The Penultimate Frontier

Here is another short and hastily written blog. So little time.

Those people, who tolerate me, know that I love nothing more than a bit of science fiction. In fact you only have to pop the word ‘star’ in front of a TV show or cinema film and I’ll lap it up, like a rude lady.

Over the years I have been and always shall be a friend of Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate and Star Doctor Who. Not Star Cops though, that was terrible but very funny. There’s nothing more hilarious than a RADA trained actor pretending to be weightless in a BBC studio. Nothing!

However, even though I love sci-fi, I have never been able to enjoy it on the page. For me the visual mediums of television and the cinematograph are the only places science fiction can reach its full potential. At a pinch radio can do a good job but by and large the best way to experience science fiction is through the screen. After all, who wants to read about the adventures of Luke Skywalker when you can see them acted out in all their wide-screened splendour? I bloody don’t! As for comic books…well, we’ll talk about those another day.

Every year I fall in love with a new sci-fi television series but this year I have fallen for series which ceased production in 2009. Over the years I’ve been a fan of the Stargate universe and quickly became a Stargate: SG1 television series which I watched for a couple of seasons before Channel 4 lost the show to Sky One. Back then my wallet was as empty as my belly, so buying a Sky subscription was out of the question. I plodded along borrowing box sets from friends but it became increasingly difficult to keep in touch with my chums at Stargate Command and soon we drifted apart.

Years later I was able to afford fancy television but by that time several cast members had changed and I found it difficult to get back into the series I once loved. Then it was announced that Stargate: SG1 was to end and a new series called Stargate: Atlantis would take its place. However I was now working long hours and stopped watching television in favour of getting a good night’s sleep. So it passed me by, as did Stargate: Universe, though by the sound of things, that passed most people by.

However last week I spotted that all five seasons of Stargate: Atlantis were available on Netflix, so I dove in. It was brilliant. It ticked all the boxes for me, great cast, good stories, fixing old machines and geeky references. Dr Rodney McKay played by the inimitable David Hewlett quickly became my favourite character. He is an egotistical and pragmatic genius scientist who complains about everything but ultimately proves himself to be brave and honourable.

Of course it’s bittersweet watching a series which has long since ended. As the episodes ahead become fewer than those behind, you have to brace yourself to say goodbye. Oh my, I’ve just realised. Life is a box set!



Martin Wolfenden

Back in the early days of this Century, I made some money by saying the odd funny thing in public. On one of these occasions a fellow funny talker told me that I should write a blog (because that was the sort of thing funny talking people did back then.) Now, I’m not the sort of person who does things the easy way, so I rejected all the ready made blogging platforms and started my own website. Since then it’s become a repository for whatever stuff is bubbling out of my brains and a directory of various podcasts and videos that I’ve made with my friends and is completely unnecessary.

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