This one is set in a school for young witches, but if you're thinking an X-men variant, forget it. There are only four students. The head is generally well meaning but her mother is the Supreme witch and is played by Jessica Lange with such intensity that no-one in their right mind would even want to be in the same city as her. Cathy Bates plays a slave owner/madame given eternal life and then buried alive for 180 years until Lange digs her up and makes her the slave of the obese black teenage witch. Angela Bassett is Marie Laveau who wasn't buried alive, still flourishes and whose mortal enemy is the ruthless Lange. I can't begin to summarise the actual plot as it changes every five minutes.
In a way, this show does what true horror should do -it unnerves and it disturbs, it goes into truly dark places which is something rare in modern horror no matter how gory. ****
If you see this woman, run!
The Day Of The Doctor. Well, it is what it is. There's no point to criticising it except by the standards and conventions the show has set itself. There's no point in criticising if you don't like the show because what you see as flaws could be examples of writer/produced Stephen Moffett's genius to someone who does. There's also no point whatsoever in criticising it for its use of science which has always been bibble-bibble, the deus ex machina rabbit out of a hat with one mighty bound he was free and if you can't swallow that, go watch The Sky At Night instead.
Apart from wrapping up loose ends, bringing together strands and bringing them to a resolution, there is a feast of references -some obvious, some subtle, some downright obscure- for fans of the show. One minute it's Monty Python, the next it's the human dilemma and knowing what is the right thing to do.
All that remains to say are: John Hurt was amazing as the War Doctor; and, I just loved it.
And if you haven't seen this show, watch it on BBC's Iplayer.
If you have any interest in the early history of British television, if you like dramas based on actual events, if you're interested in Doctor Who, or just like British actors acting brilliantly, watch this now.
In case you haven't heard (and I can't imagine regular readers of this blog not doing so), this is about the creation and early years of Dr.Who. It's how an extrovert Canadian showman got a minuscule budget science fiction kids show on tv, made a pushy female Jew the producer, and put a wog as its director. In the white upper class male patrician BBC this was unheard of. Verity Lambert and Waris Hussein (for it was them) got a grumpy middle-aged chain smoking actor with a chip on his shoulder as the elderly lead, put it together with materials like Blue Peter sticky black plastic and cardboard, and made it an enormous success.
And that is the story. It's also brilliantly done on every level. From its recreation of the BBC of the early sixties, the wonderful cast, a masterly script by Mark Gatiss (possibly the best thing he's ever done), and surely at the least a Bafta award nomination for David Bradley as that vulnerable curmudgeon William Hartnell.
Simply a breathtaking piece of drama that makes the license fee worth every penny.
I did see the first episode at the time and still remember it (vaguely). I also never missed one for many years after that.