Ripper Street Season Three On Amazon

ripperstreetbz

Finally had the time to catch up with Ripper Street season three, resurrected from the BBC’s brutal, precipitous axe by Amazon.

And I am very pleased so far!

I was worried that the move from the Beeb to Amazon would perforce obligate budgetary constraints, that the Whitechapel they had painstakingly created in the first two series would be shrunk to a few passing shots and polygonally-challenged CGI.

Nope.

It’s all there. The costumes, the sets, the outdoor scenes. All of them are as they were before. So, I’m guessing that they did not lose any of the existing talent in the transfer. The cinematography is still sumptuous and it frames each wonderful actor perfectly.

I can’t help but feel that people at the Beeb must be watching S3 and kicking themselves. There is a charm in having a detective series set in this time. No mobile phones, no googling, no CCTV-ex-machina. All this leaves more room for the actors to explore their characters. Contrarily, I would love to see a future detective yarn in which our brains are squished by heady VR, AR and other tech which is in our infancy now.

Beyond that, I have a warm, fuzzy happiness from seeing these actors together again, sparring and sparking. This is such wonderful work that deserves every recognition. The new curveball of Obsidian Estates, the ponderings on anarchy, the state, the police are simultaneously historical, contemporary and apposite. Most importantly, although it concerns itself with the broader questions of society, RS does not succumb to ISSUE OF THE WEEK-itis that is the pitfall of many modern dramas.

So, if you were chary about Ripper Street on Amazon, please do dip your toe in the river. It has changed but it is the same.

Tapestry

tapestry

My fave ep of TNG wavers. Sometimes it’s Inner Light, sometimes it’s Darmok.

Mostly, it’s Tapestry.

If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it. There’ll be no spoilers here.

The weight of it and the majesty of Stewart is what keeps me returning to it. Yes, you will have seen similar stories, It’s A Wonderful Life, Groundhog Day, A Matter Of Life And Death. This is a story we’ve been telling for a long time, probably as long as we’ve been capable of telling stories.

What is a person but the sum of her choices? Every day, every choice she makes, even the tiniest is a deviation from the current universe into another reality. One day, she takes up smoking, fifty years later she dies of emphysema. Another day, she gives up smoking and lives longer, avoiding painful hospital death. And then gets eaten by a shark on holiday with her dentist.

As an old man, years older than when I first saw this ep, there is an extra poignancy in accepting the uncaringly existential nature of life. Through my thirties, I had many regrets concerning my youth. Only as I grew older did I realise, as Picard does, that one cannot love now without loving then.

“There are many parts of my youth that I’m not proud of. There were… loose threads – untidy parts of me that I would like to remove. But when I… pulled on one of those threads – it unravelled the tapestry of my life.”

Goodbye, Johnny…