Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Brog.

Just a note to say that although I don't often post blog posts here in the first place - aside from updating my Comics post - any blog postings I do make in the future will be on my new(ish) blog, which, while still trying to find a reasonable look, can be found here, which has the hilarious title of the Brog (Bromley's Blog. D'you see?)

Anyway, most of my mind-leakages tend to be on Twitter, so if you want me, you can find me there, as @bromley001.
Or do go have a look at The Brog. Up to you.

(I'm also on Facebook, though I very rarely use it. Link down there on the left.)


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Ched Evans

The sentencing of Ched Evans has, I must admit, knocked me for six. There are certain types who seem to see the whole incident as a proof of how Sheffield United and all players, staff and fans are just scum and should be abused and made an example of.
I am a long standing Sheffield United fan, and I will not be made to feel ashamed of supporting the club I love, *my* club.
United haven't made a final statement yet, preferring to take in all the facts and make a sensible statement, probably next week sometime. I don't really do 'serious' very well, so here's the best way I could sum up my thoughts to a friend of mine on Twitter yesterday, via a series of Tweets which I've reproduced here.

"As a Sheffield Unitedite who's been singing the praises of our top scorer all season, I'm a bit stunned at the verdict. While I can accept that he's been found guilty, with good reason, and in *no way* condone what has happened, I think it's a case of a group of young men having too much to drink and going too far (exactly like the advert). The case should serve as a warning to young men out 'for a good time'. (Again, without wishing to appear flippant, *like the advert*). I think it's wrong, however, to paint Evans as some kind of animal or predator - he's just been very stupid and ruined a *very* promising career. I suppose, in a sense, I'm biased in his favour, but there's a lot of unwarrented hate from non-SUFC supporting types headed his way, and I think those anti (and pro) United need to remember, as I keep repeating, that this is a criminal case, and has absolutely nothing to do with football. If anyone, for example, suggested that SUFC should be punished (points reduction or Suchlike), that would be ridiculous."

Monday, 6 February 2012

My li'l Red Dwarf home recordings.

Well. G&T posted this about the original 1988 Red Dwarf listings.

While I've no Red Dwarf stuff from the first series myself, I've been having a look at my old VHS home recordings. I've lost a fair amount of stuff in the last few years, which I've had a good moan about elsewhere, but here are some photos of the video sleeves I designed for my recordings, and some of the Radio Times clippings and listings from the later series and repeat showings.

RD01 The VHS Collection http://yfrog.com/odhmpgwj
My assorted home recordings of Red Dwarf, and my *ahem* wonderful sleeves.

This is the first series I actually recorded. That pencil and Red biro thing I've got going on there...nice stuff. And my 'J's that look like 'Y's. Obviously from the 1994 repeat showing.

Recorded from the original showing. I've foregone actual drawing here, and stuck a photo on the front, from the Radio Times. I've done the logo, though, and I've done the RDVII logo as it appeared onscreen. Worth noting that I recorded the other series' as well, and probably taped series VI on it's first broadcast. I've just lost a lot of videos.

RD04 Red Dwarf Night http://yfrog.com/obwhbrij
The lovely sleeve I made for my recording of Red Dwarf Night in 1998. Note the sellotaped-on tenth anniversary logos on the back, which have been cut out of the Radio Times.

Not sure when I recorded this - definitely after the official VHS tapes had been released, as the BBC made a point of the fact that series I had never been repeated, only to immediately repeat it once the die-hards had been and bought the tapes. My sleeve was left only half completed, with no contents list. I saw that a satellite station was showing a complete run one night in the tenth anniversary week, and just cut out the listing and stuck it in the back of the case. I'm very pleased with the drawing I've done on the front, though, which is obviously copied from a Smegazine.

Again, more photos, but I've used a nice font for the writing. It's amazing what you can do with a black biro.

RD07 Spine Inserts http://yfrog.com/nxttvjkbj
I probably did this when the DVDs started coming out. I got a eight-VHS-spine-sized piece of paper, did a Red Dwarf logo in the middle, then cut it into eight, added 'I' to 'VIII' at the bottom of each, and slipped them into the spines of my eight tapes. It looked pretty good, I thought.

The RT cuttings for each episode of series VII. I'd cut out the programme info/cast lists and photos where applicable, and sellotaped them to the inside of the box. I always used to do this for everything I recorded - Red Dwarf, Vic and Bob, The Fast Show...allsorts. Actually, I had loads of cuttings for series VII - there was a Radio Times cover for the series (likewise Red Dwarf Night), and a big article in, I think, Cult Times or Starburst, something like that. I cut it out and actually went to the trouble of binding it with sellotape and a red ribbon. Needless to say, it's now lost, along with my bag of drawings and assorted RD crap.

More series VII programme info.

The first half of the series VIII show synopses...

...And the second lot.

RD12 RDNight Cuttings http://yfrog.com/oeiormyj
Red Dwarf Night was the Radio Times choice of the day, so there's a preview cut out of the magazine, and the listing for the 'Night' itself (You'll just have to turn your head).

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A Night at the Dwarf

Well, you know all about the whole 'me/Red Dwarf/tickets' thing, and now that's been and gone, I really ought to write about it...

Well, I turned 33 on Thursday. So that was nice. But it was Friday I was really looking forward to.

Up fairly early (for me) Friday morning (Time for an Audioboo*). Having already packed our overnight bag with clothes the night before, I couldn't put all my medication in the bag 'til after I'd had my morning dose (I have four types of tablets, treating my epilepsy and other conditions, plus two different types of insulin for my diabetes...yawn), so once all the important stuff was away, and we'd got stuff to eat on the journey, we were ready to set off.
I'd got tickets for my sister Grace and myself, and we were looking forward to this, really quite a lot.
We got to the station and, after taking our seats in the wrong half of the train, we set off on our two hour trip to London.
My epilepsy can sometimes be a little exacerbated by stress or panic, so we did wonder how the transfers from St Pancras to Vauxhall (via the Tube), then onto Kempton Park, where we got off and walked the five minutes or so to our hotel (big up for the Sunbury Travelodge!) would effect me. Luckily, no rushing about and no panic, so no problem there.
After getting changed (I'd bought a brand new Starbug t-shirt for the occasion, and, while not official Red Dwarf merchandise, it is rather beautiful), we were back on the train down to Shepperton station, and from there to the pub, to meet the Ganymede & Titan crowd.
Around 5pm, we left the pub to make our way to Shepperton Studios. Where the magic happens.
We made our way down to the back entrance which has lain the welcome mat for Red Dwarf fans for the past month, and made our way down the dark, muddy path towards the actual studio buildings. We held onto our tickets, and were ushered into a cage, sorry shown into a holding area, where we were given numbers, could grab a drink and a chocolate bar, and pop to the loo before we went to the hangar of a studio which is home to Red Dwarf X.
We were called in groups (hence the numbers) and were led to the studio. My overriding memory is standing at the door of the studio, seeing half of one of the main sets, and my jaw just dropping - these sets are just outstanding.
We took our seats, and (speaking personally) just stared in wonder at the beautiful sets until the wonderful Ray Peacock, our warm-up/compere for the night said hello and started to, well, warm us up. He announced the cast one by one, who each came out to whoops, cheers and rapturous applause. Co-creator/Writer/Director Doug Naylor said a few words, reiterating the need for the internet to stay spoiler-free until RDX airs (that may have been before the cast appeared, actually. Can't remember. Sorry.). Then Phones were turned off and we got going. A lovely scene on the far set, another on the set on our half of the studio, a pre-VT, then back on the far set.
Doug then took to the floor to explain that the middle section of the episode wouldn't be being recorded tonight, but we would be shifting forward until after these missing ten minutes or so had happened, and gave us a brief explanation as to what may have occurred in those ten minutes. We then saw the end of the episode recorded, and a couple of pick-ups from earlier episodes.
Perhaps in acknowledgement that our evening had perhaps been a little shorter than expected (we'd still been in our seats for just under three hours, so no short shrift here), we were then treated to a rough edit of the first episode of the series, recorded some five weeks earlier, which was great.
Then it was finished. The cast were treated to more applause, and we began to shuffle out.
Grace and I hung around with the fellow fans - nay, friends - I know from online.
Still, I had supper to grab, tablets to take, needles to stick in my flab, and we left with a friendly "Fuck off" from our dear friend Ian, who we bumped into once again in the chippy (Jack's Fish and Chips, certainly the best chips I've had in a long time. Honestly, they were lovely, although a bit more salt wouldn't've gone amiss).
So, we ordered a taxi back to the Travelodge (Robert Llewellyn had retweeted the phone number of a local taxi firm a few weeks ago, and we'd made a note), and sat and watched TV for a while before we said goodnight and Grace trotted off to her room. I, meanwhile, summed my day up, then turned in for the night.

Next morning, and following a late breakfast (around 10.20am - the staff were beginning to tidy up around us), we got our stuff together and set off.
The journey back was much the same as the journey down, to be honest, so I won't go through it in any real detail, apart from recounting my spectacular trip outside Sheffield Station, as I made my way to the crossing, tripped on a step, took a flying dive, and landed with a whack, flat on my stomach. Okay, so my stomach is far from flat, but you know what I mean. "Are you alright?" Grace asked. "Yes," I wheezed pathetically. "I just need to sit down a minute, I'm a bit winded."
We were on the bus and home just after half past five.

So. Red Dwarf X. It's funny - very funny - and though I'm the sort of Red Dwarf fan who loves the show somewhat unconditionally - it is better than VII, VIII and Back to Earth. I can't wait til September to watch it on TV. I've been a Red Dwarf fan since I was nine. Now I'm 33. An evening over Twenty years in the making.
One evening.

A day and a half later, I'm still on a bit of a high.

*Audioboo is a website which allows you to record messages, stories etc using the magic medium of sound, usually in chunks of three minutes or less. I'm new to this, but decided to record a few Boos during the day (at least one of which isn't great sound quality...), all of which are linked to in this Blog post.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

What are we gonna do now?

I want to liven this blog up. Redesign it. Do something with it. Any suggestions? Leave a comment.

If you want. Don't feel you have to.

Does anyone actually read this rubbish? Oh, bollocks to it all...

Monday, 2 January 2012


So then. 2012. Happy New Year, and all that.

So what does the year ahead hold? Well, a total of 366 days, for a start, it being a leap year, and all. All those born on February 29th can legitimately celebrate their birthdays. Huzzah.

Personally, I've got a few family birthdays coming up. My Mum turns 60 in a couple of days, my little sister enters her twenties in four weeks, and my youngest brother has his birthday on Valentine's Day. Ah, bless. Oh, and it's my own birthday on January 19th. Make a note. I'm gonna be 33. Thirty fucking Three. How the hell did that happen?

I shall be celebrating my birthday by venturing down to Shepperton the day after, ready for the recording of the fifth episode of Red Dwarf X. Oh yes, I'm very excited.

Later in the year, we'll get new episodes of Doctor Who, plus the broadcast of that there Red Dwarf X on Dave in September. Bring it on. And we've already had the rather wonderful first episode of series 2 of Sherlock.

So, provided the world doesn't end, 2012 looks like being a good year.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My life of love of Red Dwarf, and a week of sweating.

Okay, so I'm quite a big Doctor Who fan. But that's nothing compared to my love of Red Dwarf.

I've been a Red Dwarf fan for over 20 years. I first saw it at some point in 1988. I know this because I recognised the character of Kryten when he became a regular character in the third series because of his single appearance in an episode of series II. And I had memories of Norman Lovett's original Holly, as well.
It was one day in December 1989 that I can say I had my Dwarfian 'outing'. The 10-year-old me ran around the Intake First & Middle School playground, shouting, "What the Smeggin' Smeg's 'e Smeggin' done? He's Smeggin' killed me!" in a screechy Scouse accent, doing a very poor impersonation of Dave Lister, having seen the fourth episode of Series III, Bodyswap, the night before.

Red Dwarf III, Byte One: Backwards was the very first VHS videotape I ever bought. Red Dwarf I was the very first DVD I ever bought (I didn't even have a DVD Player at the time, I just needed to own it). The very first Blu-Ray I ever bought? Well, actually, It was a Back To The Future Trilogy Collector's Edition boxset. I don't have Back To Earth on Blu-Ray yet. I don't have a Blu-Ray Player - or a decent enough TV to warrant getting one - yet. My brother has the BtE Blu-Ray, though - I educate my siblings well.

Anyway, my point...do I have one? Probably, somewhere. I'll get to it sooner or later.
Oh yes - Red Dwarf is my favourite...thing...ever.

In March 1992, I was in a newsagent's with my Dad, when I saw a magazine, with Holly on the front. It was issue four of the Red Dwarf Smegazine. I had to have it. And I loved it. I've still got that magazine somewhere. Even the newsagents has long since disappeared - it's now a Chinese takeaway. I was a massive Red Dwarf fan. At school, everyone would ask me for the latest Red Dwarf news. This, of course, was before our lives were run by the internet. I read the Smegazine, so I knew. I was the biggest Red Dwarf fan I knew.

Yet, somehow, I managed to never attend a studio recording of the show. In 1993, when series VI was made, I was only 14, so I imagine I'd've been too young to attend a live recording. By the time Series VII was made, in 1996, it wasn't being made in front of a studio audience. But I'd written fan letters (from, ahem, "Simon '2X4B' Bromley") to Grant Naylor Productions, and got an invite to go to a special screening of a couple of episodes of Red Dwarf VII, and be part of the laugh-track recording! Alas, my mum wouldn't let me go down to London or wherever it was, so that was that.
1998 arrived, a new series was being made - in front of an audience - but I had absolutely no idea how to get tickets, so settled down to watch Series VIII on TV in February 1999, having now reached my twenties.

Then, all went quiet. Sure, the DVDs were released, and I finally managed to attend a couple of Dimension Jump conventions, meeting cast members, and others with the same affliction (stupidity) as myself.

Back To Earth was unleashed upon the public, thanks to digital channel Dave - BBC2 weren't interested in the kind of audience Red Dwarf used to attract - for Easter 2009 - a fair while since the previous series - but once again, there was no studio audience, not even a laugh track. It looked like that was it. I'd never see Red Dwarf live (Hey, I'm getting ahead of myself - at the time of writing, there's still a good chance that that might still be the case).

It was confirmed earlier this year (after a year of rumours, mostly started by Craig Charles not being able to keep his mouth shut) that a brand new, full, six part series would be recorded, for transmission in 2012.

Cue a few months of bombarding assorted sites - Red Dwarf, Dave, cast members - with ticket requests...

Then, on November 4th, the official Red Dwarf website announced that there would be an announcement about the new series the following week. Us loonies had a pretty fair idea (slash hope) what the anouncement would be. Then co-creator/writer/director Doug Naylor confirmed via Twitter on November 10th that, yes, the announcement would be about tickets, and even teased us with a few recording dates. That night, I was ridiculously excited about the coming events. I woke up during the night - 4:41am - checked the time, and Tweeted:
*yawn* What time is it? *checks* Oh. Less than seven hours til Red Dwarf fandom breaks the internet...

So. Friday 11th November. 11.30am, update time. The site wouldn't update. It seemed to take forever to appear(in fact, I think it was actually only about seven minutes late), but it was an announcement alright.

I drove my mum mad last friday. I booked my sister's laptop from around 11am. Opened several tabs - my email, the Red Dwarf site, Red Dwarf fansite Ganymede & Titan, my Twitter feed, Doug Naylor's Twitter feed...I was all over the place. I remember the phone rang at half past eleven exactly, and my mum asked me to pass it to her. I nearly exploded...

So, the announcement - a little after 11.30am -
We're very pleased to announce that in December 2011 and January 2012, all six episodes of Red Dwarf X will be filmed at Shepperton Studios in front of a live audience.

We were to register with Lost In TV Audience Services, and then, from 2pm, we could apply for free audience tickets for RED DWARF X.

So, after registering with the site (I think I was all done by twenty to twelve), spending a little while getting our breath back, and posting on Twitter and assorted internet forums about how excited we were, we could all dare to relax for a couple of hours.

So. Approximately 1:45pm. I've got the laptop again, and all the assorted tabs open. Red Dwarf, Lost In TV (homepage), Lost In TV (Red Dwarf page),email, G&T, my Twitter, Doug's Twitter, Robert Llewellyn's Twitter, Danny John Jules's Twitter, the RD Fan Club's Twitter, Lost In TV's Twitter, Lost In TV's Facebook page, my Facebook page... I was almost a gibbering wreck.

And we, the assembled hordes of Red Dwarf fans, broke the internet.

The Lost in TV site couldn't handle it. It crashed almost immediately. We refreshed and refreshed, it wasn't having any of it. We shared our woes with everyone else in the same boat over on the forums, then went back and refreshed the Lost In TV site. Then, some fifteen minutes since I'd pressed the refresh button for the first time,I noticed a Tweet from Lost In TV:
Red Dwarfers: you can book for tickets by sending an e-mail instead[...]

So that was it. My e-mail application for a pair of tickets to the 20th January 2012 recording of Red Dwarf X (it's my 33rd birthday on Jan 19th - I figured this would be a great gift to myself), enclosing my name and newly acquired Lost In TV membership number, was sent at eighteen minutes past two, last Friday afternoon.

Since then, not a great deal. I've had a couple of Tweets from Lost In TV (who've treated applicants brilliantly this week, from what I've seen), one replying to a Tweet of mine checking that I'd included enough info in my e-mail (I had), and another stating that they thought 2:18pm would be early enough to have bagged myself a couple of tickets. Here's hoping.

News has broken today that tomorrow will see the first batch of confirmation emails being sent from Lost In TV. Rather brilliantly, they will e-mail everyone who has applied over the course of the week, letting us poor saps know if we've been successful, or if, regretfully, we haven't.

I am, of course, going to go mad, whatever happens, tomorrow. Having signed up for Lost In TV's mailing list when I registered, I received an email from them today, and nearly wet myself, only to find that it was merely information about The Mad Bad Ad Show on Channel Four.

It's been a mad week to be a Red Dwarf fanatic. But it's been rather brilliant, in it's odd little way. Roll on that e-mail...

UPDATE: Wednesday, November 16th 2011, 11:36am.

The e-mail arrived this morning at 9:48am, a good couple of hours before I was expecting it. Ridiculously, it took me twenty minutes before I saw it.

Dear Simon,

Thank you for your application for 2 ticket(s) for the recording of RED DWARF

We're very pleased to let you know that you have been successful in getting tickets for Fri 20 January

So there. I do so love a happy ending.

EXTRA: You can read about my resulting Night At The Dwarf here.

The Doctor Who Movie - a few thoughts...

Okay, we've read the reports about the proposed Doctor Who Movie, helmed by David Yates.

I don't think it'll happen anytime soon, but I'm not particularly keen on the idea, to be honest.

I mean, I don't really have an idea with it being seperate from the TV series. But if Yates wants this to be a reboot or reimagining or whatever he said - I don't have the article to hand, I'm hurrying up - then that means that at least a third of the movie will need to be backstory - a cinema audience isn't content just to know that he's a time-travelling alien, it wants to know a bit about him. I'm not saying that everything we've learnt over the past 48 years will need to go into a movie, but it needs a bit of a set-up.

Also - the TARDIS. If this is seperate from the TV show, with no links whatsoever, there is absolutely no need for the TARDIS to be a Police Box. But, to us at least, the TARDIS is a Blue Box, that's a simple fact. There's far too much stuff to think about for me to go into here, but I just think there's a lot of stuff for a single movie to cover.

Will be back later...

EDIT: 7:16pm - Right, I'm back. Not much to add, really, but here are the actual news reports.

First, the original piece, from Variety: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118046098

then, reports from Den of Geek: http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/1131244/doctor_who_movie_pressing_ahead_david_yates_directing.html

And, finally, from the BBC itself: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15730665

So, at least you can read them and make your own mind up...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Did I really used to live like this?

I've been looking for stuff that's scattered through the information super highway that's got my name attached in some way.
At various points, though I'm no tech-head (as proven by my use of the term 'tech-head'), I've been online in various guises, set up websites, blogs etc, written and drawn stuff (mostly involving Red Dwarf or Doctor Who) and then forgotten all about them, and the web addresses have been lost and everything's been lost/ignored/scrapped etc.

I was looking for them as I wanted to somehow archive them here. I even found an old Ganymede & Titan article where Ian thanks me a couple of times, but here's an old 'home' website of mine. Nothing too grand, but there's a nice page of links there, most of which are worth a look (such as the "Doctor Who?" site from 'Rose'), some of them even still work.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Twenty Twelve.

That's not the BBC Four comedy (though it is very good), I merely refer to next year.

I want to do something next year. Properly do something. People I know do things. Good things. They have decent jobs and enjoy themselves. They have nice lives and go to nice places. I, on the other hand, live off a sick note, have epileptic seizures and diabetic hypos at regular intervals (last fit - last friday night), and haven't had a girlfriend since January 2000.

So, as I've no money for christmas presents, New Year's Day 2012 seems a good time to try and sort something out with my life. Trying to sort this blog out would be a nice start. I'd like to update it more regularly, and make it...I don't know. Witty? Informative? I'd certainly like to do something with mycyberself. So, I may as well do it here. Try and redesign this blog, set out a kind of mission statement, that kind of thing.

We'll see. This is step one. Hopefully...