Kick Ass Women: Stahma Tarr (Defiance)

stahma tarr defianceMy current must-see programme is Defiance (Syfy, currently half way through season 2). It’s proper sci fi, with a wild west kind of atmosphere (there’s even a sheriff). It takes place on a future Earth that’s being shared by humans and a variety of alien species, all of whom are brilliantly imagined and portrayed. It’s also got more than its share of kick ass women, from the witty, super-intelligent Doc Yewll to the feral, mysterious Irisa. But the most kick ass of all is Stahma Tarr (Jaime Murray).

She’s ethereally beautiful, with her long white hair, pale eyes and tall, graceful figure. Her manner is serene and courteous and she’s the mistress of the correct ways to behave befitting a Castithan woman. In company, she’ll lower her eyes deferentially, smile and say something soothing and calming.

And if you cross her, you’ll most probably be dead by sunset.

Stahma kicks some serious ass. Not in a brute force, kung fu kind of way. Her power comes from cool intelligence and ruthlessness.

This week, following a quick basic lesson in Earth-style feminism from Amanda Rosewater, Stahma dropped in on a little meeting of Castithan lady embroiderers. She very delicately floated the idea that perhaps they shouldn’t be content with their accepted role as subservient to the men. If they’d agreed with her and started discussing plans to overthrow the patriarchy, who knows what might have happened? But they didn’t, so Stahma helped them all to a cup of her special tea. The next time we saw them they were all dead. They were just part of a bigger plan to get at a priest who’d threatened Stahma because she’d usurped her husband as head of the family’s businesses. The lady embroiderers were simply a means to an end.

Stahma may be a sister, but she’s definitely doing it for herself.

Sue H

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Waterloo Road: Community hub week

george sonya waterloo road(Series 10, ep.2)  In the parallel universe of Waterloo Road, it’s a perfectly normal idea to throw open the doors of your school to anyone who wants to wander in and make it into a “community hub.” Why not throw in a helpline so that people can ring you and ask for tasks to be performed – cleaning, DIY, whatever. If only somebody at Waterloo Road had absorbed the lessons of the various Mentoring Initiatives or the Apprentice Initiative, they’d have raised a few practical questions, the funding of the free tea and biscuits being the least of them. If Grantly Budgen (RIP) had still been around, he’d have at least had a good grumble about it all, but apart from George Windsor, everybody else was thrilled with the scheme.   Continue reading

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Wentworth Prison: All choked up

franky-lynches-beaWhat is the main lesson that we have learned since episode one of Wentworth? Is it that you should never let Bea Smith loose in a stationery shop when they’re running a promotion on biros? Could it be that anyone who wears leather gloves to work is, by default, a psychopath? Maybe it’s that taking a shower is likely to get you attacked in some brutal way, every single time?

No, the lesson is simple. Never mess with Franky Doyle. People such as Jacs Holt and Simmo learned that the hard way but, now that there’s a ‘dobber’ in the mix (that’s a snitch to those unfamiliar with Aussie lingo), Franky’s rage knows no bounds, and she spent the entirety of the episode trying to flush out the person who has been feeding Joan Ferguson titbits of drug related information.

We of course know that well meaning Liz was manipulated into parting with the information by the cruel Fergy; who in turn used it to carry out Simmo’s dispatch. While Liz’s heart is always in the right place and she was just looking out for the women she has spent so much time with; she made a fatal error in trusting Joan, who wasted little time in taunting Franky that she had an informant in her midst.

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EastEnders: So many secrets…

EastEnders-WK43What has been the most awkward party that you have ever been to? In my yoof (not very many years ago, I may add) I went to a house party, given that I was such a cool kid. Apparently my friend’s parents had not been informed of this impromptu shindig and, when we started pouring ourselves refreshments (lemonade, of course) they came downstairs to investigate in full bondage gear.

Oh how we all laughed. A few years on, I’m not laughing anymore as I have learned just how uncomfortable those leather straps and shackles can be so I have nothing but sympathy for Mr and Mrs (CENSORED) but my point is, no matter how awkward a party you think you have attended, nothing could quite top the sheer cringe factor of the Carter get together in last night’s EastEnders.

Well meaning but sadly clueless Mick decided that the stunning Stacey needed some help in securing a bloke as it’s not like she has other things on her mind at the moment. Thinking that she and Dean are destined to be (again), Mick planned a drinks party upstairs and brought them together, a situation which poor Linda was shoehorned into. I could barely watch as the weasel like Dean plonked himself comfortably beside Linda on the sofa, causing her to understandably recoil in horror.

Stealing looks at her and warning Linda that they have to be careful, Dean really does seem to have deluded himself that Linda was a willing participant in their recent vile encounter. Things couldn’t be further from the truth, and the fact of the matter was that Linda faced the agony of being left alone in a room with her rapist for a prolonged period of time.

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Emmerdale: Ever wish you just didn’t wake up, Jai? (Includes an EXCLUSIVE preview of Kerry’s new story)

20_10_EMMERDALE_14Well Jai Sharma is in a stickier situation than his toffee factory in a heatwave. Last seen taking a leap of faith down his staircase, Jai was brought out of his medically induced coma, on the advice of Dr Rishi last night and thrust straight into a whole lot of stressful matters that made his bumpy fall seem like a full body massage.

There was a queue of eager visitors waiting to see Jai as he came round last night but none of them had a bunch of grapes and a ‘Get Well Soon’ card. The visits went from the fussing and frustrating (Georgia) to the murderously threatening (Cain) to the just plain awkward (Megan).   Continue reading

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Holby City: They call him Dr Smug

raf holby(Series 17, ep. 2 What kind of doctor is Dr Raf Smug? “What kinda doctor are you?” asked Michael Spence. See – he wants to know as well. He’s a magical doctor, according to Fletch, who wanted some of that “Di Lucca magic” for a plastics case. Normally Michael Spence would be your go-to guy for this kind of thing (plastics, not magic), but he was busy elsewhere, and no other plastic surgeon was to be found in the whole of Holbyshire, so it was time for Raf to gather up what was left of his self confidence after Smug/Posh/Barf-gate and snap on those latex-free gloves.   Continue reading

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Casualty webisode: Radio Holby

louise noel casualtyThe latest little offshoot of Holby City is a pair of stand-alone web dramas, featuring Casualty receptionist Noel (Tony Garcia) as he decides to start a hospital radio broadcast. The idea for the episodes came from team researcher Ross Southard, who also wrote the second episode.

In the first of the two, which you can see here, Noel and Louise (Azuka Oforka) blow the dust off the long neglected hospital radio equipment. “I didn’t know we had a hospital radio,” Louise says, but that hospital is just crammed full of disused and secret rooms so she shouldn’t really be surprised. There’s probably a fully functioning funfair hidden in the basement somewhere.

It’s only a few minutes long and is quite fun – and worth a look for yet another touching tribute to dear Jeff.

Part two will be available to view after Saturday’s episode.

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