Things To See And Do
Things to remember to see / do / buy / visit at a later point.
|Fortress of San Leo||Central Italy||Medieval castle and deathplace of Count Cagliostro (also has a dungeon with an only door at the top). |
|Provins||North/central France||UNESCO World Heritage Site / Town of Medieval Fairs. Has an extensive network of underground tunnels. |
|Douaumont||North/central France||Underground fortress|
|Salar de Uyuni||Bolivia||World's largest salt flats (80km wide) - near a dormant volcano!|
|Wamba||Spain||Bone room at Wamba is one of Europe's oldest Christian ossuaries|
|Messene||Greece||Best preserved ancient city in Sth Peloponnese|
|Chateau de Pierrefonds||France||Setting for tv series Merlin|
|Moche Route||Peru||Archaeology. Must include Huaca el Pueblo and Sipan.|
|Doomsday||2007/8||Unknown||Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers/The Descent), Rhona Mitra, Malcolm McDowell, Alexander Siddig, Bob Hoskins||Sci-Fi||A futuristic action thriller where a team of people work to prevent a disaster threatening the future of the human race.|
- Antony and the Johnsons - DONE
The Guardian's top 50 television dramas of all time:
What do you imagine a TV critic's ultimate viewing pleasure to be? A five-season box-set marathon of The Wire, quite possibly? A drama that digs into the power games of Washington (The West Wing)? You'd be surprised. It seems, at the Guardian at least, they are far more likely to enjoy a beautiful, costumed saga about 1920s aristocrats or a gritty tale about growing up as a lesbian in mid-70s Lancashire.
To find out what the Guardian's TV writers really think is the best TV drama ever made, we asked Nancy Banks-Smith, Sam Wollaston, Lucy Mangan, Sarah Dempster, Mark Lawson, Grace Dent and Richard Vine to rate, and then debate, what they consider the greatest ever series.
The overall winner was The Sopranos, the compelling tale of New Jersey mobsters created by David Chase. They almost all raved about this show, praising it as an original, absorbing and affectionate study of complicated family values. But it only made the top spot by a fraction. Their second favourite was Brideshead Revisited, the 1981 ITV adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel about religion, nobility and paisley dressing gowns. The Wire – HBO's widely praised series about Baltimore – attracted plenty of praise, but only ranked at No 14. Mad Men, the tale of 60s New York ad men, made the No 4 slot, just behind Our Friends in the North, an epic 1996 BBC2 series that traced the fates of four people across several decades.
Here's an interesting thing, though: ahead of some great US drama that has attracted such praise and attention in the last 10 years – The West Wing, Six Feet Under, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – comes a raft of British drama from the 1980s. A Very Peculiar Practice, Talking Heads, The Singing Detective, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Boys From the Blackstuff – these are among the "national treasure" series that have seared themselves into our critics' imaginations. "BBC4 and UK Gold should be repeating them but instead they're playing Coast 24 hours a day and bloody Silent Witness," complained Grace Dent.
To reach their verdict, the writers compiled a longlist. There was no period restriction, but the dramas had to be series (or serials) rather than one-offs. They marked the titles out of 20 and we averaged the scores, discounting any series that failed to attract at least four voters on the basis that these were the hobby horses of fanatics – not the greatest TV of all time. At this stage, A Very British Coup, Edge of Darkness and Tenko went by the wayside.
Of course there were disagreements. No one had a bad word to say about The Sopranos, but Richard Vine, TV editor of the Guide, still feels that The Wire was "richer". Mark Lawson thought The Sopranos "exceptionally well written" but considers both The Wire and The West Wing more radical and daring. Grace Dent however thought The Wire "a slog" in parts and said the acclaim had made it "socially painful" for people to admit they weren't wild fans. "It's incomprehensible to lots of people."
Sam Wollaston, meanwhile, was appalled with Brideshead's rating. "I can't believe it did so well. It is very slow and has really dated." He preferred The Jewel in the Crown (No 27).
Coronation Street, beloved of soap fans Banks-Smith and Dent, only made it to No 26, having received lukewarm assessments from the rest. "I'm not surprised – rather like Jonathan Ross, it has outlived its usefulness," said Banks-Smith. But she added: "Its saving grace is its humour – it preserves it like salt."
Dent was outraged by the decision to rank Grange Hill (No 50; Lawson's verdict: "pioneering") above Sex and the City (No 51), calling the sniffy response to New York's It-bag ladies "snobbery and sexism". She voted highly for The Sopranos, but said: "Just goes to show that you can twaddle on about the same old themes for six series and if you're a man it's profound and if you're a woman you're vacuous."
Wollaston thought the Hollywood playboy comedy Entourage ("fantastic fun") was underrated, while Dempster couldn't understand the lack of support for C4 trilogy Red Riding: "It felt immediately like a classic piece of TV and has one of the best ensemble casts of the last 10 years. It is absolutely magnificent."
Did they get it right? Charles Sturridge, Bafta-winning director of Brideshead Revisited, is "delighted" to be in "honourable company" with The Sopranos. Linking the top four dramas, he says: "They are confidently and powerfully drawn worlds made by groups of committed programme-makers. It doesn't have to be expensive – if something is crucial to people, they will watch it."
The list in full:
1. The Sopranos 2. Brideshead Revisited 3. Our Friends in the North 4. Mad Men 5. A Very Peculiar Practice 6. Talking Heads 7. The Singing Detective 8. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit 9. State of Play 10. Boys From the Blackstuff 11. The West Wing 12. Twin Peaks 13. Queer as Folk 14. The Wire 15. Six Feet Under 16. How Do You Want Me? 17. Smiley's People 18. House of Cards 19. Prime Suspect 20. Bodies 21. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 22. Buffy the Vampire Slayer 23. Cracker 24. Pennies From Heaven 25. Battlestar Galactica 26. Coronation Street 27. The Jewel in the Crown 28. The Monocled Mutineer 29. Clocking Off 30. Inspector Morse 31. This Life 32. Band of Brothers 33. Hill Street Blues 34. The Prisoner 35. St Elsewhere 36. The L Word 37. The Shield 38. Brookside 39. 24 40. The Twilight Zone 41. Pride and Prejudice 42. Red Riding 43. Oz 44. The Street 45. The X-Files 46. Bleak House 47. The Sweeney 48. EastEnders 49. Shameless 50. Grange Hill