Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and what can Santa Rob bring you for 2008?

Merry Christmas! It’s that time again everyone. Time for my annual year-end break which some crazy people have decided to call “Christmas”.

Since I’m now in an age demographic that suggests I should have my blood pressure monitored constantly in case bits of me fall off or explode, I intend to be doing precisely “bugger all” (as Dylan Thomas almost put it in Under Milk Wood) over the “Christmas break” and that includes blogging.

I’ll be back with the news on January 3rd – assuming there’s any by then – as well as, fingers crossed, reviews of the Big Finish plays The Girl Who Never Was and Return to the Web Planet. I’m not sure what else though.

Survey time

Tell you what, let’s take this as an opportunity to have a reader survey. What sorts of things would you like to see on this here blog in 2008? More of the same, less of the same? Do you still want reviews of Big Finish plays? Do you still want the daily new round-up? Has the Carusometer outstayed its welcome – are its “shades of justice” obscuring it from producing decent reviews? Do you want individual episode reviews of all the latest US shows, assuming they’ll be making any next year, given the writers’ strike?

Leave your requests for more, less or the same below in the comments and I’ll decide what gets the chop and what stays alive when I get back.

In the meantime, a Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you all and thanks as always to Stu_N, Stu, Stuart, Marie, Mark, Espedair, Rosby, Toby, Cindylover, Jon, Anna, Rullsenberg and anyone else who’s left a comment for livening up the place!

As a present, here are the World of Warcraft commercials starring William Shatner and Mr T. They’re most entertaining. There’s also one with Jean-Claude van Damme in French, which is a tad more bizarre.


Preview: Swingtown


In the US: CBS mid-season replacement. No fixed airdate yet

In the UK: Acquired by ITV1/ITV3. No fixed airdate yet

There’s an odd trend of late on US TV. No, not the hiring of British actors for just about every TV series (are we cheaper than Americans, I wonder?), although you’ll see that on display here, too (Jack Davenport!!!). I mean the recreating of modern times past to examine the change in social attitudes. Whether it’s just that everyone’s been watching Life on Mars or there’s something deeper at work, I don’t know. But what with Journeyman diving off into the 70s and 80s at a moment’s notice, Mad Men recreating the early 60s in minute detail, and now Swingtown trying to capture the magic (?) of the 1970s’ wife-swapping parties, it’s clear a certain amount of historical navel gazing is part of the US networks’ current plans for the world of entertainment.

There are a few problems with Swingtown, however, that separate it from the glorious Mad Men and the thoughtful Journeyman. Not the least of these is the fact it is all about wild, promiscuous sex and yet it’s very, very boring.

Continue reading “Preview: Swingtown”

Friday’s final news of 2007

News will be back on January 3rd. That is, assuming you still want it as you flit about in your jet packs in the exciting dynamic future that 2008 will be, of course…

Doctor Who


  • Trailer for Hellboy 2
  • Rachel Nichols, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Said Taghmaoui join up with GI Joe

British TV


  • Shirley MacLaine to play Coco Chanel in a Lifetime mini-series
  • The Daily Show and The Colbert Report coming back Jan 7th without writers
  • Zack Braff and David Denman to do drama for Fox

Season finale: Dexter

The Dexter finale

Of all the books and of all the networks to adapt them, Darkly Dreaming Dexter and Showtime seemed the combination least likely to produce decent television. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is pretty rubbish, a piece of poorly written slasher fiction about a serial killer who improbably only kills other bad people. Showtime, in turn, was synonymous with nothing at all apart from not being HBO, the cable home of quality shows like The Wire.

Yet Dexter turned out to be one of the best shows of last year. Clever, well written, well directed, tense, unpredictable and with an incredible performance by Michael C Hall, it and other shows have now made HBO look like the also-rans and Showtime the home of quality, edgy TV.

So hopes were high for season two. Could the producers who had made this break-out hit strike again and maintain the quality after such a strong opening?

Initially, I was a little worried. The first two episodes of the second season were good, but not outstanding and the changes in format suggested that the second season could be something of a let-down.

Fortunately, it turned out to be even better.

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TV reviews

Season finale: Journeyman

Journeyman season finale

I’ve been a little bit slack doing these Winter season finales. In my defence, there have only been a few so far and it’s often been quite hard to work out whether something’s properly finished or not. Bionic Woman‘s still with us and didn’t have a proper finale; Life‘s still with us but did have a proper finale.

Journeyman, however, subject to the great gods of NBC deciding otherwise, has passed on to TV heaven, although it has left this proper – and really rather good – finale behind.

Continue reading “Season finale: Journeyman”