I took down my birthday cards today, all three of them; (thank-you Jacob, Rebecca and Laurel). My birthday was almost two months ago; and yes, I do realise that’s it’s a little bit pathetic to leave your cards up for that long. On my birthday I went to see a band at a venue in north London, the New Town Kings; a great ska band and the 12th best band on the planet at present. Then I did something I’ve not done in 33 years of going to see gigs. The set finished late, 00:10. No problem I thought to myself, I’ll just walk down to the Underground station and get the Tube to Paddington in time for the last train to Reading at 01:00. Oh…shit. It’s that one night of the year when the clocks get put forward an hour. So three night buses later and I’m contemplating spending the next six hours at Paddington Station; it was bloody freezing and nothing in the area was open. The only people who seemed to be around were pimps and prostitutes, drunks and druggies; the last two groups of whom seem to be mostly lying about on the pavement outside the station. Oblivious to the cold and their surroundings, I came to envy them. I spent the night standing by the entrance to the Underground, where a slightly warm breeze of air was blowing out from the tunnels and passageways below. Now I generally don’t mind my own company, but on my birthday, in the freezing cold, all night, in the world’s most boring location, when I’m tired and knackered from dancing at a gig which is rapidly becoming a dim and distance memory thanks to my semi-conscious state, I was not on best form. I must have read the notices and adverts around the Underground entrance 100 times, as I endlessly paced slowly up and down the eight, small strides between the two ends of the locked gate, attempting to warm one side of myself followed by the other; I even learnt to do this with my eyes closed and get it right almost every time. I read all the print on the screen of the Kindle in the Kindle advert that was shown for a few seconds every now and again, in one of those high-tech advertisement boards that show a revolving series of different ads; (it wasn’t a very interesting story, something about a big storm in London in the middle ages.) I attempted a conversation with the rail maintenance guy who came and stood with me for around an hour, but my question suggesting that perhaps he ought to be out “repairing the track or something” didn’t get me very far; I guess that’s how he wastes some of his time each night. I mused at great length on the fact that of all the people I’d heard on the night buses, not one was speaking English; (well except a group of Americans but that doesn’t count). I considered the value of having ‘live’ indicator boards at bus stops, especially the one at the stop which said I had 20 minutes to wait and just as I was about to go off into some bushes to answer the call of nature, my bus came along, so I nearly missed it. Of course, in my half awake, hypothermic condition, I’d forgotten that they’re actually special London Transport Minutes, which are only vaguely related to normal ones; so I’d forgotten to convert them; silly me. At 06:45 I got the first train, along with a group of equally bedraggled and zombie-like others, who had all crawled out of various holes after spending equally miserable nights enjoying the concept of European Summer Time. I even had the indignity of having to travel part of the journey back on the dreaded rail replacement bus service. It’s a shame International Rescue weren’t having a bit of a quiet night too, I could have done with being rescued.
2004 – Certificate: PG – USA
Rating Details: Mild violence, peril and language
Why are so many people so mean about this film? I grew up watching Thunderbirds on TV; in fact it’s probably my most vivid TV memory from my youth. I know this movie is full of plot holes, spends most of its time focusing on three kids (rather than the Thunderbirds) and comes across like “Spy Kids” on speed; but it’s still a fun and breathless watch. It has a villain who’s basically a bad Captain Picard, it was directed by Commander Riker, has a big scene in it set in Jubilee Gardens in London (where I saw the Undertones play in 2003) and a cute scene with a puppet hand. I even like the theme tune by “Busted”. It’s also almost wall-to-wall action too. Did you know that Thunderbird 1 can travel at up to 15,000mph? That’s nearly seven times faster than the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest aircraft ever. So don’t tell me that’s not cool. That Brains dude, he’s one awesome genius.
Recommended for anyone who’s not going to bore me senseless by saying something along the lines of, “but that’s not how it was in the 60’s TV series”. Get a life; even I realise its not 1965 now.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? Nearly 40 years after the original TV series, seeing Thunderbirds 1 and 2 in action again in the opening scenes is most definitely badass.