Shiny Shelf

Archive for 2005

By Mags L Halliday on 31 December 2005 Comments Off

There’s late-night ghost tales and foggy fin-de-siecle crime on TV: it must be Christmas…

By Eddie Robson on 29 December 2005 Comments Off

Another in our series of end-of-year reports on the state of British TV at the end of 2005…

By Eddie Robson on 28 December 2005 Comments Off

The first in a series of reports on how the various British TV networks have fared this year, based on one man’s capricious channel-surfing…

By Jim Smith on 24 December 2005 Comments Off

If 2004 was, as we said at the time, the year of late arrivals and revivals, 2005 was a year of completing, and contrasting, circles.

By Jim Smith on 22 December 2005 Comments Off

‘Infinite Crisis’ #3 is another confused and confusing issue of the potboiling mini-series.

By Mark Clapham on 10 December 2005 Comments Off

While not quite a wonder of the world, Peter Jackson’s ‘King Kong’ remake is nonetheless a very good adventure monster movie that kids will love…

By Mark Clapham on 10 December 2005 Comments Off

A new generation of comics meets the old as the popular web-comic comes to print…

By Mark Clapham on 10 December 2005 Comments Off

If I go for too long without reading a satisfying Batman comic, my flesh begins to itch…

By Mark Clapham on 10 December 2005 Comments Off

At last, a comic for people who want to see Captain America walking around carrying half his brain in his hand…

By admin on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

Commissioning Editors:
Mark Clapham
Jon de Burgh Miller
Eddie Robson
Jim Smith
Site Design & Programming:
Jon de Burgh Miller

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

‘Revelation of the Daleks’ is, to quote a famous description of ‘The Was The Week That Was’ a ‘low, sexy thing’.

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

‘The Green Death’ is one of those ‘Doctor Who’ serials that all pub bores and stand up comedians of a certain age will recall at a moment’s notice. It is, in ‘Friends’ parlance, ‘The One With The Giant Maggots’.

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

“In sixteen hundred and sixty six London burned like rotten sticks…”

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

This is neither the best Doctor Who TV story, nor the best Doctor Who DVD package of recent months, but there’s much to enjoy here all the same.

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

1977’s ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ is one of the most memorable of all ‘Doctor Who’ serials. The six-episode screenplay, by the series most frequent and beloved writer, Robert Holmes, is an accomplished and darkly witty Sherlock Holmes pastiche.

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

‘The Seeds of Death’ hails from the second half of the 60s, from when ‘Doctor Who’ was genuinely the favourite TV show of the children of the British nation.

By Mark Clapham on 25 November 2005 Comments Off

Unsurprisingly, this is a comic that gets it almost entirely right…

By Jim Smith on 24 November 2005 Comments Off

I was, I’ll admit it, really quite moved by the final page of ‘Infinite Crisis’ #1 the appearance of Kal-L, the Golden Age Superman, the first, best, character in super hero comics and the progenitor of the whole of this medium’s primary genre.

By Jim Smith on 24 November 2005 Comments Off

Casey Affleck plays Jim, a man slouching towards thirty who suddenly has to drag himself across America, from the glamour of his self-chosen home in New York back to his parents’ house in the Midwest.

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 23 November 2005 Comments Off

The middle chunk of a multi-film epic is always going to have an easier ride than the segments either side of it, and ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ is no exception.

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 23 November 2005 Comments Off

The most notable feature of the disc is the transfer which is one of the first live-action films to be sourced directly from the digital files, with no telecine or film prints involved whatsoever. This gives a clarity and crispness that, while greatly beneficial, only drives home that these films are really meant to be [...]

By Jim Smith on 14 November 2005 Comments Off

To call ‘City of Death’ the most overrated ‘Doctor Who’ story would be churlish and mean-spirited. It would also have a sizeable dollop of truth to it.

By Mark Clapham on 12 November 2005 Comments Off

pretension error occurred. unable to display introduction to article due to excessive pretension. please reboot.

By Stephen Lavington on 12 November 2005 Comments Off

‘Factotum’ doesn’t initially present the most enticing of prospects: an adaptation of the writings of American miserablist Charles Bukowski, starring Matt Dillon and directed by Bent Hamer…

By Jim Smith on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

A cynical man might look at Stephen Frears’ indifferent and largely jolly ‘Mrs Henderson presents’ and come to the conclusion that, having seen Mike Leigh gain clout and praise for a historical film about theatrical people, he decided to do the same.

By Jim Smith on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

In the 1960s Chairman Mao’s government encouraged, cajoled and ultimately ordered thousands of Chinese people to move form the cities into ‘expanding’ areas in order to create a new ‘front’ against both Western capitalist economies and that alternative ex

By Jim Smith on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

Hal Hartley once managed to portray the apocalypse with nary more than Polly Harvey and a Salvation Army band, so it shouldn’t really be much of a surprise to see him attempt micro budget dystopianism.

By Stephen Lavington on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

This awesomely titled pulpy detective flick comes courtesy of the pen and directorial vision of ‘Lethal Weapon’ scribe Shane Black – which makes it all the more odd that its closest point of reference is ‘Adaptation’.

By Jim Smith on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

The final episode of ‘Enterprise’ the intertextually entitled ‘These Are The Voyages…’ has come in for a lot of flack, odd given that the episode’s authors called it a ‘valentine’ to ‘Star Trek’ fans.

By Jim Smith on 09 November 2005 Comments Off

James Edward Smith was born in Solihull, attended Alcester Grammar School and University College London and lives in London, where he writes about trivial, cultural and media things for money. Sometimes people ask him how many books he’s written – and when he lists them he’s always shocked by how many there are.
Jim has [...]

By Jim Smith on 08 November 2005 Comments Off

That the Andrew Davies scripted BBC ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was over ten years now is a source of some small distress to me.

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 05 November 2005 Comments Off
By Eddie Robson on 04 November 2005 Comments Off

Much has been made of the ‘soap-style’ approach of this new version of ‘Bleak House’: twice-weekly, in half-hour episodes, with cliffhangers…

By Jim Smith on 02 November 2005 Comments Off

‘Transformers: Fallen Star’ is a miscellany; a collection of eight page, single and multi-part black and white comic strips written by Simon Furman for the Weekly UK Transformers comic.

By Jim Smith on 01 November 2005 Comments Off

‘Grand Luncheonette’ is an epitaph for Fred Hakim’s 42nd Street, New York City Hot Dog stand which closed forever in 1997.

By Jim Smith on 31 October 2005 Comments Off

At times haunting and at others riotously enjoyable, Mr Kitano’s excellent new film is a step down from his last, the triumphant ‘Zaitochi’, but it is also inarguably a step forward.

By Chrys Hudson Lee on 28 October 2005 Comments Off

In one of those depressing turns of misfortune only Hollywood can marshal, it’s a real shame the Urban Legend franchise never took off with graceful aptitude…

By Mark Clapham on 27 October 2005 Comments Off

The first two issues of Mike Mignola and Troy Nixey’s ‘Jenny Finn’ were published by Oni Press in the summer of 1999, only for the remaining two issues to never appear…

By Stephen Lavington on 26 October 2005 Comments Off

Top of the US indie food chain at the moment appears to be a genre best described as the whimsical jaunt – a brief snapshot of life for an eccentric character.

By Jim Smith on 25 October 2005 Comments Off

‘In Oranje’ is a Dutch-language, magic realist film for children and families, and it’s absolutely marvellous. Its plot concerns a little boy who dreams of playing for the Dutch National team.

By Eddie Robson on 24 October 2005 Comments Off

The history of British pop is such a well-worn subject that new angles to assess it from are very welcome…

By Jim Smith on 22 October 2005 Comments Off

The very existence of Serenity is a minor miracle of consumer tastes over network whim of the kind not seen since ‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture’ emerged ever-so-slowly into cinemas a quarter of a century ago.

By Jim Smith on 18 October 2005 Comments Off

The six episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ that are normally grouped under the title of ‘The Web Planet’ achieved viewing figures that remain among the series’ highest.

By Jim Smith on 17 October 2005 Comments Off

Mary Louise Parker has always had a vast untapped potential to be lead of her own TV show.

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By Jim Smith on 16 October 2005 Comments Off

I have a somewhat chequered history with Mark Millar’s work. ‘Superman: Red Son’ has, I think, the authentic touch of creative inspiration to it, but I really dislike ‘The Ultimates’.

By Lance Parkin on 16 October 2005 Comments Off

After months and months of the set up burbling away in the background, much of it rather humdrum and offputting, the first actual issue of Infinite Crisis is here.

I like it.

By Abigail Twitch on 16 October 2005 Comments Off

It seems mean spirited to criticize a film for sticking to a proven formula but that’s what ‘Nanny McPhee’ compels one to do.

By Jim Smith on 12 October 2005 Comments Off

Have we now gone so far down the ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ route that we’ll cheer something that’s manifestly dreadful because it might hurt someone we don’t like?

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 08 October 2005 Comments Off

Regular contributors to Shiny Shelf include the following:
Despite being an almost entirely trivial individual, Jonn Elledge has spent his career as a journalist almost entirely covering desperately weighty subjects in politics and finance. To compensate for this he contributes to

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By Stephen Lavington on 06 October 2005 Comments Off

What an ugly mess.