Planet of the lack of Human Rights….

Ok, I’ve been promising this one for a little while – and it’s being typed by the power of my monitor alone (I said to John that Karree Gorrock Gorrock, Perdanesta Zell would be a great chant for the Monitor and naturally he agreed with me – Barry said there might be some chant left over from his time on the show, but it was Buddist, so I wasn’t going to use that magical stuff) – I can see this Chris Bidmead thing running for a while, you have been warned –  during Earth Hour, so the typing may be far worse then usual. Quickly talking of Earth Hour, I appreciate that its a symbolic thing, but its completly failed around here in Crawley – lights blazing out everywhere – I live among morons, sorry, but I do…I have very little respect for them and that shames me more then them, if I’m honest.

For those wanting some more about Jersey, please be patient…Im trying to feed two seperate groups of folk on this blog. I do fully appreciate how important the Jersey stuff is, and plans are aofot for a podcast about it, but its very early days yet.

Right then..Planet of the Dead for those that don’t know, is the second of the specials that will see out David Tennant as the Doctor in BBC TV’s far-too-popular-for-its-own-good-I-still-like-the-one-with-the-scarf flagship programme, Doctor Who.

So, it’s Doctor Who and I’m a BIGGGGG fan of the show, both old and new. So why should I have a problem with this particular special? Well, the title of this particular blog entry will tell you – face facts, if you ain’t worked it out by now just keep banging the rocks together. (Ooh, but I’m snarky tonight – apologies. I blame accidently watching Robin Hood – oh the pain, the pain).

The special has been filmed in Dubai, a place that is fast becoming the incredibly decadent tourist attraction of choice. Fine. Want decadence? Ok, not a problem. But when that level of luxuary is built on a heap of Human Rights abuses, then I have… problems. What abuses? Well, I’ll mention the way labour is treated there, but for the rest, I think it’s time that you lot did some research of your own, yeah? If you can’t be bothered to, well, thats down to you and your conscience.

What the hell Cardiff were thinking when they gave Dubai lots of lovely liscense fee money for no other reason then ‘getting some sand in the shot – innit pretty?’ bewilders me.

Or it would if I didn’t have a nasty, suspicious mind.

‘I know, look, it’s our last throw of the dice, we’re all leaving, lets go somewhere nice. Hooray! Marvelous! Trebles and squashed double deckers all round!’

Cynical? Moi?

If the Doc were to actually land there – yeah, its fiction, I know, this is a hypothetical situation, get with it – I have a feeling that he’d topple the government there overnight qv: Happiness Patrol. Filming in a place with such a bad record betrays the concepts that cardiff have been talking about since the show came back. And could well be a case of one of the worst descisions, morally, that has happened to the show since it started back in ’63.

So, my problem now is – and its a unique one for me – do I actually watch Planet of the Dead and become complicit in such a thing?

Can I ignore my Fan Gene and not watch? I’m going to be very honest here and say that I truly don’t know. Time will tell.

5 Responses to “Planet of the lack of Human Rights….”

  1. 1 Wyn
    March 30, 2009 at 11:36 am

    In fairness Tony, I completely forgot about Earth hour. It wasn’t exactly hugely publicised.
    With regards to the Doctor Who Dubai thing, it’s very difficult not to be complicit in unsavoury international politics in just about anything we do. Some examples of where you could say you shouldn’t watch Doctor Who:
    1996 Movie (with the Pertwee logo) – Filmed in Canada who have a fairly poor record of animal welfare with regards to Seal culls.
    Daleks in Manhatten – Exterior plate shots filmed in US – fairly poor human rights record with regards to the execution of prisoners with mental health problems / handicaps (plus it wasn’t very good)
    Doctor Who – 1963 to the present day – filmed in the UK, who also has some poor human rights records. Sells arms to some fairly unsavoury regimes. Imprisons people without trial or court intervention for up to 4 weeks. Is complicit in torture of terror suspects.
    Where do you draw the line?
    A key example of this is Morrisey (formerly of The Smiths). A couple of years ago, he publicly announced that he would not be touring Canada because of their support for seal culling. This seemed to me to be the height of hypocrisy. He lives in the US, who are not exactly backwards when it comes to a lack of gun control and the right of every citizen to blow the crap out of every living animal.
    Everything we do in the modern world seems to be effectively supporting somewhere down the line something that we find morally repugnant. Either we stop watching tv / buying goods / eating food / travelling – and effectively stop engaging with the world, or we do our best to raise the issues and accept that we can’t be perfect in this world.
    My advice is to watch the episode, (hopefully) enjoy it, and join Amnesty International and pledge your support.

  2. 2 Harlow
    March 31, 2009 at 9:18 am

    I thought Morrissey lived in Rome?

    The Doctor Who thing is probably a nice jolly for the departing crew at licence payers expense.
    They couuld have filmed it in Jersey lots of sand and corruption there.

  3. 3 macfadyan
    March 31, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    You are, of course, quitye right … in places 😛 I mean, imagine not watching Hartnell cos of his views on race? However, this is the first time I’ve actually been ‘aware’ of such things before the event, so to speak. And whilst, as you say, we can’t help but find ourselves in a ‘compromised’ position because we don’t get given a choice, here we do have a choice – we know, we have to decide if its right or if we’re going to say ‘No. Not this time. You’ve done wrong and you know it. This far and no further.’

    Its a bloody tough one to decide on, tbh. Curse you davies and your jolly to dubai ways!

  4. 4 wyn
    April 14, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Did you watch it in the end?

    I did, enjoyed it. Although perhaps as a moral judgement, my DVD recorder packed up in the middle of recording it, and won’t play any non-prerecorded disks now.

  5. 5 macfadyan
    April 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I shall be blogging about planet of the dull..er..dead..shortly 😛

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