Vanished: I knew it was going to be silly

Vanished, currently airing in the US Mondays on Fox and popping up on Five US come October, is going to be very, very silly, I’ve found out.
Ostensibly an investigation into the kidnapping of a US senator’s wife, there were hints in the first episode that a certain amount of silliness was going to manifest itself. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine they’d have the balls to try this particular piece of “mallet to the back of the head” creativity.
Full details are over on CSI Files if you want to spoil yourself. Go on: it might help you make up your mind on whether you’d like to watch the show or not.
Second episode potted review: not as interesting as the first episode, just as predictable (bar a couple of minor surprises), but not quite as mind-numbingly stupid as the first episode either. Third-episode verdict next week.

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Ask Auriello on Scrubs, 24, House and Ricky Gervais

TV Guide‘s Ask Auriello column has a few interesting bits of news for fans of the big US TV shows. There be spoilers in them there hills, so I’ve distilled the most interesting, non-spoiling news out for you:

  • If Zach Braff does leave Scrubs at the end of the next season, the show will carry on without him, potentially with Turk as the lead
  • A former president of the United States is going to return to the show in the next season of 24. I don’t mean Bill Clinton, incidentally. But I might mean Martin Sheen. Or I might not. Gee, non-spoiling news is hard.
  • Kim Raver might make an appearance as Audrey on 24 next season, despite starring in The Nine.
  • Never trust a tabloid, US or otherwise: Ricky Gervais says none of the stars of The Office are going to appear in the US version, despite claims to the contrary. Plus there are definitely going to be no more episodes of the original series.
  • Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer from House have started dating. Ooh.

There’s other spoiling news about House, 24 and a few other shows you might watch, but I will say no more.

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The New Adventures of Old Christine finds a UK home

Julie-Louise Dreyfuss’ latest US comedy, The New Adventures of Old Christine, has found itself a home in the UK, according to Broadcast: UK Gold. Presumably, given the show’s less than a few months old, this is some new definition of ‘gold’ that they’re going with, rather than the previous ‘golden oldie’ definition – something along the lines of gold-top milk, I suspect.
I thought the show was pretty pants when I caught its first episode, but you might find it absolutely the best thing ever. So why is it on UK Gold rather than Channel 4 or Five? I suspect those channels’ purchasers have come to roughly the same conclusion as I did…

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UK TV

The Strange Report: the CSI of the 60s

streportbig.gifJust in case you’ve not been tuning in, I’d like to issue a semi-hearty recommendation to UK viewers to watch The Strange Report, Mondays on ITV4. It’s a strange combination of the 60s sensibilities that led to The Avengers, The Champions, Department S and the rest of that ilk, with the forensic investigations of CSI. It’s little-remembered but actually deserves better, mainly because of a strong performance by Anthony Quayle.
Adam Strange (Quayle), a retired Scotland Yard detective, investigates crimes that baffle the forces of law and order. Unlike the crimes faced by Jason King, say, these are relatively normal crimes, such as kidnappings and assassinations, and Strange solves them using the very best science the 60s had to offer (the show had a forensic scientist for an advisor).
It’s quite fun, even though it’s played straight the whole time. Quayle embraces the role, but is never hammy, making it almost like Shakespeare at times. The wonderfully named Kas Garas, the token American hunk who’s also a Rhodes scholar, provides able support that offers a little more depth than characters in similar shows of the time.
The same can’t be said for poor Anneke Wills (who played Polly to Hartnell and Troughton’s Doctors Who), whose character is supposed to “slip in and out of undercover roles like a chameleon” but who blends unnoticeably into the background instead. Bad scriptwriters!
All the same, worth a look if you haven’t already tuned in. There’s more over here on the ITC Classics web site.

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