Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Retro Videogaming: Commodore 64 (1982)

COMMODORE 64 - FROM RUBBER KEYS TO THE REAL THING

It was about Christmas 1985 when I got that first nagging urge to upgrade and so decided to put an advert in the window of a local ice cream shop. It was time to say goodbye to my little rubber keyed buddy, the Sinclair Spectrum 48k and move on to the next big thing. That next big thing being a Commodore 64. Now this was a proper computer with a proper keyboard. A couple of days after I had placed my advert, there was a knock on the door and the beloved Spectrum - and about a 100 original games - were sold for £50. That money then went towards buying a second hand Commodore 64 which belonged to a friend of a friend of a friend. Original box. Chunky manuals. Dedicated Cassette player. Classic Atari style two buttoned centre nub joystick. And a couple of games. Epyx's Summer Games 1 and Impossible Mission which tempted you to "Stay awhile. Stay forever!" Classic games with superb replayability. Especially Summer Games 1 where doing the "wankers waggle" 1500 metres nearly killed me the first time I tried it - much to the amusement of those watching.

Over the next couple of years more games were bought, traded, copied and sold to feed my C64 addiction. Magazines like Zzap 64 and Commodore User were required reading each month and I spent hours checking up on the next big releases for the machine. I even tried to figure out how to program on it and failing miserably. No matter. I loved the thing. Still do. Wish I'd kept it. Just a great all round fun machine - with a proper keyboard.


Monday, 26 September 2011

Electric Star Wars: Arrival at Mos Eisley Spaceport.

"YOU WILL NEVER FIND A MORE WRETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLAINY"

Under the early dawn light of Tatooine's twin suns, Luke Skywalker scans Mos Eisley spaceport before entering with Obi-Wan Kenobi and his droids to seek a pilot and transport to hire. A beautiful example of Ralph McQuarries epic portrayal of alien landscapes on a grand scale.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Electric TV Review: Doctor Who Season 6 "Closing Time"

THE ASTRONAUT COMETH

Well, that was kind of alright in a bubblegum sort of way. I approached this episode like trying to dodge the kissy kissy grasp of an over eager Aunt when it's your tenth birthday. Having survived the kitchen sink drama's of the RTD era, I feared armageddon was about to happen during a bout of heavy hoovering or ironing. And there was James Corden. Last season's "The Lodger" was perfectly fine mostly due to the eccentric watchability of Matt Smith. Pretty much the same here with "Closing Time." Smith again carried the day and the sense of impending doom/death was a nice counterpoint to the baby talk and poop. Corden was bearable - just. I thought the sprog had more gravitas than the rotund one and the funnier lines.

So, this was a 200 year older Doctor than the one seen in the last episode. I think. Since dropping Amy and Rory back into good old boring domesticated suburbia he's been galivanting around time and space having untold adventures which will all probably come out in paperback in the near future. But even a space alien cannot avoid the call of fate. Fate is a pain in the rear - especially when you know your own and the exact moment it happens. Heavy. You can only run so far for so long.

Liked the bit of the Doctor demonstrating the toys to the kids. Really liked the scene in baby Stormaggedon's bedroom where he transformed the projected singular stars into a whole epic galaxy spanning panorama of awesome wonderment. Loved when Amy and Rory appeared and that the Doc hadn't seen them for a very long time, was going to say hello, but thought better of it. Let them live whatever lives they're now living - Amy, a model!! Cool but not unexpected. So some nice little moments but not enough to make this rise beyond merely average. Pity the poor Cybermen. Boy, have they had a bum time of it lately. Stand up fall guys of the Universe. Arse kicked by the power of love. Ugh. Well, ok. This one is for the grannies and Titanic groupies. The ending was like being force fed head first into a candy floss machine. But there are worse things that could happen in space so I sighed and chewed harder on that bubblegum.

Then there was the other ending. Alrighty, this is more like it. Holy smokes. Cool. But I'm worried. I loved the final episode of last season. "The Big Bang" was a pure joy for me. A magnificent blancmonge of time travel timey wimey that had me grinning like a loon whilst watching it. No more fucking gnomes, peek-a-boo Timelords or half assed Deux whatevers. No, I'm worried because I doubt whatever answers Moffat reveals in the final 45 minutes of this season won't meet the expectations I've built up as the season has progressed. Season 6 has been great. The fun of it hasn't really been what's shown onscreen but what's implied offscreen. So many theories. So many fantastical possibilities of multi-timelines and multi-characters. It's been brilliant. I hope Moffat can at least pull off his own literary ambitions and give us an ending of epic storytelling.

Time will tell. As it always does.

Retro Babes: Diana Rigg.

Mz RIGG as the STUNNING EMMA PEEL

No one defined retro sexy better than this lady in the ground breaking 1960's UK tv series The Avengers.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Retro Videogaming: EDGE issue #1 (1993)

THE FUTURE IS ALWAYS TOMORROW

Fair to say, EDGE is the videogaming industry's "bible". Launched in late 1993, EDGE brought a more adult outlook on what was then still considered a childish hobby and passion. Serious consideration and contemplation of all things hardware and software was like a breath of fresh air to those of us who wanted to see beyond the surface gloss of product and managment speak. Their coverage of the Japanese market was so ground breaking and exotic that it seemed like they were peeking into a whole new world of consoles and cartridges. They were right. Japan was the future. The stalwarts Atari and Commodore were the past. Amazing how times have changed. I didn't buy that 3DO but looking back 28 years, I sort of wish I had.

EDGE is still going strong with a recent update to a new format and design. And, yes, I have every issue.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Retro Comics: TV CENTURY 21 and COUNTDOWN issue #1

STANDY BY FOR ACTION

I am a huge Gerry Anderson fan. His genre epics like UFO, SPACE 1999, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Stingray where just the best things ever when I was growing up. Had all the toys, games, annuals, models and loved them all with a passion. But what I remember the most were the comic spin-offs which serialised his creations. TV CENTURY 21 and COUNTDOWN were my absolute favourites and were published in broadsheet format on quality paper. Typing this I can even remember that particular smell comics had back then. Noticed a few on eBay. Tempted...


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Electric Star Wars: the SW Collectors Edition (1977)

- memories of those original star wars days - 

DISCOVERING A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY

Well, here we go, this is it. My very first encounter with STAR WARS. I was 14. It was a rainy Wednesday in early April 1977 and I was coming home from a trip to visit Grandma when I decided on a whim to pop into a local newsagent to buy a can of coke. Can remember walking into the shop, buying sed fizzy drink, and turning to look at the magazines stacked neatly on the shelves in the far side of the shop. There amongst all the usual publications and comics was the above magazine. I picked it up and flicked through it. "Wow." What was this? A movie? Is that a robot? OMG, bigfoot is in it. Luke Skywalker? Han Solo? Whoa, she's cute and hot. And how much does this thing cost? I had to buy it. The geek in me made me do it. And that was it. The first WARS thing bought and the first of many such things bought over the coming months and years.

Those days before it arrived were amazing. The sense of anticipation of its arrival was raw. Every kid I knew was desperate to see it. Every snippet of news or image released was poured over and discussed to death. Those original STAR WARS days were great days. Nothing since has come close to those times...

Expect many more STAR WARS memories in ELECTRIC PIX.

Cult Icons: Marty McFly

 THE TIME TRAVELLING ADVENTURES OF A SLACKER

Marty McFly is the kid I never was but always wanted to be. Born into a family of oddballs, Marty gets through life as an uncool guy who just happened to do the coolest stuff ever. Sure he has a hot girlfriend in Jennifer, the kind of best friend in Doc Brown most of us would kill for, and he gets to travel in time and reshape his density. But at heart, Marty is a dreamer. A rock and roll dreamer who dreams of stuff that's always just beyond his reach until he gets that call from some crazy wild eyed Scientist who tells him to get his slacker ass down to Twin Pine Mall where he's going to show him some "serious shit." And he does. And then more serious shit happens and, well, you know the rest of the story. 

At heart, we're all Marty McFly's. Dreamers.  Wanting to expand our horizons. To see more than we'll ever be able to see. To live beyond our years. As Marty whispers in awe as he walks out of that alleyway in 2015, "The future. Unbelievable."

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Electric TV Review: Doctor Who Season 6 "The God Complex"

HE REALLY WAS JUST A MAD MAN IN A BLUE BOX

I hate goodbyes. Goodbyes suck. You should only say goodbye when you know there's a hello again around the corner. Which is exactly wot we got last night in the "God Complex", the latest episode of Doctor Who Season 6. A great big soppy onion of an episode that was. All sorts of deep meaning and deeper revelations where the main characters discovered their inner faith - or not as in Rory's case. That was curious. Was Rory shown the exit because his death would have greater significance than what was obvious? Maybe his death is one of those fixed points in time where nothing can affect its true outcome. Amy's faith was nicely done and an "of course!!" moment. Lovely scene with little Amelia sat on her suitcase staring out of the window waiting for him to return. That she realised he really was only a "mad man in a box" was the beginning of the end of her adventures with him. Smith and Gillan were splendid there and their companionship shone through. The Wizard had pulled back the curtain to reveal his true self. Awww.

As for what the Doctor saw in his own room 11 - ah, of course. Why spoil the fun and break a gazillion  threads of fevered speculation and argument.

The more I think of this episode the more I like it. So many little "Oooo's" to ponder. Did he really eat that apple? How many Doctors were in that room full of mirrors? Has there been more than one Doctor running around in front of us all this time? What's with the boots? Oh, and different coloured bow ties! Was that Jim the Fish the alien ate? Is there a connection between water and portals? Are we jumping between multiple time lines and dimensions in this thing? Is Plymouth really that bad? And those peculiar little time jump quirks with Rory. Is he still hearing banging in his head? But since he's said goodbye will we ever find out? I guess the answers to that lie in the future in the past.

To finish, those last moments as the Doctor returns Amy and Rory back to their new home with their new HOT car was a nice emotional way to bring their journey to an end and to keep them safe. Time to get on with living and to grow old with the one you love. But, by gum, it's been a fun journey. For me, the great thing about Seasons 5 and 6 is the sense that we actually have been on an incredible journey and that each character has both grown and learned from the experience. The most inmportant being those lessons learned by the Doctor himself. That, no matter how much fun it is galivanting around time and space, you should never forget who you truly are and where you came from.

Can we have that Victorian, whip cracking, leather wearing, lesbian silurian for the new companion please...

Friday, 16 September 2011

Retro Videogames: Happy 10th Birthday Gamecube.

PERFECT DESIGN IN A BOX OF GAMES


The GAMECUBE from Nintendo is by far my favourite console. What a fantastic little machine and so different from the X-Box and Playstation 2 that fought the last generation war along with it. Designed to perfection and robust standards, the GAMECUBE was a superb example that the best things are usually the simplest. The machine wasn't as great a success as Nintendo had hoped for but it brought to the gaming world two of it's greatest games, ANIMAL CROSSING and the sublime and artistically stunning ZELDA: WIND WAKER. A special mention for the controller. I hate both its rivals designs. Too bulky and angular in equal measure. I always got the feeling I was having to fight the design rather than the games themselves. But the GAMECUBE controller was the best ever. More compact, it disappeared in your hands and everything felt instinctive and just right when playing a game. A true gamers controller and console. Happy 10th birthday GAMECUBE.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Retro Music: Dansette Junior Deluxe Record Player (1969)

ROCKING ALL OVER THE BEDROOM

My first record player. The Dansette Junior Deluxe single speaker was a 1969 Christmas present that was much loved at the time. First record on it, from memory, was a double sided Disney 45 with "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the A side with a recording from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs "Heigh Ho.." on the B. Hey, I was six for the love of Mike. It was a great little machine. Best described as chunky and kid proof. I remember lugging it around using the handle on the side and sat in the backyard with Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" belting out mono style. They don't make 'em like this anymore which is a crying shame.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Retro Comics: Monster Fun (1975 - 1976)

MONSTER FUN: THE GOOD THE BAD THE PLAIN OLD SCARY

What a great comic to read when you're a kid. Starting to sound like a stuck record looking back at all these classic British comics but I don't care coz I loved them all. A year or so ago managed to come across a few back issues in an old record shop and they're still a very funny read. MONSTER FUN only lasted 72 issues before it merged with BUSTER comic.

Retro Videogames: Captive (1990)

ELECTRIC PIX TOP VIDEOGAMES - CAPTIVE
a personal selection of retro favourites

CAPTIVE is my all-time number one videogame. I put more hours into this than anything else I've ever played and only Nintendo's Animal Crossing has come anywhere close to being as compulsive to play. CAPTIVE is a game that requires immense concentration, absolute recollection and infinite patience - even when the shit hits the fan as it always does on every level.

The premise is simple. In the beginning you have a team of four basic droids on a starship. On the Galactic map something begins to flicker on and off. A beacon. Your first destination. Programming the ships computer, you head for the planet where the beacon is transmitting. When you reach orbit, your droids get in the lander module and head for the surface. Once there you have to find the entrance to the base. The entrance to the base is a large circular door with four click points that have to be pressed in the correct sequence to open it. Once decoded, you enter the unknown and the adventure begins..

PLANET LANDER MODULE
 
Your droids task is to first find the control room, take the space probe that will indicate the next planet with the next base to solve, and then find the base generators and blow them up using high explosives. Initial bases are one level only and are protected by various alien/cyborg enemies with basic weapons. Later bases span multiple levels and the alien/cyborg enemies get smarter and harder to kill.

At various locations, stores can be found where you can upgrade your droids and level up on experience gained in combat. These hardware upgrades require space credits. These space credits are found scattered throughout each base. They can also be found on the bodies of the alien/cyborgs you kill as you progress through the levels. The more alien/cyborgs you kill the more credits you get. Simple.

So far, so good. But as you clear a base and complete the tasks required the true brilliance of the game emerges. You got in. Found the probe. Got the explosives. Found the generators. Rigged them ready to blow. Now you have to get out before the base is destroyed with your droids in it. Not so hard with the one level bases at the start of the game. Further in there are 2 level bases, then 3, then 4. Each level is accessed via elevators or gravity holes. Explosives are primed. Ten second fuse. Your droids are battled hardened armoured bad asses with the latest tech weaponary. You've killed everything you've come across. Now you have to run. As fast as you can. Which way to the level 3 elevator? Right? Left? No, wait. That way. Hear that? That's the sound of the base exploding behind you. Run faster. Where is that fucking elevator?

 BATTLE OF THE HARDCORE ALIEN CYBORGS THREE LEVELS DOWN
 
The sense of urgency is incredible. Intense concentration and furious recollection. You finally reach the base entrance to find the exit automatically closed. What was the sequence again to open it? The base explodes with your droids a step away from safety. Shit. Load up that oft saved game to try again - only this time remember the dammed sequence. And run faster.

This thing has a rumoured 10,000 planets to visit. Each planet has a more complex and harder base to destroy with some really hardcore alien/cyborgs protecting it. CAPTIVE is a superlative experience and it's amazing to think it came out over 20 years ago on the Amiga and was created by a guy called Tony Crowther as his tribute to Dungeon Master. It is without question a truly fantastic and classic videogame.

Retro Toys: Battling Tops (1969)

WHEN HURRICANE HANK KNOCKED OUT SUPER SAM

It's 1969 and welcome to the BATTLING TOPS World Championship featuring the ultimate in spinning combat. This years contestants include HURRICANE HANK, TWIRLING TIM, SMARTY SMITTY, DIZZY DAN, TRICKY NICKY and SUPER SAM. Just who will win the BATTLING TOPS Trophy? Wind up your top, set it in the slot, get ready, get set, PULL!!

It was great when I was six and is just as great remembering it right now some 40 years later.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Electric Snapshot: Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

WE FOUGHT THE INTERPLANETARY LAW AND THE INTERPLANETARY LAW WON

The arrival of Gort. Intergalactic law enforcer and all round bad ass. A seminal moment in a great classic played out to the electronic sound of Bernard Hermann's haunting score.

Retro Future: Jupiter Moon Callisto 2204


ESA ASTRONAUT ELISA SCHANBECKER ON THE SURFACE OF CALLISTO

During the early GMT hours of 3rd May 2204, on the fourth Gallilean satellite moon Callisto, the first manned landing takes place in the bright surface crater, Burr. Supporting a crew of six, the surface module is due for a one month stay before blasting off to rendevous with the command module in low sync orbit and a return to Earth some two years later.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Electric TV Review: Doctor Who Season 6 "The Girl Who Waited"

THE LIVES, LOVES AND DEATHS OF AMELIA POND

The more I watch of Moffat's Doctor Who the more I think this is his long planned magnus opus about the mechanics and heart of travelling in time. A story told not through the adventures of the last alien standing from Gallifrey but of the lives, loves and deaths of the impossible Amelia Pond. Moffat is weaving a web of multiplex time streams around the story of a little girl who grew up to be someone extraordinary who destroys and creates universes in her dreams. 

"The Girl who Waited." was 45 minutes devoted to those moments where we consider the time we've had and the time we have left from both ends of the aging spectrum, and how time becomes more precious as we grow older and try to hang on to its finite elixir. That the older Amy Pond wanted to live on no matter how complex the subsequent paradox to keep her within the same universe and space as the younger Amy Pond was beautifully realised and performed by Karen Gillan. It was also the story of how much Amy loved Rory. A love that crossed different worlds in two seperate time streams. The sudden dawning for the older Amy that her love for her devoted nerd was still strong after 36 years apart and that to make him choose between her and her younger self was a choice too far. A moment where time stands still and weeps emotional loss. Give up your life so that your lover can be with the you you once were but can never be again. A story of sacrifice for the greater good.

An excellent episode all told. The el cheapo one. Simple and effective design. Loved the beam me down droids. Smith, Gillan and Darville were all on top form again. We see a Doctor confused, desperate, determined and cold. A dark hand player who is playing for higher stakes and his ultimate fate. As Rory put it, "You're making me choose and that's not fair." No it's not. Moffat's Doctor Who is the story of a time traveller seen through the eyes of a little girl. Everything that ever happened or ever will. The Doctor knows his fate. The time, the place and the method. He just doesn't understand the why. He's spent nearly two seasons trying to find out. He needs to fix his fate and Amy Pond is the key. Kudos to all concerned for a first rate episode.

And yes, Karen Gillan as a samurai ninja hot milf was just as good as I thought it would be.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Cult Icons: The Golden Shot (1967 - 1975)

My absolute second favourite game show ever. The GOLDEN SHOT, fronted by the suave and sophisticated Bob Monkhouse, was a program like no other around at the time. To describe it is nigh impossible so here's a copy and paste from its page on wikkipedia:

"The show involved a crossbow attached to a television camera guided by a member of the public shooting a bolt at an exploding target embedded in an apple positioned on a topical backdrop. In the first round, the crossbow was operated by a blindfolded cameraman receiving instructions from a contestant, by telephone ("Up, up, up, left a bit, down a bit, left a bit, FIRE!"). In later rounds, the contestants operated the crossbow themselves. Contestants who successfully negotiated seven (later four) rounds of targets won a reasonable prize; those who missed got a negligible prize.

Bernie, the bolt!

The show's catchphrase became "Bernie, the bolt!" (originally "Heinz, the bolt!" Heinz had been brought over from Germany when the show was imported) – The instruction from the host to the armourer that the crossbow bolt should be loaded. Three people acted as "Bernie the Bolt" on the show – Alan Bailey, Derek Young, and Johnny Baker (a film unit grip). There was an element of mystery associated with the crossbow loaders, as they were not introduced by name and said nothing."

What a fantastic show when you were just a kid. I loved it. The tension waiting for the crossbow to fire was palpable and when  the bolt cut the treasure chest wire in the grand final round and released all the gold coins to spill on the floor was brilliant.

THE DELECTABLE AND DITZY ANN ASTON FROM THE GOLDEN SHOT

The show also gave me a major crush on the assistant, Anne Aston, who's job it was to check out where the bolts had hit the targets and total up the scores. That she wasn't exactly the brain of Britain made all this much funnier than it sounds and always ended up with dear old, much missed, Bob looking at the camera and giving a sigh. Brilliant fun. Bloody hell, 1975 seems a lifetime ago..

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Cult Icons: Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore.

SIR PATRICK MOORE: ASTRONOMER AND PRESENTER OF BBC TV'S SKY AT NIGHT

More than just a cult icon, Sir Patrick Moore is my greatest personal hero. Because of his BBC television series The Sky at Night, I've grown to have a deep love for all things Space and Astronomy ever since I started watching it over 40 years ago. The program was first broadcast on the 24th April 1957 and the fact that the show has just passed its 54th anniversary is nothing short of astonishing in this day and age. The man himself is blessed with an enthusiastic eccentricity which makes him all the more endearing to watch and listen to. The Sky at Night is a wonderful half hour tv show shown once a month where various astronomical topics are discussed with his guests. He's 88 years old now and is one of those outstanding individuals you wish could live forever.
 

Retro Comic Annuals: Shiver and Shake (1976)

Festive Fun with Frankie Stein and Shiver the spook.

One of the many traditions kids had in the UK when growing up was always getting a number of comic annuals for Christmas. I was a voracious reader of all things comic funnies so I got a whole bunch of them to tide me over the festive period. Back in the 60's and 70's there was a huge selection to choose from and sadly those days are long gone with the slow decline in the industry over the years. Like most kids, I loved them, read them till I knew the stories backwards, traded them, and as middle age sets in, are mooching around old bookstalls, charity shops and car boot sales trying to find the annuals we wished we hadn't traded in the first place. Nitwit that I was. So thought it'd be fun to do a series of posts all about some of my favourite ones. First up is Shiver and Shake from 1976 with its fantastic cover. Enjoy.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Electric Visions: Blade Runner (1982)

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES 2019

From the imagination of Ridley Scott and Syd Mead for the movie BLADE RUNNER, a glorious pre-production imagining of a future LA four decades hence where east has met west and won. An electric ziggy landscape awash with neon and rain in which a huddled populace go about their nightly business. Awesome image. Expect more posts featuring the brilliant design work from one of my all time favourite movies.

- a series on the pre-production art of the fantastic -

Retro Music: Buddy Holly (1936 - 1959)

CHARLES HARDIN HOLLEY - THE REAL KING OF ROCK AND ROLL

Love this guy so much. More than any other musician, his was the voice I grew up with during the sixties through the single speaker of the family record player. Dancing around the room, strumming my red plastic toy guitar to the locomotive epic sounds of "That'll be the Day." and "Peggy Sue." Great days. Gone far too soon and the tragedy of that moment means we'll never know just how great he would have been. And great he would have been without question. He was a step ahead of everyone in his craft and today would have been his 75th birthday. Reason enough to remember his genius. Happy birthday Buddy Holly. Sleep well.

Cult Icons: Judge DREDD

JUDGE JOSEPH DREDD:
KEEPING THE DENIZENS OF MEGA-CITY ONE SAFE FROM HUMAN, ALIEN AND CYBORG SCUM

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Retro Comics: 2000 AD issue #1 (1977)

THE THARG-TASTIC COMIC FROM BETELGEUSE

Crikey, it's been 34 years since I bought this issue back in the 70's. Makes me feel my age looking at the cover. I always was a sci-fi geek and a comic dedicated to all things fantasy and future was just the best thing ever. This was months before STAR WARS was even on the radar and changed everything as far as the genre was concerned. 2000 AD was great and had a decent selection of stories which covered everything from future dystopian nuclear ravaged wastelands and worlds, Dan Dare inter-galactic space wars, future sports with jet packs and aerial slam dunks to time travelling, cigar chewing, dinosaur hunting cowboys. It wasn't until issue #2 did the iconic JUDGE DREDD appear and who eventually became the comics number one strip - and has remained so ever since. Initially edited by a green bug called Tharg from Betelguese (no, seriously - he was green), it is no small achievement that it has lasted so long thanks to its great art and stories. I bought it for over 20 years but then it came down to either continue getting it or feeding the kids. That was one tough call I can tell you...

Retro Videogames: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

ELECTRIC PIX TOP VIDEOGAMES - LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
a personal selection of retro favourites

Once in a while a game comes along that utterly transforms the standard to which all games are judged. It also transforms the platform for which it is made. Despite the new kid on the block mass selling Sony Playstation and the game nerd favourite Sega Saturn, Nintendos epic N64 with its revolutionary sensory thrilling controller was to give birth to two of the most recognised and greatest games of all time. Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.That these games are still regarded as milestones in videogaming decades later is nothing short of amazing and testament to their inbuild and enduring quality. To play them is to witness the pinnacle of the digital art and the brilliance of their creators led by Shigeru Miyamoto.

FIRST MOMENTS - THE HERO'S JOURNEY BEGINS

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is more than a game. It is an experience from beginning to end. A game that takes the player on a journey which creates unforgettable gaming moments that will be always be remembered and cherished. With typical Nintendo bravura, the game is pitched to perfection with just enough puzzle puzzling and in your face "doh's!!" to keep it the right side of frustration. As with all great games, Oot is a mixture of epic sequences and those little quiet off the beaten track delights which are just as much fun as kicking the ass of an end of level baddie. For me it was the fishing.

CATCHING THE BIG ONE - A CLASSIC MOMENT FROM A CLASSIC GAME

I spent hours and days loading that same slot and just fishing. Just sat there casting the line and waiting. And listening to the music. That tinkerbell sing song chime as I waited to catch the big one..

The game was no longer a game but something more. A simple side task. A bit of fun. But, for me, utterly compelling and addictive.

Some things are so good you never want them to end. Be it a book, magazine, comic, movie or a song. I didn't want Zelda to end. His world was just too much fun to want to leave. I remember sitting there when I realised it was over. The exploration, the battles, the laughs, the dungeons, and the thrill of the adventure was at an end. It's been God knows how many years since I played it but the memories of playing it live on. Great "Whoa, holy shit, that was amazing." memories that prove just what a fantastic, unforgettable and classic game those geniuses at Nintendo created all those years ago.

Electric TV Review: Doctor Who Season 6 "Night Terrors"

THE DOCTOR, THE GINGER KID AND HIS WARDROBE

Aha, so the scariest place in all of the known universe is the wardrobe in a kids bedroom. I knew it. I had a wardrobe just like that. A huge double doored austere fake mahogany thing that could only be opened with a magic brass key and into which a veritable jumble of stuff was thrown into it over the years.Unlike George, who turned out to be a sort of ginger alien chameleon with a bad case of panphobia, my wardrobe was a place where I used to hide whenever I got into trouble or had to do the dishes. In the grand scheme of things Night Terrors was a perfectly fine way to spend a Saturday evening. Nicely shot in spooky vision, decent acting by all concerned, a couple of funny lines and all wrapped up with a slightly gooey and "OH MY GOD THE GINGER KID IS AN ALIEN MUTANT WHO ONLY WANTS TO BE LURVED REALLY - AGAIN" denoument. And that was that. Viewed once, quite enjoyed, doubt will watch it ever again kinda thing.

On a whim, popped over to Gallifrey Base - that wretched hive of scum, villany and flip flop wearers - and as expected they were having a veritable bun fight over it. Those who HATED it REALLY HATED IT and were out in force insisting that everyone who gave it a 2/10 or above were deluded fanwankers who needed to be put down at birth or made to spend a whole day watching Torchwood on a loop. I never understood the 1/10 brigade. I mean, you hated EVERYTHING? There was not even one thing in the whole episode that managed to be even remotely ok? What about that nice little nod to Close Encounters when the Doc was sat with George on his bed and he uses his sonic to make all the toys come alive like magic? That was cool. What about the eyeball? I jumped a bit and I'm old enough to know better. What about Karen Gillan's hair? Or legs? Or bum? Or or...

I dunno. People are strange. "I hate the arc. Can we not have anymore arcy stories? They do my head in. Give me a monster of the week episode please." Hello Night Terrors. "That was CRAP. What was that? It was too slow. Slow and boring. A ginger ET with freckles? Are you kidding? Fuck off Moffat, you're ruining MY show!!" Blah, blah blah.

In the flotsam and jetsam dross ridden puddle that is Saturday night telly, even when merely average, Dr Who is an island in a sea of poo. I ask only that it keeps me entertained and that there are no fart jokes.

Next weeks looks neat. Karen Gillan as a hot milf samurai ninja. Can't wait.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Electric Movie Preview: the AVENGERS (2012)

GODS AMONG MEN: THOR AND LOKI ON THE SET OF THE AVENGERS

Dated Sept 2nd, this is a gorgeous shot revealing the exquisite detail on the costumes worn by Tom Huddleston and Chris Hemsworth as Loki and Thor respectively. Along with the rest of the Avengers, they appear to be filming a scene near the climax of the movie and there are a number of papz shots floating around online which are too spoilerific to post here imho. Movie is looking good and is a defnite must see come 2012. 

Friday, 2 September 2011

Retro Babes: Wanda Ventham.

WANDA VENTHAM as VIRGINIA LAKE in GERRY ANDERSONS CLASSIC - UFO

- sexy as hell and paul fosters car ain't that bad either - 

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Retro Comics: Planet of the Apes issue #1 1974

MARVEL UK - PLANET OF THE APES ISSUE #1

From October 1974, the absolutely fantastic cover from the Marvel adaption of the original movie.

Retro Comics: Marvel A3 Christmas Treasury Editions.

- Christmas 1975 - 
- Christmas 1976 - 

Wow, these take me back. I loved all of the Marvel A3 Treasury Specials but the one's I loved the most were the "christmas" editions with their superhero festive covers. These were great and brings back memories of keeping them for the big day and spending Christmas Day afternoons reading them whilst munching on mince pies and chocolate. Fantastic.


Retro Sci-Fi Hardware: SPECTRUM Pursuit Vehicle.

S.P.V. ARMOURED SUPPORT AND ASSAULT VEHICLE 2067

Specialising in close encounter ground tactical support with armour plated mezzine shielding against alien psy-ops and with a pair of front and rear mounted rapid fire T11000 Tezler 50 mm machine guns, the S.P.V is ideally suited for all terrain combat situations in the war with the Mysterons.