Tag Archives: Benedict Cumberbatch

The Imitation Game

I was glad to see they still offered screenings of The Imitation Game this week. I’d stopped being too busy and I’d also decided to temporarily pause my Keira Knightley boycott and actually go and see this film about Alan Turing. I was a afraid it’d be as upsetting as the television programme a while back, but it was more uplifting than depressing, despite poor Turing’s fate.

The Imitation Game

There were things about Bletchley and Enigma I hadn’t actually known before, and it was good to see the story in a different light from the last ones. Benedict Cumberbatch was spot on as Alan Turing. Most of the time. They’d done a fine job of getting the aspie aspects of his personality right, except for when they hadn’t.

You don’t have someone as literal as that, and then make them reply to a heavy bit of sarcasm as though they are neurotypical. I also suspect that Benedict is a capable dancer, and I wouldn’t expect Turing to have been. He was reluctant for a reason. And all that hugging!

The Imitation Game

Nice to have both Allen Leech and Matthew Goode in there, but making them mathematical geniuses is stretching credibility somewhat. Even KK made for a likelier mathematician.

The Imitation Game

Alex Lawther was fabulous as the young Turing; giving us a perfect background to understand where he was coming from.

Very touching, and the kind of film I would see again.

(Just don’t get me started on the train rolling stock…)

The Sign of Three

OK, as wedding speeches go, it was very longwinded. If I’d been there for real, I’d have gone out for some fresh air, or something. But watching The Sign of Three on television was reasonably entertaining.

Many fans seem to have been disappointed. I could be wrong, but comparing Benedict Cumberbatch’s modern Sherlock with the ‘original’ is surely a mistake? It’s not meant to be the same product. And Sherlock Holmes is – nearly – always an insufferable man who thinks too highly of himself.

The stag night was fun. I was impressed that Sherlock even knew he had to organise one, and roughly what it had to be about. I’m simple enough to enjoy lines like ‘he’s clueing for looks’ and I’m quite ready for more.

The Sign of Three

Last week I harboured some doubts on the tube incident which I didn’t share. Just as well. There are others who do that kind of thing so much better. I was going to say that scriptwriters never seem to get things like it right. But maybe they get it wrong on purpose? Although that would take a lot of specialist knowledge. I was merely surprised the Resident IT Consultant didn’t interrupt the viewing by pointing out how wrong they were.

So how did he not die, then?

Surprise! Sherlock didn’t actually die!

It was good to see him again, even for those of us who are not John Watson. But I can’t claim to have grasped too much of what happened in last night’s Sherlock. Partly the plot was somewhat weird, and partly I felt that dear Benedict mumbled an awful lot. It wasn’t the volume; it was lack of clarity. I wanted subtitles.

Sherlock - The Empty Hearse

But it was exciting, and reasonably well written by Mycroft. At first we didn’t take to Mary, but she improved as the evening progressed. It’s an odd in-joke to have Benedict’s mother play Sherlock’s mother, but I suppose someone has to. Dr Watson is about to marry his real life partner. Again, weird, but why not?

Looking forward to seeing what they will do with this. (The Americans will remove eight minutes. I really don’t believe there were any spare minutes to remove.)


We needed something to watch with our pizza. The thing about the diminished numbers of the Witch family means we eat in front of the television rather more than we used to.

I’d carried the Big Bang Theory upstairs, so didn’t feel like trekking after it, which left me wondering whether I could put up with an episode of Star Trek, which I did have on the right floor. But I have to admit to having felt less enthusiasm over Star Trek than expected. Our progress can hardly be called that. We’re on about the third or maybe fourth episode. It’s going to be a long journey.

So I trekked up and grabbed Big Bang Theory after all. Which was a good solution in one way. We felt more like it. But we had inadvertently arrived at the episode where the boys are in the middle of nowhere, dressed up as, well, as trekkies…

Big Bang Theory

You can’t win, really.

Whereas we did like the most recent film once we got ourselves over to a cinema (which is now quite a long time ago) before the film was replaced by something a bit newer. I like Benedict Cumberbatch, whatever side he was on. Most of them, it seemed like.

Star Trek Into Darkness

And there was the Spock romance, in both Star Trek Into Darkness, as well as the episode of old Star Trek we watched when we got home. Round and round in circles we go. Hoped we’d at least manage to lose Captain Kirk, but oh no…

Old years, new year

First Dodo and Son (hmm, good company name…) spent hours watching the extra features on Harry Potter, while making witty comments. Then they ruined my childhood. We ate the usual Indian food. Once the forgotten Daughter had been collected from her nerds’ party, we went to bed and then we woke up and ‘went’ to the New Year’s concert in Vienna. Dispatched Dodo and Son, ate again and watched Sherlock.

Spiced rice


Scrambled eggs with tomato sauce

Chickpea salad

I never cease to marvel over the fact that the next generation willingly opt to spend New Year’s Eve with us doddery types, eating the Resident IT Consultant’s Indian cooking. It was good this year. Recently we have had time issues, but he diligently slaved over a hot stove for days (with me trailing behind, wiping, and filling the dishwasher), so we had plenty to eat.

Son had missed the last Harry Potter, so bought a copy of the DVD for Christmas. After which, the extras were enjoyed by all. It’s his childhood, when all is said and done. Also the childhoods of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

That’s what got me started on mine. I was seven when I went to see Five on a Treasure Island in the cinema. I’ve never forgotten it. It started my reading career, and subsequently lead to everything else I’ve done, including coming to England first on holiday, and then to live here. And they had the nerve to laugh at the film!!!

Even the Resident IT Consultant who hardly ever laughs, was bent over in an uncontrolled fashion, red in the face, tears spurting. It wasn’t that funny! Not even the navy vessel The Gay Viking was all that funny. As I said, that was my childhood memories ruined. I could still feel the magic of that beautiful coastline and the lovely English house and the old ruins. Not to mention the ingots (otherwise known as gold bars).

Anyway, I enjoyed it. And as a punishment the amused chef was sent to pick up Daughter, missing the end…

Famous Five on Treasure Island, 1957

We slept and we woke and we breakfasted. Lounged with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Mariss Jansons. Have you noticed how conductors often look very conductor-like? I feel there is a special conductor look. Mariss must have worked slow, since we missed all the lovely credits at the end.

Then Daughter packed her bags, and – illogically – Son and Dodo were driven away by the amused chef. We settled down on the sofa with the leftovers and Sherlock, which was as good as ever. I even remembered how the last episode ended. Most unusual. Very good script by Steven Moffat, and let’s hope the howler highlighted by that darling Sam Wollaston in the Guardian wasn’t his doing.

An exciting weekend was had by all.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

They must have struggled with Benedict Cumberbatch’s hair. It’s not meant to be straight. It was – sort of – but kept waving at the back. Can’t quite get over Gary Oldman’s transformation from Sirius Black to Smiley.

The new Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is like good coffee or dark chocolate. Not that I use either, but I suspect it’s how it must feel if you do. Like this film. It’s pure art. It’s like being inside a good painting. Somehow.

I can’t say I understood all of it, and I can no longer recollect if I ever read this particular novel by John le Carré or not. Suspect not, but the Resident IT Consultant assured me they stayed close to the plot. But it’s not the kind of film you need to understand. You just enjoy. Immerse yourself.

It probably helps that it was directed by a Swede. I’m not sure why, but it appears to be something Swedes are good at. And Tomas Alfredson strikes me as very good indeed.

As usual the authentic 1970s were too authentic, so to speak. But it looked good. And I’m amazed to see they unearthed some blue cups this time. We’ve had the green ones in every single period film or television programme for decades.

Colin Firth

Benedict Cumberbatch


As she realised what the end of Sherlock might be, Daughter groaned. This was the episode she had missed in the summer, when Sherlock was first broadcast. Me, I had missed it all, sitting in the beautiful Swedish countryside, reading people’s comments on facebook and feeling annoyed at being out of the loop.

But had it not been for a plea on facebook a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have known it was on again. Watched the first two, with the Resident IT Consultant perplexed that I hadn’t seen it before. Then set the third to record as I was going out, and came home to find he’d ‘deleted’ the setting. Must have been a curse on number three. Moaned to the recently arrived Son, who said he’d watched it the night before and then deleted it. Gah! So he set about ‘retrieving’ it for me.

I do agree with the facebook friend that the last episode was pretty good. Though the whole thing was so Doctor Who-ish that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s what Whovian scriptwriters do in their spare time. Benedict Cumberbatch stalked around in modern London as though he’s a Tennant/Smith clone. No actually, he was ruder, so not true.

Martin Freeman made a better Doctor Watson than I’d have expected, and Una Stubbs as Mrs Hudson is so suitably weird that I’m only sorry she didn’t see the refrigerated head. I’m certain she would have coped admirably.

As for that ending; one has to assume they will be back with more. Maybe we can even have a Moriarty finale that will then have to be un-picked again.


‘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.

‘You don’t look batty…’

‘Is it close to Midsomer, do you think?’ asked my companion in front of the television on Sunday. It looked a little Midsomerish, where Miss Marple went to investigate a possible murder or three. More like five or six before this lovely village was done.

Murder Is Easy certainly proved to be true. You could just tell who was on the bumping off list. And it was Moaning Myrtle who did it.

It was further away from Midsomer than you’d think. Miss Marple was found not to be even slightly batty by an awfully young ex-policeman from somewhere in the old empire. He can’t have been retired, can he, that delicious looking Benedict Cumberbatch? He proved that beauty does not mean you have to be ill equipped in the brains department. And that sweet young local policeman proved a very worthy companion to Jane Marple.

I’m surprised at how good the script was, having almost given up on ITV. This was positively intelligent. Although sometimes you get exhausted just trying to see the same old actors as the character they are portraying this time, rather than the one(s) you may know them as from somewhere else.

I’ll assume this was the reason my companion slept through the middle of Murder Is Easy. Won’t name him/her.