Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Clearing the Decks...

I've been finishing things off recently, clearing the decks for new things and consigning the old to the book cases that used to be kitchen cabinets in the shed, and to big black folders full of dvds.

We limped to the end of The Duchess of Duke Street for one. Slightly disappointingly the second - and final - series tailed off rather than thundering to the finish, with loose ends too conveniently tied up and the emerging storyline of Louisa's relationship with her daughter too quickly settled. It's be interesting to know about the production gossip of the time for this series - was it cancelled with pretty short notice, so that John Hawkesworth needed to cram too much into too little space, perhaps? Lalla Ward as the all singing and dancing daughter is actually much better than I expected (though not a par on the fabulous Gemma Jones or Richard Vernon) but I do find it odd to hear her described as a ravishing beauty, when so far as I can see she has that English Rose quality best summed up as a cross between a horse and a mildly embarrassed bottle of milk. Sort of Gail Tilsley with sex appeal.

I (as opposed to we) also finished the second season of the adult cartoon, Archer. A recommendation from the always reliable Rob, I wasn't sure about this madly OTT tale of a sex mad super spy, his vile, alcoholi cmother and hs collection of psychotic work colleagues, but it grew on me and by the end I was really looking forward to each episode. And is it wrong to find the women in a cartoon a tiny bit sexy?

We (as opposed to I) also finished Endgame (another Rob recommendation), a Canadian mystery show about an agrophobic chess grandmaster. If you've not already seen it, it's probably not worth bothering with since vieweing figures which Channel 5 would be ashamed of led to its cancellation towards the end of season one. Shame, as it was a neat little show, even if the link to chess was too often tangential at best.

Oh and I watched the first couple of episodes of Pathfinders, a seventies drama series about bombers in the war, but it was dully written and acted so I bailed...

A pile of books got read in the last week or so too - best of the set was Ben Aaranovitch's Remembrance of the Daleks, which it turns out I'd never read. Long mentioned as the first (if unofficial) Virgn New Adventure, this book is fabulous, witty and clever - and so has nothing in common with the vast majority of gritty grimefests which most often characterised the NAs.

I also finished off Deadline, sequel to last year's excellent Feed - like Duchess of Duke Street it was very good but ended poorly; George Mann's Paradox Lost, which is easily one of the top few Dr Who NSAs; and read - in draft format - an exciting new project which Obverse might soon be involved with.

And now onto new stuff - Bill Bryson's new book waits plumply by my bed, Upstairs Downstairs sits in the dvd player and I will soon have Pathfinders in Space ordered from Network.

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