Viewing posts tagged douglas adams


"Freedom at last!" says Kimus.  Because he's flying in an air car.

"You're not free yet," the Doctor reminds him.

Kimus observes that he's "free to think", yet doesn't seem to be doing so.

They chat about how Kimus' world works.  It has mines that function by themselves.

"What happens when they run out?" asks the Doctor.

"The Captain announces a new Golden Age of Prosperity and they just fill up again."

Kimus notices a certain reserve in the Doctor's manner.

"You don't think that's... well... wrong?  Do you?"

"It's an economic miracle," says the Doctor, "of course it's wrong."

What actually happens, of course, is planetary piracy.  Or, to give it another name, imperialism.  Kimus' planet ("Zanak" as Romana or Mula would helpfully remind us) materialises around other planets and then mines them down to a tiny, crushed pulp, killing anyone who happens to live on them in the process.

Real imperialism is considerably more complex than this... but the basic picture is essentially right.

Much as the people might stagily cry "hooray!" for the Captain whenever he announces another Golden Age of Prosperity, they ...

In the DNA

Happy birthday Douglas Noel Adams.  Shame about you dying, but still.

I hear there's a new TV series based on Dirk Gently.  I haven't watched it.  With is odd.  If someone had told me, even ten years ago, that there would one day be a Dirk Gently TV show and I wouldn't watch it, I'd have thought they were insane.

But look at this.

That's Dirk, apparently.

Funny.  It reminds me of something.

Oh yeah.

In the novels, Dirk is described as fat, ugly and toadlike with a wildly mismatched clothes, a long leather coat and a ludicrous red hat.

Still, that wouldn't make good telly, would it?

Adams was, in his way, as concerned with entropy as Bidmead.  He even has Skagra mention it in 'Shada'.  Entropy, of course, is the shuffling of everything into predictability.  The ultimate terminus of increasing entropy is the reduction of all things to homogeneous porridge.

Just saying.

Adams himself was very concerned with the corporate crapization of everything into synthetic banality.  It's a running concern of the Hitch Hikers books, from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation to Infinidim ...

Economic Miracles

This is my Timelash II stuff on the subject of Graham Williams' tenure as producer... it's a bit thin because I've either posted about several stories from this era elsewhere or because I'm planning to.  Also, to be honest, some of the stories simply don't yield much grist for my mill.  That isn't to knock the Williams era, which contains some of the most politically interesting Who stories ever made (which is partly why they needed - or need - posts all to themselves).  Notice, for instance, how the stories glanced at below seem obsessed with fuel, economics and questions of prosperity vs. austerity... s'what comes of making Doctor Who in the context of the late 70s I guess...

I've written about 'Horror of Fang Rock' here and 'Image of the Fendahl' here.

'The Sun Makers'

This is from elsewhere on this blog, but it's part of a wider article.  I thought it could tolerate repeating... especially since 'Sun Makers' is a favourite of mine, for reasons which should be obvious.  I don't think, by the way, that this story has ever been more relevant than it is ...

Unfinished Business

Thing is, I love Douglas Adams. He was great. A very clever man, very nice, very funny. A superb comic writer; possibly the greatest comic prose stylist since P. G. Wodehouse. An amiable and persuasive advocate of science and atheism. Creator of novels that I've read and re-read, radio shows that I've listened to over and over again, etc. A great guy.

But I don't like 'Shada'. It's pretentious. And naff. A combination exemplified in that bit of description of Chris Parsons in the script: "likes Bach and Status Quo." Oh dear.

And all that guff from Parsons about "doors that remain permanently closed to one". What a load of Student Common Room wank. How amazing that Chris Bidmead is the guy who reguarly gets accused of pumping the series full of precious, science-fixated toss!

And Adams is clearly having a poke at sci-fi writers who write lazy plots (all that satirical jabbing at the idea of taking over the universe) while also not bothering to give Skagra any real motivation or any sensible goals. Robert Holmes had done the uber-ironic pisstaking of silly sci-fi names/plots/villains etc before this, and better, and without letting ...

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