Featured image by Joel Meyerowitz, Times Square, New York City, 1963. Via Flashbak.
We begin with a little housekeeping. Some of you will have noticed there was no drop yesterday. The inevitability of a skip day has been looming ever more since responsibilities other than The Cut (yes, we do have lives and engagements more pressing than the newsletter, distressing as that might sound) have jumped on our backs and starting nibbling at our earlobes.
So, thus and therefore, the executive decision has been made to shift The Cut’s drop point to Saturday morning. This gives our beleaguered staff a little more wiggle room to deliver on schedule and means you, our beloved Readership, can now read our compilation of curiosities in bed with a nice cup of tea. Everyone wins! Do join us in this brave new world of possibilities.
This week—Muppets! Creepy skunks! And yes, something about reading in bed.
Saturday is the time. Bed is the place. This is The Cut.
It’s all feeling a bit liminal. Although the news improves around vaccination levels and dropping R rates, life still has the frozen quality of a holding pattern. The streets remain quiet, the shops mostly closed. The pubs… better not to think about that lest we dissolve into a puddle of regretful tears. But hey, as the great seer Steve Miller put it— ‘time keeps on tickin’, tickin’, tickin’, into the future’. Bring on the summer.
Today we check out the fun you can have with explosives, consider how a Mars colony might deal with a pandemic and consider the vexed question of American cheese.
Hey, you there! Now is the time, yeah? This is the place, right? What else could this be but The Cut‽
Hail Santa! Ho, furthermore ho, and in conclusion, ho. How fares the day, our delightful Readership? We hope it finds you in an eggnogilicious mood. Ongoing changes to the lockdown rules mean that most of the staff at The Cut have been forced to stay in the office for the season, roasting chestnuts and turkey in an improvised and potentially deadly adapted microwave setup. Oh well, those of us that survive will all be laughing about it this time next year.
Let’s get the festivities started, shall we? Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin’s in a rut. Now is the time, here is the place, welcome to The Cut!
We had a link from Wired as the opener this week, on how the work/life balance has become irretrievably skewed (https://www.wired.com/story/how-work-became-an-inescapable-hellhole/ if you’re interested) but we realised you all know this already. So let’s put that nonsense to one side and instead centre up the nonsense you have come to know and love over the last several months.
This week, scary sound effects, an iconic bus route and a really rather funky musical instrument you can all play.
Now is the time, here is the place. This is The Cut.
Here we are again, my lovelies. Three months of linky goodness from Cut Command, beaming out from our transmission tower high on a hill overlooking the biggest town in the UK. We are proud to provide you, therefore, with the finest in Reading material.
Look, come on, four months of lockdown will do a number on anyone’s head. Let’s crack on, shall we? Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
Another week down. The shops reopened, but frankly we’re happy behind the walls of our compound, letting all the goodies we need come to us. Queueing, we have decided, is not our bag. We may never shop in the old-fashioned way again. Anyway. Let’s do this. Now is the time. Here is the place. This is The Cut.
After the Doctor saves the day and vworps off in the TARDIS, very little thought is given as to what happens next. Until now, that is.
YA spinoff Class pits a ragtag group of mismatched youths left in charge of a rift in space-time against alien threats. Nothing like a DW retread of the Buffyverse, then…
To be fair, Class is smarter and much more watchable than the setup suggests. Join Rob, Clive and Curiosity as they check out the pilot episode!
Onwards with Spooky SFF month, as we discuss a massively influential slice of hauntological freakiness: Nigel Kneale’s terrifying The Stone Tape.
It ticks all the boxes: 70s setting, shot on video, Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack. A sharply empathetic performance from Jane Asher helps to elevate this story, but the whole thing is deeply unnerving and still bloody scary.
This is what happens when you try to solve the science behind hauntings…
Includes the first instance of a new term from Rob: cathode-punk.
GUYSGUYSGUYS! The Stone Tape is on Cosmic VideyouTube! Dim the lights, pour yourself a scotch and indulge.
Kinda, unfairly, has a reputation as one of the worst episodes of Davidson-era Doctor Who, largely based on the slightly duff effects at its climax. OK, sure, the ‘terrifying embodiment’ of the villainous Mara is pretty poor by today’s standard…or any time, frankly.
But, as Rob and Clive make clear, there’s a hell of a lot more to Kinda then one ten-foot-tall rubber snake. Cycles of life and death, good and evil, peace and war. A satirical take on colonialism. And some eerily effective dream sequences, that still have the power to un-nerve us even now. A deeply atypical episode of Fifth Doctor goodness. Join our gestalt mind and discover more…
Star Trek: Deep Space 9 is often thought of as the darkest of the franchises, but it had its lighter moments. Take the 20th Anniversary commemorative episode, a goofy, utterly delightful celebration of everything that makes the show such a beloved SF benchmark for so many people.
It’s got time-travel, Terry Farrell in THAT dress, a proper cantina fight and an exploding Tribble! What more could you want?
Hey, if you have Netflix, you can check out Trials And Tribble-ations right snecking now! If not, here’s a taster…