Reality Television: outrageous plots abound

If I was ever in doubt that there was one medium that could produce a thousand storylines, it’s watching reality television.

It is truly horrible, and is somewhat akin to a ‘train wreck’.

Why, then, do we watch it?

Where I live, among a few with dubious titles, we have a show called ‘Married at first sight’.  Going by the title, you can guess the premise, two people are matched by ‘science’ and meet for the first time at the altar.  They then live together, with and without external influences for a number of weeks before deciding if they want to continue after the show ends.

As it happens, the experts here have yet to get it right in a number of series (or, I think they may have succeeded on one occasion).

Whilst the fact it looks to be scripted, a fact the Producers vehemently deny, it is impossible to wrap your head around some of the antics, and especially the words used by the ‘participants’.  Decent people do not ‘act’ in the manner of some of these people, and more often than not, several of the ‘participants’ are labelled by the public as ‘actors’.

I guess, in most reality television, ratings can only be achieved by controversy.

Certainly, the Twitterverse goes off after an episode, championing the good and railing into the bad.  Each will, good or bad, get their fifteen minutes of fame.

And, is it not surprising we have learned one of the participants is going to write a ‘no holds barred’ account of her time in the show.  That, I suspect, will be canned very quickly by the NDA that’s signed by all participants, so we’ll never get to know the truth.

I was considering doing the same, from an armchair perspective.  Damn, missed my opportunity!

There’s others, like Love Island, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette.  Where they find the participants is anyone’s guess, but there couldn’t be such people in reality, could there?

Was it just another surveillance job – Episode 17 – Revised

As we all know, writing by the seat of your pants is almost the same as flying by the seat of your pants, a hazardous occupation.

As it happens, I like writing this way because like the reader, I don’t know what to expect next.

And equally, at times, you can write your self into a corner, much like painting, and then have to go back, make a few changes and//or repairs and then move forward.

It’s part of the writing process, only in this case, the changes occur before you’ve finished the novel, if you finish.  Quite often a lot of writers get only so far, then the manuscript hits the bottom drawer, to be brought out on a distant rainy day.

Or your cat has mocked your writing ability one too many times.

Therefore, we’re winding back to Episode 16, and moving forward once again, from there.


Why didn’t it surprise me that Nobbin was playing all ends against the middle if that was the expression?  What really bothered was that he wasn’t prepared to tell me the truth or trust me to help find the missing information.  But he had known I might become interested and do some investigating of my own.

Perhaps Nobbin feared Severin might track me down, as he had, and if I had found the USB, run the list of losing it to his foe.

Nor was it a surprise that someone else, namely Severin, was after the information, and he would have access to everything Nobbin did, and he was equally disadvantaged.  It was either Severin or one of his agents, that was caught in O’Connell’s flat and found ‘Josephine’ there.

I didn’t believe her name was Josephine, or that she lived in the flat next door.  And I didn’t think Severin had found anything going by the way the flat had been turned over, and the fact it looked like no one had lived there.

Having now dealt with both men, I was still on the fence about who was on the right side and who was on the wrong side, or whether they were both of questionable character.  What made it difficult to understand was how Severin could run an operation inside the organisation.  Surely someone knew about it, or from a high level, sanctioned it?

Knowing I would not be interrupted this time, I went back up to the third floor, and into O’Connell’s flat, a simple job since the front door was still unlocked.  The girl had assumed it was no value to them which told me she had already searched the place before being attacked.

Just in case anyone was likely to return, or there was another party interested in O’Connell, I locked the door from the inside.  At least no one had yet crashed through the door, smashing the lock and timber.

I stood in the middle of the main room, and did a slow 360-degree turn, looking at everything intently.  The thing with searches like this, it was more likely the object of any search was hidden in plain sight.  The usual places, such as the freezer, sections of fridges, stashed in bottles or packets in the pantry, under beds, inside mattresses, pillows, or under blankets, or with a form of glue on the inside of televisions or computers would prove fruitless.

We were taught to hide things such as USB sticks where they would be least expected to be found, such as a toy on a keyring, tossed in a bowl of pens, pins, clips, or other small insignificant items that all looked uninteresting.

My first thought was in the pocket of a coat in the closet, but all his clothes were strewn over the floor in the bedroom showing signs of being turned out.  Perhaps the searcher or searchers had thought like me.

There was no keyring in the kitchen or the bedroom, no was there any sort of stand inside the door, a place to put mail, and other items such as keys.  If there were any, they would have been on him when Severin had him killed.  I had not found, not felt, any in his pockets, not unusual for an agent in the field.  If you were captured or killed, you wanted nothing on you that could identify you or what you were doing.

Next I thought, a hidden compartment.  I was not going to predict he had a safe in the flat, but just in case, I did search thoroughly where one might be located.  The cheap watercolour on the wall hid nothing but some discoloured wallpaper.

I checked all the skirting boards, and inside walls of the robes, but there was nothing.  I also checked the robes thoroughly for false backs, or sides, or compartments hidden in the roof.  The floor was made from wood, so I checked to see if there were any loose boards, but in the end, considered that was a ruse used only in the movies and on television.

An hour later, I was no wiser as to where it could be, if at all, in the flat, but, looking around, it was certainly now a little more organised because in checking everything in case the previous searchers had missed anything, I’d put everything neatly in stacks.

And, no, there was nothing under the bed.  The previous searchers had thought of that too.

But, in one corner of the main room, there was a desk that had been completely turned out, papers were strewn everywhere.  There had been a computer, now missing, because there was a cable running from the printer, and a power cable in the wall, both running into thin air.

The papers yielded nothing of interest, other than he was researching a holiday to Russia and Poland. 

For two.

A break.  There was a significant other.  I made a more serious search of the papers that I’d gathered up off the floor and found a shred of a quickly torn up piece of paper, of which only this piece remained.  A name:  Jan, scribbled on it, with half another word ‘ord’.

Did this Jan also live in this block?  Did she work at the same place?  There were a hundred variations of that theme, but it was a start.  He might have trusted the USB to her safekeeping without telling her what it was, and it was possible she didn’t know he was dead.

I’d noticed that O’Connell’s death had been reported as a John Doe on the wrong end of an alleged mugging, the small dismissive paragraph on page seven reported the body was missing when police went to investigate a pool of blood in an alley, along with several other crimes of which police were seeking further information.  That alley hadn’t any CCTV cameras, so Severin knew he could easily shoot O’Connell without anyone knowing it was him.

There was nothing else of interest in the documents, other than the holiday, if it was a holiday, was to be in a month’s time.

My work was done.  I had a lead.  It was time to leave.

Except for one small problem.  Someone was knocking on the door.


© Charles Heath 2019

It’s been an interesting afternoon

We live in a country which has a unique sport, which is something a lot of countries can’t boast.

England has soccer and cricket, America has baseball and basketball, Canada has ice hockey, all sports that are played all over the world.

Australia has this strange game called Australian Rules Football, and it be true to say that ask anyone anywhere else in the world about they would only look at you strangely and say “What?”

It would be true to say that this form of football is a religion, such is the fans devotion. It’s not unusual to hear of wating to be buried in your favourite player’s guernsey. You pick a team, or generally a team is picked for you, and it’s your team for life. You don’t desert them, and stick with them through the highs and lows, and sometimes the lows can be for a long time.

And like religion, there are such things as mixed marriages, each spouse will support a diffrent team, and when thise teams play each other, well, it’s best to be someone else afterthe final siren.

But, be that as it may…

We reached the pinnacle of our season, the playing of the Grand Final in the home of AFL, the MCG, one of the largest stadiums in the country, holding over 100,000 fans, an ideal venue for this game.

And, although the game was not the expected exciting and close spectacle we we hoping to see, at least all of the supporters of the winners will be deleriously happy. For the losers and their fans, there is no describing the depths of despair.

I know how that feels because I’ve been on both sides of the emotional spectrum.

Our team wasn’t playing this year so we were spared the emotional roller coaster, but we still watched the game, and no, we’ve never been to a grand final in person, and it’s unlikely we ever will.

But it’s a great way to spend an afternoon watching our team play on TV, have a pie, traditional fast food, chips, and a few bottles of beer.

And, now football season is over, we now swith to ice hockey and our adopted team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Fortunately their season starts when ours ends and vice versa.

Go leafs, go!!!

For a change, I thought I’d watch some TV

It’s always a testing time because just about everywhere it’s not really a rating season so therefore the shows are rather terrible.

So, to counterbalance the rubbish we have here at the moment, I managed to find a few shows that are on TV overseas.

I’m always interested in any offering from the UK.  The BBC and ITV make very interesting shows, sometimes quite offbeat, sometimes steeped in history.

The latest from the BBC is a show called ‘The Capture’.

It raises some very interesting questions, like

How far has big brother technology gone in London with a CCTV camera just about on every corner

Can we believe what we see on a television screen that is supposedly streaming live pictures

Are the characters being portrayed believably?

Basically, it’s about a man who is seen on CCTV attacking a woman.  When he’s shown the video, he acknowledges that the man and woman on the tape, are him and the victim, but then goes on to deny he did what the tape displays, the assault.

Forensic evidence tends to disprove that he was the perpetrator, except there are anomalies.

Do we believe what we see, just about everyone in this does.  Such is the power of visual messages.  The question might also be, was it him that did it?  The thing is, he says he didn’t, and the only clear shot of him was at the start when no crime had been committed, and after, his image is not as clear as at the start.

What the hell went on?

This is a piece about the value of CCTV evidence, and it’s admissibility.  That same perpetrator got off on a murder charge simply because the video and sound feed was not aligned, ie, there is a fault in the evidence.

We’re also confronted with a police detective thrown into a high profile case, and who needs a resounding wein to further her career.  She is being fast-tracked, and not everyone is happy about it.  I’m not sure if I like the way she’s being portrayed, or whether that is a problem with the casting.

I only say that because I’m a Keely Hawes fan, and I know she could pull this role off in her sleep.

We also have MI5 somewhere in the mix, pulling all sorts of dubious strings.  Those words, National Interest’ get bandied around a lot in shows like this.

And like any good show, it’s got me guessing if he is guilty or not.

But this show is in stark contrast to a little light entertainment know as “The Reef” and American based show that is shot at the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

It’s near where we live, and I find rather than taking notice of the throwaway plotline and characters, I’m watching it for the locations.

To be honest, I was surprised it was not shot in Hawaii or somewhere like that.

Still, I can think of worse ways to spend the on average 42 minutes of light-hearted entertainment.

This is in direct contrast to a show called ‘Pennyworth’, about the rise to fame for the Batman’s Bruce Wayne’s eventual butler.

A SAS hard-nut, it’s quite an interesting portrayal, but sometimes drifts off track on peripheral issues like tonight, where we dwelled upon the possibility that the devil is alive and well somewhere in London, and in particular, Thomas Wayne.

There was a light bulb moment when I finally got the impression that Thomas Wayne and Martha Kane might just end up as Thomas and Martha Wayne patents of Bruce.

I know, a bit slow on the uptake.

And they dwelled, or should I say it was Martha that dwelled, on three missing days, in which it might be that she met the devil of a different sort, and ending up stark naked on Hampstead Heath.  The problem is, she cant remember.

I also looked at Pandora, a sort of space opera, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around portals.

The lesson learned for the night, nothing is what it seems, and everyone has an ulterior motive.  When they’re not trying to take over the world.

Maybe tomorrow night might throw up something a little more realistic.