Friday was kind of dumped on me as an RDO instead of the days I actually wanted and thus is dawned, grey and windy. So I watched Deathwatch. It's meant to be a WWI horror film but strangely manages to not have much to say in the way of WWI or horror, other than they are both theatres in which young men die horribly and needlessly. Personally, I have qualms on the decision to add supernatural horror to the Somme, which was pretty much a Bosch-ian hell-scape anyway (cf Frank Hurley's pics). Also, one just couldn't shake the feeling that the tropes (they're just too cliched to be called characters) seem to have wandered in from a 'Nam film (especially Andy Serkis, complete with scalp collection).
But never mind that, I'm just here for the Brit boys: Laurence Fox (the posh idiot officer with daddy issues), Matthew Rhys (the true hearted medic), Jamie bell (the wide eyed virgin) and Hugo Speer (the Sarge). It'd be laughable except, bless, they were trying to be sincere. The one thing they did manage was the muddy claustrophibia of the trenches, although reality was far more festy and cramped.
Listened to the commentary while I cleaned the kitchen (okay, half the kitchen, I killed the mop mid-kitchen) with Laurence being Laurence as he babbled away (later there was the 'making of' on the R2 version of Jericho with yet more Laurence being, well, Laurence). He's a handful, that boy. I pity his poor co-star, I really do.
Saturday was washing, The Saint, weeding (just three flower beds, and you can't even tell), recycling (sorting thereof), re-stringing the Hills Hoist, and another episode of Gideon's Way. This time the enigmatically titled Boy With a Gun. Whereupon a private school twat is given a gun by his father to butch him up, so he does so by shooting some young working class lads. As you do. (And they were so rocking the Tucker Jenkins look, to my amusement).
You know, it'd be funny if the UK crime statistics actually reflected the crime stats on telly, where no man with a flat cap out walking his greyhound is safe from marauding gangs of homicidal Hooray Henrys. The unspeakable terror of walking down a darkened steet and realising you're being followed by someone with a school tie. You quicken your step and make a dash into the nearest pub, only to discover it's a posh wine bar! Arrrrgh!
Well, ya gotta admit, the grasping middle classes are somewhat over-represented in the tv crime stats, especially those hideous hotspots of Midsomer and Oxford.
Anyhoo, the episode prvided much unintential hilarity. None the least George Sewell knocking David Boreanaz off the pedestal for most abysmal Oirish accent ever committed to film, the various discussions of what made a real man (cue Joe Jackson), Gideon's annoying eldest son asking his dad if he'd rather the son took up boxing or ballet (this lead to much heckling faux voiceover with Gideon agnonising over his rather fey son having finally tabled the ballet lessons) and oh yeah, it was all about as subtle as an RTD era episode of Dr Who, hence the callous mocking of what would have been some rather challenging soapboxing for the time.
Meanwhile our mudererous little twat has crawled into the back of an idling truck at a truck stop. Peanut Gallery wonders if the kid speaks Estonian. Later as we cut back to the truck heading north and PG quips that the dweeb can now say sixty-nine in three Baltic languages.
Still on the run, and thus far unchallenged for wandering about with a rifle (it's what the upper classes did back then: hunt foxes and the working classes and other vermin) the dweeb hides out in a barn where he meets a young spiv with a heart of gold (aka Ben, ex BF of the Doctor, if you want to know, all cheeky charm and sharing of chocolate bars).
Anyway blah blah running around, questions of class and masculinity, standoff in a warehouse (historical docklands footage) where Ben saves the day, but still gets bundled back to Borstall while the dweeb is bound for a few weeks at a one of those club med remand centres for naughty poshos. Fair? Hardly, but maybe that was the point (really giving them the benefit of the doubt here).
It was funny to finally see Ben though. The Doc sure has a type, or types :) Though I think I've seen one Ben story, the one with the homicidal computer? (I know, oh that episode of Doctor Who).
Saturday evening finished off with a row and the magpies breaking several of my best pots in a squabble, including my most favourite blue patterned one (exactly the same pattern I'd seen in a museum once). Himself gathered all the bits but I've yet to try and stick them back together and it won't be the same because I am crap at sticking stuff back together. Evil, wicked birds. And this was just after I'd decided to grudingly forgive them for turning my fave shirt into another work after Pollack.
So I sulked through Doctor Who and Wire in the Blood and being online, though a friend cheeed me up very much with pictures of Laurence and also the Doctor and Jamie (yep, it's all vaguely Who related these days).
Also WWI being a big theme with Deathwatch, Daleks in Manhatten and this old 1933 musical upon which Daleks is hugely based. Watching it made a kind of sense of Dalek that the episodes just didn't, and now I get stuff, like Lazlo is supposed to be a middleclass chap in love with a showgirl (at least he is in the fillum). It ends with a big Busby number about a woman now working the streets because her man went off to fight the war then ended up on the dole queue then down and out and destroyed. With singing and dancing. It was heartbreaking. And this was he big number they finished on? Wow. Feel the social commentary (now go slash your wrists).
This inspired a later dip into some 30s cookbooks Himself now owns. Kinda scary (but not as scary as Scottish cookbooks which invariably start with "First take one sheep's head..."). Man, they loved their fish paste sandwiches. Isn't that an Agatha Christie plot, that they poisoned the sandwiches which were so wretched anyway nobody noticed? Anyway, the chapter on 30s sandwich fillings was far more entertaining and horrorfying than most of the stuff I watched over the weekend. Truly.
Sunday was attempting to glue one pot together (the fancy one has to fine a clay to stick properly) and simultaneously scan some magazines, catch up on the IQ backlog (mostly Rome), cook two cakes for office morning tea, water the garden and bury a magpie (possibly the one that destroyed my pots had his comeuppance, silly thing, being an obvious danger to himself and others, as PG cut himself in the shards).
Watched Doctor Who and the last Foyle's War (not much, just a tidy tying up of loose ends). We were concerned that they probably didn't consult with the cultural owners re the Sontaran haka (whities don't ever do the haka unless they're on a rugby field and wearing an All Blacks shirt). I wonder if folks in NZ will complain. Meanwhile the Doc burnt the skies without singeing even a single petunia (how, exactly) and too much deus ex machina and I really hate these planet wide things. It was more fun when it was just isolated beach heads, easily covered up. They couldn't play the conspiracy angle now in Who canon. Basically, I hate these Buffy S7 style episodes, but it's not like I get any choice in the matter. I take what I'm given or I get tut tutted because I'm not the target demo anyway so my opinions are not valid. Sigh. At least we had some UNIT action, I suppose.
I really don't like the whole soaping of the Who either, but that's another rant for another day (but someone made the smart quip that annoying as Adric was at least we never had to put up with his Mum).
It's a perfect case of being careful what you wish for (because honestly, so much of the current Who canon is just so much bad fic and if anyone but a paid and contracted BBC writer were to offer them up they'd be pilloried, and in some cases, quite rightly so).
Like the other day watching an old Morse repeat I was wishing just once Lewis would leave the rarified atmosphere of the quads for some gritty urban realism. What I'd like to see was an episode of Lewis written by Jimmy McGovern (or Paul Abbott). And the Lewis hacks could take an episode of Shameless. We could call it Changing Shows (where writers swap genres for an episode). Just think, an episode of Doctor Who starts with someone up a ladder with a faulty powertool - but that's just too close to RTD Who, so I just got all pouty again.
Mr Moffat says the Who you like is the one you remember, and mine was always Midsomer Murders meets Hellblazer (which means there's just a chance Mr Moffat's Who and I will be a good fit).
Speaking of Hellblazer, and this is totally down to You Know Who, whose lists of possible plots for future Hathaway fics included:
# Foolishly gets involved with a bloke named Constantine.
So I was wondering how that was going to work until HathawayMuse made an off the cuff mention in the fic that a certain Scouse scallywag may have been involved with young Hathaway's dismissal from his theology studies. OMG! Plot Bunny!
Great, except I haven't written a fic about John since 1993 and since you've never seen it, imagine how good that was (actually, just go watch Ashes to Ashes, that's pretty much the sad old fic in a nutshell). Quickly, to the comic collection!
Speaking of Ashes to Ashes, had Prime Suspect on while we were cooking dinner and Dame Mirren was making all the shrill Alex speeches about not giving the toms any respect, etc, etc. Cue much Gene eye rolly from me, because valid point or no, I'd just about had it with the shrill soapboxing by then. I really had.
Thus you find me today, just posting not typing (thanks to too Wire in the Blood, James has now got himself in the clutches of the killer they were hunting, nut job bait that he is) or even doing what I should. Kinda bored with that, the doing what I should. Spent the whole weekend running myself ragged, with nothing to show for it.
At least the "lates" DWM to make these shores had a tiny bous pic of Laurence in it. At least there was that.
Oh yeah, and Himself was watching some Fred and Ginger thing (Roberta) in the kitchen while I was watching Morse as I scanned in the loungeroom. This meant that Lewis appeared to be serenading Superintendent Strange in one scene. So do not want to go there!
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