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Old March 9 2013, 09:36 PM   #6
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Re: Bugs (1990s UK Sci-fi Series).

I enjoyed bits of both Bugs & Crime Traveller at the time. Not having seen either since original airing, I've no idea whether I'd enjoy them now. What I do remember is feeling that both missed out on being potentially great shows.

Bugs simply never felt big/grand enough. They tried very hard: using the then-new Canary Wharf as a backdrop to give everything a modern feel, using a lot of the new Fiats of the era (Puntos, Bravas, etc) which then looked a bit more curvy/organic/different to most older cars of that era, faster pacing than usual from the BBC of the day, and lots of attempts to give everything a cool edge. But it needed more money to really flesh out the Bugs world and so permit the stories to be told in a bigger, grander way rather than having to shoot around set constraints. Could have been really great. Still fun though.

In some ways, Crime Traveller had an even better concept, and the two leads worked very well together. The will-they/won't-they stuff was hackneyed but it has been thus since the dawn of time, and if done well it can still work, so I've no problem with it. But the scripts needed to have more fun with core concept in an arch/witty way. The two leads are inherently good at comic timing, and the scripts didn't give them enough leeway to deploy those skills, and instead slowed their banter down. I remember that one episode involved a second time machine and that improved things a lot, because there was a more dynamic pace to the story. I think if it had been written more sharply and without the BBC Saturday night feel it had, it could have been great.

(for a BBC cop show with a similar will-they/won't-they angle but with a much sharper/funnier script that knows how to revel in the absurdity of the situations the characters find themselves in - albeit without sci-fi trappings - try Vexed.)
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