29 June 2017

Doctor Who: World Enough and Time

This review is later than usual as I've been away in Vienna, Austria and was unable to watch the episode until today. I made sure that I avoided spoilers though.


As we heard towards the end of Steven Moffat's time as show runner, this episode frankly knocks it out of the park. As well as great acting all round – it took me a few minutes to spot one key twist – he's added a whole new level of horror to one of the show's most iconic 'monsters'; going to levels that were only hinted at when RTD handled them.


A brilliant episode from start to finish and next week's finale is something not to be missed.




19 June 2017

Finsbury Park

Four attacks in four months; this one by the 'other side' in this hateful conflict. Yet again, someone takes their anger out on a group who have done them wrong by attacking someone completely different.

I sadly fear more attacks.

17 June 2017

Doctor Who: The Eaters of Light

Rona Munro, who wrote the final story of the original run back in 1989 has been away from this show for far too long – her return is a triumph with a great story, a brilliantly realised creature and lots of great gags.


This is also the first story of the 12th Doctor's era to be set in Peter Capaldi's native Scotland and it works really well.




16 June 2017

Grenfell Tower

We are almost certainly looking at a disaster as bad as Hillsborough here. My thoughts and prayers are with the many caught up in this.

It is clear that this fire ended up as awful as it has been due to someone failing to follow fire safety procedures somewhere, almost certainly to a criminal level.

A public inquiry is the right thing to do and in the meantime, these tower blocks need to be made as safe as possible. 

In the future, they need to be replaced by buildings fit for purpose. 

10 June 2017

2017 General Election results

A fuller post on this will follow, pending post-poll studies of the actual demographics that turned out. However, some quick thoughts:

  • The Conservatives remain in power to all intents and purposes. May got the highest vote share for them since Margaret Thatcher, despite leading a highly inept campaign. It is clear, however, she is not suited to the role of PM and should probably step aside for someone more competent at the top job.
  • Labour did much better than expected, but whether this was down to Corbyn or despite him remains to be studied. He has taken Labour a good deal of the way there, but he may not be the person to take them back into power.
  • The Lib Dems are irrelevant now. Nick Clegg's decision to go for full coalition instead of confidence and supply has cost his party dear; he has now paid with his own seat.
  • The SNP are badly battered but still there – the next Scottish Parliament elections will be very interesting.
  • The DUP... well, we're all going to be paying a lot more attention to Northern Ireland now, that's for sure.


Doctor Who: Empress of Mars

Got to say that I didn't enjoy that one at all. Looked great, but the guest characters were all very broad stereotypes, the plot twists were silly (dropping one big one without warning suggested something important got lost in the edit) and the new Ice Warriors weapon seems like an excuse for the effects people to show off..


Also, that was one of the most out of left field reappearances by a character I've ever seen. I didn't even know that voice actor was still alive...




09 June 2017

General Election Result 3: Or maybe not...

The current projection is for the Conservatives to have 318 seats, eight short of a majority. I thought that a Conservative minority government was the worst realistic scenario for them at the election and it looks like coming true.

Labour have done much, much better than a lot of people thought, although they haven't managed to break through the Ulster Firewall and will likely end up as second place in the popular vote. 43-40 sounds a realistic result to me.

Close, but no cigar.

08 June 2017

General Election Result 2: I think the exit poll is off

2 swings to the Tories and one less than expected Labour swing... I think we might get a Tory majority...

UK General Election 2017 Results 1: Exit Poll

Exit poll has Conservatives at 314, 12 short of a majority. However, with the SNP down to 34, then with Labour at 266, that only makes 300. Even with 14 Lib Dems, that's no way to form a majority either.

Of course this poll could be wrong. It was in 2015; it predicted a Tory minority government and the Tories got an overall majority.

Or it could go the other way. At the moment, May is likely to remain PM.

04 June 2017

London Bridge/Borough terrorist attack

I am afraid, yes, but I am not cowed. With the third terrorist attack on the UK in the space of two months and with my current job requiring me to use the busiest railway station in the country on a daily basis, the possibilty of me getting caught up in one of these incidents is not zero.

I find myself thinking about what I would do in such an incident. It would depend on the circumstances and what I could viably do. At any rate, we all have to mentally prepare ourselves for such an eventuality. Learning first aid is a good idea as well - I have done an online CPR course and I may look into getting something more formal in future.

(I have been involved in two situations where I have had to call 999, both at the same railway station, although in those cases, I was the one making the call while others were attending the victim).

In addition, businesses need to add an 'Active Shooter' plan to their list of company policies.

The police killed the three terrorists in eight minutes from the first 999 call, but that was eight minutes in which they managed to kill seven people (so far) and injure 50. If this had been in somewhere like Rugby or Hull, they wouldn't have been there in eight minutes.

It is now time for a serious discusion on routine armament of the police. If not handguns, most certainly Taser. Because these people could strike anywhere with no warning and they need to be stopped quickly.

These people think they are doing God's will when in fact they are doing Satan's. Mr. Horner is a wily old fox and he knows that few people indeed are your classic cat-stroking villains, doing evil for the LOLs. If people believe they are doing something good or righteous, then they are willing to engage in some real atrocities.

Going forward, we will need to get seriously tough on those who radicalise vulnerable men (and it is nearly always men) with long prison sentences and putting them in special wings where they cannot turn others to their cause. We need an off-shore Alcatraz for these people.

We must also address real and valid grievances in the Islamic world - not because it causes terrorism, but because it is the right thing to do and it will eliminate some of the excuses. We must also recognise and make clear that most victims of terrorism, along with most of those doing the fighting are Muslims.

There is no talking with Daesh except to ask them what they would like for dinner as they serve their whole life terms - the death penalty is what these people want. The IRA never wanted the destruction of the United Kingdom, Daesh do.

I hope I don't have to write another post like this. I sadly fear I will.

03 June 2017

Doctor Who: The Lie of the Land

A strong episode, with Capaldi at his cold best... also, a very different episode for Missy... There were certain elements I wasn't overly keen on though, with the resolution being a bit too 'Power of Love' for my taste.


Great central idea, could have been executed (no pun intended) a bit better.






01 June 2017

General Election prediction

I think that the Conservatives will win an overall majority of between 25 and 50 seats with around an eight point popular vote lead, say 44-36. A lot of marginal seats will change hands in both directions and there will be much variation in swing levels. 

May will remain Prime Minister, Corbyn will remain Labour leader but neither will fight the 2022 election. 

I could of course be very wrong on this.