Chapter 86: COVID Chronicles

June 22, 2020

By Karen

Day 103

Experiment Update & More British TV

While I read the newspaper every morning, sitting on the living room floor, sometimes I feel eyes on me…

Tony is still basking in the glow of picking actual contenders (even if one was only momentary) in the Belmont Stakes and dreams of doing even better in the Kentucky Derby in September.

Sadly, we’ve suffered two losses. We haven’t seen the cardinals in the holly tree outside the kitchen since Saturday, shortly after I discovered their nest. I think I scared them off and hope there aren’t any eggs now.

And after chives dwindled to one viable stalk in the dirt, I tossed them. That last one’s roots had taken hold and grown. The others had no roots at all. So, if you want to regenerate chives (or green onions or scallions) do it hydroponically.

It was an interesting experiment. But since Tony’s began taking an interest in them and onions are lethal to cats, I had to pull the plug before he accidentally poisoned himself.

I’ve been binge-watching a British detective series on Amazon Prime called DCI Banks, which had five seasons from 2010-2016 and stars Stephen Tompkinson…

DCI Banks reminds me of Doc Martin

In addition to actors Stephen Tompkinson and Martin Clunes resembling each other physically, DCI Banks has Doc Martin’s keen intelligence and determination to get to the bottom of things and do a good job, but minus the Asperger’s.

To top off the comparison, the actress Caroline Catz joined DCI Banks in Season 2 when the female lead Andrea Lowe really got pregnant and took maternity leave (which they wrote into the plot to create some good twists). Catz had played Doc Martin’s love interest Louisa. As DI Helen Morton, her relationship with Banks is platonic because she’s married (and he has the hots for the one who now has a baby). She’s typecast as an uptight, exacting woman who borders on bitchiness, but somehow makes you not hate her.

(Aside: I didn’t immediately connect the dot that Tompkinson also starred for the first few seasons in Ballykissangel as the English priest transplanted to a small parish in Ireland who falls for the mouthy pub owner, another series I loved years ago. Now I may have to revisit that.)…

Photo TV Guide

If you watch British TV, you’ll see other crossovers. Father Brown’s inspector has a regular role, and Father Brown’s criminal nemesis, Flambeau, pops by.

I almost fell off the couch when even Baxter, Lady Cora’s maid from Downton Abbey, played a character who would have given Cora a coronary. (No spoilers!)

One reason I like all these shows is the absence of smartphones. DCI Banks started out in 2010 with a flip phone. Then Catz showed up with her smartphone and there was even a scene where DCI Banks remarked, somewhat annoyed, how much she used it for everything.

By Season 4, smartphones are the usual intrusion. Characters receive meaningful plot turns over the phone and you have to guess what’s going on by their facial reactions or unreadable text message exchanges.

If you have Amazon Prime and like fairly low-tech crime shows, I recommend DCI Banks.

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