Here is a strange fact about the human mind. If you tell yourself a lie over and over again eventually you will come to believe it. For example, citizens of North Korea believe ridicuous lies about their ruler (such as he found a unicorn lair) because they have been told the lie repeatedly over several years. On a smaller scale, if you told a friend about a childhood memory in which you fell off your bike and cut your knee but you didn’t mention how you burst into tears and ran to your Mum, this new altered memory would eventually replace the original. Isn’t that strange? You wouldn’t remember the part where you cried, you would remove it from your mind.
The entries you will see below follow these two example. These are my top five real stories that are completely false. I hope you enjoy.
On Monday 7th July 2007 The Guardian labeled Russell T Davies as the fifteenth most powerful player in the media industry. Although you have to question the use of the word “player”, many would say that Doctor Who was at the peak of its popularity at this time. With the two spin off shows, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures targeting viewers above and below the average age of a Doctor Who viewer, you could argue that the franchise between 2005-2010 was a TV empire.
Another Doctor Who spin off show that was considered but ultimately dropped was Rose Tyler: Earth Defence. This spin off show was inspired by a conversation between the Tenth Doctor and Rose at the end of Doomsday in which Rose revealed she joined Torchwood on the parallel universe. The series would have followed Rose and her family on the parallel Earth facing alternate versions of aliens from series one and two including Slitheen, Captain Jack Harkness and previous companion Adam Mitchell. Despite the appeal of the program and the fan support it received Russell T Davies cancelled the show before it could be green lighted. His reasoning, and I have to agree with him on this, was that seeing Rose alive and having her own adventures would lessen the impact the audience felt from her departure in Doomsday.
Since writing my previous article on Lost Doctor Who episodes I thought it would be fun to write about episodes that never made it to the screen. These episodes were cancelled for a variety of reasons, there was no time to develop the scripts, there was problem booking actors or the core idea of the story was just a bit daft. Either way here for my top five unmade Doctor Who episodes.
Disclaimer – Because these episodes were never made information on them is scarce. I will also be focusing on episodes primarily from the rebooted series as that is the era of Doctor Who I am more familiar with.
On December 31st 2020, to round a dreadful year off, all episodes of Doctor Who broadcast since 2005 were removed from Netflix. This is something many Doctor Who fans feared but expected as Britbox, who currently own all classic episodes of Doctor Who, had previously shown interest in owning the complete collection. Despite this purchase, neither Britbox nor the BBC have a collection of every Doctor Who episode to be made. Between the years 1967 to 1978 the BBC junked one hundred and thirty seven episodes of Doctor Who. All of these episodes span the show’s first six series and consist of adventures with the first, second and third Doctors. Thankfully forty of these one hundred and thirty seven episodes have been recovered and the current number now stands at ninety seven. Today we are looking at how five of these episodes returned to the BBC because their adventures could rival even the Doctor’s.
I love languages. That doesn’t mean it is easy for me to learn new languages (just ask my old French teacher) but I do love studying them.
Here are some statistics for you:
There are over seven thousand recognised languages spoken on Earth today.
Out of these seven thousand languages half of the world’s population speak at least one out of the most popular twenty three. The most popular languages include, Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindustani, Spanish and Arabic.
Words that exist in one language but not another are called lacunas or lexical gaps. My favourite example of this is the fact that in the Romanian language they don’t have a word for shallow. If you was talking about a swimming pool in Romanian you would say “the deep end” and “the not so deep end”.
Fictional languages are common place in films, most notably Fantasy and Sci Fi. While the casual audience member may believe that the other races or species seen in these films are speaking gibberish with their dialogue subtitled beneath, in many cases the actors have learnt and are speaking an actual language.
The following are all languages you can study if you have the time on your hands:
Alienese from Futurama.
Na’vi from Avatar.
Dothraki from Game of Thrones.
Klingon from Star Trek.
Elvish from The Lord Of the Rings.
These languages are popular at comicon, it isn’t unusual to hear two strangers speak to each other in Dothraki in the convention corridors. You can even take a degree in Klingon at a select few universities in America.
While all these languages are fascinating and I suggest that you investigate them at a later date, today I want to talk about the languages of the Star Wars universe.
The phrase “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” is at the start of most Star Wars films (Footnote 1) and to create the impression of an endless galaxy the many different species of the Star Wars universe speak their own languages.
Chewbacca and other Wookies speak Shyriiwook which to our human ears sound like roars and grunts
Jabba the Hutt, and other members of his species, speak Huttese.
The Tuskin Raiders, infamous for the death of Shmi Skywalker and attacking Luke Skywalker, speak their own unknown language.
Due to the sheer number of different lifeforms and languages, protocol droids such as C3PO were created, to act as guides and translators (Footnote 2). While C3PO claims he is “fluent in over six million forms of communication” today I just want to focus on just one language, Binary otherwise known as Droidspeak.
My question is this: Who exactly can understand R2D2 and other non verbal droids?
I hope you are enjoying the long weekend. I don’t normally take much notice of Easter. I’m not religious and I don’t enjoy chocolate so I normally just enjoy the extra long weekend. There is one kind of Easter egg I do enjoy, Easter eggs in films and literature. I’ve spoken about these kinds of Easter eggs before, they are a joke or a secret that you have to search for. Arguably the most famous Easter egg in film is the number A113. The developers at Pixar Studios worked in a classroom called A113 and have hidden that code into most of their films.
While Easter eggs hidden in films are more prolific that those in literature today we’ll be looking at the latter. There are hundreds of lists dedicated to Easter eggs in films and I wanted to do something a little different.
These are my top five Easter eggs in literature, I hope you enjoy.
Full disclaimer. I wrote this article while I was hungry.
We don’t generally consider mascots as characters in their own right and maybe that’s a shame. These mascots, particularly if they are humanoid in appearance, often have a detailed backstory that is overlooked by general members of the public. Here are the surprising origins of five fictional mascots. I hope you enjoy. Continue reading
The word Wanderlust is defined by the English Dictionary as a strong desire to travel. I think it is fair to say that many of us in the UK are experiencing Wanderlust at the moment, myself included.
In 2017 I published two website posts about fictional places you could visit in the real world. You can read those article here and here. This is a sequel to those posts, of sorts. This time we are looking at fictional places that may have existed. Their existence is neither proven nor unproven.
If you believe the adverts on TV, January is normally the most exciting month of the year. You can exchange unwanted Christmas presents in the January sales and make a bargain, you can plan out your goals throughout the year and if you don’t enjoy Christmas then you can celebrate the fact that things are returning to normal.
Actually, statistically speaking January is the most depressing month of the year. The weather is normally miserable, many families face financial hardship following Christmas and by 21st January a majority of people have already broken their New Year’s Resolutions.
Bit of a downer. Let’s go back to how exciting the year is suppose to be. You know what I find adorable? How optimistic humans are for the future, in particular how optimistic historical authors were for our present. In Back to the Future Part Two, Marty McFly travels to the year 2015 where he encounters hover boards, flying cars and giant holograms. Do you want to know what the most sophisticated gadget of 2015 was? A remote control BB8 toy from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While it was a cool toy, it proves that we are a long way from flying cars.
Occasionally however, science fiction films will get something right. Here are five Sci-Fiction gadgets that have become reality.
Happy New Year. I hope you welcome 2021 with open arms. It can’t be worse than last year…. can it?
Needless to say, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic won’t magically disappear overnight. A wise old wizard won’t snap his fingers and end lockdown. Although a vaccine is now being circulated we will still be remote working for some time and I can not say when things will return to normal or if they ever will. Maybe supermarkets will ask you to wear masks now? Maybe office workers can choose to work from home? Who knows what the new year will bring?
As you may have noticed I have re-vamped the website slightly. We have a cleaner layout, the tabs at the top of your screen have been merged and updated and since WordPress was updated at the latter end of last year, I’m finding new tools to use in the body of the articles themselves. If you notice other small changes the next you log in, it will be be me working in the background.
Last year I set three New Year’s Resolutions. They were-
1 – Edit two novel manuscripts 2 – Visit more of the world3 – Consume more media
I only achieved the third goal but there was a global pandemic going on.
Because I am uncertain what will happen this year, I think making new year’s resolutions would be unwise. My only goal this year is to keep this website updated at least once a month. I may be quiet on social media but please be assured that I am still writing.
I hope this year brings you all you want it to and more.
Do you remember all the jokes we were making at the start of the year about having twenty twenty vision? Yeah, none of us could really see what 2020 was going to bring, could we?
Hello everyone and welcome to end of 2020. Thank god, eh? I think we can all agree 2020 was an atrocious year. To recap the year was started by the threat of World War Three when America bombed Iraq. This was followed by the Australian wild fires that left three billion animals dead and scorched over one billion acres of land and murder hornets were sighted in the US. The death of George Floyd sparked riots across the world and who can forget to Coronavirus pandemic which killed one and a half million people and sent most of the world into lockdown.
There is only one major positive of 2020 I can think of… We got rid of Trump!
Of course, when the year started none of us knew what was to come and I set some very optimistic goals in January.
1 – Have a decent draft of The Truth About Nicole and The White Wasteland.
While I was able to complete a redraft of both manuscripts, I found that after spending the day working from home I didn’t have the mental energy to focus on complex projects. This means that although both manuscripts have been improved upon, they are not in the condition I would like them to be in.
This isn’t to say that I have not been writing. I have plotted out several TV show ideas, one book series and one stand alone novel in great detail. I also completed a manuscript from NaNoWriMo. I hope these projects do turn into something but if they don’t, if they forever reside on my laptop then that’s fine. They kept me sane.
2 – Visit more of the world/England.
I have noticed that the locations of my writing projects have started to wander. I realised that a good majority of my writing (at least those set in the modern day) was based in the city I know best, London. This year the settings of my stories have strayed across the UK and beyond.
3 – Consume more media
I think this is the only goal I achieved, I think everyone across the world consumed more media this year. I’ve been watching shows and reading books that are outside of my comfort zone. While I have enjoyed most of these, all of them have proved educational.
I don’t feel too disappointed in myself as the world is in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic.
If I was asked to describe the year 2020 in a single word I would say… ‘clusterfuck’ but I would like to end the year with a story of love and kindness. I hope you enjoy.
In 2001 five skeletons were discovered in Georgia. These skeletons were transported to a lab and subjected to a variety of tests and from these, archaeologists were able to deduce several things. Firstly the skeletons were Homo Erectus Georgicus, a very early form of Homo sapiens. They were over one and a half million years old and they lived of a diet of nuts and berries.
The third skeleton in particular was the most interesting. The third skeleton was a male who died in his forties and at the time of his death was missing all but one of his teeth. Archaeologists concluded that the man had lived a long period of time with one tooth and that during this time he had presumably been fed by the four other cavemen. This raises a new question. Why? Why would four cavemen make a conscious effort to keep this man alive? They would not have had anything to gain from this, it would have been a drain on their resources, another mouth the feed.
Archaeologists concluded that the cavemen kept their friend alive for no other reason other than compassion and love. They were being kind. Isn’t that brilliant? These five cavemen didn’t have the concept of a government or currency or war, like we do, but they shared one essential trait with us. If we were able to reanimate their corpses and show them our world there would be only one thing they would recognise. Our ability to love and to be kind.
I’ll see you all next year. Take care, stay safe and be kind.