Thursday, 18 September 2014

TWIN PEAKS, 1.6 - 'Realization Time'

AUDREY: I can't believe you were ever my age.
COOPER: I've got the pictures to prove it.
Thursday 2 March 1989. Currently, there are three separate investigations attempting to find Laura Palmer's killer: Agent Cooper (Kyle Maclachlan) and Sheriff Truman's (Michael Ontkean) official murder investigation; Audrey Horne's (Sherilyn Fenn) plucky attempt to solve the mystery; and the trio of James (James Marshall), Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Madeleine (Sheryl Lee), who here probe into Dr. Jacoby's (Russ Tamblyn) relationship with their murdered friend. What's interesting about this penultimate episode is how this triptych of sleuthing all result in undercover missions...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Television Shows I'll Be Tuning Into this Autumn...

The summer's almost over, TV-wise, but which new and returning shows am I likely to be watching and reviewing this autumn for DMD? Let's take a look...

Monday, 15 September 2014

OUTLANDER, 1.6 – 'The Garrison Commander' • tables are turned

written by Ira Steven Behr | directed by Brian Kelly
RANDALL (to Claire): I run in darkness, Madam. And darkness is where I belong. I need no sympathy and you'll get none from me. One way or another, I will get the truth out of you.
If you've bailed on OUTLANDER, for whatever reason, I implore you to resume viewing to this episode, at the very least. "The Garrison Commander" had a very simple plot and was built on essentially two scenes, with an unforgettable flashback, and it was a gripping showcase for Tobias Menzies—whose Captain "Black Jack" Randall suddenly became one of the greatest small-screen villains right now, and I'm including Games of Thrones' rogues gallery.

TV Picks: 15-21 September 2014 (Bad Education • Boardwalk Empire • Cilla • Downton Abbey • Glue • Legends • The Leftovers • The Strain

Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

DOCTOR WHO, 8.4 – 'Listen' • three shades of pink

written by Steven Moffat | directed by Douglas Mackinnon
"Fear makes companions of us all."
DOCTOR WHO's often at its best when delivering quiet, disconcerting ghost stories. Steven Moffat delivers one of the best with "Listen"; a weird, conceptual episode that ultimately explores The Doctor's (Peter Capaldi) fear of the dark, sense of isolation (he's introduced sitting Zen-like atop his TARDIS in space), and preoccupation with a pet theory about why people talk to themselves when they're alone. Do creatures exist that forever lurk around us, unseen, evolved to hide?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Review: Syfy's Z NATION

written by Karl Schaefer | directed by John Hyams

Unsurprisingly, this zombie apocalypse series from the producers of Sharknado isn't great. However, surprisingly, Z NATION isn't as unforgivably terrible as I was expecting it to be. It earns credit for at least identifying things The Walking Dead isn't doing over on AMC, so it doesn't feel like a lazy re-tread. Its zombies are of the high-speed variety, capable of chasing human prey; the pilot sets up an actual storyline for the show to arc; and there's a very strong militaristic vibe throughout. It's actually more 'Falling Skies with zombies' than a cut-rate Walking Dead.


★★★★ (out of five)

I was concerned after CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER that the character wouldn't work once removed from his period 1940s setting, but it's actually a boon for this excellent sequel, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER. Ironically, Marvel's Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a better Superman than DC's current Man of Steel, as they've found a way to maintain his old-fashioned patriotism and boy scout morals without it feeling antiquated and naïve in the 21st-century. They do this by ensuring the Captain represents the best of us, and a lot of this sequel's conflict is between idealism and realism.

In CAPTAIN 2, Rogers is now an active and invaluable member of S.H.I.E.L.D's counter-terrorism strike team, taking point on audacious missions alongside Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). It's a great use of his super-abilities, but Rogers is conflicted about his role when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) gives him a sneak peek at S.H.I.E.L.D's new Project Insight—the launch of three Helicarriers linked to spy satellites, with the ability to eliminate threats pre-emptively. Rogers believes the whole idea erodes the freedom he fought for in WWII, and instead aims to keep innocent people in line through fear.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Poll: which has been your favourite summer show this year?

The days when U.S television would go into a summer hibernation are long gone, as more channels begin to ensure there's programming filling the airwaves between late-May and late-September. But which of the following has been your favourite? Please vote in my poll below, and share.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

TWIN PEAKS, 1.5 - 'Cooper's Dream'

LOG LADY: Fire is the Devil hiding like a coward in the smoke.
Wednesday 1 March 1989. The honeymoon period is over. Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is awakened by rowdy Icelandic businessmen who have arrived for a junket at the Great Northern, and their presence is the first uncomfortable bump for a murder case that our Fed has hitherto appeared to almost relish...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

THE LEFTOVERS - Season One • good grief or lamentable bore?

I've felt conflicted about HBO's THE LEFTOVERS all season, and that's a compliment. I enjoy shows that get you thinking about your own taste, opinions, and the reactions of others. This isn't an easy show to watch week-to-week, as it's superficially a downer of Biblical proportions. A looped video of a skinhead kicking a puppy contains more joy.