Thursday, November 20, 2008

Coming soon...


Yes, it's me. Remember me? Remember all those great times we had? Well I'm back. Well not back exactly but nearly back, in the sense that I will soon be posting with details of what I've been up to recently and lots of ill-informed opinions about telly and writing and writing telly and stuff.

In the meantime I just wanted to highlight a couple of things happening on a tellybox near you at the moment...

Thing 1: Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe returned to BBC4 on Tuesday night. If you missed it be sure to check out the BBC Eye-voyuer for a digital rerun at your convenience.

B: Set your video, put your friends off of visiting and get excited because the remake of 'Survivors' starts on Sunday at 9pm. It has an excellent pedigree and promises to be a major television event so don't miss out. I'll be checking up on you remember...

That's all for now, you may go about your business.


  1. Hi Rob…long time no speak.

    The original series of Survivors is one of my all time favourite TV shows. So when I heard they were remaking it I have to say I was less than enthusiastic.

    When the cast was made public I sank a bit further. I don’t have a problem with any of the actors, just that they all seem to be very young and very handsome, even the ‘old’ ones are young. I also get the feeling that the new characters have all been contrived for their dramatic potential. This makes them seem less ‘real’ to me.

    Maybe this is a very clever virus that only kills old, ugly, boring, normal people. And leaves the photogenic, interesting ones.

    But the things I am most upset about are the way they have chosen to change Tom Price from a middle aged, repulsive, welsh, comic relief, tramp into a suave, handsome, young, charming, threat. And the writers feeling that simply being a parent wasn’t enough drive for Abby and she needed some extra urgency in her search to find her son so they introduce the ‘near-terminal illness’.

    This is my favourite sub-genre of fiction and I would like to enjoy this new show. I’m just hoping I can watch it as a separate thing, and not keep comparing the two. But I am getting the feeling that maybe I’m not really part of the target audience.

    Still, there’s a new series of The IT Crowd starting tomorrow. At least I am confident that will be good.

    WOW…My longest comment ever.

  2. Hey Dave,

    Fair doos, I think that's my longest comment ever too!

    I share a number of your concerns; particularly about the cast being pretty much entirely young and sickeningly gorgeous.

    I'm also worried about Julie Graham playing Abby Grant, partly due to Bonekickers, and partly because I love Carolyn
    Seymour's performance so much.

    I'm a bit distressed at how many people are coming out of the woodwork saying the original was slow and 'of it's time'. I don't think Survivors was slow at all but it is trendy to diss old things these days I suppose.

    I've got to disagree with your assessment of Tom Price though. 'Comic relief'? This guy flits in and out of the first series in a sometimes sinister, sometimes amusing fashion before murdering a young lady because she spurns his drunken advances! Then he conceals his actions and allows the rest of the group to kill an innocent man for the crime.

    Talfryn Thomas's Tom Price is an extremely threatening and unpredictable character and I wonder if Beesley's take will match him - especially given his more obvious 'bad-guy' back story.

    On the whole I feel pretty optimistic about the new show, though I can't explain why. I'll be crushed if it isn't brilliant.

    PS - I'd forgotten The IT Crowd was back this week - fantastic, Moss is my hero!

  3. Hi Rob. I wasn’t forgetting the darker aspects of Tom Price’s character. But, point taken. ‘Comic Relief’ isn’t the best way to describe him. He was probably the most complex of all the original characters, and the one that stuck most vividly in my memory.

    What worries me about the new Tom Price is that the ‘darker side’ is all there is going to be.

    I don’t think of the original as slow either. It’s very quiet by modern standards. A shortage of time or funds led to a lack of incidental music. That gave the show a unique stillness, which I think worked in its favour. Also the scripts were very sparse. The average 50min Survivors script wouldn’t fill 30mins today.

    PS. This is my longest reply to a reply ever.

  4. Hello, Rob

    Survivors - well so far I have enjoyed it but I share the reservations of Dave and yourself. I loved the original to bits. And quite honestly I'm fed up of snot nosed youngsters slagging it off. Obviously, you can't make the series the way it was made back i9n 1975 but I feel it is actually shying away from the apocalypse. The streets should be littered with cars and bodies, full of rats. Expensive to do. So what do they do, try and show it but use empty streets, rather intact dead bodies...

    Ditto your comments about the cast. Although I have to say Julie Graham has impressed me. She's miles better in this than she was in truly awful Bonekickers. But again, where are all the old people? At the least the original covered the demographics in terms of age.

    I have already decided to separate the two. No point in comparing them because the new series is only able to use the rights to the novel by Terry Nation and not the original series episodes. So it's bound to go its own sweet way.