Sunday, 30 September 2012

DOCTOR WHO, 7.5 - 'The Angels Take Manhattan'

The fan-favourite Weeping Angels (frightening "living statues" that can only move when nobody's looking at them) terrorise New York City in Doctor Who's mid-series finale; an episode that also serves as a bittersweet farewell to companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill). Steven Moffat's the man behind the script, and although his time as showrunner's been pockmarked with plots favouring smarty-pants complexity over heartfelt emotions and character, I was relieved The Angels Take Manhattan" was so satisfying in a down-to-earth way.

Review: FRINGE, 5.1 – 'Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11'

written by J.H Wyman / directed by Miguel Sapochnik & Jeannot Szwarz

It's remarkable that we're even watching a fifth season of Fringe, considering how low-rated the show's been throughout its run. Fox haven't even enforced a budget cut, so you have to give credit for the studio's support of a terrific sci-fi drama that just never found a way to charm the masses—despite a first season designed to do so, which quickly realised its strengths lay in the serialisation preferred by devout fans. Characteristically, "Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11" was another premiere that signified major changes to the make-up of the show—which has already given itself various face-lifts via a parallel universe and an alternate timeline. The show has been impenetrable to casual viewers for years, but even as a committed fan I sometimes feel a little bewildered by the sweeping changes the writers throw at us.

Saturday, 29 September 2012


written by Shawn Ryan / directed by Martin Campbell

My most eagerly-awaited pilot of the season didn't disappoint. ABC's high-concept military thriller Last Resort delivered a tense, gripping, exciting, and ambitious scenario that marshaled its many influences (Crimson Tide, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Tom Clancy/Clive Cussler novels) to impressive effect. The only question mark hanging over the show is a familiar one: can the concept evolve and adapt to the needs of a weekly TV series, or will it turn flaccid now the cinematic pilot has aired?

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, 2.1 & 2.2 – 'When She Was Bad' & 'Some Assembly Required'

Cordelia: You're really campaigning for bitch of the year, aren't you?
Buffy: As defending champion, you nervous?

I was excited to spin my first season 2 disc, knowing Buffy the Vampire Slayer's sophomore year's considered a major turning point for this supernatural drama. Sadly, "WHEN SHE WAS BAD" was more like an addendum to the largely shoddy first season that didn't feel necessary. On the bright side, at least by having Buffy definitively prevent the possibility of The Master returning, we can rest easy now—right? As further salve, there were aesthetic changes and a minor increase in confidence between seasons: Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) got herself a better hairdo, Xander (Nicholas Brendon) momentarily saw Willow (Alyson Hannigan) as a potential lover, and the fight sequences carried more panache—although it's a crying shame Gellar isn't a natural athlete, because the use of her stunt-double continues to be conspicuous. I can only hope Gellar starts taking weekend Taekwondo classes, and will be staking vampires herself very soon.

Friday, 28 September 2012


A new trailer for Primeval: New World has been released, ahead of its premiere on Canada's Space channel and the UK's Watch later this year. It looks... surprisingly in-keeping with the British original, which feels like a disappointment. I've always thought a North American sensibility would do better with the concept of time portals spewing dinosaurs/monsters into the present-day, but this spin-off doesn't look or feel very different. If the rumours of the UK Primeval's demise are true (it has yet to be granted a sixth series by ITV), then maybe New World will be a more direct replacement than we'd have imagined a few years ago. What are your thoughts on this trailer?

CBS' VEGAS review

written by Nicholas Pileggi & Greg Walker / directed by James Mangold

I was looking forward to Vegas on account of its arresting premise (outmoded cowboy takes on slick mob boss), its beautiful setting (Las Vegas, 1960), and the fact The Shield's Michael Chiklis will be locking horns with The Right Stuff's Dennis Quaid, but this well-made pilot didn't grab me as strongly as I'd hoped. It certainly wasn't bad; oozing style courtesy of James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma), and doing something slightly different to other shows in its genre, but Vegas' pilot ultimately offered tweaks on things we've seen many times before. I personally only have room for one continuing gangster drama in my life, and that's Boardwalk Empire.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Competition: win SPARTACUS: VENGEANCE on DVD!

Starz's swords-n'-sandals epic Spartacus: Vengeance is coming to DVD and Blu-ray on 1 October in the UK, and I have a Region 2 DVD box-set to giveaway (courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment). The second season continues the story of mutinous slave Spartacus (Liam McIntyre) as he tries to amass an army to defeat the Roman Republic...

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, just answer this question:
In the series, where does heroic slave Spartacus originally come from?

(a) Capua
(b) Sparta
(c) Thrace

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, 1.11 & 1.12 – 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight' & 'Prophecy Girl'

Cordelia: People who think their problems are so huge craze me. Like this time I sort of ran over this girl on her bike. It was the most traumatizing event of my life, and she's trying to make it about her leg! Like my pain meant nothing!

Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) has spent previous episodes being a one-note cliché as the high school airhead, yet I'm aware she becomes a key part of Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) gang and, later, a leading cast member in spin-off Angel. It'll be interesting to witness that growth and development, and I assume it begins in earnest with "OUT OF MIND, OUT OF SIGHT". Don't get me wrong, Cordelia remained a walking stereotype of selfish bimbos (I'm only surprised she's brunette), but here she was finally involved in a mystery and got to engage with the other characters more deeply. A belief in the paranormal should also be firmly embedded in her now. That feels like a welcome foundation to build on, as she earns her Scooby Gang stripes.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

REVOLUTION, 1.2 – 'Chained Heat'

written by Eric Kripke / directed by Charles Beeson

I'm probably not going to review Revolution weekly, but thought I'd offer some brief thoughts on its second episode. Post-apocalypses are very hard to do on television, and not just for monetary reasons associated with bringing that kind of world to life. Unless the survivors are complex and interesting people, they just don't work. It helps if there's an on-going threat to them (like the zombies in The Walking Dead), but I'm not sure if Revolution's militia is enough—despite the fact Giancarlo Esposita's doing a good job as the show's primary villain. Beyond that there's the problem that the high-concept (someone switched the entire planet's electricity off and it won't restart) will start to bore the audience, once the intrigue has worn off. Deep down, everyone knows the writers are very unlikely to bring the power back until late in the show's run, so immediately it feels like the story is working towards a goal that will keep being moved back indefinitely. In some ways, it might actually be a good thing if Revolution's ratings drop this season, because there's chance the writers will be forced to answer questions for the finale in 11 weeks' time.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Movie Review: THE AVENGERS (2012)

directed by Joss Whedon
written by Zak Penn & Joss Whedon (based on characters created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby)
starring Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard & Samuel L. Jackson

Marvel's The Avengers (aka The Avengers, aka Avengers Assemble) cruised into the record books this summer, becoming the third highest-grossing movie of all time after Avatar and Titanic. Marvel Studios' expensive gamble of making a handful of standalone superhero movies with the intention of bringing everyone together as a super-group, clearly paid off. It's amusing to remember that 2008's Iron Man, the vanguard success that started the ball rolling, wasn't even considered a top-tier comic-book character by Joe Public at the time; and amusing to consider Marvel's struggled most adapting their most recognisable character after Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk.

The man tasked with landing Marvel's four-year plan safely is geek god Joss Whedon—of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly fame and Alien Resurrection notoriety. Luckily, Whedon's background writing for ensembles of sassy women and snarky men, with dialogue laced with one-liners and geeky references, is exactly what's required when handling a gargantuan project like The Avengers. (Which, given the aggregate time and energy spent prepping it, probably would have been considered a flop if it hadn't broken the $1bn ceiling.)

TV Picks: 24-30 September 2012 (Boardwalk Empire, Continuum, Cuckoo, Drugs Live, Girlfri3nds, Homefront, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Nigellisima, etc.)

Here are my picks of the best British TV, premiering between 24-30 September 2012...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

DOCTOR WHO, 7.4 – 'The Power of Three'

Something of a throwback to Russell T. Davies' era, "The Power of Three" was one of those knockabout trifles that Doctor Who indulged more often before Steven Moffatt took over—although putting The Doctor (Matt Smith) into a domestic setting seems to have remained a yearly feature, with "The Lodger" and "Closing Time" fulfilling a similar remit. However, Chris Chibnall's second story this year was also paving the way for the loss of Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill) next week. It just remains to be seen if Doctor Who will have the guts to crush a generation of kids with literal death, or just part with the Ponds.

Saturday, 22 September 2012


written by Robert Doherty / directed by Michael Cuesta

Elementary's problem isn't that it's been inspired by the success of the BBC's own modern-day Sherlock Holmes, it's how US TV's choked with too many similar shows. Erase the words "Sherlock" and "Watson" from this CBS pilot and it doesn't make any difference, because Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's characters are merely a good marketing ploy for a country that's always been attracted to the "consulting detective" and police procedurals in general. By combining both with Elementary, CBS are most likely onto a long-running hit, that's my deduction.

I've already made it clear what my deep-rooted feelings about this project are; especially considering the "coincidence" it materialised soon after the creators of Sherlock refused to make CBS an Americanisation of their own show. I even reviewed Elementary's pilot script awhile ago, which appears unchanged. Consequently, the only new things to discuss are the performances, direction and production values. Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting) manages to avoid copying the two other Sherlock's around at the moment (he's less physical and camp compared to Robert Downey Jr; less menacing and inscrutable when measured against Benedict Cumberbatch). That's a relief, but it also makes Miller's version the third most interesting Sherlock on the block.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Sponsored Video: VIRGIN MEDIA SHORTS 2012

It's the return of the UK's biggest short film competition from Virgin Media, which is offering £30,000 of film funding and mentoring from the British Film Institute to this year's winner. 13 finalists will compete at the Southbank Centre in London this November, with a panel of judges (including actress Juliet Walters and film critic James King) selecting the winner. All of the finalists will receive a fantastic consolation prize, too, as the 12 shorts will then be shown in nationwide cinema for a whole year.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, 1.9 & 1.10 - 'The Puppet Show' & 'Nightmares'

Buffy: Giles, unto every generation is born one who must run the annual talentless show. You cannot escape your destiny.

This season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's guilty of doing horror standards, but the way it gives them a modern spin or subversion definitely helps. At face value, "THE PUPPET SHOW" was an unremarkable tale about a teenage pariah called Morgan (Richard Werner) who turns into a serial killer at the behest of his demonic ventriloquist dummy Sid, drawing the attention of Giles (Anthony Head) after an audition for the school talent show. Consequently, for most of this episode I was only mildly entertained by a story that felt very familiar—if arguably worse than the likes of the more psychological thriller Magic, because Sid was clearly a living entity. However, I was lulled into a false sense of security, because the story's twist—that Sid was actually a demon-hunter still pursuing its organ-harvesting quarry, despite being cursed into the likeness of a wooden dummy—worked exceptionally well. The last quarter-hour was much less predictable, erasing my feeling this was a re-tread of the preceding "I, Robot... You, Jane" (where another demon was trying to achieve human form).

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Video: GAME OF THRONES, season 2 - visual effects showreel

Last year the video I posted of Game Of Thrones' FX showreel became very popular with readers, so I've embedded one that covers the second season (above). This one comes from the effects house Pixomondo. It's once again remarkable to realise just how much of the show is artificially created or extended by CGI. Shame the video quality isn't better, but I'll amend this post if a better version becomes available. And finally, a warning: there are big spoilers if you haven't seen the second season yet.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

MSN TV Review: TRUE BLOOD (FX), season 5 premiere

Today over at MSN TV, my old review of TRUE BLOOD's fifth season premiere has been reproduced in an abridged format. So if you somehow couldn't manage to read 1,100 words about "Turn! Turn! Turn" three months ago when it aired on HBO, you can hopefully manage the 500 words for its UK debut on FX.
"True Blood has been bad longer than it was ever good. Season one's excellent Southern Gothic murder-mystery seems like a lifetime ago, as the show's since morphed into a gory supernatural soap that hates its human characters and doesn't know what to do with the paranormal ones. In this uneven premiere, it performed its annual trick of rescinding plot-threads dangling from the previous year, putting others on a back burner, and inching the remainder forward only slightly." Continue reading...

REVOLUTION: did you pull the plug?

NBC's big sci-fi drama Revolution aired last night in the US, and I reviewed the pilot last week. But what did you make of it? Did the concept grab your interest and leave you desperate for more, or are you pretty sure NBC will pull the plug sooner rather than later? The next Lost, or should it just get lost? Over to you!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Review: DOWNTON ABBEY, series 3

I was late falling under the spell of the opulent Downton Abbey, but burned through the first two series in preparation for last year's Christmas special, so this marks the first time I've experienced ITV's Emmy and BAFTA-winning period drama in HD and with adverts. I approve unreservedly of the shiny high-definition, which gives everything even more of an immaculate air, but the number of adverts was slightly irritating over 90-minutes. (I'll be recording and watching on delay from next week.) The premiere itself was very entertaining stuff; feeling like it'll recapture the effortless poise of series 1 without too many awkward blunders like the patchier second series. Creator Julian Fellowes came to global attention thanks to the movies (Gosford Park, Vanity Fair), and it's telling that the best episodes of Downton Abbey are often the ones with the length of a feature-film.

TV Picks: 17-23 September 2012 (Baggage, Covert Affairs, Derren Brown: Svengali, Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home, True Blood, etc.)

As usual, below are my picks of the week's best television, from the many shows premiering in the UK between 17-23 September 2012...

Sunday, 16 September 2012

DOCTOR WHO, 7.3 – 'A Town Called Mercy'

"We all carry our prisons with us. Yours is your morality." – Kahler-Jex to The Doctor

The brief was to deliver weekly "blockbuster" movies for series 7, and "A Town Called Mercy" obviously had the Western genre as its chief inspiration, but also managed to weave in riffs on Frankenstein, Westworld, The Terminator and Universal Soldier. That makes it sound like a huge amount of fun, but too much about Toby Whithouse's story fell flat and the story had problems justifying its runtime.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, 1.7 & 1.8 - 'Angel' & 'I, Robot... You, Jane'

Angel: When you become a vampire, the demon takes your body. But it doesn't get your soul. That's gone. No conscience, no remorse... it's an easy way to live. You have no idea what it's like to have done the things I've done, and to care.

The season perks up with "ANGEL", mainly because it enlightens us on the the eponymous vampire and worked as the first true follow-up to the pilot. The Bronze is being fumigated just as Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has her own pests to sterilise; but what happens when you fall in love with a cockroach—namely Angel (David Boreanaz), here revealed as one of the vampires Buffy's born to exterminate? Emotional turmoil and conflicted feelings are the order of the day, and not just for Buffy. It turns out Angel's maker was Darla (Julie Benz), who's determined to make her progeny relapse back to his despicable ways, which will only please The Master (Mark Metcalf) after recent setbacks with the brawny chumps he sends to kill The Slayer. Well, if you're going to give them silly names like The Three, what do you expect?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Aisle be back Monday

Don't expect many updates until Monday because I'm attending a family wedding. This means my planned next-day reviews of tonight's Doctor Who and tomorrow's Downton Abbey will likely be delayed until Monday or Tuesday. It's also possible Monday's TV Picks could be late going up (afternoon rather than morning). My plan to review tonight's Moone Boy has also been affected.

As compensation for this weekend's deficit, all I can offer is another double-bill review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tomorrow, which is a catch-up project I'm glad appears to be gaining traction with readers. As always, please do check the TV and movie reviews for anything you may have missed recently.

I'll see you next week!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Review: GLEE, 4.1 – 'The New Rachel'

I was a vocal fan of Glee when it first started, but the show started to drift in season 2 and large swathes of the third season were unwatchable for me, so I came to this fourth season premiere with low expectations of a masterful turnaround. I was right to keep my hopes low, but "The New Rachel" was certainly much better than it had any right to be, given the upheaval the show faces trying to replace old characters and maintain a parallel story set in New York. Glee definitely has a chance to repair some damage this year, although it's hard to see how they'll avoid falling back into a rut once the juice from these fresh characters and situations have been squeezed a few times.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Review: BUG (Sky Atlantic)

I recently had the chance to mainline Sky Atlantic's eight-part Bug, the Sky Atlantic series from Adam Buxton (one half of the excellent Adam & Joe) that basically televises his popular bi-monthly gigs at the British Film Institute. The concept is very simple: "Dr Buckles" casts a discerning eye over unconventional music videos available online, and reads out some of the unintentionally hilarious and genuine YouTube comments. If nothing else, you have to marvel at the ingenuity of Adam in creating Bug, because the format means he does practically nothing beyond source appropriate videos and comments.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Video: BREAKING BAD audition tapes

These have been knocking around for a few years, but I only just discovered them thanks to a tweet via @Coops_tv and @Jarettsays, which led to some minor detective work. It's the audition tapes for Breaking Bad actors Aaron Paul (above), Dean Norris, Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt (all below). I'm guessing Bryan Cranston didn't have to audition because Vince Gilligan wrote the character for him to play. It's interesting to see these actors at the beginning of what's been an incredible five-year journey.

Movie Review: THE HUNGER GAMES (2012)

Adapted from the best-selling book by Suzanne Collins (the first in a trilogy of diminishing returns), The Hunger Games has barely an original thought in its silly head. Its similarities to Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale are woefully obvious and well-documented, and I'd have let the matter slip had I not realised Collins' previous literary success (The Underland Chronicles) also has similarities to Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. I guess she's one of those authors who'd rather write her own take on something cool, instead of coming up with unique ideas of her own. Collins also appears to have enjoyed reading The Running Man, The Truman Show, and Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, because they're all interwoven into her futuristic tale of a televised blood sport...

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Below is a review of NBC's upcoming Revolution, which contains a few tiny spoilers and allusions to events some readers may prefer to avoid. It's certainly nothing that will ruin the story, or anything that wasn't given away in the show's teasers/trailers, but this is fair warning.

Whenever a TV show comes shackled to a "high concept" idea, there's a chance it won't be able to tease out its story over a potential five years or more. NBC's Revolution follows in the footsteps of ABC's FlashForward, in having a a premise that nimbly sustains a workmanlike pilot (directed by Iron Man's Jon Favreau), but which leaves you uncertain its Big Idea will sustain itself for more than a season.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Video: BREAKING BAD - illustrated opening title sequence

Breaking Bad is one of many modern TV shows that has a very brief opening title sequence, which doesn't communicate much except the tone of the show. Animator Martin Woutisseth clearly feels this was a missed opportunity, so he's created a superb animated opening title sequence of his own. (It would perhaps only work for season 2, because that was the only year all of these characters were involved with the show at the same time.) Anyway, it's a fantastic piece of work and I recommend you take a look. It doesn't even spoil the show, so hopefully it will inspire more people to start watching from the beginning.

Incidentally, if you're in the UK and frustrated the show isn't on television, the fourth season is available on DVD from 1 October.

TV Picks: 10-16 September 2012 (Alan Carr: Chatty Man, The Audience, Downton Abbey, Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course, Moone Boy, QI, Strictly Come Dancing, etc.)

Below you'll find my weekly TV picks of the best new shows debuting in the UK between 10-16 September 2012...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

DOCTOR WHO, 7.2 – 'Dinosaurs on a Spaceship'

Chris Chibnall wrote "42", set aboard a doomed spaceship with a ticking clock format, and Silurian two-parter "The Hungry Earth"/"Cold Blood", so it seems only fitting that "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" combined the two. In the number 42 and presence of two camp robots (voiced by Peep Show duo Robert Webb and David Mitchell), Chibnall also clearly appreciates the work of former-Who scribe and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy creator Douglas Adams. "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" was easily Chibnall's best work for the series, too—perhaps because much of its plot was comfortingly familiar, allowing him to have fun with the supplementary ideas (loved the beach as an engine room) and monster sequences (although the dinosaurs weren't quite deserving of top-billing).

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Blu-ray Review: STAR TREK - Season One, episode 1-7

To celebrate today's 46th anniversary of Star Trek, I've reviewed the first seven episodes of this 1960s science-fiction classic, from its excellent remastered Blu-ray...

This is where all those famous voyages began. Star Trek isn't the longest-running science-fiction property in the world (that distinction belongs to Doctor Who, which debuted three years earlier in 1963), but it's easily the most diverse and successful; with five cartoons/sequels/spin-offs, eleven feature films (currently), and all manner of tie-in books, toys and merchandise to its name. Gene Roddenberry first developed the idea of a "Wagon Train to the stars" back in 1964, inspired by the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials from his childhood, but wanted to create something less trifling and more optimistic about mankind's future. Gulliver's Travels was another muse of his, as Star Trek would likewise tell extraordinary stories with a moral backbone propping everything up.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Sky Atlantic's HUNDERBY review

Julia Davis is a justly celebrated writer/performer of black comedy, most famously BBC Three's Nighty Night, and now she's transferred her her skills to a period drama for Sky Atlantic's lavish Hunderby—a sly, deliciously dark riff on Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca. The 19th-century story concerns Helene (Alexandra Roach), a shipwreck survivor who washes ashore near the hamlet of Hunderby on the English coast. Two aspiring heroes come to her aide—a mute black slave called Geoff (Daniel Lawrence Taylor) and the handsome Dr Foggerty (Rufus Jones)—but the man who takes credit as Helene's saviour is god-fearing Edmund (Alex MacQueen), a widowed pastor with puritanical beliefs.

BBC order HAPPY ENDINGS anthology from PSYCHOVILLE duo

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, one half of The League of Gentlemen troupe, have had two shows commissioned by the BBC, following a mutual decision to end Psychoville after its second series. As part of their new two-series deal, first up next year will be Happy Endings (working title); an anthology of six "funny and terrifying" stories.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, 1.5 & 1.6 - 'Never Kill a Boy on the First Date' & 'The Pack'

Buffy: See, this is a school; and we have students, and they check out books, and then they learn things.
Giles: I was beginning to suspect that was a myth.

Like most superheroes, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) leads a double-life: smart-talking schoolgirl by day, cold-blooded vampire slayer by night. "NEVER KILL A BOY ON THE FIRST DATE" addressed the issues that might arise from such a binary lifestyle, but never provided enough emotional weight to make us care. Here, Buffy is flattered by the attention of poetry-loving hunk Owen (Christopher Wiehl), but their attempts to go on a date are thwarted by Buffy's responsibilities dispatching Sunnydale's undead—who are currently trying to raise the "Anointed One" by diktat of The Master (Mark Metcalf), a being prophesied to lead the Slayer into Hell...

MSN TV Review: DALLAS (Channel 5)

Today at MSN TV, I turn my attention to the unlikely revival of '80s soap DALLAS, which just had its UK premiere on Channel 5. Has the show struck black gold, or should it never have been dug up?
"If you're under 35, you may not recall watching the original series of Dallas, but surely every TV fan is aware of the famous "who shot JR?" cliffhanger. Dallas produced 357 episodes over 13 years, but the second season cliffhanger was undoubtedly its crowning glory; antihero JR Ewing (Larry Hagman) was shot by an unseen assailant. The culprit was revealed to be his sister-in-law, Kristen Shepherd. His wife's sister! Dirty, dirty man. Its second claim to everlasting TV fame is less reputable. Season nine had to be written off as a dream of Pamela Ewing's (Victoria Principal) in order to undo the 'death' of husband Bobby (Patrick Duffy had left the show and it was the only way he could be brought back). She found Bobby alive and well in the shower." Continue reading...