Friday, 3 April 2009


I've Never Seen Star Wars
1x04 Emily Maitlis
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

K9 MIPTV Trailer
Read my thoughts on this trailer here.

Moving Wallpaper
2x06 Episode 6 [season finale]
A brilliantly ludicrous finale to the second series. Fingers crossed for a third -- when it's good it can be great -- though I'm not confident.
It's a shame Renaissance is just a 9-minute online thing (to be found here, or currently papering over the front page) rather than the fully-fledged TV special promised by the marketing of the show. I swear some of the actors flat-out lied during the promotion for this -- possibly to keep the ending a secret, but really, I suspect, to make people think it was still relevant and worthy of being on TV.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

The Wire
1x04 Old Cases
Read my (brief) thoughts on this episode here.


Cinema's third attempt at 3D by Mark Savage
(from BBC News)
Interesting article on the pros and cons of the current trend towards 3D in cinema. There've been a lot of articles on this topic lately, but this is the first I've seen that expresses any genuine skepticism about it. Which is a good thing, because for all the plaudits being thrown around by major filmmakers, there are a number of reasons that this isn't really up there with Sound and Colour in the pantheon of Great Revolutions In Cinema. I mean, you didn't have to wear special glasses for either of the other two, did you.

March Stalls 2009 Madness by Brandon Gray
(from Box Office Mojo)
Once you get past the opening paragraphs that seem to add fuel to the "Watchmen flopped!" fire (it didn't), this has some realistic points to make. Such as, "expectations were so unrealistically high that it was the sole new nationwide release for the first weekend of the month, and overall business suffered from that dearth of counter-programming." (Emphasis my own.)

Talking of Watchmen...

Watchmen Second Run Confirmed
Chances of it hitting the UK, in my opinion? Slim. Chances of it being outside London if it does? Nil.

You Wouldn't Steal a Car... by Helen O'Hara
(from the Empire Blog)
Empire weighs in on the whole Wolverine leak fiasco. Makes for some interesting reading, as do the comments.

K9 series MIPTV trailer

Here's the trailer for Doctor Who spin-off (sort of) series K9, which has been floating around the web for the last few days. It was created for the MIPTV trade conference in Cannes and is technically unfinished. Watch it (if you want), then read more after.

In case you haven't heard of this series before, it's a Doctor Who spin-off... sort of. It's not made by the BBC and it's not connected to the Who production office (unlike Torchwood and Sarah Jane), but it does feature a revamped version of the Doctor's robotic dog companion, K9. And it is the self-same K9, because the original model appears at the start of the series.

How can this happen? Because copyright for the tin dog lies with the guy who co-created him, not with the BBC.

Will the series be any good? Hard to tell from this trailer, which is aimed at the trade and features unfinished music, titles and -- most importantly -- voice-over work. As kids' shows go it looks OK enough, but nothing more. Also, it was shot in Australia, so the over-posh British accents are occasionally amusing.

The Wire 1x04: Old Cases

The more The Wire continues, the more certain I become that it is indeed a grower.

Some shows start and grab you immediately; they can then either build on this or throw it all away (more often than not it's the latter, sadly). Others are quite good and improve, others are just bad and stay bad. But The Wire is that very rare thing -- possibly unique -- where you start off uncertain because it only works the more of it you see. And, I suspect, its true quality (however high that may or may not be) is only revealed once you've seen the complete season -- or, to put it another way, the complete story.

Also worthy of note from this episode... well, many things, I'm sure -- but the one bit I wanted to mention is a great sequence in which Detectives McNulty and Bunk analyse a cold case crime scene without saying a word bar variations on the word "fuck". (In practice, this is less Tarantino than it sounds here.)

Poem of the Week: Jabberwocky

by Lewis Carroll

I was rather surprised to discover I hadn't had this for Poem of the Week yet (I'd merely suggested the idea a couple of months ago), and so, in need of a speedy one this week, here it is.

As usual, first the poem, then some brief notes.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Jabberwocky is, of course, a nonsense poem, and quite possibly the most famous of them all. It was originally published in 1871 as part of the novel Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, both of which are fairly nonsensical in themselves. (They're also both great, quick reads, incidentally, if you've never read them.)

Interestingly, it's managed to take on quite a life of its own beyond this. As well as its independent popularity and featuring in some of the adaptations of the Alice books, there's been both a feature-length film adaption by director Terry Gilliam and, before that, a short film featuring the whole poem by Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer. I've seen neither, so can't vouch for either's quality.