swordznsorcery: (tardis)
( Dec. 22nd, 2015 20:19)
Let's be honest, 2005 is going to be the Who entry, isn't it. I can't really remember anything else anyway! This was the year when the BBC finally gave us our ball back, with Christopher Eccleston in the TARDIS this time. I have to be honest - I've never really been happy with New Who. I liked Matt Smith in the role, and I think Capaldi is great, but by and large the plots leave me cold these days. It's been so great though, these last ten years, watching kids playing at Daleks, and waving forks at each other and claiming they're sonic screwdrivers. The forks. Not the children. Doctor Who is popular! For those of us who don't really remember the alleged golden age of Tom Baker, let alone the sixties, when the show was really a phenomenon, it's quite remarkable. Our little show, with Christmas Day specials, and international interest, and toys on supermarket shelves.

This was also the year that Russell T Davies hit gold with another production - namely Casanova, which if memory serves came along at the same time as a major Hollywood version of the story, and blasted it good and proper. With a sonic blaster, probably. David Tennant and Peter O'Toole were terrific sharing the lead, all youthful exuberance from the former, and wistful but still sparkling old age from the latter. Episode one is a true highlight, and if anybody hasn't seen it yet - do so! Go on, hurry along. What's keeping you.

Filmwise, Zorro came back for a sequel, but I don't remember a thing about it. They had a kid I think? But if there was anything major in the cinemas this year, it clearly passed me by. Was Corpse Bride big? That was this year, but I didn't see it for centuries afterwards. It was very good though.

It was the year that Michael Sheard died - I read that on Wiki when I was looking for hints, and was very surprised. So long ago! He appeared on Doctor Who and Blake's 7 of course, upping his cult status (he may well have appeared on Doctor Who more than anybody else who wasn't a regular) - but he also did Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and a shedload of other culty things. His forte appears to have been playing Hitler, which he did at least three times! In Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, The Tomorrow People and The Dirty Dozen, without checking with the IMDb. There may well have been other times.

John Spencer died too of course this year, turning the end of The West Wing into something unbearably poignant. Poor Leo! That episode wouldn't have aired until 2006, I guess. Doesn't seem nearly that long ago.

... )
swordznsorcery: (paradox)
( Dec. 18th, 2015 19:56)
2001. The year the world changed, or so they say. A bit of the world, maybe. I was still picking up old people who had fallen out of bed, and had graduated to looking after my grandfather, who wasn't up to living alone anymore. I also acquired a feral cat that my sister found somewhere and fell in love with. My cat definitely didn't fall in love with him! I was half afraid she might try to eat him, as he was a kitten and still very small, but in the event she didn't deign to go anywhere near him.

Otherwise, apparently I remember even less about 2001 than I do about 2000! I remember the BBC debuting The Blue Planet, a documentary series about the sea. Gorgeous photography, bugger all information. Typical modern telly! Still, it did look very nice. I remember it particularly as being from this year, because the first episode aired on 12th September.

It was the year that Jack Lemmon died, I remember that much. Long a favourite of mine. His son, Chris, was one of the stars of my beloved Thunder In Paradise of course, so possibly making me laugh runs in their family. Chris wrote a wonderful tribute to Jack, the book A Twist Of Lemmon, which is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I recommend it.

The West Wing first aired this year - in the UK anyway. I fell in love with it about two minutes into the first episode, and I'm still waiting for the American public to wise up and elect Martin Sheen as President. Okay, so he has no intention of standing. But that's immaterial.

George Harrison died this year too. My favourite Beatle. Helps with choosing this year's music, anyway. I checked the Top 100 for the year, and it's a cacophony of teeny pop acts covering old classics. Yuck! One or two good tracks that I remember, but I'd rather leave the rest lurking in the murky clouds of history. My kid sister turned nineteen this year, and she was all about Steps and SClub7. Argh!

... )
swordznsorcery: (johnblack)
( Jan. 25th, 2015 19:33)
So, in an effort to post something that isn't Dempsey & Makepeace related, I decided to steal a meme from [livejournal.com profile] lost_spook. On the face of it, an odd choice, since it's shipping-related, and whatever the opposite of a romantic is, that's me. But whatever. It's a thinly-veiled excuse to womble on about television, so it's not that much of a stretch. Widely-ranging interests, apparently I doesn't has them. Well I do, but I handle them elsewhere.

So, the brief is to choose five OTPs before reading the questions, and then attempt to answer said questions. This was quite a struggle, as I had to choose five ships that I actually care something about. Having sweated over that for a bit, I surprised myself by actually caring quite a lot about the ones that I chose. Blimey. I'll be reading Mills & Boon next.

(No I won't. Not never ever ever). But anyway. Five ships, and none of them with pirates dangling from them:

01 Dayna/Tarrant (Blake's 7)
02 Hammond/Oliver (Top Gear)
03 Christian/Sean (Nip/Tuck)
04 Bill/Sookie (True Blood)
05 Donna/Josh (The West Wing)

Questions follow beneath the cut.

... )
TV meme, shamelessly nicked from several people on my f-list. Behind a cut, because it's me, and I can't not waffle.

... )
Day thirty, the saddest character death. Well there's a cheerful one to end on. I had a long think about this, but there's no real contest in the end. Wes's death in Angel still makes me more angry than sad, and although Captain Sheridan's death (or going beyond the rim, if you prefer, which could mean almost anything) is beautifully done, I don't know that I would class it as sad. It's the natural conclusion for his character. So what can it be but that of Leo from The West Wing? If you were a fan of that show, you'll know what I mean. It wasn't just that Leo died, it was that John Spencer died too, which made it all the more real. Leo was a wonderful character. He was beautifully played and beautifully written, and he was a guy that it was impossible to dislike. And then John Spencer died, and Leo had to go too. I knew that it was coming, but I had no idea when, and then suddenly at the end of one episode, when everything had been so happy, he's discovered in his hotel room, and it's just so unbearably sad. I suppose it's worse because it was a long running series, and the characters were like old friends by the end of it. And I was so very fond of Leo. It's a sign of a good show when you care so much, but that doesn't lessen the sting. Poor Leo. I really did feel that loss.
Day twenty-seven, the best pilot episode. I'm really tempted to go with Nip/Tuck, because not only is it a really great episode, but it also has note-perfect character introductions coupled with man-eating crocogators. And if you're going to have a pilot episode of anything, man-eating crocogators is a damned good thing to include in it. But I think I might be leaning towards The West Wing. It really is a masterclass in first episodes. I love how all of the characters and their workplace are introduced. I love how it all hits you like a series of smacks in the head (in a good way), with all these people zipping past at high speed, having whirlwind conversations, and saving the world, and being politicians that you actually want to have running things (which is quite a feat in itself). Why must you always be making me choose, meme? You're cruel.

Hmm. I choose The West Wing. As much as anything else, I no longer have a Nip/Tuck icon (I don't have a WW icon either here at DreamWidth, but let's just ignore that. This paragraph made a lot more sense over at LJ), so Josh rather wins by default. And by having Leo and Donna and Sam and CJ and Toby, and also just by being Josh. He doesn't have any man-eating crocogators, though. He does have the President falling off a bicycle, but with the best will in the world, that really isn't the same.
Day twenty-two, your favourite series finale. Awkward, given that television tends to axe most of the shows that I watch, without giving them a finale. Sometimes that's a good thing - there are some shows where it's better to leave them going on to fight another day, rather than brought to an ultimate stop - but even if it's for the best, it doesn't make for a memorable finish. There are a few could-have-beens. The intended Between The Lines finale, at the close of series two, was one of the best ever, and although I liked series three more than most people did, the eventual final episode was a bit of a mess. Had Buffy The Vampire Slayer ended with season five, I might have gone for that one. Blake's 7 nearly wins it. I love the final episode (although I love the originally intended one, closing series three, rather more). "Blake" is just too downbeat to win, though. Ditto the Sapphire & Steel closer; and since neither was supposed to be a final episode, I'm not sure that they should count anyway. We're forever left wondering what would have happened next, if it had been allowed to. So, just like with the favourite TV show cast, I'm left having to choose between Babylon 5 and The West Wing. Both brought their respective stories and casts to a good conclusion, and both were handled exceptionally well. The final season of Babylon 5, however, didn't throw an unfathomable curveball at Toby, and have him act against character and lose his job. So I'm choosing it. Sorry, The West Wing. I love you, and almost everything about you. I love your characters, and I loved spending seven great years in their company, but you screwed up at the end there. So did Babylon 5, admittedly, but at least the showrunner apologised. He even said that he regretted getting rid of Marcus, which doesn't actually make up for getting rid of Marcus, damn it!, but it's a start. And at least Marcus isn't actually dead. Toby, however, is still technically a traitor, which prevented the finale from being everything that it could have been.

And besides, it's "Sleeping In Light". You really do have to go some to beat that.
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.

Day fifteen, your favourite female character. Hmm. That's not an easy question. I don't know if it's a common problem with television in general, or just the shows that I watch, but it does seem that television isn't very good at women. Either they don't bother with them to begin with, or they have them, but ignore them. Or kill them. Or sack them for not being men. Or combinations of the above. So whereas with the guys I was spoilt for choice, with the women... not so much. Not that there aren't good ones, obviously. Victoria from The High Chaparral was awesome, although admittedly she did have to stay at home a lot and let the men have most of the fun. Blake's 7 had some great female characters, although admittedly, of the four of them, only Dayna was ever actually allowed to do anything. Buffy and Angel had a lot of really good female characters between them, although admittedly they seemed to share an alarmingly limited lifespan. Babylon 5 had Ivanova, but I can't choose her on principle, because she ran away and cost us Marcus. So it was going to be a two horse race between Delenn from B5, and CJ from The West Wing. And then I remembered somebody very special.

Back in the eighties, it largely sucked to be female and on the telly. You were mostly there to be rescued by men, or to get dressed up nicely and go out to dinner. Or die on Tenko. But then, suddenly, there was Harriet Makepeace. Dempsey & Makepeace was Britain's answer to American cop shows. It was unutterably ridiculous, and featured fleets of cars smashing into things, frequently whilst airborne; more guns than all other British TV shows combined; and more explosions than was even nearly sensible. (I loved it). And whilst Dempsey did probably win the Blowing Things Up award, Makepeace did a brilliant job of keeping pace. And she fought with swords. Not often, I'll grant you, but a lot more often than the average British police officer manages (or the average female TV character, for that matter). In a world where female characters mostly stood back and let the men have the fun, she wasn't so much a breath of fresh air as a wildly energetic hurricane. So I choose Makepeace. With the obvious exception of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, it's insanely hard to think of another action show with a woman who gets as stuck into the fights and stuff as much as she did. That's really rather sad.
Day nine, the best scene ever. Oh good grief... Meme, you are trying to drive me insane. I couldn't even choose one programme, let alone one scene. I did think maybe something from Babylon 5 or The West Wing, but you try narrowing it down to one bit of either of them. And then there's Buffy and Angel, both of which I love dearly. They both manage to combine comedy and drama in a way that I can't help but admire. But greatest? And then I thought about that fantastic scene between the two Jacks in the Torchwood episode "Captain Jack Harkness". The whole episode builds to it, and it's beautifully judged. But there again, the best scene ever? This is an insane question. So I'll fudge it, and go with one that made me ridiculously happy.

Back in 2005, I hadn't really been enjoying the new Doctor Who. I hadn't bonded with the new Doctor, and I'd found most of the writing to be too childish. But for months (probably nearly a year), Doctor Who Magazine had been muttering about a new guy. Nobody knew how many episodes he was going to be in; not at first. All we really had to begin with was one line: "A time-travelling Han Solo". And then, later, "a bisexual conman". Later on still, "bisexual" became "omnisexual", and several large chunks of the internet exploded, as angry conservatives flew into an endless rage about gay things being allowed in their programme. It was pretty crazy - and for a lot of reasons, I became very attached to Captain Jack long before he ever appeared. And then, scant weeks later, a bloody Dalek went and shot him. Time, pretty much literally, stopped. It actually can - that's a real thing. And yes, okay, he got an awesome, heroic death, and he went down fighting, but still. The bloody Daleks shot Jack! And then Rose did a weird thing, and there was shiny lighting and annoying music, and if I'd known how often we were going to be given that as a plot device in the years to come, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly so much. But it brought Jack back. And, yes, the Doctor was a bastard and ran off and left him, and poor old Jack, for all his immortality making him even more awesome, has never been written anything like so well since. But still. He came back! I have rarely been happier watching TV.

So there you go. It's not the best scene ever, but it's one that I very much appreciated. And it was either that or Richard Hammond playing conkers with cars on Top Gear. Yes, I know. But that's the good thing about having a very small brain. It's easily happied.
Day four, your favourite show ever. Okay, that's just absurd. One show? Do you have any idea how many there are to choose from? There are about twenty candidates without even thinking, and if I chose one, I'd only regret it ten minutes later. I could take the easy route, and say The A-Team, but the next time I look at Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Angel on their shelf, or watch The West Wing, or think of my beloved Torchwood, I'd wonder if I'd made the wrong decision. My favourite TV show is whatever show I happen to put on, when I feel like I want to watch something good. Which is a hopelessly unhelpful answer, I know, but the only one you're getting.

I'm beginning to think that I might not be terribly good at this meme.
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! )
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: (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.

... )
In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favourite interview, a book) and explain why you love it so much. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

This was incredibly difficult. My first thought was to choose a really good episode of something; but then the full extent of the prompt got me thinking, because there's movies and books to choose from as well. Also, the mention of "a favourite piece of canon" suggests that the choice shouldn't be a favourite episode, but a favourite thing that happens in a particular episode. Which complicated things even further. Eventually I narrowed it down to a shortlist of about twenty episodes, films and books; but since I had no over all favourite, I decided in the end to go for the one that's arguably the least well known. There's too much good stuff out there to try deciding whether one thing is better than all the rest; and small fandoms need support. Shortlist included at the end, just because.

... )



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