Friday, January 19, 2018

Inspector George Gently - Series 8 - Gently and the New Age

My review of the previous episode: Gently Liberated.

[Spoilers ahead]

As a mystery, Inspector George Gently is hard to assign a genre. It's more violent than cozies like Foyle's War, but hasn't abandoned its whodunnit roots for the high-octane pulp of Luther. Its violence is anchored by the moral code of its protagonist. Noir? Gritty mystery? In any case, both its morality and its darkness come together for one last showdown in Gently and the New Age.  

It's a nice thing to see a show go out on top. Many drag it out, watering down the substance till they've become a self-parody. Inspector George Gently doesn't do that, giving us a final episode true to the integrity of the series and the character, though probably not the story we expected. It might not be the best episode the show has ever produced, but it's a strong ending and that's quite an achievement for a show that's been running for over a decade.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Vera Series 8 - Black Ice - Episode Review

My review of the previous episode: Blood and Bone.

Faye Wakeland is driving along when another car slams into her back bumper, forcing her off the road. She's found the next day by some passing equestrians, clinging to life. Her unborn child died.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Vera Series 8 - Blood and Bone - Episode Review

My review of the previous season finale: The Blanket Mire.

Vera series 8 starts off with a rather lukewarm installment, at least compared to the shot across the bow that was the premiere to series 6. Oh wait, this is series 8? I remember nothing about the entire last season. This isn't starting well.

In an opening that had me sneak-googling the word abattoir, a body is discovered in the furnace of a slaughterhouse. A fortunate power outage meant that the body - a gruesome sight - was found before it had disintegrated completely. It's soon identified as D.C. Harry Fenton, a local copper on the verge of retirement.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Inspector George Gently - Series 8 - Gently Liberated

My review of the previous episode, Son of a Gun.

I haven't watched any George Gently in a long time. As reentry episodes go, this is a good one, if just because it has everything that has defined the show for the last ten years. There's George - stolid, reliable, a lion for justice. Bacchus - smarmy, unreliable, a jackal who wants to be a lion. There's corruption in high places and '60s fashion and mistreatment of minorities. We've seen all of this before, but the knowledge that this is the show's final season gives it an edge that lifts it above a somewhat basic plot.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Upcoming Detective Shows in 2018 - Vera, Endeavour, Luther...

Coming soon (Vera, Endeavour):

It's been a while, but I've finally found the time to write up another of these updates. I've managed to miss a few series (Brokenwood 4 has come and gone, and Father Brown 6 is airing now), so the list is a bit more spare than usual, but here goes.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Doctor Who - Twice Upon a Time - A Mess of Sentiment and Self-Indulgence

Image result for doctor who twice upon a time


My review of the previous episode: The Doctor Falls.

I feel like if you looked up the definition of placeholder in the dictionary, this episode would be right there.

That's not entirely anyone's fault. Steven Moffat always intended Peter Capaldi to regenerate at the end of series 10, but when incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall refused to start off on a Christmas episode, it was left to Moffat to come up with some reason for Peter Capaldi to stick around for an episode.

As it is, he pulls a few good moments together and coats the rest in sentimentality and a boatload of nostalgia. That's always an enjoyable experience, I guess, if you shut your brain off. If there's anything clear at the end, it's that Doctor Who is desperately in need of new ideas, and Steven Moffat is out of gas.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 - The Doctor Falls - Episode Review

My review of last week's episode: World Enough and Time.

(This is a long review. You have been warned.)

Well, here we are. And I'm conflicted. On the one hand, The Doctor Falls is perhaps the clearest, most concise Steven Moffat finale that we've seen. But on the other, it's deeply unsatisfying.

Mostly because of Bill. Moffat wrote Bill Potts into a corner so dark that he couldn't break her out of it without a Deus ex machina, and that's a problem.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Doctor Who Series 10 - World Enough and Time - Episode Review

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My review of the previous episode: The Eaters of Light.

Holy crap.

You know, there's a part of me that hates this type of episode. It's the first of a two-parter, and since this is Steven Moffat, I really doubt that he'll be able to pull off a safe landing, especially to a story as ambitious and twisty as this one. But boy, does he make me hope (and that's hard to resist).