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Blake's 7: Trial (1979)
Season 2, Episode 6
8/10
Travis in the dock, strong episode.
24 July 2021
Feeling a degree of guilt for Gan's death, Blake puts himself through a survival challenge on a very bizarre planet, meanwhile, Travis stands trial for the slaughter of innocent civilians.

I think that Trial is a cracking episode, it has many plus points, and only one or two negative points.

I am a little baffled as to why Blake feels the need to land on this planet single handedly, I'm not altogether sure it makes huge sense. I think the story is a little on the weak side, there are many better in this series, it may not be a super strong story, but what was done here, was done incredibly well.

Blake's story is a thoroughly interesting one, I love the ideas and concepts of that planet, very well imagined and realised, I like how surreal it is, and the character of Zil is very intriguing.

As good as Blake's story is, it is secondary to the excellent Travis story, a fascinating setup, and some brilliant characters. Good to learn that The Federation has a code.... of sorts.

Major Thania is a great character, another incredibly strong female character, one where you'd normally just assume a man would have been the natural choice at the time. She's almost like a Junior Servalan.

Lots of familiar faces to look out for here, including Peter Miles and John Savident. Trooper Par, aka Tosh from The Bill also good.

Enjoyed, 8/10.
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Before We Die (2021– )
8/10
A very intense, well paced, edgy series.
24 July 2021
Hannah Laing's complex relationship with her son is made harder when it becomes apparent that he's involved with a very dangerous, criminal family.

Ignore the dismal reviews for this show, yes it's a remake, but one I thought that was fantastic. It is incredibly well paced, and doesn't let up for a second, six very intense episodes.

A few quibbles, why does Bianca have an incredibly English accent, when all her family have definite Serb/Croat accents. Why are there so many sky shots of Bristol, we all know chunks are filmed abroad, and why do they have Jurassic phones?

Minor quibbles addressed, this is a very edgy, stylish six part series, the acting is terrific Lesley Sharp is first rate, everyone has their part to play, not least Patrick Gibson, who plays Christian.

It feels as if they've left the door open for a possible second series, I'd be delighted if one were made.

Thoroughly enjoyed it, 8/10.
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Before We Die: Episode #1.6 (2021)
Season 1, Episode 6
9/10
The final showdown.
24 July 2021
The Mimica family are finally challenged by The Police, but they have one last Joker in the pack.

This is quite literally an explosive finale, I thought this was truly excellent, it really did meet my expectations, then some. I was anticipating something hugely complex and confusing, it wasn't, it was straightforward to follow.

Production values have been great since the start, they quite literally took things up a notch here, amazing scenes, and some big moments of drama.

Terrific acting throughout, the whole Mimica family were awesome, it was finally great to see more of the wonderful Steven Toussaint.

Will we get a second series? Surely enough mileage. 9/10.
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Before We Die: Episode #1.5 (2021)
Season 1, Episode 5
7/10
Lots going on here, a solid penultimate episode.
24 July 2021
Christian is suffering mentally, and missing the affection and support of Bianca, the latter is recognised by an Officer.

It's doing what it's meant to be doing, as the penultimate episode, the first half of the episode lacks any punch, but the tension builds with the birthday party, it lays the groundwork for what's hopefully a big finale.

I am liking the intensity of the relationship between mother and son, she is conflicted by her love for him as a mother, and her interests as a Detective.

The Mimicas really are a family to be reckoned with, bad eggs the lot of them. Why on Earth does Bianca have such an R. P. accent, when all of her family have definite Baltic twangs, it's curious. As a family though, they know how to party in style.

A few clichés, but overall, it's a good watch, 7/10.
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6/10
Like Father, like son.
24 July 2021
Tom is desperate to walk in his father's footsteps, whilst avoiding a man believed to be a debt collector, Barry has a duel, and Howard is trying to get a gift to Marina.

It's an amusing watch, it feels here as if they're trying hard to recapture the past, and move Tom directly into his father's shoes, I'm not quite sure that some of the gags and scenes work well here, I think it feels a little dated at times.

Some nice elements, and some of the usual titters are about, it just doesn't offer up anything new or unique.

The saving grace once again, are the beloved Howard and Marina, she perhaps gets the funniest scene of all at the end.

6/10.
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Before We Die: Episode #1.4 (2021)
Season 1, Episode 4
7/10
What exactly is Kraina?
24 July 2021
Heavily burdened with recent events, Christian can go one of two way, he can sink or swim. Hannah is keen to steer him to a path of safety....

It's taken on a slightly different feeling, still very engrossing, but now a very interesting plot.

I am now aware that almost all external shots are out of focus, there are multiple air shots of Bristol, which look great, however any close ups are out of focus, perhaps filmed elsewhere.

Is Christian now brave or daft, he doesn't half take some chanced with that phone of his.

I am really keen to know who's the real villain of the piece, the mum, dad or Davor?

Pretty good, 7/10.
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Before We Die: Episode #1.3 (2021)
Season 1, Episode 3
8/10
A big ending.
24 July 2021
Christian is now forced further undercover, and has to make a drastic decision as to whether or not to blow his cover.

This was another excellent episode I thought, this one cranks up the tension and drama, it will quite literally have you on the edge of your seat. The pacing here was fantastic, it doesn't slow down or change down a gear for a second.

There's a great scene where the family are all having lunch together, it's like something out of The Godfather.

We are made to contemplate who the leak is on the inside, and we're made to wonder just how far this family will go.

I have loved Stefan as a character, he's had a spark and mania that's been addictive to watch, The mother also interests.

The ending here was amazing, and perhaps the best scene on the show so far.

Nice shots of Bristol, even if it's perhaps not all filmed there.

Loved it, 8/10.
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Before We Die: Episode #1.2 (2021)
Season 1, Episode 2
8/10
An excellent second episode.
24 July 2021
There's a big surprise in store for Hannah, as she learns exactly who Izzy is, she and Billy begin working together, in a degree of secrecy.

I am really trying hard to understand many of the negative reviews I have read surrounding this show, are they solely based on a comparison between this and its original?

I thought this was genuinely excellent, and better than the first episode, it's slick, it's edgy, very well paced, sexy and very, very well acted. Lesley Sharpe we always is fantastic.

Terrific characters, so far I'm fascinated by Christian and Davor.
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The X-Files: 731 (1995)
Season 3, Episode 10
9/10
Apology is Policy.
24 July 2021
A direct continuation from the previous episode, my opinion of the last is the same as this, absolutely terrific. A story that feels like it wouldn't have been out of place in the first series. Nisei and 731 sees the show return to its roots, and doing what it does best of all, chasing Aliens.....apparently.

Fast paced and energetic, this is blessed with a cracking script, and places both investigators in trouble, there are multiple nail biting moments.

It's one of those episodes that's well worth watching a second time, there is so much happening, it's almost easy to miss a few bits.

Not a huge amount of answers given to Mulder or Scully, they are teased, and tempted with snippets, but plenty to rev the duo up for future cases.

Interesting to see the tag line altered for this one.

I loved it, I thought this was really impressive, 9/10.
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The Bill: Kith and Kin (1993)
Season 9, Episode 85
9/10
The green eyed monster.
24 July 2021
Cathy and George are called to a shout, a dispute over money and legacies.

It's a great story, the oldest story of them all, jealousy, only this time it's told from a slightly different perspective, nobody has died yet, and the family vultures are already descending. When the inevitable does happen, the family's true colours are revealed.

A great character driven story, there are some really well drawn, big characters here, I thought the acting was terrific, particularly from Christine Ellerbeck and the ever glorious Pamela Cundell, she of Dad's Army fame.

Beware a family of greedy chavs, that's the moral of the story.

It's The arrival of Sergeant Steele, sadly, Sergeant dishy Maitland has gone off training.

Excellent, 9/10.
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The Bill: A Matter of Life and Death (1993)
Season 9, Episode 84
9/10
Classic Bill.
24 July 2021
Dave and Cathy attend a shout of domestic abuse, in getting there, Dave speeds through a red, almost causing a major accident.

Great writing, it's a really well crafted episode, with plenty of content, and some terrific characters. Expect the unexpected, an apparent case of domestic abuse soon becomes something else. I rate this one pretty highly, abuse is so often shown, but not to my knowledge do we see or hear about it with mature characters.

Peter Gilmore is great here as Peter Shaw, in one of his latter TV appearances, The former Carry on actor shows how things are done, he really is excellent here, as is his on screen wife. They are an incredibly interesting duo.

Notable for being the final screen appearance for Sergeant Maitland, Miller would soon quit acting, to focus on behind the camera, check out his work, you may just be surprised.

Truth and consequences, this is excellent, 9/10.
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The X-Files: Nisei (1995)
Season 3, Episode 9
9/10
Classic X Files!
23 July 2021
Mulder buys a videotape which claims to show an Alien autopsy, his interest is further retained by a seemingly linked murder.

The story telling is deep, and admittedly somewhat heavy, but every single element that makes The X Files special is here, it quite literally has a wealth of content.

The music, pacing and tone are all A1, I've had a bit of a break from The X Files, but ready to get right back into it, what an episode to return to.

After a hugely dramatic opening, it settles into a story of mystery and intrigue, the investigating pair both experience much, and are left knowing that the truth is out there.

Fantastic, 9/10.
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The Bill: Family Values (1993)
Season 9, Episode 83
8/10
This was a very good story.
23 July 2021
Tony and June are out looking for a credit card thief, Mike brings in a young teenage thief, a young lad that Jo is keen to talk to. I've flagged a future episode so that I can look on Francis Pope on a later episode.

Jason is a proper little toe rag, sometimes when youngsters appear they can be really good, Jason is interesting let's say.

Jo once again seems to be the only person in CID who's keeping things together, she'd quick witted, sharp, and not afraid to put things about. Now a DS, my only question, why wasn't she before?

I have to be honest at this stage I am missing some of those that have vanished, Viv, Roach and Stringer, I notice the latter hasn't even had a mention since he finished.

Tilly Vorsburgh seems to have been in so many things I've watched recently, New Tricks, Waking the Dead etc, she plays worried characters incredibly well.

Enjoyed this one, 8/10.
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The Bill: A Duty of Care (1993)
Season 9, Episode 82
8/10
Beware Bloodhound Bob.
23 July 2021
A young man, Bobby, has had an industrial accident at work, and fallen of a high truck, seriously injuring himself. His colleagues and family give Sergeant Cryer a mix of information, the pieces don't seem to fit.

Forget Uncle Bob for this one, it's Bob The Bloodhound, where even Meadows and CID fail to look, there he is, poking his nose in, asking awkward questions, even doing his own investigation.

I liked this very much, a really unique, different episode, it has been a little safe in recent times, episodes with similar patterns, and similar criminals, this one breaks the rules somewhat.

Very good this, 8/10.
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Still Open All Hours: Christmas Special (2019)
Season 6, Episode 7
7/10
Last of The Summer hours.... Christmas style.
23 July 2021
Granville is busy explaining to his old Mentor, how this Christmas is going to be a special one, Mrs Rossi meanwhile has invited Mr Newbold round for Christmas Dinner.

I find myself needing to isolate, and what better to do than sift through the unwatched Christmas telly of 2019. The only thing worse than Christmas 19 telly, was the myriad of repeats from Christmas 2020.

It's a decent watch, and there are a few laughs, most of them coming from the triangle of Mr Newbold, Mrs Rossi and The Black Widow.

Others have remarked that the How has transformed into Last of The Summer Wine, and that is very true, a mature, talented cast battling a silly script, but managing to deliver a couple of laughs.

I wonder if this is the end of the road for the show, as of today, there is still no news on a return. Apparently plans of a new series were scuppered by Covid 19.

Nice, seasonal viewing, 7/10.
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Still Open All Hours: Episode #6.6 (2019)
Season 6, Episode 6
6/10
An average end to the series.
23 July 2021
Granville has ordered in a lot of duff Spanish gear. Eric and Cyril have fallen out, and Mr Newbold is trying to avoid The Black Widow.

Who else is tall and nervous.... I can't say I found this particularly funny, it's more easy viewing, not a huge deal of well written jokes, but some visual humour, most of it from Geoffrey Whitehead, who really is a quality performer.

Mrs Featherstone really has had a new lease of life, she's a woman possessed.

It really has become the perfect Sunday teatime show, silly plots with daft characters, and all manner of slapstick capers. It's now more in the style of Summer Wine.

Easy viewing, just don't expect laughs, 6/10.

I've never really noticed before, but those cakes in the shop look pretty amazing.
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8/10
A very slick thriller.
23 July 2021
Two ex convicts kidnap Alice Creed, and demand a sizeable ransom.

It's one of those films that deserves more credit and status than it has seemingly had over the years. It's a good storyline, but the acted is incredible, and it's produced in such a way that this film will have you captivated.

The trio of Marsan, Compston and Arterton are pretty incredible, the acting is undoubtedly the film's major asset. It is fast paced, well filmed, stylish, sexy, and features an ending that will surprise you, and keep you gripped.

Excellent, 8/10.
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7/10
Taking the weewee.
23 July 2021
Marina throws down an ultimatum to Howard, to meet him in the afternoon, or else that's it. Meanwhile Auntie Wainwright has a grand sized, pink chaise longue to shift.

A pretty funny offering, this is one of those that would have been on in the background at Sunday teatime, as the lemon curd tart and ham sandwiches were being enjoyed, Auntie would have been trying her best to shift the pink monstrosity.

I wouldn't mind employing Auntie, she's one of life's best sales people.

I think I've finally worked out, after all this time, who Marina reminds me of, without knocking her, as she's perhaps part of my favourite duo, it's one of Dick Emery's characters.

A cheerful thirty minutes, 7/10.
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The Bill: Divided We Fall (1993)
Season 9, Episode 81
8/10
A very interesting episode.
23 July 2021
PC Jarvis is concerned by the behaviour of a man who's out and about early, knocking on doors.

It's a good watch, lots happening, and an episode that makes.tou ask questions, and maybe challenge your preconceived ideas and beliefs surrounding mental health issues.

Billy is scruffy of appearance, and wild of behaviour, he would give Sun Hill a real runaround.

I've spoken several times before about how I felt the show tackled issues such as mental health, and even though by today's standards, it's not what you'd expect, it did at least highlight issues.

I thought Richard Strange who played Billy, did a fine job, with the glorious Vivienne Burgess playing his mother wonderfully well, she did this a year after appearing in The ABC Murders.

It's good, 8/10.
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The Bill: Trust (1993)
Season 9, Episode 80
9/10
State Wars fan?
23 July 2021
Nicola Purdy has been working as an informant for Ds Greig for some time, only recently her information has been unreliable, she is adamant that she's continuing to pass on genuine information.

This is one that would would be a good watch for the casual viewer, but would perhaps be very good for an enthusiast of the show, one who appreciates little links with the past. A very good story, with a great set of characters, and a few familiar faces, it's very good.

The best element here, as it was in episode 'Something Special' from 1992, is Bronagh Gallagher, I'm not sure what it is that she's got, but she has whatever it is, in abundance, love her.

Always great to see Lee Ross, he's a smashing actor, he's really handsome here in his youth playing Neil.

Excellent, 9/10.
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The Bill: Swaps (1993)
Season 9, Episode 79
9/10
Excellent.
23 July 2021
George is tucked up into going on patrol, he has to deal with an RTA, Polly is out learning from Traffic.

Very good this one, very good, a good story, it's also very procedural, it seems to show The Force changing somewhat, the technology, though still quite raw here, is modernised compared to the last few years, gives you some insight into methods used now.

Actress Gabrielle Blunt, who played elderly victim Mrs Stevenson, really was a lovely old actress, I remember her playing a part in Hetty Wainthropp investigates.

Good complexities in the story, all sorts going on, and a few surprising revelations. The story gathers pace, and becomes more dramatic as it progresses.

Both Polly and George come across as adorable, but both come across as being very wet behind the ears.

Great, 9/10.
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The Bill: Morning Has Broken (1993)
Season 9, Episode 78
8/10
A case of the left foot not knowing what the right is doing.
23 July 2021
Stamp pulls over a man driving a big Rover erratically, it turns out he has a shed load of money in his boot. Meanwhile, Monroe has all of the relief on a stakeout, believing a robbery is imminent.

It's a very good one, some really neat ideas, good characters, and of course we get the much needed clashes at The Station.

Ooooh I liked the clash between Meadows and Monroe, about the first time in the show's history that I can remember Monroe dropping a clanger, proves we're all human.

Good to learn that DC Morgan has been promoted, Jo has perhaps been employee of the month, very capable.

Some of the scenes of the Detectives chasing the criminals are a little like Whacky Racers, they're almost amusing.

As a kid, my dad used to have the very same Green Rover 820si, a company car I think, what an absolute dream on wheels it was.

Thoroughly enjoyed, 8/10.
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The Bill: Somebody to Love (1993)
Season 9, Episode 77
6/10
An interesting watch.
23 July 2021
Norika is on hand to help Tracy, a woman who is found after allegedly being battered by her husband. Meanwhile Alasdair and June investigate a bizarre series of crimes which seem to be linked to a lonely hearts column.

What a really bizarre episode this is, a strange story, with an even more strange set of characters. I'm not going to say I thought a huge amount of it, but it kept my interest, and I was intrigued to learn the outcome, odd though it was.

I am liking the duo of Grieg and Ackland, they make for a good combination, nice to see June doing a bit of investigating.

Tracy Gillman was pretty good as Diane I thought, a pretty strange character.

Pretty good, 6/10.
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7/10
Now that's a title and a half.
22 July 2021
Wesley has another new invention, his guinea pig is Smiler, thrill seeking Marina takes part in a bike riding experiment.

It is a funny episode, I know Gordon Wharmby would very sadly soon pass away, but he would always be remembered for what he did best, wear his overalls, and set up the lads, this time poor Smiler.

Lots of funny scenes and lines, Stephen Lewis was always good value on the show, and he's funny in this one.

We are seeing a different side to Pearl, Roz is having a positive effect, and teaching her to play Jim at his own game.

Sometimes the stunt stand ins do look a little amusing it's fair to say. I think it's the single best title ever seen on an episode of anything, cracking.

Good, wholesome fun, 7/10.
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8/10
Another triumph for British Engineering.
22 July 2021
Wesley aims to bring Fast food to the wilderness, Pearl decides to turn the tables on Howard for a change, she and Pearl get dressed up, and head for an afternoon in Huddersfield.

I am surprised they were allowed to get away with some of the stunts here, Gordon Wharmby who played Wesley is doing everything here himself, he appeared on screen as someone very capable and good with his hands, maybe he was in real life too.

They'd never be allowed to get away with things like a hat on fire now.

This one actually is pretty funny, Howard and Pearl are on great form, it's nice that we finally see Pearl dressed up, and not looking dowdy. Funny scenes between Fifi and Marina.

It's lovely, just lovely, easy viewing, 8/10.
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