Shiny Shelf

Archive for 2006

By Jim Smith on 23 December 2006 Comments Off

For me there’s only one annual Xmas ‘must watch’ and it’s the 1984 BBC TV adaptation of former poet laureate John Masefield’s utterly peculiar seasonal children’s novella ‘The Box of Delights’.

By Jonn Elledge on 22 December 2006 Comments Off

I haven’t seen ‘Home Alone’ in well over a decade. I have no particular desire to correct this oversight…

By Mark Clapham on 21 December 2006 Comments Off

A fondly remembered BBC tradition, it was always a mystery through the 1980s and 90s as to why exactly the BBC never revived the ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ series of literary chillers…

By Eddie Robson on 20 December 2006 Comments Off

Over the course of Shiny Advent we’ve largely focused on things you could actually watch/read in a day, so we haven’t done any novels yet…

By Mark Clapham on 19 December 2006 Comments Off

If there was any doubt that the BBC has a stranglehold on Christmas TV viewing in the UK, it must have been dispelled this year by the way rival broadcasters have moved their festive highlights out of the way of the BBC’s Christmas week onslaught…

By Mags L Halliday on 18 December 2006 Comments Off

There’s more than one Yuletime episode of ‘The X-Files’ to choose from, but the others tend towards the maudlin instead of the gothic humour…

By Eugene Jones on 17 December 2006 Comments Off

“Cor blimey, isn’t life amazing and stuff, yeah right? Cos even if you’re a dull stereotype like me, you can still get an entire episode of ‘Torchwood’ devoted to you. And that’s, like, so amazing, yeah!”

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By J Clive Matthews on 17 December 2006 Comments Off

On 17 December 1989, the first half-hour episode of ‘The Simpsons’ aired in the US, kicking off a sitcom of unprecedented popularity and one of the defining TV shows of the last decade and a half…

By Jonn Elledge on 16 December 2006 Comments Off

The Christmas episodes of ‘The West Wing’ are unremittingly bloody miserable…

By Mark Clapham on 15 December 2006 Comments Off

The Nightmare Before Christmas’ is a late relic of stop motion animation, an art now almost entirely eradicated by CG animation…

By Eddie Robson on 14 December 2006 Comments Off

The BBC may have caused a bit of noise this year with its decision to cancel ‘Top of the Pops’ but it has, very quietly, kept the show ticking over…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 13 December 2006 Comments Off

While there have been many adaptations of the Dickens classic over the years, few capture the heart of the tale and convey it with such lean brevity as this 1983 Disney offering…

By Mark Clapham on 12 December 2006 Comments Off

Tim Burton’s sequel to ‘Batman’ is riddled with perverse decision making – not only is it a big summer movie set at Christmas, but it’s also loaded with bleak moments of humorous violence and fetishistic relationships…

By Stephen Lavington on 11 December 2006 Comments Off

There are some lifestyle choices which can’t be justified by any objective standard, and a full-on enthusiasm for Chevy Chase is one of those…

By Eddie Robson on 10 December 2006 Comments Off

Given that ‘Only Fools and Horses’ has had about three episodes designed to stand as its definitive finale, it’s hard to imagine a time when the BBC wasn’t bothered about giving closure to its sitcoms…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 09 December 2006 Comments Off

We’re now more than half way through the first season of Torchwood and despite some shaky moments, it’s shaping up to be a bold, confident, crazy and clever show…

By Stephen Lavington on 09 December 2006 Comments Off

Bruce Willis may not be the obvious contender for title of Christmas action hero (Arnold Schwarzenegger can, after all, draw on Jingle All the Way, and good luck to him with that)…

By Mark Clapham on 08 December 2006 Comments Off

Just in case you thought this advent calendar business was all going to be dewy eyed nostalgia about the movies we used to watch on TV when we were still young… here’s something new.

By Eddie Robson on 07 December 2006 Comments Off

It’s semi-remarkable in itself that a Channel 4 sitcom made it to a third series only two years after the first…

By Eddie Robson on 07 December 2006 Comments Off

What could be more Christmassy than suicide?

By Mags L Halliday on 06 December 2006 Comments Off

The tradition of the Christmas Special is embedded in British culture…

By Jim Smith on 05 December 2006 Comments Off

The Brett/Burke ‘Blue Carbuncle’ is perfect Christmas viewing. It has some substance as well as atmosphere but it really gets the festive juices flowing.

By Stephen Lavington on 04 December 2006 Comments Off

People have their own preferences as to which is the best film version of ‘A Christmas Carol’. For my money, however, the pick of the bunch is Bill Murray’s ‘Scrooged’.

By Mark Clapham on 03 December 2006 Comments Off

It’s hard to forget during the commercial onslaught through autumn and winter, but Christmas isn’t just about presents, booze and food…

By Mags L Halliday on 02 December 2006 Comments Off

‘Brazil’ is Terry Gilliam’s absurdist take on Orwell’s ‘Nineteen-Eighty-Four’: not merely a totalitarian dystopia but an incompetent one, where it is not thoughtcrime which destroys you but a mistake in the paperwork.

By Eddie Robson on 01 December 2006 Comments Off

Here at Shiny Shelf we’ve come up with the wheeze of doing a sort of reviews advent calendar, building up to the festive period by writing about a Christmassy movie or TV episode for each day of advent…

By Jim Smith on 29 November 2006 Comments Off

If you go down to the woods today…

By Stephen Lavington on 28 November 2006 Comments Off

‘Stranger Than Fiction’ is a warm and fuzzy experience, the shortcomings of the plot made up for by a witty script…

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By Jim Smith on 19 November 2006 Comments Off

Who killed Superman? (Clue: For one time only the answer is not Geoff Johns.)

By Eddie Robson on 19 November 2006 Comments Off

The art of scheduling isn’t dead at BBC4, where they still know how to string together some programmes on a common theme and make a good season out of it…

By Lance Parkin on 16 November 2006 Comments Off

‘Casino Royale’ is a superb film, it’s a superb modern-day adaptation of a book that would seem to defy any such thing and it’s also a superb Bond film.

By Mark Clapham on 08 November 2006 Comments Off

Low budgets and high camp in cosmic Cardiff…

By Mark Clapham on 29 October 2006 Comments Off

‘Seven Soldiers’ concludes, Carey’s ‘X-Men’ continues, the not-Bay ‘Transformers’ movie adaptation, some ‘Civil War’ tie-ins and penultimate ‘Planetary’…

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By Mark Clapham on 28 October 2006 Comments Off

The next wave of Russell T Davies’ ‘Doctor Who’ based takeover of the BBC is here, with his first ‘Who’ spin-off ‘Torchwood’…

By Jim Smith on 21 October 2006 Comments Off

Grant Morrison’s take on one of Image’s most recognisable properties crossbreeds the two most notable previous ‘eras’ of the book to incendiary effect.

By Jim Smith on 21 October 2006 Comments Off

Well, I never expected that.

By Eddie Robson on 16 October 2006 Comments Off

The second series of ‘Extras’ has concerned itself with sticking the boot into BBC1 lowest-common-denominator comedy, with questionable results…

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By Eddie Robson on 08 October 2006 Comments Off

This is the first of 2entertain’s budget-priced ‘Doctor Who’ releases, and it has raised the odd complaint from fans…

By Ben Felsenburg on 30 September 2006 Comments Off

Go back a decade or two and Channel 4 was the coming force of TV in the 80s…

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By Stephen Lavington on 28 September 2006 Comments Off

There’s a semi-serious strand running through ‘Clerks 2′, a maudlin tone of lost opportunity that matches with the slacker ethos of the first movie…

By Jim Smith on 24 September 2006 Comments Off

Surprisingly restrained in its use of graphic violence the first episode of BBC One’s drama-documentary series ‘Ancient Rome – The Rise and Fall of an Empire’ boasted outstanding production values and an extraordinary central turn from Michael Sheen.

By Mark Clapham on 22 September 2006 Comments Off

Marvel simultaneously relaunch ‘Blade’ and ‘Union Jack’, two of their less popular night stalkers…

By Jim Smith on 17 September 2006 Comments Off

‘That Mitchell and Webb Look’ is a TV version of the radio sketch comedy series from the team behind Channel 4’s skin-crawlingly excellent ‘Peep Show’.

By Eddie Robson on 14 September 2006 Comments Off

‘Blackbeard’ is a quintessentially BBC response to the ongoing pirate craze…

By Shiny Shelf on 11 September 2006 Comments Off

For the 40th anniversary, some top tens and top fives, of episodes, movies, moments and general stuff, compiled by those of us at Shiny Shelf.

By Jim Smith on 11 September 2006 Comments Off

I didn’t want the fortieth anniversary of ‘Star Trek’ to pass by without some comment from those of us here at Shiny Shelf.

By Jim Smith on 10 September 2006 Comments Off

‘The Mark of the Rani’ is one of the strongest stories from the mid-eighties (lets say 85 – 87) drought that ‘Doctor Who” suffered.

By Stephen Lavington on 08 September 2006 Comments Off

For any rabid ‘24′ fan the past few months have been a cruel drought of politically convoluted techno-thrillers.

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By Mark Clapham on 30 August 2006 Comments Off

It’s that time of decade again – DC’s premier super team needs a conceptual spring clean and relaunch…

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By Mark Clapham on 20 August 2006 Comments Off

And you thought the problems with catching your flight were bad…