Tag Archives: Russell T Davies

Sarah Jane, the third season

Sarah Jane has a new hairstyle. I’ll have to think about that, before deciding if it’s good news or not. Good news is that Sarah Jane is back. ‘How back’ is another question. We discovered it was on last week, but on closer inspection it seems to have been the third episode this week, so who knows?

Maybe he does. I have a vague idea that Doctor Who will pop up some time, and sooner rather than later will be fine.

I’d really like it if the BBC could make a little more noise when their children’s programmes are on. I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it again a few times. Unless people read the small print of afternoon television every day, we’ll just miss our programmes. After a look at the website, I think each episode is on about six times in a week, but it’s not totally clear, so I may be wrong. I’m old, so that’s quite likely.

Watching the first two episodes back-to-back yesterday, I decided that Sarah Jane has a lot in common with NCIS. Both are ignored by television reviewers most of the time, although maybe they don’t sneer quite so much at Sarah Jane. That will be because it’s our national treasure, Russell T Davies, who’s involved. And he, like Shane Brennan in California, knows how to write good scripts.

That’s why this adult must watch. I have given up on most other children’s programmes, mainly due to lack of time, but Sarah Jane is a must.

I suppose the hair was OK.

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Torchwood – The End

Can’t possibly do this without spoilers, so please go away if you don’t want them. And come back later, of course.

The slight problem of having exiled myself on the morning after Torchwood episode one, means it took a while to lay hands on the full week of Torchwood, and even longer to watch it. So I don’t know if it makes sense to discuss it here and now?

After the slightly disbelieving gasps over on Facebook as the drama unravelled, and the comments on here soon after, I didn’t know what to think. But now that we’ve seen The End, I feel that not only did I have fewer expectations about anything at all, but also knowing that others were distressed, I wasn’t. I was prepared, and I’m sure that helped. And to be honest, I don’t mind if there is no more Torchwood. It’s been good and I’ve enjoyed it, but I’ll be happy to see more of Russell T Davies’s work elsewhere, and I’m pretty sure John Barrowman will pop up again. He’s the popping up kind.

And Mary Hoffman, thank you for thinking of Daughter. This was no Coraline, however. All the horror was sort of real, rather than spooky. So Daughter is sad that there most likely won’t be more Torchwood, but a David Tennant-less Doctor Who is far worse.

I think the upset was to do with Torchwood being immoral, this time round. Yes, the plot was not exactly nice. But it’s fiction, and it was well written fiction. Yes, it did spell the end for Torchwood and most of the characters, but better end now than get boring.

Am I alone in not being surprised at the idea the Government would behave this immorally? I’m a cynic and a pessimist, and I expect the worst most of the time. And Captain Jack’s behaviour? Hmm. Never nice to find feet of clay, but it was a clever way of making us happier to see the last of him, seeing he can’t be killed off too easily. The presence of the grandson should be an early indication that he had a purpose.

For the rest, I feel most of the characters behaved very morally, sooner or later. The sight of Gwen and all the others running for cover with the children, against all hope, was very encouraging, as was the usefulness of the Welsh hooligans for stealing cars and standing in front of the soldiers. The very type of people the PM felt we’d be better off without.

So, I’m afraid I liked it.

John Barrowman

I’m really very surprised to be sitting here writing about John Barrowman. I have quite liked his Captain Jack, but without becoming a fan. But just as you inherit insanity from your children, a little bit of fascination can rub off when you’re subjected to John Barrowman this and John Barrowman that. Often. I even put his album on the iPod, and I enjoy some of the tracks. (But he’s no Roger Whittaker, I can tell you.) I volunteered to go to his concert in Manchester in the spring, and it was surprisingly good. I’m still trying to make sense of all the female fans over a certain age, who scream when they see him. Why, ladies?

Where was I? Oh yes, John Barrowman in Cheltenham. We almost overdosed on John on Sunday, sitting through both his sessions. The one with Russell T Davies I got out of the way yesterday, so let’s concentrate on the other one here. The one with his sister Carole. They were in Cheltenham to talk about John’s autobiography Anything Goes, which Carole wrote with him.

John and Carole Barrowman

Having just read Anything Goes, it’s quite interesting to see John’s route to Doctor Who. I probably have less patience with the showbiz stuff, because it’s not my scene, but the growing up and living and working in two countries I find fascinating. And it can be fun to look into people’s private lives, up to a point.

With my interest in languages, and having had to change accents myself, I really like the way the Barrowman siblings can switch between Scottish and American. They call themselves bidialectical, which is a good made up word. They had some problems with it on Sunday as they speak Scottish with each other, but American with others. So, what do you speak when you’re on stage talking both to your sibling and to the interviewer and the audience? And then there are the things you can only say in one accent.

There’s the Glaswegian sense of humour, too, which thankfully has not been removed by the American Midwest. Carole and John behave much as brothers and sisters do, with friendly arguing and lots of laughs. It appears there was very little to shock Carole when writing the book and discussing her brother’s life with him, although on occasion they had to stop and say “eugh” in unison, before continuing.

John Barrowman, signing

They related a supposedly true account of the night before Cheltenham, when John seemed to think he was having a heart attack in the early hours of the morning, while Carole assumed the shouts and moans originated from something entirely different, and felt the need to inform John that his walls are too thin. It made for good entertainment when retold, but maybe John should see a doctor? The GP variety.

(Photos by H Giles)

Keith Who?

Nah, I don’t think so. Nice try by Russell T Davies yesterday in Cheltenham, but I don’t think Doctor Who is called Keith. Anyway, how would he know? He didn’t invent Doctor Who. And who borrowed a pair of Cyberman’s legs and lost them?

Russell T Davies

The event with John Barrowman and Russell T Davies was a popular one, which is hardly surprising. Did you know that John and David Tennant have farting competitions while filming together? There is a limit to what I actually want to know about people, and this comes very close. David’s smells the most apparently, and I think I’ve just lost all respect for these boys now. (Only joking. Maybe.)

David is John’s favourite Doctor, but otherwise John is everyone’s favourite. Caitlin Moran, who talked to Russell and John, suggested that the screamers in the front row get it out of their system by having a good long scream to start with. Seems to have done the trick. Russell likes John, too, and there was a lot of patting of bottoms and hands on knees and things. 

There was some innuendo, but not too much, as “there were children present”. I think this also prevented some questions from being asked, which may have been a good idea. I was there with my “child”. In fact, that was the only reason I was there, and I understand it was a very satisfactory event for the diehard fan.

There is a new series of Torchwood on the way, upgraded to BBC1, and with five one hour episodes to be shown on five consecutive nights. That will be hard work to watch…

Caitlin Moran, Russell T Davies and John Barrowman

(Photos by H Giles)