Tag Archives: Rupert Graves

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.)

Case Sensitive

They don’t always get things right when dramatising books for television, do they? Especially not the books you’ve actually read. To watch, or not to watch?

I didn’t have time to catch Sophie Hannah’s Point of Rescue under its new title Case Sensitive over the recent Bank Holiday, but we watched at our earliest convenience the other night. That way we also got both parts at the same time.

Sophie writes long books, so I had concerns that two hours minus commercials wouldn’t be long enough. Needn’t have worried. This was perfect. Probably one of the more successfully dramatised crime novels I’ve seen. The plot had obviously been boiled down somewhat, but not so anything vital went missing. And at first I had looked at pictures of the two detectives and thought they didn’t look a bit like they do in my head. But they did act like them.

Sophie Hannah, Point of Rescue

I’ll want to see more of them. The only problem with Charlie and Simon were that they didn’t get to begin at the beginning. This is Sophie’s third novel, and the socially awkward event they are both skirting round happened after the first book (I think) and is referred to in the second story. So we can’t very well go back. Or maybe we can? It would have been so easy to have them fall in love, whereas they are both so prickly and wounded and it’s hard to see them ever getting close again. Darren Boyd played Simon Waterhouse better than I could have imagined possible.

The plot is one I first heard Sophie describe at an event, before the book was published, and it’s as chilling as all her crime plots. I’d be scared to be inside her head, but at the same time she is spot-on with her observations on the lives we lead. Not that I go round murdering all day long, but you know what I mean.

More than one husband with more than one dead wife and daughter, and a general confusion of who is really who, all the while there might be an insane murderer out there. Rupert Graves looked suitably suffering as one of the bereaved husbands.

I hope there will be more. Although I have to admit to having read only the first three books. On the other hand I bought the fourth book twice, which might make up for things.


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.

Made in Dagenham

You have to love Barbara Castle. I have very little idea of whether the real one was anything like Miranda Richardson in Made in Dagenham, but this fiery redhead was great fun, and I hope Harold Wilson was proud of her, outfit from C&A not withstanding.

Miranda Richardson, Sally Hawkins, Geraldine James, Jaime Winstone and Andrea Riseborough in Made In Dagenham

This is a very British film, and it made perfect sense to take our foreign visitors to see it. It’s a film that has – almost – everything you could want. Nice – if not always correct – period pieces, with a mishmash of 1960s styles. Funny in a charmingly old-fashioned sense. A little bit weepy in places, and quite upbeat in its political message. Unfortunately, with hindsight we know that things didn’t turn out as well as we’d hoped, but it’s still heartening to think that it happened.

Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham

After Barbara Castle my favourite was Mrs Hopkins, the plant manager’s wife, who was easily as downtrodden as the machinists at the Ford factory. It takes a Cambridge degree to serve Stilton to visiting business associates.

Rosamund Pike, Rupert Graves and Richard Schiff in Made in Dagenham

That you can make high quality entertainment out of an industrial dispute shouldn’t come as a surprise, but we see so many rubbish films these days that you can’t take anything for granted.

Made in Dagenham is just right for a feelgood trip to the cinema, and it’s on at Cornerhouse now.

God On Trial

Only knowing the Frank Cottrell Boyce of the funny children’s books, the play on BBC2 on Wednesday night was a little different, but equally good. No, actually, equally excellent.

God On Trial was about God being put on trial, in Auschwitz, by a group of prisoners. I have no idea of how true it might be, but it felt quite plausible. We have had a little debate within the witch family, as to whether this really was a drama written for television, or if it was intended for the stage. It would do well on the stage, I’d say. Especially with a bunch of good actors like these.

Frank Cottrell Boyce 1Even if Frank’s name hadn’t been enough to tempt me (but it was), the mention of Jack Shepherd would have done it. If I’d also known Stellan Skarsgård was going to turn up, I’d have been keener still. I was beginning to wonder why they had got Anthony Sher in, if all he was going to do was sit there in silence, but the last 15 minutes proved why they’d asked him. And Dominic Cooper is in everything these days, so there’s no avoiding him, even if I try.

It’s a very sad subject, but an interesting one. Frank either knows an awful lot, or is good at research, because I feel I’ve learnt quite a bit from this play.