I have the feeling that Heroes (Season 4) has become the uncle you have to invite round for Christmas despite the fact you find him creepy, that he always drinks too much and if given the chance will corner you to discuss the finer points of Real Ale. Whatever you’re misgivings you have to invite him because you have a binding agreement with your parents that you will… because your uncle fought in the Falklands War and he had that thing… you know… with his ex-wife. Admittedly, sometimes, you find that when he gets to the party he actually isn’t as bad as you remember and he occasionally entertains the whole party with the odd story everyone might have heard before, but proves amusing nevertheless. Still, your initial invite always proves such a challenge.
The BBC currently shows a repeat on Friday, a weekly episode on Saturday and next weeks Saturday episode on a Sunday… sort of thing. Whatever the day, whatever the episode, you’re lucky if they’re shown before 10pm, on either BBC2 or BBC3, and on Saturday nights the time might be a lot later than that. Over the last three weeks, desperate to keep on track, I have managed to miss Episodes 12 and 14, though I might be able to catch 14 next Friday if (a) I remember and (b) I manage to catch it at the right time.
Once, the BBC showed Heroes with proud regularity. Now, they treat it like they’ve started treating Doctor Who… again. A show with a following that broadcasts on a given day but not at a given time. Don’t, whatever you do, set your recorder for repeat unless it’s tied into the Neural Net and can handle moment by moment updates on start time. If you trust technology and the BBC, you find that each episode starts with X minutes of the previous programmes, adverts, an apology about the delay and the an episode that cuts short 5 minutes from the end. Or, a recording of something that started 10 minutes earlier than the first episode ran, so now you miss whatever resolves the last cliffhanger.
I get the feeling the BBC signed a contract and they’re keeping to it – except the legal agreement covered broadcast and nothing about when and on what channel. I’m shocked the BBC didn’t just create another channel that broadcasts only at 1AM on a Wednesday morning simply to show the contractually obliged weekly episode of Sylar and company. Once Heroes deserved it’s own ‘Confidential’ programme and got a prime time slot earlier in the evening. Now…
Such a fall from grace, with no prospect of flight powers manifesting halfway to the ground!