Audio and radio play reviews

Review: Doctor Who – Human Resources (parts 1 and 2)

Human ResourcesThought I’d wait until both parts of the story had aired before reviewing this one. Then I thought I’d wait until I’d fixed my iPod, but I’m still waiting on a part off eBay (£10) – which seemed a better plan than getting Apple to fix it (£169) – so what the hell, I listened to it off my Mac directly. No obstacle can get in my way when I put my mind to it. Go me!

Rather than a rip-roaring, undeniably impressive two-parter to match the season opener, Blood of the Daleks, Human Resources was a reasonable, slightly dull, but flawed ending to Paul McGann’s first set of original Doctor Who plays for the Beeb. With the return of another old-series monster, the Cybermen, we might have hoped for more, but you can’t have everything.

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Thursday’s potted news

Morning has broken. Yey.

Doctor Who

  • Russell T Davies says, “We’d love to have Hugh.”


British TV

  • The National Film and Television Archive is to be opened up to the public for free.


  • Claudia Black will be guest starring on The Dresden Files.
  • Stewie Griffin and Brian the dog from Family Guy are to become talk-show hosts
  • Video interviews with the stars of Heroes.
  • Jericho star Lennie James fesses up to being British and gives some pretty interesting insights.
  • Nigel Lythgoe’s handling the Emmys this year.
  • There’s a Grey’s Anatomy spin-off in the works.

Third-episode verdict: Rules of Engagement

The Rules of Engagement Carusometer5-Full-Caruso

I hated the pilot episode of Rules of Engagement. I absolutely hated it. It was the most derivative, insulting load of cobblers I’d seen in a long while.

Seems others agreed with me. Here’s the original cast (men only, because let’s face it, women don’t count according to the show).

Original cast of Rules of Engagment

Here’s the current cast:

Current cast of Rules of Engagement

Ooh, women. Plus, two out of the three main characters have been recast. There was only one good thing about the pilot – Patrick Warburton – and he’s still there. But we’ve lost the kid from Joey and gained David Spade. Oh dear.

I refused point-blank to watch the new version of the first episode, so the second episode was the first I bothered with.

“Hmm, it seems to have improved,” I noted to myself, mentally pencilling in some sort of “don’t judge a series by its pilot” message to blog about. It didn’t suck completely. Sure, there was plenty of latent misogyny (Oh no! His girlfriend knows something about sex and has had loads and loads of boyfriends! That means he’s inadequate and threatened, and she’s an *insert anti-female insult of your choice here*), but the older couple, despite their supposed jadedness were kind of nice together, David Spade wasn’t in it much, and Patrick Warburton was still great.

But this week’s episode. Oh dear. All the promise of the pilot was back again. Just awful. Hateful. I would stick a burning David Spade goatee on CBS’s front lawn if I could (Note to self: sounds good, not sure what it means, and it has potential to be offensive. Should I keep it? Probably not.)

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Wednesday’s news and catching up

Hugh Grant in The Curse of Fatal Death

Doctor Who

  • Hugh Grant is in talks to appear as a baddie. Plus he claims he could have been the Doctor, too.


  • Lots of Transformers pics.


British TV

  • Marco Pierre White comes out of retirement to replace Gordon Ramsay in Hell’s Kitchen. You should read what Gordon has to say about him in his biography. [free registration required]
  • Actors appearing in the new Blake’s 7 audio plays will get royalties [subscription required].
  • Heroes gives the SciFi channel its best ratings ever. That’s a 4.4% share or less than half a mill, by the way.
  • Big Brother partworks? De Agostini may be after Endemol.


  • I previewed it a very long time ago, but The Black Donnellys is nearly here now and you can see that first episode (yes, you, too, UK viewers) for free over on Yahoo! TV.
  • George Takei strikes back against homophobic basketball players in a slightly unexpected way.
  • Pioneering new levels of tastelessness in reality TV, Spike now wants amateur detectives to solve real-life murder cases in just 48 hours. But it’s for charity, so that’s all right then, isn’t it?
  • The last (?) episode of Studio 60 gets really bad ratings.
  • Ausiello talks to David Eick about Battlestar Galactica and reveals that the movie now has the green light, spoilers about the last four episodes of the season and spoilers about the next season.
  • Also from Ausiello: Nancy Cartwright (aka Bart Simpson) will be appearing in 24 and lots of Lost spoilers.
  • Jewel Staite from Firefly is joining Stargate: Atlantis, as are Stargate regulars Amanda Tapping, as we know, and Christopher Judge (although only for one episode). Torri Higginson (Dr Weir) has been demoted to recurring character status. Plus thoughts from exec producer Joseph Mallozzi. Looks, judging from the comments, like fans aren’t happy about any of it…
  • Heroes spoilers over on Kristin’s E! blog
  • Pilots, pilots, pilots. Notably Linus Roache is in a pilot with Juliana Margulies and Beau Bridges is a comedy bigamist.

Tuesday’s post-Presidents Day news

Who knew it was so big? Apart from Americans, of course.

Doctor Who

  • Lots of spoilers from David Tennant, including confirmation of series four. He also talks about Recovery. Girls Aloud were going to be in Doctor Who? Hmm…


  • Seriously? We needed a Saw 4?
  • Maggie Grace joins Liam Neeson and Holly Valance for Taken.


  • The Jam to reform without Paul Weller? Sacrilege!

British TV

  • John Simm talks to The Times about Life on Mars. “That Doctor Who Rumour” is mentioned in passing, but nothing is added.
  • ITV has cancelled CD:UK‘s replacement because it couldn’t find a sponsor.


  • An interview with Joss Whedon about directing The Office.
  • Former Lostie Michelle Rodriguez gives her side of the DUI story, if you can decipher it.
  • A long interview with Henry Ian Cusick – Desmond from Lost. He wears high heels and puts on women’s clothing? He’ll be cutting down trees next.