Day nineteen, the best TV show cast. Oh, yikes. Have you any idea how much TV I have watched in my life, meme? How much television I remain ridiculously attached to? Or television to which I remain ridiculously attached, if you want it in proper grammar. And yet you keep asking me to not only remember it all, but also to choose between it, and I'm not sure that that was a proper sentence. Choices, choices. The first cast of M*A*S*H? Or how about Robin Of Sherwood? Or original Torchwood, or season three Blake's 7? (I like Glynis Barber a lot, but the poor woman is so easily overlooked in season four, that I can't really rate Soolin above Cally). And then there's Between The Lines (and indeed Drop The Dead Donkey, just to stay on a Neil Pearson theme). Cardiac Arrest? Quantum Leap? How about every TV show in my tags list, with the obvious exception of Invasion: Earth?

If I behave and narrow it down - or if I just stop thinking, which is probably easier - I can get it down to two. Babylon 5, (from season two onward, as Sheridan trumps Sinclair), and The West Wing. And it's a difficult choice, so I'm not going to make it. Instead I'm going to avoid the issue entirely and, in a vain attempt to prove that I do watch modern stuff occasionally, I'm going instead with True Blood. The show is a pale shadow of its former self, but the cast has never put a foot wrong. It's a big, varied, interesting cast, and it currently includes Rutger Hauer, which says it all. Or it included him until this week. I'm hoping they're bringing him back, because Rutger Hauer. And four episodes is emphatically Not Enough. Because Rutger Hauer!

Anyway, that was day nineteen.

And this is Rutger Hauer being king of the fairies. Why doesn't more television have Rutger Hauer in it? I might watch more of it then.

To recap, then. In the preceding episodes, following the shooting down of a spaceship, unspeakable terrors have been visited upon Scotland - or so we assume. Amidst all the endless talking, the frustratingly dark sets, and the complete lack of tension or action, it feels as though little has happened at all. Still, as this is the final episode, something decisive has got to happen, right?

You could be forgiven for thinking so, certainly. )
Episode five, then. When we left, Earth was caught in a terrible crisis. The unstoppable nDs have a dastardly plan underway to poison Scotland; the only good character is dead; and although we've now been joined by John Shrapnel, he's playing an aggravating pillock. Anton Lesser and Christopher Fairbank have both been removed from the picture, leaving Jo Dow as the sole hope for mankind. And he still hasn't had a single decent scene. Maybe in episode five things will improve? Maybe we're about to see an abrupt change for the better? Maybe somebody will finally turn on a light? Maybe I'll stop asking stupid questions? The answer is probably a resounding no all round. But golly, won't it be fun finding out.

Not really, no. )
As episode four begins, Amanda Tucker lurks in a strangely diagonal corridor, gazing at her arm. The cuts on it (from where she wrote her splendidly unfathomable message back in episode one) are gradually turning yellow, and beginning to dribble with alien slime. Or mustard. Could be either.

Though admittedly mustard is a little less likely. )
Oh, episode three. Lovely, lovely episode three.

Episode three is like the sanctuary. The shining beacon of sanity, in the midst of all the horror. It's also a sad indication of what the show might have been, whilst simultaneously reminding us of what it actually is. Why is episode three so good? In a nutshell, because it's Terrell's story. It shows us what happened in 1944, after he saved the life of one of the crashed aliens. At the same time, however, it advances the story in 1997. Needless to say, these sections of the episode are nowhere near so satisfying.

Which is putting it mildly. )
Maybe the acting will improve in episode two, huh. They've got a bit of practice in now. Alternatively, maybe the first five minutes will be filled with people spouting dialogue like robots. Take a wild guess which.

... )
Many years ago (around 1994), there was a drama series on BBC1 called Cardiac Arrest. This was pretty much universally acknowledged by anybody who saw it (and who wasn't a nurse, or the Health Secretary) to be one of the finest medical dramas ever. It was a glorious mixture of black humour, unexpected warmth, bitterness, and basically everything else that a series set in a hospital should be. Consequently the BBC asked the writer, Jed Mercurio, if there was anything else that he'd like to write. He said that he quite fancied writing a science fiction series, if they wouldn't mind - and since The X-Files was about the biggest thing on TV at the time, they pretty much handed him the keys to the toy cupboard. The result was Invasion: Earth, six episodes of a high budget, high concept, bleak science fiction drama, intended to be adult and challenging, just like Cardiac Arrest had been. So far, so good. What could possibly go wrong? As it turned out, everything. The end result was so bad that it killed off science fiction on the BBC. With the exception of one or two dalliances with the genre in the children's department, British science fiction was to be largely dead until RTD came along nearly a decade later, waving a TARDIS, and refusing to give up and go away.

So, all these years on, is Invasion: Earth really as bad as it seemed in 1997? Basically... yes. It really is - in fact it may even be worse. Some stuff does blow up though, so it's not entirely bad.

I'm lying. It is.

It really, really is. )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Oct. 25th, 2010 20:46)
There's a businessman. He gets taken to some offices by a large chauffeur in a very nice hat. Nice hat notwithstanding, the businessman clearly isn't very happy about the experience; even though, shortly after arriving, he's introduced to Anton Lesser. Who wouldn't want to be introduced to Anton Lesser? Okay, so he has a lousy beard in this, but he's still Anton Lesser. Nonetheless, the businessman is unmoved, both by his host, and by the business offer that he's soon made. Obviously there's no room in this world for people who are mean to Anton Lesser, so the chauffeur picks up a large bazooka that they just happen to have lying about the office, and blasts the businessman to kingdom come. More television programmes should start this way. When offices (and businessmen) are exploding even before the theme music kicks in, then the viewer is assured of quality. Especially with Anton Lesser in the picture as well.

Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland) )



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