Andrew Tidmarsh blog posts

Doctor Who and the Dangers of the Deus ex Machina

From the perspective of narrative and how the story is put together, I'm not a fan of Doctor Who. The idea of an alien in a police-box time-machine is an enduring and beguiling concept, but, in my view,  this concept is executed badly, too often. However, one episode is revelation. While the narrative structure is complex, it is also deeply satisfying. This episode contains more intrigue, tension and excitement than most movies manage in twice the time. The Doctor and his 'companion' Martha hardly feature in the story, instead it concerns two new characters investigating a missing person who has been sent back in time by the demonic Weeping Angels. We experience the action from the point of view of Sally Sparrow who investigates the matter with the help of the missing woman's brother, Larry Nightingale. Larry has discovered video clips, hidden as easter eggs on DVDs of the Doctor giving them advice about how to handle the Weeping Angels. The addictive catch-phrase 'don't blink' …

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BBC's The Voice

The new dramatisation of War and Peace might edify. Scandinavian thrillers may well captivate. Breaking Bad or The Sopranos can satisfy as much as a meaty novel. The joy of TV, for me, is when treasure is found in unexpected places. For example, Horrible Histories on CBBC is one of the cleverest, funniest and well-written comedies - tucked away for the enjoyment mainly of children. I would happily exchange it for Lucas and Walliams or Mitchell and Webb. It certainly has a higher laugh per minute ratio. Just as surprising is the fact that one of the most finely crafted and well tuned narratives has to returned to the BBC for a final season before it moves to ITV - The Voice and its revolving chairs. There is little point in watching it past this stage - anything that follows can only be a disappointment. As long as someone is singing to the back of a potentially spinning chair, I am hooked. I've watched it on YouTube in languages that I don't speak. It doesn't matter. The story-telling …

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