Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Still catching up...

1x08 (15/12/08 edition)
And now Argumental's off on a festive break. I already look forward to its return.

1x05 Dude
There are times -- just moments, maybe -- when this is almost good. Almost. I'll keep watching dutifully til the final episode, but I doubt it'll get a second series. Even Hyperdrive managed that.

The Graham Norton Show
4x11 (11/12/08 edition, uncut repeat)
I swear Brendan Fraser was on a fairly high level of illicit substance(s) throughout this.

Live at the Apollo
4x03 (12/12/08 edition)
This show works best with three comedians, I think, and this episode only features two. It's especially bad when they're the team captains on 8 Out of 10 Cats, so over 13 episodes of that they've already used the majority of their material.

Natural World
Titus: The Gorilla King [2nd watch]
Regular readers with exceptional memories may remember that when I first watched this just over a month ago I mentioned its story could be easily adapted for a Tudors-like drama. Well, that's why I'm watching it again: note-taking on the plot. An intriguing idea or a waste of time? It's certainly an interesting exercise at least.


Movie Reviews: Frost/Nixon
(from Studio Briefing)
"It's a movie with the stolid title Frost/Nixon, and it's about a series of interviews that aired in 90-minute segments in 1977 between British celebrity interviewer David Frost and the disgraced former President Richard Nixon. Sounds like stuff that PBS might have taken a pass on for Masterpiece Theater, right? Wrong, say most critics, who have bestowed nearly undiluted acclaim on it."
Also "wrong", because -- and here's what's annoying, because Americans don't seem to know what their own programming is or where it comes from -- "Masterpiece Theater" is just a strand of bought-in British programmes (as best I can tell, anyway), usually made by the BBC and usually period drama. For example, as part of "Masterpiece Theater" they've shown both Cranford and Bleak House, but also The Forsyte Saga (the '00s ITV one) and The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (a modern political comedy-drama). All very separate series in the UK, but bung them under a collective heading on one US network and the braindead yanks seem to assume they're all somehow connected and must be PBS-produced. Fools.
Anyway, the film sounds good, doesn't it?


Doctor Who Magazine #403
"David Morrissey is The Next Doctor!" proudly proclaims the new DWM's cover. Indeed, but is he the next Doctor? We'll have to wait til Christmas Day to find out -- 9 days to go! Increasingly intriguingly, who is the CyberKing? And why has he/she/it meant The Next Doctor has more CGI shots than the (apparently) more epic Voyage of the Damned?

SFX #177
The next issue of SFX is out tomorrow and I've finally gotten round to looking at the last -- which, to be fair, is better than I've managed for about the past year.

Christmas singles UPDATE: the Killers now available

...but only from iTunes, as far as I can see.

Will it be as good as A Great Big Sled? I doubt it -- but it's still unquestionably better than The X Factor!

Joseph, Better You Than Me by the Killers featuring Elton John & Neil Tennant

Buy buy buy!

Christmas singles

Stop The X Factor from being Christmas number one! Buy one -- or all (I did) -- of these!

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley
iTunes | 7digital | tunetribe
Backed by Facebook and Radio 1, this one stands the best chance.

Let's Not Fight This Christmas by Chris Difford & the Decorations
(aka The One Show Single)
iTunes | 7digital
Camp and silly, this is -- believe it or not -- the best one.

It's Christmas Time by Status Quo
iTunes | 7digital
Almost as good. These two would fit seamlessly on all those Christmas compilations.

Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth by Bandaged
(aka Sir Terry Wogan & Aled Jones)
iTunes | 7digital
It's got Sir Terry Wogan on it -- that automatically makes it a contender for Best Ever.

Once Upon a Christmas Song by Peter Kay's Geraldine McQueen
iTunes | 7digital
Not as good as it could be, but hey, it might have a chance...

Run by Leona Lewis
iTunes | 7digital
If you have to. The others would be better than this, but this would be better than X Factor.

And I'll be posting this again tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after...

Poem of the Day: The Trust Territory VII

VII. Daybreak
by Andy Brown

This week, Poem of the Day is continuing to present Andy Brown's 10-part poem, The Trust Territory. The first five parts were published daily last week. I think there's much to enjoy in each individual segment of this work, and even more so when all ten pieces are put together. Also, at least some parts of it are especially suited to this time of year.

Please see after today's piece for information on where to find the poem in print.

Day breaks with the iridescence
of beetles. Last night remains

a beautiful, desolate thing:
me, lying

like an insect on a silver pin,
waiting for something to happen,

as if the world was about
to reach out

with the answer and you, leaving,
hiding your smile -- that thing

you do as much as with
your eyes as with your lips.

Alone, I come-to to this
clock of exquisite sadness.

The Trust Territory was originally published as a poetry chapbook, now out of print. It's currently available in Fall of the Rebel Angels: Poems 1996-2006 (find the best prices online here). The versions posted here are taken from the latter. From the author's acknowledgements for that volume: "Many [poems in this collection] appear as they were first published in individual volumes, others have been edited over the years and it is these final versions I wish to preserve."

Andy Brown's latest book is Goose Music, co-authored with John Burnside.

Please see here for information on Poem of the Day and copyright.