mockturtle (hellblazer06) wrote,

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that was the week that was (mega post)

Are we sitting comfortably? I suggest that you should be, dear reader, as I am about to inflict a week's worth of unstructured ramblings upon you.

I watched S4 Spooks, since the dvds finally arrived. I was really started to grit my teeth over all the Spooks spoilers I was stumbling over, and I wanted to catch up on the as yet unscreened here fourth series before it was ruined for me any further (thankyou, The Times).

So, we're now stuck with Adam Carter. I like him well enough, but alas I don't love him quite the way I loved Tom (big, big Matthew fan here). I was actually plessantly surprised at how good S4 was, because significant cast changes are almost always symptomatic of shark jumping, but while Spooks, for me, started leaping over that Great White in S3, this time 'round, it was gripping television (so long as I put out of my mind any spoilers and extraordinarily similiar plots seen on my Special Branch disks).

There was lots of Ruth and Harry and Colin and Malcolm. I really love Ruth, especially. I suppose I sympathise perhaps too well at her late hours and lack of social life. (edit: just been spoiled big time re S5 cast changes in a magazine, so no more spoilers, ta). That MI5 Barbie I could do without, though. The sooner she takes a sniper's bullet the better, as far as I'm concerned. Was also glad to see the back of Adam's missus. Never liked her either.

And now I'm wondering just which cast memembers were being gossiped about so viciously that time I stumbled across Spooks shooting S4 in London (and lots of 'been there's', especially that cafe at the station, as I had to wait and wait and wait there once) and, quite by chance, the crew came in and sat at the next table where I was having lunch in this pub opposite the Tube station and weren't my little ears just up on stalks. Somebody was really hated, and I wonder if it was the one who took a bullet? But that's just overheard scuttlebutt.

The show seemed to borrowing heavily from first season UNCLE, with innocent bystanders, always young pretty females, dragged into the action, and there were a lot of moments that reminded me of The Professionals (particularly the rocket launcher and the anarchist groups) and Special Branch (the dirty tricks, snooping and wife's past coming back to bite hero on the arse). But as I love Man From UNCLE, The Professionals and Special Branch, I've no problem with that. Weird, though, that such a sure to have a file old leftie like me should enjoy such fascist telly, but there it is. Perhaps it's vicarious and illicit thrills, like pissing myself with laughter whenever Jeremy drops a particulary outrageous non-PC clanger on Top Gear.

I mean, I don't kill, have multiple lovers or drive really fast cars, nor am I blonde or perky, but I still watch shows that feature just that.

Or maybe lentil eating peacenik programmes just don't rate, thus I either watch Tory telly or nothing.

It's a puzzler. But, as I said, I grew up on a diet of cop and spy shows, so I just gravitate towards shows like Spooks and Life on Mars as much from nostalgia as anything else (and I believe they are made by folks who enjoyed the same shows I did).

Btw, fave non-Spooks Rupert fare are Cambridge Spies (I just adore Tom Hollander and his new anti-American activity) and the underrated but OMG slashy Four Feathers.

Other tv watched included the pentultimate Doctor Who. You know, the one that states that Rose "dies". As if. As if the BBC would traumatise the kiddies they keep insisting the show is solely marketed at in the current nanny state (like that daft as article about whether or not one should tell one's kids that Irwin copped it - I mean, for fek's sake - it makes me want to back over a cat just to teach these coddled jelly babies a few harsh lessons about life and death, but I digress, like the insane Grumpy Old Woman I am). The one thing that did amuse me this time 'round was spotting old Sutek's sarcophagus lurking in the Torchwood basement (and what a ripoff of the old Raiders storeroom).

The Professionals featured Bodie again in a pink shirt. Well, actually, on the better loungeroom telly it was actually a fine red and white check, but on my telly, 'twas pink. Ah, Bodie: the original metrosexual.

This episode was pretty much a love letter from Brian to Bodie. Well, not really, but it was written by Brian and revolved around Bodie, a weekend off with Gabrielle Drake (sadly sans silver mini and purple wig) and some nasty anarchist ne'er do wells that would no doubt have Adam Carter affecting his vaguely puzzled slightly off camera look (I till prefer Tom, he was more angsty). Sadly, my geopolitical history of the era is entirely lacking, so I'm not quite up with why there are always lunatic German bombers in the Profs, but perhaps it's all something to do with Munich. Fek knows, someone needs to write a book on the politics of the Professionals, or at the very least, a decent Wiki essay.

Anyway, lots of tv tough guy posing with guns, because Bodie's so tough he'll use a gun even when injured. Which reminds me, why would Bodie, who was supposed to be out on medical leave, be armed? I mean, there he is, punting on the Thames, armed and dangerous. I'm sure someone can explain to me why an agent on medical leave was armed on medical leave, but right now, sound reasons escape me. Other than the fact that Bodie is, well, tough. Maybe his GF likes the feel of cold hard steel? Or perhaps the Thames is apparently a hot bed of international terrorist cells. Fek knows.

The other amusing bit was Yenta!George probing, if that's the word, Doyle for his feelings towards his partnership with Bodie. All very above board, I'm sure, but it made me smile. The same way some line, which sadly I now forget, cracked us up with its unintentional entendreness the other week.

The Sweeney claimed to feature one Raymond Winstone and I could not bring myself to believe that the skinny youth on screen was indeed Ray until he cracked that old shit eating grin. Oh yes, that's Ray. And yes, Virginia, he was apparently that thin, once.

Basically it was a plot about dangerous homemade shooters, one blowing up and taking out Tarrant, no great loss there, and a weird sub plot about Christian loonies. Never mind - itty bitty Ray!

But at least it wasn't quite so Dirty Old Woman near squick making as the sight of John Simm in a school uniform. Oy.

Heaven help me if the Feds get hold of my lap top now. Honestly, Officer, he's 36 now....

It's a bit like picking up the Goonies in the bargain bin. Wrong, wrong, wrong...

Sharpe. Well, there was the repeat of Revenge on Saturday night, and then there was part deus of Challenge, with sneering Toby (I'm beginning to think the lad conceals bad cheese about his person to get that 'just trod in something unsavoury' sneer just right.

Sharpe meanwhile seemed somewhat discombobulated and always two steps behind, but never mind. There was a nice sword fight, the oblig beating up Sharpe scene, with now matching grubby marks to hide the Blades and LOTR tatts (it looked sooo fake) and some actually very nice Harper scenes, with Harper now on equal footing to Sharpe, at least in terms of their friendship. No more tugging of the forelock, one might say.

The nasties got their just deserts, with a particularly brutal killing by Sharpe, which almost deserves its own blog entry because I can't remember Sharpe ever being that brutal before, not even to Hakeswill. The good Frog died, and so did the good Indian (insert tired old joke here), with a speech that I could just use in my fics if I so chose.

Yes, now that I think of it, Sharpe dispatches the two villains quiet violently, and I'm hard pressed to remember any other such cold and deliberate killings, as opposed to the heat of battle. Sharpe never used to kill that up close before. Usually, when folks pissed him off, he let them have the humiliation of public punishment, rather than private revenge, or he killed them quickly in combat. I think it's the actual twist of the sword that's bothering me. Sharpe never used to do that. Interesting that peace time seems to have made Sharpe a harder man in ways war just did not.

Meanwhile, I was thinking just this morning that I was so over Brad Pitt. The recent news that he's taking the Cal role in the State of Play film just confirms my sense of blahness. Give me John-Boy any day.

You know, it's a pity they never made a live action Tin Tin film in the 90s, because John, in his younger days, would have been purrfect. I can't remember what I was watching where he had the whole Tin Tin cowlick going on, but he did, and the resemblance was unsettling.

Never mind, John. TV is far, far better than fillums these days. I am surprised, though, given the warm reception to LOM in the States, that John isn't off to play some crap role in some crap film.

Have you noticed though the number of Brit thesps returning to UKTV after a few years of playing wittering twits in US films? Not enough to be called a stampede, but enough to raise an eyebrow. Perhaps they need to do what some of the A grade locals do here: a couple of bad US films, some local high brow series/stage production, then a couple more bad US films, then maybe a quirky indie or three, repeat.

Oh, off list discussions have arrived at a consensus that Gene's six flasks (episode six) would just barely be sufficient, considering he was facing a long siege with "Gladys the Supercop" jumping up and down and being pesky by his side. It'd turn any man to drink, so it would.

Btw, I love the scene, that was, I admit, pointed out to me, where Ray hands Sam a cuppa and Sam just frowns at it. Lovely! Yeah, he *totally* gobbed in it, Sam. But, as was pointed out to me, Ray knew that Sam knew, and thus they have observed the hostile prelims for their locker room smackdown in episode seven. I do love the English: everything done properly.

It was also pointed out on TRA that in episode seven, when Billy's sister asks what she'd get for slapping Gene, Sam answers "A round of applause from our station". Sam says "our station". There's that pesky sense of belonging again. Sam is sinking into 1973, in spite of his best efforts, and making connections and even friendships. Soon, "home" will be where he is, not where he imagines he should be.

In episode four he pulls himself up over the bent money, as much because he's losing himself to 1973 as losing his soul to corruption. At least, sometimes it reads that way. Even in episode two, one minute he's telling himself it can't be real, but then he throws himself into the case as though it were.

I've noticed, too, that the episodes seem to space out, after the cluster at the beginning. Does this mean that Sam is going for longer and longer periods without any weirdness? Because even though Annie asks if he can never have a normal day, in episode seven I feel that Sam must have been behaving normally because Gene would have not bothered taking him out to dinner if he was already talking to radios. It's just not something you do.

Certainly Gene's reaction is one of someone who's had to carefuly remove a freaking Sam from a situation ten times or more, but I think there's surprise there when Sam suddenly goes from shop talk to talking to the radio, as much as theres resignation when Gene realises that Sam is having another one of his little episodes. I wonder if Gene will start recognising the signs, the way you can with an epileptic on the turn (and I speak from personal experience).

I'm just curious as to whether the days/weeks between the later episodes represent routine days of robberies, fraud, vandalism etc and Sam behaving within the medical definitions of "normal" (which is a whole 'nother topic).

I'm also wondering what would happen if Sam ever made a choice re his real/unreal dichotomy. For the most part, his division, is, as Annie accuses, convenient, as he only starts insisting that it's not real and behaving as though he were trapped in a game where he doesn't know the rules when things become difficult for him, especially emotionally difficult. When he's upset, Sam often starts retreating into his unreality modus.

Obvious Sam has issues , especially with repressing strong emotions (nice one, Ruth!), abandoment and dishonest behaviour (nice one, Vic!), but how much of the show is some psychobabble learning curve for Sam (ie, it really is a game he must solve/win) and how much is it just a flawed guy flung into an impossible situation and dealing with it as best he can (and how much of it is just the sparks of a dying or injured brain?).

Also found time in the wee hours for watching a bit of Special Branch (I had intended to turn to Galactica but where I put my disks is beyond me right now, probably that 'safe place' that will prove a boon to archaeologists a millenia hence). Anyway, some pretty ordinary episodes as the show heads into the final lap/disks, possibly because they lack the glossiness of Spooks, the plot is suddenly de ja vu and I'm aware there was/is a lot of bitterness over the change over from Special Branch to The Sweeney, and perhaps folks were not quite so engaged. Patrick Troughton turned up as that old favourite, the radical academic (still a cause for alarm according to Spooks and our PM) and Blake popped up as a Welsh union rep - gasp! Horror! And that's two cast members of Blake's 7 sighted in a weekend. Which is two more than usual.

Finally got a chance to watch some Battlestar Galactica. And it's not too much of a break from my BBC binge as it does feature British actors and good writing, though I do have to endure folks pronouncing duty as dooty and lieutenant as lootenant, etc, but one does what one must. I really wanted to catch up on Galactica because I was tired of being spoilt (and, oh boy, spoilt big time for Spooks yesterday flipping through a mag in search of celeb photos - I could have scrunched it up there and then if not for the hefty $8 cover price) and Channel Ten was about to step ahead of where I was up to, and I couldn't have that.

So I watched Pegasus, the extended dvd version, so it said on the box, and though I had seen it before, it's been a while so I can't take you through a list of extra bits, but I do remember the rape of Boomer being not quite so full on and harrowing. Grace was so realistic, especially when she tried to cover herself with a blanket - that was exactly right. It really made me wince to watch it.

Other than that we have the new badarse in twon, thus throwing Adama and the Pres closer together (that old chesnut, even being dragged out in LOM, so I hear) and Starbuck and Apollo are chastised for being mouthy mavericks, then continue to be mouthy mavericks, anyway. At some point, I fear, this being a somewhat fundy American show at its core, there will be a price to pay for such spirited hijinks down the line (no, don't spoil me, dammit, I won't even read the back cover of the dvd box).

So, without going too much into the plot, which you've either seen or not, though I was bemused by the use of the old classic BG plot, albeit clothed in new threads with a hardline warmongering bitcha as the Admiral this time around (Rice?) and a rather startling potrayal of POW abuses that rather reminded me of Classic Trek as far as the old 'we're not talking about the war because we're a show with spaceships' commentary used to go, though Trek kind of lost it edge rarely dealt with war or war crimes quite as raw and brutally as Galactica does. I must say I'm surprised, given the apparent lack of comment on actual events in the States (or rather, the States as filtered through our Murdoch controlled media, ie if there is comment or questions, we never hear it).

So, a lot of socio-political commentary this episode, rather than evangelising, so I liked it. And I really do like the Trapper/Hawkeye naughty schoolchildren thing Starbuck and Apollo have going at the moment. (Ah, now there was a great American show, I wish MASH had a greater footprint than West Wing).

And besides, Jamie is as cute as a button. Though it's funny how that girl who kept posting Bamber pics has gone dead quiet since I posted that Out article. Heh. Some fans are funny like that, and it tends to be usually but not always the American fans more than anyone else (and that *is* a massive generalisation) who seem concerned with the moral behaviour of their favourite actors. Europeans and Australians etc, again, very generally, seem less concerned, from my long experience of reading boards, forums, etc. (the same can also be said for expectations of politicians).

Personally, I couldn't give a fig, I'm just there for the pretty. It's like being told by my art historian sib of all the OK! style gossip behind various paintings. One doesn't have to know to like or dislike the painting, and sometimes it adds or detracts, but it's the painting itself, rather than who the artist was shagging that week, that really matters, to me. I'm more concerned with his choice and use of green than where he dipped his wick. Ditto actors.

That's not to say I don't enjoy gossip, and laugh down my sleeve over a particularly ripe piece of schadenfreude. I am only a primate, after all, but it never rates as a consideration in my dvd watching habits. Weirdly, it's fan nastiness that'll have me in a fit of tears and torching the collection.

Last night I came home to discover two months worth of parcels and letters dumped on my doorstep. I've not got around to opening all of them yet (I'm afraid Morpheus cold-cocked me last night) but a big blanket thank you to all those who contributed to my festival of the brown paper packages (not, alas, tied up with string, but nevertheless a favourite thing).

No postcards, though, she says, pouting ever so slightly.

I had 1001 things to to on the occasion of a rare public holiday, but I ended up spending it sticking a naked man back together. It was a statue that was an early casualty in the garden wars and at first I'd been too upset to do anything and just let it lie there, to be swallowed by the earth, but having to move the garden around due to drought deaths, I was worried about it being trod underfoot so I unearthed all the bits, and, having all the bits, sat down to glue them back together. It was very much a 3D jigsaw and I made it a day's project. It's not perfect, but I like to think of the imperfections/clumsiness as an avante garde statement about...well...something. Lets call it art and not a botched glue job.

This means, of course, that I did bugger all else. I'm bad and evil and wrong that way.

Oh yeah, and I was also stabbed. AP again, who is always stabbing, cutting, bruising, burning, scalding or poisoning me (I've never quite recovered from the time she sprayed my cup out with insect spray). This time she went to slap my hand with a knife, using it as an old fashioned starter as I wasn't working fast enough for her liking, but she did it with the one sharp knife in the house. She was smacking me across the back of my hand like it was a wooden spoon, only it wasn't. It was a meat cleaver. Damn nearly took my thumb off. Indeed, my one thought was how was I ever going to use my techno gadgets now? But I still have my thumb, though it itches so. No apology, not so much as a bandaid. This is my life. Work harder. Stop whining.

Actually, you know, I'm thinking, suspiciously, that perhaps the destructo cats don't having an unerring ability to detect and destroy my most favoured or expensive pots/ornaments. Perhaps another hand smashes them to pieces, because I was certainly made to shed blood after sticking them back together (I did several pots too) as best I could. Hmmm. I suppose that'd be the same hand that loses or destroys my best/favourite clothes/shoes/records/dvds/books etc.

And then people wonder why I'm touchy about other people touching my stuff. Because, in my experience, it always ends up in pieces.

Weird weather we're having lately. Summer one day, Winter the next, and back again. It's even worse when you've got an 80km round trip commute like I do. When I left home yesterday, well, it wasn't bright and sunny, but it was dry and false dawny, but two thirds of the way there and we hit rain and winter, and had to slam all the windows shut on the bus. It was quite an effort as nearly everyone seems off on holidays, leaving the bus two thirds empty instead of standing room only. I'm enjoying the space, to be honest. Though it does mean the drivers like to shake me out at the end like a dog with fleas, me being the last one off. I'm covered in big purple bruises.

These are the few weeks of the year it's actually not pitch black as I go to work. It makes me nervous as daylight, or false dawn at least, usually means I've slept in and all manner of calamity. It also means the birds are up and I've already lost one the other day as it was showing off doing swoops and dives in front of me until collected by a speeding Coke truck. It's death squeak will haunt me a while yet, even though I've been slipping the widow extra table scraps. And only two days before they'd been looking at nesting sites. I wish they wouldn't skylark when I'm at the bus stop, but they do. They just like showing off.

I've just had a call telling me that my blue-tongue is sunning himself on my garden tiles (I was concerned after the annual mowing of the lawn) and that George is in the bath again. George, the ill tempered fat magpie, has taken to long baths in the bird bath now that the weather has turned warm and the sun must heat the water just nicely. Not just a quick swish like normal birds, but a full on soak, lacking only candles and Enya cds, I swear. Then he comes and sits in the sun next to me and shakes like a dog. Charming.

I think it probably says something, that all my pets are plain nuts.

Meanwhile, work is quiet with most of the worst off on leave. One colleague who usually makes my days a nightmare from dawn to dusk has been sweetness itself. I am beginning to understand that their superior makes their life hell, and thus they make my life hell. With the irritant removed, it's all happy campers. At least it's a relief to know that a) they're not irredeemably awful and b) it wasn't me that was causing the problems.

Oh, we've just had a fire drill. How exciting - not. Closets thing I've had to a tea break this week, though. Oh, they've just deleted all my folders on the server. Now, I think, I need a cup of tea.

Thurs: It's a lovely Summer's day (even though it isn't, actually, Summer) and that can only mean one thing: crab claws and ginger beer down by the Quay. They're not actually crab claws, either. More like fried dumplings of seafood extender, but the chip shop down the Quay makes them just perfectly, and I've not had any for three months (whine). Nothing better. I was one happy camper. Junk food, sun, salty air, what more could a girl want? It wasn't even that crowded, which was weird for a lovely day during school holidays.

I took some snaps, ignoring the shady looking chaps with their cameras and notepads (I was wearing ye olde Docs, so I was getting some looks). I don't think I need to explain anything about the big white building or the coathanger. The AMP building I have a soft spot for because it's gloriously 60s, it's been a constant companion or a large third of my working life and back when it was still the tallest building in Sydney (oh, dating myself here), there used to be an observation deck, and I went up there when I was very small and it was the highest I'd ever been and I was equally terrified and impressed, especially as it was a very windy day, as I dimly recall. The other two pics are from my garden. Yep, I finally got my green man. Ain't he nice?
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Tags: doctor who, gene hunt, life on mars, ray winstone, richard sharpe, sam tyler, sharpe, special branch, spooks, the professionals, the sweeney, toby stephens

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