Monthly Archives: September 2013

NCIS – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

To be continued

As season beginnings go, this was pretty good. They avoided the issue of Gibbs seemingly shooting Fornell by having one of those ‘to be continued’ endings. Oh, well.

Abby, Ducky and Palmer

Almost no one was at their post, as season ten ended with lots of badges being handed in. They were obviously handed back out again after a suitable amount of action, but it was quite sweet to find Ducky at Gibbs’s desk, ordering Abby and Palmer to do their bit. And poor Palmer, who – just like me – is not good with hunger strikes.

Director Morrow

The early fireworks made me wonder just how many actors they were trying to do away with, but we still have some left. Am thinking they will have to kill Ziva now, because with a kill list that long and most of the agents needing to survive, they probably will kill any volunteers. But DiNozzo is showing worrying signs of being smitten. He’s not allowed to be!


Parsons stopped being obnoxious, which is good, as I liked him. But he looks so like McGee, they could do with wearing name badges. Doing ‘the right thing for the wrong reason.’ Even with a farfetched plot, I didn’t quite get why Gibbs went away, or why he wore such strange clothes to ‘blend in.’.


I’m quite looking forward to next week, and not just for the ‘to be continued’ reason. But they need to keep this up. No soppyness. No slacking.


I worried about Kate the goldfish for a moment…

(Photos © CBS)

Down to Downton again

Downton Abbey 4, Lady Mary and Branson and children

Ah well, not much to say about the new Downton Abbey season (it must be the fourth…). It was ‘fun’ enough, if fun is everybody being miserable. Mary does determinedly depressed better than anyone.

It has sort of set the scene, though. And I never thought I’d say Thomas did a good thing. But there you are.

I still want to be Maggie Smith. She gets to be quite normal (in comparison, I mean), as well as outrageous. Here’s to grandmothers!

NCIS for the forgetful

If you’re like me, you forget. Here is what CBS are doing to bring you up to speed on season ten of NCIS, just before you settle down to watch the start of season eleven.

People should do more of this kind of thing. (Maybe they do?)

Vance and Gibbs

Not many sleeps until they’re back…

A very happy 80th birthday to David McCallum!

We’ve had a run of blog posts featuring digits here, so what’s one more among friends?

It’s a very special day today. David McCallum is 80, and who would believe it? He looks as fresh as he has done for years, and as Ducky he certainly doesn’t look anywhere near retirement age. As David he clearly shows he doesn’t do retirement. (If it was me I’d want to rest and do nothing.) Filming can’t always be a bed of roses, but I hope there will be many more years of both David and Ducky on small and big screens.

Thanksgiving at Ducky's © CBS

I’d normally have opted for a picture of David McCallum, but this one of Ducky is suitably festive for a birthday. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to work out anything complicated to do with the numbers of candles on his cake.

Skål & grattis!

Cake at 79

It was a family birthday this weekend. Or rather, it wasn’t. But with the Hungarian Accountant visiting, his sister felt some slightly premature birthday cake for their mother would be in order.

I have never experienced birthday cake with these people before. Would you expect integers (yes, whatever they are) to have much to do with birthday cake? Or any other cake, for that matter?

So people sang. The birthday child blew out the candles like a pro. There were nine candles; seven blue and two pink ones. Before any cake could be cut or eaten, she had to work out what each candle ‘was worth.’ Apparently this is a family tradition.

You should never speak of a lady’s age, but for the purposes of this mathematical candle calculation you need to know she’s 79.

How much for each blue candle, and how much for a pink one?

Oh yeah, it has to be the solution the Hungarian Accountant’s sister thought of. Not just any that works.

Less of the picnics

It’s not often executive producers on television write letters to the fans of their shows to let them know what’s going on. Here is Gary Glasberg explaining what might happen now that Ziva is leaving. (He hadn’t expected it either.)

Gary Glasberg letter

I think the picnics and barbecues that didn’t happen were Gary’s private ones over the summer. At first I thought he was pulling my leg by suggesting NCIS would be a picnic this season. But what must have happened was a lot more thinking and planning and writing to ‘get rid of’ Ziva.

And I can’t say that this letter makes me believe it’s going to be easy. (Whatever happened to people simply resigning and going to work somewhere else?)

On your six, boss!

40 years on

Today it is forty years since the coup in Chile. While it isn’t primarily a ‘cultural’ memory, it was nevertheless important for me and many others. We might not have known all that much about Chilean music before the day Allende and countless others died, but we soon learned.

My Chilean music

What was so lucky in such dreadful times was the fact that many of the big names in Chilean music were abroad on September 11th. That way they survived, and they were well suited to carry on the fight with the help of their songs.

Whether groups like Quilapayún and Inti-Illimani would have toured Sweden had there been no coup I don’t know. But the way things were they came, and we saw them, and we shared in what they had to offer.

Many other people also came. First it was the more public figures. (I remember when Peruvian peasant leader Hugo Blanco came to my small home town, staying with the friends of a friend.)

By Christmas 1973 those friends were hosts to many political leaders, both Chilean and from other parts of Latin America, who had already sought refuge in Chile, and who had been forced to leave yet another country to be safe.

And then there were people like Víctor Jara who died in Santiago. They have not been forgotten.