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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Out of date Who

It was the end of an era at the weekend, as I finally watched the last ever episode of 70's children's classic, The Tomorrow People; a four parter entitled The War Of The Empires. It was a suitably epic finale, with the Earth caught in the middle of an interstellar war between two alien races and the Tomorrow People having to defy the bureaucratic handwringing of the Galactic Federation and save the day on their own.

Of course, as the cast oh so gleefully point out on commentary, the epic nature of the finale; itself a fluke, since this was never intended to be the end; is undercut slightly by the fact that one of said alien races look like giant rubber penises. This show , it seems, was destined to never quite tick all the boxes at the same time.

A Sorson
But as I keep saying; and I guess I have to mean it this time; I'm not just here to talk about The Tomorrow People. Nope, this week I'm going to have a little something to say about...

Now, I've not talked about Doctor Who for a long time. I stayed away from the 'is the extended break a sign that the show is in trouble, even though the ratings are as high as ever' nonsense; I stayed away from the 'is Steven Moffat a big old sexist' faff, (but seriously, have you watched Press Gang?) and I declined to comment on the new companion announcement (but since we're on the subject, I approve). I feel that the time is right to break my silence now though, because, well, I had nothing else to talk about and I had a sudden random memory of something Who related and thought 'that'll do'.

See, way back in the dim and murky past; when Moffat was first setting up his stall; he created Amy Pond.

All, and I do mean all, of the speculation surrounding that first series; at least on the boards I frequented; was related to her. People believed, quite rightly as it turned out, that Moffat would have some trick up his sleeve and the clues pointed to that trick being Amy related. I begged to differ. I said that Amy was a red herring and that any importance she had, over and above just being a great companion which in my view is importance enough, would be entirely circumstantial. River, I said, would be the main thrust of Moffats tenure. The phrase I used was, 'Moffats Rose', a character that would drop in and out of the show and come to define his era, in the way that Rose had done for the RTD years.

The main points that were thrown at me, to prove me wrong, were as follows;

"She lives alone, with no adults!" Well, she mentions an Aunt. "Yes, but we never see the Aunt!"

"She doesn't remember the Daleks!"

"Her village is weird! The duck pond with no ducks, and the dates on things being a bit off."

And as we are all now aware, each of those points was... nothing to do with Amy. Her Aunt existed, we just didn't see her in the opener because we didn't need to for the story. In fact, she probably would have derailed it.

She didn't remember the Daleks because no-one remembered the Daleks.

The duck pond had no ducks because of the time cracks. Which had nothing, personally, to do with her.

The dates in the village were, if I had to guess, intentionally fudged to make it difficult to pinpoint exactly when her 'present' was, given how often she is said to have to wait years for the Doctor. Certainly, it never becomes a major issue in the storyline.

No, Amy's main claim to fame, as it were, was not as a shapeshifter, or a construct, or a 'cuckoo' sent to spy on the Doctor. It was that she was River's Mother. So, you know, reflected importance from the character whose story Moffat really wanted to tell.

I'm not saying this to in any way denigrate the character of Amy because as companions go, despite a rocky start, she's a good 'un. If anything, I'll be glad if we can move even further away from the idea of Companion as Myth, after the Rose/BadWolf, Year of Martha, and Doctor/Donna stuff. So if I say she was ordinary, I mean it in the best possible way.

I've held off on pointing out this staggeringly brilliant prediction because, I'll be honest, I kept expecting something to happen that would derail my victory celebrations, but I think that I can rest easily now; she only has a handful of episodes left and I doubt very much that anything she does in them is going to overshadow the whole, 'Mother of the love of the Doctor's life' thing.

So there you have it, this weeks post is simply an excuse for me to gloat over winning  a 3yr old argument no-one else even remembers having. What! It's my blog, if you don't like it you can bugger off. (But please dont bugger off)

Next week will be yet more Moffat talk, because I am finally about to watch Jekyll, which I started when it aired but never saw the end of. I'm expecting great things. I'll see you then.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Anything Frankie Boyle Can Do...

I realised something recently. You know that Fear Itself thing I wrote about the pilot of and said it wasn't very good? I've forgotten all about it. Seriously, it's entire existence slipped my mind. So I've seen 2 eps and that's it. That never happens, to me. I can remember shows that ran for 7 episodes on Saturday mornings when I was 12, but this...? How bland must this show be? 

Anyway, if I haven't been watching Fear Itself, what have I been watching. Well, as it turns out, not much. Unless you count The Tomorrow People but I'm sure people are sick of hearing about that show on here now. So all I'll say is S7 new boy Andrew, played by Nigel Rhodes, does a pretty mean Scottish accent, even though he isn't. Scottish, that is.

I'll never work again? Och, I dinnae believe ya.

Which doesn't really leave me much to talk about. So, er, what's everyone been up to? Any great TV watching stories to tell? At least one of you Countryfile fans must have orgasmed to John Cravens voice, at least? You can admit it, we're all friends here.

No? Well I guess it's down to me then. To produce content for this blog I mean, not induce orgasms in Countryfile viewers. I'll think of something...hang it! No, it's gone.

Mmm...yeah...sheeps wool...soft and gentle...bush

This post will just have to be a random, disjointed mish mash of barely related comments, that has no flow, no point to make, and no merit whatsoever as a piece of writing. A bit like when Frankie Boyle writes his column for The Sun.

I still haven't gotten around to watching any of the DVD's I spotlighted in my 'Watching Soon' post. Not Jekyll, not Flash Gordon, not even Dangermouse. And now you can add Caprica to that list. I'll get to them soon, I swears.

What's the deal with Supernatural on DVD? When I needed S4 no-one had it. Everyone had 1-3 and 5, but no 4's. Now I want S6 and again there's a shortage. Even worse this time though, because all any shop I go in seems to have is a boatload of S1's. Is it any wonder people are abandoning the high street?

Jensen, Jared and Misha. Some people think they're hot. Can't see it myself.

I still think Wizards Vs Aliens is a cringey, tacky, low rent name for a TV show, young audience or not.

Game of Thrones S2 recently ended on Sky. I look forward to seeing it on DVD in September 2015.

But not for a long time

Who remembers Woof! ?

Saw the 1st season of the War of the Worlds TV show in HMV the other day. I'll be having that. I expected this show to come out on DVD to capitalise when the Cruise movie was released. Always thought it was a missed opportunity when it didn't. Unless it did, and they've been sitting in the same crate as all the Supernatural DVD's.
And not a sword wielding immortal in sight

Why has The Borribles not been adapted for the telly yet? Shearsmith and Pemberton to play the coppers.

I've just realised that the existence of American Horror Story in it's current form means Dark Blue must have been cancelled. I need to  get my finger back on the pulse.

Random pic of Candice Accola looking hot. Just because.

And that's the end. No point, no proper conclusion, just a random bunch of waffle about not much. Hope you enjoyed. Or didn't. Or whatever. At least the pictures were nice, right? 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE DIE?!? Oh, right, thanks.

Playing catch up at the minute, since the blogs haven't been updating lately, so this post may not be quite as topical as I might have liked. Never mind though eh?

 Around this time last year; can it really have been so long?; I posted a two part look at The Vampire Diaries, to coincide with the end of Season 2 on ITV2 and my having read the first series of novels. I wrote on here of how the books and show differed in terms of content, while on the book blog I discussed the; bloody massive; difference in quality. I'd intended to do the same this year, comparing S3 with the second series of novels except, well...

Unlike the first couple of seasons of the TV show, which were surprisingly faithful to the first series of novels, the 3rd season did not, as might have been expected, stick anywhere near the plot of the new books. The TV writers continued down their own path, essentially ignoring the new books existence in all but the most trivial and cosmetic aspects. In fact, the only element of the new books to have entered the show, that I can think of off the top of my head, is the name Sage.

Even here though, the connection is tenuous at best and one has to question why it was even included. In the books, Sage is an ancient vampire of the same ilk as Klaus and described by the ever vacuous Elena as 'a tall blonde hunk of a vampire.' He pays a pivotal role in the story and hints are seeded that he could well prove even more important in future novels. In the show, Sage is just another previously unmentioned vampire with a past connection to one of the Salvatores, destined to appear in a couple of flashbacks then get killed off in a vain attempt to convince us that there is some genuine peril in this town where no-one (important) dies. Oh, and female. That this 'Sage in name only' character is played by the delectable Cassidy Freeman only adds to the tragedy of her quick demise. In my opinion.

Freed from the constraints of trying to be faithful to the books then, does the show soar this year? In a word, no. If anything, it flounders. It wallows in the same turgid soap opera that dragged down so much of S2, whilst introducing yet more unkillable characters to clog up an already overcrowded cast; characters who are supposedly heartless killing machines but who miraculously start exhibiting redeeming features and showing their feelings, 5 minutes after they show up. Whether it be Rebekah falling for Matt, or Klaus pining over Caroline (though who could blame him) it seemed that no character was free of the romance curse.

Now, I know that this has ever been a staple of the show and much of the shows fanbase is comprised of those God-awful 'shippers' who thrive on these ridiculous pairings but a large part of what made the show so good in it's early days was that that stuff was complimented by some good old fashioned bloodthirsty horror. And when no-one is allowed to die, bloodthirsty horror is hard to pull off.

As S3 drew to a close we got some welcome signs that things might finally be moving on. The endless 'can we kill the originals, should we kill the originals, will we kill the originals, can we kill the originals' cycle came to an end with the constant 'they're dead, oh no, hang on, they're not' so called 'twists' finally giving way to what appeared to be some genuine (finally, thank you!) cast culling. I know these guys have their fans, but I for one cheered; if certain characters are back next year I shall be very upset.

                                               Why Won't You Die!!! Oh. Never mind

I hold out a fair degree of hope that S4 might bring something a bit special to the table and properly revitalise the show. Certainly the final scene marks a pretty significant departure for them, assuming we don't get some convoluted cop-out, but it's the little things...

New girl Meredith is an interesting character and if she can avoid falling in love with someone two weeks into the new season she should be good for some 'pragmatic outsider' storylines...

They saw fit to actually make use of Jeremy's power in the run up to the finale so we can maybe hope that they have interesting plans for that...

Rebekah, apart from her 'thing' for Blando Matt, could be interesting although there is a definite risk of her becoming a Caroline clone. For my part, I predict she has ties with Meredith in some wider scheme. Not sure why I think that, but I'll be sure to remind you all of it if I'm proved right...

Tyler is being played as a shifty bugger. I like this. When you think about it, as a hybrid he is probably one of the most powerful supernatural characters on the show, and yet is consistently played as a victim. Now that he is his own man we can hopefully see him begin to own that power a little more...

And of course, my favourite thing they've done; they've made the use of those horrible rings dangerous. Hopefully this means that we won't have to put up with any more of those meaningless 'cliffhangers' were someone dies and we're all supposed to be gobsmacked except everyone knows they'll just wake up again after the ads. It got old reaallly quickly and I'm pleased they've finally addressed it and given themselves an in-story 'out', so they can move away from their use with a bit of dignity.

Stop Being Alive Again!!!! 

So there you have it. Shorn of my page-screen comparison I just went with a random bunch of observations and half formed opinions. Wanna make something of it? I'll be over on the book blog on Friday, moaning about how shit the books were, but until then, that's your whack of me and The Vampire Diaries. Check back here next week, if you like, and I might have posted something about something. Or maybe something about something else. Or maybe nothing at all. Who knows? Not me.