Archive for the ‘BBC Two’ Category

BBC and its rerun policy

Not sure why the BBC isn’t rerunning Banksy’s Alternativity this year. Also annoyed that it is not available to watch online. I am tempted to post it on Youtube just to get it back out there since it needs to be SEEN.

On the other hand, if the BBC programming folk are interested in a suggestion for a rerun: The Last Duel has my vote. It was first broadcast in 2008. The last broadcast was in 2010. They have been rerunning a lot of things, but this one has been missed. It’s based on Eric Jager’s book, The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France.

BBC’s description of the programme is:

Drama-documentary telling the story of one of the last trials by battle to be fought in Europe, a tale of sex, brutality and political machination set in 14th century medieval France.

A knight, Sir Jean de Carrouges, accuses his former best friend, Jacques Le Gris, of raping his wife Marguerite. Unable to obtain justice from his feudal overlord, Carrouges appeals to the king for the ancient right to fight a duel to the death to find out God’s truth. There is much at stake. If Carrouges dies in the battle, Marguerite will also be burned to death as a liar.

This tense story, told from records of the day, is set against the backdrop of the 100 years war between England and France, 14th century attitudes towards women, crime and punishment and the political intrigues of the feudal system.

While I wouldn’t mind either being rerun, the Last Duel definitely has my vote.

As for Banksy’s Alternativity: I’m surprised he hasn’t posted it on Youtube. If Banksy or any of his minions see this and tell me it’s OK to post it, I will.

Windrush the Musical

I’ve written about Big Life before, but now that Windrush is in the news I have to talk about it in the hope someone sees this and decides to produce it.Big Life

You can hear the play here at rthe BBC. The script is available it’s ISBN 978-1840024418.

I never saw this on stage, but there is an archived version of the radio production of the musical. It combines Shakespeare’s Love’s Labours Lost with the story of the Windrush immigrants, which is now something in the news. I heard that this was a popular musical, yet it didn’t have the long run of something by Cameron Mackintosh or Andrew Lloyd Weber. Maybe because it’s about Windrush.

It opened in 2004 at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and then moved to West End’s Apollo Theatre in 2005.

Anyway, I hope someone sees this copy of the script (the book is a copy of the script) and decides to publicise this play. It is a play which should have had more exposure. I think it really needs the exposure now that Windrush is in the news.

 

I added the BBC to the Categories in the hope someone in programming sees this (Hint. Hint, Maybe this needs to be produced on TV).

Nordic Noir

My wife was asking me about when the latest series of the Killing (aka Forbrydelsen, meaning The Crime) was going to appear on BBC Four.  Alas, that is yet to come, but the Radio Times has announced that more Nordic Noir will be hitting the airwaves soon.  The only one of these new series with a definite start date is the Bridge, which is coming to BBC4 on 21 April at 21:00.

On the other hand, the Radio Times mentions a few other series which have made it to the airwaves on both sides of the pond, Lilyhammer, which was put out by Netflix in the US and NRK in Norway, will show up sometime in the future on BBC4.  The plot line is somewhat hackneyed–Criminal gets put in witness protection, but in this case, he finds himself in a totally different culture.  Steven Van Zandt is basically rediong his role as Silvio Dante from the Sopranos.  The series is OK, but a bit of a stretch.  Jonseing Sopranos fans tend to like it though.

The Danish version of the Killing has not officially made it to the US, which is why I mention DRM here.  Also, its relevant since Lillyhammer was “broadcast” by Netflix over its internet streaming service.  Likewise, the US version of the Killing showed up on the US Cable channel AMC.  It was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4.  Although, I gave the US version a pass. Fans of the Danish series felt let down since the US series tried to make it a cliffhanger and not announce whodunit.

Of course, all the networks would prefer that you watch the version officially sanctioned for your locale.  That means people in the US should not have seen the Danish version of the Killing, or they caught it through the grey areas of distribution: buying another region’s DVDs or downloading from the BBC.  Although, the Killing is readily available in the bit-torrent underground, as I found whilst researching this piece.

Of course, buying another region’s DVDs is the best way for the studios to make their money, short of the BBC coming up with a scheme for non-UK residents to get a licence which doesn’t hit the UK licence holders.  Although, there is still the download underground, whether directly from the BBC or via bit-torrent.

It doesn’t take too long for a show to appear as a bit-torrent after it has been broadcast in the UK.  In fact, one episode of  BBC 2’s White Heat didn’t appear immediately after broadcast on BBC iPlayer.  I almost googled (or used a bit-torrent search engine) it to see if it was on bit torrent.  Although, I can come up with more reasons not to want to go the bit torrent route than to do it.

Amusingly enough, BBC world service radio is rebroadcast through Sirius/XM and Vermont Public Radio in the States, which makes me wonder why they aren’t blocking it to US IP addresses.  World Service TV is not available in UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and Japan.  I know it is rebroadcast via cable in the US on Xfinity (at least WDC). Although, I am not sure the situation in other US media markets.

Personally, I prefer to remain within the law rather than skirt it.  Although, I would feel much better if I could make a contribution to the BBC for all their material that I use.  But, I have no television reception meaning I can’t access the material short of satellite or cable–which I am not paying for! Radio reception in my area is poor, and I access that material through the internet while broadcast.  No “live” viewing–no licence necessary!

Somehow, I find DRM blocking the end user from accessing the material as being counterproductive.  The entire idea is to make sure that the rights holder makes money, but if it isn’t reaching as large an audience as possible–are they really making as much money as they could? And while the free market system talks about personal choice, the ultimate person who should be able to choose is the consumer–not the producer.

Good Lord! Its been over 21 years of Rab C. Nesbitt!

And for some strange reason, I broke down and bought the first 8 seasons on DVD (Along with the scripts–in case I miss something).  For those not in the know, Rab has a very thick Glaswegian accent.  Rab is the lowest of the low, an alcoholic on the dole.  Now, how the hell could that be funny?

Yes, extremely politically incorrect.

The Series began in 1988 on BBC Scotland with the Christmas special entitled Rab C Nesbitt’s Seasonal Greet.  It didn’t become a regular series until 1990.  It’s a much darker form of comedy than most people are used to (even by British Standards): after all it is about an unemployed, Glaswegian alcoholic!  topics ranged from alcoholism to Neo-Nazis to cannibalism to STDs. It has also featured David Tennant as a transexual barmaid who, despite highly speculated gender, holds the affection of everyone.

Here’s an intro to Rab:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0063fhy

How fickle are the programming deities at the BBC?

Yes, Deities.

I find the people who do the programming respond well to flattery.

And loads of public requests.

In this case, I was lazy about watching Frost on Nixon and setting iPlayer up to download it.

And, I’m kicking myself for failing to do that.

Frost’s 1977 interviews that totalled 28 hours and 45 minutes with ex-President Nixon were history making. They gained record audiences and the events that surrounded them later became the subject of both a West End play and an Oscar-nominated film, Frost Nixon. The most important part of these interviews is that it is believed that Nixon admitted and apologised to the American people for the Watergate Scandal.

I remember these events, which was probably why I neglected to “tape” this interview. Still, it would be interesting to see this two hour rehash.

I hope this will be rebroadcast soon.

Desperate Romantics

This is the trailer for the BBC Two series Desperate Romantics which was last broadcast a year ago. The show was based on the book by Franny Moyle. Fortunately, it is available on DVDeven in the culturally deprived USA!