Outstanding episodes in mediocre TV shows: 1 – Stargate SG1

I’ve spent my whole evening re-uploading my game mods here following the loss of hosting from two major sites. I therefore didn’t have much time to prepare tonight’s post, which is a shame because I had a cracking idea.

It’s happened quite a few times where I’ve been channel surfing and encountered a TV show of which I’ve already seen a few episodes and established that the programme is not usually much good – but on this occasion where I’m just too damn lazy to change the channel, the episode has been spine-tinglingly brilliant.

“A Matter of Time” from season 2 of Stargate SG1 is one such episode. When I saw it some years ago, I just remember my mind being completely blown – first by its impressive-on-a-low-budget special effects, and then by the mind-melting concept of what it would be like to experience that situation.  Continue reading

Missing Logic: The Woman In Black

The Woman in Black movie poster

It’s hard to believe this pant-poopingly scary film is a 12, but you know me, I’ll scream at anything. People love to watch horror flicks with me because I jump so dramatically at every spook that it makes them feel on edge, thus amplifying the scares. It’s far from the most scary film I’ve seen, but nestles in comfortably between What Lies Beneath and The Others for old-fashioned chills.

THE FILM

Daniel Radcliffe puts in a competent enough performance as Arthur Kipps that you get over the Harry Potter jokes within the first few minutes. Then you might be forgiven for spending a brief time noting how handsome he’s turned out before recoiling from the weirdness and putting that thought out of your mind, thank you very much. After which you’ll just forget it’s got Harry Potter in it and get on with enjoying the film.  Continue reading

5 things you might be doing wrong on social media

1. “Awareness-raising”

I think the worst example I’ve seen of this was the “tell us what colour bra you’re wearing” status update, which was basically a salacious attempt at internet flirting thinly disguised as some sort of breast cancer awareness campaign. How does that make us more aware of breast cancer? Who on this planet is not aware of breast cancer? Before passing on one of these bulls*** “awareness-raising” messages, ask yourself exactly what kind of awareness you’ll be raising. What, exactly, do we need to be thinking more about, and how is your update going to help us?

Doing it right: “Blood in your poo or looser poo? Just tell your doctor.” (NHS Bowel cancer campaign)  Continue reading

Conor Maynard – and why I’m obviously a secret sexist

conor maynard

I’m obviously some sort of hypocrite, because I’m so embarrassed about liking this that I’d definitely file this under “guilty pleasure” and shouldn’t really admit to it at all. But why? If it was a girl singing it, I’d be quite proud of enjoying it. I mean, I’ve featured Nicola Roberts, Madonna and the Sugababes on here enough times – it’s not like I’ve never confessed to enjoying pop. I just only – exclusively – like pop sung by women, and feel so out of my depth when boys do it that I instinctively run in the other direction. Maybe it’s because there’s something inherently wussy about pop. It’s OK if you’re flamboyantly gay, but for the straight man, it’s insipid and not a little pathetic. Wait. I did make an exception for Enrique Iglesias, but that was one single, 10 years ago.  Continue reading

ORE interview with Bethesda’s Megan and Erik

The following article appeared in the January 2008 issue of the Oblivion’s Real Estate newsletter (a game modding site). Princess Stomper interviews Megan Sawyer and Erik J. Caponi from Bethesda.

Something’s very wrong here. Computer game designers, by all rights, ought to be socially inept nerds – the hellish spawn of Comic Book Guy and Napoleon Dynamite. They surely shouldn’t be like environment artist Megan “Ghostgirl” Sawyer – pretty in a cute, funky sort of way, with a penchant for cool toys and loud music. They certainly shouldn’t be like writer Erik “DoctorSpooky” Caponi – strikingly handsome, with “Vin Diesel’s haircut” and a rock band goatee. He has the highest quality-to-quantity ratio of almost any poster on the Official Forums. Oh yeah, and he makes quests. We’ll start with him.

Erik: I came on pretty late in Oblivion’s development. I got the chance to work on a few of the Settlement Quests as well as various late-stage writing and design tasks. I was one third of the design team for Knights of the Nine and was responsible for a few of the quests as well as the final battle against Umaril’s minions and the battle with his spirit in the sky over Cyrodiil. On Shivering Isles, I was responsible for Retaking The Fringe and Symbols of Office as well as a lot of freeform design. I was also the designer on a couple of the downloadable content packs. Primarily what I do around here is known as “Freeform Gameplay”. I started with it on Shivering Isles and it’s now my full time role on Fallout. What it means is that I’m responsible for gameplay content that isn’t related to quests. This can take the form of incidental dialog, NPC behavior, scripted scenes, town dialog, world encounters, lore, conversation systems, as well as any one of a million different things that might not be tied directly to a particular quest.  Continue reading

Mass Effect movie “has a script”

After lodging in Development Hell for a spell, it looks like the Mass Effect movie is back in motion. G4 reported today that it had spotted a passing mention at Deadline of a script by Thor‘s Mark Protosevich for Legendary Pictures. Contradicting last year’s information, this script is based on the first game, and stars the male version of Shepard.

Where Legendary previously said they would definitely not cast voice actor Seth Green as Joker, they’re now insisting that no decisions have been made.

Continue reading