Day 361: Planet Of The Gorillaz

The Gorillaz are almost sci-fi, aren’t they?

December 27 layered

The Sole Of Sci-Fi goees 2D today* as I don the final pair of on-loans trainers from Will Guyatt: a pair of Gorillaz Cons. A whole range of these came out a couple of years back, and these were the least oviously Gorillaz-themed, but they’re hiding their best side – the inside.

December 27 inside

The interiors are plastered with cool Jamie Hewlett art! The geometric camo design on the outside is cool too, whether you get the Gorillaz link or not. Thanks, Will, for all the trainers you’ve loaned me over the Christmas period. Even if some were on the large size. Clown feet ahoy.

(That’s the name of the cartoon character in Cons in the picture… don’t you just love a gag that needs explaining.)

Off on the train home soon. Blu-ray heaven here I come. Although I have spent this morning watching Doctor Who “The Ambassadors Of Death” on DVD – the last surviving Doctor Who story I’ve never seen before. It’s a bit dull. Seven episodes is clearly way too long for a Doctor Who story. Still interesting to watch, though.

See you tomorrow.

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• Current total: £1,455 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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Day 357: Bounty Hunters

Whoops! I should really look where I’m stepping… 

December 23 main

Brief blog today as I’m travelling back to the parents’ imminently. With many bags.* On the train. This’ll be fun. Some comfy camo Cons for the journey.

(* They’re not just full of presents, but trainers as well… See what I have to sacrifice for this challenge!)

bag of trainers

 

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,455 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

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Day 342: Red Star Rabbit

It’s amazing how many variations of black Cons you can get…

December 8 main

Once again, even though it’s now and truly well into winter, the bare legs come out. I do apologise, but we’re getting some decent winter weather, and while that continues – and I’m not doing in-office freelance –  I might as well take advantage of it and cycle somewhere to find a decent backdrop for the Sole Of Sci-Fi photos other than my back garden again. And I hate cycling in jeans (and I own no Lycra leggings or longjohns I hasten to add) so you have suffer the naked calves of doom.

Having said all that, the weather took a turn for the grey by the time I reached this old railway bridge, so I ditched the sci-fi theme I did have and swapped it for the more sympathetically-coloured Frank from Donnie Darko. In the process I’ve accidentally created one of my favourite shots of the year.

Yes, another pair of black Converse high-tops, but these one have a red trim and red lining. They were originally in aid of another charity – a percentage of what you paid for them went to AIDS charities, but now they can help with Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Which reminds me – have you donated yet?

I have been working as well today. Three reviews for SFX. All my shows – SHIELD, Gotham and The Flash – have had some great episodes recently. SHIELD, especially, has finally kicked into gear big time. Tonight’s Gotham is a bit weak, but next week’s is simply stunning.

Haven dave vinceHowever, a show I don’t review, and is a bit crap really (but I love the characters), had my favourite line of the year in its mid season finale. That show is Haven, and the scene has Duke trying to get information out of Dave and Vince, when he says, “And you are going to tell me right now, or I’m going to beat you to death… [he looks at Vince] with him [he nods towards Dave].” Classic!

I’m glad I don’t have to review Haven these days, because I would have to mean about it (especially some of the embarrassingly bad CGI effects and it’s cheesier fantasy moments) but at the same time I really enjoy it. It’s the best example of dumb fun I can think of on TV at the moment.

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,310

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 326: The Stars and the Moon

Another quick botch job today as I’m without broadband again…

November 22

A pattern is developing. It seems that as soon as there’s rain any harder than a slight drizzle, my internet goes down. I’ve been on the helpline, and nothing can be done until Monday, so I’m tethering my laptop to iPhone again. It works, but it makes searching for images slower and  more expensive, so I’ve botched together today’s pic using a screen shot from Moon that’s been hanging around on my hard drive for a while. It’s not so bad, considering…

Yesterday’s “business lunch” was a extended session on the pub with SFX and Rebellion. I think we covered everything from Judge Dredd to the evil of UKIP via Malta, horse riding and how SEO is killing journalism. Not much work was done.

The day before, though (I would have mentioned this yesterday if plans hadn’t gone awry), I was very productive and managed to write an entire 2,000 word short story in two-and-a-half hours. It was about ghosts and cycling, and it went down really well at the writers’ group on Thursday evening. It’s also the second “episode” in a new project I’m developing. I haven’t written episode one yet, and I may even get someone else to write it. Y’see, the project is almost like a “TV series in short story” form with me as showrunner, so other people can write other “episodes” to my guidelines.

Thing is, my episode is typically me – kinda Alan Bennett with ghosts, full of meandering whimsical observations about the minutiae of every day life. I need the first episode to be dark, and I don’t do dark very well. To me, dark is grazed knee or a cutting remark. But episode one needs to be a real punch in the gut. And I know one or two writers who make that their speciality.

I’ll then provide more spooky whimsy later in the collection.

God knows when any of this might see the light of day, but at least I’ve leapt the first hurdle.

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,300 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 319: Atlantis – Swords, Sandals and… Sneakers?

Atlantis returns… And they’ve finally remembered Jason is form the future (I wish)

November 15 main

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m actually pleased to see Atlantis back on the BBC tonight. Sure, there are Doctor Who fans who will explode in apoplexy at that (Gallifrey Base will go into meltdown if it gets better viewing figures) but I like the fact that the Beeb has a variety of these adventure drama airing across the year. I’m quite fond of Musketeers too.

All these shows have their problems, but they’re generally good-natured fun. You only have to red my Atlantis reviews from last series on the SFX website to see that I’m not blind to the show’s shortcomings. But I’d prefer to watch a flawed Atlantis on a Saturday night than some reality show or – even worse – a light entertainment variety show fronted by Michael Mcintyre.

(Admittedly, I’d love to see a comedy show of the quality of The Two Ronnies or The Morecambe And Wise Show, but with today’s paucity of decent comedy writers and performers in the UK at the moment – and what the main channels think count as quality sitcoms at the moment , that’s unlikely to happen – I’ll continue to get my sitcom fix from BBC Three, BBC Four and any cable channel showing US imports, with the exception of The Irritating Bang Theory.)

Anyway, for all its faults, Atlantis has an entertaining trio in its three leads, some amazing CG and a good few battles. On the other hand, based on my reviews from last year, here are five things that would help improve the show this series:

1) Please, writers, remember that Jason is from the future (or an alternate universe). After about three episodes last year this was completely ignored, and it made nonsense of some of the plots. This doesn’t have to take the form of Jason having foreknowledge of Atlantis’s fate (though that’s be okay) but it would be good to see him using 21st century knowledge to help him out of certain tricky situation. Even using a couple of modern colloquialisms  or references would help.

2) Atlantis itself needs to be more of a character in the show, rather than a just dusty backdrop. It was a fairly humdrum city in series one.

3) More monsters! Fewer bulls!

4) Can the women please be in on the action and humour a bit (a lot) more? Last series they were largely just plotting rather humourlessly behind the scenes.

5) A lot more water. This is supposed to be Atlantis!

lacesOh, and just in case you’re wondering, I’m not cheating on the challenge – today’s Cons aren’t another pair of bog standard black high-tops. They’re a weird pair with a double row of eye-holes. Not sure what that’s all about but they’re a pain to lace up.

See you tomorrow.

See you tomorrow!

Donate buttonUsual Begging Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,290 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 315: Where No Cons Have Gone Before

Star Trek V: the scene you didn’t see

November 11

Oh look, I’ve discovered my anti-gravity Converse so I can join Spock and Kirk for a bit of mountain… erm… well, not exactly climbing. Looking at Kirk’s face, he’s either pissed I’m cheating, or wishing I’d washed my socks.

Not much to report today, as life is pretty much “cycling to ProCycling, working on ProCycling, cycling home, eat, review a TV episode for SFX, try to fit in when to do Sole Of Sci-Fi” at the moment.

I did notice the it’s all kicked off over on Doctor Who forum Gallifrey Base, though, with the revelation that the “Death In Heaven” received a less-than-average AI (Appreciation Index) figure.

It’s amusing seeing all the reasons/excuses they’re giving, but the most bizarre was that the season finale was too depressing and downbeat. Really? What, more than “Dark Water” which was much darker and received a considerably higher AI result? I’d argue that going on that evidence along, “Death In Heaven” needed to be darker… by which I mean no “love conquers all” ending, silly Cyber Brigadiers, and no Mary Poppins moments. But that’s just me*. There’s probably somebody else out there who thought they were the three best bits.

(*The thing is, I did really enjoy the episode, but when I think back on it, these are the three things that I think of first, unfortunately.)

It all makes for very amusing reading, though.

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,290 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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Day 312: Sole In Heaven

Why watching Doctor Who early isn’t the perk you’d think it is

November 8 main layered

This is me watching tonight’s Doctor Who, but I’ve blurred it for obvious reasons.

Another really late blog today – sorry. Various reasons. One was that I had to go a collect my bike from Bristol. Remember I said I had a puncture on Thursday? Well, my attempts at fixing the puncture were futile, so I had to leave my bike in Bristol, go home on the train in the evening with the wheel, then buy an inner tube yesterday, which I put in position and pumped up last night. Then this morning I got the bus back to Bristol with the wheel, then put the wheel back on, before cycling home in the kind of rain that makes you feel like you’re cycling along the bottom of the ocean. I really need to get some puncture repair training.

And once home I couldn’t get on with the blog as I was doing an emergency review that I was only offered yesterday – the Doctor Who series finale. Which, of course, is on tonight which meant, of course, I had to get the review done really quickly.

Now, it may sound like one of the perks of the job, getting to see Doctor Who early, but really, under circumstances like this, it isn’t. Anything but.

For a start, I like watching the show in HD. The BBC preview site isn’t in HD. It’s not even the quality of SD on iPlayer. It’s blocky, slow and muddy; occasionally it’s tricky to see what’s going on, and judging the quality of the FX and lighting is impossible. Worst still – especially when you’re trying to make notes and you need to pause and rewind all the time – the controls are rubbish.

Secondly, the BBC always put warnings about not revealing plot details next to the viewing window… listing all the major plot points in MASSIVE TYPE. You can switch to full screen, but usually by then, the damage is done.

Thirdly, it just doesn’t feel right watching it in isolation. I like the feeling of learning all the revelations – and going “ooh!” and “ahh!” at the same time as other devoted fans. I know I can’t actually hear them, but I know they’re doing it.

And finally, I’m not just watching it; I’m reviewing it. Maybe some reviewers can just watch something in the same frame of mind, but for me it’s a different discipline, and one that takes some of the fun out of watching a film or TV episode.

Anyway, enough moaning. I still enjoyed it, a lot, with one major reservation. And one thing: keep an eye on the opening credits – something unusual occurs.

And I will be watching again tonight. There’s lots of spectacle I want to see in its full glory.

See you tomorrow!

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• Current total: £1,275 (Thanks Rhian!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at davegolderSFX@gmail.com so I can arrange collection.

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