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

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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.

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