Here’s a round-up of the week’s TV.
The first contribution, Paranoid, wasn’t strictly on the iplayer but Netflix, having first been broadcast (I think) on ITV. I had seen it last year, but was reminded of it by a Quaker on Facebook because it has a Quaker character in it. Indira Varma stars as a highly competent but emotionally all-over-the-place (hmm!) police officer, supported by Robert Glenister (Philip’s better-behaved younger brother.) It’s a compelling series centring on a pharmaceutical corruption with murders and corrupt psychiatrists thrown in. The Quaker character, though a little too serene and smiley, is nonetheless interesting, and Indira Varma is great.
I also caught, in a radio programme I can’t now find, Peter Hitchens fulminating about the King James Version of the Bible. Basically Hitchens, who seems to be a died-in-the-war* reactionary, wants to keep the KJV. Well, I wasn’t aware that it was being abolished: you don’t have to look too hard to find churches who use it as I’ve been to at least one in Leicester and one in Wales. There is, I think, a point to be made about the language: as a poet I regret that the poetry and grandeur which infuses the KJV has not permeated the newer translations. But surely the main point is that KJV, along with Wycliffe and other contemporary versions, was written in order to be accessible to the (then) largely illiterate congregation. It was written so that the people could read and understand the Bible for themselves without being dependent on priests: as such, it is no longer fit for purpose.
It might be objected that we don’t attempt to update Shakespeare. Well, actually we do: and this week I also caught up with a BBC modernisation of Much Ado About Nothing called Shakespeare Retold:
but in any case, Shakespeare is not Holy Writ.
I also, sadly, encountered the soggy reheated breakfast that is Porridge. This was not only a lame rehash where nothing has moved on (unlike, say, Still Open All Hours where the customers are different and gender roles have changed) – it is, you might say, almost a betrayal of Clement and La Frenais’ former work, since Porridge was originally so compelling and revealing. But now both society and the prison network have changed so much that to do it in the same way appears risible:
You Don’t Need a Sausage Roll When You’ve Got Jesus
…a selection of news items about the baby Jesus (love the headline bottom right) which according to the Today programme’s Thought For The Day is a non-story. Nobody is really bothered by the Greggs window display; not the Catholics, not the Anglicans, not even the Evangelical Alliance – and when the EA aren’t bovvered, that’s it. A non-story.
*see what I did there?