Monday, February 9, 2009

TV, Time Travel, and Rock'n'Roll

Thanks to the wonderul, quasi-legal world of torrent downloads, I've started to catch up with ABC's "Life on Mars," and I have high hopes for it. So far I've only watched one episode, but if it's reflective of the series as a whole, I may have a new favorite.

Time travel (a big part of that show) has always fascinated me, probably ever since I saw the movie "Time After Time" in the early Eighties. That's a classic, and if you haven't seen it, I recommend it without reservation. The premise: H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) doesn't just write about a time machine, he actually invents one. Unfortunately, he unveils his secret to his dinner guests and one of them happens to be Jack the Ripper (the vastly underrated David Warner). When Scotland Yard comes calling, Jack sneaks down to the basement and escapes in the time machine. The machine reappears, because only Wells has a special key that calls it back. But Wells is horrified that he has unleashed the greatest monster of his age upon "Utopia" (his optimistic vision of the future), so he does the obvious - he chases Jack the Ripper to the year 1979, hoping to hunt him down and stop him. But when Wells gets to our era, he finds it is not the utopia he envisioned. Indeed, it's a world where Jack the Ripper feels utterly at home. Out of his element, confused by newfound love, and constantly stymied by bad ideas (looking for a good alias, he tells modern police his name is Sherlock Holmes), Wells must track down the Ripper and put an end to him once and for all.

So yeah, H.G. Wells uses a time machine to chase Jack the Ripper into modern San Fransisco. How can you go wrong with that?

In other news, Rocket to Saturn has had our first "proper" rehearsal in about two months. We've been distracted by a battle of the bands and a reunion of the Electrophonic Foundation, so we had not "run the set" since before Christmas. I'm pleased to say we ripped through it quite well. We'll play at Davey's Uptown on Feb. 14 (my least favorite holiday, incidentally), and after that hope to take some time to write some new material and finish Black Hole Blues, our deput concept album. It deals with space-time mishaps, so it seems time travel has been a theme in my life lately.

Finally, I started writing a short story about some Confederate soldiers who fight a werewolf. We'll see how that goes.

That's it for now.

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