Thick 3.4

The Thick of It 3.4

The civil servants at DoSAC prepare for a visit from shadow Social Affairs minister Peter Mannion, while Nicola has enough on her plate when her daughter’s headmaster calls.


Thick 3.3

The Thick of It 3.3

Nicola and Ollie are writing her speech for the party conference in Eastbourne, while Glenn and Malcolm clash over a great publicity opportunity.

Things really heat up until Malcolm hits Glenn, causing a nose bleed, scars and bruising to the face.


Nimh’s Secret

The Secret of NIMH (1982)

The Secret of NIMH is a 1982 American animated science fantasy adventure film directed by Don Bluth in his directorial debut. It is an adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s 1971 children’s novel Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

Voice cast

Despite the top notch painted backgrounds and animation I found this  not engaging.  It put it down to the flat voice acting. All the characters sounded similar in tone. The soundtrack (by Jerry Goldsmith) was generic and didn’t match the action very well.  The environmental sounds were under-done (or non-existent) .

And the story, while simple was dark and grim. Not what you would consider a story for children.



by Arthur C. Clarke (1951)

It may be because this is a a longer novelette (19K Words) length, but here is classic Clarke. It’s the story of conflict on the moon between Earth’s government and independent settlers on other planets in the solar system. There is a lot a plausible science and and the tension rises to it’s devastating conclusion.

The story was expanded to a novel of the same name in 1955.

Last Jedi

Star Wars – The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi[4]) is a 2017 American epic space opera film written and directed by Rian Johnson. It is the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). The film is produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, and Gwendoline Christie in returning roles, with Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, and Benicio del Toro joining the cast.

The big question fans will be asking in the future is – which is better, “The Empire Strikes Back” or “The Last Jedi”.

Two minutes into the film and it’s into the action, exciting and intense.  The movie is 2.5 hrs long, bit it feels more like 3 hours. There is just so much plot crammed into it. The best thing is the plot, it’s unexpected and ultimately satisfying. Just when you think the final objectives for our heroes has been laid down and we will proceed to a big conclusion, it changes. That’s what I like in a story.

It does answer questions about Rey and Kylo. And being the second in the trilogy sets things up nicely for the sequel.

AC Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke
The Other Tiger (1953)


First published in Fantastic Universe, June/July 1953 and collected in ‘Tales From Planet Earth’. Originally entitled ‘Refutation’, this story was re-titled by Sam Merwin, editor of Fantastic Universe, as a nod to Frank Stockton’s classic but now forgotten ‘The Lady or the Tiger’.

As it’s coming up to the anniversary  of Clarke’s birth (16 Dec 1917). So I’m reading some of the stories I missed over the years.

The first is a very short story (1.2K words)  based on the multiple universe theory:

‘Well, let’s be perfectly logical and see where it gets us. Our only assumption, remember, is that the universe is infinite.’

‘Right. Personally I don’t see what else it can be.’

‘Very well. That means there must be an infinite number of stars and planets. Therefore, by the laws of chance, every possible event must occur not merely once but an infinite number of times. Correct?’
‘I suppose so.’

It’s rather silly and in the end, everyone is eaten by a tiger.


Occasion for Disaster
by Randall Garrett (1960)

A very small slip, at just the wrong place, can devastate any enterprise. One tiny transistor can go wrong … and ruin a multi-million dollar missile. Which would be one way to stop the missiles…. (reprinted in 1963 as “Supermind).

This is a random read from the ‘Golden Age of Science Fiction‘.”

It’s well written, but the plot meanders around too much. I had the impression that the author started this without a plan. There are mildly interesting ideas, but with a weak ending it’s not surprising this has become obscure.


Thick 3.2

The Thick of it S3E2

A week since Nicola took over at DoSAC, and there’s a catastrophic error with immigration figures on the department computers. Meanwhile, the press are speculating over the new Minister’s longevity.

This episode provides a good explanation of how to stuff up ‘off the record’ comments. It also features some of Tucker’s most swearing tantrums yet.



Thick 3.1

Nicola Murray MP, new Secretary of State at DoSAC, replaces Hugh Abbott as Head of DoSAC and comes without her own staff, so Glenn and Ollie find themselves unexpectedly keeping their jobs. Meanwhile, Malcolm is arranging publicity for a by-election. The term “omnishambles” is used for the first time in this episode.

A change of personal dynamics as a woman takes on the Chris Langham role as MP. She is portrayed with more agency and more assertively. This makes it feel like Malcolm Tucker has more than he can handle.