Despite the inherent cheesiness, I stuck with Tonight’s the Night to the bitter end and quite enjoyed the Guy Named Tim’s star appearance as alien menace Sao Til in the TARDIS with Captain Jack and a bemused David Tennant.
I’m going to review Ashes to Ashes in the best TV of 2008-9, so obviously I liked it. You’ll have to wait until then though.
What a mistake it was to watch Kröd Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire on iPlayer. That’s one hour of my life that I’ll never get back. I can’t list all the ways in which it was wrong. The attempt was clearly something between Robin Hood and The 10th Kingdom (or something) but completely charmless, with jokes that fell flat, and was frankly insulting to pagans and women. What a snooze.
Secrets of Egypt: The Screaming Mummy was too long, really, but interesting enough for a documentary. There’s still no concrete answer on the odd embalming process for this mummy and whether he might be a princeling or why he appears to be screaming.
Armando Ianucci’s Paradise Lost was fabulous, and so much so I wrote a review of it over yonder.
Robin Hood has thoroughly disappointed me, but more on that later.
Casualty 1909 is a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure what I was expecting—to be honest, I don’t watch medical dramas or comedies—Casualty is as unfamiliar to me as Grey’s Anatomy or ER (though I admit I used to watch Scrubs). The first episode of this, the second series, took awhile to get started. I was thrown a bit into the deep end, even though they took pains to introduce us to the cocaine-addled, arrogant surgeon; the erudite older surgeon (David Troughton, playing a slight variation on the character he played in “Midnight”); the passionate nurse played by hottie Charity Wakefield, though her name is Ethel, who is in an illicit if unspoken relationship with one of the doctors; frosty but fair Matron; Sarah the moral and compassionate nurse, etc. The historical/educational angle is a bit heavy-handed at times, but it’s amazing how it sucks you in, and the writers are clearly professionals . . . their grasp on the history is both broad and deep, and once the characters were allowed to develop in the second episode, they came alive. I have high hopes for this now that Robin Hood is over.
I was randomly being bored on iPlayer and came upon Horrible Histories. I did have one of the books when I was a kid, Rotten Romans, and was delighted to see that in episode 10 the sponge-on-a-stick method of toilet wiping was explored as I remembered it well from that book. Yes, the gore and potty humor factor is high, but I marvel at how the writers (and actors) manage to not only tread on the fine line between kid-acceptable and disgusting and/or too violent, they dance around it! I love that it’s basically a grown-up sketch show in all but some content, with the sophistication, humor, and acting commitment that you might expect from The Sarah Jane Adventures. I love the musical sections that have managed to sneak into the two episodes I’ve seen (Queen Victoria being annoyed that tea is not British!) and the versions of Ready, Steady, Feast (OMG at the section during the Siege of Orléans!). Hilarious and what I didn’t already know about history, I’m learning! It’s also hosted by a rat (puppet). Yes, both this and Casualty 1909 will be contenders for top 10 TV of 2009-10.
The Pre-Raphaelites was a bit of a snooze, really.
Top 10 TV series/specials of 2008-9 coming soon!