11 Nov 2015

Spiny Norman loses cherry...

So, a Tory MP wants the humble hedgehog to be adopted as our National Animal does he? A hedgehog! I ask you....mind you, they say a country's symbolic beastie reflects its characteristics, don't they? The Russian Bear - lumbering but scary, aggressive and surly; the American Eagle - keeps out of reach, a circling predatory killer with a beady eye for the main chance; so why not the British Hedgehog - small, a bit slow, easily provoked into a ridiculous defensive pose, overreacts to the onset of "winter", prickly.

Phil Collins is mulling over coming out of retirement. Fair play to the bloke, it's not like he needs the money, even after all those divorces. As I'm sure you know by now, some wag set up a petition calling on the United Nations to prevent Mr Collins from inflicting his pop ditties on the world, saying "Phil Collins has announced he is 'no longer in retirement'. There is far too much suffering in the world as it is. This must be stopped.", and more in a similar mildly amusing vein.

As the author himself has said it was an attempt at "lowbrow satire" obviously lost on Collins' po-faced fans who, missing the point entirely took to ye interweb in droves defending their hero, with one fine rant in particular by some humourless bloke with a broom handle so far up his arse he was having difficulty breathing, going to extraordinary lengths spelling out why Collins is on a par with Mozart, and how the petitioner should have his testicles speared by Collins' drumsticks. Well, the holier-than-thou righteous brigade have won the day, as the author has now removed the petition saying:

"People who signed this get that it was a joke. Some others didn't. It very obviously wasn't a serious petition. Surely no one could think this was going to be sent to the UN?

It was lowbrow satire, a farcical jest that I shared with some friends...I doubt very much that Phil Collins would give a damn about my musical taste...It's gone now, so people who were annoyed about it and gave their attention to it... may direct their attentions to something of real importance. This petition wasn't that."

Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/phil-collins/89588#W0Mmvdgs42ajLQ2t.99

If I were Collins I would have signed it myself for a laugh, and one wonders if those same riders of the moral high horse would have got so hot under the collar were a similar satirical petition set up calling for Justin Bieber to stop, now.

After over 20 years, Burwood Towers is no longer receiving TV signals from a subscription service, a change I should have made some time ago to be honest. Several years ago, we switched from Sky to Virgin, partly because of the ever-increasing cost of largely unwatched Sky Sports, which I ditched, and partly because Virgin offered by far the fastest internet speeds in our area. Over the years since we have seen the basic Virgin TV package we subscribed to slowly but inexorably increase in price to the point where our paying £16 a month for the privilege of my watching Sky Sports News on Saturdays, and access to a few other Sky channels neither of us ever bother with was a daft waste of money.

The main attraction of the Virgin TV box was its catch up TV services and its recording capabilities. Now we have recently finally entered the modern age chez nous, and got ourselves a smart TV, we no longer need the Virgin box for catch up services, and the addition of a cheap HD recorder has provided the final piece in the jigsaw. Kudos to Virgin, who only half-heartedly tried to talk me out of returning their box of tricks, they also re-wrote my contract for broadband and landline and gave me a £9 per month loyalty bonus for 18 months - a consumer company offering loyalty payments, whatever next! - making a grand saving of £25 per month on my old bill. Woohoo!

It will be interesting to see how subscription TV adapts to the rise of internet capable TV systems and cheap HD recorders, as I guess folk who are or will soon be suffering at the removal of tax credit payments find they have to cut luxuries out of the family budget. Ultimately this may have a big effect on my sport of choice, and it would be great to see a more level playing field in the Premier League. There are only two clubs who would not be affected by a big reduction in TV money, Chelsea and Manchester City. Most of the rest would go bust and start again, but a few (Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs possibly) would carry on but be unable to afford to renew massive player contracts or pay ludicrous transfer fees. The effect on world transfer markets would be huge...one can but dream!

Hello! I Must Be Going....

16 Oct 2015

TV on Earth...

I thought it was probably time to blow the several layers of dust off Brouhaha, and give you some semi-formed nonsense about terrestrial TV on planet Earth - well, in the UK, at any rate. Here's my completely irrelevant thoughts on some stuff wot I bin watchin'...

Have I Got News For You
Unbeknownst to yours truly, yet another series of this ancient satire show creaked into action a few weeks ago, so last night I watched the first episode on Catch Up. Having been a fan since series 1 back in 1990 (!), I probably now watch out of habit more than anything else, but it still makes me laugh now and again, and that's good enough for me.

Since 2007 as well as the usual half-hour programme, now broadcast at primetime on BBC1, an extended version with extra footage edited from its smarter prime time BBC1 cousin has been shown a few days later, buried on BBC2. I would guess that after all these years, HIGNFY's audience is 99% longtime fans who only watch the long version, so why they bother with the shorter one at all is beyond me.

Anyway, Episode 1 of Series 50 (no, really!) was chaired by that self-confessed dinosaur and professional oaf Jeremy Clarkson. Joining Hislop we had Jemima Daddysgotaporsche, an extremely irritating and entitled yahoo posh bird journo. Her actual name is apparently Camilla Long, and she writes for The Times, a Murdoch rag - 'nuff said. With Merton was the unfeasibly tall quiz show creator and all-round uber-brain and good bloke, Richard Osman.

As this show was filmed just after the Labour conference, and with Clarkson and Jemima on board, joined in tacit agreement by Hislop, it soon turned into a "Let's rip the piss out of Jeremy Corbyn" contest. I've always liked Richard Osman, a guy with a sharp wit, and I suspected a bloke in possession a top quality bullshit detector. My suspicions were confirmed, as he turned out to be the only one defending Corbyn while the aforementioned other three took great delight in highlighting the old boy's admittedly many shortcomings. Strangely during the Corbynfest, Merton remained largely silent, leaving his team mate to fight the red corner alone, although his question "Why have we got Trident?", which he answered himself with "...is it (to protect us from) attacks on the Undergound?" raised a smile.

Osman, when not defending Corbyn against the baying public school contingent, spent his time winding up Clarkson, a noble pursuit if you ask me. The very tall one likened not pressing "The Button" to never selecting ITV2 on his TV remote, with Clarkson chipping in with "What is ITV2?" Quick as a flash, Osman retorts "You'll find out soon enough, Jeremy" LOL, indeed! However, credit must be given where due to to the suddenly very old-looking former employee puncher, who for the most part held his cool against Osman's rapier-like incisiveness. Great telly!

Hislop, who quite rightly will have ago at incompetence or injustice wherever he sees it, redeemed himself with some typically astute observations, at one point getting righteously angry about the way in which the meeja has used the Cameron "Cock and Pig Story" to gloss over the real crimes our glorious leader and his party have committed against the poor of this country.

Yes, it's tired and arthritic, but it still makes me laugh. HIGNFY is the Beeb's equivalent of an eccentric, curmudgeonly but essentially loveable uncle in a care home. Of course, the care home is under constant and thoroughly unjustified threat of privatisation or closure, but while it stands, so does the show.

Just because you're using a Swedish lead actor and your story is seemingly about loss and grief does not mean you have a series to rival The Killing, no siree. River is based on a preposterous premise wherein our titular hero, a Detecive Inspector (what else?) is literally haunted by ghosts, or "manifests" as he prefers to call them from his troubled distant and recent past. He holds long conversations with these spookies, and he even gets physical with one of them, beating "him" up while incarcerated in a police cell (don't ask). This wildly eccentric behaviour while noticed by his colleagues seems to have no effect on his ongoing employment status, other than a few enforced but brief and truculent sessions with the in-house psychologist.

Even a committed Dr Who fan will find their credulity-o-meter stretched to breaking point by this daft programme. River is a ridiculously OTT failed Anglo attempt at Nordic Noir, right down to the introspectively gloomy theme tune. I won't be wasting any more time on this, needless to say.

Dr Who
Well, it had to get a mention, didn't it?

They shoot horses, don't they?...or...Why? When will it all end?

Cradle To Grave
Just to prove it's not all crap, this delightful and occasionally hilarious series has ticked all the right nostalgia buttons for those of us who entered the 1970s as kids, and left it as young adults. Great soundtrack, and a great theme tune, the title track of Squeeze's new platter, and if the rest of it is that good it shows that not all ancient bands should be banned from reforming. By the end I even got used to Peter Kay's variable take on a Cokernee accent, dinneye?

2 Apr 2015

A Cautionary Tale...

Thursday May 16th 2019, a lovely day. The sun was shining, we were under a mini-heatwave, which at this time of the year meant the temperature was a pleasant 72°F. The weather was of minor concern to Jason, who had just woken to the sound of his alarm clock. Unemployed for nearly nine months, he still got up with his alarm at 7am, as he didn't fancy slipping into the morass of ennui that some of his mates wallowed in. Steve was actually proud of the fact that he never arose from his pit before noon, the lazy bugger.

Jason awoke with a rare smile on his careworn face, for he was looking forward to the weekend, as a £300 scratchcard win a couple of days ago has given him the wherewithal to take his wife out for a meal for...well, he couldn't remember exactly when it last happened, must've been over a year ago. Linda and Jase both liked a curry, and luckily Linda lived in one of the few conurbations where a few curry houses still existed, as the coalition crackdown on migrant workers had led to thousands of restaurant staff leaving the country, some willingly, some not so, rather than put up with constant suspicion and finger pointing, not to mention the steady withdrawal of benefit entitlement.

Since they lost the flat, Jason didn't get to see Linda much now, as he couldn't afford the exorbitant return train fare charged by the new rail franchise to her parent's place 70 miles away. There's half the win gone already...still let's not worry about that, for after he had given his mum a rare £50 there will still just about be enough left over for the meal, that's the main thing. Food prices had shot up since we left the EU two years ago, and he had wanted to give his mum all the money, as things were not exactly flush for his parents either, since their teachers' pensions had been reduced by 25% as part of a "rationalisation" in the last coalition Budget. "No, you take Linda out, it will do you both the power of good" she had said, bless her.

After that initial and uncommon burst of waking optimism, he got out of bed and promptly nearly fell over, the pain in his ankle reminding him that he couldn't put off going to A&E any longer. He had vainly tried getting a doctor's appointment, armed for disappointment as it was well known that unofficially you only got a appointment now if you were usefully employed and at death's door, or could afford to make a hefty donation to to the "Surgery Roof Restoration Fund" as it was euphemistically known. Jason's anticipated kickback came with knobs on as he thought he heard the disinterested receptionist at the other end of the phone suppress a cynical snort as he described his condition. "Try A&E" she had said and brusquely hung up. That prospect filled Jason with dread, as he resigned himself to losing a day and most of a night by spending the now average 18 hours in the desperately overcrowded and frankly dangerously grubby A&E waiting area. The long waiting time and dilapidated state of his local NHS hospital (at least he had one) being the result of the coalition's cutbacks, privatisation, and draconian immigration restrictions leading to hospitals up and down the land being unable get the staff to do the menial jobs, jobs that only the most desperate of the indigenous population would apply for.

Jason hobbled to the bathroom, only to find it already occupied by his Dad. "Fuck" thought our Jase, as Dad never spent less than half an hour in there of a morning. "It's either cross my legs or go piss in the kitchen sink". Oh the joys of living with your parents, something over half of Jason's 30-something generation were now doing out of economic necessity because housing, both owned and rented was way out of reach for the ever-increasing millions in Jason's jobless position what with the huge reductions in Housing Benefit, as well as being an increasingly unrealistic aspiration for those on the average working wage, which was shrinking every month, that and the burgeoning unemployment rates again thanks to the UK leaving the EU.

Jason was ever grateful to his parents for putting up with him and keeping him housed, fed and clothed after his meagre unemployment benefit stopped three months into his current workless state and he lost the marital flat, Linda's low wage not being anywhere near enough to support them both. Jason was thankful they didn't have kids to worry about on top of all that.

Jason's last job was at the local car plant until it announced that owing to the UK's imminent leaving of the EU it was relocating to Lille in France three months prior to our upping anchor and sailing off into the open arms of the Third World. They did offer Jase a position over there, but he just couldn't see himself putting up with all those Frenchies, a decision he soon came to regret, as France would no longer let him in as a now non-EU citizen. Desperation was taking hold for our hero, and it looked like he now had no choice but to apply for one of the hundreds of very low paid hospital cleaner jobs, assuming he's not forced into one on Workfare. Even if he could get paid a wage for it, the minimum wage had been frozen since the election, and let's face it, it was nowhere near what you could independently live on anyway, especially as the powers that be had recently withdrawn the right to tax credit to people living with their parents.

As Jason limped downstairs towards the kitchen, his bladder by now tripping the light fantastic and praying his Mum wasn't in there, Jason fretted over the circumstances that have led to this coming day out at the hospital. If only the bloody council would fill in those potholes instead of wasting their money on that immigration processing facility, then I wouldn't have tripped while crossing the road last week, he pondered. He could forget suing as that was now a legislative minefield that only the wealthy could afford to negotiate. Still, it could be worse, his mate Dave had been in prison for nearly four months now on suspicion of an unspecified terrorism-related offence, simply because some lackey frightened for their job at PC World found some writings on Arab sponsored militant Islamic groups on his computer when he took it there for some routine maintenance. The fact that Dave was doing a thesis on Middle Eastern politics didn't seem to have any effect on his case, and now we were no longer part of the EU Human Rights Act, the State could do whatever it liked if the "T" word was bandied about enough. They wouldn't even allow visitors, the bastards.

Thankful to arrive at the kitchen to find it empty, Jason stood on the footstool and blissfully relieved himself into the kitchen sink, as he ruminated some more on his unfortunately brainy mate. Dave had always been a leftie, and was forever banging on about justice and equality and other subjects Jason couldn't give a toss about, let alone grasp, but Dave always made him laugh and always got his round in, that was what really mattered after all, eh? Smiling at the memory, Jason recalled that Dave once tried to physically stop him from voting "Out" in the EU referendum by unsuccessfully attempting to lock him in his flat on that fateful Thursday. Fuck, that really tested the friendship that did! For all that, it was slowly dawning on Jason like a sunrise through the thick sulphurous fog of his prejudice-clouded brain that he along with many thousands of other dimwits voting for UKIP in droves back in 2015, thereby giving Farage's poisonous little cabal a big say in the current Tory/UKIP coalition, and then voting "Out" in the EU Referendum were possibly the two biggest mistakes he had ever made in a voting booth...apart from that time he voted after an afternoon session at the pub and threw up all over the ballot box, but that's another story.

20 Feb 2015

Duh-duh duh duh-duh-duh...

Unnecessarily long and convoluted plotlines leading to a ludicrous denouement, with a completely unconnected massive shark jump thrown in for good measure. Nope, I'm not talking about Dr Who for once, but EastbloodyEnders (SPOILER ALERT). Overseas readers - there be a touch of the old cockernee vernacular in here too, me old shiners.

I don't normally watch EastbloodyEnders, but I have this week as it included the conclusion to the long (too bloody long) running "who killed Lucy" plotline, not that I cared particularly, but hey, it might be vaguely entertaining.

For those who don't know, or give a monkey's, Lucy Beale was an amoral, needy, self-centred, grasping little trollop with a massive sense of entitlement and a completely basis-free superiority complex, for whom death could only be a vast improvement. Come to think of it, that would apply to most of the cast, male and female. But come on...her weedy 10-year old and previously (as far as I know) totally silent little bruvver was 'im wot dun it? Really? It remains to be seen 'ow ee dun it, but my guess is he sucked her soul out through her eyes by dint of a hitherto unsuspected demonic power, causing the poor wretch to scream hideously as her life force evaporated into the ether...or summat.

And that wasn't the massive shark jump I referred to earlier, oh no. That was the return of the previously brown bread Kathy Beale, Lucy's gran, apropos of absolutely nothing at all. OK, her son was getting married for the 28th time, which is a decent reason for mum to visit from the hereafter I suppose, but up to the point Kathy stepped out of the black cab, not a dicky bird had been heard of her since she died, unsurprisingly. EastbloodyEnders Zombie Apocalypse!! Bring it on! What upped the weird city factor was that the actress who plays her now looks about 5 years younger than her "son".

Keeping track of the 703 plotlines all concluding at once last night was actually quite fun. These included the discovery of the demise of comedy bungling cockernee tea leaf and all-round bad egg "Nasty" Nick Cotton, who died from an over-indulgence of the old spark plugs under the rueful gaze of his "Ma", the ancient cigarette holder/ashtray combination Dot Cotton, who confessed her "crime" to the rozzers and was promptly arrested. "Nasty" Nick Cotton has been in and out of the soap forever, and if nothing else, "actor" John Altman is consistent and reliable, bearing a marked similarity to that heavy and battered oak dining table you inherited from your gran and can't bring yourself to chuck out: that is, utterly wooden.

Speaking of misanthropic miserablism, I can't stand The Wall by Pink Floyd, which was the most deserving of the five records nominated under the heading Worst Double Albums of All Time in The Daily Telegraph the other day...sorry, got side tracked there, back to TV...still on misanthropic miserablism, I have long suspected that JK Rowling, a woman with the countenance of an over-burdened tax inspector, is living proof of the old maxim that money cannot buy you happiness. If A Casual Vacancy gives the lie to some of the author's character traits then my musings are spot on. The book sits as yet unread on our shelf, but apparently the TV version has had the narrative changed to give a less nasty conclusion, because, according to the script editor viewers deserve some kind of redemptive ending after investing three hours of their time.Look, if we can cope with EastbloodyEnders where innocent ten year olds are turned into psychopaths capable of fratricide without so much as a by your leave, then we can cope with a bit of good old misanthropy. Make the ending as grim as the book I say, we can take it!

Although I have been forewarned of a damp squib of an ending, this still looks like being a belter of a drama, almost like EastbloodyEnders for folk with more than two brain cells. Michael Gambon is superb in it, although his presence reminds us that JKR has some way to go before she writes stuff as wonderfully bile-filled as the sadly missed Dennis Potter, who as everyone knows was Harry's grandad.

1 Jan 2015

A Potato in a World of Huemul

TV over the holiday season has been largely ignored by moi this time, and looking at the listings, I didn't miss much, did I? The best thing I've watched on the box has been the 5:1 version of The Godfather (Part One), which had languished in its plastic wrap-seal since being unwrapped at Xmas 2012. You can tell I'm not a film buff, eh? Might give part two a go on New Year's Day. Part three will probably wait until the next holiday, for as we all know it's a bit poo.

So, what have I watched? Well, we got home slightly sozzled from a luvvly Xmas day out at around 6pm, checked the Radio Times and saw that Dr Who was starting in 15 minutes. We put it on, B watched it, I was asleep by 6:30, only waking as the credits were rolling. After all, that's what these later series of DW are for surely? Quite why a ridiculously overhyped kids sci-fi programme is now poured over and picked to bits by legions of obsessives has long been a mystery to me, and I was a big fan up to when Pertwee left. I suppose I just grew out of it like you grow out of short trousers and simplistic pop music.

It has to be said that the Beeb wastes a good proportion of its drama budget on a franchise that spends half the time gazing adoringly at its own navel and the other half setting new world records at shark jumping. Still as long as it turns a profit for the Beeb then I'll carry on using it as a visual lullaby.

Another programme getting well past its sell-by is Top Gear. I would bet that at least a third of the audience for this year's "special" were only there to see the well-publicised bust-up at the end, when Mr Potatohead and his mates were sent fleeing for their lives from southern Argentina. At the start of the second part of the Patagonia extravaganza, Clarkson, in a specially filmed prequel with May and Hammond sitting silently around the table with him like two not-so-wise monkeys said the production team were aware of the errant numberplate - H982 FKL - and that they couldn't simply change the plate before leaving the UK, and that it would be changed before the planned game of car football at the end. What a load of horseshit! Of course they could have changed it, by spending a few hundred quid at DVLA. Did they really think no-one would spot the provocative plate as it was driven for hundreds of miles through Argentina and Chile and that word would reach the excitable Argentinian veterans and their buddies of what was coming their way? Do they really expect anyone to believe that they weren't expecting trouble sending three British neanderthals to "make peace" with the locals at the home port of the General Belgrano, a place where Brits are loathed probably more than in anywhere else on the planet? Like everything else about this programme, the whole scenario was so obviously fixed, but they got far more than they bargained for, and you can only say it served them right.

There was only one part in the two hours that made me laugh as opposed to chuckle, when they jerry-built the final section of an unfinished bridge, and Clarkson turns to Hammond saying "Yes, but is it straight?" "Yes" replies the short one, quick as a flash - you got the impression it wasn't scripted too. Of course the dreary and humourless Guardianistas will be up on their high horses over that, I've no doubt. Clarkson is, despite his TV image, a highly intelligent bloke, and is only too aware of the controversy that he deliberately courts. He is possessed of a self-awareness and guile that we can only be thankful are way, way beyond the feeble mental grasp of the likes of Nigel Farrago, so be grateful for small mercies...unless Clarkson joins UKIP...bloody hell, that's a frightening prospect!

The glorious scenery and the concluding and frightening rock hurling scenes aside, it was all rather dull, and it was embarrassing watching the three of them churn up deserts and a pristine beach with their primordial gas-guzzling cars in areas where frankly cars shouldn't even be allowed. I think it's high time they called it a day. James May seems to have more about him than the other two, and it is disappointing to see him continually going along with Clarkson's irksome jingoism. He must love the dosh too much to care.

A lot of football is played over the holiday season, but as Mr Martinez has turned my team into Wigan on crutches, I haven't watched a single Match of the Day. Hopefully that will change tonight, but I ain't counting my snapped ligaments.

Charlie Booker's annual round-up has become something of a fixture for me. You think I can be acerbic? Well, Charlie is the master! His withering and dyspeptic style was perfect for summing up a bloody awful year that came packaged with austerity, atrocities, religious intolerance, bigotry, disease, war, political dislocation, extreme weather, a royal baby, and 40-year old sex crimes deflecting attention from the endless list of unpunished filching carried out by thieving bankers. Levity was provided by dumb prole parody characters Philomena Cunk and Barry Shitpeas, who I laugh at with an increasing uneasiness as every year the growing proportion of the wilfully ignorant in the general population moves closer and closer to the stupidity of the intellectually condemned duo. Oh, the joy!

B and I ended the year watching "Queen + Adam Lambert" on the Beeb. Never heard of Lambert before, but he did a passable Freddie impersonation. Apparently he once came second in American Idol, but he can actually sing, so I won't hold that against him! During Bohemian Rhapsody they cut to a video of Freddie singing, and it was instantly noticeable that Lambert has nowhere near the power of Fred's voice, but Fred was unique and could have been an opera singer if he wanted. And, boy, didn't Queen have a vast number of hits?! It's only when a largish chunk of them were played end to end that I was reminded of that. Seems John Deacon is no longer with the band, so "Queen" are now Roger Taylor, who sounded and looked a bit knackered, and Brian May, who can still bang it out. Yep, quite enjoyable!

Have a great 2015, and may it bring you and yours all you wish for...and now, my 2014 TV wibble...

This is Britain, so where TV is concerned there are no "seasons" here; winter is a season, a sequential TV show is a series! Harrumph...

Over the last year I watched - or more correctly, the TV's been on and I've intermittently looked up from a book/magazine/tablet - a few drama series, the best of which, and one that got my undivided attention, was Peaky Bloinders ("o" optional, for added Brummie affectations). As if the premise of setting The Sopranos in grime-filled industrial 1920s Birmingham wasn't enticing enough, the pin-sharp script, great visuals and marvellous soundtrack all combined to make for some rivetting viewing. Unusually these days the script made the female characters as strong and as malevolently flawed as the men. You won't find any female victims or martyrs in Bloindersland, for sure.

Speaking of which two well made if ultimately formulaic cop dramas centered on socipathic killers being sought by female head honcho cops - The Fall and Happy Valley - both relied on the usual misogynistic and stereotypical roles, where the women are either victims of brutal assault, or martyrs to violent men, or, as heads of drama these days seem to demand, preferably both.

Strangely the most violent of the two was written by a woman. Happy Valley looked like it started with Sally Wainwright staring at a blank Word document and writing in bold, font size 20, centered and caps lock on...


...and worked her way downhill from there. The show had a general downer on men, with all the male characters being weak at best, and this was compounded by far more vicious misogynistic violence than was strictly necessary to tell what was actually a well acted and a decent if familiar cop/psycho story. All in all, a ghastly and nasty piece of TV.

The Fall at least redeemed itself partly by making Gillian Anderson's misandrist steely eyed copper as calculating and cold as her sociopathic nemesis, and was the better of the two despite its telegraphed predictable ending.

Both those two I dipped in and out of, but two more series I paid full attention to were Fargo and Utopia. Fargo was the TV remake of the film, which I've never seen, so I can't say how it compares. Although it was a vehicle for Martin Freeman, who did a sterling job as the henpecked hubby who snapped, that being only the start of his decline, there can be no question that Billy Bob Thornton stole the show as the psychopathic Lorne Malvo. Rarely is comedy as dark as this.

The second series of Utopia arrived. For those not familiar, Utopia is a quite bonkers "us and them, us on the run" construct with the promise of possible armageddon, all fried in Leary's finest acid. Filmed like the director was trying to show the world as a synaethesia sufferer sees it, and allied to a very surreal script, it made for hyper-real and edgy TV - progressive TV, if you will!

Right, that's it...time for a hangover-absorbent lunch...