Monday, 29 August 2011

The Internets are Escaping!

Oh noes! Tacnayn has escaped from the internets!

We need Nyancat to save us!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Monkey Challenge: Keep On Dancing

This has to be Monkey laughing at itself, with the self-taught Buddhists who have guessed at the right way to practice Buddhism, with hilarious - no, really - results when they meet a genuine Buddhist in the form of Tripitaka and his disciples.

My personal highlight is the now-obligatory cloud-flying chase scene, which is subverted by Monkey's cloud effortlessly overtaking the fleeing goblin's cloud because it is pedal-powered.

There's nothing in this episode to take seriously, which makes it great fun if you're in the right frame of mind.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: The Keys of Marinus

The Keys of Marinus is part six of The Keys of Marinus. It starts by showing the end of part five again - Susan 'phones Barbara to tell her that she has been kidnapped. Only Tarrant can save her, except it turns out he's called Tarron and not Tarrant.
They do sound very similar though, which is why I got confused last time.

Barbara, Altos and Sabetha visit Kala to look for clues. Kala is really a baddy in league with Eyesen (who you may remember was the really obvious baddy in Sentence of Death) but she fools them by crying.

As soon as they go away Kala makes an evil face. She is the one who has kidnapped Susan. Unfortunately for her, Kala gave herself away and Barbara realises she is the kidnapper and they catch her before she can kill Susan.

Barbara 'phones Tarron and he arrests Kala, but Kala pretends that Ian is her friend instead of Eyesen so Ian is not saved yet.

The Doctor and Tarron catch Eyesen trying to get the key, which Eyesen hid inside the murder weapon and then Tarron put inside a cupboard, so he is arrested and Ian is freed.

Ian, Barbara and Susan teleport away.

Then the Doctor teleports away too. They leave Tarron behind because he doesn't have a teleport bracelet. Otherwise he could have gone with them and had adventures.

Back at Arbitan's place, Arbitan is dead and Yartek (the Voord leader) has stolen his clothes and captured Altos and Sabetha off-screen. Yartek has all of Sabetha's keys but not the last one because the Doctor still has it. He threatens Sabetha and Altos tells him about the Doctor.

The Doctor and Ian meet a Voord and the Doctor knocks it out with his stick.

Ian and Susan see Yartek, but he is cunningly disguised as Arbitan with his hood up. He impersonates Arbitan so perfectly that he gets the last key from Ian.

Actually his impersonation was rubbish! Ian saw through it straight away and only gave him the fake key. Yartek puts what he thinks is the last key in the machine and it blows up. The Doctor rescues Altos and Sabetha and they all run away.

The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan all go off in the TARDIS after saying goodbye to Altos and Sabetha, who are staying on Marinus to have more adventures with Tarron!

That is how this fabulous and magnificent story ends, with a happy ending. I know the Doctor has more adventures with Barbara, Ian and Susan, but I don't know of any more stories that have Tarron, Altos and Sabetha in them. Maybe I will have to make them up myself?

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Monkey Challenge: A Shadow So Huge

The evil-spirits-of-the-week make this one of the more visually memorable episodes, being Lord Gold and his henchmen Lord Silver and Lord Nickel.

Lord Gold was once a human, and the richest man in the world, but his greed for gold led to him becoming literally greedy for gold - he could eat nothing but gold, and then he turned into a demon with gold skin and clothes known only as Lord Gold.

Likewise for his two minions, who became Lord Silver with a silver face and clothes, and Lord Nickel (though his appearance is more generically bronze-y-copper-y). Together these three make for a trio of memorable antagonists, with simple-but-effective makeup and colour-coding.

Unfortunately for Lord Gold, his chief follower Silver is a Starscream, plotting to usurp his position by poisoning him (with iron pyrites - fool's gold) and marrying his daughter against her will.

It is into this situation that Monkey and the others wander. Pigsy and Sandy are captured and put to work in Lord Gold's mine. Monkey goes looking for them and, while disguised as a horsefly, is hit on the head and the resulting injury helps keep the episode from being half the length it is.

Tripitaka is then captured (naturally. By the way Yu Lung isn't in this episode and the horse hardly features, meaning this episode would feel very much like it belongs in the first season except for the presence of the second Pigsy) and taken to Lord Gold.

Because Tripitaka is the only man he has found who resists the temptation of great wealth, Lord Gold is convinced the priest is the right man to marry his daughter. Of course neither of them wants that, so Lord Gold has them both put in prison.

Monkey eventually leaps into action and rescues them from prison, and then goes about putting everything to rights, saving Lord Gold from Silver's coup.

The story concludes with a bizarre epilogue showing a human-looking-but-giant Lord Gold breaking up mountains ("it's only a model") and eating dirt, as the narrator explains that this was his penitence to return him to the wheel of karma.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Sentence of Death

Part five of The Keys of Marinus starts with Ian getting knocked out again, because it's a recap of the end of part four. And then when he wakes up he meets... Tarrant!

No, not that Tarrant (sadly).

No, not that Tarrant either.

No, not even that Tarrant. It's actually this Tarrant:

You can tell because he's in black and white, like the rest of Keys of Marinus.

Tarrant works for the Guardians. He thinks Ian has killed the manny and hidden the key, even though he saw Ian when he was still knocked out - so this Tarrant is obviously not as clever as the Tarrants in Blakes 7; after all, Tarrant recognised Avon straight away in Powerplay.

Ian is guilty unless he can prove himself innocent, because the mannys here have the stupidest laws ever. But although the laws are stupid, this is a clever bit of writing by Terry Nation because it shows how bad it would be if there weren't better laws in the real world.

Ian sees Barbara, Susan , Altos and Sabetha, and then the Doctor comes in - he will defend Ian at his trial. The Doctor is allowed two days to find some evidence, but the prosecutor Eyesen objects and this is very suspicious - either he is a baddy or he just really likes being a sinister prosecutor (of course he is a baddy really).

Tarrant helps the Doctor even though he still thinks Ian is guilty, he tells the Doctor what he saw and then the Doctor realises the key that is missing is an important clue. Because Tarrant knows it wasn't taken out of the room, the Doctor works out that the guard that found Ian, Aydan, is the killer, and he thinks he knows where Aydan hid the key. He doesn't tell Tarrant though, he keeps it to himself.

Barbara and Susan visit Aydan and his wife Lady Peinforte Kala. Aydan gets angry because he knows he is in danger of being found out. He doesn't hit Barbara or Susan but, when they leave, he hits Kala, showing he is a baddy.

We see that Eyesen is in on it (told you) when he gets a 'phone call from somebody and quickly comes up with an evil plan, but we don't get to know what it is. This is Terry Nation keeping us in suspense.

Back in the court, the Doctor tells everyone that he knows who the real killer is, then calls Sabetha as a witness. She shows a key, then claims she was given it by Aydan. He says "But they can't have found it, I..." Then he tries to run away and Barbara and Susan catch him really easily.

He is about to say who his friends and fellow baddys are, when he goes
Someone has killed him.

The Doctor admits Sabetha was showing one of the other keys, not the one that was stolen. The judges still think Ian is guilty and Eyesen is even more keen than he was before that Ian should be killed straight away.

Barbara gets a 'phone call from Susan, who has been kidnapped by someone.
"They're going to kill me," she says.

That is the end of the episode, with both Ian and Susan in danger and only Tarrant can save them now!

Possibly the Doctor might help him a bit.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


"A parcel..."



Friday, 12 August 2011

Monkey Challenge: The Fountain of Youth

This is possibly the craziest episode of Monkey yet, easily competing with Tripitaka dancing at a disco, or Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy spending half an episode inside a monster's belly - a silly concept made even sillier by the execution.

It all kicks off when Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy find a pool and bathe in it, but then it turns out to be the fountain of youth and they all become babies.

Now I'm not normally one to quibble over the fine details of plot-holes, but I have to point out that Monkey was never a baby - he was "born from an egg on a mountaintop" and was fully grown when he burst forth from said egg. This is shown at the beginning of the title sequence of every episode!

Anyway, I guess if Monkey didn't turn into a baby then there wouldn't be much of an episode, since the whole plot revolves around the consequences of these three being babified.

Besides which, this isn't the silliest aspect of this plot - naturally their costumes all shrink down to become tiny and cute versions of what the adult characters wore, even if it would have been more realistic for them to have been found by Tripitaka inside the massively-too-big-for-them clothing. But they are all three now wearing pink baby hats, which have appeared from nowhere!

It's up to Tripitaka and Yu Lung to find a way to reverse the process (other than just waiting around while they grow up again), and they quickly find out that the tears of a particular kind of demon will do the job.

The three babies are left in the care of a husband and wife while Triptaka and Yu Lung go in quest of demon tears, but when they don't come back after a couple of days the couple decides to sell the babies in the marketplace. Further complicating the plot, the three babies are sold to separate families.

Baby Pigsy is bought by a woman to replace her own baby, which had been stolen earlier by baby-eating demons (the same demons Tripitaka is looking for) while she was visiting the fountain of youth to drink enough of it to keep her young. A substitute baby will save her explaining matters to her husband, though he does wonder why their son is so ugly.

Baby Sandy is bought by the owner of a freakshow, and exhibited as a half-human half-fish baby.

Baby Monkey is the last to be sold by the couple, and he is bought by the baby-eating demons (who have presumably by now eaten the baby they stole earlier - given what happens later this is not certain, but why else would they have need for another baby?) and taken back to their cave for dinner.

Tripitaka and Yu Lung are, of course, the least capable at confronting baby-eating demons, so the inevitable result is that they end up tied up in the demons' cave. But Tripitaka's next plan is subtle, and one might even say devious...

He volunteers to be eaten in place of baby Monkey, and the demons take him to the fountain of youth to turn him into a baby. Once this is done, they pity his self-sacrifice and shed tears, which fall upon Monkey and return him to normal.

Monkey swiftly sets about fixing everything. He uses the fountain of youth to turn the demons into children and they promise to reform. He restores Tripitaka, then flies off to find Sandy and restores him too with some of the demons' tears saved in a jug.

Monkey and Sandy track down baby Pigsy and restore him, but then the 'father' sees them and fights with Monkey for trespassing. In the fight he breaks the jug with the last of the tears in it, and this is spilled on his wife who, because she had been using the fountain to keep herself young, immediately ages to death.

So a somewhat melancholy ending for this man, having lost his wife and son, you might think. But no because, in the last scene, as the pilgrims depart, he has a child once again. This is not explained, and we are left to wonder how he came by this - it is not unprecedented for those that die by monsters to be returned to life in Monkey, but there is usually a scene showing this. On the other hand, we have already seen that there are occasionally babies for sale in the marketplace...

Sunday, 7 August 2011