How much can Captain Picard change?

I still have a Google alert set up to bring me daily news about Patrick Stewart’s return to Star Trek, and what I’ve been reading recently is that he will be playing a very different Jean-Luc Picard. The reports are that this will be a much more introspective, psychological series than Next Gen, and that Picard is going to have changed. That made me wonder, how much can characters change before deviating too far from the original? If they go too far and change Picard too much, fans will react badly. On the other hand, many well-established characters have evolved and changed throughout their history: think Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot; but perhaps the most obvious example is James Bond. Bond as played by Roger Moore and, say, Daniel Craig are completely different, but both are essentially 007, and both contribute to the character’s legacy.

The question then is, can it be the same case with Picard? Is the character capable of withstanding similar changes? The obvious difference is, he will still be played by the same actor, Patrick Stewart, so there might not be as much scope for modification that there might be were they to get a new actor. Then again, I daresay fans, including myself, wouldn’t stand Captain Picard being played by anyone other than Sir Patrick. Of course, it’s logical that he will have changed over time, but go too far and they risk ruining the Picard fans love and admire.

As long as he gets in the occasional ”Make it so” and drinks his Earl Grey Tea hot, though, I don’t think they can go too wrong. Like James Bond and indeed any long running character, the Picard character has a set of iconography which helps to define him; a set of attributes writers and directors include whenever a character appears, and which viewers come to expect. Thus Bond is expected to drink his martini ”shaken, not stirred”, wear expensive suits and introduce himself like this. I have little doubt these attributes will reappear when Picard returns; the question is, how much room is there for the producers to play with everything else?

Presumed innocent, even when obviously not

Of course, one should stick to the principal that, in a court case, a defendant should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but having just read the final paragraph of this Guardian article, I think there might be exceptions to that rule. Boris Johnson is being sued for misconduct in public office by a group of private citizens for lying in the Brexit referendum. Next week a judge will decide whether to summon Johnson to court. He’s being brought to book over the famous 350 million quid bus claim. The article ends by saying that the legal team ”wish to stress again that Mr Johnson has not been charged with any criminal offence and is at all times presumed innocent until proven otherwise.” But then, they have to say that,  don’t they? How can Bojo be anything other than guilty? We all saw the bus; we  all  know the claim was complete poppycock, and any vaguely sentient person can deduce Johnson et al must have known it was bull before it was painted on the bus. It’s obvious Johnson is guilty. How  can he be anything other than guilty? Mind you, you could say the same about Donald Trump.

I need to chill out

I am beginning to think I have a  serious problem with my rages; they are worse than ever. These days, even the simplest thing can make me go ballistic. I have known that my CP effects my emotional control for a while now, but it is really getting stupid. I get wound up over the simplest things: it’s what brought on that rather juvenile blog entry about Lee Ridley a couple of days ago; and whenever I see anything pro-brexit online, I go baserk. It’s reached a point where I’ve been waking up at night and winding myself up so much that I end up banging my mattress with rage. I have quite a bit on my mind at the  moment in my personal life, and I’m worried about my future, but even if they last only a few seconds, these rages cannot be healthy. For a few moments I think the whole world is out to get me, or  that I have enemies  who have screwed me over and whom I must find and kill. It really is getting ridiculous. I really need to chill out.

Just a sign of the times

I’m afraid to admit that I’m not at all surprised by this news.  ”Online disability hate crime has hit record levels in England and Wales, surging by a third in one year, figures show.”  As  alarming as that is, I’m afraid it’s  just a sign of the times: everyone seems to be getting angrier  and angrier, lashing out at minorities including those of us with disabilities. Arseholes like Trump and Farage have given the green light, in some, to express prejudices which would previously have been frowned upon, so that these uneducated, unthinking trolls now think  its big or manly to call people names and resort to the most  base, disgusting insults. The result is increased anger and hostility all round. With everyone getting so angry, especially online, I dread to think where this is heading.

Crossrail should have an opening ceremony

There’s no denying the country is currently utterly divided, possibly more divided politically than it ever has been. Brexit has torn us in two, and, despite Corbyn’s laughable attempts to straddle the fence, I don’t see the country coming back together anytime soon.  Now, this might be a silly idea, but it seems to me that what we could do with now is a great big party. Think back to 2012, when the country was all cheerfully united behind London  (the Lib Dems recently invoked the same  idea in a recent ad). I wish we could get some of that united feeling  back. As much as I despise Brexit, this current widespread hostility isn’t good for anyone.

What we all need, then, is a great big party. I  think this is what the tories were getting at with there widely-ridiculed ‘Festival of Britain’ idea. But cruising around a rainy Woolwich yesterday,  I had an idea: what if Crossrail had an opening ceremony? We’ve all been waiting ages for this new zarking tube line, so we might as well have a party when it finally opens. Why not? It could be a big,  grand affair; and since one of it’s main termini will be up in stratford, why not put the show on in the olympic stadium.

The only question is, what would be in the show and who would direct it? I recon it should be on similar lines to the 2012 opening ceremony, although, given old Liz would be at least eight years older by the time Crossrail opens, and 007 will probably have another actor playing him, reusing this film might seem a little dated. Even so,  just think what could be in it   and what a party could be thrown. I definitely think it should include at least one rendition of this song. The  only thing is, it would have to steer clear of politics: if it appeared to  celebrate Remain or Leave, it would only deepen already dangerously deep divisions. Better just celebrate trains, tunnels, and stuff we all agree about.

Disabled musicians ‘failed by venues’

I think this is worth  flagging up today. A large proportion of musicians with disabilities are being denied work because they can’t   access venues, or their disabilities can’t be accommodated in some other way. To be honest I’m not surprised. The flip side of the coin, of course, is that  we disabled punters can’t go to a lot of gigs because the venues are still inaccessible. Having said that, things have improved vastly from how they  were, especially in London. My trip to India really drove home how good London is for accessibility. Sure there’s still quite a long  way to go, but having visited a  place where I would have struggled to get anywhere if I had not had a PA like John, I now think london is quite advanced in terms of accessibility.