In the UK: Saturday, 7pm, 18th May 2013, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer In the US: Saturday, 8pm/7c, 18th May 2013, BBC America
Ian: Just open the doors, Doctor Foreman. The Doctor: [To himself.] Eh? Doctor who? What's he talking about ?
- from Doctor Who -An Unearthly Child
Doctor Who's name has been a subject of considerable interest, ever since the first episode. Whether it was Ian Chesterton's misnaming of him as Doctor Foreman in the very first episode or the more recent Steven Moffat antics regarding River Song, the Doctor and their wedding, everyone's wanted to know what his name really is. Doctor von Wer, Dr John Smith, Theta Sigma - Who knows, ho, ho?
This season has, in fact, been building on this, with Clara mid-runaround
stopping off in the TARDIS library to find out the Doctor's real name. So it all looked like we were about to get some big revelation in the appropriately named The Name of Doctor, the season finale, billed as revealing 'his secret'. And revelations we did get, just not the ones we were expecting. Let's go chat about The Trouble with Clara after the jump.
In the UK: Saturday, 7pm, 11th May 2013, BBC1/BBC1 HD. Available on the iPlayer In the US: Saturday, 8pm/7c, 11th May 2013, BBC America
Well, it's Wednesday so there's probably not much point doing a full review of Saturday's Doctor Who episode - you've probably forgotten it all, already - but for the record and for completeness' sake, so I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts. Spoilers after the jump
In the US: Sundays, 10.30pm, HBO In the UK: Will air on BBC2 this year
Christopher Guest is a god, of course. One of the originators of Spinal Tap, he is the premier maker of the improvised 'mockumentary', with films like Best in Class that are cuttingly funny social observations. He is America's Mike Leigh.
Except, of course, Guest is half-British, the son of a UN diplomat, and shared his childhood between London and New York. Which is why we shouldn't be surprised that BBC2's latest co-production with HBO - following on from the likes of Rome and Parade's End - is set predominantly in Britain. Family Tree follows Chris O'Dowd's (The IT Crowd, Bridesmaids) attempts to trace various members of his family after his great aunt dies, leaving him a box of memorabilia. Along the way, he's helped and hindered by his sister (Nina Conti, best known for her stand-up act, but also from Guest's For Your Consideration), who still uses the therapy monkey she had when she was a child to say things that would otherwise be unsayable, and his dad (long-time Guest collaborator Michael McKean from Spinal Tap).
Again, largely improvised by the cast, it's well observed and engrossing, flirting with British stereotypes while undermining them and having far more depth than a whole load of US shows I could name. But is it funny? Well
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A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
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I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.