General Open Thread – TV Shows (2)

Home Forums General General Open Thread – TV Shows (2)

This topic contains 901 replies, has 68 voices, and was last updated by  Missy 1 week, 2 days ago.

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    Missy @missy


    Well, we saw MPHFPC and enjoyed it, but I won’t buy it.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @cathannabel  Did you see any of the American remake of “The Returned”?  Awful, awful, awful, like a badly cracked bell.  I’m sure the producers would have just strung it out into six seasons if they could have . . . although even in the US, the idea of closed-ended series working for higher quality and an actual story has taken root.  I await the promised third (and final) season of “The Leftovers” with some apprehension about how well they’ll be able to support the quality they’ve sustained so far and provide a satisfying conclusion.  Contrary to the popular wisdom, failure is *always* an option.

    @missy —  That’s “Miss Peregrine etc.”?  That’s kind of what I’ve been reading about it (or worse), so I haven’t yet seen it.  The general opinion seems to be that it’s a criminal waste of Eva Green’s presence.  There’s also a dispiriting wrangle going on in social media about whether it was racist of Tim Burton to have an all white cast — except for the villain, played by Samuel L. Jackson.  SLJ has yet to weigh in on the matter himself, as far as I know.

    Missy @missy

    @ichabod: As usual the trailer showed all the good bits, but we liked it well enough.

    Why, oh why, do some people carry on about racism? I think it’s because they’ve nothing else to do.


    ichabod @ichabod

    @missy  Why, oh why, do some people carry on about racism?

    Well, either you see why, or you don’t; if you don’t, you don’t.  But once you do, you can never “unsee” it again, which IMO is a very, very good and long-overdue thing.

    Let me be clear: I didn’t mean, above, that I disapprove of raising race issues about our entertainment (in this case, “Miss Peregrine’s Place”).  Far from it.  But the resulting discussions I’ve seen, while IMO more necessary than ever for the health of the culture I live in, are at a very raw place, and quickly become as harsh and frustrating as the daily news itself.  America is still deep in the throes of thrashing out racial and ethnic issues; that doesn’t mean that we DW fans must thrash them out here too, on a discussion board valued as a friendly, stimulating, and pleasant place for conversation.

    Anonymous @

    Why, oh why, do some people carry on about racism? I think it’s because they’ve nothing else to do.

    Oh No, @missy I’m sure you didn’t really mean to say that – @ichabod don’t apologise.

    For heaven’s sake, racism is endemic Missy!

    Would that be one reason?

    And then writing “they have nothing else to do”

    I can only hope this was a brain fart Missy, because honestly that is so unwarranted.

    People in our country are affected by this bitter pill every day and often every minute of every day.

    Puro And Son.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @Puroandson  And then writing “they have nothing else to do”

    Thanks, Puros; that part I really didn’t trust myself to answer without ranting.

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod @missy @pedant

    For those interested in the ongoing discussion of the cosmopolitanism identified by the Fin Review -and addressed by Mr P, @cathannabel ‘s article in her Passing Time Blogs is key to this discussion. I was locked out a couple of times and so can’t link to this article myself but type in ‘Passing Time’ and you should be able to locate it.

    I hope it’s OK, CathA that I mentioned it here  – but it’s so relevant to this conversation and the one in the Maldovarium (our new Pub!).

    A beautifully written article with all the ingenuity, thoughtfulness and articulation associated with all of CathA’s writings.

    PuroSolo <son of Puro doing the typing and waving hello at you. I loved it too. Some of it was hard to understand so I am going to print it out and read it to dad at tea time.>

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @puroandson  Many thanks for your kind words and support.  And a wave to Son!

    More than happy to share the blog with anyone who might be interested!  This is the link:

    Must catch up on all the discussions on the site – haven’t yet visited the new pub yet!

    Missy @missy

    To all.

    I’m sick of some people complaining that they are picked on because they are black, Irish, English etcetera. It would never occur to these people, that they could be at fault. Hence my comment about racism.

    I have my opinions, you have yours. I shall stick to what this forum is about in future Doctor Who.


    Anonymous @


    I see: so “black people” are at fault.

    Missy: you continually state “I shall stick to Dr Who” but you often don’t. Forgive me, but basically, you can be a shit-stirrer. Remember the “PC” argument?

    If you want to talk Who then do it: don’t complain that racism is somehow passé and people who mention it “have nothing better to do”. To speak of this and then expect not to be referenced seems very odd indeed.

    Lots of ppl here are European, Irish, Jewish or “black”. The problem being that being Irish does not prevent one from being “black.” I guess if you make a point of  it then it’s natural that someone will take offence -in fact I’d be surprised if they didn’t!

    Milk @milkisnice

    PLEASE READ – Doctor Who question:
    The Tardis in Season 5 episode 12-13 is is in the sky, evident by the fact that it keeps the earth going when it explodes as it become a “replacement” for the sun. However, River, during the end of episode 12, cannot escape the Tardis because of a brick wall blocking the door, but how can there be if she (and the Tardis) is in the upper atmosphere?

    Anonymous @


    Is this a serious question?

    I’ll head to the thread for that episode. Just look for your name…


    Missy @missy

    @puroandson: Finally I got in.

    My comments are based on personal experience and witnessed events, both here and in the UK.

    Your accusation of my being a **** stirrer are completely without foundation, especially when you do not know the

    true facts – you were not there.

    However, like the Doctor, and as you asked – I forgive you.

    Now that’s out of the way, off to more enjoyable topics.




    If you haven’t caught up with the new Netflix season of Black Mirror, do so post haste.

    All the episodes are excellent, but the 4th, San Junipero, is simply magnificent. Sad and beautiful. (it also features Gugu M’batha-Raw, aka Martha’s sister, Tish)


    OK. That’s a bit of a post splurge so I’ll stop now.

    janetteB @janetteb

    Response to comments made by @ichabod and @mudlark in the Dr Who news thread, because I thought this conversation was going too far off topic but was fun.

    <div class=”bbp-reply-content”>

    This happened for me somewhere relatively early in “Downton Abbey”.  I was bored, hardly really watching, and said to myself, “Why do I care what these rich twits and their servants are doing?  Oh.  I don’t.”  Turned it off and never went back.  I should have quit for good after the original “Upstairs, Downstairs” series, which I loved, because the revival was a let-down, and the Galsworthy series remake was awful, so what was I expecting?

    On the other hand, I’ve been looking at a four part production of “A Dance to the Music of Time”, a series of books that my husband loved — but I just couldn’t get into it.  Judging by the TV series, it’s just what I suspected — people constantly running into each other at various parties and gossiping about each other, and they’re almost all upper middle class at least.  Yet somehow it’s really interesting to me, and I’m sorry I’m about to watch episode four and be at the end.


    @icabod I watched three series of D.A. cringing all the time. What annoyed me even more than the noble toffs was the  sickeningly loyal servants. The token leftie and feminist were even worse. There to suggest that Uncle Julian was showing the other side but he so clearly understood neither “lefties” or “feminists”. A few years ago I researched into servants in Britain and Oz. I was concentrating on the 1880s but in essence the situation had not changed all that much by the 1920s so I am always interested in anything that claims to depict servant life. I have yet to see anything other than perhaps a long forgotten English adaptation of Esther Waters that gets close. (That must have been late 70s or early 80s because it was before I fled home.)

    I watched Dance to the Music of Time. Thought it was more than four episodes though so maybe there is a new version? It was enjoyable though as with ninety percent of literature it is set exclusively within the toff class. It is the acting and script-writing that always gets me hooked. There are some series I watch mostly for the acting.

    @pedant R.2 has been watching Black Mirror and urging me to watch it so I will follow his and your advice and give it a go. I have read reviews of it which sound promising.

    We have just been rewatching Ultraviolet the 1998 Tv series. R.3 binge watched over the last two nights. (when he should have been doing homework of course.)



    ichabod @ichabod

    @janetteb  Thanks for moving the thread.  That icky servant stuff bothered me too, although I think it was actually a pretty accurate reflection of attitudes inherited from old feudal patterns plus scarcity of employment apart from heavy duty farm and factory work at the time.  The initial “Upstairs, Downstairs” series was created by a woman (Atkins?) whose mother was in fact a domestic servant, and very similar attitudes showed up there.  Considering that a servant could be kicked out at any point for pretty much anything, and expelled from any prospects of further work of that kind of they left without a letter of recommendation to show to a prospective new employer, your best option would be to truly throw in your lot with your employer and make yourself as much “part of the family”, including taking on its political attitudes, as you could, I would think.

    It was, as far as I recall, in the factories that unionism took hold, and that gave servants something else to define themselves *against* so as to solidify their identification with their masters and their masters’ interests.  It makes economic sense — but it is tough to watch, even knowing that with WWI comes the shattering of that  paradigm in no uncertain terms, so a horrifying storm of fresh air is waiting in the wings.  That’s what makes the Edwardian period, especially, so nostalgia-inducing, I think: that structure worked (for those who could fit themselves into it with reasonable comfort and security for the time), until it damn well didn’t any more.

    I believe that novelist Catherine Cookson also came from the servant class of that time, and wrote realistically and often rather bitterly about what the experience was really like — the more brutal aspects of it.




    The initial “Upstairs, Downstairs” series was created by a woman (Atkins?) whose mother was in fact a domestic servant, and very similar attitudes showed up there.

    Atkins was (and remains) a firebrand left winger and her Upstairs Downstairs reflected that.

    Fellowes is (and has ever been) a Tory toff and his Downton Abbey reflects that.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  OH.  Thanks, that’s useful to know.  Atkins’ series definitely stressed the way even servants with very old-fashioned loyalties that they couldn’t leave behind still began to find ways outward and upward during and after the Great War.  Fellowes’ series was just *weird* about the servants and how unrealistically kindly their bosses were — at least in as much of it as I could stand.  And he got that pissy Lady Mary thing right down, I think, at least as observed from the outside — a spoiled brat of a certain money-bred type that’s just as familiar in certain circles in the US.  And everywhere else, I expect . . .

    Mudlark @mudlark


    The earlier episodes of Upstairs Downstairs were, I think, pretty accurate with regard to that kind of London household  – i.e. upper class but not in the grandest aristocratic style. Later on a certain element of sentimentalism tended to creep in.

    The best thing about Downton Abbey was the Guardian blog, where above and BTL people took full opportunity to make fun of it; otherwise it was infuriating.  It was full of anachronisms, quite apart from giving a totally distorted view of the relations between the servants and ‘the Family’, and there was no real sense of how this kind of grand country house functioned at the heart of a large country estate.  Even the living-in servants were, as depicted, too few for a house of that size.

    Out of curiosity I looked up the census records for Highclere Castle, the house which featured as ‘Downton Abbey’.  In 1911, even though the family was not in residence at the time, there was a housekeeper, five housemaids, a stillroom maid, a cook, kitchen maid, scullery man, under-butler and a footman.  With the family in residence the number of servants would have been almost doubled, and when the family were entertaining visitors, additional help might be brought in from the village.  Beyond the house itself were a coachman, 2 stablemen, a chauffeur and a mechanic living over the stables plus, living in the garden  bothy,  6 gardeners who would have been regularly in an out of the kitchen delivering produce and taking orders from the cook. Elsewhere on the estate were the steward, the lodge-keepers, gamekeepers, estate carpenter, dairy maids etc. etc.

    Nor did DA accurately reflect the rigid hierarchy that prevailed among the servants. The ‘upper servants’ in such a large household – the butler and housekeeper, the ladies maids and valets – tended to keep themselves apart, and often took their meals separately in the housekeeper’s room – known irreverently as ‘Pug’s parlour’.  Further down the ranks there were carefully observed gradations – first footman, second footman, upper housemaid, second housemaid and so on, with the scullery maid the lowest of the low.

    Relations between the servants and their employers on these big estates varied a good deal, but at best they were paternalistic. Those between ladies’ maids or valets and their employers could be confidential, and upper servants who had been in service to the family a long time might be allowed a certain latitude, but for the rest, especially the women, it was a case of hard work, exhausting hours and strict discipline.  The best that can be said is, that for girls who went ‘into service’, especially in rural areas, it was seen as good training in skills which would be useful when they got married, and in the meantime they earned bread and board and at least a pittance to save for the future.  My maternal grandmother, born 1882, was the second to youngest in a family of ten* and most of her sisters were in service before they married.  In the case of my grandmother things did not go so well: the story goes that she was told by the housekeeper, ‘Th’art too proud to be a servant, Maggie’, and she ended up assisting her mother who, after her husband died in 1900, earned her living as a dressmaker and doing upholstery and soft furnishings in the big houses of the area – which is largely how I come by all this information.

    The people who had it worst were the servants of British middle class families who could only afford to employ one or two servants.  The mistress of the house who, unlike her French counterpart, had probably never been taught cookery or how to manage a household, tended to demand the impossible – and then wonder why she had a ‘servant problem’.

    World War I was the turning point, at least in the cities where women were positively encouraged to go out and work in the factories where, they earned much better money – as depicted in Upstairs Downstairs.


    * not counting an elder half-sister who was illegitimate, born when my great grandmother had just turned 16 and brought up by her grandparents; but that is another story.





    Anonymous @


    That’s amazing information -I had no idea about those constructs (Sp?).

    Having a day off today. Assignments, assignments….

    I wish we’d learn the stuff  you mentioned….

    janetteB @janetteb

    @mudlark In Australia conditions were possibly even worse. The large houses employed far less servants than their English counterparts. Although there were a remarkable number of single women who immigrated to Australia in the mid 19th century, particularly from Ireland, seeking work as domestics. MOst would have been employed as “slaveys”, working alone from dawn to well after dark, sleeping on the kitchen floor, often in isolated circumstances. Last night in a court report from 1869 a witness described herself and the servant as being up all night working while “hubby” was sleeping on the sofa in the parlour.

    A few years ago I helped a friend (who had married “money”) research her husband’s family history. They were pastoralists with a large house and servants. (we used the former servants’ cottage as our office.) We talked to the daughter of one girl who was brought out from England because

    “in this State at the present time servants are just about as rare as icebergs on the equator”. (written in 1924 to his sister in the U.K.)

    Though she only worked for them for a year the master of the house took a paternalistic interest in her family. We think her husband may have also worked on the property. He gave them an interest free loan during the  depression and sent them packages of clothing etc. He wrote glowing references for the daughters when they were looking for work years later. I suspect that this was not usual.

    I persuaded my friend that “Minnie” was far more interesting than her wealthy in law and so we wrote up her story instead for a local history project that we were involved in at the time. It was so nice to celebrate the life of an “ordinary” person rather than someone rich and famous.

    @thane15 the more one delves into history the more interesting it gets.  School history lessons can only ever really give an overview, the broad sweeps but the interest is in the detail and the people. Bring people from the past to life is a fascinating thing when it can be done, though it can become very, very time consuming.



    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark  @janetteb  Good, good stuff — history is a marvel, but in the US it isn’t honored at all, but regularly replaced by myths and propaganda, which we know because every now and then a trove of documents of some kind throws the spotlight of reality on some famous incident, there’s a flare-up, and it’s all forgotten as the self-aggrandizing and often vicious myth settles back into place as if nothing had happened.

    This happened fairly recently, when a historian burrowing around in some archives in Madrid found an account of the “Battle of the Alamo” written by a Mexican officer who fought in that battle and participated in its aftermath.  The usual heroic story was exposed as nonsense at best, flat-out lies for the most part (I can’t recall details — this discovery was publicized maybe a decade ago), but of course Texas went crazy in a foamy-mouthed defense of their precious myth of the exceptional, wonderful, courage and endurance of Us and the contemptible inferiority of the Mexicans fighters.  So how did all that work out?  As far as I know, the Spanish account discovery has been completely forgotten and suppressed since.  If anybody knows of some acknowledgement of its existence, even, in a history text book, please tell me — I would be very heartened.

    @thane15   If original documents were routinely used as the basis of teaching history, I think the world would be a rather different (for the better) place.  Unfortunately, here, where many teachers used to have degrees in their fields rather than in “education courses” that drill you in writing lesson plans, these days the majority of secondary school teachers are very poorly prepared in their subject(s) and wouldn’t know *how* to teach from, say, a sample of the Federalist Papers or other such documents produced by the people of the time, because the teachers themselves don’t have enough of a solid context for those items.

    For a fascinating study of the vagaries of “the historical record” itself, I recommend a slim novel by Josephine Tey, a British mystery writer of the middle of the last century, called “The Daughter of Time”.  The Daughter of Time is Truth — or at least a more accurate understanding of what happened, and only if someone bothers to go back and *look* at (and think about) the evidence.


    Craig @craig

    I’ve been using the holiday period to catch up on some of the TV I’ve missed over the last six, or even twelve, months. The only thing that really sang “quality” was Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror episode “San Junipero”. Black Mirror is a bit hit and miss, and I didn’t like much of it, but “San Junipero” is a work of art and knocks it out of the park. It made me cry.

    San Junipero

    If you have Netflix you really should watch. I read some reviews and the consensus seems to be that it’s one of the best hours of TV this year. Do yourself a favour – it’s a beautiful sci-fi love story. I can’t tell you anymore without spoilers. Just trust me.

    Anonymous @


    Mum always says if @pedant and @craig @mudlark and @ichabod like a show or a book and say “trust me” we absolutely do!

    We might get Netflix. Mum thought it was $50 a month but its $13 so I think that’s a good idea. My issue is I like subtitles _weak, I know!

    Thank you,




    Hey! I spotted the sublime San Junipero first! (#54527 above!).

    So @thane15, that’s 2x Golden Recommendations! As a whole, Black Mirror is a set of cautionary (sometimes very cautionary) tales of the technological near future. But San Junipero is a work of sublime beauty. (It’s is anthology, so no arc or even continuity to worry about)

    Also on Netflix and worth a look: Stranger Things (creepy 80s set with a performance form a 12 year old that is astonishing);

    The OA – interesting, very odd and wilfully ambiguous – and the ending caused quite a stir.

    Travelers – Canadian/ Netflix time shift series. Am part way through and it is rather well executed and helped by a fine cast. As an idea, done before, but a nice tight example of the genre.

    And Sense8 is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen. High attention span telly.

    Anonymous @


    Sounds brilliant. I heard about Sense8 from a bud. Man you watch a lot of the tele!


    But seriouslt thanks for the info because I can’t go outside, can’t play footy, can’t do ANYTHING. I’m appreciating Mum’s situation!!!!

    Also, phlegm. They keep saying “cough it up” or you go back to hospital -to me, not mum.

    Phlegm is crass stuff. But the NHS -masses of tabs, severa; drips, several doctors and I didn’t pay a cent.

    That’s the real life stuff right there. I could not believe it.

    Anyway, so you’re saying Travelers isn’t like Fringe? I had to stop that. I watched House -all 7 series instead.



    No, not like Fringe at all. Not at all in love with itself. It is closer, but more gritty, to Continuum if you have ever seen that.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane15   Oh, you’ll have a blast with Netflix — pedant has listed the pick of the crop.  I’m into about #3 of the Canadian show “Travelers” and liking it, nothing like “Fringe”.  I also keep up with “Longmire”, a modern western supposedly taking place in Wyoming, but shot up around Santa Fe; I liked the books (guy called Johnson who’s actually been a Sheriff in Wyoming), so I looked in, liked this a lot.  Excellent observation of the current friction between Anglos and Indians (well, up north it’s more Cowboys and Indians, I guess).

    “Jessica Jones” has gotten raves from a lot of people; I’m less impressed, but it’s worth a look, I think.  Also my favorite UK detective series, set in and around Newcastle Upon Tyne, “Vera”.  We went on a dig in South Shields (other side of the river from Newcastle), a Roman Fort, one summer.  I couldn’t believe how beautifully “Vera” is shot, especially the first series — really captures the place.

    Lots else, but you’ll find them — there’s an Australian show, maybe you know it?  “Glitch”, it’s called, and Netflix has the first season up.  It’s an Australian take on “The Returned”, I think — peculiar, but locally flavorful (I think).  US made a version too, dead awful.

    Glad you liked “House” — loved it!


    Missy @missy

    I’d be happy if they had aired Sherlock  4 on free TV as they have the other three series. Why it had to be streamed heaven only knows. I’m very cross! It’s on order from Amazon UK and I get the set early February. I can wait.



    Kharis @kharis

    @missy I wouldn’t wait too long, or someone is bound to accidentally throw a spoiler your way.   (:

    Missy @missy

    @kharis: Believe me I wouldn’t wait at all, but if it isn’t on the TV, I haven’t got a choice. 🙁




    You haver Longmire in the US? We don’t and I’d love to catch up with the later seasons)

    And yes, @Thane15 – I omitted Jessica Jones only because my viewing got interrupted during my house move and I have will have to restart from the beginning (am a little Marveled-out also)

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant   Indeed we do — really good stuff, and there’s an occasional edge of supernaturalism in it that I think is very well done (I haven’t come across any reactions to it from tribal people here) (maybe I should go look for some).  It provides more depth, or perhaps creates an illusion of depth . . . ?

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant  Longmire isn’t reachable for you through Netflix?  That’s where I’m watching it.  Love it; and the NA material is probably more than usually accurate, given that an NA friend of the author is an official advisor on the show in that department.



    Nope – I watch the for 2 or 3 seasons (up until something apparently fatal happened to a key character via totallylegitimatedownloads sites) but lost track during my epic house move and now I have Netflix wouldn’t mind catching up with it.

    (If you have Ascension, give it a go. I managed to slightly spoil myself, so be careful not to. It has an apparently bonkers, technologically impossible, premise that then….well, shifts a bit)

    ichabod @ichabod

    @pedant   I did start “Ascension” but all the goofy politics became a bit annoying, so I sort of forgot about it.  I’ll take another look.  Thanks!


    ichabod @ichabod

    Just finished the first season of “The OA” on Netflix today — loved it.  But I can’t figure out how they can move on to a second series without effing up the first one.  I hope they will surprise me, in a very good way . . .

    nerys @nerys

    I’ve been watching Victoria and cheering on our Jenna Coleman. The beauty of it is that right now, Jenna can play a wide age range, and do it believably. Jenna is wonderful, as I knew she would be, but I really have to erase my mental image of the older Queen Victoria in order to imagine her in this role. I’m also torn on whether I think the series good, despite Jenna’s superb acting. It’s a wee bit too soap opera-ish for my tastes, especially in its treatment of her relationship with Lord Melbourne.

    And one pivotal piece of the story is missing. I know it’s not a documentary, but as luck would have it, my husband and I just watched Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History. It mentioned a period prior to Queen Victoria’s reign in which she was doing a public tour of England, became ill with a fever, but still withstood pressure from her mother and Sir John Conroy to make Conroy her personal secretary. That part was missing, along with a clearer picture of the Kensington System invented, invented by Victoria’s mother and Conroy largely to isolate Victoria during her childhood and make her submissive to them. I would have liked to have seen an installment based on this earlier conflict, because I think it would have served to show, rather than tell, why Victoria loathed Conroy.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    While I was watching Victoria I confess that kept seeing Jenna as Clara in period costume.  She bears little resemblance to even the young Victoria – a bit too tall,  too slender and neck too long  – but she certainly conveyed V’s strong will and something of her opinionated character.

    I thought that as a whole the drama was a bit pedestrian, but with all the documentation, including Victoria’s journals, to go on they couldn’t go far wrong on the historical details. They may have relied rather too much on unsubstantiated rumour in portraying the Duke of Cumberland’s machinations, but I don’t think that they were too far out in the portrayal of the relationship between V and Lord Melbourne; to her, whose father had died when she was very young,  he seems to have been a father figure with whom she was half in love. Despite her determined character and strong opinions she always seems to have needed or craved the support of a man throughout her life – which could be a bit tough on the man concerned.   I have always felt a bit sorry for Albert 🙂


    @mudlark @nerys

    Except Melbourne was deep deep into his 50s and a bit of a fatso. Not quite Rufus Sewell!

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Re Melbourne: true, at that date he looked nothing like Rufus Sewell, and I was tempted to point that out, but I certainly have the impression that V was attracted to him. Looks and age aren’t everything 😉

    Craig @craig

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned these shows yet, but in these depressing times I find some sort of solace in what they are doing with DC Comics characters on the CW network in the US (which is vastly better than what DC are doing with movies). They have four shows that began with “Arrow”. “Arrow”, which started well, has always taken itself a bit serious, trying to be a twist on Batman, which is what Green Arrow basically was in the comics – another billionaire playboy with a certain set of skills.

    Following “Arrow” they developed “The Flash” which has been consistently bonkers and great fun. As I know you like “Doctor Who” I think you might enjoy the tales of Barry Allen – a young man who can run so fast he can time travel and jump dimensions to other worlds. It really is good fun. I read a story about the writers’ room on these shows and they have their three ‘H’s on the wall – heroism, humour and heart. Each story really does try to incorporate all three.

    The Flash tv series

    Following the success of “Arrow” and “The Flash” they adapted “Legends of Tomorrow” which is a time-travelling superhero team story, featuring characters from the other two shows. I haven’t watched it much but I should. It gets good reviews and is a time-travel show and they manage to churn out over 20 episodes a year on a budget which is probably less than “Doctor Who”! The BBC could probably learn from it.

    Finally, and possibly best, is “Supergirl”. I love it for a bit of escapism. Developed for one of the other networks, it moved to the CW for its second series. It started the second half of series two last night after the holiday break, which is why I’m writing about it. Once again, it is filled with heroism, humour and heart. I love it.


    Like the comics, they have crossover episodes where Arrow meets Flash, Flash meets Supergirl etc. At the end of last year they had a TV event when they ran a story over four nights. It started in “Supergirl” on Monday, continued in “Flash” on Tuesday, “Arrow” on Wednesday and ended with “Legends of Tomorrow” on the Thursday. It was a big risk but they pulled it off. A proper TV event for someone like me.

    I’m not saying they are great art, but if you want a bit of escapism, that is also well written and well produced, and created with a lot of love for the characters and the audience, you could do a lot worse than watch at least a couple of these shows. I’d recommend “The Flash” and “Supergirl”. As a teaser, here’s Barry meeting Kara/Supergirl for the first time (she lives in a different Universe). It’s just fun. And we need that more than ever.

    Craig @craig

    Oh, and this is Melissa Benoist (who plays Supergirl) on the march on Saturday. She is very cool.

    Melissa Benoist

    Craig @craig

    In my posts above I mentioned if you want some lite but fun viewing you could do a lot worse than check out the superhero shows that the CW are doing at the moment. I also mentioned that I was going to check out the spin-off show “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”.

    Well, I had a bit of a binge watch, and if you want a bit of Doctor Who-lite before the real thing starts you could do a lot worse. It’s more-or-less a very fun, action packed rip-off of Doctor Who, and they know it. Arthur Darvill, our very own Rory, plays a “Time Master” who wears a very familiar long brown coat. He recruits a team of superheroes, assassins and criminals to stop an evil menace who is, it has to be said, not unlike The Master.

    In a recent episode they even met their own version of Dickens or Shakespeare – George Lucas – and inspired him to make both Star Wars and Raiders! It’s light, silly at times, but it’s well written, well made and fun.

    Here’s the trailer – you’ll see what I mean:

    ichabod @ichabod

    Thanks for the tip.  So far, I haven’t been able to settle for “Doctor Lite”.  In all its forms, and they are many now, it’s the ubiquity of superficiality, cliche, and one-dimensional stereotyping that drives me away, maybe because books were my first medium, not screens.  Print on pages is slower; all that breathing space with time to think and consider and imagine what the words are building encourages, IMO, originality and depth.  Images on screens, not so much (with, of course, exceptions on both sides).  Just running templates to appeal to mass common denominators almost always leverages quality downward, from what I’ve seen.

    I’ll take a look at this, because who knows for sure without trying, but honestly, I doubt it will work for me. Nobody’s fault, just tastes limiting me, the way those things can do.

    nerys @nerys

    I just finished binge-watching Westworld. Whoa! It’s going to take me a while to unravel all of that.


    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond

    talking of legends of tomorrow, who should turn up in season 2 but john barrowman!, in his “Flash” guise of  Malcolm Merlyn

    MissRori @missrori

    @ichabod, I’ve noticed that more and more I’m reading books (and comics) instead of really watching TV and movies myself.  Maybe it has to do with that breathing space issue?  Doctor Who is about the only fiction show I pay much attention to right now.

    ichabod @ichabod

    Some good stuff is coming down the pike, though (one hopes) — the concluding series of “The Leftovers” (and they’d *better* not muck it up); a new season of “Stranger Things” (likewise); other stuff, I’ve got a site bookmarked with some good possibles on it.  Will find and post.

    But books — yeah, books are better.

    Well.  Not “50 Shades of You Know What” . . . but nothing’s perfect, right?


    MissRori @missrori

    No, nothing is.  I tend to read older books, actually — can’t get into the “literary” new stuff, and the kind of authors that are sold at those big box stores (James Patterson, Danielle Steele, what have you) that crank out books like sausages I can’t get into either.  At least in my part of the country, there are hardly any bookstores anymore.  There’s a pretty good Barnes and Noble I visit every other week, but that’s about it.

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