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November 14, 2008

Review: Apparitions 1x1

Posted on November 14, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Apparitions

In the UK: Thursdays, 9pm, BBC1

You know, for an awful 20 minutes or so, I thought this was going to be bad. Not Bonekickers bad, simply daft. Because it's very, very easy when you're dealing with demons, exorcisms and faith to put one foot wrong and mess the whole thing up.

Certainly, Apparitions starts off by putting that foot right into its mouth, revisiting 1997 and the death of Mother Theresa.

Who might have been possessed by a demon.

See what I mean?

Continue reading "Review: Apparitions 1x1"

November 14, 2008

Lost Gems: Sky (1975)

Posted on November 14, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Sky

The 70s was a great time for TV. Whether it was drama, comedy, documentary or stupid escapist tatt, the 70s turned up some of the best television ever made - although sometimes ambition exceeded either the budget or the technology.

Even kids TV was great, particularly if it was science-fiction or fantasy. Not only was it well made, it was intelligent. Whether you watched the Beeb and caught Doctor Who, The Changes or The Moon Stallion, for example, or watched ITV and tuned in for Timeslip, Ace of Wands or Children of the Stones*, you could pretty much be guaranteed something interesting that made you think.

The reasons for the high quality of kids' sci-fi TV are clear. Not only were there people with an ethos of creating decent programming for kids at both networks, a competitive duopoly that encouraged innovation and a captive audience with little else to do but watch tele, thus avoiding lowest common denominator worries, there was access to really good, high grade hallucinogenic drugs.

Whether it was magic mushrooms, LSD or even peyote, TV writers were knocking back quite extravagant amounts of not quite illegal substances, giving them a new view on reality, writing and the creative process.

Sky is perhaps the most obvious example of a kids' show written by people on drugs**. Created by Bob Baker and Dave Martin in 1975, it was a curious seven-part serial about an alien that comes to Earth.

So far, so simple, no?

What differentiates it from other similar fare is that it's clearly off its face. Sky is a time traveller with incredible powers from another dimension. Or maybe another universe. Except he might be a god. Just like Jesus and any other religious figure in fact, since they were all time-travellers too.

He's arrived here before the correct time - we're still "before the chaos" - and needs to get to the future where he can show the surviving people of the Earth the right way to live in harmony with the Earth. Trouble is, the Earth of today senses that's he's alien and tries to repel him, just like an immune system repelling a bacterium. While he searches for 'the Juganet' - the way to the future - Sky is attacked by trees and plantlife, before eventually the Earth creates something in human form - 'Ambrose Goodchild' - to destroy Sky.

It's never been repeated, it's never been released on VHS or DVD, but you can watch it some of it on YouTube. It's a Lost Gem. Here's the title sequence followed by a clip to get you in the mood. You might need to be taking something though.

Continue reading "Lost Gems: Sky (1975)"

November 10, 2008

Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures 2x7

Posted on November 10, 2008 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

SJA2x7.jpg

Watch the pretty thing swing back and forth while Sarah Jane's on holiday - but after the jump to avoid spoilers...

Continue reading "Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures 2x7"

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