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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.


September 7, 2007

Review: Doctor Who - The Wishing Beast/The Vanity Box

Posted on September 7, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Wishing BeastThere is a certain truth to the idea that what you can imagine is a whole lot spookier than what can be shown on-screen. With the minimal budget available to the Big Finish team, you'd have thought they'd have taken advantage of that simple premise to do their best trying to spook us with sound effects, rather than trying to pretend that battles between giant robot transformers sound good.

Hang on, they've tried spooky with Sapphire and Steel. I can understand their reticence now.

Anyway, they're giving it another go with this slightly intriguing tale, in which two old ladies try to grant a wish for that amazing adventurer in time and space, Mel - and her companion, the Doctor – with the help of their pet dragon The Wishing Beast. There are ghosts. There's a vacuum cleaner. And it alternates between silly and threatening.

Oh yes, it also comes with The Vanity Box, a one-episode play better described as Doctor Who: The Coronation Street Years.

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September 7, 2007

Preview: Journeyman

Posted on September 7, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Journeyman

In the US: Mondays, 10/9c, NBC. Starts September 24th.
In the UK: Acquired by Sky One

Hoorah! Not only is this another show in which the lead is a British actor playing an American, he's a hero and he's a journalist! We need more shows like this.

At first glance, Journeyman seems much like an update/rip-off of Quantum Leap. Dan Vasser (played by Kevin McKidd) finds himself travelling back in time to help people. He doesn't know why, he doesn't know when it's going to happen and he's not best pleased about it either - for one thing, it's ruining his marriage.

But there the parallels stop. In fact, Journeyman is closer to being The Time Traveler's Wife, with McKidd disappearing at really inconvenient moments and reappearing at important points in his own life, only to return days after he left without explanation. And while the “putting right what once went wrong” is a key part of the show, its main focus is on McKidd's marriage and his former fiancé e, who died in a plane crash. What, the show asks, should he do - warn her and never end up with his current wife and child or let the former love of his life die as she always did?

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September 6, 2007

Preview: Life 1x1 (US: NBC)

Posted on September 6, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Life

In the US: Wednesdays, 10/9c, NBC. Starts September 26
In the UK: Not yet acquired

I foresee this is going to run into problems. I say this, not because it's bad, because it's not, but because I suspect NBC doesn't quite know what to do with it.

The premise is interesting: a cop gets sent to jail after being framed for a crime he didn't commit. Twelve years later, he's finally vindicated and released. As part of his settlement, he gets to return to the police department that he used to work in where he works alongside people who resent him, think he doesn't belong and so on. His wife's divorced him, his mother's died because his father refused to let her see him while he was in jail and he's had over 200 stitches from the beatings he's got while he's been in jail. And just about the only person who rates him is his new partner, who basically drew the short straw thanks to being a recovering drug addict.

So it could be quite dark. And indeed, most of the time it is.

But he's also got $50 million (or some equally sky-high amount - no one's saying) from his settlement, so he lives in a mansion, drives a very nice car, and owns an orange grove. His financial advisor, whom he met in prison, now lives in a room above his garage. And after reading The Path To Zen during his stay inside, he's now trying to achieve oneness with the universe and is a touch whackier than he was before he went to prison.

So how will NBC's marketing department pitch it? Drama? Comedy? Comedy drama?

Oops. They went for comedy.

Continue reading "Preview: Life 1x1 (US: NBC)"

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