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Posts tagged ‘television’

Matt Smith as Dr Who

Initially a stunned silence on our settee but to me Mr Smith looks very, very promising. I suspect he will do both moody and comical particularly well. Good choice, I reckon.

Spooks cook the books

Spooks is back. An engaging programme despite its excessive number of pale, drawn, skinny women and hand-waving technological vagueness that enables apparently considerable problems to be overcome just in the nick of time. The probable claim that they have access to technology the public simply do not would be a weak one. The result is that Spooks rubs up against SF to an extent the programme’s makers would probably be horrified by.

Dr Who – Forest of the Dead

Forest of the Dead

Well, it was all there in last week’s episode, which we watched again this evening before the second in this two-parter. It was complicated for the kids, but an excellent concept very well executed. I particularly liked the time-jump sequences with Donna, her “husband”, Dr Moon and so on. These were exactly how television works, with the viewers forming the connections, although the characters don’t normally refer to the leaps in the dialogue. Great stuff.

Captain Britain

Paul Cornell’s Captain Britain got a brief mention on this evening’s Have I Got a Bit More News for You.

Lessing is more

I was interested to see Alan Yentob’s interview with Doris Lessing on BBC1 last night (yesterday’s post was purely coincidental). While in many ways inspirational, I also couldn’t help feeling somewhat despondent while watching it. I’d love to write a novel that’s considered somehow “important”. But I know I never will.

Doris Lessing, Simon Gray, Life After People

There’s a fascinating piece on Radio 4′s FrontRow podcast from May 16th in which Doris Lessing is interviewed. Lessing advises anyone with an ounce of writing talent to get on with it: “Don’t imagine you’re going to have this for ever,” she says. “Use it while you’ve got it. Use it, because it’ll go.” In her case, Lessing says: “It’s sliding away like water down a plug hole.”

In the same edition Simon Gray, whose novel The Last Cigarette is out now, talks about being diagnosed with lung cancer, and the fact that he has come to the conclusion that he can’t give up smoking, but has cut down from 60 a day to between five and 20. Gray says: “I’ve decided really that I can’t [give up smoking]. That I’m not prepared to spend the rest of my life battling my habit. It would consume all my time, I think. And I’d still be dead at the end of it.”

Last night I watched some of Channel 4′s Life After People. I found it somewhat unconvincing and inconsistent, to be honest. I didn’t quite get how the cities would burn down apparently as a result of lightening strikes. And while Chernobyl was used as an example of the decay that sets in after 20 years of abandonment, it wasn’t half as bad as the computer-generated graphics presented to us just a few minutes earlier. I reckon this programme would’ve been far more engaging and exciting at half the length.


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