Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spiders, Spectrum and Pyramid Power

Another year and another Glastonbury festival I didn't go to - but the Dalai Lama did.  Sadly though, he didn't sit on the Pyramid stage and lead the revellers in a series of Buddhist chants which, amplified by the power of the pyramid, culminated in the materialisation of a giant spider from the planet Metabelis III.  It certainly would have enlivened proceedings.  Having recently watched, for the first time since it was first broadcast, most of the Dr Who story 'Planet of the Spiders', I'm well aware that if those damn spiders get on your back, you find yourself speaking in a shrill electronic voice and shooting blue lightning from your fingers.  Clearly, my arachnophobia is well founded.  Those eight-legged bastards, far from being harmless, as their apologists claim, are a real threat to the universe. Damn it, they even did for the Third Doctor, forcing him to regenerate into Tom Baker!  I have to say, having watched that story again, that despite the ropey special effects and rickety plot, Jon Pertwee actually puts in one of his best performances as the Doctor.  He's far more vulnerable and human here, compared to his usual haughty and over confident self, full of self doubt , questioning his own motivations and concerned as to the consequences of his actions.  It's really quite poignant when he finally regenerates.

But it isn't just the Dalai Lama who has been reminding me of my childhood TV viewing.  David Cameron's call for a 'full spectrum response' to the terrorist attack in Tunisia brought visions of Captain Scarlet and Spectrum being sent to deal with ISIS. Who better than an indestructible man to deal with those suicide bombers?   Who better to bomb ISIS than an all-female group of fighter pilots in the form of the Angels?  If these extremists don't like women driving, then just imagine how pissed off they'll be when they find the planes attacking them are being flown by women.  And in Cloudbase, Spectrum would have an unassailable headquarters from which to launch their counter-terrorism activities.  Mind you, I very much doubt that this what Cameron had in mind.  Indeed, nobody seems to know what he had in mind when he uttered his essentially meaningless words.   Today I had yet another reminder of the TV of my youth with news that former Blue Peter presenter John Noakes had gone missing in Majorca.  It was a jolt to be reminded that he's now in his eighties and apparently suffering from Alzheimer's.  My initial reaction to the news was to hope that he wasn't suffering a flashback to his glory days on TV and attempting re-enact one of his daring stunts, like hang-gliding or climbing Nelson's Column.  Luckily, he's since been found, although there's still no news on whether he was attempting to sail around the world in a bath tub at the time.



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