Tuesday, 2 September 2014

OUTLANDER, 1.3 & 1.4 – 'The Way Out' & 'The Gathering'

FATHER BAIN (to Claire): I smell the vapours of hell in you.
If the first few episodes handled the set-up, this third hour was about adjustment as 20th-century time-traveller Claire (Caitriona Balfe) started to find her feet as a "stranger in a strange land". It was also a helpful instalment in terms of explaining why Claire doesn't try to take anyone into her confidence by telling them the truth of her predicament, as there was a brilliant fake-out moment when she imagined telling kindly Mrs Fitzgibbons (Annette Badland) about her timeslip, only to be branded a demon. And the rest of this episode's events proved Claire has to be very cautious about what she says, as the 18th-century is still a very superstitious and religious place.

Monday, 1 September 2014


It's the busiest month of the TV calendar (certainly for U.S shows, that tend to debut in September), but what are the big highlights to check out? I use the term "highlights" fairly loosely, by the way...

TV Picks: 1-7 September 2014 (8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Chasing Shadows, Dallas, Educating the East End, Houdini, Our Zoo, etc.)

Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...

Sunday, 31 August 2014

DOCTOR WHO, 8.2 – 'Into the Dalek' – a fantastic voyage

written by Phil Ford & Steven Moffat | directed by Ben Wheatley

Swathes of "Into the Dalek" felt very familiar, as DOCTOR WHO has done many variations of The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companion tagging along with gruff soldiers, while the situation with the lone Dalek recalled series 1's "Dalek" (especially during its imprisonment and escape sequences), and the whole concept borrowed from The Fantastic Voyage (or Innerspace if you're younger). There was even a degree of series 7's "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS", in how this story gave the audience a guided tour of the internal workings of an iconic piece of Who design.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

If you care, share

Page-hits are so yesterday. Today's all about the number of shares you inspire.

Anyone can create a click-bait headline, or get lucky with a search engine's ranking. There are all manner of tricks to get people to visit a blog; some of which it's only common sense to put into practice, without it becoming too sly and insincere...

But shares? Those are a different story, and are more highly prized these days. If a reader decides to share something with their own friends, family, or followers... you know you're doing something right. That's high praise without even commenting. It's the new word-of-mouth.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Which season of TRUE BLOOD was your favourite?

After seven seasons, TRUE BLOOD's vampires have finally bitten the dust rather than anyone's jugular. For many, this HBO drama was a reliable source of fun and blood-letting from beginning to end; for others it was an entertaining supernatural guilty pleasure that went prematurely senile. But hey, it was memorable! And now we can ask: which season was your favourite?

To help you decide, here are my thoughts on each season's highs and lows...

Thursday, 28 August 2014

TRUE BLOOD, 7.10 – 'Thank You' – father of the vampire bride

JASON: It's been a long fuckin' week, and it's been a weird fuckin' week.
Just go with it. That's a phrase you often have to repeat to yourself when watching TRUE BLOOD, but thankfully only once during its series finale. The idea that Hoyt (Jim Parrack) would agree to marry Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) after only knowing her a day (as far as he remembers), just to please her terminally ill "father" Bill (Stephen Moyer), wasn't the most plausible of things. But this show has done far sillier things over seven seasons, so I went with it. The wedding itself didn't pull at my heart-strings as was intended, alas; mainly because of that underlying stupidity, but also because Hoyt and Jessica were a couple taken to such a tragic conclusion that this eleventh hour decision to right a wrong has always felt like fan-servicing.

TWIN PEAKS, 1.3 – 'Rest in Pain'

TRUMAN: There's a sort of evil out there. Something very, very strange in these old woods. Call it what you want. A darkness, a presence. It takes many forms but... its been out there for as long as anyone can remember, and we've always been here to fight it.
A weird duality licks at the edges of this third episode, as the citizens of Twin Peaks come together for Laura Palmer's funeral. After the extraordinary events of Cooper's (Kyle McLachlan) trippy dream, our intrepid investigator calls Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) to his hotel's dining room, only to throw cold water on their belief he knows who killed Laura Palmer. Unfortunately, Cooper forgot the most important part of his dream (whodunit), but is convinced that his reverie is a code that can be cracked...

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Video: Fan-made LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN opening titles

As a big fan of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN comics (particularly the original ones set in Victorian times), it has always pained me that the 2003 movie was such a resounding disaster (creatively and commercially). Maybe one day, enough time will have passed for Hollywood to attempt a remake, because the idea's just so brilliant. And, perhaps, fan-made videos like this one could help rekindle the flame...

Monday, 25 August 2014

Intermission: late-summer

I'm taking another week's break (25-31 August), so DMD updates may not be as regular. Luckily, I've planned ahead with some posts queued ready to 'auto-publish' over the next 7 days, but I'm not sure when I'll have time to watch and review the True Blood series finale, Outlander episode 3, The Intruders premiere, next Saturday's Doctor Who, or this Thursday's Amazon pilot releases.