Sunday, 9 November 2008


The Sandbaggers
1x07 Special Relationship [season finale]
Absolutely excellent; probably the best episode yet. One often thinks the concept of a "season finale", a grand final episode where the stakes are higher than any other, as being quite a modern American-inherited invention, but clearly the idea behind it goes back much further. Why can't all TV be this good?

7x02 Sharpe's Peril Part 2 [season finale]
A much stronger, and more action-packed, second half. One wonders if the international version -- which is only 102 minutes, in-keeping with the original series of Sharpe episodes (this British version totals 138 minutes) -- cuts equally from both halves, or gets rid of more of the first half's slower-paced relative dross. Both versions be on the DVD release (either out now or soon, depending on which sites you believe), so I suppose anyone who cares can find out then.

Top Gear
12x02 (9/11/08 edition)
Not entertaining, ohhh no.


Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove
Part One
What if all the Marvel heroes appeared 400 years early, in Elizabethan England? It's an intriguing setup that starts well in this first part (of eight). Hopefully Gaiman can keep the story up and take it beyond the novelty factor of Sir Nicholas Fury being the Queen's chief spy, with young Peter Parquagh as his assistant, or 'witchbreeds' Scotius Summerisle, Robert Trefusis and John Grey rescuing a bewinged boy from a burning courtesy of the inquisition.
One element that never disappoints is Kubert's art, which has a cleanly realistic style that I always like, and here is beautifully computer-painted by Isanvoe. The pair did stunning work in a very similar vein on Origin (the series that finally revealed the early life of Wolverine) back in 2001/2, and this style certainly suits the faux-historical content of the two books. Also, Scott McKowen's wonderfully evocative covers (all of which can be seen here) shouldn't go without a mention.

Queen & Country - Operation: Broken Ground by Greg Rucka & Steve Rolston
Chapter 1
Queen & Country is an unofficial comics continuation of the world of The Sandbaggers, though set in the present day. It's immediately obvious from this first issue that the style has been faithfully maintained -- which makes it fantastic. This first chapter is available online for free (legally) on this page, or a direct link here (you'll need to right click + Save As, or what have you). You'll also need some software to read .cbr files -- I use FFView, which is Mac-only, but Wikipedia has some Windows (and Linux) suggestions.


10 most uncool James Bond moments by James Clayton
(from Den of Geek!)
Some of these are undeniably true, but Den of Geek is still rubbish.

Jackson Plans Busy 2009 As Nick Fury
(from WENN)
"Samuel L. Jackson is preparing for a busy 2009 -- he's aiming to feature in a host of movie comics after he was revealed as superspy Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man." Apologies to anyone who considers that a spoiler, but c'mon, it's five months old now. "[Jackson] will play a key part in Iron Man 2... 'I should kinda pass through Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor -- all those things -- and eventually get to that Avengers space... They sorta gave me a master plan about how they want it to work... I'll do every movie they wanna do." And while he didn't turn up in The Incredible Hulk, someone else did (and without having to wait til the end of the credits either!)