Monday 21 March 2022


Not much new stuff this month, with a few ongoing series watches, a new one started, one started and finished and half a film - we bailed on the rest of it.

Around the World in 80 Days (2021-22) - BBC Drama series

Series completed and really enjoyed. I do like seeing David Tennant on screen. I'd struggle to recall anything he's been in that I haven't enjoyed.

From Google...

Gentleman adventurer Phileas Fogg sets out on a quest to travel around the world and back home in a period of 80 days.

Taggart (1983-2010) - ITV Crime Drama - 27 series

Progressing through slowly. I think we're up to the 4th series now. This might take a while. 

I probably could have done with some subtitles on the first couple, but I'm used to the vernacular now. I did look to see if there were any books derived from the series, but couldn't find any which is probably just as well. I need more books like I need a hole in the head. (A big portion of my brain, does think I need a hole in the head!)

I like the dynamic between Taggart and his disabled wife at home. Sometimes it's a struggle to determine which is more miserable. I'm also enjoying spotting the young, fresh-faced actors that have subsequently gone on to other things. 

From Wikipedia...

Taggart is a Scottish detective fiction television programme created by Glenn Chandler, who wrote many of the episodes, and made by STV Studios for the ITV network. It originally ran as the miniseries "Killer" from 6 until 20 September 1983, before a full series was commissioned that ran from 2 July 1985 until 7 November 2010. The series revolved around a group of detectives initially in the Maryhill CID of Strathclyde Police, though various storylines were set in other parts of Greater Glasgow and in other areas of Scotland. The team operated out of the fictional John Street police station. Mark McManus, who played the title character Jim Taggart, died in 1994. However, the series continued under the same name.

The Last Detective (2003-2007) - ITV Comedy-Drama Series

I quite like alternating this series with Taggart, as it lifts the mood a bit. Taggart is full on Glaswegian grimness, this series has a lighter touch. 

I like Peter Davison's portrayal as Dangerous Davies. I'm enjoying the evolution of his relationship with his boss, one which has gone from outright antipathy to a grudging respect. His relationship with his wife hasn't moved on at all, though he is slightly less of a doormat than previously.

From Google...

`Dangerous' Davies is one offbeat flatfoot who takes the stuff at the bottom of the pile - the cases nobody wants. In his usual comical way, Davies and good friend Mod help unfold events that usually end up in disaster, but somehow they still manage to nab their man. Maybe if Davies wasn't such a nice guy, his coworkers would take him a tad more seriously. The comedy-drama is adapted from the novel by Leslie Thomas.

The Responder (2022) - BBC Drama series

Another ongoing watch though I don't think this stretches to more than five or six episodes. I like Martin Freeman as the lead and he does appear to have a few complicated situations to deal with.... PTSD, work life, home life (wife), a Detective out to get him and also bag his wife, and ongoing issues with his terminally ill mother adding financial woes to his already troubled existence. I can't see this one ending well.

From Google...

Urgent response officer Chris Carson has been tasked with working a series of night shifts on his beat in Liverpool. It's a high pressure, relentless night-time world where his survival now depends on the rookie partner he's been forced to take on. Chris has more than the job to worry about, as his personal life has been hit by crisis, and he is morally compromised in his work. As he struggles to keep a grip on his mental health, a path to redemption appears in the form of a young heroin addict.

The Bay Season 3 (2022) - ITV Drama series

I missed the first two series and don't feel a compulsion to backtrack really. I enjoyed this one though the main character, a Family Liaison Officer was a bit irritating and annoying. Not the worst thing I've ever watched and I guess if there is a fourth series, I'd watch it. An okay bit of TV Drama.

From Amazon...

Beautifully crafted crime drama hit The Bay is back with a brand-new third series from award-winning writer Daragh Carville.

DS Jenn Townsend, Morecambe’s new Family Liaison Officer, is thrown in the deep end when a body is found in the bay on her first day in the job. She must get under the skin of a grieving and complicated family if she has any chance of solving the murder, whilst at the same time proving herself to her new colleagues in the Major Investigation Unit. And the pressure is multiplied even more when her new blended family struggle to settle in Morecambe, proving to Jenn that a fresh start might not be quite as simple as moving to a different town...

The Shack (2017) - Netflix Film

Awful IMO and I'll leave it there (almost). It probably appeals to people with faith or people struggling with their faith. Not my cup of tea or my kin's.

I did read the book late last year and while I didn't hate it, it did stretch the bounds of credibility. 

From Wikipedia...

The Shack is a 2017 American Christian drama film directed by Stuart Hazeldine and written by John Fusco, Andrew Lanham and Destin Daniel Cretton, based on the 2007 novel of the same name by William P. Young. The film stars Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Graham Greene, Radha Mitchell, Alice Braga, Sumire Matsubara, Aviv Alush, and Tim McGraw

Plot (*spoiler alert)

Mackenzie "Mack" Phillips suffered physical and emotional abuse as a child at the hands of his drunken father, who abused his mother as well. One day, Mack tells the preacher at his church of his abuse, and as punishment, his father harshly beats him, leading to Mack's mother's decision to leave them. As a 13-year-old boy he chose to poison his father with strychnine in his whiskey.

As an adult he has a fulfilling life with his wife, Nan, and their three children: Kate, Josh and Missy. Mack's life is shattered when their youngest child Missy disappears during a camping trip while he is saving Kate and Josh during a canoeing accident. The police determine Missy is the victim of a serial killer after finding her torn dress and blood in a derelict cabin in the forest (the titular "shack"). Kate blames herself for Missy's death because she caused the canoe accident in the first place.

The tragedy derails Mack's faith and life until the onset of winter when he receives an unstamped, typewritten note inviting him to meet at the shack. The message is signed "Papa" (which was Missy's nickname for God). Thinking this may possibly be an opportunity for meeting and punishing the serial killer, Mack takes his gun, borrows his friend's SUV, and drives there, narrowly avoiding a collision with a truck on the way. Finding the shack empty, an enraged Mack is tempted to shoot himself; before he can, he encounters a mysterious figure, who leads him to the trio of strangers who invite him to stay at their house nearby.

The trio of strangers gradually reveal their identities: the African-American woman is God (Papa), the Middle-Eastern man is Jesus, and the Asian woman is the Holy Spirit. The purpose of their visit is to help Mack better understand his life as seen from a much broader context or higher perspective, the goal being to help free him from an inclination to pass judgment upon himself and others, and to help heal himself and his family after Missy's death.

Mack helps Jesus build a wooden box and helps the Holy Spirit prepare a spot in her garden for a planting. Papa—in the form of an elderly Native American man—leads him to the cave where Missy's body is located. Together they prepare her body for burial, place her in the box, and lay her to rest in the garden. Mack briefly sees Missy in Heaven, but is unable to be with her; Jesus steps through the boundary separating them to visit her. Mack also visits another cave where God's wisdom, in the form of a woman named Sophia, talks to him. Eventually, the trio and Mack encounter the spirit of Mack's father, who apologizes for his mistreatment of Mack and he reluctantly forgives him. Mack also apologizes to his father, whom he killed, and finally understands that Missy's death was not punishment for his murder of his father.

Finally able to move beyond his grief and his faith restored, he leaves the trio and sets out to return home to his family. However, he encounters the truck from before and collides with it, waking up in a hospital. The friend from whom he borrowed the SUV tells him he never reached the shack, having crashed on the way there. Later on, Mack tells Nan about what he saw on his journey and convinces Kate that whatever happened on the canoe wasn't her fault. The film ends with Mack attending church again with his family, as the audience is left to decide whether the events that happened at the shack were real.


  1. I like Taggart very much, Col, and I can see how it would appeal to you. And, yes, I agree that The Last Detective is good at showing evolution of character. They're two very different series, but both are good, I think. I remember seeing Around the World... many years ago as a film; I can see how it would work well as a mini-series, too. Glad you've had some good viewing.

    1. Margot, I'm glad to hear you are a fan of both Taggart and The Last Detective. They're both very good for different reasons. I like being reminded of the 80s, the decade when I properly grew up. I can recall the David Niven film of Around the World, but I think I've enjoyed this one more. There are some modern touches, especially in the travels through America as it touches on racism and slavery.

  2. As for The Bay's seasons with Morven Christie - she really did an exceptional job in the lead role. It was like the character was created specifically for her and after watching her portrayal, I lost interest knowing she would not be appearing in future seasons.

    1. I think you might have helped change my mind over seeking out The Bay 1 + 2.