Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas TV ....."The Bill" and other ramblings...

Okay. I admit it... The way me and my parent survive each other, especially over Christmas, is the television. Unfortunately, my sky box went walkabout about the same time as my former husband did... nil desperandum... we have four and a half channels to play with! I say half, because channel five is more of a radio station gained... we still have problems with picture.

Which leads me neatly (as ever) to the subject of entertainment. It is curious what tv producers, tv companies and tv channels view as Christmas entertainment. I'm seriously wondering which member of the brains trust came up with a storyline in which the bridegroom is run down by a vengeful van driver, and dies in the arms of his bride. Yikes.... luvverly... (so glad I don't watch that stuff).

Being stuck with four and a half channels, you learn to really appreciate the absolutely fantastic stuff when it comes along. The Bill Christmas Special for instance. The Bill has been around for twenty five years, which is some kind of pedigree and the Christmas episodes were promised to be something special.

They delivered. In a big way. Now I've been watching this show since the very first pilot Woodentop, and a few times over the years I've been left wondering if The Bill had finally jumped the shark. The answer on the last four episodes showing is an emphatic NO! Even the write ups in the tv listings agreed... this was fantastic stuff... although, the crack about Stuart looking like a startled chipmunk is an image that I haven't been able to shake for a week - Thanks, Radio Times!!

Santa's Little Helper and the three parter, Too Hot to Handle had the lot, drugs, guns, mayhem, motorbikes, a sexy bad boy in leathers... and Stuart and Stevie! Now DS Stuart Turner (Doug Rao) has gained somewhat of a reputation for being a bit of a metrosexual glory boy who thinks he's Mr Supercool and is about as deep as clingfilm, whereas DC Stevie Moss (Lucy Speed) has become the girl that everyone wants as their best friend, sparky, funny, scatty, apparently an open book, and I won't go too deeply into what the fanship thinks.....

So in theory, you know how they're going to react.... right? From the moment that Stevie goes back undercover to resume her relationship with bad boy Rob Towler, the whole operation starts to go into meltdown, and there's that nice helpful Geordie cop who travels all the way down from Manchester just to help them with their little crisis, only from the minute he arrives, things get worse.... not better!

Stuart, far from trying to cover his own backside in spectacular fashion, goes on a one man mission to save Stevie from he's not sure what, he's gonna save the girl if it toasts his own career doing it, because she saved him once and he owes her! Stevie's torn two ways at once, she's a copper, but she has deep feelings for the bad boy... especially when she finds out that he went to prison for something that he didn't do. The romantics amongst us loved every second of all that.

The two concluding parts are told from two separate points of view, Stuart's aspect and then Stevie's, and we get to see how each step of the puzzle fits together. With outstanding performances from Doug and Lucy, and the guest stars Bill Ward and Michael Hodgson, and fantastic support from DCI Jack Meadows (Simon Rouse), DI Neil Manson (Andrew Lancel), DC Jo Masters (Sally Rogers) who have all achieved legendary status amongst the fans, and not forgetting DC Grace Dasari (Amita Dhiri) and TDC Will Fletcher (Gary Lucy).... these four episodes delivered on everything, tension, story, acting, the lot...proving that The Bill has got its mojo back...and even if flashback is a slightly cheesy device, if that's the quality you can deliver, we want more of it. Trust me, a small deluge of fanfic and increased interest in TB can only result!

Anyway... no more TB until New Year's Eve....*sniffs*... leaving me just the joys of Midsomer Murders (Causten must be the safest market town in the UK... no one dies if they live in Causten) and Dr Who, plus my sizeable collection of DVDs to get through until then.

So the theory is, that I will roll up my sleeves and dig into all the writing and editing that I've been carefully and cheerfully avoiding doing. My time on Authonomy is going to be limited going forward. I will do as I have said, update my chapters of Cats, Custard and Consequences, possibly take down Half Light, certainly work on it. Work on my short story, work on Domina (heaven alone knows where that one is going to go!?) and generally do a bit of grooming and de-frag this old battleship of a laptop because it gets slower every day.

Authonomy has been an amazing, and for the most part, fun ride, where I have met some truly amazing, talented, and thoroughly wonderful people. It has enriched my life and friendship circle, but not done (I suspect) a whole lot for my dream of getting published. I've learnt a lot though. Not the least that trolls do exist... you will meet quite a lot of them in Authonomy, while some of them may actually just be yanking your chain, some of them have missed the essential truism, that in there they are just like all the rest of us, wannabes stalking that coveted top five slot for the Editors' Desk. Anyway, Richard, Simon, Simon, MM, Abu, Ali, Kate, Gina, Gillian, Oli, Alexander, Cutley, Jobo, Sian, Sharon, PJ, Dave, Ed, April, Heikki, Annia, Jak, Lexi, AJ, Hannah, Corinna, Philip, Merlin, William, Alice, Bigfoot, Kylyra, Bob, Diane, Lauri, KR, Kimberley, Windy, Gar, Robb, Katrina, Liam, Patty, MacDibble, Colt, Jase, Amethyst, Miranda, Sandrine, Ginger and Shark Bait (in no particular order).. I salute you all .... for making my time on Auth worthwhile, and laughing at my ms and not just at my punctuation.... and for giving me fantastic books to read, be wowed by and generally fall in love with.

And I shouldn't forget my friends in all this, especially the ones who have stuck by my torrent of writing and given me the necessary push to stick my head above the parapet and do something about the dream instead of just moaning about it. So cheers and lurrvvvve to Pam, Danielle, Sofia, Laura M, Lucy, Alan, and special hugs to my mate Tash, who is as talented as she is loveable... all of you are amazing and I love all of you to bits.... spesh my little muse.... and my twin goddesses of wickedness... and Christopher, Pauli, Sheila and Timmi! Then there are the wonderful published ladies, Lorelei, Philippa, Julie, Nell, Catherine and Rosie...

So Merry Christmas to you all... I love all of you guys.... and now I'm gushing mostly because I started writing this at midnight and it's now two a.m.

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