Friday, 20 May 2011

Death (in) Bugs Me

Have you seen Bugs? It's a wanna-be British action series from the late '90s that features the team at Gizmos dealing with computer security, electronics of all kinds, hacking, and a lot of running around and shooting people.

Not 'shooting at people', which is typical of action sequences, but actually shooting people. And people dying. This is a series in which death at the hands of the main characters is very possible.

And, not to mention, callous. While it's not super gritty, it's also not light hearted. Jokes aren't thrown around every minute to a laugh track, but there is the last minute 'end on what broadly could be called humour by the extremely generous' moment. But it definitely doesn't earn the coldness it has.

Spoiler here. In the first episode, they are after something called Scrotum or something that controls satellites. Very important, people want to nick it. They get into a car chase at the end, with the bad guys in front with Scrotum in the back, The good guys don't want to damage it, very important. Then the bad guys, being stupid in this last scene, drive off an unfinished express way, and suddenly the car is full of altitude activated gas canisters, or something, and explodes for no readily apparent reason. The reaction of the good guys... note: the good guys... "guess we don't get Scrotum then". That's it. While looking at the burning wreckage. Then turn around, fade from scene, then up on the last second joke.

The hell?

Death is just such a minor thing. There's a fair few of it, sometimes quite ridiculous, as if the series would love to be The Avengers or something, but it isn't.

I'm still watching (there's only 40 episodes), but this is a bizarre disconnect in the series...



evildicemonkey said...

The big draw of the series, what the BBC promoted it on... the fact that the three 'stars' were all ex-soap stars.
It was even parodied in some Comic Relief type charity version at the time.

Oddly the two producers of Smallville wrote some episodes for the series, don't recall any flying men in it though.

Jamas Enright said...

I noted that (at least) the opener to series 2 was Colin Brake, who I assume is the same Colin Brake who wrote various Doctor Who novles. Which weren't brilliant, but weren't terrible either... just like the episode!