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Dear BBC…

(copy of complaint I just emailed to the BBC)

Seriously, enough is enough. The music on DR WHO is now absolutely ridiculously loud, so loud it literally drowns out the dialogue. I watched tonight’s episode and hadn’t got a clue what was going on, the music was so loud. This has been a bad problem with BBC programmes before, but it seems it’s a real issue with DR WHO. The annoying thing is, you clearly already *know* this is a problem because it’s one of the subjects covered in your FAQ, so why are you letting your programme makers get away with it? We shouldn’t have to watch a programme with headphones on just so we can hear what’s happening. Will you please, PLEASE fwd this complaint to the DR WHO team and get someone to turn the volume levels down, or you are going to lose viewers. And yes, I would like a reply to this complaint because I am going to take this further and want to follow this up. And I will. I am very, very disapointed in the BBC for letting this problem not just run on and on, but get worse.

———————————————————————

… and I predict they will do ****** all about it.

Oh, and I just LOVED the way that, with a good few minutes of the epiosde left, and with the tension ramping up, the BBC put a colourful, cartoon-style banner on the bottom of the screen telling the viewer that Graham Norton’s “Dorothy” show was coming next…

Genius, absolute genius; brilliant way to completely drain all the tension and excitement out of it.

Numpties.

SDO “First Light” images

I said I’d be writing more about those breathtaking SDO images… here ya go…

http://astropoetry.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/sdo-opens-its-eyes

The Sun is cool again…

I’ll be writing a lot more about these new images of the Sun – taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory – later, when I get back from work, but in the meantime just have a drool over this…

Dear god, look at that… that’s our star, seen in breathtaking detail… SDO is going to revolutionise our understanding of the Sun, and throught that our understanding of our place in the solar system and the wider universe, I’m sure. It’s also going to lead to a surge in sales of those beautiful gold-coloured Coronado solar viewing telescopes. I’m going to hit the overtime this summer and save up for one myself, I’ve just about decided.. 🙂

More on these fantastic images later…

Return of the Dragons…

Had a very, very surreal moment going to work yesterday morning. After almost a week of looking up and seeing only beautiful, unbroken, cobalt-blue sky, thanks to the grounding of all aircraft because of the Icelandic volcano’s ash, I looked up and saw this…

It was VERY strange, seeing a vapour trail again! I felt like Tattoo from “Fantasy Island” – “Zee plane, zee plane!!”

But what was really strange was the way that other people around me stopped to look up and stare at the new arrival in our sky, just like I did. We all just stopped, and looked up, shocked by the return to our sky of one of those all too familiar white lines. And with no traffic passing, and just the one, solitary vapour trail in the sky, a thought crossed my mind…

Is that what it will be like when the oil runs out? Will the sight of a vapour trail in the sky be so rare, so odd, that it makes people stop in the street and look up and gawp at it?

A little bit of a shiver ran up my spine, I can tell you…

A new Moon…

… well, for my photographic experiments, anyway!

Many thanks to fellow EAS member Graham fell who made me a piece for my tripod that was missing when I bought it from a 2nd hand shop, allowing me to take images of the Moon tonight like this…

… and this…

Really very, very pleased with those! Now all I need is a mag -8 supernova, or a bright naked eye comet, or a massive display of the northern lights to photograph, and I’ll be happy! 🙂

Oppy update…

Oppy’s view of the hills on her horizon just got a WHOLE lot better…

http://roadtoendeavour.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/wow-look-at-that

And another thing…

…why do Daleks NEED to be different colours, anyway? It makes no sense. They “see” like this:

… in monochrome, so who are they ‘dressing up’ for? There are only two possible ‘target audiences’ for their colour schemes: each other, and their enemies/victims.

Now, why would they feel the need to identify themselves, and each other, according to their colour? They’re MACHINES (admittedly with tentacle-waving, power-hungry, merciless monsters inside them), they could surely be identified by, and identify themselves with, their electronic signatures, by the EMF transmissions they broadcast. A subtle marking here or there I could almost, almost get away with, but being coloured-in a bright, bold red or blue or – for pity’s sake – yellow?

And I’m sure that no self-respecting Dalek would feel the need to paint itself as bright red as a sherbet strawberry or as bright blue as a a bottle of mouth wash in the hope of making thenselves look more frightening to their enemies. That would suggest ego, pride, or vanity, and, again, they’re psycopathic squids riding around inside MACHINES, they have no such feelings or emotions. Would a Dalek think “Ooh, this blue colour scheme really makes me look hard!” as it slapped its sink plunger into the face of its latest victim? No. They wouldn’t care what (bleep) colour they were; all that would matter to them would be to kill and keep killing, as effeciently and ruthlessly and mercilessly as possible.

( One of my unmannedspaceflight.com friends drolly suggested that maybe having a colour would make a Dalek even more intimidating, because their victims would then feel ashamed and humiliated at the prospect of being killed by something with such a ridiculous colour, but I’m not buying it! 🙂 )

So, we’re left with other reasons why the Daleks have gone day-glo. Either new showrunner Steven Moffat is so determined to stamp his own signature on the series, to cock his leg up on the Dr Who lamp post and smother RTD’s scent with his own (thanks Sharon!) that he’s deliberately made the Daleks as anti-RTD as he could: RTD’s Daleks were cold and metallic looking, sleek, sharp-edged and industrial, almost retro. Steven Moffat’s Daleks are the opposite – warm-coloured, fat, cuddly, Ikea-designer smooth and almost painfully modern-looking. They fit neatly into the modern TV obsession with making any group “one of each colour” (Teletubbies, Power Rangers, etc). If this is the case then really, I’d be very disappointed, because there’s no need to try and delete RTD’s Dr Who, that’s just ridiculous.

The other possible reason is, despite what many people are saying, commercial. Many, many people have said that the new Daleks look “like toys”… maybe that’s the idea, to just make them more marketable.

Kids are drawn to colourful things, and like to have things which are their favourite colour. That’s not rocket science. Neither is it rocket science to suggest that some kids obsess about blue, others green, or red, or even yellow. And it’s a Well Known FAct that many kids love Daleks. Now, put all those things together and you have a perfect storm of a marketing opportunity – the most popular “baddie”in British sci-fi TV history, available in a range of kiddie friendly colours! Now, that’s marketing gold, it has to be said, but it’s rather cynical in my opinion, and shows a desperate lack of imagination. But, I suppose, we live in a commercial world, a world where the BBC needs to make money in order to keep the licence fee down and to keep making shows, like Dr Who, so I grudgingly have to admit it makes sense.

…I just hate, Hate, HATE the new look Daleks, not just because of their horrible colour schemes but because the new physical design is just awful. It takes away the threateing appearence of the Daleks, and genuinely does make them look fat, and bulky, and soft. I’m not the only person thinking this, as you can see in this article from The Sun the other day, which quotes a previous entry on this very blog of mine…! 🙂 (click on it to enlarge it)…

Judging from Mr Moffat’s comment at the end of that piece I think we’re stuck with the new Daleks, which is a great shame. I am worried about him wanting to make them more colourful, that seems a bit desperate to me, a make-over for the sake of it.

These aren’t the Daleks that sent generations of kids running for cover behind their sofas. These are Teletubby Daleks, Power Ranger Daleks, In The Night Garden Daleks. They’re Lawrence Lewellyn Bowen Daleks, only missing frilly cuffs and a ruffed collar to make their new look complete.

Yes, Dalek, your bum DOES look big in that, yer great fat Smartie-coloured, disabled toilet lookalike machine yer…

Great shame… 😦

Dalek protest gathers strength…

Seems like I’m not the only Who fan unhappy with the new look Daleks, not by a long shot…

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/2937261/Redesigned-Daleks-look-like-toys-say-angry-Doctor-Who-fans.html

Wow… I got quoted in The Sun…!

Meanwhile, the protest is gathering strength…

And even one of the Daleks is concerned about the make-over…

Behold, Doctorrrr! The new, fat, Daaalek race!!

Oh no, No, NO!!!!! 

I knew it was going too well, I just knew it.

Steven Moffat, what have you done?

How can you give us the brilliance of “Blink”, a wonderful new Doctor, a fantastic new Companion in Amy, and then so totally, totally, frak things up with the new Dalek design?!?!? What the **** were you thinking?!?!?!?!?!?

The previous Dalek design, the Russel T Davies era design, was, I think, absolutely brilliant. Look at it…

Now, that’s a killing machine. That’s hard. That means business. It’s made of cold, lifeless, clangy metal. It’s a death-dealing, civilisation-butchering tank of a thing. It’s nasty looking. It’s sphincter-tighteningly eeevil. It clearly rolls over injured kittens without a second thought.

But this new one, this… great, padded, sherbet-coloured abomination… it’s  a hideous, hideous thing…

Look at that. Just look at it. It’s fat, and bloated and looks… soft. It’s a padded dalek. A soft toy dalek. And it’s fat. It looks like it’s half marshmallow and half plastic.

And it’s fat.

As someone put it so brilliantly on a message board I stumbled across:

“Who ate all the Thals? Who ate all the Thals? You, fat dalek! You, fat dalek! You ate all the Thals!”

Someone, anyone, please tell me we’re not stuck with this horrible thing now? Someone, anyone please tell me that this is just some bizarre timey wimey, wibbly wobbly perversion that will be banished once the good Doctor flashes his sonic screwdriver at the vortex and Puts Things Right Again.

Sigh.

No, that’s not going to happen, is it? A lot of money has been spent on this new creation. They’ll flog it for all it’s worth.

Why? Why break something that wasn’t broken? Why mess with something that didn’t need messing with?

Well, obviously new ‘showrunner’ Steven Moffat is keen to stamp his own identity on the new look series, that’s understandable. Russell T Davies’ shadow is long, and dark, and Moffat has been in it for a long time. But I reckon there’s a different reason behind this Dalek makeover. And no, it’s not an “homage” to the daleks of years gone by, it’s not Moffat’s latest nod to the classic era of Who, it’s this…

£ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £ £

The BBC have obviously decided that the Daleks weren’t marketable enough, weren’t commeercial enough, the way they were, so they’ve done the same thing to them that they do to everything in their kid-friendly TV series: made the characters different bright colours to make them more individual, and more appealing as ****** soft toys.

Behold, Doctor, the Teletubby Daleks! We will invade your toy shops! We will blind you with our bright colour schemes! We will make you a ridiculous amount of money!

I’m all for change, things shouldn’t stand still,e specially in Dr Who. I mean… main character, regeration and all that. Genius. And the new Cybermen. mean-looking. The new Sontarans: much improved. But the new, fat, Ikea range dalek… it’s just a bad, bad design. It doesn’t work.

This works…

No, no, not Amy’s short skirt and cowboy boots look… though that does work, brilliantly… 🙂 I mean the dalek. You look at that and just know it wants to kitchen sink plunger you to death and go on its way. The new dalek is just… just… awful.

Steven, listen… you don’t have to undo everything Russell did. Stamp your own mark on the series, sure, but don’t just change things for the sake of it. What’s next? Badly-painted orange polystyrene Zygons so stiff they look like they’ve bathed in botox?

Maybe Mr Moffat is actually a secret Star Trek fan, and he decided that what was missing from Who was a ranking colour scheme, like Starfleet has for its starship crews? If that’s the case, then are the red daleks, like the one on the end here, destined to be killed in the first moments of each new episode, like the unfortunate but legendary “red shirt” ensigns in Star Trek..?

( And while we’re at it, for the love of god, please, BBC, will you turn the ********* music down!!! It literally drowns out the dialogue in places. )

Another volcanic sunrise hunt…

…ended in failure this morning. I think. One of my photos shows this…

…but that pinky glow certainly wasn’t visible to my eyes, so it might just be a camera thing. Don’t care. It’s still a pretty picture!

But this one… THIS one made getting up at ridiculous o’clock again worth it. Ive waited YEARS to get a shot like this…

I know I’ve said it before, but I love my new camera 🙂 🙂