Tag Archive | Torchwood

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News: Canadian Lovejoy and Beowulf, Torchwood returns on radio, Benched cancelled, Broad City renewed + more

Posted on January 15, 2015 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

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Doctor Who

Canadian TV
  • Omnifilm developing: Blood Magick, Pacific Spirit, Beowulf, Homegrown Terrorist, Corrective Measures and The Last Spike

UK TV

New UK TV shows
  • Trailer for BBC Two’s The Eichmann Show, with Martin Freeman, Anthony LaPaglia et al

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

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What did you watch last week? Including Ambassadors, You, Me and Them, and The Tunnel

Posted on October 28, 2013 | comments | Bookmark and Share

It's "What did you watch last week?, my chance to tell you what movies and TV I watched last week 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.

Elsewhere, you can find my third-episode verdict on The Tomorrow People. Still in the viewing queue are last night's Serangoon Road and Homeland and Saturday's Atlantis, which given I haven't watched last week's episode either is probably telling me something. NBC's Dracula I hope to be reviewing either today or tomorrow - certainly before Thursday when it airs on Sky Living.

But I've tried some new shows:

Ambassadors (BBC2)
David Mitchell and Robert Webb of Peep Show et al are a UK ambassador and a member of his staff, working together to further UK interests by covering up Mitchell's cock-ups and framing the French as best they can. Unfortunately, if it weren't for the fact that Mitchell and Webb were in it, you wouldn't know it was a comedy, it's that unfunny. Okay, to be fair a couple of laughs were emitted while watching it, but they may have been reflex actions.

You, Me and Them (Gold)
Seemingly a contradiction in terms, UK Gold - the home of old tele - is making its first new sitcom. From the makers of (terminally unfunny show) Outnumbered, it sees Anthony Head (Buffy et al) in a relationship with the 26-years-younger and impressively English now Eve Myles (Torchwood). They're happy together, but everyone from Myles' extended family to Head's ex-wife and friends has an opinion on their somewhat icky relationship. Will the relationship weather this family-based storm?

Despite the impressive cast (Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Rawle and Susie Blake are in there, too, as Head's ex-wife and Myles' parents respectively), this suffers the same problem as Ambassadors in not being funny, although here, everyone is doing their hardest to convince you that actually it is. A few good lines here and there, but you do have to be the kind of person who thinks even the mention of sex or simple bad parenting is comedy gold to find this remotely entertaining. And isn't it weird when Anthony Head uses his real accent?

Shows I'm watching but not necessarily recommending
Agents of Shield (ABC/Channel 4)
Ooh, secrets are revealed! But they're not that secret or incriminating! And no one cares! And are we going to get anything except lots of Extremis this season?

The Blacklist (NBC/Sky Living)
After last week's stonking Manhunter tribute, this week we got a tiny Prison Break tribute, with Robert Knepper playing a man who's good at escaping from prison, although what a shame about his limp arm. I think the plan now is to have every actor who's ever played a famous villain face off against Spader in a series of tribute episodes, while Spader archly hams away. It'll be fun to watch if that's what they do. And maybe next week we'll get some answers about what's up with Megan Boone's hubby?

The Tunnel (Sky Atlantic/Canal+)
The story progresses, with prostitution the apparent political motive for the villain in this version of The Bridge. Things on the English side of the story are once again far more interesting than on the French side, with the Brtis served well by Ben Richards' ear for blokey English dialogue ("If he messes with my bitches…", "Hey Tupac, this is South Kent not LA.") and Stephen Dillane giving an outstanding performance as the English plod. If only the same could be said for new arrival Keeley Hawes… First episode review.

Recommended shows
Arrow
 (The CW/Sky 1)
A veritable DC comics fest, with Tony Daniel's Dollmaker arriving on the scene (you may have noticed a head nod in the name of the Dollmaker's attorney), Black Canary getting her own non-super-powered scream and - oh my gods - the mention of none other than Ra's Al Ghul himself. We may even have the beginnings of a Deathstroke origin story. But oh dear, everyone on the island's been captured and locked up again! Tsk, tsk.

Elementary (CBS/Sky Living)
The A-story was more interesting as a notion - Holmes isn't getting cases so looks for them and one seemingly minor incident becomes a full blown, major investigation - than as a crime. The B-story, however, was more interesting from the point of view of character development. The show's really starting to need a new Moriarty, although I really liked the old one…

Modern Family (ABC/Sky 1)
Ooh, a new character, as well as the return of Nathan Lane. Finally, something to change the formula. One question: are the women and girls who aren't Gloria going to get some storylines soon?

Serangoon Road (ABC1/HBO Asia)
A really exciting episode, pitting our hero (and heroine) against the black market, MI6 and others. Now officially on the recommended list.

"What did you watch last week?" is your chance to recommend to friends and fellow blog readers the TV and films that they might be missing or should avoid - and for me to do mini-reviews of everything I've watched. Since we live in the fabulous world of Internet catch-up services like the iPlayer and Hulu, why not tell your fellow readers what you've seen so they can see the good stuff they might have missed?

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Third-episode verdict: Agents of SHIELD (ABC/Channel 4)

Posted on October 10, 2013 | comments | Bookmark and Share

BarrometerAgentsOfShield.jpgA Barrometer rating of 3

In the US: Tuesdays, 8/7c, ABC
In the UK: Fridays, 8pm, Channel 4

Three episodes into Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and it looks like the show is finally finding its feet as a show separate from The Avengers/Avengers Assemble and the rest of the 'Marvel Universe'. Episode one was a derivative affair, no different from Knight Rider and NCIS in set-up but with even prettier casts and Whedongags and constant references to the movies to differentiate it from other ensemble action shows that deal with the hunting down of 'terrorists'. 

With Joss Whedon apparently absent behind the scenes of episode two, taking his jokes with him (although rumours are they he did do some re-writes on it), the show made an unfortunate shift sideways in the direction of Torchwood, giving us a rubbish, bickering team, trying to save the world from alien artefacts, while making yet more references to the movies. And we just don't need another Torchwood - one was enough.

Episode three was considerably more pleasing, though, giving us some juicy flips of a standard plot, some actual personalities for the prettier members of the cast and a guest appearance by an accent-laden Ian Hart. While still not quite up to Whedon-standard, there were better gags than before and the laying down of some new mythology for the show so it doesn't have to keep drawing on the Marvel movie universe. It did have some weird ideas about Malta, though, and some pretty poor fight scenes, so let's not get too carried away.

Agents of SHIELD is clearly a show finding its way. It's not trying to be as clever or off the wall as previous Whedon efforts, and while its playing with the tropes of mainstream action and comic-book shows gives a certain edge on the po-faced likes of Criminal Minds and NCIS, it doesn't yet have good enough writing or a good enough cast for it to quite get by without the goodwill brought about by the movies.

But it's got enough good things about it and enough strengths that given time, it will be a decent enough show and could possibly grow into something innovative. We can at least keep our fingers crossed.

Barrometer rating: 3
Rob's prediction: Will last at least one season, but needs to find its own place in the Marvel and TV-viewing universes for it to go beyond that.

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