"No more enjoying the Doctor Who theme tune. No more '"You Have Been Watching". No more dramatic coda following the final credit." -- Charlie Brooker

TV Charlie Brooker’s Screen Wipe was an absolute corker tonight. The programme opened with Victoria Coren presenting what looked like a fairly traditional BBC Four documentary about corner, absolutely seriously describing to camera the (fictional) history of corner -- so she’s standing in front of some concrete and bricks and since I’m mesmerised by Vikki so much at the best of times, particular when she’s playing late night poker, I genuinely believed that this was going to be really quite interesting documentary about corners.

Until Charlie pushed her out of the way with a ‘Get lost Coren’ and a ‘Run credits’ at which point the man was squeezed in the new horrific house style that’s invaded the BBC so that he could essentially present a tv version of this rather good old column from The Guardian. He’s absolutely correct of course -- if television credits had always been like this we wouldn’t have been able to sing along to the lyrics of Rentaghost and for that matter, the death of Ronnie Hazlehurst would not have been greeted with the kinds of obituaries we’ve seen simply because we would not have been able hear his work quite so well.

Then, as Screen Wipe drew to a close (after an equally hilarious dissection of The Secret Diary of a London Call Girl which I’ve finally remembered to record tonight, y’know for later study) Brooker said that there would be a special next week about television news and that since they’d already run the credits that he would simply dump us back into BBC Four and the next thing we saw was that blanket trailer for Radio Week which seems to have been shown after every programme on the network for the past fortnight. It was just about one of the most exciting and surprising and abrupt things I've seen on television lately.

On the one hand, this is simply falling into the hands of the television net workers who frankly seem to want to abolish credits anyway; but he’s also demonstrated that actually you do need some kind of breathing space not just between programmes but also between programmes and programme trailers. There isn’t anything worse than watching a really effective piece of drama or documentary and having your attention shattered by someone shouting at you to watch something inappropriately different. But then, I’m awaiting the moment when film companies start to throw adverts for their future wares into the credits after a film. But there we have the power to walk out and here we the ability to turn off completely scuppering their whole plan, hah-hah.

No comments:

Post a comment