By Roy Mathur
I made several errors and omissions in the last episode, which is what happens when you're trying to do too much, that I'll discuss in the Culture section. I really have to slot this in here, before doing anything else, otherwise it will make listening to the podcast in chronological order a little difficult. And though I often rail against linear time, in this case it might be a good idea.
To make this short episode a little more interesting, I'll also share my experiences of walking around central London, after a break of a couple of years. That is in the Creative section because the main purpose of the trip was to take some photographs to use as the cover for my novel The Horus Box.
On the 1st of July, I said it was Pride Week, but it is in June and is not Pride week, but Pride Month. I vaguely know what Stonewall was, but my general knowledge in this area is perhaps not as it should be. Sorry about that.
I said representation was good and it was for non-white characters, but as to gender? The cast was exclusively male! Apart from Jo, there appears to be not a single female character. It's amazing I missed that.
I also said that the Overlords were manipulating the biosphere, but I meant atmosphere.
I said nothing about creature design. That is very silly, because the fully mutated Mutts, or as we know better by know, evolving Solonians in the insectoid stage are portrayed by actors wearing quite complicated costumes. They look like bipedal earwigs, but with huge soulful eyes. And, although the eyes are static, they look sad and expressive to me. The bug suits are dark and shiny segmented exoskeletons and work quite well in the shadowy caves, but in the cold light of the space station, they look shambling and ridiculous. I think the director should have written in an impromptu power failure to kill the lights.
That walk to source photographs for my novel was hard. First, it was really hot. Second, I had a cold, caught just as bought my train tickets. Third, I got lost, walking north instead of south exiting the station, but then came across The Rocket pub. It was nothing special, but it was called The Rocket. You know how I say that this show is recorded "From the back room of Altair City Spaceport's Rocket Tavern"? Maybe I slipped through an Einstein-Rosen bridge. And then on the way back, I overdid it. Absolutely exhausted, overheated, dehydrated, and a little confused; almost, but not quite sunstroke, I got lost again, miss-following a sign for Trafalgar Square and ended up at a quite different column that was not Nelson's. How many damn columns are there?
Being so tired did offer temporary respite from my Tourette Syndrome, though it also made me walk like Captain Jack Sparrow, thus I do not recommend near death from heat as a credible medical treatment.
However, I did take photos on Waterloo Bridge, Cleopatra's Needle, and St Martin-in-the-Fields, where I was local-shamed by foreign construction workers, when enquiring what had happened to the market. And man, it wasn't just the market. It looked like half of London was being rebuilt. It's always something of an architectural-shock returning to London after a considerable break.
One of the most ridiculous things I saw was that central London rebranded itself as the North Bank, to compete with the South Bank renamed in the 1951 Festival of Britain. There was some bunting up on the Strand with a hashtag. This is weird, because according to a quick Google, the rebrand happened in 2013. The fact that this happened so long ago, and I only noticed yesterday, puts paid to the question asked in 2013 of whether it would ever catch on.
These changes included a disappearance of comfortable chairs in the National Portrait Gallery in which to snooze in the middle of your trek. I commiserated with an attractive member of staff until I realised I was coming off as complaining older bloke, rather than flirty younger bloke. You tend to do this when you regale a person with an anecdote of having been mistaken for dead a number of years ago in said person's place of work.
I also went to the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square and saw sandwich board proclaiming Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm, which is now on my birthday list for later in the year.
Apropos of nothing, I also saw a Saint Bernard, a breed of dog that I have not seen in years, and which appears to be what happens when a lunatic tries to breed a canine lion.
I cut short the trip at the point at which it became evident that I might faint (not hyperbole) if I kept going for too long. That meant only having time to breeze in and out of Hamley's and Selfridges.
At least I got my photographs. Expect me to be working hard Photoshopping cover images and tweaking my book for Kindle publication.
Sore neck isn't just for Cockneys or Moss in The IT Crowd. All this note typing is giving me a literal pain in the neck (and shoulders). I can feel it right at this very moment. So... ointment.
Stand by for a rewatch episode of Doctor Who: The Time Monster very soon, and a regular, everything nerd, episode after that. See you soon!