Saturday, January 02, 2010

On the box

Hello! Hello! Hello! Where was I? Oh yes, I've been watching stuff again...

The Day of the Triffids

I'm a big fan of John Wyndham, and of the 1981 adaptation of Day of the Triffids (currently £3.99 on play - If you don't have it already it'll be the best four quid you ever spend!). I've mentioned this before, as well as pointing out that it might be more interesting to film The Kraken Wakes rather than adapting Triffids again. Despite all this I was still excited to see how the new version would go.

I have to say that I thought the first half was a little slow, and I think the programme was somewhat self-consciously trying to avoid looking like a retread either of the '81 version, or more recent post-apocalyptic fare such as Survivors or 28 Days Later. Even so there was some good stuff in there, it just took too long for the story to get going. Part two on the other hand was pacey, atmospheric and exciting. There were some lovely sequences, for example Bill hunting the male Triffid, Jo's escape from London and the finale. Of the cast I thought Brian Cox (of course), and Eddie Izzard were excellent, the two children also were very good.

I still feel it was a somewhat redundant remake (but then Turn of the Screw was on the day after it so I guess it's the season (this is about the eleventh time this has been adapted for the screen!)) but given the decent ratings perhaps we can expect another Wyndham adaptation next year. I vote The Kraken Wakes or The Chrysalids!


True Blood

This is another show, like Medium, which I was aware of but had made some weird subconscious assumptions about and decided probably wasn't for me. However even I, belligerent as I am, can only ignore so many people telling me I should watch something.

Based on the series of books by Charlaine Harris, True Blood is b
rought to you by Alan Ball, the creator of Six Feet Under (another series I've never watched despite many recommendations).

True Blood is excellent fun. It's an HBO show so you can expect some cussing, some fooling about and some general naughtiness. It's also packed, and I do mean packed, with interesting and rounded characters. Actually the town of Bon Temps sometimes puts me in mind of Twin Peaks, or Cicely, Alaska due to the local colour. Putting the main characters to one side there's the inept local police, the Cajun roadworker, the agrophobic vampire, the shell-shocked Iraq veteran... The list goes on.

These people would be interesting even if they weren't littered with vampires, psychics, murderers and... well, no spoilers here. Suffice to say I recommend it. We've just finished watching series one on 4HD, and are now hoping they're going to run on into series two.

Collision

It's a bit late in the day to talk about this now (yes I did start this post a while ago) but what a great bit of telly this was. I'm coming around to this consecutive night thing, especially after Torchie this year, and this certainly kept us interested all week. Lots of lovely performances, especially from Douglas Henshaw and Lucy Griffiths, and a lovely look at how peoples lives can turn upside down for the most trivial of reasons.

The final moments, where time was reversed and we saw what might have been but for an errant wasp, were absolutely inspired and will ensure t
hat Collision lives long in my memory. Excellent television, well done ITV.

Misfits

No, not the seminal horror rockers (although I do recomend their Famous Monsters album), I mean the E4 TV series. A very British, very modern, very clever take on how super powers might actually work in the real world. I'm far from the first to say this but Heroes could have learned a lot from this E4 show. A second series has been commissioned (hoorah!) so that gives you time to catch up on series one if you missed it.


So that's what I've been watching recently. Now we're into early 2010 there's a shedload of good telly coming our way, so here's a taster of some of the stuff I'm really looking
forward to...


Being Human series 2 begins on January 10th



The final series of Lost begins on February 2nd



24 Day 8 premieres on January 17th



Survivors series 2 starts on Tuesday 12th January



Chuck is back on US tv on January 10th for it's third series



Law & Order: UK returns to ITV on January 11th

And of course, sometime in the spring...


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