Category Archives: science fiction

Making of my Cyber-Sun Mask

Cybermen..  arch enemies of the wandering Time Lord (The Doctor). These creatures – humans from another planet who had replaced body parts with cybernetic parts so much that they became cybermen – were first encountered by the Doctor whilst in his first `incarnation’ – (William Hartnell), and the adventure very nearly killed the Doctor.  It was called `The Tenth Planet’ – where a wandering 10th planet came very close to Earth in deed (by its own propulsion …thanks to Cyber-technology)!  The weather on Earth went haywire. Those Early Cybermen were really scary character to be honest. Fabric-draped faces..  hollow gaps for eyes.. and mouth..  and speaking in a strange tape-recorder playing on/off type manner.

At the end of it, the (first) Doctor had to withdraw to the safety and support of the TARDIS, where he regenerated for the first time!  Those were the 60’s!

Well, more recently (2006?) when the revamped `new’ new new new series of Doctor Who came back to BBC TV, Russell T Davies & the folks responsible re-invented the origins for Cybermen. These ones were the product of a Scientist in a parallel Earth – who was a disabled (wheel-chair bound) guy who wanted to create better models..  and he kidnapped and surgically hacked homeless people off the streets and turned them (or just re-housed their brains in machine body suits) into Cybermen.

Few years ago, for Christmas special, there was the story `The Next Doctor’ – where the then current Doctor (David Tennant) found himself in Victorian London, in snow..  and encountered a cybermen plot to create `CyberKing’ – (spoiler alert) – a Giant Robot form.

The making of the `New Cyberman' mask & Cyber-Sun
The making of the `New Cyberman’ mask & Cyber-Sun

This image (screen capture) comes from my art website page  http://www.artofmani.co.uk/html/features_1.html

As a pagan I got thinking about this – and as I already had a `Maya Sun God’ mask, decided ..not only to make a new cyberman mask..but to also make a `CyberGod’ out of him (Cybergod is a Concept I have played about with for many years in my own visionary art explorations and narratives..   It will surface one day! 😉

So here’s the step by step photos of how the Cyberman mask was made.. It’s made entirely of card board  (link comes from my Fantasy, SciFi & Visionary Art website Art of Mani)

-Mani

ps. By the way, this is the 2nd Cyberman mask I have made. The first one was made around early 1990’s, and I also made a full cybersuit then (polythene body suit sprayed with silver paint)..  to walk around King’s College (London University) Student Union areas, to promote the `Sci-fi  & fantasy Society’ (My friend Raymond & I started that off).   It’s possibly the earliest example of me wearing a mask and parading around large number of people (been doing that in Open pagan rituals in recent 7-8 years).

pps. Here’s the full Sun-mask

A Mayan Sun-Mask
A Mayan Sun-Mask

Doctor Who (my) blog links

Tardis Tales: K9 and me

Trials of a Time Lord: Kangaroo Court

TARDIS Tales: K9 and me.. many X’masses ago

DrWho: K9 robotic dog - full scale model - made by Mani
DrWho: K9 robotic dog – full scale model – made by Mani

I am a big Doctor Who fan..  and have been since I landed on the shores of UK back in 1985, and started reading the old Target novels, and watching Trial of a Time Lord (Collin Baker…6th Doctor final season in 1986).  Doctor Who is the BBC TV’s science fiction drama series, that has been going on now for 49 years (50 years in 2013!!) and charts the the adventures of a Time Lord who travels in Time & Space in an old London Police Box – ie his time machine disguised (TARDIS – Time and Relative Dimensions in Space).

My K9 & incomplete TARDIS in the garden
My K9 & incomplete TARDIS in the garden

And it has – next to Star Trek & Blakes-7 – been the biggest TV sci-fi series to make the biggest impact in my life..  inspirations, motivations, and at times, even solace. Oh yes! How? well, all that in blogs to come..  (Why you ask? well, it’s my blog  and I can talk about my life.. any and all facets of it 🙂  Go on start your own blog, and talk about anything you like..   !)

So to kick off my Doctor Whovian blogs, I’m  starting with K9 and me  (am not making that word up at all..  In fan circles and even in published magazines, `Whovian’ is a real word that’s used!!)..

Few years ago, I started doing special Christmas projects – based on Doctor Who…just for my own fun..  making art & craft stuff.  K9 – the robot dog that Tom Baker’s 4th Doctor had for quite a while (from the `Invisible Enemy’ story on wards) was my first `big’ Doctor Who project.

I’ll dig out the actual `making of K9′ photos another time (it’s in an external drive..)  but here’s the finished item..   (with  a part of the TARDIS door that I started to make behind)…and a photo of me sitting on K9   (it’s a wood & hardboard full scale model..that can take my full weight. I posed this way as I recall Peter Davison (5th Doctor) being seated on k9 in a publicity photo for the 20th anniversary special `Doctor Who: Five Doctors’.  So I figured if I can’t build a motorised model, it should at least be strong enough to support my weight. (and no reason why I can’t motorise it one day).

In fact,one of these days – I may take `my’ K9 out for a walk around London…yes, in the real trains & tubes..  (I can just lift `him’ into buses and trains 🙂

Mani seated on K9
Me (Mani) seated on my K9 (4-5 years ago)

So anyway,

I’ve lost touch with fellow Whovians..   and would welcome contact from you all.   `Who’ knows..  perhaps to build a few Daleks..  complete a TARDIS… make a few short videos ….just for fun  (plenty of woods and historic sites about in London.. )

-Mani Navasothy

Link

Trial of a Time Lord: Kangaroo Court & me

Sonic screw drive too far?

Ultra sound : Mouse repellent to Muscle warmer

Sum of our memories & experiences

A Man is a sum of his memories & experiences
art~Mani
A Man is a sum of his memories & experiences
art~Mani

Writing about the death of Neil Armstrong – first man to step on the Moon- got me thinking about our experiences. And suddenly it made be realise in a very emotive way (not just intellectually) what it means.. – even though I have been thinking about personal experiences for a long time (about 22 years in fact).

That long ago (22 years) when I wrote my first novel “Kitty Love”- a 300 paged teen romance fiction, and showed it to close friends, siblings and some cousins, someone said to me it seems a bit fantasy-like, and I should write from experience. That in so many ways `hurt’ – because yes I had had no romantic experience at that point and was writing `ideal love’ story (hence why it’s called `Kitty Love, as opposed to the old saying `puppy love’) – but I had also been writing that novel for almost every day for about 6 months, and become very attached to the characters, and even `fallen in love’ with them. They had become real.  I would write a morning scene in the morning, a night scene in the night etc.  So my experiences were encoded within it to a fashion.

Recently my wife April remarked how certain smells – like diesel & engine oil – often reminded her of the time when she as a baby lived on a house boat (well, in a river near Nottingham).  I have many of those moments of sights, tiny sounds and smells triggering old memories (torrential rain reminds me of my boyhood holidays at grandfather’s place in Jaffna, Sri Lanka,  where I would sit in the porch and look out and even make paper boats and float them in huge puddles in the vast garden!)

Going back to Neil Armstrong standing on the moon – when that had happened, it had been the very first ever time. Thee would have been absolutely nothing else to equate it to in the entirely of human history of many million years!  Though am sure he’s talked about that moment and probably got fed up of it after the first decade or so, he would not have been able to truly portray that experience to anyone – short of having telepathic abilities and literally projecting those feelings into the minds of another human being. And we on earth don’t have that just yet.

So, for as long as Neil Armstrong was alive, that exact experience existed as a feeling and as a memory within him – that moment with all its associations, memories, feelings, whims, expectations, fears (lets not forget fears!) and all that.  And when he dies, all that is gone. What the Earth lost was that moment now. No one on Earth now has that moment.

This rather reminded me of two film/ movie moments.

  • The first is a line in Doctor Who (Peter Davison as 5th Doctor) “The Five Doctors” almost 25 years ago. In one scene, he staggers with physical shock and pain, and says, “..It’s all fading..great chunks of my past, detaching off like iceberg. A man is a sum of his memories you know, and a Time Lord more so”  . He was referring to the fact that  his past incarnations were being `taken out of time’ and so his `self’ was reducing.
  • The second is an all time classic in the film `Blade Runner’ – where in the penultimate scene, the android who has been doing all sorts  of things in other worlds but is hunted down on earth – says (just before his life force expires as programmed), “I’ve seen things people would not believe. Attack ships on fire on the shores of Orion. I watched sea-weeds glittering in the darkness in Tannhauster Gate. All these moments will be lost – in time – like tears in the rain. Time ..to die..”
  • See both clips here on my playlist `Movie moments’ 

-Mani