David Thompson


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July 11, 2014



From the "Beautify your nose" page I came across this little charmer. It is a sex toy right?


The sound of bionics.

And a million ringtones are born.


the new and vastly improved Japanese Doctor Who.

No argument there. But anything would be an improvement, surely?


But anything would be an improvement, surely?

As I’ve said before, Doctor Who is one of those programmes where the premise, the idea of it, is much better than any of the episodes that are actually broadcast. Every so often I try to like its latest incarnation, unsuccessfully. Maybe the casting of Peter Capaldi will shift it away from the ‘Hyperactive-Young-Man-With-Zany-Hair-And-A-Heavy-Handed Right-On Message’ that made the thing so boring.


Martin Caidin’s Cyborg, 1972.

Ha! That's a book I've been meaning to read on and off for about 30 years. Now I've no excuse. Thanks, David.


That’s a book I’ve been meaning to read on and off for about 30 years.

It’s not exactly great literature or even a gripping drama, and there are pages upon pages of dry exposition and pseudo-technical voodoo. But it’s interesting in how it differs from the rather more glamorous TV series and spin-offs. Our bionic man is much clunkier in the book, still blind in one eye, and his robotic arm is basically a bludgeon. And there’s a lot more amputee angst.

He does, though, have a dart gun built into his prosthetic arm. I don’t remember Lee Majors ever using that.

Dr. Westerhaus

Maybe the casting of Peter Capaldi will shift it away from the ‘Hyperactive-Young-Man-With-Zany-Hair-And-A-Heavy-Handed Right-On Message’ that made the thing so boring.

That's everyone after Jon Pertwee then? ;)


That’s everyone after Jon Pertwee then?

Heh. I think it’s the fact it has an air of bad panto.


it has an air of bad panto.

There's no such thing as good panto.

the rather more glamorous TV series and spin-offs.

Stefanie Powers and Bigfoot! Awesome.


Stefanie Powers and Bigfoot! Awesome.

Yes, that show had everything, including an actor who could give Shatner a run for his money. Though I remember preferring The Bionic Woman as a child. I have vague memories of Lyndsay Wagner having endless slow-motion fights with deadly-but-beautiful fembots. Which generally entailed tipping bookcases on them or flinging scatter cushions.

And wasn’t there a bionic dog?

Jeff Wood

I knew the US military is having trouble finding qualified recruits, but this news suggests that older American readers should pack their toothbrushes in anticipation of the Draft:



And wasn’t there a bionic dog?



Wow. I love the landing gear touchdown sounds. As I was saying, a quality show.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

If I had to describe Doctor Who in one word, that word would be "smug".

The show wears the condescending metropolitan smirk of a latte-sipping, MacBook-toting Beeb producer. They might as well have a baddie called "Maily Dail", from the planet "ConDem".

It's also rather painful to see the Beeb overpromote Doctor Who, with the constant self-celebration and shows about the show and special cinema screenings and whatnot. They think we think it's Great Television.

But it isn't. Breaking Bad was great television. Doctor Who is juvenile television.

The average Doctor Who episode involves generic forgettable baddies, so-so CGI, the Doctor running about and mugging for the camera like a five year old at a wedding, and his annoying sidekicks being either stupid and annoying (if male), or Strong Independent Women and annoying (if female).

"Oh yeah? You're a cyborg killing machine from outer space? Well I'm a 20-something middle class girl from London so I'll defeat you with the power of snark!"

The plot will usually be wrapped up with some lame deus ex machina after ladles of cheesy congealed EMOTION are heaped on ("Me wuv you hyoomans!"). A pregnant woman watching "The Notebook" is less maudlin than Doctor Who.

And that's before I even get started on Sexwood, which would have us believe exciting things keep happening in Cardiff.


I don't really care much about the Dr Who storylines as long has he has a hot companion. That series with Catherine Tate was terrible.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

JL - Poor Catherine Tate. Ginger is a tough sell unless you look more like Karen Gillan.

For me, the most annoying companion by far was Rory. What a chinless dweeb he was, trotting to heel like a fixed poodle while his wife made cow eyes at the Doctor.

If he was in the Roman army, they'd have crucified him on principle.

I would very much like to see The Master come back, not as a muahahahaing deranged ham bone like the John Simm incarnation, but as an actual evil genius who really could kill off the goodies if it served his nefarious schemes.


Crimes against design.

Check out nos. 7, 8 and 15.


Check out nos. 7, 8 and 15.

Oh my.

Andi Lucas

There is a whole world of superior Doctor Who out there on audio original actors from the First-Eighth Doctor eras. The writing is much more intelligent and adventurous, and the characterisation far more interesting. My favourite Tardis team is Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor (an absolute revelation on audio) with his companion Evelyn Smythe, a slightly dotty fifty-something history lecturer (played by Maggie Stables).

And yes, they've brought back the Master in far more threatening and disturbing forms than on TV. They've even done an origin story for him (called simply Master) which is far darker and more grown-up than that nonsense in the recent TV series. They have Geoffrey Beevers (who played the role on TV in 'The Keeper of Traken' back in Tom Baker's day) playing him as a really poisonous and bitter sadistic psychopath trapped in a body that resembles a burned corpse. They've also introduced another incarnation of the character which I won't describe further, as it's a major plot point in his introductory story that nobody knows he is the Master until near the end.


No words.


Crimes against design.

. . . . . . Some situations provide their own punchlines.

And based on actual organizational situations I've seen, No, no one ever got fired for any of those, because as with Minnow, the first step to actually having things get corrected is to acknowledge there is something the least bit unusual.

Jeff Guinn

Crimes against design

In the US, Sears is a fading purveyor of stuff -- clothes to electronics to appliances. Wrapped up in that broad spectrum is tools. Unlike just about every department store on the planet, Sears has a place where she can park he whilst she reduces the swelling in her shopping gland.

Of course, this being the brave new age, where women are as good at everything as men are, except where women are far superior, companies are trying to market "non-traditional" activities to the ubergender.

In many cases, this means tarting up the original thing, tool storage in this case, in female friendly colors.

Perhaps, though, they don't need to shout it to the rooftops.


Jeff, did the pink one cost more than the green one to the right?

As of right now, I'm dropping "pork chops and applesauce" in favor of "art is anal cheese" as my catch phrase.



And Hal, zip it.



I couldn't quite tell ... does that tuna knob go to eleven?

Col. Milquetoast

at 1:40 :
"These ghostly exhalations are proof that the sponge is actively pumping. With no mouth it sucks water directly through its spongelike body walls which are shot through with millions of narrow canals and tiny chambers"

Were some viewers were expecting it to giraffe-like? I would have assumed that a sponge would be about as spongelike as anything is possible to be.


Though I remember preferring The Bionic Woman as a child.

I used to think the world would stop spinning on its axis if I couldn't see TBW on Wednesday Night. I also thought Lindsay Wagner was The Bestest Actress EVAR. Then I saw a repeat a few weeks ago and Wagner was chewing scenery by the gob-full, being all weepy and neurotic and hysterical and basically unwatchable.

But I was thirteen, see, and so she seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

That series with Catherine Tate was terrible.

Donna Noble is my favorite. Of course, I don't care to ogle at the babez; Donna was Everywoman to me, the dumpy, ordinary broad of no import who becomes the most important woman in the universe, even for a moment, and she didn't blow it.

And then there's this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHAJ4VFStUE


I used to think the world would stop spinning on its axis if I couldn’t see TBW on Wednesday Night.

I briefly had hopes for the 2007 remake. The idea of a young woman punching terrorists through walls has a certain appeal. Then I watched a couple of episodes. There was way too much moping and some odd casting choices. To many Brits, the name Michelle Ryan conjures images of Eastenders, which, in the context of a sci-fi/espionage series, is incongruous and quite funny. And it’s not a good sign when a recurring secondary character – Katee Sackhoff’s evil bionic prototype – is much more plausible and compelling than the lead.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Andi - I keep hearing good things about the audio adventures, but I'm a visual person. I can't even choose food in a restaurant unless there are pictures.

My wife comes from a much nicer background than I do so she's used to fine dining and eateries where the menus aren't even laminated. It has caused embarrassment in the past when I thought the finger bowls at a dinner party were drinking vessels. Not for me of course, I'm impervious to social shame. It's like my superpower.

I have learned a lot from her though. So I now know that it's bad form to use breadsticks as makeshift vampire fangs, and that taking a lady out to an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet is not considered a romantic anniversary treat.

When I was a kid, the rare occasion when we went out to eat involved going to Wimpy, and my mum insisted I steal as many napkins and condiments as would fit into her handbag.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David - there were a few abortive attempts to launch action-scifi TV shows at that time.

The Bionic Woman managed to take an awesome premise and make it boring every time Starbuck wasn't on screen.

The attempted reboot of Knight Rider was blander than a scoop of lactose-free cucumber flavoured ice cream.

The Sarah Connor Chronicles was more forgettable than the Sarah Jayne Adventures.

Flash Gordon was such a travesty it's a wonder Brian Blessed didn't kill everyone responsible for it.

And who can remember Caprica, starring Rocky Dennis and enough teen girl drama to power MySpace for a decade?


The Bionic Woman managed to take an awesome premise and make it boring every time Starbuck wasn’t on screen.

As others pointed out, Michelle Ryan was just too inert to hold much interest. And Caprica took a handful of interesting premises and somehow drained them of dramatic life. Again, much too mopey. I was spared any exposure to the other shows you mention, though it’s been rumoured we may have a new six million dollar man in the shape of Mark “acting chops” Wahlberg. A project that must be stopped using all available force.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David - when I saw Miguel Ferrer was in it, I hoped it would turn out to be as brilliant as the last time he brought a violent cyborg to life, in RoboCop.

I have a ridiculous amount of love for RoboCop, I even enjoyed the sequels with the foul mouthed little boy and the one where he was fighting the dastardly Jap robot.

RoboCop directly inspired me to become an executive at a big evil tech multinational. I was hoping there'd be more cocaine and hookers and people being gunned down in boardrooms, but all that stuff seems to have been left behind in the 80's.

Big business has lost its way.

And TBW lost her way. She was more like the recent terrible remake of RoboCop, where Alex Murphy looks like a Power Ranger. She was like Yes, I can punch people into next week, but I want to talk about my feelings!

If Marky Mark is going to be the 6 Million Dollar Man I hope they make it a crossover with the Boogie Nights universe and include Burt Reynolds and John C Reilly.

Imagine if Burt had a bionic toupee and whenever people made fun of him for being in Striptease, it leapt off his head and strangled them?

They might be able to tempt Sean Connery out of retirement for a robo-wig-off.


OK, I'm fixated on this...the Lauren Cooper bit, and I even watched another vid with her and "Tony Blair" where this was repeated:


Can someone please tell me what it is she says as she draws a circle around her face? In the TB clip, he does it as well. Or is it meant to be unintelligible?

Also, who's the guy playing Tony Blair? He comes across a lot more impressive than the guy y'all put in #10 back when. Perhaps run him next time? Just a suggestion.


Or is it meant to be unintelligible?

“Am I bovvered (bothered)?” Or, “Is my face bovvered?” I.e., “Does it look like I care?”


It has caused embarrassment in the past when I thought the finger bowls at a dinner party were drinking vessels.

I think I may outrank you here, I once mistook a letter holder for a toast rack, common as muck me.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Thornavis - Can't take you anywhere :)

Did you not wonder why the toast had "Final Demand" written on it in red ink?


Well the rack was empty at the time, it was only later when I saw letters in it that I realised my dreadful social blunder. At least I didn't go the whole hog and use the letter opener to spread the marmalade.

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