Analogue TV has been shut off in most parts of Australia in the last few months.
Sydney was yesterday morning, and one enterprising bloke managed to record the last moments of all five stations. Have a watch, it’s great. Note Channel 7 (top right) which actually marked it by playing an old animation. The others just went blank as if in some horror movie:
Channel 7 also made an effort when their Brisbane analogue signal ended back in May:
Melbourne makes the final switch-off next Tuesday at 9am.
I assume most people have switched already, and thankfully the household assistance package has meant people shouldn’t get left behind.
The extra channels should have been motivation enough for most of us. And the government’s motivation? Lots of revenue from selling off the old analogue spectrum.
The big question will be when we start to get more high definition (HD) channels. Will there be another switch date in the future when standard definition equipment is no longer supported? How many SD-only setups are out there, who can’t get ABC News 24, 7Mate, and GEM?
Oh and by the way, if you’re culling the duplicate channels in your tuner, you might like to know that SBS HD and SBS1 are not actually identical. SBS HD usually shows SBS1, but sometimes shows SBS2 for movies and sport and other programming that benefits from HD.
Melbourne shut down, all channels:
Channel 7, which marked the occasion with archival footage:
Well, here we are. Some more thoughts on the Doctor Who anniversary… Warning — below are spoilers for those who have not seen the special episode yet
Anniversary day finally arrived.
The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special episode “Day Of The Doctor” aired in the UK at 7:50pm GMT Saturday night which is 6:50am AEDT on Sunday morning. Thankfully the technology for the simulcast is a little more sophisticated than streaming video — otherwise we might have seen this!
It made me wonder… the ABC self-regulates its programme ratings, and rated the episode as PG, which is a safe bet.
But with the same episode showing at numerous Australian cinemas today, and them advertising it also as PG, does this mean it had already seen by people at the Classification Board?
The answer seems to be yes — there is a listing on their web site showing it was rated PG for mild impact themes and violence on 7th November… which I suppose means copies have gone to all the broadcasters as well.
Full points to ABC2. The geniuses in their programming department managed to get their weekday Doctor Who repeats to conclude on Friday with the episode before the special. Well done!
The Popup Shop
BBC Worldwide (their marketing arm) are running Popup Shops around the country too. We went along to the Richmond one the other week (it may have finished up already), and it was very busy.
The episode — Spoilers!
And the special episode itself? Well I got up to watch it, and will watch it again tonight.
Fantastic. A great balance between nostalgia/tribute and a fresh story that wouldn’t put off the Newvians (as Isaac has called new Whovians).
Nostalgia is a powerful force. The episode managed to tug at the collective memories of decades of episodes via millions of viewers.
At the start it referenced the very first episode (which I’m too young to have seen on original transmission, but first saw in the mid-80s on a very fuzzy copy of a copy of a VHS tape), but there were also many more recent memories — including some from the 70s and 80s — I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who found myself delighted but also a little emotional while watching.
The Zygons — happily little changed since their 70s appearance.
The Curator — what a surprise.
From the mini-episode Night Of The Doctor we now know 8th Doctor Paul McGann regenerates into John Hurt. It’s implied in this episode that he becomes Christopher Eccleston. But what happens to the numbering now? Is Matt Smith actually 12 instead of 11? If so, is Peter Capaldi (glimpsed briefly today) set to be the 13? If so, what happened to The Valeyard, who was supposedly going to be between the 12th and 13th?
Or did McGann to Hurt institute a reboot, given he was actually brought back to life by the Sisters of Karn? That would make Hurt the 1st, and so on. It seems not, if the credits were anything to judge.
The 13th is meant to be the last Doctor. Not that it really matters — if the makers of the programme want to bend Timelord lore and go beyond the 13th, they’ll find a way — it’s science fiction, after all. (They did it years ago with The Master.)
A loose end was tied up — in The Shakespeare Code, we saw the Tennant Doctor being chased by Queen Elizabeth the First. Now it seems we know why.
Though we never saw what happened to the negotiations between the two Kate Lethbridge-Stewarts. And why is Clara now a school teacher? (Or did we already know that?)
This episode turns around the result of the Time War. But would the Daleks really have destroyed themselves when Gallifrey disappeared? Seems a tad unlikely, though maybe that’s why the Eccleston Doctor is so surprised any of them survived.
Maybe some of these things will be explained later. But I for one thoroughly enjoyed this episode.
And like all good stories, it ended with a cup of tea.
Here’s to the next fifty years!
Doctor Who “Day Of The Doctor” Australian ratings: 424,000 at 6:50am (!) and 922,000 at 7:30pm plus it was apparently ranked number 2 for Sunday cinema box office takings ($1.5 million). (Source)
In Britain it was second-highest programme of the night, watched by 10.6 million. (Source)
PS: The Google Doodle
Surely everyone’s seen this, but just in case not, here’s a link to its permanent home: the Doctor Who Google Doodle, including a multi-level game inside it. Over a few tries, I eventually managed to complete it in 3 minutes 28 seconds.
This tram is bigger on the inside:
The 50th anniversary of Doctor Who is fast approaching, and fans are getting into a fervour.
Normally it’s only sports fans who wake up early to watch live TV. Sci-fi fans? Not so much.
All that will change next Sunday morning, when the special anniversary episode Day Of The Doctor will simulcast in Australia and in 70+ other countries around the world. On the east coast it’s 6:50am AEDT, which is pretty civilised (matching the UK time of 7:50pm on Saturday).
It’ll air again on Sunday night at 7:30pm on ABC1 for those who don’t want to get up early, followed by a dramatisation of the creation of the TV series, airing straight after it (trailer). Then it’ll be shown again on ABC2 on Monday, at 7:30pm and 11:20pm.
The special episode will also be shown in 3D at many cinemas next Sunday, including most Hoyts and Village outlets.
There’s been an early teaser/trailer:
…an actual trailer:
…and I can’t embed it in this page, but there’s also a mini-episode which brought a huge surprise for regular viewers of the show.
Will I be getting up early next Sunday to watch? Oh yes!
Speaking of sculpture, there’s a rather splendid new one at the corner of Spencer and Flinders Streets — a full-size replica of a W-class tram.
Officially titled “Raising the Rattler Pole – The Last of the Connies”, it was installed last week, and when I went by a day or two later, appeared to be getting a lot of interest from passers-by.
There’s a fair bit of (not necessarily accurate!) detail on the underside…
City of Melbourne has posted a video of them doing the installation:
Finally, here’s another W-class tram (not the real 1040; this is number 961) photobombing the sculpture:
The artist is David Bell — on his web site are some photos of the sculpture being built.
Apparently it lights up at night… must go past sometime after dark to take a look.
On the way up to Rutherglen for the wedding, we detoured past Nagambie on family business and to stop for lunch.
Nagambie’s bypass opened earlier this year. Traffic between Melbourne and Shepparton therefore no longer goes via the town, and it’s obvious that they’ve been trying to work out how to ensure some people still come through and patronise local businesses.
Their answer? Black Caviar!
The undefeated champion horse was born in Nagambie in 2006, and for some time now there have been signs up on the highway approach into town proclaiming this. But last Thursday they went one better, unveiling a lifesize statue of the mare, in a prominent position on the main street, by the lake.
As you can see, it’s an impressive piece of work, with a lot of detail.
Its spot by the lake is handily located right next to the V/Line bus stop, also used by private buses from Melbourne airport. (V/Line trains also serve Nagambie a few times a day; the station is a few hundred metres away. The V/Line buses help fill gaps between trains in the timetable.)
When we stopped past on Friday, so were others. There was a light but steady stream of people coming past, taking photos, reading the plaques.
Each side of the pedestal the statue is on has a plaque, and each has different information about the horse. This one is down the back end:
It appears special solar-powered CCTV has been installed to protect the statue:
Around the town, there were still balloons and signs up, and some businesses had Black Caviar specials for the week.
(One for the gunzels: a picture in a nearby noticeboard of a diesel engine in Black Caviar colours.)
What the national media might have missed when covering the story on Thursday was the controversy around the location of the statue.
Angry residents gathered at Nagambie yesterday vowing to fight the decision to put up a statue of super horse Black Caviar on the site of the former Chapel of the Lake.
The church, built in 1885, was destroyed in 2003 when a truck crashed through the middle of it.
Where the church stood, bricks from the original building have been formed into a cross and a small display explains the history of the site.
One family member who is a local couldn’t figure out why the Black Caviar statue wasn’t placed further along, leaving the church memorial in place. It’s not like Black Caviar had a specific link to that exact spot by the lake.
Oh well, if you’re driving past Nagambie and fancy getting off the freeway, or are coming past in a V/Line bus, check out the statue.
I wandered, lonely as a dog
With my peeps to Footscray Hill,
Amongst the grass, dirt and city views,
And just the occasional golden daffodil.
Probably overlooked by most, this is inside a road sign on Centre Road.
Half the gunzels in Melbourne are chattering about this: through the wonders of green screen and stock footage, the most recent episode of How I Met Your Mother (which aired last weekend in the USA, and on Thursday night in Australia) featured a Melbourne Comeng suburban train in Connex colours.
The stock footage appears to have been shot from another platform; it’s not necessarily a 3+ platform station. The building seems to be one of Melbourne’s newer ones; probably the “down” (away from the city) platform, but as-yet I haven’t been able to identify it. Anybody want to have a go?
Update Sunday 9:45pm: I think I’ve worked it out. Will be interested to see if anybody reaches the same answer I did.
The answer is… Brighton Beach
Update Monday 12:30pm: Rather than spend hours scouring the net for pictures of stations and doing painstaking comparisons, I thought about this laterally.
As Stephen said in the comments, the question is why is a Melbourne train in a US TV show? It’s stock footage – someone’s needed to save time and/or money in getting footage of a moving train to put on the green screen, and they’ve looked through available footage for something that matches the studio shot they were setting up.
So I did a quick bit of searching stock footage web sites to see if I could find it. And I found it – 23 seconds of glorious 16:9 HD vision, shot at Brighton Beach:
MELBOURNE – CIRCA OCTOBER 2009: Suburban train arriving Brighton Beach Station (click through to watch the vision)
The HIMYM producers have cropped it and carefully placed it in the completed programme to mostly hide the people on the platform, but if you look closely, it’s a match.
Finally got around to watching The Hobbit part 1.
I thought being the first of three films, and at 2 hours 45 minutes, it would drag a bit, but it really didn’t. Nicely done.
Cumberbatch really nailed Smaug, didn’t he. I can just see him going into a studio to record his voice for part 1. “Okay Benedict!” “Rrrrroooooooaoaaaaaaaarrrrr!” “Excellent, thanks very much — see you next movie.”
(Yeah yeah, I know, he also played the Necromancer.)
And 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy as Radagast was good. No spoons to play though, thankfully.
It all looks gorgeous on Blu-Ray, of course. One notable thing though, it’s one of a small number of discs I have which drops a few frames in some scenes on my setup. Might be an image correction/quality setting on the TV which isn’t handling the throughput — perhaps I can switch it off.
Anyway, very much looking forward to part 2.