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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


April 3, 2013

Review: Orphan Black 1x1 (Space/BBC America)

Posted on April 3, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Orphan Black

In Canada: Saturdays, 9e/6p, Space
In the US: Saturdays, 9/8c, BBC America

Watcha cock! What a fine how-do-you-do this is, innit, doncha know. Chim-chiminey-cheroo, I've been watching a bit of the old Nervo and Knox of late and it came into me old noggin like that you'd like a gander at me discombobulations about what I done saw, like, innit.

Right now, I'm sitting in my beefeater uniform, inside a red phone box, with a Tower of London hat on my head, trying to get out of the strange state Orphan Black has put me into. A Canadian show that BBC America has mysteriously picked up too, it stars a bunch of Canadians pretending to be Americans, Germans and, above all, English people. You'd have thought, given the somewhat dodgy quality of the accents that BBC America might have steered clear of this show. But given BBC America - which confusingly is an umbrella network for everything from BBC1 shows to those plucked off Channel 4 and ITV, as well as some original content - is about as authentically British as the average US 'pub', apparently not - even fake Brits appeal to anglophiles, it seems, and Canadians are the next best things anyway.

Besides, o be honest, it's also a show that would be right at home on BBC3.

Orphan Black is a little like the grown-up, nastier, but essentially still tame elder sister of Canada's other 'streetwise sci-fi/fantasy woman' show Lost Girl. It stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah… and Beck… and…, well, you'll see. Sarah is one of those 'streetwise' girls who appear in very comfortable, escapist dramas, living on her wits (e.g. swallowing soap to make herself sick) in a way that anyone with an IQ higher than an amoeba's would instantly spot as mildly criminal or at the very least very odd but no one on these shows ever notices as more than her having an odd day. She's also 'English', with one of those glottal-stop laden attempts at Estuary accents that North American actors do and end up sounding like a spoof character on The Simpsons instead. She's also capable, for no good reason, of doing a slightly more convincing but wobbly 'American' accent. And she's a punk chick, because she wears a Clash 'London Calling' T-shirt. Like all we English people do. All the time. I've got one on under my Beefeater uniform right now, in fact.

Sarah's on the run, but when she gets off a train in Unidentified North American City That Could Be In The US But Is Obviously Canadian, she spots a woman who looks exactly like her… and who commits suicide right in front of her. Sarah steals her belongings and assumes Beck's identity. Somehow, despite Beck being a cop, having a live-in boyfriend, etc, Sarah gets away with it, but before she knows it, more women who look like her start turning up. And then there are the people who are shooting at her, too.

Yes, it's sci-fi conspiracy series thriller time.

Here's a trailer and the opening scene.

Continue reading "Review: Orphan Black 1x1 (Space/BBC America)"

April 2, 2013

Review: Doctor Who - 7x7 - The Bells of Saint John

Posted on April 2, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Doctor Who - The Bells of Saint John

In the UK: Saturday, 6.15pm, 30th March 2013, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer
In the US: Saturday, 8pm/7C, 30th March 2013, BBC America

It's back! Look at that, would you. A new episode of Doctor Who. Ooh, I haven't seen one of those since Christmas. That's because we are now entering part two of series seven, which started last autumn, and is set to finish this November, right around when a new series should have been starting (but isn't, because Steven Moffat's been slowing down a bit). 

Despite the slight paucity of new Who in this, the show's 50th year (my how time flies), we do have multiple treats to look forward to. As well as new companion Clara, who's been introduced and died twice already in different guises, we've Neil Gaiman writing a Cyberman story, a returning enemy, a returning Doctor, and a whole lot more that if I wrote them down now, a lot of people would end up killing me over. So I won't. Just watch the series and enjoy it.

But for this opening episode, The Bells of Saint John, which our Stevie has had simply ages to work on, we had a sort of hybrid story - half-Rusty, half-Blink - that riffed not only on the history of Doctor Who itself, but both Russell T Davies's greatest hits as well as Stevie's own, including Silence in The Library. And it was really rather good.

Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - 7x7 - The Bells of Saint John"

April 1, 2013

Review: Wonder Woman #18/Justice League #18/Superman #18/Injustice: Gods Among us #8-11

Posted on April 1, 2013 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Wonder Woman #18

It's time, once again, for our monthly round-up of all things Wonder Woman in comics. And what a month, because despite the end of the H'El on Earth storyline in Superman/Supergirl/Superboy and the crossover in Batwoman, it's been… well, maybe not momentous, but whatever it's been, I'm not sure I have enough hands for the facepalms required to deal with it all.

Wonder Woman #18 sees the end of the hunt for Zola's baby (finally); Justice League #18 mostly has Wonder Woman alternating between standing around a lot and hitting things; Superman #18 is Wonder Woman-free yet has referenced our heroine rather a lot thanks to the arrival of Orion; and in Injustice: Gods Among Us, it's all out war between the superheroes and everyone else, including each other, with Wondy standing by her man.

Which ones required the most facepalms? I'll give you a clue: it's fortunately the only one where Wonder Woman is literally flirting with Superman over Lois Lane's dead body.

Continue reading "Review: Wonder Woman #18/Justice League #18/Superman #18/Injustice: Gods Among us #8-11"

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