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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



We will not discuss the legality of my doing so.

It's awesome when I turn up a new British TV show. Largely because I don't track the British TV industry as closely as I do the one I'm trying to work in, so when they show up, it's kind of a surprise. It's even better when that surprise has an extra surprise in it. The first surprise in the new BBC show, The Invisibles, [tangent] nothing to do with Grant Morrison. If his Invisibles came to the screen, it would perform utterly destroy at least 25% of the minds attempting to watch it, leaving a whole new variety of drooling couch potatoes all around the world. Something that the cognitive surplus seems to have cut down on...which, by the way, I doubt the actual existence of.[/tangent]

The other surprise is that it stars Anthony "No Pants" Head.

The Invisibles is about Morris and Syd. Both were the top of the second-story game back in the olden times (1970's). Now, they're retired. In fact, Morris (Head) and his wife are moving into a retirement community. Circumstances, of course, conspire to get them back into high stakes cat burglary.

Off the bat, I've got a few problems, not the least of which is (gray hair not withstanding) that I have some difficulty accepting Tony Head as a retiring dude in a retirement village being all retired (he's only 54 in RL). Still, he's monstrously cool, and we watch nonetheless.

Secondly, this isn't really treading any new ground. Nearly every (if not every) aspect of this show as been done before. Repeatedly. And I'm not really getting a sense of anything terribly different from the handling of any of those aspects.

Lastly, the show is a comedy/drama and the comedy just wasn't hitting for me. A lot of clumsy old guy trying to be stealthy comedy on the part of Syd (Warren Clarke). Mostly other stuff that was just...there.

Now, I'm going to keep watching though. There's room for improvement, certainly. And there's some nice stuff in there two. Head's character is great. There's a fantastic scene where he's trying to recover his lockpicking skills and he's just not getting it and he says, defeated,...

  • I am the best safecracker this country has ever produced. I am William Shakespeare, Bobby Moore and The Beatles. And once, blood ran through my veins.

..., but refocuses and he says it again, this time stating the fact. And he's just on. This guy is one of my favorite actors, ever.

Also, the show also stars Dean Lennox Kelly as their younger, new partner. You may (or may not) recall his as the aforementioned William Shakespeare in last year's "The Shakespeare Code" on Doctor Who. He's okay. I dig him. And while I'm at it, the new redesigned BBC DW site blows big Sontaran chunks.

Next week, Head's daughter Emily turns up as his TV daughter.

I'm not terribly familiar with the writer, William Ivory, though I have some passing familiarity with a show he was previously identified with, Minder. Very passing, though. Passing like the ice cream truck that you spot out the window, but you can't get out there fast enough.

So despite not being that impressed, that lockpicking scene sold me enough to keep on it for a while. There was also a nice twist about halfway though the episode that I won't give away and didn't turn the concept on its head or anything, but made sense to me and was "right." That gives me a little more hope for future episodes.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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