Posts Tagged ‘Nashville’

GB News’ and Talk TV’s Viewing Figures Go Into Single Digits for Queen’s Funeral

September 19, 2022

This is hilarious and more than a little sad – for GB News and Talk TV, that is. Today millions of people in Britain have been watching the Queen’s funeral on TV. They’ve also been watching it on YouTube, both here and all over the world. This morning one of the channels screening it on YouTube got 504,000 viewers. There were also a few thousand odd people watching it on CNN and in Nashville, Tennessee, over the pond, there were about 11,000 people watching on their local channel. Thanks for the interest and appreciation, guys! But by half past four over here interest had waned. Or it had for people watching on GB News and Talk TV. Because by that time, GB News’ viewers were down to 9, and a quarter of an hour later Talk TV had three people watching.

Mind you, there wasn’t that much to see. I think the ceremony was over by then and what you saw on those channels was a long distance shot over the greenery to Buckingham Palace with the odd, lone figure moving in the middle distance.

I dare say the channels had far more people watching at the height of the ceremony, but I do find it highly amusing that their audiences were so low. Especially as GB News was hyped as the mighty right-wing alternative to the ‘woke, wet BBC’. Well, here’s to the collapse of those two networks, the bankruptcy of Rupert Murdoch and all his ilk, and Nigel Farage and Julia Hartley-Brewer getting their P45s.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Plays David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’

August 11, 2017

This is awesome. It’s a video made by the astronaut Chris Hadfield, of himself playing the Bowie classic, ‘Space Oddity’, aboard the International Space Station. Which, when you think about, couldn’t be a better location.

Astronauts have played music in space before. I’ve got a feeling several Russian cosmonauts had their instruments with them back in the 1980s when they travelled to Mir, and had a jam session up there in orbit.

The SF writer Allan Steele wrote a short story, ‘Live from the Mars Hotel’ about the rise of fictional astronaut band in his anthology, Rude Astronauts. In this tale, a group of spacers on Mars form a band to keep boredom at bay during the long months on the Red Planet, especially when a howling dust storm comes down to blanket the entire world and nobody can venture outside. When they return to Earth, the band briefly find themselves celebrities. However, this rapidly wanes, and they go back to their day jobs after their all-too brief stint as space’s first rock gods.

Part of the reason for this is that they sacrifice their authentic sound for the image manufactured for them by the music industry. Their own sound, honed on Mars, is rough and gritty, authentic country ‘n’ western. However, when they play gigs back on Earth, they’re persuaded to wear spangly jumpsuits and perform with a full orchestra. It’s just too ‘Nashville’ for our roughneck space heroes. The fans sense this, and so stop listening to them.

The shots of the ISS itself and the Soyuz spacecraft, as well as Earth itself, remind me of the opening credits to the 1980s space detective series, Star Cops. This was set forty years in the future, when space was being opened up to industrial exploitation and regular space travel. Unfortunately, it only lasted a single season. Part of the problem was that many of the space/ SF fans, who would have seen it, never heard of it. I also think that it suffered because it was broadcast just after Dr. Who’s cancellation in the mid-1980s, and I think this overshadowed the show. I also think it probably suffered from being mismarketed. I think it was being advertised as detection, rather than SF, and so the trailers for it were aimed at the wrong audience. I’m quite aware, however, that there is an audience, and that there are SF stories that are basically detective yarns. They’re just set in the future with robots, aliens and mutants.

Here’s the beginning titles for Star Cops.

Well, it’s thirty years after the series was aired, and we’re still waiting for the future it envisioned. Star Cops was written by Chris Boucher, who was script editor on Blake’s 7, and was very much intended to be hard, near-future SF. The series boasted that all the technology was based on hard, science fact. Unfortunately, the dream of cheap, mass spaceflight hasn’t happened, possibly because the spaceplanes being designed at the time by Martin Marietta simply proved unviable in practice.

Still, perhaps in Skylon takes off next year, we might really see the space age begin in earnest. In the meantime, I hope there are a few more astronauts, who take the opportunity to lay down a few awesome tracks as they explore the High Frontier.