Category Archives: Television

DAVID CAMERON UNDER PRESSURE AND ED MILIBAND HITS THE MARK

Today’s revelations have taken the phone hacking scandal to a new dimension and the politicians are playing catch up with the public’s outrage.

Today the scandal has hit the Police between the eyes casting yet more doubt over their botched Police operation investigating a section of the media which has been paying Police Officers for information.  The money trail has apparently been traced back to the higher echelon’s of the News of the World and the name of Andy Coulson is being banded about as a possible pen to the cheques to the Police, although no proof has been yet forthcoming.

Many thought the depths to which the News of the World and other tabloid newspapers had sunk was bad enough, but the sick nature of the reporters moral compass comes further into focus as we now suspect that 7/7 bomb victims were subjected to phone hacking.

Today in the House of commons it was clear that all on both sides of the house were revolted by what they have learnt.  Ed Miliband hit the right tone as he asked the Prime Minister questions regarding the issue.  As the Prime Ministers Questions continued however, it was clear that David Cameron’s embarrassment was about to reveal itself as the name of Andy Coulson was brought up by Ed Miliband.  Cameron’s irritation was clear, but the lack of judgement as discussed here in “Andy Coulson resigns and David Cameron begins to squirm” is clear to see.

Andy Coulson, when he resigned from the News of the World, was either in knowledge of what was going on, or was completely incompetent in his job.  Either way he was clearly not fit to be taken on by the Prime Minister in such an important role.  His closeness too to the Murdoch empire and to Rebekha Brooks is a further example of his judgement being tested.

Months ago it was clear that this issue would run and run and implicate far more people, but it was also clear that the Cameron government was just hoping the issue would go away.  It won’t, and it is about to get a lot worse.

This is the second Prime Ministers Question Time that Ed Miliband has hit a nerve, too early to tell if he will be particularly effective in the future as leader of the Labour Party but it is good news to hold the government to account.

David Cameron diffused the situation somewhat by agreeing to 2 enquiries over the matter.  However, the thorn in his side is the pending decision on the BSkyB take over.  It is inconceivable that the government can hand it on a plate to their friends the Murdochs in this manner, with possible criminal charges in the offing for senior executives at news International.

Rupert Murdoch must be ready to bang heads together as this has all blown up exactly at the wrong time, and will cost him a MASSIVE AMOUNT OF MONEY.  As Ford withdraws its advertising revenue, several other advertisers have done the same and the NOTW is quickly becoming a black hole of debt for News International and a viral brand.  At a time of extreme competitiveness in the market place for newspapers, if the NI do not act quickly and decisively, it may be something the NOTW will not recover from.

As ever, money talks, and if anything will flush out the guilty, it is the fact that Murdoch is going to lose money.

THE KILLING: One of the best dramas of the last 10 years?

I don’t normally comment or review television dramas but I had to make an exception for this.

I stumbled across this drama on the recommendation of a friend who made a passing comment about this police drama they were watching. So my partner and I sat down one night to catch it on the iplayer.  After watching the first 2 episodes we were hooked.

It became a kind of addiction as we had 10 episodes to catch up on, and we watched them one after the other through the week. It became highly frustrating after watching the first 10 episodes and having to wait until the weekend to see the next 2 episodes.

It felt like a quiet secret that only ourselves and BBC4 kept, watching the twists and turns of the plot over the 20 episodes.

This Danish production was a revelation for UK tv.  Rather than have the run of the mill formulaic police series, where you may get 3 or 4 hours of a drama at best, where the signposting of the plot is so clunky and pedestrian you can easily go out for half an hour and come back and pick it up quite easily.

With the Killing you get 20 hours of non stop intrigue.  As black adder would say, more twist and turns than a twisty turny thing.

It is remarkable that a series that was so long kept the pace and intrigue going so successfully, always making the viewer wanting more.  One of it’s charms is it’s down to earth nature, without the ridiculous glitzy nonsense of other crime dramas.

The idiosyncrasies of the series were intriguing.  Almost every scene no matter where it was staged, people were smoking.  I had not really thought about it before, but this is just how it was in the UK just a few years ago.  It seems bizarre now.  It was also strange to see the comedic remarks over their Danish neighbours Sweden. Good to see a bit of inter regional rivalry!

The acting was also superb.  Sofie Grabol as the lead character Sarah Lund was superb.  The drama was dark and brooding but not overbearing.  All the acting was superb without a weak link.

The only police drama that springs to mind in this vein was the Prime Suspect thrillers, yet although these were excellent at the time, here you get 20 hours of drama that, other than the first series, knocks Prime Suspect into a poor second rate drama.

I am not one for dramas generally, they often leave me cold and disappointed, yet this Danish effort shows what can be done.

While those addicted to the Killing’s murder plot will be in a bereavement state at the moment, we were treated to the prospect of The Killing II later in the year. Like many, I will be looking forward to this, and will be light relief after trying to avoid the next few series of so called “reality television”.  It is just a shame we have to go to Denmark to get this amount of quality.