swordznsorcery: (e street)
( Dec. 28th, 2015 20:42)
The rioting year. Still not sure what happened there, but Britain seemed to go collectively mad this summer. I remember it primarily as the year when Clarence Clemons died, so I spent the summer mainlining E Street bootlegs - which make a pretty good soundtrack, it turns out, for a summer filled with rioting. Not that I was near any rioting, I hasten to add. At that point I was still living up a hill in the middle of nowhere, and aside from some slightly pissed off squirrels, when the dog chased them, things remained largely calm. London went nuts though. It was very strange. I can understand dissatisfaction, especially with the way that the economy is these days, but in Britain people tend to show their dissatisfaction by quiet muttering. Or, if they're really annoyed, by not voting in elections, just in case that might prove something. Rioting is quite new.

Tellywise, this was the year when Torchwood came back, all Americaned up. I didn't mind that - change is good - but I did mind the five episodes worth of story being spun out over ten weeks, with a nonsensical ending tacked on. Ah well. It's all in the past now. It was also the year of The Cape, a terrific fun superhero show that I only discovered long after it was already axed. Poor little show. Another to add to the list of programmes that deserved much better. Likewise Zen, a police drama starring Rufus Sewell that the BBC debuted this year, only to axe after three episodes. Viewing figures were great, critical feedback was excellent, but there was a change at the top in the drama department. There's always something, isn't there!

Musically, this was the year of Adele, who seemed to sell about fifty billion records for no conceivable reason. Not that she's bad, but I really don't see what all the fuss is about.

Elsewhere, it was the year when Nicholas Courtney died. Dear old Brig - he was supposed to go on forever! It was also the year when Jimmy Savile died. Boy did that ever open up a can of worms. To begin with, everybody wondered why his will stipulated that his coffin should be buried in a huge chunk of concrete. Then we found out. Sorry, Brig. You really didn't deserve to be in the same sentence as him.

... )
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*
So, I finally caved in and watched the final episode of The Cape. And now I have no more, and all is sad. Although, on the plus side, they didn't try to rush everything to a conclusion, which would have been lame. This means that all is not as sad as it could have been. This does not in any way let NBC off the hook, needless to say. They clearly have a grudge against television.

Murder! Corruption! Betrayal! Dinosaurs! )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Apr. 6th, 2013 01:47)
Have I mentioned at all that I really love The Cape? This love doesn't seem to be diminishing any, which is a shame, as I now have only one episode left. I put the DVD set to one side for a few days, in the hope of making it last a bit longer, and watched season one of Buffy The Vampire Slayer instead; but the Carnival of Crime has lured me back. And episode nine is another fun one.

Mobsters, magic and machine guns )
I love this show. Did I mention that? I love the premise, and the slightly ridiculous plots, and the action scenes, and I especially love the characters. Vince is maybe a bit too much of a hero-by-numbers, but his superhero antics are fun to watch. The Carnival of Crime are just plain glorious, though; and the oddball bad guys that keep cropping up are entertaining too. Also, I cannot begin to praise the visuals enough. I can't remember the last time that the mere act of watching a TV show was so pleasurable, just because of how well it's made. Somebody has gone to such trouble to create these sets, to arrange the lighting, to make practically every shot look fabulous. What the hell were people watching in 2011, that this managed to be a flop?

Terrorist zombies! )
A rather silly episode, this one, although everybody is clearly well aware of the nonsense factor, and it all proves perfectly entertaining. Once again, Fleming goes to the International Murder Society, this time to ask for help with The Cape. He winds up hiring an insanely OTT duo called Goggles and Hicks, the one a computer genius, and the other a supposedly lethal killer. Not that we see much evidence of his lethalicity. He mostly just falls off stuff, and does a fine impersonation of a massive chunk of ham.

Flying machine guns! Explosions! Ice cream! )

PS: I'm writing this whilst watching The Last Days Of Pompeii, a mini-series from 1984. If somebody could tell Malcolm Jamieson to stop trying to get himself eaten by lions, I'd quite appreciate it. For one thing, it would be a shame, and for another, it keeps making Lesley Anne Down gasp in a very distracting manner.

And Brian Blessed is actually being vaguely subtle. That's pretty damned distracting as well.
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Mar. 11th, 2013 11:06)
Apparently I lied again. Last week wasn't the best episode, this one is. Sorry. Actually, I'd have to go further, and say that this isn't just a good episode of this show, but it's a bloody good episode of anything (and I'm not just saying that because lots of stuff blows up. Although as it happens, lots of stuff does blow up. Quite often). I do not understand why this show was cancelled. The last five episodes must be spectacularly bad to justify the decision to axe it. It's completely insane.

Anyway, we begin ten years ago, in the desert. The bloke from Earth: Final Conflict is raising his savant daughter in an underground complex, and Peter Fleming is entranced by her brain. So much so that he builds a new computer system based upon it. Unfortunately for him, the human prototype is not best impressed, and sets out to destroy him. Although in a series of really aesthetically pleasing ways, so it's not like he's got anything to complain about.

In which the world goes 'Boom!', many times, and prettily. )
swordznsorcery: (queen)
( Mar. 10th, 2013 17:13)
Okay, I was lying when I said that the last episode was the best one. This one is. I love everything about this episode. The guest bad guy is awesome, the regular one keeps getting awesomer, and the ever-wonderful Carnival of Crime get to have plenty of fun. And it all takes place at a masquerade ball, which makes the whole thing look absolutely splendid as well.

Who says the White Hats are heroes? )
swordznsorcery: (jack)
( Mar. 8th, 2013 01:35)
Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying this series? I think this one is the best episode yet, even though it's plainly too short, and there's a consequent giant leap in the story part way through.

Dastardly escapologists and shiny jackets )
swordznsorcery: (e street)
( Mar. 7th, 2013 03:19)
I'm loving this series. Loving the theme tune, with its comic book credit sequence. Loving the chapter breaks - like the old Act I, Act II etc, of old, but as chapter titles instead. Love the wildly dramatic camera work and lighting. Also (so far) loving the borderline silly storylines. Episode two is a grand example of that.

Peter Fleming has taken over the police force. Now he plans to take over the prisons. Only one man dares to stand against him in his plan. Quite fittingly, it's Toby from The West Wing (he's actually called Peter, but like I care). Toby is an honest politician, when all around him are cowered with fear or bribed into complacency. He will not bow down to Fleming's corrupt and corrupting ways. Fleming, however, has the perfect plan to be rid of him. Contacting the International Society of Murderers, he asks them to send him somebody suitable from the poisoning department. Toby, beware.

Although there is a melancholy computer geek and a bloke in a swishy cloak attempting to protect you. It's up to you whether you consider this reassuring.

... )
swordznsorcery: (face)
( Mar. 5th, 2013 21:11)
Celebrate with me, for I have discovered New Television! Actually I haven't as such, as the New Television I have discovered has already been axed, back in 2011, because NBC really is as stupid as their recent reputation would suggest. And I'm digressing, I know. Anyway, what is this New Television, I probably don't hear you cry? It's called The Cape, and you want to see it. Yes, I know, I am very fond of watching television programmes that nobody else in the history of ever seems to appreciate. This time I mean it though. Come and have a look at what I have found.

Carnivals and superheroes and magic and thieves... )



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