Friday, June 13, 2008

Bonding with a Time Lord

I have always had a fondness for murder mysteries - brings out the sleuth in me. Last night I watched the last of a series called Mrs Bradley Mysteries which came out in the late 1990s. The series was set in the 1920's and starred Diana Rigg aka Mrs Peel from The Avengers.

A dark & nasty little story it was indeed, called the Worsted Viper, involving ritual murder with symbolism encrusted throughout.

A vicar's daughter called 'Chastity' is found murdered with a worsted viper (a kind of yarn made into a snake shape with a snakes head at one end) wrapped three times around her neck and her hair cut off. Seems the murderer is copycat of the late Black Jack Briggs who liked his female sacrifices as virgins. I must admit I fell asleep for part of this, storyline was pretty crap - a ritual methinks now, dressed up in a weak story line.

The villain is revealed as none other than Inspector Christmas who has been in two previous episodes acting with the utmost propriety - but number three that always seems to stir things up, does it not. He starts ranting some nasty stuff about dark energy which felt an awful lot like an incantation - it repulsed me, which is why I'm not going back to look it up - it doesn't belong.

At the beginning of the episode Inspector Christmas is being honoured in a ceremony & a fancy golden mayoral type chain is placed round his neck. When the body of the girl is found he is still wearing this which I thought odd at the time, but as the actor was none other than Peter Davison, the lovable Tristan from All Creatures Great & Small, I got fooled & failed to give proper attention to the antenna which was attempting to sprout through the top of my head.

And it is Peter Davison that this little article is about.

Some early quotes about him "Fresh-faced, enthusiastic" & "With his bright, breezy manner, Peter proved a breath of fresh air"...and indeed as Tristan & then the fifth Doctor Who these qualities verily zinged through him .

My son & I have also been working our way through the recent 'Last Detective' series in which he plays a clever though under-appreciated Detective Constable known as 'Dangerous Davies', as well as the old Doctor Who series - TV got so crap some years ago that we switched to DVDs

My son made a comment some little time ago about Peter Davison with whom he is very familiar having watched 'All Creatures' & Dr Who, that he could not think of 'Dangerous' and 'Tristan/Dr Who' as the same man. When he said this I knew exactly what he meant.
Because we have watched a mix of old & new shows we regularly come across actors of the 70's & 80's turning up in modern shows, and while they've aged they are still recognisable. This is something different & I'll come back to it.

We recently watched the fourth series of the Last Detective. Due to the ending of the third series we'd both been convinced that there would be no more - a reconciliation with his wife when their separation had been an ongoing theme in the series.
The fourth series had a different feel to it, with a couple of particularly ugly & violent scenes. In the penultimate episode I was rather surprised to see a whole lotta symbolism jumping out at me -a slow panned shot across the White Knight Laundry & 'Dangerous' posing in front of the London Eye come to mind. Hello, hello I thought, but still it was 'Tristan'.

Then lo & behold the final episode (Dead Peasant's Society) centres on the murder of a Freemason Lodge member, and we find his boss is a member. We get to go inside the lodge & see a ritual, albeit through the skylight. This was the first time I've ever come across this sort of coverage & as in the final episode of the Mrs Bradley Mysteries this also felt like the story was written around a ritual.

So I return to this comment of my son's that Tristan/Dr Who & Dangerous seem like two different people, a comment which weird as it seems I have to agree with whole-heartedly. He somehow seems like a changed man. Sad as it is to let go of childhood treasured memories, I can't help but feel a change has taken place in this man. I recalled also a post by Gavin from Atlantean Times re Paul McCartney & whether or not the past & present McCartney were the same man. In looking at the pics I felt a difference in the earlier & later images - facially they seem to be the same person but I could not shift a sense of seeing a different or altered personality. I seemed to see a kind of sweetness (best word I can think of) in the earlier images that is not there in the later ones - fanciful perhaps but the conviction remains.

Last night we continued, as 'chance' would have it, the Dr Who episode Arc of Infinity which just so happens to star Peter Davison (I'd gotten two series of Dr Who this week from video shop, going on instinct I'd chosen to watch this one first).
From wiki "Shielded by a collapsed star lurks a malevolent presence, an alien consisting of pure anti-matter. Its intention? To bond with a Time Lord and so cross over into this dimension through the Arc of Infinity — the gateway to all dimensions. The chosen Time Lord is the Doctor. To avert disaster, he is recalled to Gallifrey before the collision of matter and anti-matter leads to the destruction of all dimensions" (my emphasis).

In this world where things get weirder by the day (or is it just me) I find myself looking at & allowing stranger & stranger things. I long ago accepted that 'possession' happens, & I'm sure there are many 'varieties'.

Perhaps this is all just fanciful but like my son I don't see Tristan anymore in Davison, yes it could just be the result of time, but this feels different. Had it not been for last nights episode of Mrs Bradley I would have let this lie - but I found something malevolent in that, so much so that I did my witchy or nutty practise of sprinkling salt & sage around the house before I went to bed.

On looking up Black Jack on the internet (killer from Mrs Bradley 'ritual' enacted in my lounge last night black Friday 13 June) I found this story from the US dated 12 June (9.22) "BLACK JACK, Mo. (KMOX News) -- A 15-year-old boy plucked from the bottom a swimming pool tonight -- now he's at Children's Hospital with grim prospects.Police say he was discovered at the bottom of the Whisper Lake apartments pool in Black Jack just before 7 o'clock. The boy reportedly was submerged at the bottom of the 9-foot deep-end for more than 30 minutes.
As always so many numbers, the game of Black Jack is also known as 21 - reverse this for the date 12 June.
I thought I was finished but on checking difference between Auckland & Kansas, Missouri I find the distance is 7777 miles & Missouri is 17 hours behind Auckland.

I wonder how much we underestimate the rituals enacted on our tv screens & thus in our homes on a daily basis.