The Mentalist s06e01 The Desert Rose (2013) – 5/10 detective serial killer drama

Cast / crew
Executive Producer, Series Creator and Writer: Bruno Heller
Patrick Jane: Simon Baker
Teresa Lisbon: Robin Tunney
Kendall Cho: Tim Kang
Wayne Rigsby: Owain Yeoman
Grace Van Pelt: Amanda Righetti
Josie Davis:
Jack Plotnick: Brett Partridge
Lauren Stamile:
Gale Bertram: Michael Gaston
Producer: Michael Weiss
Producer: Erika Green Swafford
Producer: Simon Baker
Director and Executive Producer: Chris Long
Producer: Matthew Carlisle

The Mentalist s06e01 The Desert Rose (2013)

After getting a police officer shot, Lisbon and Jane are sent on an out-of-the-way case where a body has been found in the desert. While both are shook up about the startling revelation that Red John knew Jane’s seven suspects (Bret Stiles, Gale Bertram, Ray Haffner, Reede Smith, Robert Kirkland, Thomas McAllister, Brett Partridge) two months before Jane knew, Jane wants solitude but Lisbon needs an outlet.

5/10

A weak start to season six with two out-of-thin-air solutions undermining the rather more interesting and understandable increase in stress between Lisbon and Jane. Their argument proves a pivotal, if slightly contrived, moment for the episode setting up a pivotal, if slightly contrived, climax that should guarantee us watching next time. It’s also a relief to see Jane realise his error and try to apologise repeatedly instead of his usual thing of smugly grinning that ‘he was right all along and the ends justify the means, so there.’

This The Mentalist episode contains extreme graphic gun violence, gory and unpleasant scenes, adult dialogue

Links

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot Three Act Tragedy (2009) – 5/10 period murder mystery TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Writer (Screenplay): Nick Dear
Jane Asher: Lady Mary
Kate Ashfield: Miss Wills
Suzanne Bertish: Miss Milray
Anna Carteret: Mrs Babbington
Anastasia Hille: Cynthia Dacres
Art Malik: Sir Bartholomew Strange
Tony Maudsley: Supt Crossfield
Kimberley Nixon: Egg
Ronan Vibert: Captain Dacres
Tom Wisdom: Oliver Manders
Martin Shaw: Sir Charles Cartwright
Producer: Karen Thrussell
Director: Ashley Pearce

Poirot, Agatha Christie’s Three Act Tragedy (2009)

At a cocktail party hosted by famous actor and Poirot’s friend Sir Charles Cartwright, Reverend Stephen Babbington collapses and dies after sipping his cocktail. It looks like poison but his glass is clean and the inquest labels it a tragedy and Poirot agrees. A month later, however, the guests reassemble minus Cartwright and Poirot, and someone else, Sir Bartholomew Strange, dies in the exact same manner. This time there is no question: it is murder – nicotine poisoning – and there’s a prime suspect, new butler Ellis, but there’s still no poison in the glass.

5/10

This is a clumsy episode where adapter Nick Dear and director Ashley Pearce show no understanding of the plot. They don’t make enough of the SPOILER red-herring investigation into what connects the parson and the psychiatrist, fail to setup the motive (it carries no meaning for modern viewers) and ostentatiously and suspiciously avoid showing SPOILER the butler Ellis. As with so many of the two-hour Poirot’s, what’s really missing is humanity and humour and they fail to connect to the audience emotionally. This is a story about the shattering of the trust of friendship but you’d never tell. So instead of being a Three Act Tragedy, what we’ve got is simply Three Acts.

This Poirot, Agatha Christie’s episode contains unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

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Doctor Who S33E11 The God Complex (2011) – 5/10 science fiction adventure TV review

Cast / crew
Matt Smith: The Doctor
Karen Gillan: Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill: Rory Williams
Writer: Toby Whithouse
Producer: Marcus Wilson
Director: Nick Hurran
Sarah Quintrell: Lucy Hayward
Amara Karan: Rita
Dimitri Leonidas: Howie Spragg
Daniel Pirrie: Joe Buchanan
David Walliams: Gibbis

Doctor Who S33E11 God Complex, The (2011)

The Doctor’s seeming inability to travel where he intends sees him and his companions arrive, unexpectedly, in a perfect recreation of an Eighties’ Earth hotel but this hotel may become their prison.

5/10

Weak Who with worthless lives in meaningless danger. As mentioned before, if you always put people’s lives in danger it’s no longer an extraordinary circumstance and loses dramatic impact. The story point of the episode, however, is excellent as the Doctor SPOILER leaves Amy and Rory to get on with their lives without him. It’s a true sacrifice that places the personal interests of others ahead of his own need for companionship and an audience.

This Doctor Who episode contains mild peril.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Links

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Agatha Christie’s Great Detectives Poirot and Marple (2004) – 5/10 crime mystery anime review

Cast / crew
Kaoru Yachigusa: Miss Marple
Kotaro Satomi: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Story) The Adventure of the Cheap Flat: Agatha Christie

Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, Agatha Christie’s (2004)

Maybelle is the great niece of Jane Marple, a resident of St. Mary Mead with a reputation for solving mysteries, especially criminal ones. Maybelle also invents herself a job as an assistant to the world’s greatest detective Hercule Poirot and proceeds to work for him. As such she gets to see two great detectives at work and hopes to learn from them.

5/10

This is an intriguing and surprisingly accurate adaptation (no lesbians here ITV) of a lot of Agatha Christie stories for a Japanese audience. The mysteries are very clearly presented but, despite excellent music and perfectly adequate animation, there’s no atmosphere and the girl and baby duck (!) are not artistically justifiable or thematically necessary. (They will have been added for commercial reasons.) Generally, Miss Marple comes off worse; basically she’s a smug know-it-all. Poirot clearly works for and applies his "little grey cells" to the solution but there’s no character behind his brains.

This series contains adult dialogue and violence, unpleasant scenes.

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Jonathan Creek 4.01 The Coonskin Cap (2003) – 5/10 black comedy crime drama TV review

Cast / crew
Alan Davies: Jonathan Creek
Julia Sawalha: Carla Borrego
Writer: David Renwick
Adrian Edmondson: Brendan Baxter
Terence Hillyer: Inspector Ted Parnevik
Anna Wilson Jones: Sergeant Heather Davey
Stuart Milligan: Adam Klaus
Producer: Verity Lambert
Director: Christine Gernon

Jonathan Creek 4.01 Coonskin Cap, The (2003)

Jonathan is hired by a real-crime television show where an invisible gunman takes shots at the filming of a recreation at a murder victim’s last steps. The show’s presenter is Carla Borrego, an old flame whom he managed to alienate by saying something horrible to her father.

5/10

Feeling tired, this episode gets the fourth series off to a weak start. New star Julia Sawalha convinces as the irritated ex but not as much else and there’s rather more swearing than before. However, the murder itself is still cunningly conceived. There are also some brilliantly unexpected gags including being told about Adam Klaus’ date picking Bryan Ferry’s nose and, particularly, an airbag but the streaker is remarkably unfunny and the explanation for Jonathan’s perceived insult of Carla’s father is weak.

This Jonathan Creek episode contains a sexual swear word, mild swear words and unpleasant scenes and sensual scenes, full non-sexual male nudity.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Links

T.J. Hooker 1.02 The Streets (1982, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
April Clough: Officer Victoria Taylor
Richard Herd: Captain Sheridan
Karen Carlson: Tracy Hill
George Murdock: Police Detective
Gary Frank: Brett Williams
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Creator: Rick Husky
Writer: Rick Husky
Director: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 1.02 Streets, The (1982)

Hooker gets involved with a serial mugger when he witnesses the culprit leaving the scene of a crime.

5/10

While Hooker’s miraculous expertise here runs to intimate knowledge of a bus route, the criminal and female journalist are both unconvincing and uninteresting. That said, Shatner convinces that he can’t stand the sight of her and he gets a couple of decent chase sequences including one very well filmed run along a high wall and jump onto a bus.

This T.J. Hooker episode contains threatened violence.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Links

T.J. Hooker 3.21 Gang War (1984, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: [Officer Vince Romano]
Heather Locklear: [Officer Stacy Sheridan]
James Darren: Jim Corrigan
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Julie Carmen: Julia Mendez
Tony Plana: Chuy Vallestero
Marco Rodriguez: Julio Fuente
Sal Lopez: Luis Molina
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: Sidney Ellis
Director: William Shatner
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 3.21 Gang War (1984)

Instrumental in getting two rival gangs to come together to talk peace, Hooker has to exert his authority and influence to keep the peace when someone tries to keep the gang war going.

5/10

As with most Shatner directed episodes, this is a bit weak but zips through the running time. This episode sees Hooker solve a gang war via car chases (good) but there is a giant hole in the plot (Maria must have seen her attacker but doesn’t say who it is and not out of fear or loyalty) which sticks out like a sore thumb as soon as it happens. Still, Hooker nearly throws a crim off a roof and tells us he ‘wants them bad,’ which is always good value, and Stacy gets to impotently jump into more scenes after they’ve finished than for a while.

Links

T.J. Hooker 1.01 The Protectors (1982, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Richard Lawson: McNeil
Adrian Zmed: Vince Romano
Brian Patrick Clarke: Canfield
John Gladstein: Granger
Kelly Harmon:
Jo McDonnell:
Deborah Shelton: Lacy Canfield
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: Rick Husky
Director: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 1.01 Protectors, The (1982)

Demoted to sergeant after his partner was killed, policeman T.J. Hooker is assigned to run a scheme training new recruits as quickly as possible and getting them into on the job training.

5/10

Surprisingly subdued pilot movie (it’s clearly aiming to be more gritty than the show turned out) but one wishes that there was more of The Shat being a hero in it. His Dirty Harry stuff at the burger stand and a hilarious finger-wagging in his opening speech is all we get but at least we would have several series of a classic cop show to make up for it.

This T.J. Hooker episode contains violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Links

T.J. Hooker 3.20 Psychic Terror (1984, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
James Darren: Jim Corrigan
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Marcy Lafferty: Julia Hudson
Paul Kent: Lt. Barton
Bruce Glover: Tony Aresco
Buck Taylor: Sam Rand
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: William Kelley
Director: Kenneth R. Koch
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 3.20 Psychic Terror (1984)

When a psychic is brought in to help with a child kidnapping, Hooker is rather more than sceptical despite her previous successes. She requests his assistance but doesn’t tell him why: she has foreseen his death…

5/10

Hooker spectacularly gets through another squad car which is always fun and, despite a psychic consultant storyline which is unconvincing at best, this is a solid episode which zips through the running time. Shatner’s wife Marcy Lafferty is the psychic in her second of four guest starring appearances on the show (as different characters). The climax borrows the telephone-to-telephone sequence from Dirty Harry.

This T.J. Hooker episode contains gun violence.

Links

T.J. Hooker 3.14 The Snow Game (1984, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
James Darren: Jim Corrigan
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Gary Lockwood:
Pepe Serna:
Jay Varela:
Richard Herd: Captain Dennis Sheridan
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: Fred J. McKnight
Director: William Shatner
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 3.14 Snow Game, The (1984)

When a drug bust goes fatally wrong, then Romano gets shot, Hooker, Stacy and Corrigan go undercover to bring the perpetrators and their employers down.

5/10

Po-faced episode where everyone except Hooker is unconvincingly devastated (especially Corrigan, goodness he’s bad) after a fellow cop is assassinated. For a Shatner-directed episode, though, this is quite good. Unlike James Darren and Adrian Zmed, the man himself manages to pull off the determination and emotion required by the episode. The script isn’t terribly broken and he stages some good action sequences which have pace, shape and environmental interest. For instance, there is very good use of a helicopter in the opening action – especially for the sequence’s action punchline – while the bad guy gets a spectacular exit off a ship.

Links

T.J. Hooker 3.13 The Lipstick Killer (1984, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
James Darren: Jim Corrigan
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
David Huffman: Dr. Don Travers
Katherine Justice: Joan Wagner
Hugh Farrington: Martin
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: David Ketchum
Writer: Robert Dennis
Writer: Jack V. Fogarty
Writer: Ed Waters
Director: Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 3.13 Lipstick Killer, The (1984)

When a nurse is bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument it rings a bell from Hooker’s detective past. Assigned to assist, he soon discovers that it is a psychotic nurse who always kills one victim within 48 hours of the previous. It becomes a race against time as Hooker tries to close in on the killer that evaded him five years before.

5/10

Clearly inspired by Hitchcock (specifically Psycho and Vertigo) this is a humorously cheesy episode with a cringe-worthy story but strong action sequences. Hooker gets through another police car with a tidy car chase and agreeably huge explosion; later he performs a sweet dive and roll out of the way of a Porsche and that chase also sees the Porsche go spectacularly off the top of a multi-storey car park. The problem comes from the villain clearly being a dude from the outset (the story would have been better if the crimes hadn’t been shown) and villains in drag are not generally convincing in screen entertainment. The other problem is the horribly unconvincing and creepy ‘camaraderie’ of Corrigan towards Stacy which, of course, would only get more unconvincing and creepier. Gah!

Links

T.J. Hooker 2.11 The Connection (1982, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
Richard Herd: Captain Sheridan
Terri Nunn: Sue Anne
Claude Earl Jones: Tootie Nelson
Richard Lineback: Kenny
James Daughton: Tom Clemons
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Writer: Donald R. Boyle
Director: Corey Allen
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 2.11 Connection, The (1982)

When a young girl tries to fly off the top of her local high school and an trainee undercover is left fighting for his life after a narcotics bust goes wrong, Hooker vows to find the PCP distributor and put him away.

5/10

Despite the seriousness of school children taking drugs, this is still a very silly episode. That said, a fist fight in the back of a car while involved in a car chase scores good points and Romano gets a full strop on which is always good for a giggle. Additionally, for South Park fans, we get a scene where a woman screams "they’re gonna kill Kenny." Oh, and add undercover narcotics cop, sign language and the ability to shoot two adjacent holes with one bullet to Hooker’s never-ending list of skills.

This T.J. Hooker episode contains substance abuse and violence.

Classified 12 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over.

Links

T.J. Hooker S03E08 The Trial (1983) – 5/10 Police Action Courtroom Drama TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
James Darren: Jim Corrigan
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Lenore Kasdorf: Gina Canelli
Jeff Pomerantz: Briggs
Lee de Broux: Frank Abbott
Charles Dierkop: Doud
James Hong: Mr. Hong
Robert Hooks: Lt. Ellis
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: Stephen Downing
Director: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker S03E08 Trial, The (1983)

When Romano gets shot (again), he blames Gina Canelli, a young female officer who he and Canelli’s partner claim could have shot the suspect. Hooker agrees to defend Canelli at the trial much to Romano’s chagrin.

5/10

This is not a well-written episode as most things happen unconvincingly but necessarily for the plot to continue. Therefore, we have Hooker acting as a lawyer in a police tribunal and most of the dialogue and plot therein appears to have been written by somebody who watches Hollywood television trials as opposed to someone who is aware of the law. A couple of minutes after Hooker prevents a previous incident being brought up against his client, he brings up a previous incident against a witness, breaking him. The episode is well-paced and interesting, however, as there is friction between Hooker and Romano and, while there’s not enough time to squeeze in a full-size car chase, a baddie does drive around a corner and into a florists, and that’ll have to do.

This T.J. Hooker episode contains gun violence, mild gory and unpleasant scenes.

Links

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T.J. Hooker 3.07 A Child is Missing (1983, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano]
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan]
James Darren: Jim Corrigan
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Henry Darrow: Miguel Gomez
Steven Keats: David Burke
Barbara Horan: Paula Bennett
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: Jack B. Sowards
Director: Cliff Bole
Executive Producer: Aaron Spelling
Executive Producer: Leonard Goldberg

T.J. Hooker 3.07 Child is Missing, A (1983)

Hooker follows a child kidnapper all the way to Mexico.

5/10

This episode is a little let down by an unusually flat William Shatner and the unconvincing Hooker-strides-into-Mehico storyline. But we still get two car chases, several lovely ladies, Hooker thrown down a flight of stairs and an interesting climax that sees Hooker look like a thug because he isn’t wearing his uniform but is still behaving as though he is. As I was watching this episode, I kept thinking to myself how reminiscent the music was of Robert Zemeckis’ 1984 action hit Romancing the Stone. As it turns out, this episode was scored by Alan Silvestri, the composer on Romancing the Stone, exploring the Mexican rhythms he would employ the following year.

Links

T.J. Hooker 2.08 Deadly Ambition (1982, Police Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
Richard Herd: Captain Sheridan
Cliff Potts: Detective Holland
Jonathan Goldsmith: Cody Mayfield
Jesse Vint: Ben Edwards
Royce D. Applegate: Frank Durbin
Deborah Foreman: Elise
Jerry Lee Lewis:
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: Arthur Weingarten
Director: Michael Preece

T.J. Hooker 2.08 Deadly Ambition (1982)

Hooker comes up against the results of over-ambition in the police force.

5/10

This is a weaker episode with a story that could have been more interesting if Cliff Potts’ ambitious cop hadn’t been portrayed as such an arrogant slime-ball. If both he and Hooker had been portrayed as doing the right thing, most scenes would have been more thought-provoking and the show could definitely handle that. However, there’s also no car chases or much action of any kind which is a bit more noticeable and marks this out as mid-season filler. Special Guest Star Jerry Lee Lewis bizarrely turns up but at least that gives us an excuse to marvel at a couple of scenes where he plays a piano faster than television cameras can record.

This T.J. Hooker episode contains gun violence.

 

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

The Mentalist 2.22 Red Letter (2010, Crime Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Creator: Bruno Heller
Simon Baker: Patrick Jane
Robin Tunney: Teresa Lisbon
Tim Kang: Kendall Cho
Owain Yeoman: Wayne Rigsby
Amanda Righetti: Grace Van Pelt
Eugene Byrd: Russell Bigelow
Alice Evans: Ilsa Engels
Melissa Fumero: Carmen Reyes
Rick Hoffman: Christopher Lynch
Shaun Duke Moosekian: Tariq Sharif
Nick Searcy: Sheriff Andy Burnside
Leslie Hope: Kristina Frye
Aunjanue Ellis: Madelaine Hightower
Supervising Producer: Eoghan Mahony
Producer: Charlie Goldstein
Writer: Eoghan Mahony
Director: John F. Showalter
Executive Producer: Bruno Heller

Mentalist, The 2.22 Red Letter (2010)

CBI investigate the murder of a anti-human trafficking campaigner but Jane has conflicting emotions when a real psychic consultant for another police force, Kristina Frye, is brought on board.

5/10

This poorly plotted episode sees Jane magic solutions out of thin air and has a conclusion that negates his own comments on the initial murder scene. The introduction of a possible romance is also terrible as the person in question is a real psychic and, therefore, Jane and her could never have such a relationship. Her re-introduction is clearly to put her in peril in the season finalé next time.

This Mentalist, The episode contains unexpectedly extreme beating with a fire extinguisher.

Links

House M.D., 6.15 Black Hole (2010, Black Comedy Medical Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Hugh Laurie: Dr. Gregory House
Lisa Edelstein: Dr. Lisa Cuddy
Omar Epps: Dr. Eric Foreman
Robert Sean Leonard: Dr. James Wilson
Jesse Spencer: Dr. Robert Chase
Creator: David Shore
Peter Jacobson: Dr. Chris Taub
Olivia Wilde: Thirteen
Cali Fredrichs: Abby Nash
Nick Eversman: Nick
Dennis Boutsikaris: Artie
Jennifer Crystal Foley: Rachel Taub
Sunil Malhotra: Mr. Damon
Producer: Marcy G. Kaplan
Producer: Sara Hess
Co-Executive Producer: Lawrence Kaplow
Co-Executive Producer: Greg Yaitanes
Executive Producer: Hugh Laurie
Executive Producer: David Shore
Writer: Lawrence Kaplow
Director: Greg Yaitanes

House M.D. 6.15 Black Hole (2010)

House insists that their apartment’s lack of furniture says something about Wilson. Meanwhile, he treats a young woman who’s symptoms leave him and the team completely stumped.

5/10

A poor episode with a director trying to cover a seriously unconvincing and thin story with flash special effects (!) while the back-up plots of Taub’s marriage and furniture in Wilson’s apartment are not as fun or sharp as they have been.

This House M.D. episode contains adult dialogue and gory and unpleasant scenes.

Links

The Mentalist 2.14 Blood In, Blood Out (2010, Crime Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Creator: Bruno Heller
Simon Baker: Patrick Jane
Robin Tunney: Teresa Lisbon
Tim Kang: Kendall Cho
Owain Yeoman: Wayne Rigsby
Amanda Righetti: Grace Van Pelt
David Barrera: Frank Rodriguez
Alexandra Holden: Crystal Hargrove
Sandrine Holt: Elise Chaye
Jon Sklaroff: Adam Reed
Producer: Charlie Goldstein
Writer: Ken Woodruff
Director: John Polson
Executive Producer: Bruno Heller

Mentalist, The 2.14 Blood In, Blood Out (2010)

Cho’s best friend from his gang-banger days is shot to death after trying to contact Cho for help. Cho is reluctant to get involved in the investigation, ostensibly because it’s an open-and-shut case of gang rivalry but more because he wants to avoid the guilt that may come from knowing he could have helped and didn’t.

5/10

A ‘this time it’s personal’ episode for supporting character Kendall Cho and, despite containing decent character material, feels silly and unconvincing, especially in the transparent climax. Though it remains mindlessly entertaining enough, through it’s undisguised predictability, The Mentalist is in serious danger of losing viewer interest.

This Mentalist, The episode contains adult dialogue and substance abuse and violence, brief graphic gun violence.

Links

The Mentalist 2.10 Throwing Fire (2009, Light Crime Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Creator: Bruno Heller
Simon Baker: Patrick Jane
Robin Tunney: Teresa Lisbon
Tim Kang: Kendall Cho
Owain Yeoman: Wayne Rigsby
Amanda Righetti: Grace Van Pelt
Chris Brochu: Young Patrick Jane
Matt Cedeno: Narcisco Robrero
Nick Chinlund: Alex
Jude Ciccolella: Freddy Fitch
Lesley Fera: Leslie Sloop
Frank Gallegos: Jupiter Calidos
Ellen Geer: Grandmother
Brent Sexton: Doc Sinclair
Consulting Producer: John Mankiewicz
Producer: Charlie Goldstein
Writer: John Mankiewicz
Director: Martha Mitchell
Executive Producer: Bruno Heller

Mentalist, The 2.10 Throwing Fire (2009)

CBI investigate the death of a baseball scout in his zen garden.

5/10

Despite a brilliant baseball-in-the-side-of-the-head and interesting childhood (Iowa, 1986) flashback’s for Jane, this is an otherwise weak episode with a poorly defined story and suspects and too much all-knowing Jane being smug. Chris Bochu plays the young Patrick Jane and, despite his blond hair, reminded me very much of Smallville‘s Tom Welling.

This Mentalist, The episode contains unpleasant scenes.

Links

Doctor Who 31.03,04 The End of Time (2009, Science Fiction Adventure) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
David Tennant: The Doctor
John Simm: The Master
Bernard Cribbins: Wilfred Mott
Writer: Russell T. Davies
Producer: Tracie Simpson
Director: Euros Lyn

Doctor Who 31.03,04 End of Time, The (2009)

The Doctor finally returns to the Ood to see what all this prophecy business is about while, on Earth, the resurrection of the Master is about to take place on the day of humankind’s extinction. Wait, what?

5/10

This is a fitting, if not good, climax to David Tennant’s tenure as The Tenth Doctor. Fitting in that it’s a mess with variable acting (dismay at the return of John Simm’s The Master was well-founded) and sudden inexplicable shifts in tone (the Doctor arrives at the Ood all cheerful after some sight-seeing then tears off in a contrived hurry) as part of a sometimes imaginative but clunky script from departing show-runner Russell T. Davies. Tennant is good, again, and tends to nail each individual scene but sudden shifts between anger, despondence and cocky chattiness are, as they always have been, unsettling and unconvincing. The best contribution comes from composer Murray Gold who makes the episode rather more thrilling than the baffling story should allow. Be warned if you thought the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was drawn out: before his regeneration, the Doctor’s reward seems to take forever.

This Doctor Who episode contains mild homosexual dialogue and unpleasant scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

T.J. Hooker 3.02 Carnal Express (1983, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
James Darren: Jim Corrigan
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Richard Lynch: Virgil Dobbs
Peter Brown: Lt. Drummer
Trisha Noble: Lorraine Daggett
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer: Joe Viola
Director: Sigmund Neufeld, Jr.

T.J. Hooker 3.02 Carnal Express (1983)

Hooker gets involved in a white slavery case but Stacey decides to go undercover as an exotic dancer to speed up the investigation.

5/10

While giving Heather Locklear more to do and less to wear may sound like the recipe for a great episode, she, like bland co-stars Adrian Zmed and James Darren, does not have the charisma or talent to carry the weight of the show. Richard Lynch is a quality bad guy at any time though and there’s still plenty of dirtbags for Hooker to chastise including a joyous epithet spat at Lynch. Also, Hooker on white slavery: "When they’re taken off my streets, like Bonnie, that’s different, and I’m damn well gonna put a stop to it." You know, if we ever cross T.J. Hooker and Valentino Rossi we should appoint him king of the world.

This T.J. Hooker episode contains gun violence.

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T.J. Hooker 2.06 Terror at the Academy (1982, Police Action Drama) – 5/10 TV review


Cast / crew
William Shatner: T.J. Hooker
Adrian Zmed: Officer Vince Romano
Heather Locklear: Officer Stacy Sheridan
Richard Herd: Captain Sheridan
Kristoffer Tabori: Jeff Turner
Doran Clark: Carol Bennett
Melody Anderson: Kate Nichols
Supervising Producer: Rick Husky
Producer: Jeffrey Hayes
Writer (Series’ Creator): Rick Husky
Writer (Screenplay): Jack V. Fogarty
Writer (Story): Jack V. Fogarty
Writer (Story): Rick Husky
Director: Phil Bondelli

T.J. Hooker 2.06 Terror at the Academy (1982)

A Vietnam veteran with a grudge against the police decides to target the Police Academy to both satisfy his thirst for revenge and his need for money. He has a better chance of succeeding than most because he is also a trainee policeman.

5/10

Gleefully naff but still fun. This is how you make cheesy Eighties cop shows. You mingle nutty Vietnam veteran vengeance with the quest for a frog costume, Shatner tells the maggot he’s disgracing the honour of all the non-nutty veterans and everyone goes home happy.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Lie To Me 2.06 Lack of Candor (2009, Mystery Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew

Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Alicia Coppola: Sheila Radotti
Brian Howe: Garrett Denning
Matt Gerald: Marshal Johnson
Arlene Tur: Kimi
Kari Coleman: Mary
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: T.J. Brady
Writer: Rasheed Newson
Director: Terrence O’Hara

Lie To Me 2.06 Lack of Candor (2009)

A witness in protective custody is murdered and Reynolds, being the undercover cop on the case, becomes next in line to testify. However, he refuses to testify and the reason is clearly not about the threat to his life.

5/10

There’s a lack of imagination and convincing coherent plot and character undermining what should be a much more affecting and insightful presentation of the moral quandaries of the undercover agent (and their handlers). Lightman is now, apparently, a law unto himself as he gains access to anyone and everyone and can wilfully ignore the direction and authority of the US District Attorney office.

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Lie To Me 2.03 Control Factor (2009, Mystery Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Marc Blucas:
Jose Zuniga:
Timothy Carhart:
Mary Mara:
Dale Midkiff:
Max Arciniega:
Patrick J. Adams:
Consulting Producer: Sharon Lee Watson
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Sharon Lee Watson
Director: James Hayman

Lie To Me 2.03 Control Factor (2009)

While in Mexico on holiday, Lightman is unofficially requested to look into the disappearance of an American national (!).

5/10

Lie to Me is in a rut but it’s still well acted and professionally produced and entertaining. Continuing to pack two plots into each episode certainly helps (one for Lightman, one for Foster) as it guarantees the show moves at a brisk pace. While it is normal for all television shows to have everyone outside of our regular heroes be hiding something or a baddie or be stupid, the fact that behavourial reading can only ever be taken as a sign and not as the be-all-and-end-all is really sticking out like a sore thumb. Unlike CSI and traditional maverick detective shows, Lightman’s opinion should be a tool for someone in authority to use. While consistently doing that would certainly undermine his role as the show’s hero, at least an occasional nod to it every so often would be welcome. Still, as I say, despite the instant transparency of this second season, I am still enjoying it.

This Lie To Me episode contains mild adult dialogue and extremely gruesome scene briefly but easily glimpsed in photograph.

Links

Lie To Me 2.01 The Core of It (2009, Mystery Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Erika Christensen:
Tomas Arana:
Michael Raymond-James:
Jennifer Beals: Zoe Landau
Executive Producer: Elizabeth Craft
Executive Producer: Sarah Fain
Executive Producer: Daniel Sackheim
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Elizabeth Craft
Writer: Sarah Fain
Director: Daniel Sackheim

Lie To Me 2.01 Core of It, The (2009)

A college student approaches Cal and tells him that she has seen a vision of a murder but that the police don’t believe her. Cal does and sets about studying either the truth or cause of her vision.

5/10

Two things that simply do not work on-screen: hypnotism and split personalities. So it’s a double whammy of fail for the return of this show and we’ll just ignore this mis-step for now. The acting is fine, though,

This Lie To Me episode contains bad language, adult language and strong violence.

Links

The Mentalist 2.05 Red Scare (2009, Light Crime Drama) – 5/10 review

Creator: Bruno Heller
Simon Baker: Patrick Jane
Robin Tunney: Teresa Lisbon
Tim Kang: Kendall Cho
Owain Yeoman: Wayne Rigsby
Amanda Righetti: Grace Van Pelt
Matthew John Armstrong:
Ron Canada:
Christina Chang:
Derk Cheetwood:
Michael McMillian:
Frances Fisher:
Producer: Charlie Goldstein
Writer: Ken Woodruff
Director: Lesli Linka Glatter
Executive Producer: Bruno Heller

Mentalist, The 2.05 Red Scare (2009)

The CBI investigate a murder that appears to have been committed by a ghost.

5/10

Another weak episode. I understand that Jane is the hero but the writers need to present conflict means that they have to make his associates frequently pooh-pooh Jane’s observations despite their own experience that his viewpoint is always worthwhile. It’s also becoming irritating that Jane knows everything about everything. Even a scene this week where he goes to a shop to learn about local history sees him interrogating the shopkeeper (who, awfully, turns out to be a suspect) with little cause. The makers are presuming that Jane can do anything as long as he does his little smile and, frankly, they’re wrong.

This Mentalist, The episode contains unpleasant scenes.

Links

Jonathan Creek Special.3 The Grinning Man (2008, TV) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Alan Davies: Jonathan Creek
Sheridan Smith: Joey Ross
Writer: David Renwick
Naomi Bentley: Mina
Nicholas Boulton: Lance Gessler
Jenna Harrison: Elodie
Ciarán McMenamin: Glen
Judy Parfitt: Constance Gessler
Katherine Parkinson: Nicola
Stuart Milligan: Adam Klaus
Producer: Nerys Evans
Director: David Renwick

Jonathan Creek Special.3 Grinning Man, The (2008)

Jonathan Creek teams up with paranormal debunker Joey Ross to solve a locked room mystery where one of her friends disappeared and is presumed dead. The room has a terrible history having dealt similarly with several previous overnight occupants and so Creek, not the police, bizarrely, is brought in by the house’s owner.

5/10

Writer David Renwick directs better than expected and manages to supply some decent nightmare-inducing atmosphere which makes you wish that you hadn’t watched this immediately before going to bed at 2:30 in the morning (which I did, gulp; he nearly does for baths what Hitchcock did for showers and a spooky painting doesn’t help matters). However, his complete loss of good taste, horribly exposed in Love Soup, is delivered here with an unnecessary and unpleasant 3D-porn ‘comic-relief’ plot and a two scenes of very unpleasantly graphic violence (a throat-cutting – insultingly passed off for a time as an emergency tracheotomy – and a clubbing). It may not sound like much spread over the gargantuan two-hour length but, as I’ve noted before about this show, Jonathan Creek should be the kind of thing that earns worldwide repeat fees on a Sunday afternoon for ever and a day like Columbo, Poirot or even the BBC’s own Doctor Who. Writer David Renwick appears to have run out of wit and so supplies the desperate-writer standbys of sex and violence (for example see all serial dramas ever made) to provide his garnishes.

This Jonathan Creek episode contains mild swear words, strong adult dialogue and graphic and gory violence and sexuality, inferred pornographic scene.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

Links

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s10e03 After the Funeral (2005) – 5/10 period crime detective drama TV review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Philomena McDonagh
Robert Bathurst: Gilbert Entwhistle
Geraldine James: Helen Abernethie
Anna Calder-Marshall: Maude Abernethie
Monica Dolan: Cora and Miss Gilchrist
Kevin Doyle: Inspector Morton
Michael Fassbender: George Abernathie
Fiona Glascott: Rosamund
Julian Ovenden: Michael Shane
Lucy Punch: Susannah Henderson
William Russell: Lanscombe
Anthony Valentine: Giovanni Gallaccio
Benjamin Whitrow: Timothy Abernethie
Producer: Trevor Hopkins
Director: Maurice Phillips

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s10e03 After the Funeral (2005)

Poirot investigates the death of a man who, after his funeral, is claimed to have been murdered by one of his slightly dotty relatives, Cora Gallaccio. Her rambling is dismissed but a bizarre and unexpected will proves to be an appetiser for the main course: the brutal murder of Cora Gallaccio the day after the funeral.

5/10

Christie’s whodunit has such an unforeseen solution that it drags this adaptation back up to average after declining slowly through inactivity and ripe acting during the second hour. Despite all the period production design, this outing, like most of these two-hour adaptations, simply has no atmosphere or charm.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains mild sexuality, Unpleasant scenes

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s11e01 Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (2008, TV) – 5/10 period crime detective drama review

Cast / crew
David Suchet: Hercule Poirot
Writer (Original Novel): Agatha Christie
Screenplay Writer: Nick Dear
Joe Absolom: James Bentley
Raquel Cassidy: Maureen Summerhayes
Richard Dillane: Major Summerhayes
Ruth Gemmell: Miss Weetiman
Richard Hope: Spence
Richard Lintern: Guy Carpenter
Siân Philips: Mrs Upward
Paul Rhys: Robin Upward
Amanda Root: Mrs Rendell
Simon Shepherd: Dr Rendell
Sarah Smart: Maude
Mary Stockley: Eve Carpenter
Zoë Wanamaker: Ariadne Oliver
Producer: Trevor Hopkins
Director: Ashley Pearce

Agatha Christie’s Poirot s11e01 Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (2008)

A life of leisure is not sitting well with Poirot and he is delighted to look into the case of James Bentley, a young man sentenced to execution for the murder-during-theft of Mrs McGinty. The investigating officer felt he had no alternative but to prosecute but has a gut feeling that the young man is innocent and turns to Poirot’s somewhat better-developed gut. Er, instinct.

5/10

Given the offensive treatment of the Marple stories by ITV, it comes as a significant relief that Poirot has been left as written by Christie. Pointed jabs at journalism and adaptation writers are, unfortunately, rather more interesting than the mystery in this story but the director makes a good job of delivering a surprisingly stylish episode. However, things aren’t as fun as they should be (something original Poirot dramatiser Clive Exton always understood), the required atmosphere isn’t quite there and the climax isn’t as dramatic as it thinks it is.

This Agatha Christie’s Poirot episode contains bad language, adult dialogue, Unpleasant scenes, strangulation violence

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Links