The TV Week That Will Be 28/11/2009-04/12/2009

You know what? I quite enjoyed having a theme tune last week, so let’s do it again. This time with a song I’d long forgotten until this week’s Stargate: Universe. It may seem droll but HIT THE MUSIC!

Cracking track there, and I’ll talk more about the show itself in a moment, but first we have some business to take care of!

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It’s been an eventful week in Dingledom actually, as Jeff Hordley got to flex his acting muscles a bit more than usual, as Charity broke Cain’s heart again, but he’s not the only one who’s had a bit more to do as this week also saw a return to classic form for…

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Marlon

Parents: Albert, Delilah

Sibling: Eli

Spouse: Tricia (Deceased) Donna (Seperated, pending divorce)

Mark Charnock as Marlon really is one of Emmerdale’s top performers with a knack for tremendous comedy performances (usually largely improvised dialogue with either Paddy or Eli) and that rarest thing in soap operas, subtle emotional performances. Sadly Emmerdale’s writers love to saddle him with terrible storylines, usually via his current romantic link. His relationship with and marriage to Tricia was littered with awful plots. To his credit, Mark wasn’t responsible for these and always more than carried his side, but Sheree Kewell/Murphy’s inability to act without screaching nasally made them painful to watch whenever she was around. For the longest time with his second wife Donna, things seemed to be very stable and un-soaplike. Donna’s character was very sensible and combined with the goodhearted Marlon, they completed a series of very enjoyable ‘Us against the world’ type plots, but of course this wouldn’t continue. The long running soap convention of needless affairs came knocking, as Donna ended up in a tryst with the incredibly unlikeable Ross. Once again, Mark Charnock was not at fault and played the damaged spouse very well, but even he couldn’t save that dross as it circled the plughole for weeks on end. Most recently the character of Marlon has been in a state of flux, most significantly aiding his brother Eli in his efforts to save Debbie from gaol, where he played a superb supporting role, until this past week when he revealed he had fallen for married workmate Moira. Pleasingly so far, she has simply let him down gently and supported him at a difficult emotional time as he still pines for Donna, rather than the ‘easy way out’ with yet another soap affair. The highlight of this though has been the increased number of scenes with Paddy and Eli which remain probably the most consistently entertaining parts of UK soap opera on TV.

I was due to cover Eli this week too, but given the sad news that Joe Gilgun will be leaving Emmerdale in early 2010, he’ll have his own feature next week on THE DINGLE FILES!

As promised in the intro, I wanted to talk a bit about Stargate: Universe too, and I don’t really have anything but good things to say about the show. This past week added significantly more layers to the human relationship aspect of the show. The drama heightened between Col. Young (Justin Louis) and Col. Telford (Lou Diamond Phillips) over Telford’s affair with Young’s wife, cumulating in Young, using the pebbles to switch places with a rank and file soldier (bear with me if you don’t follow SG and don’t understand that. Just think of it as a Quantum Leap type switcharoo. If you’ve never watched QL…why not!?) to seek physical retribution against Telford, in probably the most earthy, real ‘fight’ scene in SG history. Telford is developing into the villain of the series rapidly. Wray’s (Ming Na) trip to see her partner led to her breaking down and after having been one of the calmest on the Destiny, she looks ready to fall apart. The most revealing and greatest character development was that of Matthew Scott (Brian J Smith) who discovered his actions that led to him leaving candidacy for the Priesthood aged 16 had farther reaching connotations as he discovered he has an eight year old son. This led to him questioning his burgeoning relationship with Chloe Armstrong (Elyse Levesque), but developing a tighter bond with Eli (David Blue) who revealed a great deal about his personality and low self-esteem in the process. Combine this excellent development of the characters and their response to pressure of their situation to the incredibly tense sci fi almost thriller aspects, and you have a tremendous show, accessible to even the most ardent sci fi cynic.

But anyhow, enough of that, we came here for a reason after all…let’s get highlighting!

Oh wait…did I say highlighting? THERE ARE NONE! NONE WHATSOEVER! ZIP! ZILCH! ZERO! NADA! Not one new series to extoll the virtues of. There is some tennis and some rugby on this weekend if you’re a sports fan, but other than that, watch the regulars and rent some DVDs!

We’re even low on lowlights this week, but two shows standout as particularly rubbish.

Firstly The Queen on Channel 4. Now I might be a bit biased against this, because I loathe the film of the same name, but I really don’t see it being possible to do a convincing drama about royalty, especially current day, without resorting to sensationalism and over the top guess work in filling in the gaps. This reeks of pretty lazy writing.

Our other lowlight for the week is a reel humdinger. Big Top has frustrating potential with an interesting premise and a great supporting cast. So why is it a lowlight? Simple. It’s on 7.30 PM on a Wednesday and it stars Amanda Holden. The plot reads like a cut and paste of sitcom cliches and really it all just comes over as being very cheap and nasty.

So that’s me for the week. Bit of a shorter edition because of the lack of programmes to showcase, but usually that means we’re in for a bumper few weeks so join me next week for that. Keep your eyes peeled for Eoin’s look at the year ahead for Marvel and DC and for my interview with Gemma Bright about her project in development Outcast Hero. Send any feedback to chris@multimediamouth.com or in the comments and remember to always stay safe.