Tuesday, November 23, 2021

"I Can See He Is Not In Your Good Books, Said The Messenger. If He Were I Would Burn My Library"

Needless to say, dear blog reader, yer actual Keith Telly Topping thought last Sunday's Doctor Who episode, Village Of The Angels was proper excellent. So, that's four good'uns in a row, this is becoming habit-forming Mister Chibnall. It was particularly nice to see the always watchable Kevin McNally back on a series he last graced with his presence in 1984. Well, that's if anyone in The Twin Dilemma could, honestly, be said to have graced anything with anything.
What else has this blogger been watching on the Stately Telly Topping Manor Former Plague House widescreen tellybox, you're probably wondering? And, if you aren't, fear not dear blog reader as Keith Telly Topping is going to tell you anyway. He's like that. You may have noticed. 
There has been considerable irk and not a small amount of righteous, incandescent fury at the situation vis-a-viz Star Trek: Discovery and its home in the UK. You may have heard that the From The North favourite's British fans have been 'left livid' after the global release of the new - fourth - series of Discovery was pulled mere days before its planned launch. And, there's nowt so much a sight to see as righteously furious Star Trek fans. It had been due to be shown outside North America on Netflix from last Friday. However, Netflix then lost the global rights to Paramount, which will now put the show on its own streaming service. Viewers outside the US and Canada, however, must wait until Paramount Plus launches in twenty countries (including the UK) sometime next year. The exception to this, of course, are those handful of UK viewers who have very kind beast fiends in the US who send them over episodes in the post or, those of us like this blogger who get sent preview copies for review purposes. This blogger is in such a fortunate position and is extremely grateful to all concerned for this. And he was, therefore, able to watch the series' opening episode - Kobayashi Maru - earlier this week. Needless to say, he thought it was great.
This blogger also recently caught up with the third series of another From The North favourite, Doom Patrol which this blogger binge-watched all ten episodes over a two-day period. He thought that was great too; it was especially nice to see the series round up the majority of the comic's most important characters which it hadn't already introduced - The Brotherhood/Sisterhood Of Dada, Garguax The Decimator, The Dead Boy Detectives (and Crystal Palace) and, most brilliantly, Brain and Monsieur Mallah. Plus, a fabulously bat-shit crazy Madame Rouge played by Michelle Gomez going so far over the top she's down the other side. This blogger was delighted to learn that the series has recently been commissioned for a fourth series to be broadcast next year.
Speaking of comics which this blogger adored being turned into TV series, on 25 September Netflix released a first look teaser trailer of the highly anticipated adaptation of The Sandman on YouTube. Ooo. Sexy. Tom Sturridge as Morpheus, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar, Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, Asim Chaudhry as Abel and Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain, Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, Joely Richardson as Ethel Cripps, David Thewlis as Doctor Destiny, Stephen Fry as Fiddler's Green, Patton Oswalt as the voice of Matthew the Raven. This is gonna be large. Probably. 
Wor Geet Canny Sir Ridley Scott has confirmed he is turning two of his most famous SF movies, Blade Runner and Alien, into live-action TV series. Speaking on Monday ahead of the release of his new film House Of Gucci - the trailer of which this blogger saw on both of his recent visits to the cinema to watch No Time To Die and Last Night In Soho - Sir Ridley told Radio 4's Today programme he had already 'written the pilot for Blade Runner' as well as 'the bible' for a ten-episode series. The original Blade Runner movie, set in a dystopian future Los Angeles in 2019, was released in 1982, starring Harrison Ford. You knew that, right? Its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was released in 2017, starring Ryan Gosling alongside Ford. An anime series called Blade Runner: Black Lotus premiered earlier this month on the Adult Swim channel. Sir Ridley said: 'We're already presenting Blade Runner as a TV show, which will probably be the first ten hours. And then Alien is a similar thing. Alien is now being written for pilot.' The 1979 Alien film starred Sigourney Weaver and was followed by three sequels - one of them utterly brilliant, the others ... not so much - as well as prequels and crossover Alien Versus Predator movies. Last year, FX channel boss John Landgraf described the new project as 'the first Alien story set on Earth.' He said: 'By blending both the timeless horror of the first Alien film with the non-stop action of the second [Aliens], it's going to be a scary thrill ride that will blow people back in their seats.'
Th highlight of this week's episode of From The North favourite Only Connect was Keith Telly Topping's usual 'getting the answer to one question before either of the teams' thing. Which also coincided with The Goddess That Is Victoria Coren Mitchell scoffing a Mars Bar®™ live to give the teams a clue. Movies and chocolate, two of this blogger's favourite things combined in one question. Three if you count The Divine Victoria herself, obviously. 
To more serious matters. Police in Kenya have launched an investigation after a BBC staff member was found dead in Nairobi. Kate Mitchell who worked for BBC Media Action in a number of African countries, died on Friday. BBC Media Action is the corporation's international charity and its projects focus on using media and communication to address inequality around the world. It is not thought Mitchell's death at a hotel in the city was connected to her work for the organisation. And, while the exact circumstances of her death remain unclear, police told local media they were investigating it 'as a murder' and 'exploring' possible motives. 'The suspected culprit ... jumped off the eighth floor of the hotel through the room's window after sensing that the hotel security might be after him,' Nairobi regional police commander Augustine Nthumbi told reporters. Mitchell, who grew up in Whitley Bay, most recently worked for BBC Media Action's office in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. 'We are all shocked and horrified by this terrible news,' Media Action CEO Caroline Nursey said in a statement. 'Kate was a much-loved member of staff, who worked as a Senior Project Manager and had been with us for fourteen years. She was well known across our whole organisation, especially by our teams in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Zambia, and London. We send our deepest condolences to her family and her many friends around the world,' she added. Her brother, Peter, said: 'Kate was a deeply beloved daughter, sister and friend and we are only beginning to realise the magnitude of her loss. The circumstances surrounding her death are still being investigated and we would ask you to ignore speculation in parts of the press and on social media. We ask everyone to respect our family's privacy as we grieve Kate's loss.'

Women have, reportedly, been banned from appearing in television dramas in Afghanistan under new rules imposed by the Taliban government. Who are, obviously, not mad as Mad Jack McMad and, in no way, all have very small penises and compensate for that shortage in the Maleness department with a policy of crass and disgusting misogyny. Oh no, very hot water. Female journalists and presenters have also been ordered to wear headscarves on screen, although the guidelines do not say which type of covering to use. Reporters say some of the rules are 'vague' and 'subject to interpretation.' The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August and many fear they are gradually imposing harsh restrictions. The militant Islamist group, which took control following the departure of US and allied forces, almost immediately instructed girls and young women to stay home from school. During their previous rule in the 1990s, women were barred from education and the workplace.
Next, dear blog reader, a public service announcement for all From The North's many dear blog readers who share this blogger's love of The Be-Atles (a popular beat combo of the 1960s, you might've heard of them). Keith Telly Topping is now in his late fifties (you might've noticed that too) and has known The Be-Atles music for most of his life, ever since being bought the 'Yellow Submarine' single for his third birthday in October 1966. This blogger genuinely can't remember when he heard most Be-Atles songs for the first time; some would've been contemporaneously, others were later, in the early-to-mid-seventies via compilation LPs like The Blue Album and Love Songs and finally, around 1976 when the coolest teacher at our school - Mick Lovell - did this blogger a few cassettes to fill in all the gaps. Remember, kids, Home Taping Is Killing Music. Allegedly. Anyway, it remains - even all these years later - a real thrill to see someone else experience this glorious music for the first time. For the last few months a young Australian writer/musician called Caroline has been listening to The Be-Atles LPs in chronological order and posting her reactions to them on her YouTube channel which you can find here. Currently, she's got as far as Revolver (she's on a three-week schedule so Sgt Pepper's should be coming up shortly). As a musician herself, it's fascinating to see Caroline arriving at, for example, A Hard Day's Night or Beatles For Sale or Rubber Soul completely fresh and unspoiled, without any preconceptions or perceived wisdom built up over decades of conditioning and fan dogma about what's good and what isn't. (The sole exception to that was 'Run For You Life' which she was warned, in advance, might not be to her tastes lyrically from a Twenty First Century standpoint. Hard to argue with that, really!) If you find yourself with a couple of hours to spare one rainy Sunday afternoon, dear blog reader, I urge you to check out Caroline's reaction videos in order - they're usually about as long as the LPs themselves although they're getting longer, Revolver clocking in around forty five minutes. It's refreshing to hear someone else's take on music that you know as well as your own heartbeat and, shockingly (and stunningly), you might find yourself hearing something through someone else's ears which will surprise you.
And finally, dear blog reader, after this blogger's rather needy and - with hindsight, a bit pathetic - plea when posting the recent Keith Telly Topping Presents ... The From The North TV Awards (2021) bloggerisationism update for publicity, well, it worked. The comedy and broadcasting legend that is yer actual Alfie Joey (close personal fiend of this blogger dontcha know) certainly fell for it. Bless yer cotton socks, Alf, you're a giant amongst men.