As we grow fonder of the Queen and her family by watching The Crown, Netflix’ own ‘Downton,’ I can’t shake the image of the 90-year-old Queen Elizabeth having to feign interest in cheese in Waitrose in her son’s pretend town. I found that somewhat sad even before this blockbuster soap on Netflix, but it’s seeing ‘first hand’ what this woman had to go through, and all so she could be taken to Waitrose seventy years later.
It’s fun, though, and informative, even for someone who used to follow royal news rather more than I do now. They have done well in finding an actress who convinces as the Queen. Claire Foy is sufficiently non-famous for it to work, while Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh is perhaps a little too much Doctor Who. Although, the same could possibly be said about the Duke. I find myself liking him a lot more now.
I noted that the Guardian review used a lovely Christmassy photo, but they failed to see that the woman in the centre was Princess Margaret, and not the main character (who I suspect was the one hidden behind her husband). But that’s good, as I said, since it indicates the series isn’t full of superstars, who might make us forget the Windsors.
Claire Foy manages the posh accent quite well, but the rest of them get by on just sounding English, which I presume is enough for an American audience. Can’t help but feel that the Duke of Windsor came across a bit Alan Bennett.
So far we have only watched a few episodes, going on the principle that it isn’t good for you to scoff all of it in one or two sittings. We’ll string it out for a week, at least, interspersed with our normal television diet.
And unlike the Resident IT Consultant, I have no problem with a programme featuring people who are still alive. It’s what you do with them that matters.
I wonder of the Queen watches? Does she have Netflix?
(Photo © Netflix)
Is Steven Moffat taking us for granted? I found myself watching the Christmas episode of Doctor Who with mounting surprise. ‘Is this it? Whatever happened to the idea of a special something for Christmas?’
The 50th anniversary episode a month earlier was so very, very good that I somehow imagined they knew what they were doing. Perhaps they used up every ounce of great ideas for that, and now there was none left. My loyal in-house Whovian pointed out there were some nice in-jokes. Maybe there were. Maybe the hardcore fans always get more out of an episode than the mere spectator. But even idiot viewers should be given some fun, while the experts chuckle over the cleverness of whatever they’ve come up with.
If I was Peter Capaldi I’d sue for getting such a crap entry to what should be a fantastic new job. If I was Matt Smith I’d sue for getting nowhere near the kind of exit David Tennant had. I was just sitting there willing it to be over. Die and let’s see this new Doctor and then we can all go and watch Downton Abbey.
I’m gladder than ever that I watched the 50th shebang in November. It made me pleased to ‘be part of it.’ (So for the sake of clarity; I had nothing to do with the Christmas failure. Not the 50th either, obviously, but, you know…)
My in-house fan then showed me the Peter Davison half hour programme about the other former Doctors who – supposedly – weren’t part of the 50th show. That was terrific! I could happily watch it again.
Thankfully Doctor Who won’t be back for a while. They will need time to write something we will want to watch.
Posted in Television
Tagged Colin Baker, David Tennant, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Jenna-Louise Coleman, John Barrowman, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, Peter Davison, Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Sylvester McCoy, Tom Baker
Matt Smith looks like Christopher Eccleston all of a sudden, having done a Hermione Granger and cut his hair off. I suppose it can be a disadvantage having to nurse a certain amount of hair for the duration of whatever you’re doing.
It felt as if the BBC went all Harry Potter on us, making so much of the announcement of the 12th Doctor. Not Steve Cole, I’m sorry to say. I’d been hoping…
For a few moments I was disappointed when it turned out that it’s Peter Capaldi who is Who. But it didn’t last long. He’ll do fine. Another Scotsman is an asset, especially an Italian Scotsman, and an ‘older’ man at that.
At first the special BBC1 programme felt rather weak, but it got better as it went along. Peter Davison is always lovely, and the two fans were worryingly young. Nice to see so many companions, many of whom I don’t know at all.
Now we have to wait and see what Peter Capaldi gets to wear. One hopes he will wear something. Kilt perhaps?
(This is what it was like last time.)
Wow! So that’s what it takes to have fully watchable Doctor Who? A ‘real’ writer like Neil Gaiman. Let’s do that again. Please? I enjoyed myself so much I was beginning to regret we are getting close to The End of Matt Smith.
There was a time – admittedly a very long time ago – when I believed all writing for an important medium like television would be good by default. Likewise the efforts of the actors. They are actors, so obviously they do a perfect job. At least if they are famous. (Yeah, I was an idiot.)
Then there is the slight fear that an author can be too famous for his own good, and end up being a not terribly capable writer. But for all his fame, not to mention riches, Neil Gaiman simply does a great job whenever he writes stuff. Yes, you can hate the man and what he stands for if you like. But he can write. And he’s pleasant to talk to. That’s enough for me.
Cybermen! Because I’m not a real proper Doctor Who nerd I hardly ever muse over what is possible and what might happen. Cybermen are too scary not to let them return, so naturally they had to come back at some point. You don’t invent Daleks and Cybermen or those Angels and then ‘kill’ them off, never to be seen again.
Nightmare in Silver was a dream, and I’m struggling to think of anything that wasn’t good. The plot was excellent. The characters and their actors were all fantastic. Not a single one I would have different. Warwick Davies in particular was marvellous, as you could sense the minute he turned up.
Clara made a surprisingly good commander, and her child charges were just right. I’d be happy to have these children in the Tardis again.
It would obviously help if I understood chess, but like Harry Potter I’m happy to leave my fate to the hands of someone Who does.
Do they really have no idea when they’ve written a good episode of Doctor Who, and when they haven’t? Don’t they care? That could be the reason for so many merely tolerable adventures. Because once you hit facebook afterwards, there never seems to be any doubt when it’s been a good one.
Hide was good. And that was good, as I’d begun wondering if it was going to be mediocre all the way now. Perhaps the Clara factor. That’s mean, actually. She is half beginning to grow on me. Even the Tardis is feeling doubtful, so I’m in good company.
(I do wonder how old they thought the ghost hunter was, though. He looked a little young to have been in ‘the war.’)
Here’s hoping we’ll have one or two more good episodes. It would be ‘nice’ to have something to miss when the Doctor leaves/arrives.
Not surprisingly, some were better than others. Although we found ourselves making comparisons between fresh new writing as was the case for older new Doctor Who seasons, as well as for the earlier season of NCIS. Downton Abbey was OK-ish. Apart – obviously – for you-know-what. NCIS: Los Angeles felt more Christmassy than its big brother did.
Although, it was very noticeable that they had decided to throw in a little from many early NCIS seasons and stir well. Except maybe the stirring wasn’t done terribly thoroughly, after all.
I don’t care for the Doctor’s new assistant. She’s spunky, but the chemistry between us is all wrong. And I trust there is now a country full of children who will scream at the mere idea of a snowman.
How could they end Downton Abbey like that? They did, though, didn’t they? Someone here was disappointed it wasn’t a wintry episode, but when you’ve seen one snow scene, you’ve seen them all. And all that Scottish deer-stalking will suit the Americans just fine. Long live Mrs Patmore and her patés!
So, L A was an early NCIS medley with a Christmas twist. But at least once they’d sorted out the drugs on the ship (I just couldn’t get over the L A gang being on a boat in the first place) they went a little Christmassy. To my mind Nell didn’t need fake elf ears. Besides, didn’t she go from very sad to surprisingly chirpy very quickly?
But NCIS, oh, NCIS… What shall we do about you? This was an over sugary episode with too many cute scenes. I almost didn’t mind DiNozzo Sr being back. Again. He was almost more rational than Jr. And the sight of Junior’s bed is now forever etched on my mind. His flat was gorgeous, but was it him?
As for the goldfish… Or the snickerdoodles. Well.
Perhaps get Steven Moffat to write the next episode?
Posted in Television
Tagged Barrett Foa, Brian Dietzen, Chris O'Donnell, Christmas, Cote de Pablo, Dan Stevens, Daniela Ruah, David McCallum, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Eric Christian Olsen, Hugh Bonneville, Linda Hunt, LL Cool J, Maggie Smith, Mark Harmon, Matt Smith, Michael Weatherly, NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, Pauley Perrette, Renée Felice Smith, Sean Murray, Steven Moffat
Goodbye to Amy. I didn’t cry at all, or feel close to doing so. I have been an Amy fan from the start, so am not one of those who are only too pleased to see the last of her.
But not only had we been warned Amy and Rory were going, and in which episode, but I do feel there are only so many adventures the Doctor – any Doctor – can have with an assistant. Any assistant. We were getting close with Amy, and she went before she became an embarrassment.
Also, seeing as Matt Smith’s days are counted, it all seems for the best.
One bonus with Amy was that she brought Rory along. Sometimes it seems tempting to have just the pair of Tardis travellers, but occasionally I feel the more the merrier. Rory’s Dad has been an asset; useful and not easily fazed.
What was bad were the angels. I’m sure DW scriptwriters are responsible for loads of new phobias around the world, and surely being afraid of statues of angels is one of the weirder ones?
As for the vertigo, well. I don’t want to stand on the edge like that again.
And correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought we ended with a long and happy life for the Ponds. Just not the one everyone was expecting. Amy disappeared in front of the Doctor, but she was there to write the last page in River’s book.