Saturday, 27 March 2010

Are you getting excited yet?

I am. Ridiculously so. I haven't been as stupidly excited as this since 2005. Just under a week to go until the new series. The trailers look amazing, and Matt Smith has an interesting way of speaking and moving - his diction seems a lot better than David Tennant's, that's always a good sign. I'm just hoping that the trailers aren't giving me a false impression. No, it'll be great!

It's funny, actually, but I seem to be almost spoiler-free for this new series. I'm not a person who goes around seeking out spoilers in any case, but somehow they just seem to drip into your consciousness, especially when you spend any length of time hanging around internet-based fandom. That was certainly the case for the Tennant series, but this time around I don't seem to know anything, other than what's been released in the trailers and so on. Maybe Moffat's less of a publicity whore than Russell Davies was, but they seem to have kept it much closer to their chests this time. It just adds to the sense of building excitement.

I'm supposed to be working on an assignment for this management course I'm doing, but I just can't get my brain in gear, so here I am writing a completely pointless blog entry. Anything to keep me from what I actually should be doing. Oh well... (I've also been working on my Space: 1999 site, and I should have some updates going up on that soon. Yeah, I know, it's about time...)

Monday, 15 March 2010

Peter Graves RIP

It's a fact that time catches up with us all. People get old and they die. That's just how it is. But it does seem in the last few years as if everyone of my heroes has been shuffling off this mortal coil, and that suddenly seems to make one aware of mortality a bit more. I've tried to think why this should be; and I suppose it's down to the fact that I love tv shows of a certain vintage - particularly those of the sixties and seventies - and inevitably, the stars and producers of programmes made 30 to 50 years ago are nowadays going to be in their 70s and 80s; I'm not surprised to see them dying, and really I'm not saddened. I like to celebrate what they gave us in life, so today I commemorate the passing of Mr Peter Graves.

To me, he will always be the mastermind behind the Impossible Missions Force: the star of America's greatest ever television show. Mission: Impossible is a show I love to watch and rewatch. I'm amazed by the complexity and subtlety of the plots. The nonsensical and frankly insulting movie franchise can't detract from the magnificence of the original. Mr Graves played the role of Jim Phelps with a great sense of gravitas and dignity - it's a show that perhaps teeters on the edge of self-parody, and the straight-ahead and serious performances are what holds it all together. To compare with a more recent example: Hustle has essentially the same premise, a team of sophisticated conmen setting up the perfect sting operation - it's a fine show, but I find all those knowing little winks to the camera annoying - they really detract from the drama of the situation. The IMF conversely are playing for high stakes - the safety and security of the free world - and one doesn't doubt the commitment and dedication of those agents. Peter Graves does a magnificent thing at the beginning of each episode, when he's listening to the tape of the mission briefing - tiny little flickers of thought and intelligence can be read in his face, suggesting that Jim is starting to put together the basis of the plan right there and then. A masterclass performance. He won a Golden Globe for the part in 1971.

Peter Graves 1926-2010