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BBC4: "My Science Fiction Life" - Songs of innocence and of experience [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Douglas Spencer

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BBC4: "My Science Fiction Life" [Dec. 29th, 2006|10:58 pm]
Douglas Spencer
I'm really glad I didn't commend this programme to your attention before the broadcast started. Had I done so, I would now look like a bit of a fool. Quiet at the back there. Now that you've missed it, I'm very pleased to offer you all my warmest congratulations.

Now I want my hour back, please.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: frandowdsofa
2006-12-29 11:04 pm (UTC)
I've been busy steaming potatoes for salad, and running the dishwasher, and downloading US foodie TV. So it wasn't a completely wasted hour. But I could have been doing that and still been in bed with Charlie Stross. Boo.
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[User Picture]From: nmg
2006-12-30 12:09 am (UTC)
If you're wanting to give Captain Cyborg a sound kicking, you'll have to join the queue; the artificial intelligence research community has had dibs for some years.
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[User Picture]From: makyo
2006-12-30 09:47 am (UTC)
That man has done more than almost any other non-politician to damage public respect for science in the UK. And his publicity-seeking gimmickry is even affecting unrelated departments and subjects - not just his own department at Reading. A few years ago, during my previous life as a computer programmer, I had the following conversation with a colleague:

"Nick, you're at Warwick aren't you?"
"Yep."
"There was some weird bloke from Warwick on the news this morning talking nonsense about robots - do you know him?"
"Aargh! No! He's not from Warwick, he's just called Warwick. And he's a nutter!"

Give him a slap from me when you do catch up with him.
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[User Picture]From: stevegreen
2006-12-30 03:31 pm (UTC)
If you'd been at Novacon 32, you could have slapped him yourself.
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[User Picture]From: orona_red
2006-12-30 12:35 pm (UTC)
Wstfgl. Kevin Warwick needs to be burnt with a soldering iron.
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[User Picture]From: aeglefinus
2006-12-29 11:57 pm (UTC)
In mid November I had an email from a BBC researcher and then a chat on the telephone with her. She decided that my life was not science fictiony enough for them to be interested. I taped the programme but haven't watched it yet. More gory details would be appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: hawkida
2006-12-30 12:08 am (UTC)
It was effectively:

Narrator: Science fiction is largely about escapism. See these people escape too far.
Daft woman: I like being a Klingon called KickArse at the pub
Narrator: But sometimes real things come from SF.
Random contributor: Gosh, aren't mobile phones great.
Narrator: Here's a man who had computer bits implanted in him.
Kevin Warwick: I had computer bits implanted. Isn't that great.
Kevin Warwick's wife: It's so great I did it too.

etc...
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[User Picture]From: surliminal
2006-12-30 12:30 am (UTC)
didn't you think the bit with him and his wife was like watching some embarrassing swinger's club?? I squirmed.
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[User Picture]From: nmg
2006-12-30 12:53 am (UTC)
It's the teeth-grindingly dull midlands drone that he has that I find particularly objectionable. That and the complete and utter nonsense he spouts about my discipline.
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-12-30 12:09 am (UTC)
It gave the general impression of having been made by a bunch of programme-makers who would have rejected anyone who wasn't "science fictiony enough".

Perhaps if you'd worn purple body paint, dressed up in a military uniform, and decorated your house in the style of a spaceship, you'd have been included.
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[User Picture]From: surliminal
2006-12-30 12:31 am (UTC)
and been a scientologist
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[User Picture]From: stevegreen
2006-12-30 03:33 pm (UTC)
and never had a girlfriend
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-12-30 05:29 pm (UTC)
The vicar had a girlfriend!
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[User Picture]From: nmg
2006-12-30 12:07 am (UTC)
Good grief. I've just started watching it (timeshifting with the PVR), I'm five minutes in, and already I've wanted to put my foot through the screen twice.
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[User Picture]From: surliminal
2006-12-30 12:31 am (UTC)
it's so APPALLINGLY bad I'm thinking of keeping it as a kitsch masterpiece..
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[User Picture]From: nmg
2006-12-30 12:51 am (UTC)
To give him his due, Will Alsop isn't actually barking mad (unlike Lafayette Hubbard and possibly Captain Cyborg).
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[User Picture]From: camies
2006-12-30 10:17 am (UTC)
Alsop's actually built things (Peckham Library for example). His post-industrial cities may be an example of "It is unlikely to be built let it scream" - but they've got people discussing the subject.
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[User Picture]From: missfairchild
2006-12-30 10:41 am (UTC)
Fandom in "being made to look like complete sad loonies by television crew" shocker. When is everyone going to learn? It's not as if this hasn't happened, ooh, a dozen times before.

I must say that I rolled my eyes when I read about everyone being so excited about TV cameras at the tun. Next time, just don't let them in. There isn't a journalist/broadcaster out there *interested* in depicting normal intelligent and articulate fen in the mainstream media, and anything they say to the contrary is just a ruse to get people's guards down so they can be nicely stitched up later.
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[User Picture]From: nmg
2006-12-30 12:37 pm (UTC)
You're right, of course, but there's always the hope that it might not happen again...

(and as I've said elsewhere, the media coverage of last year's Worldcon was pretty good, so it wasn't unreasonable to expect that a programme associated with BBC4's SF season would be fairly sensible)
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[User Picture]From: stevegreen
2006-12-30 03:35 pm (UTC)
The other documentaries in the series have been rather good. I wonder if this one had a different production team?
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-12-30 04:10 pm (UTC)
The team who came to the Tun, who filmed and interviewed those of us who were up for it, were asking sensible questions and seemed to be intent on creating a product that was fair and accurate. I'm sure the vandalism is at the hands of the producers of the programme and not those of our visitors ... and yes, all the signs are that the production team were Not As Other Teams.
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[User Picture]From: cass_rising
2006-12-30 04:28 pm (UTC)
I've seen the ocasional bit of respectable coverage - shockingly most of it has come from local affiliates. Sadly those stories are rarely more than 90 seconds long, not exactly comparable to the documentary scene.

The book Who are you People? gives a sympathetic (if not all that in-depth) view of various american fandoms. It's worth a look.
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-12-30 05:31 pm (UTC)
The doco after it tho, on parallel worlds, in the same season, was perfectly excellent with an intelligent choice of clips NOT all Star Trek and Terminator :) and intelligent commentaruy from inter alia Kim newman and Roz Kaveney. It annoys me that in a series on sf tropes the only awful one was the "sf life" one, the one they could wedge as many fat mad Trekkies into as poss.
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[User Picture]From: arborophile
2006-12-31 02:47 pm (UTC)
Couldnt they have picked anyone who wasnt barking mad?
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