Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rocketman (2005)

First post in a long time... I just wanted to comment on a little series called Rocketman (UK, 2005). Written by Alison Hume and starring Robson Green, it's the story of a man's quest to build a rocket to send his wife's ashes into space.

British TV is almost exclusively blue collar. It's about families or individuals struggling to make ends meat, keep their families together and survive to fight another day. It's managed to remain local, serialized and grounded for fifty plus years; qualities American TV left in the 90s. Brit TV is also almost invariably about the place where it was made. Community feeds stories. And is often a story's saving grace or dues ex machina. Rocketman is all of those things and more because it's also aspirational. It's about a dream. And it's about letting go.

Robson Green plays George Stevenson a middle-aged widower, engineer extraordinaire, chocolate factory worker and single dad. There were some nice touches for his character. He has trouble reading, which I don't think I've ever seen the male lead protagonist of any story have such a simple problem/disability. It doesn't make him less intelligent, creative or respected ... and he's honest about it. It's kind of awesome. Robson Green gives a wonderful performance.

It was a treat to discover the british Mary Mcdonnel in Janine Wood and Kai Owen aka Rhys (from Torchwood) as another hapless, overweight welshman.

It's a quirky, homespun, family drama that is both heartfelt and engaging. Top shelf writing and directing, with a stellar cast.

Utterly delightful.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


three -- picture lock

Thursday, September 4, 2008

final mix of Mel's video

Here's Mel's Unveiled in its pretty much final form.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spooks: Code 9

CCTV, check. Terrorists, check. Unnecessary concern for bureaucracy, check. Truly great looking people saving the world, check.

Must be Spooks. ... only in this case, we've got truly great looking 20 yr olds who have been fast tracked through spy school following a nuclear attack on London in 2012.

Britain needs new spies, younger spies, hotter spies... or so the tag line tells us. Welcome to Spooks: Code 9.

Not sure we needed a spinoff since this really is the same show. It's like they just wanted the hawt. A group of 20 year olds who live together and occasionally go to clubs before a mission. It's like the Real World meets 24. More violent, more modern and laced with more profanity than its predecessor it's nevertheless competently made and well-written. The world these kids live in is darker, and more dangerous. And who cares if they like to intercut the gang having a laugh with ongoing civil unrest... soul searching hawt with refugee camps and machine guns. I like it.

I've seen the first 3 episodes and it's a lot better than I thought it was going to be.... nothing worth noting in particular. Though seeing a post-apocalyptic world through these young eyes is good material. And watching them trying to overcome their youth and inexperience in a high pressure situation is solid drama... and there's none of that awkward Felicity-esque teen angst. It's the stories, these kids learning to be adults and the desperate times they live in.

Like I said, I like it. Better than Primeval.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Inaugural post.

Welcome to my blog on all things British TV.... mainly though, I'm just gonna talk about Doctor Who.

We start with an old school quote:

"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning and the sea is asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice... somewhere else the tea’s getting cold."

This to me encapsulates everything that is great about the Who universe. It's poetic and full of wonder. Full of adventure and dreams. Chaos and danger. They live side by side in a dazzling array of stars. And we see it all through the eyes of a pretty sorta marvelous traveler who takes the time to remind us that in all this splendor... there's also biscuits and tea. Lovely, simply, sublime.