The Real McCoy and the Forgotten (Sacrificial) Lambs

I continue to round up my Timelash II stuff with these bits ‘n’ bobs about the McCoy years.  There will eventually be separate posts on some of the ‘big hitters’ left out below.

Paradise Towers

Very Whoish ideas. Lots of clever use of language, from the street names to the slang which incorporates degenerated formal rules, to the Caretaker lingo full of subsections and codes, etc. 

It suffers from ‘Mysterious Planet’ disease in that the production looks good but nothing looks right.

Mel’s apparently monomaniacal fixation upon the swimming pool is decidedly odd.  But, if you approach this as children’s television (which is clearly what it thinks it is) then you can enjoy it as a surprisingly sophisticated story about social entropy.

Brings to mind Le Corbusier and his notion of houses as “machines for living in”… which always had a tinge of the authoritarian about it, amidst all the utopianism of early 20th century modernism (which also always had a hidden inner core of mysticism beneath all the pseudo-rational stright lines, etc). The insistence upon a buried notion of virtue (you had to be a certain kind of healthy, high-minded, thin, modern-minded, puritanical person to live in a gleaming white box with glass walls) leads to a kind of disillusion, a bit like the contempt felt by Kroagnon. The modernists (Mies, for example) got chased out by their shadowy reflections in the utopian, mystical, ‘modern’, puritanical Nazi party and ended up creating gigantic monuments to corporate capitalism in Chicago. The cleaners seem to represent the intersection of these ideas, rounding up the “human garbage”, the unwanted elements, the uncontrolled human detritus that ruins the idealistic/totalitarian perfection embodied in the architecture.

I don’t like the ending, with all the antagonistic social groups suddenly realising they don’t hate each other after all and making friends.  Even the Daily Maily Rezzies turn out to be mostly nice, with only two of them being murdering cannibals.

Delta and the Bannermen

Dispiriting. So ill judged, so clashing that you can’t even laugh at it.

Loud, multi-coloured, sequin-covered, self-consciously zany, folksy and naff… yet there is something melancholic, even quietly apocalyptic about watching this.

You are watching Doctor Who die. The show that gave us ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ is dying. In a puddle of Diet Coke. It’s like watching George Orwell being kicked to death by Mr Blobby and the Krankies.

This taste malfunction carries over into the heart of the story itself. It’s a story about genocidal racism… set in a holiday camp and starring light entertainers. It’s like the Eichmann trial being held in Toys R Us. It’s like a bright green water pistol filled with orphans’ tears. It’s like being murdered by being force-fed party balloons.

My god, it hurts.

The Happiness Patrol

I just love this story. Last time I put it on, I spent the whole 75 minutes giggling, grinning, cheering and clapping like a loon.

This is a liberal attack on Thatcherism as a psycho-cultural style… but it also notices that Thatcherism’s rhetoric about personal liberty was pure hypocrisy.…

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