Blog RSS



21st Century Doctor Who Reviews: The Vampires Of Venice

What's the worst that could happen to a vampire? You've got the stake through the heart problem or the tricky issue of dodging the sun. But what about the indignity of a vampire creeping up to his or her victim and finding out that they'd lost their teeth? The shame – having to scrabble around madly for a pair of false gnashers is as low as a vampire can get, particularly if they're floating Albert Steptoe style in a glass of fizzy solution. Toothless Vampire would never be able to hold his or her head up in public again. That's the same sort of indignity that hovers around the Doctor Who story, The Vampires Of Venice, like a particularly smelly...

Continue reading



Angel Reviews: In The Dark

With BBC2 making a big success of screening Buffy The Vampire Slayer on British terrestrial TV in the late 1990s and early Noughties, Channel 4 promptly snapped up the rights for its spin-off show, Angel. Friday teatimes would now be enlivened by the antics of Angel and his newly assembled Fang Gang, fighting the good fight in LA. There was one little problem, though. While Buffy was generally geared towards a family audience (and even then, notable cuts for violence, language and sexual references were made on a frequent basis to meet watershed rules), Angel wasn't so much. The spin-off show was, by and large, tailor made for a more grown-up audience, with its uncompromising violence and darker, adult themes....

Continue reading



Buffy The Vampire Slayer Reviews: The Harsh Light Of Day

One of the things that mark out both Buffy's fourth season and Angel's first is the cross-over episode. Even miles apart, it's inevitable that the paths of the former lovers will somehow cross, and the first instance of this comes only three episodes into the new run. Bridging the link between the two are a shiny bauble of vampire immortality, Oz, and a returning Spike, who's naturally on the hunt for this piece of valuable bling. It's interesting to look at these two episodes again, back to back. Despite containing some of the familiar Buffy characters, monsters and perilous situations, it's clear that Angel's pitching towards a slightly older audience. Whereas Buffy The Vampire Slayer stays on the slower path...

Continue reading



21st Century Doctor Who Reviews: The Time Of Angels / Flesh And Stone

After the double trouble of The Beast Below and Victory Of The Daleks, Matt Smith's first season improves with an adventure that sees the return of the dreaded Weeping Angels. It's the season's first two-parter, The Time Of Angels/Flesh And Stone, which not only brings back the Angels, but Miss Smug herself, River Song. It's also the story that accelerates the season's over-riding story arc of the mysterious Crack – which depending on your point of view is an asset or a curse. Moffat was taking quite a risk by bringing back the Weeping Angels – they rose to super-stardom almost overnight in the hugely acclaimed Blink. They were and are terrific monsters, not only in their demonic visages but...

Continue reading



Angel Reviews: Lonely Hearts

If there's ever a type of TV show to make an executive rub his pudgy hands together in evil laughing glee, it's the dating programme. Attempting to successfully matchmake on TV is like trying to teach a hamster to juggle. That's where the 'fun' lies, I guess – seeing mismatched couples navigate their way through glacial silences, ill-advised attempts at flirting and the usual nonsense about how the other half isn't attractive/tall/loud enough (delete as applicable). From the staged replies and convenient post-date antagonism of Blind Date through to the three course culinary disasters of Dinner Date through to the cackling fake tan and hair extension mob of Take Me Out, dating shows just will not take no for an...

Continue reading