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!
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.
Despite how it may look, I am not the next Doctor Who.
We went along to the Astor Theatre on Saturday to watch the two 60′s Dalek movies — back from that curious time in British TV and film when they often seemed to remake television shows as big screen movies — in this case with none of the television cast. They are impressive in parts, and in some ways more watchable than the original versions of the stories, but also quite unintentionally amusing at times.
A good crowd turned up, as did a Police Box, a Dalek and also K9. Many people dressed up as their favourite Doctor (though, as we noted, the 5th, 6th and 7th seem to often get overlooked in this regard… perhaps because their clothing was so outlandish you’ve got zero chance of buying their clothes off the shelf).
Meanwhile, Peter Capaldi has just been announced as the 12th Doctor.
Who? He’s perhaps best known for In The Thick Of It, which is another in a long list of TV shows that I’ve been meaning to watch for years. Perhaps this will inspire me to make the effort.
Hopefully he’ll be good. Smith, Tennant, Eccleston, all of them are all tough acts to follow.
Those who have been paying attention might have noticed that the episode synopses for Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell (seen for instance in the Electronic Programme Guide on most TVs) have been getting weirder and weirder.
Courtesy of the ABC TV web site, here’s a summary of them this year so far (including the next couple of weeks’):
Shaun Micallef is BACK and he’s MADDER than HELL. We really should have changed the name but it’d cost us a FORTUNE in letterheads and we’d have to change the show GRAPHICS which also runs into MONEY. Anyway, he’s back FOR A SECOND SERIES – that’s the POINT. And THIS TIME he KNOWS what he’s DOING (slightly).
Nominated for an AACTA and HAILED by Fairfax Media as the ’20th WORST show ON Australian TELEVISION.
When Shaun’s racist neighbour Mr. Grealy invites him over to eat some Japanese, Shaun doesn’t know how to take it.
When Francis asks Shaun if he can change a word in one of the scripts, Shaun kills him.
A convention for people named ‘Peter’ goes horribly wrong when Shaun is mistakenly invited. And hydrochloric acid starts streaming from the sprinkler system.
Mongoose. Winter is closing in. It is not safe. Go into hibernation. Further instructions to follow. Cobra.
Yo! Join Kook and the Bambino tomorrow morning at 7am on 103.6 Smash FM for your chance to win $10 playing Puzzling Noise.
Voula, if you are watching this, I am so sorry babe. Please do not let the trust we have built up over the last two weeks go to waste just because I screwed another chick. Call me? Stav.
Winning numbers in Tatts’ Everybody Wins Lotto Draw No. 001: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40.
There’s a vampire loose in Las Vegas. No one believes or wants to believe it’s true. The police can’t stop him, people are dying, no one’s safe. How do you kill what’s already dead?
20 odd years ago, when I was into music videos (and television in general), I used to regularly record (yes, on VHS) a few hours of Rage on a Friday and/or Saturday night, and watch it the next day.
I’d categorise each song as a 1, 2 or 3. 1s I would copy onto another tape for keeping — a kind of Rage mix-tape. 2s I would watch once. 3s I would spin through.
One much-loved but long-forgotten song that I’ve just encountered is JC001′s “Never Again”.
(Once again WordPress is playing up. If it decides again to remove the embedded clip, it’s here.)
Apart from the good anti-racism, pro-mixed-race message (something I can relate to), the fast-paced lyrics made it ripe for parody in our family: “I intend to defend my blender ’til the end!”
The song has been hailed in some circles as “One of the best, most underrated uk hip hop singles ever.”
And it also apparently samples The Specials, so you’ve gotta like that.
JC001′s real name is Jonathan Pandy, and he’s still around apparently, for instance on Twitter. I wonder if he still has the crazy eyes.
A little while ago I bought myself the Collected Shaun Micallef — a box set of numerous shows of his, including The Micallef P(r)ogram(me). The kids and I have been watching our way through it.
I remembered that I had gone to a recording of the show, but had no idea which episode it was. The other night it became very obvious that it had been the final episode of season 2 — in a sketch parodying The Price Is Right, there I was, in the audience.
Coincidentally last night we went to a recording of one of Shaun’s current series — Mad As Hell. We arrived about 5pm, and around half-an-hour later were let into a waiting area, then into the studio itself, with recording starting at about 6pm. With stops and starts and gaffs aplenty, it took until about 8pm to record the half-hour show.
It’ll air tonight.
Most unintentionally amusing moment: after numerous warnings to go to the toilet before recording started, the warm-up guy asked if there were any final questions before beginning, only to be faced with one gentleman piping up: “Is there time to urinate?” — he was whisked off to do so.
Best moment you won’t see on-screen: an audience member who is a musician from Morocco (who has just emigrated) being invited onto stage to play a guitar they’d found. He played a North African song which (if I got this right) is about a bloke who pays a dowry for a wife but is dudded by the father (who has dudded many suitors) and ends up alone.
I don’t think there were any shots of the audience filmed for the show, but the warm-up guy took a photo of part of the audience. I’m up the back, a blurry blob in the dark, waving.
Lots of fun… apparently they still need audiences for later in the season.