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TV Reviews

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 22:24 by David

Two Magicians.

One going bad, one going mad.

Norrell's mean streak comes to the fore. How do you stop the publication of a book to rival your own? You make every copy of it disappear. This is after he has read it of course and is moved to tears by how fantastic it is. He is now at the point of no return. He is going after Strange to stop the unleashing of the things that he wouldn’t tell anyone about...

Then he threatens the imprisoned Drawlight with magical torment if he doesn't find Strange.

What a nice chap...

On the mad front, we're in Venice, where Strange is on the run and acting out his plan to summon a fairy by making himself insane. He runs into the Greysteels, Flora and James, daughter and father, who have been visiting an acquaintance of...

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 19:43 by David

And that ladies and gentlemen is how you start an episode.

Usually the Battle of Waterloo would be the climax of a show  Here we have thousands of troops, battle squares, siege, storming of castle gates etc. Some brilliant effects are in play here, money has been spent and it all shows.

In all of this carnage we find Strange at his military duty, putting out burning buildings and squishing French soldiers. The battle is won, the Napoleonic wars are over, Strange goes home. 

All the stress has taken its toll now though and all Strange wants to do is settle down with Arabella, finish his book, have a kid or two and fade into obscurity. 

Unfortunately, though, Napoleon wasn’t his only foe.

Norrell and his new best buddy Lascelles are...

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 11:36 by David

They should have called this Trouble and Strife.

Everyone falls out with someone. 

There's a change in emphasis this week. 

From the action driven piece last week, we get a more character based episode. Everything moves along though. Plot threads are tugged across the board. 

Firstly, Childermass is lying on a doctors table with a bullet in his torso after the assassination attempt on his master. As he moves in and out of death he's treated to a vision with a bird of ominous aspect. A raven, hmmm,I wonder what that could represent?

Lady Pole continues to be thoroughly crapped on. Since it was her shot at Norrell that hit Childermass, the general consensus is that what little sanity she had has now left, and she's away with the faeries....

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 11:32 by David

Warning!

Do not watch this program and Game Of Thrones on the same day. 

We all know that GoT has a habit of putting you through the emotional wringer on a regular basis. This show can hit you in the gut too. 

Here's a few highlights.

War, zombies, insanity, attempted suicide,slavery, attempted murder, emotional torture. 

Many things struck me after this episode, the usual high production values, outstanding performances, moral questions, and I was left at the end of the episode drained but wanting the next installment immediately. 

This is fantastic stuff. It is often said that fantasy is puerile and childish. Not GoT, not this. 

The themes are adult, the characters do terrible things. Even the good characters...

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 22:47 by David

How is Lady Pole?

Alive.

Having been resurrected by Mr Norrell last week she's happy and light on her feet. Ready to dance in fact. 

This remarkable accomplishment from Mr Norrell has given him the connections to turn his talents to thwarting the dastardly Napoleon. The magic starts to get BIG. We have thousands of conjured ships blockading French ports. The British Government is delighted. Talk turns to returning dead politicians and war heroes from the grave. Decomposition could be a factor so we don't get to see Zombie Nelson!

Elsewhere, Segundus and Honeyfoot encounter Strange and the stage is set for the magicians to get together. When Strange proves his sorcerous ability Norrell is delighted. 

So a master and apprentice relationship is...

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 17:16 by David

Welcome to an alternative history.

It's 19th century England, but not the one we're familiar with. 

There used to be magic, but it is now a non-existent curio, studied by theoretical magicians, not a single actual user has been found for 300 years. Claiming to be able to perform magic is strictly the province of charlatans.

Amateur magician John Segundus can't do magic either. His attempts fail, his peers at the local club deride his efforts. No gentleman would lower himself to even try.

Until Mr Norrell. 

Norrell is a Yorkshire scholar of magic who has self-studied himself up to practitioner level, and he's on a mission to bring spell use back to England. He's also loyal to his realm and thinks that his talents can be of use countering the...

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Monday, May 18, 2015 - 21:34 by Spindles

Viruses that kill off people above a certain age are not a new idea in the realms of science fiction and genre television. You only have to look to long running series such as Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek and Deep Space Nine for examples of individual episodes and then there's full series such as The Tribe and Jeremiah that address the concept. But, with most of these series being at least over ten year's old, it was about time for someone to buff the dust off this trope and give it another try.

In Between, we are introduced to the small town of Pretty Lake, population somewhere around eight thousand and rapidly declining. The stage is set with a bunch of varied kids from differing backgrounds who are promptly faced with the reality of all the town residents aged twenty two and...

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Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 14:35 by David

Endgame.

End of plot, end of season, end of Peggy?

We'll come back to that point in a little while.

This episode begins with the gruesome discovery of the effect of one of Stark's inventions, and what it does to one of the SSR boys. 

Now that it has been tested with sufficiently eye-gouging results, Ivchenko - sorry, Fennhoff and Dottie put their plan into action. Several people die as a result. Seems to be a theme this. 

And after all of the chasing and hiding...

Stark just walks into the SSR building. After complaining about the lousy security contractor that the government uses, he gives the gen on what is actually going on. 

Stark is central to the whole episode. We learn what happened at the battle of Finnow and how...

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Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 14:03 by David

Let's play find the lady. 

In fact let's play two versions.

One is straightforward. 

Find Dottie Underwood before she does something horrible. 

The other is more complex. 

The SSR boys play find out what their lady Agent has been doing. This involves interrogation by Dooley, Thompson and Sousa. All three take different approaches, but not the ones you might expect. Souza is bad cop, Thompson the mediator, and Dooley is downright complimentary.

As usual Peggy tears a strip off them. This time during her answers while they are interrogating her!

She wants them to look for Dottie, who is now on the run. 

Dr Ivchenko's real identity is also revealed. It seems a bit odd this, as he is a minor villain in the...

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Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 13:34 by Spindles

We pick up exactly where the previous episode left us, with Ser Jorah bundling a captive Tyrion into a boat.

Cut quickly to another boat. This one containing Jaime and Bronn. Jaime has a brief, whistful moment as they pass the kingdom of Tarth and he remembers his carefree days of frolicking in the woods with Lady Brienne. Bronn is tactful as always as he asks Jaime to pass on his regards to Tyrion next time he sees him, Jaime's response does not bode well for Tyrion's longevity.

Back in King's Landing and it's not looking good as The Iron Bank of Braavos is asking very nicely for it's money back. Cersei uses this as a way of trying to destabilise Margeary by sending her dad off to ask for better terms on the repayments. I know I say this pretty much every week, but, this...

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