Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Welcome to a better Utopia

So I've finally finished watching the first series of Utopia and made a start on the second and I have to say that it represents a real step up in quality.

I did like the first series -which combined originality with a great cast of interesting characters and carefully skirted the line well between humour and horror. However, in getting you used to the distinctive style and ideas of the world of Utopia it adopted a fairly claustrophobic and samey plot. Once you got past who was betraying or misleading who at any one time it was simply a fugitive storyline with the same few characters becoming progressively more brutal in their efforts to stay out of the hands of the Network.

The first episode of series 2 shakes things up nicely by taking us back to the origins of Janus. The young Milner and Carvel, along with their unfortunate spouses, are a breath of fresh air after we have got used to following such a restricted group of characters. Definitely one to watch with Wikipedia on in the background though. Spotting the links between the actions of the Network and the real events of the 1970s is good fun and I always enjoy seeing British alternate history done well.

While I fully expect a return to the present day in future episodes it's nice to see the directors find their feet enough to take some risks with novel formats. Bring on the rest of the series!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Serious fraud office commits serious fraud


Look up irony in a dictionary some time and you may find a link to this article. Of course with the Tories traditional massaging of awkward statistics I doubt they will let this blatant rule bending persuade them that corporate and institutional tax avoidance may be more of an issue than those pesky benefit cheats.