Thursday, 29 September 2022


A decent month's viewing with a couple of ongoing (maybe never-ending) series continued, a few more started - with one finished, HOORAY! - and a few films which were enjoyed.

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

Halfway through or just over, a marathon not a sprint. Still enjoying it!

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 Missing Series 2 (2016) - BBC Drama Series

Ditto above, even though it's only about 8 episodes long maximum. Our viewing has to be fitted around our youngest daughter's shift patterns and the stars don't always align. I think I'm going to have to tie her down for a day and binge-watch until completion.

From Wikipedia...

Series two

The second series was confirmed in December 2014 and production began in February 2016. Again written by Harry and Jack Williams, this series was directed by Ben Chanan. The filming locations were Morocco, Belgium (Malmedy, Brussels & Ghent) and Germany. Episode four shows a Hanover hospital (which was filmed in Az Sint-Lucas Ghent) and episode five shows soldiers marching over the Vesdre dam in eastern Belgium, and the fictional Vaaren in Switzerland is Monschau, in Germany.[citation needed]

The story is paralleled by flashbacks to 2014 and is set near a British army garrison in Eckhausen, Germany. In 2014 police tell Sam and Gemma Webster, whose daughter Alice went missing in 2003, that Alice has reappeared and claims she had been held captive with Sophie Giroux, a French girl who disappeared about the same time. Retired French detective Julien Baptiste, who was in charge of the Giroux investigation, cannot resist becoming involved again and travels to Germany and Iraq to find answers.

The Rings of Power (2022) - Amazon Prime Series 

Another one started at the behest of our son. Two episodes in and the jury's out. Not the worst thing I've ever seen, but I'm not hooked yet and there's a strong possibility that I may not ever be.

From Google ...

This series brings to screens for the very first time the heroic legends of the fabled Second Age of Middle-earth's history. This epic drama is set thousands of years before the events of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," and takes viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien's pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness. Beginning in a time of relative peace, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared reemergence of evil to Middle-earth. From the darkest depths of the Misty Mountains, to the majestic forests of the elf-capital of Lindon, to the breathtaking island kingdom of Númenor, to the furthest reaches of the map, these kingdoms and characters carve out legacies that live on long after they are gone.

Keep Sweet Pray and Obey (2022) - Netflix Mini-series Documentary

Two and three-quarter episodes consumed out of a total of four, so I'm not sure of the final outcome. 

Why do the men at the head of these churches/cults/organisations always get to have sex with most of the women? Power, control, subjugation. Sad and disgusting, and a perversion of faith and people's trust.   

From Wikipedia ...

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey is an American documentary miniseries on Netflix, surrounding the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, an offshoot of mainstream Mormonism, and its current leader Warren S. Jeffs. The series was released on June 8, 2022, on Netflix. It is directed by Rachel Dretzin, who began interviewing survivors after visiting Short Creek, Utah, the headquarters of the FLDS Church.

Between June 5, 2022, and June 19, 2022, the docuseries was watched for 58.78 million hours on Netflix globally.

The title of the series is derived from the motto "Keep Sweet, Pray, and Obey," coined by the preceding president Rulon Jeffs, and used to convey how women should behave in relation to their husband. According to a woman going by the name "Charlene", who was interviewed in the series, the mantra was frequently sung aloud, and meant "to be in control of your emotions and you didn't display things like anger or resentment or frustration." The latter part of the motto, "Pray and Obey" is shown to adorn the chimney of a house belonging to Warren Jeffs.

Several former FLDS members, or survivors, are interviewed by Dretzin on both their experiences inside the church, as well providing testimony to Jeffs' systematic coercion and exercises of power toward the members of the congregation. Rebecca Musser, a former wife of Rulon, appears in each of the episodes, as does her sister Elissa Wall. People outside of the church, either related to the events transpiring following the church's move from Salt Lake City to Short Creek, the move of headquarters from Short Creek to the Yearning for Zion Ranch, or for their previous work covering the FLDS, were also interviewed. These people include both the investigative journalist Mike Watkiss, who had previously done several reports on the church, private investigator Sam Brower, who has investigated the church for several years, and attorney Roger Hoole.

Shetland Series 7 (2022) - BBC TV Drama

Based on the Jimmy Perez series of books (or character) from Ann Cleeves. I'm not actually sure if the stories follow books in the series or not, mainly because I haven't read any of them. I do like the characters, as depicted here, though Perez can be slightly annoying at times. Note to self - read at least one of these. (And one of the Vera books as well.)

This case features .... a missing person initially and also a corpse in a suitcase.

From IMDB ...

S7, Ep1
DI Perez investigates the disappearance of a vulnerable young man, whose family are new to Shetland.
S7, Ep2
After the discovery of an unknown body, the search for Connor grows increasingly desperate. Perez follows Danny on a perilous journey into his murky past.
S7, Ep3
Mounting evidence pushes Perez and the team to revise their view of Connor Cairns. Is he a vulnerable missing person or a killer on the run?
S7, Ep4
Perez issues a warrant for Connor's arrest and looks for the motive behind his bomb-making. Sandy tries to find out what business William Rodgers had in Shetland.
S7, Ep5
Perez tries to get the measure of Lloyd. Evidence emerges of another bombmaker. The net closes in around Martin. Sandy uncovers Connor's interest in a piece of local history.
S7, Ep6
The team races to identify the killer and prevent disaster striking Lerwick. As the investigation draws to a close, Perez faces a life-changing decision.

The Dead Pool (1988) - TV Film

Started not quite finished - about half an hour to go. I'm enjoying it. I like a bit of Clint Eastwood and I've enjoyed the odd Dirty Harry film in the past. I would have liked to watch the series in order, but hey hoh.

Fun seeing a young Liam Neeson and Jim Carrey on screen. Neeson with a ponytail is a look that will probably haunt my dreams for a long time. Not great, is it?

From Google ....

Inspector Harry Callahan and Al, his new partner, investigate the mysterious death of a rockstar while he was shooting. However, Harry soon realises that he is on the list of potential targets.

The Yakuza (1974) - DVD Film

I found this film when looking for another Robert Mitchum title - The Friends of Eddie Coyle. I like a 70s crime read and I enjoy a 70s crime flick.

It's a bit slow to start, but I enjoyed it overall. Not sure I'd be interested in watching it twice. Good, but not great. I like the clash of cultures.

From Google ...

Harry Kilmer returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend George's kidnapped daughter- and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese mafia.

Secret Window (2004) - TV Film

Interesting, tense, gripping. Maybe a little bit predictable. I don't think I've read the Stephen King novella that it is based on. Johnny Depp is good. I missed the usual Stephen King cameo appearance. Enjoyable overall. I wasn't wanting my hour and a half of life back at the end.

From Wikipedia ...

Secret Window is a 2004 American psychological thriller film starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro. It was written and directed by David Koepp, based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King, featuring a musical score by Philip Glass and Geoff Zanelli. The story appeared in King's 1990 collection Four Past Midnight. The film was released on March 12, 2004, by Columbia Pictures; it was a moderate box office success and received mixed reviews from critics.

Plot (* spoiler alert)

After catching his wife Amy having an affair with their friend Ted, mystery writer Mort Rainey retreats to his cabin at Tashmore Lake in upstate New York, while Amy stays in their marital home. Six months later, Mort, depressed and suffering from writer's block, has delayed finalizing the divorce.

One day, a man named John Shooter arrives at the cabin and accuses Mort of plagiarizing his short story, "Sowing Season". Upon reading Shooter's manuscript, Mort discovers it is virtually identical to his own story, "Secret Window", except for the ending. The following day, Mort, who once plagiarized another author's story, tells Shooter that his story was published in a mystery magazine two years before Shooter's, invalidating his plagiarism claim. Shooter demands proof and warns Mort against contacting the police. That night, Mort's dog, Chico, is found dead outside the cabin, along with a note from Shooter giving Mort three days to provide proof.

Mort reports the incident to Sheriff Newsome. Mort drives to his and Amy's house intending to retrieve a copy of the magazine but leaves because Ted and Amy are there. Mort instead hires private investigator Ken Karsch, who stakes out the cabin and speaks to Tom Greenleaf, a local resident who may have seen Shooter and Mort talking together. At the cabin, Shooter appears and demands that Mort revise his story's ending to Shooter's version, where the protagonist kills his wife. When an arson fire destroys Amy and Mort's house, and presumably the magazine, Mort reveals to the police that he has an enemy.

Karsch tells Mort that he suspects Shooter has threatened Greenleaf after Greenleaf claimed he never saw Mort and Shooter talking together. Mort and Karsch agree to confront Shooter but first choose to meet up with Greenleaf at the local diner the next morning. Arriving late, Mort discovers that neither Karsch nor Greenleaf showed up at the diner. On his way back, Mort encounters Ted at a gas station where Ted demands Mort sign the divorce papers. Believing Shooter is in Ted's employ, Mort refuses, taunts Ted, and leaves.

Later, Shooter summons Mort to a meeting place; when he arrives, Mort finds Karsch and Greenleaf dead inside Greenleaf's truck and passes out at the sight. When he recovers Shooter tells Mort he killed the two men because they had "interfered" in his business, and warns Mort he has deliberately implicated him in the two men's murders (having used Mort's axe and screwdriver as the murder weapons) and implies Mort should dispose of the bodies. Mort agrees to meet Shooter at his cabin to show him the magazine containing his story, which is supposed to arrive that day, having been sent overnight by his literary agent. Mort later retrieves his tools and then pushes Greenleaf's truck with both bodies still in it off a steep cliff into a water-filled quarry where it sinks.

Mort retrieves the package containing the magazine from the post office but finds that it has already been opened with the pages containing his story ripped out. At Mort's cabin, Mort sees Shooter's hat and puts it on and begins speaking to himself, trying to make sense of the events. Frustrated and in denial, Mort throws an object at the wall and is surprised to see a growing crack fracture the cabin in half. Looking in the mirror, he's startled to see the back of his head reflected instead. Mort realizes that Shooter is a figment of his imagination, a created character brought to life through Mort's undetected dissociative identity disorder, unwittingly created to cope and carry out malevolent tasks that Mort cannot - like killing Chico, Greenleaf and Karsch, as well as arson. That persona now takes full control of Mort.

Amy arrives at the cabin, finding it ransacked and sees the word "SHOOTER" carved repeatedly on the walls and furniture. Mort appears, speaking and acting as Shooter, wearing his hat. Amy realizes the name "Shooter" represents Mort's desire to "SHOOT HER". He chases Amy and stabs her in the ankle. Ted, looking for Amy, arrives and is ambushed by Mort, who smashes his face with a shovel. Amy watches helplessly as Mort bludgeons Ted with the shovel, while reciting the ending of "Sowing Season". He then murders Amy offscreen.

Months later, Mort has recovered from his writer's block and his overall mood has improved. He is feared and shunned in town because of the rumors about the missing people associated with him. Sheriff Newsome arrives and tells Mort that he is the prime suspect in the supposed murders. He warns him that the bodies will eventually be found and he will be caught, then says he is no longer welcome in town. Mort passively dismisses the threat, and tells Newsome that the ending to his new story is "perfect". It is implied that Amy and Ted's bodies are buried under the corn growing in Mort's garden, allowing Mort to slowly destroy any evidence of their murders. (In an alternative ending cut for home media their bodies are shown under the earth.)

I Came By (2022) - Netflix Film

Watched immediately after the one above and it was another really enjoyable film. I liked the story. Plenty of tension and 'no - don't do it' moments. As always the characters don't listen and go full steam ahead.

From Google ...

A rebellious young graffiti artist targets the homes of the wealthy elite but discovers a shocking secret that leads him on a journey endangering himself and those closest to him.


  1. Some good viewing here, Col. I do like Taggart, so it's good to see that one here. And Keep Sweet, Pray, and Obey sounds really hard-hitting. It's sad, but there really are groups and people like that, and they do take advantage of girls and women. It's actually pretty horrible. At any rate... I have to admit to never being much of a Dirty Harry fan, but I've liked a couple of the films.

    1. I'm not sure how the Keep Sweet story finishes I'll find out soon. We've been seeing victims and survivors throughout, I'm hoping that the chief culprit and enabler gets his just desserts. I suppose I oculd Google it and find out, but told the family I wouldn't spoil the surprise. Taggart - slowly, slowly - but really enjoyable and prefect when an evening when I can't concentrate on a book.

    2. typo alert *could *perfect. Fingers are faster than the brain!

  2. THE MISSING sounds good. Wonder if it is streaming here? And I hope you catch up with Mitchum’s FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE. The book is great and the movie is too.

    1. The Missing is well worth a look. We finished it last night. I loved the Higgins book and have a copy of the film to watch when the mood takes me.