Point & Click

Kinda flat out.


Box Watch – Battlestar Galactica Seasons 1-4

Yeah, it took me a good fortnight to catch up to some people but some people don’t have a menagerie to compete with for The Goddess’ time.

I thought it ended in grand fashion: personal stakes, of course, were high; characters made decisions where I truly cared whether they lived or died; and there was a cool space battle with ultra-high-risk tactical gambits and shit blowing up.

And then as various farewells were worked through, I felt a twitch in the back of my throat*: we’d been with these characters for over 80+ hours of television, spread over four years. It was okay to blink and swallow manfully, grateful that The Goddess’s back was to me.

As the camera pulled back, and pulled back, and pulled back, I sighed with contentment… and then there was a title card… and an epilogue which I thought totally and utterly naff. Which brought up unwelcome questions like:

  • So who – or what – is Starbuck?
  • Who – or what – is Gaius Baltar if, as the opening credits showed every ep, he was caught in a thermonuclear blast on Caprica?
  • What happened to all the mythology/religious/destiny/determinism schtick that really pulled the first two seasons together?

Aw… whatevs.

It was great television. It went places, and I’m not meaning geographically. It told stories, a lot of them familiar, and told them well. And I cared.

Thank you, Mr Moore.

*  A twitch that was definitely absent during the dutiful but interminable farewells in The Return of the King.


The T.V. Week is Filling Up Nicely

It was a lean autumn* as the third season of Desperate Housewives lurches from one cliffhanger to another, sometimes leavened only by a game of “Spot the Marcia Cross Stand-In/Body-Double”.

There was a brief flutter of excitement when TV3‘s site FAQ said that Battlestar Galactica was returning to the screen. Unfortunately they meant Season 2, which has been available on DVD for the past year or so (duly devoured only early this year). Which’ll explain the 11:00pm scheduling.

Still, as we enter winter, two household favourites return today: Medium and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

Closer scrutiny of the T.V. guides in the next few weeks might be rewarded with The Shield‘s Season 4 and The Wire‘s Season 3.

Hope is a terrible thing.


*    For telly maybe – it’s been nice to catch up with last year’s movies.


Careful What You Wish For

Fill yer hand, friend, and after a few seconds of blurred action and sharp noises, the cordite smoke lifts… and I’m the last man standing with a television concept I’d been sweet on for a few years.

Back at the saloon, I take a stool at the bar. Two-Fingered Frank serves up a double and, after the barest hesitation, leaves the milk bottle within reach. The shot goes down but I don’t taste it. I begin to pour another but then I stop. I turn the concept over in my hands. I remember the last time I saw it; the amount of work I put into it. I admire the craft and heart inherent and also remember working against seemingly innumerable constraints and frustrations. It was mine now – mine.

The following morning, I need hair of the dog and some several raw eggs before I’m on my way; it’s not until I’ve carefully shaved my tongue that I feel human again. Sunlight glints off something in my saddlebags. Before I realise it, the concept’s in my hands again. Only now do I feel its dead weight. I may be the one-and-only now but it’s been years since I was in that space. After years of wading around in ninety minute-plus stories, packing a decent story into forty-five minutes with beats to match opening credit sequences and commercial breaks is a different beast to tame. And don’t forget story and character arcs to be entwined and paced over thirteen episodes.

When your major television influences include The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, Bodies and, of course, The Shield, you’ve set yourself a freakin’ high bar, friend.

Movement in the corner of my eye and I draw instinctively, ballpoint steady, elbow nice and relaxed. It’s only my reflection in the mirror. Gone is yesteryear’s cocky inkslinger, replaced with a wary, slightly squinty, keypuncher.

So be it.

What’s the point of aiming high if you can’t just shoot for the moon?