Monday, 25 February 2008

Big Finish Doctor Who 105 - The Condemned

If you’ve not listened to the 8th Doctor audio ‘The Girl Who Never Was’ and don’t want to be spoiled, please don’t read on. The events of that story are connected to this one.

Anyway, for those already in the know (or those who just love spoilers!) Charley Pollard joins the 6th Doctor aboard the TARDIS. However the 6th Doctor doesn’t know who she is and Charley tries her best not to tell him. So as the Doctor and ‘Charlotte Smith’ (hmm) get acquainted, they land in a flat, in Manchester, in 2008.

As soon as they step out of the TARDIS, they learn that a man, who they find, was murdered and with The Doctor being The Doctor, he has to investigate! The Doctor and Charley become separated, as Charley is kidnapped and The Doctor is arrested!

Its another decent effort from the guys at Big Finish, Colin Baker’s audios are always worth a listen! Maybe I was expecting a bit more friction between the Doctor and Charley, they were hardly together in this audio! That’s possibly something, which they need to work on in future stories. Despite that, it’s still a cracking story! The chemistry between Colin Baker and Anna Hope is an absolute joy to listen to and I can see Anna Hope’s character as a possible companion! But then again, I want to see the Kandyman make a return, so what do I know!


(and yes, I do realise that the cover is a bit of a giveaway. Hopefully you've not noticed!)

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Lost Series 4 Episode 3 - The Economist

Another solid episode from the guys over at Lost. Sayid is the target of the ‘flasfowards’ as we learn he works for Ben, who has given him a ‘list’ of people to kill. He starts up a relationship with a lovely lady, in order to get near her boss. Unfortunately she twigs, shoots him but he manages to recover and kills her. That’s not how you treat a lady, Sayid! While he’s getting stitched up, we learn that his boss is Ben. I’m not sure if these ‘flash forwards’ will be the final outcome of the characters, I hope not, it’s getting confusing!

Meanwhile back on the island, Sayid gets his place on Frank’s plane after he ‘swapped’ Miles for Charlotte, who has been held by the ever-weird Locke. But he isn’t the only weirdo, new arrival Dan, is battling him for the ‘Hurley madness trophy’, with his increasingly bizarre behaviour.

Desmond is the other person who gets a place on the plane. He asks Frank about whether or not he has any knowledge of his beloved Penny. He doesn’t, so the plot thickens, as the now-rotting corpse of Naomi once said that she (Penny) had sent them. When she was alive, obviously!

No real criticisms to report (shame!), although I get the feeling that Lost is like a soap. It doesn’t seem that there is a set plan for the storylines. More questions are being asked but we have no answers, yet!


Next Week: Desmond nicks the boat and turns into the bloke off ‘Cape Fear’ – scary!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Torchwood Series 2 Episode 6 - Reset

The time has finally arrived, Martha Jones makes her first appearance in Torchwood – and its okay, not brilliant but okay!

‘Jim Robinson’ pops up speaking in a yank accent, (not sure what that’s all about, what’s wrong with his normal (Kiwi) accent?) playing a Doctor who is experimenting with alien lava, which is able to cure a number of diseases. The catch is that all the patients die a horrible death, although somehow I don’t think they know this!

Enter Martha, who now works for UNIT. Ah, those where the days! Jon Pertwee in his velvet jackets, drinking wine and constantly clashing with the Brigadier. While we are on this subject may I just remind RTD and his team of writers that THE UNIT SOILDERS DID NOT WEAR A RED CAP/BERET. It seems with the trailers for series 4 and Jack’s pining for ‘a bloke in a rap cap’, suggests that UNIT have changed.

Anyway back to the episode, where Martha somehow becomes qualified in most areas of healthcare, in just a matter of months. The team eventually find the place where all this stuff has been ‘going down’. Without going into any lewd sex jokes (as if I would!), Martha, goes down ‘undercover’ to investigate.

Eventually the team break in and they find out that a number of aliens have been kept prisoner at the lab and Jim Robinson as been ‘doing things’ to them (I’m no good at not doing a sex gag!). Oh and Martha gets infected with the lava thing, it doesn’t really matter because she’s fine! Owen isn’t, as Jim Robinson shoots him. Did I say don’t read this, if you’ve not seen it? Whoops, never mind!

This episode is slightly better than previous weeks, any more ‘To The Last Man’ and ‘Meat’ would have me writing a very stern letter to ‘Points of View’ to ask why the BBC are wasting money on this rather than let certain BBC executives have that extra car. It’s a mad, mad world! It was a decent story but it stank of ‘political correctness’, I mean that Weevil could have murdered innocent people!


Next Week: Jack bumps into a gay weevil and invites him to his caravan in Newport.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Primeval Series 2 Episode 6

It’s the moment Doctor Who fans were wetting their pants for! Acclaimed Doctor Who writer, Paul Cornell’s episode was aired!

With me being the typically outgoing guy that I am, I have stayed wired to Internet for weeks to read some Doctor Who fans views of Primeval. It isn’t that great. They seem to think it’s a ploy by ITV to steal the BBC’s thunder, which is strange, because I swear that there is almost two months between Primeval ending and Doctor Who starting! The more old school fans seem into it but the rest just label it a ‘pathetic children’s show, with crap special effects.’ Remind me again what Doctor Who was (and still, in many respects, is) like during its original 1963-89 run?

Anyway back to the episode, which I quite liked actually! The plot has started to come into focus, but there are still questions to be answered. It’s like watching an episode of Lost! When a Mammoth run's amok on the motorway, Cutter, Abby and Connor arrive on the scene to help. Meanwhile Stephen isn’t, he’s too busy ‘chatting’ to Helen, who we know is the main conspirator.

Despite wrecking countless cars, Connor manages to lock the beast (that’s the mammoth btw!) in a truck – eh? The team get back to the ARC, where Cutter finds out about Stephen and hits him, after giving him his P45 of course! Cutter and Connor then set up a false alarm on the anomaly detector but someone knows and sends Jenny out to meet the waiting Cutter, Connor and Abby. That someone is Leek, who plays a fine villain, to be fair.

While the remaining team are playing silly beggars in, an obligatory Paul Cornell script location, a church, Leek sets a ‘Future Predator’ on Lester. (who picks up a pre-loaded machine gun from the stocks, again – eh?). With my likeness growing for Lester, it seems he’s going to be a victim of the FP but the mammoth saves him! Hurrah!

The action doesn’t end there, as the team track down Leek, they think they have him but they don’t! Leek then pops up and takes the team prisoner, along with Helen of course and we now know what’s been happening – Leek has been capturing the creatures, which came out of the various anomalies.

Next week, the last episode, is already looking exciting. Will we find out that Helen did change history? Will we find out what happened to Claudia? Will the bloke who plays Stephen, get some acting lessons? And will Abby and Connor finally ‘get it together’ - and buy a lovely coat for Rex? We shall see!


Next Week: If a TARDIS pops up, I will quite literally, freeze!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Ashes To Ashes - Episode 2

Another fine episode from the folks over at A2A! We learn more about Alex, Chris is caught wearing make-up and dancing in a new romantics club and Gene is back to his best, firing snooker balls at men’s ‘naughty nits’!

When the team get a note from an organisation, which are trying to disrupt the wedding of Charles and Diana, by bombing a near-by office, they suspect local publican David Bonds but instead arrest his son, George, who seems to have a fascism fixation.

Meanwhile Alex is getting down and dirty with rich businessman, Danny Moore, the man who is under threat from the bomb. They go clubbing and spot Chris and Shaz in ‘new romantic’ get up. Oh dear!

Meanwhile Alex’s mother (who was killed in 1981) is the solicitor defending George. She comes across as a bit of a bitch and there’s plenty friction between her and Alex. This escalates after Alex refuses her request to spy on her male colleagues.

George eventually owns up to sending the letters but Gene has a hunch – it was David that sent out the letters. So when he’s locked up, the team join in a street party where (after ‘advice’ from Alex, about how the future will contain people who blow themselves up for their beliefs) George blows himself up. Thankfully no one is hurt, which is a shame on that smug Danny’s part!

The episode flows very well, the chemistry between Gene and Alex is bubbling, Ray is starting to get more likable and Chris’ make up was very good! Anyone judging the show against Life On Mars should get some perspective – it’s a totally different show! Looking forward to next week, as the team attend a fancy dress party!


Next Week: The clown that keeps following Alex around is actually Adam Ant, while on a (ahem) 'bender'!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Torchwood Series 2 Episode 5 - Adam

I’m racking my brains to try to find an insult for this episode but I can’t – it was marvellous! That’s right, I loved it! Even though I wanted to smash Adam’s face in, I thought it was a thoroughly, well written and acted episode.

A bloke called ‘Adam’ (the ‘ginger infiltrator’) gets into Torchwood and modifies the memories of the team to make them think he’s been there for a year. He even ‘memory rape’s’ Tosh (can I use that term? Oh sod it, I just did!) We see Jack’s past, growing up on what looked like Blackpool beach but without the blood, guts and sewage. We learn ‘Gray’ (or Grey?) is Jack’s younger brother and was ‘lost’ when Jack’s homeland was attacked by an ‘unidentified aliens’.

Gwen forgets all about Rhys and nearly destroys the whole show by almost shooting him. You can’t afford to get rid of your best actors, love! Owen is a likeable geek, who is deeply in love with Tosh, who has turned into a confident er woman. Thankfully, she is put in her place later, like all women should be!*

Ianto thinks he’s murderer and to be fair it suits him more than the ‘comic’ role he’s been playing this series. Eventfully Jack susses the ginger infiltrator and before you know it, everyone’s ‘doing pills’ (well its Retcon but….) and Adam is fading away, much like the ‘career’ of Britney Spears.

Top episode, I’m not giving it full marks, because I have faith that there’ll be an episode of ‘End of Days’ portions!


* If this will get no ladies writing in, nothing will!

Next Week: I forget that I’ve seen the next episode – Reset and watch it again on BBC Two. Then I write another review and label it as ‘more shite than the contents of Pires Morgan’s mouth’. Or Bob the Builder, the bastard!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Primeval Series 2 Episode 5

What an episode of Primeval! Everything was just right, no OTT childish moments, maybe a little rip off of ‘Tremors’ but everything else was fine!

After a girl chases her dog through a newly-opened anomaly, Oliver Leek infects Connor’s anomaly detector with ‘spyware’, which gives the team false readings while Oliver gets the correct information on when an anomaly opens.

Oliver sends his mercenaries into the anomaly, including the ‘cleaner bloke’. Why, I don’t know, maybe to catch one of the creatures? Once into the anomaly, they ignore the stranded girl and then get gobbled up by some ‘underground pincers’, which we learn later are part of some terrifying giant scorpion-things!

Meanwhile, as Cutter and the team search for the anomaly (Connor had rebooted the detector) they find, wait for it, THE DOG! So as Jenny, complete with a new dress, is left holding the dog, Cutter and Stephen head into the anomaly.

It’s from this point the episode starts to gather pace, the CGI is looking the best it’s done in Primeval and it really adds to the already gathering plot. Cutter and Stephen spot the ‘chav girl’ and just escape from the clutches of the giant scorpion-things. However, as they make their way back to the anomaly it disappears!

Back at the ARC, the rest think Cutter and Stephen are trapped in the past for the foreseeable future, so Connor and Abby are put in charge. Oh dear! Connor has Abby on the mind and with this, he dumps Caroline by text. WHOOPS! The newly-crowned ‘Psycho Bitch of The Week’ then goes round the flat and attacks Rex with a tennis racket. With the little mite’s life hanging in the balance, lets hope he’s okay – he’s by far the best actor in Primeval!

Meanwhile Cutter, Stephen and chav girl meet the ‘cleaner’ who takes water and equipment off them and is all set to murder them on the spot, when the giant scorpion-things come up and kill him. Instead of a mercy killing, Cutter lets the giant scorpion-things kill him but our ‘cleaner’ is keeping his mouth shut about who had employed him.

As they head to a newly-opened anomaly more giant scorpion-things pop up, but our heroes escape – into what looks like a prehistoric forest and a ‘caveman’ isn’t too far away! But of course, they are in the present day and in the theme park from episode 3! Chav girl is returned to her Dad and all looks well, but Helen is lurking and Stephen seems to be her prey!

Can’t wait for next week’s episode, with it being written by acclaimed Doctor Who writer, Paul Cornell, it should be very interesting!


Next Week: Primeval will finally do an episode that I hate but I will still give it a 7!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Lost Series 4 Episode 2 - Confirmed Dead

How much did I love that episode of Lost? Ok, not that much but I still thought it was great! We last left Jack and Kate in the company of Daniel Faraday, who is part of Naomi’s team. Dan has landed on the island along with 3 other people but what are they there for? It certainly isn’t the survivors!

As Jack, Kate and Dan search for members of his team, we find out more about each member. Miles is a somewhat weird person! He can ‘talk to ghosts’ and his main job was ripping off old woman. Later he ‘confirmed’ that Naomi was killed by Locke.

We next meet Charlotte, an English anthropologist, who we meet in Tunisia. While there she excuvautes some polar bear remains (that’s right, in Northen Arfica!) along with the now infamous DHARMA logo we see plastered all over the island.

We next meet pilot Frank, who was supposed to fly the plane which crashed on the island. He is the heilcopter pilot who landed the team on the island. During the flashback, he cliams that the pilot, who was found in remains of ‘the plane’, was not the one that actually flew it, we now already know it had crashed on the island.

Finally Namoi is seen speaking to the man who had visted Hurley in episode one. The man’s name is ‘Matthew Abaddon’, who had recrtued the team. He tells her to ‘complete the misson’. Things are starting to make sense, or are they?

Meanwhile back on the island, Locke is getting werider. He tells everyone that a grown up Walt told him about Namoi. Ben somehow manages to shoot Charlotte, but thankfully she’s wearing a bulletproof vest! We then learn the real reason the team are on the island – they are after Ben, but why?

I can’t wait for next week’s episode, although there’s been no explaination about ‘the smoke monster’!


Next Week: Hurley does us all a favour and covers Locke with honey and eats him alive!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Ashes To Ashes - Episode 1

Gene Hunt is back in the sequel to ‘Life on Mars’, named after another David Bowie hit – 1981’s ‘Ashes To Ashes’. Joining him in London, are Chris, Ray and new WPC Sharon ‘Shazza’ Granger.

But the action starts in 2008, as DCI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes) chases a mad gunman, after he snatches her daughter. Thankfully the little brat is unarmed, but as she is took safely away, Alex gets into her car and who’s waiting in the back? None other than the gunman.

So the mysterious gunman makes Alex drive to a warehouse and he seems to be somehow involved in Alex’s parents’ death in 1981. Before we find out anymore, he shoots Alex in the head!

What follows next, is just 45ish minutes of TV joy! Alex wakes up in a ‘floating’ brothel (as you do!), dressed in skimpily-clad 80’s gear (hey I wasn’t complaining!). After ‘escaping’ from the said brothel, she is taken confronted by a rich-city ponce. Then a screech and a flash of red later and an Audi Quarto zooms into view. Yep, it’s Gene!

The story starts to kick in and it’s clear that Alex is much different than Sam. She’s a psychological profiler, something which Gene finds it’s something to take the mickey out of. He’s right, of course!

Some of the more sinister moments, are Alex’s ‘visions’. A terrifying-looking clown, who speaks in her daughter’s voice, is after her. Zippy (complete with a police hat and trunction!) and George, of Rainbow fame, turn up. I was grinning from ear to ear at this point!

The fun wasn’t over, as the ponce who confronted Alex is apparently involved in a drug ring with the bloke who shot Alex in 2008. Gene is now drinking in wine bars, has a computer in his office (‘I’ve got Pong!’) his wife has left him and Sam ‘seems’ to have died. Okay, not all fun then!

So as the net closed in. The ‘drug lords’ kidnap Shazza and then a Miami Vice-style shootout follows. It’s a bit OTT, especially Gene, Chris and Ray, in a speedboat, but it was the 80’s and it was London! The criminals (as always) are rounded up. Alex thinks she’s done enough to go back home after arresting the man responsible for her parent’s death but she’s not! Chris provides the ‘biggest cheer of the episode’ for me, by shooting the ‘city ponce’ in the foot, with the line – ‘I’m not nervous, just cautious!’

I’ve got not a lot to complain about! The story is well written, direction is as good as it was in Life On Mars and Chris and Ray do their usual fantastic supporting act! Keeley Hawes was better than I expected and Gene was just Gene! The series can only get better and I believe it will turn out to be as good as Life On Mars.


Next Week: Gene gets drunk with Zippy and George, in the poncy wine bar and they go round to Bungle’s and set fire to his bed.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Torchwood Series 2 Episode 4 - Meat

After I ‘panned’ last week’s episode, surely this week’s couldn’t be any worse? No it wasn’t, but I was tempted!

I almost dismissed the story before it started. The episode was called ‘Meat’ and it was about ‘Alien Meat’! Ok I watched it and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would have been.

Gwen’s boyfriend Rhys, works for a Haulage firm and when one of their drivers dies in a car crash, he’s called down to talk to the police, then Torchwood turn up.

The meat (in the back of the truck) wasn’t from a recognised animal, but it had an (forged) authentication stamp. So while the team are pissing about, eating pizza, Rhys does some proper detective work and visits the location the deceased driver had been to.

Ran by a few rapscallions, who looked about as viscous as slug smoking Caribbean woodbines, the warehouse held an alien creature that can only be described as a ‘big blob thing’! Seriously, the term ‘cash cow’ doesn’t come into it! So anyway, Rhys confronts Gwen and he’s taken to Torchwood and a few camp mannerisms later, he drives the team to the warehouse.

Once inside, they (eventually) get the better of the men, Rhys gets shot and they all get upset because the ‘big blob thing’ dies. Its hardly got the feeling of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, but this is Torchwood, so it’ll do!

Without the bigger role of Rhys (and to some extent, the ever improving Ianto), this episode would have been terrible. Now that Gwen has refused to give him any Retcon (which makes you forget, just like a few cans of ‘good shit’!), he now knows all about Torchwood and aliens. Which is pretty confusing, considering London has been invaded by aliens in the last few years of Doctor Who.


Next Week: Jack gets locked in a toilet in a Cardiff library. You can imagine what happens next…

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Primeval Series 2 Episode 4

After yet another big improvement for Primeval, I’m wondering what state the series will be by the time we reach the end!

Before any of my readers (?) think that, because of my ‘panning’ of Torchwood last week, my reaction was to ‘big up’ Primeval, well you couldn’t be more wrong! Primeval has ticked all the right boxes for me. It does what it ‘says on the tin’ and that is to entertain families on a Saturday night. Throw in a few monsters, anomalies and suspect CGI - you’ve got Primeval! Torchwood (which as a far bigger profile and budget) has been largely inconsistent, story-wise and I don’t think that will ever change.

Back to the episode, where we are dealing with the ‘future evolution of the shark.’ Its big, its scary, its got sharp teeth, hey its Amy Winehouse! So ‘Amy the shark’, apparently ‘snatches’ a lad. No body is found and the team believe him to be dead. Its only when Abby is snatched, that the story starts to get into its stride.

Earlier, Abby and Connor had a few arguments because of the constant hanging around of his ‘girlfriend’ Caroline. In fact she does more ‘hanging around’ than the occupants of Chester Zoo! So when Abby is snatched, presumed dead, he’s obviously upset. Meanwhile Cutter is ‘sacked’ by Lester, earlier Cutter chased and was eventually punched by the mysterious ‘cleaner’ from episode 1, who keeps popping up everywhere. We would learn more about him later.

Cutter enlists the help of Connor as they try to find Abby, thanks to a tip off from Jenny. Low and behold, they find the boy (what a surprise!) but where is Abby? As Connor searches for her, Cutter is attacked by a ‘big sea creature-monster thing’. So Cutter attacks it with a metal pole (?), then Stephen pops up from nowhere to shoot the ‘big sea creature-monster thing’, down!

Meanwhile, Abby is dragged through the anomaly and on the edge of a cliff. Connor does the brave thing and tells her and he loves her, but then his bravery runs out as he tries to help her! Thankfully, Cutter isn’t far away to help, as he and Stephen shoot down more ‘big sea creature-monster things’.

Its better if you watch it, to be honest!

At the end, the creepy Oliver, who we already know is paying Caroline to get near Connor, is on the phone to the mysterious ‘cleaner’ chap. It turns out he’s been watching Cutter. But that’s not the end of the ‘surprises’, as we learn that Helen is the back of Oliver’s car and it seems she’s been dictating orders to Oliver? It also seems that James Lester doesn’t know about Oliver’s double-life, so what is he up to and why?


Next Week: Connor is involved in a 4-in-a-bed sex scandal, with Abby, Caroline and Rex. Helen does the filming.

NEWS JUST IN: Primeval has been commissioned for a third series, which will go into production next month. Its fantastic news and well done to all. Lets hope ITV produce more Sc-Fi shows instead of the ‘talent’ contest crap, we normally see!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Lost Series 4 Episode 1 - The Beginning of the End

I don’t know what to make of the Lost series 4 opener! A Lost series opener always has an explosive start, but this was lacking the fireworks. Not that it’s a bad start, it just very pedestrian.

Hurley was the subject of the ‘flash-forwards’, as he got himself locked up in a mental hospital (again!), after he ‘saw something’ in a shop. We learn later that it was Charlie, or at least his ghost or whatever it was!

With just one British character remaining (that’s Desmond, but technically Sayid counts, as Naveen Andrews is British!), because Naomi finally died (!), I feel a bit ‘lost’ myself!

However, I console myself in the brilliance of ‘snide acting’ from Ben, that bloke is wasted in Lost! Hurley is as loveable as ever and is it me or is Jack starting to turn a wee bit bad? Kate is looking as dirty as ever (wink), Claire is still my fave! Watch this space for more ‘Lost Bird Watching’!

Naomi’s ‘people’ finally track down the signal and meet Jack and Kate but who on earth are they? Meanwhile back to the future, where Hurley is stalked by a strange man asking whether or not ‘they’re alive’? I guess we’ll find out in the far future.

Overall, it wasn’t too bad for an opener, it certainly posed more questions than it answered. Lets hope the series can keep up the level of consistency it shown during series 3.


Next Week: Hurley bumps into a blue police box and breaks it. He throws the evidence into the sea but it comes back fully formed and our hero has another ‘episode’!