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Some of the best articles on the blog. Typically, these have a picture. It's a low entrance requirement, I know.


November 2, 2010

Review: The Trip 1x1

Posted on November 2, 2010 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Trip

In the UK: Mondays, 10pm, BBC2. Available on the iPlayer

One of the funniest parts of the the Tristam Shandy adaptation, A Cock and Bull Story, that Michael Winterbottom directed in 2006 was the strange partnership between the stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Or should I say 'Steve Coogan' and 'Rob Brydon', because in the movie the two actors played rivalrous versions of themselves, complete with fake partners, backgrounds, etc, that are close but don't really match up to the real things:

Strangely, four years on, BBC2 has decided to get Winterbottom, Coogan and Brydon together again for a six-part comedy series that sees 'Brydon' and 'Coogan' visiting restaurants around the country to review them for The Observer food magazine, while recreating the same chemistry they had during A Cock and Bull Story. It's a near-the-knuckle, moderately funny, occasionally hilarious piece that's as much drama as comedy.

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October 28, 2010

Preview: The Walking Dead

Posted on October 28, 2010 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Walking Dead

In the US: Sundays, 10/9c, AMC. Starts 31st October
In the UK: Fridays, 10pm, FX UK. Starts 5th November

Ooh, ooh. I think we're turning a corner. Looks like the world is just about getting fed up with vampires and possibly even werewolves as well (you can return your Team Edward and Team Jacob armbands), and zombies are coming back into fashion. Oh frabduous day.

Because shortly following the UK's Dead Set, we now have an American zombie TV show, one a tad higher quality than The Vampire Diaries. Bizarrely, though, it's on AMC.

AMC's last project was Rubicon and it's best known for Mad Men and Breaking Bad, so maybe you wouldn't naturally assume it was the best place for an adaption of a comic book about zombies. Nevertheless, it turns out with Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) in charge, AMC's actually a very good place for a quite moving and gory story about a guy (Andrew Lincoln of Teachers) who wakes up to find almost the entire world over-run with zombies.

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October 22, 2010

Review: The First Men in the Moon

Posted on October 22, 2010 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The First Men In The Moon

In the UK: Tuesday, 10pm, BBC4

HG Wells' The First Men in the Moon is one of Wells' lesser known sci-fi books. While The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and even The Island of Dr Moreau get remade all the time, The First Men In the Moon had a rather lovely 1964 film adaptation starring Lionel Jeffries and co-written by Nigel Kneale, but that's been it.

Now, there are few UK TV writers today who are bigger sci-fi fanboys than Mark Gatiss. If he's not writing Doctor Who, starring in Doctor Who, appearing in documentaries about Doctor Who, presenting documentaries about horror movies, appearing in documentaries about Nigel Kneale, writing Lucifer Box stories that pastiche 19th century fiction, updating Sherlock Holmes, et al, he's thinking about it. I know he is. I can sense it.

So leave it to Gatiss to not only realise there's this gap in the HG Wells adaptation record but to fix it by writing a 90 minute TV movie based on the book - and, naturally enough, starring in it.

Now, BBC4 isn't exactly big budget, so you might be expecting something put together with some local theatre stars, a couple of pieces of string and a bit of papier mache. But The First Men in the Moon follows on from previous low budget, high gloss sci-fi productions, such as The Quatermass Experiment (which also starred Gatiss), A for Andromeda and Parallel Quest, by being very good looking, having a great cast (Rory Kinnear) and some quite extensive CGI, all while staying reasonably faithful to the source material - both the book, and because this is Gatiss, the movie.

It's just a pity everything was done with such a knowing wink in its eye. Here's a trailer:

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