swordznsorcery: (face)
( Jul. 31st, 2017 20:56)
I don't think I've done one of these in a while. I don't seem to have done much of anything in a while, except race about the countryside in a whirl, attempting to Get Things Done. Still, on the plus side, one of the Things to get Done is the allotment, which has just started to produce profusions of runner beans, courgettes (bright yellow ones this year!) and raspberries. So I'm tired, but also well fed.

Anyways, I'm reading an especially good book at the moment. I don't really know what it's about, although I'm more than three quarters through - or, that is, I have absolutely no idea where it's heading, or why, but I do sort of know what it's about. Something Awful just happened, and I'm frightfully annoyed, but still loving the book, and looking forward to getting back to it. Seriously, the prose is an utter joy. It's called Golden Hill, and it's by somebody called Francis Spufford. It's about a young man who arrives in 18th century New York, and it's entirely written in 18th century style - so it's a sort of pastiche, in the same way that Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is, although set rather earlier. Apparently it won the Ondaatje prize (I don't believe I've ever heard of that, but Google tells me its quite prestigious). I recommend it unhesitatingly, if you are not scared off by meandering prose, and sentences that can go on for months.

Telly-watching-wise, I've now seen the first episode of Marchlands, so can claim to have actually seen our new Doctor in something. It's an ITV drama from a few years back, set in three different time zones (the 1960s, the 1980s, and whenever now was at the time). A young girl dies in the sixties, and her ghost makes friends with another young girl in the eighties. It clearly has some knock-on effect for the modern lot, but I haven't found out what yet. That will presumably come later. Jodie Whittaker is the dead girl's mother, and has dark hair, so I didn't recognise her at first. A Yorkshire accent - I wonder if she will keep that. So far it's diverting enough. If you're in the UK, she'll be on the BBC from August 8th, incidentally, in a new series. Trailer here. It also stars Emun Elliot who - after the eternal Paterson Joseph, naturally - was my first choice for the 13th Doctor, so I can amuse myself watching them both being doctors together. If I remember to watch it. Eagle-eyed viewers will of course recognise him from Paradox, The Paradise, and Los Malvados (cough).

There are probably other things, but I do not remember them. So I may just go and collapse in a heap. Albeit a slightly satisfied and accomplished-feeling one. With a nice book.
swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Dec. 26th, 2015 19:39)
2009 was the year that bit back. It seemed as though just about everybody in my family got diagnosed with something horrible this year. Happily, for the most part it went okay, but blimey, 2009. What did we ever to do you?!

Elsewhere, it was the year of Children Of Earth, the Torchwood mini series that broke the fandom. Some loved it, some hated it, some were baffled at how completely it reimagined everything. I think it's great, but it's so far removed from the first two series that I have trouble seeing it as the same show. It was also the year when White Collar started, hurrah! I do love that show. I probably didn't see it until early 2010 though. I know I had several episodes to catch up on anyway.

FlashForward also happened this year. And then stopped abruptly. It was one of those shows with a lot of promise, but a production staff who clearly didn't know what to do with a twenty-two episode season. Nothing happened for weeks, half the audience stopped watching, it picked up, but too late. A shame, as I should dearly have loved to see where it was all going! Another one to add to the list of sci-fi shows that got bashed over the head by the networks. It wasn't alone. This was also the year when the BBC aired Paradox, a wonderful show starring Emun Elliott and Tamzin Outhwaite as a scientist and a detective investigating weirdness from outer space. Outer Space!! I rewatched it only recently, and it turned out to be even better than I remembered, annoyingly. Why can't they let me choose which shows to axe and which to save?!

Talking of ending, this year also saw the final episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien, the chat show/Pythonesque comedy series that had been a hit for NBC since 1993. I only watched it for Max Weinberg, but it was a lot of fun over the years. I still rather miss it. Still, sixteen years is a good run for any show.

Some good films at the cinema this year. None of which I saw this year, or in the cinema, but whatever. The Hangover, which I love (and didn't see until around 2012), Sherlock Holmes (the RDJ/Jude Law version), which I think I also saw in around 2012, and The Brothers Bloom, which nobody saw in 2009. Which is a shame as it's extremely good, and I recommend it highly. So yes. Not so much "cinema in 2009", as "on DVD just the other day", but never mind.

Oh, and politics, world events, things that make me look brainy, etc, etc. Yeah.

... )
swordznsorcery: (paradox)
( Aug. 25th, 2014 19:30)
Interesting one here. A short film (twenty minutes), posted on the net by its creator. Legal films on the internet?! Whatever next! It's about a boy whose father yearns to be an astronaut, and it stars Siobhan Redmond (Between The Lines, The High Life, Bulman) and Emun Elliott (Paradox, The Paradise, Los Malvados (cough)). It's odd, but in a good way.

Mission from Phase VI on Vimeo.

In other news, I watched the pilot of Starsky & Hutch, possibly for the first time. It's strange watching it, as it's basically all the bits from the opening credits, strung together with a bit of plot. And the wrong music. And the wrong Captain Dobie. And Starsky's hair is much too short. Pilots are weird that way. Nothing could be quite so weird as the Bonanza pilot, but it's always odd watching a familiar series testing itself out. Like The A-Team, when Face has the wrong head, or Kojak, which doesn't have Crocker in it, or Babylon 5, where everything looks like it's made out of cardboard, and G'Kar is a completely different shape.

In other other news, it's wet. And cold. Make it stop being wet and cold please. Thank you.
So, I've been catching up on The Paradise season one, since I failed to know that it existed at the time, and I've been ridiculously delighted by episode three. Not for any particular plot point, although I'm enjoying the story too - far more than my pride would probably like me to admit - but because who should turn up but the DS from Paradox. In a beard and appropriate period garb, but still unmistakably DS Miserable. He's not miserable in The Paradise though. Nobody is. They're so ridiculously happy about their giant, improbable shop, and they spend lots of time smiling at each other. Even Emun Elliott and DS Miserable, who should, were there any fairness in the universe, still be glowering at each other in a telescope control room. But I'm straying from the point (although it's probably news that there was one).

Happy memories of Paradox was probably the point. And also sorry sighing, and wishing that I was watching Emun Elliott with stubble and a glower, investigating weird pictures from space, rather than in a possibly sentient moustache and beardy arrangement, tussling with his evil ex. Since the titles of both shows feature an all-important word beginning with 'Parad', what are the chances of the scriptwriters being easily confused, and giving me a story in which the giant, improbable shop starts receiving images from space, and the staff have to investigate? Moray could shave off the moustache, and form an unlikely alliance with the gang up in Ladieswear, dashing about Victorian England in a carriage and trying to change the future.

Yes, I know. Shut up. I do miss Paradox though. The Paradise is far more fun than anything involving shopping has any right to be, but it's not Paradox, and there are times, amidst the fun, when it seems a little unfair to throw me formerly miserable detective sergeants to rub it in further. I don't ask a lot, television. I don't think it's too much to expect you to give me a giant, historical department store that fights crime. You never know, it might catch on.

(Heavy sigh).

I really am enjoying The Paradise though. For all its refusal to feature time-travelling photographs and a surly astrophysicist, it's genuinely entertaining. Nobody is more surprised about this than me.
swordznsorcery: (paradox)
( Aug. 11th, 2013 15:56)
So, thanks to the dread meme of impossible decisions, I dug out Paradox for a rewatch. At least I think that was the reason. Something made me decide that it was time to watch it again, anyway. Nearly four years on, it's every bit as good as the first time. In fact, annoyingly, I enjoyed it even more this time than I did when it aired. Even more annoyingly, it turns out that there are still only five episodes. And there's me wearing my "Proud Of The BBC" T-shirt today as well...

Warning: Rambling about television that you haven't heard of )

Paradox, Christian King, Rebecca Flint, help (can ignore the finale or fix it!)

Fandom: Paradox
Characters: Christian King, DI Flint
Gen, c. 4000 words

Cut for length )
Day eight, a show everyone should watch. Didn't we cover this just the other day? Oh well, another show then. One. This is a silly meme. It keeps making me choose just one thing, when I want everybody to watch all the shows. All of them. All the things that usually only I watch. And which to choose? I could go with Sleepers, which is four episodes of perfection, and just about everything that you could want your television to give you (even though absolutely nothing blows up). Or I could choose The Cape, because it's so much fun, and the poor thing was cut short in its prime. Or likewise Paradox, which never had any chance at all; and if you're reading this BBC, Emun Elliott really ought to be on your Doctor list. If he can't be one moody and quirky scientific genius, he might as well be another.

But I'm going to go with Adam Adamant Lives!. Which is strange, because the last series I chose also had an exclamation mark in the title, but it's not like I have a fetish, honest. Adam Adamant Lives! was a BBC series from 1966, made by quite a few of the original team behind Doctor Who, and sprinkled with a fair bit of Old Who zeal. Adam Adamant (aside from having a name that's surprisingly awkward to type) is a fabulously dashing, turn-of-the-century adventurer, who gets frozen in a block of ice by his evil nemesis The Face (not Dirk Benedict, although it's quite hard not to think of him at times). I think The Face wants to keep him as a house decoration, sort of like Jabba the Hut with Han Solo in his carbonite block, but something happens, and Adam eventually turns up under a road, where he gets thawed out by some road workmen in 1966. So there he is, in the middle of Swinging London, in his cape and his dicky bow, battling modern crooks with his swordstick, and being generally spiffing. And it's great. Gerald Harper is clearly having a glorious time in the lead, playing Adam with just the right amount of swagger, pomposity and general fun. He has the legally required young woman sidekick, who's practically a carbon copy of Jo Grant (or I suppose it would be more accurate to say that Jo Grant is a carbon copy of her), and together they fight crime. Adam largely fails at being at all sixties in his attitude, and completely fails to fight female crooks at all. Every time he meets one, he insists that she cease and desist her evilling, because "Madam! You are a lady!" At which point she usually caves his skull in with an umbrella, or something similarly handy. You'd think he'd get the hint, but he never does. Anyway, it's all a bit silly, and probably very slow by modern standards, but very entertaining. And it has swords. I probably could have just said that bit, and missed out the rest.

Adam Adamant Lives!: a montage:

Shamelessly stealing this meme from [personal profile] liadtbunny, mostly because I think I've forgotten how to post.

So, day one. A show that should never have been cancelled. Just one show?! Television loves to cancel all of the shows that I like. It does it so often that I've just about given up bothering to watch new programmes. But if I have to choose one, it's Wolf Lake. I rediscovered this just recently, when I was converting my VHS collection to DVD, and although I'd remembered it as being good, I was totally blown away watching it again. It's the story of a policeman who sets out to find his vanished fiancée, and winds up in a tiny, rural town in the middle of nowhere. His story is the means by which the viewer discovers the little town of Wolf Lake, with all its secrets, its history and its curious traditions. Truly I have never seen such good world-building, and although it has its flaws - the cop at the heart of things is hardly the most interesting of people - the good far outweighs the bad. Unfortunately the show debuted in September 2001, when America had quite a lot else on its mind; nobody saw the first couple of episodes, and it sank without trace. A great shame. The people of Wolf Lake, and all their subtexts and intrigues, deserved at least a full season. Instead they got nine episodes, and things barely got started.

For all its occasional triumphs, television certainly knows how to irritate.

PS: Honourable mentions: VR.5, Dark Skies, Angel, Starhunter 2300, Now & Again, Paradox, The Cape...

*continues mumbling titles whilst walking away*



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