After the debacle that was Jonathon Frakes’ remake of Thunderbirds, Gerry Anderson called it "…the biggest load of crap I have ever seen in my life”, it is with some trepidation that I notice that Hollywood, currently in a frenzy to reboot anything they can lay their hands on, apparently have UFO in preproduction. Rumour has it they are aiming more for BSG than Spy Kids because unlike Frakes who confessed to having never seen an episode of Thunderbirds, Matthew Gratzner has from what I can see been saying all the right things, "There’s a reason UFO has a following, there’s a reason that Gerry Anderson has a following, and for us to overlook that or take that for granted would be foolish." And based on how good the Moonbase Interceptor looks on the preview poster, not I grant much to base an opinion on, it surely can’t be worse than the remake of Thunderbirds. I shall be watching this one closely.
If you don’t remember the original series here’s the brilliant opening sequence in HD.
Spooks has shown some legs as the ninth series comes to and end and a tenth being promised in 2011. Utter hokum as it obviously is despite the producers regular attempts to prove otherwise, any drama about MI-5 is going to sail close to current events eventually, the lack of sentimentality for major characters and their regular culling has kept it fresh; only Harry Pearce and Ruth Evershed seeming able to dodge the regular barrage of bullets and random explosions.
This series along with usual stuff about rogue states, assassins and the cold war that never ended, sees Lucas North ( he of the prison tattoos and chromatic flashbacks) as his past catches up and reminds him he’s not actually Lucas North. As all this is going on the two new recruits Beth Bailey and Dimitri Levendis are rather side-lined after some cursory backstory fleshes them out but it’s soon heads down as Lucas sets off the four episode timer marked ‘self destruct’. For a split second at the end I thought they might let Lucas escape into the tenth series but the end result was rather anticlimactic. I’m not sure Harry will be out a job for long.
It started out with both me and Mrs C thinking maybe it wouldn’t have legs but the first series of Reaper is over and it’s proven to be a cracker. If you’ve not seen it I won’t give too much away so when the DVD’s surface borrow, rent or purchase ‘em. The main plot follows Sam whose parents have sold his soul to the devil in return for saving the father from a fatal illness, ‘Ol Nick then uses Sam as a sort of Bounty Hunter whose job is return escaped souls back to hell whilst he tries to keep job at the local DIY centre. If they had stuck to this template as a weekly formula it would run out of puff pretty quickly but they’ve fleshed out the back story and given Sam has some brilliant support from ‘Sock’ and Ben…oh and Ray Wise does a quite genius turn as the Dark Lord himself, all perma-tan and gleaming white smile. Plus a ton of other stuff that would as I mentioned just give the game away. A funny, sharply written, doesn’t have a huge special effects budget but it doesn’t matter gem of a series.
Is it possible to drive across America without giving any money to ‘the man’? No chain stores, no chain motels and no chain petrol stations or gas stations you must, in the 2700 miles from San Francisco to New York. A sort of Naomi Klein Road Trip. What started as an experiment to understand how much America is dependant on ‘chains’, ‘multiples’ or ‘brands’ and to see if you can travel across the country only using ‘independent’ and ‘Mom & Pop’ businesses, it ended up as a wonderful picture of an America that is essentially what we all, even those of us who aren’t Americans, understand the country to be. The backbone of America is not MacDonalds, Starbucks or Wal-Mart but the thousands of small independent businesses that to glue to country together. Dave Gorman gave us a glimpse of an America that might soon be gone forever.
Even the car he drove was a metaphor.
Today Izzy and Ajax, along with Karen of course, spend the day at Teddington yacht club as extras for the upcoming ITV comedy ‘Cat Walk Dog’. It stars Kris Marshall famous as Colin Frissell and the fella from the BT ads.
As is typical for extras they hung around all day and the shooting was over in thirty minutes. It hasn’t gone to their heads but Ajax and Izzy did mention that the next time we want them to do something we should contact their agents.
With the first season of Torchwood now finished I’m still in two minds about the series. Don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed it and haven’t missed a single episode but I can’t help feeling that Torchwood has yet to deside what it wants to be, a fully fledged serious Sci-Fi drama, adult teen friendly light entertainment or some kind of hybrid mutant mix of everything in between. As Karen pointed out to me it’s a bit a curates egg in that respect…it’s good in parts.
Firstly with 13 episodes to play with I’m surprised more time wasn’t spend on filling us in on the background of the characters. How did they get involved with Torchwood? None of them apart from Gwen seems to have a social life. Toshiko and Ianto seem woefully underdeveloped, Ianto particularly is still paper thin character wise…yes he had a Cyberwoman for a girlfriend but then he hardly said anything for the next half dozen episodes. Oh and where’s the empathy between the members of Torchwood Three? No wonder they keep things from each other when they all think the others to quote Gwen are ‘tossers’.
However for me the character that needs sharpening up the most is Harkness who is frankly all over the place. I know Russell TD is trying to make Capt Jack come across a complex and somewhat troubled character but I’m not sure we should mistake randomness for complexity, sometimes he’s a man or should that be alien of action the next he couldn’t organise piss up in his local. A leader he isn’t, no wonder they all seem to ignore him when the shit hits fan and whilst indestructability worked for Capt Scarlet it removes any sense of danger for Capt Jack. I know the Doctor won’t die but I know he could.
So here’s hoping Season Two sees the scripts and the characters tightned up because as it currently stands if these guys are our last line of defense against the scum of universe we’re f*&%$d!
Interesting article from the Motley Fool on the Xbox 360 and they have a point. As the 360 is not only a great games console but also a media extender why don’t the Xbox troops push this gentler side of the console? With Sony in a mess over PS3 and the Wii in short supply in the run up to Christmas, what a fantastic opportunity to broaden the appeal of 360 in areas they can’t touch.
I have a confession…
I’ve been watching “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”.
There I’ve said it. And it wasn’t for the reason you’re thinking. It was the usual mix of contestants with some double Z list fillers.
Ex Busted bassist Matt Willis, was the surprise winner as David Gest the fav was shown his marching orders with Dean “Eastender” Gaffney in the double vote the day before. The great British public love a bit of humility and Gesty blew it when he showed complete ignorance of the fine art of washing up, I think no one could quite believe it. The final three including Jason Donovan and Myleene Klass showed their metal with the final tasks but Matt’s bush tucker trial swinging it in his favour, anyone who eats Kangaroo’s anus and crocodile penis is always going to be taken to the publics heart.
Oh and in case anyone from The Sun reads this, Myleene’s are real.
Has anyone noticed that Sam Loover’s car in Joe 90 looks like a BMW 3.0 Csi. At least from the front. Actually with the monster spoiler on the boot it also mimics the lightweight CSL version too. Joe 90 precedes BMW’s big Coupe by a few years so maybe one of the designers was a fan.
It’s not often that something you remember from the dim and distant turns out to be as good as you remember if not better. Well it does happen…honest. BBC4 has just finished showing the whole of I.Claudius over thirteen consecutive nights and I was hooked; it is without doubt some of the best TV ever produced. By modern standards the production values seem a little low rent but the quality of the script and the actors means this doesn’t matter, in fact it adds to the claustrophobic feel of the Imperial House and makes you feel a like to have front row seats to all the plots, schemes and excessive goings on.
Historians may think it portrays the fourth Julian Roman emperor in too favourable a light, after all being a Emperor was a bloody and nasty business two thousand years ago, but Robert Graves gave us a compelling and fascinating story. Besides much of the early post Republic history was written by only a few historians and we know how inaccurate they are and it’s not as if Graves is claiming some monster contradictory version of history like the Americans discovering the Enigma machine or winning the Battle of Britain.
Claudius was a fascinating figure as he limped, stammered and twitched his way to building the famous port at Ostia, successfully quelled the British tribes which both Julius and Caligula failed to do, gave almost a million people Roman citizenship, build a couple of aqueducts and ensured that the Roman road network expanded to accommodate the larger Empire.
Oh…our cat is named after his grandmother.