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Rob On Stuff

Watched: Colonel March

Whilst just about every single streaming video service is utterly awful for archive TV of any sort (I can’t adequately express my disappointment with Britbox without resorting to an overly dramatic lament complete with nauseating wailing), I’ve found Prime Video to be the most enjoyable to rummage through for more of my kind of thing.

There is so much on there and so much of it is seemingly there with little thought for who might ever want to watch it or why anyone would ever want to watch it, it’s positively a treasure trove for folks like me. Especially folks like me in lockdown during a pandemic.

“Prestige TV”, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t really my bag. Sure, the odd thing comes along (hello, Tales From The Loop) that I’ll rush to sit through but really, it’s no substitute for a 25 minute evening show filled with a bunch of familiar, jobbing actors, giving their all for a script that’s clearly below their abilities but it’s enjoyable/it pays the bills/all of the above.

Likely to my shame, I’d not heard of Colonel March Of Scotland Yard before stumbling upon it on Prime. Boris Karloff is clearly having a great time as the titular March, head of The Department Of Queer Complaints (I know, it couldn’t be better). It’s pitched in the description as some sort of proto X-Files but it really isn’t, it’s your (now) very typical Quirky Detective Gets The Job Done That The Police Can’t affair. More Father Brown than Miss Marple. And of course, in true Scooby Doo fashion, whatever may seem to have a supernatural explanation really doesn’t.

It’s a joy from start to finish. There’s a fantastic run of guest stars including Christopher Lee, March’s foil Ames (played by Ewan Roberts) gets progressively more Scottish as the show goes on and whilst the solutions to the cases can sometimes border on the pulled out of thin air, it doesn’t matter a jot because everyone involved seems to be having a right lark and it’s quite infectious indeed.

I ended up huffing all 26 episodes in around a week and whilst it occasionally flags in the stories that require March and Ames to not spend the entire episode gently ribbing each other, I can’t say it lost my interest once. In fact, I came out rather enamoured with it and sad that it’d taken me this long to stumble upon.

The only real misfire being Eric Pohlmann’s larger than life French policeman, Goron who really, really, really hasn’t aged well at all. Mind, even that is salvaged somewhat by Pohlmann playing another, entirely different, role in one episode (as though nobody would ever notice) that’s somehow even worse.

Not really Pohlmann’s fault as I doubt anyone could have salvaged either of the roles given their, erm,”reliance on racist stereotypes” but I mention it as it’s certainly worth a note of caution for viewers unused to British TV’s often arse backward view of anyone not stereotypically English.

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Rob On Stuff

…and not a moment too soon

It likely hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that I’ve been having a bit of a rough time of it lately and I’m slowly trying to clean up my online existence a bit so it’s tolerable again (for me and anyone who has to put up with me).

Which, you know, in 2020 is not the easiest. I’ve largely walked away from Twitter because the perpetual hell noise from the bad people is more than I can bear. I do kinda miss the good people and the cat pictures but the balance has been out for a while.

You can find me over on Mastodon still, mind. I’m a lot more comfortable there than I have been on Twitter for a long time. Also, having content warnings embedded into posts is such a necessary thing in these more interesting times.

And oh, those interesting times are keeping me on my toes life wise. There’s a lot going on, a lot getting me down and a lot of time taken doing stuff I begrudge having to do. That’s as well as my usual health, caring and family stuff. Money’s tight thanks to shielding and everyone being at home, it’s all just really so very 2020 and then some. I’m not surprised it’s wrecking my head but it is wrecking my head.

And the online stuff is, well, I’d hit a bit of a funk (to put it politely). Whilst I’ve been enjoying picking up on writing about good things in games, this place has been something I’ve been intensely unhappy with for a long while. Mainly because it’s been an intensely unhappy place for a while.

Whilst MCV didn’t pluck the nickname “The Godzilla Of Grumbling” for me out of thin air, this place has felt like somewhere that’s predominantly writing about bad things and not much else to break it up. It’s not that there haven’t been good reasons for this on occasion but it’s all a bit overwhelming, really. You’d think I got no joy out of anything when even allowing for the stress, pain and depression 2020 heaps on me, I do enjoy things still, I do spend plenty of time giggling at stuff. It’s just not reflected here.

Partly it’s down to me having my head down the videogame toilet for too long and not treating it like the toxic waste it is. Turns out, it doesn’t half mess stuff up.

Partly it’s down to Twitter making it easy to just post something flippant or nice on there instead which would be fine if Twitter wasn’t perpetually drowning nice words, nice things, nice people and any enjoyment with a dollop of hate.

And partly because it’s been so long, I’ve almost forgotten how.

I know I’m repeating myself a bit (a lot?) here so apologies for that but really, it’s all got rather from and well, something must be done. Just because I’m depressed doesn’t mean I need to be miserable.

So. Changes.

I’m keeping my “say nice things about videogames” corner where it is and continuing to broaden what I post there by talking about stuff other people are doing because other people are doing great things.

Here? I’m going back to this place being a bit more freewheeling again. It’s been “bad things about videogames” corner and no. Just no.

That’s not to say I won’t be talking about the more serious side of things, just other things too. Books, comics, things on the internet that I enjoyed. You know, you could call it a weblog, or blog for short. It might even catch on.

It’s all a bit “be the change”, you know? I want to keep Take This Machine as it is because it’s a part of the web that makes me happy but largely, I miss elements of the web before everything got siloed through social media and there’s nothing stopping me doing that stuff for myself.

Oh, not that I expect they’ll see much use but I’ve turned comments back on. I turned them off because talking about the bad side of videogames brings out the bad people and I got sick of dealing with that. More than likely this place being anywhere someone wants to leave comments on is long in the past but hey ho.

So yeah, change my dear, and not a moment too soon.

Onwards!

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Rob On Stuff

Is it even a real videogame if…

…you can’t stick a horse to the ceiling? (No.)