noughts and crosses

It feels like a “good” day to repost these images

Ages ago on Twitter I posted these two pages from the Noughts and Crosses book Crossfire on my Twitter, captioned “Malorie Blackman is pulling no punches.”

And today-

Just… man. Just think about that.

Things I noticed while screencapping Noughts and Crosses

A few little bits of background/worldbuilding stuff I thought was interesting.

The Nought hospital, and indeed the whole Nought world, seems to be absolutely plastered with ads about birth control/abortion/not drinking while pregnant.

Compare that to the Cross hospital, which has calming artwork and the like:

I wonder if the man behind Kamal there is the unnamed Nought cleaner who got killed in the explosion.

This has been pointed out before by other people, but all the default emojis in this world have dark skin.

Look in the middle of the newpaper there… publically flogged? Ouch.

Oh and even newspapers use derogatory words for people on their front pages. Thank god that doesn’t happen in reality. Oh wait.

Why oh why does Sephy, one of the richest people in her world, still have an ancient brick phone with a numberpad… (wait, unless that was a burner phone just for Callum, I can’t remember.)

I still really love the little moment of the Cross woman stopping at Danny’s memorial.

Other people have pointed this out too, but this alt-world seems to have almost no sexual discrimination, at least not in the high-up places of society. The team that come to rescue Sephy are lead by a woman, there’s woman SWAT officers… and of course the big statue that represents the country is a woman.

You can’t see it all that well, but the thing written behind Jude there says “Naughty crosses make cross noughts” which is exactly the sort of snappy slogan that would exist in this world, I dig it.

Man, what wouldn’t I give for an art book of this series…

(Screencaps are here.)

Noughts and Crosses, episodes 5 and 6

The finale, already! And it is VERY different to how it goes in the book, hmmm. Okay technically we’re still only 3/4 quarters through the book but things have taken a fairly drastic turn. Some things to consider:

-If this adaptation is gonna stick with making Jude (at least somewhat of a) good guy then all of Checkmate (the third book) goes out of the window, hmmm.

-Obviously everything surrounding Sephy’s pregnancy has been moved around, so Callie could be potentially be born before Callum [THE BIGGEST SPOILER] even?

-I feel so terribly sorry for Meggie. But I suppose that goes without saying. It sort of seems like she’s lost Jasmine’s friendship towards the end as well, even though it was so nearly fixed.

-Okay so Kamal is much more sympathetic in this show than in the books, which just goes to show how absolutely horrible he is in the books. I can’t picture this Kamal telling Sephy “You are no longer my daughter, you are a blanker’s slut” though I suppose there’s still time.

-Oh hey there’s Stormzy! But even though his casting was a massive deal when it was announced, he’s not actually… in it much?

-Honestly if I have one complaint about this series it’s how sped-up the timeline is. It seems to take a matter of weeks for Sephy and Callum to fall into death-defying love? And that makes me buy the ending of the last episode a lot less, though it was nice and all. I don’t think there was enough of a foundation for Sephy to give up her family and run away with Callum, even with the baby involved. Especially not considering he had just kidnapped and imprisoned her and she’d just stabbed him.

-Alternate version of one of the final scenes:

SEPHY: I am not your enemy.

CALLUM: No, you’re worse. Standing by, watching, doing nothing.

SEPHY: Um I stood up to my horrible dad and my teacher and I got in a physical fight to defend you and if not for me Danny’s parents wouldn’t have seen him one last time and I stopped the police from harassing you AND I TRIED TO SAVE YOUR FATHER, YOU WERE THERE, CALLUM

I hope there’s at least one more season.

Noughts and Crosses, episode 4

I actually had a dream about Noughts and Crosses last night, I can remember almost nothing about it but I do recollect a sort of crushing and depressing atmosphere. Accurate!

Jumping right in. Hey I’m impressed that just for a few seconds, they implied Sephy had died in the bombing and for one moment I did wonder (obviously that doesn’t happen in the book)

Ouch, the TV news announcing the names of the dead Cross doctors but not the dead nought cleaner.

Seeing Dorn get punched in the face was so very satisfying, man I hate him. He’s the sort of person who is interested in revolution only because it gives him an excuse to manipulate, abuse and hurt whoever gets in his way. (I hate that kind of character. And that kind of person, too, actually.)

Paterson Joseph is putting in another amazing performance as a terrible person, talking about erasing the same sort of people that his son is while still being a good father (on the surface at least) to his legitimate daughters. Ohh he’s skin-crawling. It’s amazing.

I was wondering if this series was going to go into the world beyond “noughts” and “crosses” (i.e. people who are neither African or white) because the books never really did as far as I remember. And they sort of touched on it in this episode because Ryan’s lawyer was an Indian woman, and we can see she’s in a pretty respected place in society even though Jasmine, a Cross, can’t get her name right. I wish they’d go more into it all though. What does the rest of the globe really make of or wish to do about Albion, because “we look absurd to the rest of the world?” raises all sorts of questions?

Aha, Jasmine’s character development is here.

Man, now that’s a downer ending… I remember from the books what happened to Ryan, and it’s not good. (I do sort of wish they’d done the almost-execution scene though, because that one of the scenes I wondered from the beginning how they’d do.)

Noughts and Crosses, episodes 2 and 3

Let’s take a look on Twitter while episode 3 airs!

…Okay, let’s not.

The stuff about Kamal’s affair and secret child seems to be coming more to the surface, I remember that from the book! But I don’t remember it being as prominent as it was in this.

Still no mention of Lynette, I guess she’s not in this version at all? Ah well.

“Milk-faced” is exactly the sort of insult which would exist in this world. And damn, the more subtle things, Jasmine insinuating that Noughts are drunken rapists without using the word, the McGregors having to go through the metal detector at the passing-out ceremony while the Crosses walk on by, Jude’s remark about changing a Nought-sounding name to a Cross-sounding one to get a job… and that’s not even getting into the “strength in difference” speech.

Regarding Lekan, who I think is the biggest character without a book counterpart:

I know we’re not supposed to like him but he seems a little too much of a one-dimension villain I guess. He’s cruel, controlling, has no redeeming features whatsoever. I suppose I like to dislike him, maybe. But I can’t see where his character could possibly end up at this point?

(Same with Dorn really, but I’m pretty sure the version of him in the book is killed.)

Meanwhile, Jasmine comes off as pretty awful (if tortured) during these episodes, but I look forward to the character development which I know is coming.

That one Cross woman who stopped and prayed at Danny’s memorial… that was a small moment but a big deal.

Happy International Women’s Day!

To celebrate the occasion, here’s some of my favourite ladies from fiction!

Row 1: Amy Pond (Doctor Who), Sephy Hadley (Noughts and Crosses), Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Rose Tico (Star Wars), Elsa (Frozen/Disney), Melissa Chartres (The Last Man on Earth)

Row 2: Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings/Middle Earth), Quinn Ergon (Final Space), The Thirteenth Doctor (Doctor Who), Princess Bubblegum (Adventure Time), Jane Foster (Thor/MCU), Amy Santiago (Brooklyn 99)

Row 3: Brook Soso (Orange is the New Black), Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Erica Dundee (The Last Man on Earth), Kitty Winter (Sherlock Holmes), Rose Tyler (Doctor Who), Briony Tallis (Atonement)

Row 4: Meredith Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy/MCU), Missandei (Game of Thrones), Rey (Star Wars), Donna Noble (Doctor Who), Carol Pilbasian (The Last Man on Earth), Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame/Disney)

Row 5: Sansa Stark (Game of Thrones), Ash Graven (Final Space), Tiana (The Princess and the Frog/Disney), Sophia Burset (Orange is the New Black), Misty (Pokemon), Clara Oswald (Doctor Who)

Row 6: Bill Potts (Doctor Who), Mary Brown (Paddington), Mako Mori (Pacific Rim), Gwen Stacy (Spider-Man), Jackie Tyler (Doctor Who), Ursula Ditkovich (Spider-Man)

Row 7: Yaz Khan (Doctor Who), Mary Jane Watson (Spider-Man), Marceline (Adventure Time), Michelle (10 Cloverfield Lane,), Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow/MCU), Mantis (Guardians of the Galaxy (MCU)

Row 8: Eponine Thenardier (Les Miserables), Mabel Pines (Gravity Falls), Sandra Kaluiokalani (Superstore), Padme Amidala (Star Wars), Martha Jones (Doctor Who), Jasmine (Aladdin/Disney)

Row 9: Beru Whitesun (Star Wars), Nakia (Black Panther/MCU), Diana (Wonder Woman), Chummy Browne (Call the Midwife), Rosa Diaz (Brooklyn 99), Leia Organa (Star Wars)

Noughts and Crosses the TV show, episode one

Way back in 2001 I was poking around in the school library and I found a book called Noughts and Crosses, and then I did the DUMBEST. THING. EVER. I opened it at the last page. I was thirteen and not very smart okay? If you’ve read the book you’ll know what happens on that last page. So… I knew. I knew before I began reading the story properly what horrible thing would happen. And now… I get to experience it all again! Maybe they’ve changed it? I hope they haven’t changed it, man, that ending is one of the punchyouintheface-est of all time. And it oughta be.


I wasn’t sure back when this series was announced what I thought about it being set in the modern day (at the start of the book Sephy and Callum are just children and there isn’t any of the 2020 technology you see in the show, owing to it being written in the 00s) but I think it was absolutely the right way to go.

So… I liked that they got the “blanker” in there from the start and made it clear what it meant. It was so painful when Sephy said it, maybe even more painful than in the book. (Actually… hmm, maybe not. God, that moment.) And the use of “boy,” slid in there from the cops, subtle but ohh so effective.

Jude is the best casting appearance-wise from my point of view, he looks exactly how I pictured him. But, speaking of the McGregor family, no Lynette? :( Unless her death will come up in conversation later? But some of her role seems to have been taken by Danny, the kid at the beginning, in a sense.

I knew Shaun Dingwall’s character was a wrong ‘un! Shaun Dingwall always seems to play those kinds of roles. I knew EXACTLY what awful thing he was going to do as soon as he stepped into the hospital room. He’s an amalgamation of at least two characters from the book I think. I hope he gets his just desserts.

My gosh the chemistry between Masali Baduza and Jack Rowan is OFF THE CHARTS. They could not have cast those two better. I loved Sephy so much. I mean she was great in the book as well, but I really liked and connected with her even more in this. Oh man. I wish such awful things weren’t gonna happen to her. :(

Minerva seems to be the younger sister in this version? I swear she was older in the book but in this one she comes off as the younger one. On the other hand that does fit her characterization from the novel, and the relationship between her and Sephy…

Sephy and Minerva and their mother also got to wear some STUNNING costumes, as did everyone else, but OH MY GOSH Sephy’s red dress LOOK AT IT.

(thank god for promo pictures because shots off the iPlayer never look any good)

Oh hey a Romeo and Juliet balcony scene was in there! I know there was a balcony scene in the books ya see, and I think I remember Malorie Blackman saying it was there because of Romeo and Juliet, that other famous love story about tragedy and poor communication.

And the plaster scene was in there! Good, cos that’s kinda… I guess maybe even the most important scene in the book, since the “Only plasters for white skin” problem was what helped inspire Malorie Blackman to write the book in the first place. Hey Tesco does plasters in all colours now! Maybe things are moving, just very slowly.

Finally… I know people on Twitter are being awful about this show and everyone involved in it right now, I’ve already seen it, and I really don’t wanna see it again. Not even gonna click on the hashtag, I’ve decided. People can just live in their own little bubbles of clueless awfulness, nothing will get them out.

For that and many other reasons I hope this show does really, really well.

Noughts and Crosses TOMORROW!

…and I won’t be able to watch it live! Aw man. I’ve only waited fifteen-odd years for this show. BUT right after the first episode the whole series is available on the iPlayer so I can watch it over the weekend. Oh god, by the end of it I’m going to be in bits.

In the meantime, look at the utter gorgeousness of this poster. This is as high-def as I could find it but my god, I want it for my wall.