Saturday, December 30, 2006


Back from holiday, and catching up on my telly/film viewing. So, just to kick off: Torchwood last week ("Combat"). I don't believe it-- they actually managed to do a story that worked for a change. OK, it was still transparently ripped off from another source (Fight Club is usually cited, but I see more resemblances to Super-Cannes by J.G. Ballard), but this is the first time I've seen a Torchwood where logical consequences follow. Owen acts like a twat-- and, for a change, gets beaten up for it. Tosh acts like a nerd-- and the baddie immediately twigs that the website is a fake. Gwen throws over her boyfriend-- and he starts making noises about walking out. Somebody other than Gwen actually has moral qualms about what they do for a living. Oh, and Jack actually acts like Jack, rather than Angel. It was a bit like watching a UFO episode from the period where David Tomblin comes in and sorts the whole series out; it'll probably be back to the same old crap tomorrow, but at least we had this one.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Shaken or stirred?" "Does it look like I give a damn?"

Explanation here as to why, although I've seen Casino Royale, and although I think Daniel Craig is one of the best actors of our generation, I haven't put it in my top-picks list. Because, although the Bond Franchise did need to cut back on the silliness somewhat (just an example, the tick-the-box approach to set pieces of the last few movies: "skiing chase scene, check; motorboat chase scene, check; daring escape using helicopters, check..."), it went too far in the other direction (with Craig playing Bond as if he were a real character) and so, things which should have had a tinge of unreality to them to work (e.g. a terrorist engaging in a massively complicated scheme to blow up a plane, as opposed to simply hijacking it and flying it into something) were played as if we were supposed to take them seriously. So my favourite Casino Royale remains the version with seven James Bonds, Orson Welles and a troupe of sea-lions: it's insane, but it's enjoyably insane, and you can at least have fun spotting the bits that Robert Holmes ripped off for his 1970s Doctor Who stories.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

New Torchwood for Old

So, Torchwood gets a second series. I'm really delighted by that-- and I rather hope it doesn't improve, because I'm enjoying the sheer badness of it, and I'm running out of Bela Lugosi DVDs. What worries me, though, is that it will be on BBC2. And, while ratings of between 1 and 2.5m are off the scale for a digital channel, they're lousy on terrestrial (even on second-string terrestrial), and I strongly suspect (based purely on anecdotal evidence, admittedly-- that and the BBC2 repeat ratings) that Torchwood is one of those shows with a loyal core audience but not much of a following among the general public at large. Still, one never knows.

Anyway, Random Shoes. I've just written, and then deleted, a long, rambling and incoherent in a pre-Christmas-not-enough-sleep kind of way, in order to boil my reaction down to two ponts:

1) Cool title.
2) One "Love and Monsters" is enough.

Thank you.

Two Python Posts, and a Penguin in a Pear Tree

Two lovely Monty Python fan vids from Youtube:

We shall not go to Telos. It is a silly place.

This one wins top marks from me not only for good editing and appropriate matching of song and series, but also for creative use of audio clips from the show (oh, and Brian Croucher jokes).

And, in the holiday spirit: