Posted on July 1, 2007 | |
Well, blimey. Who knew Rusty did dark so well*? Not since I was a wee small boy and saw Caves of Androzani have I felt so disturbed after watching a Doctor Who story.
Indeed, it's not since Caves that we've really seen the Doctor get such a thoroughly good kicking, and certainly not deliberately, as the result of a carefully laid and executed plan. That was dark. Really dark. And I liked it, bar the occasional bits of Rustiness.
Continue reading "Review: Doctor Who - 3x13 - The Last of the Time Lords"
Posted on June 28, 2007 | |
In the UK: Tuesdays, 9pm, BBC3. Repeated 11.30pm, 2.25am; Sunday 8pm, 12.30am
In the US: Nowhere yet, but who knows. Maybe Discovery or BBC America
Anyone fancy a game of monkey tennis?
That if, you'll recall, was one of Alan Partridge's last-ditch pitches to a BBC commissioner in an attempt to get his own TV show. It's easy to imagine a similar conversation taking place in Soho House, not so long ago, between a desperate producer, a little the worse for wear from white wine and 17 rejections, and a BBC3 commissioner looking for new shows.
“Anthropology Agro!” suggests the tipsy prod. “We send six buff men around the world. They meet all sorts of tribes and cultures. They learn about their lifestyles and their customs. Then they pick fights with them.”
“Hmm,” muses the somewhat patronising BBC3 commissioner. “We are the BBC. We are supposed to be educational and informative. Except we're BBC3. We're watched by chavs and morons and Torchwood fans – who are both chavs and morons. The only way we're going to get our target demographic of XYZ9s to be interested in another country and its culture is by sticking it in an XBox360 first-person shooter backdrop and making sure there are plenty of naked tribeswomen in it.”
Decided, she exclaims, “Brilliant! You're hired” and Last Man Standing is born.
Except, it's the BBC. It's too liberal to be sending the prime of British youth around the world to beat up the natives. That's too Raj, too Empire. We can't do that anymore.
So they've stuck in a couple of provisos.
- Three of the six buff young athletes have to be American
- They all have to be bollocks at fighting
Continue reading "Review: Last Man Standing 1x1"
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Posted on June 26, 2007 | |
Well, it's time to pass a third-episode verdict on John from Cincinnati, I reckon. I could hold out until episode five, because everything's a bit murky still, but I don't think there'll be much point: the verdict will be the same.
You see the trouble is, it's completely mental. Seriously mental. Not since Twin Peaks has there been such a surreal mind-f*ck of a show. Even obviously kooky shows like Northern Exposure can't hold a candle to the insanity that is John from Cincinnati.
We've had hotels haunted by terrifying ghosts that we can't see. We have drug-dealers who listen to opera. We have people who speak like they're in Lord of the Rings. We've had the kiss of an incontinent parakeet heal the wounded and bring the dead back to life. And, of course, in the first episode, we had levitating surfers.
Then there's John, around whom all these strange events occur. It's becoming increasingly clear that John is not from Cincinnati, but is in fact either John (the Baptist) or God Himself. John says the end is near and his pronouncements seem to change reality. He also doesn't need to go to the toilet. In fact, he doesn't know how.
You see? Mental.
All these odd events – and sterling dialogue that actors just like to eat up – keep us going through an otherwise not desperately exciting tale of washed out surfers and a dysfunctional family living in California. What the grand design is, I don't know. I'm hoping there is one, so I'm sticking with it.
Fortunately, the Carusometer knows how to deal with such mental programmes, because it has a hidden z-axis.
The Medium Is Not Enough has great pleasure in declaring John From Cincinnati a 2i or Partial Imaginary Caruso on The Carusometer quality scale. A Partial Imaginary Caruso corresponds to “a show in which David Caruso might cameo as Wayland, the Saxon god of the smithy. Eight feet tall, he will walk through the ancient city of Marrakesh, reading out the instruction manual for a Krups coffee maker in the lost language of the Etruscans. Before him will walk and crawl and fly every manner of bird and beast that dwells upon the face of the Earth, singing the collected works of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The show will be cancelled after a season”.