General Open Thread – TV Shows
9 January 2013 at 13:36 #1021
Now we have a Non-Doctor Who section for other TV shows we may enjoy, I thought an open thread about our TV Habits might be useful for suggestions on other shows to feature.
The new digital landscape with free to air, subscriber content and downloads can be downright confusing of course. You may like something I also like but have seen material I haven’t so any discussion on this thread should be just general.
No spoilers please.9 January 2013 at 14:30 #1027
As an unremitting geek I’ve probably sampled every show ever shown (including such fare as “Pankiller Jane” – a series with absolutely nothing to recommend it).
Personal highlights over the years have included Blakes 7, Sapphire and Steel, Star Trek: DS9, Babylon 5, Farscape, Battlestar Galactica (remake), The X-Files, Millennium & Stargate.
Last year, I was bemused by the decision not to renew The Fades, gave a big “WTF” to Hunted, thought series 3 of Broadwalk Empire became must watch TV in the final half, and lamented the end of Leverage and Merlin at Christmas.
I found Series 3 (Part A) of The Walking Dead a vast improvement on series 2, and decided if Joe Gilgun decides to leave Misfits, it’s probably screwed at this point.
Looking forward to the next series of Being Human which is due to be shown between now and when Who returns.9 January 2013 at 23:29 #1077
@phaseshift a few shared faves here although my taste veers further into melodrama than yours 🙂
Never managed to systematically watch every episode of the X-Files. I’m fond of the original Battlestar Galactica as well as the remake.
Buffy and Angel and Firefly and Supernatural and Xena are all major favorites.
I’m also watching the Vampire Diaries. You have to enjoy melodrama with a twist for this one (and an interest in the ethnography of youth fandom helps). I am tempted by Teen Wolf!
I was also truly gutted when The Fades was cancelled – haven’t seen such innovative TV in years and it really reminded me of Susan Cooper’s book series The Dark is Rising etc, likewise about a young boy on a voyage of terrifying magical discovery, which I read avidly as a child.
I have the Walking Dead box-set to catch up on and Season 8 of Supernatural continues next week.
Oh, and if the BBC decided to bring out a mega box set of all the Dr. Whos they have on DVD for the 50th I would be so very tempted to mortgage an eye (or something).9 January 2013 at 23:56 #1079blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
@juniperfish. Box Set. It is so ironic that the BBC is no lovingly restoring old stories that they once thought so little of that they wiped them.
I just hope that for the 50th thye commit to more and more reconstructions–even of stories that now only have one surviving episode. Is there anyone on this board that would not like to see even a cartoon reconstruction of all the missing episodes of “The Dalek’s Masterplan”?10 January 2013 at 02:24 #1085
Never managed to systematically watch every episode of the X-Files.
I struggled through to the bitter end, but I didn’t end up buying or revisiting the last few series.
Yep – I worship at the alter of Wheden as well (with the exception of DollHouse), and Xena was enjoyable, especially comedy episodes. In moments of drunkeness I have been known to sing “Joxer the Mighty”.
I’d love to see a reconstruction of Dalek Materplan. I have a feeling that the closest I’m going to get is the old Target novelisations by John Peel, which may be the subject of my first blogpost at some point.10 January 2013 at 04:50 #1091
My old T.V. favourites include Blake’s Seven, The Omega Factor, 1990, Red Dwarf and B.5. The only other Sci Fi I’m watching at the moment is Fringe. I have always been rather lukewarm about series like Star Trek which have no narrative thread running through the series. Our eldest is currently watching Being Human and tells me I should watch it. I’ll give it a try once school starts back.
@juniperfish I read the first of the Susan Cooper books. Really must read more. Can we also discuss books and film or does that require another thread?
Janette10 January 2013 at 05:04 #1093blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave
Blake’s 7. Servelan…perhaps the all-time great TV villain.10 January 2013 at 07:49 #1097chickenelly @chickenelly
Blake’s 7. Servelan…perhaps the all-time great TV villain.
When I was a nipper, my dentist wasn’t a normal dentist rather it was the Dental Hospital in Dundee. What I didn’t know at the time was that it was just a bunch of students practising on me (I shudder to think about it now). The worst part was when the lecturer came about and would tut tut about how the student was being too delicate and would attack me with a drill (all with no anaesthetic I may add). She was the spitting image of Servelan….
It might explain why Blake’s Seven was cancelled, she had a sideline.10 January 2013 at 12:15 #1101
Yes Susan Cooper, and Rosemary Sutcliff, remain fave authors from my childhood. Sutcliff’s retelling of Tristan and Iseult is just beautiful.
@chickenelly Good gods, between your dentistry and the country dancing experiences, you have survived much brave bird 🙂10 January 2013 at 12:42 #1113
Using the magic power of the mod, I have set up a couple of general threads in Books and Films as well, should you be interested.
I’m just dashing through at the moment after posting something in the news section, but will try to contribute a post to each later, and continue this discussion!10 January 2013 at 16:59 #1121
I’ll put this link here – but is this the biggest load of old click/fan bait the Guardian has ever published? Doctor Who, Sherlock, Fringe, Buffy, Lost – Why there is too much romance!10 January 2013 at 17:16 #1125
Thanks for link!
Accurate is accurate 🙂 “Have your say, as ever, below the line…” And in need of an edit too!
But I guess we shouldn’t be unduly mean about our parent-home…
Suddenly Buffy is back on the agenda? Are they reading our blog? 🙂10 January 2013 at 17:57 #1127
You deserve the recommend just for the mention of Steed and Mrs Peel! Of to listen to “Book of Kells” for an hour.10 January 2013 at 18:54 #1129
Nice back-up over on the Graun 🙂
And precisely – Dickens was the television of his time – popular serialised narrative…
I had an argument with someone on Tumblr recently – really intelligent-seeming young scientist (no offence to scientists in general!) who was convinced that television fiction was an evil brain-rotting drug which should be outlawed, and his case was based on the fact that it evoked emotional attachment to fictional characters (which he saw as a distraction from “real life”). Plato wanting to kick the poets out of the Republic all over again…
Imagine a world without fictional worlds within it <shudders>10 January 2013 at 19:37 #1145Anonymous @
And just to stick my fishy oar in here too — I can’t believe Fringe is about to be over… I’m going to be quite bereft…
What are the chances we could get John Noble into an episode of Who at some point?11 January 2013 at 01:46 #1195
Just read that article and noticed lots of friends there. I agree with the premise of the article but not all the arguments. It is not necessary for every companion to snog the Dr. Love sick Rose became cringe worthy and the Sherlock/Adler thing just didn’t work and weakened an otherwise excellent episode. However the relationship between Peter and Olivia is central to the overall arc of Fringe and not something just slapped in. (Watched episode 8 last night and there were tears.)
Janette11 January 2013 at 02:20 #1203
Agree with you about Fringe. When it first started it seemed like a “x-files light” for the first few episodes, and mainly carried by John Noble. As time went on it really got into its own stride. I haven’t seen the start of the final episodes yet, but this season has done something really different.
John would be welcome in the Whoniverse as far as I’m concerned.
As far as the article was concerned, it just seemed to follow a trend in the G recently of being a bit manufactured. Starting with the kiss between Oswin and the Doctor – in a series in which River uses her kiss as a weapon, can you take anything for granted?
I’d say that in shows like Buffy and Fringe, those relationships were essential to the ongoing plot. I didn’t post because I think I would have wanted to ask (politely) if the writer had been involved in a relationship failure recently and that had possible skewed her thinking. And that way moderation lies.
Imagine a world without fictional worlds within it
As a scientist myself, I don’t recognise the type at all. Many share a love of sci-fi and fantasy. Without imagination and daring to dream – you can’t really be a scientist. You can’t make the cognitive leap to possibly link A to B and want to find out if that relationship exists. Each of those leaps of the imagination is a fictional world, until you can demonstrate its reality.
I think that’s the thing with the internet though. You find some very strange people. 😀11 January 2013 at 11:44 #1219Anonymous @11 January 2013 at 12:18 #1221
Absolutely. Count me in. John Noble actually is a “local lad”. He is a South Australian and there arn’t too many of those getting known out there in the big bad world. And he is wonderful as Walter. I watched a few episodes before I realised that he was Denethor. I think he would make a fantastic Doctor too but I doubt the BBC would cast an Aussie as the icoic English super hero. (especially in the light of comments made about the casting of Adelaide Clemmens in Parades End)
Janette11 January 2013 at 12:28 #1223Anonymous @
I dunno. George Lazenby got to be Bond — and a pretty good one he turned out to be too…11 January 2013 at 12:30 #1225
He wasn’t too popular in Australia oddly enough.
Janette11 January 2013 at 12:32 #1227
Kylie is also much more popular in the U.K. The only Christmas Special I haven’t liked is the Kylie one mostly because it had Kylie in it. I thought she was awful.11 January 2013 at 12:38 #1229
Actually come to think of it an Australian, Errol Flynn, was the definitive other iconic English super hero, Robin Hood. (won’t mention other Aussie “actors” attempting to portray British cultural heroes.)
Janette11 January 2013 at 21:23 #1245Whisht @whisht
ah, @janetteb, don’t be so hard on Aus actors doing iconic British characters – Mel Gibson’s done brilliantly (Hamlet, Fletcher Christian, William Wallace).
though you’d obviously Mad Max and Lethal Weapon are far cooler than that effete Hamlet kid.
btw no idea where in Australia you are, but hope the heat and fires aren’t affecting you. take care11 January 2013 at 21:28 #1249Anonymous @
@whisht – yes indeed, I think Gibson’s version of Hamlet is actually one of the better screen incarnations. Pity he’s become such a loon though. (Gibson, that is, not Hamlet. He was always a loon.)
And, yes, indeed, @janetteb, hope you’re keeping safe out there. I spent many happy years in Oz and was in Sydney one year when the bush fires were getting a bit hairy — but nothing as bad as it’s been this year, I suspect.11 January 2013 at 23:18 #1259Whisht @whisht
ah, @jimthefish yes…. erm… no. Really?!??
Mad Mel the mad middle aged Dane??!!?
anyway here’s a Facebook update from a mate of mine in Brisbane:
31c , 8:30 am, phew … It’s going to be a scorcher today
weirdly, the very next update is from another unconnected friend:
Got visa for Siberia at last!. Next stop thermal underwear shop!
I guess, take care everyone!!12 January 2013 at 03:22 #1267
It seems as though the rest of Australia is copping it at the moment, for a change. We had about 45 last Friday. Fried the garden but since then has been mid thirties and no fires.
(it actually gets hot in Siberia in summer which is why huskies shed sooo much. Ours started just before Christmas and it looked like it had been snowing inside the house.)12 January 2013 at 11:03 #1299
Back to the T.V. discussion. I think I have worked out what is going to happen in Fringe. It occurred to me last night after watching episode 8. I had a peek on the forum this morning and it appears that others have thought of it too. If I’m right I will never forgive the script writers. I’m so sure I’m correct that I won’t post my theory because I don’t want to spoil the fun for other Fringe fans. If it ends in the worst narrative cop out imaginable you will know I was right.12 January 2013 at 15:17 #1309
A quick question – Does anyone intend to watch the new Channel 4 drama “Utopia” that is due on Tuesday?
The Guardian has posted an article on it, and I think I’ll give it a whirl. Sounds a bit different.
Best wishes for continued non-combustion!12 January 2013 at 15:39 #1313
It sounds interesting.
Janette17 January 2013 at 00:00 #1521
Well, I watched the first episode of C4’s new drama Utopia last night <spoiler free mini-review>
If you have seen the episode, there is a thread for the discussion of it over on The Guardian http://www.thedoctorwhoforum.com/forums/topic/general-open-thread-tv-shows/
I wanted to like it – a bunch of geeks who met on the internet are our “heroes” 🙂
The coloring and visual tone of the show were arresting, but bad things (shot however beautifully) happening to people we hardly knew, made for a disjointed and emotionally premature spaghetti soap.
Utopia felt like a mash-up of Shameless, Fresh Meat and Pulp Fiction – stereotyped, awkward and shock-tastically violent.
It may settle into something threaded together by believable intimacies – I’ll stick with it for another episode and see.17 January 2013 at 23:46 #1631
I did it. And therefore post a link to a clip everyone must watch.
In a discusion on Who I mentioned Terry Gilliam as a potential influence on the look of the show.
This clip will not spoil your experience of Fringe, but it does demonstrate what a confident show, that knows it is ending, can deliver. Walter Bishop, (the great John Noble) has consumed a quantity of LSD in an attempt to access some hidden memories. His flashback scene is glorious and confirmes he spent some of the seventies enjoying funny walks, facefulls of fish, and “amateur photography” (nudge – nudge, wink – wink).
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the glory of Black Umberella:
(I love it when TV shows go barking mad).18 January 2013 at 00:57 #1639Craig @craigEmperor
Now that I think about it, my favourite fantasy TV serial has to be “A Very British Coup”. It’s a wonderful, three-part political drama from the Eighties. It’s fantasy because it’s about a far-left Labour government winning an election during what were the Thatcher years. The powerful forces of The Establishment then try to take them down but, in reality, The Establishment would never have let them get that far in the first place.
Written by playwright Alan Plater, based on a much more depressing book by Labour MP Chris Mullin, it features a barnstorming performance by the late, great Ray McAnally as the new Prime Minister, Harry Perkins. If you haven’t seen it you can check it out on 4od here: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/a-very-british-coup/4od#3204906.
If nothing else, it’s great to check out the terrible fashions and hairstyles of the Eighties. But I think it is one of the greatest “what if” fantasy dramas ever.
My favourite bit – Harry Perkins is travelling to London on a train after winning the Election:
Journalist: “Is it true you’re going to abolish First Class?”
Perkins: “No, I’m going to abolish Second Class. I think everyone is First Class, don’t you?”18 January 2013 at 02:19 #1643
@phaseshift. Thanks for the link. We watched that episode last night but fun to watch that little segment again. I wondered if it was done by Gilliam. Rather to my relief the story does not appear to be heading in the direction I thought it would.
@craig, I have not yet seen A Very British Coup. It is in my “must watch soon” list.
Janette18 January 2013 at 09:41 #1645ScaryB @scaryb
@phaseshift OK you’ve convinced me about Fringe! No idea when I’m going to fit it in, but it’s on my list of must sees. (that clip is very Gilliam-esque; love the frog’s Madame V impersonation 🙂 )
A Very British Coup is definitley worth checking out too.19 January 2013 at 00:52 #1693
Glad you enjoyed. I have placed myself emotionally in a special space to view the finale of Fringe, which I guess will occur on Sunday. Tissues on standby!
It’s well worth the investment in time. I will really miss John Noble, and would love to see him guest star in Who.
I also have fond memories of “A very British Coup” @craig – Ray McAnally turns in a barnstorming performance in that.
Over Christmas I re-watched Porterhouse Blue – another of those oft-forgotten gems we could produce. I marvelled at the fact that David Jason, who portrayed G-g-g-g-Granville in “Open all hours” at the time could portray Skullion in this adaptation. He looks younger these days in his Frost episodes!
And that theme music by the Flying Pickets sounds marvellous looking back.19 January 2013 at 03:02 #1699
I haven’t heard of Porterhouse Blue. It sounds interesting. Have added it to my wish list.
Janettte19 January 2013 at 03:31 #1701
Oh – Tom Sharpe, who wrote the book, was an observational genius on the peculiarities of Brit Culture (He was a South African who left because of Apartheid). Porterhouse was about the best adaption of his work I have seen, with a dark and twisted view that it is impossible to describe.
If you do have the opportunity, watch it. It really is very funny with a steller cast going for broke for laughs.
John Sessions blowing up a tower of the college with gas filled condoms is just part of the hilarity. 🙂
Rewatching it did make me feel very warm, and in this climate that’s probably worth it’s weight in gold.21 January 2013 at 13:22 #1791Anonymous @
Am currently speed-watching the final season of Fringe — five episodes yesterday — and expect to hit the finale by about Wednesday.
Must admit I had my doubts whether the Observer plotline would be that good but have to admit I’m really quite gripped by it. It’s got shades of everything from old Fringe, to Angel, to BSG to it.
Fringe really was one of the best SF/fantasy shows of recent years. I’m sad to see it go but glad it’s going out on a high, after a slight falter last season. Now, all we need to do is get John Noble on Who.
(Oh and for those of you of a digital creativity bent, the man behind the title sequences does some really rather excellent tutorials here http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/ )23 January 2013 at 21:30 #1851Anonymous @
Right, have just finished watching the Fringe finale and am feeling more than a little moist around the gills? Anyone else seen it yet?24 January 2013 at 10:36 #1859
We watched it on Sunday and yes there were tears.
Might be spoilers for anyone who hasn’t yet watched the final episode so please don’t read)
I really liked the ending though it did leave some threads untied. I expected paradoxes but I thought Peter would be at the centre of it as it seemed that the Observers were intent upon wiping him out. I was afraid that everything would go right back to Peter as a child surviving in the other universe and thus the entire five years didn’t happen. Thankfully I was wrong. I was glad that they ended up as they did. They really had to return to that point. I now want to watch all of series five again. I agree one of the best Sci fi series in years, in fact best since B.5, in my view. (other than our own Dr Who of course.) Agree re’ getting John NOble on Who and thanks for the link to the tutorials. Will have a look.
Janette24 January 2013 at 17:11 #1865Anonymous @
WARNING … POTENTIAL FRINGEY SPOILERS
I do know what you mean but I got the impression that they’d pretty much ‘done’ with the Peter plotline. Much as I like the Observer plotline it did feel like something left over and that this last season was kind of made up on the back of a fag packet. I think the fact that David Fury was exec producer makes me think there’s much of the aborted season six of Angel in here which I believe was going to tread similar territory…
But the fact that it ends with Walter returning a small child to the universe to which he belongs gives it a nice symmetry to the whole show and gives Walter a nice, well-deserved redemption.
Aside from great concepts/ideas I think this show has to be one of the best depictions of a father/son relationship in any show, surpassed only in my mind by the Kenneth Branagh/David Warner one in the early seasons of Wallander — I’m not ashamed to admit that season two of that always has me crying like a baby…31 January 2013 at 00:07 #2209
I really enjoyed the finale of Fringe. I think everyone had expected the rollback of time in some way, but the crucial thing was how it was played, and it was done well.
I think Walters’s sense of responsibility for everything he’d done in his previous life, and his almost pathological need to repent played so well into this. His conversation with Peter about their stolen moments got me going early I’m afraid. Poor September. When he said he was going instead of Walter, you knew how that would end.
Overall though, I agree with my esteemed collegues Jim and Janette above, Fringe is now a complete thing, and overall it really hangs together. Like B5 and Battlestar Galactica I think it presents a narrative that is complete with a couple of hanging threads to debate in the pub over.
There are some interesting ideas in all this that do play into current “Who” – the people with remarkable memories who remember different timelines, the themes of parenthood and responsibility. Just the oldest stories told in a new setting I guess.
All hail John Noble, who shall come unto Who guest stardom. Hopefully.1 February 2013 at 02:40 #2245
“Being Human”, the supernatural show by Toby Whitehouse (School reunion, Vampires in Venice, God Complex) returns at the weekend, on BBC3, Sunday at 10pm.
I think @jimthefish used to watch. Any others?
Dan Martin used to do a series blog up to series 3 with some enthusiastic support (although not as popular as the Who blogs). Last year they just did an “hey the new series is about to start” blog. If they do something similar this year might be an opportunity to draw some other posters into our web.
Mwahahahahahahahha!4 February 2013 at 10:19 #2381Miapatrick @miapatrick
@Phasehift- I haven’t seen the new Being Human episode yet, will do on iplayer today. I did notice that under the tv review for it today someone was asking if there would be a series blog, and it didn’t look like there would be- could be a good time to do a bit of fishing…4 February 2013 at 10:22 #2383Miapatrick @miapatrick
My mother got the Sapphire and Steel DVD boxed set for Christmass… anyone else here who used to watch it?4 February 2013 at 22:14 #2385
Thanks for the Guardian reference – I forgot to look, although managed to catch the episode late last night.
I thought it was a good opener. Lots of humour, and a few chilling scenes to get things started!4 February 2013 at 22:25 #2387
Also – if your mum was interested in Sapphire and Steel, she is a woman of intelligence and taste 🙂
It ran between when I was 9 and 12, and I bought the DVDs on their first release in two box sets (stories 1 – 3, and stories 4-6). I found it creepy as a child and adult, but for slightly different reasons.
It really does have a budget that old Who would have probably laughed at, but some of the filming makes it look like you’re watching an actual play in some of the more subdued interior sets.
I think my favourites have to be 4 – The man without a face who exists in every photograph ever taken (the screams as one of the photographs in burned still send a chill down my neck), and 2 – with the shadow creature feeding of the resentment of the dead soldiers. The end of that one is something I doubt you could get away with these days.
As it started in the year you were born, I’m guessing you have only watched it recently, and I’d be interested in what you think of it.4 February 2013 at 22:30 #2389Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
Ooh, I remember the photographs one. The ending was terrifying – I was nervous of cameras for weeks afterwards.
Thankfully, I got over it.
The final series also had quite the downer finale.4 February 2013 at 22:55 #2391Anonymous @
The railway platform one was the one that got under my skin the most. Terrific ending. And an object lesson in that you don’t really need CGI or even a particularly big budget to create really compelling SF TV.
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