Fang club: Jack Davenport and Susannah Harker
PREVIEW Ultraviolet Channel 4, Tue IS Sep, 10pm.
When you’re prepar‘rng for your dutres as a best man, your marn concern rs normally not offendrng too many of the brrde’s farnrly For IVIrchael Colefreld (Jack Davenport) rn Ultraviolet thrs rs rather overshadowed by the temporary drsappcmrance of the groom, whrch Ieacls rnto an rnvestrgatron touching on all manner of dark areas genetrc engrneerrng, paeclophrlra, a guasr- ecclesrastrcal mrIrtary state known as The Sguad and more than a hrnt of vamprrrsm.
‘The varnprres have renounced therr hurnanrty, but Ivlrchael really guestrons what The Sguad are asked to sacrrfrce rn pursurt of thrs enerny,’ notes Davenport, last seen on the box as slea/ebag solrcrtor Mrles rn This Life. 'He leSI rsn't prepared to grve up hrs personal lrfe rt was a challenge to
Dangerous Iunatics are at large in Soapland’s forests
Brookside's wrrters are playrng to the crowd by throwmg two of the most annoyrng characters rnto deadly danger Ollre and Eleanor are telly’s wettest couple, so there's a certarn entertarnment value In watchmg them suffer, even rn a ludrcrous, badly acted and overly long weekly ‘specral' The ghastly twosome rented the krnd of mrddle-of-nowhere cottage that rs a horror rnovre staple, takrng Ollre's smartarse son and Eleanor's bratty daughter off for a weekend of happy farnrlres sornethrng you'd thrnk Ollre would want to avord after hrs last farnrly were a lrttle too happy together. Decrdedly unhappy rs Ivlad Marcus, EIeanor's eco—warrror, ex-con, old flame who s'reaks rn and (hops some logs for the frre, before holdrng them captrve for the nrght and revealrng that Eleanor has been showrng hrrn her brrefs rn the offrce After much nostrrl-flarrng
90 THE lIST IO N Sep 1998
try and show how Ivlrc hael reacts to hrs own paranora and the paranora that surrounds hrm_'
The serres also stars Susannah Harker
best known for her work on House Of Cards and Pride And Prejudice ~ as Angre, the only female member of The Squad. In a spooky connectron, she's a drrect descendant of Joseph Harker, the rnsprratron behrnd the 'hero' of Bram Stoker's Dracu/a.
Ultraviolet whrch rs as rrnprobable as recent programmes The Tribe and Killer Net rs wrrtten and drrected by Joe Ahearne, a man Wrth a fascrnatron for all thrngs related to the lrfe and loves of the Undead. 'Vamprres are obvroust a fundamentally rllogrcal concept, but rn thrs serres we have applred Iogrc to the genre to see how far we can push rt,’ he states 'I-lopefully, audiences wrll feel unsettled by the serres but also enjoy how we've transformed the vamprre tradrtron and the fun we've had wrth rt'
Tree fella: Marcus stalks Ollie and Eleanor in Brookside
grandstandrng Wrth all the plausrbrlrty of a Bond vrllarn the hapless four escape by bashrng hrrn over the head wrth a spade But, rn the best thrrller tradrtron, he's Not Really Dead, so they go wanderrng around m the woods for ages, untrl a daft cIrfftop tussle sees Marcus plunge to hrs death m a sad echo of the ratrngs
What's the pornt of thrs krnd of tosh, when out-and—out prffle lrke Sunset Beach does rt so much better> More thrrller actron rn Coronation Street, where poor lrttle runaway 'I'oyah's ordeal at the hands of nutty Nerl was also farrly unlrkely, but gurte genurnely tense at trrnes Actress (jeorgra Taylor produced JUST the r‘rght amount of cluelessness and pathos as she slowly realrsed that her supposed long-lost father was a creepy Jarlbrrd, bent on sornethrng srnrster In the park Iuckrly, she made a getaway through the woods looks lrke all that tree- huggrng WIIlI Sprder must have pard off (Andrea Iylullaney)
Disco Inferno Channel 4, Sat 12 Sep, 9pm & 10.13pm.
Wrth The Last Days Of Disco and Studio 54 brrngrng glrtterball style to the srlver screen, two trmer telly doc'umentarres cast a dilated eye over the era when Le Freak was chrc
Disco Top 70 and The Rise And Fall Of Studio 54 both take tune to drg drsco Fronted by Antonro Fargas, better known as Sta/sky And Hutch's superfly grass Huggy Bear, Disco Top 70 re-vrsrts the prrme movers and groovers of the scene, countrng down the ten key acts of the clrsco years, rnc lud:ng c‘hec krng out the club where they frlrned Saturday Night Fever and vrsrtrng the venue where KooI & The Gang played therr frrst grg
The Rise And Fall Of Studio 54 documents the three year lrfe (I977— 1980) of the legendary New York drsco, fave hang-out of Amerrca's most glamorous celebs, whose name gurc kIy became synonymous wrth coke orgres and hedonrsm. (Peter Ross)
REVIEW Loch Ness: Fathoming
The Monster BBCI,Wed 9 Sep.
Quit stallion: Bianca Jagger makes a low-key exit from Studio 54
You can Just prcture Chrrs Packham gorng round prrmary school playgrounds whrsperrng rn unsuspectrng ears: ’Santa doesn’t exrst, you know The tooth farry? Nah, Ioacl of old bollocks, mate. The Easter Bunny? Don't make me Iaugh.’
In loch Ness fatho/n/ng The Monster, the latest vn Packham's X- Creatures rnvestrgatrons rnto mysterrous anrrnals, there was no fresh footage, no startling new eye-wrtness treatment and no ama/rng new photographs to substantrate the clarms of Nessre's exrstence. Just srmple Iogrc and reason that hrstory and temperature tend to negate the chance that there rs a drnosaur m the murky depths
The soundtrack, meanwhrle, acted as an aural devrl's advocate, srnrsterly playrng a 'there's somethrng down there' accompanrment to the domrnant narratrve of ‘sorry, but no there rsn't’. Perhaps the brggest mystery was why there was so much footage of fIve-foot-Iong-Ir/ards rnvadrng farnrly prc’nrcs In Australra.
Dennis Potter: Under The Skin
BBCZ, Wed 9 Sep.
'Autobrography rs the cheapest, nastrest Irterary form, I thrnk only brography beats rt,’ grumbled Dennrs Potter As rf to prove the dramatrst's pornt, along comes Julran Brrkett's documentary Usrng rntervrews Wrth Potter's latest brographer, Humphrey (farpenter, as well as varrous actors, drrec tors and producers, the prec'e seems larger concerned wrth burldrng a sexual profrle, Wrth lrttle reference to other aspects of hrs lrfe,
Crettrng rmportant rssues lrke Potter’s class background out of the way rather hastrly, Brrkett goes on to what really rnterests hrrn sexual abuse rt) c’hrldhood, and hrs crushes on Krka Markham and Carna Bellman There rs much trouser-warmrng footage of these two rn Doub/e Dare and B/ackeyes There rs more concentratron on these meretrrcrous teleplays, than on such rmportant prec es as Penn/es From Heaven, whrc'h rates only a brref rnentron We get a drstorted prc ture of Potter's worth as an artlst. lSteve Cramer)
Pond Villain: Loch Ness: Fathoming The Monster
King leer: Dennis Potter