18/05/2024

Doctor Who- Boom review

The return of Steven Moffat to Doctor Who relatively soon after his mammoth stint as showrunner is a genuine surprise especially as he seemed to be losing enthusiasm by the end of his period. It was an era that had somewhat of a mixed reaction- a lot of long term fans saw it initially as a return to traditional Who until they decided it wasn’t. The public meanwhile felt less certain about his twisting tales that made them think more than the previous era’s primary emotions. Moffat has written more Doctor Who than anyone (though I suspect RTD is catching up now) so you’d have to wonder- as he himself has publicly done- does he have any more ideas for the series?

 


17/05/2024

Review of the Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

 

Kicking off an intended second modern trilogy, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a movie that appears to start small and builds towards a big climax. Yet there’s more to it than that, a real craftsmanship to every frame, a sense that this is a deeper, broader movie than the title may suggest. People might scoff at such a thought but regardless of whether you get the story or even the concept this is a very well posed movie that easily betters most other films in any iteration since the classic 1968 debut to which it owes a certain debt.





14/05/2024

Top of the Pops 4 May 1989

 

Words: Chris Arnsby
Andy Crane: “And good evening and welcome to a truly international edition of Top of the Pops. Lot's of pretty ladies on the show tonight and making her debut is one of them.”
Jenny Powell: “And I'm very happy to be here. But I'm not the only girl on the show, there also Debbie Gibson, Kylie Minogue, and there's someone down there with my hair on their chin. It's Edelweiss”.

 [28] EDELWEISS: bring me edelweiss. I'm terribly sorry. I appear to have fallen into the wrong parallel universe. This one has a band dressed in Lederhosen opening Top of the Pops and doing baffling things to SOS by Abba.



12/05/2024

Doctor Who: Space Babies, The Devil's Chord reviews

 

Doctor Who is a series that has enjoyed so many iterations due to its evolving nature. Pick any era of the show at random and it will reflect the values and style of tv and wider society at that time. Yet its fans often fail to appreciate this flexible quality and would prefer it if the series remained the same hence the usual outcry anytime there is a change of Doctor, showrunner or even scheduling. For me the criteria of what makes good Doctor Who has never changed and that is simply do I like it? I don’t care who makes it or what platform it sits on, I just want some good storytelling.

This season is, oddly, the third season one in the show’s history (though there have been many resets that could have qualified for that number) and is being pushed as a good jumping on point for viewers unfamiliar with the concept. American viewers especially are likely targets as this version of the programme more than any other needs to succeed in that market to win a longer term future. You know how streamers like to cancel shows, right? Russell T Davies returning as showrunner combined with a bigger budget and promotional reach (adverts on the New York subway!) raises the potential of Doctor Who becoming bigger than it has ever been. So, as you can imagine American studio executives saying, “Let’s see if the content delivers…”



10/05/2024

Film Reviews: Challengers, The Fall Guy

 

Tennis is an intimate game. However many spectators and officials may be watching it’s a physical contest between two people and Challengers, the latest from Luca Guadagnino, definitely gets that. The whole film centres around a match in a lower rung tournament where former friends Art and Patrick find themselves at different points in their tennis careers. Art is a top player but on a losing run and pondering retirement, Patrick has passed his best (partly due to his own lack of discipline) and for him these events are a lifeline. The key connection between them is Tashi, who has dated them both but is now married to and coaching Art. It is her idea to make him play in an event that is really beneath his status. As the two players progress towards an invertible final match, we are privy to flashbacks charting the oscillating three way relationships between them over a period of thirteen years.



08/05/2024

Watching (some of) a 64 day Twitch Subathon

 

It’s often said that the under thirties enjoy most of their entertainment online rather than through conventional media like television, radio or cinema and this has led those of us more familiar with the latter to scratch our collective heads and go “Huh?” Last year I explored the world of streaming only to find the actual gameplay was too busy for me yet what I did discover was that this is often only the best known part of this online community. One the most gruelling ideas someone had was the subathon where a streamer will remain online IRL all the time. Even when sleeping!! What would this be like I wondered so this year I decided to dip in and out of one of the most ambitious subathons there has so far been and what did I find? Joy and whimsy! Brain rot! Burning toaster! Storms!





05/05/2024

I Went to Devon!

 

Where is Torbay? That was the vexing question when I recently visited Devon. It keeps getting mentioned yet there seems to be no such actual place, no town called Torbay. Turns out it’s the collective name for Torquay, Paignton and Brixham and I suspect the title originated as an amalgamation of Torquay Bay. It’s a unitary authority and more importantly one of the UK’s favourite homegrown holiday areas also sometimes referred to as the English Riviera due to the topography, large number of boats and balmier sunny temperatures. So, I went in April.




01/05/2024

Top of the Pops 27 April 1989

 

Reviewed by Chris Arnsby
Gary Davies: “Hello. Good evening. I hope you're well. Welcome to an action-packed Top of the Pops. As you can see tonight I'm all on my own so they've enlisted a little bit of help. Who have we got in the studio tonight.”

Mystery Lady 1: “Beatmasters and De La Soul.”

Mystery Lady 2: “And the Fine Young Cannibals and Yazz.”

Gary Davies: “But to start off with, at number eleven in the charts, with a song called Requiem, the London Boys.”