I don't watch much TV, but the appearance of Patrick Stewart in a programme that's not Star Trek is more than enough for me to put down my mouse and keyboard and lounge infront of the glowing brainsucker device for the best part of an evening.
Stewart plays Professor Hood, a government science consultant, who's on a personal mission to protect the interests of scientific advancement and protect the public from bad science. Last night's episode was about a rogue cloner, and it's well-written, genuinely interesting stuff. One of my favourite scenes was Hood disgustedly watching a shampoo advert, throwing an old sandwich at the TV, and loudly proclaiming "Bollocks!" in a broad Yorkshire accent when "the science bit" rubbed him just a little bit too far the wrong way.
Patrick Stewart's one of those actors you can watch in just about anything, and can't fail to be impressed (well, maybe barring Dune). He's just got so much charisma and authority as an actor, you can even believe that he's an English-accented 25th Century Frenchman. Okay, maybe that's overstating it a little too far... but he's a bit like Johnny Depp (though with less hair, obviously): you can cast him in practically *anything* and he'll be great.
Able support is provided by Ashley Jensen (who you may have seen in Extras); she plays a no-nonsense Special Branch policeman assigned to be Hood's bodyguard. Refreshingly, her character's full of sarcasm, wit and delicious put-downs.
It's quite a short series (only 4 episodes, the first of which was last night), but it's definitely worth watching, if only for being a series with an emphasis more on the intellectual than the thrills and spills.
In other news, and a plug without prejudice, The Escapist Magazine has an EVE Online promotion this issue, allowing you to download the game client free, and check the game out for 14 days, without committing to a subscription. So, if you've been meaning to check out EVE Online for years, but never quite got around to it, here's your chance.
The magazine itself is a good read, too (for the videogames-inclined).