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Mortis
Assassin
February 2004

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200403152117
(I'm sorry if this has been discussed before, but I looked through the archives and couldn't see it mentioned.)

At the end of episodes 4 and 5 there's an odd sequence with Karen saying "Hello". Does anybody know what it's about?

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Mortis.
 

Lazlo32
Timelord
December 2002

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200403211359
Ah yes... the Karen thing. There's all sorts of theories and rumours about that. Where to begin...

Well the idea is that this is something on the same tape as the episode, and it's been taped over. Hence the weird tracking at the start. It's Karen, who we subsequently learn is in charge of MI7. To quote the DVD: 

"Little is known about Karen. She is described as a luscious Luxembourgian double agent. She is clearly of a higher rank than Siddor, and in Episode 8 she is seen to be Chairman of MI7. She is seen in bed with Bond, at her desk at MI7, and in a computer room at York University. At the end of two episodes she delivers the line "Hello. Hello? Are you there? Hello?". That's pretty much all we know."

The prevailent theory is that it's meaningless. The secondary theory is that it's a coded message from MI7. The construction of that code has been the topic of some debate. Some say that there are things hidden in the static: that the static is some sort of file converted to video. If this is the case, nobody has managed to decode it yet. Others say that Karen's message is an attempt to contact an agent within our group of heroes; that one of them is working for Siddor or something. Of course, if the DVD is to be believed, they're all working for Siddor anyway. 

Personally, I've always associated it with Chocoblock in Ep3. Karen is wearing the same stuff that she's wearing in the Chocoblock flashback to the computer room that's behind her in this sequence. And I'm of the rather unconventional belief that our heroes are all still trapped in Chocoblock, and Karen is trying to break through to them.

They're still trapped in a television, hence Jim being Dr Who.

--Lazlo32
 

Mortis
Assassin
February 2004

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200404010401
Oh crumbs. I opened a worm can.

It's all a bit Bobby in the shower though, isn't it? If they're all still trapped in Chocobloc?

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Mortis.
 

4Square
Observer
August 2003

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200404151719
No worm can, Mortis. Lazlo32's theory is interesting but there isn't really any evience in support of it. I mean at any point in any programme you can play the "it's all a dream" card. Lazlo's approach is essentially that of the recent Buffy episode where she's in an assylum in a vampireless world. Our only clue to what is real is what we perceive. Maybe a sceptic is correct when they suggest we're a brain in a vat being experimented on by mad scientists, but what does it really matter so long as they're keeping us alive. We ARE what we EXPERIENCE when all's said and done. It's the Matrix dilemna from Episode 6:

SALLY     I think I'll stick with what I know... and I know I love strawberry.
CRAIG     But if what you know was false... would you rather know the truth?
SALLY     What?
CRAIG     If say strawberry was blueberry would you still have it?
SALLY     Would it taste of strawberry?
CRAIG     It would seem to taste of strawberry...
SALLY     Well that's alright then.
CRAIG     Oh.
JIM          What are you trying to say?
CRAIG     Suppose the world in which we live is false and that the reality is scary and unpleasant.
JIM          I think I'd rather be blissfully ignorant and continue in the dream of the reality I've come to know and love.
SALLY     Otherwise it's like going to be unpleasant...

I can't help but agree.

----
"Would you like a cup of tea?"
 

DarthPat
Postman of the Appocalypse
April 2001

 

 

Topic: Karen  - 200404231864
4Square, you're just a mouldy old hedonist who'd rather die having fun than live in austerity. Just like me ;)

Fact is, Mortis, that none of us like to dig too close to MI7, because that way lies pain and death. None of us will attempt to address what MI7 do for fear of having to work out what all that people-squishing was about in TNG. Well none of us apart from me. I'm always full of crazy theories.

In this case though... I mean I've always liked the Chocobloc theory of Lazlo's. Especially as it's a video, and that's what Chocobloc always played. I'm happy to believe they might still be dying in Chocobloc and that everything from 3 on has been a fiction of some kind. But I don't get hung up on it, cos it's all a fiction anyway, so one fiction - very much like another. 

So I agree with both Lazlo32 and 4Square. They're still in Chocobloc, but who cares? Apart from Karen, of course...

----
DarthPat.
 

DarthPat
Postman of the Appocalypse
April 2001

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200404231864 - Edited 200404231907 by DarthPat
(double post)

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DarthPat.
 

DarthPat
Postman of the Appocalypse
April 2001

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200404231864 - Edited 200404231908 by DarthPat
(triple post)

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DarthPat.

 

4Square
Observer
August 2003

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200405031841
How do you do that, DarthPat? It's really quite a talent.

----
"Would you like a cup of tea?"
 

DarthPat
Postman of the Appocalypse
April 2001

 

 

Topic: Karen  - 200405122314
It takes great skill, and years of practice. And a dodgy browser.

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DarthPat.
 

Leon_1138
Observer
April 2001
Topic: Karen  - 200405231617
I'm sure you're dying to know that the Karen sequence was filmed for Episode 3, but wasn't used. It was recorded on a JVC camcorder by volunteers from York Student Television, and sent through the post. SJ had sent his directions for the shoot in an email to YSTV, and Helen Atkinson Wood dropped in from a job at York Opera House. The wardrobe, which is a close match of the things she was wearing in the Ep0/3 footage, was bought on the day at charity shops along Goodramgate by one of the student volunteers. The footage arrived to AVW-MP on time, but SJ decided not to use it. Instead, on a whim, he shoved it on the end of Ep4.

The Ep4 version is an SVHS copy that has been partially taped over (front and back). The static does not contain any secret message. It is genuine static from this partial taping.

The Ep5 version is subtly different to that on Ep4 (as are many scenes in the duplicate ending). It is a different take of the same scene (there were naturally several takes made). The tracking is the same footage as Ep4, but the static is different. Both static bursts in Episode 5 contain hidden messages of some description.

That is all I have to say on the matter.
 

DanTheDestroyer
Bounty Hunter
April 2001

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200406011574
Oh wow.

The Leon hath spake.

 

NickK
Observer
December 2003

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200406111953
...hath spOke.
 

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A-P-O-C-A-L-Y-P-S-E
 

DanTheDestroyer
Bounty Hunter
April 2001

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200406242319
Thanks for that, NickK.

Can anyone get screencaps of the Ep5 static bursts?

 

TheMightyOmRiff
Greyskull Knight
January 2003

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200407151021
Hi, everyone. Long time no post. But I felt compelled to write. About four years ago, when the static rumour first rose, I spent hours with my video, trying to get something out of the static. With no luck.
The punchline is that I used the Ep4 version as it was more conveniently placed in my video collection. Doesn't it make you sick.

The video I used is a bit knackered now, but I'm going to have another go this afternoon with the Ep5 version. I'll let you know.

Om.
 

TheMightyOmRiff
Greyskull Knight
January 2003

 
  

Topic: Karen  - 200407162216
In my analysis of the Ep.5 sequence, I took the audio and video channels and swapped them over. So I played the pictures as sound and the sound as pictures. You can do that with video quite easily, and while it can be quite noisy, this time it was worthwhile.

Leon_1138 didn't tell us everything. There's another difference to the two versions, and that is that the noise on the Ep5 video signal is different. By noise, I mean all the grey bands running up and down over the picture. If you take the video output and play it as an audio output, you get a lot of noise with a secret message underneath. Now, I've sat here and filtered it all afternoon, and I will reveal those results in a moment. (For those who are interested, the noise on the Ep4 version was the soundtrack fed back into the video.)

As for the static bursts, the opposite process is required. It's the static noise which is actually a video signal. I don't know as there's any hidden content in the video part of the static burst; there certainly isn't using the channel swapping process.

The picture from the first static burst is a '70s-looking shot of a naked woman being amazed by her own breasts. The word REWARD seems to be written at the top of the screen, but the picture quality is understandably poor.

The hidden message in the onscreen noise is:

[before Karen's sequence:] {spoken by SJ:} Steve! Caroline!

[during Karen's sequence:] {hidden under much noise, and spoken by Karen, it sounds like either:} Siddor has your orders. Only he can save you now. {or:} Siddor has your orders. Only he will serve you now. {both seem possible but I favour the former.}

[after Karen's sequence:] {in a computer voice from the theme music to Chocobloc:} Chocobloc!

The pictures from the second static burst would appear to be a cartoon dog sat on a cartoon log, then a cartoon cat sat on a cartoon mat. I think the images are stolen from Chocobloc. Again, the quality is lousy.

Om.
 

Leon_1138
Observer
April 2001
Topic: Karen  - 200407191328
Before people start questioning this, I would like to assure you all that the above post is a sound analysis of the footage.

As thorough as Om was, I think there may be some stuff still left to be found in the sequence, too.
 

Lazlo32
Timelord
December 2002

 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200407241823
I don't suppose you could post any screencaps or sound samples for all that, Om?
 

--Lazlo32
  

TheMightyOmRiff
Greyskull Knight
January 2003

 
  
 

Topic: Karen  - 200407310224
Sorry, Laz. I've not got the means to do screenshots, and I've not got the webspace to do sound files. Otherwise I would.
 
 

 

4Square
Observer
August 2003

 
 
 

Topic: Karen  - 200408050913
They're quite obviously stereograms. But I'm happy to admit that I can't do stereograms. 

What I can do though, is take screencaps and overlay them and clean them up. So here you go:

 

That's the first one. It looks like a digital read-out saying 11:38. So a Star Wars reference, one presumes. The stereogram is only clear enough to work at the height of the static. And then barely. I really had to clean the image up to get this.

 

And here's the second one, which appers to say "Satan loves You". Pleasing to know. Again, it took some cleaning up to see.

So there you go.

----
"Would you like a cup of tea?"
 

Leon_1138
Observer
April 2001
 
Topic: Karen  - 200408181649
I think that about covers it. Nice work, all.
 
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