BAFTA events

What TV’s on at BAFTA in October 2018? Including This Morning, Women on the Verge, This Country, Making a Murderer Part 2 and  Murder in Successville

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

I probably haven’t been keeping an eye on the BAFTA schedules as much as I should have done, so a whole bunch of October events appear to have snuck up on me without notice. So get your skates on in case you fancy booking tickets to see a tribute to This Morning with Holly Willoughby, Phillip Schofield, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan all in one place (for the first time?), previews of Women on the Verge, This Country and Making a Murderer Part 2, a masterclass on Live TV, and a breakfast discussion of sourcing archive TV. And just for luck, I’ve thrown in a November event in Belfast – a masterclass on Murder in Successville.

All that after the jump.

Continue reading “What TV’s on at BAFTA in October 2018? Including This Morning, Women on the Verge, This Country, Making a Murderer Part 2 and  Murder in Successville”

Jack Ryan

Tom Wlaschiha joins Jack Ryan; Juliette Lewis is Johnny Galecki’s girlfriend; + more

Every weekday, TMINE brings you the latest TV news from around the world

Internet TV

  • Trailer for Netflix’s Wild District
  • Tom Wlaschiha to recur on Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan


  • Trailer for season 2 of Audience’s Loudermilk
  • Trailer for season 4 of Syfy’s Channel Zero

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

  • Johnny Galecki to return, Juliette Lewis to guest on ABC’s The Conners
  • Justin Cornwell to replace Yusuf Gatewood in NBC’s The InBetween
  • Sophie Reynolds joins Spectrum’s LA’s Finest
  • Jonica T Gibbs to star, Christina Elmore, Gabrielle Graham and Sophina Brown to co-star in TBS’s Twenties

Review: Manifest 1×1 (US: NBC)

In the US: Mondays, NBC, 10/9c
In the UK: Not yet acquired

With some shows, it’s a bit hard to work out what exactly they’re knocking off, they’re so derivative and unoriginal.

Initially, you might be tempted with Manifest to think the show is knocking off Lost, seeing as it has a plane disappearing in mysterious circumstances, forcing its passengers to come together and forge bonds. There are even mysterious numbers associated with the plane that the passengers keep seeing reoccurring around the place.

But it’s not Lost. For one thing, the plane doesn’t crash.

Perhaps it’s emulating one of the Lost knock-offs of yore then, maybe FlashForward. You see, in Manifest, the plane takes off in 2013, passes through some turbulence, then lands in 2018, its passengers not a day older. Meanwhile, the world outside has marched on five years – relatives have died, fiancés have moved on and children have grown up. No one knows what’s happened, not the passengers, not the FBI agents who investigate it.

But it’s not FlashForward, since they get stuck there and don’t get to go back to the past to let everyone knows what happened.

So maybe it’s another Lost knock-off – say, Six Degrees. After all, some of the passengers are linked in mysterious ways – one woman (Parveen Kaur) is a medical researcher who just manages to send off her data before the plane enters strange turbulence. When the plane lands, her research has already been turned into a life-saving cure for leukaemia. Which is fortunate as one of the other passengers on the plane is a child with leukaemia who had only six months to live. If he’d not gone on the flight, he’d be dead in 2018, but now he stands a chance at remission.

But it’s not Six Degrees, which only ever sought to imply that people were only ever six degrees of connectedness away from each other. Here, Manifest has a dual meaning: it’s both the manifest of the plane and a reference to destiny. Because the passengers are hearing voices telling them what to do. In particular, unlucky in love cop Melissa Roxburgh keeps hearing a voice telling her to “set them free”. Can it be those dogs she keeps seeing? Or is something related to a kidnapping case her ex is now investigating?

Got it. Special powers? Mysterious return of strangers? Time travel? An other worldly force? It’s The 4400, isn’t it, just with a lot fewer people? Phew. Glad I worked that out.

Here’s the trailer for Manifest and if you liked that, there’s the whole first act of it afterwards, too.

Continue reading “Review: Manifest 1×1 (US: NBC)”

Magnum PI

Review: Magnum PI 1×1 (US: CBS)

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, CBS
In the UK: Not yet acquired

It’s tempting to slate all early 80s US action shows as complete rubbish. Implausible, badly written, badly acted rubbish. To be fair, largely that’s true. Look at the likes of Riptide.

Just unwatchable.

But there were some good shows, at least, thanks in part to two men: Glen A Larson and his protégé Donald P Bellisario. Bellisario was ultimately responsible for Airwolfpossibly the best US show of the early 80s (shut up, Hill Street Blues fans – you’re wrong), but before that, he and Larson created Magnum, P.I., which made a star of both its lead, Tom Selleck, and the islands of Hawaii on which it was filmed.

Magnum, P.I.

The show saw naval intelligence officer Thomas Magnum (Selleck) resign his commission to become a private investigator on Hawaii. He takes up residence in the home of hugely wealthy author Robin Masters (Orson Welles) and in return for keeping an eye on the estate’s security, Magnum is able to use Masters’ money, cars and toys in his work – all supervised by the estate manager, former British soldier Jonathan Higgins (John Hillerman). Magnum also gets some help from some pals from Nam, helicopter pilot TC (Roger E Mosley) and the Casablanca-inspired Rick (Larry Manetti).

Although private eye shows were ten a penny in those days and usually pretty poor, Magnum, P.I. was a cut above the rest. Despite the obligatory 80s excesses in terms of format, it often had shades of proper drama and touched on important themes. Cases weren’t always clear cut, there were elements of serial drama at times and there were often moral ambiguities. In common with the vastly more bleak Airwolf, Bellisario’s service as a marine was frequently called upon to inform the scripts, with the Magnum-TC-Rick triad of former service buddies more nuanced and realistic than many shows’ portrayals of vets.

No surprise then that it’s still fondly remembered – and that CBS, which has been raiding its 80s archive for remake material, has chosen to redo Magnum, P.I. for the 2010s as Magnum P.I. – yes, we’ve lost a comma.

Magnum PI
Stephen Hill as Theodore “TC” Calvin, Zachary Knighton as Orville “Rick” Wright, and Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum Photo: Karen Neal/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Magnum P.I.

In contrast to the clusterf•ck train wrecks that are CBS’s MacGyver and Hawaii Five-O remakes and the strikingly different but not very good S.W.A.T.Magnum P.I. is both surprisingly faithful to the original and keen to update itself for modern TV sensibilities. The most obvious change is the increase in diversity. While the original show had the mandatory “one black supporting character”, the rest of the cast were white males. Here though, Magnum himself is played by Jay Hernandez (Six Degrees) and Higgins is now a former MI6 officer who’s not only female but played by an actual Brit (Perdita Weeks from Penny Dreadful and The Tudors). Even the supporting cast are a bit more diverse, with plenty of Asian-Americans and native Hawaiians popping up.

The second most obvious change is that we’re in the age of The Fast and the Furious, and the pilot episode is directed by that franchise’s much in demand Justin Lin. That means we get a whole bunch of stupid, impossible CGI stunts as well as an awful lot of real-life Ferraris getting wiped out. To be fair, the opening stunt is a bluff that highlights the stupidity of impossible CGI stunts, but that doesn’t stop the show wanting to eat its cake, as well as have it.

Other than that, though, everything’s more or less as it was. The theme is more or less the same as the original’s (final) theme. Hawaii is Hawaii, except 40 years older and now in HD. Magnum is Magnum, with the original’s back-story, from his naval intelligence background and his ex-marriage to the fact that TC (Stephen Hill) and Rick (Happy Endings‘ Zachary Knighton) are both former marines whom he met in service. Rick is still the guy who knows a guy, TC still pilots the exact same helicopter that the original TC did. There’s some semblance of detective work carried out. Weeks has Dobermans called Zeus and Apollo that terrorise Magnum. She and Hernandez work together as well as Selleck and Hillerman did.

Even the script feels familiar, tonally, dealing with life as a vet, life in service, the loss of comrades, how ex-military feel about the former comrades and more. Best of all, Hernandez gets to narrate the show, just as Selleck did. If you’re a fan of the original and not a complete racist/misogynist, you should be pleasantly surprised by how familiar it all is, how many references there are to the original show and generally by how not terrible it is.

Perdita Weeks in Magnum PI


That said, it’s still a CBS procedural and not one possessed of the realism of SEAL Team at that. This is very much escapist entertainment with realistic undertones, rather than realistic entertainment with escapist undertones. There’s also no obvious serial storyline as of yet, making it hard to get too invested in watching episode after episode. The cast are fine, although Weeks taking on two marines in a fight is a little implausible and Knighton’s never believable as a marine or an ex-marine, no matter how he dresses or what gun he carries. Plus former SIS officer Weeks retasking ‘GCHQ satellites’ to help monitor the action? That really does belong in a Robin Masters book.

So it’s good, but will it hold my attention for more than a few episodes? Probably not. But I’m certainly going to stick with it, since I doubt they can afford to have CGI stunts and trash a Ferrari in every episode, so might have to focus on story and character instead. Who knows? TC and Rick might get to be the focus of the script occasionally. And that’s a show I’d be inclined to watch.