Category Archives: Comedy

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE – HITLER’S LAST SECRET, TWITTER VIEW

135973I hadn’t planned for this to be a thing. I’d simply had The Tomorrow People languishing on disc upstairs and had read so much about it that I thought I should go beyond the first season and a half that I had watched and have a butcher’s at some of the later episodes. And where else to start than the one with Hitler in it?

I quite enjoyed Tweeting about it and people joined in, so here are the results in one easy to follow blog post.

As Twitter is not a solo pursuit when done properly, I have also included some Tweets from others who propelled me along with cyber banter as my jaw dropped ever further… Thanks to them for joining in. Here goes:

PROLOGUE

Well, I was going to watch an Armchair Theatre but I’m in a mood so sod it: I’m going to do the Tomorrow People story with an alien Hitler.

EPISODE ONE

Tomorrow People: Mike’s going to a disco dressed as a Nazi! John voices his disapproval. Whatever Hsui Tai’s reaction is is indecipherable.

(Graeme Burk ‏@graemeburk
@TobyHadoke True fact: in Roger Price’s script, TIM’s next line is “Actually Hitler is a [name of alien race from “A Rift In Time”]”

Graeme Burk ‏@graemeburk
@TobyHadoke It’s batshit insane. Hugely offensive. But it has Michael Sheard, so most fans forgive it.)

Tomorrow People: Sitcom favourites Nicholas Lyndhurst and Ray Burdis are, respectively, a German & an English Nazi. Mike is getting tempted!

Leon_Eagles_HLS02Tomorrow Ppl: Brit officer tells John he ran over a boy. “I trust you called the police?” is John’s immediate response. He’s SO responsible!

Tomorrow People: 5 buttons on John’s shirt. He’s only done 2 up. He’s not THAT sensible, then, there’s a bit of a beast in Mr Straight!

Tomorrow People: “Do you know who Hitler is Mike?” could be one of the worst sci-fi lines ever were it not for what comes after it…

Tomorrow People: “Hitler isn’t dead. Hitler is Nebor from the planet Vashir. A galactic shape changing psychopath.”

(*gobsmacked*)

(AIEEEEEEEvan Kirby@ellothisisivan 
@TobyHadoke I’m fascinated by Nebor’s eye. Does it regularly fall off? Is he forever picking it up & putting it back?

Gareth Roberts ‏@OldRoberts953
@hellothisisivan @TobyHadoke That went out on my tenth birthday. I was APPALLED.

Toby Hadoke @tobyhadoke
@OldRoberts953 @hellothisisivan I’ve never seen it before. It’s… I’m not sure what it is. Crikey.

AIEEEEEEEvan Kirby ‏@hellothisisivan Oct 8
@TobyHadoke @OldRoberts953 Jaw-droppingly misjudged.)

Tomorrow People: Hitler is actually Mr Bronson.

(I didn’t Tweet as much as I’d like as I was distracted with an exchange which I think demonstrates one of the dangers of being a comedian on Twitter. My Tweets are in blue and my correspondent’s (whose handle I have disguised out of courtesy) are in green:

Tomorrow People: Hitler is actually Mr Bronson.

@TobyHadoke A bit over the top, Mr. Hadoke?

@???* Just a statement of fact. M Sheard who played Mr Bronson is Hitler in this. But now you mention it, he is over the top!

@TobyHadoke Isn’t Sheard dead?

@???* Sigh. There is a thing called a DVD…

@TobyHadoke I know. I know. Sorry about that Toby. I did a bit of research on him and that is when I found out what I think you.

Tomorrow People: Hitler is pleased that television is popular. “You will obey me”, he declares, before adding an Oliver Hardy-esque

@TobyHadoke I don’t think anybody can say if Hitler is pleased or not because he has been dead for 70 years.

@???* You’re taking this out of context ???*. I’m watching an episode of the Tomorrow People.

@TobyHadoke Sorry mate. I just hear so much about people being compared to Hitler.

@???* I did handily preface every Tweet with the words “Tomorrow People”.

@TobyHadoke I caught it in the middle Toby. I am sorry about that.

*There’s no harm done with the above exchange – I regularly correspond with the person in question and will continue to do so. it just illustrates how stick can quickly be grabbed at the wrong end on social media.

EPISODE TWO

Tomorrow People: John gets tough with Ray Burdis and calls him “Square ‘ead”. I think I love John. He’s sensible AND mean.

Tomorrow People: “I asked for 50 men,” frets Leon Eagles to his platoon of 6, clearly unaware that he’s in a show with a small budget.

tp11Tomorrow People: Hitler’s true form is revealed – a cascade of swarfega and a badly attached eye.

Tomorrow People: Eagles escapes from his troops by ambling away – fortunately they give up immediately after firing a burst at him.

Tomorrow People: Hitler is pleased that television is popular. “You will obey me”, he declares, before adding an Oliver Hardy-esque “Mmmm!”.

Tomorrow People: Mike has stunned John, Leon Eagles and Hsui Tai! In the case of the latter it hasn’t made much of a difference…

Tomorrow People: Yay: and it all ends on a joke about John being a bit of a Hitler. All good, clean, Nazi-alien fun!

Tomorrow People: Damn. I’m at my destination – no time to watch the next one which seems to feature a spaceship with a talking penis!

I have since watched this episode. I will publish the results at some point.

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE – THE LIVING SKINS TWITTER VIEW

THE TOMORROW PEOPLE

The Living Skins

135973I’ve had a bit of fun on twitter – Tweeting along as I watched The Tomorrow People, of which I’ve only seen a very few episodes of up till now. I am well aware of the show and could name most of the cast but I’ve never really given it my time. So when on a train journey I decided to watch some stories in a random order.

I just went for the ones I fancied at the time – a imposition in order to prevent me from being all OCD and get bogged down in episodes I didn’t fancy by watching chronologically (I watched the first series and start of the second last year and I think I yearned for a bit of variety).

I started with Hitler’s Last Secret as I had an inkling that it was something I had to see. I wasn’t wrong, and I shared my incredulity on Twitter. People seemed to enjoy it and so I watched other episodes. Now, not having planned ahead I didn’t hashtag everything so that it’d be easy to follow, so when I get the chance I’m going to pop them all here – each one getting one easy-to-follow blog post. They may amuse and  might be briefly diverting: I hope so.

Where some Tweets had – out of necessity dictated by the 140 character count – abbreviations or grammatical compromises I have tidied them up here.

Having enjoyed my train viewing I was alone at home one night and thought I’d do more…

PRELUDE

Can’t watch The Apprentice till Chez gets back from swimming so … The Tomorrow People: The Living Skins it is …

EPISODE ONE

Tomorrow People: A sightly creepy shop assistant works in a place where Mike picks out a horrid orange jumpsuit new outfit for Hsui Tai.

Tomorrow People: John’s got a cold. It looks real. The baddies are alien balloons. They don’t.

Tomorrow People: Mike and Hsui Tai are in their shiny new fetish suits. Mike’s horrid to Andrew about his kilt: Mike feels angry then sexy.

Tomorrow People: I mean, the aliens really are balloons. Not balloons with added special effects. Or a hat. They’re balloons. Just balloons.

Clever rubber clothes!
Clever rubber clothes!

Tomorrow People: Actually very beguiling plot-wise – the repairing skin, the atmospheric interference which leaves Our Heroes on their own.

Tomorrow People: I like the creepy shop owner too: he’s beahaving as if he’s being played by David Walliams after a season at the RSC.

Tomorrow People: John & Elizabeth tell Mike and Hsui Tai to take their clothes off. Tsui Tai is very upset but does her best not to show it.

Tomorrow People: John has shot Mike and Hsui Tai! He tries to take their clothes off but they’re stuck. Now Tim wants to “examine’ them!

Tomorrow People: The balloons are bouncing around very angrily in the cellar. Their dialogue is nearly as discernible as Hsui Tai’s.

Tomorrow People: Mike and Hsui Tai are literally fashion victims. The skin is intelligent: nice idea. Tsui Tai’s bed linen is terrifying.

Kudos to actor Ralph Lawson who does a good job as the creepy shop assistant.
Kudos to actor Ralph Lawson who does a good job as the creepy shop assistant.

Tomorrow People: Creepy shop assistant is doing lots of scary eye acting : he invites John and Elizabeth downstairs. Andrew falls asleep.

Tomorrow People: : “John, what are they?” “Aliens I should think.” God he’s good. Most people’s first guess would have been “Balloons”.

Tomorrow People: Good ep ending. John & Elizabeth attacked by balloons (out of shot). Tim cries “Andrew” forlornly has he’s smothered by a jumpsuit.

EPISODE TWO

s3_The_Living_Skins_e2_Cold_War.mkv_snapshot_03.11_[2011.04.25_22.56.30]Tomorrow People: Mike looks around the room and studiously avoids seeing Andrew till the last moment. The empty jumpsuit attacks them!

Tomorrow People: Oh no! John and Elizabeth have been taken over! John is really creepy: being taken over brings out the cad in his diction.

Tomorrow People: John & Elizabeth get free denim jackets from the aliens to disguise their jumpsuits. Which they immediately remove & blow their cover.

Tomorrow People: The bubble skin doesn’t stick to John. He’s obviously far too sensible to be overcome by fashion. He’s got a cold again. Ah!

Tomorrow People: The bubbles are invading. Which seems to involve bouncing down country lanes and annoying old people who run away slowly.

Tomorrow People: A Canadian newsreader’s clearly been taken over by the bubble people & is issuing bubble propaganda with a shiny bubble face.

Tomorrow People: Ooh, Tim’s been on Space Wikipedia & it seems the bubbles envelop us and slowly digest us. Yuck. John’s cold acting v good.

Tomorrow People: Dave Carter is a bubble chinned security man. For the greater good John & Mike have to let him attack a lady.John looks grim

 

In space, people can still hear you being told off : especially if you're Mike.
In space, people can still hear you being told off : especially if you’re Mike.

Tomorrow People: Even after fending off a balloon with a fire extinguisher whilst in space John finds time to tick Mike off. Poor Mike: he tries.

Tomorrow People: Everyone’s got a cold. The bubble people leave: creepy shop man ends up alone & in his pants. It ends with a laboured joke.
Hopefully I can add some of my earlier Tweet views of The Tomorrow People in later blogs.

THE DAD WHO FELL TO EARTH

THE DAD WHO FELL TO EARTH

As I type this you have just over three weeks to catch The Dad Who Fell To Earth on iPlayer. It is a play I wrote for Radio 4 about a man who discovers that his recently deceased father wasn’t a door-to-door salesman as he thought but in fact an alien from a  distant world charged with preventing the destruction of mankind. It’s about grief and loss and a purple planet with clever cats.

dadwhofelltoearth

The play stars Ronald Pickup as Russ, Cherylee Houston as Jan, Alexandra Mathie as Wendy, Lee Fenwick and Pete/Steve, and Zoe Iqbal and Chelsea. Oh, and me. The producer os the fabulous Charlotte Riches. Most of us are pictures below.

IMG_2792

I can honestly say that is has been the most rewarding engagement of my professional life so far – the writing process was smooth, the cast are fabulous and Charlotte has done an amazing job with the edit (Sound by Sue Stonestreet, one of the unsung heroes of the radio department at the BBC in Salford). I’m delighted to say the the play received Pick Of The Week in The Independent, The Observer, The Telegraph and The Mail.

Daily Mail copy

You can listen on it here (depending on what date you read this):

EXCITING NEWS!

BACK IN THE WEST END!

garrick_theatre_london

Well, this is exciting : for one night only Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf and My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver will be in a double bill at the famous Garrick Theatre in London’s West End. It’s a 900 seater. My Mum’s coming, so now we only need another 800 of you to keep her company.

Garrick
We’re gonna need a bigger audience…

There promises to be a bit of an An Audience With kinda vibe, with a number of Doctor Who luminaries on the invite list. It’ll be an ideal warm- up for the 50th Anniversary as the show will be taking place just under a week before that giddy time. So put 17th November in your diary (7pm), and maybe get a ticket for that friend of yours who needs a special present to celebrate this amazing milestone for both Doctor Who and  – thanks to this performance produced by James Seabright and Lee Martin of Gag Reflex – this humble fan.

When tickets went live most of the seats in the front 10 rows were snapped up immediately, and punters from Russia and the USA booked themselves in, so you know, if you think the trip for, say, Kent, is an arduous one, you really have no excuse not to see the show which has won acclaim from press and comics (including Sarah Millican) alike. All the nice things that have been said about it are here.

Tickets are available here.

New Edinburgh Show and Gig List June-October 2012

Well, I’ve bowed to the pressure and am currently working on a sequel to Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf which I have entitled My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver. It will be the story of my life and Doctor Who since the  end of the last show, covering personal triumphs and disasters whilst mentioning Meglos and fuming about The Only Way Is Essex. Like Moths… it will be suitable for a non-Who crowd and its vocabulary and subject matter will be suitable for children (though it is not aimed specifically at them). It’ll get its own page on the website soon, and will be previewing throughout July. In the meantime, tickets and details for the Edinburgh run are here.

I have been ill so sadly took most of May off work, but will be back on my feet by mid June, and so my current gig list has been updated : this includes details of My Stepson… and its preview dates. The gig list is here.

LAST MINUTE CHARITY GIG AND LATEST NEWS

I’ve been added as a last minute replacement (I know my place) to compere a great bill at a charity gig for London Pathway. I am MC for a bill that includes Josh Widdicombe, Hal Cruttenden, Mitch Benn, Scott Cappurro, Adam Bloom and Tom Allen. Excellent stuff.

For more info, go here (see where it says Paul Tonkinson’s name? That’s where mine will be):

I have also updated my Gig List.

In light of the death of Philip Madoc recently, I would like to point you in the direction of an article I did about him a while ago:

I Know The Face But … #1 Philip Madoc

I had the pleasure of working with Philip only in December, and he will be sorely missed. Thankfully, much of his work will be around forever for us, and those lucky blighters in the future, to enjoy.

Me, sound legend Brian Hodgson, and Philip Madoc

Quickies:

XS Malarkey goes from strength to strength and has enjoyed its new heaters as well as some fantastic bills (comedy line-ups, not heating bills : though they’ve been quite big).

I have written two new jokes for my forthcoming Edinburgh show. I have a title, I think, but for now let’s just say that it will be a direct follow on from Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf.

And I’m back on The 7th Dimension on March 17th ; there’s some good stuff there to stimulate your brain nodes.