Tuesday, 28 December 2010

A Christmas Carol

At last - a really good Doctor Who Christmas special! While a former Doctor Who writer would have just thrown them all in at random, Steven Moffat here has the clich├ęs of snow, Christmas presents and Victoriana all present, but now with a plot to support them - a clever reworking of Dickens. Some striking and original images include fish flying through the sky and a "Santa's sleigh" pulled by a shark! Matt Smith is as good as ever, and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill are fine in their short appearances. Michael Gambon here is so much better than in the Harry Potter films and the non-actress Katherine Jenkins is skilfully used in a story that handles its tragic elements with an impressive lightness of touch. Ten out of ten from me!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

"There is no downside to a proper winter"

At the risk of increasing my reputation as a Scrooge, I have to say that this article in the Guardian made my blood boil with the unbelievable phrase "there is no downside to a proper winter".

This journalist says that weeks of snow and ice in the UK, even as early as this, are a good thing, basically because it looks pretty and children have fun! Evidently she's forgotten the frustration of people who have to try to get around in these conditions, the number of people who will end up with broken limbs after falling on the ice, the people who will lose their lives in road accidents as a direct result of awful driving conditions, or the many who will suffer because they can't afford to heat their homes properly - particularly the elderly. Even worse, her article contains the phrase "and yes...I work from home now"! Words fail me.