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Welcome to Anything can happen 2017!

Well, that’s what I’m hoping for anyway. A Fresh Start, a New Beginning, the slate wiped clean.keep-calm-because-anything-can-happen-1

To start with- I went to the shop and bought some wellies. I think my subconscious might be trying to tell me something- that was an impulse buy. Maybe my little jaunt round Talacre taught me to be more prepared than I already usually am for whatever eventualities may occur. It looks like it’ll be an epic five-part video anyway, plus I haven’t updated the five year anniversary like I thought I would.

Another thing I am planning in advance is Dr. Rrr! Series 2. In amongst the tidying and sorting I have not watched much this Christmas. (Really? How about Deep Space 9 series 7, or Brave or Thunderbolt Fantasy, or Doctor Who- The Return of Doctor Mysterio/Hell Bent/Spearhead from space, or Yuri on Ice finale (yes, really!) or even last episode of series 6 of Game of Thrones, what a revelation at the end!)

Okay, I might have watched a few things, but nothing really Christmassy, unless you count Nativity 3 in school or Cinderella in New Brighton, but that was before Term ended. Rogue One doesn’t count as an Xmas film, but saw it twice, the second time enjoyed it a bit more, but definitely more darker than others, about same as ep 3 I expect, but the prequels don’t really count anyway, in my opinion.

So there we go, anything can happen now I’ve got some wellies. It’s like when Ford Prefect tells Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy that the only thing he needs to survive is a towel, so I guess that’s next on my shopping list.

For now though, I’m eating my first pizza of 2017 and watching the New Sherlock- now there’s an epic combo if ever there was one.

Happy 2017- Get ready and keep your wellies handy, ‘cos anything can Happen!!

 

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TIME TRAVELLING POTTER- Time Riders-The Infinity Cage

imagesWK4QODEPI kept on mentioning in my previous reviews how I think Alex Scarrow’s ‘Time Riders’ Young Adult SF series would be worthy successors to the Potter Crown. I’m still shocked that amongst the deluge of YA novel Adaptations, none of these have been made into a film or TV Series.

The plots for the first several books are quite simple- an event in the past changes causing a Time Wave, which disrupts the present and the team (Maddy, Liam, Sal, Bob and Becks) have to correct it, so far so linear.

 

While the first few books have been covered, I’ve not written anything about Book 5-Gates of Rome or any since then, as far as I can remember. Gates of Rome is a huge Gamechanger, as it introduces new character Rashim and the dystopic near-future of the 2060’s.

The team go back to Rome and encounter a deranged Caligula, instead of Claudius as Emperor, so have to reverse the damage.

Then, attempting to contact Waldstein, the founder of the TimeRiders, they are hunted by Support Units, which makes Book 6-The City of Shadows a complete change of pace as they relocate to Victorian London.

Book 7- The Pirate Kings cranks up the Oo-argh Factor as Liam and Rashim take to the high seas in the 17th Century.

Book 8- The Mayan Prophecy sees a major change, which I won’t spoil here, but made me instantly dislike it.   But it all leads to the epic conclusion in Book 9-The Infinity Cage as the plotlines are tied up better than a Reef Knot.

 

Maddy, Rashim and Becks go forward to 2070 and flooded New York before journeying through abandoned US to confront Waldstein. It’s quite a dystopic vision, a solid indictment of Humanity’s rampant consumerism and overreliance on gas, oil and all the greed of Western politicians, banks, corporations and so on.

A more philosophical contrast is of Liam and Bob in First Century Jerusalem, at the time of the Jewish Passover where a certain Preacher is causing ripples and waves amongst the hierarchy and Roman occupation. They get thrust into the centre of the action as Liam makes a shocking discovery underneath the Temple and a close encounter that changes everything.

It’s quite a rollercoaster ride, leaving you a bit breathless, but the story does not end on the last page, as author Alex Scarrow has set up a page on his website where people can submit their own versions of the TimeRiders story where he left off. For me, it’s a challenge way too tempting to be able to resist. Expect a side trip for the STARDIS crew any day now. Mr. Tiglet may even rustle something up, with him; you never know what he’s going to do next!

Tiglet checking out a Fellow time traveller

Tiglet checking out a Fellow time traveller

TimeRiders: Infinity Cage is published by Puffin. £6.99

9/10

 

 

 

 

www.timeriders.com

 

www.alexscarrow.com

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Merry Christmas!!!

disturbing

There’s been a disturbance in the Merry Side of the Force recently.  I haven’t really felt it, but maybe the pressures of work, trying to juggle finances and simply get through the month have made me lose my enthusiasm for the period

 

 

I don’t know, it’s been great doing the ‘Santa Spotting’ exercise for the Year 1’s in school, but I’ve struggled to be of good cheer, even watching Muppets Christmas Carol hasn’t helped, so might watch Nativity 2 instead, or Home Alone or Jingle all the way might do the trick. It has been a rough year, I must admit. Not getting anywhere with submitting Tiglet’s shows to Broadcasters and Producers, as well as not doing much hiking lately has made this blog lack posts, but there are a few new things to try next year.

Maybe it’s the whole commercialisation stuff, as present buying this time round has just made the last few days drag, I don’t know, can’t seem to make up my mind. Guess I’ll just have to get through it and Like it!!

Anyway, there are things in motion to get things started again for 2015, including the publication of my romantic SF story ‘by the lights of the silvery moons’ a big contrast to Incineration Day in the Epic Anthology, so am looking forward to that anyway!

by the lighs of the silvery moons

 

 

 

So Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, here’s looking forward to getting enthusiastic about 2015!!!

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LES MISERABLES ON DVD

les miserables

Here’s a confession- I’ve never been able to sit through this Musical until now, the start has always been depressing. I was introduced to it in 2001 after the University of Liverpool Drama Society awards. I’d been nominated for my one-man Shakespeare version of Mercutio’s soliloquy (ah, I see Queen Mab hath been with you, she is the Fairies midwife etc) The Mad Max-style Post-Apocalyptic version I had proposed to the Committee had been rejected for the second (and Last) time, so did Our Country’s Good and The Importance of Being Ernest instead. I then began reading the novel, but found it a really tough read. The utter bleakness has always coloured my perceptions, but the film version made me decide to get the dvd and give it another go. I’m so glad that I did.

‘Look down, look down; you’re here until you die’

Told across several decades in nineteenth Century France, it begins when Jean Valjean is paroled after 17 years of hard labour for stealing bread. ‘Look Down’ sets the bleak tone as Prisoners haul a ship into a dock, under the vigilant watch of the antagonistic Inspector Javert, whose relentless pursuit of Valjean forms the backbone of the story.

Travelling alone and unable to find work, Valjean is taken in by a Bishop, who feeds him. In desperation, he makes off with silver plates and candlesticks, only to be caught and taken back to the Bishop, who surprises him by saying they were gifts, but forgot two candlesticks. His soliloquy leads him to vow a new start.

Eight years later, in Montreuil in 1823, ‘At the End of the Day’ introduces the struggles of the populace as Javert arrives, meeting Valjean, who he does not recognise, but is now Mayor of the town.

Fantine is kicked onto the streets and goes through a harrowing ordeal, forced into prostitution at the docks. ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ is an incredible lament of sadness and anguish, a heart-breaking song. Valjean intervenes; promising to take care of her daughter as Javert finally recognises him.

‘Who am I?’ is a test of character as Valjean goes to court to prevent a miscarriage of justice, then confronts Javert, who is relentless and unforgiving, leaving Valjean no choice but to flee and find Cosette.

She sings ‘A Castle in the Clouds’ as she sweeps up under the baleful gaze of Madame Thenardier and her husband, who then opens the inn to the tune of ‘Master of the House’, a light-hearted scene as Valjean arrives and takes her away. ‘Suddenly’ is my favourite song as Valjean realises that he has something more to live for in looking after Cosette, even with Javert on his trail. ‘Stars’ is his mission statement- fixed, unbending and relentless.

Fast Forward another nine years to Paris in 1832, Gavroche is a cheeky little chappy, a street urchin running and singing through the streets to a reprise of ‘Look Down’, introducing the Students and Marius, who completely unnotices the massive crush Eponine has on him, made worse when he does notice Cosette, who is with Valjean and accosted by the Thenardiers. ‘Red and the Black’ kindles the fire of rebellion, while ‘In My Life’ is incredible as Cosette and Marius meet in the garden, Eponine witnessing their meeting.

‘On My Own’ is Eponine’s lament, walking in the rain, mulling over her unrequited love for Marius. Something I can empathise with, as Unrequited love is something I’ve been through. I mean, think about it, every time you open yourself up to someone, they just take the opportunity to shove a knife in your gut, rip your heart out, stomp and spit on it, then laugh in your face and walk off. Makes you wonder why you even bother. Anyway, ‘One Day More’ weaves together the individual strands as the cast prepares, each contributing to the overall build up.

The Funeral march is spectacular as ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’ sees the battle begin, the barricade built as Javert gets caught spying. Valjean lets him go. ‘Drink With Me’ is a lull in the fighting, but then Gavroche and Eponine are killed, along with the rest of the students. Valjean rescues Marius, confronted by Javert who lets him go, but freaks out and commits suicide for some ridiculous reason.

‘Empty Chairs at Empty Tables’ is another sad lament as Marius grieves for his friends, then returns home with Cosette. Valjean leaves as they get married, but learn he has hidden himself at a Convent.

‘The Epilogue’ begins with Valjean’s final prayer, as they arrive, a vision of Fantine comforting him as he makes his last confession.

Then the dawn breaks and a vision of all the fallen heroes join in a reprise of ‘Do You Hear the People Sing’ atop the barricade.

Les Miserables is a triumph of a film, a multifaceted, complex and ambitious adaptation of the stage play and novel. A anthemic, unrelenting rollercoaster, it has to watched in one go, no interruptions

Do you hear the people sing, say can you hear the distant drums, It is the Future that we bring when Tomorrow comes!

10/10

 

August 2014!!

August 2014!!

The Puppet version, starring Mr. Tiglet as Valjean and Skuur as Javert looks like it’ll be unveiled in August, just as soon as Tiggy gets things together. It’ll be a hoot and three quarters, Probably!

 

 

 

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374th Post- 3 Year Bloggerversary Special- What is going on in Mercerville these days???

 

“Lord I don’t know which way I’m going, which way the river gonna flow. It just seems that upstream I keep rowin’, still got such a long way to go.”

Coldplay- U.F.O.- From Mylo Xyloto

I’ve been thinking lately that I may have come full circle, the blog’s been out of shape recently- feels like I’ve lost momentum and I haven’t really done anything I wanted to do. My ‘To write list’ keeps on piling up, different projects keep me doing the Juggling Octopi routine and every time I find something to focus on, I get too easily distracted and end up dropping the ball.

Tiglet’s adventures have been a great way to find focus, especially the new philosophical/Spiritual phase we’ve been going through- We’re even going back to the Chester Literature Festival to do a couple of poems, but I’m finishing off Series 4 of the Time Travels- the ending is something I’m looking forward to. I have even begun planning for The Next Big Thing for 2014, but that’s something to share later!

“There’s gotta be more to life, than just chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me.”- Stacie Orrico

While I have been all over the place, I know I’ve messed up a few times over the past year or so, getting stressed, distracted, trying to find a way forward. Dealing with my issues- both health/work/family related and seeking a Balance has been tough, but I think I have been making progress over the past couple of months. The hiking videos I’ve made with Tiglet have been fun, and very illuminating. My experiences at Soul Survivor and my camera failing was a big deal, I am grappling with a number of things that’ll pick up in my Spirituality 101 series, as well as the New Vlogs- which will launch this weekend (he hopes!) I have still yet to catch up on my reviews- Les Miserables, Time Riders 8 and Eat, Pray, Love are top of the list.

“And all you ever do, is change the old for new.”- Delirious- My Glorious

I’ve been thinking I need a turnaround, something to get focussed and passionate about, Faith and Trust are the new watchwords and there are few loose ends to tie up. I began a few threads, like the Creative Elucidation one that haven’t been followed up, so that’ll keep me busy. I have picked up some new creative and crafting skills from School and Nerd Club that have been useful in model making /designing and creating things for Tiglet’s Time Travels- some great new characters and ships to debut in the last few episodes of Season 4, so that will be going until October/November.

So here we go for a Fourth year on the Blog, as I move forward and try new things, I hope you’ll join me, as anything is possible!!!

“Looks like tonight, the sky is heavy. Feels like the winds are gonna change.”

Delirious- Raindown

 

Now I’m going to watch The wonderful Wizard of Oz, Special Edition, so see you somewhere over the Rainbow!! Wizard of Oz

HAPPY 3RD BLOGGERVERSARY TO ONE AND ALL!

WOOHOOO!!

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Top ten reasons I WAS looking forward to Star Trek- Into Darkness

star trek 2

Back in January, before I was ill, I made a list of reasons I was looking forward to the second instalment of the new, alternate version of Star Trek. For one reason or excuse after another I kept putting off sharing it. Now I have seen the film, I thought, why the hell not? So here it is, finally!

TEN

The First one was an excellent redefinition; it wiped the slate clean, not bogged down to continuity- off on voyages in a brand New Direction!

NINE

Into Darkness looks like the Pilot Episode ‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’ but spun in a new way.

EIGHT

It has already inspired a Federation-type gathering for Tiglet’s Time Travels series 2 and 3 (which has happened!)  The Thondarions especially could be New Aliens never seen before and fit in the New timeline!

SEVEN

The redesigned Enterprise is so cool!

SIX

Could the Romulans and Klingons be at war??

In the Classic series, the two Empires were briefly aligned before falling out and scrapping every now and again, tensions and mistrust always high.  Uhura noted that Nero had attacked a Penal colony (Rura Penthe?) and destroyed a fleet of 47 Klingon ships.  Would they have forgiven that?  Not the Klingons, no chance. So there would be no alliance, no swopping of technologies, so Klingons wouldn’t get cloaking devices and Romulans wouldn’t get Cruiser design. Will there be all-out war?

FIVE

The whole crew are involved, including Scotty.

FOUR

If Spock Prime’s Mind-meld told Kirk about Nero, what else could he have learned? The Borg? Dominion War?  Will the Original Spock try and change things??

THREE

Nimoy Spock told Quinto Spock to let his emotions out, so will he lose his rag? I hope so.

TWO

The Villain is Sherlock Holmes! Benedict Cumberbatch is playing John Harrison, said to be a terrorist, but there have been all kinds of rumours that it could be Khan, Charlie X, or maybe even Gary Mitchell.

Maybe that’s just wishful thinking; this is a new timeline after all.

ONE

It’s gonna rock!  The news that JJ is going to make a new Star Wars is inspiring.  Let’s face it; the Prequels saw three films that should have only been one.  If JJ does what he’s done with this reboot- dynamic characterisation, give it dialogue that sings and an adventure story, then that will be so cool.  And he’s shooting in the UK, something else the Prequels got wrong, so I’d best get my Acting hat back on if I want to be a Stormtrooper or Background Extra in the Cantina then!

 

Now that I have ACTUALLY seen it, did it live up to my expectations?

In a word yes, even exceeded them in a few ways. A great opening shows Kirk breaking the Prime Directive, while Spock tells on him. In London a terrorist attack by the mysterious John Harrison leaves a Starfleet secret facility in ruins before attacking Starfleet HQ, Kirk saving Admiral Marcus who orders them to Kronos, the Enterprise armed with new photon Torpedoes to destroy Harrison’s refuge.  Disobeying orders, Kirk, Spock and Uhura watch Harrison take down three ships full of Klingons and reveals Marcus has ordered construction of new weapons and ships to use against the Klingons and other threats to the Federation.

Facing Marcus on his massive ‘Dreadnought; class Starship, it is the presence of Doctor Carol Marcus, his daughter long enough for Kirk and Harrison to board the ship and save the Enterprise in the nick of time.

Star Trek: Into Darkness is an exciting action adventure, full of exciting twists and turns, two amazing ones toward the end, but I won’t spoil it for you if you have not seen it yet. (I hate reviews that give away the ending, which they’re not supposed to do anyway.)

Suffice to say that it is a great sequel and it will be very interesting to see where it Boldly Goes next.

 

10/10

 

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Another 12 Reviews of Christmas- 10- THE HOBBIT –Film Review

hobbitI’m on a Quest tonight, which may take a couple of years to complete, which is not by choice you understand.  As with any adventure, it is taking the first step that requires the most courage, which will commit you to the path, to face dangers unknown. Courage, fortitude, strength, faith and fervour, these are the companions for the journey ahead. A journey fraught with danger, obstacles, adversaries and tests.  Deeper into Middle Earth we must travel, let not your hearts be troubled, nor be afraid, stand fast, for the Quest has Begun!

Bold words, but then Boldness is one of the themes of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit., often regarded as Lord of the Rings little brother, being adapted after the BIG trilogy means there’s advantages, even though it may seem like The Phantom Menace, there is no comparison whatsoever, it is so much better for a start!  CGI developments have improved, so that’s one thing.

The Story begins as Old Bilbo (Ian Holm) prepares for his Birthday Party (as Seen in Fellowship of the Rings) working on his manuscript of the adventure 60 years previously.  The backstory of the Invasion of Erebor and the ousting of the Dwarves by Smaug the Dragon is well told.

Then a younger Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is disturbed by a Wizard called Gandalf, their first meeting doesn’t go so well, but Bilbo isn’t bothered, until the Dwarves turn up and feast, cleaning out his pantry completely.

It is a great setup, introducing the personalities of the Company, so Bilbo becomes embroiled in their adventures, facing Orcs, Wolves, a Sorcerer, Rock People and ending up in Rivendell.  I admit it was nostalgic to see Galadriel and Elrond again, though weird with Saruman there.  Was that the point where he went to the Dark Side or could he have been there all along?

It is more than a nostalgia fest, although we know how it will be worked out, the broad canvas of Middle Earth has many tales, even hints of earlier ages may mean that Jackson is willing to take on The epic that is The Silmarillion and adapt that next, which would be brilliant as it is my favourite, I’ve even got my Nephew to start reading it.  Leaf by Niggle is another one I like but having the shaping of Arda, the forging of the Silmarils and the War of the Jewels, Beren and Luthien, the Voyage of Earendil and all the other tales would be spectacular to see.

Anyway, back in this film, the first part called ‘An Unexpected Journey’; the Company face Orcs in an Orc Kingdom while Bilbo meets Gollum and discovers The Ring.  Escaping the Orcs and rescued by Eagles, they see the Lonely Mountain and head for it, unaware that a sleeping Dragon has just been awoken.

With an entire year to wait for the next instalment, I’m sure it’ll be worth it as the Hobbit Trilogy has gotten off to such a terrific start.

10/10

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Raves n rants, Reviews, Xmas

 

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