Will Picard reference the Ahab scene?

The web is now predictably rife with rumours and speculation about the return of Captain Picard to star Trek. I don’t think I’m alone in being very, very excited about it. As I think I’ve said on here before, my eagerness to see this series probably outweighs my excitement to see James Bond appear at the Olympics or the return of Monty Python in 2014, truly phenomenal though both were. As you can imagine, every trekkie there ever was is hanging onto every morsel of information they can get. There is quite a lot out there, including the news that Riker himself, Johnathan Frakes, has already directed a couple of episodes.

Perhaps the news that interests me most, though, is the pretty firm info that the characters Hugh and Seven of Nine will both be reprising their roles for the programme. Both characters are Borg or former Borg, implying that the Borg feature heavily in this series. Picard has a complex dramatic relationship with the Borg, so can we infer from this casting that the new series will touch upon it? Given Johnathan Frakes’ involvement, could we see references to First Contact (1996), which Frakes directed, and even my beloved Ahab scene? That possibility really has me interested.

I could be completely wide of the mark here, of course, but having two recovered drones on the cast list would certainly imply that the theme of escaping from the collective will feature quite heavily in this series. If that is so, surely a reference to First Contact and the scene I spent so long writing about for my MA is pretty much inevitable. To see that, to see Picard mention that scene, even just once, would make my entire year.

A taste of the tragedies to come

If you want to read about just how inhumane things are becoming under the Tories, just read this. A man with CP in Liverpool now faces eviction and institutionalisation weeks after his brother, who had the same condition, died, and he can’t afford the rent. They obviously supported eachother, both emotionally and  economically, but now the local council want to turf the surviving brother out. What worries me  is as  Brexit ransacks the economy more and more, heartbreaking stories like this will inevitably become more and more commonplace.

At least I’m not this foolish

Just for the record and in case anyone is wondering, I’m  not the powerchair user going the wrong way around a welsh roundabout in this video.  ”Stephen Quick captured footage on his dashcam of a woman in an electric wheelchair going the wrong way on a roundabout.”  Admittedly, I’ve done some stupid things in my chair over the years, but I do try to stay well clear of roundabouts, welsh  or otherwise.

The Stratford treatment

I go up to stratford fairly often these days: I really like that area around the Olympic park and Westfield shopping centre – it all feels so sleek and new, yet so peaceful. What I find most striking, though, is the thought that, just a few years ago, that area was completely different. Until relatively recently, that area was a neglected urban scrubland. Thanks to winning the right to host the 2012 olympics, that area is now one of the coolest in London, with it’s sleek new buildings, pretty rivers and paths, and awesome sports and cultural events. It’s one of my favourite areas of London to go to, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

That makes me wonder, though: if Stratford can undergo such a transformation, could other areas of the capital benefit from similar treatment? One of the things I love most about London is that it’s constantly changing and being modernised: if the area around Stratford can be changed so drastically and amazingly, what can be done to other areas? For one, I think there are still areas of woolwich which could do with work. Of course, the old arsenal area is getting a makeover due to crossrail; but to the west of that, up by the Thames near the Thames Barrier, there are still shabby old warehouses left over from another era. Think what could be done to that area if it got he stratford treatment

My first automatic suggestion would be a cinema complex, but there are already two or three first rate cinemas in the area, so another might be overkill. Yet the fact remains that area by the thames has vast potential, especially given the opening of the Elisabeth Line next year means it’s foot traffic is about to shoot up.

Of course I’m sure that’s not the only area of London which could do with looking at, but going through it yesterday afternoon, I was really struck by the contrast in the feel of these areas. It’s as if different boroughs of London get vastly unequal treatment and pots of funding, which doesn’t seem completely fair. The question is, if stratford can get transformed due to the olympics, as north Greenwich was on the back of the millennium, what other mega-events are needed to spur the modernisation of other London’s neglected suburbs?

Of vitamins and haircuts

I swallow a vitamin pill every day with my breakfast. I probably get  all the vitamins I need with my food anyway, but I feel it’s best to just make sure. Vitamins also apparently help stave off absences. The only problem is, they also make my hair and nails grow more quickly. The nails aren’t a problem as they  get worn down as I type. The way the vitamins make my hair grow, though, irritates me as  it means I need mote frequent haircuts. I already need another trip to the barbers,  and it feels like I only had one a few   weeks  ago. And, as I think I’ve noted on here before, I loathe haircuts. Oh well, I suppose it’s the price you pay for staying healthy.

Romesh Ranganathan doesn’t understand what he’s doing

Does Romesh Ranganathan know what he’s doing? I watched his travel show again last night, and it seemed very strangely framed indeed. I usually love that kind of program, especially Michael Palin’s travelogues. No doubt Ranganathan wants to become the new Palin, but his show last night addressed the viewer in a way I must say I did not like at all. As I touched upon in this entry last year, I find his style odd, and even a little condescending. It was curious: the presenter seemed unable to decide what his role was exactly; one minute we were hearing a standard, professional voiceover of the style you find in any documentary of this kind. In the next shot, though, Ranganathan wasn’t talking directly into the camera as a presenter ordinarily would, but past it as if talking to the film crew, like he was pretending to be an ordinary guy off the street who somehow just happened to have a film crew following him about. The result is a program which seems to want to be two things at once: professional Palinesque travelogue and semi-amateur comedy travel show. Ranganathan attempts to come across as both a professional and a subversive, comedic amateur. It’s as if he can’t decide what his role is so he tries to be both. The result, though, is he just comes across as an irritating twat who should leave this work to people who understand the genre. As fascinating as the places we are shown are (last night’s program about Mongolia made my feet itch) I must say that I find the result of this wanting to be two things at once rather greedy and irritating. It is almost as if the guy doesn’t fully understand what he’s doing.