Be friends. Reach out. Make peace with those you've upset, or been upset by. Engage, and remember we're stronger together. Also: nuder together. Nuh... n... NUDES!
So, the Friday Letters Page is back. It won't be every Friday, but we'll make sure we keep doing them from time to time. We'll get another one in before Christmas.
I know a lot of you miss my written stuff, but after the past couple of years, where I was getting severely burnt out, I needed some time away from it (though I still write blogs on my Patreon page). Not writing on here this year has afforded me more time to be creative in other ways. Never say never, but hopefully you've enjoyed some of the other stuff I've done over the past 12 months.
The final two eps of Lost Footage were, I'd argue, something very special, and I'm very proud of how our podcast is turning out. And the Digi Halloween Special has been another highlight.
For me, it has all been incredibly creatively fulfilling. So, big-ups to those who have supported it. You can too, via my Patreon. Candidly, I could do with the money, as I don't have the extra cash these days to plough back into my various creative nonsenses.
One last thing. It's not much of a tribute, but this letters page is dedicated to Gaming Mill, who we sadly lost earlier this year. No, that isn't a joke. It just would feel wrong not to mention him here, as he was such a regular fixture on this page over the years, even if his letters became increasingly sporadic, as his health worsened. I can't say I knew him well, yet he was an important part of the Digi Community, and he had - one way or another - been in my orbit since the mid-00s. He was a true eccentric, and I admit... when it came to putting this page together, I felt his absence. RIP.
Let's do letters! Send one in for next time: email@example.com
Hey, uhhh how many goats would I be worth? My pal Priti says I’m only worth one goat and I've been messed up for days over it.
Boris in London
Calvary Greetings Mr. Biffo
I have two million tins of beans residing in my cellar account. If you send me 150 tins of peas I'll transfer your then rightfully purchased beans to you and your selected cellar account.
This is a risky free transaction!!!
Jon Clay, North Curry, Somerset
I decided to write a letter to Digitiser2000 but then decided not to. Or did I? Or didn't I?
Hi Mr. Biffo! I’ve missed the crazy musings of other Digitiser denizens. I’m gonna have an Evercade for Xmas and was wondering what you think of it? Retro Handheld with Cartridges is certainly a novel idea, I’m just hoping they continue support for it!
Great to be back on the letters page (providing of course this makes the cut).
Anyway. Press reveal.
Greetings oh Lord Biffington.
I've been thinking recently about 'Original' Digi and the limitations of Teletext itself. Do you think the ridiculously small amount of text you had to work with was creatively useful? Or were you banging your head against it every day?
Have you ever thought of putting out a few special pages on Teefax?
MOAR FAT SOW PLEASE!
As for doing special teletext pages... I did a whole week of brand new Teletext-era Digi for its 25th anniversary - on here - a couple of years ago. As for doing more...? No. Probably not. It's a pain in the arse.
It’s a pleasure to be able to write to the Digi Friday letters page once again. What a surreal/bloody awful year it’s been. I do hope you and yours are all doing well, all things considered - and that goes for everyone in our Digi family too.
What’s struck me throughout 2020, apart from the fatal political pratfalls of our elected representatives, is just how much I need the social side of my working life. Working from home, while a godsend that’s meant I’ve been pretty sheltered from everything and have been fine physically and financially, has taken its toll in other ways - the monotony, repetitiveness and lack of social interaction do weird things to you. The way time seems to feel interminably elongated, and also somehow passing incredibly rapidly at the same time, for one.
In the middle of all that, shining like a beacon in the fog, has been you and your full-spectrum media cannon. We’ve been so spoilt! Lost Footage had absurdly high production values and featured some of your strongest ever work; the storytime videos were engrossing yarns; the regular Digi vids were always loads of fun; the Halloween special was a Biffo bonanza; and you showed that your talents stretch to music production by putting out an album, for crying out loud. Hell, I’ve “even” found your Marillion podcast unmissable! To say you’ve been busy wouldn’t be doing you justice.
This has all been public service output at its finest - you’re like the whimsical 21st Century Dame Vera Lynn, helping with morale and keeping us all going. Not to put pressure on you or anything! But I hope you realise just how big a part you’ve played for a lot of us in being able to cope with 2020. I know I’ve been grateful for it all.
I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been able to throw myself into working on Super Page 58, too, which has kept me occupied for much of the year and proved to be a welcome distraction and focus. It’s clear how important this has been for me. Shout-out to Tim Bisley and Matt Barney for their heroic contributions and support - especially with the recent mother lode of 41 editions of recovered Digi!
This has been a year where I’ve found myself getting more actively involved in the teletext community, too - I loved chatting to Dan Farrimond for the Teletext R podcast, and, as terrifying as my turn at the online Blocktober event was, I’m glad I did it. David Walford, Alistair Cree, and everyone else who was involved deserve immense credit for putting it on and running it so well.
There are so many great people in this community - that’s why it really does feel like a family, in a way that seems quite unique. Or at least it does from what I’ve seen of other online communities, anyway. We’re lucky to have it - so thanks for taking the time to reassemble the gang like this and remind ourselves of what we’ve got.
Oh, and I have to mention this before I go. A funny thing happened to me this week - my mother, who is, shall we say, a rather “eccentric” person - decided to surprise me by nominating me to go on the next series of Mastermind, with Digi as my specialist subject. I didn’t know anything about this, and hadn’t ever expressed a desire to appear, apart from joking about what it would be like with Dan on Teletext R. But no, she listened to the podcast, thought I was serious, and has put me forward.
Now, obviously, there is no way on earth I’m going on that show. Nope, nope, nope. It’s fun to daydream, but like a matter/antimatter collision, the chance of it happening vanishes on contact with reality. No thanks.
And that got me thinking about how Digi has similarly always existed in the margins, like contact with the mainstream would make it evaporate. To your credit, you’ve often tried to sneak in references into your shows - what are some of your favourites? I remember you saying that you wanted to get Danny Boyd (Luton area) into one of them - did that ever happen?
Assuming there isn’t some fundamental quantum mechanical reason why Digi can’t exist brazenly out and proud on mainstream TV, which characters from your cast of thousands do you think would work best/would you most like to get a show of their own? The Snakes had their own puppets at one point, after all...
Anyway, another lengthy despatch from me again, sorry about that - though it has been 8 months since the last letters page, so I guess it kind of evens out.
Hope the rest of 2020 treats everyone well, and that we can all get together in the Hatch End sun next year for Digi Live 2.0 - at last. I think we can actually dare to hope that it’ll happen now.
We’ll all deserve a massive party by then, that’s for sure.
I am indeed still on the margins with most of my stuff - I do think Lost Footage deserves a bigger audience, as it has done terribly, even by the low viewing numbers of the Digitiser channel! But most of what I've done this year has been to entertain myself, and if other people have enjoyed it, that's a bonus, especially during this godawful time. A double bonus if they're enjoying my Marillion podcast!
There's one more thing to come though - that I've wanted to do for years, and almost did as a follow-up to Found Footage - before the year is out. I shall say no more, but it'll be a Christmas week surprise, and it's in a medium/format I've never before attempted.
But thank you for continuing all your hard work on Super Page 58. This has been one hell of a year for classic Digi discoveries.
Danny Boyd did indeed end up in one of my shows; he was a main character in 4 O'Clock Club for a couple of years. Look it up!
Characters from Digi that'd work in their own show? I dunno. I think all the Digi pantheon are kind of one-joke (if that) characters, and work in small doses. That said, if I'm allowed to choose any of my characters... I think a Yuri and Kenny Masters (from Found Footage) series could work.
Good luck with Mastermind, and keep up the excellent archiving!
I recently watched your Halloween special and Ghost Hunt videos expecting them to be the usual brand of light-hearted poo based whimsy, possibly including the consumption of a foodstuff that would make somebody pull a face.
Instead, I found them a dangerous journey into the dark art of necromancy. I am shocked that you would find entertainment in the forbidden lore of invoking the spirits of the dead, particularly as one of the members of your group (Mr Paul Gannon) is clearly doing so for his own twisted & depraved reasons.
The entire experience left me worried that Satan may have been able to work his dark influence through the internet by me watching it, so much so that I have had to carry out an Exorcism on my dog to prevent the PRINCE OF LIES from gaining a foothold in my house. Needless to say, this was a complete success although brought me to the attention of the good folks at the RSPCA and you will be able to see the entire incident on an upcoming episode of The Dog Rescuers with Alan Davies on Channel 5.
In conclusion, I hope that this entire experience can be soon put behind us and we can get back to the normal business of trying to blow yourself up with indoor fireworks or bringing back that charming Bean gentleman. No more consorting with Beelzebub and risking your eternal soul!
Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury (retired)
Welcome home to the letters page, in a Peters and Lee style!
With pantos going on, Princess Peach would have to be in Cinderella and also maybe a special appearance by Alfred Chicken.
Twice nightly with the Krankies and the Barron Knights including Bella Emberg playing Blunderwoman.
All in addition to Felix Bowness singing a song about rubbing his stomach and tapping his head going quack, quack, oink, oink during the third act and second performance of the night.
In between Ryu from Street Fighter doing custard pie fire balls with Ken, with toothy comedian Don McLean in (un)able support.
Taking place in the Troxy theatre, Seaton under Wold just off the A35867 SYS 2563.
Its a winner!
Bobby Knutts Jobbins
My word, Mr B, has re-opened the buffet that is the letters page. How to proceed? Fill my plate sky high with nonsense and gorge until I vomit, or pay for a Japanese chef to romantically prepare our meal of words before us...? I'll leave that to you to judge.
5 AM they would begin, swooping into the neighbourhood in their branded Dennis, emptying the dumpsters behind the retail units; then onwards until noon... removing the discarded detritus of modern society.
"Only one today Mrs Chippenham?" Steve yelled, as the mechanical arm upended the bin into the crusher. It was a small one, must be only about 6 years old, he thought as the contents fell into the lorry, Tutting he shouted "I shouldn't have to remind you again but, this one's still wearing its school uniform! We need them clean!"
Mrs Chippenham shouted apologetically "Sorry, didn't have time after the rending this morning!"
Steve smiled, shook his head and carried on to the next house.
"That's better Mr. Addenham, 4 nice plump children and an old lady!" they too slithered into the cavernous bowels of Dennis, filled with crushed flesh and rot....
A bit dark? How's about a show tune?
Biscuits, biscuits, we love them.
Biscuits, biscuits, they're not just for men!
Everyone can enjoy biscuits, if they have the appropriate dietary tolerance and socio-economic status to procure them...
Biscuits, biscuits, they're not made of phlegm.
Ok, I'll finish with.
Anything can happen in the next half hour!!!! (Thunderous Stingray like, none copyright bothering music - stops abruptly
Scene - 30 minutes of a man sat reading in a comfortable chair, occasionally having a small cough, stirring a cuppa and/or drinking said cuppa. A cat is sleeping soundly in a basket, making them soft booping noises that they do when they're happy and kipping.
I'm terribly sorry Mr. Biffo... I appear to have showered your lovely dining room with hot sick.
I picked up my PS5 last Thursday and having established the horizontal position would actually fit my TV stand, I was good to go.
Then the lengthy process of copying saves etc. from my PS4 commenced. Unbeknownst to me, the few games I had on my PS4 internal drive then defaulted to the PS5's internal storage.
To wit, I ran out of space. Hurrah! Then I actually connected my external hard drive and all was tickety boo after.
After playing the lovely Astro's Playroom a while, I called it a night and making sure I'd put my console in rest mode, connected my Dualsense to the front USB port to charge.
The following morning, cue one almost flat controller and much bafflement from me. It transpired that the USB ports on the console don't receive power in rest mode by default. A few hours elapsed as I left my controller to charge.
My controller still wasn't charged so I resorted to using a standard USB charger while I played. It seems the (my?) console powers the front USB port while the console is on, but not while in rest mode. Back ports it is. Problem solved!
Almost a week later, the verdict is the controller is the star of the show here. It feels premium and the haptic feedback is revelatory, especially on the likes of WRC9 and Bugsnax. Just a shame that Grandma Turismo 7 is a little way off yet, the same with Ratchet & Clank.
No buyers regret, more anticipation that devs get to grips with the features on the controller and that Astro's Playroom isn't the high watermark for the new features. Though unlike PlayStation Vita, PS5 isn't going to be quietly ignored within a couple of years by Sony.
Dear Mr Biffozzy Bear,
It's often said that smell is the most evocative of all our senses, so please pander to my whimsy and reveal the aromas that transport you back to moments in the history of Digitiser.
Lots of lovey dovey doughnuts,
Ok so I'm curious. If you could get into Disney and pitch a Star Wars project, What would it be? Can be a movie or series, just curious what you would pitch.
Also, after the Halloween episode I googled Street Hawk expecting it to be a British show. But it's actually American? I have no recollection of it even though I remember all the other stuff like Knight Rider and Airwolf and that stuff. Any idea why that is? Seems like maybe it was more popular over there and I just thought it odd since I'm usually familiar with that sort of odd older stuff.
Hope you get Slab back on the show soon,
Dream Star Wars project...? I do fantasise about this slightly too much. In all honesty, if I was offered a Star Wars writing gig, I'm not sure I'd take it. Can you imagine if I hated it? I'd hate for Star Wars to be sullied.
But! You have asked, and I think for me what The Mandalorian understands about Star Wars is its simplicity. The original movie was SO simple, and so clean and economical in story, dialogue - even action. And there was no B story! The only time it cut away from the main story was to show the Empire doing bad things, and it kept it brief. There's never a B story in The Mandalorian. Plus, it seems to revel in Star Wars' weirdness; it's quirky, and surreal, and bizarre at points - and so was the original. We forget.
But I digress. The project I'd want to work on... I mean, for me it would have to be the classic, Imperial era. I love the technology and the designs. I'd like to make a horror series about Darth Vader, where he's basically like The Terminator, hunting someone down across the galaxy. There you go.
1: If you were able to license your creations to make a video game, which ones would you choose and why? It could be anything from a faux-retro Speccy title exploiting the classic chunky Teletext look, to a modern dystopian AAA affair full of danger and espionage fighting to bring down Xenoxxx.
2: What's the strangest letter you've ever received from a fan, or the strangest thing a fan has ever believed about you? I'm reminding myself here of a John Peel anecdote about receiving fanmail from a listener who believed that Peel shared a flat in London with Lou Reed and Stevie Wonder
3: We've seen Beautiful Boy, and at Digi Live we saw an Even More Beautiful Boy. But how much more beautiful could a Beautiful Boy get?
4: Do you think you'd ever want to write and/or direct a full feature-length movie of your own, or have your experiences with the movie industry put you off that?
5. Overall how do you rate the internet as a storytelling medium? Like exploiting the quirks of social media and that to create an alternate reality for the story
Sedric and Charlie
2. The letter was one I've written about before, from a viewer who changed his name by deed poll to Dantendo, and then started sending us properly bizarre letters which had no beginning or end. And then sent us a letter covered in what we assumed was poo. The weirdest thing people have believed about me? I think some people thought the Mr Biffo on the early Digi Minis, who was scary and grumpy, because I was trying to find my on-camera comic persona - and, truthfully, not that confident at being on camera - was what I'm really like.
3. Wait until Digi Live 2.0....
4. Well, I wrote Pudsey The Dog The Movie, so... oh, you mean something of my own?! I dunno. Film is a really, really precarious place at the moment, and all the money is going towards streaming. If I ever direct again... I think I just want it to be my own little projects, like Found Footage or Trojan Arse Protocol. Even a low-budget movie would require so much compromise, and there would be so much resting on it... I honestly just dunno if I could be bothered. I'm happy to write and let other people direct. Unless it's one of my weird things.
5. I dunno really. I suppose it could work. The way Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington do it as part of their On Cinema universe works well. Though when Gannon and I tried that, we obviously misjudged as quite a lot of people thought our argument on Twitter was real, so we've both been loathe to try it again. Tellingly, I was the one who got accused of bullying, even though he gave as good as he got!
I was going to ask how the day job in television writing was going. The creative arts in general are in the toilet, but apparently, there's not enough studio space to meet sudden demands for fresh streaming content.
Then, I thought, if some misinformed Big Streaming Cheese offered you pots of money for Digitiser's Supernatural World, they would ruin it. Out with the jokes, in with incessant music for the hard of thinking. Cuts for commercials the moment anything interesting might happen.
I say take their money, then relaunch as "Mr Biffo's Haunted Harrow".
Seriously, though, if you're considering more of the same, then you, Sanja, and Other Paul should check out Bentley Priory. It's literally over the road, specifically the A409, from where you last filmed, and would be worth a visit even without the Hugh Dowding connection.
He saw dead people, which in fairness, was par for the course in his most famous line of work. Also a member of the Fairy Investigation Society, apparently, by which I mean "Wikipedia says so."
If that doesn't sway you, then the tea bar sells Tunnock's Teacakes!
We're doing more Supernatural World for certain. Next year will hopefully see us do quite a few on-location specials, investigating the wider paranormal world. I've already been looking into UFO hotspots...
For the Christmas special, we are once again venturing into the wilds of haunted Harrow for another ghost hunt - with a particularly festive twist.
Why can't it be 2018 again? 2018 was all right, wasn't it?
2020, eh? That's been a thing and a half. And the rest.
I've been really lucky, that despite a lengthy furlough, I've still got a job to go back to. And as an introvert, I can even put a positive spin on it... best part of a year off, getting paid to stay away from people is almost the dream. You know, apart from everything being awful out there.
But there's definitely been a 'Friday Letters Page' shaped hole in the year, and here's hoping we can all come together enough to get this going as a regular thing again. I've missed hearing from all of you, even if I was only ever an occasional contributer myself.
So what have you all been playing this year?
For me it's hard to argue against Animal Crossing being my GOTY. I've always been an occasional fan of the series, but I can't think of a more fitting game for times like these. A genuine chance to escape to somewhere nice and peaceful with a colourful cast of characters who aren't edgy or dark or have ulterior motives. (Apart from you Tom. You utter git). I've put in around 350 hours since March, and between playing on my own and with others, it's brought the 'nice' into a not so nice year.
In terms of more 'proper' games, I need to give massive shouts out to both Hades and Yakuza : Like a Dragon, both equally joyous games in their own ways. There definitely seems to be a vague theme... this hasn't been the year for grimdark games for me. Sometimes you just need games to be fun escapism.
Oh, and there's that there Digi thing on the yootoobs. That's been alright too. Let's have more of that on there, and more of us lot on here. If I can be bothered, and I'm a lazy sod, so can you lot that used to make this such a fun place to be.
Until (hopefully) next week, look after yourselves and those around you. We'll get through this weird time eventually.
What’s your thoughts on the music of Operation Yewtree types? Is it okay to like Gary Glitter songs or R Kelly songs for example? Does music transcend the controversy or is it tainted by it?
The Porridge King
I have been writing and making videos for some time now, and I want to start building a bigger audience, and start making some sort of living from it. I have so far concentrated on having as wide a range of subjects as possible, while establishing presentation and style.
However, I am very aware of William Goldman’s maxim that “in Hollywood, nobody knows anything.” Is now the time to focus on only a set few topics and genres to build that audience, adding back the rest later, or should I continue to cover whatever I like until the audience turns up?
I will say that my podcast was targeted to a very specific audience, and filled a gap in the market - there was no-one else doing what we're doing. It seems to be doing well on that basis, and growing steadily, but my main reason for doing it is that I knew I'd enjoy doing it.
That's the same approach we take with Digi, which is really an outlet for whatever I want to do - but it makes it harder to nail down what it is for newcomers. But... since taking that approach, and not tailoring the videos towards growing the channel, I'm enjoying doing it so much more.
The downside being... the channel doesn't grow. Do what you enjoy. It's the most fulfilling thing.
I'm happy to see the return of the letters page! How are you doing? Also, is the PO Box still open?
I've attached a photograph of my suitcase (was with my boyfriend before lockdown started, am entitled to see him under rules anyway) because it had to be bondaged to function and it looks pretty cool.
Also, congrats on the perverted suitcase!
Well what a depressing year! I won't bore you too much with sob stories, sadly we lost out on a lot of work this year that due to it's nature was unfurloughable or compensational in anyway so it's been a bit tough but somehow we've scraped by.
But it's lovely that you found time to keep us distracted and entertained with the Digitiser brand of fun! Even the Sultana Saga (although a pain in the posterior for you) gave us a bit of a mystery supervillain, almost like an original Digi character gone rogue. Plus it gave me something to make terrible quality movies about, which I hope your other viewers have had the misfortune to witness.
And congrats on the Halloween special! I'm still getting chills from that haunting footage of a ghost stumbling up a slope in what was clearly a possession attempt.
It affected me so much I commissioned a piece of art from Mr.J (the wife) to commemorate the cold chill it sent down my spine, in the style of the illustrations from my favourite childhood spooky book ‘Ghosts Over Britain’ (printed in the 70’s).
Can we have a reveal please?
Mr.S and Mr.J(the wife)
Chock-a-Simon checking in!
Ah letters page! I don't have anything to say, but I'm just going to spread out and make myself comfortable. Luxuriate. Soak in that letters pageyness. I know it doesn't make sense to have the letters page when there aren't any other updates on the site. I know it’s a lot of work. and then there's youtube comments, twitter, patreon. etc. You could just potter on new videos. Rather than trying to deal with us. So cheers Paul.
I caught that new Auntie Donna show, so there's that.
I thought the longer Digi Halloween episode worked very well. In my head the video version of Digi is very intense and frantic. Last year's Christmas episode being a great one with a lot of energy. So I was pleased with the Halloween one that you got the pacing right, so it fit the longer running time.
And it’s great to see people hanging out outside. which isn't happening for me. You talked about memories of being a kid. Which the whole video reminded me of. Going out on a Goonies style adventure with you friends, but where you just find a log instead. Perhaps you could wear the hood of your coat so it's like a batman cape next time? Not that I'm trying to tell you what to do. Just trying to letter it up y'know.
Should I say something about the time since the last letters page? I don't want to get ranty. I'll just share this. My mission to not touch anything was undermined by the existence of the world at large. Although I no longer use coins to buy things, I still use them to press the button on pedestrian crossings. probably doesn't help. Did you know that coins can get dusty? The little pile of change by my clock got dusty.
Anyway, I'm still kicking. Thinking of you lot.
If budget was of no concern, what kind of thing would you like to make?
Right now, I'm itching to make more of Digitiser's Supernatural World, and would love to do a version of it that has a proper budget to pay for a small crew, and allow us to travel a bit further afield.
Hello Mr Biffo. I have been in lockdown since April and over that time I appear to have forgotten how my Front Door works. I need to get out because the smell in here is apalling and I think the toaster is plotting against me. Can you help? Cheers
Lots of love,
Have you played the Doom/Doom 2 overhaul mod "Project Brutality"?
It really breathes new life into the old girl without getting in the way of its perfect gameplay.
So glad letters are back. Not that I have much of particular interest to say, but glad all the same. World's still a bit weird innit, so any source of distraction is a good thing, in my book. Also good? Corner Shop Corner. More please. And more storytime.
I must say though, I've been incredibly lucky to have basically not been impacted negatively by all this lockdown business. I obviously miss seeing friends and family face to face, and miss gigs and the cinema and going out to eat and so on.
And it's obviously having an AWFUL effect on a lot of people and industries, both health-wise and financially, and if it all got sorted tomorrow that would be brilliant and absolutely the best case scenario. But selfishly (and not without some level of guilt for feeling this way), I'm loving working from home.
Most of the stuff I enjoy doing (games, telly, etc) is right here with me, and thanks to the wonder of veeedio games (and bloody Zoom) I've been able to keep a more consistent level of contact with some people than I did when we could go to the shops without wrapping up like it was Mad Max times. I dunno.
Like I say, it's all a bit weird, and in two days time I could be back to cabin fever again, but it feels like "normal" has shifted somewhat. The world has changed, and hopefully some of it won't change back. But it'd be nice if most of it did. Maybe Santa will sort it. Or Beanus.*
*Probably not Beanus.
Storytime will return! Maybe over Christmas.
Hello Paul and Sanya, Just wanted to say I had a covid test this week and it wasn't pleasant. But it came back negative so all good.
Hope you're both doing well.
Hello, everyone. It is good to have the letters page back for this special edition. I hope that lock-down is going as well for you and your family as can be expected.
I believe sincerely that The Last of Us Part 2 is one of the great achievements in computer games design. The gameplay is brilliant - perhaps not especially innovative in that regard but it is really tight, responsive and allows for a lot more experimentation than I would have initially expected. This would be enough to make it an excellent game, but what makes it great is the characterisation and the themes it deals with. It is grim, often depressing and rarely what I'd call enjoyable to play but finally we have a game that deals with the number of deaths that games encourage us to revel in.
Some say the game is overly depressing but I disagree. It is often down-beat and horrible but shouldn't it be? It really gets across just how awful life in a situation like that would be for most people - it's a necessary darkness.
So many games have no issue with murder so long as we are killing the 'right' people, including Naughty Dog's own Uncharted. It is depressingly refreshing to be forced to confront the humanity of those we kill. Speaking of which, I wonder if that indirectly inspired the themes of TLOU2? It's a subject I have thought about a lot recently, especially as relentless murder is acceptable while the rare 'sexual assault' games are campaigned against vociferously.
For the record, I am not saying that those sorts of games are good/acceptable, just that the difference in attitudes is strange. The storytelling choices are brave (I won't spoil them for any potential players here) and there are so many brilliant, small, touches such as Dina and Jesse slowly becoming uneasy with Ellie's choices in their diagetic dialogue. The only flaw I found with it was that it was possibly slightly long but Abbie's story was essential and equally brilliantly-told.
One question I have for you regarding it is if you found it peculiar that Ellie never finds out Abbie's motivation (avoiding spoilers)? Perhaps it was because Ellie might even agree, to an extent, had she known? I could say so much about it but I won't in order to avoid clogging the letters page but I will simply say again - it is outstanding. Is it my favourite game ever?
It's probably too grim for me to say that, but if you were to say it was, I doubt I'd argue. If there is a part 3, I'd like to have the story centred again on the smaller stories of individuals and their place in the world without some grand cross-country jaunt. I would however throw a little hope of a cure/wider immunity to the player perhaps in the background as an antidote to the dark reality of the cordyceps world.
One more lighthearted question, which British TV programme do you feel had the highest average quality of episode? It wouldn't necessarily have to be your favourite though. While I wouldn't choose it as my favourite programme, I think every episode of Fawlty Towers is superb and is just concentrated quality.
Also agree with you about Fawlty Towers. There are a few British comedies I feel that way about. My obsession over the past year has been Stath Lets Flats, which is consistently laugh-out-loud, and there are very, very few comedies I actually audibly laugh at. I'm struggling to cast my mind back, but I was very impressed with Russell T Davies' A Very English Scandal. I also really loved the first few series of Being Human.