CRRRRS 504 The Portentous Interval

By Roy Mathur, on 2023-10-12, at 00:26:26--02:42:00 BST, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show

Not a Pregnant Pause

I didn't want to call this one the pregnant pause, hence; the portentous interval. I'll explain at the end.

Also, hello to Penny, who I met while having my jalopy's windscreen changed on 2023-10-04. She made the time pass delightfully as we talked about a lot of geeky things. In honour of our meeting, I will endeavour to be a little less myself tonight.

My preshow tipple tonight, as I comfort rewatch Alien, is a Mega can of Monster Ultra over fresh lemon juice to wash down Taaza Sweet's delightful boondi ladoo. Thank the gods, they are back in stock at one of the town market stalls!

Life, the Universe and Everything

Life, the Universe and Everything began life as an uncommissioned Doctor Who script, The Krikkitmen, so instead was adapted into the third book of the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, with different characters. It also provided the idea of a Time Lord prison for Shada, the one DW script he wrote that was commissioned (pod 442).

I'm glad that happened because this story is too weird and too depressing even for Doctor Who. I'm also not the biggest fan of Shada. I know he was a DW script editor, but his writing reached it's apex with the HHGTTG radio series and later books, as well as Dirk Gently.

I'm talking about it here because my re-re-re-etc.-reading has reached the point when Slartibartfast rescued Arthur and Ford from the Krikkit massacre at Lord's in his spaceship/Italian bistro and has press-ganged them into helping him. As I badly need a holiday too, I can't help but sympathise with Ford's extreme reluctance, and longing for sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll.


Beasts (1976) by John Crowley, is about a future of human-animal hybrids struggling for their rights in the face of extermination and centres on Painter, a Leo man-lion, and his highly placed government ally, Reynard, a cunning lawyer and man-fox.

I read this in the 80s and liked it so much I bought and wore a bronze lion belt buckle and a copper fox ring. I bought the book a few years ago, but suddenly had an urge to re-read it just a few days ago.

There's something captivating about the Reynard character and I always liked the medieval Reynard fables this novel is based upon, so I'm enjoying the re-read.

Last Voyage of the Dememter

Follow-up from 502. The Demeter carrying Dracula is wrecked at Whitby, not Grimsby. I suppose Grimsby has "Grim " in it, hence my lapse in memory.

Gretel and Hansel

Gretel is the older girl looking after her brother as they starve in the woods, until they come across a weird old lady in this film adaptation of the Brothers Grimm literary adaptation.

The film is stylish. The pointy hat is beautifully sinister and symbolic. It's also strangely anachronistic looking, in a manner slightly reminiscent of Neil Jordan's excellent A Company of Wolves (1984), but not as compelling. In fact, the pace is so slow, I still haven't finished watching weeks later. Oh dear, another one of those, like Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children; still only partially viewed after many years. I need to wrap up a lot unfinished reviews in the next big geek pod.

Talking of The Company of Wolves, German dancer, actor, and writer Micha Bergese is superbly wolfy and his lycanthropic transformation, with the wolf within emerging from his mouth, is fabulously grotesque. See: How we made Film: 'Turning into a wolf was fantastic': how we made The Company of Wolves by Chris Broughton, in The Guardian.

No One Will Save You

A lonely woman---in a small rural town where everyone hates her (everyone's nightmare scenario)---is attacked by aliens in her isolated house. She determinedly fights them off with only improvised weapons and sheer blind luck in this near dialogueless, though not silent, film. The denouement subverts the Monkey's Paw device in that she get's accepted back as part of the town because aliens have taken over the bodies of all the other humans except for her. The 2023 science fiction-horror film combines Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Polergeist, Signs, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

It's a beautifully filmed, tense, and action-packed movie about a quirky person, living a quirky life; she's recreated the town, where she is treated like a pariah, at doll-house scale so that she might feel less alone, until ironically she is no longer alone, though not in a way she might have wished. It's star, Kaitlyn Dever, sells us the unbelievable premise through sheer acting chops, playing opposite, one assumes, largely CGI creatures. A brilliantly written, performed, directed, and shot film, though they could have spent more on the CGI's creature designs as I was not wholly convinced by the alien greys.


Let's talk about the last three episodes. Thrawn and Ezra are found on Peridea, home world of the Dathomiri Great Mothers. Turns out these witches aren't magical (how disappointing), but just Force sensitives with a different methodology. Star Wars Legends says they were, in fact, founded by Allya, a Jedi. General Syndulla narrowly misses being court-marshalled thanks to Leia's envoy, C-3PO! Thrawn prepares to depart as Ahsoka makes it to Peridea in time to rescue Sabine and Ezra. At the finale, our heroes repeatedly cut down the Nightroopers as the bewitched zombie Imperials rise to fight again and again until decapitated, then Thrawn escapes, leaving them stranded, but at least together again. Ahsoka seems tranquil and accepts their fate. It's very Buddhist and very Jedi for someone who is supposedly a renegade, but that is how she has been written throughout the series. Whether this matches her character from the animation, I do not know as I haven't watched that.

I love how the planet looks distinctly spooky, has giant wolves you can ride, and the art design, particularly the look of the Great Mothers, reminds me of the creepy work of 2000 AD's Simon Harrison (Strontium Dog, Revere, etc.). The title of episode eight, lifted from C.S. Lewis, The Jedi, the Witch, and the Warlord, has a wonderfully evocative title, so I'll excuse the pilferage. On the whole, the series was enjoyable, the primary three female characters were cool, but a little thinly drawn. The series felt rather stretched out, like one of those classic Doctor Who six-parters. We should have got to Thrawn sooner. Then Thrawn hung around Peridea for too long. Thrawn's Star Destroyer doesn't go anywhere for three episodes and all he does is walk around the same bit of Chimaera, talking menacingly. Thrawn says fighting off the Jedi was a ruse for time, then contradicts himself by saying, actually I'm going to kill the Jedi after all. Where the hell is the continuity in Filloni's writing?


Current Brother Day Cleon, a psychopathic Nutter, get's castled into the vacuum by Hober. On trantor Demerzel decants new Cleons. Contant's emergency spacepod is resued by AI-Hari's vault that contains the Foundation, so all is not lost. On Ignis, Salvor kills Josiah (posessed by Tellem), saving Gaal, but dies, thus breaking her projected meeting with the Mule in the future and prooving that the future is malleable. Gaal and clone-Hari go into cryo-sleep, waking briefly once a year to guide the development of the Second Foundation on Ignis.

Thus ends season two of Not Foundation, but still incredibly filmed eye-candy that I keep saying I won't watch, but somehow I still do.

Good Omens

With little else to drown my sorrows, I gave season two of Good Omens a try. I remember liking, though not remembering anything of the plot of season one. This was also incredibly an forgettable, though good-natured adaptation from Amazon of Neil Ghaiman's and Terry Pratchett's adventures of a swaggering rock star demon and his very very very oh-so-nice goody two-shoes angel best friend.

In this mini-series, Crowley (David Tennant) and Aziraphale (Michael Sheen) hide and care for an amnesiac Gabrial who turns up at the latter's London bookshop, as well as protecting him from the wrath ofboth heaven and hell. There's a sub-plot involving Crowley and Aziraphale interfering in the love lives of two women who are fellow shop owners. The true drama isn't with the supernatural goings-ons, but in the last fifteen minutes when Crowley and Aziraphale's relationship comes to impasse and we end like Casablanca only even sadder.

Points of interest? Stunt casting of Mark Gatiss as a Nazi zombie. I'm not sure how fire extinguishers are supposed to drive off the legions of hell, but they do. I really like Crowley's car. Give Me Coffee or Give Me Death is a great name for a coffee shop.


Since Slyvia booted him through the portal and murdered Kang at the end of time, Loki's been going wzzzargh! and jumping through time. There's a lot of action, crashes, chaos, and Loki breathing like a locomotive as the trickster god tries to convince a past version of the TVA that he's their an ally and the big bad Kangs are on their way to destroy everything.

And that's as far as I've got so far. To be honest, I'm a bit confused as to whether the TVA fixing the fractured timestream is a good or a genocidal thing and who wants what

Lisey's Story

Lisey is left widowed, when her strangely imaginative author husband is assassinated my a maniacal fan. With him gone, her mentally afflicted sister goes into a slump, and intriguing treasure hunt ensues.

I boxsetted the series. I enjoyed it the deep supernatural backstory (I was reminded of What Dreams May Come) and the theme of personal mythos people build in their relationships. Though I'm sick to the back teeth of Julianne Moore playing wounded women, even though she does it so well, and Clive Owen playing tragic but loevable men, again very well (and his interesting American accent). Dane DeHaan was excellent as the completely unhinged murderous stalker. I did not like how similar Long Boy was to the giants in Clive Barker's In the Hills, the Cities. Come on King, make up your own monsters.

When you include Misery, it is clear that Stephen King is deathly afraid of his fans; probably with good reason after a weird break-in by a man armed with a bomb in 1991. However, let me assure King that I have no wish for his autograph, to interview him, hang out with him, or own his post-mortem papers, despite the fact that a print of his visage is plastered on my wall for inspiration and totemic value. This I love your work man, but not you personally. I don't know you from Adam. I say this because in the past I've been a little put out by some fearful vibes put out by some interviewees. Have you noticed that I haven't interviewed anyone for ages and how I keep saying that it's not my favourite thing to do. Come on, celebs, not all fans are stalkers.

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds

The two CD set arrived today from Amazon. Of course, I've heard it many times, but this is the first time I've owned it myself.

Michael Gambon

Everyone remembers Micahel Gambon as the second Dumbledore, taking over after the untimely death of Ricahrd Harris, but I remember him best as the down-and-out ancient Greek soldier of Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Greek Myths (1991).

RIP Michael Gambon.

Black Snow

Cold case cop, who was abused as a child, heads to the countryside, to a town dependent on a sugar mill and an exploited itinerant Melanesian workforce. He's there to solve the old murder of a school girl. It turns out be the work of a depressingly racist bastard. The cop's abusive jailbird father dangles the possibility of reunification with his long lost brother, setting the scene for a second season.

The actor playing the copper seems to be channeling Brad Pitt in his scuzzier beardy period, but is a better actor and can properly emote. An abused child, now a masochistic adult, yet another oppressed culture and vicious racism did not making this entertaining, but it was engaging. The 2023 Australian show available on iPlayer in the UK.

Personal trivia time. My family is from Mauritius and Mauritius used to be run predominantly on super cane. I recall the taste of fresh cane juice, the smell of burning burning fields, and even the stench of the sugar cane factories. In fact, an uncle of mine, lovely chap, deceased, was a tough-as-nails cane cutter. As a young muscly whipper-snapper, I remember how the slim and elegant man who always wore a fedora, didn't even blink as he destroyed me in an arm-wrestle. I remember his generosity when he took me out on bikes he'd hired just for the occasion to show me around and introduce me to his domino slamming friends at his social club. I inherited his cane knife when he passed away. I miss him.

The Long Shadow

ITVX's 2023 dramatisation of serial killer Peter Sutcliffe's reign of terror in the 70s is a gritty portrayal of a police investigation plagued with difficulties, errors, and misogyny.

Like Black Snow, I wouldn't say I enjoyed the miniseries, but it was engaging true-crime of the type that ITVX has become so competent at producing.

Audio-Technica's Slow Support

Don't buy from directly from Audio-Technica EU in the UK if you ever want a hope of support.

More than a week and multiple attempts to RMA my turntable only resulted in a single email saying they aim to deal with my issue within 4 hours. They eventually did get around to sorting out the RMA, but the experience was an absolute pain.

Is the Raspberry Pi 5 Worth It?

Sods law: Upton says not to expect a 5 for ages, I buy a 4, then a couple of months later the Raspberry Pi Foundation release the bloody 5. The 5 is twice as fast as the 4, but also runs hotter, has a higher power consumption, and has no 3.5 mm audio out.

Given those limitations, I'm hanging onto my Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 8GB and I recommend you do the same if you are in the same position and already have a Pi 4; it's a good and well-supported SBC. However, if you're in need of a new powerful desktop-ready Pi, get the 5, as the pre-order price is only a few pounds more than the equivalent Pi 4.

By the way, my Pi 4 is almost ready to multi-boot Raspberry PiOS 64 bit, RiscOS, and LibreElec after I recently installed PINN (PINN is not NOOBS).

Death Threat Follow-Up and Doorstep Seller Aggro

Since not having any contact with emergency services in decades at least, in about a month now, I've had four interactions.

Today, a very angry doorstep salesman came o the door and lost his rag and swore at me when I turned down the zillionth offer to do my ruddy hedges. I reported him because Mum and Dad were scared by his aggression and foul language and, frankly, so was I.

I tried to put it out of my mind by taking Mum out for a walk. We'd been in John Lewis but for a few minutes when an almighty ruckus ensued in the lighting department. I went to see and, lo! There be the nutter of 501 threatening someone else; this time a family with a kid in pram. I viscerally hate these altercations, but at least it proves I wasn't overreacting by reporting him in the first place. I knew he would escalate and he did.

I hope I don't have to talk about this again for a long time.

And Then There's the Car, the Plumbing, and Sir Clanky

It never stops raining at Castle Royenstein.

The recent long drive to see a motorbike finished off the car. The driver's side window motor and mirror is broken, the air-con doesn't con, the ABS light keeps coming on, and the power steering is grinding.

The car is so bad I can't use it, so I ordered parts for the upcoming plumbing jobs next week and did all my supermarket shopping online.

As if that isn't enough, a few weeks ago my poor beloved bicycle, Sir Clanky of Royenstein, crashed into the floor when the side stand decided to give up. It landed on a, now impossible to find, rare Crane bell and gouged wicked scratches into it. I pray Brasso may possibly polish them out and I have since bought a centre stand, followed shortly thereafter by an 8mm Allen key; the only hex key I don't currently own in the bag of full of a tangle of the little buggers that I do own. Don't let my sense of humour fool you into thinking that I'm alright with this disaster. The crash in the middle of the night was not fun and I was inconsolable about my damaged bell. You'd be too if you saw it. It's beautiful and magical. If Galadriel rode a bicycle, this elegant little Japanese brass bell would adorn her handlebar.

New Revisit Show

Coming very soon is a new revisit show in addition to the current Classic Doctor Revisit.

You know how I keep threatening to do Blake's 7? We're not doing that because every manjack in the ether is doing Terry's space revolutionaries right now. No, we're doing something very different, but you'll have to wait to find out what that is.

Addendum: I'd like to apologise for the many interruptions. As well as noises outside my home, as I occasionally hit pause and took a break (as I waited for the infernal workmen outside to desist), I forgot to turn off my guitar amp (again), hence a slight hiss. Also, my recent PC re-build damaged the CPU fan and heatsink nylon mounting split pin and now I can hear a faint whine. Hopefully, the combined background noise is too quiet to effect tonight's taping, but I'll only find out when I edit the audio later.