I’ve had ravens on the brain of late. I’m pleased that my son has returned to watching Raven on CBBC, because there aren’t many children’s programmes where mothers can legitimately enjoy a man striding about dramatically in black leather spouting nonsense about ‘The Way of the Warrior’. Yes of course it’s overacting to an absurd degree, but somehow James Mackenzie manages to do it without looking like an arse.
The second raven has come about via the welcome return of a new series of Merlin on BBC1 Saturday evenings. Both Harry Potter and Agatha Christie films feature a roll call of Great British Actors that frankly become intrusive and irritating. You can’t escape into a film where you’re star-spotting. But Merlin seems to feature some really good actors (Anthony Head as Uther Pendragon, Richard Wilson as Gaius and the voice of John Hurt as the Great Dragon) without making a fuss about it.
Mackenzie Crook was in episode one, playing a petty thief whose body gets taken over by the spirit of Cornelius Sigan. He is an evil sorcerer whose symbol is a raven. What it is about these birds?
I kept expecting Crook to take his eye out a la Pirates of the Caribbean, but other than that, he plays Evil incarnate blindingly well and facial hair rather suits him. I also like the fact that the main actors in Merlin (Colin Morgan as Merlin, Bradley James as Arthur, Angel Coulby as Guinevere) are young, unknown and rather cute. But best of all, I like a Saturday evening programme that we all watch as a family, clutching cushions en masse to our faces during the scary bits.
Posted by Inkface