“Great. You stopped the clock. What happens if it starts up again?”
Tricky things, endings. As Game of Thrones recently proved, it can be very, very difficult to get them right in a way that satisfies the fans’ anticipation. Watchmen may not have had to cap off eight years of storytelling, but it’s packed so much intricacy and so many puzzles into its short runtime that a satisfying ending was something about which I was sceptical. Especially given that the showrunner was Damon Lindelof, who had so singularly failed to deliver endings that satisfied the promises in Lost and Prometheus. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 9 – See How They Fly”
“Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer appears to be both – at the same time.”
The Doctor will see you now. Yes, after hanging heavy over the narrative since the very first ep, Dr Manhattan finally put in a proper appearance this week. And what an appearance it was, capturing perfectly Alan Moore’s complex character and suddenly providing us with a barrage of explanation for the show’s mysteries, all of which make perfect sense in retrospect. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 8 – A God Walks into Abar”
“Who wants to be in the present when you can live in the past?”
“Tonight, on a very special episode of Watchmen…” Yes, this week Watchmen continued to experiment with form, with a self-contained episode very different in style to any that have gone before. As with everything on this well-executed series, that’s something that has precedent in the original comic; for example, one issue is entitled Fearful Symmetry, and every page is the mirror image of its equivalent on the same sheet of paper. Hence, p1 is mirrored on p28, p2 on p27, and so on – until the very middle of the comic, where pages 14 and 15 mirror each other. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 6 – This Extraordinary Being”
For the discerning comic book fan, Alan Moore’s seminal classic Watchmen is still the gold standard of the medium – despite having been written more than thirty years ago. A literate, multi-layered complete work (rather than an ongoing series), Watchmen was at once a great superhero comic and an intelligent deconstruction of the concept. These were superheroes who were real, recognisable human beings, with all the flaws and frailties that real people have. Alcoholics, racists, sadists, misogynists – Moore’s characters were these and more, but always rounded, with good qualities to offset the bad ones. You know, like actual people. Continue reading “Watchmen: Season 1, Episode 1 – It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”
“Whoever you are, I’m a nasty piece of work – ask anybody.”
John Constantine is my favourite comic book character. In a world of idealistic, spandex-clad superheroes fighting for truth, justice and the American way, he stands apart as a voice of realistic cynicism, puncturing all that pomposity with a smile, a smoke, and an unapologetically British sense of snark. In his trademark rumpled trenchcoat, he’s a self-aware poseur whose mask of grey morality hides a very real sense of idealism and justice. Devious, manipulative and rubbish in a fight, he’s a realistic believable human being in fantastic world that sits side by side with a very recognisable United Kingdom (and, sometimes, other countries). A man who uses brain, not brawn to solve problems – and isn’t above getting his hands very, very dirty in the process.
Continue reading “Constantine: Season 1, Episode 1 – Non Est Asylum”
“The forest was in all the stories that kept you awake at night. The forest is mankind’s nightmare.”
“A long time ago, when we all lived in the forest and no-one lived anywhere else…”
Much has been made of Doctor Who’s tendency, under the aegis of Steven Moffat, to veer explicitly into fairytale territory. Stories like The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (also largely set in a forest), overtly recall the sometimes darkly magical tales we’re all told as children. However, In the Forest of the Night is an interesting attempt to not only evoke a traditional fairytale forest, but to analyse and explain the archetype and its place in folklore.
Continue reading “Doctor Who: Series 8, Episode 10 – In the Forest of the Night”