In the UK: Saturday 8th May 2010, 6.25pm, BBC1 In the US: Saturday 22nd May 2010, 9/8c, BBC America
So you want a Doctor Who story that's funny, about relationships and involves vampires? Well, the obvious choice is that bloke who wrote School Reunion way back when, isn't it? I mean that had flying thingies and monsters and a bit of banter between the Doctor, companions, blokes, women et al, didn't it?
Not seeing it yet?
Then let me put it to you another way: so you want a Doctor Who story that's funny, about relationships and involves vampires? Well, the obvious choice is Toby Whithouse, creator of 20something vampire/werewolf/ghost flatshare comedy-drama Being Human, isn't it?
It's easy to forget that while Armando Iannucci and co urge the BBC to set up its own subscription-only version of HBO in the UK, one company is already in the fledgling steps of doing just that: BSkyB. Sky have one mission in life and that's to sell subscriptions and Sky boxes - in particular HD Sky boxes and HD subscriptions (an extra £10 a month). After years of assuming that buying lots of US TV was the way to attract subscribers - to diminishing returns - the last few years has seen a change of strategy: a concerted effort to create home-grown, quality drama, usually based on Terry Pratchett books, in an attempt to get the viewing public to hand over the cash.
Chris Ryan's Strike Back is the latest part of this strategy. Starring everyone's favourite Dick Head, Richard Armitage - the actor on everyone's speed dial when they need to cast an SAS soldier - Strike Back sees Armitage's down-and-out MI6 security guard (and former SAS soldier) go back to Iraq to recover a kidnapped reporter, who might be in the hands of the Iraqis he fought in his last mission. His MI6 handler: the army intelligence officer who accompanied him back then (Andrew Lincoln).
And you know what? Despite being on Sky 1, it's actually very good.
Back in the 70s, kids TV was full of the weird and wonderful. Whether it was on ITV or BBC1/BBC2 (youngsters: we only had three channels back then), you could come home from school, turn on the TV and pretty much be guaranteed some mentalist of a commissioner had ordered up 25 minutes of LSD-fuelled lunacy that seven PhD students couldn't decipher the plot of but which was sure-fire certain to scar you for the rest of your life.
We could go through the list without too much trouble for quite some time and still not be complete: The Tomorrow People, Ace of Wands, King of the Castle, Timeslip, Sky, Catweazle, The Feathered Serpent, Escape into Night, The Jensen Code, Raven, Into the Labyrinth, Michael Bentine's Potty Time, Pipkins, Robert's Robots, The Owl Service.
See what I mean? And I haven't even started, really.
One of the most complicated, clever, "scare the sh*t out the kids", yet hard-to-fathom shows was the seven-part serial Children of the Stones. This followed the adventures of astrophysicist Adam Brake (Gareth Thomas of Blakes 7) and his son Matthew after they arrive in the small village of Milbury, which is built in the middle of a megalithic stone circle. There they meet village squire and noted astronomer Hendrick (Iain Cuthbertson) and possibly the most well behaved bunch of kids in the world, almost all of whom are doing quite well in quantum mechanics at the village school.
As you do.
Yes, there is something rotten in the heart of this village Eden, and it's not just the quantum mechanics. There are mysterious deaths, Matthew seems to have a psychic link with a mysterious painting, there's the mysterious stone circle that somehow seems to prevent them leaving the village, there's the mysterious housekeeper, there's the mysterious personality changes of anyone who goes to dinner with Hendrick. You get the idea. It's all very mysterious.
Cue the mysterious, weird and soul-chilling title sequence, followed by the first ten minutes of the first episode.
About the blog
A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
Add in film, theatre, art, books, events, competitions and even weekly reviews of Wonder Woman comics, and you've (hopefully) got officially the fourth best blog on the web for media lovers. Oh yes, and there's The Barrometer, the ultimate guide to quality TV.
Praise for the blog Cision: fourth most important UK TV blog Blogging Edge: Blogger running Britain 2013
"For most of us watching the telly of an evening is a way to wind down and relax, but for Rob Buckley it’s his blogging bread and butter. With reviews of cult classics and up and coming US and Brit television shows, The Medium is Not Enough is fast becoming essential reading for TV buffs, with over 50,000 hits a month."
"The Medium Is Not Enough is a light-hearted look at TV, often from the US, but also from the UK. With varied, well-written content, the blog features healthy engagement and features well in search engines."
"Billing itself as 'officially the fourth most popular UK TV blog', there are several whimsical regulars here that could help it climb as high as number three…"
I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.