23 April 2016

The Curious Incident of the Companion in the Half-Time Break

So, after ten minutes of seeing Gary Lineker auditioning for the Master with his goatee and discovering just how bald Alan Shearer is these days, we got a two minute video introducing the new companion:

Pearl Mackie; when I looked her up on IMDB after watching this, she didn't even have a photo. She's arguably a bigger unknown than Matt Smith was, so she hasn't got any 'baggage' or 'typecastness' to get away from.

As for 'Bill', which I strongly suggest is a contraction of something, I wasn't overly impressed on the first watch of the video, but I liked her more on the second. I think she'll definitely grow on me as a companion.

Also, she can beat Twelve in an eyebrow contest... and all the companions in the hair department. Mind you, the afro won't be easy to get into a space helmet.

That's just a small problem. Welcome to the show, Pearl Mackie!

21 April 2016

20 April 2016

Vote Leave's attempt to have its cake and eat ot

Vote Leave, the official 'Brexit' campaign, wants us to have all the benefits of the EU without 'paying' for it, i.e. not contributing towards the budget and not allowing freedom of movement.

Do you honestly think that the EU will allow a 'free rider' in their single market? I don't.

Victoria Wood 1953-2016

The British comedian has died aged 62

Another real loss; she was very good in what I did see her in and 62 is really no age to go. Especially from cancer.

Rest in Peace.

19 April 2016

Stopping reviews

I've decided that, with some exceptions, namely the Star Trek reviews and some films, that I won't be doing any further reviews here. They're very time consuming and it actually diminishes my enjoyment of a show having to think about doing a review for it.

Also, the news about Castle has put me off the idea of doing a planned review for that and I don't plan to watch any Season 9.

14 April 2016

Gareth Thomas 1945-2016

The actor best known for the lead role in 'Blake's Seven', the 1978-1981 BBC science fiction show has passed away. 

I don't tend to post obituaries on the Phoenix blog but his role as freedom fighter Roj Blake was a big part of the show's success and the show was a big influence on me growing up. This dystopian work inspired the name of the character Sue Ling and indeed was the topic of the very first feature article in the site newsletter.

The galaxy is a sadder place today. 

Rest in Peace.

06 April 2016

The Panama Papers

The leaking of 11 million files from a Panamanian law firm has already cost one national leader his job; the Icelandic PM was doing something pretty dodgy.

However, a thought occurred to me; aren't all these rich people doing exactly what others would do in their (hand-made) shoes - trying to preserve as much of their wealth as possible? In my country, the top rate of tax is currently 45% - and it's been higher recently - at just over £150,000.

If I was earning £300,000 a year as a self-employed person, I would pay £129,530.20 a year in tax and Class 2 National Insurance contributions. At three million, I'd lose nearly £1.4m to HMRC.

Is it any surprise therefore that people want to avoid that? They should be honest about it if they are of course; which is the bigger issue here.