Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Review of True Blood's 1x07: "Burning House Of Love"

Written by Chris Offutt
Directed by Marcos Siega

Pam (to Jason): “Go on in. Good luck getting out.”

It’s the night when Sookie finally lost her virginity to Bill. This episode opened up with the two of them leaving off the blood and getting down to business. Maybe not quite as romantic as Buffy and Angel but at least we can rule off Bill going after Sookie’s closest ones or can we?

I don’t know if there was possibility a subconscious part of Sookie that might have been intentional when she opened up to Bill about Uncle Bartlett’s inappropriate past behaviour with her. I more or less guessed that he might have abused her and I’m not entirely surprised that Sookie told Bill about Bartlett.

The question is was there the tiniest part of her deep down that might have hoped that Bill would end up killing Bartlett like he did in this episode? I couldn’t hold it against Sookie because hell would have to freeze over before I’d ever sympathised with the death of a paedophile and even then, I wouldn’t.

I can’t imagine that Sookie would be grateful to Bill for doing in her nasty uncle but I don’t know if I can imagine (or want to) her having any kind of grief for Bartlett as well. Still the start of this episode did connect Sookie more with Bill. He even showed her where exactly he slept as well.

The flipside to Sookie and Bill consummating their relationship however was felt through the episode. Lafayette was too suspicious of the sudden spring in Sookie’s step and Arlene didn’t waste time blabbing to everyone when she realised that Sookie lost her virginity to a vampire.

The problem was that everyone’s reactions were so bleeding predictable and ultimately annoying. People were too busy either calling Sookie a slut or yelling at her that not once did anyone express some concern. The girl just lost her grandmother; you’d think someone in Bon Temps would convey a little sympathy.

Sookie probably didn’t do herself much favours as well by being so defensive about sleeping with Bill but when you have everyone else acting like judge, jury and executioner, what else can you do? Also it didn’t help that Sam was still clearly bitter from Sookie rejecting him in the last two episodes as well. Sam, you need to let her go, she’s not interested.

The worst part of about having a boyfriend for a vampire is dealing with other vampires too. Malcolm, Diane and Liam came back in this episode and caused a riot in Merlotte’s. Worse than that, they even managed to pull Bill away from Sookie. That is unless Bill had plans to take care of them himself.

As for those redneck losers burning up the trio’s house, I’m not worried. By that, I mean that Bill has to be safe, right? Alan Ball is daring but he’s not going to kill off his leading but if the rest of them survived, those rednecks better leave town. From what we’ve seen, Malcolm is not someone who deals with being wronged so well.

Speaking of wrong, Jason and that damn downward spiral of his continues like there’s no tomorrow. He was so desperate for V that Lafayette cut him off and he resorted to trying to steal Adelle’s jewellery to get some. Sookie thankfully was able to stop so Jason did the only other thing in his bid to get vampire blood – a trip to Fangtasia.

Watching the scene drew a comparison for me. It was like watching a gay basher go to a gay bar and from the way that Pam was trying to figure Jason out, I thought she was going to kill him. I don’t think I would’ve blamed her. Jason may not be as bad as those losers who torched the trio’s house but he is a bigot in his own way.

He’s also stupid as he nearly got himself killed inside Fangtasia when trying to score some V juice. If it hadn’t been for Amy interrupting him, Sookie might be burying yet another family member in a short space of time. Amy saved Jason from being drained but she also spurred his growing dependency for V.

This makes me conflicted about Amy. On one hand, she’s possibly the most interesting woman that Jason has gotten involved with but on the other, she’s encouraging his V habit. That being said, their trippy sequences were visually stunning to watch. That’s bad on my part I know.

As for Fangtasia, I’m finding myself wanting more and more of the place. Yes, it looks horribly clichéd but it’s enjoyable and I suppose some more insight into Eric wouldn’t go amiss. This episode was his second appearance and apart from belittling a fang banger, he didn’t do much so I still don’t have a strong opinion whereas Pam I do like as a character.

I also love myself Tara and this was a hard episode for her too. I’m glad that she showed wariness towards Lettie Mae’s demon claims but I also knew that after the whole bank fiasco that she’d cave in. I know I’m going to sound like a horrible person but I really do hate Lettie Mae.

Alcoholics can’t help themselves but this woman does strike me as too manipulative and exorcisms aside, I just don’t trust Miss Jeanette. Actually you can scratch that – I actively dislike the woman and wanted Tara to smack her one when she suggested that Tara had a demon inside her.

Miss Jeanette played on Tara’s insecurities – lack of boyfriend, dire job history, living at home with her mother. Unfortunately I relate to Tara’s insecurities, hence my general sympathy for the character but I get the feeling that both her mother and Miss Jeanette are playing her. Maybe I’m wrong and Tara does have a demon inside but somehow I seriously doubt it.

Also in “Burning House Of Love”

The lighting for Sookie and Bill’s big scene at the beginning was striking. Stephen Moyer recently said in a magazine (SFX) that he’s gotten into hot water for enjoying sex scene. It’s a different response from most actors.

Bill (to Sookie): “We started many of the myths about ourselves centuries ago. If humans thought we couldn’t be seen in the mirror, it was another way to prove we weren’t vampires and that way we could stay hidden.”

Bill discussed crucifixes and holy water having no effect and garlic being slightly inconvenient. It’s nice that dispelling some of these myths give vampires on this show more freedom.

Jason: “Look, I’ll pay however you want. I’ll even show my wiener on your website.”
Lafayette: “You can take your little stumpy white dick and get the fuck up out my joint. That’s what I want.”

Tara: “Does the demon know you spike your coffee?”
Lettie Mae: “I can’t help it. The demon told me to finish off everything in the house today. It doesn’t want me to get exorcised.”

Part of Miss Jeanette’s exorcism included a chrome stone as well as drowning the possum that the ‘demon’ went into after leaving Lettie Mae’s body.

Jason: “You went and did it, huh? My own sister, nothing but a fang banger. You saved it all these years for a fucking vampire.”
Sookie: “Bill is a gentleman.”

Sam: “Don’t treat me like some asshole.”
Tara: “Do you honestly think I’d sleep with you if I thought that?”

Tara imparted some DIY tips to Sam in his trailer. Andy and Terry also saw Sam running naked through the woods when they were fishing. I liked Terry in this episode and hopefully we’ll get more of him.

Jason (re Sookie): “How do you know her?”
Pam: “She stands out, do you?”
Jason: “Um, no. Maybe in other ways.”

Lettie Mae: “Is it gonna hurt?”
Miss Jeanette: “Course, it’s gonna hurt. It’s like childbirth, except the demon doesn’t wanna come out and it ain’t your body that’s gonna get ripped up, it’s your soul.”

Some other character bits: Sam further alluded to a distant relationship with his family, Jason did Landscape Technology for two years, Amy angered her family by ditching Law for Philosophy and Lettie Mae unsurprisingly thinks that Lafayette is a sexual deviant. Plus a bank has accepted a vampire client. Bill or Eric?

Amy: “Let’s get out of here before you get us all killed.”
Jason: “I ain’t going until I got what I came for.”

Sookie (re Bill): “I am his.”
Malcolm: “Well, he’s not here, is he? And while Bill is away, Malcolm will always play.”

Standout music: The Knitters “Burning House Of Love” and Cowboy Junkies “Sweet Jane”.

Miss Jeanette: “I can help you.”
Tara: “I don’t want it, I don’t need it and I sure as hell can’t afford it.”

Chronology: Takes place directly from where “Cold Ground” left off.

“Burning House Of Love” is a satisfying episode, good in many parts but it’s not as strong as the previous two episodes. Still, this show does continue to excite me in spades, even if the cliff hangers are becoming a bit formulaic.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Doctor Who Greatest Moments: The Companions

Narrated by Jo Whiley
Directed by Gillane Seaborne

Billie Piper (re Rose): “She’s waiting for something to happen and sure enough, it does. She meets this guy who completely challenges her ideas like no one else.”

We’ve had a special Confidential honouring The Doctor, so having the companions get their spotlight. In four seasons we’ve had quite a lot of companions but due to BBC3 dumbing down, apparently it was just three.

I know Mickey, Captain Jack Harkness, Sarah Jane and even K9 only appeared in a handful of episodes but at the end of the day, they are still companions and this hour could’ve more than covered them as well as out three significant ladies from the new series era.

What I found interesting was David Tennant’s viewpoint on each of the girls. Rose was the classic love story with a tragic end, Martha was unrequited love and Donna was the ill fated best mate. There was a lot from each of those women that shaped The Doctor but he lost them all.

David made some good points on the characters as did Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, Catherine Tate and even John Barrowman, though I would’ve preferred if he had discussed The Doctor/Jack dynamic a lot more. Still we know that companions have various roles, recently giving The Doctor a dressing down when warranted.

A lot of the clips were nice, there was some appropriate song choices (yay Kings Of Leon) but more effort should’ve been put into this one. Not even the one off companions like Jackson Lake, Lady Christina deSouza, Astrid, Adam and the upcoming Adelaide were given a mention. Shame on you, BBC3.

- Usual sections included “Keeping Him Real”, “Save The Day” and “Do You Remember The First Time?”.
- All of Billie Piper’s segments were clearly lifted from previous Confidentials. So were some of David Tennant and Catherine Tate’s.
- I did enjoy hearing thoughts from Jacqueline King, Camille Coduri and Bernard Cribbins though.
- Next week, it’s a look at the Enemies.

Quote From Donna

Catherine Tate: "She's quite direct, so there's no need for her to coat it in anything. It was never gonna be an easy ride with Donna but it was gonna be worthwhile in the end."

It’s not a terrible way to spend an hour but this really did feel like a cut and paste job. I wanted more. I expected something better. I probably could’ve done something better than this.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 1x06: "The Lost Boy"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Charles Martin

Alan (re the Staffords): “They’ve skinned someone, they’re cannibals.”
Maria: “They’re not cannibals, they’re Slitheen.”

In a way, it’s appropriate to bring back the Slitheen for the finale. Doctor Who pulled off this tack by introducing Daleks and Cybermen in early season episodes before having them come back en masse for the finale. The only difference, I care about the Daleks and Cybermen. Slitheen, not so much.

Of course that’s the only negative thing that I can really say about this finale. I may not like one of the villains in this story but I definitely like this story as a whole. From the title, it’s obvious that Luke was going to be the centre of everything really.

The last story had given him a break to be a more Maria and Sarah Jane piece but this finale threw a blinding teaser about the possibility of Luke being the lost child to the Stafford family. Sarah Jane didn’t want to believe it at first but when Mr Smith gave her deadly confirmation, she had no choice.

It was hard to watch Luke go away to another family because from the off, there was something afoot. It also genuinely made me want to hate Chrissie, in spite of the fact that anyone else would’ve done the same thing (i.e. calling the police on Sarah Jane) under the circumstances. It’s just Chrissie sounded more nasty than protective and that’s what pissed me off about the character’s actions.

It’s nice to see Sarah Jane’s UNIT connections prevent her from rotting in a prison cell, though somewhat convenient as well but it worked to the plot well. Sarah Jane went back to being abrasive to Maria, even to the point of trying to encourage to Maria leave Bannerman Road with Alan after all.

Sarah Jane even went out of her way to point out that she wasn’t cut out for motherhood. Okay, it was the grief talking but we have already seen enough evidence over the season to convey just how good she is at motherhood. Shutting Maria and Clyde out was understandable but essentially unwise.

You could even tell when Mr Smith was trying to give her a purpose by investigating Pharos that she was protesting too much. They may be kids but Maria and Clyde really have proved themselves to be as capable as any adult companion The Doctor has ever had and that’s saying something.

I’ve never viewed Clyde as a thick character, so I loved that this episode displayed some more cleverness for him. He didn’t buy into the Stafford family being the real deal and this was before the wife refused to let Clyde see Luke/Ashley. Plus Clyde made the connection of photos being faked and Luke’s crappy skateboarding skills. Remind you of a fiery Noble woman, perhaps?

The unfortunate thing is that Clyde’s clever deductive skills landed him in trouble. It would’ve been easy to have assumed that the Staffords would’ve locked him after Luke discovered his new family were actually Slitheen (not a shock) but the surprise was Mr Smith being the villain of the piece.

To be fair, it should’ve been obvious. He was deliberately cagey when confirming that Luke was Ashley and a little too insistent in pointing Sarah Jane towards the Pharos laboratory as well. His comment about Clyde not being as stupid as he looks was a little too snide as well.

Clyde’s cleverness also extended to him briefly being able to warn Alan about Mr Smith going bad. Having a masterful alien computer was always going to be suspect but having Mr Smith, a Xylok as the main villain, playing both the Slitheen and Sarah Jane for it’s own purposes definitely helped this story a lot.

The story gave a satisfying info dump on Sarah Jane finding the original crystal, being duped and the birth of Mr Smith the computer. Defeating the computer in the midst of it using Luke’s telekinesis to destroy the Earth by bringing the moon to smash into the planet with the assistance of K9 was another thing that worked for me.

K9’s appearance in this story may be brief but it’s long enough and it served as a wonderful retort when Mr Smith berated her for being lonely. Having Alan also be the one to come up with the corrupting virus that would change Mr Smith’s mission was neat too. He’s now part of the gang.

Alan’s contribution did dovetail nicely with Chrissie still being left in the background, though I got the feeling she heard more than she was letting on during the last scene. It’s nice that Sarah Jane has now come to accept that she has a family, even if she never thought one was possible.

As for the Slitheen part, well it petered out. The obnoxious Nathan Goss was really Karl from “Revenge Of The Slitheen” and didn’t get that much of an opportunity to exact revenge on Luke and Sarah Jane and the Stafford couple became more interested in saving their own skin when they learned that Mr Smith was using them.

In a first season, we’ve had a good selection of storylines. The ending of this story more than implied that Sarah Jane and the gang would again encounter the Slitheen, plus there was more interesting allusions to Luke’s alien properties as well as further demonstration to how much Sarah Jane is no longer alone.

Also in “The Lost Boy”

Luke being labelled as the title (if not actually onscreen) did stir reminders of The Doctor. A scene with those two brain boxes would be interesting to watch.

Alan: “Maria, you’re fourteen.”
Maria: “Dad, the world would’ve died.”
Alan: “I’m your father. You never thought I should’ve known about this?”
Maria: “It was difficult. Especially after you got turned into stone.”

Maria filled Alan in about the Bane and the Gorgons as well as the Slitheen and The Doctor to boot.

Alan: “This is too much to take in.”
Sarah Jane: “That’s the universe, Alan. Once it’s chosen to show you some of it’s secrets, you can’t ever turn your back on it. None of us can.”

Luke (re the Staffords): “I can remember every page of every book I’ve ever read, so why can’t I remember them?”
Sarah Jane: “I wish I had all the answers, Luke.”

Maria got a phone call from Clyde’s mother, who we would go on to meet in the series second year.

Sarah Jane: “Go home. You tell your Dad he was right, he should put the house on the market, and he and you and Clyde should forget all about me and everything you’ve seen.”
Maria: “What, how are we going to do that? What happened to never turning your back on the universe?”
Sarah Jane: “Sometimes you have to. Sometimes it’s the only way to survive.”

Maria (re Sarah Jane): “She’s devastated about Luke.”
Clyde: “Well, she’s not the only one hurting.”

Alan made some pretty appropriate references to Star Trek and Terminator when Clyde wasn’t namedropping Kasabian and Arctic Monkeys.

Alarm System: “You have been warned.”
Sarah Jane: “Noted.”

Alan: “Housebreaking, great. Maybe your mother was right about you hanging around with Sarah Jane.”
Maria: “Just keep quiet Dad and start looking.”

Chrissie called Sarah Jane, “Calamity Jane” in this story. It’s not her most original one is it?

Nathan: “I’m Slitheen and you are going to give me my revenge.”
Luke: “I’m not sure I want to do that.”

Mr Smith (to Sarah Jane): “I have a purpose. It must be fulfilled. The Slitheen have been useful and so have you but you are no longer required.”

The episode opened and ended with the same kind of monologue from “Invasion Of The Bane”. For me, it was a nice call back.

Nathan (to Sarah Jane): “Save your breath. You’ll need it when the screaming starts.”

Mr Smith: “What life do you have, alone in your attic?”
Sarah Jane: “Alone? You think I’m alone? You think I’m defenceless? Well, meet my dog. K9, protect me!”
K9: “Affirmative, Mistress!”

Chronology: Five months since “Invasion Of The Bane”.

For a season finale, it might lack the body count of Torchwood or the grand epicness of Doctor Who but “The Lost Boy” is a very satisfying way of concluding the show’s first season. This show found it’s feet and established an identity for itself with relative ease.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 1x05: "Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?"

Written by Gareth Roberts
Directed by Graeme Harper

Andrea: “Get out! Enough of this, I’m phoning your Dad, get out!”
Maria: “Just to let you know, I’m going to sort things out. I’m going to work out how time got changed. I’m going to find Sarah Jane and then I’m going to bring her back and nothing is going to stop me!”

What if episodes are ten a penny and practically every show has dished one of them out. A world without Sarah Jane is a very bad thing if this episode was anything to go by. It’s not just The Doctor being pulled out of existence that can have cataclysmic consequences.

Remove Sarah Jane and we got the same damn thing here. For the first few minutes of this story, there was a notable point being made about Sarah Jane’s presence in Maria’s life. Maria and Alan both noted that she was far softer with them now than when she first encountered them on Bannerman Road.

It’s a fair point to make and seeing as Maria is a junior companion, this was equally a big episode for her as well as Sarah Jane. Having the moment where Sarah Jane gave Maria the box because she was the person she trusted the most did speak volumes. It was Maria along with Luke that did help Sarah Jane let people in again.

It’s also because of the box being in Maria’s possession that the Trickster was able to change the entire world. Maria thought she’d solve the puzzle but instead woke up to an entire new world without Sarah Jane and or anyone knowing of the alien hunter’s existence.

Maria did a lot of cliché sounding like a madwoman when she was trying to convince her father and Clyde that Sarah Jane and Luke existed. Being confronted with Andrea Yates didn’t exactly help Maria either. Okay, so Andrea clearly wasn’t to be trusted but there was no way that anyone was going to believe Maria.

Clyde more or less dismissed her as a nutter and Alan thought that she was merely trying to seek attention. When Maria realised that she wasn’t getting through to him, she had no choice but to pretend that she had made Sarah Jane up. Too bad Maria hadn’t been quite as deceptive with Andrea.

Confronting Andrea about the past turned out to be a bad idea all together. While Andrea didn’t go after Maria, she did give the Trickster consent in having Maria removed from existence as well. So far, Andrea’s not exactly painting herself as saintly in this whole story.

As for the Sarah Jane/Andrea connection, emotionally it was satisfying. Gareth Roberts has a clear affection for Sarah Jane and that especially shows in this episode, even if Elisabeth Sladen is missing from segments of the story. Still when Sarah Jane’s not in a scene, she’s being largely discussed.

Maria’s determination to get her back is one thing. Andrea’s determination to forget about Sarah Jane was another. As kids, Andrea had originally died but thanks to the Trickster’s interference, Sarah Jane became the person to have died while Andrea got a chance to live life to the full.

It made sense when Alan discussed her parties and live life to the full attitude. The fact that it was also Andrea’s birthday as well added to the events. No-one wants to die but dying on your own birthday would be crueller than anything else. Because of Andrea’s second chance, she was determined to hold on even more.

Sacrificing Sarah Jane and Maria in order to do that was selfish and Alan when he came to his senses had every right to be appalled but Andrea’s actions were unfortunately also very understandable as well. However, Andrea’s desperation increased even further when she consented the Graske to go after Alan.

Finding out about aliens was inevitability for Alan but it was great that he was able to actually outsmart the Graske and get Maria back as well. It was also down to Maria that Sarah Jane came closer to being brought back.

The person responsible for Sarah Jane being taken out of time was the only person who could bring her back. Although Elisabeth Sladen is wonderful in this episode, I have to admit that Jane Asher is also brilliant as Andrea defends her reasons for wanting to be alive before sacrificing herself to stop the Trickster.

With a villain as interesting as the Trickster, Sarah Jane has finally encountered a deadly foe worthy for the series. The Trickster’s motives for interfering with Sarah Jane were interesting too. There was no guff about profit, this thing simply adored chaos in all it’s forms.

It very nearly got the Earth decimated by a meteor as a result of it’s meddling but the scenes it had with Sarah Jane were chilling. The Doctor can take care of himself but Sarah Jane was fearful for her former mentor when the Trickster threatened to pull him out of existence. I can very much imagine that it wouldn’t take a lot for the Trickster to actually achieve that.

I can also imagine (and this was even before seeing later seasons) that this isn’t the last we’ll see of the Trickster. He/She/It is way too good of a villain not to bring back that I’m actually surprised that they weren’t saved for the finale. I’d much rather them than Slitheen any day of the week.

As for the flashbacks to 1964, I think they are some of the best I’ve seen. The mood was captured beautifully and they cast two very good actresses to play younger versions of Sarah Jane and Andrea as well.

As for Chrissie, once again she appeared, not really doing much. There are times when you have to wonder what Alan actually saw in her in the first place. I know she was affected by the Trickster by not remembering Maria in the second half of the story but we’re towards the end of the first season and the writers still haven’t generated much sympathy for her.

Also in “Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?”

I read that Joseph Millson who plays Alan is good with the skateboarding. He got to put it to good use in this story, when he used it to overpower the Graske.

Maria: “So, Clyde fights Slitheen and Gorgons and that’s okay with you, but a bit of skateboarding and woah.”
Sarah Jane: “I know, oh, shame on me! Well, I’ve changed since I met you lot. I’ve gone all Mumsy.”

Because of the Trickster’s interference, Luke was sent somewhere far worse than the limbo Sarah Jane and Maria were in.

Maria: “Do you know Sarah Jane?”
Clyde: “Look, if you wanna ask me out, just ask me out. I can fit you in Thursday.”

Maria (re Sarah Jane’s living room): “It’s different.”
Andrea: “Alright, it’s a bit of a mess but I’m gonna clean it before people come round. I can’t help it if I’m so popular.”

Andrea was seen to be an artist in this storyline, hence the mess of the place when Maria walked in. And Chrissie called Sarah Jane, “Bobby Sue”.

Chrissie: “Oh Alan, stop messing about. I know you wanted kids but I never did. As if I’ve got a maternal bone in my body.”

Sarah Jane (re Andrea): “What sort of a woman is she?”
Maria: “Bit full on, likes a party.”
Sarah Jane: “Yeah, that sounds like her.”

Andrea clung to all of the old music in this episode, like there was a part of her that wouldn’t let her forget 1964, despite her other efforts to.

The Trickster: “I will return when the Earth is no more and I will explore your potential further, in particular, your memories of this ‘Doctor’.”
Sarah Jane: “You leave him alone!”

Andrea (to Alan): “Do you know what it’s like, knowing you’re going to die? To feel the end of everything closing in on you? Why am I even asking? I’m the only person who could possibly know.”

Sarah Jane talked about Graske activity a few years ago. Does that further make “Attack Of The Graske” canon?

Andrea: “Well, I say no. If there’s one thing I can do with my life, I ca put a stop to you for good. I’ve changed my mind. I’m taking the deal back!”
The Trickster: “Then you will die.”
Andrea: “I’ve been dead for 40 years. Been a good life. It’s my birthday. Goodbye, Sarah Jane. I’m going now. And you’re free!”

Alan (to Sarah Jane/Luke/Maria/Clyde): “Right. Aliens, monsters, supercomputers, is anybody going to tell me what’s going? Hmm. Come on, I need some answers. Who’s going first?”

Chronology: Sometime late in either 2007 or 2008. Andrea died originally back in 1964. I wondered if she was related to Mike Yates but the writer probably would’ve addressed that.

Stunning episode. “Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane” is by far the best story of the series. Darker compared to the others but equally as delightful and the insights into the way both Sarah Jane and Andrea were certainly helped. It’ll be interesting to see how the Trickster strikes back after this one.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 1x04: "Warriors Of Kudlak"

Written by Phil Gladwin
Directed by Charles Martin

Maria: “You don’t think there’s anything weird about Lance, do you? I mean, you’re not doing this story because you think there’s aliens involved or anything?”
Sarah Jane: “I don’t see aliens behind every bush, you know, Maria. I’m not a conspiracy theorist.”

A storyline involving the disappearance of children is hardly new for a sci-fi series, especially one aimed at younger audiences and neither is a commentary on children’s enjoyment of violent video games but it does make for another well thought out story in this series.

The opening scene had a nice moment of creepiness as Lance had the misfortune of disappearing via transmat beam just as he was getting into the Combat 3000 levels. From there on in, it was just waiting for the next batch of children to disappear as a result.

It’s good that at the start of this story, Sarah Jane’s reason for wanting to write an article on Lance’s disappearance had nothing to do with aliens. In fact it hadn’t been until later on that Sarah Jane did consider alien interference but when Maria first suggested it, Sarah Jane did shoot down the theory.

It’s not that Sarah Jane was being snippy but I suppose a lot of her actual work as a journalist has nothing to do with aliens. In fact, the majority of stories she submits are unrelated to any of her adventures that we’ve seen with this series and her times with The Doctor and UNIT.

The scene where she empathised with Lance’s distraught mother was poignant. Sarah Jane can probably relate more to Carrie’s distress now that she’s a parent than she might have done before Luke became such an integral part of her life.

Lance had an interesting relationship with his mother following the death of his father. Anyone who loses a parent at a young age can probably relate to Lance in this way. It’s also a shame that garnering an ill advised nickname from Luke was how his peers had seen him.

I get that Luke wasn’t being intentionally malicious but this did remind viewers, not that reminding is needed that Luke is still alien to human feelings. Clyde spending most of the time teaching him slang and how to fit in raised some good comedy. It’s becoming harder not to like Clyde as the series goes on.

One thing I’m also noticing about the series, especially with this story and the previous one is that our gang seems to split in two. Maria and Sarah Jane are usually investigating on one hand and Clyde and Luke are usually getting caught by the baddie on the other.

This could be an interesting case of role reversal, it could also be incidental but it is quite noticeable too. While Clyde and Luke are sucked into the grips of Combat 3000, its Sarah Jane, Maria and Mr Smith who are doing the grunt work into figuring out how and why so many children have recently disappeared.

Mr Grantham really was a Pied Piper type of man, wasn’t it? Luring children into the realms of computer madness, all so that his alien partner, the Kudlak could test them out as warriors. Choon Sibian brought a very slimy quality to the character, more so during his confrontation with Sarah Jane and Maria.

Slimy as he may have been though, he was also quite thick as a villain too. The Kudlak could barely tolerate him and both Sarah Jane and Maria were able to escape and knock him out at different points (damn, Maria is good). He was even dumb enough to assume that both of them wouldn’t make it off the Kudlak’s ship alive as well.

Sarah Jane’s reaction to that really interested me. Here, she was really confident that she would save the day and survive the ship. It’s not always a bad attitude to have (expect the best get the best) but it did sort of surprise me too. Maybe we weren’t supposed to see the Kudlak as a real threat.

He was determined to use the kids to fight in an intergalactic war with the Malakh but by the time we got into the second half of the episode, we saw more to him. There was the Mistress, who was far more bloodthirsty for war than the Kudlak himself. Even when the Kudlak attempted to embrace the idea of peace, she appeared affronted by this.

Other things I loved about this episode was Luke and Clyde. Sure they got snared by the baddie, but like all good companions, they banded together and tried their very best to escape along with the other kids captured. Too bad that their attempts were thwarted but it did give Luke a chance to point out that none of the kids were ready for an actual war.

The discussion on war in this episode could be seen as a little topical. Maria went to lengths to point out that there was a difference between kids enjoying mindless violent video games and actually going to war while Lance discussed his father’s history of war and Jen also realised that they were going to be forced to fight.

In the end, the reveal of the war being over saw an incredible reverse from the Kudlak. He shot his Mistress in anger (no surprise she was a computer) after Luke showed him the Emperor’s message and even offered Sarah Jane the choice to kill him. It’s nice to see alien characters given dimension on this show too. Naturally though, Sarah Jane declined on killing Kudlak.

As for Grantham, I really wanted him to get his just desserts in this story but sadly he got away. Sarah Jane did point out that people like Grantham were unable to stay out of trouble so hopefully she’s right in guessing that he’ll get his due in time. As for Luke wanting to know more about girls, I can imagine the future plots with that one.

Also in “Warriors Of Kudlak”

Mr Smith really does do that booming fanfare with some gusto, huh? It’s going to make a future reference so accurate.

Luke: “At breakfast, I am so hungry; I could murder a box of cornflakes. Does that make me a cereal killer? You’re not laughing.”
Maria: “It wasn’t very funny.”

Grantham made some horribly patronising comments about Luke being close to his mother before realising his potential.

Sarah Jane (re Luke): “Is he really finding it hard to fit in, Maria?”
Maria: “No harder than the rest of us. Clyde will talk to him. It’ll be alright.”

Luke: “How did you grass me up?”
Clyde: “Look, we’ll get back to Slang 101 another day.”

Clyde mentioned that his dad left him and his mother for his aunt Melva. That’s cold.

Kudlak (to Mr Grantham): “Neither of us is irreplaceable. Not I and certainly not you.”

Sarah Jane (to receptionist, re Combat 3000): “Apparently it’s the nuts.”
Maria: “Okay, let’s agree to never say that ever again.”

Nice little take on when a companion says something to fit in but sounds silly doing it. Maria basically channelled The Doctor during that moment.

Mr Grantham: “I know, I probably should’ve called you first, but.”
Sarah Jane: “Not at all, Mr Grantham. I’m always delighted to study new forms of human low life in the comfort of my own home.”

Mistress: “Welcome my warriors.”
Luke: “We’re not warriors, we’re kids.”
Kudlak: “None of those before you had the initiative to escape the holding deck. None forced my return to the ship to deal with them. You are good warrior stock.”

What was the name of that machine Sarah Jane and Maria to cause the weather patterns to change?

Mistress: “You seem weary, general.”
Kudlak: “It has been a long war, Mistress. I grow old, dreaming of peace.”

Lance: “It doesn’t make a difference if he can fly it or not. We’re not going anywhere.”
Luke: “You wanna make a wager?”
Clyde: “Respect, Luke, respect.”

For the only time in the first season, there are no appearances from either Alan or Chrissie. Pity, I would’ve liked to have seen the former in this story.

Maria: “It’s incredible. Even after seeing everything, I never thought I’d see this.”
Sarah Jane: “Maybe if everybody could see the Earth from up here, they might appreciate it more. Come on, Maria, let’s go.”

Mistress: “We have no home, Kudlak, except on the battlefield. Peace is a strangers land, we have no place there.”

Chronology: It seems that a short period of time has passed since Clyde’s debut in “Revenge Of The Slitheen”.

Commentaries on bloodlust, computer games and wars aside, “Warriors Of Kudlak” might not be as strong as the previous story but there’s no denying that this series is on a roll with good material as well.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 1x03: "Eye Of The Gorgon"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Alice Troughton

Sister Helena (to Maria): “I’d shut up if I were you or the Abbess might show you her idea of solving a problem like Maria.”

Nuns, nun and nuns. In the words of Father Jack Hackett – reverse, reverse. Only in a sci-fi would this lot be less than a heart warming presence. The opening scene even had Mrs Randall frightened by the presence of a ghostly nun so that’s a big indicator that they’re going to be up to no good in this storyline.

Having the gang investigate the goings on of a retirement isn’t the most unprecedented thing that could happen. Even we do take on some real life reports of abusive staff in places like these, there was always the chance that one of the young characters or even Sarah Jane could have a family or friend in somewhere like Lavender Lawns.

With Clyde, it was seemingly that Mrs Randall was a friend of his grandmother but it was nice that it was him who brought Sarah Jane in on the case, which was something that he even mentioned at one point as well. Modesty might not be Clyde’s strongest asset but he did have a point.

Of course Sarah Jane didn’t deliberately try to hog the limelight and anytime she might have told him to stay put was more to do with his safety and less to do with, er jealousy. I liked that Sarah Jane wasn’t deliberately condescending with Mrs Randall, which is evidently not the same thing that can be said about the lady who ran Lavender Lawns.

As soon as Luke met up with Bea, I knew that she was going to play a role in the alien threat of the episode. The fact that she handed him a talisman and made him swear not to tell anyone that he had it was also a good giveaway. Luke must have one of those faces if Bea could instantly trust him the way she did.

Of course by giving Luke the talisman, she also put the boy in the attentions of the nuns, who were obviously working with the bad guy this week. Clyde may a fantastic point that when in the possession of something dangerous, you never tell the bad guy you have it. Luke’s a bright kid but even he blabbed to the sinister Sister Helena about the talisman and that was before she snatched him.

Beth Goddard is mainly known for her role as one of the dopey couple in Gimme Gimme Gimme but here, she certainly shines with a nasty veneer as the determined Sister Helena. Although I didn’t think she was possessed at first, it did make sense given the lengths she was prepared to go in order to protect her Abbess/Gorgon.

I love that Sarah Jane explained to the kids that both fairytales and myths have some foundation of truth in them. This helped when we discovered that the Gorgon was a set of three aliens and that she was literally the last one standing. It would be unreasonable of Sarah Jane to deny the Gorgon her chance to die in her own world.

So, it made complete sense that the Gorgon was really going to latch onto a new host and take over Earth with humanity serving it. I don’t think Sarah Jane would’ve been so resistant to have handed over the talisman if she didn’t believe that the nuns and the Gorgon had sinister motives.

Besides, the whole story gave us no reason to trust either the Gorgon or the nuns. Maria, Luke and Clyde at different points were being used as leverage to get Sarah Jane to play along and Alan had the misfortune of being turned into stone, the poor thing.

When it finally came to the part where Sarah Jane was being sized up as a new host for the Gorgon, it was really Maria who rose to the challenge. All the sonic lipsticks in the world weren’t going to get Sarah Jane out of this one. Luckily Maria and Bea’s mirror played a nice part in things.

If there was something about this episode that disappointed me, I guess it was the nuns being possessed after all and acting oblivious when they were free of the Gorgon’s control. It’s not a bad thing but it might have been more interesting if in their warped way they had believed in the Gorgon.

However that’s a very, very minor quibble in a story that kept firing cylinders all round. The Gorgon made for an excellent villain no doubt but what was more excellent was Phyllida Law as Bea. This story just further proves that children’s TV doesn’t have to equate dumbing down.

I loved how truthfully the series touched on the issues of Alzheimers and while Doctor Who and Torchwood have done this themselves, this is still something worth praising. Bea’s battle to remember vital information about her own encounters with the Gorgon coupled with Maria’s desperation to save her father made for a good moment.

While it was nice that talisman reversed the process for Alan, I wasn’t entirely shocked that it didn’t wipe away Bea’s Alzheimers however. Still, it was nice that she got one last memory of Edgar and there are some wonderful moments where Sarah Jane clearly related to Bea as well, coupled with humour and poignancy as well.

As for the home parts, I still think this show is using way too much of Chrissie. I like Juliet Cohen who plays her and while Chrissie does get some good zingers and isn’t a terrible person (though she is both clueless and selfish), do we really need to see so much of her when Alan is around?

Chrissie got a deserved dressing down from both Alan and Maria in this episode. I liked that Alan told her there was consequences to breaking up their family and I even found it immensely funny when she thought Sarah Jane was keeping a statue of Alan, only to be proven wrong. Better luck next time, huh, Chrissie.

Also in “Eye Of The Gorgon”

I just realised that Phyllida Law who played Bea in this story is the real life mother of Emma and Sophie Thompson. Cool!

Bea (to Luke): “There’s something different about you, oh don’t be afraid I’ve seen a lie … ahh, unusual people before. Perhaps you can help me.”

Bea mentioned the Sontarans in this episode, which was appropriate given that it had been leaked that they were returning to Doctor Who and of course, they were the first alien race Sarah Jane ever met.

Chrissie: “Anything I can help you with?”
Maria: “You and Maths, I don’t think so.”
Chrissie: “At school, the only figures I was interested in was fellas phone numbers.”

Sarah Jane: “She’s seen Sontarans?”
Bea: “The silliest race in the galaxy. That’s what Edgar used to say.”

For a brief second when we were learning about Bea and Edgar’s alien encounters, I was almost certain that Bea was going to mention The Doctor. I can’t be the only one who thought that, right?

Sarah Jane (to Maria): “The Greeks were always dishing out challenges. I think it must be a man thing.”

Mr Smith (to Sarah Jane): “I can only be realistic and to be candid, things look worse for you all the time.”

Sarah Jane got called “Sally Jean” and “Mary Jane” by Chrissie when she wasn’t going under the brief alias of Felicity Barnes.

Chrissie (re Sarah Jane, to Alan statue): “She really is a bunny boiler this one. Couldn’t have the real thing, so she made a statue. I bet you’d be flattered if you knew, wouldn’t you? You didn’t know, did you?”

Sister Helena: “Parasite? It’s such an unflattering word.”
Sarah Jane (re Gorgon): “It’s what they are. A life form that lives on another, that depends on another to feed and survive.”

Lavender Lawns is a terrible name for a retirement home. It’s sort of like something you’d call a garden house, isn’t it?

Alan (to Sarah Jane): “Pity really. Think I’d look good as one of those Greek statues.”

Chronology: It’s been six months since Chrissie first left Alan and Maria for Ivan.

“Eye Of The Gorgon” to me is this show providing a ripping yarn, playing nicely with mythology and also providing some discussion worthy topics on the nature of ageing and the like. How can anyone dismiss this series?

Rating: 9 out of 10.

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 1x02: "Revenge Of The Slitheen"

Written by Gareth Roberts
Directed by Alice Troughton

Luke: “Sarah Jane, I’ve done something really stupid. A really bad social mistake. I told the Slitheen how to destroy the world.”

On the first day of school most people worry about being unpopular or struggling with subjects or dealing with the attraction of other students. When you’re literally born yesterday in Luke’s case, it’s only fair that you would actually have bigger worries than the usual stuff that teenagers would go through.

With a pilot that proved successful, a series was deserved and as an opening episode went, this was something that perfectly kicked things off (okay, it’s more of a second episode but what the hey?) for Sarah Jane and her young helpers.

Maria talked about how things after the Bane debacle had become more and more weird and she wasn’t exactly kidding. I guess school really isn’t the safest of places to be when you live that part of London that happens to be awash with alien invasions on a regular basis.

I guess to keep with the kids, the Slitheen were an adequate choice for alien enemies. I’ve made no bones about not liking the Slitheen in the past. I think the farting jokes that are generated from them aren’t funny (and I do on some occasions find farting a little funny) and without sounding like a kid, they just look rather naff for a threatening race.

Having them go from worming their way into Downing Street to Maria and Luke’s new school was an interesting step. Slitheen only blend in with society for malevolent purposes and this episode was no exception to the rule. The episode even opened by revealing who they were so early on in the plot.

Wanting to destroy the Earth purely for profit purposes and revenge aren’t exactly the most compelling of motives for them but they do make sense. The Slitheen we encountered in this episode were still smarting from the defeat they last suffered with one of their plans and they certainly managed to exploit Luke at the worst possible moment.

As social mistakes go, being the one to show the villains in question how to destroy a planet is off the chart bad. While Maria was right to try and get Luke not to be so hard on himself, I did have to admit to getting a little bit of a laugh when Clyde pointed out that only Luke and his big brain could’ve told the Slitheen how to decimate the planet.

Of course it was also Luke and his big brain (along with some contributions from Sarah Jane, Maria and Clyde) that also stopped the Slitheen’s plans yet again. Who needs a Time Lord or Harriet Jones when you have this lot to save the day?

However just because this show happens to be aimed for youngsters, it doesn’t mean that it’s impervious of delivering some uncomfortable moments. Although I didn’t feel much compassion for father and son killer Slitheen, I can see how and why Sarah reacted so disheartened when they ended up being fried. Yes, some Slitheen did escape and a rematch seems inevitable but it made for a really awkward moment.

The main plot of the episode raised some interesting moments but I think one of the most enjoyable things in this episode was Clyde. Getting rid of Kelsey wasn’t the worst thing the show could. I think having a gender balance is good and Luke really does need a male influence in his bid to fit in with everyone.

Also there’s another reason why Clyde works. He may be a teen but he’s this series equivalent to Donna Noble and the same reasons why so many viewers love Donna are going to be the same ones why people are going to like him. He’s not exactly afraid to call a situation for what it is.

When Sarah Jane and Maria both tried to shake him off (after he discovered that aliens existed), he refused to be dismissed and he made some good connections with the underground railways. Plus it was him who got Sarah Jane to come around to the idea of having Luke call her ‘mum’.

Also the scene where Sarah Jane told Clyde about her time with The Doctor was a good scene. Sure we had the same thing with Maria, Luke and Kelsey in “Invasion Of The Bane” but it still made for a poignant moment. And yes, Sarah Jane, you really are continuing The Doctor’s legacy. Torchwood could take some tips from you.

As for Sarah Jane and Luke, I love how organic they feel. Both of them are unused to the situation they’ve been put in and both of them are seemingly able to bond over social faux pauses as well.

The Jackson family dynamic also quite wonderful in it’s own way too. It’s nice to see Maria getting along with both her parents and I do like that Alan doesn’t seem to have a mistrust over Sarah Jane, though I suspect Chrissie will soon. Alan also deserves a medal for putting up with Chrissie’s pithy comments about him left, right and centre. Now that would require some serious patience.

Chrissie’s still a bit of a strange for me though. On one hand, I like that she isn’t as cold and standoffish as both Sylvia and Francine started off being but I also think she’s slightly more annoying that Jackie started off being as well. Plus I think the first season made the mistake of overusing the character as well.

Also in “Revenge Of The Slitheen”

This story was essentially a two parter, with the second part aired on CBBC a week before it’s BBC1 transmission.

Mr Blaketon/Slitheen (to the students): “The wife gave me beans and cabbage tartlets. Yet another reason to despise Jamie Oliver.”

Sarah Jane deliberately referencing The Doctor with that ‘Who?’ comment during her last confrontation with the Slitheen.

Maria: “The Headmaster keeps farting.”
Alan: “What, nasty smelly ones or the silent but deadlies?”
Maria: “Ew!”

Sarah Jane: “Remember you saved the world the day you were born. No-one else can say that.”
Luke: “No-one can say that. That’s the problem; no-one is like me.”

As a result of the Slitheen plans, all the school food was rotting and even candles wouldn’t light during their first testing of the capacitor.

Alan: “What sort of journalist are you?”
Sarah Jane: “Oh, just this and that. Local stories, nothing exciting.”
Alan: “Maria was saying you’d travelled a bit.”
Sarah Jane: “Could say that, yeah.”

Janine: “That was your last chance, Miss Smith but be fair, I did give you a warning.”

I know vinegar is great for Slitheen killing and the like but I hate the stuff and even I was surprised with the amounts that Sarah Jane owned.

Maria (to Luke): “Anyone could’ve made that mistake.”
Clyde: “No, only he could.”
Maria: “Clyde!”
Clyde: “Duh! Let’s have a High School Musical moment. A group hug will sort everything out.”

Sarah Jane (re Slitheen): “I told you we’re gonna stop them.”
Clyde: “What, the four of us? With vinegar and plastic squeezies?”

There was a wonderful teasing moment where it appeared that Chrissie might actually know more than she was letting on. Oh and she called Sarah Jane, “Sally Anne” and “Suzie Q”.

Sarah Jane: “You ask too many questions, Clyde.”
Clyde: “Too late to stop me now.”

Chronology: A few days since Luke’s birth but there was an eight month gap between this and “Invasion Of The Bane”. That’s longer than season finales and Christmas specials on Doctor Who.

“Revenge Of The Slitheen” makes for a good opening episode, lively in a lot of places and Clyde does work far better than Kelsey probably could’ve when you think about it. Very much confident in the series ability.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 1x01: "Invasion Of The Bane"

Written by Russell T. Davies And Gareth Roberts
Directed by Colin Teague

Sarah Jane: “Life on Earth can be an adventure too. You just need to know where to look.”

Unless you’re Star Trek, you’re lucky to have at least one successful spin-off but for Doctor Who, it seemed that Torchwood wasn’t going to be the only successful sister show this time around.

With Doctor covering everyone and Torchwood aimed for adults primarily, it was up to The Sarah Jane Adventures to sate this children and given that I can be a bit of a child myself at times, reviewing this show wasn’t going to be difficult for me.

Having a pilot episode air several months before the filming of the first season can often be a mixed tack. If it’s a failure, you can either makes changes or not bother having to continue with a show but if it’s a success, you’re under pressure to get a series out before viewers forget about it.

This opening episode does kick things off quite solidly in my book. Last time we saw Sarah Jane was in “School Union” and it appeared that she had been continuing The Doctor’s mission in her own way. In this story, she’s alone, almost too at ease with the situation and it’s scrutinised within the story.

She’s instantly distant with her new neighbours the Jackson, casually ignoring Maria’s simple attempts to say hello and even Alan is given the cold shoulder when he tries to take an interest in her profession. Fortunately though, the cold façade is understandable.

While The Doctor has always been someone who hasn’t hidden the existence of other life forms, Sarah Jane is less keen to share her knowledge of things from outer space. Maria even caught her communicating with an alien and when trouble put them in each other’s orbit, Sarah Jane was more keen to tell Maria to go home than explain everything to her.

I remember reading a review where someone said that it was radical to give a series to a 60 something actress, especially when the show in question is primarily supposed to be aimed at children. One of this show’s biggest strengths that unlike anything that might air on the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon, this isn’t a series that talks down to it’s audience.

Sarah Jane drives a lot of the story. In “School Reunion” we saw that there was a part of her that couldn’t get over The Doctor and the life she used to experience. It’s sort of relatable if you were in a situation like that and then found yourself back in the humdrum of things. You can’t begrudge Sarah Jane for the way she feels.

I loved that Maria sort of earned her stripes that Sarah Jane was able to open up about her experiences with The Doctor. One of the things that was so apparent in the first season of Torchwood is that Jack never explicitly referenced the Time Lord, except maybe for “End Of Days” but this show is more than happy to.

The main plot of the episode however certainly cemented the fact that this is a series aimed for children. What else could be scary than having a pop drink like Bubble Shock being made out of Bane? Kelsey’s reaction in particular certainly made for a priceless moment.

Casting Samantha Bond as the villainous Mrs Wormwood was a masterstroke. She more than holds her own against Elisabeth Sladen throughout the entire and after all, every good hero needs an equally good villain. I was delighted that she actually survived this episode and like many villains, she made more than a few perceptive comments on the human race.

Yes, we like to eat a lot. I’m definitely one of those people who has a very healthy appetite but even if I had been a teenager, I’d like to think that I would’ve fallen into the Maria contingent and not have consumed any of that Bubble Shock rubbish. It certainly would’ve meant not being possessed at one point in the story.

In terms of other villains, Davey was little more than eye candy when he wasn’t in Bane form and fairly defeated when he was. I guess when you’re stupid enough to refer to Sarah Jane as an old woman; it’s a good indication that you’re not going to win. Also getting eaten by your own mother? Yuck!

The Bane mother itself isn’t the best looking creature the producers could’ve come up with but it was certainly better than some of the Doctor Who monsters we’ve seen (Abzorbaloff I’m looking at you) and it made for a good opening episode foil as well. Plus I loved that Luke was able to use an alien communicator in order to defeat it.

Luke is another masterstroke for the series. Giving Sarah Jane someone to look after (aside from the fact that she’s clearly going to be a mentor to Maria) works brilliantly in the show’s favour and it also gives Maria another person to emote. Luke might have been grown for purposes to advance the Bubble Shock plot but there’s a lot of story possibilities with him as well.

With all of this, what about the other characters? Kelsey is somewhat annoying and didn’t get past this story but as a teenager, she’s very believable (I should know, I have a lot of nieces) and Alan seems like a decent father to Maria and on a shallow note, Joseph Millson is pretty nice to look at, isn’t he?

The only character who doesn’t work for me is Maria’s mother, Chrissie. She’s a bit Jackie-esque but somewhat dislikeable and feckless and also incredibly rude to Sarah Jane as well. The actress however who plays her is a lot of fun in the role and it’s fairly obvious that the more Chrissie appears in the series, the more she’ll get developed as well. Though she does have a habit of getting Sarah Jane’s name wrong (Sarah Lou?) in the series.

Also in “Invasion Of The Bane”

This episode was a full hour and aired several hours before the Season 1 finale of Torchwood back in January 2007.

Maria: “How would you know if you were going mad?”
Alan: “Ask your mother, she’s the expert.”
Maria: “I’m gonna tell her you said that.”

Within the first season, all the episodes are 30 minutes long and broken into five two parters, so instead of 10 episode reviews, expect five.

Maria (to Kelsey): “What’s a mobile phone going to do – make the bubbles go flat?”
Davey: “That’s enough lip at the back. Just do it. Thank you.”

Mrs Wormwood: “What are you trying to suggest, Miss Smith, that Bane originates from outer space?”
Sarah Jane: “Of course not. That’d be ridiculous.”

We briefly met Sarah Jane’s supercomputer Mr Smith in this episode and discovered that K9 was sealing a dangerous black hole as well.

Sarah Jane: “Oh and by the way, what planet are you from?”
Mrs Wormwood: “Nice try.”

Davey: “Mrs Wormwood, we have the situation under control.”
Mrs Wormwood: “Oh I don’t think so. The archetype is gone. Find him and for the Bane mother’s sake, turn off the alarms.”

The alien that Sarah Jane helped was the same species as Mary from Torchwood’s “Greeks Bearing Gifts”. It’s nice to know that not all of them are psychos.

Mrs Wormwood: “I’m gonna turn off my image translator. Try not to scream.”
Kelsey: “I never scream.”

Davey: “First the children and then you, old woman.”
Sarah Jane: “Hey, less with the old.”

Maria: “How did you get started?”
Sarah Jane: “I met this man. This really special man called The Doctor and years ago, we travelled together.”
Maria: “In space?”
Sarah Jane: “Space and time and then it came to an end. Suddenly I was back to a normal life. Electric bills, burst pipes, bus tickets and rain.”

When Sarah Jane and Maria were going through names for Luke, there was a mention of Harry and Alistair, which I thought was lovely. Those were two other very special men in her life.

Kelsey: “Your best friend is a metal dog stuck in a black hole?”
Sarah Jane: “I know.”

K9 (re Kelsey): “The female is hostile.”
Maria: “Ignore her.”

Unlike Doctor Who and Torchwood, this episode had two writers for it and director Colin Teague has helmed for all three series as well.

Sarah Jane: “Mrs Wormwood, the universe is huge … and the Earth is so small. You don’t need to do this. I’m asking you, from one species to another, just … leave this world. Leave us in peace, please.”
Mrs Wormwood: “And if I don’t?”
Sarah Jane: “Then I’ll have to do something!”
Mrs Wormwood: “Very well. In the language of your young ones, bring it on.”

Sarah Jane: “I warned you to leave this planet.”
Mrs Wormwood: “Have you met my mother?”

This episode was released on DVD on it’s own back in November 2007 and then as part of the Season 1 DVD in November 2008.

Sarah Jane: “Told you to stay away.”
Maria: “Oh well. Still glad I didn’t.”

Maria: “I like Luke.”
Sarah Jane: “I like Luke.”
Luke: “If you like Luke, I like Luke.”

Chronology: K9 mentioned something about a year and a half – is that since we saw him in “School Reunion”?

“Invasion Of The Bane” is a solid opening episode. In fact, apart from a younger cast, the quality and content of writing on this show isn’t that dissimilar to Doctor Who itself. I think unlike Torchwood, it had an easier time with finding its feet and Sarah Jane Smith proved that she doesn’t need The Doctor in her orbit to make for required viewing. And yes, this is much better than K9 And Company.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Desperate Housewives - Season 6 Promotional Photos

Continuing my trend of promos (I swear I will review something again for this blog), here are some nice shots of Desperate Housewives Season 6 which ABC have finally gotten around to releasing.

It's a shame that Marc Cherry and company couldn't have put Drea DeMatteo in one of them as well but here's an interview with the latest edition ...

There's also an interesting interview from Marc Cherry (warning spoilers) as well worth reading ....

Desperate Housewives returns to ABC, Sundays at 9pm from September 27th and should premiere in the UK and Ireland in October.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dexter - Season 4 Promotional Photos

Showtime have released some more new Season 4 photos of Dexter, which premieres 9pm on September 27th. FXUK will air it in 2o10.

Here's a trailer as well ....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Brothers And Sisters - Season 3 Unseen Cast Shots

First off all, these look great but with Season 4 set to premiere on ABC in a month's time, why couldn't these photos have been leaked sooner, like when Season 3 was actually airing?

Still gorgeous though.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Merlin Season 2 First Photos

It's definitely not me. More and more promo shots for practically every show are coming thick and fast and my blogs will only highlight the ones that I review on DVD or per episode.

Merlin is due to return on the 19th of September, so pretty soon we should be getting trailers as well.

More photos can be seen here (no spoilers in them) ....

My Review of True Blood's 1x06: "Cold Ground"

Written by Raelle Tucker
Directed by Nick Gomez

Sookie: “I can’t think straight.”
Tara: “Of course you can’t, not with all these crazy buzzards. You’re not their entertainment. You don’t have to dance for them. You just gotta feel what you’re feeling.”
Sookie: “I’m not sure I’m feeling anything, I’m just numb.”

Before I continue with this review, I’m going to point out that this episode stirred a lot of personal issues for me. In two weeks time, it will be a year since my own mother passed away so there was a lot of stuff in this episode that stirred many memories for me, which made the hour both uncomfortable and engaging to watch.

Sookie’s reaction to finding her grandmother brutally murdered, the sheer horror of it was just hard to watch. This was a big episode for Anna Paquin and she bloody well excelled in it throughout. Having Sam and Bill both fight for her attention and to be her support system was believable enough for me.

Although I do like Sam, I guess I sided with Bill on this one. Both men care for Sookie but Bill was the only one she really wanted by her side. Sam, no matter how much he tried to be there for Sookie kept getting pushed aside. I don’t hate Sookie for it, especially given the circumstances.

This episode delivered an all too honesty gamut of reactions and behaviour surrounding the death of a loved one. I’ve seen enough of Six Feet Under to be au fait with it but like I’ve said, I’ve also had the first hand experience as well, though a large part of me largely felt numb.

It’s easy to turn on loved ones during grief. I more or less kept my distance with some people and every chance I got, I would get out of the suit I had to wear during the repose and funeral. But like Sookie, I did have a good support system in friends and unlike Sookie, I did have family members I could turn to as well.

Jason took horrible to a new level when he slapped Sookie. Granted I was like Jason in the sense that I was the last person in my family to know about my mother’s death. I was told by my twin sister over the phone, Jason had to be told by Rene and Hoyt, who were naturally uncomfortable telling him. Not actually being there when a loved one passes away can certainly do a number on you and I have an immense hatred of hospitals, in relation to my own experience.

However Jason, grief or no grief had absolutely no right whatsoever to slap Sookie or to accuse her of being responsible for Adelle’s death. I’m saying this next part from an objective viewpoint but Sookie could shag or piss off every vampire in Bon Temps and what happened to Adelle still wouldn’t be her fault. Jason saying that it was her doing was a selfish thing to say, even for him.

The weird thing is that a minute after wanting to punch Jason Stackhouse, I actually felt bad for him when Andy made no bones of accusing him of killing Adelle. It might have been stupid to have shoved Andy but Andy deserved being shoved a lot more than Sookie did being slapped.

I think the worst thing about this whole episode was the neighbours. Those days leading up to my mother’s funeral, I hated practically everyone visiting us. It might be the done thing but it’s incredibly disconcerting when it’s people you don’t know from Adam but death does show you who your friends are and in that sense our family was fortuitous.

Personally myself, I have three incredible friends, one of whom is a Jehovah’s Witness who even came to my mother’s funeral. That might sound silly to some people but it meant a lot to me and it’s something that I will never forget for as long as I live. Times like this, you always need someone.

It’s why Tara and Lafayette continue to go up in my respect as characters. The writing for them has been pitch perfect for them anyways but the way both of them were there for Sookie was fantastic. Tara rightfully gave Jason a piece of her mind after he slapped Sookie and even shooed everyone out of the house (there were times when I wanted to do that myself). Even Lafayette offering Sookie Valium was far kinder than anything anyone else, outside of Tara, Sam and Bill did for her in this episode.

As for the neighbours – what a bunch of bastards! Seriously, how dare these people have the audacity to pay their ‘respects’ to poor Adelle and yet blatantly hold Sookie responsible for the woman’s death? Sookie was far more gracious in that situation than I or a lot of other people would’ve been.

I was waiting for her to blow up and she did do twice. First off all by scolding Maxine Fortenberry about Adelle’s pie and then telling everyone to shut the fuck up at the funeral. These neighbours utterly disgusted me in this episode and Jason was no better, what with inviting Uncle Bartlett. I think the reason why Sookie hates him was made very clear – he abused her. He even tried to justify his sick urges at one point. Poor Sookie, she royally got crapped on in this episode. Who needs enemies with the kind of neighbours she has?

Both her and Jason were unable to connect with each other in this episode as well. When Jason made a piss poor attempt to apologise, she blew him off. Given the way he treated her, I don’t blame Sookie for it. Then Jason decided that the best way of dealing with his grief was to have sex with the girl from the previous episode while crying about his grandmother. That would be Jason for you.

Jason wasn’t the only person who got laid in this episode. Both Sam and Tara hooked up again as well. I felt a bit bad for Sam when Tara left him in the lurch afterwards but given that they’re supposed to a no strings deal, maybe Tara in her own way had the right to bolt from him. Besides, it’s Sookie he wants even if he does care about Tara.

As for Sookie and Bill, waiting six episodes for them to actually do was better than waiting until the middle of the second season of another show for Buffy and Angel to do the deal. The way it was written, scored, shot and directed was both gothic and romantic and even a bit sexy. Sookie even went as far as to let Bill bite her by the end of the episode, which presumably cemented their connection even further.

Also in “Cold Ground”

The cat purring when Sookie masturbated earlier on in the season was one thing but I was icked out when I saw it licking Adelle’s blood.

Sookie: “Do you think you could apologise to me some other time?”
Sam: “I just. Whatever you need, anything I can do, you know I’m right here.”
Sookie: “I know. Thank you.”

Raelle Tucker, who penned this episode also used to write for Supernatural as well. It’s always great to see a genre writer on another brilliant genre show.

Sam: “I want you to stay away from her.”
Bill: “You know, Sookie doesn’t take too kindly to people making decisions for her.”

Sookie (to Bill/Sam): “I’m as safe here as anywhere. Besides, I’ve got you both to protect me, haven’t I?”

Bill, Bud and Andy all came to the obvious deduction that Sookie was the intended target, not Adelle. That still does not justify anyone blaming Sookie for Adelle’s death.

Arlene (to Sookie): “You know, you really are smarter than anyone gives you credit for. Oh sweetie, I didn’t mean it like that.”

Tara (to Jason): “You oughta be ashamed of yourself. Is that how your grandmother raised you, to beat on your sister? Look at you. I don’t even recognise you anymore. Get the hell out of here. Get out. Get out.”

Jason went through some V withdrawals in the episode. I think Lafayette might have picked up on that as well when he called Jason a stupid bitch.

Tara (re Sookie): “I get it but right now, she needs to be alone.”
Sam: “If there’s anything I can do.”
Tara: “You’re a good friend. Now get the fuck out of here, please.”

Bill (to Sookie): “You don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere.”

Bill sleeps under his house and talked to Bud and Andy about having heightened senses. Plus Sookie came across his grave and he watched over her with a certain dog in tow and he interpreted one of her dreams and came to her.

Sookie (re Adelle): “To say she’ll be missed doesn’t even cut it because I can’t imagine a world without her in it. She was always there. A kind word and a hot meal and always a shoulder to cry on, not just for me.”

Lettie Mae: “Adelle Stackhouse took care of my baby when I couldn’t and I’ll always be grateful for that.”

I felt bad that Tara bought into her mother’s claim of having a demon inside her and wanting an exorcism. I guess it’s possible but the only demon that woman has is alcoholism and nothing more.

Jason: “Sookie, we’re all we’ve got.”
Sookie: “We’ve got nothing.”

Tara (to Lettie Mae): “I’m hurting you? That’s funny, because the last time I saw you, you were beating my head in with a bottle.”

Sam: “I was looking for you.”
Sookie: “Well, you found me.”
Sam: “I liked your speech, what I heard of it. I especially liked the part where you told the town to shut the fuck up.”
Sookie: “Yeah, I’m a real crowd pleaser.”

Standout music: “Cold Ground” by Mark Seliger’s Rusty Truck and “Take Me Home” by Lisbeth Scott during Sookie’s breakdown in the kitchen.

Sookie (to Bill): “Do it. I want you to.”

Chronology: Just moments from where “Sparks Fly Out” left off.

“Cold Ground” is a hard episode to watch. In some ways, it could be the True Blood equivalent of Buffy’s “The Body”. I already stated this episode stirred a lot of reminders for myself, which is partly why I had a hard time watching it, though it is without a doubt the finest episode of the series so far. To rate it any lower than the rating it merited from me would be wrong.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Doctor Who Greatest Moments: The Doctor

Narrated by Jo Whiley
Directed by Gillane Seaborne

David Morrissey (re The Doctor): “He has very human qualities and very conflicting qualities because he isn’t human.”

We’re still three months away from “The Waters Of Mars” and given the spoilers that have been leaked for the last few specials and even Season Five, it’s nice to have any bit of Doctor Who material on television, even if it is a new Confidential of sorts.

Usually I don’t review the Confidentials but seeing as this is one of three and the next two deal with companion and villains, I was persuaded to write something on it. That also means that I’ll write something on the next two as well.

So, an hour dedicated to telling us how brilliant, baffling, dangerous and ever changeable The Doctor is? Count me in. While I was hoping that this would actually cover all Ten on screen Doctors and give us some possibly tantalising hints on the Eleventh incarnation, I wasn’t too disappointed with the respective on the first four seasons.

For starters, having David Tennant, John Barrowman and Freema Agyeman was one thing but what made this interesting to watch was the other guests. David Morrissey, Georgia Moffett, Tom Goodman-Hill, Ryan Sampson, Mark Gatiss and Tracy Ann Oberman all contributed beautifully, mainly talking about their respective plots and the pros and cons of being around The Doctor.

We’ve already seen that in 30 seasons of materials. There’s fun and excitement at every turn but there’s also destruction and doom, so travelling with a Time Lord is definitely a mixed bag. Still, you totally travel with The Doctor though.

- Things were broken down into various sections such as “The Cleverest Man In The Room”, “Meddling With Time” and “Carry On Doctor”.
- Is it me or do Mark Gatiss and David Morrissey sound quite similar? The latter also has a hairdo like Christopher Eccleston did in the first season.
- Speaking of, I got more into this when we were seeing clips of the Ninth Doctor.
- No Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner or Steven Moffat. I assume that Billie Piper and Catherine Tate are in next week’s edition.

Quote From The Doctor

David Tennant (re The Doctor): “At the same time our humanity acts as a check for The Doctor.”

Fun, fairly insightful but also like a greatest hits as one poster on Gallifrey Base described. Looking forward to the next two instalments.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Dollhouse - Season 2 Promotional Cast Shots

Season 2 photos of Dollhouse have made their way onto the internet, so hopefully that will also mean some trailers are imminent as well.

US Viewers will get the second season on FOX, Fridays at 9pm from September 25th while UK viewers will get it on Sci-Fi, Tuesdays at 10pm from October 20th, starting with a double bill.

Six Feet Under - Seasons 1 - 5

Season 1

When this show debuted, I knew I was going to like it. The general premise of a family run funeral business isn’t exactly something that’s explored a lot or at all on television but I went from thinking this was interesting to becoming completely hooked. Nathaniel’s death in the opening episode set the series off on a bang and while the Fishers may have their faults; one of their biggest strengths is their believability as a family. Claire was the kind of teenage character that more TV series need while Ruth’s attempts of finding love with both Hiram and Nikolai certainly had their moments. Nate also had to deal with becoming a partner in a business he didn’t want and if Brenda wasn’t complicated enough for her, the woman’s whole family are a nuttier bunch all together. David and Keith’s relationship became one of the most influential gay relationships on TV and the former’s struggles to come out did make for riveting television. Federico was probably not as well defined as other characters but he certainly his moments and the ongoing rivalry with Kroehner thankfully didn’t drag out. It was also nice to see the variety of characters per cold open as well as the pithy dialogue, stunning/surreal visuals and fantasy as well as some truly glorious character moments. This show rarely hit a bum note.

DVD Extras

HBO have been fairly good with this series, DVD wise, certainly better than some of their other shows. Alan Ball provided two brilliant commentaries for “Pilot” and “Knock, Knock” and there’s a wonderful cast and crew interview with some brief spoilers on the second season. Also worth noting are some deleted scenes, a look on how the title sequence was made from Digital Kitchen and two music tracks.

Episode Ratings

1x01: Pilot = 9/10, 1x02: The Will = 9/10,
1x03: The Foot = 8/10, 1x04: Familia = 7/10,
1x05: An Open Book = 10/10, 1x06: The Room = 8/10,
1x07: Brotherhood = 7/10, 1x08: Crossroads = 8/10,
1x09: Life’s Too Short = 9/10, 1x10: The New Person = 7/10,
1x11: The Trip = 8/10, 1x12: A Private Life = 10/10,
1x13: Knock, Knock = 9/10.

Season 2

I think it’s around this point that the series became more and more confident in its abilities. The first season was wonderful but the second one actually became better as it progressed. David and Keith managed to get back together and became parents (in their own way) to the latter’s swear happy niece, Taylor and that was before we got more insight into Keith’s family (druggie sister, doormat mother, abusive father). I didn’t like the end part with Keith losing his job and the relationship not in the greatest of places but nothing is ever easy in real life and this show. This can also be applied to Nate and Brenda. As a couple, they’re easy to root but both of them really do a lot of sabotage to each other. Nate practically waited until he had a fit to tell Brenda about his AVM and then he told her about getting Lisa pregnant after pissing his former lover. Brenda was no saint herself with the whole sex addiction plot but it’s hard not to like them as a couple no less. Claire seemed to have her own romantic woes as well. On the plus side, she did get rid of Gabe but she also rejected a nice guy in Toby and didn’t seem all that perturbed with Billy, even though Nate was rightly cautious. Ruth also dumped Nikolai after slowly realising that he didn’t care about her. Some of Ruth’s better moments in the season involved other people. Her friendship with Robbie was neat, hashing things out with the errand Sarah was another highlight as was finally being able to support Nate when he told her about his AVM. Federico on the other hand, we got to meet his closeted cousin, his obnoxious sister in law, see him and Vanessa come into money but also we got flashbacks to his time with Nathaniel, adding another layer to the character.

DVD Extras

Although this is a brilliant season and HBO are better with this series, DVD wise than other ones, this was weaker. The 20 minute featurette on “Making Of A Working Stiff” had it’s moments and it was nice that we got commentaries of “In The Game”, “Back To The Garden”, “The Secret”, “I’ll Take You” and “The Last Time”, it’s just a pity we didn’t get more stuff, like an overview of the season or the gorgeous trailer shot for it.

Episode Ratings

2x01: In The Game = 9/10, 2x02: Out, Out Brief Candle = 8/10,
2x03: The Plan = 9/10, 2x04: Driving Mr Mossback = 7/10,
2x05: The Invisible Woman = 9/10, 2x06: In Place Of Anger = 7/10,
2x07: Back To The Garden = 8/10,
2x08: It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year = 10/10,
2x09: Someone Else’s Eyes = 8/10, 2x10: The Secret = 9/10,
2x11: The Liar And The Whore = 7/10, 2x12: I’ll Take You = 9/10,
2x13: The Last Time = 10/10.

Season 3

Third season are rapidly becoming a funny thing in that they divide viewers a lot. This season and the next one seemed to have that overwhelming effect. In retrospect, it might not be as good as the first two seasons but there’s a lot worthy of it too. Okay, Nate and Lisa’s marriage is terrible. If ever there was a valid reason as to why two people should not marry each other just because they’ve had child together, Nate and Lisa are it. They don’t work at all. Nate withdrew more from Lisa than he did with Brenda and Lisa just nagged and nagged like there was no tomorrow. It was obvious that when she went missing that she would wind up dead and that Nate’s internal guilt would have him lash out. Nate can be pretty cruel when he lashes out at people. The rest of the characters continue to get better screen time. David and Keith start the season by going to couples therapy, partaking in threesomes before breaking up and getting back together again. Claire seemed to be more in her element in art school, even before both Russell and Olivier disappointed her by sleeping around and it was nice to see Brenda take stock of her mistakes and genuinely try to atone. Ruth sort of varies – at first being too clingy with Lisa and Maya and then letting her hair down with Bettina (one of the best recurring characters introduced into the series). Her relationships with Arthur and George do vary as well – Ruth sure knows how to pick them. Federico’s vocalisation gets better too, though he does overplay the ‘I’m a partner’ stance at Fishers And Diaz a little too much for my liking. Copping off with the skanky Sophia however wasn’t his smartest of moves though.

DVD Extras

An improvement here, most definitely. Commentary wise, we’ve got ones for “The Eye Inside”, “Nobody Sleeps”, “The Trap”, “Death Works Overtime” and “I’m Sorry, I’m Lost”. There’s also a very nice selection of deleted scenes and a wonderful fifteen minute “Living On The Ledge: A Bird’s-Eye View Of The Third Season” featurette that’s well worth watching, especially as it deals with all the main themes and shooting of the trailer for the third year.

Episode Ratings

3x01: Perfect Circles = 9/10, 3x02: You Never Know = 8/10,
3x03: The Eye Inside = 7/10, 3x04: Nobody Sleeps = 10/10,
3x05: The Trap = 8/10, 3x06: Making Love Work = 7/10,
3x07: Timing And Space = 9/10, 3x08: Tears, Bones And Desire = 9/10,
3x09: The Opening = 8/10, 3x10: Everyone Leaves = 8/10,
3x11: Death Works Overtime = 9/10, 3x12: Twilight = 10/10,
3x13: I’m Sorry, I’m Lost = 10/10.

Season 4

Another season that seemed to divide a lot of viewers – was it impatience or was the series losing it’s edge? I’m not sure. Out of all five seasons, Season 4 is the one that arguably could be seen as the lightest of the bunch. Okay, David went through hell when being kidnapped by psycho boy Jake and that was something that affected him and David, up until the finale but we’ve had darker moments. I knew David and Keith would be unable to maintain an open relationship and I was glad when that plot dissipated. I was also glad to see the back of catty pop star Celeste as well but that’s another matter. Claire certainly got to explore her artistic abilities as well as various group actions with Edie, Billy and Jimmy throughout the entire season. The fiasco with Russell over the collages didn’t put her in a favourable light though her moments with David certainly did. Nate and Brenda on the other hand spent half the season dancing around each other before getting back together (too bad we lost bondage lover Joe, he was sweet in his own way) and deciding to start a family. Implicating that Hoyt was responsible for Lisa’s death was also a rather nice way of wrapping up that storyline as was showing the eventful dissolution of Federico and Vanessa’s marriage. Ruth also had to find out about George’s colourful history and there was the introduction of Maggie as well.

DVD Extras

I love this season for the extras. It really did step up another level. Seven commentaries was brilliant and on largely pivotal episodes as well. The episodes commented on were, “Falling Into Place”, “Parallel Play”, “That’s My Dog” (would’ve liked Michael C. Hall for that one), “Terror Starts At Home”, “The Dare”, “Bomb Shelter” and “Untitled”. Other goodies include more deleted scenes, a Bob Costas interview with Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Lauren Ambrose and Frances Conroy as well as the “Cut By Cut: Editing Six Feet Under” feature with the writers and producers for the episode, “Parallel Play”.

Episode Ratings

4x01: Falling Into Place = 9/10, 4x02: In Case Of Rapture = 8/10,
4x03: Parallel Play = 7/10, 4x04: Can I Come Up Now = 9/10,
4x05: That’s My Dog = 10/10, 4x06: Terror Starts At Home = 9/10,
4x07: The Dare = 8/10, 4x08: Coming And Going = 7/10,
4x09: Grinding The Corn = 9/10, 4x10: The Black Forest = 8/10,
4x11: Bomb Shelter = 8/10, 4x12: Untitled = 9/10.

Season 5

Final seasons should never be this awesome but this show always was something of a rule breaker. For me, everything clicked and then some. Nate and Brenda had finally tied the knot and had dealt with the miscarriage of their baby before discovering that they had become expectant parents again. Nate embraced the idea of Quakerism, embarked on a brief fling with Maggie but ultimately met his death three episodes before the finale while Brenda went into premature labour and had a girl named Willa. Ruth struggled to keep her marriage alive amidst George’s illness and after leaving him, the two became drawn again. Knitting friends weren’t that great but at least Sarah and Bettina were there when Ruth needed them the most. Claire left her art life behind, sensibly ditched Billy when he became too much and lost some of her self indulgence. Hooking her up with Ted also broke her trend of being attracted to dysfunctional men too. Plus Ted was proof that Alan Ball can write for conservative characters who aren’t raging nutters. David and Keith took the inevitable step into parenthood before buying Rico out of the family business, who in turn bought his own business after reuniting with Vanessa. As for the final episode, has any series ever produced anything so perfect? As much as I miss this series, I’m glad it ended. It knew when to quit and it left on one hell of a high note that no other series ender has usurped in quality. Plus Alan Ball is now wowing us with True Blood, so all is definitely not lost then. And there’s Brothers And Sisters to fall in love with as well.

DVD Extras

A final season deserves a good send off and this DVD set does deliver. Again there are six commentaries for “Time Flies”, “The Rainbow Of Her Reasons”, “The Silence”, “Ecotone”, “Static” and “Everyone’s Waiting” from producers, Alan Ball, Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall and Lauren Ambrose. The 2001-2005 hour long respective documentaries which even E4 aired during transmission of the last season are thankfully included in this set and just wait until you watch the “Life And Loss: The Impact Of Six Feet Under” feature. Even Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry is happy to tell viewers how this show influenced his. A wonderful way of capping off the final season of a truly magnificent show.

Episode Ratings

5x01: A Coat Of White Primer = 9/10, 5x02: Dancing For Me = 8/10,
5x03: Hold My Hand = 8/10, 5x04: Time Flies = 10/10,
5x05: Eat A Peach = 9/10, 5x06: The Rainbow Of Her Reasons = 10/10,
5x07: The Silence = 8/10, 5x08: Singing For Our Lives = 10/10,
5x09: Ecotone = 10/10, 5x10: All Alone = 9/10,
5x11: Static = 10/10, 5x12: Everyone’s Waiting = 10/10.

All episode reviews can be found on both my TV TOME page and SHAWNLUNN2002TVHITS, both of which are linked on this blog.