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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.


June 7, 2010

Review: Doctor Who - 5x10 - Vincent and the Doctor

Posted on June 7, 2010 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Vincent and the Doctor

In the UK: Saturday 5th June, 6.40pm, BBC1/BBC HD
In the US: Saturday 19th June, 9/8c, BBC America

Have you been affected by any of the issues raised in Saturday's episode, such as life imitating art imitating life, giant space chickens following you, the memory of your ex- being wiped, or Athlete?

If so, you can either call the BBC or you can come talk about it in a supportive environment - full of spoilers - after the jump.

Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - 5x10 - Vincent and the Doctor"

June 4, 2010

Lost Gems: Saracen (1989)

Posted on June 4, 2010 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The cast of Saracen

Barber firing a gun in Saracen

Starring: Christian Burgess, Patrick James Clarke, Ingrid Lacey, Michael Byrne, John Bennett
Price: £29.99
Amazon price: £17.93
Network DVD price: £16.99
Released: June 7th 2010

"The Professionals remade by the producers of Inspector Morse. Excited yet?"

A year ago, that's how I would have started this Lost Gem for Saracen, a 1989 show which never got repeated, released on DVD, uploaded to YouTube or made available to the public in any way since its first broadcast nearly 21 years ago*.

Saracen, launched on the back of a pilot movie the previous year called The Zero Option, centred around the operatives of Saracen Systems, a private security company that exclusively hires ex-special forces soldiers for its protection work around the world.

Starring British actor Christian Burgess and American actor Patrick James Clarke as the ex-SAS David Barber and the ex-Delta Tom Duffy (B&D - Bodie and Doyle anyone?), it was an action-packed but thoughtful show that looked at geopolitical issues, the morality of various industries (including the security and weapons businesses) and the armed forces.

And I remembered it as being a bit dull, honestly. It has great music by Barrington Pheloung (Inspector Morse) and I had it on VHS for a long time, but I ditched my copies in the mid 90s on the general grounds that it wasn't all that.

But Network DVD are nice enough to be releasing all 13 episodes and the pilot movie on DVD on Monday and in a nice reversal of the usual "memory cheats" syndrome (that is, you remember something from when you were younger as being good but it turns out when you re-watch it that it's rubbish), Saracen turns out to be actually a very good show indeed that my poor little 17-year-old brain couldn't take. It takes a little time to find its feet and work out how to balance smartness and action, but it does manage it.

It also help that Ingrid Lacey from Drop the Dead Donkey is in it.

Here's the introduction from the first four episodes that explains the set-up, together with a bit of action from the first episode. I've also added for nostalgia freaks a trailer with the series highlights that originally aired on ITV back in the day that I've been saving up for over a year - that's how far in advance I prepare some of these things. Impressed much? Thought not.

Continue reading "Lost Gems: Saracen (1989)"

June 1, 2010

Review: Doctor Who - 5x9 - Cold Blood

Posted on June 1, 2010 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Cold Blood

In the UK: Saturday 29th May, 7pm, BBC1
In the US: Saturday 12th June, 9/8c, BBC America

Well, blimey. You could knock me down with a feather. A Chris Chibnall story that's a very close approximation to good. Will wonders never cease?

Spoilers and general tomfoolery after the jump.

Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - 5x9 - Cold Blood"

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