July 14, 2004


Joy! My birthday present from my brother just arrived: the whole first series of Terry Nation's Survivors. Will shortly be able to meet my obligation to comment on this missing-till-now k-punk artifact.

Another long-coveted k-punk artifact provided by Mr Oliver Craner, who bought me Nuttall's brilliant Bomb Culture, Britain's answer to Mailer's 'White Negro' and Toffler's Future Shock. Expect more on this soon.

Also posts soon on: Robert Hughes (very belated), Hubert Selby Jr...


Brilliant new Pop Group mp3 blog by the author of this equally brilliant, ultra-authoritative Pop Group site. Add a Pop Group post to my list of promissory notes.

Ray Brassier (you might have read him here a while back with a typically acerbic and incisive commentary on Whitehouse) now has his doctoral thesis Alien Theory up on the Transmat site. Check it!

Gotta go and get ready; I'm seeing Pinter's 'Betrayal' tonight, so expect a post on that too...

Posted by mark at July 14, 2004 09:50 PM | TrackBack

hey mark have you heard the pop group related maximum joy. "silent street" is their killer track hard to find, but i think it might be on a soul jazz comp. its really good, dubbed out has sterile female vocals...

Posted by: matt d at July 15, 2004 08:21 PM

Hey Matt. JBs holla!

"Survivors" is the series about people surviving a massive plague? If it is the one I'm thinking of I was reading about it the other day when I was trying to find out some info on Sapphire And Steel DVDs. Sounded pretty cool. What other shows are worth checking?

Oh yeah, and I found Quartermass 2 used today so I'll be checking that out soon.

Posted by: jd at July 15, 2004 09:56 PM

Hey, let's turn this into a junior boys chatroom!

No, haven't heard Maximum Joy (not knowingly any way) -- heading for Limewire now....

Quatermass II is Britain's answer to Invasion of the Body Snatchers ---- higher echelons of govt already infiltrated by pod ppl --- lovely location shots of futuristic 50s UK ---

Jon, other shows worth checking? Well, apart from the ones I've already mentioned, Children of the Stones is another classic; this a children's show abt a stone circle, prophecy, astrophysics, sorcery...

Posted by: mark k-p at July 15, 2004 10:33 PM

Happy birthday by the way: congrats....


Posted by: Baals' conscience at July 15, 2004 10:51 PM

Thanks B!

Posted by: mark k-p at July 15, 2004 11:37 PM

Survivors starts incredibly well and the first few episodes maintain a real chill of British apocalypse (not only is everyone dead but the weather's rotten too) with an almost Ballardian feel -- the Ballard somewhere between Drowned World and Concrete Island. It gradually gets a bit soapy and almost turns into The Good Life as the plucky survivors have to make do and grow their own socks but right until the end there are episodes that I still remember giving me the shivers.

Posted by: amblongus at July 16, 2004 12:31 AM

Children Of The Stone is good too? I'll have to remember the name, no telling when it'll turn up somewhere in some form. It sounds kind of familiar, but I don't know for sure.

What do you think of Tripods? I know used to really like it when I was a kid but I haven't seen it since I was maybe 7 or 8 and all I really have is a mental picture of the Tripods themselves and a memory of being disturbed by the show. I remember it as really depressing, grey, foggy and slow but I was sold on it, so I guess in a good way. Dr. Who kind of had a similar effect on me then where I watched it a bunch but it always creeped me out. I remember a scene that really upset me where a guy was running away from some Cybermen through a forest until he hit invisible walls and realized he was encased and it was hopeless. I used to think of that scene often because I can still picture it pretty clearly although I can't remember anything else about the episode. Pretty sure Tom Baker was the Doctor though.

Posted by: jd at July 16, 2004 12:43 AM

Children of the Stones really chilled my brother and I when we saw it as kids (partly the chanted electro-acoustic score - well spooky...) Bought it for my brother for Xmas last year and it stands up really well...

Can't identify that Dr Who episode offhand...

Posted by: mark k-p at July 16, 2004 02:06 AM

That's ok, I'll stumble across that Dr. Who eventually.

Have you ever read the horror comic Uzumaki by Junji Ito? I think you would really enjoy it. It's about a town in japan where people are becoming obsessed with spirals. Gets into all sorts of bizarre stuff, which I won't ruin. It's pretty amazing how many things he is able to do with that idea. There was a movie made from it, which was pretty good, but not nearly as good as the comic.

Posted by: jd at July 16, 2004 02:58 AM

btw, meant to say in the last comment: don't even know what the Tripods is!

Comic sounds cool

Posted by: mark k-p at July 16, 2004 08:15 AM

The Tripods is the pretty good BBC adaptation of John Christopher’s trilogy about an England where Wells’s martians (basically) have invaded and set up a pastoral overcontrolled idyll.
The TV show had a lovely sort of folky sinister atmosphere, but it's quite a bit later than your usual purview, Mark.
Christopher also wrote the astonishing Prince in Waiting trilogy, the high point of the whole ‘80s grim kids postapocalypse novels wave, which is well worth tracking down for its mix of dirty realism, gutter politics and cynical manipulation of religion.

Posted by: jim at July 16, 2004 08:51 AM

Wow, sounds fucking great...

Posted by: mark k-p at July 16, 2004 09:28 AM

You can get the Tripods very cheap on ebay. I keep meaning to - perhaps when I finish watching the complete Blakes 7 I bought, ahem - but I fear disappointment. Particularly as apparently the Tripod props were so expensive to operate that they only actually appear FIVE TIMES in the whole thirteen-episode series! The tripod-on-horizon effect I remember as being stunning tho.

Not sure on the Dr.Who ep - there's only one Tom Baker cyberman story and it's set in space not a forest. There is a creepy man-running-through-forest opening to Image Of The Fendahl, though, where the man finds he can't move his legs - perhaps it was that one? That's a strange story - too many good ideas, oddly edited.

Posted by: Tom at July 16, 2004 09:52 AM

"Particularly as apparently the Tripod props were so expensive to operate that they only actually appear FIVE TIMES in the whole thirteen-episode series! The tripod-on-horizon effect I remember as being stunning tho."

I'm actually counting in my head. They never adapted the barking mad third book with waves of balloon-bombers and a United Nations under a Swiss Mountain, sadly.

Posted by: jim at July 16, 2004 12:48 PM

Hey Tom,

Thanks a lot. You might be right that it's not Tom Baker, maybe it's not even the Cybermen like I thought. I guess that memory isn't so clear. Is the man in "Image Of The Fendahl" being chased? The part of it that scared me when I was a kid was that he was faster than the things chasing him, but that they were just going to get him eventually because they would never tire.

Posted by: jd at July 16, 2004 02:16 PM

Children of the Stones was seminal.

Still remember the look on the HP's face when he realises his clock's been fucked in the ritual at the end.

Reminds of a time when (guards forcibly eject paul.meme from the comments box before he bores everyone rigid with occult reminiscences)...

Posted by: paul "Essex boy" meme at July 16, 2004 03:42 PM

No Paul, carry on, please ---

Posted by: mark k-p at July 16, 2004 07:19 PM

... when we were doing a big all-nighter at Arbor Low, and just as we were doing a serious circle in the morning, and a load of Christians and New Agers showed up to do their thing and kinda wanted to join in! Very amusing negotiations ensued -- still remember the surprised looks on people's faces...

Posted by: paul "Essex boy" meme at July 16, 2004 09:09 PM

Trust you'll write about Bomb Culture? It took me ages to track down a copy then when I did I got bored after the first few pages. Suspect the fault was mine as I wanted some kind of Tony Hancock figure declaiming that trad jazz was the original punk rock.

But I do like the story about his taking his clothes off, painting himself blue and then passing out in Sir Malcolm Sargent's bathtub all in the name of poetry. (It's in Jonathon Green's oral history of the 60s, Days in the Life.)

Posted by: amblongus at July 16, 2004 11:13 PM