Well everyone seems to be taking a holiday! Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles and Entourage have both taken mid season breaks, whilst other shows are coming to a close just before the Christmas TV schedule.
So just a brief column this week to take a look at Apparitions. This show highlighted why I don't usually review stuff after just one episode. I don't like it when newspaper critics do it and I don't like it when audiences do it either really. So I shouldn't have done it myself. And somehow I got lumped in the 'against' category when twelvepoint.com was doing its roundup! All good fun but I wasn't really. All I said was, well... read for yourself here.
As it panned out I thought the series was excellent. One of my concerns was the matter of fact way it went about its fantastical elements. But this was gradually blown out of the water by increasingly skeptical story of the day characters and some wry, tongue in cheek dialogue from Martin Shaw's Father Jacob. The finale went all out with Jacob himself needing to be exorcised, making a deal with Satan (I didn't quite understand all this to be perfectly honest!) and a thwarted assassination attempt of a future Pope in Rome. Lots of blood and violence too! It didn't hold back. And credit where it's due, the BBC have broadcast a very bold series. (All the more surprising really when I remember John Chapman talking about a violent moment in The Street that needed Jane Tranter's specific approval before it made the cut.)
I hope we see Apparitions returning. Recently, both Bonekickers on BBC1 and Harley Street on ITV1 were both cancelled. Although I was critical of both, I was a little bit sad by the decision, for different reasons. I thought Bonekickers was truly original and had enormous potential. Another season may have seen it really take off. I gather the creators are in talks to take it across to America, much like they did with Life On Mars, which has been doing very well there too. So it will be interesting to see how this one does. Harley Street was the brainchild of new writer Martson Bloom. Does this mean that the next series from a new writer will be harder to get away? Could it have been given longer to find its feet? I guess the economic climate doesn't help, and risk taking is kept to a minimum, but TV history is littered with shows that struggle in their first season, were on the verge of the axe, only to go on and become excellent an series.
But anyway, to move on, the festive season is the season of one offs - so I'm sure we'll be looking at some of them in this spot soon. Enjoy!