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May 6, 2007

Review: Doctor Who - 3x6 - The Lazarus Experiment

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

The Lazarus Experiment

As the wise sage Yazz once said, the only way is up. So it was with the latest episode of Doctor Who, The Lazarus Experiment. After the dismal piece of genetic mutation that was Evolution of the Daleks, we have a hybrid we can all be pretty proud of, a nearly 100% successful amalgam of old Who, new Who, The Quatermass Experiment and – ooh – MacGyver.

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April 29, 2007

Review: Out - The Complete Series - Special Edition [1978]

Posted on April 29, 2007 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Out - The Complete Series - Special Edition [1978]

This'll be popping up on the Action TV web site at some point, once they've got their server relocated:

Many people will only know of the late Tom Bell as the sexist DS Otley in Prime Suspect. But his acting career was wide and varied. Perhaps Bell’s finest hour was in Out in his BAFTA-winning lead role of Frank Ross, a former bank robber who tears up his old manor after eight years inside, trying to find out who put him behind bars.

Written by Trevor Preston, a contributor to Callan and previous Euston Films productions such as Special Branch, Out is firmly rooted in the revenge thriller genre, as well as the general Euston Films milieu. Like Walker in Point Blank and Carter in Get Carter, Ross is an iconic figure, a sharply dressed gangster who’s prepared to go to almost any lengths to find out who informed on him.

While the grittiness of those films lives on in these six episodes, it would be wrong to think of Out as simply a standard crime thriller. Taking the Krays and other real-life criminals as guidance, it explores the relationships that a career criminal might make with others, including his family, his friends, other criminals and the police, as well as the rules that bound societies like that together during the 60s and 70s.

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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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