Tag Archives: Doctor Who

The ramblings of a sober man

When we’re born into this life it’s a completely different world than the one we leave behind. Ultimately whether we realise it or not the world is changing rapidly every day. I see technology advance so quickly that it’s scary at some points, I watch beautiful pieces of land disappear under masses of concrete and glass and I see a human race who mostly don’t care.

I am by no means an environmentalist, I’m not a member of organisation that sets out to change the world. I am in fact a guy who mainly sits at home, reads comics, watches sci-fi and occasionally steps outside into the vast space that is planet earth. I don’t go all out to make a difference in the world and I don’t think any more or any less of people who do.

Over the years I’ve watched on countless occasions as wars and corporations and industrial effects have savaged lands and pushed the beauty of the landscape to the side. I often think to myself that I was born out of time, that I was never meant to be alive in this day and age and that my mentality would be better suited to the start of the last century. I look at images of streets with horses and carts, where everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there and where men, women and children would pass each other in the street and make eye contact instead of updating their Facebook with “Walking down street, saw minger picking nose, ewww lol”

Truthfully, I think the world we live in has gone to shit and that’s not a naive opinion. This is not my attempt at slating governments or corporations or the people behind technology. I can’t say anything about technology because frankly I would be a hypocrite seeing as I’m currently using a popular piece of machinery to type this very blog entry.

The financial status of the planet is enough for me to sit here and write and write and write about and I could also do the exact same for the crime rates around the globe. I could sit here and tell you that I think within a hundred years we will be run by a totalitarian government and our right to free will completely revoked. I could sit here and tell you that society today has made life virtually impossible for the people down below and that it is causing so many issues that the hierarchy of the world appear to be blind to………..I could tell you all of that but I won’t.

We’re born, we live, we die. That’s the general rule of life and whether we like to admit or not, our existence is pretty meaningless. What are we supposed to do with life? I say we’re supposed to fill it, fill it with joy and hope and love and every other emotion. Fill it with what we enjoy, what we want to do. I say we take life and ride it from start to end and make sure it’s the best journey imaginable. That’s what I say, but sometimes that’s not always possible. Frankly, this day and age make it so hard to truly enjoy it. For me I think I would be walking around in the Victorian times right now, on my way to some rendition of Sherlock Holmes with William Gillette or something along those lines.

I’m not a man of any faith, I don’t know what’s waiting for us all on the other side but I know that we’re supposed to enjoy what we have here. I’m planning on trying my damnedest to do exactly that, whether that involves indulging my mind in 16th, 17th and 18th century literature or reading the latest 2000 AD issue, whether it’s watching Charlie Chaplin classics or the latest episode of Doctor Who, whether it’s taking a stroll up the hills and mountains or the scenic route to the supermarket I think it’s important that we make the most of the life we’ve been given.

I know that this isn’t my normal type of posting but sometimes it’s good to get away from the norm, sometimes in life something will shake you to your core and bring on some sort of epiphany and that’s exactly what’s happened to me. Of all the great writers of history at my disposal, I remembered a sentence that just clicked with me, it wasn’t from Twain or Shakespeare or anyone like that, it was from a TV show.

 

“The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it”

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Do you ever look in the mirror and think, I’ve seen that face before?

Where do you start with “Deep Breath“? That’s the question isn’t it? The début of Mr Peter Capaldi as the famous Time Lord finally hit our screens on Saturday. Of course, for many out there the episode was already available thanks to Marcelo Camargo and his lackadaisical approach to keeping his copies of the episodes safe.

With a new Doctor comes a mix of emotions, ranging from excitement to  trepidation and sometimes even denial (fangirls and David Tennant/Matt Smith anyone?)
The main thing that always swirls around my head however is just happiness that the show is back. Aside from the 9 years between the Eighth Doctor and the Ninth Doctor, eight months is the longest we’ve had to endure a Doctor Who free television while waiting for the new Doctor to hit our screens since the show returned (unless of course your head canon counts Rowan Atkinson as the real Ninth Doctor).

When the episode started I’m sure that many people around the globe inhaled for the titular “Deep Breath”. With Capaldi’s first appearance in the episode I’m sure many people, as I did, exhaled with joy upon realising that The Doctor was here.

Without spoiling the episode for those who haven’t yet seen it (Why the hell have you not?) there are a few things I want to commend.

First of all there’s the seriousness that instantly comes from Capaldi. Even when he’s inserting the humourous tones he still exudes a serious vibe, of course that was expected.

Secondly there is the dynamic between Clara and The Doctor. Whilst I had no doubt about how well they would work together, there were doubts thrown about by others. Especially after the fantastic chemistry that Jenna and Matt had previously. For me, the restaurant scene with Capaldi and Jenna was the perfect example of how well these two will work together this season. I did feel a very strong “Four and Sarah Jane” vibe from them at certain points throughout the episode.

Thirdly, the man on the phone. It’s such an obvious thing to do to bridge the two regenerations but why it has never been done before now is the question. While it does sort of spoon feed the audience that “this is the same man” it was a wonderfully written scene.

Another side note is that it was great to see the husband of the late great Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) on screen in Doctor Who once more. For those of who missed it, Brain Miller portrayed the tramp that the Twelfth Doctor had a rather wonderful interaction with.

There is one thing that I’m not too sure on however and that’s the new title sequence and theme song. It’s too early to tell whether or not it’ll grow on me because I’ve always been the same with new arrangements of the theme. This version of the theme reminded me of the McCoy era, I wasn’t too keen on that version either so perhaps that’s why I don’t like this one.

The main thing is that Doctor Who has returned. After 241 days of waiting we have the new Doctor firmly on our screens. Roll on next week with the Daleks.

Ghosts of days gone by…..

Sometimes I do things without any reason and those things baffle me. For example, recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Alter Bridge, a band who, for all intents and purposes, I detested 5 years ago. Recently however I’ve been appreciating their music, now that I think about it, I’ve been changing my tastes in a lot of things recently. I suppose that part of getting older is changing your tastes and preferences. 15 years ago I was making my ears bleed and listening to the likes of Slipknot and Mudvayne, 10 years ago I had moved on to Drowning Pool and Saliva, 5 years ago I was all over Joshua Radin and City and Colour like a rash and today my playlist is about as long as an Adrien Brody Oscar speech.

The mere fact that I just used the Adrien Brody Oscar speech as a comparison to the length of something cements just how fast I’m ageing.

Recently my mortality has been playing on my mind quite a bit.  I don’t mean that in a macabre way but more in a “time has flown so quickly” way. I’m not even sure why but I’ve been sitting watching an old film or a wrestling event on the WWE Network and thinking “I was 12 when this was on” or “I was only 10 when I first saw this” then realising that such a long time has passed and yet it still all seems so fresh in my mind. Then I think that if I fast forward the same amount of time that has passed, I’ll be into my 40’s. I don’t really look forward to my 40’s and especially if it’s going to come as quickly as my late 20’s came.

Life passes far too quickly, I know that everyone says that at some point but until recently I’ve never really paid much attention to it. My daughter turned 5 a couple of weeks ago, I’m just astounded that so much time has passed. I remember sitting in the labour suite in shock and frozen to my seat overcome with emotion, it doesn’t seem like 5 years ago, it feels like 5 days ago.

I remember when I was younger, I always dreamt of the future. I always pondered over what it would be like and I couldn’t wait to get there. Now all those years that I dreamt of have passed. My 16th birthday, passed. My 18th birthday, passed. My 21st birthday, passed. My first holiday without parents, passed. My first relationship, passed (and many more have passed too). Now I don’t look to the future, I have a tendency to look to the past. I know that it’s a bad trait, I really shouldn’t. You can’t move forward if you’re stuck in the past but I think that you get to a certain age and you realise that in a couple of years you will be of the age where you start to guide the next generation. Just now I sit on the cusp of that stage of life. I’m out of the teenage years, I’m out of the early twenties madness and I’m not yet in the “must be sensible” thirties.

I suppose, and I hope I’m not the only person who feels like this, that when you get to this point in life you once again resort to the “Peter Pan” phase. Not wanting to get any older. It’s inevitable but part of you doesn’t want to keep on that ever quickening road to Mid-life.

Perhaps this is why I’ve been listening to a lot of Alter Bridge, as much as I hated them 5 years ago, they remind me of a time when I was slightly younger. I’ve also been listening to Lange quite often (yes I have very eclectic taste) and that takes me back to the summer of “Kevin and Perry Go Large”

Whatever the reason, all I know is that I’m not getting any younger and I also know that there was no real point to this blog entry. There is no special meaning or profound epiphany at the end of it. I’m not even going to go back over it to check for errors because the chances are that I’ll end up deleting the entire thing. I do have a habit of writing blogs and sitting for 30/45 minutes on them and then just deleting them. Maybe that’s why life feels like it’s passing so quickly? I spend so long wasting time and leaving empty handed…………….I change my mind, there was a profound epiphany….

Time and the Cynic

In 1898 H. G. Wells wrote his most famous novel “The Time Machine”. In the novel, for those of you who haven’t yet read it, a Victorian man invents a machine that allows him to travel into either the future or the past. As such, he travels 800,000 years into the future and while there he finds a society completely different from the one he has become accustomed to, a society inhabited by the Eloi and the Morlocks. The Eloi, on first appearances,, appear to live an idyllic life, but the time traveller makes the discovery that there is in fact a horrendous price that they must pay.

Looking back to some of the greatest novels every written and you can see that writers such as Wells, Dick and Orwell commented on their own current society. They would question the trajectory of “current” trends of the times, question what reality actually was and they would subtly disclose their fears of the future.

Stephen Hawking himself at one point suggested that time travel must be impossible, for the sole reason that if it were possible then we would have had visitors from the future. Since we have therefore never seen a tourist from the future he concluded that time travel indeed must be impossible.

There are many arguments to this point of course, many different ways of trying to refute Hawking’s argument. Some people say that if tourists did come from the future then they simply may not interested in us. Others say that perhaps they know the ramifications of letting themselves be known to others as being from the future. My personal theory (and this is a huge hypothetical “if”) is that in this day and age, where scepticism and the need to cry insanity is but second nature, would we openly accept that someone is from the future? That’s a question that only you yourself can answer. For all I would love the idea of time travel to be a reality, the possibility of seeing days long gone,  I know that deep down if someone claimed to be from the future that I would in no way believe them, I would want to believe them and I would try my hardest to do so.

Where do we draw the line between reality and fiction? Why are we as a planet so cynical of everything that is placed in front of our eyes? In C.S Lewis “The Last Battle” there is a point where the dwarves don’t believe that what they are seeing are flowers and grass and birds, instead they think it’s all just faeces, even though it is directly in front of them. As a planet, we often find ourselves being just as cynical of what we’re seeing. Is is down to years and years of media manipulation? Or is it just a natural evolution? I can’t answer that, I don’t think anyone can answer that.

“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” – Oscar Wilde

Cynicism masquerades itself as wisdom, but in reality that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cynics don’t learn anything and that’s simply because cynicism itself is a self-imposed blindness. It is a rejection of this world and it’s because we are afraid that it will in some way hurt us or let us down. Cynics always and without fail say no. This is because they don’t realise that saying “yes” causes things to begin. Saying “yes” is how to make things grow or that saying “yes” leads to knowledge. “Yes” is for young people and old people, it’s for everyone.

I think that part of my unrelenting quest to never let myself grow up comes down to a fear of cynicism. I just don’t think that I’m quite ready enough to let the youthfulness inside of me die. Not if maturity means becoming a cynic, not if you have to destroy the part of yourself that is naive and idealistic. That should be the part of you that you treasure most of all. Surely living life with the hope of idealisms is a good thing? Is it not better to die young but with your humanity intact?

So as I mentioned earlier. If someone met you randomly and told you that they were from the future, would you believe them?

One Less Gruff Billy Goat

The idea of fairy tales is one full of intrigue and mystique, almost all of us will have read a fairy tale at some point in our lives and without question every one of us knows of a fairy tale character. With the smallest amount of legerdemain the entire premise of a story can change, heroes can be either unlikely children or charming princes, villains can be witches or trolls. The possibilities within fairy tales are endless and the message is always one of hope.

The very first fairy tale that I can remember from my childhood was ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’. The premise is that three goats, discovering that where they live no longer has any grass for them to eat, set out to find new pastures so that they can become fat. However, their journey must take them across the river, where dwells a troll under a bridge. The first goat passes over the bridge but gets stopped by the troll who threatens to “gobble him up” (gobble him up is one of those lines that makes me laugh for no apparent reason) however the goat persuades the troll to wait for the second goat because he’s bigger and more of a meal so the troll lets him pass. The second goat comes along and the same thing happens as before and so then the third goat enters. I’ll stop it there, because I think that most people know how ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’ ends, if you don’t then go and Google it.

Of course all fairy tales end with the standard “happily ever after” although recently I read “Arabian Nights” which is a collection of Asian fairy tales and they end with “they all lived happily until there came to them the One Who Destroys All Happiness” which I found odd yet poetic. ‘The One Who Destroys All Happiness’ meaning Death, the Grim Reaper as he’s also known. I was slightly taken aback at first, here were some fairy tales full of hope and suddenly they were cementing the fact that nobody lives “happily ever after” because death catches up to everyone.

The very first fairy tales are attributed to Aesop who lived in Ancient Greece around 620–564 BCE (slightly before our time I imagine). The power of fairy tales is so strong and so resilient that over two thousand years later some of Aesop’s’ tales are still being told to this day. I’m sure you will have heard of at least one of them, the main one that I can think of right now is ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. That story became so popular that two hundred years after it was written it became one of Zeno’s paradoxes (Google them, extremely interesting and thought provoking, the Arrow paradox is my personal favourite)

The Brothers Grimm famously wrote some of the most celebrated fairy tales in our history. Two German brothers, who were academics and even lexicographers, crafted some of the worlds greatest imaginary and magical characters. Although The Brothers Grimm did centralise their fairy tales on more darker hues they still resonated through the years with so many different people, even psychologist who felt the need to analyse them.

The fairy tale is an escape from reality, like most forms of entertainment. I do believe however that fairy tales give more power to the reader and open the imagination slightly more than any other form of literature and I’m saying that as an avid science-fiction fanatic. Whether it’s something written by Alexander Afanasyev or Hans Christian Andersen, fairy tales have the power to take you to a place where good almost always wins. The fairy tale is a door to the unknown world of endless possibilities where life feels good, Walt Disney realised that and that’s why he cashed in on so many popular fairy tales.

Nowadays people don’t write fairy tales, it’s somewhat a thing of the past which saddens me. My Dad used to make up fairy tales for me each night and they always made me so happy. They were tales of a young boy called Billy who lived in a house with a green roof. Billy went swimming with sharks and had magic powers, he loved ice cream and was my hero. My Dad doesn’t remember how any of those stories went and I was too young to retain the proper memories of them which is a crying shame because I would love to remember them in full.

The power of fairy tales will live on because they should live on. Albert Einstein once famously said “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Can anyone really disprove that? Fairy tales are more than just true and not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. Every fairy tale has meaning and every single one is based on the same idea, the idea that peace and happiness can exist no matter what stands in your way.

“In a utilitarian age, of all other times, it is a matter of grave importance that fairy tales should be respected.”Charles Dickens

Back to business…

For just over a month this blog has sat in silence, not a peep, not a hint of anything new. There are a number of reasons for this, the main one being that in my mind I am either in one of two moods. The first one is where I have too much to say and so could write for days on end, compiling novels from my thoughts. The seconds is where I have nothing that I deem interesting to say, no matter how hard I try to string words together they just aren’t interesting enough to write. For the first two weeks of this blog being quiet, I was in the latter mood. I could not think of anything worth writing, and as much as that is one of my two moods, it’s a very rare occurrence. I never find myself struggling to write or indeed come up with ideas for something to write. I have however returned to write down the inner workings of my mind, for you to read, whether you find it enjoyable or not is a different matter.

With Doctor Who off of our television screens, I often find myself at a loss of what to watch. I have my usual light viewing shows such as Arrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (which is a new addition) and The Walking Dead. I do find myself lacking that “addictive” viewing that I get during the series’ of Doctor Who, that is until January comes around and the road to Wrestlemania begins. I suppose that my childhood obsession with wrestling will always be with me, I figured that if I reached 25 and was still interested in it then it would be a lifelong thing. I’m well past 25 now and it still excites me, especially between January and April when Wrestlemania rolls around.

Last night I watched “Insane Fight Club” which followed the Glasgow wrestling promotion “Insane Championship Wrestling”. I’ve not been to an ICW show in just over a year and it pains me that I haven’t been but something always comes up and I can’t make it. However last nights show proved what I’ve been saying for years ICW are on their way to the top.

I read yesterday that Kevin Smith is to return to writing comics, this time for a Batman meets Green Hornet 12 issue run. For me, two of my favourite comic book story arcs have been written by Kevin Smith – the Daredevil arc “Guardian Devil” and the Batman limited arc “Cacophony” so hearing that he’s returning to write another arc is exciting.

Speaking of Kevin Smith, today the Jay and Silent Bob UK Tour was announced. I have to say that I’m extremely disappointed that Scotland isn’t on the tour. It’s something that happens regularly with touring acts, they announce a UK tour but leave Scotland out. It gets frustrating after a while and eventually it will get to the point where I stop caring.

This years seems to be passing by far too fast, something that isn’t new. Every year passes fast but as year arrives they seem to disappear quicker than the one previous. It reached a point the other day where I started looking back at previous years and thinking to myself “that was 16 years ago” or “that was 20 years ago, it only feels like 2 years”. It’s scary how quickly time passes, soon it will be gone and I’ll be a decrepit old man roaming around the streets talking to myself about the days when Ipods and Ipads were popular.

On a final note, as most people will know I’m not the mst patient when it comes to waiting for American shows to air over here (I can’t even wait 19 hours for the Walking Dead) so it should come as no surprise that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is always on my Wednesday morning “to do” list. This weeks S.H.I.E.L.D was an excellent episode. I love anything with Asgardians, the trouble these days is that with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe I was worrying that Thor would be the only one to get any sort of exposure and so it was great to see Lady Sif and Lorelei this week. Lorelei has always fascinated me as a character and seeing her brought to life was brilliant.

The pondering coffee cup…

As I dropped the ground coffee beans from the silver spoon into the bottom of my “With all due respect, fuck off” mug this morning I stared out in to the ocean of passing children making their way to school. I saw a plethora of things walking past but the main thing I noticed were the smiles.

Was I ever that happy to go to school? Especially on a Monday morning?

It then occurred to me that those were just childrens natural smiles. A child hasn’t yet been corrupted by the wickedness and ungodly nature of the world. While they may be unhappy to go to school, they’re not unhappy with life.

That coffee was to try and awaken me from both a mental and physical slumber. For it was one of those mornings where I just couldn’t shake off  the fatigue, even after a lengthy sleep. I then discovered that I was not alone in this, so I refer you to my post from a few weeks ago where I described a Science Fiction plot which lulled the country into a fatigued state before aliens invaded. It is the imagination of one who is currently writing a novel that devised this theory. In my normal “reality” I simply put it down to either the moon cycle or the late night for the Superbowl.

I often wonder what my normal reality is. Is it the world that I’m currently living in, with my flat and my newly shaven head or is it the world that I create with magical trees and passages created by temporal physics? The truth is, I know that it’s the shaven head reality but that doesn’t prevent me from wishing that occasionally I could cross through the void and into the fictional reality that started in my head. If, like so many others, you subscribe to the “many worlds theory” then you may agree that my fictional reality does in fact exist in another dimension.

Of course I realise that everything I have just written makes me seem a little bit  unhinged. I however would argue that point, owing to the fact that I am perfectly aware of what exists and what doesn’t exist.

I know that at this moment and for most of this year, there exists a battle of wits for Scottish independence. In this battle, for many months, I refused to take a side. However as I posted previously I have now woken up and smelled the coffee in my “With all due respect, fuck off” mug. I will be voting ‘Yes’ and I will be doing so for a number of reasons.

If we become independent then we would officially be one of the world’s richest countries – ranked 6th in the OECD compared to the UK’s 16th place. There are  twenty four billion barrels of oil remaining in the North Sea, according to industry body Oil and Gas UK. That’s roughly around £1.5trillion in today’s prices – half as much in value as has been taken out.

The truth is that an independent Scotland would prosper. We would become a self sufficient nation. The above reason is but one of many reasons why we should be independent.

For me, this has nothing to do with the Scotland/England divide. Anyone who looks at this as a battle of the nations, should have their right to vote revoked. This is about the future of our country and not about past relationships.

As I stood there this morning staring at the waves of children making their way to school, I wondered what they’re being taught about the referendum. I realise that they are too young to vote but this concerns their future just as much, if not more, than ourselves.

On 6 May 1999 there was an election to decide on a Scottish Parliament. When I was at school, we were taught nothing about that. It was mentioned very briefly but we were never really taught about what it meant. I just hope that with something as huge as the referendum, the schools are educating their pupils accordingly.

On another, semi related note. While I was doing my research, I discovered that there are approximately 1036800 cans of Irn-Bru sold per day. I find that extremely impressive. Irn-Bru is a wonderful drink and even though I have refrained from drinking any carbonated juices for the last 7 weeks, it still holds a place in my heart.

Before I take my leave for today, I urge any of you who haven’t yet watched it to sit down and watch The Musketeers on BBC One. It is so refreshing to see a portrayal of The Three Musketeers which isn’t overly camp and high on comedy. The original novel by Dumas was never written that way and so I’ve never understood why that’s how it was portrayed in film. However BBC have nailed it in my opinion. While it may not be Doctor Who, it is most definitely worth a watch.

Friday my old friend….

Friday and I used to be old friends. As a day that is named after the great Norse goddess Frigg, who herself was the wife of Odin and thus the Queen of Asgard, I had more respect for Friday than any other day of the week. Across my lifespan Friday and I have been through many things together and even though she has often plagued me with a hangover to meet my mate Saturday, we never had any disagreements……….until now

You see today, the name that was given to my dear friend Friday by the masters of the sea back in times of yore seems much more appropriate. For today “Dies Infaustus” is a much more suited name as she has brought me nothing but bad luck. I have lost a bank card, had a power cut, stubbed my toe, smashed a mug and fallen off of a bus. Of course these may not sound like the worst luck in the world and you would be correct in thinking that. However, all these incidents happened before 10am this morning and as a result I am afraid to move for the remainder of the day.

I have experienced bad luck days on a few occasions in the past, the worst being back in 2006 when I lost my job and my place to stay in a matter of minutes (I was living in the same house as my boss) on that occasion I also lost my bank card. Fortuna clearly has no place in her life for me and also , it would seem, has a strange fascination with removing my  bank card from my possession.

I suppose that a lack of sleep could be causing some lapse in  concentration today, last night I found it impossible to sleep, no matter how hard I tried. A phenomenon which has apparently affected more than just I. I have spoken to seven or eight different people today who all had the same problem. I suppose this could be down to our nearing another full moon on the 27th or perhaps there’s some other strange reason behind it, I’m going with the full moon thing though.

In my  attempt to avoid moving in fear of more bad luck I’ve been reading the Three Musketeers. I picked it up the other day after watching The Muskeeters on BBC One on Sunday night (might I add I didn’t only watch it because of its ties to Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi as someone accused me of, I watched it because I’m a Musketeers fan). I haven’t read it in over a decade and I actually forgot how great a book it actually is.

Many people who have read The Three Musketeers find the idea enchanting. A story about friendship, loyalty and courage. D’Artagnan of course being the hero throughout. Myself, as much as I love D’Artagnans’ tale, I have a different hero in the story. Captain de Tréville for me is a fantastic character, who defends his Musketeers to the hilt. Strict and at times coated in a strange maniacal essence, he is the character who really pulls me in at certain points. I think that everyone needs to have someone like de Tréville in their life, someone to keep them out of trouble and make sure they’re towing the line (even  if they’re not).

I have looked out both Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne to re-read once I have finished with the Musketeers. The Vicomte de Bragelonne of course featuring The Man in the Iron Mask. The D’Artagnan collection of books is almost 200 years old and yet it’s amazing that when you read it, there are certain things that really haven’t changed all that much in the society of today.

As for my old friend Friday, I sincerely hope that you are merely in one your passing moods and that this type of behaviour will not carry on through to next week, otherwise we may have to have a heated conversation. Friday today you are a wretched wench…….

Sherlock

While I try very consciously to try and keep this blog free from actual “reviews” sometimes it’s hard to write a piece on a subject without it coming across as a review. The following is (in my mind) not a review but more of a personal standpoint on the latest series of Sherlock, the BBC’s hit show and Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ love child.

May contain spoilers.

It takes a lot for me to watch what people would class as “normal” television. Sometimes my mind is so attached to the Sci-Fi genre that watching anything else doesn’t challenge me enough to dedicate any time to a different genre. I will admit I love the occasional comedy show, a friend recently introduced me to ‘It’s always sunny in Philadelphia’ and it was one of those rare occasions where I enjoy it.

Back in 2008 I heard rumblings about a new “Sherlock” production, a one off, hour long show headed up by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. I was instantly interested, not only have I been a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes novels but ever since I first saw ‘Press Gang’ I have been a huge Steven Moffat fan. At that moment one of my favourite writers was writing for my favourite show (Doctor Who) and was about to co-write a show based on one of my favourite literary characters, needless to say that I was excited.

As time progressed things changed, the pilot was filmed and never broadcast, at the point of hearing about the non-broadcast I was somewhat confused. Rumours circulated that Sherlock was a disaster and would never make it to air. Then news broke that, yes it would be broadcast but not only that the pilot would be re-shot and Sherlock would now be a three part series consisting of 90 minute episodes. I was once again excited.

Series one and two of Sherlock were exactly what I had hoped for. It wasn’t Sci-Fi and I knew that when I sat down but it captured my imagination like only Sci-Fi could. The plot lines were intricate and well thought out, there were no front and centre relationships and you genuinely had a show that made you think. The cast were and still are fantastic, being a fan of Cumberbatch since I first saw him in 2004’s television film “Hawking” I was even more thrilled with his casting. Sherlock was fast, intelligent, witty and one of the best things to hit television screens in years.

Then came another two year wait and we finally got series 3. Sherlock was back with a brilliantly written episode ‘The Empty Hearse’ by Mark Gatiss followed by a collaboration by Stephen Thompson, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss called “The Sign of Three” and finally Steven Moffats finale “His Last Vow”

For all intents and purposes series 3 was a success but for me it wasn’t the ‘Sherlock’ show that I had fallen in love with four years ago. Gone were the intricate plot lines, the fast paced intelligent action and instead the relationships took front and centre. In the space of two years a show that I had loved for being outside the box and one that I commended for its ingenuity had all of a sudden conformed to being what I despise in most other shows.

Relationships were always a byline in the first two series’ and that’s what made it so great. We were treated to some fascinating plots and some fantastic deduction scenes by Sherlock himself. Suddenly that was gone and the deduction scenes we had this series were minimal and quite frankly boring. In the very first episode called “A Study in Pink” when Sherlock and Watson are sitting in the back of a taxi and Sherlock tells him how he knew he was in the army and that his brother was an alcoholic, that was fantastic that was what made me love the show. Fast forward four years and you get Sherlock standing in a court room with some woman and working out how they were all connected, it just wasn’t the same.

To me Sherlock series three has lost the edge that the first two series’ had and while I enjoyed it it just wasn’t the same show. I’m not complaining in such a way that I’m going to take a hissy fit and say that I’ll never watch it again because that’s a lie, it’s still a good show but it’s lost the certain elements that made it a fantastic show.

I’m going to give the Moff a bit of leeway with it because he had the Doctor Who 50th anniversary last year and I can only imagine how much time was spent on that, there’s every possibility that he just didn’t have time to put together an amazing episode of Sherlock. I’ll give Gatiss the same leeway but not just as much, his script should have been better. Thompson had written his script with both Moffat and Gatiss so he can’t totally be held accountable for his writing.

My hope is that when Series Four appears there is more of a return to the way Sherlock was and less of a return to what Sherlock has become.

The one big stand out for me this series was Yasmine Akram, I instantly thought she was great in “The Sign of Three” but I thought that her story was finished so it was great to see her back in “His Last Vow”

The one bonus…………….Moriarty Lives!

That one I didn’t see coming.

Time to starve it out….

I have made the concious decision to give up nicotine. After so many years and so many failed attempts to quit I have decided that it’s now or never. If that part of my mind that calls itself “will power” decides to fail me on this then I won’t try and give up again.

Giving up comes down to two reasons, the first being health. I’m not what you would call the fittest person alive nor am I the least fittest but I have every desire to become healthier.

The second reason is money, I sat earlier today and tallied up how much I spend in a year on tobacco products including lighters etc. and it nearly made my heart escape through my anal passage. I could be spending that money on much better things and things that are actually needed.

As I embark on this journey I realise that the next two weeks will be the toughest, I’ve never made it past the two week stage and so that’s my first goal. If I can make it to there then I will feel more confident about staying nicotine free.

I looked at my options to help me quit and I decided on cold turkey. Why? I believe that if I still have any nicotine going into my system then I’ll just want more, it’s my mentality. If I go cold turkey and completely starve myself of it then I’m less likely to want it after a few days. I know that doesn’t work for everyone but it’s how my mind works with everything else so I’m hoping it’s the same for this.

I have no doubt that over the coming two weeks I shall be a jack in the box of moods and agitation and so there will most likely be some extreme posts on here. Writing for me is a way to release some tension and I have a bad feeling that my nicotineless body will have a lot of tension over the next few days. I may be that agitated that even Doctor Who won’t settle me down.

I’ve been training recently for this feat. Little over a month ago I gave up my second addiction – Irn Bru. Ever since I can remember I have been addicted to the orange goodness that is Irn Bru. I could drink anywhere up to two bottles per day every day. I’m now 32 days clean.

Who knows whether I’ll succeed or not, I’m determined that I will and I have a good feeling this time. Only time will tell…..