Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2013

Everything has its price, Avon.

Blake's 7 4.1: Rescue Season Four, the season they didn’t expect to make. Which means there’s a certain amount of getting up to speed required in order for “status quo” stories to be told. If they choose to go that route. There’s no Liberator anymore as a starting point for stories; a situation the show hasn’t found itself in since Space Fall . So where do they go from here?  Behind the scenes there’s no David Maloney either. Nor Terry Nation (I’d say that by this point that’s slightly less of an issue, but his three scripts for Season Three were among his best).

The gun is good. The penis is evil.

Zardoz (1974) John Boorman’s Zardoz is virtually the definition of a cult movie. If not quite reviled by critics, it was at least ridiculed. Meanwhile, cinema-goers were indifferent. The passing years have lodged the film in the (not quite popular) wider consciousness as the “one where Sean Connery wears a nappy”. But it’s reputation as a film to seek out, for all its flaws, has grown. It’s a film brimming with ideas; charitably, one might even suggest there’s a surplus (it’s not often that such a charge can be leveled at a movie and Boorman certainly reflected that this was the case; “ So, you could say there were maybe too many ideas in this picture ”). But the film is also consistently arresting visually, the product of an analogue approach to effects and a post-psychedelic grasp of narrative. Even its greatest fans would likely agree that Zardoz doesn’t entirely work. There is a preponderance of expository dialogue at the expense of narrative progression.

Blake is dead.

Blake's 7 3.13: Terminal Like Logopolis , broadcast almost exactly a year later, Terminal is not without script problems. There are a number of rather large holes in terms of plot and (more particularly) character that leave you, if not scratching your head, viewing what unfolds slightly askance. But, like Logopolis , where the episode really scores is in evoking a palpable atmosphere. Mary Ridge imbues the story with a sense of finality and doom throughout, only punctured slightly by some laborious exposition when Servalan inevitably shows up.

A ritual war is bound to generate a great deal of excitement.

Blake's 7 3.12: Death-Watch Chris Boucher completes his trio of Season Three single character-centric episodes. If Death-Watch is the least of them, it nevertheless fits into the good side of a clear divide in quality this season, between crap but fun and very good-to-great. There’s not much between those poles as there has been in previous seasons (although I’ve enjoyed the crappy fare far more than many seem to).

I kinda thought we would just wing it, you know.

Box Office Comment January-February 2013 It’s the last week of February and, unsurprisingly, few contenders for box office glory have been released so far. Only two films ( Die Hard 5 and Safe Haven) featured in my 2013 predictions and I usefully managed to omit Identity Thief , which is close to $100m in the US. But who can predict hits, let alone comedy hits? Released at another moment, a Jason Bateman comedy would be a bomb. True, Seth Gordon topped $100m with both his previous features ( Horrible Bosses and Four Christmases ), and a savaging by critics is no impediment to a responsive mass audience. But no one was really expecting it to hit this big; the trailers, in particular, were horrible. So, logic suggests this is the Melissa McCarthy factor; her first starring role after stealing Bridesmaids , and audiences clearly want to see her being obnoxiously crude and bovine. It bodes well for the prospects of the upcoming pairing of McCarthy with Sandy