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Back From The Work Week From Hell

Have you ever had one of those weeks? Where the people who pay for your comics and cinema habits ask for that bit extra? Full-on work days, staying after hours, draining your energies so much that you have to take the entirety of Saturday to recover?

Well, I just had one of those, which is why I didn’t even have the ability to load previously written posts. Irregular blogging is not condonable, so I hope you’ll forgive me. It’s not as if I don’t have former history …

I wanted to take this chance for a bit of a catch up, to show that I do pay a bit of attention to the world. Top of the list is Doctor Who – the last four episodes have been superb. Although there were good episodes in the second series, it didn’t reach the heights of the Ecclestone season. The third series of this Russell T Davies-led reinvigoration of the greatest concept in television sci-fi has been quite ordinary, reaching a nadir with the ‘Human Dalek’ double episode, which was really quite awful on so many levels.

But then, the wonderful double episode Family of Blood, written by Paul Cornell, with its powerful emotional punch at the end. This was followed by the marvellous Blink, written by Steven Moffat (who wrote Coupling and one of the good episodes from series two of the new Doctor Who, Girl In The Fireplace), which was a tautly constructed piece of entertainment (‘quantum-locked’ ha!). And now Utopia, by Davies himself. The FutureKind (with their sharpened teeth) were pretty blah, and the setting nothing special (but enlivened by the wonderful dialogue, such as the ‘Stop that’ refrain of the Doctor whenever Captain Jack introduced himself to a woman). However, as a set-up for the return of the thematically linked villain of the series, the last third of the episode is the most absolutely wonderful piece of television, watching all the pieces fall into place, making my girlfriend and I positively quiver in delight. Sheer sci-fi magic.

I deliberately talked about UK-specific television because I had to spent most of my blog reading this week avoiding any reference to the ending of The Sopranos in the US. I don’t know when the final series will make its way to our shores, probably not for another year, but I would really like to watch it without knowing what’s going to happen.

Btw, I haven’t got my recent comics yet, so I have also been trying to avoid spoilers for New Avengers #31, so thanks very much to The Beat for ruining it for me by using it as a heading for an item. Fuckers.

My blog reading has increased exponentially with the return of Alan David Doane to the world of blogging. ADD, as he is known to us who have been around for some time, is a passionate and intelligent voice in the world of comics blogging, informing us in his beliefs about the world of comix and the better future of it. His opinions about comics retailing and the business involved were articulately expressed, as always, and I’ll forgive him for being one of those people who talked about The Sopranos.

Another voluminous blogger is Clandestine Chum, Greg Burgas, on his own blog and at Comics Should Be Good. The latest addition to one of his regular columns, Comics You Should Own, tells everyone to buy Flex Mentallo. Greg writes intelligently and perceptively about this marvellous mini-series, as he always does. He also writes volumes – I don’t know how he does it. We can forgive his arrogance (only joking, Greg) in telling us which comics to own because of the fact that he writes in an honest, non-pompous manner. And it’s true – you should own it. I do like (and envy) his writing, which is able to pick out the themes of the work without being dry or academic. Now, if only he could manage to condense it a little …

Best title of a news item of last week: FBI tries to fight zombie hordes. Genius. The article isn’t worth reading, but who needs to with a headline like that?

Via LinkMachineGo, Ben Goldacre, who has the Bad Science column in the Guardian, has a blog. I had wanted to talk about his latest column, where he talks about the happy end to the story of the academic scientist and his quack blogging. He had been challenging the pseudoscience of various supplements and their nebulous claims of ‘blood cleansing’. In return, they did not engage him in scientific debate – they went straight to the top people at UCL, where the scientist works and who host his blog, and threatened them to take it down. They did temporarily, while they checked with their lawyers, before deciding to continue hosting the blog because they weren’t going to back down from unfounded bullying. Hurrah. Positively life-affirming.

Obviously, the new Fantastic Four film was number one in the US, and I have to avoid the thoughtful comments of smart bloggers while they talk about the film. Next weekend, hopefully.

For the best ridiculing of a poster for a film (what would the review be like?), see this post [EDIT: blog now seems to be invitation-only] from Jake on Ye Olde Comick Blogge. He has been making me laugh of late with this post (with some great animation) and his new webcomic, which wins based solely on the t-shirt logo alone.

Phew, that was a lot to unload. Now, either back to normal, or perhaps a move out of the comfort zone and talk about all the news pouring out of HeroesCon …

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