Sunday, 1 December 2013

Proofing and the Dr Blake Mysteries

I am editing and at the stage where the words are almost dancing on the page. The 'book' is still very much at 'draft' stage to plan length, font size and layout. Progress, however, is steady, though I was in desperate need of a break and wanted moving pictures to give me something else to look at.

I took a television break at lunchtime on Friday and found something that wasn't a cookery programme, property redevelopment or a soap. Or even ancient repeats billed as 'vintage'; I'm not sure I agree that Are you being served? and Allo Allo can be described as vintage. I'd use another word entirely, but someone else might be enjoying them.

However, there is a rather good 1950s-set import from ABC with Australian actors I don't recognise. Dr Blake Mysteries may borrow some locations from the Miss Fisher Mysteries and it's one to watch if you're a fan of costume drama and dresses with stiff petticoats and a nice bit of cynicism in the afternoon. Let me introduce you and give a bit of background....

Dr Blake's returned to Ballarat to take over his father's medical practice and position as police surgeon. Grieving for the recent loss of his father and haunted by his war service in the Far East he's a liberal rather out of step with the conservative town taking a perverse delight in challenging everyone. The house is a sprawling bungalow that's chaotically ugly and comfortable with 'bits' added by generations and absolutely no thought of design. I like rooms like that - well-loved and everything taking on a well-worn look. I'm most keen on the kitchen so far - a bit like I imagine Candy Nevill's to have been - all cheerful blue and yellow with scratches and scuffs to the surfaces and smarter tins above the fireplace for tea, coffee, flour, sugar and salt. Well, keen on the sunny kitchen and Dr Blake's Chinese silk dressing gown with gold dragons and quilted decoration to the collar and cuffs. If I can't catch up on iPlayer next week, I'll add the DVD to my wishlist and hope for Christmas. It has a helpful release of 9 December and everything's looking promising for the second series next year.

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