Daily Archives: June 7, 2011

The Joy of Sets: Life on Mars

Schedulers can be a bit rubbish over the summer months. They seem to think we’re all going to be dining al fresco every night and in no need of decent telly. Clearly they also live somewhere where that’s possible. Malta perhaps.

So while they phone in their schedules of blandness, we sit upon our sofas listening to the rain driving against the window and wondering whether watching Lord of the Rings for the fourth time will kill the magic.

What you need gentle viewer is to get your hands on some good TV that doesn’t seem to merit repeating by the broadcasters. So, let us celebrate the glory that is the DVD boxed set…

First up: Life on Mars – a programme that was immediately rated unmissable here at Hat Towers when it was first aired in 2006.

The first 5 minutes could have come from any modern police procedural if it wasn’t for the fact that our hero DCI Sam Tyler isn’t a rule-breaking, heavy-drinking, chain-smoking maverick. He doesn’t even follow his gut anymore…

It’s a testament to both the writers and to the phenomenal talents of John Simm, that those few minutes in the 21st century provide a perfect miniature portrait of Sam before the shocking sight of him being taken out of shot (and out of this reality) by a speeding car.

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Holby City: Men. What are they like?

(Series 13, Ep.33) Apologies for the lateness of this post, but I’ve been on me holidays, where I discovered I tan about as well as Frieda Petrenko wearing a burkha. Money well spent, I’m sure you’ll agree. So it was home to a Sky+ box literally groaning with accumulated televisual goodness. Hurrah! So much drama, so little time, what with John Stape and Becky Macdonald going even madder than usual on Corrie, and Jim on The Apprentice zapping everyone with his invisible mind-beams.

And, in Holby City, the character we’ve previously enjoyed dubbing Dull Dan locking lips with The Malick. Say what? Who’d have guessed that the burly, rugby-playing, Chrissie-fondling, blokey bone surgeon could turn out to have an eye for the laddies? Well, if you watch the episode back with the benefit of hindsight (which I sort of did, as I already knew the kiss was going to happen), the clues were all there, but it took him feeling extremely cross and getting all violent and strangly to make his sexual feelings come out, which I don’t think bodes particularly well for Chrissie even if he does decide he errs more on the hetero side of life. My advice: run a mile. My second piece of advice: as a doctor, the man needs to be stopped. Every single week he makes bad decisions and mistakes, and he appears to be too arrogant to learn from them.

Away from all the testosterone being sprayed around Keller, a tragic love story was playing itself out on Darwin. Henrik Hanssen is quite clearly completely besotted with Sahira Shah the Registrah. I’ve finally dropped my cherished theory that they’re married, and I now think that he’s just in love with her and she’s not in love with him, and he’s jealous of Irish Dr Greg because of his easy Irish charm and the way he doesn’t actually frighten Sahira. The patient they were looking after was a boy who was having a relationship with his teacher. Hanssen told the teacher he’d be reporting it to her school because it was “an abuse of power.” Was he really talking about his relationship with Sahira? The mystery deepens.

Guy Henry has the most splendid and subtle range of facial expressions. Usually when actors are left, at the end of the scene, to do a facial expression to indicate how they’re feeling, you get something broad-brush like “regretful,” “elated” or “smug.” With Hanssen you get “Regretful with perhaps a tinge of optimism but only under the right circumstances,” with a side order of “Where did I leave my car keys?” It’s quite beautiful to watch.

And Goth Dr Frieda’s father died. Did she wail and cry? Not while we were looking. She finished her shift, because her dad had shown he loved her by working hard to put her through medical school, so she showed she loved him by being the doctor he’d wanted her to be. And she was nice to a little girl who’d been bullied. Bless.

Posted by PLA          (more Holby posts here)

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