What can I say, we were getting up to the 'chalice from the palace contains the brew that is true' bit and I just had to revisit Princess Bride, beloved old piece of fluff that it is. Very funny fluff, though. And I'm thinking hmmm, I think them folks at Merlin just might have seen the old PB, just possibly. Heh.
Meanwhile, still a miffed over the Torchwood thing. Okay, so I've not even gotten around to viewing my sets of Primeval and Robin Hood yet, it's been a bit of a massacre this year, you've got to admit (we've only just had Adam Carter go boom here). It's like my fave tv shows are stuck in some ITV murder mystery and the few survivors left should all be sleeping with the lights on and the doors bolted by now. Possibly with a gun under their pillow. Not that it will save them, of course.
And I shoulda known, since the TW thing was such a media event (I mean, screening in Oz in the same week? What trickery is this?) that somebody had to die. But did it have to be Ianto? A chap so beloved and mysterious as to have warranted his very own spinoff, had they thought of it (and the Beeb may yet regret killing off a franchiseable fan favourite)? It should have been Gwen, and I'm not just saying that because I hate her guts, but because it would have made a more artistic circle, since it was her journey we were meant to be following and the message seems to be Torchwood = Death (it was born of a bloody massacre, afterall, and that's probably bad mojo).
But no, because Gwen is a Mary Sue. The same way Rose Tyler is one of the world's most massive Mary Sues, and just to prove that far being the provence of little old Miss Marple's with basic typing skills, Mary Sues seem to be the stock in trade of so called professional tv writers who should know better (there are several other tv chicks I could point the MS stick at, but Rose is by far the most text book case, fluttering her eyelashes at tv's most unattainable gentleman).
So poor Ianto had to buy the farm. And I'm not happy, because his story wasn't done yet and it was a stupid and pointless death. He was thrown away for a cheap effect. And given the way RTD has totally trashed the Torchwood sandpit (blowing up the hub, killing off most of the cast), I pity Mr Moffat who, after a lifetime of yearning, is finally getting his hands on the Dr Who toybox. Given the spite of the RTD tanty re Torchwood, I dare say SM will be inheriting a smoking crater of a ruin of Who universe canon and characters. Damn.
Regarding Jack, well, we've always known he was a bit dodgy and done things he wasn't proud of, and, given the sort of company he keeps (Torchwood, Captain John), we can assume that some of the stuff he's done is pretty dire (though the Torchwood eps have been very inconsistent with Jack as to whether he's a flint eyed killer or a loveable rogue or reformed bleeding heart so I can understand fan confusion). I'm sure the trite 'Jack had to pay' explanation is the right one, but the Peanut Gallery reminded me we'd seen it all before, in the UFO episode "A Question of Priorities", and it's not the first time we've seen bits of UFO show up in Dr Who (aside from the actual bits of set and costume that used to pop up in Pertwee era Who like the one with the Sontarans in the 12thC castle). I knew I'd seen it before , but just couldn't place it (it's been a while since I've blown the dust off my UFO dvds).
I also had a rather painful lesson in be careful what you wish for because I've always wanted to be able to watch a show the same time as my friends and swap comments when it was still fresh and swirling around in our bloodstreams, so to speak, but it was like 1am in the morning by the time I got into my inbox and I'm afraid I wasn't on top form. Oh dear. Oh well. Coherence had left the building.
Not that I had anything more concise and incisive to offer than the Guardian's "Nooooooooooooo!" to the conversation. The Peanut Gallery, meanwhile, having not stayed up all night online, was instead able to offer comments on why the British army was seen to be so Greenham Common re the kiddie snatching and not laying down their guns and siding with the crowd ala East Germany when the wall came down. I mean, they were kiddie snatching, I'm sure some would have been in a moral quandary, even if the politicians could only manage a momentary squirm (which is why they're politicians).
And what of PC Andy, last seen in a headlock? We want closure. And what of the Cardiff crater? Is it not crawling with weird and dangerous shit that is no longer confined in Torchwood containment (which I'm betting would have been pretty shoddy to start with, considering their whole set up is based on jerry-rigged alien scrap).
I'm pretty sure that the end of Torchwood. Oh well. Without Ianto, I can't honestly say I'd care about watching it much further. It's a trap these tv execs fall into again and again. They make a show about the characters (in lieu of an FX budget) and then they kill them off willy nilly and are surprised when people aren't happy about it. As friends said, I'm all for the Blakes 7 gritty reality but we've already had Susie, Tosh and Owen go, we know Torchwood is dangerous, there's no need to turn it into a farce of short life expectancy like the red shirts on Trek. Especially when we're talking about Ianto.
I mean, I've read a lot about Ianto dying because Jack had to pay, but why did Ianto have to pay. What had he done to deserve his karmic numbers coming up? We'll never know.
But enough of that. There were some spiffing old B/W episodes of the Saint to watch on Fox Classics, and I caught up on several Sunday's worth of Bones and Castle on Saturday while I was doing the ironing. In fact I think Castle put the nail in the old sexy shooting lesson scene, when Castle, um, discharged his weapon early. Well, I cracked up. Castle is a very, very silly show, flimsy of premise, with plots so gossamer thin that would make Remington Steele blush, but Nathan has buckets of cheeky charm to carry it along. I suppose it shows the age of the current Hollywood hack, as we seem to be having a lot of Remington Steele/Moonlighting ripoffs, I mean, homages, on telly at the moment. Either way, the Bones/Castle double they've got going on Seven right now means there's a lot of silly flirty crime fighting going on right now, and fours hours of it (or two and a half, sans ads) is an awful lot of silly. Plots? What plots? Though EvilChannelSeven cuts the bollocks out of the shows to cram in more ads so it's near impossible to follow anyway, let alone when ironing, and the plot is the least important consideration anyway. It's all about setting up the jokes and delivering the punchline, badda bing, badda boom.
Yeah, spent most of the weekend washing and ironing as always. Double the washing as it happens, because forty odd angry cockatoos on Saturday (I was tardy with snacks again) meant I spent Sunday unshitting the shirts. Thank you nappisan. It's no match for currawongs and fig birds who love the purple berry, but it laughs at parrot poo. And a good thing too. Though the loungeroom once again resembles a Chinese laundry. Or Chinese laundry/tatty op shop, to be honest. I did vacuum and dust but I was vacuuming and dusting piles of untidy crud, alas.
Hmm, what else. Merlin? Poor Merlin, I always have stuff to say but come Monday my poor brain is like huh? We had the maginificent seven one again, where Merlin's jealous old chum does everything in his power to drive a wedge between Merlin and Arthur until rather uncharacteristically taking an arrow meant for Arthur. And for all the posturing by the TPTB about there being no sekrit agenda, just what am I to make of statements like 'if Arthur can't accept who I truly am then he's not the friend I thought he was'. Subtext much? For all the stuff about the village, and Arthur taking his first hard steps to being a leader of men (you'd think Arthur had never seen a dead peasant before), it's mainly all about Merlin almost coming out. Which he doesn't, and we're not really sure if he's quite over the self loathing, though to be fair, when your best buddy is anti-you it's hard to be very self accepting. So we sort of loped around a bit but never actually went anywhere. But we did get to see that there is some proof that the boys actually do respect and like each other, deep down (but deep deep deeper down they still think the other is a prat), which is something. And despite TPTB protesting, there is that lovely scene with the tickling toes. This was the first episode of Merlin I ever saw. Heh. Imagine my little face when I saw that. o.0
Second episode, because on Sunday we get two Merlins (wheee) was the one with unicorn and the maze and poisoned chalice (again!). Oh lawks, I'm watching a show with unicorns. And does this mean Merlin is a virgin, since the unicorn went up and snuffled, which is what I understand unicorns do from my reading of TH White (and the TH White runs strongly in this re-telling of Merlin, oh yes indeedy)? For some reason, this one I'd not worn out on the dvd, and it's full of such lovely moments, like the rat stew (oh, to have Merlin's rat zapping powers), Arthur's anguish when he realises he has cocked it up badly (and in Merlin's defence, he tries to make it right instead of rubbing Arthur's nose in it, though Arthur is so destroyed there's no real need). There's the great sneaking around the castle scene where Merlin demonstrates his mastery of covert ops. Not. I do like that so far they do not forget the two boys have had completely different upbringings and that Merlin is a dumb farm boy next to Arthur's trained warrior.
I like Merlin just not getting the upper classes and their idea of sport. I like the way they keep the class rules in there (I've seen the British class system in action on the ground and I still find all its encoded behaviours an utter mystery to me, clumsy antipodean yokel that I am) but without being shrill or silly about it (like on Robin Hood). I guess I identify with Merlin and his sense of not fitting-in-ness here because I'm sure we'd both be sticking bread knives in the honey to appalled expressions on our host's faces.
But most of all I just like the two boys. They have a chemisrty that powers the entire show and any episode built around them, like the unicorn one was, well, it's a joy to watch. And Bradley is so pretty.
Oh yeah, the Peanut Gallery was all about the Bergman during the poisoned chalice scene, but the peanut gallery pals around with inner city
And another thought: have you noticed that both Gene and Arthur get their troublesome, conscience pricking best buds in the exact same lock? It bemuses me. Does this mean Gene Hunt is a student of the Pendragon school of taming shrewish sidekicks?
What else? Watched some Dollhouse (I can't turn on the telly without tripping over some ex Whedon alum these days) and while I think it's okay, and am willing to follow it along because it reminds me of old 70s shows of my tender years like the Bionic Woman, and I'm vaguely tickled by the remise, okay, more so the cute FBI dude from Battlestar, who remind me of that old reporter from that other 70s staple, the Incredible Hulk, I'm not sure it's grabbed me yet. More of a slow burn something on the telly while I'm waiting for Merlin to start rather than hitting me straight behind the eyes in a where have you been all my life kinda way the way Life on Mars and Merlin did. A girl can never know, and I find a lot of shows sneak up on a gal, though I was pretty much gone by episode three of Supernatural. With Dollhouse, I dunno, I kinda like the retro nostalgia it invokes, but is that enough? On dampish, cold, dark winter evenings in the gap twixt downing tools as the sun sets and settling in for some serious drooling over young Mr James, perhaps so.
Didn't get to play back the Tudors, dammit. I picked up two magazines this week (unusual as I've not bought any since all my fave shops shut), both in the well oiled naked young men section of the shop, but one featured moody b/w shots of Mr Cavill and the other an article by Mr Starkey and it reminded me that I'd not caught up with the Tudors that week (on account of TW), and why is the bouncy boys section of the newsagent Tudors central? Dunno, but I remain bemused.
Much catch up, though, because there just aren't enough pretty boys in shiny armour on telly (no, not even with two hours of Merlin on Sunday, greedy wench that I am).
Didn't watch Marple, either. I was still faffing about when it started, and paused only long enough to clock Elliot Cowan and Ian Ogilvy (running about in nothing but shorts!) before passing out, either from the shock of the efforts of two days worth of intensive hard labour. Either way, I'll have to play it back sometime (not that there ever will be time, but I live in hope).
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recap: Merlin, Episode 4, The Poisoned Chalice
Picspam: The Mark of Nimueh: Prince (Pratface) Arthur
Picspam: Valiant: Prince (Pratface) Arthur
Picspam: The Dragon's Call: Prince (Pratface) Arthur
Picspam: Poisoned Chalice: Prince (Pratface) Arthur
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