Vanity Fair
BAFTA events

What (extra) TV’s on at BAFTA in June and July 2018? Including To Provide All People, Vanity Fair and Meet the Daytime Commissioners

Every so often, TMINE flags up what new TV events BAFTA is holding around the UK

BAFTA ain’t half cramming them in now. Not only has it added a couple of TV events to its July schedule, there’s another one just been slotted in the June calendar as well.

To Provide All People

Preview screening: To Provide all People + Q&A

A preview screening of BBC Wales’ latest landmark television drama commission as it celebrates the 70th anniversary of the NHS. The film poem written by BAFTA Cymru winner Owen Sheers in the voice of the NHS is directed by Pip Broughton and produced by Vox Pictures, the same creative team behind the award-winning drama Aberfan: The Green Hollow.

The drama tells the story of a single day in the NHS, from dusk to dawn, with a single hospital at its heart. To Provide All People will be broadcast across the UK at the end of June. The stellar cast includes: Michael Sheen, Eve Myles, Jonathan Pryce, Martin Freeman, Michelle Fairley, Amiee-Ffion Edwards, Meera Syal, Celia Imrie, Suzanne Packer, George Mackay, Sian Phillips and Lesley Manville.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with writer Owen Sheers, director Pip Broughton and actress Eve Myles.

Book Member’s ticket

Meet the Commissioners: Daytime

Monday, 16 July 2018 – 9:00am
David Lean Room, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London

A panel of daytime commissioners from a range of broadcasters will talk through the opportunities for producers and share their commissioning slate for the future. The panel will discuss the importance of strong repeatable formats and whether daytime is still a place to try out new shows and talent. The commissioners will reveal what they are looking for to create distinctive channel content that rates.

The panel includes:

  • Jane Beacon, Joint Head of Daytime at ITV. Programmes include Good Morning Britain and The Chase
  • Dan McGolpin, Controller of Daytime at the BBC. Credits include Matron, Medicine and Me and Richard Osman’s House of Games
  • David Sayer, Head of Daytime at Channel 4. Credits include Couples Come Dine With Me and My Floating Home.

Book Tickets

Vanity Fair

TV Preview: Vanity Fair

Monday, 16 July 2018 – 6:45pm
Princess Anne Theatre, 195 Piccadilly, London

Adapted by BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes (The Girl, Five Days, Dark Angel), this seven-part drama follows the story of Becky Sharpe (Olivia Cooke) as she attempts to claw her way out of poverty and scale the ranks of English Society during the Napoleonic Wars. The series is produced by Julia Stannard (War & Peace, The Great Train Robbery, United) with James Strong (Liar, Broadchurch, United) directing. Mammoth Screen’s Managing Director Damien Timmer executive produces the series with Gwyneth Hughes, James Strong and Tom Mullens (Endeavour, Fearless, Poldark).

The series has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama Polly Hill and premieres on the channel internationally before premiering as an Amazon Prime Exclusive in the US.

We will be screening the first episode in the series, with a total run time of 50 minutes, followed by a Q&A with cast and crew.

Book Tickets

Good Girls
Airdates

When’s that show you mentioned starting, TMINE? Including Good Girls, S.W.A.T., Sacred Games and Mr Sunshine

Every Friday, TMINE lets you know when the latest TV shows from around the world will air in the UK

One new premiere-less acquisition this week, with BBC Four picking up ARD (Germany)’s period terrorism drama Gladbeck (54 Hours) for airing “later this year“; otherwise, everything else has a date.

Premiere dates

Good Girls
l-r: Retta, Christina Hendricks and Mae Whitman in NBC’s Good Girls

Good Girls (US: NBC; UK: Netflix)
Premiere date: Tuesday, July 3

Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman decide to improve their lives by robbing the local grocery store. Fortunately, it turns out to have far more money in its safe than it’s supposed to have. Unfortunately, not only does it all turn out to be a gang’s drug money, but Whitman’s boss recognises her and tries to use it to his advantage. After that, things spiral out of control.

Supposed to be a comedy, it honestly isn’t.

Episode reviews: 1

Sacred Games

Sacred Games (Netflix)
Premiere date: Friday, July 6

Set amid the chaos of Mumbai, this epic series explores the corrupt underworld lurking beneath India’s economic renaissance. Based on the novel.

SWAT CBS

S.W.A.T. (US: CBS; UK: Sky Living)
Premiere date: Sunday, July 8, 9pm (or 10pm)

Remake of the 70s cop drama about LA’s Special Weapons and Tactics police squad. Mostly just an excuse to give Criminal Minds‘s Shemar Moore something to do, in a Fast & Furious style shoot-up mixed with a weird attempt at social commentary on the black-American community that makes it more like Marvel’s Luke Cage than anything else.

Episode reviews: 1

Mr Sunshine

Mr Sunshine (Korea: No idea – soz; UK: Netflix)
Premiere date: Thursday, July 19

Set in Shinmiyangyo, or the U.S. expedition to Korea in the late 19th century, Mr. Sunshine tells the story of a Korean boy born into a family of a house servant running away to board an American warship, later to return to his homeland as a US marine officer. He ironically falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and discovers the dark scheme to colonize the country that he once ran away from.

Obviously, I’ve not seen this one, since it doesn’t start anywhere until July 7, but it does star the hugely popular Lee Byung-hun and looks very shiny, so it stands a chance of being good.

Mr Sunshine
News

Gladbeck, Mr Sunshine acquired; Roseanne-free Roseanne spin-off; Dear White People renewed; + more

Internet TV

International TV

Australian TV

UK TV

US TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

Strange Angel
US TV

Review: Strange Angel 1×1 (US: CBS All Access)

In the US: Thursdays, CBS All Access

Aleister Crowley’s one of those people who you assume must be fictional. Just take this sentence from the opening paragraph of his Wikipedia entry:

An English occultist, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer, he founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century.

Bonkers, hey? Yet this Satanist-magician was real and if you’ve ever heard the phrase “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” you’ve heard the words of Crowley.

Also real was Jack Parsons, a US rocket scientist who helped to found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and invented the first rocket engine to use a castable, composite rocket propellant. So far, so plausible, too. However, Parsons met Crowley in the late 30s and joined Thelema. He even ended up hanging around with L Ron Hubbard.

Bonkers, hey?

And now we have a biopic of Parsons that is actually all too easy to believe.

Bella Heathcote, Jack Reynor and Rupert Friend in Strange Angel
Bella Heathcote, Jack Reynor and Rupert Friend in Strange Angel

Do what thou wilt

The first episode introduces us to Parsons, who’s played with a certain glee by Sing Street‘s Jack Reynor – one of many members of an almost exclusively non-US cast. Parsons didn’t graduate college, as he needed a job during the Depression to look after his wife (Neighbours’ Bella Heathcote), so has been working in a chemicals factory instead. Nevertheless, he and buttoned-down Caltech student Peter Mark Kendall (Chicago Med, The Americans) have been working together to create a new kind of rocket that might even take man into space.

As we quickly find out, Parsons is something of a dreamer, being a reader of lurid stories that typically involve a Chinese, harem-owning, tiger-fighting king, although Heathcote isn’t quite so approving of his reading matter. Then into their lives comes furtive new neighbour Rupert Friend (Homeland). He encourages Reynor to live a little, “Do what thou wilt” being the only law that really counts. Before you know it, Reynor’s burgling houses, nearly drowning in a swimming pool, coming up with exciting new ideas for rocket propulsion, taking all kinds of risks, and nearly blowing up Caltech professors (Rade Šerbedžija) in an effort to get much-needed funding.

Then one night he follows Reynor to a local church and discovers him in a congregation, watching while Aleister Crowley (The Crown‘s Greg Wise) is busily sacrificing a naked virgin. Soon, stabbed to his and Heathcote’s door, is a satanic symbol. Are they in danger? Might they even want to join in?

Jack Reynor, Rade Šerbedžija and Peter Mark Kendall in Strange Angel
Jack Reynor, Rade Šerbedžija and Peter Mark Kendall in Strange Angel

Happy satanists

For such a potentially exciting and lurid subject matter, this sure is tame stuff. Exploding mini-rockets are the most exciting parts of something that could have been a Satanic sexfest on AMC where it was originally pitched, but here feels like it’s a group of neighbours in a gated community getting shocked by an Ann Summers party.

There is some great attention to period detail, as well as rocket science, surprisingly enough. The cast fit their parts well, even if Wise is vastly too handsome to be Crowley. But if you were expecting something a bit more exotic, the first episode avoids every opportunity presented to it and the trailer for the rest of the season suggests two women kissing is about as exciting as it’s going to get.

All of which means that this is going to be at most a vaguely interesting biopic about a probably far more interesting man. I’d give it a miss if I were you.

Happy 13th birthday to TMINE!

A birthday cake

Crikey, as I always say. How did that happen?

Time has flown again, since The Medium Is Not Enough emerged blinking into the world a stupifying 13 years ago, primed to make sarcastic comments about UK and foreign TV, mainly from the US, mainly in languages I can speak, with reviews of Prison Break, Supernatural, and Global Frequency.

This year, of course, we’ve had the great big WordPress migration and redesign. Boxset and Movie Mondays have arrived. YouTube Red has started producing watchable TV. And I’ve got a year older. Sigh.

As always, a great big thank you to all the regular commenters: Mark Carroll, JustStark, bob, Craig Grannell, idleworm, Adam Bowie, Ian Miller and new arrival MasterWitcher088. But thank yous to anyone who’s left even one comment this year – it’s been great to hear from you!

Same time next year everyone? I say that every year, don’t I? Anyway, there’ll be cake, so bring your friends.