(copyright philip glenister.net - thanks!!)
having been, naturally, very much inspired by the recent life on mars series two season finale on norwegian television (...just slightly belated as it were...), somewhat indirectly turning my attention yet again to the sequel series ashes to ashes, still my favourite of the two, sort of, I found myself spending this morning in the company of ultravox (the band) and their greatet hits, which - fortunately - could be found here. beginning with the überhit, and one of my favourite songs of all time, "vienna". which is probably the most perfect synth composition ever produced and it has one of the coolest videos too. reminding me how it's always nice to rediscover "old darlings", as well as childhood heroes and forgotten treasures of media, music, motion pictures. moreover, in agreement with the current (fashion-)trend that, to a great extent, consists of (and pays tribute to) whatever's retro, vintage and classic; hence, appropriately, rediscovery is what I mostly indulge in at the moment. even old-time habits and dated jeans come to light again. such matters die hard, as they say, and I have no desire to kill them off completely. yours truly, this improvisation-inspired-inventive poet, of the hour, seeks treasure hunting of many kinds, and honouring random losts and founds certainly fits in with that picture.
speaking of mars, though, I have to say that the second season finale, like the first one, was incredibly good; heart-wrenching, exciting, romantic, tragic, intense, nerve-racking, dramatic and utterly hilarious. love love love. and, for the record, gene hunt is quite possibly the loveliest character in the history of television (which also accounts for my even greater fondness for ashes). or maybe lovable is a better word, seeing that he doesn't always behave himself ... quite properly, or at all. in fact, he's a bit of an arse. but I can't help loving him. like many other fans, though, I do find main man sam tyler a bit irritating (and pity annie cartwright even more), and wish he'd be less flawed and selfish and slightly more rule-bending, after having spent that many months in the company of the politically incorrect, hopelessly law-ignoring gene genie. somehow, the finale seemed a bit out-of-character, in sam's case, and I would have liked to see him defy the rules more than he did, instead of wishing to stick to them more than ever and create a plot-turn of betrayal; it just seemed strange and out of place, to me. still, all in all, the final ending made up for that. despite its being very dark and gloomy, at some point, it did "solve" the story in ways I hadn't dared imagine, without actually explaining anything at all, and I found the whole twist quite amazing. not to everyone's taste or preference, I'll admit, but certainly appealing to me personally. more than anything, due to the acting, which was impressive to the point of disbelief. generally speaking, the bunch of people featured in this series outshines most - if not all - other television casts put together. aside from doctor who, of course. so, it was a very happy moment, in the end, after one hour of intense nail-biting, and I was overjoyed to at last be able to watch these final episodes, and will order the dvd's from amazon as soon as possible. of course, they don't really sell them in norway, and when the do, they're terrible expensive and have no bonus materal whatsoever. typical, isn't it. with the advanced technology era we live on, however, getting hold of them through other means (and countries) isn't too hard; which is one of very few reasons to praise the opportunities of futuristic inventions as well as more old-fashioned alternatives, and one of very few things I can admire about the increased practicality and (often too strained) effectiveness of today. that I can order most of the rare important stuff I need from around the globe, in necessary, and that cheaper airplane tickets make me able to travel-shop the rest. other than that, modern tech could perfectly well cease to exist, if you ask me. in this respect, stuff like life on mars and ashes to ashes and quite a few other bbc productions do stand out, as more classic and quality-oriented pieces of an almost-gone-forever entertainment period. well-written, with exceptionally catchy dialogue, particularly for mister hunt, and little digital enhancement to speak of, other than for fancy effects, no airbrushing, instead: fierce acting, fabulous soundtrack, fantastic work all around, by cast and crew, and incredible direction for a television series. ingenious and original plot lines (to say the least! I mean, coma-induced time travelling by david bowie-adoring manchester police officer, via "the wizard of oz"? holy cow!) and such action! and eventfulness! just...entertainment with heart and soul, which you seldom see these days. and I miss that. I miss being able to sit down in front of the television set and not only desire, but expect, old-school high-level drama that sort of jumps through the screen and straight into your memory. which is why I applaud the chance to rewatch it on dvd, yet dread the fact that soon, in the age of everything flashy and fast and immediate, and only ephemeral thoughts, these dvd's might be the only opportunity to re-live such precious moments.