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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 30th June 2021 5:30 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon. I started this ages ago, struggled with it and didn't get far. I picked it up again recently and still struggled. I was on page 77, with a self-imposed page 100 deadline to decide if I liked it, when I put it back down. When I picked it back up again I went straight through that deadline and I enjoyed it. I think it took me a little while to remember the world and the characters and it took a while for the events in it to interest me. I can tell from the ending, and the way the cover says it's the first book in a series, that there are sequels. But I just don't care enough about the characters or the mystery to bother with any more.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Chalet School Returns to the Alps by Lisa Townsend. I am loving this. It's set in the first term in Switzerland, which I remember some vague bits of, but mostly none of. It's about Nancy Wilmot in her new teaching job, and Sue Meadows, a new student, and them trying to fit in. I'm intrigued by how they manage it, and totally relating to what they're going through (the feelings, not the specific situations).

What I'm Reading Next
I did pick up Little Men, which I started ages ago and should finish, but then I got distracted by the Chalet School book coming through the door.


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Famous people in The Bill
Saturday 26th June 2021 12:07 pm

Once upon a time, every British actor had been in The Bill. These days, watching old episodes, famous people pop up looking young.

For example, this is (the current) Barnaby from Midsummer Murders:
Neil Dudgeon
I knew he was in the episode and worked out who he was based on him being the only male guest character.

Jason Isaacs is more recognisable:
Jason Isaacs

And for a bonus, here is a young Alex Walkinshaw, who (much) later played Smithy.
Alex Walkinshaw


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June Something 2021
Saturday 19th June 2021 1:33 pm

I picked the questions relevant to me from the masterpost

Day 3: What's a favorite, or at least memorable fandom meeting/interaction that you've had?
Because I've been watching the Bill from the early 90s, what I've been remembering recently were the trips we had to the studios. They started off as a trip to the studio followed by the pub and gradually ended up being trips to the pub. The event I think about when Roach is on screen is Jeff Stewart showing us the initials TS inside his trainers - they re-use stuff, so he'd inherited Tony Scannell's trainers!

Day 16: Do you have a fandom that you follow - either regularly or casually - with little to no knowledge of canon?
No. I know there are people who do that, but I just can't see the point.

Day 17: Do you prefer art, fic, or vids? Why? Bonus: If someone was to give you a fandom gift, what format would it be?
I'm not big on art, generally speaking, not just fanart. If they look like the actors, then great, but otherwise I don't really have any opinions on art.
With vids I think that the action should match the words of the song. I don't see the point of (most) vids that don't and they just bore me.
I am picky about fic, but it still leaves a lot that I'll still read.

Day 18: Recall a time when two of your fandoms collided, at least in some way. For example, a song that you fell in love with from one fandom showed up in a second fandom.
There was a while in my watching of The Bill that was very surreal because Matt Kerr and Mr Sullivan from Press Gang were DCI Wray and Ron Smollett respectively. When I first saw Press Gang I was aware they were also these people in The Bill, but they were before my time. So now I'm just thinking of them as their Press Gang characters and get can't used to seeing Mr Sullivan with no moustache (apparently he had to shave it off or he'd be confused with Tosh Lines. Even though the two of them look nothing alike. And one of them is in uniform, which you'd think would be a dead giveaway).
And then Colin turned up in one episode, playing a 15 year old.

Day 19: What is something that you associate with a character in fandom, but aren't sure if it's canon or fandom?
More of a story of something I thought was fandom but is actually canon. In The Bill Bob Cryer is known as Uncle Bob in fandom. I assumed that was a fandom name. It might have been on screen in his last episode/Gilmore's first episode, but if it was I'd have assumed they got it from fandom. And then there's been a couple of episodes in 1991/1992 where he as called Uncle Bob (not to his face). So turns out, it was canon.


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The Bill
Saturday 5th June 2021 11:04 am

I've been watching a lot of The Bill from 1990/1991 recently. UKTV Play had a load of it up there, and then the series I was watching suddenly said it was going at the end of May. The next series will go at the end of June. Each 'series' has about 100 episodes, which I can't realistically watch all of in a month, so I am picking out those that sound interesting.

It used to be the case that whenever you looked up a British actor you'd find they'd been on The Bill. But I keep being surprised at how many regulars were on it, playing different characters, before they were regulars.

And it's nice and simple. Maybe because I'm comparing it to Line of Duty where everyone was bent and everything was high stakes and guns were all around the place. Nothing that awful goes on in 1990/1991, most of the time, and if you need a police officer with a gun, you send Cryer out with one. Job done.

There are some things that have changed a lot. There was an episode about someone who was HIV+ and it dealt with all the prejudices people had against them (ie assuming he was gay and you can catch it just by being in the vicinity of him). These days, in this country, it's not really a thing any more. And there are a lot of episodes where they'll arrest someone just for having drugs for personal use.

And then there's the mental health. I've just been watching the Phil Young arc, which is desperately sad (he kills himself in the end). I've missed bits of it from having skipped episodes, but he clearly needed help. But as Cryer pointed out, you can't help someone who doesn't want help - and it wasn't as if people didn't try and help him. But it was amusing how split the senior officers were on the subject of stress and even whether it existed, never mind whether any of the officers were suffering from it.


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