Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Britain's Got an Extra Pop Factor ...And Then Some!
So, turns out, I missed the last five minutes. Which I have now watched. Nothing else to add.

1x06 The Librarian [season finale]
Possibly the best episode yet, though that's not saying much. It does pay off the producer's comments that there'd be developing storylines though, with a fairly interesting cliffhanger. I'm not sure if I want it resolved enough to see another series this weak though...
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Crooked House
Part 1 The Wainscotting
Short series of three horror tales set in the same house, by League of Gentlemen co-founder/member and Doctor Who & Lucifer Box writer Mark Gatiss, also showing as a portmanteau horror movie on December 27th.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

3x12 Our Father
3x13 Dual
And so Volume Three comes to an end with this lacking mini-finale. As things turned out, not quite the grand Return To Form we were promised. Perhaps Volume Four can manage better when Heroes returns (in February, so I hear).

Lead Balloon
3x07 Nuts [season finale]
A surprisingly Christmassy Christmas special/final episode for Lead Balloon. And at the end it even all turns out nice. Almost.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Mock the Week
6x13 (23/12/08 edition) [Christmas special]
Despite having already aired a highlights/cut bits show at the end of the last series, here's another one for Christmas, though at least with some added festive material.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

No Heroics
1x04 Back Issues
Still sex-obsessed then. It's better than Clone, but would be better still if the writers could get their collective brains out of their collective groins.

6x02 Fire & Freezing [Christmas special; 2nd watch]
The problem with families is they have a tendency to talk over Christmas TV. The great thing about modern technology is you can record things to watch again in peace. The good thing about QI is it's both funny and interesting, which rewards repeat views -- especially as I did indeed miss some jokes first time round.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

Poem of the Day: The Oxen

by Thomas Hardy

A slightly more unusual Christmas-related poem today, penned by that master of misery, Thomas Hardy.

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel,

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.

Originally published in The Times on 24th December 1915 (I have an even more appropriate piece lined up for tomorrow). For an essay on this poem so literary-looking that I haven't read it -- entitled Image, Allusion, Voice, Dialect, and Irony in Thomas Hardy's The Oxen and the Poem's Original Publication Context -- click here.

the teases!

Behind the Doctor Who advent calendar today (well, technically, it's yesterday now) -- an excerpt from this year's podcast commentary, in which Russell and Julie tease about what's coming in the 2009 specials... including a two-part finale!

Check it out here.