggested as a relative of everything from brachiopods to chordates. Pharyngula and Muton both discuss it. Its interesting because it gives an insight into early molluscs- and they may go back into the late Precambrian- Its looking more likely that many of the Ediacaran fossils are primitive members of modern groups. It also means that the method of feeding (grazing on mats of bacteria and algae) is very old.

And to cheer us all up in a week of thoroughly bad news (cf Lebanon, etc). Kent Hovind has been put on trial for tax evasion! And pleads not guilty on the grounds that he is "employed by God and therefore does actually owe anyone any taxes"!

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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
The Evil Atheist Your Mother Warned You About

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