EDitorial ± 29-Jan-2003

Channel No 5

In the beginning, 1936, there was one and one alone, the BBC. Number two, ITV, arrived on 22-Sep-1955 bringing, shock horror, adverts!, including one for SR toothpaste. Two became three on 20-Apr-1964 with BBC2, though a power failure wiped out that evening's programmes. It wasn't until 2-Nov-1982 that Channel 4 came along, complete with the eternally young Richard Whiteley. Finally, on 30-Mar-1997, five joined the throng.

In sleepy East Anglia, Channel 5 didn't arrive until that much later, so I missed the opening celebrations that featured a where-are-they-now girl band called The Spice Girls. I'd sometimes look enviously at the 9pm movie slot in the listings, but not too often. Even when the retuning men had been & gone, the picture was still snowy and the programmes didn't appeal.

Then a couple of years back, with precious little elsewhere on the box, I found myself watching the pilot episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, with that bloke from that Manhunter film, William Petersen. It was fast, loud, gruesome and had some smart dialogue: I was in!

Five alive

Plus points:

  • set in Las Vegas: opening LV-at-night credits are always glam
  • crime scene reconstruction: chase the blood splatters
  • lead characters: all v. cool and all with great sunglasses
  • post mortems: an education in anatomy and poisons
  • William Petersen: a class act

Third series opened yesterday, Tuesday. Stacks of red herrings, some grisly scenes on the slab, and a totally unpredictable cause of death for The Candyman. What's more, the spin-off series, CSI Miami, starring David Caruso (ex of NYPD Blue), starts on Saturday. Videoplus heaven!

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

Other C5 highlights:

  1. Suggs' karaoke show, the name of which escapes me
  2. the odd top film: Saving Private Ryan, Con Air, Long Kiss Goodnight
  3. Powerpuff Girls: bring 'em back on Saturday morning!
  4. friend Sarah down the road is revelling in the current run of Colombo TV movies of an afternoon

Be seeing you!