Posts Tagged With: star wars

Inspirational Star Wars Quotes

“I have been giggling at this,” said Sara, “for ten minutes.

impossible-possible

I didn’t even get the reference, which supposedly comes from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, a show I’d never even heard of, let alone seen. But it works, even though it loses points for missing out a full stop in that second frame.

Star Wars spirituality is a very real concept. We’re living in a country where nearly four hundred thousand people put ‘Jedi’ as their religion on the 2001 census, for crying out loud. There’s nothing wrong with that, in and of itself, provided it’s a token protest against atheism and not something you’re actually supposed to take seriously. If that sounds rather too obvious a point for me to need to actually state openly, it’s worth bearing in mind that I’ve spent a week or so reading through status updates on a Facebook group where people genuinely seem to think that the Doctor is really out there flying around in his TARDIS, simply because you’re unable to categorically prove that he isn’t.

So I’m fine with life lessons from Who, and the Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned From Star Trek business model, but you can get too obsessed. And when people delve into these shows as if it’s the only thing that gives their lives meaning, I am torn between the desire to feel sorry for them or openly mock them. Sometimes it’s a simple combination of both.

“Also,” said Sara’s friend Kimberley, “I think a whole series of Star Wars / spiritual memes is in order.”

And she was right. So we spent a pleasant evening doing them, as and when they came to us.

And somewhat predictably, I made a whole set. And here they are.

If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters

If God is all you have you have all you need

Be somebody nobody thought you could be

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience we are spiritual beings having a human experience

Courage is being yourself every day in a world that tells you to be someone else

Don’t let the behaviour of others destroy your inner peace

Until you spread your wings you will have no idea how far you can fly

The truth of human freedom lies in the love that breaks down barriers

Happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to other people

Embrace the glorious mess that you are

May the Force be with you. “And also with you.”

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High on a hill lived a lonely Jedi

If you sang that, then my work is more or less done and I could probably go now. But I dropped in to expand upon this meme that’s been doing the rounds.

Luke_Meme

I won’t linger on the Star Wars / Doctor Who thing. We did all that last year, in more ways than one. It’s just that Thomas has been on at me to do something with that final sequence ever since we saw the film back in December; only recently did I actually find decent quality images to do the Photoshopping.

ForceAwake_Hurt

Because we were all thinking it, right?

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MY INHIBITION IS IMPAIRED

Today in Brian of Morbius: Autons get broody.

There is trouble afoot on the set of ‘Logopolis’.

And chaos ensues during the Dalek Star Wars marathon.

Happy Monday!

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God is in the detail (9-3)

If you’ve been reading around, you won’t have failed to notice the visual nods to Star Trek that showed up in ‘Under The Lake’. There were two fairly obvious ones, and a couple that slipped under the radar. For a start, there was the use of a bay door that featured the number 1701B – which, coincidentally, was the serial number of the fourth Enterprise. This ties up neatly with the mysterious spacecraft that’s the cause of all the trouble – a craft that resembles a Federation shuttle – as well as the whole design of the Drum, as established in that opening shot:

9_3 Detail (1)

Most of all, however, there was this.

9_3 Detail (3)

Ha ha, I hear you saying. Yes, very good. A nice couple of Easter Eggs dropped in to please the Trekkies. To which I say ‘Certainly not’, but in a particularly loud and vivacious voice, in the manner of the Eleventh Doctor bellowing “I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!”. The truth – and here at God Is In The Detail Central that’s our only currency – is that the episode is absolutely full of BLATANT AND VERY IMPORTANT STAR TREK REFERENCES THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED. And don’t worry, you don’t have to go on the hunt for them – I’ve done it for you. So what are we waiting for? Warp factor five, and don’t take your eyes off that glowing circular thing on the screen. Oh, and for heaven’s sake, try and keep your shirt on.

Let’s look at the dots.

9_3 Detail (5)

There are eighteen concentric dots in that outer circle, and a further nine in the next two, along with a single circle in the middle. The number nine has great significance in the Star Trek universe: there are nine principal characters in The Next Generation (Picard, Riker, Data, Troi, Worf, Dr Crusher, Geordi, Gaia and Will Wheaton). Voyager’s de-Borgified scientist Annika Hansen went by the name Seven of Nine (and as a side note, Doctor number Seven starred in a Big Finish Star Trek pastiche known as ‘Bang-Bang-a-Boom!’). And the desert filming for ‘Arena’, episode eighteen of the original series, took place on 9 November. Coincidence? I DON’T THINK SO.

18-9-9 is a type of particularly nitrogen-heavy fertiliser. In the episode ‘The Passenger’, a fire broke out on a Kobliad transport ship – a fire that was extinguished by Major Kira Nerys, with the help of a nitrogen fire extinguisher. This happened in Episode nine of series one of Deep Space Nine. Two nines are eighteen. Draw your own conclusions. (No, really, do draw them. We could do with some more pictures to brighten the place up.)

Finally, the ninth film in the Star Trek series (Insurrection) was released in 1998: a number which may be rearranged to form 18-9-9. ALL OF THIS IS CLEARLY IMPORTANT.

Now look at this.

9_3 Detail (7)

Examine the circular structure that forms the right hand side of the picture. The three large rooms allude to the landing party that energises in every episode in order to explore whatever planet they happen to have discovered (centre). McCoy and Spock (top and bottom) form two ideologically opposite ends, while Kirk (centre right) is the middle ground, charged with listening to both. The two circles containing horizontal lines, just to the left, are CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS references to the redshirts who would join them on each occasion, only to get zapped almost immediately.

Now look at the passages to the left. Each room represents a different Trek series, all branching out from the single, spherical hub. This one represents the original series, while the cube-shaped ones signify The Next Generation and Voyager, insofar as both feature encounters with Borg Cubes. Meanwhile, the hexagonal one in the middle represents Deep Space Nine, given that this was the first series to include a Ferengi in Starfleet, with Ferengi display devices (PADDs) being hexagonal in shape. Oh, and the rectangular one at the bottom? That’s Enterprise, but we won’t dwell on it.

Lastly, note that there are three passages. The instrument of choice for an exploratory landing party was a TRICORDER. I think we all know where this is going, don’t you?

It’s not just Star Trek that gets a look in, of course. There are plenty of nods to George Lucas as well. Witness the symbols inside the shuttle:

9_3 Detail (4)

Which unambiguously depict iconic moments from the Star Wars franchise:

9_3 Detail (Signs)

You will note that none of these are from the prequels, for the simple reason that the prequels are crap.

It’s back to Star Trek for our final image.

9_3 Detail (2)

The clue here is in the upended chairs that scatter the floor. To fully understand this, we must turn our attention to the films, specifically parts two and ten (The Wrath of Khan / Nemesis). Both featured the deaths of prominent characters: Data (on the left) and Spock (on the right). The uniform colours give this away:

Data-Spock

Meanwhile, the orange chair signifies Kirk’s death in Generations, tied up as it is with the upturned yellow chair that is almost perpendicular, signifying that Kirk died not once, but twice.

Now, you’ll notice we’ve been rather light on Doctor Who-related content this time around, but finally, observe what happens when we join up these chairs.

9_3 Detail (2b)

The resulting shape is, of course, a pyramid. And this episode was broadcast the week they found water on Mars, even though they had filmed it sometime before. They knew. THE BASTARDS KNEW.

Set phasers for ‘overkill’…

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It’s a Bing Thing

07056_2

If you watch as much CBeebies as I do, the adventures of Bing Bunny can’t have escaped you. Based on Ted Dewan’s children’s books, the series takes a peek into the lives of Bing, a young rabbit who spends his days getting into the sorts of scrapes that toddlers and small children find their way into with ease. Every episode sees the titular bunny face and eventually overcome some sort of problem – whether it’s learning to share, dealing with fear of the dark or apologising after dropping your friend’s shoe down the toilet (yes, really). The episode ends in true 1980s cartoon style (see Masters of the Universe / Inspector Gadget / etc.) with one of those monologues to camera, in which Bing reveals that “In today’s story we learned…” – well, more or less – before Flop joins him on the blue green yellow screen, summing up the tale with the words “Splashing / Sleeping / Myxomatosis. It’s a Bing thing.”

Bing spends a fair amount of time hanging around with friends Pando (a panda with an amusing habit of removing his trousers at every conceivable opportunity), Coco (a larger and somewhat irritating rabbit, reminding me faintly of the Tweenies’ Bella) and Sula, a young elephant. His principal guide on this journey, however, is Flop (voiced by Mark Rylance – more on him next time), a sock puppet half his size and only vaguely rabbit-like in his appearance. This has led to all sorts of sorts of speculation as to the nature of the relationship between the two, including an amusingly tongue-in-cheek theory about biodomes and knitted guardians of a master race that you really ought to read. However, here’s the bottom line for those of you who happen to have stumbled in here because you’ve Googled it: Flop is supposed to be Bing’s carer, not his old man. He’s a sock puppet because he’s a sock puppet, although he resembles Bing in the same way that Amma (Sula’s carer) looks like an elephant. And he’s half the size because children tend to place themselves at the centre of the universe (this is the creator’s insight, not mine), so it’s all too feasible that what we’re seeing is Bing’s interpretation of what Flop looks like, not his actual appearance. (You know, like the scenes in Quantum Leap where a doctor or someone would look down at Sam Beckett and see a man with no legs or a woman about to give birth, rather than Scott Bakula.) I certainly hope Flop’s not that actual size, given that the houses in which the characters live are replete with full-size furniture, suggesting that Bing is destined to grow to be twice the size he is now.

Bing-flop

There are two chief complaints levelled at Bing by well-meaning (but ultimately misguided) parents. One is Pando’s tendency to disrobe, which can be explained away by the simple fact that small children love taking their clothes off. Seriously, you’ve got two boys under five and you didn’t see this coming? You didn’t? Well, come to my house at half past four on a warm weekday afternoon. Nakedness is abundant. The other is Bing’s use of incorrect words – terms like ‘gooderer’ are abundant – but moaning about this is frankly churlish. For one thing the animals speak exactly how real-world children speak – anything else would undermine the sense of naturalism and it’d just sound like those irritating stage school brats on The Green Balloon Club who always parse their sentences correctly –  and even if the kids get things mixed up they learn from the adults, all of whom speak impeccably. For another, teaching correct language is not the responsibility of the BBC, it’s the job of the parents, and at the risk of making huge generalisations I’d suggest that if your child is learning solely from the TV, rather than you, you’re not doing your job properly. For yet another, made-up words and richness of language and – for pity’s sake – HAVING TV CHARACTERS REFLECT REALITY – is abundant throughout this medium. Do these people stare daggers at Elmo because he repeatedly refers to himself (and others) in the third person? Did they whine about the made-up words on Dinopaws or the baby talk on In The Night Garden? (They probably did, so I think it’s a lost cause.)

Anyway, this is all leading to something I’m working on, and which I’ll tell you about next time. Suffice it to say that I’m very keen on exploring the darker side of this wonderful series, particularly Flop. But while you’re waiting, if you ever wondered what Bing and Flop would look like if they’d been dropped into the worlds of Lord of the Rings or Star Trek, you need wonder no more. I confess that I am rather proud of that third image, but I find it unfortunate that I have yet to come up with an inspired idea for a Doctor Who themed one. Still, there’s time. Which is probably also a Bing thing.

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How to ruin a romantic moment in four words

The #RuinARomanticMomentin4Words hashtag was trending on Twitter the other night, so here’s my contribution.

#1. The Doctor and River

 

#2. The Star Wars edition

 

#3. Amy and Rory

 

I think that covers all the bases, but I do take requests, even if they’re just “please stop doing this crap”.

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The inevitable Doctor Who / Star Wars trailer thing

TheHeadlessMonks

Four a.m. All right? That’s when I went to bed. That’s pretty much a record from someone who’s frequently tried to pull an all-nighter only to decide at the eleventh hour that sleep – any amount, however small – really would be better. If you have children you will understand this. If you have my children, you’ll tell me I’m being an idiot for staying up so late on a school night.

Anyway, that Star Wars trailer. You’ve all seen it, haven’t you? The one that was announced with a flurry of trumpets and had Twitter in meltdown. The one with the ominous voiceover from Luke, who basically repeats his I-am-your-sister monologue from Return of the Jedi, to a woman whom I’m informed is probably his niece. The one that’s already been analysed to death as people try and work out whether the black stormtrooper is a good guy or a bad guy (surely ‘both’ is the only sensible answer?), why Lando still hasn’t fixed the Millennium Falcon’s deflector dish, and whether you could park a plane in one of the crags on Harrison Ford’s face. It’s standard “this is what should be in a Star Wars trailer” fare, telling us precisely nothing about exactly why the Force is awakening or in whom (although I can make an educated guess) followed by the welcome sight of Han Solo – whose absence is what killed the prequel trilogy and whose presence here got the kid in me all excited. (Actually, the kid in me is about ninety per cent of my active personality, so it was quite spectacular.)

You haven’t seen it? Well, go and watch it now. Otherwise you’re going to be horribly confused by what follows, which is my version. And here it is.

The last time they did a Star Wars teaser, I produced a selection of memes. This time I went one better, opting for a full-on reconstruction. The result is rather like the Magnum P.I. trailer I produced a while back. Anyone can do a fancy trailer with appropriate footage, designed for maximum emotional / comedic impact. Producing something that actually looks a little bit like the thing you’re trying to copy is considerably trickier, and requires time, patience and – in this case – an almost encyclopedic knowledge of New Who. I have none of the above, but where’s the fun in going into something totally prepared?

I started and finished this in a single evening, mostly as a shameless land grab. The abundance of black screen helped – there was less to do. Certain stories jump out at you as being obvious targets, if like me you’ve spent time watching them with a cynical, “They nicked that from Star Wars” eye. (This isn’t really fair, of course.  The original Star Wars trilogy is, in its own way, thoroughly derivative, and that’s the reason it works so well – it fuses western with Arthurian legend and dumps it in space.) But there are obvious contenders. I never thought I’d actually be able to do anything with ‘Planet of the Dead’, but it really was a gift for something like this. And there’s not a single shot of Lee Evans.

Episodes used, in order of first appearance:

‘Planet of the Dead’
‘The Time of the Doctor’
‘School Reunion’
‘Forest of the Dead’
‘Aliens of London’
‘The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe’
‘A Good Man Goes To War’
‘Asylum of the Daleks’
‘Doomsday’
‘The Stolen Earth’
‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’
‘Voyage of the Damned’
‘Victory of the Daleks’
‘The Crimson Horror’
‘The Eleventh Hour’
‘Fires of Pompeii’
‘Utopia’

It works reasonably well. I wish, wish, wish I’d remembered to fix the text justification in that opening title. And what’s even more irritating is that for all the shot reversals I included, I didn’t reverse the opening walk to the Tritovore spacecraft across the San Helios desert, and this is silly. At least it’s a contrast. Aside from that, you will note the obvious inclusion of the lightsaber-toting monks in ‘A Good Man Goes To War’, and the the less obvious inclusion of the pteranodons from ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’. That closing image was the hardest one to pick, and even now I’m not entirely sure it’s the right one, but by this point it was half past two and my brain was bleeding.

All the while I was producing this it made sense to do a side-by-side comparison to accompany it, just to see how close I was, or wasn’t. But I bought that split-screen enabled editing software, and I’m damn well going to use it. So here it is. May the Force, and all that.

 

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The inevitable Star Wars / Doctor Who thing

I had to watch the trailer three times in succession. It’s been dissected, discussed and cross-examined to death by people who have forgotten more about Star Wars than I’ll ever know. It’s been parodied and reconstructed in Lego. I got reasonably excited when the Falcon appeared, but I think I’ll wait until 2015 before I decide whether or not I’m going to hate this. I’m just not that passionate about Star Wars. Don’t get me wrong; they’re a big part of my childhood. I get cross with the special edition revisions, and I think the prequels are soulless (if occasionally exciting) pap. (There’s a lot of blame cast at the likes of Jar Jar and Hayden Christensen, most notably his complete lack of chemistry with Portman, but really the problems with episodes I to III are all connected with the absence of Han Solo, who was the only character in the original set of films who wasn’t taking it seriously. Without him, Star Wars disappears up its own arsehole, which is exactly what happened,)

But cheerful enthusiasm is far as it goes with me – I don’t hold a grudge against Lucas for ‘ruining’ the franchise, because you’ve always got the originals to fall back on, and it would be churlish to get cross with him for making new stuff that didn’t live up to the orig-

[Lightbulb] My goodness. Is this what Doctor Who is like for everyone else?

Anyway, mashups between the Whoniverse and Lucas’ space opera are all over the internet. So here are mine. The obvious…

 

The marginally less obvious…

The what-do-you-mean-you’ve-never-seen-Terror-of-the-Zygons-nod to Classic Who

And going off at a final tangent, here’s my middle finger to all those idiots who seriously believe you can’t have black stormtroopers.

Remember, you may talk about Jango Fett all you want, but you’re going to have to work pretty damned hard to convince me it’s not thinly veiled racism.

Anyway, roll on 2015. But please, for the love of God, no more Gungans.

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Get off the road!

alvin

Picture a twenty-inch colour TV, the square cathode ray type, sitting on a table in the corner of the lounge one afternoon during the early nineteen eighties. On the screen is a small child, speaking with a dolly. “Now, Lucy,” she tells the doll, “Mummy says we can play outside on our own. But we must be VERY CAREFUL OF THE MAIN ROAD.”

Cut to a busy town street, traffic zooming past, the Doppler effect in full swing. The little girl is outside. She may or may not be walking to the shops.

“Ooh, look, Lucy!” she suddenly exclaims in the sort of excited voice children keep in reserve for when they’re offered sweets or ice cream. “A doggy!”

The canine in question is on the other side of the street. There’s no adult. She barrels out into the road. There is a screech. A thump. And then, for added pathos, a female voice, coming from inside the house. “Debbie! Come inside and write in Daddy’s birthday card!”

I have searched in vain for this on YouTube, but in a way I’m glad I couldn’t find it. Because it meant I had to write it down in order to properly set the scene, and – in the process – I realised how much comes back to me even after thirty years, even after having only ever seen it once. The names are about the only thing I had to make up; everything else is more or less etched in stone. I think there may be a reason for that.

When I think about it, many of my strongest televisual memories are connected with death. I can recall the climax of Tottie: The Story of A Doll’s House, in which the scheming Marchpane succeeds in setting Birdie on fire. I can remember one of the closing scenes in the 1984 adaptation of Goodbye Mr Chips – not the oft-imitated deathbed exchange (“I have had children…thousands of ’em…all boys”), but the sight of Roy Marsden lying spread-eagled on the floor of his study. Staying with the school theme I can remember the death of Jeremy when he was larking about in the swimming pool at the end of an episode of Grange Hill. I remember an installment of Ulysses 31 in which Ulysses is captured by Chronus / Chronos, the god of time, who succeeds in ageing the slumbering crew of the Odyssey until they reach the end of their lives, although Ulysses is able to put things right again. It gave me nightmares for years weeks, as did the scene in Scrooge! in which Albert Finney comes face to face with Death and appears to descend into hell (at 2:40).

Closer to home, I blogged over a year ago – right back when I started this particular online foray – about how my first Who memory was of the death of Adric. Reading back over it now it strikes me as awfully pretentious writing. I’m going on about the reason “memory doesn’t begin at birth”, blocking out memories “because it’s easier than having to remember what they were actually like” and the instinctive reaction to make “the loudest noise you can make”. Not long after that I received an email from Gareth, who remarked “Come on, Matthew Waterhouse’s acting isn’t that bad”.

Ah, but those Public Information Films. If you’re reading this in the U.S. and don’t know what I’m talking about (and one doesn’t necessarily follow from the other, of course), you might call them Public Service Announcements. When I imagine an American PSA I automatically think of a crying Indian (I’m not linking to that; look it up yourselves). Or I think of the South Park episode where they suggest duck-and-cover as a response to a volcanic eruption. I’m sure there’s far more to it than this (and I’m happy for people to educate me) but I’m afraid my knowledge is strictly British, and it must be said that as far as creeping out the kids is concerned, we can hold our own.

“Can you imagine,” said Emily when I was describing the road safety advert at the beginning of this entry over lunch earlier, “the reaction if they showed that advert to children today? Can you even imagine them showing it?”

“I sincerely doubt it,” I said. “I don’t think they’re quite as hot on scaring kids today. It’s all dressed up. I don’t think people die nearly as much on TV as they used to, or if they do it’s usually accompanied by over-scored music and slow motion. People seem to be frightened of upsetting children, but when I was a kid that was the whole point.”

And it was. There was, as far as I can remember, comparatively little moral handwringing over some of the frankly hideous Public Information films that were screened from the sixties to the eighties. Like thieves in the night, you never knew when they were coming. There was no press campaign, no front page Daily Mail story. No buildup. They just appeared and then disappeared, as much a part of the fabric as the test card girl or the title music to the Six O’Clock News, or the mediocrity of early afternoon game shows. They were brought in to warn you about the dangers of – well, everything, really. If the Central Office of Information was to believed we were living in a world of perpetual hazards, where death lurked on every corner, ready to strike at the first opportunity. Fat fryers. Motorway diversions. Farmyard equipment. Refrigerators. Nothing was safe, because, well, nothing is safe. The United Kingdom was a dangerous place, full of paedophiles and dangerous drivers, encapsulated on film in perpetual washed-out colour and with a higher body count than your average Midsomer Murders. It’s a miracle we were even allowed out.

Here, for example, is Spider-Man villain Electro’s unknown backstory.

Never mind the fact that the opening shot bears a striking resemblance to Flight of the Navigator (years too early) and the Blake’s Seven-esque soundtrack. Who’s the bigger fool here? The fool, or the fool who is (metaphorically) pushed by her? You can picture slippered, moustachioed parents lecturing their children after some minor misdemeanour with the oft-used but newly-adapted “Why’d you do it, Jimmy? I mean why? Because Amy told you to? And I suppose that if Amy told you to go into an electrical substation to retrieve a Frisbee, you’d do that as well?” – which is, I’ve just realised, the Question That Must Never Be Answered (what do you know, it really was hidden in plain sight).

Firework videos were also very popular, particularly this one, which was re-run every year in some form or another until at least the mid-1980s, when Hale and Pace took over.

It does rather overstate the point, but on the other hand I’m thirty-four and have never touched a spent firework, so perhaps it fulfils its purpose.

Perhaps most chilling of all was a video that I never saw as a kid, purely because of geography. Titled Apaches, it’s a half-hour tale of misery and woe about six children who play at Cowboys and Indians. The games are fun but the environments are dangerous, and by the end, all but one of them will be dead.

Let me save the busier amongst you some time: the deaths (or the moments that lead up to them) are at 05:10, 10:41, 16:40, 21:01 and 24:25. I will leave it to you to discover the manner of the children’s demise; that’s part of the fun. Suffice to say that everyone gets what’s coming to them: they are all silly children who deserve it, and indeed the fatalities in this video are just Darwin at work, sparing us the very real possibility of these stupid ten-year-olds growing up just enough to reach puberty, claim benefits and breed. I grew up in a suburban neighbourhood where our local school was built upon farmland, rather than being anywhere near it, and as such we were denied the joy of this grim morality tale, which was presumably considered irrelevant for townies (instead we had to put up with the locally-filmed Stranger Danger video, shot in the park where I once broke my arm, and starring an extremely intelligent terrier who sounded a lot like Richard Briers). Emily, who was raised in a hamlet in the middle of the countryside, assures me that she saw Apaches more or less annually, and she’s never impaled herself on a spike or fallen into a pit of slurry (ooh, spoilers) so I suppose we might thus view this prequel to Final Destination as something of a success.

But I don’t want my perspective to be completely skewed. It wasn’t all doom and gloom. Some films ended happily, with a near miss instead of a fatality, or a serious-but-not-life-threatening injury that left a timely reminder that things could have been much worse, so let’s hope you’ve learned your lesson. And it was a welcome opportunity for celebrities-of-the-time – including Alvin Stardust, Les Gray (from Mud) and the late, not-so-lamented Jimmy Saville to wax lyrical about the importance of crossing the road properly. Appearing in a PIF was the 1970s equivalent to appearing on the CBeebies bedtime hour reading a story – a fleeting but memorable appearance that was destined to pepper YouTube in the decades to come to satisfy the perpetually bored and curious.

While there were plenty of road safety videos that ended badly, for example, there were an awful lot more that didn’t. Here, for instance, is former Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan, apparently wearing a similar jacket to the one that Stan wore in The Secret of Monkey Island.

(In the comments page, some bright spark has written that Keegan really ought to have taken the kid to the pelican crossing, because it contains the only black and white stripes over which he has any real control.)

I can sense at least some of my American audience shrugging their shoulders at this, having no real idea who Kevin Keegan is, so here’s Darth Vader – or the man in the suit, at least.

I like to think he was wearing this under the breathing apparatus and mask when he was shooting A New Hope. My money’s also on this being in at least one kinky couple’s roleplay / fetish wardrobe. Either way it looks like he lost a bet.

And finally, this chap ought to be familiar.

Right, so that’s:

Safe place to stop
Pavement
Look
If (traffic is coming, let it pass)
No traffic? Walk straight across
Keep looking and listening for traffic while you cross

All of which is an entirely convoluted mnemonic, and there have been various (rather rude) alternatives offered over the years, such as “Choose a safe place to stand, Observe the traffic, Carefully walk across the road, Keep safe…”. Don’t get me wrong, SPLINK is easy enough to say, but much harder to deconstruct. It’s no wonder there are so many fatalities on the roads.

There is a reason I’m talking about all this, of course, and it’s connected with Pertwee, but that can wait for another day. In the meantime, I appreciate that this has been rather miserable and death-heavy, so to cheer you all up here’s a fun video about dogs.

Oh well.

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Where’s WALL-E?

Courtesy of George Takei (who I daresay found it somewhere else, but thanks George)…

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