Sunday, 16 November 2008


2x01 Episode 1
The first series of Outnumbered was one of the Best Things Ever and, thankfully, series two has set off at the same level of quality.

7x04 A Chance for Peace
While I'm watching this series of Spooks at around the same time it's broadcast, I've only seen episodes on iPlayer so far -- meaning I've still not watched an episode of Spooks on first broadcast since 1x02, way back in May 2002! (I've spent the last year catching up on DVD.) And as it's technically shown first on BBC Three, and I'm watching at BBC One pace... well, there's always 8x01 (probably)...

Stephen Fry in America
Part 6 Pacific [series finale]

Top Gear
12x03 (16/11/08 edition)


5 Reasons To Skip Quantum Of Solace by Josh Tyler
(from Cinema Blend)
Like Quantum of Solace or not, these are five really bad arguments why it's really bad. Unintentionally very amusing.

Elisabeth Sladen (The Sarah Jane Adventures) Interview by Will Martin
(from Last Broadcast)
Among other Sarah Jane factoids, Ms Sladen reveals this snippet: "The joy now is doing the DVD commentaries, although unfortunately I’m not anymore due to contractual reasons with 2entertain, we couldn’t come to an agreement." Oh dear.

Bond from the Beginning #3: Goldfinger

The archetypal Bond film, and it's easy to see why: the unrelated pre-titles, the credits, the song, the girls, their names, the villains, the locations, the gadgets, the Q scene (actually not repeated similarly for at least 17 years), the score, the ultimately unfeasible plan... It doesn't have everything (see earlier for the poor puns, see later for the volcano bases and cat-stroking baldies), but it has enough that no Bond-summarising article can be written without noting its significance.

Personally, I've never fallen as deeply for Goldfinger as others have; it doesn't have the grit of From Russia With Love and it doesn't meet the ridiculous excess of You Only Live Twice. I find it to be less than the sum of its parts; but those parts are mostly so excellent that its still a greatly entertaining film, and, I'm sure, not undeserving of the adulation lavished upon it by so many.

post... on a Sunday?

Today is Sunday. Post is not delivered on a Sunday. That's just The Way Of The World.

But today, I got post. Today. Sunday. Sunday! And this from the same postal service I've had to complain to several times for delivering my post to the wrong address.

So, I'm not complaining -- especially as the delivery brought me my 900th DVD (more on that later) -- but I am rather surprised.

I mean... it's Sunday!

Bond from the Beginning #6: On Her Majesty's Secret Service

I used to proudly lay my allegiance with the fans who believe OHMSS is an underrated classic; now I'm not so sure, though I wouldn't say it's among the worst -- all told, it's a mixed bag.

The first third is an unusual (for Bond) love story, which unfortunately seems quite hollow after Casino Royale did the same thing so brilliantly. Finally the actual 'Bond film' gets underway, complete with proper spying... and a ridiculous kilt-based outfit. The final third holds all the action sequences: crammed into 40 minutes there's two ski chases, a toboggan chase, a car chase, a helicopter raid, a large gunfight and an avalanche; the latter is especially well realised. This unbalanced structure undoubtedly helps unbalance some fans' view of the film.

Elsewhere there's an effort to remind us this is the same series: the titles are full of clips from the previous films and there are numerous other references. While the reasoning behind them at the time is clear, we're now familiar with Bond's changing face and they're just intrusive. As the new Bond, Lazenby is certainly no Connery, but he could be worse. His performance helps sell the final scene, which is still incredibly sad (indeed, while Casino Royale's romance plot may be more convincing overall, the death scene isn't a patch on this).

The direction is largely fantastic (though there are some dire sped-up shots) and the score is perfect; the instrumental main theme is probably my favourite ever.

There's still a lot to be said about OHMSS, but my opinion (for now) is that it's neither as bad nor as great as most of fandom would claim.