Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Cos 140 Characters Ain't Enuff: Patrick Muldoon

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Cos there aren't enough characters to tweet how Patrick Muldoon truly is the object of my affection on Twitter (and off!) and always will be!

 An all round great guy, brilliant actor and just as wonderful a singer/musician.  Although there's no way to decide between the singing or the acting.  Luckily don't have to!  Only wish his films got more screen time here, aside from the ones where he just has a bit part in them! Oh how that leaves me reeling!

This appreciation's more about Patty's songs (with the band, The Sleeping Masses and without) and if you haven't heard them yet, there's some on SoundCloud, the haunting Glowing Like Gold, the desirable Red Dress. Cumin Over, Changed.  Sadly Grey Again disappeared from there; another one of my faves.  All of his songs/tunes are so catchy and unforgettable.
On youtube you'll find the equally impressive The Woman Is The Way and what I particularly rave on about quite a bit!  (Sorry friends!)  As well as Patty's enjoyable Concerts From My Living Room series.  Albeit short!  So when we getting the Concerts from My Kitchen, Pool, Beach...?  Or Surfboard!! ha.

Patty rocks and his songs definitely "kick it like lightning!!"

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Victoria 1.6 "The Queen's Husband" Review

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Albert (Tom Hughes) finds it increasingly difficult to fit in and is frustrated.  Even when Victoria (Jenna Coleman) has documents to sign he wants to help her but she tells him to play the piano or he'll get bored, she can hear him play. Of course when he does help she just wants him to be chief blotter as she's already read them all.  Did she really read them.  Also it appears Melbourne has 'retired' to Brockett Hall as Peel (Nigel Lindsay) and Wellington (Peter Bowles) mention it in passing, that he can't run the nation from there forever.  As Victoria also comments on how she wishes "Lord M were here."

Victoria is approached by Buxton (Terence Beesley) and Anson (Robert MacPherson) who are from the abolitionists of slavery society and wish her to open their proceedings, which she thinks is a most noble cause as she's been backing them since she was a child, but as their sovereign she can't do so. Giving the opportunity for Albert to come up with doing something good and what he believes in and addressing the society.  As he tells his secretary, Peeler (Scott Arthur) he's fed up of being nothing more than a figurehead, not even that, and being seen as the queen's husband, as well as his portrayals as a sausage in cartoons.  Everyone hating the way he dresses too.  He writes a speech in German and asks Peeler to translate it into English and he offers to abridge it too.  Quoting Shakespeare's Julius Caesar about men not being cowards.  He meets with Buxton and Anson and tells them he will be opening the proceedings and Victoria will accompany him and watch him from the side.

Albert also notices that Ernest's (David Oakes) flirting is more than that with the Duchess of Sutherland (Margaret Clunie) and he wants him to return t o Coburg.  Ernest tells him he's not like their father and he actually is in love.  However she's married and she too thought this was just some harmless flirting and wishes him "bon voyage" when she finds out it's not.  Obviously she didn't really want him to go, as she drops her handkerchief for Ernest to keep.  Victoria also wants Albert to accompany her to dinner and this is usually done by her uncle. the Duke of Sussex (David Bamber) and is traditional.  However he refuses for this to take place or to change.  Even though he's a staunch supporter of hers, he will not depart from tradition.  Until Victoria finds out his wife is not of royal blood and is not permitted at court.  She offers her a title, Duchess of Inverness (Daisy Goodwin) as it is a discretionary sovereign title, she wants to meet her.  But also to show him that she wants Albert to be treated with respect too.  Peel and Wellington of course comment on her catipns as Wellington thinks she's won a battle.  Which she wasn't really fighting.

Albert wants children as soon as  possible and Victoria doesn't.  Even her mother (Catherine Flemming) tells him once he has a male heir everyone will accept him.  Victoria asks Lehzen (Daniela Holtz) for help on how not to get pregnant and after her night with Albert, she jumps up and down on the sofa.  What can you say, no comment!  Ha. Ernest also wants him to have children already so he can be a godfather.  Albert doesn't want to see him go as he's been with him for twenty years and Ernest is protective of him since their mother left as he tells the Duchess of Sutherland.  Of course Victoria and Albert can't their hands off each other, so having children won't be a problem, for him, as he catches her jumping and informs her Lehzen was wrong in her advice. The only way not to have children is if she abstains.  Which she can't and kisses him some more!

Elsewhere there is Indian cholera as Mrs Jenkins (Eve Myles) calls it, abounds and especially in Seven Dials where Skerrett's sister, Eliza (Samantha Colley) lives and she tries to see her but is stopped by the 'Peeler', she can go in but can't come out.  Francatelli (Ferdinand Kingsley) gets her to tell him what's wrong and he has ways of getting in there.  He sees her sister and she writes a letter informing Skerrett (Nell Hudson) of being rehoused where hopefully the baby will recover too. Skerrett is impressed with this and thought she knew men but didn't know anyone who would do this. Nah he's in it for himself!  He leaves her a sugar 'N' on her pillow (sweet nothings! ha) after she tells him her name is Nancy.

Albert rehearses hi speech and is introduced to Jonas Barratt (Cornell John) a runaway slave, who is told how to address royalty.  Victoria tells Albert to speak up so he will be heard and she does turn up to support him, but not incognito enough so she feigns feeling faint and returns to the palace.  Albert eventually speaks and is a resounding success.  Even Peel acknowledges this and they shake hands as Albert tells him they finally agree on one thing.  Although Victoria doesn't still like him.  So the sausage can speak after all and hold is own in public.  Ha.  Me thinks a baby soon, judging from next week's clip, or is Victoria really ill?  Only a mention of Melbourne now in passing twice which was frustrating for his fans!  Thought he would've turned up at least to hear Albert's speech, but that wasn't to be.

The writer and executive producer of Victoria, Daisy Goodwin, makes an appearance as the Duchess of Inverness.  No wonder Victoria was anxious to meet her!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Dream Home: The Property Brothers' Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House Review

There have been property shows and designing shows and all creativity shows under the sun, but only one or two come along that actually impress and give you the lowdown on what's what.  One of them being Property Brothers, Property Brothers At Home, presented by the mighty fine Scott Bros, Drew and Jonathan (in no order of preference! ha) hotly followed by Buying & Selling and Brother Vs Brother Dream Home provides so many hints, tips and actual facts that will help you improve your house if you're in the market to sell or what to look out for if you're looking to buy, but also to improve it in general if you're not.  The best thing is you don't need a large budget to do some 'cosmetic' make-overs which can provide the wow factor!  Yes I fancy myself as a bit of a creative person, which has nothing to do with being 'arty farty' or taking up Art at school (that was just to get out of doing another subject which involved hard work!  Funny should've taken a leaf out of my own thinking and not taken up the profession I did!  Cos that involves mountains of work and studying - still!)

Okay back on topic, Dream Home: the book by Jonathan and Drew Scott (what took you so long?) provides you some fresh insights and refreshing ideas on how to spruce up your home, or maybe some of the rooms in your home, so you too can end up with your 'Dream Home.'  I enjoyed the format and how both Drew and Jonathan give you their insights on every aspect of home decor you could ever think of or need.  There are other designers out there, but none of them caught my eye or particularly interested me, some of their ideas were just plain.  Yes that's the best word for it, but Jonathan and Drew have oodles of talent, luckily twice over!

It's not just about designing though, but features insight and their wealth of experience on renovating, how to get the best deal and more importantly negotiating the best deal for you, cos let's face it, that's where many people slip up.  They're so into wanting to buy or sell their house they just go for the easiest and quickest out and sometimes it's not the best price being asked for.  (I was going to say touted! ha)

What made Dream Home stand out is the brothers 'tell it like it is.'  It's honest and no holes barred, as well as bringing their fun personalities into the pages.  It reflects what you've seen on TV but more so as each page is like actually getting personal advice from them and more importantly you can ponder over the features inside to your heart's content, without rushing.  They are sooo down to earth, it's more like giving you friendly advice.  Beauty, brawn and brains all in one, well in two here!  You get double the fun, double the trouble and double the real deal in Drew and Jonathan!   Also choc full of photos to bring those creations to life.

Oh and I liked how as many style, lifestyle books etc were featured in the display photos on the shelves and tables!  And how when you read it, you can hear their voices, like they're reading to you! Very sublime!  As well as some general background on their early years.  Dream Home isn't just a must for fans, but also the seasoned designers in us all and yes there is creativity in us all, we just need the right approach and help to bring it out the best way possible! As well as the excellent Brother Vs Brother section where Jonathan and Drew give their own personal advice and views.

You can perfectly display your copy on the rustic coffee table you just whipped up!

Now guys when you coming down to London cos I need my copy personally signed and personalized to me??!!


Available at

Or you can get signed copies from

Victoria 1.5 "An Ordinary Woman" Review

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The one about the wedding and Albert's title. Continued from last week . There is animosity between Parliament and Albert (Tom Hughes) being German especially amongst the Tories which was evident this ep. Albert wants £50,000 a year and a title and his uncle Leopold (Alex Jennings) is instrumental in stressing he should be given this as he got nothing less when he married Charlotte.  However he has a mistress in the form of an actress and he still continues to draw on that money, which is why Albert will get next to nothing.  Victoria (Jenna Coleman) is adamant he should be able to get what he wants.  However there's more of a stressful time for her as she announces her engagement to Albert, as said, many aren't too pleased.  Victoria stealing moments with Albert whenever they can, being accompanied by Ernest (David Oakes) and the Duchess of Sutherland (Margaret Clunie).

She will miss Albert when he returns to Saxe-coburg to set his affairs in order, ha, not those sorts of affairs and hides from her mother, Duchess of Kent (Catherine Flemming) behind the tree as she doesn't want her to see them and say that she had arranged the entire marriage between them when it's Victoria's choice.  She later tells her as Albert says he'll do it if she doesn't and her mother is of the mind that she knew all along and did indeed arrange it.  Victoria disagreeing of course.  In the House Melbourne (Rufus Sewell) argues for what he wants but Peel (Nigel Lindsay) won't budge from £20,000 a year.  All this when Victoria says she will basically be looking after him.  Albert prefers to refer to himself as her 'subject' every chance he gets rather than her husband and an equal in some respects.  Victoria wants to be an "ordinary woman" and wants to marry him as an ordinary woman.

Albert tells her to remember him kissing her neck when he leaves and how he shall do the same when he returns.  Arriving at Schloss Saxe-Coburg his father, Duke of Coburg (Andrew Bicknall) congratulates Albert on his choice as England is one of the richest countries in the world and Victoria will be able to throw "some crumbs" towards their way for the rundown castle.  Making it appear that's all this union was for them, a marriage of convenience and  more particularly a marriage to being wealthy.

Ernest wants Albert to be well grounded, prepared for his future nuptials and the wedding night with Victoria and takes him to a brothel to help him.  However he doesn't want to be with Gretchen (Carolin Stoltz) and would prefer to take notes instead in her "proficiency" which she will teach him.  Ernest however has no qualms as we know!  Ernest tells him about seeing their mother once when he was playing in the park and she saw him, putting her finger to her lips and he could see her face was wet.  He didn't tell Albert as he knew they only had each other now.

Plans are underway for the wedding and her ladies in waiting talk of dresses and cakes.  Victoria wants a white dress.  Francatelli (Ferdinand Kingsley) can't get the cake ready in six weeks.  He also wants Skerrett (Nell Hudson) to start afresh but she has responsibilities here and can't do that.  Still not getting the message.  As the party returns, some of Albert's servants are brought to the kitchen and the Baroness (Daniela Holtz) asks them to be treated properly also adding that Penge (Adrian Schiller) knows some German.  As we find out why, he was in love with one of the servants, Hilde (Gertrude Thoma) and said he sent her letters.  They always meet at weddings.  So it must've been Hilda who taught him German.  She replies she didn't get his letters but would like to read them.

Victoria spends some of her last moments as a free woman and queen and of course Melbourne is despondent that she'll rely on him even less now.   But tells her she must still see the Privy Council for their approval of Albert.  She also asks Melbourne if her father had a mistress as her mother told her he did before they were married.  As they all think, assume, Albert will follow in the footsteps of his philandering relatives and also keep a mistress later in life.  He says her father did have a mistress and also the same thing that he won't keep one yet.  But then Melbourne's marriage was a failure. If she wants to be certain she should ask  the truth, which Melbourne told her once was overrated.  Nevertheless she does so and he wonders how she could ask him if he wants the extra money so he too can keep a mistress like Leopold.  As she's aware he wants only her.  Melbourne watches from the window knowing his heart will forever be broken (okay I added that in for those who wanted to rewrite history and have Victoria ride off into the sunset with Melbourne.  Only in your dreams!)  The Baroness tells him they are no longer needed.

The big day arrives and Victoria wears her white dress and a garland of gardenias on her head, instead of diamonds.  Yet the people still talk, especially Wellington (Peter Bowles) who says Alert even walks like a Papist.  Victoria takes her vows and promises to "obey" Albert as she told him she would, even though he reiterated how he's "only your subject."  No, you're her husband!  As well as the politicians wanting her to drop the 'obey' part.  The cake cut, the posy thrown, she can only go on her honeymoon for two days and not a week.  As she has her farewell with Lord Melbourne, bringing up the scene where he told her when she gives her heart it will be without reservation and says he was almost right.  He ask if he can kiss the bride and is the only peck he can give her, on the cheek.  As she walks away and then runs, yes we know he had to turn around and watch her since they don't normally do that, even if you want them to.  Victoria: "Goodbye Lord M." As he utters his,
"goodbye Ma'am."  Then it's off for some bedroom play!  ha.  Sorry but it's what they were both waiting for all this time.

There you have it, the wedding and now the babies to follow and Albert's acceptance by the subjects and Parliament.  Considering what he actually wanted was a seat in the House and a chance to do some good.  As he told Melbourne he isn't a knight but he can sit in the House of Lords.  His knighthood being Victoria's gift to Albert.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Supernatural Season 12 Some Thoughts

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For season 12 of Supernatural as Jensen said should  return to monster of the week story, actually, he said he'd love for it to return there and I think they have a golden opportunity to do it, what with Mom (Samantha Smith) arriving back into their lives.  Not only can we get great dialogue and family, mother/son/brother moments here and a chance for Sam (Jared Padalecki) to catch up with her, especially since he never knew her.  But also for Dean (Jensen Ackles) to get so many answers he wants.  I thought immediately here of Sam and Dean in the angel ep Houses of the Holy, when Dean found out Sam prays and Mom did too.  About angels watching over them and then lo and behold angels turned up.  Like foreshadowing in her knowing that might happen.  But more so she could and can see for herself what her sons selflessly and so dangerously do, in carrying on the family business and that family business was an extension from her side of the family more so than that of Dad's. Which they didn't know for a long time.  It was essentially carrying on the legacy which ultimately became the Winchester legacy.

Another aspect to this was how Mom appeared when Sam was shot in the season 11 finale and she generally made an appearance to help them out as in Home, Sam needed her then in some ways and he needs her now in other ways.  Will Mom even remember them, tell them where she's been and plenty of questions which can incorporate an element of not only mystery but also returning to the episodes from earlier seasons, even if a new arc needs to be developed, it doesn't need to be as full-on as the angels/demons/Chuck/Amara storyline now.

Also with Chuck (Rob Benedict) and Amara (Emily Swallow) bonding again and the angels finding some sort of closure in their feuding with each other, it's an ample time for the show in season 12 to return to how it used to be. Monster of the week and maybe finding new arcs which involves new areas and not just forever harping (no pun! ha) on about angels and demons, even though they'll still be around in the background, especially Crowley (Mark A Sheppard) and the demons.  Make it more of a family show and a return to the Winchester values.  I know they have the bunker still and the appearance of her from the London Chapter but if they could deal with her quicksmart, leaving room for exploration of perhaps more of the Winchester family history, delving a little more in maybe Dad's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) side of the family too.  Perhaps not in any kind of supernatural way, just as a background.

Crowley and Rowena (Ruth Connell) need some bonding time too and it's not as if they truly hate each other.  Here's another family that could do with some more exploration of their family background.  You know wouldn't it be great to them in a spin-off, I thought of a half hour comedy show.  Maybe thinking long the lines of Bewitched, but more Fergus of Hell!

Jensen would love to see other themes from the show explored further, such as "purgatory, I thought was a really cool, cool part of the story...I'd also like to see more of a hunter network.  I'm a big fan of the original format of the show the monster-of-the-week kind of thing...I don't know how we necessarily get back to that with everything's that's happened."  As I said Mom would be a good way to start getting back into the process of just hunting and then take it from there.

Either way as long as we get some great stories and dialogue from the cast then Supernatural will continue to go from even greater strength to strength!

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Musketeers 2.10 "Trial and Punishment" Review

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Constance (Tamla Kari) is led to the gallows and all Treville (Hugo Speer) can do is stand by and watch next to Rochefort (Marc Warren).  However she refuses the blindfold so she can see as much as she can of the world.  Then she sees D'Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) below who shoots the executioner, as all hell breaks loose and Treville manages to overpower Rochefort and his men are shot too.  As they ride away and decide the time is right to present Vargas (Peter Sullivan) to court and to Louis (Ryan Gage) in the hopes of unmasking Rochefort's treachery.  Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) is put on trial, with Louis hearing everything he has to say from above. Yes Louis presiding over the farce of a trial as if he's god from high on up and yet is in despair when he hears Rochefort say he is the dauphin's father as Marguerite (Charlotte Salt) testifies she only began the affair with Aramis after the dauphin was born and not before.  As if that makes any difference, maybe he didn't really notice her before then, for our purposes we know it was only so Aramis could be close to his son, but for their purposes it could've been for any number of reasons, including Aramis being a well-known womanizer.
Rochefort; "Do you swear to give us the truth of this sordid encounter."  The sordidness that was going through his own head with thoughts of Anne (Alexandra Dowling) and for him to be there instead of Aramis.
Aramis: "I understand that God is with us now in this room.  We will all be judged for what is in our hearts."

Rochefort wants Aramis to confess he slept with the queen and Aramis replies by saying the only thing he will confess to is Rochefort being a liar and plotting against them.  However he will be executed.  Louis wants to be left alone cos not only has he lost Anne but also his son.  As Aramis is chained he makes a promise to God that if by some miracle he is saved, he will give over his life to him and he is rescued by Milady (Maimie McCoy).  Who tells Athos (Tom Burke) that she is leaving for England and if he wants to be with her, she'll wait in her carriage until sundown.

Marguerite is disgusted with what she's done and takes her own life, leaving the dauphin crying and to be found by Rochefort of course and also tearing up her letter.  As he talks Louis into signing her death sentence, Rochefort now turns executioner and gets out a fave weapon of his no doubt and will take pleasure in strangling her.  Only moments before Aramis arrives to save her and also fights with Rochefort, who still stands even getting a dagger to his back, which is what he deserved and more for his backstabbing.  Of course all of the Musketeers get to fight him and it is left to D'Artagnan to finally kill him, as he said he wants Rochefort for himself.  As he finally dies, Aramis heads over to close his eyes and Anne tells him he doesn't deserve that.  Even with Vargas whispering in his ear before he passes that Spain got the better of him.

Treville accepts Louis's offer of his Minister of War as France is at war with Spain for its complicity as Louis calls it, as well as Louis being content with his son.  Aramis keeps his word and heads to the monastery, with everyone having a farewall.  Constance and D'Artagnan marry and would've thought Aramis would've been present at their wedding, but no, they sent him off already!  Athos wants to meet Milady and as he tries to leave, Treville tells him all leave is cancelled and they are at war.
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Milady waits for him and he finally leaves the garrison and rides out, but he's too late, finding only her glove in the grass.
Milady"I'm not free.  I'm bound to you as you are to me.  I have become this foul and ugly thing, this creature who cheats and lies and kill  without conscience.  I don't want to be that creature anymore, I want to be as I once was with you.  To feel hope instead of this deadness in my heart."  But as we know that's not to be and she will continue to be the creature who kills without remorse and feeling.

Anne: "you understand nothing about love."  As Rochefort describes what will happen to Aramis's body on the wheel,
Rochefort: "It is pain, suffering."  What Grimaud echoes in series 3, however his woe is more on life and its injustices instead of love, although he's never known any.  A suitable finish to series 2 and plenty to look forward to series 3.  Of course Athos and Milady wouldn't get their happy ending, they've come too far for that, she can't really change who she is now, even if Athos went with her to England, think he was thinking more from his heart than his head.  Could he really fully trust her?  D'Artagnan gets the woman of his dreams, but I missed Aramis not being at his wedding, like they just shunted him off to the monastery already!  He deserved better than that, it seemed more as though he was being punished.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Victoria 1.4 "A Clockwork Prince" Review

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Victoria (Jenna Coleman) finishes playing her piano piece and and acknowledges Albert (Tom Hughes) by his name.  Then Ernest (David Oakes)  Albert's brother greets her, with Melbourne (Rufus Sewell) watching all the while.  This ep was all about Victoria and Albert and how their marriage came about.  As Victoria and Albert find themselves at loggerheads with their indifference. He hates how she knows nothing about art, or any other painters, like Reubens, but does impress him when she mentions Rembrandt and later she tells Melbourne that Albert is "a prig."  He never smiles, compared to Earnest who is so carefree.  Maybe he would make a better match as Albert also tells him.  But he's not the one destined to be king, her uncle Leopold (Alex Jennings) tells Albert.  Well he didn't become king.  As Albert replies, she is the queen.  He also finds it distasteful how he sees children begging in the streets and nothing is done about it.  Thinking Victoria doesn't really know what's happening.

Victoria however, plans a dance for the princes, not another ball as she tells Melbourne, but just a small dance and she also invites him, as she invites him to dinner too.  Where she sits and cuts meat for Dash and then leaves her food, cue plates being removed and Albert saying he hasn't finished, "but the queen has."  He talks with Melbourne about the Houses of Parliament, he would like to visit there.  Melbourne advises he must come incognito as many Tories despise the Germans and wouldn't want him in the House.  Melbourne suggests they join the ladies and doesn't reply to Albert when he asks how he feels about the Germans.

Of course Earnest is the more unruly brother and is taken aback by the ladies' of England.  He can't wait to get back to Coburg, but he can see that Melbourne has an eye for Victoria as she invites Melbourne to play cards with her.  Albert doesn't play cards and Earnest joins them.  He thinks they should pay a duet, as Albert takes over the piano and starts playing.  He'd like to hear Schubert, which she plays with Albert and one that involves a lot of touching of hands on the keyboard.  As Earnest watches Melbourne, who appears to be forever entranced by her.  Albert went to he the National Gallery with Earnest and looked at the paintings, but not at Victoria's portrait.

Albert is more emotional about the squalor he sees and asks Melbourne why he doesn't like Dickens as he accurately depicts what is happening to her subjects.  Melbourne counters he's been in power for ten years, so he knows.  Victoria invites Melbourne to the dance and dances with Earnest, as he tells her Albert prefers the waltz, as does he and she should dance with him.  Victoria wears the gardenia corsage Melbourne sent her.  Lady Emma (Anna Wilson-Jones) tells Melbourne how Victoria gets on well with Earnest.  As Albert is uncomfortable in his attire, undoing his buttons.  As Melbourne is pleased about her wearing the flowers from Brocket Hall, he is interrupted by Albert asking Victoria to dance as Melbourne was going to do the same.

Knew we'd get some sort of scene where they cut out the music a little and go all slow motion.  He notices the flower and asks for her forgiveness since his mother used to wear those in her hair when she used to say goodnight to him.  He's also noticed she doesn't care much for her own mother when they went strolling in the garden.  He prefers forests.  He takes out a knife from his boot and cuts his shirt where he places the flower she's given to him on the dancefloor and says he will hold it there, close to his heart.  Of course we're led to believe Melbourne has regrets and obviously the two are envious of each other.  Albert says he was nervous at making a fool of himself on the dancefloor. Well he needn't have worried cos he did have Victoria eating out of his hand.

Victoria decides she's going to Windsor, on a "Wednesday" as the staff and Melbourne say,  since he's brought dispatches from the situation in Afghanistan.  She asks him to come down too.  Her uncle getting impetuous and restless as to why Albert's made no headway with Victoria, as she hasn't asked him to marry her.  At Windsor Penge (Adrian Schiller) brings out the uniforms George III had made and Earnest comments if he made them before he went mad.  Her uncle is surprised to see Melbourne there and would've thought he was too busy.  You don't refuse the queen of course.  Once again Albert is jealous of his presence and that she greets Melbourne before him.

Next day they go riding and Earnest asks to be taken back when Albert shows up.  He's not like him, but he likes the forest and she tells him of the oldest oak in the forest.  They both run carefree and Victoria drops her hat.  He prefers her without it since she 's now a woman and not a queen.  He's impressed when she repeats what he calls the forest in German, being at one with it.  As he sweeps her hair back and sweeps Victoria off her feet too.  Well she was expecting him to kiss her.  He's not the cousin she recalls when she last saw him.  As the moment is spoiled by Dash's cries.  He's broken his leg and Albert puts it in a splint.  However they have a falling out when he says she should marry Melbourne.  Even if Earnest describes him as being old enough to be her father."  Oh yes Albert, once more with the knife!  Ha.  As he now tears his shirt sleeve to bandage Dash's leg.  She does ask him about his mother who ran away with her equerry when he was five (the story of these royals, hey?!) Which is why he doesn't like the way Victoria treats her own mother and as he tells her at the dance, he doesn't have one.

They leave Windsor and his uncle is perturbed there's no proposal, adding Earnest would've "had her in bed by now."  Victoria tells her uncle she doesn't know if he will accept her proposal and his answer is that if she doesn't ask, she won't know since he's heading back home.  His one stop being the Houses of Parliament where he questions Melbourne about Victoria and Melbourne says he won't always have his ministry and is thinking of retiring.  Especially since Victoria doesn't need him anymore with Albert around.  Victoria also mentioning to Melbourne that he will not marry her.  His reply to himself is that "only a fool would turn you away, ma'am."  Referring to himself cos he knew he had to do the right thing.  There; many hearts breaking right here all over again!

Victoria wears gardenias in her hair which Skerrett (Nell Hudson) had managed to get and Victoria couldn't ask Melbourne for them, as she summons Albert before her.  She has a question for him and asks if he, "would do me the honour..." which doesn't sound right to her.  Thought she'd have said,
"do us the honour."  She just asks, "will you marry me?"  He will answer if he can kiss her first and after not much hesitation, he agrees to marry her, cue endless kisses.

Elsewhere the staff have to deal with Albert and Earnest's valet, Lohlein (Basil Eidenbenz) who doesn't speak English and Lehzen (Daniela Holtz) and he are pretty free speaking German in front of the staff.  Saying they don't like Germans.  However Penge surprises everyone after Lohlein calls the porridge disgusting when he speaks German, showing he knew it all along.  How'd he know German. We find out that Skerrett isn't really Eliza but Nancy, as her sister, Eliza (Samantha Colley) comes to the palace asking for help with money.  Skerrett won't steal and gives her the lace collar she wears. She does take one of Victoria's diamond pins and changes her mind later when she suggests Victoria should wear the pins in her hair to make it look more elegant.  Skerrett visit Eliza with more collars as Victoria allowed her to have them, when she saw hers was missing.  Eliza says the job should've been hers but she didn't want to leave her daughter.  Skerrett adding they're just like women when she brushes Victoria's hair.  That's the secret she's been hiding.

Plenty going on in this episode, least of which was Victoria's growing fondness and feelings towards Albert.  As he tells her, "this will not be a marriage of convenience."
Victoria: It will be a marriage of inconvenience."  Well he seemed relieved after Melbourne's words of "the queen must marry soon...then she will look to her husband, not to me."  Once again reinforcing the feelings he had for Victoria (at least for our purposes in this drama.)  I mean not too long again she was telling Melbourne she'd rather marry Peel than even consider the prig Albert!    It would be very inconvenient if Albert gets through tearing/ripping every shirt he's wearing!  Think she was swayed by his naked chest!  Ha.  Melbourne being the one to refer to Albert as a "clockwork."

A marriage of inconvenience, the title of a series 2 The Musketeers ep! I just posted last month!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Musketeers 2.9 "The Accused" Review

                                        Image result for the-musketeers/the accused photos
As Rochefort (Marc Warren) sports his new eye patch he is visited by Milady (Maimie McCoy) who tries to subtly let drop she knows who he really is and that his eye patch isn't very fashionable.  He grabs her neck and threatens to strangle her then and there unless she begs for his forgiveness and mercy, clearly a nasty piece of work, mad and a misogynist too, as his plan to oust the king and get Anne (Alexandra Dowling) for himself is still unfolding.  Milady heads to the garrison and tells them she will let them know about Rochefort, Treville (Hugo Speer) assuring her she will be paid.  That he's a Spanish agent.  However they need proof of this.  Marguerite (Charlotte Salt) still has to help Rochefort and he won't let her go.  As Lemay (Ed Stoppard) prescribes some medicine for Louis's (Ryan Gage) headache, he's still at a dilemma of what to do with Anne.  He thinks he should see her and forgive her, but is dissuaded by Rochefort.  Who later brings in another bottle and substitutes it for the one Louis was prescribed, as Marguerite still does nothing and even lets Louis drink it.  He ends up poisoned by him and is saved by Rochefort.

Rochefort accuses Lemay of being behind the plot and of Constance (Tamla Kari) helping him too. However he states he only administered a slight opiate for the headache.  Marguerite lies saying he and Constance were both intimate and planned this together.  As Rochefort sentences them to death. He forces Constance to watch Lemay being killed and says she will have until dawn to think of this and to help him.  Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) tells the others of his great transgression with Anne, well, Athos (Tom Burke) speaks for him and up pops the treason again.  It is shocking for them to think that his son is the future king of France.  Aramis telling Porthos (Howard Charles) he didn't want him to be a part of it so he didn't tell him.

They fear Anne is in danger and take her out of the palace to the convent, where they decide what they will do.  Catherine (Marianne Oldman) makes an appearance at last and follows Milady in the marketplace, finally taking her to an abandoned building in the market.  Knew Milady already sensed she was around, suppose they had to take care of that business somehow, but it just didn't seem to fit in, how for one did they know Catherine was around.  She asks about Thomas and Milady tells her he really did force himself on her, as she stares at the noose she has waiting for her.  Athos may have let her go, but she won't, as he enters to save her.  She asks if he felt anything at all for her and doesn't answer.
As Athos and Milady break into Rochefort's office to find proof of his treason and lies.  They find nothing and are almost caught as she hides them in the cardinal's secret bookcase.  Where they passionately kiss, as they can't get beyond that, and their past, no matter how many times they say it. Rochefort senses something amiss as the candle still smokes but they are saved when he hears cries from Louis.

As they leave, Athos takes Rochfort's seal and rides out to the convent.  They hatch a plan whereby Vargas will be tricked into coming out into the open and into France, where they can use him for their own purposes.  But they can't forge his writing.  However Sister Teresa (Hara Yannas) helps them as she's been reproducing copies of the texts.  Porthos will ride alone to deliver the message and has a shoot out with Vargas, until the others arrive to take him back.  At the palace Rochefort orders everyone to leave and convinces Louis to sign a death warrant for Anne, it's the only way he can be free of her and after the letters that she wrote to Phillip asking for help.  As he refuses to believe it was when he was lost and presumably dead, she wrote them to save the dauphin.  To which Constance also agreed.

At the convent Aramis is told that Anne regrets nothing of that time here, but she also wants to return to Paris and convince Louis.  As she does she, Athos tells D'Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) to see Constance whilst he still can and he speaks to her through the bars, telling each other they love one another and D'Artagnan is beaten for his troubles.  Aramis is arrested by Rochefort for treason and as he whispers to him about sleeping with Anne, whilst his guards can overhear him, he was just uptight cos he wasn't the one who got Anne and she wanted and wants nothing to do with him.

Rochefort rising in the ranks and using any and every means open to him, including people easily disposable, blinded by love and deceit on the other side.  Withe Marguerite as his tool who was so willingly able to help him, forget about his threats, but it seemed at times she was doing this out of being scorned and spurned by Aramis, declaring her love for him, when he was just using her to see the dauphin.  Yet she too easily plummets the depths of despair as she can't find a way out of it and instead of coming clean, which would've been too easy, all she does is warn Aramis to save himself, something he won't do and won't leave Anne in danger again.  Rochefort: "I am your god now."  As deluded as ever and proved even more dangerous than the cardinal.

Milady expressing some more home truths to Athos about not lying to him about his brother and she couldn't tell him who she really was or he wouldn't have married her, so she became the cardinal's paid assassin cos she had nothing else to live for.  "Why not become the woman you believed me to be."  Lots going on to provide an explosive series 2 finale.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Victoria 1.3 "Brocket Hall" Review

                                         Image result for victoria brocket hall
This episode highlighted the romance between Victoria (Jenna Coleman) and Melbourne (Rufus Sewell) but of course we know it was fictional.  It was none the less compelling viewing, as the search was on to find a husband for Victoria to calm her down and as her uncle, King Leopold of Belgium put it, to slow down her giddiness.  But as we know Victoria only had eyes for Melbourne and as he said, she must give her heart to someone worthy.  She however replying she has already given it.

The episode opened with Leopold (Alex Jennings) arriving and telling Victoria that at least she inherited her posture from their side of the family, even if not her height and also how he would be living at the palace had his daughter Charlotte survived child birth.  Also telling her, well demanding or ordering, that she should marry her cousin, Prince Albert, his nephew.  Who is like him, but she didn't get on with him last time and recalls him as the boy he was.  Her mother, Duchess of Kent (Catherine Flemming) tells Leopold that she doesn't like Conroy (Paul Rhys) and won't listen to him.  Asking Leopold for money since she's living like a pauper and needs new clothes.

There's also trouble in Newport as the Chartists are in uproar and march, as Victoria rides in her carriage for the ceremony, we see the soldiers open fire on them and shoot.  The Duchess of Cumberland (Nichola McAuliffe) suggests that Cumberland (Peter Firth) should put forward his nephew, Prince George (Nicholas Agnew) into the running as a suitor for Victoria, especially as they learn of Albert (Tom Hughes) and also of Prince Alexander of Russia.  It would make a very English marriage as Melbourne advised her she needs.  Victoria also wondering if Elizabeth I was happy as she didn't marry.  He tells her of her many companions.  Victoria thinks she too can have companions and doesn't want to marry yet.

She attends an unveiling for her father's charitable pursuits and both George and Alexander are eager to win her hand, though Alexander more so than George, who as Victoria tells Melbourne, was rather pleased with himself.  Victoria ponders her choices at the opera as they watch Lucia and Leopold watches Victoria watching Melbourne in her box and he at her.  As he tells Conroy she has "an obstacle" in her way which must be removed before she considers Albert.  Or rather before Albert was thrown at her.  They think Albert will be able to control her and if she ash children then she'll be kept busy.  Of course we know that wasn't the case and not only did Albert not control her, but he was just a consort with no power at all.

She finds out that Melbourne hasn't arrived as he's at Brocket Hall and she travels incognito in Emma's (Anna Wilson-Jones) carriage, after viewing the night sky through the telescope Melbourne gave her for her birthday.  He welcomes her to the Hall and she talks of her heart being taken already, as he tells her about the rooks, known as a parliament and much more humanized that their human counterparts.  As well as saying rooks mate for life and build their nests full of sparkle.  That perhaps he should have done the same for his wife.  Victoria being adamant she'd never have left him, or would leave him.  He taking her hand during all this and with the nation on their edge of their seats willing for them to kiss!  So much chemistry between them there and indeed throughout the entire episode.  However he lets her down gently, as gently as he could by saying he too mates for life, like the rook.  She walks away having received her answer, heartbroken.  Melbourne: "I believe when you give your heart it will be without hesitation."  Yeah she gave it as soon as she met him actually!

However she does put on a brave face for the dance, yes another one, this time for Leopold.  Emma tells Victoria she has orchids and they must be from Melbourne.  They're very hard to grow and he stopped growing them after his wife, so he must have grown them especially for her.  At the dance, Victoria dresses like Elizabeth I.   As she dances with Alexander, he knows he isn't the one for her. Neither is George who calls her a "midget!"  He's not really interested in her as a person and only there cos of his uncle.  Melbourne arrives and he also dances with Victoria.  He comes as Leicester, Elizabeth's companion.  He didn't have a wife either but they didn't marry, yet he was one of her companions.  Leopold talks with Melbourne and basically asks if he let her down gently.  Adding that Albert is on his way here.  Without Victoria's permission, adds Melbourne.

Mrs Jenkins (Eve Myles) receives a letter from her sister and after keeping it to herself she finally tells Skerrett (Nell Hudson) about it.  Her nephew is to be hung, drawn and quartered for being a traitor and part of the Chartists, but he's just a foolish boy.  Skerrett is also bothered by Francatelli (Ferdinand Kingsley) who finally gets the news she only worked at the laundry of Ma Fletcher's place.  He commenting on how she washed the clothes of tarts and then came here.  She doesn't want her business known and he just wants to be her friend.  The staff also wager on whom Victoria will marry, started by Penge (Adrian Schiller). Skerrett tells Victoria of the men waiting to be hanged and of the people not being happy.  She summons Melbourne and wants to sign the bishops' petition to stop this.  She wants her reign to be "merciful" and Melbourne informs her she can commute their sentences and send them to Australia.

Victoria sends away Conroy giving him an Irish title and a £1,000, increasing her mother's allowance.  She tells her mother she knows how hard it is to lose someone you love and cries.  Adding that Conroy wanted to leave.  As the others watch and listen to Victoria playing piano, Albert arrives and turns over the music sheet for her.  Well she got the surprise of her life, or should that be shock!  That coupled with Alexander's parting gift of a box carved with the initials of V&A was timely, though     the A was more appropriate for Albert.  

Yes, heard the hearts of many breaking when they found we will not go the whole hog with dramatic licence and they will both have to keep stiff upper lips (and to themselves! ha) as there'll be no more romance between them, no matter how many glances Victoria and Melbourne steal towards one another.  Nor any secret assignations or late night meetings.  Still good to see her maintain her position on marriage and firmly controlling her life and her regency, running things as she wants them still.  Without any influences from meddling relatives, no matter who they are.  After all Belgium is just a small, poor nation and Victoria will reign just as she wants to over hers.

Did anyone manage to keep a straight face when Penge was naming the contenders, The British bulldog or the German sausage (some innuendo there no doubt!  Especially when he said the same at the end about the sausage getting the queen!)  Upon writing Lord M is trending on Twitter.  Maybe they need a spin off all about Lord M with Rufus in the title role again!!  With Jenna as Lady Caroline and this time round she can break his heart all over again!!  Seriously good idea!