Tags: torchwood


The Idiot's Lantern

Studio 60 near cancellation. Sorkin's frustratingly misfiring series is seeing a massive ratings drop-off from Heroes, and looks to be not long for this world. As the article says: "There's nothing wrong with the acting, directing, or dialogue writing. But the premise is faulty. No one cares whether a bunch of over caffeinated, well off yuppies, some with expensive drug habits, put on a weekly comedy sketch show from Los Angeles." Disappointing, but true.

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Speaking of Wonderfalls, showrunner Tim Minear's new series Drive has the greenlight for 13 episodes (12 plus the already filmed pilot). Given Minear's track record with Firefly, Wonderfalls and The Inside I doubt that anyone would be taking bets on this show outlasting 13 episodes. I can't say that the premise of Drive - an illegal cross-country road race focusing on an ensemble cast of characters - fills me with excitement; it comes off sounding like a cross between Cannonball Run and Lost. However Minear has a great eye for characterisation and a sharp genre sensibility, and I can see the potential for the show to subvert its premise in interesting ways. Mention of the excellent David Fincher movie The Game bodes well in that respect.

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Tonight I got inadvertently sucked into watching a 30 minute tribute on BBC2 to Raymond Baxter, who passed away recently. It proved to be unexpectedly interesting. I wasn't really watching Tomorrow's World when he was presenting, but I have an indelible image of what he was like from various clips, and the show was clearly in its heydey under his leadership. Moreover he really does appear to have been a charming, debonair but also extremely daring presenter. I hadn't realised that he was a Spitfire pilot in World War 2, that he championed live outside broadcasts, supported Concorde from its earliest days to its final flight, and even co-created Tomorrow's World itself. Fascinating stuff.

Afterwards was a new, much longer trailer for Torchwood. It's a show I'm feeling quite meh about, but with every successive trailer I get slightly more interested. I still remain to be convinced that what the world needs is a dark, sexy post-watershed Doctor Who spinoff (or that this is all of those things), but the production values look good and the format appears to be a blend of every likeable cliche you'd expect. Apparently it'll premiere on October 22nd on BBC3 with repeats the following Wednesday on BBC2, both 9 p.m. slots. (Don't tell the BBC but knowing me I'll be watching the whole season regardless of how good or otherwise it turns out to be).


To DNA or not to DNA

There's a new Police poster around Sunderland (and possibly elsewhere) warning of the potential penalties for keying a car. Apparently you could be "DNA'd". Yes, "To DNA" is now a verb. As is "To key" now I come to think of it. Not sure about that apostrophe either, although "DNAd" would look even stranger.

Other random things I have failed to mention recently:

The new Snow Patrol album is quite alarmingly anthemic, but has quite a few strong tracks amidst its blatant commercialism. I'm still making up my mind about it.

Pearl Jam's new album cements in my mind that I really don't like a good 50% of their material, and am unclear why I continue buying their stuff.

Bones is getting increasingly enteraining as the snark levels increase between the regulars. The opening credits are really annoying though, since they randomly fling actors names at you accompanied by images of entirely different actors. You'd be forgiven for thinking David Boreanaz was actually called Jonathan Adams.

The West Wing is really hard to watch with a 3 second lip-synch delay, but this week's US episode was still very entertaining. I think it's the series finale next week.

Speaking of which, I've obtained (via the pixies, don't you know) the Veronica Mars S2 finale but we haven't got round to watching it yet. I've been enjoying this show a lot recently, despite the stop-start vagueness of the season arc.

Woo! Kingdom of Heaven Director's Cut. 50 minutes of extra footage and apparently a good deal more coherent from a character standpoint, this is Ridley Scott's original cut of the film, not some cobbled together kitchen-sink-for-the-sake-of-it version. I liked the theatrical cut so we're definitely after this. It's due September 11th in the UK, a memorable date if nothing else, but it's out on 23rd May in the US, and the UK art is not a patch on the US art.

In Scotland? Visit the scenic Torchwood House and its famous observatory. More information at www.visittorchwood.co.uk. Nicely done.