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Everything posted by Hikari

  1. Re. Watson's gambling Our good doctor is a temperate man . . Yes, there's the occasional drinking. He and Holmes both smoke (Sherlock, more) Despite Sherl's fondness for the pipe, cigarettes as a secondary smoke fix, and of course, the cocaine needle, his taste for alcohol seems pretty moderate and in bounds. He appears to have zero interest in gambling but he would of course be good at it. No doubt a whiz at counting cards and any other forms of strategy, how different the stories might have been had ACD opted to write the adventures of a gentleman card shark instead of a consulting detective. Perhaps Arthur didn't make Sherlock more of a gambler because he himself abstained from it. A Game of Shadows has a chess match between Moriarty and SH--something that never happened in the stories. Conan Doyle's Sherlock never played chess and I can't remember him even mentioning it. Since chess is the ultimate in logical deduction and strategic thinking, it is quite odd that the Great Detective does not play. Doyle did not know how, so there you go. Rather than suspecting the Doctor of cockfighting or playing the ponies (though he might make the odd wager on horses or dogs) I think the bulk of his gambling debts would have been accrued at the card tables of his gentleman's club. Wagering and winning at games of chance would fuel his soldier's drive toward risk/reward. I think he knew that he had a tendency to waste money on wagers . . not an addiction perhaps, yet, but an extravagance and the potential of losing more than he could afford, particularly if he was between medical practices. So he took the preemptive step of having SH lock up his access to his funds, for his own good. Watson is an exemplar of the Victorian ex-military gentleman and the club was the gentleman's retreat and opportunity to social network. Watson retained his membership (I think he may have had more than one) but adventures with Sherl soon replaced the Doctor's need (or available time) for hanging out so much in his clubs.
  2. A recent discovery for me, from a virtual friend, a troubadour named Paul in Richmond, UK. It feels like a song I've always known, but I'm sure I'd never heard it until about 3 weeks ago. I like my friend's version better but this is the one that hit the airwaves in 1969.
  3. Here's the latest project, and Britbox keeps trying to entice me with a free trial to watch it. An ensemble procedural drama, with MF playing the lead detective in a murder investigation. While I am drawn to these types of stories, the landscape is absolutely cluttered with them. MF appears to be channelling John Watson here somewhat, if John had become a policeman instead of an Army surgeon. For better or worse, John Watson is who I hear whenever he speaks (unless he is doing the Minnesota accent That's just the way it is.
  4. I miss Hobbity Watson Freeman. His attempts to be anything else sadly do not interest me. Apparently Mr. Freeman would like very much to be an even more diminutive English DeNiro, but that really isn't where his gifts lie. We don't need another Tom Hardy; we need a Bilbo Watson. Please come back!
  5. Um, what is going on here? PS . .OK, it's looking normal now. When I first posted, all I got in the above space were two blocks that said Page 1 and Page 2. My post wasn't appearing. New one on me!
  6. Cor, that was a nifty trick! Didn't realize the Chunnel went from London Paddington to Dublin. America is a vast country geographically, but due to being surrounded by ocean on both sides makes us like an island in our thinking at times. A gigantic overgrown island, to be sure, but the effect of being isolated from other countries is the same. Not that we have taken it upon ourselves to learn very much about the countries with which we do share a landmass, to be honest. I will always remember a conversation I had with an Irish girl I met while we were both teaching English in Japan in the 1990s. She had attended secondary school in England--don't ask me where now because I've forgotten--but she went with some school friends on a trip to France. The locals in the shops and whatnot were pretty rude to this group of young ladies--but when they found out that this girl was Irish, their tune totally changed. They were falling all over themselves to be nice to her, in spite of her tentative French--and only to her--because she wasn't English. I had a laugh at that. I liked her immediately. She also admitted that she had flunked Irish language class.
  7. https://guernseydonkey.com/guernsey-legends-duke-richard-of-normandy-and-the-devil/ The tale of Duke Richard of Normandy (William the Conqueror's brother) and his settlement of Guernsey after being dropped on the island by the Devil was first published in written form in 1576 according to this article. The tale itself is probably 500 years older than that. The author no doubt is a fan of Conan Doyle, but she took her inspiration from her Guernsey heritage and not Arthur's Victorian story published more than 300 years after this legend was. Arthur himseld took The Devil's Foot from a botanical specimen, so he didn't invent that, either.
  8. Apologies for a classic American blunder. Actually, I am aware the Northern Ireland is part of the UK and the Republic of Ireland is not. I should have amended my earlier lumping her in with the two actresses from England. To be honest the great majority of my countrymen don't know that 'Ireland' and 'Northern Ireland' are different.
  9. I think any resemblance to The Devil's Foot was coincidental; that is a plant-derived drug and the Devil's Claw of this book refers to a mineral deposit on a cliff in Guernsey that looks like a claw mark made by a beast. In ancient Guernsey folklore, it is said to be the spot where the Devil made landfall on the island. There's a lot of witchcraft lore of this type. Both legends revolve around Satan who just gets around everywhere in the world. The Guernsey LIterary and Potato Peel Pie Society was written by Mary Ann Shaffer who sadly passed away prior to publication. The final rewrite and edits were done by her niece, Annie Barrows, who is credited as a co-author. I assume that Potato Peel Pie is a Guernsey dish but I have not yet started the novel. I will be taking a virtual tour of Guernsey very soon and hope to find all this out.
  10. I stayed up til the wee hours to finish a cracking book in a new series, "The Devil's Claw" by Lara Dearman. Set on the Channel Island of Guernsey, it follows a young newspaper reporter on the trail of a potential serial killer who, with the help of the local police chief, finds disturbing links to the cases of six island girls found drowned on the beach over a period spanning 50 years. I have recently found out a lot more about Guernsey (setting for the NYT best-seller/movie, "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"). The island is strongly influenced by its Norman heritage with its own brand of French patois, and was occupied by the Germans during WWII for 5 years--the only occupation of British soil during the war occurred in the Channel Islands which are halfway between England and France. Renoir painted there for 6 weeks in the summer of 1883. For a very small place, it is full of lively culture and fascinating history and folklore, much of which the author, a Guernsey girl now living in the U.S. has sprinkled throughout her book. Now I'm off to check out the second in the series.
  11. I suppose tutoring goes to 17, though kids in the performing arts get a lot of dispensations. They may only study with the tutor for 2 hours to meet the requirement, so it's not like a full school day. Along with that, people under 18 have restrictions on how many hours they can be on-set for child labor laws. When a production window is tight, they need to have everybody available for some grueling 14-16 hour days at times. There's been a long tradition of adults playing teens (Grease, hello?) and most of them look young enough to get away with it. This does create unrealistic expectations about how sophisticated real teens are supposed to look, though. When 16-year-olds aspire to copy a character who is supposedly their age but is actually being played by an actor who's 28, they can set themselves up for poor self-esteem. It's the exception rather than the rule when an actual teen gets to play a teen. "Little Women" is particularly challenging because the characters are supposed to grow from 'little women' into actual women over the course of the two halves of the book, spanning some ten years. This is most noticeable in Amy, as Beth, the second youngest doesn't get to live long enough to have a life. But Amy goes from an elementary-aged child into a young woman old enough to get married, at least 20 years of age. It's easier for the other actors because their maturation isn't so transformative. I think out of all the many productions of LW we've had, only one, the 1994 movie, chose to have two actresses play Amy. Since the childhood scenes with Amy are so memorable a part of the first half (the limes at school; her feud with Jo; the burning of the book; falling through the ice), I think it was the better choice to have child Amy portrayed by an actual child. There wasn't much of interest left for her adult replacement to do, other than snag Laurie, but the 'grown-up' portions of the story are the weaker ones anyway. Florence Pugh, who played Amy in the new version is one tough cookie. I could easily envision her in a movie about female MMA fighters or Army recruits. I thought her tough, rather masculine demeanor was entirely wrong for quintessentially girly-girl Amy, but her performance isn't even the biggest beef I had with that version. It's a lengthy list. I will always be partial to the 1994 movie, even though at first blush, tiny gamine Winona Ryder didn't seem the best fit for Jo, physically. But she can act, and she's got Jo's inner fiestiness and spunk. There was a PBS miniseries version a few years ago which I didn't think good, either, but the Jo was a standout, in my opinion. She was Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman. She was 19 years old and had never acted before. Both physically and artistically she had a coltish, fresh quality that embodied Jo perfectly, and had no problem playing slightly younger than she was at the start. Megan Follows was 16 when she was cast as Anne of Green Gables, despite the producers' concerns during the audition process that she might be too old. Anne, like Amy, is 11 years old at the start of her story. Anne is supposed to be an exceptionally mature 11 -year-old, given her hard life and her natural old-soul personality. In the pigtails and pinafore, MF looked, if not as young as 11 exactly, young enough to pass for maybe 13. She is physically tiny, with a sweet voice and delicate manner. That was a gamble that paid off. Dorothy Gale of Wizard of Oz is 11 years old at the start, too, and was played by 17-year old Judy Garland, who absolutely no one thought was anywhere near 11. A Kansas farm girl in the 1930s was accepted to be more innocent like a younger girl, even if the reality was somewhat different. There seem to be a lot of 11-year-old heroines popping up in literature . . Hermione Granger is that age, so too is Alice in Wonderland, if I'm not mistaken? It's a very delicate age--one foot in childhood, the other on the cusp of starting to become a woman. A rough age for casting directors!
  12. I suppose in 1860, the accent would have been rather different. The actresses are all from the UK with one Australian. Soairse Ronan (Ireland) (Jo) Emma Watson (England) (Meg) Eliza Scanlen (Australia) (Beth) Florence Pugh (England) (Amy) Of all the girls, only Eliza was a teen (just, she was 19 at the time of filming). All the rest were mid-20s, and Emma Watson was 29. The ages of the little women at the start were: 16, 15, 13 and 11. 23-year-old Florence Pugh who's got a deep husky voice of a gin palace hooker was much too mature and knowing for child Amy . . dolled up to look like a little girl, the effect was child prostitute ala 'Pretty Baby'. Ronan is a gifted actress but I didn't care for her in this part. For some reason, the artistic decision was made to make three of the four little women blondes, probably because Ronan is a natural blonde, though in the book, only Amy is. The naturally brunette Pugh had a bad dye job/wig.
  13. Nor I with them, quite often. The recent "Little Women", for instance. Apart from Chris Cooper as Mr. Lawrence, I wouldn't have selected a single one of those actors for that piece, Meryl Streep inclusive, because she was hamming it up, rather, and the part was so tiny as to be somewhat beneath her . . .2-3 scenes long it was. None of the 4 leads were actually American, which is odd in such an all-American story. It'd be like "Pride & Prejudice" with Kristen Stewart as Lizzie and Dakota Fanning as Jane. Give me a break. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised by unconventional casting. Leo DiCaprio knocked my socks off as Jay Gatsby for Baz Luhrman, and I didn't see that coming.
  14. I read "The Alienist" a few years after it had made a publishing sensation (pub. 1994). In the mid-late 1990s, there was only one person who I thought would do for the character of John Schuyler Moore, the "Watson" to Dr. Lazlo Kriezler's "Sherlock Holmes", and that was John Cusack. Moore is presented as a bachelor-about-town of about 30 or so, and John Cusack was the perfect age at the time. I was probably influenced by his rather similar character in "In The Midnight Garden of Good and Evil", but you have to admit that JC is crackerjack at these types of parts. Even though the titular alienist is presented as a man of only 40 years old, which means that Daniel Bruhl is a perfect age for it, I always interpreted the central relationship to be more mentor-protege than a match of peers as the miniseries presents. Luke Evans as Moore is only 10 months younger than Bruhl and looks older. So the, if not father-son, but maybe nephew-wise uncle dynamic I had envisioned doesn't really work when the characters are same age. Who better to play a paternal psychiatrist than Anthony Hopkins? Admittedly, his Dr. Lechter was influencing me here too; Tony was only three years out from his Oscar win for Silence of the Lambs when Carr published his book. I didn't think a feature-length film could do justice to the complexity and sheer scale of this story, so I was pleased that it was being made as a limited series for television after all this time. I just regret that the ship had sailed on my casting picks, as I think they would have been awesome.
  15. It might have been between seasons of Sherlock that I discovered the long-running BBC series MI-5 (called Spooks in its home market but for obvious reasons, the name was changed for syndication to America). Is anyone else familiar? Over ten seasons, commencing in 2001, it followed the ever-changing group of 'spooks' based at Thames House under the command of Harry Pearce (Peter Firth) and collectively known as 'Five'. "Five" functions the same as our FBI, concentrating on terrorist threats to security at home, whilst their fractious rival cohort across the Thames at Whitehall, MI-6, like our CIA deals in international terrorist threats to the security of Britain. There is sometimes a lot of overlap between the two agencies, with British citizens getting involved in terrorist organizations abroad and foreign nationals infiltrating Britain to commit terrorist acts on domestic soil. Much like our two security agencies (and now we've got Homeland Security as a Cabinet-level agency, too), it's often hard to say definitively who has jurisdiction and there's a ton of inter-agency political infighting and brinksmanship. Events of 9/11 made it seem dicey whether the show could actually go forward at all, since probably at least half of it deals expressly with Middle Eastern terrorism. In this world, the two greatest threats to the United Kingdom today are al-Queda and 'The Americans' . . chiefly, the jingoistic cowboys of the CIA, egged on by the American President, whoever he is. Incidentally, our Ben appears in a small guest role as a nervous junior Five officer under interrogation for suspected treasonous activity in a Season 2 episode. Sherlock and international stardom was still some 8 years in the future. Five and its sister agency Six tend to recruit the brightest and the best from Cambridge & Oxford and other universities. The ideal candidate is fit, multilingual, prepared to work all hours, cool under pressure and doesn't have many personal attachments. They have to be comfortable operating in an often grey area between what is 'legal' in the eyes of the law, or ethical/humane in the eyes of society . . and what is required on an operational level by one's government. These spooks are patriotic as a default, but I think it'd be really tough to reconcile a religious faith and adherence to tenets like 'Thou shalt not kill' and 'Thou shalt not bear false witness' with the requirements of the service to one's country in this capacity. To enter the security services is to enter a world where 'truth' and 'good' are situational, where the end does justify the means and where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. In short, if one is not prepared to adopt easy lying and false identities as a lifestyle, even to one's partner, parents & children . . if one is not able to kill another person without hesitation if the operation demands it, often using resourceful means. . in other words, to live within the grey areas . . one is not equipped to do this job. Few are, and for officers in the field, sometimes the life expectancy is not long. Yet what these security services personnel are, at a fundamental level, are soldiers in the service of their country. If we can accept that soldiers on the battlefield are not held culpable for killing in combat out of necessity, should these officers be labeled monsters for fighting the Cold War to win for their nation? The trouble with Mary's past is not just that she was recruited by the CIA and had to kill while on assignment for the United States government, but that she had committed civilian crimes before that and afterwards, was a mercenary doing 'wet work' for cash. At least, I think that this is implied--that she'd become a loose canon for sale to the highest bidder, including the terrorists she'd been fighting against while in the CIA. I guess the fundamental question one has to fall on to one side or the other is: Is murder ever justified, and if so, under what circumstances? Mary had fallen on the wrong side of that line . . Sherlock killed CAM without authorization so he had as well. Seeing as he brought a gun to the encounter, it was premeditated murder, not operational. Would we feel differently about it if Mycroft, having assessed the threat posed to national security by CAM had had him taken out by one of his legitimate agents? Does it make a difference? Sherlock overstepped himself but maybe he just hastened something that would have happened to CAM in the near future anyway. CAM never got punished for any of his crimes against humanity--until SH appointed himself executioner. Despite his many gifts which would make him an excellent operative, he does have one major failing that could be fatal, and was, nearly, in Scandal . . his uncontrollable urge to Show Off that overrides any instinct to discretion. Executing Magnusson was strenuously out of character due to the violence, but even canon Sherlock often appointed himself judge and jury when it came to deciding to what should happen to a miscreant. I can't recollect any instance in Conan Doyle where Sherlock Holmes ever killed a person. Perhaps ACD, with his devout Catholicism and his vow to 'first do no harm' could not bring himself to write his hero as a killer, even in the service of Her Majesty Queen Victoria. In the final story "His Last Bow" Holmes and Watson *are* on Her Majesty's Secret Service, and it is implied that this is a role which Sherlock Holmes has been engaged in since his abrupt 'retirement' from the consulting business and quitting Baker Street at the tender age of only 50. and one he plans to continue. So the 'beekeeping in Sussex' is, while a hobby SH does dabble in, also a convenient cover story for his actual activities for the Crown. No matter what century SH is living in, he's too valuable an asset to the Crown and to humanity in general to let rot in prison or execute, even if his actions *technically* warrant some sort of consequence. At times like these, it's ever so helpful to have an elder brother who '*is* the British Government. The clandestine operatives that have to commit murder for Queen and Country are supposed to remain under the radar and avoid having their fingerprints on the scenes. Because they do tread on morally suspect areas at times, and if caught by the civilian authorities, sometimes have to be disavowed, just like Ethan Hunt.
  16. Seconded. I don't really see how anything in the final season can be construed as 'playful', unless one is a psychopath. Mark Gatiss dressed up like the Gorton fisherman . . eh, rates a half-smile from me. After an initial reaction of disappointment to TEH--specifically *the criminal waste* of Sebastian Moran as a character--Really, what a squandered opportunity!! Moran, Moriarty's chief henchman and lieutenant is just as scary as his boss. He blithely assassinates people with his airgun, doesn't just hide in a rented room and press a button on a computer. Perhaps--this Mary is supposed to be the 'Moran'? How similar the names--Moran, Morstan--I did quite like some of the bits. The Sign of Three is great craic . . and the first bit of HLV is as well . . 'Billy' is sublime. But it all goes off the rails and never recovers.
  17. Re. Janine Someone mentioned before, don't know which thread now, that before Sherlock cultivated Janine without her knowledge as a useful tool for access to Magnusson, *Mary* had pipped him to the post, and a long time prior, as a matter of fact. J. was maid of honor at Mary's wedding, a role usually reserved for one's closest friend, if one isn't choosing (or doesn't have) a sister or other close female relative. John admits when proposing to Mary that 'it hasn't been long', ie. that they've been dating. Maybe they knew each other for a couple of years at the surgery before becoming a couple . . but just how long Mary has been cultivating Janine is a mystery. How would those two ever have organically become friends, with their very disparate careers? Janine seems quite a bit younger as well, so how many social circles would there be that overlapped between them? Yet, here's J. in the premier supporting role in the female side of the bridal party. There are some other bridesmaids too . . then all those wedding telegrams with well-wishes for 'Poppet'. For an 'orphan' who's only posing as a nurse named Mary Morstan, she's collected a lot of pals. There was the ex-boyfriend interrogated by Sherlock . . bit of low-hanging fruit for our Mary . . She was really going deep underground cultivating this younger and rather vapid set of social acquaintances. So--she targeted Magnusson, because it surely was not sheer coincidence that her 'best friend' just happens to be CAM's PA. Why? Was she actually still a sleeper agent the whole time? Did she actually fall in love with John or--a more blood-chilling explanation: did she cultivate him too, as an asset? Surely the person closest in proximity and feeling to Sherlock Holmes is a useful person to know. A lesser bit of wonderment is--what exactly does she do at the surgery? Is she a nurse or is she just a receptionist? I don't suppose it'd be hard for a CIA operative (I don't necessarily say 'ex-operative', either . . ) to fake up a nursing credential, but working in a medical clinic it would become apparent pretty quick if she didn't actually know what she was doing. So, all the more reason to suspect that Mary in fact chose to work at *that* particular NHS clinic because the (late) Sherlock Holmes's best mate/confidante/business manager/publicist worked there. Her duties at the surgery would not otherwise seem to be a good fit for her considerable skill set. Before we 'knew' Mary's proclivities, when we were intro'd to her at the engagement dinner, she seemed like a 'creative' type, not a nurse/receptionist in a government-run clinic. That was Amanda's own style informing Mary. So many other things they could have done with this character, wholesome things, like adding a sassy gal who knows a skip code and has a memory like a steel trap to the detective business as the Girl Friday/co-investigator. Or they could have paid homage to the original Mary, John's lovely, traditional, yet surprisingly independent-minded wife by having her modern counterpart do something nurturing of her own like baking artisanal breads or running a nursery school. Mary is unmasked in HLV, but so many threads are left dangling, because it doesn't seem like Mary had really given up the covert espionage business at all but had just gone a bit dormant. We see she still had all the kit. I still don't understand why Mofftiss felt compelled to make Mary a ninja assassin, especially if they were going to introduce 'Euros'. How many sociopaths can one small doctor collect around himself? For me Sherlock jumped the shark when Sherlock came face to face with John's wife in her assassin gear and took a bullet in the chest. Subsequent events were both the writers and John Watson losing their minds, in my opinion. In comparison with that, the rather anti-climactic 'reveal' of 'How Sherlock Did It' (the Fall) is the height of rationality. Very funny how Mofftiss hewed strenuously to the laws of physics in that instance but threw caution to the winds in going all Arkham Asylum with the 'reveal' of Euros and Redbeard. I did like the device of Sherlock explaining (or, condescending to) 'Phil', his former antagonist and audience stand-in, who, like many of the audience had wasted three years of his life heatedly divising, discussing and discarding 'theories' during the explanation portion. I guess we can take Sherlock's dismissive, 'aren't you lot silly'? attitude as indicative of the writers' attitude toward their fans. I don't believe it's a writer's responsibility to pander to his/her audience's expectations . . but I do expect well-written material that holds together and still lets the audience have their dignity. I always understood the gay subtext in the episodes was just a tease for humor, not a promise that 'more' was on offer . . John Watson has always historically been a hetero character and Sherlock Holmes is not tuned to the carnal frequency. But the issue of Mary and Euros and the toxification of the the Sherlock/John relationship . . those I did object to. The whole last season and most of HLV felt like a two-fingered salute from Mofftiss to the viewers to me.
  18. Freddie Jones as Harry Field, Sr. wins my award for 'Top Guest Star' of the whole series. I would have liked to see more of Harry, Jr. (Trevor Byfield). Trev appeared in the "Counter Culture Blues" episode of Lewis and . . the years have not been kind. His appearance was pretty shocking. The episode with Morse and Lewis on the church roof was "Service of All the Dead" (Season 1:3). That was the one with the dead kids in the coal shute. Very tough episode apart from that bit of humor with Robbie. Ghosts in the Machine is a favorite of mine, too. That was our boys at the aristocratic house with the French nanny. I vaguely remember some stolen artwork there? FYI, I have just discovered that all the episodes of "Lewis" are available on YouTube. I own the DVDs but my remote decided to puke out of the blue and I can't get it to work. A DVD is stuck in my player, too. So I guess I need to get a new remote. In the meantime I was in the mood to watch "Dark Matter" after "Jupiter" was featured at the DoE's funeral.
  19. You'd be surprised . . Years of honing my ear on British television dramas and films have made me able to decipher most accents of the UK. I do confess that Scots does still mystify me at times. I hear that goes for British residents of 'down South' as well. In the Morse episode "Who Killed Harry Field?", one of my personal favorites, at the top of the episode, Morse tells Lewis that he will get to conduct the next interview. Robbie is very pleased--until he finds out that 'conducting the interview' means translating Geordie (or Scots, maybe, I wasn't sure) from Morse's car mechanic into 'English' that Morse can understand. LOL My favorite Geordie joke of all time goes like this (paraphrasing a bit because I can't find it again, of course): If Jesus Had Been a Geordie Jesus was enduring Crucifixion and the disciples were standing around at the foot of the cross. Jesus called out, "Oi, Peter . . ", then again, this time more loudly. And a third time. Finally Peter went over to see what He was on about. "Aye, Master, what is it?" The Lord replied, excitedly, "O'ee Peter, Ah ken see ma 'oose from 'ere!' **** Peter wasn't actually at the Crucifixion but I had to chuckle because there's a scene in the third ever Morse episode that has Sgt. Lewis and his boss up on the rooftop of a church. Morse is terrified of heights and he's white and sweating and clinging to the wall, having a panic attack. Meanwhile his sergeant is gamboling around the steeply pitched roof in dress shoes like a spring lamb in a pasture. Lewis: Whoo, what a view! Ye can nearly see Scotland! ***** Unless Russell Lewis can contrive some reason for a young police recruit from Newcastle to come to Oxford in 1971--using Kev's own birthday for Lewis, Robbie is barely 20 at that point (perhaps an intra-jurisdictional police mentorship scheme or a cricket tournament) there is no interface between Robbie and Morse until 1987. It is my fond wish that they would 'meet', accidentally--neither will remember it, so it can't be an official introduction. I used to think it could happen, but then I'm still waiting for Endeavour to buy the red Jag (which I call 'Her'). He looked at Her in the pilot and I got all excited. Thought maybe after he got promoted to DS he could afford the payments and Thursday might help him out with a downpayment by way of congratulations. But Fred has his own money woes. I hope E. gets that car before we have to leave him, or I will be Seriously Put Out.
  20. Showrunner Russell Lewis has said that Series 8 will be the end of Endeavour but . . never say never! In the world of the show, only six years have passed (1965 - 1971). In reality it's been 10 years. Roger Allam is incredibly in-demand as a stage actor, which is why there were only three episodes last time, not 4. Roger was the lead in a play, so production had to either start late or finish early to accommodate him. He sported a huge bushy beard in the play . . very unlike Fred Thursday. I had rather hoped that they might make it to 1974 -'75, as these years were significant for Morse from the original series. 1974 was the murder of 8-year-old Mary Lapsley, the case which Morse has never really gotten over because he found the body. The case and his contentious relationship with 'Dawson' is covered in the 'Second Time Around' episode. 1975 was the year he finally made Detective Sergeant, according to what he tells someone in 'Absolute Conviction'. I wondered if he wasn't pulling our legs there because someone of Morse's ability wouldn't languish at Det. Constable for a whole decade . . but maybe it was the Masons. In 1971, our Robbie would be a 20-year-old police cadet up in Newcastle. Poor sod doesn't know what's coming in his life! "Lewis" is done and dusted, I'm afraid. I'm still hopeful that the actors might be tempted back for a Christmas special. I have an idea: a Robbie - Laura wedding, with Hathaway as best man. It is never explained what exactly Lewis and Hobson's status is. Together, obviously but no peep about an actual marriage. I always felt gypped on that score. Neither Lewis nor Hobson is particularly religious but Robbie is the marrying type, not the 'shack up with my bird' type. And I think Laura would want a tiny bit of wedding fuss after waiting so long to get married for the first time. Maybe they'd even find a nice girl for H to settle down with. They could call it a 'vow renewal', explaining that they just had a registry office 'do and never really told anyone but now that they are celebrating 7 years of togetherness, (yes, it's really been that long since Season 6) they decide to throw that big white party they never had. Ma'am is the matron of honor and Haddix can be the bridesmaid. So twee, you think . .but wait! Of course there must be a dead body at the wedding. Or a couple of them. I would be perfectly fine to have a reboot of "Lewis" without Hathaway. The genius of his character was that he was the perfect, snarky #2. After he got promoted to Inspector, he completely lost his signature snarky spark. Shades of Morse: fell into police work and, despite real aptitude for it, hates it and always wants to be elsewhere. Constantly whinges and threatens to quit, to go on pilgrimages in foreign countries. Never does quit and just ends up getting promoted up the ladder until he's old, crabby and dies of a heart attack. DS Haddix was a lovely person and had real potential. Let Lewis mentor her instead. They could even say that H has left the police force to run for Parliament, haha. I don't foresee Lozza winning his bid for office but I wish him luck if he really wants to dive into that fray. Apparently the Hollywood movie career went nowhere--probably because the niche of posh, super-tall, blond, slightly strange-looking English dude has been filled by Paul Bettany and we really can only have one of those at a time. L. invoked a Victorian version of Hathaway in his portrayal of Lord Palmerston, P.M. and he was quite droll. He had released a rock album and was touring and the music career looked pretty promising . .and then Covid hit. I will watch his political aspirations with interest.
  21. According to photos posted in the Inspector Morse World FB group I'm in, filming for Series 8 is currently underway in Oxford. The set will be set in 1971. Shaun looks very fetching in his mask between takes. I have decided that the secret to looking good in a mask is good hair, and Shaun's hair is righteous.
  22. Arcadia, In that case, I recommend New Tricks. Have you seen it? If it's possible to die laughing, then Mssrs. Armstrong, Waterman and Bolam will do you in and you will like it. Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) of the Met spearheads a public relations disaster for the force when she shoots a dog during a police raid while attempting to rescue a hostage. This doesn't sound funny so far but stick with me. In punishment (to be fair, the dog was charging her . .) Sandra gets demoted to the basement of Scotland Yard (literally) as the CO of a new initiative, a cold case squad comprised of retired officers. Sandra: Retired detectives . . Does this mean they have their own teeth? She consults with her former mentor, DCS Jack Halford (James Bolam), who will be her right-hand man on this team. Jack (sorting through photos of potential candidates): Dead. Dead. Dead. Dead . . well, nearly. Alive, but don't leave him alone with your kids. Dead. Would be if I got my hands on him . . . Looks like you're going to have to advertise! They collect Gerry (Dennis Waterman) and Brian (Alun Armstrong) and the hilarity begins. I avoided this show for ages based on promo clips because I thought it was going to be unbearably slapstick and twee, like Benny Hill . . it's not. There is a serious crime procedural running alongside the comedic team camaraderie stuff; it's deftly blended by great scripts and the most talented ensemble cast on television. They all handle drama and comedy equally well. Two shows with a similar aesthetic: crime dramedy featuring a strong female squad leader over a team of sometimes bumbling men: Blue Murder (UK) and The Closer (TNT). Vera, starring Brenda Blethyn, can be dark sometimes but there's humor to be had in this squad, too.
  23. Stranger Things has been quite the rage here. I have not seen it as it didn't seem to be my cuppa; paranormal stuff leaves me pretty cold, but fans like it for the sense of 1980s nostalgia. I gather it's kind of like a Steven Spielberg/Stephen King mashup, so if you liked some of those 1980s films like ET and It, you might get into this show. It stars Enola Holmes's Millie Bobby Brown, who was only 12 or 13 at the start. I'm trying to think of shows with a similar feeling to Sherlock or House. You might enjoy Endeavour (aka 'Young Inspector Morse'). He is a cerebral detective and the 1960s production design is pretty fab. Morse is the creation of Colin Dexter, who was an avid Sherlockian. We've also talked about Zen, starring Rufus Sewell. That was three films only . . I think there were plans for more but it turned out that filming in Roma got too expensive. My impression from the books is that Zen is also an homage to Sherlock Holmes. If you're willing to read anything else written by Michael Dibdin, those seem pretty good. I really enjoyed the Marple series of films done by Geraldine McEwan, though those might be a tad cosy for you. Miss McEwan (RIP) is my favorite Miss Marple. Hercule Poirot leaves me a bit cold but he's definitely more Sherlock-like in his methods. The major fun of these films is seeing all the major stars of British stage and screen popping up in supporting roles. I enjoyed Ken Branagh's take on Wallander on the BBC, but, as beautiful as the locations in Ystad, Sweden are, those stories can get very grim. The long-running Swedish television Wallander starring Krister Henricksson is closer to Henning Mankell's detective as written . .more brain work, less running around with guns. This Wallander is a classical music buff with a fondness for alcohol and aloofness. I think of him as the Scandinavian Morse. So, rather Holmes-like.
  24. "God Save My Gracious Me; Long Live My Noble Me; God Sa . . .ve . . . Me!' I think the Queen is at her core a humble and rather self-effacing person, considering who she is, so that must get old. When they broke into "God Save the Queen" at PP's funeral as the State Bentley made its entrance, it really struck me that on that day of all days, she might have not wanted to intrude on those proceedings. But it's the National Anthem so it had to be played. I am not versed in all the world anthems but I think God Save the Queen is one of the few that are an ode to a leader him/herself rather than the more amorphous odes to country or patriotism. Q: After 70+ years of singing 'God Save the Queen', a period during which 80% of all living Britons were born, do you think your countrymen are going to have a devil of a time switching over to God Save the King? Particularly when it's a King that nobody is remotely excited about? Poor Charles--after having waited so long for the Top Job, the chances of him doing it more than a decade are increasingly slim. He does not seem poised to be as long-lived as his parents. He will be like the second longest-tenured Prince of Wales, Edward VII and have a short reign. Even if it's 20 years, Mummy's record will still dwarf them all. I am preferential to "Jerusalem" as an anthem but that is so closely tied to England rather than the UK as a whole, I can see why it was not picked. Evidently the tune to the American anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner goes to a bawdy drinking song popular in England back in the day, and that has caused hilarity in some quarters. This song is so notoriously difficult with its windy phrases, chewy words and octave change that it is a supreme test of vocal ability and stamina, not to be undertaken by the faint-hearted. The former British subjects that settled these lands could not give up entirely on God Save the King, so they kept the tune and changed the words. My country t'is of thee; sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing Land where our fathers died; Land of the Pilgrim's pride From every mountainside, Let freedom ring! ******** I expect that My Country T'is of Thee will shortly be cancelled as 'Pilgrim's Pride' is symbolic of the cultural appropriation and destruction of the indigenous peoples of North America by privileged white people, following in the footsteps of Columbus Day, and all Native American sports team mascots & names. It can only be a matter of time until the the continent and this country must be re-named since Americo Vespucci is just another European (white) guy taking advantage of indigenous peoples. 'Panem' is up for grabs.
  25. Carol, I had to rely on DVDs to get my Sherlock fix since I don't have access to PBS. To the best of my recollection, the DVD of Sherlock 1 hit these shores in March 2011; at least, that's when I discovered it. My Sherlock experience has been tied to the availability of the DVDs in America and not to the UK release dates, so if I'm 'off', that's why. UK broadcast schedules were not relevant to me, but had I been able to teleport myself to London to watch the premieres 'at home' (Sherlock's home), I certainly would've.
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