The SkyMaster

patrickmoore-2EA little inspiration is a beautiful thing. With many fellow bloggers filling my Reader with glorious day and night skyscapes over the past couple of weeks, this celestial chap sprung into the mind. I’ve been trying to draw him all week, and I think this is the best of the bunch. (Note the newly-constructed, extra-textured brush which was, hmm, interesting!)

Sir Patrick Moore hosted the BBC’s captivating astronomy feature The Sky at Night from 1957 right up to his death in December 2012 – fifty-five years, a record stint for any television presenter – and only missed a single edition in that time. Though merely an amateur astronomer, his professorial, eccentric but far from buffoonish delivery made his learnedness clear and communication the envy of those more seasoned than he; a highly complex subject was made accessible and intriguing thanks to him. He penned countless books on the subject.

He was also really rather good a xylophonist.

For me, however – and doubtless a generation of others – Sir Patrick will be just as fondly remembered as the titular character in Channel 4’s rebel hit GamesMaster, which ran from 1992 to 1998. A supreme and deliciously left-field coup for a cheap kids gaming show, Moore’s orderly, watchful grace proved a neat foil to the cocky teenage gamers and the equally cocky innuendos that were the penchant of host Dominik Diamond – their collective sharpness was a combination no copycat show could match or get away with, and unquestionably the key to its success.

“Hello, Gamesmastah…”

Appearing in CGI inserts, awkwardly keyed into distorted, primitive renders, those in search of tips and cheats would amble before the piercing presence in the Consoletation Zone – see what they did there? – and ask The Gamesmaster for help. Though later admitting he hadn’t the foggiest idea what he was talking about, he remains curiously believable as the 8/16-bit oracle, such that it’s now impossible to imagine anybody else pulling it off with as much gusto. An inspired choice.

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18 comments
    • Jacob said:

      Indeed. Thanks, Tom – glad you think he looks Moore-ish; he proved quite a challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Bill Fufkin said:

    Wonderful, Jacob. I have not watched much of The Sky at Night since Moore passed away…a casual viewer, it just doesn’t attract me as it did. B

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, Bill. I’ve not watched the programme nearly as much since his death. He was a fantastic character.

      Like

  2. Aah, Patrick Moore was my hero for so many years but I’d never seen this incarnation as the Games Master. He must have been saving up for a new telescope is all I can say! A wonderful portrait of the old boy – thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Fixed it for you sir. Curse spellchekc!

      Thanks, Michael. He was a bit of a hero for me too, especially as a youngster when I was so taken by the skies. He just made it even more engaging!

      Haha, maybe that explains GamesMaster! Though, I did once read a quote where he suggested he was paid in whisky. I’m not sure if that was true or not…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. annachayter said:

    What a lovely portrait of a real gentleman. We all miss him, but I’m sure his star is shining brightly in the night’s sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thank you, Anna. That’s nice; I’d like to think he is a star in the show he observed so passionately in living.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thank you Jade! The brush was quite different to my usual and took a surprising amount of getting used to, but I’m pleased with the result.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lee Hesketh said:

    Love the texture in this one Jay=, it really works on the skin. Star sparkle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jacob said:

      Thanks, JP – much much appreciated with this one. It took forever to get something even vaguely Moore-ish!

      Like

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