Tag Archives: Blake’s 7

Blog Statistics and Paul Darrow

26 Sep

I freely admit that the statistics for my blog fascinate me.  I can never predict just what is going to get good readership, except for anything involving Benedict Cumberbatch.  Then my readership goes through the roof.  If he ever stops being popular, God help my blog.

This week I have noticed something curious with the search engine statistics.  These stats tell me what internet searches are leading people to my blog, presumably so I can tag my posts more effectively.  What it actually is is a wet dream for anyone who loves statistics, ie me.  For some reason this past week the world has been fixated on the actor Paul Darrow.  Everyday there is at least one search for Paul Darrow that leads some poor sod to my blog.  I do hope they’re enjoying their visits.

I have one burning question, well two really.  Why Paul Darrow?  Why now?

He hasn’t died.  After the first few searches I went into panic induced internet search mode in case he’d toppled off his perch and I wasn’t aware of it.

For those that don’t know, Paul Darrow was one of the stars of the 1970’s BBC science fiction series “Blake’s 7”.  His character was the thoroughly unlikeable Kerr Avon.  It goes without saying that Kerr Avon became the most popular character in the show.

However, “Blake’s 7” screened over 30 years ago, so why the sudden internet interest in one of the stars? 

All I can think is that it is an offshoot from ComicCon in Cardiff, Wales the other week.  Friends who attended lost no time in telling me that he’d been there.  Pretty sure my wail of envious anguish could be heard in the UK.

It’s all it can be.  My own internet searches have revealed no news about Paul that could have lead people to my blog.

Whatever the reasons, it is nice to see an actor I admire so much once again the focus of attention.  If that attention brings people to my blog, then that’s just a happy benefit for me.

The Scary Adventures of a Fan Fiction Writer

13 Mar

Why scary?  I’ll explain.  It all started last week when I attracted someone that has stalkerish tendencies.  But before I get into that, I’ll give you a little background.

I started writing fan fiction 30 odd years ago.  The first fandom I got into, and what started me writing, was Blake’s 7.  It was also the very first time I wrote a fan letter to an actor.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Paul Darrow.  Not only did he send me an autographed photo of himself as Kerr Avon, he actually wrote me a sweet little letter.  I was heartbroken many years later when I lost the letter whilst shifting homes.

I didn’t write much Blake’s 7 fan fiction as I was mostly writing for my own amusement.  Then an American penfriend pointed me in the direction of fanzines.  It is a mind blowing feeling to see something you have written in print.  I wrote a few more stories and gently drifted away from it.

Later I became interested in Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Found writing ST:TNG fic too difficult as it was too technical for me.  Ended up doing book reviews for a local Star Trek fan club magazine.  Still writing, and still lots of fun.

Then NCIS came along.  I loved the show from the pilot episode, “Yankee White”, but didn’t get into the fandom until around season 5 when I discovered the NCIS fan wiki.  My latent interest in writing awoke and I started writing again.  Joking and larking around with two internet friends provided the genesis of my major fan fic work.  A NCIS AU (alternate universe) series called “NCIS: Mavericks”.  I had 3 original characters, all female, but the one who ended up centre stage was an Aussie cop named Samantha “Sam” Wallace.  I found that with writing and publishing online that I ended up being in an interesting position.  A fan with fans of her own!  Very strange and also very much a product of our internet age.  This could never have happened in the days of the old printed fanzines.

About a month ago a good friend lead me to Sherlock…and I was instantly smitten.  Started talking about my new discoveries of both Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch with great enthusiasm.  This obviously provoked the ire of the stalker creep I mentioned above.

Out of the blue I started getting messages from two people, whom in retrospect I believe was one person with two internet personas.  This person began accusing me of committing adultery!  Hello?  I’m not even married!  A cautious (on my part) exchange of messages revealed that in this person’s opinion I was cheating on Leroy Jethro Gibbs with one Sherlock Holmes!!!  My initial response was “What’s the weather like on your planet?”, then I started to worry.  How the hell could anyone believe that a real person could be involved in a sexual relationship with not one, but two, FICTIONAL characters?

I ran for my bolthole…the company of my very special friends, who even though they are scattered around the world, are always there for me.  It was one of these who got to the heart of the matter.  She pointed out that this person thought I WAS my creation, Sam Wallace!

I went from being very worried to being seriously freaked out!  There then followed a social media purge of the sort of epic proportions that would not have been out of place in Stalinist Russia!

And the results of all this drama and fear?  A real empathy for actors whose fans insist that they and their characters are one and the same.  Having been stalked in the past, my paranoia levels are now at danger levels, and nuclear meltdown is a distinct possibility.  The saddest result though is that right at this moment I feel like I never want to write any fan fiction ever again.  NCIS: Mavericks may never be finished.  The cute Sherlock plot bunny I had involving Mycroft’s umbrella and World War III, has curled up and died.

In a weird coincidence I came online this morning to write this and discovered that Benedict Cumberbatch is being stalked by his neighbor.  I understand his feelings all too well.  But don’t let her get to you, Benedict.  Stalkers are mostly cowardly arseholes  who, having no lives of their own, want to force their way into the lives of others.

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