And don't call me 'sugar'!

Thursday, 3 June 2010 15:56

With superb cunning and misdirection and complete luck as it happens, I managed to secure a couple of tickets to a screening of the original 1978 Richard Donner directed Superman movie as a secret, surprise, treat date for my girlfriend. If you know us at all, even slightly, you'll probably know that we are on the geekier side of life so this was an opportunity too good to miss. And it was a fair old treat!

The Ritzy PictureHouse in Brixton managed to get their hands on the last surviving 35mm print in the UK! We all sat there in nostalgic awe as we learned to re-love this classic, influential, epic of a film.
Everyone laughed in all the right places, there was an air of tension in the parts that were, well, tense. Just having those titles flying towards us at the start had goosebumps announcing their arrival.

Special mention should also go to the wonderful pic projected on the screen as we were all getting comfy and over-excited. You can read artist Sam Gilbey's blog all about it here.

Scratches, judders and everything all added to the experience, the nostalgia, the awe and wonder barely remembered from trips to the cinema as a wide-eyed child were all brought back into full recollection as we watched the imprisoning of Zod, the destruction of Krypton, the young Clark struggling with his differences to humanity, the reveal of Superman himself, The Daily Planet, the cracking dialogue, Lex being awesomely naughty, the earthquake, the... bit with the world spinning backwards too even! All of it, all of it so much better than remembered, than the half-watched repeat showings on telly. Sitting down and watching this on the big screen again, focussing on it completely gave us all a chance to re-live, re-learn and give a bloody loud cheer and applause at the end.

Complete feel-good stuff there. The world was forgotten when we were in there, I felt great, happy and I think managed to get a spark back of something good that was buried under mountains of real-world crap and the like that has been dragging me down of late. I need more nights like this, I highly recommend it! Cheaper than therapy, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive... er... etc...

I think it went down well with Jen too. I think it got it's own chapter in her good books!

How lucky were we back then, back in that 1978? I was still buzzing from Star Wars the year before and along comes this, film-makers well on their game, upping the bar, inspiring tiny little minds like mine, kicking the backsides of our imaginations, selling millions of pyjamas and lunchboxes... I seriously had young Marty sitting with me in the cinema that night and I ain't ashamed to admit that as the titles kicked in there was some manly misting of the eyes there.

It's also responsible for me running around the flat with a tea-towel sticking out the neck of my T-shirt and totally forgetting the Star Wars theme music.

Ted End

Friday, 23 October 2009 23:59

It's finally finale! Lost Bearings, that little series of audio greatness I've been attempting to get finished is, at long last, all done. Five episodes of glorious comedy/drama type thing topped off with Ted End, the most fitting of ends for this story of sentient teddy bears trying to get by in a human world.

It has been emotional! Recording the last lines was one thing but then hearing the ending once it was all put together was quite astonishingly a dust-in-eye moment. I've completely got entirely myself to blame though so I can't moan about it now!

So that's been my big achievement recently. Finishing this project, enjoying it thoroughly and seriously lamenting the loss of free time to do more business like this. If I didn't have to go and do the day job to keep that ol' roof above my head I would be well away on this stuff and suchlike. I found it most difficult to do each episode with life wearing me down, getting in the way and draining my motivation which is silly really because it's so much bloody good fun to do that it should far suppress all of the life stuff downers. That's what should have happened at least but I'm ever a one for letting things stop me doing other things. The only way I could get these episodes done was to take time off work! So these are pretty much my holiday projects I guess.

Oddly though if I had other reasons to do this sort of thing rather than as something that I just wanted to do for just me then I'd be all over it. I think as this was something I just worked on for my own amusement initially then it didn't matter that it took so bloody long to complete.

I have, since starting the whole damn lovely thing, been told off for not finishing it sooner! Which goes to prove that surrounding me are great people with a fantastic sense of humour. So, to you all (and you know who you are), thank you very much for liking this! It has really made the difference from me being a sad little man woofing silly voices into a computer to a very happy, well endowed, fellow who has done you proud I hope (while still woofing silly voices into a computer).

Inside Out Dogs and Podcasting My Net

Thursday, 17 September 2009 12:58

Dear all,

My name is Marty and I am a podcaster. There's never been a better time for getting into these things as there is something out there for everyone.
My good woman and I do the BoxRoom Podcast (available on iTunes and here: with a lovely forum place too! (
Since we've started there's been more podcasts emerging that we've actively encouraged and love to bits such as The Black Dog Podcast and The InsideOutcast, both marvellous examples of epic greatness. The list of podcasts we love and attempt to find time to listen to has grown since we started too. It's all good! We loves it. Just wish we had more time to stay on top of them all.

My time is also spent on the co-hosting of the DWO WhoCast which I love doing immensely but that's pretty much it as far as my free time goes. I need more time, dammit!!
But yes, The WhoCast, a weekly podcast surrounding the whole Doctor Who outputs and suchlike. Fantastic co-hosts, fantastic audience, fantastic site. For the work that goes into it we do get an awful lot of nice feedback that makes it all worthwhile.

Now bear in mind it's a fan run show that is also free and that you don't have to listen to it if it isn't your kind of thing, no one's forcing you, a first-time poster on the DWO forums came in, looked around for a place to expell a massive torrent of shit and let rip.

Here's an extract:

I'm not the most avid WhoCast listener but did give #133 a listen today. I can't believe this is something that passes for a good podcast. Marty says nothing useful throughout, which is sorely disappointing. Sorry Marty, blindly agreeing with Trev about everything he says does not make for a useful contribution. Trev, how about opening a web page or two now and then instead of using your obviously-faulty memory and out and out telling falsehoods to listeners who may not know any better?

What this basically means is that he doesn't listen to the show and has decided that we're all bastards and he has every right to spew forth his righteous bile.

He continues:

INFERNO ISN'T ON DVD?! How can you let something like that slip by? Marty, I'll tell you what, how about you set up a petition for getting Inferno on DVD and I'll sign it. I'll print it off and USE MY INFERNO DVD CASE as a hard back to make sure the pen writes properly. Just because this story came out on DVD over 3 years ago doesn't actually mean it exists on DVD, maybe. Right? You tell me.

Now I can't even remember saying it wasn't out on DVD for starters! I didn't even know if it was or wasn't. Maybe my wishing I had it was said wrong, I don't know. The point is he's taking me at face value and assuming I am WikiMarty, I contain all knowledge! Go on, ask me anything.

some of the baseless drivel that was spewed forth on this episode simply couldn't be left alone. How you can sit there and think you're doing the fan community even one iota of useful service is beyond me. There are so many people who came to Doctor Who later in the game (such as myself) who have taken the time to go back and explore parts of the old series. You two passing off your (far-too-processed) "conversation" as fact and not bothering to do even a little research is one hell of a good way to make people NOT want to revisit the old series just because you've lied to them about it.

Oh this is a good one. We lied apparently! We lied to all our listeners. On purpose! Ha ha haaa! Soon the world will believe that Tom Baker was the 17th Doctor and that there were 5 female Doctors before him.
Not bothering to do research. Would that take into account buying a hefty £16 book covering the Pertwee era and reading the damn thing every single day to bone up on the lad?

You've lost a listener over this, I'm NOT sorry to say. I'll stick with Podshock. They may take 3 hours to get to any point but at least they know what they're doing. I can't tell you enough how much better they are than you lot.

Lost? We didn't have you to start with, you berk!

Rather than quote shed-loads more of his toss (including grammar and spelling corrections! Tosser) I'll just end on this one:

The effect of what I had to say was to hopefully drive these hosts into actually putting a bit of effort into this podcast for the benefit of listeners (other than myself as I've practically stopped caring). If them being called out on their IGNORANCE and LAZINESS isn't enough to do that then so be it, let them remain ignorant, let them mislead people who have put faith and trust in what they say and generally let them do a massive disservice to this fandom. Moreover, why should I recognize any effort that gets put into this if the extent of that effort is to show up and spew lies and a lack of knowledge into a microphone rather than actually getting a clue about what they're saying?

So that's us told.

Now, the reason I'm posting on a blog rather than the forum is because I don't want to prolong the illness such posters create. There are plenty of lovely people over there who don't deserve to read such idiots opinions and witness the resulting fallout. So if this fella wants to continue his narrow-minded view of the world he can fucking do it here and leave people who want to get along in peace.

Trestle banqueting fingerfull

Saturday, 6 June 2009 10:20

Odd title for a blog entry isn’t it. But that’s what the recovered Word document had on it when I opened it just now and there is no recollection forthcoming as to why those three words were typed by me the last time I used it. It’s at times like these, when I’m attempting to be creative and think about work I’d like to be doing rather than work I’m being paid to do leading to the complete and utter failure of actually doing any creating and currently fresh out of bed on a grey Saturday morning all dishevelled and full of tea with a purring creature snoozing on my lap having just wiped her nose vigorously all over my face as I struggled to breathe, that I really wish I would bloody well write things down.

I have ideas, loads of wonderful, imaginative, funny, stupid ideas that I reliably fail to ever get down on paper and as a result lose the buggers to the memory fog that is showing no signs of dissipating anytime soon.
I need to discipline myself. This will not involve dressing in a leather bodysuit and whipping my own bits and pieces and sensuously calling myself a “naughty boy” although I wouldn’t rule anything out at this stage.

A bunch of lovely, creative people and, for some incomprehensible reason, myself are building a city. This has now passed from speculation to fact and we are at a stage now where we can almost see it, smell it, touch it and get slapped in the face by it. This city is fast taking shape in our collective minds for a forthcoming fiction project that is gathering pace so fast I’m pretty sure it has gone back in time and come back again fifteen times in the last two weeks.

[Pause to scratch cat’s chin. Purring reinitialised]

I’m sure soon the writings of The City will commence and then I’ll have to wade into the memory fog and stumble around to see if I can find any ideas I might have once had. For now though, it is all very exciting.

The trick is, Robert Rankin once explained to me, is to never read anything ever. Or words to that general effect. Possibly. I was quite drunk at the time. We were having a chat about writing and influences, specifically influences that creep into your writing that sneak in because you just read a book and are now in the process of subconsciously rewriting it. Even not reading anything doesn’t always work, continues the paraphrasing. Once he was writing something similar to the 39 Steps without realising it because he’d read the book many, many years before.
This is, of course, probably a completely inaccurate report due to the drinking and the memory fog but it was something similar.
And for myself, I rewrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Near enough anyway.
When I think back on the only novel length bit of fiction I ever completed it strikes me as a little too close to home sometimes (“sometimes” in this case meaning “quite a lot”).
We have Hal, Arthur Dent. Bin Yarker, Zaphod Beeblebrox. Shara Bently, Tricia McMillan. We even have Marvin in the shape of former taxi computer given his own independent body which does nothing to improve his foul mood and foul language although he’s quite happy that he gets to keep the name of Monty. Strangely we don’t have a Ford Prefect which is slightly odd as he’s one of the best characters ever written in this, and a high number of other, similar realities. Saying that, he kind of merged with Zaphod to create Bin so it’s like that and I’ll have to live with it.
The situation is slightly different, Bin takes Hal on a journey to the future because of an administrative bollocks-up and they go from there really. It’s all fucking funny still, just wish I’d thought it through more. It gets better too. So. There it is. Was. Isn’t it.

Douglas put into his book the final message from God and I, without realising the similarity to his works when I wrote it, put God’s first message at the creation of the universe. In the interest of fair play and lack of suspense building skills, I shall copy and paste this here:

Hal concentrated on the nothingness in front of him as if sensing a subtle change, the beginning of a stirring in the great unknown, imagining the rolling clouds in the bubbling cauldron of the great Before…
Except of course there was nothing there.
Nothing…but wait…now something was different.
It started as a feeling, a vague sensation, the hairs on the back of the neck rising.
The dog’s ears pricked up and he tilted his head to one side as if hearing something no other could.
‘What’s happening?’ Hal whispered, unnerved.
‘Shh…’ Bin put his hand up, ‘here it comes.’
Softly, faintly, gently a far away hum invaded the minds of all the onlookers, all conspicuous by their invisibility.
Building in volume, the sound caused the travellers to vibrate slightly, rattling their teeth and making many aware that they’d had far too much lunch.
Becoming a deafening rumble of a thousand thunderstorms, the anticipation the sound produced became unbearable.
Then, out of the cacophony, God spoke…

Mr Rankin told me to carry on writing so I bloody well will. I will attempt to never read anything ever again but I can’t promise.

Time to end this blog for today, I need tea. I am not looking forward to the new Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy book, written by someone who is not Douglas Adams for fuck’s sake. I will therefore put into practice my new non-reading lifestyle by shunning that tome for all eternity until one day I’m so bored and curious that I give in just so I can slag it off even more vehemently than before.

I have also decided that when I finally get to do episode five of Lost Bearings that it will actually be the last episode. It is going to be very good indeed.

Oh that Rex Harder!

Friday, 17 April 2009 00:56

Just after I saved the Teds of War as a test mp3, the thing I was using to put it all together decided to have a flip out and lose all my editing. I had to make do with the mp3 or face a agonising return to editing (which I may well do at some point but not now! I'm done in)

Here then is episode four of Lost Bearings: The Teds of War

I hope you like it. I think it's okay but am all angry I was denied final tweakings due to computer wankery.

It is now my birthday so I am going to demand stuff for the next... 23 hours now... and get away with it because it's my special day.
I predict a fail somehow.

I am to my bed now. I have finished watching series 1 of The Wire and am only vaguely interested. Will stick with it though because so many people are telling me to and I am a big fat Yes Man.

I'd better start turning my thoughts to what we're going to talk about on the next WhoCast. Last episode (114) we talked about the latest special Planet of the Dead which underwhelmed me slightly. Hoping for better things in the next few specials though! So I guess we'll be doing a feedback edition for 115.

We also need to do another BoxRoom Podcast, Jen! Jen? Are you reading this? Let's do one tomorrow (DO ONE!) when we're all drunk on birthday boozes!

Right then, trying to focus on the world around me isn't going too well so I am indeed off to that bed place to ride out the rest of this migraine that seems to be building.

The Teds of War

Wednesday, 15 April 2009 21:27

The fourth installment of the Lost Bearings audio sitcom/drama/thing is actually forming quite nicely before my eyes and ears. The title, it has been decided by a vote of one, will be: The Teds of War.

This is continuing the story of Jeb and his flatmate Terry, two sentient teddy bears, getting by in a human world. In Teds of War we find out what happens after the superlatively epic cliffhanger of episode three... but if you haven't heard any of it yet then what happened? Are you okay?

Here, sit down, have a cup of tea, relax and have an ear load of episode one: Beartopia.

I am currently typing this on my old laptop which, bless the poor old bugger, I recorded the first three episodes on. How I coped with that I will never know but I'm sure Jen will tell you some of the words I used in the process.

I am enjoying the process more this time though. Maybe it's working on a PC, maybe it's the new mic, maybe it's the software I'm using, maybe it's because I just love doing this stuff. Whatever it is, it's good!

Have been keeping a vague eye on the world around me as I stare at the ceiling, seeking inspiration for things like a decently warped weatherman voice and suchlike, I find another online sitcom from people that seem to have the right ideas about things like quality and promotion and I'm both hopeful that there's hope and jealous because they're probably cleverer than me.

Worth checking out, it's called Need You Tonight and you can find them on Twitter and facebook (Here).
Will be keeping an eye on how they do and taking notes!

Apart from the joy I get making my own audio offerings, I also get a rather beautiful headache. But in the end I think it's worth it. So, ouch. Happy, happy ouch.

If nothing else, it amused the hell out of the cat.

Difficult Second Album

Tuesday, 14 April 2009 09:06

While I'm reeling from the underwhelming televisual offerings that slapped my unimpressed chops this weekend I now find myself sitting here the morning after creating a blog that I am going to be woe betided about until the end of time itself if I don't keep updated.

I have the week off work with the ultimate intention of getting my creative brain in gear which, unfortunately, seems to be stuck in reverse at the moment.

My plan for the day is to write Episode 4 of Lost Bearings!
It is a noble plan but you know... I need another coffee and there's a cat on me.

The writing process for this thing is really no process at all. The first three episodes just grew and then... were. I was discussing this with Jen yesterday and I completely forgot the amount of swearwords utilised during the recording due to the unbelievable troubles I had but... but... the end result was pretty good and I should recognise that rather than going, "Yeah, it's okay... not great... oh, see what you think... hope you like..."

I have attempted to write the next episode before and made a valiant start but it's not right, not right at all, so I'm starting from scratch.

So far I have a hundred posh blokes singing a song about cheese on toast.

Let's see where it goes from there.