Running for 125 episodes over eight seasons from 2002 to 2009, the TV series Monk — created by Andy Breckman and starring Tony Shalhoub as the eponymous OCD-afflicted detective — was something that had drifted into my awareness without me ever really seeing that much of it. Until now… [cue dramatic music]
Okay, after threeweeks of opinion, and with Tyline Perry’s murder-in-a-coalmine-centred The Owner Lies Dead (1930) up for review this Thursday, let’s have some much-needed objectivity: here is a selection of crimes where altitude plays a part.
Disclaimer: All heights are approximate. And fictional.
I don’t watch much TV. I’m not going to be pompous about it, I just don’t. Recently, however, I came into possession of the complete run — seven seasons, approximately 800 DVDs — of the US show The Mentalist and was intrigued enough to give it a look. If this is new territory to you, it stars Simons Baker as Patrick Jane, an ex-psychic who following a personal tragedy now helps the seemingly-autonomous California Bureau of Investigation with his keen insight into the crimes they are called to solve.
Aware of my fondness for the programme itself and an impossible crime in general, people keep asking me what I thought of the recent Jonathan Creek Christmas special ‘Daemons’ Roost’. And I keep having to relive it by telling them. The only sane response is therefore to write it all down here and direct all future enquiries to this post on my blog (which might at least get me some readers…). I apologise in advance. This is not going to be pretty.
For the second year running, the BBC gave us a Christmastime Agatha Christie adaptation via the pen of Sarah Phelps who — much as with last year’s And Then There Were None — had the common sense to keep the Christie bits that make it so clever and added only where addition was required. So, how was it?
Lately I’ve read an unusually high concentration of Holmes pastiches — Caleb Carr’s The Italian Secretary (not good), Stephen King’s ‘A Doctor’s Case’ (not terrible), Colin Dexter’s ‘A Case of Mis-Identity’ (extremely good), Michael Kurland’s The Infernal Device (loadsa fun), Steve Hockensmith’s Holmes on the Range (fabulous) and a superb piece of unpublished fan fiction sent to me via email — and it’s made me realise that while Watson, and specifically the Watsonian voice, is vital in undertaking Holmes, no-one can quite agree what Watson is, how he should be written, and this makes him far and away the more interesting of the two men when it comes to analysis.
I know, I know: I time my Sherlock Week so that it completely fails to capitalise on the BBC Christmas Special, and only now – several weeks after the event, when everyone else is well and truly done with it – only now do I get round to the BBC’s rather excellent adaptation of Agatha Christie’s island-based murder-fest. Undaunted by my lack of riding the ever-shifting popular wave, there are some things I thought I’d write about. Suffice to say, SPOILERS of all manner and sort follow; if you’re even later than me getting to this, you’re probably better off not reading any farther if you wish to view it completely pure (which, really, you should). I’m discussing the adaptation here rather than the book, but they match so closely in all the key details that I’ll be ruining something for you if you’re hoping the book is massively different. It isn’t. And that is a wonderful thing. Continue reading →