We’ve been avidly watching Heroes since it started showing here in the UK. The series has attracted a couple of big sci-fi names into guest roles, and have dropped in a couple of references to their more famous roles. First to appear is Christopher Eccleston, better known as the ninth Doctor – Claude, his Heroes character is fairly early on heard to use the ninth Doctor ‘fantastic’ catch-phrase. However the really stand out one has to be when George Takei – Sulu in Star Trek – turns up as father to Hiro Nakamura. As he gets into his car, the camera pans across the license plate – NCC 1701!
Well at least it is the weekend tomorrow. As you can probably gather from my post from lunchtime, today was anything if not frustrating. After establishing that there was probably something installed on my development machine that was causing the problem, hence why the laptop was loading up the control I set about un-installing anything that wasn’t necessary. Unfortunately after an afternoon of removing one thing after another, and testing the project again, all with no success, by the end of the afternoon I was ready to drop-kick the whole PC out of the window. Hopefully Monday will shine a new light on the problem, either that or I’ll try and code around it.
Anyway, onto less frustrating things. I had a nice surprise when I got home, my copy of Shaggy Blog Stories, the book of UK blog postings put together by Mike Atkinson. For an internet published book, with effectively word-of-mouth advertising it’s doing pretty well. Apparently it sold over 250 copies in the first 40 hours, and the running tally on Mike’s site puts the current total at 410 copies, raising a fantastic Â£1821.22 for Comic Relief. If you haven’t ordered a copy, I can heartily recommend getting hold of a copy. Some of the names you’ll know, others you won’t, but there are certainly a lot of laughs. Incidentally, did you know that candles only burn if they are facing east? Neither did I – see, the book is educational too!
On a related point, this is the first book I’ve ordered from Lulu.com, the print-on-demand publishing service. Essentially it allows budding authors to publish their own work, and since each copy is printed when it is ordered, and the service handles all the production and shipping, it is a pretty straightforward way to get your book published. Certainly looking at my copy of Shaggy Blog Stories compared to a ‘normal’ book, aside from the missing barcode and ISBN number, it is pretty well indistinguishable, certainly in terms of the quality of manufacture. Having seen the finished article, it definitely seems like a good way to publish in small numbers, perhaps for books at the Church or something like that.
Since we’ve had a busy couple of weeks – I’ve had meetings, rehearsals, lent courses and all sorts meaning I’ve been out pretty well every night for the past few weeks – we had a catch-up session with programmes we have recorded tonight. We got through one episode of Heroes, two episodes of West Wing, and got up to date with this weeks episodes of EastEnders. I’ve mentioned West Wing loads of times before, and even linked in to clips, however I don’t think I’ve mentioned Heroes up to now.
The premise of Heroes has definite roots in the comic book genre with a large ensemble of apparently disconnected characters around the world starting to discover that they have strange powers. So we have a Texas Cheerleader who discovers that she is able to spontaneously regenerate, even at one point coming back to life in the middle of her own autopsy. There is also a Japanese programmer who discovers that he can manipulate the space/time continuum, tele-porting himself around the world and through time. There are also characters who are telepathic, characters who can fly and characters who can walk through walls. The show has been hailed as ‘the next Lost‘, in whose footsteps it certainly seems to have followed in terms of popular reception. It also seems to have followed along in terms of having a large ensemble cast, and in which the story is the main thing – so there is always the possibility that popular and apparently central characters will not survive. It is also similar in that there are many details to spot that may be missed by the casual viewer. Ironically, as Lost seems to be getting somewhat lost itself in it’s third season – certainly lacking the plot twists that kept you gripped before, Heroes seems to be taking it’s place in terms of complex and surprising plot twists. Certainly it’s got us hooked.