Monthly Archives: September 2009


McGee and Ziva

I’m less convinced that I want to work for Gibbs now. There is this issue of him and toilets. Sometimes people need to go, and he will need to learn to let them. Maybe I could teach him some manners?

Ziva and Gibbs

Episode two of NCIS was a series of reunions, with people needing to get things off their chests. You can’t just go back to what used to be, considering what’s happened. And perhaps you can’t anyway?

Ziva and Di Nozzo

Gibbs may have his basement and the lift to conduct conversations in, but Ziva favours the men’s toilet. Hope it smells better than some. Not that I’m saying I have a vast knowledge of these things. Now that the boat’s gone it’s time for Gibbs to offer more in the way of seating comfort, considering he receives visitors all the time, from ‘satnav’ down.

Ziva and Abby

Abby has a more straightforward technique for getting things off her chest, and we love her for her outspokenness. We actually love her for just about everything, and even Ziva seems to know what Abby means.

Director Vance, and McGee and Di Nozzo

Whenever you get an English character, I always expect them to be the baddie. And is it McGee or Di Nozzo that the Director loves?

(Photos © CBS)

So how are Anvil doing?

Now that I’m going gaga and am beginning to reminisce and all that, it’s time to look at Anvil again. I really, really hope they will be going places now. It’s looked promising for them this year, after the film The Story of Anvil. I hadn’t realised that the DVD is already available to buy here in Britain, and it will be hitting the American shops some time next week. Buy it if you missed the film in the cinema. You could even buy it if you didn’t. I saw the film twice and could still see myself owning the DVD.

The ill-fated album, This Is Thirteen, which we saw being recorded in the film is also out, on CD and LP. Anvil have done some gigs in record shops in connection with the album release, and I see on their website news page that they are on television next week. I’m an idiot, but wonder if it’s Canadian television.


They have done some concerts and have more lined up for next year. I wonder if Lips is still doing school meals, or if he’s been able to give up his day job? I feel a little like a mother, hoping they’ll do very well, while not being a metal fan myself. And speaking of family, I gather Lips’ sister has had her money back.

(Photo H Giles)

Compared with the rest

Most of the men who review films got it totally wrong when it came to Mamma Mia. They seemed to think it was OK to ridicule this film, and then I get the impression they needed to turn their coats the other way when it became clear they’d been a little hasty.

I do believe in myself and in my own impressions of films. But at the same time I like to compare my own views to those of someone who reviews for a living. It’s not a good idea to read their reviews before I’ve written mine. I find I tend to see a film about nine days before it’s in the cinemas, and it’s often the same day that the Guardian will have their review.

So what I’ve ended up doing is writing and preferably posting mine, and then I will read what Peter Bradshaw and others thought. For the most part we are in agreement, and with Mamma Mia in mind I’m almost annoyed with myself.

Last Friday I went to see Creation in the afternoon of the day it was released, and I accidentally leafed through the Guardian review section that morning. I caught sight of their review and noticed the three stars before I clamped a hand over it and quickly turned the page. Afterwards I agreed on the number of stars, but interestingly Peter Bradshaw and I liked and disliked different aspects of the film.

Also noticed that I’m coming full circle, as my first film preview was shown on television this week.

Oh G!

So now we know part of Callen’s secret. The rest will no doubt come at a slow dribble. Female viewers will love Callen even more than before, and then we had the scars from when he was shot…

NCIS: Los Angeles is not NCIS. But it’s pretty close. Given time we can love these characters (almost) as much as we do Gibbs and co. Personally I’m partial to Agent Hanna, who is not a woman. I have this slight problem with Hanna as a surname, but I’ll get used to it one day. It beats Sam Hanna’s real name of LL Cool J. I mean, how do you even begin to call him in when dinner’s ready?

NCIS: Los Angeles

Linda Hunt as Hetty was good. Maybe every series needs a grumpy, but heart-of-gold type, individual. It was a little disorientating to find they had changed their ‘office’ from the last airing on NCIS in the spring, but at least the changes deal with the loss of Macy.

I quite like Dominic, too. Readers of books are good. But psychologists with guns in their boots? I don’t think so.

The adventure for the first episode was fairly ordinary, but fine for setting the scene. Not spectacular like Yankee White, but you can’t always have the President of the United States at the beck and call of CBS. (Though just think what Obama could do!) And what a relief it must be for them to film California as California, with no need to pretend we’re in Washington.

(Photos © CBS)


‘There are too many of those already’, says the good doctor or whatever he is supposed to be, to Darwin when he hears he is writing a book. That made me laugh, and I enjoyed Bill Paterson in his small role as the medical ‘expert’. Another bonus appearance in Creation was Benedict Cumberbatch as Darwin’s friend.

Martha West as Darwin’s daughter was excellent, and I had this feeling I’d seen her in something else, but can’t find any evidence of that. The whole plot line regarding Annie West and her early death and its effect on both her father and the rest of the family was touching and well handled.

Emma and Charles Darwin in Creation

Other than that, a film needs more than pretty pictures and settings to be really interesting. Darwin and his book are very much part of current discussion in the world of education, but this doesn’t automatically make the subject either riveting or fun.

I found the moving back and forth in time very confusing. As a technique it’s fine, but it wasn’t done clearly enough, leaving this viewer wondering where we were a lot of the time. There was a distinctly non-vegetarian feel with all those dove carcasses, and Malvern water will have new meaning from now on.

Creation has provided me with some new facts about Charles Darwin, but not enough for enthusiasm.

Truth or Consequences

I’d been informed that I’d be surprised within a minute of season 7 of NCIS starting, and although it was more like a minute and a half, they were right. Except, having been warned about the element of surprise, it was no longer a surprise. More a revelation of something. A pretty good something, all things considered.

This was very much a Di Nozzo centred adventure, which was not as bad as I used to think. This Di Nozzo was both quite DiNozzo-ish and mature all at the same time, which makes for a powerful cocktail. McGee got to be more macho than we usually see him. Abby’s concern over Ziva’s fate proved once and for all that her early antipathy towards her has disappeared. So had Ziva, of course, which was the whole point to this episode.

Di Nozzo, McGee and Gibbs

I sincerely hope Director Vance will not prove to be a bad egg later on, because I’m really warming to this wily fox. He and Gibbs work well together when they work well together. Gibbs needs to learn not to roar too much during job interviews, because I didn’t think all those ladies looking to step into Ziva’s shoes were totally hopeless. But if you can’t accept she may not be back, then you can’t. Say what you will, Gibbs is faithful, except maybe where wives are concerned.

So, we’re not disappointed.

(Photo © CBS)

NCIS: Los Angeles

To watch or not to watch? I had more or less decided I don’t need more television to watch, so by not starting I won’t develop an addiction to NCIS: Los Angeles, the NCIS spin-off when it screens later tonight.

But – there had to be a but in there – curiosity can kill both cats and their witches. And not only is Rocky Carroll going to pop up every now and then, because he is the Director, after all. But now I see that Abby is also going to be appearing in some episodes, and perhaps some of the others. So, all designed to tempt the doubters to watch.

Not sure what I think about the dismissal of Louise Lombard, and replacing her with Linda Hunt. It would seem that viewers (whoever they were?) didn’t warm to Macy, so out she goes. It would be better to try someone for a little longer, and slowly phase them out, rather than do a sudden chop. I felt there was scope for interesting development with Macy. Not saying Linda Hunt won’t be good, it’s just the pandering to fickle audiences I mind. It’s like giving in to your toddler too quickly.

And I see Callan is back, scars and all. They couldn’t kill him off. Yet.

The Ipcress File

What’s on your mind when you think of The Ipcress File? I noticed it was on television again a week or so ago. Didn’t watch, but then I’ve seen it a few times.

What comes to my mind is school. I was too young to have had any interest in the film when it was first in the cinemas. So by the time it became a school subject, the film felt slightly old-fashioned to me, and Michael Caine was positively ancient. Luckily, he’s got younger since then.

The Ipcress File

I suppose you have to admire Swedish schools for taking English seriously. We were given the film script for The Ipcress File, and studied it both in class and took it home to read. It had vocab and all sorts of information. What it didn’t have was an end. That would have ruined the experience for us, I suppose.

After studying it carefully and learning some of the difficult words, we all went off to a cinema in town for the afternoon to watch the film, totally sans subtitles. Two new things there; cinema in the afternoon, and lack of subtitles.

I think what surprised me was that it was actually a very good film. I didn’t think school had it in them to offer anything worthwhile. And Michael Caine was ancient, but still pretty OK.

NCIS – Blowback

When the Resident IT Consultant’s away, the witch and Daughter watch more NCIS still. For some obscure reason we haven’t watched Blowback, season 4, very much. Actually, the obscure reason for me is Director Shepard’s obsession with The Frog, but that aside, it’s a very humorous episode.

There is the discussion over a suspect’s dead body – who they did not intend to die – on all the possible ways they could have had him end up dead, had he not had a heart attack while being followed. Climbing lots of stairs is, as Ducky points out, ‘rigorous for most, but rigor mortis for him’.

Gibbs shows his childish side in pretending to sound like a frog, and we se him and Di Nozzo in the gents’ toilet. Not that all that much seems to happen in there. As Gibbs points out, they need running water.


Ducky goes under cover and finds he quite likes the Director’s foe. And in actual fact, the Frog is quite a nice man for a bad man.

Hate to admit I’m an idiot, but I still don’t get the ending. Not so much what happens, but more what Director Shepard had intended to happen. And there may have been a continuity glitch, or perhaps I just failed to pay attention.

(Photo © CBS)

David McCallum is 76

Whether or not we’re in the grips of swine flu, we’re under the weather. And when I say we, I mean the younger generation. But anyway, we needed to relax and rest and do nothing for a bit. So, David McCallum’s 76th birthday has been spent watching the extras on the NCIS season five DVDs. (I know we seem to be a year behind, but I haven’t made up my mind to buy the R1 DVDs for season six yet. Supposedly, you get better extras – which in itself is unfair – but I don’t want to commit myself to where they can be viewed.)

The mind boggles when it comes to the amount of clothes the actors get through. And I think my wardrobe’s full to bursting! Still want to be able to fit into Abby’s clothes. Well, they don’t have to be hers, just like hers, and could even be a size or two larger.

Pauley Perrette - Abby's neck tattoo

Glad to see Pauley has the ‘wrong’ hair for Abby, and needs it ironed on a daily basis. I’d heard before that her neck tattoo is unpleasant to put on, but I have the perfect solution for her. She wants Abby to have it removed. I say just let Pauley have a real tattoo the shape and size of Abby’s spider web. No need for any more transfers, ever. Problem sorted. Also, am I the only one who feels they look a little different, sometimes?

And can you believe David is 76? He still looks marvellous.