Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 4*

Preview. Fights, explosions, foot chases, car chases, falling, injuries, high-tech gadgets fail. Instead of depending on impossible fake face masks and imitative voice-boxes, his stick-to-the-glass-window-of-the-highest-skyscraper special glove zizzes (no mis-spell) out, and the trio (who have secrets and hidden agendas from each other) depend on plain ordinary courage and fibs. I watched in bits - advise continuous view, interruptions spoil buildup of tension and momentum of increasing troubles.

Pretty girls more tough than skin exposed in more skimpy outfits than traditional male suits - plus points. She wears the obligatory skin-tight dress, low-cut, but long, and instead of kisses the villain gets .. . no spoilers here, so no more details ...

Like James Bond, Mission Impossible is exotic locals, spiffy gadgets, pinch humor, afore-mentioned adrenaline action, and America rules. Viewers know what we want, and the films deliver, so maybe should be 5*. But lead Tom Cruise just isn't one of my favorite actors anymore; Simon Pegg seems narrowly restricted to comic relief; Paula Patton is basically eye candy.

Agatha Christie's Tommy and Tuppence s1 5* Partners in Crime

From bookbookseries. Tuppence, Prudence Cowley (Francesca Annis) and Tom Beresford (James Warwick) first appear in "The Secret Adversary". Married, their agency "Partners in Crime" short stories are light-hearted flirting and clever deductions. Visually, TV versions are both soothing and stimulating, colorful and pastel symmetry fashionable in 1920s deco set to music of the times. Passive theatre-style conversations swamp modern action-thrillers. But Agatha Christie is beloved for her complex eccentrics, murder resulting from ordinary situations.

P.I.C. "solved four baffling murder mysteries, rounded up a gang of counterfeiters, ditto gang of smugglers ... one jewel robbery, two escapes from violent death, one case of missing lady reducing her figure, one young girl befriended, an alibi successfully exploded, and alas! one case where we made utter fools of ourselves." Next, "N or M", "By the Pricking of My Thumbs", then fifth and last case, "Postern of Fate". Beresford

Softly tinted elegant Art Deco 1920s paintings of flapper, cloche ladies, and fedora gentlemen characters are background for opening credits and commercial-paced break intervals. Theme :41 series stills. Leader, all 10 credits. Bouncy ragtime instrumentals are piano, horns, trumpet - mute is wawa, plunger, or anything. King Oliver. Video. Ellington.

Stage-style almost operatic acting grates, one word bouncing into multiple syllables. Settings sweetly evoke happy time, carefree rich society (like P.G. Wodehouse's idler Berny Wooster and butler Jeeves), deserve greater attention but treated again like theatre, faux cardboard murals.

Logo entwined fish trio circle is from "House of Lurking Death" approved by Agatha 1966. Wiki Section 4.2 References to Actual

1 The Sunningdale Mystery adapted by Jonathan Hale, credits overtop golf costumes Wiki

Re-enactments to background narration enliven third-hand tedious "he said, did, she said, did". Cameo of servant Albert (Reece Dinsdale) recalls books, his adoption from rough.

Tuppence's new cloche bonnet is red and silver winged and dangly bobble-sided aviator cap. Over tea, she corrects his full meal order to cheesechake and milk "Ugh. All slimy and yellow", chides rudely, scribbles in tiny notebook. He narrates misty re-enactment to errie upper flute and cello ominous bass half-melody. Body found.

Respectable Captain Antony Cecil, well-known figure on links, wearing typical blue jacket, suddenly "foozles" his shots, rattled by two on a distant footpath, man conversing with tall woman in brown. Close friend and business partner Mr Wilfrid Holloby Sr (Edwin Brown) of Porcupine Assurance was last to see him alive. Another twosome approach, Major Barnard (Terence Conoley) and Mr Lecky (Denis Holmes), see blue coat storm off in temper. Pretty typist Doris Evans (Emily Moore) was arrested because blonde hair and "flame" threads found on the body.

At the railway station she asked directions to his cottage, then returned disheveled, disturbed. She claims she offered him sweets in a cinema, and he offered her an umbrella and tea after. The charming gentleman claimed to be a widower, and invited her to his cottage next weekend for a meal. He acted strangely, with an emphasis on the big knife slicing ham, and after, walking behind golf course, threatened her with gun found next day in bushes.

Intimate details pop out from nowhere. Mrs Cecil is short. Porcupine is bankrupted by embezzler. Doris has bobbed short hair, no need for hatpin. In flattering dark finger waves, dipping seductively close to a pencil thin brow, Tup guesses the Hollobys embezzled, and the killer is male, framing woman with hatpin. On the golf course, Tommy finds a hidden hut, where killer hid to change clothes and appear as woman. Doris, arrested weeks later, never saw the body, met imposter, Holloby Jr (Denis Lill), not Cecil. How does Tommy know villain was not at inquest and identifiable? Driving home, Tuppence again twists hubby around little finger, and their Happy Ever After triumphs over murders.

2 The Ambassador's Boots adapted by Paul Annett, credits over garden party top hat tails costumes Part1. Boots. Pt2. Wiki.

American Ambassador Randolph Wilmot (T.R. McKenna) thanks fellow who returned his monogrammed toilet bag, with bath salts, boots, minor stuff, taken in error disembarking ship, but real owner disclaims exchange. Valet Richards (Clive Merrison) helped Miss O'Hara (Jennie Linden), who collapsed outside door inside cabin, Ashore, valet jumps off bridge to death, to midnight chiming of Big Ben.

Vision in lilac, Miss March answers ad, wakes Tom aka Mr Blunt from nap. Bearded foreigner Rodriguez (Michael Carter) threatens them, but is lassoed by Albert, let go by Tom. Miss March says Miss O'Hara hid paper in cut boot lining but she stole after. Apparent bible verse list folded into boat for nephew's bath, water reveals tracing of harbor. Tom suggests spy mapped defences, accompanies March to her Bond St cosmetics salon.

Tup re-unites with wartime VAD Voluntary Aid Detachment. In Estelle's (Norma West) off-whites parlor, Poppy (Tricia George), in floral black-cream print, misses wartime ambulance driving. Vividly made-up Gwen (Jo Ross) in man's suit and itchily hoarse false-deep croak, encourages the chattering girls to help misty grey clad "Blunt" to salon. Treatment room has silent mud-dabbed faces, bearded foreigner behind curtain. Miss March is Miss O'Hara.

Rodriguez tries to lock door so March, can chloroform Tommy. Mud faces are girls. Genuine beauty shop. Bags were swapped to smuggle in diplomatic luggage. March blackmailed. Bath salts tins measure short on inside, hide powder - cocaine. March invented bath-watered spy map to kidnap apparently credulous detective. Why bother? If she kept away from him, he'd never solve. Fun when caught up, layers of deception, do not hold up to inspection.)

3 The Man in the Mist adapted by Gerald Savory, image of priest in round-top wide-brim hat, white collar, cassock robe, crucifix necklace

In a classy pillared, fern-bedecked restaurant (sigh, unlike today's fast-food slums), the pair mourn failure of last case, Tom still dressed as priest in hopes of inducing confession from suspect. Actress Gilda Glen (Linda Marlowe) upset by acquaintaince Bulger (Constantine Gregory) joking about shortcut to train station, Morgan's Lane police ghost. Fiance Lord Leconbury (Patrick Marley) accosts her, urging marriage date. She leaves note, asking Tom meet her at 6 in Lane. Irish hot-head James Reilley (Tim Brierley), "you may have heard of me" pacifist poet, angrily denounces unfaithful Glenda, engaged to "muck-heap".

Eerie footsteps sound in the fog, but Police Constable Bamford (Christopher Johnston) is real, and chatty. Despite the maid hearing a sceam, Mrs Dorothea Honeycott (Anne Stallybrass) denounces at length the desire for divorce of her foolish sister Julia, before allowing them upstairs. But Glenda lies dead on her bed, suspects Bulgur with golf club, Lord L with grappling hook, "Nothing ever happens in Adrington", so the house has no phone, and Tom fetches back the constable. Where is the blood covered blunt instrument that coshed her head?

Scream was Reilly's, seeing Gilda dead. Angry husband who refused Glenda's divorce was Bamford, now the constable outside her house, his truncheon the weapon.)

Other YouTube clips
Agatha Listing
Pink Pearl
House of Lurking Death
TPOMT The Pricking of My Thumbs with JM Jane Marple, My Review

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple s1 - Murder at the Vicarage - in progress

Christie took for granted long clingy silk dresses, swooping hats, soft high white leather gloves, elegant swooping hats (why are these called "garden" dresses and hats?), bouncing curls, bright red lips, glowing dewy complexions shaded by, oh those marvelous wonderful hats. Impressive big open automobiles ("car" sounds too brief for such ostentatious up-to-scratch elegance), tiny flimsy sporty models, both with genuine wood and leather, throaty powerful roars. Flowers from rooftop to winding rock path, lavish lawns for parties.

Soft lighting, ancient family portrait and landscape masterpiece gathering dust in corners, hand tatted lace, genuine silk and velvet, inherited jewels, add opulence to the shabbiest after-war room. Lush unapologetic furs. Prim tweeds and cameos.

Her books dwell on the characters within. But the visual extravaganza of the simplest country village and gentlefolk manner .. ahh. When recording actors beside roles, the creativity of their terribly English names is evident. Accents plus poor sound recording or playing loses some without captions. Odd to see rain on windows and car bonnets, but never on screen.
TMATV (G. Mc) Pt1

v1 Murder at the Vicarage
First day artist Redding arrived in village, caught eye of Anne, wife of snobbish bigwig Colonel Protheroe, whose was safe burgled by French girl, staying at manor with her grandfather, visiting professor. Inspector Slack, having his own marital troubles, has to sort through confessions protecting each other.

"Money is the root of all evil"
"I'll give it space in my garden." servant even minor roles get brilliant lines

J:"Ordinary people do the most astonishing things."
J: "How clever. How wicked."

"They were set up as pasties."
Slack: "Patsies."

S: "I don't know whether to buy her a box of chocolates or kick away her stick."
J: "I'd prefer the chocolates."

... "I owe you a box of chocs. Nothing gets past you , does it."
"Hardly ever." JM

"Two for Tea - artist and sleuth

On BBC TV series Primeval 2007-now (ick for 2012 New World series, by December already 11+ torn-up corpses), Jason Flemyng is a brave save-the-world hero, so when arrested and he confesses, as does his sweetheart, I am hornswoggled all-round.

"He was not a stranger."
AP: What mistake did we make?
JM: You were the same woman. You hadn't said goodbye forever to the man you loved.
Unlikely (unlike book?) flashback to wartime farewell choosing spinsterhood over love.
"I've got it, Inspector."
Double hanging execution is a gruesome juxtaposition with tea in the flowers, horrid.
Raymond Chandler "The Art of Murder"

role - actor
Jane - Geraldine McEwan
Rev Len Clement - Tim McInnerny
Griselda Clement - "Bunch" Rachael Stirling
Dennis Clement - Julian Morris
Ronald Hawes - Mark Gatiss (younger priest)
Dr Haydock - Robert Powell
Mrs Sylvia Lester - Jane Asher (boozer others disapprove of)
Anne Protheroe - Janet McTeer
Colonel Protheroe - Derek Jacobi
Lettice Protheroe - Christina cole
Lawrence Redding artist - Jason Flemyng
Augustin Dufosse - Herbert Lom (son betrayed to Nazis)
Helene Dufosse - Emily Bruni Brit flown in for French Underground
Miss Hartnell - Angela Pleasence
Frank Tarrant - Paul Hawkyard
Mrs Tarrant - Ruth Sheen
Young Miss Marple - Julie Cox
D.I. Slack - Stephen Tompkinson
plump extra - Miriam Margolyes

Extra #1 Behind the Scenes clips and interviews

1 "Body in the Library"
"Rather thrilling"
Geraldine McEwan conventional setting, macabre
no training, intuitive, so Agatha witty, romantic side (means idealistic)
village cozy and reassuring
Joanna Lumley Dolly Bantry
odd couple flash jane in big hotel, fish out of village
Simon Callow Colonel Melchett cross her in the way, catches on to her cleverness
Agatha writes on behalf of solid citizens shocked at murder in midst
Jack Davenport Supt Harper - plunged into other place and time, costume, Joanna - makeup always three paces behind stodgy old lady

2 "Murder at the Vicarage"

Tara Fitzgerald Adelaide Jefferson red lips strong eyeliner "first time? maybe in U.S."
spend first half of book meeting quirky characters
innocence strained
Adam Garcia Raymond Starr shifty hustler Argentina dancer
Derek irascible deaf cantankerous, hell to live with
when he was young, prime holiday read, racks in railway stations, never guessed right
great fun plunging by uncomfortable costume into learning how they would have reacted in those days.
Janet McTeer confides in at least one person "Make do and mend"
constricting time and costume, structured, controlled.
From her losing her own married lover to The War, knows after shed, not lost only love
From her garden, she had to see vicarage, cottage, but not into French windows where murder, scouts couldn't find anywhere in SW England, combined separate locations in film.
Jason - Geraldine more sprightly than one before; Derek - she twinkles

3 "A Murder is Announced"

Zoe Wanamaker (Letitia Blacklock) - "Nothing to do in small village, so all come to play a game, and then the game goes wrong"
Sienna Guillory (Julia Simmons) - "Classic party game, so many characters. Who is not who they say they are?"
Robert Pugh (Colonel Easterbrook) - "Played alot in the (post) war years, gather round to spice things up"
"People really did alot of things regretted, in a small village skeletons stay firmly locked in the cupboard. Everyone had something to hide."
Clocks strike deadline
Frances Barber (Lizzie Hinchcliffe in suit and tie, lezzie)"Daft. Camp. And then mayhem."
Gunshot in the dark. Bleeding ear, flesh wound on Letitia.
Elaine Paige (Dora Bunner) "Crikey. Elaborate. That's the genius of Agatha Christie."
Geraldine also knitted for refugees, father was POW, so all very vivid time.
Cherie Lunghi (Sadie Swettenham) - "Sadie, Sadie, the married lady" nursery rhyme I remember too. Single mother, stigma, had child in 1920s, so covered past.
Easterbrook sends away Sadie.
Geraldine - I love my detectives. Jane is flirtatious, she loves young men.
Rare to have detective woman and humble; Holmes and Poirot proud. Jane sweet, grandmotherly, razor-sharp mind.
Frances - She knows everything, but puts on façade.
"One of us must have shot Letitia."
Christian Coulson (Edmund Swettenham) - Ger has amazing warmth makes you want to open up, like Jane.
Frances - couldn't imagine anyone else, Ger exudes benign quality, calming to be around, eyes never miss a trick, sees and hears everything.
Zoe - today especially we want to retreat where sweet little old lady can solve all your problems

4 "4:50 From Paddington"

Pam Ferris (Elspeth McGillicuddy) - Train sequence "one of most exciting" seeing murder (how about Hitchcock's "Rear Window"?) . Ger plays with a touch of "magnus" (Latin for magnificence) insanity, on the edge of funny, dangerous - wonderful
Rutherford did this (by same title?), hefty, clomping countryside seeking corpse, despite nosy small fry hanger-on. But here Jane asks young niece Lucy to work at Hall and search.
Amanda Holden (Lucy Eyelsbarrow) - "I'm a young Miss Marple, but with more lipstick. Lucy ahead of times, traveller, adventurer.
Ger - plots complex but foolproof.
Griff Ryhs-Jones (he sounds like an Agatha name until you read "Dr Quimper") - sense well-oiled elaborate construction before pen to paper

"Are you up to something Miss Marple?"
JM: Am I?

JM: What were the victim's feet like?
IS: "Her feet? Why?"
JM: Maybe nothing. Maybe something.

Niamh Cusack (Emma Crackenthorpe) - "One of most dysfunctional families I've ever come across, all capable of murdering each other." Not at all. Agatha is expert on such: "Crooked House" Leonides, "Appointment with Death" Boyntons, "The Underdog and other stories" Astwells, Hallidays, Lemesuriers, Pengelleys, and every couple as well, and on.
"Twisty, so much tragedy, nothing going right for any of them."
Ben Daniels (Alfred Crackenthorpe) Lush "due to inherit, bankrupt financially and morally, alcoholic, blackmailer, nice chap"
Ger "As in life, people are revealed by their circumstances and how they react."
Knebworth Hall, Hertforshire. JM: "The real prize. That would be worth killing for."
Ger "Great admiration" for complex Agatha. "I love Miss Marple, she's still evolving. ". I look like her, not myself.
John Hannah (Inspector Campbell - Scots of course) "You never know who did it. She's a master of her craft.
Michael Landes (Bryan Eastley, copper?) "Now all forensics. In innocent times not as easy, makes better drama."

Extra #2 TV & Film - 8 screens of words

Debut 30 Dec 1956 (a most unusual year for births) "A Murder is Announced" starred Gracie Fields from Britain. "Zaftig stage actress (I say they always over-act) Margaret Rutherford" did "uproarious comic portrayal", even "vigorous swordfight" (original, no Christie book). Vastly out of character from book. Next Angela Lansbury "too young", I agree, perhaps that is why 1980s "Murder She Wrote" Jessica Fletcher still in reruns. Helen Hayes 1983,5
"over-age". Joan Hickson 1985-92 I remembered as young maid killed in Rutherford's "4:50 From Paddington", very like Ger 2005+. credits Charles Silet "Talking Murder: Interviews with 20 Mystery Writers" (Persea 1999).

Extra #3 Biography (1890-1976) - 4 word screens
Extra #4 Photo Gallery 20 slides during filming
Extra #5 6 Actors, 1-2pg "selected" stage and screen appearances "Filmographies"
- Geraldine McEwan 5pg, Derek Jacobi pg, Janet McTeer, Miriam Margolyes, Jane Asher, Rachael Stirling

Tried to find first clip of several for episode:

pt1/6 Marple & Tuppence & Tommy - BTPOMT By the Pricking of My Thumbs (my review)
pt1/12 ABH At Bertram's Hotel (see my review)
MBS Man in the Brown Suit
TSM The Sittaford Mystery
JM TMF The Moving Finger (G.Mc)
JM WDTAE (JMc) Why Didn't They Ask Evans (Julia McKenzie)
JM TPH (JMc) The Pale Horse
JM TMCFSS The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Joan Hickson)

"Bad luck."

Hugo 5* 2011

3D depth projects onto tiny TV, adds physical comedy to seriously sad, yet triumphant book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick, set to appropriate sweet, bouncing, or frightening melodies, only the final credits over a sad French soprano.

Research shows actual Georges Méliès footage. Remarkable. Previews short, long. A small joke may be common to both media, when Isabelle introduces Hugo to the Inspector as her "simple" cousin. Serious film is based on original book, based on remarkable fact. Best mash of Méliès fact and clips (except loud music).

Ragamuffin short-pants Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), called thief by toy kiosk owner (Ben Kingsley), flees stiff-legged gendarme Inspector Gustave Dasté (Sacha Baron Cohen) and fierce doberman Maximilian, through the sellers of flowers, bakery, smoky café (with dogs in Paris), couples dancing to accordion quintet. Chase shows cavernous hall, vast 1931 population, and variety within the walls (all sets).

A background précis seems effectively brief, knowing the book. Hugo's father (Jude Law) brought a delicately feminine-featured rusty automaton to fix. After a fatal fire, the orphan must leave home and school with his drunken uncle, clock-winder Claude (Ray Winstone), now vanished for weeks. When Hugo can fix a mechanical (computer effects?) mouse, Papa Georges offers him a job, pretending the youngster's precious inherited notebook is ashes, but entrancing him with card tricks. While they work, godchild Isabelle (Chloë Grace Moretz) dances.

Isabelle loves secrets. In search of (her words) "clandestine" "adventure", she reassures the "enigmatic" boy that the curmudgeon did not burn his beloved notebook. Like Selznick's book, the boy is close-mouthed, "I cannot say", refuses to explain. Careful, not naive, is good; batting away those who offer friendship is not. His later insistence on a surprise, like a magic trick, is as inconsistent here as there.

Awesome, terrifically better than the stills in the book, are Harold Lloyd in "Safety Last" 1923 climbing skyscraper, hanging from a clock hand seen when he sneaks her in the cinema back door, dangling :17, full climb 11:21. Colored clips, "Dance of Fire" better than black and white originals, although "Trip to the Moon" 1902 is the key image in the movie.

Film Academy library has vast halls and clips from very first silents. In long ago VCR days, I rented tapes for wonderful early films, marvelous Mae West, hilarious Harold Lloyd, my preference over classic Charlie Chaplin, so this history brought to life is .. beyond words. "Whole buildings made of glass", early special effects in action. are truly "where dreams come from, where they are made". Spectators duck, fearful of 1895 Train Arrival. The true photo of train engine dangling from upper story is better, turned into a double nightmare, worse. Tiny Hugo recreates the Lloyd stunt, performed, as usual, by Lloyd himself. Childhood nighmares, screams, "a child has to belong somewhere".

The film makes more sense than the book, that she offers the heart-lock key dangling from her neck, than he steals the key. Both book and film so popular on library waiting list, not possible to see side-by-side. Hugo's philosophy "if the world is a machine, I couldn't be an extra part", we all have a purpose, sounds familiar.

English accents seem out of place. Godmother Mama Jeanne (Helen McCrory) "There are things you are too young to know", quickly glancing to the armoire, encourages the children to search inside for secrets. The magical wind wafting drawings seems overly dramatic. Angry tantrums from boy and old man seem uncalled for, perhaps a French thing?

That Gustav has a love interest, florist Lisette (Emily Mortimer), adds comedy not in book. Bending to sniff "Are they smelly flowers?" locks his leg brace, and sadness "a war injury that will never heal". When he catches an urchin and calls police, I wish for Doctorow's "Clockwork Fagin".

Claude's body is recovered from river Seine. (Would the corpse not be more bloated and swollen?) Inspector chases Hugo to the flat, but unlike book, boy is not injured. Big reveals here, as in book, are the automaton drawings by Papa Georges, who is Georges Méliès, prolific 500+ film-maker, presumed killed in the "Great War", World War One. As in real life, Georges is discovered running a train station toy booth. This is a story for young and old. In color, "tinted by had, frame by frame". Astonishing recreation.
J: "It only hurts him to remember the past. It was another time. I was another person. We did have fun."
I: "You were beautiful."
G: "She still is."
J: "Trying to forget has brought you nothing but unhappiness. Maybe it is time to remember."

Georges says tastes change, my research hints at a thieving business partner. Burning all sets, again over-dramatic, again French?
G: "My life has taught me one lesson, and not the one I thought it would. Happy endings only happen in the movies." And books?
.. "This child belongs to me."

At the finale, Isobel has grown a foot taller than Hugo, even sitting. The accident of filming does emphasize the passage of time, when they find 8 of the 500+ films made. Tricks mentioned in the book include full screen motion. In a special way, better than today's full-blown Avatar-style effects.
Shoot the Moon (The Making of Hugo)
Drawings from book melt into scenes from movie clips. Robot here seems special effects, rather than those documented in my review, real clockwork. The hand draws rocket crashing man in moon, signs Georges Méliès, her godfather's name, looks like hand of actor painted silver, posing tourist street mime.

Asa: "Hugo is big, massive, and completely different from what most 13 year old kids would do. It's really hard, but so worth it."
director/producer Martin Scorsese: "An enormous undertaking, but kind of fun that way." "I have a young daughter who will be 12 soon." and unable to see any of his films.(Sheesh. He looks like a grandfather.) First films he saw 1953 were 3D House of Wax from eye-patch one-eyed director, owns these old films, now novelty "discovering". http://www.filmoa.com/video/martin-scorsese-says-the-three-dobermans-are-the-gangsters-in-hugo Clip way longer than Extra, re-tells plot

producer Graham King: "So-called kid's movie."
author Brian Selznick: "Story inspired by Mélières' Moon film."
Ben K: "The lost man guided back into life by the hands of a child is an absolutely classic piece of mythology."

screenwriter John Logan: "The book is huge, a brick." "Modern Dickensian novel about an orphan's search for home." "I am guilty, added dogs."
Boring Scorsese-dog clip, unless you are a fanatic fan of both.

Chloë's accent is so out of place American, and only one month older than Asa.
Filming in London, made possible real locations and stage actors such as Christopher Lee for bookstore owner M. Latisse, Frances de la Tour for one of flirtatious (dogs and their pets) long-haired (much prettier than bald rats) daschhund owner (beau M Frick).

Warning "PG Mild thematic material, action/peril, smoking" what does thematic mean?

French audio and subtitles:
Story so visual, almost complete without words. Spoken varies from written, "très" atop "clandestinement". "Fiche le campe" = "plug the camp" or 'prove yourself, fix problem'. The pair say "Deceased?", captions "Mort" = dead, close enough.


Before and after film:
Titanic preview
TinTin preview (better French captions than ads) 400 years ago, a power that could have changed the world was lost, a ship with a secret cargo. Looks like an animated young Indiana Jones.
Footloose 2011 preview

After film:
Like Crazy (horror love story?) PG13 sexual content and strong language to song I love "I can't help falling in love with you". Elvis Presley. Ingrid Michaels with lyrics.
Breakfast at Tiffany's

Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg Professeur Tabard replaces book's student Étienne

Heavenly Creatures

1* "Heavenly Creatures" 1994 are two fantasizing teen girls deeply in love. Trailer Unwatchable horror too-perfectly-detailed clay people enlarge to life-size, dance, sword-stab. Good only for cautionary tale how apparently normal public person can have horrible past.

1953 diary of Pauline Yvonne Rieper (common-law, legally mother still née Parker) b.1938 14 (Melanie Lynskey b.1977 17) relates tragic results of intense love affair with new schoolmate Juliet Holme (few months younger) classmate (Kate Winslet b.1975 19) in Christchurch New Zealand. Knowing the ending of the film Titanic, curiosity asks why and how.

Mystery writer Agatha Christie's autobiography hides her 11 day unexplained disappearance after her first husband Archie demanded divorce. Similarly, Victorian mystery writer Anne Perry's history hides a murder, 45 vicious head blows from a brick in a stocking, vastly terrifyingly different in reality than fiction. Wiki

Although actresses' debuts, their adult ages are not believable as children, except Lynskey pouts like real angry 11 year old. Called Yvonne by her parents, "Paul" by Juliet, persona "Charles" wrote passionately to "Deborah". Former sulked behind a curtain of dark curls, wore plain, shapeless outfits bulked blocky, masculine; latter wrapped sinously in tight silky low-cut soft-color dresses outlined womanly curves. Too stereotyped butch dyke. The pair romanticized childhood illnesses osteomyelitis and tuberculosis, worshipped film stars as saints, and intended to flee to Hollywood rather than be separated by parental needs. Mr Hulme lost his job as Rector of Canterbury and wife to lodger Walter Perry, later step-father attributed with suggesting writing about Jack the Ripper.

When Rieper lodger caught in Pauline's bed, her silence, then writing "masterful" in her journal seem penny-dreadful quotations fibs.
At the onset of puberty, how the emotion of "love" can trigger brain chemicals into cold-blooded murder, no farther, is astonishing. Murder
Like TV "Final Witness" episode, where 16 year old daughter, angry at parents requiring supervision so her dates do not degenerate into drunken orgies, plans in detail how boyfriend shoots and slices to death her church-going family of four, burns their house, yet takes no thought to what may happen after. Brrr.

Death on the Nile

Series of clips.

True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and Other Stories

"The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and other stories" are set to music and animated in Weston Woods Scholastic co-production with Russian Federal Agency of Culture and Cinematography. Read-along captions darken blue along the line, like singalong videos. Boring long pre-"trailer". Years vary. YouTube has other versions, girl wimpy but has all pictures. Girl voice but pictures

1 "The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs" by A. Wolf told to Jon Scieszka 1989. Lane Smith draws in color, Paul Giamatti narrates. Wolf tried to borrow a cup of sugar when he had a terrible cold (and jailed, framed by media exaggeration.)

2 "The Pig's Wedding" - from book written and illustrated by Helme Heine 1977. Porker wants guest to clean up before ceremony with Curlytail, and painted on clothes fit perfectly, including accessories, but where is his top hat? (Spoiler: tin can. Song to dance along with happy newlyweds until rain washes off outfits, so they roll in mud. Porker paints them a new home sweet home.)

3 "Henry Builds a Cabin" by D.B. Johnson 2000 - Only the bear's arms hammer up and down on some stills, then butterflies flap in the last. In months following April, friends arrive and criticize size, light. (When the rain falls, the house shows as hat-size.) Next narrator James Naughton describes Massachussetts author Henry David Thoreau, who also moved in on July 4th ... 1845, and wrote "Walden" over two years, to glorify minimalistic lifestyles.

4 "Wallace's Lists" by Barbara Bottner & Gerald Kruglik, illustrated by Olof Landström 2004 - Grownup lonely bespectabled mouse has many lists, but following them causes him to miss out on happiness until Albert moves into next door apartment. (Rodent "Odd Couple" have airport and Park Ave adventure.)

5 "The House that Jack Built" by Simms Taback 2002 to Russian tune, has cheese, rat, cat, dog I knew, (plus unremembered kicked by cow with crumpled horn milked by maiden forlorn married man tattered and torn by judge shaved and shorn waked by rooster in the morn, red hen, farmer with corn, artist, first published 1700s, based on earlier Hebrew childs' rhyme

2008 Interview with Jon and Lane who met via wives and hum along with theme. Twenty years ago, Jon had Grade 2 students to test on, five brothers, both liked cartoons and funny stuff. James Marshall did straight story with funny pictures; they wanted to do spoof spinoffs. Cheeseburger has bunny ears, rat-tail, special sauce. Following interviews are too long for me, different than dvd, but don't they look like brothers at first glance?
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4688782746359111188 just Jon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0hNlYw1Uko just Lane

Talk About the Stories - factual recall 2-3 questions per story, white text on blue flash-cards

Shrek Ever After 5*

5* Bestest Favorite. Preview. On shreklets' first birthday party, Shrek, taunted instead of feared by villagers, succumbs to Rumpelstiltskin (TV Once Upon a Time villain, exchanges forgotten babyhood day for 24 hours, as if he never saved Fiona from Dragon Tower. But day was his birth, so unless he finds exit clause, by sunrise he vanishes. End credits run over homages to previous Shrek films.

Donkey doesn't recognize his best friend. Fiona leads Ogre Resistance warriors. Puss is a tubby ball of fur. Rumpel rules, helped by witches and other old Fairy Talers. Fast fun thrills, chills, and background songs. Fat Puss

Commentary by director Mike Mitchell, Head of Story & Rumple voice Walt Dohrn, Producers Gina Shay & Teresa Cheng
Tiresome name-dropping of animators and story-boarders, but from banter, they all still bet along together. "great place to work" "stellar people". Remind 1 & 2 started same, beautiful book designed by Griselda Sastrawinata (really!). 3D pulls us under horses hooves, later makes Shrek's empty home reverberate, dust particles drift past viewer, for storytelling device not just rollercoaster ride.

Voices double, even triple duty, board artist Cody Cameron is Pinocchio and Three Little Pigs (quintuple duty?). Dreamworks folk have kids same age, identify with parental dilemma. After 10K viewings, they still laugh. They didn't tell kids that ogre baby voices they did were for opposite genders. Cut scene where dragon did try to eat parking valet. Sir Squeakles is the name of little Felicia's squeaky toy. Gina baked the birthday cake in the real world.

"Tech talk": Shrek's face here has 1085 points to express more complicated emotions than 400 in #1. For realistic fighting, asked marriage counselors, who all said not to smash cake, but Shrek does. Chains need every link animated, so witches control prisoner with broomsticks. Mike Myers sings well, goofs for Shrek. Deliberately returned dog moves to Donkey. Eddie improvises lines "Do my babies have paws or hooves?" Myers adlibs "no day after the day after that". For a long time, Jon Hamm's hunky ogre Brogan called Gnimrahc, name Charming reversed cursed. Dancing to flute choreographed for real, shields inspired by Korean fan dance.


1 Spotlight on Shrek
#1 2001 meet Donkey "I'll make waffles" (echoed by bait to trap here), #2 2004 meet Puss, #3 2007 Artie #4 2010
"the quintessial outsider", "represents everyman", moral "you are already beautiful, don't change"
The man behind - redid whole film when Myers redid accent, made ugly lovable
From sketch to screen - long development from scarier beginnings, cross cartoon with theatrical for real
Shrek's journey- all about us, he cleans up his own mess
1 be self, 2 part of family, 3 accept responsibility, 4 mid-life crisis, what if, part of community
International icon - worldwide recognition, big heart inside

Secrets of Shrek Forever After
Secret Talent - voices return, even dead King, newcomers, multiple roles
Did you know - possibilities not done, flautist was son of book author Steiger, lines repeated in later films "if you dare"

Deleted Scenes - Fairy-tale Creatures Attack part test - too scary mean to beloved Shrek, Gingy Attack test sketch version - leprechauns rope down Shrek, Emperor No Clothes test - Rumpel takes crown from naked ruler in exchange for respect "as equal"

From Swamp to Stage: The Making of Shrek the Musical
Cameron Diaz and a lispy fellows advertise the production - screechy, over-exaggerated, totally wrong skinny tall humans in costumes screw up the spirit, Gingy is a marionette with person beside un-ventriloquist in fake wig. Ick. Majorly.

Previews Before:
Megamind voiced by Will Farrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey
Kung Fu Panda 2 voiced by Jack Black, here in kitchen cooking noodles, then fighting them
After: Live - Musical; Theatres - Rango -lizard stranger in desert, Panda; Games - Shrek Forever After - 4 players team in 2 settings, Kung Fu Panda World; DVDs - Megamind, 4 Penguin episode collection DVDs, The Last Airbender - acted, not animated, haven't seen, don't want to
Animated episodes have funny moments I liked

Distressing when video links are cut. Updated as of June 2013.

Scared Shrekless

I "Scared Shrekless" 5* - First Halloween for kids Felicia, Fargo and Fergus, scare humans to get candy. Shrek declares ogres to be the kings of Halloween. Donkey disagree, proposes contest of scary stories, king last one left. Contest Dare
Shrek leads the guys to Lord Farquad's old haunted castle. Haunted Duloc

1 The Bride of Gingy 4* - On a dark and stormy night, Gingy asks Muffin Man to make a mate, and overloads the sugar quantity "tampering with forces far beyond your comprehension". Bwahaha. (Spoiler: Lightning enlivens girl cookies who wants to stay "together forever", killing Gingy. He said story true, so runs away.) Bride of Gingy

2 Boots Motel - Donkey takes Puss to Motel, and narrates danger to Puss. Mwahaha.
(Spoiler: Puss keeps revising story to nail Donkey. Pinocchio squirts water on Puss, who runs.) Trailer

3 The Shreksorcist 4* - babysits possessed Pinocchio, whose head spins, vomits.
(Spoiler: Jiminy Cricket was the voice in his head. Pinocchio runs.)
... waiting for Farquad's ghost
(Spoiler: Fiona and kids inside suit of armor scare Donkey, who runs, so ogres winners.)

II Thriller 4* - Shrek screams at singing nuns. So, leaving theatre, Donkey starts spontaneous musical outburst others join.
(Spoiler: Corpses rise from graveyard. Hamlyn Piper turns everyone into zombies, forces Shrek into line dancing with the rest to Michael Jackson-ish melody. Shrek wakes from nightmare, performance hasn't started.) Shrek Thriller

III Puss in Boots 5* "These Boots are Made for Walking" - Antonio Banderas in studio, feet move too, takes reality from animated pairs following cat lip-synching. Banderas Boots Walking

IV Previews - same as precede show
Puss in Boots - Antonio Banderas flies split-leg over sharp spire like S5 Dr Who
Kung Fu Panda 2 Po - and Five Dragon Warriors face his "old enemy - stairs"

V Worlds of Dreamworks Animation
1 Shrek - video I'm a Believer, dvd trailer The Whole Story: Shrek, Shrek2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After, Donkey's Xmas Special
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3SXbMhfHWM Shrek I'm a Believer Song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMAeEM0lqu0 Shrek2 trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aZXVzUQGA4 Shrek 3 trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zr4XptiJh4 Forever After trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPTsPykYcok Shrek Xmas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tSNRDzzCs8 Donkey's Xmas
2 How to train your Dragon - video Fly High, dvd trailer How to train your dragon
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGcF2ZWtiNw Dragon Fly High Song
3 Kung Fu Panda - video Kung Fu Fighting, dvd trailer Secrets of the Furious Five, game Kung Fu Panda World
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3aTU-IJ8c4 Panda KungFu Fighting Song
4 Madagascar - video I Like to Move It, Move It, dvd trailers 4 Penguins: Op DVD, Happy King Julien's Day, New to the Zoo, I was a Penguin Zombie
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxcd4gNTAwo Op DVD trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34z5DGZMf_s Move It Song
http://www.putlocker.com/file/E1A1B06594D53626 Julien's Day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlA71AwKC4Y New to the Zoo
http://www.putlocker.com/file/FDE1EE434D0FBFE0 Penguin Zombie
5 Megamind - video Megamind, dvd trailers Megamind, Button of Doom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsrQH7itJCg Megamind Rap Song (I like Bad to the Bone better)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOzJRkw56Zs Button of Doom Round1 (picture reversed)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMN15filY5o Button of Doom Round2

Aron Warner Wolf

Puss in Boots - Antonio Banderas

"Puss in Boots" 4* Dreamworks animation stars whiskery purring voiced Antonio Banderas. Trying for three magic beans in hands of villains baby-wanting Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris), Puss meets Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek), but her partner Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis) betrayed him as orphans, stealing all the money from their home village. Wild chases ensue, through the red desert canyon, giant beanstalk, and across dusty bridge by the golden goose giant mother guardian. Trailer. (Suffered because saw after "True Story of Puss".)

Voice Pairings,
Deleted storyboard sketch test Scenes - Humpty plots with J & J, Humpty pays accomplices, Puss fights real giant

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Arena Spectacular dragonworkslive.com
(How to train your) Dragons weekly TV series coming
Puss video game
The Adventures of TinTin

Primeval v2 s3 5*

5* Primeval UK v2 s3 2009 Trailer
Diictiodon Dance & Rex's Debut
Dinosaurs funnier than people?
Dr Who 11

s3 Teasers
BBC America Episodes
Henshall gallery
BBC America video clip library
Good music, found on YouTube after relevant episode. Wiki, v1 S1,2 bits

Paradise Preview. If you like Ben Miller as stuffy administrator, he starred (Kris Miller replaced?) as chief Detective Inspector Richard Poole for Murder in Paradise, set in tropical island, like a holiday. See blog post on Free TV for old episodes (I just started Season 2 so far). Filmed near in Vancouver, Primeval: New World disappointed, thankfully cancelled.

Previews: Torchwood: Children of Earth, BBC America Channel

E1 Crocodile Fears - writer Steve Bailie
Home Office chief James Lester (Ben Miller) copes with Christine Johnson (Belinda Stewart-Wilson), "think velociraptor, only better dressed", and adds gunpower, security leader Captain Becker (Ben Mansfield) to ARC team, because of Steven Hart sacrificed himself to keep dinosaurs trapped last season. Jenny/Claudia (Lucy Brown) still around, back to brown hair, less glam, occasional pretty face, no important purpose. Called to the British Museum for a time anomaly, Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall), gelled-up blonde elfin Abby (Hannah Spearritt), scruffy short-hair Connor (Andrew-Lee Potts), and Becker try to protect exotic Prof/Dr Sarah Page (Laila Rouass), underemployed Egyptologist who scares her childrens' tour for fun. After seeing supervisor Marion's partly eaten body, she runs straight to the crocodile-like monster. Big dark wide eyes, dark glossy hair, bronzed skin - eye candy. Dilly dumpkin stupid ijit.
http://www.bbcamerica.com/primeval/videos/cutter-meets-sarah-page/Sarah frightens Connor, making up curse that anyone who touches "sun cage" dies. Ridikilus. She re-interprets heiroglyphs; magnetite highly magnetic cage held, not sun rays as Egyptians said, but winking anomaly. Connor moves cage; anomaly moves, jaws emerge and bite his jacket. Lots of silly, lots of scary. Chases, scream. Loose in London, Pristichampsus, on 4 legs or two, takes parking cop, dives into Thames.

One villainess, deserter wife Helen Cutter (Juliet Aubrey), isn't enough. Christine has ulterior motives. Military squad, sent after artifact, killed by future monsters. Sun cage shipped to unknown destination. Helen stole artefact after squad ran, moves into empty warehouse with replica soldiers (Cleaner -Tim Faraday). Other female role is Sarah as Holmes' Watson, triggers two new research directions: to electricity when current blocks anomaly after she screeches aahelpmeaa at Conner, and to mythical legends - chimera, Pegasus, yeti, Hydra, kraken, Minotaur - so her Egyptian archaeology degree, brilliance, and "not good at following orders ... you'll fit right in", joins the team.)

E2 Haunted House - writer James Moran
Flashback 14 years ago when two boys vanish from "murder house", chased by invisible-seeming black-camouflage snarling dog-size monster. Survivor Ryan had sense to throw ashes, turn beast visible. First prediction from tied-string model sends the team in present day, but one victim's brother, DC (Detective Constable) Danny Quinn (Jason Flemyng) arrests Connor, observed by little Emily. Abby stays, classic innocent follows noises while nasty creeps behind her.
Helen pickpockets Sarah's pass, sends in clone, shot dead by Becker, recognized as soldier (replica of earlier Cleaner) killed by scorpions in Silurian desert last year.

Emily feeds monster like pet so it wont hurt anyone else. Danny shoots monster back into anomaly, apologizes to Ryan for suspecting brother's murderer, quits police. Helen steals Nick's DNA.)

E3 Medical Mayhem - writer Mike Cullen
Helen orders clone to jump off building to death, he obeys, sends Nick replica to let in her army, take over ARC. Reporter Mick Harper (Ramon Tikaram) from last year returns to get dinosaur evidence, locks Abby and Nick in creature-infested hospital operating theatre with delivering pregnant mom. Abby's experience includes "zebras, lions, antelopes, and a giraffe once". Itsy bitsy cutesy toothy-clawed wiggly-tail ratty-chipmunk-beaver Permian diictodons chew through everything, awesome visual and sound effects, provoke lots of laughs. Rough tough smackdowns. Hoorah Abby and Lester. diictodon

Two diictodons "missed their last bus home". Nick replica responds to Helen's voice, who orders explanation of artifact or shoot to kill. Becker frees others to broadcast cobbled recording "Stop". Nick saves Helen and artifact from her bomb explosion, but she shoots him dead. My least favorite moment ever. Nick's last words. Connor finds him. Nick gives him artifact, asks him to stay, dies. Connor carries him out then. Why not before? save him?

E3 commentary by producer/co-creator Tim Haines, actor Potts (Connor), co-creator/ occasional writer Adrian Hodges
Replica was cleaner in first episode, so now called "Cleaner" like assassin. Tony Mitchell "Mitch" truly afraid of heights. Contrast of super-light front deliberate because of terrible drastic bad end. Diicotodon wiggling under blanket really toy. First series could hit, but not touch CGI, now pick them up. She didn't wash her hands before delivery. Connor doesn't get credit for writing adlibs, introducing himself to diicotodon.

Cleaner clones were layered shots of same actor. Tim says can see shot join, I thought I could, till body moved over vertical line to lighter side. Artifact "McGuffin" dirt is wax. Double shots of one Doug (Nick) two steps behind the other done with massive clunking stop motion camera. Replicas have limited intelligence, not fully human clone. Jenny repeats Claudia's line "Don't go. You're making a mistake." from earlier season. Death motivated by actor Doug needing to leave show; Potts choked up on sadness at readthrough, slipped off without saying goodbye.

E4 A Gigantic Problem - writer Paul Mousley
Jenny in jeans, more like s1 Claudia. Christine E1 in own big building, orders Captain Wilder (Alex McSweeney) to lift cloak, kill escaped future predator, prep men for ARC team arrival at their anomaly. Becker greets former Sandhurst teacher Wilder. Reporter Mick from before smashes in, steals handheld detector, takes camera crew to airport anomaly, locks away Connor and Jenny. G.Rex gigantic, faster, stronger, bigger against cars, planes, trucks. Trailer.

Danny lets them out. Jenny kicks him off; he saves them flying copter diversion. "Two lessons. But they went unbelievably well." Mick gets people killed, endangers everyone, just like Sanctuary episode. I hate ijits that cause others' destruction, deserve their own. Abby's brother Jack (Rob Lowe) comes to stay.

Preview: S4 Dr Who with David Tennant, Catherine Tate
Better without the annoying Helen.

E5/1 Future Epidemic - writers: catherine linstrum, paul mousley (no capitals in credits)
Diicotodons named Nancy and Sid, latter escapes; Lester catches Connor living at work; offers his city week flat. Danny tests security so on hand for trouble. Bigwig Sir Richard Bentley (William Scott-Mason, sheesh so many hyphenated Brits) gets infected by anomaly toxic aggresive fungus, last seen at St Pancras train station. Christine visits to ask about artifact; one of her men trespasses, infected by fungus sample, encase in body bag; monster emerges. Why do they always run toward the humans aggressively, instead of hiding away? catching them by surprise?

Lester - "This could be tricky to explain to the next of kin. Good news is he's not technically dead. Bad news, he's turned into a mushroom." Adjusting Abby's special environmental controls heats and dries lab monster out and it explodes, but Connor goes back in to rescue Sid. Sir Richard goes for dark damp tunnels. Yes. Danny volunteers to drive them flamethrowers. "If I'm going to go in first, I'm going to call the shots." Back at lab, Connor warns "ash" is spores; flame bad; mobile fails first warning; tells Sarah freeze lab. Trailer.

Just watched the same in original Star Trek 3.18 "The Lights of Zetar" where the increase pressure to kill aliens in chamber. Danny's the only one got the guts to at least try to toss in another fire extinguisher. She has no pulse; why couldn't they've done the same for Nick? Danny joins. Makes sense. Jenny packs up. She wasn't much except a love interest because Connor and Aby have each other - real life too.

E6/2 For the Birds - writer Paul Farrell
Wartime elegant outfits, dancing broken by last diary entry "They're coming", prehistoric birds (attacking of course) flips to 8 hours earlier Danny testing security again "Bang" - Becker. Some footage imitates through security cameras seems pretentious until backs onto Catherine spying. Laser light activates artifact into prediction map, Catherine orders go in. Becker delays her so others get away with artifact to "safe house" address from Lester, rundown shack in the woods without electricity ... and plot circled around to opening set. Anomaly means Christine's team coming. Meanwhile Jack gambles away Abby's pet prehistoric flying lizard Rex.
"The Minister is an imbecile who can barely blow his own nose ... a Whitehall glove puppet with the IQ of a root vegetable". Song: Better Man by Bill Baylis. http://www.bbcamerica.com/primeval/videos/wild-goose-chase/.
Note: "artifact" in American = "artefact" for British, generally, captions in British spelling

Danny sets trip-wire with Abby, strings and empty tin-cans, I remember one similar, later when she gets stuck with Connor in past. Sarah finds satin dresses, Connor finds generator, skeleton. Danny finds journal in code. Abby decodes. anomaly. Funny in a twisted way, guys all in formal tuxes, girls in evening gowns, going the other way from usual, crash car. Chases should have more crashes by hero.

Suddenly the maxis are micros. Where can girls run? Un-exploded minefield. Flying feathers. Awsh. Flesh ripping sounds. Explosions. Play fort. Cheers for Becker's undercover recording Christine.

E7/3 Dragon Tales - writer andrew rattenbury
Sir William (Tony Curran - I knew he was Dr Who #11's Vincent Van Gogh) rides after a dragon beast through a forest, into an auto junkyard in our century. E3.3 commentary says they try to imbue reality, so they do, make dragons real using dinosaur time travel. Why does idiot Abby jump in front of trouble, that nearly kills Becker too? Injured, late Cretaceous herbivore Dracorex is still dangerous. Danny's center rooster top hairdo is not meant to be silly, just as outdated as hip sixties. Chasing a knight through a carnival parade, sub-plot retrieving Rex is maybe my fave light episode. Trailer.

Knight into modern pub and Sarah into the medieval time is fun juxtapostion. Chocolate bribery "ruin your teeth ... have the whole bar" for scoop on de Mornay was so worth the investment. I don't think they talked like now. "I can't hear you Danny. You're breaking up. Oh. Shame." She shows so much initiative, I'm afraid for her future. If she wanted to out-talk Sir William, she should have kept the garb he would recognize. Ace moment when Connor appears to be on his own rescuing Rex "You and whose army?" ... backed by Becker in short black sleeves, bullet vest, dark aviator shades, trigger on the finger, chewing gum, cocky attitude, head and three guns cock, two lined up dead on.

E8/4 Oh, Brother! (as in film) - writer Cameron McAllister
One of worst episodes, because ijits endanger the people they supposedly care about. Giant insects (later finally small insects, but overwhelming flood, is there ever cuddly fluffy small friendly, like Tribbles?) invade racetrack. Ijit Jack steals Abby's detector, endangers others, she endangers others, into future with predators and no backup, then on her own. Odd film tints all brown, reverse, like Firefly flashbacks. Trailer.

Should knock her out, like soldier did Cutter in S1. They only have so many bullets in one gun. Danny's got a personal bias, having lost a sibling to an anomaly. good squishes on the baby predator. I fast forwarded lots. Selfish git "You've gotta help me. You coward.". If one arm's broke, use the other, twit. If you're told to keep quiet, shut your trap. Becker says get going, sacrifices himself, they just watch. I hoped the paraffin Danny smelled was useful. "Don't stop till you get to the anomaly" - they hang about gawking? Meanwhile Sarah closes the anomaly on them because of a baby insect, few inches, okay, maybe 12". If you have to be afraid, make the cause a big one, please.

While in the future, Danny sees a Wilder lookalike and brunette in modern light pant outfit (Eve - Kate Magowan), later "sleeping" under observation by Catherine, who takes gizmo from girl's back. Of course everyone gets home, no more monsters, scratches, one arm sling. "If I told you Becker would have to kill you, and he's already looking for an excuse". Kiss.

Preview dvd Primeval V1 S1,2

E9/1 Herd Logic - writer Paul Farrell
ATV driver finds baby rhino dino, mama finds him and stag weekend campers. Oh dear. While Danny infiltrates Christine's complex and finds Eve, other four find a grazing herd of Amblotherium. (They find all-terrain-vehicle wreck - and bra? - no search for survivor. Tsk.) Abby wastes time whinging about not looking like a stripper, promising baby release, instead of getting the job done. Reminds me how often other rescuers of humans do the same. Some help when ijits scream attracting trouble. The monster plot was a tad new, good, but Helen back? Pshaw. Humbug. She's a cartoon Moriarty. Steven-Nick conflict hooked on her sex appeal, but now she might as well be a Dalek, ornamental pretty colored maybe. Trailer.

Eve as Helen in high-tech disguise is lazy, deus ex machina. She could open a future anomaly in the ARC and push Christine through there to her just desserts? Helen had only one shot, hostage lost anyway, they had a room full. Whomp her with the artifact? Throw the artifact across the room to distract her? Helen, killer, should be shot on first sight, nothing else, no sense in following her, except for Flemyng-Danny to take new job.

E10/2 The Chase Continues - writer Steve Bailie
Hardly a spoiler that Danny doesn't shoot, nobody tries; Helen wins again. Keep the rendezvous, get home, can't save the world if you're dead. Firefly E8 Out of Gas was the color reversal film used to separate present from past, here for future. If Danny thinks anomaly behind door Christine's, why not test? bop through and back to warn Becker and Sarah, who you just sent there? Why not shoot predator with gun instead of feeding the gun to the predator? Yeesh. Becker doesn't have extra guns in the car?

This is the point of the episode. They better not slip her back from another timeline for eternal havoc. Losing our heroes in the past is humungously high scary cliff-hanger; Nick shot; anyone can die. Helen falls.


Cutter's Odyssey
Blow by blow on episodes and relationships from Doug Henshall. La Palma, two volcanoes, one active, ash 6500' up, need no acting, feels like another world. Heroism is "ordinary people doing extraordinary things", what I wanted these people to be. With Helen, always "baffled". He'll most of all miss the camaraderie, grown in cold and wet and rain. "It's been a blast." Trailer.

Genesis of a Creature Megaoptra insect e8 at racetrack
2008 competition winner Carim Nahaboo 16 drew in 1 1/2 hours, animator added wings, carapace, front claw "arms", maggot added to life cycle. In sketch book, most from imagination, other dead specimens, ends up "real and terrifying". I thought Lotus looked like toy, but nope. Focus on Carim behind scenes, sees steps - design, animate, light (hairs), model, on set, role, composite (12 people), delivery - intersperse everyone involved, intermediate and final footage. Stinger evolves into ovipositor into human host.

Background song (Better Man by Bill Baylis) dramatizes triumphant return of snappy James Lester (Ben Miller). Whole ARC team applauds. Christine Johnson (Belinda Stewart-Wilson) exits ignominiously, arrested after Captain Becker (Ben Mansfield) records her insult to Minister responsible "imbecile who can barely blow his own nose ... Whitehall glove puppet with the IQ of a root vegetable".

Primeval s1 s2

5* Glittery fragmented rips in time let prehistoric and future predators through to 2008 London, including top-secret team leader's years-gone wife. Frightful - and hilarious. Hot accents in cool scenery. Academics first refusing guns end going for biggest weapons possible. Season cliff-hangers kill off roles quick - and revive. Trailer.
Why are species all giant vicious rampaging man-eaters - no Star Trek Tribbles? Why do humans flee straight ahead of pursuer - not off to side under cover? Like western wagons circle facing out, why not defend sensibly? Effective when normal environments are invaded; E11 idiots run into danger; E12 shrieking idiot attracts danger.

Disc1 (Tricky without episode names, on website some clips do)

S1 E1 Pilot
Eight years after London University researcher Helen Cutter (Juliet Aubrey) vanishes in the Forest of Dean, dinosaurs appear. Mourning husband Nick (Douglas Henshall), student Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts), aide Stephen Hart (James Murray), and just downsized Zoo expert Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt) meet on the site. On the other side of a sparkling metal-attracting compass-disrupting anomaly, Nick finds his wife's camera. That night, a quick glimpse, a living fossil, and a cryptic notebook hint at her returned presence.
Humor amid terrifying chases by carnivorous giant toothy predator dinosaur.
Stephen's "Pick on someone your own size" to lures from schoolboy.
"It's not every day you meet a potential girlfriend ... and a dinosaur." - Connor
Answering what a really big footprint means: "I think the scientific term is ... really bad news." - Connor
Rex the flying lizard purrs along to muzak, alone in rising elevator, then drops green poo on the back shoulder beaurocrat James Lester (Ben Miller), who grew over series from annoying to dryly sarcastic.

Connor blabs to pals and Nick boots him off. Subway worker dies from venomous bite from scorpions of the Carboniferous era, 300 million years ago. Stephen bitten, gets a message from Helen calling Nick over to the other side, asks "really beautiful" Abby for dinner (she accepts to also stay for breakfast), and needs a large poison sample for anti-venom, 50% possible cure. Claudia reinstates Connor for his specialist knowledge.
Still funny. Love-struck Connor offers to "huddle for warmth ... or not", after withering look from Abby. Recuperating Stephen feels "Like I gargled sand and slept inside a tumble dryer" and forgets his deathbed invitation, so Abby keeps quiet too.

E3 Underwater anomaly sends hungry prehistoric giant crocs, traps Special Forces diver who returns dead from shock with HC initialled hanky, another invite for Nick. Helen refuses to return to present, dragged back by Lester's soldiers.


E4 Helen demands to show them in person where sabre-tooths will invade, escapes through an anomaly junction. Dodos come through, infected with a fatal parasite that takes out Connor's conspiracy freak pal Tom. Abby lets Connor have her couch for a week.

E5 Pterodactyls attack golfers via sky anomaly. Connor overstays welcome and lets out Rex. A flock of smaller carnivores are the perpetrators. Helen incinerates them and saves Claudia.

E6 Future predator builds lair near zoo. When Nick goes back in past with young to seek future anomaly Helen goes back just long enough to disclose old affair with Stephen and publicly invite the former student to join her. Unknown, two bad babies survive. In the present, Claudia never was; her position under Lester held by oily Oliver Leek (Karl Theobald); head office in ARC Anomaly Research Centre building.

Extra: Behind the scenes documentary
Nine week shoot on location, "wading through treacle, "watching paint dry", plus nine adding creatures in studio. - McAllister
"Action hero with brains. That just means that you don't run into things very often."
"Members of the public who are suddenly thrust into an extraordinary situation is what heroes are. "- Henshall
Hilarious watching balloons and traffic cones on the end of a stick and a plump middle-aged guy going "rawwr". Animators who own pets, cats, dogs, birds, add mannerisms to animatronic cheeky naughty chirpy-cute (raccoon + frog) Rex.

Disc3 S2 2008

E7 Raptors in a shopping mall. Nick hears radio reception interference, guess Helen had one, and plan to build detectors. New PR hire Jenny Lewis is high-glam Claudia lookalike, same actress hair dyed very dark. Badly injured Cleaner vanishes, glimpses reappear in future episodes on Leek/Helen side.

E8 Giant worms in sulpher fog in thermostat server control room for office building. Jenny wants Nick to abandon Steve; Helen watching Nick at her house that night. Cute Caroline (Naomi Bentley) picks up Connor at video store.

E9 Sabretooth cat at paintball game in wood at amusement park, turns on owner, assistant park manager, Valerie who raised him from cub and buried her accidentally half-eaten boyfriend. Abby drives a digger. Caroline gets payoff from Leek.

1 E7 Commentary: by Haines, Hodges, Payne
Most points elsewhere, unmemorable: made-up exterior for real John Lewis stores shot nights only, hide easier to fake than feathers that rattle menacingly, cast get along, Lester started boring now snarky sarcastic voice, fast cuts slip in stunt doublesk, challenge to vary chases.

2 Through the Anomaly: S2 behind scenes
More action, creatures, effects. Covered windows on military test site for ARC. Goofy overview by Potts. Spearitt on wire for high kick. Tough "future" location on Canaries. Continuity requires 300 stills daily. Henshall wins at pool; beat on skateboard by Miller. ADR Additional Dialog Recording to compensate for planes, random noises, has to lip-synch. Making action figures (grownup toys).


E10 Teen grabbed from basketball game through drain to canal. Team hear whale song, find shed skin. Fin cuts toward overboard Jen, but shark stomach empty. Ever-present Caroline shows Abby killer neck kick, traps Rex freezing in fridge while duo gone. Abby dragged overboard, given up for dead; Nick blamed, sacked, given lead on the sly by Jen. Con saves Abby, saying "I love you", but interupted back home by Caroline. Nick chases Cleaner who apologizes later to Leek, who answers to Helen.

E11 Girl follows her dog through anomaly into Silurian era desert, Steve and Nick follow; all trapped. Leek intercepts detector signal; giant scorpions take mercenaries headed by Cleaner; leave night-vision goggles with memory that vanish from Nick's office. Jen back to Claudia-medium-brown hair color. Helen, still secretly visiting Steve, plants suspicions about Nick and Lester. Con dumps Caroline by text; she whacks Rex out cold and kidnaps him.

E12 Mastadon disrupts expressway traffic jam, panicked by trapped motorist honking horn and screaming; lured into empty truck, taken to ARC. Jen back to dark hair, reddish now. Reporter Mick Harper starts on scent. Caroline delivers Rex to Leek. Steve chooses Helen for bouncing boobies. Trap set for diverted detection catches Jen; Leek sent her with all men, leaving Lester alone in ARC with future predator and booby-trapped bomb. Helen and Leek trap team in their laser-pen trophy warehouse, throw Caroline in cell with them.

E13 Girl fight in cell. Leek releases scorpion on beach to blackmail calling off ARC search for him; Steve plays tag and wins. Talk about noise control. Con's computer virus hits Leek HQ, releases all animals, including Rex. Helen gave Leek future chips to implant and control future predators and misleads Steve. Jen takes gun. Helen lays prehistoric spiral ammonite shell on Steve's grave, advises patience, sees dozen Cleaner clones gather round.

Extra E10 Commentary by Haines, Hodges and Payne about shooting delays and lighting difficulties in foggy Britain v American California sun. Caroline's pants split, camera front, demonstrating high kick. Brown had to avoid own mannerisms for Jen part. Cost over-runs on one episode reduce budget on others, so extraneous helicopter included. When I wondered why the guys weren't faster rescuing was a moment they were trying NOT to show how rushed the filming was. The brick wall Henshall bashed was real bricks. Miming guns saves armorer. Censors increased tension.

Bugs hate turpentine?

Penguins of Madagascar: Operation DVD

dvd "Penguins of Madagascar: Operation DVD" Dreamworks animation. In the NY Central Park Zoo, animated plump penguins tallest brainy Kowalski, babbling bomber Rico, leader Skipper and shortest cute Brit-accent telly-lover Private act cute and cuddly in public, but the elite commando force performs dangerous save the world exploits. Voices express character perfectly in synch with the brilliant brave beaky "Boys". Finally, animals that do not need big eyes for appeal.

1 Dr Blowhole's Revenge - Amid unbelieving zoo animals, porpoise and chrome claw mutation and lobster army kidnap Sipper's BFF vain bombastic booty-swiveller King Julien, so littlest lemur Mort rides to their rescue on the subway to Cony Island. Full Episode. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/penguins-of-madagascar-blowholes-revenge-full-episode.html

2 Truth Ache - After a week Operation Big Sneaky, and an accidental dose of truth serum hidden in their hot sauce bottle, regretful Private blabs zoo residents most embarrassing secrets. Full. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/truth-ache-full.html

3 Command Crisis - "The big one" is coming at 4 pm, but unmetrical skipper buried plans in site to be bulldozed, and got zapped into persona of air-head "Live at Five" TV anchorman Chuck Charles. How will team perform without him? Full. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/command-crisis-full.html

4 Go Fish - cuteness factor irresistability reading tail wags rewarded by dry soy crackers but Julien leads lemurs, aide chunky Maurice and royal foot grabber tiny "sad eyes" Mort to switch the fresh fish supply trucks and keep fumeless. Full. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/go-fish-full.html

5 Roomies - Kowalski doesn't know what his new invention does, but the coincidenatal arrival of optimistic otter Marlene's new room-mate rude selfish slob walrus Rhonda triggers Skipper's suspicion that Blowhole has inserted an undercover informant. Clip.Full. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/roomies-clip.html

6 Needle Point - Skipper fears doctor shots so much he fights the others so Alice won't order their evacuation. Private offers to take his place, endangering his own health. Full. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/needle-point-full.html

7 Launch Time - To escape greedy Julien, Skipper leads team on vacation to the "moon" (nearby skyscraper roof) where a hungry moon-cat offers hospitality. Full. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/launchtime-full-episode.html

8 All Choked Up - Zoo-keeper Alice, fed up with foolish visitor questions, installs robot guide, but team sees it as fore-runner to their own replacement by mechanisms. When she sees Rico regurgitating weapons for the assault as usual, she medicates him with time-bomb still ticking inside. Full. http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/all-choked-up-full.html

9 The Hidden - Training to fight without sight, over-thinker Kowalski fails until everyone else vanishes hooked away by long pink sticky visiting new neighbors in the dark Reptile House (spoiler: partying chameleons). Full http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/the-hidden-full.html

10 Tangled in the Web - Despite Skipper orders to stand still and strong, new webcams for internet popularity votes find Private skateboarding, then acrobatics knock cameras onto Alice dancing in her laundry room. Full. http://www.220.ro/desene-animate/The-Penguins-Of-Madagascar-Tangled-In-The-Web/Jck1B7ZoeC/

Special Features:

1 Previews: Kung-FuPandaWorld.com video games, How to Train Your Dragon 3D, Madagascar & Madagascar 2 Escape to Africa DVDs, Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter, The Penguins of Madagascar nick.com/penguins, FanBoy & ChumChum, SpongeBob SquarePants DVD Collection

2 http://www.nick.com/games/the-penguins-of-madagascar-the-devious-dr-blowhole.html Game (Do not need to enter code "doctor" to unlock Devious Dr Blowhole game at saysnick.com/blowhole.)

3 DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox of 6 songs
Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Fighting, Bee Movie "Here Comes the Sun"
Shrek "I'm a Believer"
Over the Hedge "Rockin' the Suburbs"
Madagascar "Move It"

New Tricks s1

5* dvd "New Tricks" BBC UK TV show running since 2003: UCOS Unsolved and Open Case Squad has retired police officers prove old dogs can teach new tricks. The team finds the right people, asks the key questions, and imaginatively connects the final dots, rather than flashy phony fancy forensics and computer wizardry. Because of the jokes, humor, laugh-aloud pratfalls, humanity, complicated plots, UK accents and setting, I can sing along with Waterman "It's Alright" repeatedly, and exercise my winks and nudges. HomePage doesn't play clips in Canada, none on YouTube. Sigh. Tops in UK ratings 10 years for good reason.

Brassy bleach blonde buxom Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) is still accountable to red-tape bound superiors. Now civilians, the boys can play beyond their former official rules. Jack Halford (James Bolam), former mentor now usually level-headed second-in-command, has a nightly tot and talk with backyard memorial stone of beloved wife Mary (whose death runs through several episodes). Gerry Standing (David Waterman - joyously belts out theme "It's Alright"), sharp dresser Casanova with amicable ex-wives, always up for a smoke, drink, gamble, or laugh, treads a fine line, his success and near connivance corruption accusation failure from old neighborhood pals who took the low road. Brian Lane (Alan Armstrong), scruffy compulsive nerd brain busting with facts and conspiracies, if off his meds, may bicycle off the road, despite wife Esther, keen of eye, ear, and mind. Season 9 Jack replaced by Steve McAllister (Denis Lawson), I haven't seen. Banter, backup, bicker, brainstorm, bull, bully, they conquer time and crime, and bring justice to the families left behind.

S1 3 discs: Pilot, E1-3, E4-6
preview TV DVDs: Hustle, Lovejoy, The Thin Blue Line (Mr Bean cop)
Episode titles from
(bbc.co.uk doesn't have titles and videos don't play)

E1 Pilot The Chinese Job
After hi-larious interviews, including trying to resuscitate one elderly applicant, Sandra, demoted for a hostage rescue cockup - she shot dog and their target jumped out the window - presents UCOS with their first case in amusing multisyllable beaurocrat-speak encouraged by her superiors (painting his office lavender for "security"). ("Do you wake up talking like that?") Amid shots of their home backgrounds, they investigate Pimlico cocktail club waitress Anna Dubrovski, July 1981 found battered to death with an ashtray in her nearby flat, accused Roderick Wringer found with her blood on his shoes, her key in his pocket, alibied by his wife, now suing for wrongful arrest. Gerry takes the insider role, being from Wringer's old neighborhood, and records another alibi, and crimes. The new colleauges work through interpersonal eccentricities and finally identify Clarkie, the helpful young hacker-saavy officer in the corner.

Clark, transcribing witness statments, notices interview time discrepancies thus corruption of previous officer in charge. DNA samples all wrong: under her fingernails matches envelope licker, blood on shoes not hers. The oldsters are not so naive, know "there are detectives that solve crimes, and those that just want to clear them up".

E2 ID Parade
Gun resurfaces from young WPC constable Kate Daniels shot 1987. Witness, then six, has recurring nightmare, so memory is revived when Gerry hits fire alarm and sends lineup, and whole building, evacuating. The suspect who left prints all over the weapon is a peeping tom Philip, still peeping, but not a killer. The key lies in the triangle back at Hendon police college, between Kate, Sandra, and dropout, now pensioned off security guard Nick Gilbert, paralyzed by bullet shot by robbers through leg, ricocheted into spine, two months before murder.
Meanwhile, home lives percolate. Unmedicated Brian melts down; his wife leaves with dog Scruffy; he moves in and reorganizes Jack; he takes the crippling souvenir bullet from Nick's aquarium. "Keeping me happy is your job" head honcho invites press to observe success. Sandra starts counselling for her destructive relationships. Gerry's unmarried daughter announces pregnancy. Sad bits are less memorable than silly stuff. Watching Esther thank Jack with a friendly cheek smooch has an oomph knowing the two are married. Overdramatic coicidence with criminals overpowered struggling past informant overshadowed by snoring naps captured by press.
(Spoiler: Nick names robbers who shot Kate, when she intervened for him to get more of spoils after paralysis.)

E3 Painting on Loan
Sir Timothy brings fake painting to Bevan, who brings problem of tracking down the original to UCOS, who find gallery owner, painter, and neighbors died of arson and attributed injuries to threaten fake provider into stealing original for thug.
(Spoiler: Thug dead; UCOS arrest Sir Timothy.)

E4 1984
Activist Josh Livesey found dead an hour away from demonstration but body moved from near inside fence he secretly cut; one former tent-mate there gone bonkers from drugs now suspected after confessing to killing another man, is alibied by two others now married, another house-boater, who all blame Secret Service that did cockup a coverup.
(Spoiler: One was a mole, but motive turns out to be simple jealousy. Now rising politician killed student for sleeping with girlfriend.)

E5 Good Work Rewarded
Teen golf whiz Ken Rodger suicided after charged with murder of 10-year old on super-posh country club estate. Fired groundskeeper dad has emphysema, few weeks left, wants truth, donates lock of son's hair for DNA. Surprising DNA results from surviving members lead to uncaught rapist, adultery.
(Spoiler: Records of posthumous medal show war hero disregarded personal safety; he went to war after learning one son illegitimate and other a murderer.)

E6 Home Truths
Handbag with blood, DNA and baby id reappears after 30 years, from white medical student's (Hugh Fraser - Poirot's Captain Hastings) colored wife and child. Brian's superior told him "just another darky's run away to be with her own kind" and shelve. A fellow "libber" and coworker from same rented house vanished the same day, and a builder links to another disappearance a few streets away.
(Spoiler: Flower seeds lead to builder, whose wife took on new identity and hid old identification. Now dying and estranged, depressive after miscarriage admits she took baby to Ireland after friend drowned accidentally. Doctor reunited with colored son.)

E7 Talking to the Dead
Consulting a medium to contact his wife, jeweller's teen Carol Stillman found three months later, starved to death in a shipping container, reaches Jack. Meanwhile team tested physically and psychologically, and Gerry gets a grandchild, first boy in family.
(Spoiler: The suspect clairvoyant Lombard, baits them, tapes them pushing for a confession, and avoids charges.)

Videos: (from bbc.co.uk. don't play)
Many songs called "It's Alright", only this happy-go-lucky version written by Mike Moran; I searched for another recording in vain. Opening credits, "It's Alright" song, "Magic Majestic" 1/6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6McCmLAiVUo&feature=related S5E3 "A Face For Radio" 1/6, 53 2/6

Awards: 2009 Television and Radio Industries Club Crime Programmes
Series ratings rose steadily to most watched in S5, S8 still increasing past 9M broadcast 25+ countries and on internet. Last season finish announced. Sigh.

Spooks MI-5 s1

dvd UK MI-5 = US Spooks 5* s1 Accents, scenery, architecture, action, lifelong fascination with secret world saviors, cartoon heroes, play pretend, feeling of inside scoop on real danger - actors leave, so cast rotates as corpses, but they usually win over the bad guys, so once hooked, I kept on. Episodes

Comic moments sparse so prized. X-rated for violent repeated deaths, a few curses every episode. Writers seem to hate heroes, give them horrible homes, punishing personal lives, accusations, incarcerations, torture by allies and enemies, no love, always angst, guilt, death. Official Website no longer has S1 clips. Almost everyone murdered painfully, too many betrayed, tortured by own side.

Sought fave funny scene - Danny gets cold tea & kisses, Zoe gets vodka & cold dunk - Got bits, many montages over sad songs. future spoilers has their voices

E4 extras explain missing "working" titles and full cast and crew credits. "Bigwigs" trio are SG (Stephen Garrett, Executive Producer), JF (Jane Featherstone, Series Producer), SCC (Simon Crawford Collins, Producer) abbreviated here because they appear often in extras. DW (writer David Wollenscraft) had idea for secret credits "anonymous" on first script as joke. JF agrees TV audience doesn't care about crew, others agreed more time, unique. Zoe - wants to crawl into hole anyway but feels for makeup girl and necessary important little people. SCC - news followed, made more real

Unusual menu setup, as if spy putting disc into desk computer, side view two black and white security cameras on hooded gloved man. Audio press 5 unintelligible but gave English captions, same as screen. Rolodex has "key feature". Two file folders on desk - tan, white - have more extras, interviews, deleted scenes, "secret" credits. Enclosure diagrams desk, times.


E1 Thou Shalt Not Kill Trailer.
Trembling smoker informs that 20 bombs arrived in Liverpool from Ireland, apparent street worker lights cigarette signal, explosion takes out abortion doctor driving and, slowly, later, daughter 7, of family waving farewell. At office, Harry Pearce starts team searching: lead Matthew/ Tom Quinn, Zoe, Danny, IT Malcom, Tessa. Why cookie cutter all super-slim, even lead men. Women have many swingy bobs, whether blondish Tessa or plump grey Connie.

Tails, photos, social chitchat. Conspirators meeting led by Mary Kane, y'all accent favored by this show, gets on my nerves. She had an abortion at 15, killed doctor 25 years later on anniversary, intends a big bang to commemorate her husband going to chair in Florida - ubiquitous show deadline, kills in the name of life. CIA Christine Dale does not sound American.

Tom caught in previous false identity, worried about telling truth to girlfriend Ellie. Bed scenes, including bugged target soundtrack, is titillation. I like funny bits - secret agents blowdry runaway kitty, Maisie blabs overheard "Zoe" on purpose to get Tom in the soup.

Too tiring equals fast forward - whine, nag, mean, selfish, the L-word just makes her harsh treatment more cruel - explosion preferable except for little Maisie - although youth does not guarantee goodness. Wimpy when good guys give sweet long lives to scum. This one got justice, gives her right to choose. Hard to watch IT Colin knowing villains hang him in later episode.

E2 Looking After Our Own Trailer.
Hard-core racist Robert Osborne organizes national riots, orders abused wife to open blouse so business associates see results of cosmetic surgery he paid for, jacket barely open. In side plot, debts tempt Danny to abuse work computer access.

Other hated episodes where beloved stars killed; this queasiest, turned away, public outcry when broadcast. Inexperienced admin staffer Helen undercover as wife for Tom is tortured, killled with boiling oil. Closed my eyes, fast forward, interminably long. Forgot Helen betrayed by abused wife. Civil servant decisions often impossible to swallow, thankfully they take own justice. Mournful solo soprano started at her death, through funeral, to motorcycle under tunnel reminiscent of Diana, gunshot sound, fake wedding ring falls from Tom's wallet.

Origins of MI-5 Heads talk
SG drawn back to bookstore's John LeCarré when searching for better than standard police or hospital precincts. British MI-5 has life and death urgency plus personal and professional necessity for lies, would reach wider because we all lie. First try for Ch4 (sex drugs and rock n roll) flopped; who is enemy after cold war?
JF put writing team together, such as radical 70s playwright Howard Brenton. After jobs changed, BBC1 wanted brave, dynamic for younger audience, so got action plus personal aspect.
SCC got green light at last minute, cheered because liked scripts.
Zoe Reynolds (Keeley Hawes): good part
DW already had good team, wanted to do story about ordinary people in ordinary job turn out to be spies. Soprano popular then.

Audio Commentaries:

E1 by writer DW, producer JF, director E1,2 Bharat Nalluri
For first script, 30 drafts of 4 or 5 stories, 40-50 cuts of first few minutes. No credits deliberate to emphasize anonymous sources. Grid is their name for office; diddley-dees are their name for the location captions for Thames House, really same architect, Covent Garden Freemason's Hall. Matt presses up button and down light goes on, twice. Elevator door really to gent's loo, excuse for their Ellie talk. Script did (?) acknowledge current 9/11 event. Inner sanctum "pods" have Xrays for real, here manual spin, blue lights. Interior was University medical lab. Authentic identity boxes, actual spies have 20-30.

Did split screens for surveillance, stuck, stolen by Yanks' 24, Mary Kane (Lisa Eichorn) is American, but born in NY, University Queens Kingston Ontario, so accent crock. Menacing pink embroidered cardi. Real news footage for explosion. Real spies also choose IT jobs as boring to discourage interest. I missed they sprayed a gas smell, real trick, for their cover as repair crew. Cat, extradition to capital punishment were researched, real experience.

"Obbo" observation van, like Tardis, larger, big set with ceiling fan shadow unnoticed. Malcom here infatuated with Zoe, yet later they make him gay boyfriend with IT Colin. Surprise. Girl's hospital death has funny out-takes. Where? I found none. Matt looks to be in mirror, is not. Deleted scenes with Danny and Zoe on roof, omit when 140-150 scenes; usual is 90. Colors cold - blue walls, blue shirt - emphasize Matt's eyes. Rooms re-used later. Danny wears expensive leather jackets and heavy gold bracelet for money trouble plot line.

E2 by creator-writer DW, producer SCC, director Bharat Nalluri
Ramp is superfast speedy film rate. Have 14 days to film episode, so group scenes according to set. When writers and directors vary, next one out-does one before. 8 year old drew as 6 for Maisie. Friend contributed loggerhead turtles idea. Use real edit suite and machine for set. Looked at 20 community centres for visual interest, and still didn't like result. Real operation would take months, TV takes minutes as days. Deleted domestic scenes about forgotten washing up and ordering curry. Their bedroom was E1 Mary Kane's interrogation room; Matt looks more nervous in bed here than in with Mary.

Zoe in Kremlin is real jargon for MI-5. "Move to close" became crew jargon. Re-use graveyard. We all know what burns feel like, so we feel pain. Really cold tea with coloring, bubbles, smoke. Found containers so set chase there instead of street. Seaside sequence cut to Tessa's face watching, we hear crying of drowning refugees. Real time car in tunnel on 4 security screens. Poetic finale without words.

Extras: First File
Appraisal - Zoe Reynolds 26
All spy resumés ("appraisals" and "reports") have brief first page: name, education, dependents, aliases. Second reads like advertisement in easy language , book blurbs, not realistic files.
Keeley Interview - S2 three cover identities, only girl

Editing MI-5 - Colin Green
First experience pop videos good training for fast 4 minute films, quick cuts, comedy last minute, 3 week shoot, cut 1 hour from day before to 10 mins tops, show dir at end of day, sound & music, finishing & dubs, overall 2 months because 2 at a time, took longer for first two episodes trying out and failing, (influences is unheard question, answer is blathery lots)

Intelligence Report - Helen Flynn

"Shock" behind scenes
DW admits "I killed Helen Flynn. I'm sorry.",
actor Danny (David Oyelowo) shouted to wife "They've just fried the head of a main character",
JF brought forward plot from later episode and rewrote E1 for more Helen
DW wanted real people in real trouble, not James Bond, not cavalry in time, not fake bounce back from fatal injuries
editor Colin Green - can't see how palatable
actor Tom (Matthew MacFadyen) - grueling, nasty, tough, but not emotionally draining
producer SCC - cannot kill star every week
director Bharat Nalluri - primordial fears sharks, falling, burning to a crisp, everyone knows physicality of being burnt, characters you care about
Colin - key is sound, makes brain tick over at alarming rate, heebie jeebies at first look
Bharat - see very little, like shadow instead of cat, look carefully on dvd NO
Colin - so much screaming he had to play insanely bizzarely loud cheerful music in cutting room, bizarre, only see rubber hand
DW - we made the point, reaction majority for it artistic
Matt - 3-400 complaints, not gratuitous, imagination why worked so well, more blood n guts on news
David - complaints because Lisa Faulkner loved by many men out there
DW - friends' angry phone calls "how could you? but well done"

Deleted Scenes
Danny and Zoe on roof - "that's Mars", "I got someone pregnant" - Helen comes - "flat's come through:
Matt ordered curry, Helen cooked, Matt leaves dishes

Secret Credits - title, full cast & crew
E1 "Thou Shalt Not Kill" - Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), Zoe (Keeley Hawes), Danny (David Oyelowo), Harry (Peter Firth), Tessa (Jenny Agutter), Helen (Lisa Faulkner), Colin (Rory Macgregor), Malcom (Hugh Simon), Ellie (Esther Hall), Maisie (Heather Cave),

E2 "Looking After Our Own" same plus (Robert) Osborn (Kevin McNally), Claire Osborne (Debra Stephenson)

Second File
Profile - Tom Quinn 32
aliases include Davy Crockett, nickname from McCann
Starting Out interview Matt Macfadyen - in the family, school plays, drama schools 3 yr, happiest on stage, not a proper job, paid love it

Creating MI-5 DW
Writer Beginnings - grew up in "America", TV Hill Street Blues & Moonlighting fast glossy slick, moved here Edge of Darkness inspiration edgier, single writer vs US teams, fun to get paid, not political (answers hidden question)

Directing E1,2 Bharat Nalluri
1971 Nov1 arrive in England, walked past mother to TV, box person inside, Lucas Star Wars, borrowed dad's Super 8 camera trial and error, awards, Crow franchise, now choosy for script blockbuster later
, spooks "perfect script". Find cast, crew, schedule, fine-tune script, rush around film while edits, producer, music, sound, long process

Gallery stills on set

DVD-Rom Content on disc - Scripts pdf, Wallpaper, Weblink, Cult-link


Menu same security camera side panels, verbal instructions to intruder "Dark Angel" entering office with disarm passcode. Confuses - flashing red box is not where cursor sits.

E3 "One Last Dance"
Zoe to Turkish Consulate party as Emily, exposed when Kurds take hostages. Tom, while birthday party waits at home (snarky Ellie refuses to answer phone, witch) has to negotiate. Nearby bank is drained of money and names of every MI-5 and MI-6 agent. Ex-agent Johnny Marks, supposedly dead, got codes by kidnapping relevant daughter.
When he brings asthma medicine for consul tied to bomb on balcony, Tom tugs Zoe out of reach, so sniper shoots bandit, building stormed. Johnny brings name to Tessa, who loved him and miscarried his child, and trades them to Harry for walking free with £15M.)

E4 "Traitor's Gate"
In demonstration against coming London visit by American President Bush, Zoe recognizes rugby tackle and Peter Salter (Tony Head - Buffy's mentor, Dr Who alien) "legend" spy, orders his release. Ellie sees Tom's bullet wound; she's vetted, Tom can tell truth; she goes snarky, wants more than he can say, insists he tell kid 6 or they leave, refuses call, again, hangs up on his work. Witch. He deserves better, so do kids. MI-6 Jules (Hugh Laurie - Jeeves' Bertie Wooster, House). Salter recruited Tom. Hairy chests on both - Tom dark and furry, Peter sparse and grey.
Tom knows Salter loves anarchist chick ("shagged 2 years" is "get to know"?), has to figure out double cross. Tessa tells Zoe she runs phantom agents for money, bribes her 10K to keep quiet. Silly to see Salter stripped for bugs, dressed in skirt, then leading others like baby chicks past blind spots. How does he bring terrorists disc after they stripped him? Sound effects imitate tinnitis, feels real. Surprise ending forgotten - he grabbed Tom's belt and hung, later another airport scam.)

E3 SCC, actor Zoe (Keeley laughs throughout, one remark - only rehearsal is lighting), director Rob Bailey, writer Simon Mirren
Only one terrorist actor spoke Kurdish. Too windy Horse Bridge reshot in Roehampton. Rainy set needed water hose when later dry. Actor who played daughter - tied up, cried - only did comedy before; Johnny retapes her mouth before she says her one line. Matt has sunglasses, eyes closed, or in profile because burst blood vessel in right eye for two episodes. Color drains to blue-gray in red Turkish consulate room, when situation more tense, unnoticeable, constrasts with browns in surveillance van - and ceiling fan. Extras couldn't return, so a dad filled in. Asthmatic Turkish consul had real cold, sat hours on balcony in pouring rain. Freeze frame on Johnny's resumé has false odd phrases - Mary Kane bomber and her website, age 40 found shot dead in Florida home; Harry says he identified body burned in Irish car bomb.

Tablecloth cut in half so terrorist could rip onto cop's head. "Dutch angle" shot means at 45º angle. Bank president (Jeremy Book) disguised in Star Wars, attends all conventions. Very windy, had to speak loudly, often record "guide track", later dub (ADR acronym - words differ, same meaning). Expository dialogue hinders action. Art department Scandinavian, so is rolling list of MI-5 employees.

Guns are real, decommissioned. Deliberate pauses, flag waves lightly, amid frenzy. Tessa's super fancy flat, real sliding closet doors, hint at inflated income. Harry gets outside rarely. Wind blows away voices, lights, and Steadicam camera. Many threads to tie off.

E4 producer SCC, director Rob B, writer Howard Brenton
Increasingly complicated recaps. (Like worst Stargate episodes rehash.) Real news riot footage, real building overlooking square, real time. Again, they don't mention, but I see spy resumé , here Salter, deteriorates into hash of Mary Kane phrases, appendicitis, terminated pregnancy, abortionist website. Tee-hee, tsk-tsk.

Theatre acting understated for small screen. Hand-held blurs foreground focus. Different writer gives more scenes. MI-6 in truth Oxbridge, government foreign office, vs MI-5 grammar school, confirms source. Scouted train station quiet, on day unusable, all dubbed, broken up, hard for actors to hold performance. All writers agree on character of Tom, he decides suddenly, even flips, down new track.

Deep throat adviser solved trapped in house by phoning cops complaining naughty couple in car and kids around. Camera dropped by accident gave appropriate shot. Danny gets caught here fiddling banks, good later in series. Brainy cops and chiefs depart from norm. Tom bounces on couch, wound forgotten, oops. Used fake doggy doo for message drop, real example is dead rat. Sandwich box comes out of nowhere. Phantom agent is real problem, not only money, but false info. Lispy writer is fan of early "Taggart"
where plot turns out to be about something different, tried to do here. Tinnitis like nose bleed from Carré's Tinker Tailor. Cut to reactions, close and reactions sells emotion, cannot do on cinema screen. Dialogue from next scene overlaps Tom groaning in pain on floor.

Extras File1 - can hear the questions behind the interviews
Profile - Zoe Reynolds 26
Paper. Interview Keeley - Acted 10 years at drama school, spotted Oxford St modelled, gave up happily for part.

Appraisal - Harry Pearce
Peter Firth "I'm hard to pigeon-hole", wants "quirky". Harry "suit with a twinkle" well-read rather than well-educated, writers pepper quotations.

The Cast - interview bits with lots of faces, enthusiastic, joy, look forward to

MI-5 Terminology -
Report: founded 1909, now 1900 staff at Thames House, half under 40, under half women
Terms seem normal after watching and reading this material before 2- spook, agent, watcher surveils. 3 - safe house, brush contact is drop message picked up soon, 4 - dead lettter box, legend 5 - backstop - vouches for legend, buggers/ burglars 6 - going native, jammer
Tongue twisting - actors' interview shots: lots of laughs, DW most "chewy", weapons, computers, Matt "debriefed" "penetrated" "blown" leads to giggles

Secret Credits E3,4 18 pages of full cast and crew, working titles
regular plus E3 "One Last Dance" - Johnny Marks (Christopher Fulford), Leyla (Katie Jones)
E4 "Traitor's Gate" - Peter Salter (Anthony Head)
Henry VI - book by David Oyelowo took 6 months, never written anything after school, play age 24 less reaction than "black"
DVD-Rom Content - scripts, wallpaper, weblinks as before

Profile - Danny Hunter 25
"Starting Out" David Oyelowo fancied a girl at church, "date" was acting lesson, he kept on, encouraged by teacher, young "telly addict" later asked "could I do that?"

Profile - Tessa Phillips 48
"Startin out" Jenny Agutter by chance, naturally ballet school, boarding school, Walt Disney needed girl easy to pick up and carry, got her out of school, had no qualifications for anything else

Appraisal - Tom Quinn written summary no age, elsewhere 32
Playing - DW, Matt - everyone has a bit of Tom in them, "good fun" running around, bashed up

Intelligence Report - Jools Siviter 45 MI-6 summary Hugh Laurie
bits from others and later episode(s) clips, gallows humor, guess they couldn't get Hugh himself

The Terror Question
DW 9/11 "sidewinded" and made Spooks suddenly relevant after 4 episodes, changed tone, increased scale of danger, Bharat everyone now believes what they couldn't before, did rewrite scenes, sources frightening & reassuring, Zoe (Keeley) - now "more horrifying", S2 no emergency vehicle available because in real use JW - We try to inflame BOTH sides of argument

Gallery - stills, promo ads comments from bigwigs DW, SG cute fact - needed 6M viewers 30%, got 9M 42%. Billboards - one by Matt's flat, DO - hard to drive roundabout seeing own giant face, Keeley - "bizarre but fun".

Deleted Scenes
In flat, Zoe preps for Turkish party, Danny (never Dan) watches
Ellie and Maisie dancing around before birthday party, gets roses from Tom (never Tommy)
Tessa wants Zoe to "tell tales" in ladies' loo

Same intruder entry to Grid, instructions for choices on desk in split screen.

E5 "Rose Bed Memoirs"
1993 Middle East photo of Saudi royal, Brits, Russian in cahoots. Forward to Hampton Wilder, released from prison after conviction for illegal arms dealing as Minister, now saved by Jesus, claims regret for memoirs that slanders PM's favorite, Maynard for continuing his treason. Ellie's ex Mark Hodd threatens Tom; when Ellie rants, I fast forward. Tessa's black lace undies plus the sound of a zip, she's already involved with Maynard. Zoe scoffing Danny's vodka into her teapot, and he dunking her head into cold water is funny; both learn Harry said they're "the brightest and the best", and gets funnier. Jools "Glad someone's running the country".
Doorbuzzer goes mid-kiss for Zoe and Danny, weekend visitor walks out, Jools takes supposed manuscript out of pants, whole office chimes "Christ", laughs. Contrasts with serious Lermov stabs and inquisitions for truth - fast-track to foreign office is CIA asset. Twists. Maybe cleverest episode, minimum violence, maximum foolery.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NHnozfE88U Spoiler Ending)

E6 "Lesser of Two Evils"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eqGMjVQ35k See recap, first 4 mins, ignore rest, really next episode
Danny fail-safes Tom's house to protect Ellie. Tom meets questionable IRA McCann in the middle of a field and strip, mirror-like, despite the serious music, the "dance" and the wellies make me laugh - found no gag reel or out-takes. McCann asks for 30 hours blind eye in exchange for Arab attack on Brit nuclear power station; team figures Irish plan subway (Brit "tube") stop bomb. Someone made a poor joke with curtained shadow of politician D.G. (Deputy General) getting finger up the bottom simultaneous with Tom's request to go over Harry's head. Another thread - Zoe tells Harry about Tessa' phantom agents when she asks for lots.

I thought the best place in an explosion was inside the bathtub or the fridge. Cool looking inside a computer. Tom deserves somebody coolheaded. Cliff-hanger ends before bomb should explode.
I remember Maisie gets sticky fingers all over the card and trouble ensues, but they live because later she blabs at school. Tense last minute save at power plant. Targets "disincentivized" but "it's never over".)

E5 "The Rosebud Memoirs" by writer lispy Howard Brenton, actor David Oyelowo (Danny), producer JF, editor Colin Green, director Andy Wilson
Desert was quarry in freezing February, real Saudi tent was in underground carpark. Jenny (Tessa) proud of being 50; they don't say she used undie double. Second time through Tessa's "tour through the sensitive areas" has double funny meaning. Matt's eye still bloodshot. He didn't like only punch in series to be at doddy oldster. Holland Park Orangerie has lovely society mural. Serious scenes (often?) provoke actor giggles. Clothed bottom and naked chest shot of David. He had to dunk Zoe once, too wet for re-shoot. Bigshot Hugh Laurie leaving opera box really had to exit and enter closet.

Trafalgar Square is "heart of the Empire", now fenced off, scenery big reason I watch BBC. Danny can't "eat your cake and have it" - David. Script specified "silk boxers" for Jools. Couldn't work out CIA agent tie-off suggestion till late, fifth draft. They notice many unplanned views through bars.

E6 by co-auther (with DW) Brenton, actor David O, producer JF, editor Green, director Wilson
Most hand held new Minimar one-hander French (built at request of Jean Goddard), took only four minutes per special roll. Camerman's own hand with grenade and feet marching to safe house as Irish McCann. DW originated treatment, split up 30 pg each, united on one computer to revise whole. New angle to meeting room because last scene, demolished whole wall forever. Say only scene with convential camera to concentrate attention on wordy exposition, but is later. DW does tongue twisters. Off-com only allows twelve phone numbers for TV, cannot choose realistic digit combo.

CIA source says they really do meet in fields and disrobe. Snow and sleet right after freezing, repeated ten times. McCann "Irish peasant" accent specifically made-up, based on real person. Olympic rowing practice pool, same as E5 tent. Cooperation based on current news. Brainstormed ideas bound together by DW. Green Irish website did give attack info. Fine line between credibility and giving instruction manual to terrorists. Plant plans from real decommissioned site. D.G.'s is same as opera and gentleman's club is 1960s opulent silk merchant's house. Forgot he was Doctor behind green curtain, chosen to invoke Wizard of Oz. Men laugh at prostate scene.

Not usual 3 act structure. Real videos of missile launch. True MI-5 lenient, pension off miscreants, send to obscure locale. Newscasters rewrite scripts for realism. Accepted farm before knew sewage collecters. "Untie his hands" - find any gag. Real soldiers search for terrorists and ordnance. "Disincentivized" is real euphemism. Thought of Goldfinger when police refuses dime to report bomb, for cliff-hanger explosion.

Extras: File1 (left to right, tan)

Appraisal - Danny Hunter
Written page. Interview actor Dave "best telly scripts ever", meant too much. He scratches his nose saying he loves close group, have "sometimes too much fun". (Someone said nose touch, like Nixon, means fibs.) Spies are not ordinary, but extraordinary. Non-computer-ish in real life, good at "look like you know what you're doing".

Profile - Harry Pearce 52
Interview Peter Firth - desire to show off, joined drama club for girl (like Dave O). Double-deckers show his age "age is very cruel".

Deleted Scenes
Harry taking flowers, chides office gossiper, taking to grave.
Zoe guiding Danny's welcome to flat for Ellie and Maisie to push reunion with Tom. "Be yourself". "Why do you think I'm so nervous?" Maisie translates b-a-s-t-a-r-d.
Tessa asks Zoe "You're a big girl aren't you?"
Back to Danny-Ellie meet.
Danny dozing at computer with pizza slice, "good friend" Zoe scared about Tessa.
Tessa looks at Zoe in loo (that is the full deleted scene, one look while Zoe towels her hands)

Secret Credits 20 pages includes crew for Extras
E5 "The Rose Bed Memoirs" Lermov (David Calder), Wilder (Tom Piggott-Smith), Maynard (Nicholas Farrell), Jools Siviter (Hugh Laurie)
E6 "Lesser of Two Evils" Madge/Housekeeper (Linda Marlowe), McCann (Lorcan Cranitch), D.G. shadow (Henry Goodman)

Season Two interviews: bigwigs trio, Peter & Matt, Keeley
JF - 10 episodes more range than 6 in S1, focus on more than Tom. Peter - "people like the product, you can lay it on thicker". Keeley - "bigger and better because we've all been down to the gym, well, once"
Preview clips. Zoe, Danny, Tom walk toward us with helicopter flying in background, expect explosion.

File2 (right-most, white)
The World of Spies - An Intelligent Community
Peter -"they couldn't tell us, they'd have to kill us". Keeley repeats Peter and recalls they did meet MI-5 officer. Matt "inverted demented glamor" "everyone loves spies", said applications for MI-5 tripled after Spooks aired. SCC wanted to humanize between LeCarre creepy betrayal and slick Bond "break speed limit". JF "paranoia becomes part of life". SG filed as "Prawn". Green - losing cat & hairdryer real

Producers: What they do interviews bigwig trio - SG jobs overlap, overall creative and organizational primo, hire right people to realize vision; JW TV long-running series needs unity unlike film

Appraisal - Tessa Phillips (Tom 32)
Jenny Agutter interview - results of hard decisions, Tessa self-serving unlike Stella Rimington (former MI-5 director, now espionage author, but equally adulterous as heroine Liz Carlyle)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0099461390/bloomsburymag-21 excerpt At Risk (Stella #1)

Gallery of stills, many folded arms, three from in-field double disrobe

DVD-ROM (their all-caps, not mine) Content - scripts, wallpaper, weblinks - same as other discs
Windows Vista warned "incompatible", so not possible to test.