Viewing posts tagged monster of peladon

Skulltopus 9: Signs of Progress and the Progress of the Sign

You can rifle the Pertwee era for tentacles and find relatively few.  They only crop up in stories in which capital looms.  They only fully-materialize as a major threat where capitalism is a systemic presence, threatening - even if only obliquely - to connect up various social and political nightmares.

That isn't to say that social and political nightmares are thin on the ground.  Far from it.  But it's only when those problems are connected to capital, commodification and trade as exploitative or destructive, that they sprout tentacles.


Evidence of Absence

The reason why 'Spearhead from Space' builds to an unexpectedly tentacular conclusion is because all sorts of things within it hint obliquely and elliptically at deep problems in the Britain of the late twentieth century, problems which seem to build towards a connection that must be occluded: namely the connection of all these problems at the economic base of society, the productive forces, the capitalist factory, the commodity form itself.  'Spearhead' is saturated in depictions of hierarchy, domination and class.  The story hints - albeit very quietly - at imperialism, and at racial and gender hierarchies.  The monsters are stalking emblems of alienation and commodity fetishism, manufactured things ...

Thalira, or The Two Planets

From the late, great Paul Foot's book The Vote: How it was Won and How it was Undermined:

...Benjamin Disraeli wrote a novel about Chartists.  It was called Sybil, or the Two Nations (1845), a deeply sympathetic and beautifully written account of the rise of Chartism and of its appeal to the suffering masses.  The central theme of the novel is the distinction between 'moral force' Chartism, espoused by the unblemished heroine, Sybil, and 'physical force' Chartism, described with obvious distaste.  The theme of the novel was that the conflict between the good on the 'moral force' side and the evil on the 'physical force' side became so bitter that it could not be solved by working people.  The solution had to come from outside, from on high, from a brilliant, sensitive and eloquent Tory MP, Charles Egremont.  Sybil's disillusionment with her rougher supporters, who include her beloved father, begins when she reads an account of an emotional speech in Parliament by Egremont, who then conveniently arrives in the middle of 'physical force' chaos to carry off his beloved and make a lady of her.

It occurs to me that, if you take out the romantic ending, this ...

Twee... but Pertinent

Yep, here's the best of my Pertwee stuff from Timelash II.  Thrill to my confusion as I struggle to get to grips with an era that itself struggled to get to grips with fuel controversies, miners' strikes, feminism and loads of funny stuff like that.  Lots of new material in amongst the stuff I posted at Gallibase. 


‘Inferno’

I remember the first time I saw 'Inferno'. I was at university. I popped into town and bought the VHS release with pretty much the last scrapings from the bottom of my overdraught. I took it back to my digs and watched it in one sitting, surrounded by half-read Penguin classics, half-written essays and empty beer cans.

I remember, somewhere towards the middle of the story, practically praying to Someone Or Other (the gods of TV probably) that the writer would have the balls to refuse to reveal what the green slime was and/or what the Primords were.

I remember being well pleased when I got to the end without having had some clumsy sci-fi "explanation" foisted on me.

The Primords are just there. They represent the animal in man, unleashed. The are the externalised form of ...

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