Category Archives: Television

Bye to the Saint, Ivanhoe and 007

Roger Moore died earlier today. He’s not someone I have thought very much about in recent years, but when I was a child and teenager he was right up there with the best.

Most people refer to him as James Bond, but his 007 days were almost a bit late for me. I’d liked Ivanhoe, and I’d loved The Saint, and sort of enjoyed The Persuaders. But that’s quite a bit of screen entertainment from one man, and enough to cover many of my early years.

Roger was a good 007; I think it’s mainly that I was never big on Bond.

But almost nine years ago when Roger appeared in Cheltenham, there was no question but we had to go to his event. He’d just turned 80 at the time, and had a book out, I believe, which is why he appeared at a book festival.

He showed his age, which I suppose is unavoidable, but his acting skills carried him through. The one thing that surprised me was his dislike of Hjördis Niven. Well, no. More that he didn’t mind airing it publicly.

Roger Moore

Goodbye to this handsome man who gave us so many screen adventures!

Who knows?

Doctor Who

He’s looking like a Rolling Stone in those sunglasses. In general I feel Doctor Who is looking cooler than before, or is that just me? He feels more with it, as well. So I’m already mourning the Peter Capaldi Doctor, long before he goes.

Bill is one of the most perfect assistants I’ve seen. Have they been listening to us, or was it merely a stroke of luck? But then, it’s one thing to match a new assistant to an existing Doctor. And another to make her work well with the next Doctor.

Not sure about Nardole, although he is starting to make more sense. First he was a bit fun, and then that fun got irritating. Now, though, I am guessing there is a point to him. Not even Missy was too annoying in the latest episode, and that’s saying a lot.

So far I’ve liked all the episodes. They’ve been the right amount of exciting and not too scary, because, as someone pointed out again recently, this is a programme for children. The fact that old people enjoy the Doctor is a bonus.

Keep this up!

NCIS/NCIS: Los Angeles – Uncaged, Something Blue, Unleashed, Rendezvous

So. I’ve not written much here about either of the NCISs. The last bit of attention they got was when they both had a seriously good episode back in the winter. Since then I’ve restrained myself from moaning about the state of things.

And when both NCIS and LA managed to offer up pretty strong 23rd episodes I didn’t know what to expect of the season finales. What we got was weak; clichéd as far as LA was concerned, and slightly lowkey for NCIS, apart from the last five minutes. Perhaps it sensed me wondering whether they were about to leave us for the summer with nothing more than an ‘ordinary’ episode.

Seems we are to worry about the father-to-be for the next four months. The man who fainted last week, is now risking his life in South America. Oh well, I suppose Delilah can hold off giving birth until September, if that’s what it takes. Or are we to have more team sacrifices?

I didn’t like seeing Mrs Hanna taken hostage last week, but when I worked out where we were heading, there was no avoiding the admiration that they dared, yet again. Although, we are back to my old complaint that it’s the women who go and the men who stay.

And then we had Sam Hanna ‘going rogue,’ which is something we have come to depend on too much. Macho is all very well, but some common sense would be refreshing. DiNozzo was able to hold back when they cornered Trent Kort a year ago. There is more to life than revenge. I’d have liked to see Sam act differently. If they’d let him, there could have been a final episode with feeling instead of what we got.

All in all, LA was better this year than NCIS. The latter offered two good episodes out of 24. The biggest disappointment with LA was the end, plus the fact that so much of the action hinged on individual team members lives. What about the general public, or plain unbiased crooks?

A year ago a fellow LA fan voiced her concern that the show wouldn’t be renewed. That risk looks greater now, because they tied things up fairly neatly. No cliffhangers. Granger is gone and Hetty is feeling her age. And we have two couples in the small team.

As for NCIS, I don’t see how they can survive without Gibbs, but he could do with retiring along with Hetty. The way we left our heroes this week, Gibbs could be killed. But that would be the end of NCIS. I’d rather have left off after episode 23, when we had a ship-based crime, plenty of humour and a happy ending.

NCIS

Keep following Follow the Money

Yeah, I know. There is another week to go for season two of Follow the Money. But, phew, there is a lot happening, isn’t there?

Bedrag/Follow the Money

I’d have thought that the time scale of things is fairly tight, in which case Kristina’s pregnancy is moving faster than all those crooks. But maybe not. It could be that they are chasing after The Bank for absolutely ever. Poor Mads, and poor Alf for that matter. They are a bit naïve at times, while astute on other occasions.

Now though…

For the first time it seemed that Claudia suddenly got scared, instead of merely turning her coat and sailing in the prevailing wind. I can’t decide if I think she’s good or bad.

And it’s so hard to accept that both Christensen and the Swede are bad guys, when previously they have played sympathetic characters. (In US drama, the baddie is ‘always’ British, and here it appears they get a Swede in to do the deed.) Poor Nicky who’s looking for a father figure. He’s so capable, and he should be doing something good with himself. As for Bimse, he’s so forgiving and has his friend’s back, no matter what.

Bedrag/Follow the Money

Amanda is a good type. Unusually likeable for a banker with an addiction. But bad Jens Kristian for hiding the fact that he is married. Until that point I liked him (no, not like that). And poor, poor Hans Peter… We didn’t see that coming, but then Søren Malling has had bad luck in the past.

We’ll have to be patient until the last two episodes, especially as we’ll miss them and need to wait even longer than a week. I wonder if anyone will still be standing at that point?

Dame Vera Lynn: Happy 100th Birthday!

Dame Vera Lynn: Happy 100th Birthday!

It was the old soldiers who made the programme. No matter how much fun it is to hear famous people say lovely things about our Vera Lynn on the occasion of her 100th birthday (Wow!), it was the men who fought in WWII, and who are still with us, like Vera, who started the waterworks, both on me and on themselves.

Hearing Vera discuss the past with her daughter was almost like hearing any mother and daughter pair hark back in time. And that’s good in itself, as it proves how normal she still manages to be. Dame and the forces’ sweetheart she may be, but deep down Vera Lynn comes across like that aunt from east London I never had.

The music specialists had much nice to say, as did those famous people dug up to talk. Odd in a way to have Paul McCartney sit there as though he personally remembered listening to Vera on the radio during the war. Maybe he did.

But as I said, the old soldiers, reminiscing about hearing Vera live somewhere in Burma, or on the radio, and crying at the memories; that’s what made this programme. Telling their own stories, and singing along to We’ll Meet Again, before finally wishing their star a happy 100th. There’s not many of them left.

(Photo © BBC)

NCIS – Keep Going

Wow. They really can do it if they try. Was this week’s NCIS a happy accident, or have they been listening? Or, perish the thought, had they kept a little something extra good up their sleeves in case the world needed cheering up?

I’ve been watching some old episodes this week, so feel quite confident in stating that Keep Going would have fitted in well in almost any of the older seasons. The middle ones. Some of the flashbacks coincidentally were from the episodes I watched. Weird.

Gibbs, Torres, Palmer and Ryan

So, first they actually wrote a good script. Then they directed it extremely well. They let Palmer be the main character, with Torres the only newbie there for him. And there was admirably little to be seen of Quinn. Gibbs behaved just as you’d expect him to, which means that he was back to old, normal Gibbs. The kind of Gibbs you don’t think about, because he just is.

Abby was given more time than of late, which is what we want. There was more life to McGee, and Ducky was Duckier than ever. Bishop was OK, and did I mention that Quinn didn’t get enough of an opportunity to annoy?

The vertigo was more than real. I almost fell off my armchair watching the street down below. Palmer was scared and not abnormally brave standing on that ledge, working hard to persuade the suicidal young man not to jump. He gave so much of himself. The flashbacks were clever, in that we both got to see snippets from the good old days of NCIS, but they also fitted in with the story, which isn’t always the case.

So it was feelgood on two fronts; story with wow factor, and revisiting the past. You could tell the end was coming, but it was no worse for being obvious.

(Photo © CBS)

So long, Granger

I’d like to think that Miguel Ferrer, who died yesterday, told NCIS: Los Angeles scriptwriters to stick a knife in him. If you know you’re ill and if you are still working, it’s such an obvious thing to do, killing your character in style.

I’m obviously speculating here, which is something I don’t approve of. We’re in a cliffhanger, waiting to see what will happen in LA, but Deputy Director Granger has clearly been unwell, and now he’s not just been arrested but stabbed. As Daughter pointed out, they already have him unconscious in a hospital bed.

Granger

Owen Granger was that kind of character I’ve come to realise I like. By that I mean they turn up and act bad and you hate them and want them gone, and then ever so slowly, they inch their way into the show they’re on and gain respect, and love. (Vance was another one we mistrusted deeply.)

And I wonder if he was brought in, in case Hetty was looking for retirement? In which case we have a Dallas situation, like when they retired the Ewings’ mother and then her replacement died and she herself came back, not as old or tired as had been made out.

Thinking about it now, I feel as if Granger has been – mostly – elsewhere for some time. They are talking about him, but he’s not actually there with the rest of the team. Like Daniela Ruah’s pregnancy, maybe this was planned long ago.

So, it remains to be seen what they do about Granger. I’m assuming they will kill him in the next episode. In which case he died with his boots on.

Miguel Ferrer can’t be replaced.

(Photo © CBS)