Meet Mr Inquisitor
Hello everyone, and welcome to the all-new, all-different Inquisition, with me, the original Mr
Inquisitor. That's right - I am the one and only, and there's nobody I'd rather be! Now obviously
it'll take me a while to remember how this works, to say nothing of tidying up the mess my
replacement has left in the oubliette. But as I've got Summer Bay
Exile chomping at the bit and gagging to be questioned I suppose the cleaning will have to
wait while I just wing this one...
Summy, you clearly have a deep connection with Australia, its' landscape, music, culture and
people. Australia has become a bit of a cultural powerhouse recently, with Australians being hugely
influential in the fields of art, music, literature and cinema. What's your first memory of Rolf
Ah! The ultimate Australian cultural icon! More fun than Clive James and more significant than
Germaine Greer, but then again who isn't! Yes, the first memory of Rolf... dum de dum de dum
splonge can you guess what it is yet? Two Little Boys being played on the radio. I learnt it off by
heart and I could still do a great karaoke rendition of it. Sadly he's never cracked Japan so none
of the karaoke boxes there had it on their play list. Oh well I live in hope! It was and is a great
song! He was the first and the best of the Australian entertainers (with apologies to those who
actually find Barry Humphries funny!).
It suddenly occurs to me that we may have readers from other parts of the world (I'm
thinking here specifically of our former colonies in North America) who have no idea who Rolf
Harris is. For their benefit, perhaps you'd like to describe what Rolf actually does in his
He was the ultimate all round entertainer combining singing and playing various Australian
instruments such as the didgeridoo, with an excellent artistic background. He used to paint on huge
canvases with simple brush strokes that never looked like a picture until the end when the camera
panned out and showed a five minute work of art.
Succinct and accurate, no arguments with that! No mention of the heavy breathing in a lot of
his songs though.
Moving on, the 1971 Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever saw Sean Connery returning to
the role he created, and many would say defined. Would you say this was just an unnecessary
reprise of something he'd already done brilliantly, or a great demonstration to the world of just
how inadequate (though well intentioned) his so-called replacement was?
Now letsh look at the facsh. On Her Majesty's Secret Service is now regarded as a more
than passable Bond film. It has a villain of the calibre of Telly Savalas plus a young and gorgeous
Joanna Lumley. It's a thoroughly entertaining film that rewards repeated viewing. It has, however,
the most downbeat ending of any Bond film. That was Lazenby's downfall. He played Bond very
well, but the ending finished his chance of a long running role. Sean would probably have winked at
the camera and said: 'Oh well, eshy come eshy go. Come on girls who wants a spare honeymoon
As for Diamonds, he did it to overcome the lack of parts post Bond. It is Bond by
numbers in my opinion. The post Bond work with the glorious exception of Robin and Marian
have been film stealing turns as Scottish Russians, Scottish Americans, Scottish Irishmen, Scottish
Englishmen ... the list goes on. He created an iconic character brilliantly then found that he could
never top it.
I must say that in our house OHMSS is considered a passable Bond film only inasmuch
as it's always passed over in favour of one of the others when the urge to watch one on vid strikes.
Readers of my other Post project may already be aware of my thoughts on Sean Connery's
Anyway... you have a number of fine edited entries to your username, Summy, the most recent
of which being a cheerful guide to the John Purty years of that lovely old teatime classic
'Droo'. I understand that a new updated version of this show is being made in Scotland with
Christopher Biggins and some pop star in the lead roles. what are your thoughts on this bold new
With accuracy like that you could work for the Sun!! Actually it's an interesting concept. He has
definite cult (yes cult) credentials as one of the Time Warpers and of course as Adam Painting in
the incredible Rentaghost!! Christopher Biggins as Doctor Who... lets see. Jon
Pertwee was a comedian who worked with Ronnie Barker, as did Biggins (he played Lukewarm in
Porridge). Like Bonnie Langford he is famous for panto .. okay skip that as a justification!!
He couldn't be worse than Colin Baker, or less likely than some bloke the producers picked up from
a building sight - the brilliant Tom Baker of course. As for a pop star in the role of an assistant.
Well that has to be a joke!! (*checks press release*) All right that looks bad!! Billie!!!? The
audience will go behind the sofa when she appears on screen.
As for Christopher Eccleston. Interesting choice, but I'm not sure if I really wanted to see
someone take over from Paul McGann who was one of the three best Doctors ever. Why couldn't he
have done it? Besides I could give you options like Richard E Grant, David Collings or, to be really
controversial Joanna Lumley!! Can you imagine the uproar amongst the anoraks if they chose a
woman? Actually, think of the options! Maggie Smith, Diane Keaton, Judi Dench. Some great
actresses there. What about Lenny Henry as Doctor Who? Why does he always have to be white,
male and middle class? Surely if the Doctor has met so many cultures he wouldn't always choose one
gender and one race. Cue attack of the angry anoraks!!!
David Collings was an outstanding Doctor Who (another one for the anoraks there).
Sticking with sci-fi, perhaps you'd like to talk about Star Trek: Voyager for a bit?
Well, this much maligned show is in fact a minor classic. Why? Well let's look at the evidence.
The stunning theme tune is unbeatable. A gorgeous melancholic riff on loneliness, it is pure class. As
to the crew. For once Star Trek had the courage of Rodenberry's conviction by giving the
ship a female captain, and two really strong female supports in Torres and Seven. This probably
upset the thirty something single fan boys who prefer their females non-threatening and between
the pages of a lad mag!! Strong women? Fascinating, Captain. Set phasers to sexism!
The EMH was the spiritual heir to McCoy with his sardonic take on space travel and general
attitude. His burgeoning teacher/ pupil relationship with Seven was a continuing delight in series
5-7. With only a half-Klingon there were no boring story arcs of the Deep Space 9 variety.
Tuvok proved that someone other than Spock could make Vulcans fascinating. (raises eyebrow)
Finally, the space travel had an aim. In the other incarnations of Trek they just travelled
between stories with very little idea of why they were doing it. Don't get me wrong I like the
original series and The Next Generation, but for me Voyager is the most satisfying
on many levels. This is of course a long advert for the fact that a forthcoming guide article from
yours truly will deal with this superb series in more depth.
Jon Pertwee and Star Trek: Voyager - now I know how JRR Tolkien must have felt
around Anglicans. I've always thought the best (though unintended) comment on Voyager
came in a poorly-proofread web story where Chakotay tells the Captain 'I want to be inanimate
with you.' Never mind, moving on: just exactly who do you think you are?
That is a really difficult one! I think I have two identities, online and Real Life.
I'll deal with online first. Unlike most people I am actually shyer and more uncertain as
summerbayexile online than I am as David in RL. I find it difficult to get involved in discussions
online. I think it is because I have little of interest to contribute as I am unable to gossip or throw
in silly/ pithy one liners in the way that others do.. My identity online is as a writer. My entries
get me noticed and appreciated. I suppose in that sense I'm a backstage worker not an onstage star.
I'll accept that as the article writing is why I joined h2g2 in the first place.
In RL at the moment I am a central figure in my classes at University because I am mixing with
people from many cultures. Whenever they need help with English/ essays/ problems settling in I
am the person they turn to. Why? Because they know I will listen to them and understand them
because of my experiences living and working abroad. I prefer living in other cultures rather than
my own which is why I've travelled so much. In most of the things I have done I have been a leader/
Throughout my life I've made really firm friendships and those friendships have survived all
manner of upheavals. I am a husband of nearly 14 years who is still totally in love. I am a father of
4 who finds fatherhood difficult but fantastically rewarding. I now appreciate the difficulties my
Father had. The most influential people in my pre-married life were my Father, Grandmother and
my Best Man at our wedding. All three died whilst I was abroad and I regret not being there to say
goodbye. When I finish my Masters Degree I will be in control of my working life. My self growth
and learning on the other hand - well no-one is ever fully in control of that.
I am an explorer, a learner and a person who treats people honestly and respectfully. At least
that is what I always try to be.
Four kids! Crikey! Do you have a favourite?
I could tell you.... but then I'd have to kill you!! No of course I don't have an overall favourite.
That is something that really annoys me. My cousin who we are living near at the moment makes it
clear that he favours my oldest daughter over the rest and that really gets me angry. However it is
common amongst baby boomers and older. Generation X is more careful not to show overt
favouritism. However there are times when one is behaving better than the others or has done
something really good, so you take the opportunity to pay special attention to them. I am far softer
on my two girls than my two boys, but that is common for fathers. The truth is that they are all
different with their different strengths and weaknesses and I'd protect each and everyone of them
with my life.
Touching, yet just a tiny bit predictable. I note that amongst your many contributions to the
Guide is an article on sumo wrestling, a fascinating yet slightly repellent spectacle if ever there
was one (readers making comments to the effect of 'He's a fine one to complain about obesity' can
expect a visit from the Inquisition!). Is this a proper sport or just a ploy to make fat people feel
better about themselves?
Amusing, yet just a tiny bit predictable! Yes it is a proper sport! Sumo is in fact a lot like
cricket. It lasts all day, attracts a slightly older demographic and is almost impenetrable to
outsiders! If the measure of a true sport is physical effort and the attention of devoted fans then
this definitely qualifies. The bouts can be over very quickly, but when they last for 20 seconds or
more they are pieces of true sporting theatre. Why are the sumotori so large? Well, the sport just
developed that way, much like any of the other martial arts. Boxing heavyweights used to be 15
stone whereas now they are 17 stone or more. Sumotori are in fact getting smaller with the average
weight plummetting towards the 25 - 30 stone mark!! In another generation fleet-footed sumotori
could be dashing around the dojo encumbered by only 20 stone whilst boxers could struggle into the
ring weighing the same. That in essence shows the real strength of these men who undertake an
arduous physical activity weighing the same as obese Brits, Aussies and Americans who can barely
struggle to their cars!! The lifestyle choice to emulate? No. A sport? Definitely, yes!
I'll have to invest in a nappy then. Well, Summy, our time together is almost over. It only
remains for me to ask just one thing: what's the one question I that could have asked that you would
have least liked having to answer?
Well, the one about my favourite child would have been near the top of the list! Other than that
I suppose my least favourite question would have been 'Why haven't you settled down yet?'!!! It's
the question that my nomadic lifestyle most often elicits, accompanied by a disapproving/
Many thanks to the uber-enthusiastic Summer Bay Exile for agreeing to answer my silly
questions. The Inquisition relies on your support, citizens, so if you want to do your civic duty and
submit to my fearsome probing, you can volunteer via Shazz the Editor's email address. Remember,
the innocent have nothing to fear1. Or, why not shop one of your friends? Until next time, I've been Mr
Inquisitor - ta-ta!