Sunday, February 25, 2007

Redemption achieved

Okay, that was fun. Only one klingon, for a start - the legendary warrior strangely missing from the Trek canon, Khq'as. Yes, there were many other costumes too, some but not all of a Trek orientation, but when they're as cute as the two little cyberboys you really can't complain. Here they are with, presumably, their cyberdad.

Sadly my camera didn't have the battery oomph to power the flash too, which limited the number of pix that could have been taken. This was an especial shame for the masquerade and caberet. However, still photography could not do justice to the astonishing dance acts (to Gogol Bordello's Start Wearing Purple, one that I think was to original music, and let's not forget seven year old Karen's dolphin dance), and the best act of all didn't need costumes. A Hugo and Oscar should go to whoever penned Dylan Thomas's Under Torchwood.

There was sufficient serious sf discussion to be had, and it can safely be said Battlestar Galactica (the new one) has achieved beatification - so much so that I almost felt a heel in my final panel session, "Creating an alien culture", by raising one tiny implausibility about it. (Okay - I'm feeling brave. The 12 colonies have been at peace for the last sixty years and as far as we know they got on okay before that too ... so why the massive, budget consuming fleet of battlestars?) Anyway, I'm happy.

Two most favourite panels:

1. Room 101. Scott's subjects: instruction manuals, Rupert Murdoch, modern pronunciation and computer technology. Mine: digital rights management, smart-alec shortarses, and birthday banners that get tied to roundabouts and are still there a month later. Sadly we ran out of time before he could get on to cricket on Radio 4 and I could get on to A.N. Wilson. Most of our choices were successfuly argued for inclusion in Room 101, but he had to keep modern pronunciation and I had to keep smart-alec shortarses, as represented here.

2. What would Blake's 7 be like not set in space?
We came up with a series in which a resistance fighter to the British Raj is transported to Australia and escapes halfway in a before-its-time zeppelin. Three quarters of the way through his adventures, the zeppelin is destroyed and he acquires the Nautilus. Zen is a Babbage difference engine. Orac is a bald dwarf with an astonishing aptitude for telephone technology. Our heroes winch him down from the zeppelin so that he can tap telegraph wires. My suggestion that he be Scottish and called McApple was cruelly rejected. Star One is on Rockall (or possibly Ascension Island) and is a listening post into the transatlantic cables. Queen Victoria is Servalan.

And yes, I might even do it again in '09. I assume that by then I'll have seen Galactica's third season.
  • News just in: I've just received an email telling me that the results of the Blake's 7 slash writing workshop are available at Before going there, make sure you fully understand what slash is ...


  1. "Queen Victoria is Servalan." I love this sentence, but somehow I just can't imagine Queen Victoria lounging around in any of Jacqueline Pearce's costumes. Small mercies, eh?

  2. You're obviously not trying hard enough. I find it frighteningly easy ... (However, we did agree her costumes would probably be more practical for climbing around quarries, and hopefully she wouldn't wear the one with the neckline coming down to the waist.)

  3. No, still not working, it doesn't matter how loudly you suggest the images... lalalalala...


    Now I *can* imagine Jacqueline Pearce would not be amused. She's remarkably stern in B7.

  4. I also believe Servalan and Victoria both had a similar eye for the strapping young men. Victoria was more hands-off, Servalan was more of the use-and-discard school of thought.


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