The Martians are coming!

With the news of a brand new BBC adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds by Peter Harness (who adapted Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell – also for the BBC), I thought I’d pay a visit to the H.G. Wells statue in my hometown of Woking, where Wells wrote (and set the beginning of) War of the Worlds.

All photos were taken by the iPhone XS Max – and it did a particularly excellent job given that it was super windy and raining heavily at the time, and I was trying to balance an umbrella, a bag and the phone simultaneously and was shaking the phone about like a good ‘un.  But thanks to the iPhone’s computational photography and ability to start storing frames in a buffer before I’ve even pressed the shutter button, and along with taking a whole slew of photos – overexposed, underexposed and everything in between and combining them – I think they came out just great.

(I’m assuming the ball that Wells is holding relates to the space capsule from The First Men in the Moon)

Wells moved to Working in 1895 and lived here for about a year and half.  During that time he wrote War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man. 

Woking’s science fiction connections were also recently bolstered by the Phillip K. Dick (Blade Runner) anthology TV series, Electric Dreams (produced by Channel 4 in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video) which had set an episode at Woking train station and told of a railway worker who journeys to a mysterious, unmarked town called Macon Heights.

Meanwhile, much closer to where I live, we had The End of the F***ing World shoot some material for the first episode.  The series was recently nominated for a BAFTA and Emmy and has been renewed for a second season.

Worth watching: Aggretsuko (Netflix)

As a big fan of Japan’s Studio Ghibli and Studio Ponoc anime, I came across this rather strange show through my RSS news feed and decided I had to watch it.

Aggretsuko is a TV show from Netflix that’s based around a character from the Sanrio, the mascot company that brought us Hello Kitty.  Unlike Hello Kitty, however, Aggretsuko is definitely an adults-only affair.

Retsuko is a 25 year old female red panda that works in the accounting office of a trading firm. Struggling to deal with the pressures from her overbearing superiors and co-workers, she takes out frustrations by singing death metal – either in the toilets of the company or more likely at a local Karaoke bar.

As the series progresses, we see Retsuko open up to her co-workers and ultimately befriends two high powered individual women within the company who help her to address the problems of her overbearing boss, Director Ton (a big fat pig).  Prior to this, Retsuko dreams of leaving the company by marrying and becoming a full-time housewife.

As to how she manages all this, you’ll just have to watch the show.  It’s extremely funny – highly satirical, bold, and addresses the many problems of being a salaryman or salarywoman in modern Japanese culture.  The death metal sequences alone are worth watching out for as Retsuko takes it all out in the angriest way possible.

This show is best enjoyed in the original Japanese with English subtitles.

I do hope we get a season two, as this show is seriously one of the best things I’ve seen in a long while.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some death metal to sing…