General Open Thread – TV Shows

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    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Hmmm @phaseshift your description of Sapphire and Steel makes it sound quite good.

    It was on when I was either off to Brownies or coming back and I distinctly remember not having a clue what was going on in any of the episodes I caught the back/front end of.

    Perhaps now is the time for a revisit, then again with your description of the lack of budget it might not hold up to my modern, superficial eyeballs.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I think I was the same – there are no pictures of me as a teenager. “Adventure 4” stops long in the memory for those who saw it. I thought it interesting that PJ Hammond revisited the idea to an extent in one of his Torchwood episodes (From out of the Rain), Which featured a bizarre (is there any other kind?) turn from Julian Bleach.


    Yep, the one with the soldiers is the Railway station one. Again, it’s haunting, as Steel has to relive those deaths hanging on barbed wire or suffocating in a submarine. The most chilling scene is his little “jig” at the end of a job well done (more later).


    No eye candy I’m afraid, but as I know you are prepared to listen to Doctor Who audio, give this a whirl. It’s adventure 4. Others may be available. You will need 90 minutes of your life.

    I’d urge @miapatrick not to read this if she has not watched it yet, but the thing that disturbed me as an adult is:

    As @bluesqueakpip mentioned it finished on a low note, a bemusing “up in the air” finale. But the only really happy ending occurred in the first serial, with the children. I think this lured us kids into a false sense of security.

    Adventure 2 finishes with Steel negotiating a pact with “the shadow”. He’ll trade his living comrade, who has helped him throughout, for Sapphire and the dead ghosts. As his scream echoes around, Steel gives a high kick of satisfaction of a job well done. Adventure 3, adventure 4 and 5 see similar bitersweet endings, with the team making some hard choices.

    It’s like an eternal cold war with the collatoral damage not being relevant in the slightest to the team, but most especially Steel, who is portrayed as an utter bastard. Sapphire critices him as especially cold, and in the final series he displays a rare element of compassion and tries to help someone. It’s a trap, and he and Sapphire are left trapped in a limbo like prison constantly accelerating into the far future to die.

    I can’t help but feel they thought kids were made of stronger stuff in those days!

    Miapatrick @miapatrick


    In fact she had a video boxed set in the 90’s. (I still find it weird to think that’s quite a while ago now.) So I was quite excited yet nervous to watch it again- was it actually any good? Have I been spoiled by modern production values? So I borrowed the first disk from the set- having forgotten how many episodes went on each story. I have now watched, I think, all but the last episode of the first story. I’m reassured by my frustration- it was really good, and I, apparently, am not irredeemably spoiled.

    So thoughts so far- yes, definitely to the play like feel. I like the way they left so many spaces, let the story unfold slowly. In a way it was probably great preparation for MoffitWho, however stylistically different they might be. From what I remember and what I have re watched so far, it isn’t very much about logic, or about science. It’s about the interaction of characters and atmosphere. especially the atmosphere. And taking a really creepy idea and running with it. The many clocks in the house stop and your parents disappear. Things like clocks, nursery rhymes and photographs being dangerous. Maybe that’s why I like Moffit making Statues, moving your glance and snowmen scary.

    One thing that struck me in the first story is how awful it is from the boys point of view. His parents vanish, two strange adults turn up, say they are there to help, make something really horrible happen, then prevent you from getting help from the police. (Hi, we’re a fire. We need to see your frying pan…) One of them constantly barks at you, the other one looks and sounds like Johanna Lumley. Poor kid…

    I think maybe the absolute lack of budget might have become a strong point. (like the Sally Sparrow episode?). When you’re not trying to construct spaceships and alien planets, but instead are using stuff found all over the standard props department, you don’t get the wobbely cardboard feel. And from what i remember and have re-watched, other then the introduction (SAPPHIRE AND STEEL HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED!) it’s really more supernatural then sci-fi. I think the basic stories would have worked without the sci-fi context.

    Steel was chilling. But I always liked him. Oddly, i misremembered this exchange: Boy: ‘Don’t you know your history?’ Steel: ‘I know my history.’ (no excuse for ignorance about the industrial revolution, then, had it come up.) as being between nine and Rose in DW.

    Have more thoughts but don’t want to do long long post and beer going down nicely, and (string of Firefly style Chinese swearwords) reflective commentry for OU to write…



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Sorry for the delay in replying, caught in some kind of time eddy! I agree with so many points though.

    Steel was chilling. But I always liked him.

    I really did as a kid, he was so reassuring. I think it’s only if you grew up in an environment (which even in the 80s was common) of a father being a bit distant, you could recognise that these days.

    Even so – he could be so cynical and cold!

    I think so many of these shows had a legacy though. Blakes 7 was referenced in Bablyon 5 and Firefly, but Sapphire and Steel was referenced by Farscape. They wanted an alien being who understood time. David Kemper, in an issue of SFX indicated they put a grey human in a smart suit, blacked his eyes and tried to conjure the spirit of S&S. I think they acheived it:

    About your OU demands – so sorry! I did my PG study with the OU in happier times when it was cheaper. I looked at the cost recently and shuddered.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    reflective commentry for OU to write…

    @miapatrick: Not A215, by any chance?

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @phaseshift– that is so interesting, that coldness and cynicism can be reassuring, but it really was. Then again, isn’t it (especially according to Rory) the Doctors bursts of enthusiasm and lack of calculation that make him dangerous? (I don’t think Steel would have lost Amy the way he did in TGWW. Mind you, he wouldn’t have had her on the Tardis in the first place.)

    Re: OU, fortunately I am a: on the old fee structure (fees just quadrupled) and because our income is next to nothing, i qualify for financial support. Basically, if you’re poor, it’s free…

    @bluesqueakpip– not right now, but I am planning it for next year (or late this year). How did you guess? (looking nervously around the house)

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @phaseshift – Eddies in the space time continuum? Is he now… What’s he doing there?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @miapatrick – don’t worry, I don’t have a spycam. I’m just in the middle of A363, and the phrase ‘reflective commentary’ made me think that you might also be doing one of the writing courses.


    Anonymous @

    Anyone been watching Black Mirror? I think so far this year’s episodes have superceded last year’s. I’ve really been enjoying them.

    Charlie Brooker is a known Who fan. It’s high time they drafted him in as one of their guest star writers, I reckon…

    Whisht @whisht

    (as jimthefish says)
    anyone been watching Utopia?

    One of the only programmes I’ve recently made an effort to watch real-time.
    actually hands-clappingly good.

    visually stunning and though the twisty-turny plot has been done better elsewhere, it was thoroughly good through great direction, art direction, great casting and acting.

    hey ho

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @jimthefish & @whisht

    With me being elsewhere during the week for the last month or so, I have all six episodes of Utopia and now 2 of Black Mirror to watch on my recorder. At the end of the week I’ve felt in the mood for lighter material recently, but I think I’ll give them both a go on Sunday all being well. At least I’ll be able to fastforward over C4’s ads, the density of which are increasingly annoying.

    I’ve been making time for Being Human on Sunday, which has been pretty fun. The new cast has really gelled for me, so I am disappointed this will be the last series. Hal and Tom are a great double act, and watching Phil Davis as “Captain Hatch” in it has reminded me how his appearance in Who was a bit squandered in retrospect.

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift @whisht

    I’m afraid Utopia has completely passed me by — something that I’m now regretting. I’d be interested in hearing people’s thoughts on it, in case it might be worth a dodgy download later on.

    I’ve also been wondering about the  much-maligned Outcasts recently (largely as I’m writing something that sounds slightly similar at the moment). Has anyone seen it? And if so, is it as bad as everyone said it was? I always thought it was a concept that had definite potential.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @jimthefish,
    In terms of Utopia, I think it worked for me mainly due to the great cast and great direction/ art direction. It was beautiful – sumptuous and drenched in colour, wonderfully framed shots, it really hit a comic-like feel (while not going down the “Dick Tracy” route). Also the soundtrack was fantastic – delicate and disturbing and witty.

    I can’t really comment on the writing – I’m not a writer, my background is more visual.
    The first few episodes I kinda had no idea what was going on; no idea what the individual characters wanted (so no idea why they were doing things). I don’t know if this was the fault of the writing. It was however the actors and the ‘feel’ that won me over.

    By the end, I was actually excited about watching the final episodes.

    If you do watch it – wear headphones if you can. It will help with some of the dialogue but especially the soundtrack which really comes into its own on headphones.
    I may try and watch it again (if only to figure out what was going on!)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Re: Outcasts – I bailed at episode 3. A friend of mine did manage to watch it all the way through, but the best she could come up with was ‘well, I have seen worse SF series’.

    It was very depressing, and apparently interstellar travel reduces your IQ by at least 20 points. At least, that’s the only explanation I could give for all the characters behaving like idiots all the time.

    The concept, as such, was fine. Trouble was, neither writer has any previous credits at all in science fiction – both are professional writers, but they don’t seem to have had anything published in the SF field (at least, not that I can find). Shakespeare on one side and urban angst on the other.  Compare with Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat; the one had produced two children’s series within the SF/Fantasy genre, and the other had at least managed a short story (and of course The Curse of Fatal Death) to go alongside his mainstream TV work. And the Moff was only asked to provide a two-part episode initially, not an entire SF series.

    The Guardian quote:

    science fiction written by someone with no feel for either science or fiction.

    probably says all you want to know.


    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @phaseshift,

    In terms of Being Human, I’ll admit that I agree its a shame this is the last series.
    That’s not because the last couple of series have been particularly good (even though I watched them), but because the actors of the werewolf and the ghost are so much better than the originals.
    As I think I mentioned somewhere else, there seems to be a helluva lot of whining in Being Human (if Toby Whithouse takes over DW gawd help us). The previous actors whined in an annoying way, whereas the newer actors are just a bit better and able to do a bit more with it.

    This is not (definitely not) because I fancy the ghost.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @whisht– agree about the new actors- but more because of the characterisation of the new cast.

    The original was essentially a recovering drug  addict, an agoraphobic and a bi-polar personality disorder sufferer, with supernatural causes,sharing a house, which on paper ought to be more interesting than an obsessive compulsive, champion sulker and a re-homed stray (with supernatural causes) sharing a house. But for some reason the current set up  really works for me. (Incidentally, i rescue dogs, so i can say that if ‘re-homed stray’ is really what they are aiming for with Tom, they have it bang  on. He’s very sweet and loving, but you daren’t leave him to his own devices for too long.)

    It doesn’t feel as though this was  intended as the last series. The last one would have worked fine for that. As is it I’m not sure how baby eve has bought about the end of the vampires. Stopped them taking over at that point, yes. Left Tom and Hal alive and human-like, maybe.  And they seem to have bought the devil into it, which feels a bit like a game ender, but for the most part it feels like a re-boot.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @miapatrick – yep – agree that’s how the characters started out (ie needing the supernatural to make the shared-house setup ‘tick’ and not be Thirtysomething!) though I’d always thought the werewolf was an alcoholic (not sure why, except for ‘explosions’ of anger every once in a while).

    Love your insight into the new characters. Funnily enough, based on that I’d say that they’ve gone ‘back’ to a “supernatural Friends” setup (with they-fancy-each-other and Ross/ Joey partnerships). Maybe the simplicity of this makes it better as well as better actors..? but I still think its maybe down to just having better actors!

    but god that whole story arc of the baby was awful. Makes me shudder to think Whithouse is taking over DW. If he tries a grand story arc then we’re doomed. Lets hope he goes old-skool with something far more episodic!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Makes me shudder to think Whithouse is taking over DW

    Being Human is a different show. Vampires of Venice, The God Complex (on next week) and School Reunion all show someone who knows both Doctor Who and the character of the Doctor pretty well.

    He’s not my first choice, but I’d be fine with him as showrunner. And arcs – tricky. I completed a novel length Buffy fanfic where I chose to do a long, long arc (proper novel, it was) and by the end I was going ‘sh*t, this is hard.‘ But hopefully the next time I try it, I’ll have learnt something.


    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @bluesqueakpip – I’ll trust you on Whithouse!
    I’m not a writer so unfortunately only see the surface. Completely appreciate how hard writing must be and writing arcs even more so, so not trying to kick his shins for poor writing!
    Just feel that the stories he writes aren’t that interesting – he’s more interested in witty dialogue and so relies on actors a lot more (to deliver it).

    But as I say – I’m a glib viewer and I’ve agreed with so much of what else you’ve said elsewhere, so I’ll watch again with a better eye (or ear!)!


    Anonymous @

    Makes me shudder to think Whithouse is taking over DW

    What? What? What? What bombshell is this?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @jimthefish  <waves at fellow fish>

    Yes, I’ve been watching Black Mirror!


    <SOME SPOILERS FOR BLACK MIRROR and UTOPIA (although I’ll avoid twists in the tales)>


    I  find Charlie’s particular dystopian and self-referential vision (as in, priviledged media worker reflects on “the masses” uses of media) both darkly compelling and irritating at once. There are some good actors involved. In fact I thought Leonora Crichlow (from Being Human) was particularly good – it can’t be easy to maintain those kinds of levels of hysteria throughout shooting for a full hour’s worth of drama!

    My irritation stems from the fact that all Brooker’s scenarios comment on media manipulation and political vacuity, but they offer a world without escape from either on a repeat-meme loop.

    However, I infinitely preferred Black Mirror to Utopia. I disliked Utopia quite intensely because it combined stunning cinematography with shock-violence and a lack of character development. I just couldn’t care about the people, or rather, the narrative didn’t give me enough time to care about them before it began torturing them for visual effect.

    However sardonic Black Mirror is,  the main characters, I have to hand it to Charlie, are written with empathy.

    JuniperFish over and out!


    Anonymous @


    My irritation stems from the fact that all Brooker’s scenarios comment on media manipulation and political vacuity, but they offer a world without escape from either on a repeat-meme loop.

    Nicely put and I do know what you mean, but I think that’s what I like about Black Mirror, the bleakness of the outcome. I see that Robert Downey Jr has bought the rights to the The Entire History of You episode from last year and I guarantee that it is that aspect that will be entirely ironed out of it. It’ll be rewritten as a ‘conspiracy thriller’ where the plucky individual somehow manages to bring down an entire Government/institution in a way that never happens in real life. I do see what you mean about Brooker’s privileged position though but I’m willing to forgive it for the refreshing sense of frustrated despair that Black Mirror has.

    Though having said that, the Waldo episode was a bit lacklustre. It was far too obviously just a reheated offcut from Nathan Barley (best comedy show that no one ever watched, aside from Pulling IMHO) and the conclusion was a bit pat. I hope he’s not run out of steam now. Maybe if there’s a Black Mirror 3, he should get Chris Morris to write one. (Actually there’s another writer I’d love to see write a Who episode. Might not be too kiddy friendly though.)

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip — belated thanks for the info on Outcasts. Think I’ll give it a miss.

    Whisht @whisht

    @jimthefish – A Chris Morris episode of Who???

    you’re a genius!! Brass Eye is some of the best TV I’ve ever seen in any genre*

    *yeah yeah I’ll say the same thing about something else in the next 10 mins but its just so good, and better than the Brooker stuff that I’ve seen. Having said that, it’s obvious I need to start watching Black Mirror!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Ah well – so long Being Human.

    The apocalypse was always going to look a bit spartan on a BBC3 budget, but in what felt like a rushed, condensed final series, I enjoyed the end of the road.

    I wish we’d had more time with this cast, and an extended period of Phil Davies/The Devil. His dandyish look and sly humour in the finale immediately made me think of Peter Cook in Bedazzled (a compliment as far as I’m concerned).

    I loved his address to the nation (which I think had some echoes of the one in V for Vendetta), and the notion that he may have been driven mad by the banality of evil in humans. The running joke of the headlines of his newspaper throughout the series (“ARE UNIONS GIVING US CANCER”, “IS HEALTH AND SAFETY TURNING BRITAIN’S FARMERS GAY?”, etc) really played into that notion.

    Above all – I love an ambiguous ending as it tends to prolong the memory of a series. So thanks to all involved for an enjoyable five years.

    Anonymous @

    OK, it’s humble pie time at The Dam today. Just managed to catch up with Broadchurch in ITV — created and written  by Chris Chibnall — and so far it’s a belter. Of course, it’s early days and there’s still plenty of time for him to make an arse of it, but so far it’s great telly.  (Lots of Who alumni in there too.)

    Maybe he’s just not a SF kind of person and should just leave it well alone.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Not exactly a TV programme, but a heads-up for a radio production of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

    Actually, I loved the TV version, low budget special effects and all. It was weird. Since they seem to have collected a cast to die for, it looks like other people loved it too.

    On R4 tomorrow, presumably iPlayer thereafter.


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    It is an astonishing cast. I’ll be listening to it this afternoon. There is a nice blog by Natalie Dormer who plays Door on the BBC’s site:

    I have a lot of time for the original TV series as well. I loved Peter Capaldi as Islington, and Hywel Bennett & Clive Russell’s double act as the assassins. Most of all though I can remember whenPaterson Joseph’s name came up as a potential for a new Doctor Who. Remembering his turn as the Marquis De Carabas in this I could see it somehow.

    Whisht @whisht

    Looks like a second series of Utopia will happen:

    That’s if the writer can figure out how to extend it (as season 1 was somewha self contained)

    Good news though

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @phaseshift and @blenkinsopthebrave

    Ian Levine has animated the Dalek Masterplan but we’ll probably never get to see it. You CAN see his Mission to the unknown here though:

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Favourite TV shows include Dick Turpin, Robin of Sherwood, Lavender Castle, Survivors, Moonlighting, The Wind in the Willows, The Maxx, The Prisoner, Gormenghast, Chronicles of Narnia, Max Headroom, Space 1999, Randall & Hopkirk (deceased) (new), Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Life & Loves of a She-Devil, Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, Catweazle, Worzel Gummidge, Children of the Stones, Chimera, Into the Labyrinth, Spiderman (live action & original cartoon), Farscape, The Witches and the Grinnygog and many more.

    I thought the 1st series of Black Mirror was better – eps  2 & 3 my favourites (loved the trailer for 2nd series though).

    Currently trying to follow In the Flesh just now…

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Some nice calls in your list. I hadn’t thought about “Into the Labyrinth” in years. Pamela Salem and Ron Moody – “I deny you the Nidas!”. It all comes flooding back.

    Central TV used to endlessly loop the middle episodes of the first two series, without showing the beginning and ends. It seemed like there were about 400 episodes made, when it was more like 14 for the first two (I never got to see the third).

    The other one was the “Randall & Hopkirk” remake. I made a couple of positive comments about it on the Guardian and got nothing but hate, so it’s a pleasure to meet someone else who enjoyed it. It was also the series I’ve got something written about which I was going to put on this site.

    Whisht @whisht

    um, I guess I haven’t yet owned up to some TV series that made me the thing i am today….

    Michael Bentine’s Potty Time (silly, odd and no idea what was going on)
    Rhoobarb & Custard (odd and lovely and yet couldn’t quite anticipate how the story would unfold);
    Connections (factual, clever and I never knew quite what was going on or repeat it afterwards);
    Sapphire & Steel (sooo cold and can’t remember much except not knowing what was going on…);
    Brond (disturbing and couldn’t quite follow what was going on);

    Now I think of it, I guess there’s a theme here (but not sure what…)

    oh and A Very Peculiar Practice (strange and funny and I couldn’t quite figure out why the policewoman interested me so… oh actually. no. I can.)

    btw do we need a music thread for music that meant a damn…?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Another good list, although I don’t immediately recall Connections.

    A Very Peculiar Practice though is a fantastic call. I’m pretty sure @jimthefish will be along later to endorse this as we nominated Jock McCannon (Graham Crowden) in the best Doctors “Six of the Best List” on the Guardian a while ago. The show ran immediately before I traipsed of to University I remember, and I was really nervous about the freaks I would undoubtedly meet when I actually went. Phew – they were just like me.

    Actually, that’s not as much of a positive endorsement as I’d hoped!

    Anonymous @

    As @phaseshift rightly says, a big shout-out to A Very Peculiar Practice and Dr Jock McCannon. Here he is in all his glory:

    For those of a literary bent, the novelisations of the series are well worth seeking out. Written by Andrew Davies also, they frame the series in the experiences of a maudlin and struggling TV writer called Ron Rust. Some of it is very funny…

    Whisht @whisht

    ah @phaseshift – I think we’re the same age and its a shame if you never saw it, as anyone who can remember the intricacies of Sapphire & Steel as you can, would have appreciated this programme at the time!
    Also I think you mentioned you were a scientist and so I imagine this programme would have really piqued your interest (for me as a 7 year old it kinda went over my head, but intrigued me a lot trying to follow it!). Presented by James Burke, who’s ability to communicate is just wonderful I think. Here’s a link to one of the programmes:

    and @jimthefish – thank you for the clip – loved seeing Jock again (loved him at the time!) and had forgotten about the “touch phobia” (but this brought it all back!)

    Whisht @whisht

    btw if anyone here knows how to trawl the interwebs to get at hidden gems (if it exists!), one memory from my past is Freddie Jones reading a ghost story. I think its a Spine Chillers (imdb link) in 1980, but no details and on a cursory Google nothing on youtube…

    In my memory, this was a telling of a story that utterly en-rapt me and even when mum called me for the umpteenth time(!) to come into the dining room for tea I held back (which really wasn’t done!).

    But even though I watched it to the end, I have no memory of it except for him in an armchair and a rumbling sonorous voice…

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Many thanks for the link. As soon as I saw it I got my memory back!

    Unfortuantely Spine Chillers has never been released on vid and I’ve never come across any footage of it. I’m really sure that a couple of episodes were broadcast in audio form one Christmas on BBC7 (so a few years ago before it became BBC4xtra). You’re right though. It was like a supernatural Jackanory.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Even more good news (for me anyway). New Who on Easter Saturday and I’ve just seen a trailer for a new Jonathan Creek on Easter Monday. Looks like Rik Mayall is reprising his Police Detective character from the “Black Canary” Christmas special.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Has anyone else been watching “The Flesh” on BBC Three? Three part zombie story? It’s really good (The Fades good). I highly recommend it – won’t spoiler except to say “partially deceased syndrome”…

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @juniperfish – Yes I can see a sequel for In the Flesh, as long as it’s as good as the 1st story. Obvious potential with the cult plot still… Also will we see a ‘sufferers’ wedding’?

    Anonymous @

    I know we’re all deep in Who speculation mode at the mo, but just had to say that Broadchurch, which finished tonight, was bloody brilliant.

    Oi, Chibnall, if you can write as well as that how come all your Who scripts end up being half-arsed disasters?

    Just sayin…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jimthefish – did you never see his drama doc ‘United’ (also with David Tennant)? That was pretty darn good as well.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip — I might have to check that out. It seems that he’s better at straight drama. Even his Who and Torchwood stuff is probably the strongest in term of character and dialogue but he just isn’t that great at being able to control SF concepts. They seem to run away from him and just fall apart.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Can happen. Writing SF is quite a trick – and it may well be that he enjoys reading/watching it, but isn’t as strong at writing it.

    United is extremely good – as Tennant said in the commentary, it’s not really about football. It’s about coping with disaster.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    As we had a few comments on accents during “The Crimson Horror” may I draw the attention of the true connoisseurs of accent work to the BBC America original Drama “Orphan Black”?

    I don’t think it has been shown over here yet, but I managed to see a few episodes (and a new series has been announced to follow it up). An overview of the show is here. It had me idly intrigued.

    Tatiana Maslany should be commended for some physical work in bringing different character quirks to various women who all look the same, but she and some of the support actors have some magnificent comedy accent work going on. Really hilarious.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    Jim Henson’s ‘The Storyteller’ The first series starred a certain John Hurt. I used to love this programme.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Haven’t been in here for a while… Just popped in to enthuse about Broadchurch which I’ve FINALLY caught up with. Managed to eke it out over the course of a week. Not perfect, but compulsive and engrossing. I especially liked the pacing, and the spaces they built into the direction. Kudos particularly to Euros Lin (thanks to @bluesqueakpip for highlighting him).  I thought the examination of how a sudden death, particularly an unresolved murder, can eat away at communities from individuals outwards, was well done. In particular, the big, slow, all-consuming emptiness of grief was really well done.

    I liked how the script often didn’t explain, that characters left things unspoken so that as a viewer I’m left shouting at the screen, especially at Tennant’s character, when he could defend himself/reach out but either choses not to, or is so screwed up that he can’t.  DI Hardy was a character you can imagine Ken Stott or similar being cast as; Tennant brought a different and not always pleasant edginess to the character.

    Lots of questions left dangling especially about culpability with reference to paedophiles, in particular that they are not always the out and out monsters it’s convenient for the media to paint them. “How could you not know?” (chilling)

    Strong resonances of Twin Peaks at its best in the pacing, the heart of darkness in a small community and the hints of something spooky with the possible psychic.

    And superb performances, especially from David Bradley, Pauline Quirke, Olivia Colman and Jodie Whitaker.


    PS @whisht Thank you so much for the reminder of James Burke’s Connections – I’d forgotten all about the programme, and I was a huge fan of it when it was broadcast 🙂

    Anonymous @

    I seriously cannot get enough of both Doctor Who and Red Dwarf. They are pretty much all I watch. My husband and I also watch Da Vinci’s DemonsGame Of Thrones, The Borgias and True Blood together. Has anyone seen Ãkta Människore (Real Humans)? It is a Swedish sci-fi program which started last year. I have heard that it is pretty good.

    Anonymous @

    @phaseshift My husband and I did watch Orphan Black. We are torn about the show. We both thought that it started very strong and then went on to become a bit strange. We do appreciate Tatiana Maslany’s acting range. And we love the character called Felix, he is a riot.

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