July 24, 2015

We're all going on a summer holiday. Well, I am, anyway

Posted 4 days ago at 21:00 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share


Yes, it’s August again, more or less, so it’s time for my annual pilgrimage to Greece. That means no blogging until September, unless I go a bit loopy in the sun.

As usual, my three awesome, well considered reasons for this are:

  1. Most of you lovely readers are on your holidays in August, too, so I’m not going to write something none of you are going to read.
  2. Most media people are on their holidays in August, too, so they’re not actually going to be making much news I can get up early to report on or review.
  3. After a nice long holiday, it’ll take me some time to get back into the swing of things, anyway

TTFN and If you're going on holiday, too, have a nice time – let us know if you had fun!


PS Until I’m back, feel free to enjoy this picture of David Tennant standing up for a change.

David Tennant as Richard II

What have you been watching? Including Impastor, Glitch, Humans and Hannibal

Posted 4 days ago at 16:45 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

It's "What have you been watching?", my chance to tell you what movies and TV I’ve been watching recently that I haven't already reviewed and your chance to recommend things to everyone else (and me) in case I've missed them.

The usual "TMINE recommends" page features links to reviews of all the shows I've ever recommended, and there's also the Reviews A-Z, for when you want to check more or less anything I've reviewed ever. And if you want to know when any of these shows are on in your area, there’s Locate TV - they’ll even email you a weekly schedule.

It’s that time again – August. Well, almost. Either way, I’m away on holiday for a good few weeks, which means I won’t be watching much tele.

That presents me with the opportunity to unveil a new holiday blog experiment: ‘Keeper or not’.

Essentially, ‘Keeper or not' boils down to a single question: “When I get back from my holiday, am I invested enough in the show that I’ll try to catch up on the numerous weeks’ worth of episodes I’ll have missed, so that I can keep watching it?” And based on the answer to that question for each show, I’ll be keeping it or culling it from my viewing queue.

So after the jump, let’s play ‘Keeper or not’ with: Dark Matter, Glitch, Halt and Catch Fire, Humans, Impastor, The Last Ship, Mr Robot, Stitchers, Suits, True Detective, UnREAL, and The Whispers. Which shows will survive?

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News: Sky acquires Aquarius; Da Vinci's Demons, The Comedians cancelled; Sky EU anti-trust case + more

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The Daily News will return in September. Have a great summer break!


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July 23, 2015

Robin of Sherwood's back for a new audio adventure - and he's brought the cast with him

Posted 5 days ago at 20:17 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Robin of Sherwood's The Knights of the Apocalypse

So a while back (if you can call five years ago ‘a while’), I waxed lyrical about the marvellous Robin of Sherwood, one of my favourite TV shows of the 1980s. I even invented a new blog category for it, ‘Old Gems’, which eventually became Nostalgia Corner.

The show ran for three series before being cancelled because it ran out of US co-production funding. However, creator and principal writer Richard Carpenter did write one script for the fourth series before the bad news came: The Knights of the Apocalypse.

Now, I’ve mentioned Bafflegab Productions before, as they’ve been responsible for Vince Cosmos, Hammer Chillers, and The Brenda and Effie Mysteries. Basically, they’re Big Finish but better and without the licences. Or at least they have been until now.

Because Bafflegab are going to make The Knights of The Apocalypse as an audio play, and they’ve somehow managed to get Robin Hood, Marion, the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Merry Men back together again for it. Yes, even Ray Winstone.

They’re going to need some cash, though, apparently, despite the proceeds going to charity.

The 1980s television classic Robin of Sherwood is making a comeback to audio. The original cast – including Ray Winstone, Jason Connery, Clive Mantle, Judi Trott and Nikolas Grace – will reunite for a one-off audio adventure, The Knights of the Apocalypse. It will be released in early 2016.

The Knights of the Apocalypse was penned after the end of the television series by the creator of Robin of Sherwood, Richard Carpenter, but never filmed. In tribute to Carpenter, who died in 2012, all profits will go to his favourite charities. Robin of Sherwood fans can help bring the story to life, and receive exclusive rewards, by donating towards production costs through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo during September 2015.

The feature-length story will be produced by Bafflegab Productions, producers of audio series The Scarifyers (as heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra), Hammer Films audio anthology Hammer Chillers, and The Brenda and Effie Mysteries, starring Anne Reid (winner of the Gold New York Radio Award for Best Audiobook 2015)

Full details of Knights of the Apocalypse and the Indiegogo campaign can be found at www.robin-of-sherwood.co.uk in the next few days.

Jason Connery said: “My time in Sherwood was spent working with wonderful actors who became lifelong friends, and behind it all was Richard 'Kip' Carpenter's brilliant writing, whose scripts we brought to life. After many false dawns, I can finally say that Robin of Sherwood is coming back. And so am I! The Hooded Man is ready to face the evil machinations of the Sheriff of Nottingham again, surrounded by my wonderful band of Merries, in a brand-new audio adventure written by Kip himself. We may be a little older and wiser in real life but, on audio, we're forever young and golden-haired."

Harriet Carpenter, daughter of Richard Carpenter, commented: "I’m thrilled to learn of the return of Robin of Sherwood as an audio production, especially as it is based on a script my father wrote many years ago. I think it says something about my dad that so many members of the original cast have agreed to be a part of it, so I sincerely thank them all for their support. Dad loved his work and spent hours sitting in his study mulling over a word or sentence. We often said he lived in his own little world, and it was true. His world consisted of history and music, legends and magic. And this is what he wrote into the stories of Robin of Sherwood. The fact this audio will benefit two such worthy causes as the Red Cross and the Sherwood Forest Trust simply makes it all the more worthwhile. Nothing is ever forgotten."

Producers Simon Barnard and Barnaby Eaton-Jones added: "We can’t begin to say how excited we are to be producing this audio revival of Robin of Sherwood, the best retelling of the Robin Hood legend ever made. We’ll do our very best to hold the bow steady, and to do justice to Richard Carpenter’s wonderful script.”

More news as it comes, I guess. I did ask Simon Barnard if he was going to get Clannad to do the music, but he said he hadn’t approached them yet, as the news was coming out a bit sooner than expected, and they’re still recasting Guy of Gisburne and Herne the Hunter.

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News: BrainDead and Wynonna Earp series, The Lone Gunmen return, a Spectre trailer + more

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July 22, 2015

Want to see what The Muppets showed ABC to get themselves their own show?

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Here you go: 11 minutes of Muppets fun. Enjoy!


News: The Brink renewed, Michael Chiklis joins Gotham, trailers for Fargo, American Ultra + more

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July 21, 2015

Kneale Before Nigel: Quatermass/The Quatermass Conclusion (1979)

Posted 7 days ago at 16:34 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Quatermass Conclusion

QuatermassStarring: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman
Writer: Nigel Kneale
Director: Piers Haggard
Price: Blu-ray £29.99 (Amazon price: £21.75), DVD £19.99 (Amazon price: £14.75)
Released: 27 July 2015

In the last quarter of the 20th century, the whole world seemed to sicken. Civilised institutions, whether old or new, fell… as if some primal disorder was reasserting itself. And men asked themselves, "Why should this be?"

Professor Bernard Quatermass is one of the most important characters in TV history. Created by blog god Nigel Kneale back in 1953 for the BBC, Quatermass was the hero of The Quatermass Experiment, a ground-breaking piece of adult science-fiction television, created at a time when all the US had to offer the world was Captain Video.

The Quatermass Experiment saw Quatermass, the head of the 'British Rocket Group’, sending into space a rocket containing three astronauts, only for it to come back down again with two of them missing and the survivor strangely changed. What happened to the missing astronauts is for the coldly scientific Quatermass to find out and his investigations are set to change the way we think about ourselves.

The six-part serial was so popular that despite being broadcast at a time when very few people actually owned a TV, it was able to empty the streets. The result was not only a movie adaptation by Hammer Films, but a 1955 sequel appropriately called Quatermass II. If The Quatermass Experiment was “we go to them”, Quatermass II was “they come to us”, with Quatermass discovering that his plans for a base on the moon have already been put into practice… in England. But what’s inside these domes and how is it that no one’s noticed them until now?

The popularity of this new serial was again sufficient for both a movie adaptation and another lavish sequel, Quatermass and the Pit, to be approved, the latter being broadcast in 1958. This saw a WWII bomb discovered during building works in London. However, subsequent examination reveals that the discovery is a lot, lot older than anyone could have guessed.

“We go to them”, “They come to us” but now it turns out that they have always been here - and that we are the Martians.

However, that was the last of Quatermass for a while. Although Kneale was asked in 1965 to write a new Quatermass story for the BBC2 anthology series Out of the Unknown, he declined the offer, which meant that the first new Quatermass the 1960s got to see was a Hammer adaptation of Quatermass and the Pit in 1967.

The success of this movie prompted Hammer to ask Kneale to write a new Quatermass movie for them, but that got no further than initial negotiations, meaning Quatermass and the Pit was also the only new Quatermass story of the 1960s. But following the success of The Stone Tape in 1972, the BBC asked Kneale for a new Quatermass serial… and he agreed.

Kneale completed the script in February 1973, after which preliminary filming work began. However, for various reasons, the BBC got cold feet, and the serial was cancelled in the summer of that year.

The BBC's rights to the serial expired in 1975, by which time Kneale was working for ITV on projects such as Murrain and Beasts. Then, in 1977, Star Wars arrived on the scene and suddenly everyone was interested in science-fiction again. In particular, Euston Films, an ITV film subsidiary, became interested - perhaps, in part, because it was overseen by blog goddess and famous Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert. And Euston wanted both a four-part TV series and a movie.

Guess what’s going to be released on Blu-Ray next week. Yes, after the jump, we’re going to be looking at the forthcoming release of Quatermass and The Quatermass Conclusion - the final adventures of Professor Bernard Quatermass (almost)

Here’s a trailer or three.

Continue reading "Kneale Before Nigel: Quatermass/The Quatermass Conclusion (1979)"

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News: alleged Xena reboot, alleged Sigourney Weaver Doc Martin cameo, Cate Blanchett's TV show + more

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July 20, 2015

Weekly Wonder Woman: Superman/Wonder Woman #19, Justice League #42, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #11, Sensation Comics #42, Martian Manhunter #2

Posted 8 days ago at 22:33 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It’s going to be the last Weekly Wonder Woman for a while, I’m afraid, since I’m on blogging holiday next week until the start of September. So treasure these words, for they’re the last you’re going to get for over a month.

But for our last Weekly Wonder Woman this summer, we have a doozy of a collection to work through. As well as seeing the power couple face down the Suicide Squad in Superman/Wonder Woman #19, we have Wonder Woman facing down the Anti-Monitor in Justice League #42, facing down Martian Manhunter in Martian Manhunter #2, facing down Nyx and two Strifes in Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #43… and, erm, apologising to Superman for breaking his arm in Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #11.

And finally, after weeks of digital comics promoting its arrival, we finally have not only the conclusion of the Justice League: Gods And Monsters comics series, but also Justice League: Gods and Monsters to watch on our teles. Was it worth the wait for Wonder Woman fans?

Find out after the jump.

Continue reading "Weekly Wonder Woman: Superman/Wonder Woman #19, Justice League #42, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Four #11, Sensation Comics #42, Martian Manhunter #2"

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News: 10 returning CSI characters, Dougray Scott replaced on Quantico + more

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