October 14th, 2010


Whoniversaries 14 October: Shaun Sutton, Katy Manning, Abominable Snowmen #3, Pirate Planet #3

i) births and deaths

14 October 1919: birth of Shaun Sutton, BBC executive who had a key role in casting Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

14 October 1949: birth of Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant from 1971 to 1973, does both Jo and Iris Wildthyme for Big Finish, and reappeared in the Sarah Jane Adventures.

ii) broadcast anniversaries

14 October 1967: broadcast of third episode of The Abominable Snowmen. Khrisong decides to trust the Doctor, but the dormant Yeti is animated by the missing sphere...

14 October 1978: broadcast of third episode of The Pirate Planet. The Doctor hears the story of Queen Xanxia and sees the crushed remains of plundered planets, and is thrown off the bridge.

14 October 2018: broadcast of The Ghost Monument.

October Books 5) Pies and Prejudice, by Stuart Maconie

A couple of years back I read Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island and wasn't hugely impressed. This, on the other hand, is a wonderful book about the North of England, prefaced by the Ninth Doctor quote, "Lots of planets have a north", written with affection and humour, and occasional rage against Southern and/or London prejudices. As a non-English person myself, I don't have a particular stake other than cheering for the underdog; as someone who has a fascination for micro-cultures, I loved Maconie's exploration of the great cities of Northern England through pop music and football, even though those are both subjects which I am vaguely aware of rather than passionately interested in.

It is one of the few books where I actively wished I could hear the author reading it. Words on a page are all very well, but I imagine that Maconie had retained his Wigan accent, which would surely add colour to his delivery of lines like the way the Liver Birds are unlikely to fly away from Liverpool, because they are made of metal and nailed to the Liver Building, or the awful effects of his family's cooking tradition on his childhood morale. When his Golbourne Colliery relatives were sent tins of spaghetti in solidarity by Heinz workers during the miners' strike, these unfamiliar culinary objects "were regarded with suspicion. Rumour had it they'd become contaminated with flavour and tastiness and contained no pastry whatsoever."

Anyway, an excellent and enlightening book, for anyone with the slightest curiosity about Northern England.

Posted via LjBeetle