Tag Archives: Television

The Darwin Murders

A short time ago, I was invited by a friend to write a short piece for an upcoming anthology, published online, called The Darwin Murders. Participants were asked to write a 250 word piece in which they could kill of a character of their choosing, provided the poor unfortunate didn’t/doesn’t exist in real life. (No killing Hitler or Stalin, okay?)

I choose the bane of modern-day small screen viewing, the horror that is the television licence inspector. The editors liked my story so much that I was one of two authors who had their pieces put aside for special mention.

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If you want to find out how and why I murdered a television licence inspector, pop over to Amazon and see for yourself. And don’t stop at me, either. Other writers in the anthology harbour secret desires to bump off their nemeses. At the end of the day, we each have our dark sides.

Don’t forget to look behind you – you could be next.

 

The Daily Rant: Raving on ‘Misfits’.

The concept of the television show Misfits is simple. Take a disparate group of dysfunctional young men and women, give them some super powers, and then watch as they come to terms with their new responsibilities and hopefully put away some bad guys. So far, so very X Men and Heroes, right?

Well, kind of right. Throw in some exceptionally foul language, a bucket or two of blood, a heap of sexual shenanigans, as well as the most quotable dialogue this side of The Princess Bride, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for the freshest television series I’ve seen in many a year.

Last Sunday saw the premiere of Misfits‘ third season. Already it had its back against the wall because it had lost its leading star Robert Sheehan (Nathan) and many fans had claimed the show would suffer for his leaving. Enter Joe Gilgun, an accomplished actor in his own right. The show would sink or swim on his performance and character.

I am delighted to report that none of the spark has gone. If anything, I think Gilgun’s addition to the cast can only be a good move. His character, Rudy, is certainly more sympathetic and much more likable than Nathan. His power – the ability to create an identical copy of himself – is intriguing, especially when each copy has a personality of its own, and will lend itself to some interesting stories this season.

My favourite character, though, is Kelly. For me, and I think for most of the viewers last night, she had the best line. Check out the clip below and you’ll witness her deadpan response to an offer of brunch.

Exquisite.

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 98. On Series Finales.

Harry Pearce and the spies of MI5: Spooks.

We put down our favourite book, one that has travelled with us for nearly ten years, and we can’t help feeling sad. The writer says there will be no more new stories involving characters we have come to love and care for. It is time to move on. There is of course a closure of sorts; but we know in our hearts that their stories go on. Only no one will write about them anymore.

So it is with our favourite television shows. There will be no more Spooks after last night. I am sad. But life must go on.

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 66. On Downton Abbey and Period Dramas.

What better way to learn about history than to check out quality televised period dramas. Last weekend saw the return to our screens of the excellent Downton Abbey, the kind of programming the British seem to do so well.

The first series began with the sinking of the Titanic and ended with the outbreak of World War I. These historic events are seen through the eyes of well-written characters that live and work in the stately manor of Downton Abbey.

As a writer, I find it challenging and refreshing to see history unfold through fictional characters.Who says television doesn’t educate?

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 58. On House.

Dr Gregory House is an asshole, an arrogant, self-satisfied pain in the butt – and I can’t get enough of him. Not many shows make me want to sit down and view whole seasons all at once, but there’s something about the anti-hero that resonates with the writer in me.

Hugh Laurie’s award-winning portrayal of House notwithstanding, there’s more to his character and the show as a whole that causes me to think long and hard about it, even well into the early hours of the morning. Ethical issues come to mind and I will write more on this very soon.

 

 

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 51. On History.

History can be as dull as a October day in Leitrim and as dry as the Saharan landscape. But when all else fails, and stuff needs to be learned, add sex to the mixture and, Hell’s Bells, watch the application forms for history degrees arrive in the post or online.

It all started with HBO’s series Rome, if you ask me. A place where togas were optional rather than required attire. Then you had Henry VIII and The Tudors gallivanting their way around medieval England. Now with The Borgias along for the ride, maybe there’ll be an influx of new priests.

 

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 50. On Television Licences.

By law, every household in Ireland must pay €160 for a television licence. This payment goes to RTE, our national television and radio broadcaster. For this money we get Ryan Tubridy and The Late Late Show, interminable reality TV shows, awful attempts at comedy and quite risible drama, with very few exceptions.

In Great Britain, for £145.50, viewers get Doctor Who, The Hour, Merlin, Being Human, Ashes to Ashes and plenty of quality one-off drama like last week’s Page Eight, starring Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon and Ralph Fiennes.

We get Pat Shortt, repeats and imports. I’d rather go to jail.