A blonde guy is patting his dog. Nimoy talks about the connection between people and their pets. Only recently, we're told, have people started to wonder if this connection is psychic. Animal ESP!

A Siamese Fighting Fish, In Search Of S03e15 Animal ESP
The newest member of the X-Men: Siamese Fighting Fish

Footage of a dog in the wilderness. We're told that the animal became separated from his family when they moved, and is trying to get back to them. We see the dog running across fields, crossing roads, climbing mountains and swimming rivers. It's like half the kids' movies I watched when I was five, only compressed into a minute. It is beautiful to behold. ...continue reading "In Search Of S03E15 Animal ESP"

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Let me start by saying that this wasn't completely awful. Maybe all the terrible reviews I read had the effect of managing my expectations, but bottom line is I didn't hate this movie. I assumed -- rightly -- that it would be a pretty standard action runnaround through CG effects, like so many big budget movies nowadays. In fact, there were a couple of genuinely creepy horror moments, which I honestly didn't expect. The decision to have the Mummy discovered in Iraq rather than Egypt makes not a lick of sense in terms of realism, but thematically 'America goes to Iraq, unleashes horror' is surprisingly close to the original Mummy idea of 'Britain goes to Egypt, unleashes horror.'

Honestly, if this was a one off Mummy movie, I'd say it was adequate, if not especially memorable. Yes, the ending is awful for a whole lot of reasons. Yes, the gender politics are even worse than most horror movies. Yes, if I were ranking movies I'd seen titled 'The Mummy' it would probably come in forth. Even so, if this is the worst movie I see this year, I'll consider myself lucky. ...continue reading "The Mummy (2017) Review"

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4

It was nearing midday. Alfred could tell because shadow of tip of the Pyramid pointed directly at the door of his shop. Alfred looked up into the burning eye of the vast structure and shook his head. Like most of the locals, he found that the best way to deal with the Pyramid was to not think about it too hard.

From his doorway, Alfred looked around the South Hertling Super Centre. It had been weeks since the Battle of Wellington Road. When the Great Pyramid had arisen from the ruins of the Mega Centre it had initially been bad for business. But other people had joined Alfred in not thinking about it too hard, and gradually the customers had returned.

A clock rang – the only clock in Alfred's shop that was set to the correct time and which had the ringer turned on. Twelve o'clock. Delia Crispin left Storage World to go to Carol's Café. The same time ever day, precisely.

"Morning, Alfred," she said, her grey bun bobbing as she nodded at him. ...continue reading "Clocks and Boxes – Part 1: Time"

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Dreams and Nightmares has one of the most atmospheric openings so far. Unsettling music plays over creepy imagery, which resolves into a man having a nightmare. Nimoy begins talking about dreams over the silhouette of a man in lotus position, with his body swirls and changes colour.

In Search Of s03e14 Dreams and Nightmares

It's pretty trippy, is what I'm saying.

Anyway, Nimoy's big argument is that soon we'll be able to control our dreams. Fascinating, if true.

More atmosphere building is next. Nimoy gives a poetic description of dreaming over footage of a woman going to bed, then having a nightmare about an intruder. This is followed by some beautifully unsettling nightmare imagery directed straight at camera. Tell you what, I'm impressed so far. ...continue reading "In Search Of S03E14 Dreams and Nightmares"

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We open on a shot of an icy coastline. We hear low, eerie music and also some sort of musical chanting in a strange language. It's as beautiful an opening as this show has ever produced, as Leonard Nimoy starts telling the story of the Vinland Saga – aka the Lost Vikings.

In Search Of S03E13 The Lost Vikings
Aaa aaa aaaa.... Aaa!
Aaa aaa aaaa.... Aaa!

The Vinland Saga is an interesting story because it's one of the rare instances where the crazy theory actually has considerable support. Basically, some Viking Sagas were interpreted as possibly meaning that Vikings crossed the Atlantic hundreds of years before Columbus. Beginning in the 1960s, archaeological evidence started piling up supporting this interpretation. In the immortal words of Philip J Fry, "Crazy theories: 1. Regular theories: 1 000 000!"

Let's see how In Search Of deals with an odd theory that has actually become respectable. I think it will be illuminating. ...continue reading "In Search Of… S03E13 The Lost Vikings"

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Jodie Whittaker the 13th DoctorThere's a tradition we have every few years where everyone takes a look at the highest profile performers in the UK and wonders which of them will be the new Dr Who. This is immediately followed by the BBC picking someone that is not one of the highest profile performers in the UK for the role.

But hey, it works. Take 1974. Tom Baker? The guy

who was the baddy in that one Ray Harryhausen film? Seriously?

And yet...

I bring this up because my reaction on seeing Jodie Whittaker's name was, who? The protagonist from Attack the Block who isn't Finn? Really?

And yet... ...continue reading "Happy 13th! Jodie Whittaker"

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About a year ago, I wrote about In Search Of's Amelia Earhart episode, and now I see Ms Earhart is back in the news. A couple of days ago, I heard a news broadcast claiming that a photo shows Earhart on the Marshal Islands after her plane crashed. for a minute, I was curious. Then I heard that the History Channel was involved, then deciding that I really didn't need to look into it right away.

Photo that does not Amerlia Earhart

Life being what it is, I only got a chance to see the photo yesterday. I'm no photographic expert but the figure who is supposed to be Earhart could be anyone. Seriously. Photo captions keep saying that the figure is a short haired woman. Look closely and it could just as easily be a slightly-built man or a teenager of any gender. ...continue reading "Amelia Earhart, Again"

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When the police arrived, Zorbar stopped stabbing a huge man in a gimp-mask and a DIY Barn apron and scrambled up a Moreton Bay fig tree that had somehow survived the battle. From there he escaped along the line of plane trees in Hurley Road.

Other than that, most of the survivors surrendered fairly easily. Axel seemed barely aware when the police strapped him into a Lechter-gurney and strapped on a hockey mask. Fiona was weeping in relief when she was bundled into the van, her guilt finally assuaged. Laura accepted the handcuffs with the bad grace of someone who knew she could tear the chains apart with a thought. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself — Chapter 72: Pyramid Scheme"

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Usually I go through these episodes blow-by-blow, but this time I won't because a) I'm kind of busy this week and b) this one won't really stand up to that kind of scrutiny.

Pictured: a guy who looks nothing like Conan Doyle pretending to be Conan Doyle. Not pictured: imaginary fairies.

That's not to say it's not a fun episode, it is. It's basically a little documentary on Sherlock Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. There are a few factual errors, but I'm not enough of a Sherlockian to get upset about that. The In Search Of… ethos adds the interesting twist in that instead of just saying, 'this is a show about Sherlock Holmes' they say 'who was Sherlock Holmes?'

Spoiler: it was Doyle. ...continue reading "In Search Of… S03E12 Sherlock Holmes"

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