Tag Archives: fish

5 things I learned from The Snowmen


john lewis doctor who snowman

First, Steven Moffat introduced the Weeping Angels – creatures that can only move when not observed – to Doctor Who. Then, John Lewis took this principle and applied it to snowmen in their terrifying Christmas advert. Now, Doctor Who counters with horrific snowmen who DO move about, and snarl with gnashing fangs, and eat people, with the explanation that they’re made of “memory snow”.

The logical conclusion of all of this – with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary next year and John Lewis’s 150th the year after – will be a forthcoming crossover spectacular in which the Doctor saves a branch of John Lewis from sentient carnivorous versions of those “memory foam” mattresses that are so popular nowadays. It would not be a big leap for a programme that once made an evil plastic armchair the monster of the week.


memory worm

Among all the funny lines that Strax hogged were mentions of automated laser monkeys, scalpel mines and projectile acid fish. And there’s a video game I’d happily play for hours. He also hopes for a “full frontal assault.” (Is this the first Doctor Who story to use the phrase “full frontal”? In the same episode that has someone say “enter by the back door”?!) But the must-have toy for 2013 will be the Torchwood-tinged “memory worm”. Especially if it actually lets you wipe an hour’s worth of memory. It would come in handy if you’ve just accidentally sat through the live episode of The Only Way Is Essex or something.

3. He can’t sulk in his box forever


There was a lot of gorgeous imagery in The Snowmen, with the TARDIS sitting on a cloud at the top of an impossible spiral staircase the obvious centrepiece. But to a childhood fan like me it was the revamped title sequence and TARDIS control room that had me all a-quiver. I think they’re the perfect mix of old and new.


Practically Perfect

The governess and her two young charges caught up in impossible goings-on is a nicely familiar set-up. The children terrified of the late former governess comes to us via The Turn of the Screw, but thankfully Clara doesn’t. With her cleverness, wonder and Gladstone bag she’s clearly Mary Poppins. She even gets a scene in which she ascends cheekily into the air while holding an umbrella. And as for her wild stories…



In Doctor Who terms, the most easily reached answer to Clara’s existential mystery is that she’s splintered in time like City of Death‘s Scaroth. Her claim (one of her “definitely true stories”) that she was born behind the clock face of Big Ben sounds like a nice symbolic lead-in to that sort of thing. But somehow I can’t see her recreating the most iconic cliffhanger of my childhood by pulling off a rubber mask to reveal what my sister and I always called “The Twiglet Monster”. And this is Steven Moffat we’re talking about. Previous climactic revelations have centred around Rivers and Ponds, preferably by the side of a lake. So watch out for Clara’s claim that she “invented fish”.

Lana del Rey’s Born to Die: Picture & Infographic Special

Llama del Rey. Llama del Rey. You can’t turn a corner on the internet without running into a picture of Lana del Rey mocked up as a llama. The only thing annoying me about this is that everyone else got there before me, when it’s the sort of weak pun/visual gag that this blog was invented for. So I’ve had to come up with some of my own. And along the way I’ll explain the album with some helpful CHARTS and FACTS.

Lana del Ray

Weather forecast

If there’s one thing Lana likes to sing about more than kissing and reckless love, it’s the weather. It’s always summertime in her songs, but as the lyrics tell us, conditions are very changeable.

Lana del Howards' Way

Travel advice

If there’s one thing Lana likes to sing about more than kissing, reckless love and the weather, it’s the places she’s been. Now YOU can travel in her footsteps with this handy guide to visiting all the locations mentioned in the album, in order!

Dana del Rey / Lana del Hay / Lara del Raider


If there’s one thing Lana likes to sing about more than kissing, reckless love, the weather and travel, it’s clothes. Hardly a song goes by without her telling us what she’s wearing. Mix and match your own Lana del Rey capsule wardrobe with this chart showing which outfits she mentions the most! NB: I’ve not included any accessories or make-up. We’d be here all bloody day.

Lana del Ray... Ray... Radiation Wave Meter!

The bucolic world of Steven Moffat

Where does Steven Moffat get his character names? As we gear ourselves up for a new series of Doctor Who, I’m left wondering just how pastoral the names are going to be this year. Because they’ve been pretty damn rustic up until now…

Here’s your cut out and keep guide, click to enlarge.

The Food Chain: EXPLAINED

Nature is cruel

Why DO cats like eating fish so much? Yes, their evolutionary ancestors must have hunted to survive, but fish? I can’t imagine any relative of the domestic cat having the attention span to sit around on a riverbank, trailing a paw in the water for hours on end. Five minutes and it’d be off following a bit of dandelion fluff or licking itself under a bush.

No, the idea that a fish is a cat’s natural prey is about as logical as the idea that they must like spaghetti because so many ancient cats lived near wheatfields. Well, that’s logical if you imagine that the wheatfields were often buffeted by strong gusts, blowing the crop into a neighbouring FIELD OF FALLING ANVILS where it got crushed, then onto a nearby ice floe where it happened to get wet enough to become dough and then got accidentally rolled on by some passing polar bears getting dry after a swim. And some poor kitty still has to make the bastard sauce.

We all know they like fast-moving shiny things (WHO DOESN’T?), but there’s nothing fast-moving or shiny about the slurry that comes out of a pouch of gourmet cat food or the brown-grey flakes in a can of tuna. So by rights Puss should be craving a daily risotto stirred through with lashings of nature’s fastest and shiniest creatures, the lovely silverfish.

And what do the silverfish eat to get so shiny? Glue, tapestries, the corners of photographs and bits of discarded hair and dandruff, says Wikipedia. Which, as you couldn’t make it up, means you may as well say they eat mercury. Metal-eating creatures aren’t common, and mercury’s deadly poisonous, but I think we can all easily picture some sort of illicit silverfish speakeasy they can sneak off to after a hard day’s cardboard-chewing for a drop of the silver stuff. They know it’s bad for them, but they can’t resist the gleam; like humans with a blue Bacardi Breezer or a big sniff of poppers.

Speaking of our own ridiculous cravings, let’s not laugh at the other animals’ eating habits quite so readily. We’re the species that came up with oxtail soup, after all (note to readers outside the UK: yes). We take an ENORMOUS shaggy lumbering animal, and someone, a nice person at Heinz I assume, keeps hordes of them breeding, presumably filling up vast aircraft hangars all over the country, in order to harvest ONLY their delicious tasty tails. And that is the logic of a cat.