A while back, McOther and I decided to get ourselves a cat. We got Chewie, officially a moggie, unofficially, very definitely, Norwegian Forest Cat. He came from a rescue centre. Once he settled, he turned out to be the loveliest, sweetest natured cat you could ever imagine but it took a bit of time. When we brought him home he had clearly decided we belonged to him but at the same time, he was pretty much wild so he’d sit on our lap for a few minutes and then he’d lose his nerve, bite the host human and run away. I think we only persevered with him because, most times, if you went after him, you’d find him in the next room, very obviously doing the feline equivalent of smacking himself about the head with one paw and saying,
“You stupid fuckwit you love the humans! Why have you’ve bitten them AGAIN. Aargh.”
So, the reason that’s relevant is because I’m going to be doing that in this post. Yeh. I’ve been a total twat and get this, without even knowing. Such are the perils of the internet and being me. Here goes then.
Believe it or not, my aim in life, is to treat other people the way I’d like to be treated so when I actually manage to as mean as fuck without even realising, I am, frankly, mortified. And I’m that now.
So this post is an apology, and also a lesson; check your facts, even if you have no idea they need checking.
Let me share the whole sorry story.
A while back now, I wrote this post, about attention to detail. The point being that, sometimes, less is more, that a brief sketch, if it contains the right pointers, will give a reader everything they need. I used the example of the tardis console, which I saw at a sci-fi exhibition at my local museum. I believed this to be the original BBC prop.
Could I make this thing? No. One of the things on my bucket/to-do list is to make a pukka Dalek and believe me, it’s all maths and proper drawings and electronics and sawing up MDF correctly and… well basically I can see it not happening and if it does happen, I very much see it not looking like a Dalek.The only bit I’ll get right is the wok that goes on its head and only because that’s made by someone else.
However, I reiterate, thought I was looking at something made by the BBC.
So I was rude about it.
And now I discover it wasn’t made by the BBC at all. It was made by a 19 year old lad called Aaron Williams.
Yes, that mean. And if you want to know how much of an unwitting bastard I’ve been check out his site here. Ugh, head, desk. Look at the drawings on the splash page there, they are really, really good. And… urgh head, wall. I’ve basically told him his work’s shit. Because it was good enough to make me think it was made by the BBC.
The BBC props department has a lot of money, a lot of expertise and a lot of equipment. If they make a Tardis console, I expect no expense spared slick thing, all bespoke drilled metal parts, cast resin, the works. I also expect to be able to be quite rude about it if it’s not because the BBC is a corporation, and it’s big enough and ugly enough to take a bit of crit.
But this has been made by the archetypical man in a shed, on a budget. It represents everything that I think is lovely about this country and I’ve called it crap. And yet, to repeat myself, but the point is worth making twice, I only did that because it’s so good that I thought it was the real McCoy. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if I’d had the smallest inkling it was made by a fan I would have written a very different article. Because it stood its own with the StarWars, 2000 Space Oddesy, Blakes Seven and other props there and because the equipment available to a fan and the equipment available to the BBC are worlds apart. Oh heavens and now that just sounds condescending. Please, don’t take it that way.
Believe it or not, I do actually try very hard NOT to be a bastard, especially to people who haven’t asked for it and who I don’t even know exist. And I’m really sorry I have. And I’m not sure what I can do to repair the damage here, other than man up and apologise.
So, Aaron, I’ve been a tosser and I’m sorry. Your Tardis console was as good as anything else there, in fact, I only picked it out from the others so I got an excuse to mention Dr Who.