Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

Happy Halloween everybody! Although it wasn't for me so much, as I had three wisdom teeth removed the other day. Thankfully the pain had subsided by today, but the swollen chipmunk cheeks, nor my inability to open my mouth more than half an inch stayed. Still, I resolved to go through with my Halloween plans of marathoning Dead Gorgeous, and I was actually able to eat the junky stuff that I had been planning on preparing for the better part of a month.

Now, onto a question you've probably been wondering. Why are the last several posts I've published either unfinished or blank? Well, it's for the exact same reason as stated above. The *horrifying pain and suffering* had me REALLY not in the mood, nor capability to write and screenshot a damn thing. As for why I posted them early, that's so these posts would still be in October as they should once they're finished. I'll get to them in the following week or so, when I have the time, and when I can bear to tear myself away from recent webcomic discovery Questionable Content.

One last thing. This year, the theme was Doctor Mabuse and inspirations, and nostalgic paranormal shows either from my youth, or more recent years. Next year, I plan on doing either a Paul Naschy marathon, or a Bill Oberst one. Maybe a bit of both. It really depends on how much of either I'm able to get my hands on come October.

So, that's enough out of me. Happy Halloween to all of you. I hope you all had a much better time than I on this special and spooky time of year!...

Off in the distance there lies a cruel Doctor,
Crime and anarchy are everything he desires,
Throughout the world, he perpetrates elaborate horror,
And sets economies ablaze with brimstone fires,
All the while, he drives his enemies insane,
And manipulates others with his malevolent hypnotism
Never do his powers wane,
While he traps the innocent in his prism,
The facade however soon starts to drop,
As the reality of his self abuse kicks in,
And in spurning every emotion as a prop,
Without knowing it, the Doctor has caused his own ruin,
His once great mind begins to rot under the weight of meticulous calculation upon calculation until it is a burden he can no longer outrun,
And just as soon as he had begun,
Doctor Mabuse's cruel work lies forever undone

Attributed to Little Old Me

Dead Gorgeous (2010)

Weirdsister College (2001)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fantomas (1913-1915)

  in the Shadow of the Guillotine

great score that not only sounds lovely (suitably ooky in some places, while bombastic and = in others) but is utilized

The New Worst Witch (2005-2007)

  for example, Mona Hallow really doesn't fit in with previous chronology, not only because she's never been mentioned before, but because  Sybil  . And vice versa, The New Worst Witch's continuity doesn't work either if Sybil exists.

All these = make me exclude The New Worst Witch out of the main continuity, and instead lump it in its own bubble universe.

The characters in The New Worst Witch are great!

Hettie Hubble isn't at all a carbon copy of Mildred, and is very different

Mona Hallow is likeable and fun to watch, although her being a Hallow is pointless and just muddies up continuity

One thing that's pretty neat = is that both Alice Connor and Anabel Barnston get a chance to play their characters = evil (whether it be under the influence of a spell, or potion)

Belladonna Bindweed is a completely insufferable character, but in the good way! Francesca Isherwood does a fine job!  The only problem with the character is that a lot of the time in Season 1, she's always thought of as a golden pupil by the staff of Cackle's Academy, which is pretty dang frustrating!

Like Drusilla Paddock before her, Cynthia Horrocks is a great villainous sidekick, = scheming, and is pretty adorable! She's a likeable character, despite her being a complete bitch. Granted, I still kept accidentally referring to her as Drusilla for a long while.

Clare Coulter returns as Miss Cackle, and is

The casting change of Miss Hardbroom is extremely noticeable if you've just come off of an original series marathon, but even in the event that 'worst case scenario', you'll still get used to Caroline O'Neill very quickly. Her voice is distracting at first, given its stark difference to Kate Duchene's, but she does the character much justice.

Onto the rest of the staff. Miss Nightingale is bland, especially once her replacement Miss Widget is around. Widget is very lively, quirky, and amusing, and gets across more joi de vuer in a single episode than Miss Nightingale does in all of Season 1. The librarian Caspian Bloom is very funny, =. Finally, there's Deirdre Swoop, who's now a main character in a Worst Witch show, this time as a teacher. It's a nice character progression, and she's a highly likeable and funny character, especially with her upper-class vocabulary. It's a shame that actress Stephanie Lane was in very little else besides this franchise, as she is hysterical. She really is one of the highlights of this entire franchise!

By the way, a *little* aside before I finish discussing the acting. The character of Miss Pentengle (who was in an episode of The Worst Witch Series 3)
not only looks nothing like Charmian May, but looks about forty years younger!...However, the director or actress clearly did their homework, as = emulates May's mannerisms in the character from her appearance! Isn't that awesome? Well it's less awesome when = Pentangle shows up in a later episode, once again recast, this time by someone who does none of those things!

The remaining problem with this show is the amount of times people say "Hettie Hubble, you are going to be in so much trouble!", or dialogue to that effect! Frankly, I'm not sure what surprises me more-That this show says that so much, or the fact that the original Worst Witch series never took advantage of that rhyme at any point in its 3-season run.

although it doesn't do a great job at showing how they become friends. Hettie and Mona just converse a bit, then are suddenly fast pals, while Cressie just starts hanging out with the due [out of nowhere]

A big problem with the first episode is that it is absolutely miserable, given what happens to Hettie! Thankfully the episode does end on a happier note though.

The Black Hole Club is a fine episode, but it spits in the face of continuity with its predecessor for a number of reasons. Then there's the Cackle's 1000 year anniversary continuity screwup in The Curse of Cackle's (the school already had its 1000th anniversary in The Worst Witch's Series 2 finale). And finally, The Odd Couple, aside from being a mediocre finale (good episode, but it's just another episode, not anything grand or special, despite its status) is pretty icky when it comes to Hettie and Cressie! I'll spare you the details!

The effects in this show are fine when practical, but there's some bad CGI in places. And I'm not talking small things you can shrug off either. There's one scene where the school is being flooded by glue, which looks embarrassingly unconvincing, and a couple of moments later in the series where characters are flying through a forest, and they're going through a CGI backdrop, which looks like something out of a PS1 game.

The setting is still fine though. Its not set at the same castle and (possibly) sets as the original series but I didn't notice much difference. Also, the sets never look unconvincing, and in fact made me think this was actually filmed inside a castle too. Not much of a leap, seeing as how you can trip over a castle any which way you go in Europe, and it's probably cheaper and certainly less time-consuming to film there instead of a set.

In closing, The New Worst Witch is an extremely entertaining show! It's only real faults are when viewed side by side with its predecessor. On its own merits, this is

The Worst Witch: Season 3 (2000-2001)

To copy and paste from my previous Worst Witch review, When it comes to reviewing TV series The Worst Witch, I said most of what I can say about it as a whole in my Series 1 review, so I'll get right into reviewing the individual episodes of Series 3. First though, there are a few bases I'd like to touch upon (and yes, I am writing this post as if you've already read the Series 1 review, as I am FAR too busy to be more accommodating).

This season has quite a few cast change-ups. Una Stubbs is gone, and in her place is = as Miss Crotchet, Fenella Feverfew is now played by Emily Stride rather than Julia Malewski], and Mr. Blossom has left, replaced by his brother. The latter change is actually not entirely out-of-nowhere, because given Charlie is Mr. Blossom's nephew, it makes sense for this new character to exist, so they're not as forced as the Miss Tapioca replacement from last season. Granted, the reason given for Mr. Blossom's absence is pretty poor. It says that he went to horticultural college, which is pretty nonsensical given that he's already an expert gardener, and he's already middle-aged. Not that that's an unbelievable concept, but I can't see a middle-aged gardener bothering to go to college over it.

Ok, let's dig in...

Secret Society

Miss Drill is getting angrier and angrier at Miss Hardbroom's dismissive attitude of her, and snaps, deciding to resign.

This is a very nice episode! It has good conflict on many fields, from a fed-up Miss Drill wanting to resign, to the girls in their forming their own secret club. I especially like how the episode nicely comes full circle in the end.

The effects are decent. We get some really nifty ones at the start!

An Unforgettable Experience

It's work-experience time for the girls of Cackles  Mildred, Maud, Ethel, and Drusilla are assigned to the bakery Cosie's. Practically as soon as they arrive, Mrs. Cosie has to go to the hospital, and leaves the store in the hands of the girls. Ethel immediately and forcibly takes charge, using magic to completely alter Cosie's, from the decor, to the menu. Unfortunately, before Millie and co. can get Ethel to reverse her changes, some customers come in, including the Grand Wizard Hellibore...

At first I was worried that the Japanese characters would be made to talk like caricatures, but thankfully they just come across as not very bilingual tourists.

Which Witch is Which?

The plot to Which Witch is Which is pretty ridiculous fare, but not negatively so. It's entertaining, and while something as extravagant] as time travel hasn't been seen or mentioned the show before this point, it's not an unbelievable concept

The Witchy Hour

It's in this episode where the character of Dierdre Swoop first appears. Here, she's a stuck-up snobby bitch, but her character actually kinda grows in the sequel shows (Weirdsister College, and The New Worst Witch). I say kinda because it's entirely likely it was unintentional, but regardless, I still really like the character change.

The guest stars all do fine acting jobs,

My only problem with this episode is that it doesn't really make any sense why Miss Hardbroom reacts to Icy Stevens the way she does at the end.

Learning the Hard Way

A new teacher is temporarily at Cackle's-Gabby Gribble-and due to misunderstandings on both ends, Gabby tries to evoke = Miss Hardbroom

The first time I saw this episode, I remember the misunderstandings being cringeworthy (not in a bad way, just in that 'Ooohhh, no! I can't watch!' kind of way), but on my recent second viewing, the [impact] was lessened, so this is an episode that definittely = from a second viewing.

The Hair Witch Project

Not only is this a fun romp of an episode, it also focuses on an interesting subject-Which activities are unsuitable for school, and which are merely creative? There's a very fine line as far as teachers are concerned, as this episode shows.

It's in this episode where Miss Crotchet really comes into her own. Up until now, she was utilized very little, and The Hair Witch Project is her first big role in an episode.

And finally, the climax resolution and ending are hilarious, and I won't dare spoil them

Just Like Clockwork

Miss Cackle has to leave Cackle's for a few weeks to take care of a sick relative, and chair of governors Mr. Hallow appoints Mistress Hecate Broomhead (old enemy of Cackle's) as the school's new headmistress, with plans of letting her take the position permanently...

The returning character Hecate Broomhead is just as delightfully evil as she was last appearance, with Janet Henfrey doing a great job again! I also like that her motivations are different. Rather than just wanting to take Cackle's down again, like Sideshow Bob or something, everything she does in this episode is for a different and believable (and still of course nefarious) motivation.

The only issue is is a possible plot hole. In the Series 2 finale The Millennium Bug, Mr. Hallow and the rest of the school board of governors sold Cackle's to pop singer Amanda Honeydew, and she resold it to Miss Cackle, giving her complete control. Wouldn't that mean that Mr. Hallow no longer has a say in anything? But then again *several dozen redacted lines regarding bureaucratic red tape* I know nothing about this kind of stuff, so for all I know, the board would still stay on, regardless of what Amanda Honeydew did.

Cinderella in Boots

It's Christmas time at Cackle's Academy, and some girls are performing a panto of Cinderella, with Mildred performing the lead role, unless a scheming Ethel has her way...

A Christmas special, Cinderella in Boots is a fantastic and different episode than usual. Rather than having a more complex plot, it's instead an 'all-in-one-night' panto[ tale. It's highly amusing in many respects, from the frantic backstage nature of the production, to the performances of the characters. Especially hilarious is Miss Hardbroom having to perform as the fairy godmother to, most hilariously, and Maud as the wicked stepmother. She emulates Miss Harbroom herself for the role, and the result is one of the funniest parts of the entire show!

Art Wars

It's Art Week at Cackle's Academy, and Lynn Lamplighter, a famous artist, is over, helping the girls (and teachers) find their artistic sides. Mildred, despite her low expectations, manages to create a gorgeous painting, earning the ire of Maud...

Art Wars is my second favourite episode from this season. It's funny, has an air of creativity about it (a must for a story about art like this), and there's very well-done drama between Mildred and Maud, which doesn't play out in a cliched way, nor does it stretch on interminably! I also like poor Drusilla' constantly ruined attempts at clay modelling.

The only problem this episode has is that it furthers the confusion of whether magic is known to the outside world.

Power Drill

Miss Drill is feeling undervalued in Cackle's, especially amongst the staff, given she's not a witch, so Mildred and co. brew up a potion to temporarily give her instant magical powers, keeping it a secret. Miss Cackle, believing that Miss Drill has simply miraculously gained magical powers, decides to induct her as a witch. However, more than just Miss Drill's body has changed, and she grows harsher as her personality warps...

Power Drill is an entertaining episode, and shows once again that this show still isn't running out of ideas. Its plot is well-written, interesting,] and Claire Porter gets to play sort-of evil, which is nifty!

Another good aspect of this episode is that it elaborates more on the rules of who can use magic in the world of The Worst Witch (it comes to those from witch families easier, but anyone can learn it, providing they have years of training).

Better Dead Than Co-Ed

The third-years of Cackle's head to Camelot College, the nearby wizard school, as part of a field trip (and covertly to test out how well a co-ed system would work for a potential school merger). Mildred and co. find out about the idea and set out to sink it...

This is an entertaining episode, with some amusing battle of the sexes bureaucracy between the staff, while the students go about their own schemes of ruing the merger.

Charlie once again shows up, with his presence here furthering his character development. I'm definitely glad his aspirations to witch-hood weren't just a one-off plot point. As I said in my Series  review, I really appreciate the continuity to this show, as most kid shows only ever have self-contained stories with not much in the way of character development for anyone.

The Lost Chord

While the third-years are away at Camelot College, Cackle's is visited by Michael von Raffenburg, a supposedly world-renowned composer who seems to have taken a fancy to Miss Crotchet. However, his intentions turn out to be less than pure, and prior to his plans of performing a musical lecture to the school, the duplicitous conman plots to create an ancient magical relic known as the Lost Chord, which is only possible to make using a spell from a book found in the academy. Meanwhile, Sybil isn't fooled by Raffenburg's act, and sets out to stop him...

The Lost Chord is my favourite episode for this season! It's another secondary character spotlight episode, starring Sybil Hallow, with an entertaining story.

On my first recent (as opposed to when I was a young kid) watch-through of The Worst Witch, The Lost Chord was where I started to appreciate Miss Crotchet. I can pinpoint the exact scene too-When she goes out into the school courtyard, singing softly to herself. It's a [nice] scene, not meant for laughs or anything, but rather

Sybil is great as usual, and certainly different from her first appearance on the show, both in personality, and in magical skills. You REALLY don't wanna screw with Sybyl Hallow! Unfortunately this is the last we see of her for the rest of the show. While it sucks that Sybil doesn't show up in the finale, at least her final episode is one she stars in.

Clarice-Sybil's 'sidekick'- is still a good character, while Fenny and Griz are, as usual, very cool! They're always nifty and interesting, given their many talents and hobbies.

Unfairgound/The Uninvited

One day, Millie and her friends sneak out of Cackle's to go to a fairground, and are caught red-handed by the staff when re-entering the school. After that, and other circumstances, Miss Cackle really loses her cool, imposing harsh sanctions on the entire school. Mildred and co., feeling the whole situation is extremely unfair, decide to start up a secret newspaper, which is a success until the staff find out. While Miss Crotchet and Drill don't see a problem, Miss Cackle does, and expels Mildred and her friend Jadu...

This is a very well-written two-parter, with many twists and turns, as well as a funny semi-deconstruction of the usual Worst Witch finale story type.

It's here where Miss Cackle finally 'snaps', becoming decidedly harsher (until the end, of course), and thankfully the writing does so in a way that makes sense, rather than feel out of character. I also liked that Jadu gets more screentime alone with Mildred. She's never a character who was underused, but she's usually only been present when everyone else is, never really getting an alone moment]

The story here is not only very good in its own right, but it makes for a great finale, and wrap-up to the show!

While they are a bit of a deus ex machina, I really like Mildred's new talent, and they're genuinely complemented by the decent special effects.


And that's it for The Worst Witch. All three seasons done and dusted! There is more to come with this franchise however, with its sequels Weirdsister College, and The New Worst Witch!

And to any little boys reading this, know that the moral of this story is that you don't ever have to feel ashamed for watching a 'girly' show like The Worst Witch. If any friends try and tell you that it'll make you wimpy and girl, tell them that blogger Chris Hewson watches horrific and disturbing horror movies, and macho action movies all the time, and he thinks The Worst Witch is perfectly acceptable for anyone to watch...

The Worst Witch: Season 2 (1999-2000)

When it comes to reviewing TV series The Worst Witch, I said most of what I can say about it as a whole in my Series 1 review, so I'll get right into reviewing the individual episodes of Series 2. First though, there are a few bases I'd like to touch upon (and yes, I am writing this post as if you've already read the Series 1 review, as I am FAR too busy to be more accommodating).

First things first, the character of Ethel Hallow has been recast, and the show is hilariously self-referential about it in the season's opening episode, addressing the casting change in an amusing way!

Teachers Miss Bat and Miss Drill are oddly at each-other's throats in many episodes in the series' first half, which feels pretty out-of-nowhere, but it's not annoying or poorly written, so I don't mind the sudden shift so much

Series 2 introduces the character of Sybil Hallow, and she's my favourite in the whole series, next to Mildred! She starts off as a seemingly problematic character, and one might think that her always crying could be something serious that the show is just playing for laughs like a jerk, but you'll quickly realize that's not the case. Sybil starts out extremely timid, often prone to bursting into tears at the slightest provocation, but grows as a character, rather than just being the butt of jokes for crying a lot.

Ok, let's dig in...

Old Hats and New Brooms

It's a new school year at Cackle's Academy for Young Witches, and Mildred Hubble is trying to be kind to an impressionable new student, Sybil. Unbeknownst to Millie and friends, Sybil is Ethel Hallow's sister, and has had her head filled with nasty falsehoods of 'Mildred Hubble worst witch of the entire school', leaving her terrified...

This is an entertaining season opener, with great characters, and it's very funny, such as with Miss Bat's belief that there's such a place as 'Inner Mongolia' (as otherwise, why's there an Outer Mongolia, in her words). My only issue with Old Hats and New Brooms is her Mongolian Undertone Chanting, which is kinda grating.

The casting change of Ethel is distracting at first, but only for this episode, I found. Katy Allen quickly moulds into the role and really makes it her own.

Alarms and Diversions

The Cackle's Academy caretaker Mr. Blossom has installed a new security system into the school, and the school is quick to react to training drills, except for Mildred, who sleeps in during a drill, then rushes out to defuse what she thinks is a genuine emergency. Unfortunately, Mildred's efforts to help out land her in hot water...

Alarms and Diversions is a funny-as-usual episode, with quite a few particularly amusing moments in mind. The finale is very loud, thanks to the tornado, and the alarm system, but it's never annyoing, nor is the dialogue ever drowned out.

Especially hilarious is the academy's 'Break glass in case of emergency' container, which doesn't contain a fire axe, or anything of the like, but a broom!

It's A Frog's Life

Ever since Mildred saved Sybil from a magical tornado, the hero-struck Hallow has been following her around. A frustrated Mildred eventually goes off at a vindictive Ethel, angrily insulting the Hallow name. Later, when Mildred's sleeping, a vengeful Ethel turns her into a frog...

It's A Frog's Life is an amusing episode, and nicely creative. I especially like that things come from its events, rather than it simply being a one-off story. The only real problem is that it's meant to be a mystery who turned Millie into a frog, but it's obviously very obvious.

Georgina Sherrington carries the episode for most of the episode's runtime with just her voice, and she does very well. Especially adorable is the distorted frog voice she gets at times.

The effects for the leaping frog (Millie) is pretty bad in places, but it's no big deal for this show

Crumpets for Tea

After the events of last episode, Mildred is determined to restore Algernon the wizard back from a frog to human. She sees an opportunity to restore him when the Grand Wizard Egbert Hellibore is due to visit Cackle's for the Halloween celebrations, but things are complicated when Millie is banned from attending, due to recent events...

Following the previous episode's events nicely, Crumpets for Tea is a fine episode which plainly shows just how determined Mildred can be, and how far she'll go to help out a friend in trouble.

Drusilla is very entertaining here, possibly moreso than any other episode she's in, from her bug-handling ways, to her use of the word suchlike (I love England!), etc.

One aspect of the episode that only just doesn't make sense is Grand Wizard Hellebore's attitude towards Mildred, and Cackles Academy to an extent. He's wary about the academy, and angrily distrustful of Mildred, and both would make sense if this was the character's first appearance since A Mean Hallowe'en in Series 1, but it isn't. He appeared in Sweet Talking Boys, and not only was he completely complementary there to Cackle's, but to Mildred as well. I'm not sure what to take issue with here, Hellibore's possibly too positive attitude in Sweet Talking Boys, or his suddenly hostile one here, so I don't think I'll pick either.

Apparently there's been a casting change here for Hellibore, but I've never noticed. Effective use of make-up/beard-up, I guess.

The Inspector Calls

Cackle's Academy is due for an inspection, and assigned to the case is Mistress Hecate Broomhead, Miss Hardbroom's old tutor. The terrified teacher warns her fellow staff member's about the exceptionally domineering and hostile Broomhead, and they plan on making sure the school is in perfect condition on the inspection, which includes such steps as removing and hiding all the friendly bats, and Mildred herself. Meanwhile, in an effort to get in Millie's good books, Sybil resolves to get her bats back from where Miss Hardbroom hid them with help from Fenny and Griz...

The Inspector Calls is possibly my favourite episode of Worst Witch Series 2! The writing is solid, funny, the ending is hilarious, and we get character development from Sybil! Charlotte Knowles is great here!

Janet Henfrey is perfectly evil as Hecate Broomhead, and the rest of the acting is great.

Animal Magic

There's a blizzard outside, and the girls of Cackle's are stuck doing exercise until Grand Wizrd Hellibore, Algernon Rowan-Webb, as well as Merlin, Baz, and Gaz come over, to take refuge from the weather. Using his position as Master of the Revels, Rowan-Webb declares the rest of the day a half-holiday, much to the chagrin of Miss Hardbroom, and Hellibore.With the whole school under upside-down day rules, the students have lots of fun games, despite the attempted interference of Baz and Gaz, while the teachers are stuck in class. Soon, a frustrated Hellibore challenges Rowan-Webb to a shapeshifting duel in order to return things to normal...

Animal Magic is another favourite of mine from this season, not because it's the best written, but because it all-round has an atmosphere of fun. The whole episode is of joyful celebrations, and amusing reversals of roles, such as Fenny and Griz acting as teachers, and the staff stuck in menial class (resulting in Miss Hardbroom and Cackle failing their potions test).

The acting here is hilarious, especially the aggravatedly* stoic Miss Hardbroom, courtesy of Kate Duchene, and Richard Durden as Grand Wizard Hellibore.

*Yes, yes, I know that's not technically a real word, but it should be.

Carried Away/The Dragon's Hoard

The second-years of Cackle's Academy are spending their half-term holiday at Algernon Rowan-Webb's new seaside house, but unfortunately for Mildred, she's not allowed to bring Tabby with her, due to his displeasure of flying. She secretly brings him along anyway, instead of the replacement she was meant to bring, and   Meanwhile, Rowan-Webb's new understudy/apprentice Merlin, having heard mysterious whispering in a nearby cave, accidentally releases Lord Dunston, the long-trapped dragon lord...

This is a two-parter that I had conflicting opinions about as I watched. At first I was entertained, but then I started to get impatient with it. It wasn't boring, but I wasn't really enjoying myself a whole lot either. Then the dragon lord plot started, and I felt it was pretty railroaded into the story, pointlessly and unnecessarily extending it to two parts. However, as The Dragon's Hoard went on, I progressively enjoyed it more and more, until come the end, I did enjoy the entire story.

This is a well-written two-parter, which makes good use of recurring characters, and has an interesting 'antagonist'. The effects are pretty bad in one case though-The make-up for the dragon lord is pretty unconvincing, looking like silver greasepaint has been smeared all over the actor.

The Genius of the Lamp

Back at Cackle's Academy, while the second-years are at Rowan-Webb's seaside house, the first years are growing especially displeased at the school's gloomy conditions, specifically Sybil and Clarice. With Miss Drill and Bat's permission, the two look through some magic books, under the pretense of creating a light spell, and soon enough, they have their very own magic lamp. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to Sybil and Clarice, whenever the lamp conjures something up, it destroys something else...

It's with this episode where you'll realize that Sybil is in a way The Worst Witch's other main character, as while she doesn't appear as much as Maud, Enid, and the others, she's the only character besides Mildred to get her own episodes. The Genius of the Lamp is the first of two Sybil-centric eps, where neither Mildred, nor the majority of the cast appears. I really appreciate these episodes, as they show off what Cackle's is like for the show's secondary characters, and it's great to see more of Sybil! She's one of my favourite characters in the show, so I'm glad she gets more than just a few scenes in a few eps here and there.

Sybil's character is developed nicely here, and while her actions leading up to the climax aren't necessarily likeable, they're definitely understandable, given her life, and she's a pretty sympathetic character.

This episode does have one glaring issue, however-Miss Semolina, the new cook for Cackle's. She's an out-of-nowhere new character, and that wouldn't be too bad, if not for the fact that she's a total copy of Miss Tapioca, from the name, down to the Italian accent!

Up in the Air

Once again, Charlie, nephew of the Cackles school caretaker Mr. Blossom, is at Cackle's, this time with aspirations to become a witch. Miss Cackle is intrigued by the idea, and let's Charlie take an exam, which will allow him to become a pupil on a trail basis. Things go awry, however, when Millie and co. see that he's not performing the test all that well, and Enid magically helps him along, inadvertently creating a ruckus, which may mean the end of Charlie's time at Cackle's before it's even started...

Up in the Air is a fun episode, and while you do want to smack Enid upside the head for what her spell does, it's at least nifty in its effects! We get Attack of the Numbers as every digit in the castle leaps of pages/blackboards to fly around.

Recurring character Charlie appears again in this episode, after a lengthy absence (which Series 3 makes up for), and he remains a likeable addition, with a good plot surrounding him.

Fair is Foul and Fouls Are Fair

It's close to the end of term, and in an effort to alleviate the antsy schoolgirls of Cackle's, Miss Drill sets up a basketball match between the second-years and another school, Heversham High. The girls are forbidden by Miss Drill to use any magic, but after the first half, they're losing 0-44, and have to do something, fast...

This is a well-written and funny episode. It's funny seeing the basketball-inexperienced Cackle's girls getting demolished, and equally so seeing  how they set about magically winning the game. Especially funny is Miss Bat, who is feeling particularly hard-done-by by Miss Hardbroom's stern attitude. The episode's guest stars-the Heversham schoolgirls-are also amusing.

Green Fingers and Thumbs

There's a highly important potions test coming up at Cackle's, and Mildred is afraid she won't pass. She tries to gain inspiration by helping out in school caretaker Mr. Blossom's greenhouse. He's growing some prize marrows for an upcoming garden festival, which turns out to have chosen Cackle's Academy as its venue...

This is a fun episode, with an entertaining enough villain, conflict, and some neat singing!

My favourite line is definitely from Miss Hardbroom at the end, when she's talking to Mildred after having caught Ethel and Drusilla sabotaging in the act, while Millie is under the impression everything that went wrong was her fault. "The trouble with you is that you believe you're the only one who ever does anything wrong".

The Millennium Bug

Former Cackle's pupil Amanda Honeydew, now a famous pop singer, has plans to buy the academy ground, and chair of school governors Mr. Hallow will use the money to build a brand new, state of the art Cackle's Academy (an act that leads the traditionalist Miss Hardbroom to tender her resignation). While Mildred the girls do appreciate the idea, they don't think this new school will have any of the history, ookiness, and special witchy atmosphere that Cackle's should have, and set about trying to sabotage the plan...

My other favorite episode of the series, The Millennium Bug perfectly ends Series 2. It's well-written, has numerous great scenes, very nice music, and not only does Mildred shine here, but so does Sybil!

As I said, the great scenes of this episode are many, my favorites being two particular ones. The first is when Clarice convinces Sybil to try out the clarinet again, and to play how she feels, resulting in a nice blues tune, which segues perfectly into the next scene of Mildred and Miss Hardbroom discussing their time together in retrospect, which is my other favourite.

Series 2 of The Worst Witch is my favourite. It has at least three episodes that I consider my favourite of the whole show, and is all-round a fun time! Just like the previous season, this comes highly recommended from me!...