Archive | Doctor Who

An archive of blog entries about British science-fiction programme Doctor Who.


February 14, 2017

Full details of the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival

Posted on February 14, 2017 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

The Crown at the BFI and Radio Times Television Festival

Although March might be a bit of a wash-out for tele at the BFI, April is looking a whole lot more promising thanks to the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival. I've already given you the highlights, but the BFI has now provided the rundown for the whole thing, including some shiny new events, special guests and even some archive French TV featuring Tom Baker. Being lazy, I've copied and pasted the whole shebang below.

New special guests* announced today include: Dame Maggie Smith (DOWNTON ABBEY), Aidan Turner (POLDARK), Claire Foy (THE CROWN), Stephen Daldry (THE CROWN), Sir Ridley Scott (TABOO), Charlie Brooker (BLACK MIRROR), Rowan Atkinson (MAIGRET), Jenna Coleman (VICTORIA), Susanne Bier (THE NIGHT MANAGER), Joe Wicks (THE BODY COACH), Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley (HEMSLEY + HEMSLEY), Tom Kerridge (TOM KERRIDGE'S PROPER PUB FOOD), Jack Thorne (NATIONAL TREASURE), Jed Mercurio (LINE OF DUTY), Lee Mack (NOT GOING OUT), Barry Cryer (I’M SORRY I HAVEN’T A CLUE), Adam Hills (THE LAST LEG/PARALYMPICS), Simon Nye (THE DURRELLS)

Guests join those names already announced: Michael Palin (MONTY PYTHON), Steven Moffat (DOCTOR WHO, SHERLOCK), Mark Gatiss (SHERLOCK), Julie Walters (NATIONAL TREASURE/DINNER LADIES), Keeley Hawes (THE DURRELLS), Josh O'Connor (THE DURRELLS), Simon Nye (THE DURRELLS), Freida Pinto (GUERRILLA), Babou Ceesay (GUERRILLA), Walter Iuzzolino (WALTER PRESENTS), Jacqueline Wilson (TRACY BEAKER), Judith Kerr (THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA), Michael Morpurgo (WAR HORSE) and Helen and Rob from The Archers

The BFI and Radio Times today announce the full line-up for the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival, celebrating the current golden age of TV with more than 40 events featuring some of the biggest names on the small screen. The new events announced today include the stars, writers and producers of some of the biggest TV shows of the year; including The Crown, Victoria, The Night Manager, Line of Duty, Poldark, Sherlock, Black Mirror and Strictly Come Dancing. Joining the line-up of TV stars is acclaimed director Sir Ridley Scott, who will be in conversation following a screening on Saturday 8 April of The Author of Beltraffio (TF1 1974), a precious gem which has recently been rediscovered by the BFI National Archive, and was directed by Sir Ridley’s brother, the late Tony Scott. This TV drama has been unseen since its UK transmission in 1976 and stars Doctor Who’s fourth Time Lord Tom Baker.

Other highlights announced today include:

IN CONVERSATION:

  • Dame Maggie Smith will make a rare appearance onstage on Saturday 8 April; the legendary Downton Abbey actor will reflect on her life on stage and screen.
  • The satirical writer and broadcaster Charlie Brooker will talk about his work including Screenwipe, Dead Set and the award-winning Black Mirror as well as his TV influences on Sunday 9 April.
  • Comedians Lee Mack and Barry Cryer have spent many years writing sketches and sitcoms for television; join these two giants of comedy on Sunday 9 April as they discuss their craft and comedies past, present and future.

PANEL DISCUSSIONS:

  • Opening the Festival on Friday 7 April will be an event dedicated to Maigret starring Rowan Atkinson. Atkinson will be joined by exec producer John Simenon, son of original Maigret creator Georges Simenon, to talk about bringing the enigmatic sleuth to the small screen.
  • A panel discussion about Netflix’s lavish drama The Crown with executive producer Stephen Daldry, Claire Foy, who plays the Queen, and more cast and crew TBA will take place on Saturday 8 April. The discussion will offer audiences an insight into the making of this majestic drama which recently won Golden Globes for actor Claire Foy and for Best Drama.
  • On Saturday 8 April Victoria stars Jenna Coleman and Tom Hughes will take a break from filming the second series, along with writer-creator Daisy Goodwin and executive producer Damien Timmer, to discuss ITV’s Sunday night hit drama.
  • The compelling adaptation of John le Carré’s book The Night Manager became one of the TV highlights of 2016; on Sunday 9 April Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier, executive producers Simon Cornwell and Stephen Garrett, and cast member Alistair Petrie will explain how they created such brilliant water-cooler TV that kept us on the edge of our seats.
  • On Saturday 8 April there will be a special Poldark event, with the drama’s leading man Aidan Turner, writer Debbie Horsfield and executive producer Damien Timmer. Audiences will also get a glimpse of series three, due to be aired this autumn.
  • On Sunday 9 April join Doctor Who executive producer Brian Minchin, and cast members to talk about the joys and challenges of making the world’s longest-running sci-fi series. With a sneak preview of clips from the upcoming series, set to be the last full series for Moffat and for star Peter Capaldi.
  • Moffat’s other worldwide smash for the BBC is the marvellous re-imagining of Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective Sherlock, co-written and co-created by Mark Gatiss and exec-produced by Moffat’s wife Sue Vertue. An event on Sunday 9 April will see a discussion of the compelling sound of Sherlock with Gatiss and Vertue along with composers David Arnold and Michael Price.
  • Join writer Jed Mercurio and members of the cast of Line of Duty on Saturday 8 April as they discuss the latest series of the compelling drama as it moves to BBC One and the dark word of AC12 and police corruption. 
  • Meet the unsung stars of Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday 8 April; executive producer Louise Rainbow, talent executive Vinnie Shergill, director of choreography Jason Gilkison and head of costume Vicky Gill are some of the team responsible for putting together the glitziest programme on TV.
  • On Sunday 9 April athletes Libby Clegg and Susie Rogers will be joined by comedian and Last Leg host Adam Hills to discuss how Channel 4’s exciting, dedicated coverage of The Paralympics has changed public attitudes towards those who are physically different.
  • Join the country’s best-loved wordsmith Susie Dent on Saturday 8 April as she vacates Countdown’s dictionary corner to take audiences on an entertaining and informative journey across the rolling landscape of the English language.

MASTERCLASSES:

  • How to Become a Social Media Star on Saturday 8 April with guests Joe Wicks (The Body Coach) and the Hemsley Sisters (Hemsley + Hemsley), will reveal how they turned themselves into lifestyle gurus, TV presenters, and social media stars.
  • BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne will give a masterclass on Sunday 9 April, speaking about his influences and work at the forefront of British TV’s current golden age including National Treasure, Skins, Shameless and The Fades and his forthcoming adaption of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials for the BBC.

TREASURES FROM THE BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE:

  • Sir Ridley Scott will be in discussion following a screening of his brother Tony’s TV drama Author of Beltraffio (TF1, 1974) which has remained unseen since its UK transmission in 1976. This drama was the British contribution to a five-part series of Henry James stories made for French TV in 1974 and stars Tom Baker.
  • The Festival programmers have plundered the BFI National Archive to put together a collection of memorable moments from Tom Jones’ outstanding ATV series This Is Tom Jones (1969-1971); on Saturday 8 April audiences will be able to revel in clips of special stars such as Dusty Springfield and Stevie Wonder performing one-off duets with their host.
  • TV Dinners with Tom Kerridge on Saturday 8 April will celebrate larger-than-life cookery stars such as Fanny Cradock and even Vincent Price, bringing us up to date via Mary Berry and Delia Smith with clips drawn from the BFI National Archive and hosted by the Michelin-starred chef and TV cookery star Tom Kerridge.

FAMILY EVENTS:

  • On Sunday 9 April there will be a preview of two brand new episodes from CBBC’s top football drama Jamie Johnson. Hear from the writers, selected cast and crew, plus a special celebrity guest, after the screening.

EVENTS WITH RADIO TIMES EXPERTS:

  • Spoiler alert! How to Write About Television on Saturday 8 April will see Radio Times’ TV Editor Alison Graham, Deputy TV Editor David Butcher and RT’s Choices writers share a few secrets of the previewer’s art.
  • The Making of a Cover Star on Saturday 8 April sees Radio Times Art Director Shem Law and prolific Radio Times photographer Don Smith discuss 90 years of iconic covers and what it takes to create them.

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January 31, 2017

News: Peter Capaldi to regenerate; The Good Place, Mozart in the Jungle, Red Oaks, Endeavour renewed; + more

Posted on January 31, 2017 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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January 3, 2017

What have you been watching? Including The Mick, Sherlock, Mechanic: Resurrection, The OA and The Bureau

Posted on January 3, 2017 | 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 and your chance to recommend anything you've been watching. 

Well hello. How are you today? Have a nice break away from it all? That's what I like to hear. 

Right, that's the small talk done. Let's talk telly.

So, I didn't watch an awful lot over the Christmas break, since I was actually in Germany and if you've ever watched German TV, you'll remember what a mistake that was (more about that tomorrow). But after the jump I'll be talking about the regulars I did watch, including the return of Doctor Who (briefly) and Sherlock (less briefly):

Global Internet
The OA 

UK
Doctor Who, Sherlock

France
Le Bureau des Légendes (The Bureau)

US
Shooter

However, New Year's Day was on Sunday and Americans being quite efficient, there have already been two new shows to grace the screens. I've already reviewed Ransom (US: CBS) but on top of that there was:

The Mick (US: Fox)
A gender-swapped, race-swapped Uncle Buck that sees It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's Kaitlin Olson playing the white trash grifter sister to a billionaire's wife who gets lumbered with looking after the kids when the rich couple go on the run following fraud investigations. If she sticks around, she gets to enjoy the lifestyles of the rich and famous. But she'll also have to deal with the bitchy neighbours, the bitchy daughter and the entitled son.

The show's created by John Chernin and Dave Chernin, the creators of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, so you shouldn't be too surprised to hear that it's funnier than you might think, more accurate about being poor than you might think and also based around people being mean too one another verbally and physically in order to get one up on everyone else. Olson's very good as the Mick(ey) of the title and everyone is marvellously bitchy, too.

Except that's not my idea of fun, so I probably won't stick with it.

I also watched a movie.

Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)
Sequel in name only to the actually not that bad 2011 Jason Statham remake of the Charles Bronson/Jan-Michael Vincent actioner, The Mechanic. Here, Mechanic: Resurrection throws pretty much all the first movie's nuance aside in favour of a sort of melange of The Transporter, The Transporter 2 and The Internecine Project. No longer the meticulous hit-man planner of yore, Statham is retired in Brazil until fellow East End child army survivor (don't ask) turned billionaire bad guy Sam Hazeldine (Peaky BlindersResurrection) blackmails him into returning to his old life by abducting new girlfriend Jessica Alba. Only if Statham kills three of Hazeldine's impossible-to-reach rivals in ways that look like accidents will Hazeldine release Alba. He says.

Foresaking The Mechanic (2011)'s character building and steely professionalism, Mechanic: Resurrection is an insultingly stupid piece of work that tries to give us glossy backdrops, non-stop Statham fight scenes, a bit of ultraviolence and a bit of casual racism as a substitute, hoping we'll like it better. Certainly, the stars seemed to have liked it, because Alba's former Afghanistan soldier turned teacher of Cambodian children is an insult to women, but she does get to go to lots of tropical islands; Tommy Lee Jones gets more of the same travel action, but perhaps was also swayed by the chance to play a socialist arms dealer with a James Bond-style underwater base and submarine using all the subtlety he deployed in Under Siege; Michelle Yeoh was purely there for the tropical islands and not to have to do anything athletic for a change, as far as I could tell.

To be fair, most Statham movies take the piss a little bit and Statham is as aware of that as anyone. Certainly, the fact he takes his shirt off in almost every other scene can't be accidental and I refuse to believe that the FX shots were anything other than deliberate tributes to Derek Meddings' model work in 1970s James Bond movies. There's a certain amount of tongue going into cheek here.

But the writing is still terrible and worst of all, almost none of the murders Statham is supposedly hired to make look like accidents would pass as such for more than a minute. Terrible.

Continue reading "What have you been watching? Including The Mick, Sherlock, Mechanic: Resurrection, The OA and The Bureau"

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