Wednesday, 26 January 2011

I am writing this post instead of revising for my exams...

Tomorrow morning I am getting up at 6am to go and study. This is wrong on so many, many levels. However needs must. Because in the wildlands of the Highlands (not really that wild. Or high.) Scottish teenagers all over are gearing up for Prelims (which are our version of Mocks, as I believe those south of the border call them?) This is not pertinent to anything in particular, aside from the fact that I might have a nervous breakdown...

Time, I think to distract myself with a review! Unfortunately, I've reviewed all the Primeval episodes that have come out so far, albeit in my own rambling way. So instead I'm going to review (albeit in my own rambling way) Syfy's Alice.

Most people who are of the same mind as me will have already seen this on the Syfy channel when it came out in 2009. However, my funds only run to one cheap freeview box, and I can't afford all your fancy channel nonsense. And up until recently the only DVD available on Amazon was USA region encoded. Even the internet failed to deliver on this occasion, and until last month I basically gave it up as a bad job. Then, one day by chance, my Amazon account suggested to me... A region two DVD! At last! Drawback. It was from Holland. However, as I am a determined young lady I didn't let this phase me, and the removal of some strange Dutch subtitles finally got me watching the miniseries as it was meant to be seen.

The original attraction to Alice was, I fully confess, curiosity. I've only seen Andrew Lee Potts (Connor Temple to Primevelians!) in Primeval, and some odd drama about a woman who has an affair. I was intrigued to watch him flex his acting muscles, and he didn't disappoint - he is an excellent Hatter, perching on just the right side of deranged. And Hatter was already my favourite character in Alice in Wonderland anyway...

It might (or might not) have done Alice some good in coming out not long before Tim Burton's extravaganza, but that's by the by. This Wonderland is very different to the Victorian hallucination we're used to. The show fully takes into account the fact that 150+ years have gone by, and Wonderland has well and truly grown up. Alice is no little girl either - she's a black belt in karate who fell through the looking glass by chance after chasing a man called the White Rabbit who was mugging her boyfriend (SPOILERS: Jack isn't what he seems). Before she knows it, Alice is off trying to rescue Jack and somehow bring down the Queen of Hearts who rules Wonderland through Casinos and instant pleasure.

If there's one thing which never fails to draw me into a story, it's colour. Maybe that's a little childlike, but it's true. If something is richly coloured, vibrant, has good production values, I'm there already. And Alice has all these things in spades. Add to that, compelling characters, funny moments and intriguing ideas and I'm in entertainment heaven! If you're a total stickler for tradition, this might not be a Wonderland that you would want to indulge in, but personally I got really involved in connecting the modern slant to the original Lewis Carroll story (and they aren't all as obvious as you might think). It's a 5/5 from me on this one.
Sassy xx

PS Why is a raven like a writing desk?

PPS Did I mention ALP was excellent?

Sunday, 23 January 2011


Me: Guess what?!

Friend: *Wearily* What?

Me: I just ordered a Primeval ARC shirt!!!

Friend: Lucky you...

Me: I will be an actual ARC employee. And I can run around waving a scientific calculator like an anomaly detector during EVERY SINGLE FIRE DRILL! Gear up for fun!!!

Friend: ...

Me: You're just jealous because now I can get close to Lester.

Friend: ... Yes.

Me: I know how you just long to rip off that tie!

Friend: ... Of course.

Me: They only ever shoot him from the torso up, so the shots never catch you escaping from under his desk!

Friend: -___-

Just a little sketch from the world of the real life non-internet based people!

Episodes 4 and 5 of Primeval have been and gone, and Series 4 is really beginning to find its feet. I'm interested in the way the show... I guess you could say format... Has been for these past two episodes. Ep 4 was a really Series 2 vibed episode - right down to an action hero jumping on desks to escape a predator, a la Stephen and those "worm things". I loved this episode, particularly the two teenage boys, who were a foil to the team and allowed for a bigger comedy injection. It's nice to see Connor getting back to his jokey ways after a serious post-Cretaceous moping session. Incidentally, the boy Darren was so much like a younger Connor that it could NOT have been coincidence. I just picture Andrew Lee Potts bursting into a casting session yelling "he's mine!" A little mini-me to bring him drinks, haha.

I loved the school setting for this, but it caused problems for me (my only issue with this episode). A) I have never seen a school that big or modern, making me think it was shot in a college or uni outside of termtime. And B) I dunno whether this is in fact THE RICHEST SCHOOL IN THE WORLD, but in my school we have classrooms which the teachers lock, and front doors which the janitor locks and thats it. There are about 4 security monitors on the exterior gates and doors, and that (again) is it. We sure as hell don't have computerised locking systems which would be at home in a prison. Nor do we have CCTV cameras in ever corridor and classroom. That jarred a leetle.

Episode 5, again was a bit of a harking back point. This time everything felt very Series 1, which was nice. I particularly enjoyed seeing the team losing their frigging great guns (which my mum says look like toys - MUM PERSPECTIVE!!) and having to work off their wits, something we've not seen much of since the start. Especially (and this is a reference only a committed nerd would notice) that Connor is once again a hero with the prime weapon of an oar. Can't help but feel that Abby driving a big prehistoric thingy around on top of a mobile home might've drawn more attention than it was worth, but I guess needs must. This ep also had some priceless moments, such as Lester trying to be Jess and failing miserably (she looks better in a miniskirt, too). And maybe I'm childish but I laughed at the name of the pub! I really only have one bugbear about this story... at no point did we see a little boy on a porch playing a banjo!

Kudos to this series, for keeping so many balls in the air at once. I've a feeling that this Series' finale is going to be epic - so far we have three main story ARCs (see what I did there?!) there's the riddle that is Ethan. Then there's the sinister beardiness of Philip Burton. And finally there's mysterious Gideon, who seems nice but a bit mad and driven at the same time - I guess imminent death can do that to a person. Whether all of these elements can be explained into the finale? Perhaps not. More likely, some things will get resolved and others will become the central concern of Series 5.

So there we have it. A Series 2 vibed story and a Series 1 vibed story. And between them they've racked up the highest TV ratings of the Series so far. (Thanks to Primeval Anomalies once again for providing genuine hard facts which I am too lazy to get for myself!) Surely this isn't a coincidence? Personally I liked Series 3 a lot, but I know for a fact that after Cutter's death and Jenny's departure, a lot of folk decided that this was no longer for them. My theory is that these nostalgically vibed stories are a real attempt by the writers and producers to call back the glory days of Primeval's early success as a top drama. And personally I think they're doing a pretty damn good job!

Sassy xx

Monday, 10 January 2011

The Day the Dream Died...

Chirpy people. You can't hate them. They're just too NICE, and they mess with your head so you feel guilty for your attacks of jealousy or irritation. Much like Jess. Or Georgia Moffett.

That's right. THE Georgia Moffett. Who's engaged to David Tennant. Hear that crash? That's the sound of ten thousand porcelain fangirl hearts crashing to the floor and breaking into a thousand tiny pieces.

Those who know my preferences might know that I've been a Tennant fangirl (though the nice, not scary kind) since I was a good few inches shorter than I am now. So I was geared up to drop my porcelain heart with all the rest when I heard the news last night. And yet...

I can't feel bad about this. Because of the chirp factor. Georgia is cute, no two ways about it, and you can't help but feel good for the pair. I can say that with good grace! Maybe my heart's made of blood 'n' muscle after all. (A small, wicked part of me would like to see how sweet, English-rosey Miss Moffett copes with the grand Scottish phenomena we call neds, though)!

Ah neds. Non Educated Delinquents. Neds are like chavs, except Scottish, and therefore much better at drinking, fighting and living forever, despite the many toxins they injest. It's not enough that they spent a good two years trying to mess with my head, scorn all the things I love about my life (scifi, books, good music, art, fashion, etc) but now they have a FILM ABOUT THEM! Gritty Glaswegian drama they thought... Well I suppose "NAGs" (Nicely Achieving Girls) wouldn't be such an interesting pitch. But someone I vaguely know is supposedly in the film, so that's nice.

This blog has been patchy of late to say the least... I don't have any excuse for that, except that I couldn't summon the energy to write anything that wasn't deadly dull or some kind of school essay. (School is crushing my soul). In good TV boom times, such as when Doctor Who or Primeval is airing, the blog increases big time in size... I realised just before the long gap I made some "coming soon" type promises, not all of which were fulfilled. Mostly, this is just because what seemed like a good idea then, no longer does, or to put it another way... CBA. But watch this space for some entertainment which isn't just me chatting about geekorama!

Sassy xx

(PS, further congratulations to DT and GM... and their wedding guests!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

These Old Chains Won't Let Me Go, Let Me Go... OH MY GOD I'M SITTING ON A TIMEBOMB!!

Ten points to those of us who recognised the reference in my title!*

Shame upon me. Thrice shame, for there has now been three episodes of Primeval and no comment from me, even after my "squee"ing in the last post. I have no excuse but that my braincells were fried from the sheer awesomeness of the past three episodes.

It's back baby. And it's got just as much bite as ever. So here goes my reviews

Episode 1 was more of a jumping in point. Despite the webisodes, there was still a lot of background to fill, and we spent quite a bit of time in the Cretaceous with Abby and Connor talking about forks. I'm in love with the sets and effects Impossible Pictures (is it still them or am I tripping?) use to show the past. Those harshly brown and grey lights, with Connor's red jumper sticking out amongst them, they kill me (in a good way)! I've got to take my hat off to Andrew-Lee Potts and Hannah Spearitt for the really great portryal of people who are basically historical castaways. And obviously to see Connor and Abby finally sorting their relationship out was great. Poor Captain Becker got owned with Matt's shocky shock gun, but I'm loving the dynamic between those two. The creature incursion was pretty standard, not anything to light the heather on fire - This episode was carried more by the characters than the action: the return of old friends, the introduction of new ones, and the laughs. My favourites were Connor's blunder with the anomaly, and the cheeky S-Club reference - poor Hannah!

Episode 2 - Perhaps my favourite of the three, I'll just come out and say it - Duncan, I heart you! Seeing Connor's hapless old mate from the ancient days of series one really highlights the changes in Connor. I love the thought that through series 2, 3 and interim gap, Duncan was out on the streets, imagining he was fighting the good fight, when really he just had no clue! Poor Duncan, he's a bit of a bumbler, but a very sweet one. Another plus point, the flushing of a cute little lizard down the loo, aaand... Five years later, flipping great scary dinosaur! Incidentally, at the start of the episode, did anyone TOTALLY think it was Jenny? Cause I did, and it took quite a lot of squinting for me to realise it wasn't. Which was disappointing, I miss Jenny and her efficiency! And after seeing a rather power-neutered Lester, it was nice to see him stand up and take charge again.

Episode 3 - Who'd be a time traveller? It's not all pretty blue boxes you know! At least according to Lady Emily and her mildly mental pal Ethan, anomaly nomads who remind me of Helen Cutter. Not to mention Charlotte. Poor, dead Charlotte who barely made it 5 minutes in. RIP. The idea of Victorian adventurers travelling through time sold this episode to me. The creatures, on the other hand... I have no idea if "tree raptors" exist, but they looked fictionalised to my eyes. This would be fine, if they were from the future, but that didn't seem to be the line. There was no official species name given, or anything official at all about them other than a few wee nicknames. Shows like Primeval need at least some grounding in fact, or else they'll just drift into lala land. So that's my one bugbear. Liked the lockdown, though I'm slightly convinced they stole my idea! On my fanfic page, I'm writing a Primeval story called Quarantine, set just after Series 2, where the ARC is locked down because Connor brings in potentially infectious slime on his gloves. It's pretty similar in a few aspects to the Lock Down plot... I'm considering asking for royalties (joke). Jess has won me round, with her perky ways. I no longer want to stand on her, you'll be pleased to hear! Philip Burton and his "New Dawn" are mysterious. I don't like him. Nobody with a beard like that is good news. Then there's Gideon, whose days are apparently numbered. In his scenes with Matt, I was struck that he reminds me a lot of Stephen Hart or Professor Cutter. But that is just stupid plot-mongering from me, not any kind of real spoiler. They're dead. This has been established. But Gideon means something, and I'm damned if I know what... Connor's password *CUTENESS SPOILER ALERT* "Abby Temple", was the sweetest thing I've heard in a long time. And I don't know if anyone enjoys squinting as much as I do, but if you look closely at the ARC monitors, the logo on there is the same one the team found in the Apocalyptic Future of Series 3. Something to ponder there...

I pre-ordered the DVD on Amazon last week. Hooray! Also, ordered the syfy TV movie Alice (starring Andrew-Lee Potts) which has finally come out in region 2 DVD. So I've got that to look forward to.

BTW, the blog Primeval Anomalies told me that ratings for Series 4 haven't been too great so far. So please tune in and get them rising, keep Primeval on our screens! Tell your friends (as I've told mine) to turn on for Primeval. They don't even have to watch if they don't wanna, just have it on in the background. But, of course, if they do watch, they'll be enjoying some quality viewing.

How do I sign off?? Geronimoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Sassy xx

*It's the song from the Primeval trailers, called "Time Bomb" by Educated Animals, and it's very good. Go to itunes and get it, it's only 79p for a well good track!