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I have a confession to make... - dorsetgirl
March 22nd, 2009
05:35 pm
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I have a confession to make...



I still find myself thinking about Demons. And missing it.

 

Yes, I know what was wrong with it - criminal negligence whilst in possession of an opportunity, basically - but I think it’s what it could have been, what it could have developed into, that I miss.

 

 

I’ve only written the one fic in the fandom, but I do find the characters are in my mind a lot of the time. Not talking, especially, or doing anything that cries out to be written down, but I did get to like them.

 

Quincey was amazing - creepy and sexy, intimate and intimidating, slimy and handsome, all at the same time. And Ruby!  Ruby was brilliant, easily my favourite character, and I was very, very  surprised to find I was ’shipping her and Galvin. I never really got why people didn’t like her; she had her part to play, which was to be us - asking the awkward questions, pulling these people out of their excluding little bubble of unreality, anchoring the whole thing in something that approximated to the real world. Some people moaned about her clothes, but they looked perfectly normal to me; I rarely even noticed them. It was Mina’s clothes that struck me as wrong; always dressed as if for the concert stage, even while hanging around the Stacks. And three or four changes per episode.

 

And Galvin. Oh, Phil. I’d have to say, that if that’s the character after you’ve fought the directors to stop them making him too much like Gene, then it’s no wonder you felt you were a grumpy bastard to work with on this series. It can’t be much fun, signing up for what was presented as a cameo, a little easy-going, light relief in between seasons of Ashes to Ashes, and then finding you’re the lead, carrying the PR burden alone, and with some of the clunkiest dialogue ever heard outside of Bonekickers.

 

They could have done so much more with that character; with all of them, of course, but Rupert Galvin had it in him to be so much more, but the writing let him down badly. All those “thees” and “thous” at the beginning didn’t work, to say the least of it, and it felt to me as if Phil was trying to play him as a man of depth and complexity while the writers were happy to leave him as an empty shell, a foil for the pretty boy hero.

 

Oh yeah, the hero. Luke. Possibly the most boring hero of all time. Very well played by Christian Cooke, who I remember as putting across a lot of feeling in his Doctor Who role. It can’t be easy, acting a person totally devoid of personality, although I think that was possibly how the character was designed - the point being that he is an ordinary guy, very ordinary indeed, who just doesn’t want to be part of all this intrigue and excitement. From that point of view, your standard action superhero simply wouldn’t have fitted the bill, and I did get to quite like Luke; certainly the character needed to be ordinary to work. A hero who chewed up the villains, and the scenery, while obviously relishing the excitement and the danger, would not have suited the way the story was framed. Still, not an easy part to play.

 

I don’t imagine we will be getting another series, for all that ITV say that nothing has been decided. I know Phil has said he won’t be doing any more, and that is hardly surprising. If there is more, I doubt very much whether I would watch without him. Indeed if it weren’t for Phil being in it, and thus it being a topic of conversation at places I go to online, I doubt if we in our house would ever have heard of the show.

 

Which leads me to the final point - who was it made for? It was on quite late for “Saturday family viewing” and got later during the run. Every week we expected to find it scheduled earlier - about five thirty or six o’clock would have worked - and every week it was even later, like they thought it was something that could hold a serious audience just by being shoved in front of them.

 

It was advertised as being dark and scary, and with the “hero” being a teenager, it seemed a reasonable assumption that they were going for a teenaged audience. In fact, I saw somewhere that they were “targeting”, and I use the word extremely loosely, the 16-35 age group. All right, so there’s not a soul in our household fits into that, and I don’t mind not enjoying a show if I can see how it serves the target demographic.

 

But this shambles? If it really was made for 16 to 35-year-olds, someone has a very unflattering view of that age group’s intelligence. It was signposted for five-year-olds, for God’s sake. The focussing on road signs at changes of scene as if we couldn’t work out for ourselves that this was Luke’s flat if we hadn’t seen the road name first? The editing of the Alice episode, where mentions of a dastardly female were followed immediately by cutting to pictures of Alice? OK, children haven’t necessarily picked up that the villain of the week is always the new character - and wouldn’t it be worth occasionally starting a series with three or four spare characters, so you could use some of those as surprise villains? - but when it’s painfully obvious to everyone except the hero that it’s her, you have to wonder why they’re making it a “mystery” at all.

 

So, it’s a little difficult to work out why I still miss this show, but somewhere along the line, Phil and Holly and Christian did a damn good job of transcending the terrible writing (actually, Ruby had some great lines - I’m never going to forget “can’t you hear it?”) to develop likeable characters that I wanted to get to know better. And now I probably won’t get the chance.







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From:kimboosan
Date:March 22nd, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC)
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I have not seen an episode; not really wanted to, after reading reviews and friends observations about it. So with that in mind...

I totally agree with what you are saying, from everything I've heard. Honestly from over here it looked to me like the show got Phil and a green light before the LoM/A2A hype ramped up fully, and then the producers realized they were sitting on something that could potentially be a lot more than the cheap sci-fi filler it was originally designed to be. They refilmed hunks of it and increased Phil's role but they had so much in the can, they could not re-envision the whole thing, and ended up with a half-assed product. I feel sorriest for Phil, who as you said did not sign up for what he was originally saddled with, and had to fight to keep the character he played from being Gene Hunt Jr. *shakes head*

And sometimes the shows that "almost worked" are the ones I miss most of all; the potential and the ideas are still out there, somehow, waiting to be done right.

(Honestly, I feel this way about some fanfic. I get very wrapped up in a maudlin/poorly written/badly plotted story because the IDEAS are so sharp and interesting, and I just want to shake the author and go "fix it!" and can't get the story out of my head because it ALMOST WAS. Y'know?)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:March 22nd, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
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the potential and the ideas are still out there, somehow, waiting to be done right.

It's just such a waste. It could have been great. OK, it was never going to be intelligent television, but it didn't have to be stupid. It should have been great. Grr.

(Can't wait to see what these "other shows in the pipeline" are, that Phil supposedly has going on. If he follows the pattern of the past two years, he will film something during the next few months, before - I hope - heading back for Series Three of Ashes. My reading is that he is very keen to be totally in casting directors' faces with "I am totally not just Gene Hunt. Never forget what else I can do.")
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From:ac_123
Date:March 23rd, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
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I think the fact that Rupert Galvin was Gene Hunt with the gun o' SFX is why he left the show. Screw potential, screw everything else, he does not want to be pigeonholed into the Gene Hunt mold. (Which is understandable, the career he's worked on for years would go down the hole if that happened.) I think he also saw that the writing probably wasn't going to get better or the character get any deeper (thing about Gene Hunt is that he has a bit more depth than a puddle).

I was SHOCKED to find out that Christian was Ross from those two episodes of Doctor Who. I'm normally pretty good with recognizing people. I think you're right, he also acted his heart out--he really made you believe that Luke was an idiot--there was just little to work with.

I'm with you, I would have never thought that I would end up shipping Ruby and Galvin (I was right on the Galvin/Luke train, when I was more or less convinced otherwise). And Ruby was the coolest person on that show. I can't believe she has haters. She also came off as the best-acted. Everyone else seemed to figure that the show was, in essence, shit, and give up after a while. Holly seemed to be the only who either liked her character the whole way through or knew she would find something bigger and better to cover Demons with, like all good actors do.

If this show was made for people in my age group, I would not be so ashamed to admit that I like it!
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:March 24th, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
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Holly seemed to be the only who either liked her character the whole way through or knew she would find something bigger and better to cover Demons with.

Ruby was definitely the best character imo, and also with Holly being at the beginning of her career she has more chance of it being forgotten. Not that any of the characters really need to be forgotten - it's the writing and direction that some people need to be ashamed of.

As to being ashamed of liking it: it's one of the [few] good things about getting older - it's easier not to care about being cool or what other people think. (Mind you, that doesn't kick in until you're about 35). And you know there will be people on LJ to squee along with whatever you find to squee about next!
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From:angeweeks
Date:March 24th, 2009 07:58 am (UTC)
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I absolutely agree with you; there's so much potential in this show and it's all wasted. I feel like this about the 'new' BBC version of Robin Hood - when it's not on, I really miss it, but it's just bloody awful in a lot of parts!

I was also surprised to find myself shipping Ruby/Galvin, I had thought I would go for the obvious (as always!) and ship Galvin/Luke - but I found so little to catch my interest in Luke's character that he was almost in the background of the programme for me. He was surplus to requirements in many ways, and that's not the actor's fault by any means. Give someone crap to work with and they'll make their best stab at it, but ultimately it's still crap...

With a complete overhaul and another series to try and develop the characters more, instead of wheeling out the "monster of the week" every time, this could have turned into something really good. And like you say, it's a shame we won't get the chance to see that.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:March 24th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
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Hmm, interesting point about Robin Hood - I've given up watching it at broadcast, but I'm in the room while the kids do, so I know all the characters and what's happening. Richard Armitage plays a total blinder imo, and of course Keith Allen is the most brilliantly cheesy evil overlord you could ever hope for. And the slash! My God, I wish it was a really good programme because the slash is just In Your Face. (And yes, I would love to see the Sheriff give it to Gisborne up the arse. But Robin/Much? Bleeagh.)

On balance, I think Gisborne is the best character, because you really see his conflict; how he's thrown his lot in with the Sheriff for whatever reason, and knows he'll never get away with his health and wealth intact, never mind his reputation and sanity. And that final scene, where he offs Marian - he totally sold that, I really felt his pain.

Anyway, on Demons, yes, I think it had the potential to be great; if they'd focussed more on the personalities and the conflicts between Luke wanting a normal life, Galvin still grieving and yet having the hots for Mina, and Ruby just being snarky and ordinary and great, they'd have had something brilliant. 'Villain of the week' needs to be handled more subtly, I think - it's a very tired format.

There was some discussion at TRA about the Rupert/Ruby vibe; to me, they really played it strong but subtle, with little glances here and there and nothing boringly obvious, but there was a definite chorus of "that's GROSS!" from some sections over there at the very idea. I couldn't really see why - for God's sake, there are plenty of teenagers about TRA and LJ who are happy to admit they fancy the pants off Philip, so why shouldn't Ruby fancy Galvin? And given that they made the point, in dialogue, that she's eighteen, what's so wrong with him going for it? It's not like Luke sees what's under his nose, is it!

Erm, 'scuse my ranting there; I just get rather fed up of never getting decent relationships on screen unless it's ALL ABOUT the relationship. And then it's boring. < /grumpy old bag>
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From:angeweeks
Date:March 24th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I have this huuuuuuge crush on Richard Armitage as it is...and I agree about the slash between Guy and the Sheriff. And I am with you on the yuck vote for Much/Robin. I don't get that at all, but then I never liked Robin/Marian either. I could see potential with Marian/Guy but that's probably me just self-inserting...*cough*

I am amused that people were appalled about the idea of Rupert/Ruby though; as you say, some would have been the same age and wanting to jump Philip anyway, and she was said to be 18!

And rant away. I like to know I'm not the only grumpy old bag here. *g*

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From:call_me_lovey
Date:April 18th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)

my thoughts

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Hiya,

It's Claire M from TRA.

I'm not sure whether I liked [i]Demons[/i] so much because I fancied Galvin, or because I actually liked the show itself, but all his "smite/rend thee" dialogue was worth seeing it for. I [b]loved[/b] his voice. He could've been talking about the arm of a chair & I'd still have been listening.

I was a huge [i]Buffy[/i] fan when it was on, even though I was really too old for it. I've always loved sci-fi, people shooting each other, lasers coming out of people's eyes, etc., so I don't know why I was so embarrassed about liking this.
I think [i]Demons[/i] was only meant to be a stopgap while we were waiting for A2A to start. (that had better be worth it)
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:April 18th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)

Re: my thoughts

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Hiya Claire!

I really liked Galvin's voice, too. Not the accent so much, although after a week or two I got used to it, but there was something different from Gene and from Phil himself in it. Galvin was just gorgeous IMO.

I think the thing about being embarrassed about liking Demons was that, frankly, it was badly done. All those big build-ups to the weekly smiting and it was over in a couple of moments. (Makes you wonder about the Director's sex life).

But with all that, I did enjoy it rather a lot, and it took me weeks to get used to it not being on any more. And yes, I'll probably buy the DVD at some point!

Anyway, it's lovely to see you here - there doesn't seem to be a lot of overlap between LJ people and TRA people in general. (btw on LJ you need to use < and > instead of [ and ]). Apart from that the formatting tends to work pretty much the same).

See you on TRA Monday night if not before!

DG
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From:call_me_lovey
Date:April 19th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)

Re: my thoughts

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Hiya,

I had a hard time imagining Galvin with any of the others, because I'd have loved for him to "smite" me. The Southern accent did it for me!
If I want Gene I'll look at his policing guides, or get someone to text me, but I loved it when Galvin came out with things Gene could've said (I'd never heard of PG before seeing LoM.)

I've downloaded 'Ain't No Easy Way' & a bit of Johnny Cash (dad loves him so nobody thinks it's a bit weird). If Demons had have been green lit again, they'd have had to come up with a damn good story to explain why Galvin wasn't in it. (I'd probably have fancied him whoever played him.)

I can't remember a time in my life where I haven't held a torch for someone famous. (It'd be a bit odd if I hadn't.). People have liked stranger things -- I once read about a woman who was in luv with the Berlin Wall!



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