DVD’s purchased last week, a number of which from the BBC.
Top Gear really deserves its own post but I have to mention its brilliantly funny writing and, more significantly, its extremely well executed shooting and editing. Each challenge really grips you; drags you in and holds you until the grim conclusion. It was posed to me that this was deliberately scripted. If that’s the case, then more congratulations need to be shoveled on and anyone in TV and movies should be watching each episode with a notepad.
Hustle (or Hu$tle, but that’s too much of a nuisance on this keyboard) has arrived in the form of Season 3’s DVD and once again, excels in character, wit, humour and complexity. I admit that when I gambled on this series, I had expected a lot from ‘The creators of Spooks and Life on Mars’ and this may have been the reason why I was ambivilent after the first episode of the first season. But the second episode demonstrated such cleverness that it had me finishing and buying the second season. The third is just crackling with energy and now I have to wait for seasons 4 and 5. Hustle is the brilliant example of how well keeping a season to six to eight episodes can work.
Finally, this wasn’t a DVD purchase but rather a promo but my Everest of a TV show, Torchwood, is making it’s stumbling, lurching return. I keep asking myself why I put myself through watching this show when my approval of episodes has been luke-warm at best. Part of it is marvelling at how badly you can fuck up a perfect storm of a show premise. Part of it is waiting for someone to realise this, apologise for getting it wrong for this long and then pledge, on-screen, to do it better.
But a big part of it is that the promo actually looks gripping. It’s going to be tragic when this fails but damn if this doesn’t look like something fun to watch. Torchwood: Children of Earth. YouTube should have it.
I’ve heard, but yet to confirm that Chris Chibnell, showrunner of the last two seasons and the person I blame for the level of dross I’ve endured, has moved on and Russell T Davis is taking over. Which is, despite numerous criticisms of his latter work in Doctor Who, something very exciting. Torchwood lends itself well to Davis strengths and I can see the series improving, under his stewardship, in the following ways:
Secondly: Davis knows how to write characters. He also knows how to write characters that move a story, not just chisel them into a shape that fits. He plays off relationships and uses the reactions to advance both character and plot. He also has the marvellous ability to introduce day-players in ways to garner sympathy or understanding, which will be fantastic for ordinary folk falling victim to alien machinations.
Thirdly: Davis marries present and everyday England with outrageous science-fiction – something he’s been lambasted for in Doctor Who – but strikes me as the perfect fit for Torchwood. It’s very much the mission-statement of the show, so that can only be good.
Firstly, and most important: Captain Jack the way he’s meant to be played! None of the morbid, angry, moody, depressive and otherwise crappy version of the man that enchanted us through The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances. I have no problem with Captain Jack making the tough choices or being the bastard but his greatest strength is being able to make people in the show and watching him on TV, still love him.
I should probably get back to the meeting now…