Surround-sound

Compare and contrast:

Alien helmet
A helmet visor reflecting a reddish-orange computer display in Ridley Scott's 1979 classic, Alien.
Helmet Dr Who
A helmet visor reflecting a reddish-orange computer display in last Saturday's Doctor Who episode, Cold War. (I'm not sure why the letters aren't the wrong way round.)

Did you watch Doctor Who this Saturday? It was OK, as far as Alien/Das Boot crossovers go. What was not to like? A scary monster running amok, foreign submariners shouting “ALAAAARM!”, a sonic screwdriver, and a cute new sidekick standing around being wet. Certainly a hell of a lot better that the previous week's frankly shite episode.

Particularly effective for me was the sound editing. I loved the way you could hear the alien scrattling around in the ventilation ducts throughout the show—even over the dialogue, when the human characters were trying to explain what the hell was going on. Nice touch, that, I thought.

Imagine my and Jen's surprise, therefore, when the scrattling sound continued even after our heroes had seen off the alien. It was at this point that we realised we had something scrattling around in our living room ceiling. Bats, Jen reckoned. Could have been rodents, though.

Perfect timing. Very atmospheric. And no licence fee to pay! In yer face, BBC!

(And, no, scrattling isn't a word.)


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