Oh my God...
I was quite looking forward to Bonekickers (BBC1, Tuesdays, 9pm) as I like my BBC drama series and this one looked like it could be up my street. Interesting topic, lots of characters, a little dash of Spooks and it was written by the folks that did Life On Mars. Good pedigree.
What a bag of unmitigated toss. And remember, I have the lowest of standards usually. Lets see if I can replay some of the highlights.
The lead character, a tough-ass female archeologist with some hidden family past, has absolutely zero empathy. Zero. She is just brutal and abrasive for the sake of it. I was desperately trying to place where I had seen the character before and then it struck me - its the Dead Ringers version of Fiona Bruce. Utterly unwatchable.
The plot - a housing project turns up a Knights Templar site which happens to maybe have a piece of the Cross of Christ, but the land just happens to be owned by a lunatic right wing Christian zealot trying to start a holy war against Muslims using ex-Eastenders actors with longswords - was almost (-almost-) watchable, as it didn't quite stray into Da Vinci Code territory. Throw in a woman with a splinter in her finger that can heal the dying and some hilarious vignettes to camera by said lunatic in the manner of V For Vendetta and it began to slide into silliness.
Then they discovered the dovecote with the massive vault containing all of the crosses brought from the Holy Land, under a church (no subsidence, obviously) and things just went from bad to worse. You have the lunatic sword wielding young men turn up in a classic stand off of 'drama!'. The zealot lunatic rappels down into the church like a Bond villain, with his obligatory sword. There is an argument, a scuffle and then the DEVOTED ARCHEOLOGIST sets the entire place on fire! We are then privy to some really bad blue screen work as the archeologist and the lunatic duel on the hanging ropes in the style of 'Hang Tough' from Gladiators. The bad guy falls and decides to off the plucky third year archeology student from Durham (typical Durham 'rah') and instead of screaming and begging for her life, she starts singing 'Jerusalem' at him!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, everyone good escapes, the lunatic and the guy from Eastenders burn to death, the underground chamber is left blazing away - probably undermining the entire area - and the archeologists go off down the pub. I shit you not. The death of two people isn't worth a blink for these neo-Indianas!
Next weeks is about slavery, the American presidency and has redcoats in it. I can hardly wait!
The BBC: Making the missable, missable