The Continuing Errors of the ABC

Over the last few weeks I’ve been heading into work early a fair bit. No particular reason, I’ve just been in the mood. This has meant that when 4:00pm rolls around I’ve had the choice of working some extra time (and getting paid more) or going home early. Some days I’ve worked through, others I’ve scarpered.

On the days that I’ve scarpered I’ve generally got home at about 5:15. Just about the first thing I’ve done (after dumping my bag on the floor and turning on the lights) is turn on the TV so I won’t get distracted and forget to turn it on at 6:00 for Doctor Who (hey -I freely admit I have no life OK? *g*). This has resulted in me catching a fair bit of a new ABC science fiction show which I shall now blather on about.

The show is apparently called Silver Sun and is set in the 2050’s aboard a spacecraft taking a bunch of cryogenically frozen settlers to a new solar system. For no apparent reason (apart from that it’s squarely aimed at the teen market) most of the crew are whining teenagers (actually it might be something to do with the voyage taking 90 years so they want to start the crew off as young as possible, but let’s not let inconvenient facts get in the way shall we?). There are four or so adults on board, but one of them (glorifying in the title of ‘Commander Cyriax’) has been possessed by a space slug, so he probably doesn’t count. Oh and there’s two younger kids, no doubt intended to capture pre-teen viewers and keep them hooked until they move into the main demographic.

So that’s the set up. What I’ve seen so far of the plot and characterisation are pretty much what you’d expect for a show aimed at 14 year olds – I could write paragraphs on the bad science alone – but I’m still pretty impressed. Mostly by the sets, costumes and special effects. They’re actually fairly good. When I was growing up ABC science fiction was generally on a par with Plan 9 From Outer Space, but this show seems to have a budget totaling more than $2.50. And it’s harmless enough when there’s nothing else on – the end theme by itself is worth a listen, some manager in their late 30’s obviously thought that mid-90’s chipmunk techno is what the young people are rockin’ out to these days 🙂

But the main point of this rant is to poke fun at the ABC website department. In an attempt to figure out what the hell I was actually watching (since I’ve never caught more than the last half) I went over to www.abc.net.au. I found the appropriate section easily enough, Silver Sun seems to be one of their flagship shows at the moment, and while poking around the site found the episode guide. And while browsing this episode guide I noticed something rather interesting…

OK, the guide (obviously) has a listing for every episode, but only the ones that have actually screened are activated as links. Clicking on one of these takes you to a plot synopsis of the episode on a separate page. And the really interesting thing is that these synopsis pages are numbered sequentially…

Naturally I had to try and see if the future synopsis pages are available by bumping up the number in the page name, and sure enough, they are! You can view the plot of every single upcoming episode of Silver Sun by the simple expedient of tweaking the number in the URL. Spoiler city! Well done ABC! 😀

So yeah, basic rule of web design. Don’t upload anything you don’t want people to see, because insouciant provocateurs (such as myself) will inevitably find it 😉

Hmmm, before I go I’ll do a quick music round up. House of Cards by Dollar Bar, great tune with some relatively clever lyrics. You Lot by Orbital, great sample. I’m Gonna Haunt You by Fabienne De Sol – bluesy spooky cool, a lot like a Shivaree track. Chicken Payback by the Bees – complete and utter stupidity but fun stupidity. Mickey Mouse Mofo by Mocky, again clever lyrics, although with an obvious language advisory for those who are sensitive to these things 🙂

(Given that I was only able to find lyrics for one of those – if you can call a sample a “lyric” – I think I’ll have to transcribe them myself *sigh*)

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