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The Bay: Episode #1.5 (2019)
Another excellent episode.
The Bay is very much all or nothing, and after the previous episode which I found pretty flat, the show delivers perhaps the biggest episode yet. I feared the mystery would have been at an end following part four's finale, but it's not the case, so much going on.
Lisa needs to get a handle on her parenting skills, as her wayward kids both appear to fall separately into crime.
Plenty of action, the moment Abbie walked into the drugs den my heart sank. The councilor is funny, a typical idiot politician.
Lies will always be found out. This was excellent. 9/10
Back to Life: Episode #1.4 (2019)
Finally some lighter moments.
Despite the obvious dark nature throughout this show, we're treated to a somewhat lighter episode, one that sees Miri and her mum finally connect. Some terrific lines, and of course the superb delivery from all.
What's Mandy been up to? Did she have a part to play in the murder? Who on Earth is the strange guy following Miri about, and is there more to the murder then we know?
So many questions, so many laughs, Daisy Haggard and co have given us a real winner. This deserved to be seen by a wider audience. 9/10
Defence of the Realm (1985)
A very good, well written thriller.
Defence of the Realm is a slick British thriller, it's done in the style of John Le Carre. It's no surprise that it won a host of awards, it is exciting, enthralling, and superbly acted. The writing does perhaps lack some of the intricacies of Le Carre, the most notable perhaps being the ending, which was the only element I didn't particularly like.
Gabriel Byrne is terrific, very charismatic, and well suited to the part. He's in great company, with a host of British talent, Denholm Elliot in particular is superb.
It has of course dated a little, but it stands up so well twenty plus years later. 7/10
Back to Life: Episode #1.3 (2019)
Daisy Haggard is terrific.
This show is just a joy, I am once again transfixed by the Charismatic performance of Daisy Haggard, we finally get to learn what Miri has done, why she landed up behind bars, but who is it that's following her, and what's the wonderful Christine Bottomley up to. Her parents are so funny, so wonderfully complex, but it's the complex relationship between Miri and Billy that makes this one so enjoyable.
I know people loved Fleabag, I did myself, I just wish those fans would give this show a chance, it is just as good.
Back to Life: Mandy (2019)
It's a bittersweet joy.
Daisy Haggard is just enchanting, I am totally captivated watching her, she is tormented, drowning in charisma, and yet bright and full of optimism.
It's a slow burner, we're only getting glimpses of Miree's past, I assume we'll only get to know her crime at the end.
It really does pose an interesting question, is someone forgiven for doing time for their crime, or are they perpetually punished. I find this show addictive and captivating. The switch up from light to dark is impressive.
Geraldine James is absolutely hilarious as her misbehaving mum, never thought is see her in such a role.
The Bay: Episode #1.4 (2019)
A bit of a let down.
The last episode had definite meat on the bone, it had focus, direction, and had me hooked, this fourth part was a bit of a step backwards, I thought, it seemed to too and fro from start to finish, with people in and out of the Police station, and Lisa proving what a totally bad mother she is.
I thought the ending of this one came as a total surprise, I now have no idea which way it's going to go, how will they flesh out parts five and six?
Pretty good. 6/10
The Bay: Episode #1.3 (2019)
Best episode to date.
This was the highlight episode thus far, the first two episodes were good, I would class this third episode as excellent. The many various strands of the plot all seemed to converge in this one episode. Lisa seems to be losing control of her family, her son and daughter are both running wild, she's getting in deeper, and he's into goodness knows what.
I'm finding it easy to understand, unlike many similar dramas, it has a lot of subplots, but it's done in a way that's easy to keep up with.
It's very well produced, and the music is fantastic.
No wonder at the time of writing this, that this is the highest rated episode. I totally enjoyed it. 9/10
The Bat (1959)
A very neat, suspenseful mystery.
It would be so easy to dismiss this movie, fair to say it looks as if it was filmed on a camera phone, and you could argue the special effects are a little not so special at times, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. This film is all about the story, the calibre of the mystery. It's similar in style and execution to The Cat and the Canary, though not quite perhaps as effective.
The scenes where you get to see The Bat are great, the lighting is effective, and the shadowy figure looks wonderfully menacing. The scenes of the rabbid bat are perhaps less effective, but it was 1959.
The main draw of this film though is of course Vincent Price, and he of course does not disappoint, he makes it.
Very enjoyable. 7/10
The Bay: Episode #1.2 (2019)
It's a decent watch.
We learn plenty about Lisa in particular, and most of the main characters. I'm struggling to warm to Lisa, she's the central character, but she's cold, uncaring, a pretty poor parent, and seemingly oblivious to all that's going on around her, she also seems to lack morals, and is willing to lie. However the performance of Morven Christie is terrific, I find her so likeable I'm everything she does, she proves here that she can be diverse.
I'm not hooked, as is so often the case with this type of crime drama, but I am interested in seeing how it unfolds.
The Bay: Episode #1.1 (2019)
A strong debut.
It's a definite twist on the tried and tested Broadchurch style formula, only this time, they've added a complication of making the investigating officer entangled with the main suspect.
Lisa has one hell of a complicated life, problems at home, complications at work, and despite being as cold as an iceberg, she's an interesting character, Morven Christie is always great in any role.
I'm not gripped as yet, but I'm intrigued. 7/10
The format seems settled now, Alison stuck between two worlds, real life, and the world of the living dead. We got the same form as the previous episode, only this time we get actors instead of builders. The execution is better in this episode, it's funnier, and allows the ghosts to be even more bonkers.
Credit to all the actors playing ghosts, not an easy task, but each is excellent, Katy Wix in particular, but the Captain is so funny, deeply in the closet, his reactions to the hunky visitors are hilarious.
Nutty and funny. 8/10
Ghosts: Happy Death Day (2019)
The plight of poor Pat.
We learn why Pat has the arrow in his neck, the sad story that led to his demise and subsequent becoming a ghost, we also get to see his family, who of course have now moved on.
It's another funny episode, and I think we get to see exactly where this comedy is pitched, with Alison's ability to see ghosts causing all manner of mishaps. By this stage I see several options for the future, but also the limitations of the show, this week it's the turn of the builders, the builder's bums of course caused some laughs, as did Steve Oram.
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
Pure genius, pure quality.
This is an absolute dream of a movie, a great story, plenty of laughs, and some truly astounding performances, Dennis Price is superb as the lead, Sir Alec Guinness magical as the multiple roles.
It's entertaining and funny from start to finish, taking you on an unexpectedly journey, with twists and turns, the best one of all, delivered right at the end.
Joan Greenwood was captivating, her voice and looks filled the screen.
Hard to believe this dates back to 1949, a truly sublime film. 10/10
My Family: Pain in the Class (2000)
The family are all given big characters.
We learn a lot about each of the characters in this episode, it's another very funny affair, with Nick the one that once again takes centre stage, as his plans to set up an online business don't quite come to plan.
Janey, perpetually in opposition to her parents, comes to the rescue of her poor brother. Favourite scene has to be Susan's taking exception to being called a control freak.
Very funny once again. 8/10
My Family: Serpent's Tooth (2000)
A great start.
I often wonder if My Family served as a replacement for 2.4 Children, similar style sitcoms, both wonderfully funny, and both had longevity. It gets off to a fine start, and this episode allows every character to stamp their personality instantly.
Some great lines, and funny scenes, I particularly loved the scene where Ben chats away to the rabbit, seriously funny. Some slick lines, 'let's try oral.' The chemistry between Lindsay and Wanamaker was terrific, you can just see the pair holding back the laughter.
It's no wonder that a further ten series followed, this was a terrific sitcom. 8/10
Thirteen at Dinner (1985)
Doesn't compare favourably to Suchet's version.
First of all, I am a big fan of Ustinov, his appearance in Death on the Nile, and Evil under the Sun, terrific, sadly this one is a somewhat tacky affair. To start with, why has the time setting changed? Death on the Nile was a sumptuous historical extravaganza, this is a 1980's set mess, with Poirot appearing on TV, it's as far away from what Christie penned as possible.
Ustinov delightful as always, I liked Faye Dunaway, but the main problem was the character of Brian Martin, he is just ghastly, totally over the top, and those action sequences, just cheapen the whole movie.
What truly rubbed salt into the wound, was the appearance of the legendary David Suchet, as Japp, the very idea.
It's watchable enough, but compared to Lord Edgeware dies, it really does miss the mark. 5/10
Line of Duty: Episode #5.6 (2019)
What a send off. H is finally understoodd.
This series simmered initially, by part four though, it totally burst into flames, producing some sizzling, intense drama.
This finale, wasn't the episode I'd expected, and certainly didn't follow the pattern of previous finales. Not an action packed all guns blazing episode, this was a very dialogue heavy, intense drama, with the kind of intense dialogue I personally love.
Exceptional performances, Adrian Dunbar and Anna Maxwell Martin both gave outstanding performances, as did Polly Walker, always in the shadows, but she, as always was intensely charismatic. Some of the scenes between Martin and Dunbar were incredible, she was chilling.
The writing, once again proved to be a huge winner, with some incredible links to the past. When you think you know it all, think again.
I'm sure there will be some that won't quite enjoy this one so much, as it is very heavy, dialogue driven drama, with some of the main players taking a back seat.
Series 6 can't come soon enough. 10/10
Zodiac: Sting Sting Scorpio (1974)
A bit silly this one.
This should have been the best episode of the lot, a good story, and the presence of the great Robert Powell. Unfortunately, I'd say this is the weakest of the lot, the tone is a bit silly, and it looks like a rather cheap production.
I've been watching the whodunit series with Jon Pertwee, and this one unfortunately feels like the humorous murder scene from an episode of it.
The characters are a bit over the top, Robert Powell plays the same character that he played in an episode of Thriller. Esther herself is a bit Madame Arcati here.
The sets look horrible, very low budget, maybe better lighting would have helped.
Not the best. 6/10
Line of Duty: Episode #5.5 (2019)
Even better then the previous episode.
I thought Part 4 had been the highlight in what's been another excellent series, but as is so often the case, the penultimate episode proves to be the standout.
It's always superbly acted, buy introducing the talent of Anna Maxwell Martin, was a blinder, she didn't get a huge deal of screen time, but she was Intensely effective, and has managed to add a new dimension as to the identity of H.
I loved the references to the past, those references to the first series were terrific, particularly for long standing fans.
As always there's an agony in waiting for the solution. 10/10
Line of Duty: Episode #5.4 (2019)
This was huge!
I've particularly enjoyed this fifth series, and this part, which technically should have been the mid series lull, proved to be the standout episode. It had the lot, it had big drama, a superb, tense stand off, and a shock ending that had me watching with my mouth open.
Jed Mercurio has always managed to shock and surprise, and even by his standards he played a blinder here.
I'm utterly at a loss as to the identity of H, I just don't know which way it's going to play out.
Line of Duty: Episode #5.3 (2019)
Tense, thrilling, gripping drama.
It's great that we're finally getting more out of Stephen Graham, John Corbett is finally becoming a much more interesting and intriguing character.
It's a slick production, as always Line of Duty never fails to intrigue, surprise, and give us faces from the past.
The big question on everyone's mind right now, who is H? Is this the year that Hastings finally goes bad?
Line of Duty: Episode #5.2 (2019)
I'm not sure what the fellow reviewers are watching here, but it's clearly not the hour of drama I've just watched.
An hour of gripping, pulse racing drama, which had me glued to my seat.
I'm so glad to see the return of Polly Walker. Stephen Graham is definitely coming into his own.
One criticism, maybe I'm going a little deaf, but some of the dialogue is really difficult to hear. 9/10
Zodiac: Saturn's Rewards (1974)
One of the best of the lot.
This is a great episode in the Zodiac series, a murder is witnessed, and the person that witnesses it has a reason for not wanting to come forward.
It's a clever, well constructed mystery, which is offset by a few lighter moments.
Esther is a little bit of a magical astrologer in this episode, as she adamantly knows the star sign of someone she instantly meets.
Peter Vaughan is always great value, and stands out here, Joanna David was so incredibly pretty and sincere.
Enjoyed this one. 8/10
This is such an engaging drama.
This very unusual drama is so utterly engaging, I still can't really decide what it is, it has drama, a touch of espionage, and something going on, that I can't quite classify. I'm almost glad that I can't pigeonhole it, because it is something so very different to watch.
There's the somewhat domestic story of the regular couple, and there's also the story of the guest actors, not the most engaging tale, as the outcome was a bit obviois, but it's the whole espionage vibe and performance of Ann Firbank that makes this so enjoyable. Firbank was terrific in this, such a strong performance.
Totally into this series. 8/10
Zodiac: The Strength of Gemini (1974)
A decent story, well driven by the lead villain.
A solid episode, which has a fraudster, as opposed to a murderer. It's not a story that I'd put at the top of the pile, but it's driven by the charisma of the main villain.
Norman Eshley, prior to becoming Mr Fourmile, the stuffy neighbour of George and Mildred, cut a very dashing figure. He gave a superb performance in the Thriller series in an episode called The colour of blood, where he played an intense serial killer, echoes of that here, but not as bold a character, but he very much drives this episode. 7/10