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.
Well, I’ve done my best to track down the new shows set to arrive on US screens this Fall (and UK screens some time in the year 2011, at current network velocities). And now I’ve watched them so you don’t have to. Here’s the ones I’ve tracked down so far:
Prison Break: Man gets himself arrested so he can help break out his death-row-incarcerated brother (the ever-excellent Dominic Purcell from John Doe). Like West Wing, the message is the Ivy League-educated will triumph over the plebs. Kind of interested to see how it goes and why the hero hasn’t been stabbed with a shank yet/turned into someone’s bitch. Fox should run it as a double bill with episodes of Oz.
Global Frequency: Not-very-secret global alliance of mobile phone-using experts unite at short notice to save the world. Always nice to see Michelle Forbes in anything, really, and while it starts reasonably badly, it has the potential to be, ironically enough, the 21st Century’s answer to Century 21’s Thunderbirds.
Supernatural: Two brothers hunt after supernatural things, looking for the ghost that killed their mum when they were younger. Ooh, an actual horror show. Not brilliant, with some hurried plot explanation and crumby dialogue, but it’s nice to have a show where the supernatural is just full of evil things trying to kill us all. I think it could be a credible alternative to LivingTV’s 6ixth Sense with Colin Fry.