Sunday, October 5, 2008

imports: merlin s01e02, sarah jane s02e01-2

Merlin continues to take us back to a pretty, clean, racially integrated Camelot for fun and adventures! This week's villain had no motivation, but he wanted to kill the bossy Prince Arthur, and it was up to Merlin to prove he was using magic. Pretty standard already. But Arthur had a little more depth this week, coming across less as a flat-out jerk and more as a young man who can't afford to lose face and who has too many things that are expected of him. Which was nice. He managed to trust his manservant Merlin, and stood up for him when proof was rather thin, and was willing to walk headfirst into death to keep up appearances when that thin proof didn't hold up-- honor and honesty. I think it'll be fin watching this young boy become the semi-mythical king.

Meanwhile, Merlin continues to recklessly use magic, which looks like it might get him in trouble next week (and you know, I really love short BBC seasons for this: no reason to draw out out like they do on US TV). I wonder what they're going to do with the dog he conjured?

Other questions: I wonder how long Morgana can hide that she dreams the future? I wonder what Hardass McKing will say about that when it comes out? How will Gwen the Blacksmith's Daughter make her way to queenhood?

Really, I think the real appeal of this show is not so much the storylines, at least from my adult and fannish point of view, which are silly and pretty straight forward so far, but the way the characters show hints of who they're supposed to be, and how the writers are moving them around. My biggest problem with the whole Arthurian Saga Remake is that you know where everyone's supposed to be and how they're going to end up, but this one is light and fun and adventuresome, and maybe it can get around the craziness and potential boredom that set mythology sticks it with.

Sarah Jane is back! Whoo! My quasi-Who fix has returned!
And it's adventure right off the bat with The Last Sontaran, which is exactly what is says.

There's a radio telescope off in a place called Goblin's Copse, which is very evocative, and Karg, the afore-mentioned last of the Sontarans, has set up base there by taking over the only scientist there and locking up his daughter Lucy. He's going to use all the satillites in orbit to burn the planet into ash in payment for the Doctor offing the invasion fleet after the ATMOS incident. This is great because Sarah Jane knows who they are from her first story-- which we're almost up to in our Classic Who so that it's like we're time travellers, too, knowing her in two different timeframes-- and because it's another incident of others having to clean up after our dear Doctor. He save the day and then he leaves; fall out is for sidekicks.

Anyway, the first episode is mostly set up, with the real story happening in the second; Sarah Jane and the Who Crew arrive, do some poking around, notice that things are weird, and they're quickly split up and she's captured defending Clyde. Karg the Not So Bright locks her up with Lucy in a room full of odds and ends, while there's much running about in the woods by the kids. Lucy is a ankle-twister is training. Maria and Clyde don't manage to stop the antenna, but Luke does crack the program. There's one more attempt before they save the day-- by way of Crissy-Maria's-mom going all shoe-attack on the Sontaran... which they don't let her remember. Except that she does. Even though she didn't. What gets me is that there's still people in this version of London who don't belive in aliens. I mean, every Christmas, something undeniable happens, and at least three times a season, the Doctor's there, saving everyone, and there's a whole series of Sarah Jane doing the same. Are Londoners that cynical?

It's fun that Karg the Underestimator keeps calling the kids Half-Forms. I love that Sarah Jane remembers the Sontarans from her first story in Sontar's future and her past. But Maria moves away! And next week, some new girl name Rani (as in The Rani??) moves into her house! And there's creepy clowns!

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