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I've written before that In Search Of… is an odd duck of a show, because while mostly it's about wonderful, glorious nonsense, sometimes it comes down to Earth and looks at something actually real. This episode looks at killer bees, while next episode is about earthquakes, and then in episode S01E08 we're back to the Mummy's Curse.


After the last few weeks, this episode is almost strange in its absence of leading questions and abundance of actual names, places and dates. I'm going to come right out and say that I don’t know enough about the history of Killer Bees to tell how accurate any of this is, but like I say it's straightforward enough that anyone could check the show's facts if they wanted to. ...continue reading "In Search Of… S01E06 Killer Bees"

Gwen watched as Ms Shan dropped a pencil near the information counter, and Norman rushed to pick it up. He smiled winningly as he handed it to her. She acknowledged his action with a gesture and moved on, leaving Norman staring, sighing at her back. Gwen bit her hand. What a fool. What a fool she had been! To have given so much up, only for nothing.

All around her were the Handy Pavilion staff, going about their business as if it were just another day. It was a quiet day. Fiona lugged a box of taps. Adam laughed uncomfortably at one of Belinda's jokes. Axel Platzoff, rubbing his eyes, was being lectured by Sadie MacGregor. Marlon and Wellsey were deep in conversation. Customers were few, but present. An elderly man in a tweed jacket staggered under too many cans of paint. A carpenter's apprentice eyed expensive hammers with a wistful sigh. A short woman and her tall husband pushed a trolley full of plants.

No one looked at Gwen. If the world ends with aliens or fire and brimstone or zombies, then everyone is in on the fight. When the world ends in heartbreak, there you are, alone. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself – Chapter 17: A Bad Deal All Round"

Yeah, you heard right! Friggin' Bigfoot. The big kahuna himself, Sasquatch, the mysterious ape-creature of the North American forests. Episodes arguing that 'hey, maybe we can kinda-sorta talk to plants' are all well and good, but I like my nonsense like my coffee: strong, hairy and hard to capture on film.

That's MR Bigfoot to you, fella.

I have odd tastes in coffee, is what I'm saying. ...continue reading "In Search Of… S01E05 Bigfoot"

Jasu Shan closed the door to the office, mixed a cocktail of Paracetamol and Quickeze into her coffee, then swilled the whole thing down. Just hold on, Jasu. Darelson promised a position at head office, just as soon as Vickers retired... Old Vickers, who was barely getting by, these days. Just hold on and soon you'll be out of this dump.

Trouble had started almost as soon as she'd arrived that morning. Jane Nguyen from the Equipment Hire counter was one of that section of the staff that Ms Shen thought of as 'the normal people'. She had been showing off her new smart phone, and somehow managed to trigger the self-destruct system on Nalda Teheintausand's internal fission reactor. Axel Platzoff had tried to jerry-rig a carbon-rod dampening system out of charcoal briquettes, but Donna from lighting hacked Nalda's system and initiated shutdown mode before Axel had made much progress. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself – Chapter 16: Management Conference"


The Bermuda Triangle is one of my favourite mysteries. Why? It's super easy to solve! The solution is: there's nothing spooky about the Bermuda Triangle at all. It's a huge area of sea on a number of important international trade routes. Ships and planes get lost there, but not disproportionately to the amount of traffic the area gets. No problem, no mystery, no solution required.

Look out! It's the Bermuda Triangle. Run!

Consequently, that urge to debunk that I couldn't tamp down last time shouldn't be bothering us this week. Let's just watch and enjoy as Leonard Nimoy tells us how a perfectly harmless stretch of water is going to kill us all. ...continue reading "In Search Of… S01E04 The Bermuda Triangle"


"I read with ardour those works, so full of genius and discrimination, which modern inquirers have written on these subjects. I attended the lectures and cultivated the acquaintance of the men of science of the university..." -- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.

"Arms… two. Legs… two. Feet… none. Ah, now where did I put them?" -- Dr Frankenstein, Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein

Alvin and the Chipmunks meet Frankenstein. Frankenstein, meet...
Alvin and the Chipmunks meet Frankenstein. Frankenstein, meet...

Full disclosure: this is the first Alvin and the Chipmunks vehicle I have ever watched all the way through. I'm sort of the wrong age for them. They were popular before my childhood, and were revived at a time in my teenage years when I was deeply uninterested in kid's cartoons. I wasn't impressed by their antics in this movie, but I have no idea whether that's because the Chipmunks are generally not great, or just because this was a lifeless outing. ...continue reading "Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein – 1999"

There were two coffee shops at the South Hertling Super Centre. One, in Captain Stellar's opinion, was quite a nice one. It was located just in between the Barbecue Imperium and Arthur C. Clock's Timepiece World. The barista there was a slightly annoying but basically quite nice hipster woman named Carol, who sold organic coffee and gluten free wraps.

The other was in a dingy little corner of the Handy Pavilion, just by outdoor furniture. It sold second-rate coffee at first-rate coffee prices to those too tired or lazy to walk all the way across the vast car park to Carol's.

Captain Stellar would have liked to go to Carol's, but without his coffee he didn't have the energy. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself – Chapter 15: Light and Dark"

Ancient Aviators is a little more fun than the last one. It is also the most fact-free, supposition heavy episode so far. Did humanity invent flight earlier than we believe? the episode asks. Well, if we did, this episode doesn't do much to prove it.

Yeah, I'd like to try to land there.
Yeah, I'd like to try to land there.

We begin with the Nazca Plains, and Nimoy waxing lyrical about the Nazca Lines -- a series of line-figures on the desert floor. Now, these lines are really interesting, showing an extraordinary ambition and artistry of the people who drew them, but we're not really interested in that. We're told that the lines of which these figures are comprised look like runways and that therefore we can assume that something landed there. ...continue reading "In Search Of… Review: S1E3 Ancient Aviators"

"I need not describe the feelings of those whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreparable evil, the void that presents itself to the soul, and the despair that is exhibited on the countenance." -- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.

"Frankenstein! Frankenstein the legend! Frankenstein the indestructible! Sole survivor of the titanic pile-up of '95. Only two time winner of the Trans Continental Road Race. Frankenstein! Ripped up, wiped out, battered, shattered, creamed and reamed! A dancer on the brink of death!" -- Junior Bruce, Death Race 2000.

David Carridine in a gimp suit at the controls of a car shaped like an alligator. This movie can't be all bad.
David Carradine in a gimp suit at the controls of a car shaped like an alligator. This movie can't be all bad.

I was going to write about Victor Frankenstein this week, before I remembered that, duh, the DVD isn't out yet so I can't get any screenshots. Since the best part of Victor Frankenstein is the visuals, I think I'll leave that one for now. Never mind, though, I have something almost as silly: Death Race 2000! What's that, you ask? Well, if you imagine something like a cross between The Hunger Games and The Wacky Races then, that's basically Death Race 2000, except that…

No, on second thoughts, I take that back. There is no 'except that'. Death Race 2000 is exactly like a Hunger Games/Wacky Races mash up, no exceptions. It's also produced by Roger Corman, which means it could go either way, quality wise. Which way does it go? Let's find out. ...continue reading "Death Race 2000 – 1975"

(Note for non-Australians: a 'ute' (pronounced 'yoot') is a type of light truck with the tray integrated into the body.)


In a second, Zorbar of the Chimps went from sleeping lightly to wide awake. He had his knife pressed against the flesh of the intruder's throat before… Oh, wait, it was only Norman. Zorbar sheathed his blade.

"Jesus, Zorbar," Norman said, rubbing his neck.

"Zorbar sorry, Norman."

"You nearly cut me head off, Zorb. I think you need a little more than a sorry."

"Please not call Zorbar 'Zorb.'"

"I mean, I was just doing you a favour, waking you up before Adam gets in. You know how pissed off he was last time he caught you sleeping in the treehouse."

"Adam jerk," Zorbar said, pulling on a pair of pants in the tiny space. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself — Chapter 14: Zorbar and the Ute"

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