Month: July 2014

On Leaks (Spoiler Free)

Before I begin I would like to restate that this post DOES NOT contain anything that may be considered a spoiler for series eight of Doctor Who.

Last weekend the shit hit the fan in a major way. If, by major, you mean “television”. Many would have you believe that – more shocking than the Israel/Palestine conflict; more important than the recent DRIP law push-through; a bigger data breach than Wikileaks – spoilers for Doctor Who are the biggest threat to our safety. Last weekend, just as usual, the BBC did their bit to make sure that those spoilers are out there and readily available to anyone with an internet connection.

Though, to be fair – even by the BBC’s standards – this most recent cock-up was a biggy. The story goes that “five scripts for series eight of Doctor Who were leaked online” resulting in the BBC having to release a statement begging those who’ve seen them to keep the details to themselves. It’s a terrible thing when details are leaked like this, isn’t it? Well, all isn’t what it seems. Because nothing “leaked” at all!

The truth is that the first five scripts of Doctor Who 8 were published online – not leaked, mind you, but published in full, in PDF format (along with MP4 files which many believe were the episodes themselves, though these did not spread like the scripts did). And who published these scripts? BBC Worldwide’s new Miami office. Yes, the BBC published their own scripts on the internet. All one needed to do (and many more than one did) was Google “Doctor Who Series 8 Scripts” and there they were (still are?) for all to see.

Let me repeat that: Nobody leaked these scripts. They were published online by BBC Worldwide! They were accessible by Google Search and readily available for download!

Spoilerphobes would have you believe that this was a cloak and dagger operation undertaken by some shadowy force for the sole purpose of ruining the fans’ fun. There is no truth in that. In fact, those hypocritical fans that kicked off over this “ruining the show” are now posting their own opinions on the scripts they’ve downloaded and read. Even I’ve had the willpower not to read the entire scripts and I’m all for spoilers – the more the merrier!

And this latest fuck-up is just one of many “leaks” facilitated by the BBC or their affiliate companies. Emails made public, episodes sent out on DVD before broadcast, casting news, set photos, etc, etc. It seems that, rather than hanging around the spoiler threads of Gallifrey Base, the best place to get the goss on Doctor Who is from the BBC themselves! 

One can only hope that, some time in the near future, there’ll be a leaked email or a Vined Facetime conversation informing the fans that Steven Moffat is stepping down. His arrogance, power-hunger and overbearing sense of self-importance is what’s making the show Not So Much Fun To Follow. His plots are getting increasingly self-referential and think they’re much cleverer than they are. And his risible attitude towards the fans on location – as though we are super-spies with eyes everywhere, rather than a handful of enthusiastic amateurs in the right city – is, in my opinion, a danger to the show’s future.

Russell T Davies was once quoted as saying “it’ll be a sad, sad day when nobody turns up to watch us make Doctor Who” and never a truer word was spoken. Moffat wants nobody to walk down the public streets he films on. He wants everyone out of the shopping centre he’s not allowed to close. His security guards seem to think they’re there to protect the cast from rowdy peasant nerds rather than to assure the safety of the public in the presence of a disrupting and often noisy film crew and their equipment.

In my opinion the show has become huge in recent years and the egos of those connected with it – be they production crew, so-called “superfan” arse-lickers or Moffat himself – have inflated alongside it. It’s as though the show has an all-access pass to anywhere, at any time, and it’s YOUR fault and MINE that these leaks happen. It’s YOUR fault and MINE that clapper-boards are left around on location and dialogue is overheard in public. It’s YOUR fault and MINE that, in today’s tech-heavy world, YouTube videos appear which may (or may not) spoil some underwhelming surprise due in a year’s time.

Bad, bad fans!

That said, if the hype is to be believed and my sources are correct, series eight – and Peter Capaldi – will be great. I can’t wait to see him in action! Not long now! (I have such a love/hate relationship with this show…)

On Terrorism

The Government has just initiated the implementation of an Emergency Law that effectively overrides new EU rules concerning the collection and distribution of personal data by companies. More specifically, the Government are granting themselves the power to keep tabs on who you’re calling or email or texting, when you’re doing it and for how long. Additional clauses allow them, in extreme circumstances, to listen in or read your correspondence too.

This is being pushed through as Necessary For National Security. Which is bollocks. These days terrorism is The In Thing, it seems. Your brown neighbours are definitely doing it, Cameron says. And loads of people are probably texting each other about doing it! This is why we need this law that says I Can Do What The Fuck I Like, Cameron says…

I don’t know about you but I don’t think my neighbours are doing it. I don’t think I know anyone who’s texting about doing it either. In fact, the only person I could say for sure WAS trying to so it was Cameron himself and his Government of Quisling ‘lickers and lofty knobs.

Because, contrary to what you’re being made to believe, the word “terrorism” doesn’t just mean “blowing stuff up” – Oh no! It’s a word that means “the act of causing or fostering terror among a group of people” (my definition, but I think it’s a fair one). Yes, blowing up innocents or threatening to do so IS terrorism, but so is tricking people into supporting an intrusive, unnecessarily heavy-handed piece of “law” (for how long, I wonder?) by making them believe that, without it, they’ll be blown up.

The most dangerous terrorists in Britain today are those who write for our national newspapers, those who legislate from seats of power, those who claim to protect us. Cameron and his army of class warriors are terrorists. They tell us to fear and hate the poor, because they want your taxes in the form of benefits. They tell us to fear the foreign as they want your houses and jobs. They tell us to fear our neighbours and our friends because you just don’t know who they’re texting or what about! But don’t worry, this new Emergency Law means they’re not getting away with planning to blow up your kids’ school or poison your roses. You’re safe, now vote Tory.

Want to know why it’s an Emergency Law, despite the details of the EU ruling leading to it’s creation being available back in April? Want to know why it’s happening now, one week before Parliament breaks? Because their excuse is relevant now. Local Cardiff lads jetting off to Syria to be Jihadists, paedophiles everywhere (probably Snapchatting pics of your daughter to their celeb mates), foreigners everywhere (just WHAT are they doing, eh?)… It has to be now because, in a month or so, when the news media has moved on to something else, the excuse won’t sound quite so urgently requiring attention. It also means it doesn’t have to be checked or amended, just forced through Because National Security. Backbenchers get almost no say.

Yet here we are. It’s happening, people complain, people question seemingly overpowered aspects of it but nothing can be done. Because it’s done. It in. It’ll be law by Tuesday. By Friday they’ll have your emails and texts on file. By next Friday you’ll be afraid to text about anything ever again.

I don’t know what it’ll be used for most, but I can assure you that “catching terrorists” isn’t it. That’s an excuse. That’s to make you want it too. That’s to make you even more nervous about sitting next to that Asian man with the backpack on the train that you already, irrationally, shamefully are. That’s to make you vigilant. To make you scared. To make you compliant. Obedient. Maybe even thankful. They’ve got you again. You need us, Vote Tory, we can keep you safe. From anyone except us, of course.

Bastards.