What we learned from this weekend TV:
Telly programmes do go on a bit
Who will be the next Dr Who? BBC1 Sat 3rd 5.35 Great White Shark - A Living Legend BBC2 Fri 2nd & The Lost Pyramid channel 4 sat 7.25.
While I wait for my freeview adapter to turn up I've been watching the 5 terrestrial channels and watching stuff I may have skipped past normally.
Last night bbc2 added to the global shark documentary ocean with another film about the great white shark. I had a quick look and there seems to over 700 species of shark in the world so why does only one ever get shown on TV? Well I know about Jaws but let's be honest the effect of wildlife documentaries telling us great whites aren't voracious killers while showing them chomping seal cubs is greater these days than Spielberg's overhyped b movie. This is especially the case when loads of people watching these shark attack programmes have never seen Jaws.
This documentary was typical of the form in that it took ages to tell us very little; the films main selling point was that the shark expert swam with the sharks in open water which was less dramatic than it could have been as his camera man was also swimming along with him. In fact the whole show was based around five seconds of film showing a great white attacking a seal shot from below the water. Which would have been even better if it wasn't a plastic seal being pulled a boat being eaten! So interesting bit of film 2 -3 mins total length of film 1 hour.
The pyramid film was worse, all channel 4 docs are too long, I dread to think how long they must be in America with their advert rate they must last 3 hours easily. This film was about the remains of a pyramid on a hill near Giza, the whole story could have been told in half an hour tops. But they took an hour and half thus rendering an interesting story tedious. Basically the reason the pyramid disappeared was that everyone from the Romans onwards have been nicking the stone. That being said after taking so long to tell us this they didn't explain why the same fate hasn't befallen the other pyramids to the same extent, oh damn they'll need another decade to tell us that.
As for the new Dr Who, we got another half an hour of the series' worst crime "the making of documentary", nothing to do with new Doctor is worth a damn until Russell T Davis has spent 10 mins in his charming and cheeky way telling us about William Troughton genius, is there really anyone alive who doesn't know the sequence of old doctors? Is it fair to keep having to skip over the crap 80's ones? I don't care how it was made? I don't care which bit of Cardiff the chippy Celts who make the programme tried to palm off as Camden? I just want to watch the programme. May be like the others here the producers should be honest and say look we have to sell this to America so it has to be 45 mins long so they can fill the rest of the hour with pop tart commercials, why don't you go and make some tea and toast for a bit and we'll be back with that dancing programme on the hour.
As for the new Doctor well he's clearly been brought in so they can have more pouty snogging in the rain scenes which are the most over used plot devices since the series was relaunched that and because you can't have old people on the TV anymore.
sunday night update:
The Real Italian Job: James Martin's Mille Miglia: Cheeky yorkshire TV chef tries to take part in a road race in Italy he spends 800k on an old car and then it breaks down on the first day of the 3-4 day race (20 mins in) but of course the the programme ground on for the full hour hurrah!