Life on Mars

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My and my bank buddy

 

We exited the plane and I headed for the EU arrivals whilst my entourage joined the lengthy Non-EU arrivals line.  Bizarrely the Non EU line was quickly handled but the passport control bloke in my line seemed intent on nailing at least half a dozen terrorists that day and he was going to harass everyone until he found a would be suspect.  I tried as hard as I could not to roll my eyes or make loud comments about him being a self important jobsworth but inevitably he cottoned onto the fact that I was the person responsible for the loud sighs and he cast a steely glare over me.  Rather than punishing me directly by holding me up he decided to drag out the inquisition of the Finnish family in front of me.  They didn’t fit the stereotypical image of terrorists.  Their group consisted of Miss Marples frailer sister, a couple of Macauley Culkin clones and  a married couple who looked uncannily like Bjorn Borg except for the fact the wife had slightly less facial hair.  As far as I could tell the only crimes they were likely to commit were against fashion but then I am not a security expert.  “What is the purpose of your trip ?” the guard asked them.  “Where are you staying ?”, “For How long ?”, “Where are you people from ?”, “Finland ? Is that near Fatland ?”  It went on and on until Marple feigned spell of dizziness and a supervisor of the guard waived them  through.  Sly old Marple was probably the one carrying the explosives.   A few dirty looks and mumbled insults later and I was finally through to the arrivals area. 

My Mum came to greet us because my Dad was trying to find somewhere to park.  Well in fairness he hadn’t had long to find somewhere since the flight was only four hours late.  We slowly hauled our luggage outside onto the concourse.  There were only three of us but we had outfits to keep the Partridge family clothed for 3 national tours.  I had insisted on packing all of our winter clothes because from my experience England was cold in February.  My parents had tried to convince us that global warming had altered the climate there to such an extent that south east England was now competing with the planet Mercury as the hottest patch of land in the solar system so we brought all of our warm clothes too.  Finally the day before we left my wife had noticed that we still had some money in our bank account and so she went on a spending binge to buy even more clothes just for the fun of it.  The end result was that I was struggling to carry two bags that felt like lead lined coffins.  My Dad finally emerged from the parking lot but rather than help with the carrying he decided to film our suffering with his camcorder.  At first it was funny but after the first few tendons in my lower arm snapped I started to get annoyed.  It made no difference to him since he was determined to get every second of our trip on film.  His actions seemed to confirm rumours started some time back that he was in fact the paparazzi who hit Diana. 

 We all packed into their compact relatively fuel efficient car and set off for home.  My parents were upset that their 33 mile a gallon car wasn’t fuel efficient enough for the leftie tree huggers running the country and they’d been hit with a penalty tax.  Imagine if we made rich snow birds pay extra for gas guzzling RV’s in the US ?  That being said imagine if we made rich snowbirds pay taxes period ? Anyway I digress but it is funny how very little changes over the course of time.  As we drove by I bored my wife with stories about every street corner.  “That is where Deacon claims to have been abducted by the UFO,”I said “and the roundabout is where Mark almost got hit by former England International football player, Peter Beardsley…allegedly.”  I am sure that my wife was delighted to hear my running commentary most of which consisted of myths and half truths that had developed down the years to disguise the fact that in reality absolutely bugger all had ever happened there.   It was good to be home though in the mildly warm country of my birth where you can have a beer without having to have a follow up counselling session on “Dr Phil.”

For the first 24 hours I felt a bit like Sam Tyler from “Life on Mars.”  I had been awakened from my coma and the bizarre life where I was surrounded by larger than life characters with whom I had nothing in common.  Playing ball in the yard with Pop, high school proms, mulletts and fish cookouts are as alien to me as rocks on the red planet and needless to say the Gene Hunts and Rays of Gainesville had even less interest in learning about the world of Ceefax, Wombles and Kenny Everett that I grew up in. 

I had to remember not to use words like “soccer” “sucks” and “awesome” any more because I didn’t want to be accused of being a “fake American” although supposedly I now have an American accent which is hilarious since nobody in Gainesville seems to think so.  At work I guy I worked with for 3 years revealed recently that he thought I was South African and most of the customers at the bank seem to think I am either Australian or German.  There isn’t any logic to their mistaken attempts at pinpointing my origins it’s just that their idea of an Englishman is a bloke with a top hat and tails who rides around hunting foxes with a blunderbuss and so since the only other countries they know are Germany and Australia they assume I must be from one or the other.  Another thing that was strange about being back in England was that people would start conversations about sport … and actually have some knowledge of them so conversations lasted for minutes at a time.  At work in the US the sports discussion usually follows this pattern:

American male#1: “How about those Yankees huh ?

American male#2″How about them ?!!”

American male#3″Yep.  Those Yankees !”

American male#1″Did you watch the game ?”

American male#2″Nah”

American male#3″Me neither.”

Kjohn “I did so does that mean they’re going to win the world series ?”

American males 1,2 &3″Don’t know we don’t really keep up with it that much….Loser!”

Sports talk seems to be one of those strange rituals American men go through like looking at each others cars or boasting about upcoming drink fests that they have no intention of attending because they have to spend the weekend downloading software for the blackberry’s.  Englishmen on the other would cease to exist without football.  Every man over the age of 25 vicariously lives through his favourite team and it’s that kind of ultimately meaningless existence that I have come to miss.  It was good to be back but before I knew it David Bowie was reverberating around my skull and it was time to head to Ireland ….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueUOTImKp0k&feature=related

 

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Wine, Weirdoes and Wildebeast

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 For anyone who was wondering when the “Doctor Who” story was going to be “continued” as promised …. now you know how it feels to be a “Jericho” fan.  That being said here is the next installment ……….

Organizing a “Doctor Who” convention is harder than you would imagine.  My first attempt at hosting one ended in dismal failure because I only sold one ticket (to Dorney).  The sad thing was that I had actually convinced one of the actual actors who played the Doctor on TV to drive down to the St. Thomas More church hall in Harlow for a mere 100 quid.  Given that the going rate at that time for convention appearances was about 1500 I was amazed that the actor in question agreed to attend for such a meagre fee. I don’t want to cause any issues with the actors union so to protect his anonymity we’ll refer to him cryptically as a man whose last name suggests he makes bread but his first name isn’t Tom.  Anyway for some reason it didn’t occur to me to actually advertise the convention and so with a heavy heart I had to call back the star in question and tell him that the convention was cancelled due to lack of interest.  

Some people don’t learn from their mistakes Paris Hilton, Briney Spears, Saddam Hussein or Kenny from “Southpark” for example.  I on the other hand see the value in failure because it helps you to prepare better the next time around unless of course your failure was an attempt to prove that swimming with Great White sharks is safe but anyway the point I am getting at is that the next time I advertised the hell out of the convention.  We didn’t manage to get a Doctor to attend because frankly we didn’t have the 1500 quid that a certain white haired scarecrow impersonator wanted and to make matters worse two of the other Doctors were already dead which meant they were very infrequent convention guests !  Well my thought was that if you can’t get the Doctor you get the next best thing, his assistant.  Some people might even say an assistant trumps a Doctor particularly if you’re watching a “Carry On” film but anyway we were lucky enough to get two of the Doc’s onscreen companions to come.  The offer of “travelling expenses” was enough to lure them.  In fairness they probably thought that “travelling expenses” was code for “a small but adequate appearance fee.”  If that was their assumption then they were in for a surprise because I was a man of my word and “travelling expenses” meant literally that as I painstakingly figured out the cost of petrol for them to get from their London homes to the site of the convention.  I was cheap then and I am cheap today somebody has to be otherwise there would be no one to patronise the frivollous about their foolhardy ways. 

We held the convention at my high school because it was larger and less expensive than any other location.  I also thought it would be cool because the place was haunted and I was really hoping an apparition would appear in front of a celebrity.  As ever I overlooked a few details in the planning and it was only on the day of the event that my Dad pointed out the fact that we had made no provisions for refreshments.  This was easily solved as I ran to Sainsburys and bought some orange juice for the attendees and some wine for the the guests to get smashed on in the Biology lab we were using as the hospitality area. 

As the day began the anoarks started to arrive and before long my school hall was full of odiferous greasy haired young men, a few bearded women, a couple of dwarves, 5 or 6 haemaphrodites and a herd of Tanzanian Wildebeast.  Quite a motley crew.  As you can imagine I didn’t tell any of my friends about this whole thing so I was a little mortified when someone from the local radio station showed up to do an on air interview with me.  All the cool kids at my school were probably driving around town looking for pubs that allowed underage drinking when across the radio waves I was revealed to be a sci-fi loser.  I got off fairly lightly as only about 17 or 18 THOUSAND people heard the bloody radio interview and went on and on about it for the next 5 years ! 

Whilst my social standing was descending to the level of a sub amoeba, the convention was starting to take off.  Since I had recruited the guest speakers I basically let John Dorney interview the guests who I wasn’t as fascinated with and kept the big guns for myself.  The interviews took place on the same school stage where only weeks before I had done a pathetic attempt at an American accent as Riff in the school play of “West Side Story.”  Dorney had played a character called “Action” in the same show and I was afraid he was going to see some real action at the convention because I had him interview writer Gary Russell.  Just before going on stage Russell had been browsing through a copy of our Fanzine which included a vicious attack on his career but none other than the same Mr Dorney who beckoned him on stage.  Luckily either out of embarrasment or shame Russell made no mention of the article and kept the fans quite entertained or at least that is what I was told.  I didn’t actually see the interview because I was trying to locate the next guest who had gone AWOL from the Biology lab.  I eventually found her reclining on the back stairs that lead to abandoned school attic.  The backstairs were notorious for two things; people kissing and people seeing the grey lady ghost that roamed the school.  Either way it wasn’t a great location to be with a faded starlet who was blowing smoke rings and who was rumoured to have seduced unsuspecting fans at recent conventions.  Now wasn’t the time for any bs so I abruptly told her she was needed on stage and then retreated rather rapidly to the safety of the hall. 

The day moved along without too much drama until Sophie Aldred showed up and suddenly all hell broke loose.  Sophie was one of those people who looked fairly attractive on TV but was much better looking in real life.  That apart she was also still young and she didn’t smoke.  Dorney was in the middle of asking John Woodnutt about filming at Loch Ness when word broke that she had arrived.  The next thing I knew chairs, cups and bodies were being hurled around the room as the mob scurried after her.  I didn’t have to wrestle anyone to get to her since I was the host and in fact she came looking for me.  It was kind of cool having this chat with an attractive TV star in front of all these jealous Who fans.  I felt like the coolest man in the town at that moment in time.  In all honestly though compared with the average “Who” fan even a 700lb, two headed, mutant dwarf with leprosy would have seemed pretty cool with or without Miss Aldred but whatever I was the one who got to hang out with the celebrities for half the afternoon with only a couple of bunsen burners and the skeleton of a recently dissected rat for company.    Terrance Dicks (who had survived an earlier visit to our fan group) and Barry Letts (who I had previously interviewed over the phone) arrived soon after and helped my Dad prove that when there is good wine available that even the most sterile of environments can serve a prupose as an impromtu bar. 

All in all the day was a great success.  There were a few uncomfortable moments like when Philip Featherweather (who as ever was wearing his egg stained tuxedo) got into a row with Barry Letts about which quarry one episode from 1973 had been filmed in.  I always wondered what would become of weirdoes like him and recently I discovered he has put “Who” behind him and become a busker on the streets of Cambridge.  I don’t know if it was the whole quarry thing that caused his life to change or the fact that nobody wanted to hang out with him anymore but either way there is at least the chance now that a rain storm might wash that yoke of his lapel.

When everything was done I ended up going to the pub with a group of sychophants who tried to attach themselves to me in the wake of the conventions success.  I sat half listening to them harp on about how we could have another con and it would be bigger and better.  Over their heads I could see Gary Lineker on “Match of the Day” and images of Eric Cantona and Manchester United were crying out to me “Ditch these losers….watch the footie……”.  The voices won and not long after I cut my ties to “Doctor Who” fandom forever.  I still have a book that is autographed by the various celebrities I met during that fateful year and they all wrote what seemed like pretty genuine messages about wanting to come back to any more events I hosted.  It was not meant to be though.  My world was a far cry from the pipe smoke filled rooms of the BBC where tweed jacket wearing boffins would read the “Guardian” and debate the merits of marxism.  Without the anoraks and weirdoes I was nothing to them and so as quickly as the “Herts and Essex Borders Local Doctor Who Fan group”was born it came to an end.

Outcasts of Society no more: Doctor Who fans

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Apparently it is acceptable these days to be a “Doctor Who”fan.  Not so long ago “who” fans or “anoraks” as they were known were outcasts of society and as someone who mingled with these fans I am of the opinion that they should probably still be outcasts but who am I to pass judgement.  My involvement with “fandom” began around 1992 when I made the leap from being someone who watched the show to someone who was involved in one of the many secretive cult like “Who” groups that were prevalent in the Cambridge area in the early 90’s.  It all happened by chance really as this kid called Colin James (who these days is a popular karaoke performer in Harlow) introduced me to a guy called John Dorney at school.  Colin and Dorney were both from the year above me and with an image to uphold at school I referred to them as “drama” friends rather than “Who” friends since conveniently they were part of both groups.

Dorney invited me one weekend to a meeting in Cambridge and it was there that I first realised that most “Doctor Who”fans were weridoes.  The meeting was at a little terraced house down a back alley opposite an adult bookstore and on entering the safe house I was amazed to see about 30 grown adults packed into a tiny living room.  Sitting in the centre of the room on a tatty old blue velvet armchair was an elderly looking man who was introduced to us all as “David Fisher the man who wrote many classic stories.”  In reality he was a guy who wrote the scripts for a few lousy stories that were on TV in the mid 70’s but for these fans he may as well have been Tom Cruise or the Pope because basically he was someone who had been involved in the show.  The meeting was really boring as the host an emaciated looking guy called Joe feigned interest in Mr Fisher’s sketchy recollections of the show and then subjected us all to a 4th generation pirate video of “Stones of Blood” on a tiny black and white TV screen that was perched above his fireplace.  The story in question was about as badly planned and executed as the meeting and I’ve never watched it since and hopefully will never watch it again.  Unsurprisingly after this tedious meet up Joe decided to disband the fan group and that probably should have been that but for some reason I had stars in my eyes and decided that it was time for Hertfordshire to have it’s own Doctor Who group.

I got together with Dorney and a dubious chap named Ian Richardson and pretty soon we convinced the local milkman, Dave Crerar to join with us and form a new and more powerful group.  Richardson was an internet and publishing wizz kid, Dorney was a hardcore Doctor Who encyclopaedia and I was someone who wanted to get famous so the notion of trying my luck via Doctor Who conventions really appealed to me.  Crerar didn’t really have anything to offer except for the fact he had a car which we once drove to the pub in but after I missed an appointment for a part time job at McDonalds which he had organised for me we never saw him again.  Anyway before we knew it we had a monthly magazine “The Hourly Press” and started having meetings at Dorneys house for anyone who we could convince to show up.  I found a few pretty normal folks from Hertford who joined our group whilst Ian went curb crawling in Cambridge looking for homeless people to fill out Dorneys living room.  Probably the best thing about those early meetings was the location as Dorneys parents lived in probably the oldest house in the world.  The ceiling was about 4 ft above the ground and held up with wooden beams that were probably relics from Noahs ark.  At night Dorneys house came to life with all kinds of creeking and howling sounds which would all make for a great episode of “Most Haunted” but I digress.

After a few months I decided the time had come to cut the crap and start bringing in some celebrities so first on our radar was long time Doctor Who writer and script editor Terrance Dicks.  The main reason I invited him was because I found his phone number in a copy of the North London telephone directory that my Dad had brought home by mistake from work and never taken back.  Some times it just takes that little bit of luck to get the ball rolling !  We invited Terrance down to the old church hall in Sawbridgeworth because it only cost 25 quid to rent for a day and because it was near the train station so it wouldn’t be too far for him to walk.  How cheap is that ?  But it is the truth.  Terrance was great entertainment as he told us all kinds of amusing anecdotes about his time on the show and even hung around for a few swift pints at the King Willy afterwards.  Suddenly the local freemasons who frequented that pub had a bit of competition as there was a new weird and secretive group getting drunk that night !  At around the same time I managed to find a few other telephone numbers in “Who’s Who” which my Dad had also brought home  for some inexplicable reason and returned.

I couldn’t afford to pay people for interviews so I called them and I would leave my old stereo tape recorder with a phone on speaker in one room and ask the questions on a cordless phone in the other room.  It never failed to work as it seemed that BBC types had a hard time telling a sqeaky voiced kid to bugger off although there were a few times people weren’t too happy at my requests for interviews.  Paddy Russell wasn’t best pleased when I asked to speak to “Mr Paddy Russell.”  Apprantly she was a woman.  One other very well known actor started to answer my questions before deciding that his ongoing argument with his (now ex) wife was proving to be too much of a distraction and finally hung up on me.  I also felt a little awkward when I called a number asking for a certain Director and was told by his tearful wife “he just left me!”  Nevertheless I spent several months randomly calling actors, producers, writers etc and the more I called people the more they directed me towards their friends or other minor celebrities that they probably thought it would be funny to harrass.   I got a lot of good interviews for our magazine whilst Dorney got to work actually writing articles and Ian bribed shopkeepers in Cambridge to stock our ‘zine.  Everything was going pretty well with the meetings as well.  Ian had introduced us to a guy called Phillip Featherweather who always wore an egg stained tuxedo and lived in a Greek Orthodox monsatery as well as an array of other less interesting but fanatical characters.  It was obvious by late 1993 that we were ready to take the next step and host a convention ……….

To be continued.

The Best Kids TV Shows Ever !!!!!

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1. “Boy from Space” – “Look and Read” : This was a popular TV show in the 80’s that kids would watch at about 11 am each day as a break from class.  The host Wordey was a legless red faced little man who would fly around chanting “Magic Magic E”.  Nobody realised at the time that he was a pioneering drug pusher getting ready for the era of raves.  “Boy From Space” was one of the stories featured in the show and it revolved around a couple of alien kids who looked like the children of the damned but with blue suits that appeared to be made from tissue paper and a language that only the teacher from Charlie Brown could imitate.  The actual episodes were all of 5 minutes long at the end of each “Look and read” segment and sci-fi obsessed kids all over Britain waited with baited breath each week for the latest fun installment.  The “Dark Towers” story was also a classic but the little lad from the stars was the pick of the bunch.

2.”Newsround”: with John Craven:  It may seem odd to highlight a kids news show as being a cult TV classic but the sad reality is that Craven and his sidekicks produced a 10 minute show containing more real news items than you’d see after a year of watching Fox and or MSNBC today.  I particularly liked the endless reports on giant Panda’s and space shuttle launches.

3.”The Flumps”: Long before that northern bloke was winning Oscars for dull films about Wallace and his dog the BBC had set the standard for animation with “The Flumps”  This was easily the best show of its genre and one of the all time classic moments of television was when Grandpa flump got stuck in his Flumpaphone.

4.”Mr Benn” : This guy was the ultimate master of disguise.  Every week he went to some kind of fancy dress shop and disappeared through the dressing room into many weird and wonderful places.  He tried his hand at being everything from a cowboy to a clown but his real brilliance was in his ability to persuade the shopkeeper to let him keep trying on costumes all the time without ever buying a single item from the store.

5.”The A-Team”: In this era of cheesy remakes I am surprised that no one has decided to make a big screen version of the greatest US TV show of all time : The A-Team.  I bet George Clooney would like a stint as Hannibal alongside Jim Carey as Murdoch and perhaps Di Caprio as Face.  BA would be harder to cast but perhaps DMX would be the man for the job and it would be the kind of thing that could lead to at least 3 or 4 sequels which is right up Clooneys alley.

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6. “Tim Tyler “(aka Timm Thaler) : This was a German classic about a kid whose laugh was stolen by an evil Baron in 1970’s Berlin (?)  The show was great because the worst sound editors in the history of television hired some drunk B movie actors to dub it into English and during the whole series not one word was uttered by a character in English at the same time his mouth was in motion.  Aside from the cheap production this show was also memorable for the flairs and hippie hairstyles that defined an otherwise forgettable era.

7. “Degrassi Junior High” : This was Canada’s answer to Grange Hill and was so terrible that it was actually  good for its utter patheticness.  I remember that one episode caused a stir as it featured the revelation that one of the teachers was a lesbian before the old BBC watershed.  Oddly enough the BBC didn’t buy a lot of shows from the land where people say “aye” after the ratings for this one were compiled but I still have a soft spot for it.

8.”Silas”: The people who dubbed this Polish gem into English did a marginally better job than their counterparts had done with Tim Tyler but the real issue was the fact that phrases that take about two syllables to say in English take 5 minutes to say in Polish and vice versa.  I remember that Silas was harrased by an nefarious harridan who was known simply as “The Old Shrew”.  I can’t remember the plot of the show but basically it involved around a kid riding around on a horse and every  week it had the same cliffhanger ending as he crossed paths with his nemesis and he exclaimed “the shrew”  Brilliant !

9. “Airwolf”: Some people may remember Ernest Borgnine as the Roman soldier at the foot of the cross or as the cop who married a hooker in “The Poseidon Adventure” but I remember him most fondly as the pilot of the best helicopter ever built, Airwolf.  This show had a simple message:  Criminals beware of copters loaded to the brim with machine guns because no matter where you run Ernie will blow your head off.  This was much better than anything you’ll see on CSI, eat your heart out David Caruso.

10. “Neighbours”: Not technically a kids show but try telling that to anyone who grew up in the UK in the late eighties.  So many kids were skipping school to watch this Aussie classic that the BBC moved it to the 5.30 spot after “Blue Peter” which had usually been reserved for shows like “Doctor Who” or “Friday film: The Glitterball.”  I was skiving off school in 1987 when the first episode was broadcast and after I saw Max Ramsey lose his temper, Des fall for stripper Daphne and Shane introduce the southern hemisphere to the mullet there was no looking back.

HEROES : THE SHOW NBC CAN’T AFFORD TO CANCEL

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If only the writers of “Jericho” had decided to end their season in the same manner the “Heroes” writers did !!!  Alas !  Whilst one show wrapped up nicely the other was cast into the abyss never to see the joy of being listed on the TVGuide channel again.

Last nights episode of “Heroes” did leave us wondering about one or two things although for the most part the story tied up a lot of loose ends.  I wonder if Siler is still alive because the last shot seemed to suggest his blood soaked body had made it’s way down a nearby man hole.  I have a feeling he will be back in some shape or form.  It was pretty cool when whacko Nikki/Jessica/blondie bimbo smacked the crap out of him but I would have liked to have seen everyone pile in a bit more.  It would have been like one of those times at school when some fat kid wouldyell “Bundle” and everybody would jump on top of the skinny kid until a teacher would finally intervene and extract his lifeless form.  I would have liked to have seen Micah bop him on the nose and I am sure Clare’s Dad would have liked to get a kick in as well.  Clare’s Dad is pretty cool actually if you can overlook the fact that he once tried to murder Doctor Who aka the Invisible bloke.  He actually reminds me of my old boss at work who was a little odd but a decent enough bloke.  Sadly Clare’s Dad has since been replaced by Tony Soprano as my boss but that’s another story.

One thing that I didn’t quite understand was why Peter had to get Nathans help to fly.  The last I knew he was just as capable a flier as he was a nuclear bomber after being exposed to the powers of both caveman Ted and evil Nate.  I guess it’s possible that he can only use one power at a time or perhaps the radiation was too overwhelming for him to think about jetting off in space.  Either way I still think Nathan is a prat because of his overall slimy sleaze bag attitude to Clare, her weirdo hippie Mum and well just society in general.  Hopefully he was incinerated without causing too much of a hike in the global warming process but I want Pete to return next year because he has pretty much become the star of the show.

The producers have said that they plan to make the show more like “24” than “Lost” in as far as it will have season long storylines rather than one continuous tale.   We have several questions though to be answered after this season like:  How did everyone know there was going to be a bomb and why were they cool with that ?  Who is the boogey man who makes Siler seem no more menacing thanRonald McDonald ?  Will they do what day time soaps often do and replace the kid actors with teen actors once they realise it’s hard to carry a story with two 7 year old kids ?  Will Ted get a role on ABC’s new sitcom based upon the Geico caveman commercials ?  Will the insurance company cough up to replace Clare’s house or will they say that nuclear explosions aren’t covered in the policy ?  Will Mr Sulu pass on his old yellow Enterprise shirt to Hiro or will he give him the red one he wore in the movies ?  Will Christopher Ecclestone find a third new sci-fi show to appear on for one year as a smart arse Mancunian ?  These are the things I am left pondering but the good news is that NBC have commissioned 30 new episodes for next year so whilst we’re all sitting around watching repeats of “Lost” on ABC and re-runs of “The Price is right” in “Jerichos” old slot we can at least rest easy in the knowledge that at least we have one show left that actually fulfills us.

“Lost” : Cath -22

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I had always wondered why the writers of “Lost” seemed to think that Scottish people called everybody “Brother.”  Last night that mystery was solved as we discovered that between stints as a runaway groom good old Desmond was actually a “Brother.”  Des has had quite an up and down life really from Celtic fan to fiancee to monk to drunk to fiancee again to crappy interviewer loser to jogger to yachstman to button pusher and finally to psychic.  When all of this is said and done he is going to be one of those nutty drunks who bores people at pubs in Glasgow with fantastical tales that nobody believes. 

I was surprised when Charlie was killed inside the first 3 minutes since it was so unLost-ish to have something happen within the first 53 minutes of an episode.  Never fear when a psychic is near and it turned out to be a harmless vision.  Well relatively harmless although for a while there it did seem as if Dessie was intent on being the only Brit with a funny accent on the show as he lead the hobbit perlilously close to death.  Frankly I am ready for the hobit to go.  We all know his numbers is up the only question is which number is his ?  4, 8, 15, 16, 23 or perhaps 42 ? 

Another fellow who I was beginning to think had kicked the bucket was Bernard but last night Sawyer indicated that the old romantic was still alive and kicking.  Talking of which I wonder how the two pointless red herring characters that got buried alive are doing ?  I am hoping they come back at some point just because I hate to think the producers dragged us through their whole boring back story for absolutely no reason other than to pass a re-cap episode past us without anyone noticing.  Ohh well I guess we’ll see but with 4 episodes left I am hoping there is time for someone with some sense (which basically means it has to be Jin or Sun) will knock off the blond other and her unshaven pig headed boyfriend Jack.  Fingers crossed but I fear it may be another 23 episodes before Charlie even  croaks !