drama

“A World of Endless Wonder”

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So, after that last post saying how difficult it is writing reviews … here’s a review. The irony is not lost on me! I chose to review a TV show I recently bought on Amazon, then decided as I wrote it that it would be something good for the blog as well. So here goes.

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Warehouse 13 was a recent discovery of mine and instantly became one of my all-time favourite shows. Imagine Bones, take out the gory bits, and replace them with the “anything goes” fantasy style of Charmed, give it a warehouse_13steampunk makeover, and you’ve got an idea what it’s like. Admittedly slightly cheesy now and then, but that’s the way I like my TV. You also might like it if you like Buffy. The relationship between Claudia and Artie is quite close to that of Buffy and Giles, and W13 also stars Anthony (Stewart) Head and James Masters.warehouse_13_16

The warehouse of the title, dubbed “America’s attic”, is the place to protect everyday objects that have inexplicably been imbued with mysterious powers. The main characters track down the objects, called “artefacts”, and protect the
warehouse, and by extension the world. The main antagonists usually want the warehouse-13-no-pain-no-gain-petalsartefacts for themselves.

Every artefact is different, which makes for nicely varied episode plots. For some reason I never quite figured out, they all seemed to belong to dead famous people (“people with Wikipedia pages”)—Sylvia Plath’s typewriter, Jack the Ripper’s lantern, Lewis Carroll’s looking glass, HG Wells’ time machine … you get the idea. There’s a degree of predictability occasionally in some of the individual episode arcs, but overall the show twists and turns nicely. The good guys are loveable, even the grumpy ones (Artie). The bad guys (and the morally ambiguous guys) are equally fascinating, and for some reason are mostly English.Past_Imperferct

The show ran for five series, and I think wrapped up quite well. I have watched the box set twice over now, but not all the bonus features yet. That delight is still to come!


Copyright note: The photographs are borrowed from syfy.co.uk, hollywoodreporter.com, geeknation.com, gamesradar.com, and warehouse13.wikia.com.

 

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Crazy Convos and Christie

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Review of “The Christie Curse” by Victoria Abbott

15808728I can start by saying that the book met the two primary objectives of the whodunit genre: one, I didn’t work out whodunit straight away, and two, the narrative kept me hooked till the end.

As for the plot, “The Christie Curse” is a mystery about a supposedly lost Agatha Christie play, which is linked to a possible murder. The protagonist, Jordan Bingham, is relatable enough despite most readers probably weren’t raised by crooks as she was. Her job, to track down the play for her book-collecting, dragon of an employer, quickly looks to be dangerous but she continues stubbornly at it—if only to keep her luscious room and meals at the Van Alst manor house. She is a little too quick to point the finger but that only makes her more human.

The mystery itself is intriguing. Whilst I guessed about the cat quite early on, I only realised whodunit a few sentences before it was actually stated—about the right time, in my view, for the reader to work it out. A few scenes ran tingles up my spine, but there was nothing at all thriller-rish about the book—overall it’s what I think is called a ‘cosy’ mystery. There was definitely a Christie element, though you don’t have to be particularly familiar with her works to read the story.

I enjoyed every moment of the book, and highly recommend it. The best thing is, it’s the first in a series, and I believe the second one is out now.

Insane Facebook Conversation

My friend gave me permission to post this here. I had to save it for posterity. Possibly the most bonkers conversation I ever had, except maybe with the lady in New York who could tell I was English just from my complexion (apparently).

Me: I think my computer’s got Chizpurfles[1].

Friend: Oh dear … This is what happens when you exterminate all the Doxies in your home. Doxies feed primarily on dead skin cells and Chizpurfles.

Me: Hmm. I guess I shouldn’t have bought all that Doxycide from amazon.wiz—what a waste of Galleons. I should have trained them to guard my electrical items instead. Especially my TARDIS[2], it’s been crashing for weeks. Mr Scamander should have informed me. That book of his has some serious gaps.

Friend: Scamander? The Scamander prejudice against Doxies is well known. I’m surprised you hadn’t heard. They all despise Doxies and have advocated the complete extermination of the entire species. There was an article about it in the Prophet the other day, I’ll send it to you by owl when I find it. As for your TARDIS, I find when mine is malfunctioning, a good kick to the console tends to fix it for a while. Alternatively, I’ve heard that some people have luck with blue or green jello.

Me: Scamander? Prejudices? Well I never. Thank you very much for the article. I’m a Quibbler reader myself, hence why I didn’t see it. I would kick my TARDIS, but it was rather delicate before those pests got at it. I could try the jelly, if I had some. My first instinct was a powerful Reparo, but I’m afraid of the whole magic vs electronics clash.

Friend: Just once, I tried an enlargement charm on a computer screen, I was trying to turn it into a TV you see, and nothing happened except that all the actors, characters and animals on the screen seemed to have red eyes. It was a bit unsettling after a while. Since then, I prefer not to mix the two, just in case. I wouldn’t try it on something the size of a TARDIS. I suppose you could hire a Jedi mechanic … I mean, the Force is, after all, as much magic as science … but it could be expensive.

Me: Bro, help, I need Star Wars knowledge for a comeback.

Bro: May the unhelpful quote be with you.

Friend: Victory is mine

Me: [struggles to think of something witty to say about the currency in Star Wars—what IS the currency in Star Wars???] You are no longer my brother.

Bro: [grins inanely—at least, that’s what I reckon he did though I wasn’t actually there]

Footnotes

[1] Chizpurfle: a pest (from Harry Potter, but mentioned only in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) which feeds on magic or, in the absence of such, “has been known to attack electrical objects … explaining the puzzling failure of many relatively new Muggle artifacts” (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, page 7 footnote.)

[2] My phone, which has a TARDIS skin.

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