Well Obviously an Update is Long Overdue

Poorly directed ramblings in search of an actual point. And Nazis.

The title says it all really.

If I may be allowed to make a plea in my defence I would like to put my general slackness down to work. It’s getting towards the end of the year, which always means a rush, and we’ve also been building a new whiz-bang Checkout process which is the kind of thing that just eats up your entire week. And we’ve got a massive backlog of work anyway because Dale went slightly mad a few months ago and booked in a lot more than we could actually do.

To deal with it I’ve been going into work early and doing one or two extra hours a day. Which is nice for the hip pocket but doesn’t really leave me with much energy for anything else. I have been up for a few things though, which I hopefully will write a bit about over the weekend. But not today, because I’m still at work (although I’ve taken myself off the clock so as not to defraud the company by having it pay for my half-arsed blogging) and it’s almost time to go home.

Two things I will comment on however are that the ABC has put Daria on again (on Friday Afternoons which is one reason I’m keen to be off home), and that there are a number of other really excellent TV shows on at the moment. Or rather there were because a few of them finished before I had the energy to write about them. Ho hum.

Sea of Souls for instance was very good. For those not aquainted with it, it’s a somewhat creepy drama featuring a team of parapsychologists working out of Glascow University. Now naturally this sort of premise runs the risk of being a complete cliche (cue X-Files theme), but I think the actors and scriptwriters did a really good job with it. Actually it reminded me a bit of Mysterious Ways (if you chopped out the requisite feel-good endings, made it all a bit more serious and boosted up the budget that is) – I mean a university Professor investigating the paranormal with the assistance of an enthusiastic young grad student*OK, I admit ‘enthusiastic’ isn’t exactly the first adjective that springs to mind to describe Miranda (apart from when watching the surgery channel at least), but she was enthusiastic on the inside! 🙂 and a dyed in the wool skeptic – it doesn’t take a genius to see the similarities (there are also some obvious similarities to the Koestler Parapsychological Unit at Edinburgh University, but I’ll leave that kind of thing to the lawyers 🙂

Anyway I only saw the last four epsiodes (dealing with reincartnation and muti killings), but they were really good. I wish I’d watched it from the start.

Also catching my interest at the moment is P.O.W, which is (obviously enough) set in a Nazi P.O.W camp during World War II (that is to say a P.O.W camp run by the Nazis, I can’t see anyone watching a show set in a camp for Nazis – at least not anyone I’d want to hang around with anyway). It’s sort of like a somewhat less rose tinted version of The Great Escape extended into a series, or a serious version of Hogan’s Heroes (if a guard caught you digging a tunnel in this camp they wouldn’t run away yelling “I know noTHING!” – they’d shoot you). It’s rather reminiscant of Changi actually, minus the various fantasy bits. Anyway what particularly impresses me is the camp Commandant, Dreiber. The scriptwriters and the actor (who’s name completely escapes me) have done a great job (in the episodes I’ve seen at least – I’ve missed a few) in making him somewhat sympathetic, without taking any of the easy options. It would have been very easy to set him up as a brutal Nazi monster, or alternatively as a good guy forced to follow orders because he has no choice, but they’ve managed to create a loyal, patriotic German (and Nazi) who isn’t on the whole such a bad guy. He generally sticks to the Geneva Conventions for instance, shows some concern for the prisoners’ welfare and treats the Allied C.O. with a measure of respect due to his rank. Of course anyone attempting to escape will be shot, and you get to see the frightening side of him when one of the prisoners turns out to be Jewish*Not brutal or vicious or fanatical – he just so obviously regards him as a nothing., but he’s not the stock Nazi usually portrayed in these kind of situations.

Thanks to sixty years of TV and cinema we’ve all got used to the idea of the Nazis as monsters (and let’s not forget there were plenty of them who were) but it’s interesting to see such an intelligent and convincing portrayal of the kind of Nazi who would have made up the bulk of the organization. Not a raving lunatic, or a fantical warrior pledging to die for the Fuhrer and the Sacred Aryan Blood, but an ordinary person with certain beliefs going about their life and military duties in a certain way. If you ask me that’s a much more mature – and frightening – depiction of what went on in Nazi Germany than a thousand bellowing stormtroopers.

So yeah, P.O.W. Check it out.

Going home now.

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