The new aI-qa3da on bbc2, whilst “timely” and an interesting counterpoint to the power of nightmares from 6 months ago, is a dreadfully flawed programme on a number of levels:

1. the first programme on “j!had on the interweb” featured so much half@rsed ignorance about how the web works (eg. “so these websites are hosted on your messageboard?”) that it made me almost as annoyed at the presenter/writer bloke as at the people who were running the messageboards. You’d think someone with more than a year to come up with a programme might have taken at least a bit of time to understand how these things work.

2. the reconstructions are APPALLING and half the time I couldn’t tell whether the people being interviewed were actors replacing people in fear for their life, or real people (actors are not real people, thank you ;)), the interviews seemed so stilted and staged.

3. the decision to use GEEZAH COCKERNEES for the voiceovers of Moroccan gangsters/t3rr0rists, which turned most of last night’s programme into “eurotrash: the desparate sh!t and misery episode”, to the point where, about 15 minutes later, having switched over and seeing the Bloo Acticlean advert which features a rather stern, london-accented toilet (just go with me on this one, OK), Meg and I both thought “we shall not buy this product, as it is MADE BY T3RR0RISTS!!”

4. the presenter/writer bloke is so SMUG. His entire point in making the films seems to have been “haha, the power of nightmares was WRONG and you were all SAPS for believing it”, despite the fact that his arguments don’t really add up even within the polemic of the programme.

The Power of Nightmares was so persuasive because, at its heart, it was bloody well-made television and used the medium to its fullest, whereas this is basically a guardian weekend article looking into a camera…