And it was prime Cumberbatch viewing. Nothing better than starting off the evening with a Benedict sans apparel. Heh. I know I didn't really take to To the Ends of the Earth when the ABC played it, but like everything I've been watching lately (Cambridge Spies, Wives and Daughters) it seems much less cut and choppy and confusing this time around. I'm fairly sure the ABC made massive cuts, as is their wont, when they screened it.
Fortunately, UKTV has far more respect, and we were treated to the full Benedict. Oh my, yes. The story still isn't much: young toff shoots his mouth off, behaves inappropriately, gets himself in all manner of strife and smacked on the back of the head more times than the rationalist buddy in a supernatural themed tv show. In other words: ouch. Much footage of young Benedict staggering about and bleeding profusely from head wounds in a most fetching fashion.
Ah well, I was happy, even though the lad himself has been shooting his mouth off of late in a manner most impolitic (though he's right, Downtown is a load of steaming donkey poo, my abiding adoration of Mr Bonneville notwithstanding*, but I only ever watch it as a bit of high camp panto, but that is neither here nor there and I've already done the 'shit actors say' post).
Following The Cumberbatch was Grimm! New episodes! Only a week or so old! Neato! There was girlish squee (yes, I have a new show), much girlish squee, even though it's still a monster-of-the-week show, and Monroe has been given a hetero life partner now that Nick's beard is down for the count (so I hope, she is annoying, definitely in the pantheon of annoying tv wives/girlfriends), but at least the Captain maintains his sexy 'international man of mystery-ness' as the LA Times so endearingly termed it. Bored already with Nick's daddy issues in drag (real mummy issues read like this).
Yes, there really is a Smiths song for every occassion - snerkle.
But I was so pleased Grimm was back, especially as I had to remove it from the pvr to make room for the Festival of the Cumberbatch. I hope they don't go too arc-y this season. 'Tis the ruination of many a fine show, getting tripped up and tied up by too many dangling plot threads.
Much like The Doctor when he ends up tied to the maypole in The Dæmons.
Oh, that was funny. I'd retired to my room to do some recycling which basically meant sorting magazines for the out pile, which means sorting a few then finding an article I really wanted to read and curling up with it and then falling asleep. Whoops. What was funny was that my slumbers took a turn for the Tardis and suddenly I had the third Doctor and Jo Grant popping up in my dream. Woke up to the Doctor Who theme slipping under the door.
Yep, too stupid to manage the washing or recycling with even the lowest bar set for competency, but savvy enough to know which Doctor just by the theme music. In my sleep. Prioritise ze leetle grey cells? I fear it's far too late for that.
Anyhoo, Himself was gracious enough to skip back to episode one and so I was treated to some glorious early 70s British SF, complete with evil morris dancers (an abiding object of terror and referenced thrice more that weekend, even in the Cumby thing, to my discomfort, see also any other kids UKSF made in the 70s), archaelogical digs going horribly wrong and scenes that makes one think that Simon Pegg might have seen this episode at least once as a lad - grin (I always think of this story when I watch Hot Fuzz - grin).
It's all glorious fun and games with the Master, monsters, evil villagers and the Brigadier, uttering the immortal line: 'Chap with wings there. Five rounds rapid.' Huzzah!
There was also good old Sgt Benson, rocking the coloured jeans, and getting smacked on the head, a lot, everything going to heck while the Brig was off on a bender (much bemused speculation from the cheap seats here) and when they decide to sacrifice Jo I always think that if they wanted a virgin they'd be better off with poor old Mike Yates (one of the first regulars to be really damaged by hanging out with the Doc, as opposed to the usual episodic cannon fodder). Later, as everyone pairs off for the May dance, Yates turns to the Brig and asks him if he fancies a dance. Hee. I just love it when characters save me the trouble of adding extra-textual flirty subtext.
Btw, the Doctor danced. With Jo. And the universe didn't explode.
Apparently they're saying Mary Had A Little Lamb backwards because actors are a superstitious and cowardly lot. Still, they actually did say the prayer backwards on Number 96 and legend has it the actor died in a car crash shortly afteward, which is the sort of fun fact one can use to taunt silly actors endlessly - evil smirk.
And, spoiler, not blowed up at the end:
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That was fun, and so not getting the tidy done, but hey, it was Doctor Who, and I needed a treat after my Very Long Week. Amazingly, Himself also found Ghirardelli chocolates at the local shop ????!!!). No 16hr flight required. Whoa.
Anyways, last thing on Sunday night was True Blood. Still stupid but I was disposed to watch it after being so amused that evening, staggering in from the weeding/watering (and despite scrubbing my hair and changing clothes I still ended up with a spider on the pillow, though it could have come from indoors, it's sad when the supposedly scary spider webs on Supernatural aren't a jot as impressive as the cobwebs spun by the large spider in the corner of the room I can't reach) to find a very young, very freckled, very fluffy and very ginger young Stephen Moyer in Midsomer Murders. Oh dear. And he says he stays out of the sun to stay in character. Sure you do. So outed as a ginge. Heh.
And that was my weekend, pretty much. Not much typing (the wee pc groaned under the weight of 42 updates), not much housework (easily distracted by shiny things) but it was okay.
Tuesday: Oh, such a long, long day yesterday. I'd meant to pick up some tea on the way home, but all the shops were shut. And, when I could finally get on the bus, I had to stand for two of the three hour journey home, but at least I was crammed up the front where I could hear the bus driver's radio, and he was the bus driver's classic radio station they always listen too, which rendered me cheerfully nostalgic, despite being so tired I was imaging hedges springing up and dancing in the gloaming as we waited an age and an eernity at some traffic lights. So, what do I consider classic bus driver radio? Oh, this:
At least it cheered me up after a very tedious day, having to put up with that annoying person screaming for biscuits or whatever in their stupid Elmo voice (Elmo wants cookies!) while I'm a) trying to untangle the complete hash someone has made of my carefully calibrated code and b) process my shock and sadness over Tony Scott, who had gifted to me some of my favourite films (True Romance, The Hunger). You'll see his work referenced again and again by my clumsy hand, and, well, what a shitty end to someone I respected very, very much (would that screechy Elmo could have taken his place in whatever misery he was suffering, and it sucks that the world doesn't work like that, such a hard lesson).
Still distressing though, as I did admire the man, and even though I wasn't quite so much a fan of his more commercial and well known work (you know of which I speak, though I saw all of them, he was a date night staple, I'll give him that), I was a fan, and his brand always meant a reassuring imprint of quality. Hell, I even watched the early seasons of Numb3rs, just because it was under his brand. The manner of his unfortunate death, naturally, has set off some ripples in dark waters I'd rather stay stilled, but that can't be helped. It does mean that my distress, the keeness of my emotions, are entirely real and organic, and not just fashioned to appease some mob mentality (you know me, never so shallow as to praise someone in death whom I disliked in life).
I thank him for the small part he played in my life, all those bad dates where his films were the only highlight, that dreadful bucking flight to Auckland where I thought his film would be the last thing I saw, and I was oddly okay with that. The sad, lonely nights at home where he kept me company by lighting up the screen with his magic lanterns. Good luck, Mr Scott.
So that sucked. Still, there was a tea, a dodgy Italian wine that left such a metallic aftertaste in my mouth I can still taste it, and Mr Gaiman's episode of Doctor Who, with a confidential cutdown to follow, so I was treated, briefly, to Mr Gaiman reading aloud from the script, and I think I should get more Neil on audio, because I fell asleep and actually slept, which is, for me, almost unheard of.
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Nothing’s on tonight, so you have less of an excuse than normal for not checking out White Collar
* Bonekickers - a BBC drama about a team of archaeologists, set at the fictional Wessex University. It debuted on 8 July 2008 and ran for one series.
Meanwhile, I see from the spoilers that Neal gets involved with another art thief. It's an old refrain, and I've been playing it myself, with the wicked Eve, who comes to town and makes merry mischief. It's actually one fic I'm having fun writing, just because it's one of the few that is more caper than teen soap. Of course, I cannot rebuke White Collar for their lack of originality, when I am so very terribly guilty of same, however, I don't think they'll ever have a scene like this, though we all know, Life on Mars did. I believe they call it a homage in the biz (fic, M rating):
Peter swiped the hotel suite door, pushed it open suddenly and solidly, with his hand near his holster, scanned the room and saw what he saw, and quickly closed the door again.
He looked to Jones and nodded.
"He's here. Stay on the door. I'll handle this."
Peter left the door open a centimetre, just so he could call Jones if he had to. Through the crack, Jones saw scattered pillows, scattered sheets, scattered everything. It must have been some party.
Neal woke groggily to the whirring clicks of a mobile phone hovering over him, snapping away. Peter was standing there, leaning in, lining up his next shot.
Neal tried to make a grab for the phone but came up short, the handcuffs that chained him to the bed posts rattling abruptly.
Peter grinned and took another snap.
"And send," he added, in case Neal had ideas about grabbing the phone and deleting the pictures later.
"I'm thinking of using this one for our Christmas letter, you know, what our boy did this year." Peter proudly showed him the image.
The handcuffs rattled again.
"She really did a number on you," Peter chuckled, slipping the camera away carefully. He picked up a nearby and empty champagne glass rolling on its side and sniffed at it.
"She slipped you a mickey alright. There's a reason why we call her the Poison Apple. She has some form in doping her gentlemen friends and robbing them blind. You're lucky you've got your ankle tag, it's how we found you. You'd have been stuck here all day like this otherwise."
The handcuffs rattled again.
"Promise to behave?"
Neal glared at him, then nodded mutely when he realised glaring wasn't going to get it done.
"I thought you could get out of anything," Peter remarked as he unlocked the cuffs.
"Not when I'm unconcious," Neal grizzled, sitting up and rubbing his wrists. And not when he didn't have anything to help him. He didn't have a stitch on.
She'd used him, doped him, and left him chained to the bed, presumably to get a head start on him. It wasn't often that Neal was made a complete fool of, which was why Peter wanted to commemorate the Kodak moment.
Peter handed Neal a glass of water, which Neal accepted gratefully. Peter didn't envy him the hangover.
"Neal, Neal, Neal," Peter tutted as Neal drank greedily, looking at the sorry state of him.
Neal put the glass aside.
"Go on, you're dying to say it. Get it out of your system so we can move on."
Peter grinned again, shaking his head.
"I told you so."
"Yes, you did, and I made my own choices."
"And look where they got you."
"Peter," Neal complained, grumpy, sore, and not in the mood.
"Okay. Fine. Sorry. Go and have a shower while I order some coffee. Oh, and I picked this up downstairs, just in case."
He tossed Neal a shopping bag. Inside was a suit, tie, new shirt, toothbrush, toiletries.
Peter shrugged. "I read her MO."
Neal looked up again from the bag, grinned, and made to hug Peter.
"No, shower first," Peter insisted, backing away.
Neal retreated and Peter soon heard the shower running. They were on the top floor and Neal was naked. It wasn't impossible, but he didn't think Neal was going to run. He glanced out the hotel window. Pretty sure Neal couldn't run.
He pulled the suite door open again and nodded to Jones.
"Hey. Coffee. Large or small?"
"Large," Jones decided instantly, with feeling.
"Okay. Grab a chair. I'd say we won't be long, but it's Neal." He shrugged.
Jones nodded. He'd already grabbed a paper from outside one of the doors on the floor.
Peter closed the door again. Jones did not envy this part of Peter's job. Being Neal's handler meant being his minder, his fixer, his PA, his valet, and it meant cleaning up his messes. And Neal, with his spoilt brat rock star ways, he did not make it easy for Peter, and he made a lot of messes.
After a while the shower stopped and Neal emerged. Still naked, but dry and well scrubbed. He began to shake out the folded shirt, then on impulse turned to hug Peter.
Peter accepted the hug and then pushed him away.
"Are you mad?" Neal had to ask.
"A little, but you've been so restless late, so I hope this got it out of your system, whatever it was."
"So you're not jealous."
Peter huffed a sigh.
"Of course I am, but I know you have needs." He shrugged. This wasn't the first bed he'd dragged Neal out of, nor would it be the last. He knew wasn't always available and there was Neal, with his movie star looks and the morals of an alley cat, always tempting and tempted. There wasn't much point in making a fuss. Sometimes he was even grateful to have Neal taken off his hands for a bit.
Neal had found the pants and was now putting on the shirt. Peter usually helped him with the buttons but he guessed Peter was just a bit too annoyed for that now. He grabbed at Peter's wrist and checked the time. It was later than he thought. A lot later. His stomach reminded him that he hadn't eaten in quite some time.
"Coffee's coming, then we'll stop off somewhere on the way back to the office." Peter answered Neal's question before he'd even asked.
"You and Jones, huh, as my escort, like the last detail," Neal teased.
"Are you saying you don't need an escort to ensure you get from point A to point B?" Peter shot back, irritated, and Neal retreated.
Now that the novelty had worn off, Peter was looking tired and fed up.
Neal glanced at the closed door, behind which Jones was waiting. Peter had brought Jones with him, he realised.
"You were worried, weren't you?"
"You were in a hotel room you hadn't booked, it was late and you weren't answering your phone. I didn't know what to expect."
Peter's voice cracked, betraying his worst fears, all the terrible images that had tumbled through his head on the way here, the blood splattered walls, the empty room.
Neal pressed forward and kissed him. His lips were cool, the kiss was sweet. It was his apology.
Peter took the tie from Neal's hands and tied it for him, straightening his collar. Apology accepted.
When the coffee arrived, Neal was dressed and respectable, even if the room wasn't.
Jones cast around again at the state of it. Oh, how the other half lived. He glanced towards the pile of empty bottles.
"Did you really fill the spa with champagne?"
Neal just smiled that enigmatic smile of his.
Some things were best left to the imagination.
Btw, I can write more than just dialogue, it's just that the prose bits are plotty, the boys snapping back and forth, that I can lift. More later, if I ever get near a working pc again...