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Top Gear Tribute Tour

By Travel and TV

So, here I am sitting in the deserted cafe of the Antarctic Centre at Christchurch Airport, waiting to pick up Marty R for the start of his birthday trip.

We’ve hired a sporty silver Mercedes so we can drive him back to his gaff in Dunedin and then hoon around Otago pretending to be rock stars. I have my sunglasses at the ready and, fingers crossed, the rain will hold off long enough to have some photos taken with the top down.

So far, I haven’t had a chance to exercise the key properties of the SLK Kompressor as all the driving so far has been in gentle Christchurch traffic but we’ll soon be on the road.

I’ll be tweeting throughout the trip, and posting longer thoughts here.

The Guv’ner

By NZ and TV

A couple of years ago, while I was running the bar at Downstage, I was lucky enough to share a couple of conversations with acting legend (and Laureate) George Henare who was playing Dracula at the time. He told us some tales of shooting the New Zealand historical epic “The Governor” back in the late 70s and I asked him why it was so difficult to actually see. He told me that the actors’ contracts stated that any further screenings meant that they got to be paid again — at the fairly extraordinary rate of 100%. I asked him whether he felt sad that so many New Zealanders wouldn’t be able to see such an important piece of work — not just the colonial history but the television history. “No,” said George, “You want to do something with it, pay me. That was the deal.”

And fair enough, too. Actors have been doing it tough in NZ for years and nowadays they don’t even get proper residuals or have to threaten to quit so that they don’t become ring tones without permission.

But imagine my surprise when @publicaddress announced that the long lost first episode of “The Governor” was available to watch online at NZ On Screen. Which is awesome. I just hope that someone remembered George.

Simpsons meet Mad Men

By Asides, Humour and TV

In lieu of something more substantive, and just before I crash for the night:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://videogum.com/v/YfTNFhdejPlq6" width="448" height="356" wmode="transparent" /]

[from this year’s Treehouse of Horror, via Kottke and Videogum]

I miss Jed Bartlet

By Asides, Current Events and TV

Aaron Sorkin imagines former President Jed Bartlet giving Candidate Obama a pep talk:

BARTLET That was a hell of a convention.

OBAMA Thank you, I was proud of it.

BARTLET I meant the Republicans. The Us versus Them-a-thon. As a Democrat I was surprised to learn that I don’t like small towns, God, people with jobs or America. I’ve been a little out of touch but is there a mandate that the vice president be skilled at field dressing a moose —

Like finding a lost episode of “The West Wing”, this has made my day.

[via Maureen Dowd’s column in the New York Times]

What Would Don Draper Do?

By Asides and TV

From a current favourite micro-blog, What Would Don Draper Do?

91. Dear Don Draper, Do you have any views on men using Facebook?

Yes, the same ones I have of men wearing brassieres.

I’m up to Ep 5 of Season Two of “Mad Men”, courtesy of the Internet, and I’m really enjoying it. Like Season One, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere (and is taking it’s own sweet time getting there) but I’m confident I’m in good hands.