Chocolate and Spirits

We had a bit of an odd mix of entertainment tonight. We started off with the recently released Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which I picked up on DVD this week, and then went straight from that into the spooky first episode of the new series of Sea of Souls on BBC1.

Amazingly for someone who reads as many books as she does, Beth has never read the book although I suspect she might be picking up a copy now. To be honest I can’t remember if I’ve ever actually read the novel, but I do know the play having appeared as an Oompa-Loompa in a production when I was a good deal smaller!

We both thought the film was fantastic, and as far as I can tell, stuck closely to the plot of the book, unlike the previous movie version. (Wikipedia has details of the differences between the book and the two films.) We thought Johnny Depp was excellent as Willy Wonka himself, producing a decidedly eccentric character, right from the first time you see him, just after the welcoming puppet show catches fire. You also get the impression really doesn’t much like children! The film is filled with small details and gags, such as the 2001 homage in the TV room, and the way Wonka quite frequently walks into the door of his glass elevator. Some of the jokes are pretty quick, blink and you’ll miss them, such as what Wonka does when Veruca Salt’s father gives him his card. There is also a moment when the elevator is taking them through the factory when Wonka says “and this is our puppet hospital – it’s pretty newâ€? as an Oompa-Loompa wheels one of the burnt puppets from earlier into shot. I’m sure with just one viewing we’ve missed some of the visual jokes, so I guess we’ll have to watch again to see if we can spot any more.

Sea Of Souls - Series 1 [2004]
Sea Of Souls - Series 2

Sea of Souls of course was totally different. I’ve blogged before about how much we enjoyed the second series, however with the format change this year, going to one episode stories rather than the two part stories we’ve had before, I wasn’t sure if it might not end up rushed. I’m glad to say that we weren’t disappointed by this first episode. It kicks off with two recently bereaved parents holding a seance to try and contact their dead son. However things go wrong, and the husband is thrown back against a wall and says he thinks something came up from the table into his mouth when questioned by the team at the parapsychology unit of Clyde University. The team think he’s probably suffering from some mental illness brought on by the bereavement, however then things start getting really weird. The couple is visited by Police, who have CCTV footage of the man visiting a local college, where he had been reported as a peeping tom, looking in a window. However he remembers nothing, and thought he was at home the whole night. He also starts to get flashbacks of somebody else drowning in a locked car. As the episode goes on he switches personalities several times, and it seems that he has been possessed by the spirit of a criminal, murdered by his partner in crime, and who has come back for revenge. Really spooky stuff, and well up to the standard of the previous series. Both previous series are available on DVD, and if you’re new to the show are recommended for getting the back story, as this series seems to jump straight in.

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