Sunday 20 November 2011


Downton Abbey
2x08 Episode 8 [season finale]
Cliffhangertastic! I wonder if we can look forward to a resolution in the Christmas special or if they'll make us wait until series three?
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

Junior Bake Off
Episode 9 (of 13)
The first semi-final, and suddenly two kids get to go through. I guess we can look forward to a three-part final then? Odd.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]

The Jury
2x05 Part 5 (of 5)
I can't say I buy everything that happened here -- the clunky political subplot, for instance; or how the yob and, actually, most of the jurors were ultimately convinced to vote "not guilty" (an 11-1 or even 10-2 split would've been more plausible). It's also interesting how many little things were similar to the first series, for instance how the jurors chose their foreman -- either there is actually some evidence of what goes on inside jury rooms and, by some weird coincidence, most behave the same way, or screenwriter Peter Morgan knows what he'd do and keeps applying it to other people.
Still, overall it was very good.
[Watch it (again) on ITV Player.]

3x40 (8/11/10 edition)
The 100th edition! Oo-ooh.
[Watch it (again) on iPlayer.]


Cars (2006)
[#90 in 100 Films in a Year 2011]
This is renowned as Pixar's weakest film and, while I haven't quite seen all of them, I can certainly see why. It's distinctly average; when the rest of their output ranges from "very good" to "exceptional", that makes it seem especially poor.

DVD Extras

The Inspiration for Cars
A short featurette (only around 7 minutes long) on the Cars DVD, in which director John Lasseter discusses the various things from his personal life that led to the film's creation. I think it gives some insight into why the finish project feels a little self-indulgent.


Doctor Who Series Six DVD REVIEW by Ian Berriman
(from SFX)
Silly title capitalisation aside, this is a refreshingly balanced take on Who's past season. "Remember when watching Doctor Who was fun?" I did enjoy the season overall, but crikey I know what Berriman means.
Plus, criticism for the slightly lackadaisical treatment the new series DVD releases get these days; criticism with which I wholeheartedly agree.

A daily dose of sci-fi - Day 7

Best non-human character

As "best robot" is coming up tomorrow and "best villain" was yesterday, this is essentially "best alien character"; who could be a villain, I suppose, but isn't just a monster.

I could've had the Doctor again here, of course, but including him twice might be a bit much. Or I could have gone slightly less obvious and had Zaphod Beeblebrox from Hitchhiker's.

But the thing is, despite his obviousness, Yoda is brilliant. He's wise. He's funny. He's surprisingly handy with a lightsaber. He's just cool.

And everyone's tried to speak like Yoda -- you can say that about how many characters, hmm?

Read about a daily dose of sci-fi, with links to the rest of the series, here.

this week on 100 Films

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

Clash of the Titans (2010)
It’s massively flawed in many areas, but good bits occasionally shine through. Unlike most blockbusters of the past few years, which tend to be bloated affairs in need of a good chop down, it would actual benefit from being a bit longer — some plot elements could do with greater clarity, most of the characters could do with some depth.

Magicians (2007)
If you like people saying rude words, particularly in relation to sexual activities, then you’ll find lots to laugh at here. If you don’t like that kind of thing, there’ll be lots to cringe at. If you don’t mind it… well, you won’t mind it. There are other funny bits, mind. None of it’s particularly big or clever, but it elicited laughs regularly enough to keep it entertaining.

More next Sunday.