Top 5 Weird Aliens

Philip HarrisApocalypse Weird, ChatterLeave a Comment

Let’s face it, the world loves aliens – watching them, reading about them, arguing about whether they exist. It’s not a new phenomenon by any means – Johannes Kepler’s book, Somnium, details a race of “daemons” who live in the moon and that was written in 1608 but even after four hundred years, the idea of meeting beings from another planet hasn’t lost its appeal. Aliens have provided some of the most iconic images in pop culture – the xenomorph and its face huggers, daleks, cybermen, the predator, chewie to name just a few  But, let’s face it, some aliens are just weird. To celebrate the fact that Eric Tozzi’s alien infested Apocalypse Weird novel, Phoenix Lights is on offer for the bargain price of 99c, here’s five of the weirdest aliens ever to grace our screens… Mac from Mac and Me Yeah… E.T. = Cute “Mysterious Alien Creature” = Creepy Gilbert the Alien from Get Fresh I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching Get Fresh but the blend of Gaz Top and the spectacularly low budget Gilbert looks like a winner to me. Boohbah What is it with children’s television? Apparently, this bizarre race of creatures appear whenever children are laughing. <shudder> The Abzorbaloff Let’s face it, … Read More

Thoughts on the New Doctor

Philip HarrisChatter, TelevisionLeave a Comment

My earliest memories of Doctor Who are of jelly babies and a long scarf so, naturally, Tom Baker is “my” Doctor. Fandom wasn’t as big a business back then as it is now but I was definitely a fan. I watched each episode religiously, ran down to the newsagent every Thursday lunchtime to by Doctor Who Weekly, had a TARDIS money box and even joined UNIT. I remained a fan of the show when Tom Baker moved on. I remember Peter Davidson’s celery. I remember Colin Baker trying to strangle Peri. I definitely remember Adric’s sacrifice. But by the time the show reached the Sylvester McCoy years even I knew things were looking bleak for my favourite show. It was a sad day when I heard there would be no more Doctor Who but I always held out hope he’d return (along with Blake’s 7). The Paul McGann TV movie provided a brief flash of hope, soon dashed by its mediocre reception. Still, a nugget of the ten year old who’d run round town searching for Doctor Who magazines remained – buried deep in my brain somewhere. So, when the relaunch of Doctor Who was announced I was cautiously optimistic. And when Christopher Eccleston appeared on screen, chased by plastic mannequins, it … Read More

All Alone in the Night

Philip HarrisMovies, TelevisionLeave a Comment

News hit recently of a possible Babylon 5 movie reboot. Despite it sometimes feeling like a poor man’s Star Trek, at least as far as fandom goes, My wife and I have been fans of the show since it originally aired in the UK and “It can be a dangerous place” is still part of our shared vocabulary. It’s safe to say we’re up for a reboot, particularly if J. Michael Straczynski is running things. Babylon 5 was the first TV show that I watched that had a true ongoing story. Most shows I paid attention to back then followed the standard sitcom approach where the world at the end of an episode was essentially the same as when that episode started. My science fiction viewing prior to Babylon 5 was generally limited to Star Trek (Original and Next Generation), Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, and you could watch the episodes in pretty much any order. You might wonder why Tasha Yar wasn’t on the Enterprise that week but other than that, you’d be able to follow what was going on. Even a series with an ongoing plot like The Invaders could really be watched out of order with very little problem and the early episodes of The … Read More

Clouds, Wheels and Broken Guitars (and a Dalek)

Philip HarrisChatter, PhotosLeave a Comment

My wife and I went to Seattle for the first time last week. It was just a brief trip and the weather wasn’t great but we enjoyed it. For various reasons, we flew down, despite the fact that it’s only a couple of hours to drive, which was an odd experience. The flight time is only about half an hour which means it takes longer to get through customs than actually fly and there’s barely enough time to unbuckle your seatbelt at cruising altitude before it’s time to start descending again. Still, it was more relaxing than driving and I got to do some writing in the waiting lounge going out and on the way back. We arrived Thursday afternoon. It was cool and overcast but dry. As the weather forecast was predicting lots of rain for the rest of the weekend we decided to head straight to the Space Needle. A combination of the weather, high winds and the fact that part of the needle was supposed to be closed meant there wasn’t a lot of people around so we got to do a couple of loops around the walkway and have a drink and a slice of cake without … Read More

So This is Christmas…

Philip HarrisChatter, Glitch, Movies, Television, The Ghost Smuggler, Video GamesLeave a Comment

I have mixed feelings about Christmas. I’m a big fan of the whole goodwill to all men, peace on Earth thing, not as big a fan of the incessant commercialisation. And the perfume adverts…don’t get me started on those. In fact, don’t get me started on any Christmas ads. I’m lucky in that the office shuts down from Christmas Day to New Years Day. That doesn’t always mean everyone gets that time off because it’s not unusual for us to have a project in the final stages of development which means a few people are in the office fixing bugs, testing, coming up with last minute design changes etc. But at the very least the constant stream of email and meetings eases up for a week. Normally, I just stick to the one week of vacation at Christmas but this year I wanted to get some extra writing done so I took Friday, Monday and Tuesday off which means I’m on the third day of my Christmas break already. As usual I’ve got a whole string of things I’d like to get done. Finish off the first draft of Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet. Write the first draft of a play … Read More

Twelve

Philip HarrisTelevisionLeave a Comment

So, Peter Capaldi has signed on for the life changing experience that is playing The Doctor. Although I recognise Peter’s face, I’m not that familiar with his work and don’t really have any preconceived ideas about what he’ll be like. In any case, I don’t really go in for that popular Internet pastime – critique the casting (there’s no point – we all know Tom Baker is the one true doctor). He does look like he’d fit a sterner, less whimsical, less flaily doctor though so we’ll see. However he plays the role, he certainly seems to be a big fan of the series. Of course, no Doctor Who casting can be complete without its share of controversy. I for one think it would have been very interesting to see someone other than a white male in the role, if only to see what sort of a hornet’s nest that would stir up on the ‘net. Maybe next time. [Twelve by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 7th August 2013]

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Philip HarrisStories, TelevisionLeave a Comment

A good writing day yesterday. I clocked up nine hundred and fifty eight words and completed the first draft of the story currently known as Rainshine. The first draft wound up at 3362 words, a bit longer than I’d originally thought but pretty much an average length for me. I’m pretty happy with this one, now comes the time to put it aside and let it age for a couple of weeks. Hopefully that will give me a bit of distance so that I can come back with a fresh perspective when I come to revise it. Maybe I’ll also have my final title by then. After the I’d finished writing Rainshine, we caught up on the latest episode of Supernatural. [Slight spoiler ahead] I don’t watch a lot of TV – too many other things to do – but Supernatural is one of the few series that’s a must see. We’ve reached Season 7 though and its starting to feel like it might be time to wrap things up. I still enjoy it, although less so since we lost Castiel, but I’d rather it ended on a high rather than degenerate into mediocrity the way The X-Files did. This week we … Read More