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post apocalyptic marmite
If you are the sort of person who needs a film to explain everything to you in excruciating detail or if your favourite phrase is "why ?" this probably isn't the film for you.

This film isn't a formulaic Hollywood no-brainer sci-fi action flick, this is a lusciously dark and atmospheric nihilistic mood piece, this is certainly no feelgood movie ( thankfully ) and what a welcome breath of poisonous air it was ( and still is ) .

People often liken this film to the Terminator but I think when compared to Hardware Cameron's film looks dull, lifeless and oh so predictable. This film has more creativity and imagination in it's little finger than all of Hollywood combined, from the wonderful post punk industrial soundtrack to the inspired imagery, at which point I must mention the death of Moses, I don't think I have ever seen a film that has made a character's death seem so beautiful, a truly inspired moment.

This film is just so full of brilliant little touches that each time you watch it you can gain something new from the experience, whilst true that this film does have a few flaws - plot holes and the occasional flat performance, they hardly seem relevant and do nothing to hamper my enjoyment of the film . In some ways this film is quite paradoxical, despite being comprised of so many grim, disgusting and nasty elements it still comes across as being quite beautiful, the level of violence is sometimes quite surprising but it's handled in such an artistic way that it transcends the usual horror film gore, the strong and vivid use of colour and copious amounts of blood remind me greatly of the work of Italian director Dario Argento.

All in all I think this is one fantastic piece of low budget film making and quite easily one of my favourite films of all time, the one true testament to it's brilliance is that whether you love or hate this film you can almost guarantee your reaction will be a strong one and to me that's art folks.

Doctor Who

It's Who Jim , but not as we know it .
I've been a lifelong fan of Doctor Who , my earliest memories are of some of the John Pertwee episodes and the first Tom Baker season and I credit the show with kindling my love of the sci-fi genre . Doctor Who was a major part of my growing up , the Doctor being probably being my #1 childhood hero , I was deeply saddened when the show was cancelled and delighted when I heard it had been re-commissioned. Since hearing the good news I had been looking forward to the new episodes with eager anticipation , however after seeing the first 4 episodes my enthusiasm has begun to slowly melt away .

The first episode felt kind of rushed and lacking in any real story which I think I can understand as it was more of an introduction than a proper episode .

I have no real problems with Christopher Ecclestone as the good Doctor , one or two aspects seem a little odd and I'm not sure I like his costume all that much , it just makes him appear too average and ordinary . I've seen a few less than favourable reviews of his performance as the Doctor saying that he just doesn't act like the Doctor of old , but considering each new regeneration of the Doctor has his own unique personality I'm not really sure how these people could have arrived at such a conclusion . Billie Piper as Rose also does a pretty good job and I have no real complaints in this area , Rose's mother however is a completely different kettle of fish , what a truly awful woman I really hope she doesn't appear in too many episodes.

The second episode was a notable improvement upon the first , the futuristic setting was nice as was the inclusion of several bizarre aliens and an actual storyline all nicely finished off with some decent special effects .

The third story is probably the strongest of all so far and almost a return to the classic Doctor Who we all remember and love , featuring some rather creepy monsters , a classic historical setting and a highly engaging story I thoroughly enjoyed this episode .

Next we come to episode 4 which for me represents everything that is bad about the new series , it was simply awful , lets start with the most obvious thing , the flatulent aliens . I mean come on seriously , this is something you would have never seen in the old Doctor Who not in a million years and it just feels totally out of place and just plain wrong . It's clumsy attempts at humour like this and the belching wheelie bin in the first episode that really give me a bad feeling about this new series , this is Doctor Who not the Young Ones and I just feel there is no place for infantile toilet humour in a show like this . I'm not saying there's no room in Doctor Who for a bit of humour it's just that in the past it's always tried to be a little bit clever and/or a bit tongue in cheek , are today's audiences really that unsophisticated that we need to have these sorts of dumbed down attempts at humour ? Next up we have all the sexual references floating about , from Rose's mum's pathetic attempts to seduce the Doctor in episode 1 , the line about the undertaker copping a quick feel in episode 3 etc. again this feels really out of place , awfully crass and clumsy , not only that but isn't this supposed to be a show for children ? Also in this episode we have a scene with the doctor watching TV in a crowded London council flat , I'm sorry but that should just never happen , ever . It's like the writer is trying to weave elements of currently popular TV programmes such as reality shows and soap operas into Doctor Who , this just seems so incredibly wrong .

Another thing that worries me a little about the new show is that all the episodes seem to be centered around Earth , I really hope we get to see some more alien locations used in the next series otherwise I feel the show will start to stagnate very quickly .

Most of the above criticisms I can just about live with , I'm not happy about these things but I can accept them and try to get used to them , there is however one element of the new show that has me very concerned indeed , there seems to be some kind of romantic subplot developing between the Doctor and Rose . There have only been slight hints at this so far , the odd look here and there etc. but it's enough to be a bit worrying . It may just be me reading too much into certain scenes (and I really hope that it is) , but if not then I feel that this will be one travesty too far . The Doctor should never , ever , become involved with his companions in such a way it's almost like one of the golden rules of Doctor Who , I feel if they ever broke that rule I'd just switch off and never watch it again .

All in all the new series does have many great elements and there is certainly the potential here to live upto classic shows of old , unfortunately there is also a lot of bad , clumsy and downright amateurish elements in there as well , as far as I'm concerned the jury remains decidedly out on the New Who but the fact that I'm already picking up on so many bad vibes is not encouraging .

Red Dwarf

in space no-one can hear you scream with laughter .
Reading through these reviews brought on a wave of nostalgia for me , I watched this show religiously from the very first episode , it's quite possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen . The first series when it was originally shown was so new and so different it was a really refreshing change from the usual dross that is the vast majority TV comedy . The friction between Lister and Rimmer is what really drives the show in the early episodes , it's great the way in which you have these two people who utterly detest each other but are confined together with no hope of escape from each other's company .

With the third series the show took a change in direction and pace , with the introduction of the character Kryten as a regular and the all new female version of Holly . With any other show this might have signalled the beginning of the end , such radical changes rarely go down well but with Red Dwarf it was like a new lease of life and saved the show from becoming stale or repetitive . Series 4 and 5 continued in a similar vein with the stories becoming ever more way out and crazy , all riotously good stuff .

Then along came series 6 and another set of very major changes , for a long time I had a really hard time getting into this series , the loss of the ship Red Dwarf was such a major change and it really kinda threw me . Upon repeated viewings this series really grew on me though , and it has some seriously funny episodes right up there with the best of them , and the end of the last episode in the series was really quite shocking , it actually brought a tear to my eye .

Next we have the ill fated seventh series which started out well enough with the episode tikka to ride , but after that it rapidly degenerated , it deeply saddened me to see what my favourite TV show was becoming , it was but a shadow of it's former self and with series eight things took a further plunge into banality and throw away one liners , what a terribly sad way for it all to end .

At it's best this show is the best entertainment it has ever been my pleasure to watch , but eventually I guess you can have too much of a good thing and I doubt we'll see it's like again .

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