20 April 2015

TV & Movie Crime Log: Safe, Stonehearst & Ultron

Safe HouseChristopher Eccleston plays a man who runs down-at-heel lodgings in a new ITV series. I think you can guess, if its Mr. Eccleston, that it’s not going to be a reimagining of Rising Damp. In Safe House, Chris’s guests are actually going to be people in witness protection, so I can confidently predict that shit is going to go down over the course of four or so episodes.

The blurb likes its eggs fried, thank you:

Former police officer Robert and his wife Katy left city life behind them after Robert was injured, whilst trying to protect a witness in his care. The witness, Susan Reynolds was fatally shot. Robert has been struggling with the guilt he feels over the death of Susan.

In a bid to put the past behind them, Robert and Katy now run a guest house, hidden away in the idyllic Lake District. A surprise visitor turns up, DCI Mark Maxwell, an ex-colleague and old friend. He suggests that the guest house is perfectly positioned to operate as a safe house, Robert is tempted but will Katy agree?

Later, DCI Maxwell finds himself dealing with a family left reeling from an unexplained assault. The father, David, has been hospitalised and an innocent passer-by is in a critical condition. DCI Maxwell needs to work out why this family was targeted and track down the assailant.

Mark calls Robert to see if he and Katy will take David, Ali, Louisa and Joe Blackwell and keep them safe. They agree. Deep down Robert wants to protect this family to prove that he can still do the job - and make sure that this time nothing goes wrong.

Settled into the guest house the Blackwell family adjust to life in a safe house. The man hunting the family is being investigated by Mark who turns to Robert for help and from within the safe house Robert undertakes his own investigation into the family.

The only member of the family not in the safe house and unaccounted for is the eldest son, Sam. He is away at university, but worryingly no-one has seen or heard from him in weeks.

I think I kept up with all that. It all sounds very exciting, and the plan is to make Safe House into a returning series –- with a different family on the run every time –- if it does well. But don’t put it past ITV to sneak some gleaming spires in there somewhere. You can see it tonight at the usual ITV time of crime o’clock.

Shutter Island, Gothika, 12 Monkeys, Shock Corridor, Stoker. Hollywood loves movies set in asylums. Don’t we all? And Victorian insane asylums, with their glinting instruments, sinister corridors, cliffside locations, gibbering loons and lack of decent dentistry, are even better. So along comes Stoneheart Asylum, which is apparently based on a story by our old friend Edgar Allen Poe.

In old photos of Victorian asylums, the inmates are all toothless and bulbous and look—well, insane. In Stonehearst Asylum, however, they look like Kate Beckinsale.

The blurb is secretly slipping its medication beneath its tongue:


There’s another film out this week. I, for one, have never heard of it, It’s called Avengers: Age Of Ultron. I strongly suspect—and I have absolute confidence in my assertion—that it will come and go at your local multiplex without touching the sides.