Things have gone utterly crazy in Autumn TV Land because some nice person has pressed a big button, and suddenly new and returning shows are coming at us at all directions, with finding the time to watch everything a real problem. Loads of the stuff is pouring out of America, and I have to say that so far, so very good indeed!
Homeland is that rare example of a US show that died and then was totally reborn as a smart spy show last year, and the signs look good for season five based on last Sunday’s opener on Channel Four. Our loose cannon of a CIA operative, Carrie, no longer works for the firm but for a shady looking philanthropist in Berlin, and she has a work colleague as a new guy in her life. All happy then? No, forget it! She’s getting wrapped up with some Middle Eastern baddies (but of course), and we got a great scene when she met with ex-boss Saul(scene pictured), and the ice didn’t melt at all, as they snarled at each other for a glorious minute. And why is Quinn an “off the books” killer? A real tense start to the new run.
Homeland opened up with a great cyber-hacking scene and that kind of business takes centre-stage in the new CSI franchise show that is CSI-Cyber on Channel Five. No surprise that Patricia Arquette steals things leading an FBI cyber-crime unit and the plots are original, though you do have to concentrate a bit to follow what is going on. It’s many times better than the awful main CSI final episode a few weeks ago, but the Yanks are finding it slow going for their taste, so Ted Danson as CSI character, DB Russell, will pop up to liven up things for season two. Worth watching though, even to check up on the ageing process of ex-Dawson’s Creek star, James Van Der Beek. Is he really now 38-years-old?
“Zombies!”, I hear Sergei the Meerkat cry in some of the Corrie sponsorship bits, and he would have had a field-day counting thousands of them (helped by dear old CGI technology) on a simply astonishing first double series six episode of The Walking Dead on Fox UK. It was like watching a big movie as leader Rick worked out a ruse to blast the blood suckers all to smithereens in a quarry not far from his group’s current safe haven. It was so in your face that I’m sure blood oozed out of my TV, but it was also about working out once again how far Andrew Lincoln’s brilliantly played character would go, prompted by the welcome return (from season one and three) of Morgan: – a man with a conscience, portrayed by Lincoln’s fellow-Brit, the top class Lennie James, who despite all his UK work, lives in Los Angeles. I’m not a natural horror fan, but The Walking Dead really is a study of humanity and relationships, and over five years on from the first series, it continues to deliver on a grand level.
The two big superhero shows, The Flash and Arrow returned on successive nights on Sky One this week, and with the same producers, they complement each other well. The Flash has a lighter touch as well as what appeared to be a helpful person from a parallel Earth in the last scene of the opener whilst Arrow into season four has had something of a relaunch with an excellent opener that also raised the humour level, after some pretty emotional episodes in the last run. Arrow this season will also welcome a Brit who was a major character in Holby City not that long ago to be a new baddie for Oliver Queen to face off to. No…it’s not Tina Hobley!
Is Downton Abbey boss Julian Fellowes playing with us over the fate of Earl Grantham in this final series? It appears utterly obvious, what with his spluttering and indigestion, that Hugh Bonneville’s character is set to be bumped off, but if so, why make it so clear, unless we have a red herring thrown at us? By the way, are you of the same opinion that you couldn’t give a single jot about the most boring Downton plotline ever, namely the fate of the village hospital. It’s only served to waste the wonderful talents of Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton in a mire of total inconsequence.