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April 23, 2007

Review: Doctor Who - 3x4 - Daleks in Manhattan

Posted on April 23, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Daleks In Manhattan

There's something about Helen Raynor's writing. It's always nicely put together, doesn't insult your intelligence too much and has a certain sensibility about it that makes you think she's trying to write proper drama. But it's absolutely dull to watch. Witness the third episode of Torchwood for a similar phenomenon.

So it was with Daleks in Manhattan. With a tiny group of Daleks trying to destroy life as we know it with an insidious plan, it evoked memories of classic Who stories, such as Power of the Daleks. It certainly tried to notch up similar amounts of tension and there was the old-school move of making sure all sets, including sewers, had ultra-smooth floors for the Daleks to glide over.

But coupled with a rather spoilerish edition of the Radio Times that removed all traces of surprise from the story, all it managed to do was get yawns out of me. Yawn, yawn, yawn: that was me doing an impression of myself watching the episode.

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March 5, 2007

Review: The 50 Greatest TV Dramas

Posted on March 5, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The 50 Greatest TV Dramas

In the UK: Saturday, C4, 9pm

There's nothing quite like a list of “best anythings” to get people talking – or annoyed – as anyone who's ever been on the new steam-powered InterWeb will tell you. But how about something as controversial as the “50 Greatest TV Dramas”?

Ooh aye? 50 greatest ever? Is that just shows that have been on British TV? Within recent memory? Who's voting? And surely it'll just be the most popular rather than the best that come out on top? And is it really possible to have a great debate about whether Fall of Eagles or Cold Warrior is better, when no bugger remembers either of them?

All valid criticisms of The 50 Greatest TV Dramas, which polled legions of the great and the good from British television history to compile said list. But, despite those criticisms, it was actually a pretty good list.

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March 1, 2007

Muck and BSG: let's speak outer space

Posted on March 1, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Gaius Baltar

Before I lay my weary head to sleep, I thought I'd leave you with this passing thought about Sunday's episode of Battlestar Galactica. Don't worry, UK viewers, it won't be spoilery, really.

There's a point where Gaius Baltar (as played by James Callis) reveals that the posh English accent he's been using since the start of the mini-series is a complete fake. He's actually from the farming colony of Airlon (or is that Arelon? It's derived from 'Aries' and rhymes with bear-lon, which is a word I've just made up, so you work it out).

Then he lapses into his true accent, which is remarkably similar to a Yorkshire accent, James Callis having gone to university in York.

Now, okay, everyone else from Caprica, the posh Southern pansy BSG colony, sounds American, including the secret Brits and Canadians, so it's not like there's one accent per colony. But the dialogue leading up to that moment seems to suggest that everyone from Airlon speaks with a similar accent.

So my thought for the day is this: is Baltar now going to be the only character on BSG to have come from Airlon, or can we expect one of the following:

  1. Lots of Yorkshire actors getting cast in BSG
  2. Lots of American and Canadian actors trying to fake a Yorkshire accent under James Callis' tutelage
  3. Lots of British actors who aren't from Yorkshire trying to fake a Yorkshire accent?

I do hope it's number 3. You just can't get away with crap regional accents on British TV any more, so it would be just fabby if former culprits Nigel Havers et al could be jetted off to Canada to give out soaring renditions of “Ee bah gum! Ya daft 'apeth, Adama! Dooant trust t' cylons. Those robots are evil. Naw launch t' vipers.”

On the other hand, which of your favourite Yorkshire actors would you like to see in BSG? Patrick Stewart? Keith Barron? Sean Bean? Or even - and you know you want it bad - Brian Blessed?

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