In this edition, with the title "Laceyvision" that being an egomaniac I think may be the best yet, we spunk criticism up the back of Lost, which if recent plans to cap the story at five seasons are to be believed, has just passed the halfway point in it's epic mystery. Also Paul Rose of Digitiser fames "Biffovision" pilot, which snuck onto BBC3 in the middle of the night, and ridiculous computer game movie "Doom". Which has got The Rock in it.
Sky One, despite having disappeared from a lot of tellys amidst a storm of controversy recently, appears to be broadcasting Lost a mere day or two behind the shows US broadcast - I love when channels do this (Channel 4 did it with Season 1 of Smallville, I recall), and it's especially important with long-running shows like this to see the episodes before some cunt can tell you what happens at the end on the fucking internet. If you want to go into episode 14 of this series totally unspoiled avoid the last paragraph of this entry, although it's not particularly spoileriffic.
I don't understand these internet people who go "LOST NEVER ANSWERS ANY QUESTIONS IT'S GAY ETC", you know. Do any of them actually watch Lost? I saw the first few episodes when it debuted on Channel 4, thought it was great, and then went away to University and didn't see anymore until I caught up with the most recent, third season.
From what I can see, it's answered quite a lot of questions - from the days of them mucking about tending their injuries, playing volleyball, getting tans and rummaging through old luggage and building shacks we're now aware of the following...
The Others live in proper houses on the island
There's two islands, the other one being for their mad culty experiments
Desmond can time travel and see the future
People in underground hatches were being monitored doing menial tasks under the possibly spurious impression it was vitally important
The island heals people
Claire and Jack are siblings
The Others brainwash captives with reverse messages stating "only the stupid are trapped by space and time"
The Others had a submarine to come and go as they pleased but Lockes blown it up. He's an explode-oholic! And a weirdly, intimidatingly attractive man. Those piercing eyes. That high waistband.
The island generates an electromagnetic thing that if Desmond doesn't do the thing it sends out a pulse, which is the same thing that caused their plane crash, and it makes him go back in time
The Others know everything about them, and they're all connected in unusual ways
The Dharma Initiative might be enemies of The Others
There's a fucking great pirate ship in the jungle
That black gas thing can smash people to death if it's in the mood
And considering the interaction between the great ensemble cast is one of the primary attractions of the show (one of this seasons highlights so far was the episode where Hurley finds an old van and it had fuck all to do with the shows mythology), aswell as the revealing flashback device (which is really coming into it's own this season) providing high quality capsule drama, both of which have nothing to do with the "mystery", the fact that all of the above has been revealed is fairly reasonable. That the Calvin Klein Family Robinson has turned into an all-out paranoid sci-fi show set on a desert island is just fabulous, and anyone who doesn't like it is a bellend. Heroes may give it a run for it's money in the "serial drama" stakes, but using the complexities of my mind I'm more than able to enjoy both. I don't doubt that when Lost really does start to unravel, it'll be with absolutely fucking mind-exploding greatness. Greatness that was hinted at in both last and this weeks episodes.
Earlier this season, Desmond revealed that after the implosion of the hatch, he found himself transported back in time, to his life in London. As such, the familiar "flashback" scenes take on a new dimension, as Desmond becomes aware he is re-living events, and is accosted on behalf of the Universe by a mysterious old woman to let them play out as the Universe intends them to. Coupled with the "only the stupid are bound by space and time" line, which I'm probably misquoting, it would imply that rather than merely remembering the events of the flashbacks, the characters are reliving them, though unlike Desmond, they are not aware of the fact. Could this provide the key to solving the mystery of their time on the island? Well, I bet it's more complicated and brilliant than that. But isn't it exciting to be able to speculate on such wonderful ideas?
And then, rather than cut short our speculatory enjoyment, the leader of The Others last week told John Locke, Handsome Bastard about a magical box that contains anything you desire. Which turned out to be the bound and gagged conman who not only blagged one of Lockes kidneys off him, but was the cause of the paraplegia which affected him until he was healed by the island (a terrific flashback scene wherein Locke plummets from a high window). So there's a further link between the island itself and the flashbacks of the characters. We may not have an answer, but it's a fucking, really really interesting question.
And it's completely ignored by this weeks episode, which flashbacks through Nikki and Paolo's time on the island. The writers have an excellent way of getting Sawyer to say all the same things as the shows more critical fans - namely "Who the hell are Nikki and Paolo?". But the episode weaves them into the history of the island as their rather exciting story unfolds to a fucking incredible cliffhanger. Which entirely relies on things established in previous series, throwing a handful of wet sand into the "HHEYRE' MAKINGG UT UP AS THYE GO ALOONG" mob. Well, if they are, they're so fucking good at it that I don't care. 5/5 for all episodes of Lost ever.
Paul Rose, better known as "Mr. Biffo" from the frequently hilarious Digitiser ceefax pages, has got several TV projects in the offing (including Mark Heaps first sitcom-lead as a weatherman, which should be good) but unless I'm mistaken, this is the first to make it to air - a sketch show pilot for BBC3 with the linking device of being a Crackerjack style childrens variety show. It's high gag-rate means that inevitably some of the jokes fall flat, but the ones that work are shit-your-shoes hilarious. It's eminently quotable humour ("I have no frame of reference for that!", "shepherds hair, and poo.", "Mister Hugo! Mister Hugo!", "What a whimsical nude!", etc etc.) and doesn't overtly crib from or imitate the style of anything else on the telly at the moment, which is refreshing. Given the concept, it inevitably resembles Look Around You and the fantastic Wonder Showzen a little, but it reminded me also a bit of the recent Time Trumpet, in that the scripted sketch bits were nowhere near as much fun as the wordplay and video jiggery-pokery. And also Do Not Adjust your set due to the sheer gleeful lunacy involved. James Lance is great as the barely enthused host, but a few of the other performances are total bones. Still, it's only a pilot, and with a bit of tinkering about it could make for an excellent series. And I have a tendency to over-criticise the weak points of things that are otherwise excellent, and let middling shows drift under my radar. For context, this is about as good as The Mighty Boosh pilot, better than the Little Britain pilot, just a nose better than That Mitchell & Webb Look, and about four times better than series three of Curb Your Ricky Gervaisiasm. Sorry, I mean Extras. Scathing, witty criticism, there. Ha ha ha! 4/5.
Doom is like one of those dreams you have, where you come up with brilliantly exciting nonsense like you're James Bond fighting crocodiles on the moon for the hand of Debbie Harry in marriage, or you're Indiana Jones and you've built a functioning Tardis out of bracken and ferns. In Doom, it's basically Doom the computer game (completely unarguably the best computer game of all time) except it's also the film Aliens and it's also a zombie movie and it's got The Rock in it. Hooray, The Rock! It plays up the camp, Top Gun-esque, homo-erotic cliches of the "gung-ho space marine" movie to subversive (most enjoyably, the naive youngster of the group doesn't overcome his fear and save the day but rather gets shot in the head by his superior officer for being faggy), amusing effect, but still brings the goods when it comes to big fuck off scarypants monsters and awesome space marines including may I remind you The Rock (who is basically physical perfection) shooting the fucking shit out of them with all the guns you're so familiar with from when you were 13 to about 19, if you were anything like me. The scene with the BFG is just... I mean, there's no words for it. You'll understand the bizarre word "geekgasm" that gets used on odd American adverts. All the familiar noises of the game - the distant screeching of monsters, the J-DOOOSSSHH of the doors sliding open, are forever associated for me with the state of INTENSE paranoia and alertness that playing Doom for prolonged periods of 4 or more years can cause. And excellently, they're all in the film too, meaning that I shat myself within the first few minutes and just carried on shitting myself until I was sitting ontop of a mountain of shit, completely terrified out of my wits and experiencing confusing new feelings towards The Rock. Why is he not a bigger film star? He's brilliant.
Here's a breakdown of how they earn 5 out of 5:
1 point for the scene where a zombie smashes his own head in on a window on purpose
1 point for the monster that looks like a rasta clown in an adidas trackie
1 point for the bit where the film goes into a first-person perspective and actually just becomes doom the computer game
1 point for the zombie monster alien who pickaxes himself in the forehead
1 point for the man ripping his ear off for no reason at all
2000-odd points for Dexter Fletcher on wheels with no legs
Oh and fuckikng, twenteen bazillionty extra bonus point for the bit where The Rock WRAPS AN IRON BAR AROUND HIS FIST.
Next time, I'll have a review of the new Will Ferrell and Jon Heder ice-skating comedy Blades Of Glory.I