Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Doctor Who

Ok, so I'm two days later than everyone else with any interest in Dr Who, but in my defence I've been... er, well... my schedule is... um... ah, oh, arsebiscuits - here's my view on the latest Who:-

High definition looking mighty fine - apart from the odd 'that looks pasted on' bit in some of the wider CG shots. Not helped by colour choices of, for example, the escape shuttle thing. From a distance it looked like it had a black outline, like the one off of Futurama.

Still, the colours - often the thing I notice first between standard and high def - were stunning and (SADDO ALERT!) Mr Tennant's Hair was looking good down to the very last be-product-laden strand.

Music - top notch, less syrupy and obvious than it has been.

Performances - not a duff one in the lot, even The Aussie One With The Baggy Eyes What Was In Neighbours. Lindsay Duncan was superb as the control freak captain, and the others were somewhat more rounded than the usual cast; compare them to the cast in that bus in the desert one. Enough said. Baftas all round. Mr Tennant's Hair should, obviously, be nominated for an Oscar. The way it drooped in the snow at the end was as moving a performance as I've ever seen. I wept. "Oh the humanity", I cried, "get the man some Su-Su-Studio Line Rock Fix Gel immediately!"


Humour - not as funny as some but some good lines. Bowie Base - brilliant. "Folding Bikes" - yes! The comedy robot (by the way - "gadgetgadget"... doesn't that sound a little like "bideebidee", the robot off of Buck Rogers In the 25th Century"?) "Name, Rank, Intention"... "Doctor... Doctor... er, fun?". Lovely lovely.

Monsters - good ones, again much better than the last special. Nice prosthetics too.

Now, he says clearing his throat...

Plot. I don't expect Mr T Davies's's's stories to be watertight (oh punnity pun), even more so after reading how last minute he finishes them. But this one was a bit weak. Er, why surrender to "gagdetgadget" when a quick zzzap with the sonic would surely disable it? When he found out who everyone was and that he couldn't change things - why not save them all and put them on a distant planet somewhere they'd never be found? He mentioned that he's been in the "knowing this has to happen" situation before (Pompeii) but this one really moved him - why? The sudden change to Timelord Victorious - er, somewhat clumsy clunking of gears there, only made at all logical by Mr Tennant's superb performance.

The bit with the Dalek sparing the young Captain - didn't work at all for me. Why would the Daleks want Earthlings to explore the galaxies? Surely that would peeve them somewhat? I suppose Russell T was slightly handicapped with what stories he could've used from the recent back catalogue to illustrate why Ickle Baby Captain was special, but still...

Oh, and the end. Why didn't Old Lady Captain just run away, kill her two comrades then herself, so history wasn't altered - she seemed to think it mattered more than old Timelord Victorious about that but didn't try that hard. The change in the web pages was a bit weak too.

OK, enough. It motored along and was fun and exciting and interesting, but - to be frank - it needed a further writing pass to tighten up and fill these holes. And add a bit more as...

Pacing - it was slow. If it'd been standard length it probably would've been OK. The bit where Mr Tennant was stood at the door watching people run around with protein boxes - that seemed to last fifteen minutes alone. There was quite a lot of fat in it. Unlike Mr Tennant, looking even more rake-thin than usual.


OK, I'll stop now. As far as a televisual experience goes, Dr Who still wipes the floor with every other British made drama currently on... or, indeed, on in the last ten years. And as a setup for the Christmas ep, it was marvellous. The Doctor going mad, knowing he's going to die, the Timelord Victorious stuff - that's all new and interesting. Trailing Bernard Cribbins... Catherine Tait... The Master as a Homeless: oh, joy!

I just hope the end of the Christmas one is (temporarily) nice so I won't sit on Xmas Day being a bit frowny and worried.

As for the final ep, I'm expecting everyone to come back, from Sarah Jane, K9, and Mickey to Rose, Martha, Cap'n Jack and all.


(One footnote: not to be snide before the event, but I can't imagine The New Doctor Mr Smith giving a performance like Mr Tennant did in this ep. I suggest he needs EXTRAORDINARY hair to distract from the fact he's around nineteen and looks like he's been slapped in the face with a pan)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

July 17th was the last time I posted on here. Eek. Well, I have had the excuse of employing 30 new staff on a big new project. New offices. New equipment. New bosses. New everything.

Apart from me.

Can't say I can promise to keep this updated any more, but here are x number of random telly notes:-

Am sort of loving it. Really enjoyable series, great premise, good actors, nicely paced, great effects. But. Butbutbutbutbutbut.

Er, it's all going to go to shit, isn't it? Lost did, and so will this. A matter of time. It's already quite inconsistent - the end of ep 4 revealed The Blond Dead One Out of Lost and The Tall Deep Voiced One Out Of This Life 'caused' the flashforward. GASP! Then ep 5 didn't mention it and sent everyone to Washington DC. I thought I'd accidentally flashedforward a week and missed an ep out.

(OK, I didn't, I thought I'd picked the next ep on my Sky+)

And The One Who's Ralph Fiennes Brother - has he had loads of Botox around his mouth or something? He talks clenching his jaw throughout, even when being nice to his ickle baby child. It's irritating.

I'll keep with it but I know, am just dreadfully certain, that it's going to have a hokey conclusion that will make me spit with fury at spending 22 hours of my life with pouty Joseph Fiennes and his mates.

So you all know how much I like the news, or more specifically the titles of the news. And ITV News has redone theirs. I was slightly excited - mainly as ITV News is about as important to me as Supreme Master TV (Sky 835, or suprememastertv.com - and, no, it's not a spoof)

It's OK, in a low-budget out-of-the-Nineties virtual-reality way. The titles do start and stop three or four times for some reason. And they could've got An Famous to do the voiceover, like they did for CBS News in the States when legendary anchor Walter Kronkite did the v/o announcing (shock, horror - a lady!) "This is the CBS News, with Katie Couric"). They got some PR for that.

Why didn't they ask Sir Trevor MacDonald? Generic Voice Over Man may be more convenient and cheaper, I suppose, and that summarises TV generally nowadays, and ITV specifically.

I think Simon Cowell's saving of Jedward (God, I've typed that word, I want to kill myself.. quick, calm down, it's in the interests of TV, it's OK.. pant) will be the Jump The Shark moment for X Factor. I'm glad they've got rid of the voting to Sundays as I can watch the remaining monkeys sing on a Saturday, in what is a wonderfully produced and artfully contrived big variety show, without giving any consideration to all da kidz texting in. Of course I'm watching Antiques Roadshow in high def when the results thing is on. It'll just make me angry anyway.

Tsk tsk Simon, you've really pissed on your chips there.

Speaking of posh telly pictures, now I've got used to it, it's a bit meh. I notice more when things I like aren't high def (like Flashforward - come on Five, pull yer finger out!) than I do when they are.

5 GARROW'S LAW (I think it's called that)
That new oldene dayes thing about the original defence lawyer, that's high def. And it's the only show that I've ever managed to sit through where people wear hats and bonnets and wigs and other odd headgear - see blogs ad infinitum. Any hatular activity (unless it's sci-fi) sends me diving for the channel change button before the first 'good morrow me lady' is said.

But it kinda works for me here, as it's primarily a courtroom drama, and they always have wigs. Even Crown Court had wigs. ... ...

I loved Crown Court, ITV's fairly rubbish daytime drama out of the seventies. Dirt cheap to churn out, crap acting, wooden sets, but as I only ever saw it when I was off school ill, so it was a 'treat'. Like pancakes for lunch (mmm sugary) and Lucozade.

Back to 2009 - Garrow's Law started off as wooden as the New Forest but got me hooked halfway through the first ep.

Please watch it. It's on E! a hundred times a week and is consistently the funniest thing on telly. Joel McHale is superb, and is now starring in a sitcom so the show comes from NY not LA. My only problem is that the standards division censors everything a little too much, from blanking out the voice of the sponsor of a segment, through blurring title captions and logos, to pixellating the running gag when Joel shoots the little hairy bloke dead most weeks. And blanking out the gunshot. That's just silly.

Rightyho, there's some random telly guff spewed in your general direction. Hopefully the next vomitous episode will arrive quicker than 4 months' time. Probably next week - it's NEW DOCTOR WHO this weekend. So excited!!!!1!!