Friday, October 27, 2006

CSI: Cardiff. "Now that's what I'd like to see!"

1. Torchwood - good start to the show. The first episode did what a first episode should - established the tone of the series (Joss Whedon with Welsh accents) and introduced the characters. The repellent Owen's "Lynx Effect" scene seems to have caused controversy in some quarters, but we just laughed like drains. Presumably he's going to suffer grievously later on for his despicable deeds. And what price kettle-drum scene changes now that Captain Harkness is indestructible?
Then another episode! M'sieur, with zis double bill you are really spoiling us! Well, every SF show not aimed at a "family" audience (and some that are!) has to have a Sex Alien episode. It's the law or something. There's the second ever episode of Angel, a first-season episode of The X-Files, and all of the original Star Trek. (Because technically, you see, since Kirk was the one with the spaceship who kept interfering with indigenous women, that makes him the Sex Alien. Oh yes, I've got this whole theory worked out. Now if I could just establish a link between anal probe abductions and the permanently surprised look on Dr McCoy's face.)
There's something slightly awkward about Sex Alien episodes - well, I think there is, anyway. Programme makers seem to think so too, since they tend to punt them out early on - oh, go on, lie back and think of syndication, get it over with. Still, third episode's the charm, and the signs are good. Just roll on P J Hammond's episode in a fortnight's time, that's the one I can't wait for!

2. Robin Hood. It's getting better (third episode's the charm, as someone once said). Still 'n' all, we've gone from machine-stitched singlet vests in ep 2 to (unless my eyes deceive me) young Matthew the miller's son wearing an actual modern hoodie, T-shirt and jeans. Surely they weren't really jeans? That and the Reservoir Dogs shot at the end, and the double mention of a "War on Terror" (editorially inserted into a background speech, and the least subtle bit of politics yet) make me ever more doubtful of Dominic Minghella's modern vision of the Hood. But Paul Cornell's script was fantastic. There's something about the Sheriff's "Pretty deaths..." scene that just chills the spine. I feel compelled to tune in again, but I just hope that the show's political "subtext" is going to stop feeling quite so much like a sledgehammer in the face.

3. Doom Patrol. Mmm, Doom Patrol. That is all.

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