Sunday 2 October 2011


Downton Abbey
2x01 Episode 1
2x02 Episode 2
Episode 3 went out tonight -- about time I got caught up with ITV's ratings juggernaut.
The new series begins about two years on from where the last one left off, which is nice because it means things get a wriggle on and there's lots to find out. Indeed, for a genteel Sunday Night drama, Downton moves through plot points at a surprising lick. Criticisms levelled at some of the blunt dialogue or soapish plotting aren't misplaced, but it's good fun as much because of that as anything else.
And then for episode two, we get a handy marker telling us it's now April 1917. Thank goodness for this and I hope it continues -- I was rather surprised, and then bemused, when last year's finale suddenly revealed two years had supposedly passed during the course of the series (when it had felt like months, at most).
[Watch episodes one and two (again) on ITV Player.]

The Great British Bake Off
2x07 Episode 7
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Centurion (2010)
[#82 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]

this week on 100 Films

2 new reviews were posted to 100 Films in a Year this week, and they were...

The House on 92nd Street (1945)
On the one hand we have a double-agent spy thriller, which has a noir-ish tinge but isn’t the most representative film of the genre; on the other, a fairly factual look at the contemporary workings of the FBI. Many of the smaller parts were played by real FBI agents and a lot of time is put into showing how they really work and investigate a case. At the time I imagine this was a fascinating procedural; now, we’re all a bit more familiar with how such things go, but it still works as an historical document.

Valley of Fear (1983)
The negatives of the previous films still remain, primarily the weak ’80s TV animation. It’s not as badly designed as the bright-and-colourful version of Baskervilles, at least. O’Toole’s performance is nothing to write home about either.

Plus we're now in October (dear God, where did the year go?!), so there was also the update for September.

More next Sunday.