Richard Todd & TED


Well, what a week to forget and as we go into the weekend I note The Mail are running an indignant story about the remake of every big boys iconic movie, The Dambusters.

Somewhat predictably though, their guns are pointing in the wrong direction. The journalists focus on the gall of script writer Stephen Fry in renaming Guy Gibson's dog from "Nigger," to "Digger." Now, as young lads watching it for the first time we all sniffled back a tear when Nigger was run over outside the guardroom, but the fact is that it's a grossly offensive word in the US. Try using it over there sometime. If you're lucky, a cop will get to you before some enraged local. It's the social semtex equivalent of calling the Queen a hooker would be here. You just don't do it, in jest or otherwise. Moaning about historical revisionism then is largely irrelevant; Nigger, was a dog for goodness sake.

The story of the Dambusters is the story of the courage and fortitude of the aircrews, (53 of whom died on the raid; an attrition rate of 40%), and of the persistent obsession of Barnes Wallis, a brilliant man who never psychologically recovered from those losses for which he felt personally responsible.


Richard Todd

The real question here though is why make a new movie at all. How on earth can the original be bettered? It was made by people who lived throigh the war and in some cases, like Richard Todd, (who was an utter gentleman and a privilege to meet), actually fought through it. Apart from the inevitable blizzard of special effects I just don't get it. Leave well alone, they'll only cock it up - the name of the dog is the least of it.

So, enough of ranting for the week, lets attempt to end on a higher note. It's been a wee while since we've visited TED and whenever I do I'm reminded that there really are some jolly clever and special people out there with a vision and imagination that I love to share. 

I found this, unusually original and uplifting,