Monday, June 06, 2005

So today has been filled with a--quite franly--insane amount of television, starting with the two-hour season premiere of The 4400 from last night, followed by this week's episode of Green Wing, and rounding up with the spring finale of Summerland (which, according to TV Guide, returns this week). My quick comments:

The 4400 continues the quality established by last year's miniseries. It's weird, creepy, unpredictable, and shot in Vancouver (set in Seattle) starring actors most people will never have heard of. This episode guest-starred Summer Glau from Firefly/Serenity and Jeffrey Combs from everything. It should be a nice companion to The Dead Zone, which returns next week, and is considerably less crap than The Comeback on HBO.

Green Wing continues to be completely mad, and continues to feature Sarah Alexander and Tamsin Grieg. And I continue to love it.

And Summerland is still too sweet, too sentimental, and too full of Jesse Mc... hell, I'm going to have to look this one up... Jesse McCartney. (Oh, and it doesn't come back until next Monday, so that's one less show I have to worry about this week.) And I still kinda like it, for reasons I can't quite articulate. (Okay, I can: Lori Loughlin.)

In addition to watching all this Gruddamned TV (plus whatever I watched yesterday; probably episodes of Monarch of the Glen and Gilmore Girls and the new episode of The Life and Times of Juniper Lee), I listened to the first new Big Finish CD bringing back the classic creepy-as-anything late 70s British telefantasy series, Sapphire and Steel. When I was maybe 9 or 10, when we were living in New Zealand, S&S was one of the four British telefantasy series that left a lasting mark. (The other three were, of course, Doctor Who, The Tomorrow People, and Blakes 7. And then there were Basil Brush and Dick Turpin, but that's another genre...) At the time, I saw one whole episode of S&S, the first, and it scared the crap out of me. Seriously. Couldn't crap for months, so bereft of crap was I. Now, as an adult, viewing the show on DVD, I can actually get through it, but it is every bit as weird and creepy as I remember.

And now it's back on CD! The original leads (David (Man from UNCLE/NCIS) McCallum and Joanna (New Avengers/Absolutely Fabulous) Lovely ... er, I mean Lumley) have been recast, because McCallum is too busy in the US, and reportedly no longer able to travel quite as easily as he used to, and Lumley isn't interested in reprising the role. But the new cast features Susannah Harker, from Ultraviolet and House of Cards, and who absolutely glows in person, and David Warner, from even more genre movies and TV shows than Jeffrey Combs. And they're great. And the story is moody and atmospheric, and takes place on a train (a childhood passion, inherited from my father, which has waned considerably but still elicits a bit of a thrill), and just when you think it can't get any better, Mark Gatiss shows up playing Gold. Fantastic!

And I want to write about this week's episode of Doctor Who, but I find I have no remaining energy.

Oh, I mentioned watching Juniper Lee yesterday. Highly recommended. Best new comedy/action cartoon since Disney's Kim Possible.

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