Comment: The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime

Following the documentary on BBC Three last night about disability “Hate Crime” I feel I must add my comments. Sorry this is a little long.

I hate the term “Hate Crime” Gene Hunt expresses this best.

How are we ever going to move on, live together and integrate as a society if crimes against any group of people are labelled in such an insane way. It’s justifying why someone committed a grievous act against someone else, reporting a “hate crime” produces two groups of people. Those who support the victim, and those who support the perpetrator as they agree with his or her politics. If a murder is reported as a “murder” one person killed another, we can all pull together and agree that that is a bad thing regardless of our backgrounds.

This approach removes the often incorrect assumption that “he only killed him because he was disabled/white/black/green/gay” No he got killed because he was sleeping with his wife/husband/girlfriend/mother/tortoise/guitar.

Last nights show was presented by Adam Pearson who has neurofibromatosis which causes excess growth of the skin. Which gives him a striking and unusual appearance like many disabled people. Now I like to think that when I’m sat down or propping up a bar I look pretty “normal” I don’t of course, the way I hold myself up, my movement that is both ponderous and jagged are both clear giveaways that I am “different”.

As kids we stare at “difference” it’s a survival technique present in most inhabitants of the earth. Don’t believe me? Walk slowly into a field of cows. They will all look at you, “Who are you? Will you feed us? Will you kill us? Where are your trousers?” If no-one batted an eyelid at things out of the ordinary we and the cows would get killed.

Of course we like to think we have evolved, it makes us feel superior and for the most part it helps us fit in and not be different as the environments we inhabit are largely about inclusion and acceptance, on the surface anyway.

A place where our true feelings are often is expressed is here on the internet. This very page has a comments section. Upon which you are free, with varying degrees of anonymity to call me whatever you like. The comments section can bring out the very worst in people and statements or poor attempts at humour can be misinterpreted.

One of Mr Pearsons TV interviews was posted on YouTube and seemed to be a significant part of the programme. One comment was nasty suggesting that he should have been burnt to death at birth. Harsh you have to say, but the comment was sent to YouTube who didn’t do anything about it. Mr Pearson mentioned “genocide” and I turned off.

It’s a comment on YouTube! The person who made it is probably 12 and as he accompanied his comment with “lol” he was hardly suggesting people hunt you down and burn you. So to suggest genocide is giving this comment much more credence than it deserves. Much better to laugh at it or reply back taking it further “Yeah hideous burns might improve my looks” Thus disarming any malice and perhaps leaving the commenter with a “See him there, he looks a bit weird but he’s alright” feeling winning him over and maybe stopping such comments in the future.

There are times in everyones life where we need to pack our thickest skin (no pun intended) regardless of which groups we align ourselves with. There will always be people who prey on easy targets or promote hatred but we should never underestimate the power of our response.

If you are in the UK or use a VPN (shh!) you can watch the program here.

Comment: The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime

Your Scheduled Programming Shall Never Resume

The 80’s a fine decade. Well maybe I don’t really remember it, being born in June of 1980 as I was I pretty much spent half of the decade crapping my pants. I’ll let you decide which half that was. In the UK we had no remote control on the TV and when you got up to change the channel (Yes kids) you had the choice of 3 channels plus the new upstart Channel 4 from 1982 onwards.

On demand TV was how loud you shouted “I want to watch…” and your Sky Plus was a scuzzy Scotch VHS tape that allowed you to watch one thing and record another. The Internet was around in university computer labs, although Netflix was a while off and even if it was around they would still be waiting around now to see the opening frame of Breaking Bad given the speeds of the connection.

Fast forward to now and we have a multitude of things to watch, on a plethora of channels, platforms and devices. The BBC at the time of writing has ballooned from 2 channels in 80’s to 9 channels. All of which air via digital TV in the UK. It was announced yesterday that one of those 9, BBC Three, is going to go “online only” prompting lots of twitter outcry and #SaveBBCThree hashtaggery.

Why save something that isn’t going?
BBC Three is the corporations “Youth” offering, serving a demographic which I am still just part of. The same demographic (to generalise) have access to a smartphone, are computer savvy, have access to high speed broadband, regularly watch on-demand content. So for BBC Three’s target audience very little will change, especially if they have a smart TV. If it was BBC 2 or BBC Four I would understand the concern. Given the older target audience, again to generalise.

I believe that in the next fifteen to twenty years the only programming that will be scheduled, as it has been since the very start of TV, will be live sporting events and news programmes. Everything else will be delivered as you want it when you want it, in a similar way to how Netflix works now. So BBC Three is ahead of the game on this one, and although it will still run to an online schedule, if viewing figures are good I see other channels following suit.

The revolution will not be televised. But it will be downloaded.

Your Scheduled Programming Shall Never Resume

(WMB4X) Numbers. Oh My (Time) Lord

Numbers ruin things. If you can remember the amount of times you have done something you either haven’t done it enough or it was terrible when you did. Numbers are devoid of emotion and feeling, they cannot be used to convey anything other than hard facts. A constant in the world of grey areas. At times bringing un-needed order to the world.

One of the main fall outs from the wonderful “Day of the Doctor” and the less wonderful Doctor Who Live: The After Party, seems to be “Is Matt Smith the 12th Doctor now because of John Hurt?” Or varations upon that theme adorning many a fan forum or podcast. As arguements go it’s pretty stupid. Numbers again ruining it. You see and this is a point that even the most ardent fan will miss (or argue with me about).

There is only one Doctor.

In a similiar way that there is only one James Bond or Joey from Bread, Eric Draven from The Crow or Miss Marple. Only one. There have been multiple actors who played the part bringing with them different facets of the characters personality. When it comes down to it at a core character level there should be no differences between the Bond of Sean Connery or the Bond of Daniel Craig. The same should apply to the Doctor, he only changes based upon life experience in his relative time strand. Hartnell, Hurt, Smith and soon to be Capaldi all playing the same man at different points in that characters life.

The numbering then, Hartnell 1, Troughton 2 etc given that the Doctor is the same man, matters not a jot to the story. Yes there is a limit to the amount of times the Doctor can re-generate but that will be explained away in the clever writing of the Moff maybe in the upcoming Christmas episode (The only Christmas TV I want to see) It only matters when referring to the actors who have taken control of the TARDIS.

It seems strange to me that given that this show is about an alien with two hearts who can travel through space and time that such a mundane debate has emerged. I am aware of the irony of me writing this piece about it, adding to the debate. If you really must organise “timey wimey” may I suggest a better system. Names. In the same way no-one says the 3rd Bond when they are referring to Roger Moore’s James Bond, I suggest we adopt the same system. Matt Smith’s Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor etc. Doing away with the numbers and making sure everyone is on the same page.

Doctor Who Experience (8105543304)


Visit the Resident Weeble a number of times.

(WMB4X) Numbers. Oh My (Time) Lord

(WMB4X) The Day of the Doctor

50 years of The Doctor. How the hell do you begin to write anything about that? For once I’m pleased I’m not Steven Moffat. Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt and Billie Piper amongst others a stellar cast. I loved it, absolutely. I’m going to try not to spoil it for anyone who didn’t see it. (Like my blog will be the only place that mentions this) I will mention a few things though.

So many times do you wait for something that has a great fanfare beforehand only to find it doesn’t live up to it? This wasn’t one of those times. This was the TV event of the year if not the century. Surprises at every turn, humour and even rewards for the oldest fans of the show. Also the beauty of a time travel show means you can travel back and “put right what once went wrong” but enough about Quantum Leap.

One of the things I hated about Russell T Davies last ever episode with David Tennant is that Tennants Doctor says “I don’t want to go.” just before he regenerates. This is been a huge annoyance of mine because the Doctors regeneration is not him ‘going’ anywhere. Steven Moffat obviously was annoyed by this too. So he only bloody well went and fixed it. This alone would have made my night but wait there is plenty more.

Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) was criticised on her return to the show in 2010 after a two year absence as Rose’s voice had dramatically changed. Billie said that she had forgotten how Rose was supposed to sound. Cosmetic dental work aside of course. The vocal change did distract somewhat. So I have to admit I was worried about Rose Tylers return. Moffat brilliantly fixed this too.

I have spoken before about Matt Smith’s great ability to play a character much older and more world weary than himself. John Hurt managed to play a younger Doctor superbly, as you knew he would. Brilliantly acted, brilliantly casted.

I’d be a rubbish TV critic. This is a bit of non piece for which I make no apologies. I just didn’t think this would be quite so damn good.

So fifty years for the Doctor. 200 blog pieces for me. Not quite as impressive but a very fortuitous bit of timey wimey.

Dr Who (316350537)


Visit the Resident Weeble. He’s on his fifth regeneration.

(WMB4X) The Day of the Doctor

(WMB4X) Tennants Pilsner

Doctor Who this month celebrates 50 years of existence. Which is very good for me as fan. My generation really missed out on the Doctor with the show being sent to the knackers yard by the BBC in 1989. I was 9. Had I been just a few years older I would have been able to appreciate the show. As it is I remember McCoy as MY doctor, and he was also voted the best doctor of all time when he was current resident of the TARDIS. He wasn’t of course.

In a recent Radio Times survey David Tennant has been voted the best Doctor with over 50% of the vote. I wouldn’t put Tennant at the top. In my view whilst there were some gems in his tenure as the Time Lord poor writing and shouty acting really put me off. Although it has to be said most of this dislike has come on in retrospect after being alerted to the Shouty, running Doctor by friends.

I get that Doctor Who is an action drama. Motion and movement are important, but largely lazy writing means that the solution to lot of problems is to run. If you don’t believe me play a drinking game where you have to drink every time Tennant says or is running. You’d have drunk the place dry by episode 3.

It’s difficult to vote on who is the best Doctor. It’s usually the person who is currently holding the sonice screwdriver who gets the nod. However Doctor Who in the Tennant years was much more a drama with Sci-fi elements. Since Steven Moffatt has been the show runner the program has moved a darker place with rewards for the regular viewer over those who dipped in on their way out to Yates.

Matt Smith has produced an excellent performance for such a young man playing a character over 900 years old. Maybe thats what it is with me when it comes to Tennant. Permit me to explain.

Sean Connery is my favourite Bond. In 1983 he made Never Say Never Again, which was not an official Bond film. In itself it’s quite enjoyable, with Rowan Atkinson making a pre- Johnny English big screen appearance. There is something about it however that doesn’t sit right as a Bond film. It appears to be Sean Connery, playing a younger Sean Connery who is playing Bond. This to me is what Tennants Who was like.

Tennant playing a Doctor, not THE Doctor. There were lots of inconsistencies Daleks could fly being the main one that springs to mind. Smith’s performance brought the show back to it’s roots playing the well travelled time lord with a wisdom and eccentricness whilst at the same time scaring the bejesus out of a new generation. Tennant could never quite pull that off.

Favourite doctor? High hopes for Peter Capaldi


Please visit the blog of the Resident Weeble who’s favourite Doctor may or may not be Doctor Dre

(WMB4X) Tennants Pilsner

(BDYBIS) Hello Souffle Girl: The Return of the Doctor

It had been a long day, I’d been at work and for a desk jockey like me Saturday working is a very strange experience but as it turns out I kinda liked it, 100% less cretins and office politics. Was tiring though not aided by the fact i’d woken up at 5 am. So at 7:25pm I was severely lacking in stamina.

Thanks to the magic of twitter, I had found out at my desk (all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy) that the Doctor was to make his return that very every evening. Event television, something broadcasters used to be good at. Now it’s “great show, how far can you dilute the storyline so it goes over 5 consecutive nights for the rest of eternity.” Doctor Who has always been, unplug the phone, duct tape the cat to the ceiling TV in my house. Saturdays episode was no exception.

By williamsdb [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Daleks. Perhaps the most over used enemy in whovian history. Were purposely given time off by Steven Moffat. Yet here they are again however they have been given a fresh twist (one that’s a damn slight better than them flying, Mr T Davies) they want the doctors help. As should be known by most of you the beautifully talented Karen Gillan is leaving the series at Christmas, to be replaced by Jenna Louise Coleman. I’m pleased, you see I’m a geek, women avoid me like they would chlamydia so I need attractive doctor companions, they cheer my very core. Anyway I digress. Previous companion changes have been somewhat clunky. Rose Tyler to Martha Jones springs to mind, a character so two dimensional I’m surprised the Doctor didn’t get a paper cut when he touched her.

Oswin, as we will call her for that is her name. The new companion we already know after one episode is a sassy sexy genius (and I’m trying very hard iPlayer viewers and overseas readers not to give you any spoilers) But she already has the kinda backstory that would put Twilight to shame.

It has been pointed out to me that this as series opener was considerably lighter in tone than previous series. No bad thing. Saturday work is great thing to make you look forward to excellently written and performed TV drama. Please let Mr Moffat write everything.. even the news. Bring on next week and the “Dinosaurs on a spaceship !”

In the UK catch the Doctor if you missed him here.
Elsewhere, wait your turn. Or find yourself a TARDIS and transport yourself to whenever it airs.

(BDYBIS) Hello Souffle Girl: The Return of the Doctor