I can tell you right now that usually I don’t watch documentaries (unless there are animals and David Attenborough involved) and I also had no intention of watching Piper Alpha: Fire in the Night (on BBC2) but this is one of most engrossing, well-handled and produced documentaries of a tragic event I have ever seen.
For those that don’t know Piper Alpha was a gas/oil platform based in the North Sea off the coast of North East Scotland. The disaster took place in July 1988 and took the lives of 167 of the crew (around 100 still alive but stuck inside when the rig sunk), with only 61 surviving.
The documentary is split into three different views, firstly from pictures of the time, then from reproduced imagery for the documentary and then from one on one interviews with those involved on the day of the accident. It is really moving to see a group of survivors (many of whom are from the North of England and Scotland, traditionally hard men areas) deal with the emotions on camera as they recount the traumatic events the unravelled in front of them on the longest night of their lives. The reproduction of scenes for the documentary were beautifully done and really allowed for you to feel the sort of panic and desperation that the men on the rig would have been going through as they battle with their own mortality. It is the sad fact that these sorts of events must take place for those in the future to live in a safer world.
I really cannot do the documentary any real justice but it really does handle one of the largest workplace disasters (the largest worldwide offshore oil disaster at the time of events) in the UK’s recent history incredibly well. Piper Alpha: Fire in the Night really is worth watching and again is an incredibly well produced documentary of the most dreadful event in Scottish offshore oil/gas production history.
The iconic show that is South Park has produced a total of 237 episodes over 16 seasons and has entered the pantheon of the greatest shows ever (I put it as no.3 comedy of all time). Although often ignored for the impact it had South Park spoke for and helped define the late 90’s early 2000’s generation.
This Season Review naturally contains *spoilers* so read at your own caution. Just in case you are wondering (any why wouldn’t you be) I have read the books.
What I loved.
- The Red Wedding
- This is quite simply one of the greatest pieces of television I have ever seen (and I knew what was going to happen). It was always going to be difficult to replicate such an iconic part of the book series but gee golly gosh (not something I say very often) the writers delivered.
- I particularly liked how throughout the episode GOT lead you into a false sense of security with Walder Frey sort of showing I’m not a bad guy by giving Edmure a pretty wife, making everything seem like it was ok.
- This sounds weird but I loved how they killed off Robb’s wife. Stabbing in her in the stomach when she was pregnant just added to the drama and symbolism of the slaughter (his wife in the book doesn’t actually go to the wedding and is a totally different character, Robb got some explaining to do). It just made the whole event more traumatic and memorable as a Frey comes and stabs her like he’s shiving some guy in prison.
- Again although I knew Catelyn was going to die, the way the show was shot made it look as if she was going to live but as a prisoner, and then with the last seconds of the episode Black Walder walks up and slits her throat.
- The credits. It just hit home the grandeur of the event by not playing any music over the credits, made the happenings seem so much more important (which they were).
- The performances. I thought that Michelle Fairley (Catelyn) had a great performance in this scene, one which was only usurped by the amazing David Bradley (Walder Frey).
- I could write a whole article about this one scene, it is that great.
- Jaime’s speech in the bath.
- Added so many more dimensions and sympathy for the character that was always cool but a bit of a dick.
- Also hand cutting off was cool or as cool as it can be to see someone pretend to have their hand cut off.
- The fight at Craster’s house.
- It was generally well done and a good scene as Joer Morment clocked off.
- I just wonder where they are going to go with Dolorous Edd and Grenn (guys hanging about with Sam) who make it back to the wall in the books but don’t seem to in the show based on what Stannis says at the end.
- Lots more Littlefinger and Varys.
- One thing the show has over the books is its ability to follow non POV characters, and two of the best non POV characters are these two.
- More Olenna Tyrell
- She is just one of the best and most consistent characters.
- Her relationship with the Hound and Gendry.
- Her going nuts on that Frey guy in the last episode.
Things I liked
- It was nice to see ser Barristan Selmy back.
- Generally he is the best character in the show (or that was the way of it for the first two seasons anyway) but he felt out of place or maybe over used at times.
- Why is he in liked? Well how can you put Tyrion as a negative?
- It’s tough he is one of my favourite characters in the books and on the show and when he shows up I get a bit giddy, but I feel he is not in it enough.
- Maybe that is a good thing just look at my Tyrion comments.
- Joffrey in general
- Bran embracing the warg.
- Embrace the warg Bran, embrace it!
- I liked Dany’s general storyline; much like Bran embraced the warg, Dany embraced her new role (embrace the wig).
- She got crazy ass dragons that burn rude bald men (WATCH OUT LARRY DAVID!!!!)
- The Blackfish is just beast (especially with a bow and the ladies, even if they are yucky Frey’s).
- Edmure is funny as hell. I wonder if he will say to Walder Frey “Es tu Walde”.
Things I disliked.
- I like Robb, why wouldn’t you. Handsome, nice beard, Scottish what’s not to like?
- Well cause you asked, his story was just sort of shit. I don’t blame Robb (I blame someone else which I shall get onto later) but until the Red Wedding I don’t think he added anything.
- Not enough Bronn.
- MacKenzie Crook
- A couple things annoyed me about this.
- Firstly Orrell never goes over the wall in the book, nor does Tormund Giantsbane.
- Secondly and more importantly you get a good and highly reputable actor such as MacKenzie Crook and you waste him in a role that is barely beyond an extra.
- Mance Rayder
- I felt that Ciaran Hinds looked too old to play the character of Mance. I like him as an actor and hope I am wrong, but so far I have my doubts.
- Dominic West apparently turned the role down and in my mind he would’ve been perfect but maybe I’m just missing McNulty.
- Also he was not in the show enough and when he was in it they didn’t make him seem like that big a deal.
- Robb’s killing of Rickard Karstark
- I just felt that the beheading of Karstark is meant to be a major event and instead it didn’t come across as being that.
- It is difficult for a TV show to delve into the details that a book does, however the show didn’t highlight enough how this was a major deal.
- Too many characters and not enough screen time
- Too many characters stories felt rushed or spread thin over a number of weeks.
- Namely Bran, Sam and Tyrion.
Things I hated
- No Fat Belwas
- I really don’t like this character and I was scared she might not die at the Red Wedding; thankfully the writers didn’t fail us.
- It is hard to fathom why she received such a large role in the show. It seemed like every scene Robb was in ah shit there is that annoying Talisa cow as well……ugh.
- She is the Megan Draper of GOT.
- The first scene of the season
- If you read the book you were expecting an epic fight between the Night’s Watch and the White Walkers, which concludes with the what is left of the Night’s Watch getting on their horses and jumping over their enemy to escape (I know sounds awesome).
- Instead we got a random singular attack on Sam and that was it.
There you guy that is what I loved, liked, disliked and hated about this season of Game of Thrones. If it hasn’t come across I very much liked this year’s GOT. I’m sure I will have missed stuff that people have loved and hated about this year’s edition.
So leave your comments about the list, the show or whether you are looking forward to next year’s season 4; all are appreciated.