Tag Archives: Bill Paterson

Dirk Gently

While three episodes rarely constitute a series to me, it was nevertheless good to have Dirk Gently back on television after the pilot over a year ago.

I remember thinking when the books first appeared that they couldn’t be as good as Hitchhiker. And they weren’t, quite, but when you’re desperate for more Douglas Adams, as I was, you take what you get. And then I wasn’t sure how they would translate to the screen, but I’d say it works.

I have a soft spot for Darren Boyd, who is very sweet and sometimes surprisingly astute as Dirk Gently’s sidekick. Less keen on Stephen Mangan, but then I suppose someone being a holistic detective needs to be weird.

Dirk Gently and MacDuff

As other reviewers have said, the plots barely make sense. But who wants things that make sense? Some amusing dialogue and some madcap adventure will do. Sneaking out over the rooftops, or having a hole in your floor to trap unwary baddies with, is always satisfying.

It was a pity they killed off Bill Paterson so early on in the second episode, but these things happen. The first episode left the Resident IT Consultant saying that not everything had been solved by the end, but I worked out that it had. It was just that the mysteries were unremarkable, and so were the solutions. As for the third episode, I felt right at home in that cell. I think it’s been in most shows I’ve watched recently.

It’s the chairs I will remember best; Dirk in his chair in an otherwise empty office, and poor MacDuff in his half mutilated chair, which he had to buy himself.

And now I suppose we have to wait some more, for more…

What’s wrong with Daleks?

I don’t get it. It seems Daughter is not alone in moaning about the return of the Daleks. Facebook is moaning, too. But why shouldn’t we have them? They are the bad guys, right? So they need to recur every now and then for the good Doctor to fight.

I know we supposedly got rid of them, but who’d believe a thing like that? This evening’s Daleks were fun, I thought. The army coloured ones offering people tea in my teacups were almost sweet. The colourful ones were, well, colourful. Yes, they were bad. It’s how baddies are.

Bill Paterson in Doctor Who

Loved Bill Paterson’s Bracewell. I was so pleased things went reasonably well for him, despite it looking iffy for a while.

Was a little surprised that Amy’s miniskirt didn’t cause mayhem among the WWII military. Where was their sense of propriety?

Amy and the Doctor

And I never knew a jammy dodger looked like that. It was more like a Singoalla biscuit to me, but what does a foreigner know?


‘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.

When he’s 64

Haven’t done a birthday for weeks, have I? Bill Paterson is 64 today, which means he’s a Gemini. So we probably wouldn’t get on. Too similar.

The Resident IT Consultant took Bill to Edinburgh at the weekend, but only in the shape of the audio book of Tales From the Back Green. It wasn’t Glasgow, but at least it was Scotland. When he returned here – Bill that is, not the Resident IT Consultant – I put him on the top shelf of Daughter’s newly re-arranged Benno CD storage units. Face out, so that while he waits for Daughter’s attention he has a good view of a room ‘in progress’.

Enjoy your cake, Bill!

Trams and seaweed

You want to be careful with your pseudonyms when writing things for the BBC. Bill Paterson found that the story he sent them under an assumed name, was not only accepted by them, but they told him they’d get Bill Paterson to read it. Yes, well.

The National Theatre could almost have put Bill Paterson and Ian Jack in a larger auditorium than the Cottesloe on Wednesday evening. Maybe they thought a platform reading from a book about Glasgow in the 1950s wouldn’t attract too many people. Wrong. The place was heaving, and I seemed to recognise quite a few familiar faces. I’m sure it was Miriam Margolyes sitting three feet away, but I’m too much of a coward to ask “Are you…?”

Tales From the Back Green which Bill wrote to see if he could write, as well as act and all that, sounds like a great little book. Though from last night’s reading I think that most of all I’d like it as an audio book, and if they could get that Bill Paterson to read it, I’d be grateful.

Glasgow in the summer of 1955 sounds nice enough, but three weeks of sunshine is a little bit of a tall tale, surely? Bill loved the trams, and I don’t think that makes him an anorak. Trams are awfully loveable. I’d even go so far as to agree that seaweed is also very interesting. I think the seaweed was connected with Rothesay, where I’ve actually been. Nice place.

I wasn’t taking notes, but I recall snippets about football, the pope playing the pools, and something about biscuits. This feels about right for the city where someone tried to make me put sugar on my corn flakes, the first time I visited.

With my normal flair for things I could have been second in the queue for the book signing, except I hadn’t bought one to be signed, which put a damper on things. The man was practically sitting in the ladies toilet to sign. The Cottesloe is lovely. But small.