As promised, here’s some more reviews of the shows that are set to appear on US screens this Fall (I’m practically fluent in American, aren’t I?):
ITV3 has just started (as of 45 minutes ago) showing the US version of Touching Evil. If you can, watch it because it’s a remarkable thing: a remake of a UK show that’s better than original. The UK version, starring Robson Green, was awful, a collection of clichés and predictability that made you wonder what could have possessed the likes of Paul Abbot and Russell T Davies when they wrote it. It so badly wanted to be a US show, but could only imitate and badly at that.
The US version, which was exec-produced by Bruce Willis of all people, took those clichés and ran with them. The throwaway “characterisation” of having the hero, David Creegan, shot in the head – something that never seemed to affect him in any way in the UK version – was a vital point in the US version.
This scared the willies out of me when I couldn’t see it properly. Now it’s in crystal-clear DVD format, it’s not quite as scary, but it was still enjoyable.
You may have noticed the ubiquity of a certain stand-up on Channel 4’s screens in the last year or so. You, like me, may have wondered why he’s on every programme when he is, quite clearly, not very funny or likeable. In fact, both he and June Sarpong are on my personal list of “Top ten people to have sent to the Big Brother house indefinitely, with the cameras off and no food, so a bizarre Lord of the Flies situation slowly emerges” purely as a result of Your Face Or Mine?, the most deeply unpleasant show on tele in a long while.
I now know why and I bring good news.
It turns out Jimmy’s days may be numbered. You see, Channel 4’s commissioning system has resulted in a situation where no one knows exactly what’s in each show – at least, not enough to spot the fact that Jimmy Carr’s in everything until the shows actually broadcast.
But, my spies at C4 tell me that it has been noticed and the powers that be are doing everything in their power to have Carr removed from our screens ASAP.
Just put in my order for The Omega Factor at Sendit.com. For those not in the know, this was BBC Scotland’s late 70s’ version of The X-Files, starring that nice James Hazeldine from London’s Burning and Louise Jameson from Doctor Who.
Except it was a zillion times scarier. Well, it seemed like that when I watched the seventeenth generation VHS copy that my mate Michael Seely gave to me circa 1992. The second episode was, according to a recently discovered form of maths, precisely 72.6 times scarier than The Stone Tape, which was in itself, a highly scary play – although I confess it took me three watchings before I worked out what was going on at the end.
I will now wait for the wonders of first-class post to deliver the three-DVD set to me from the wilds of Northern Ireland. Will it be as good as I remember, or am I about to discover it ranked with season five of The Tomorrow People in terms of cringe-inducingly bad television and I simply didn’t notice, what with everyone having been reduced to an orange blob on Michael’s tape? I’ll let you know once I’ve watched them all.