New 24 on Sunday

Season five of 24 starts on Sunday in the US and judging from this Variety preview, it should prove to be fun despite last season’s descent into Fox News-style histrionics. If you can cope with utterly preposterous plots combined with conservatism taken seriously, it’ll be great TV.

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News

US Sci-Fi Channel does massive U-turn and buys Doctor Who

David Tennant in a kilt

Wouldn’t have mentioned this except for

a) the great way the BBC announced it (sound needed, but you’ll get annoyed after about a minute)

b) the Sci-Fi channel turned down the chance last year because they watched a few episodes and “found the series somewhat lacking and didn’t think it would fit into the network’s schedule”

I’m guessing the change of mind came about since there was a definite pick-up in story quality in the second half of last year’s season, because it’s now a success and because David Tennant is due very soon. Plus how many rubbish B-movies can you fill a schedule with before you start to put off your educated 30+ demographic? Anyone for Mansquito 2? Thought not. Better get some decent shows in instead then, hadn’t you Sci-Fi?

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Film

David Fincher’s up for another serial killer movie

Poster for the movie Se7en

Se7en director David Fincher is up for another serial killer movie. Torso explores a little-known incident in Elliot “The Untouchables” Ness’ career, in which a serial killer challenges Ness to catch him. Ness, by then working as a public safety officer and without any training as a detective, has to put together a team of ex-police officers to help him catch the killer.

I love Fincher’s movies, particularly The Game and Fight Club, and regard Se7en as one of the best movies ever made. But some of his recent output such Panic Room has has been a little lacking. If Fincher is trying to recapture the mid-90s pinnacle of his career, it’s probably a mistake. The serial killer territory is now not only well trodden both by Fincher and by others, it’s very passé. But I guess if anyone can still make a gripping serial killer movie, it’s him. I suspect he’ll need Andrew Kevin Walker as a script doctor though.

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News

A test of two bears

Rupert the Bear

Considering the fuss around the decimation of our Winnie the Pooh heritage by Disney, how will the world take the news that Rupert the Bear is to return to Channel Five with a set of new pals including Ming and Miranda the Mermaid?

Given Rupert isn’t quite as well regarded as Winnie and he’s now associated with Richard Desmond through no fault of his own, I imagine the outcry won’t be as big. After all, he was really just a cartoon for increasing newspaper sales, not tales told to a small boy at a bedtime.

Personally, I’m hoping this new series will take Rupert in a completely different direction, assuming that’s Ming the Merciless joining the cast list.

Imagine the possibilities.

PS The Media Guardian says Ping Pong is a new character. But he’s not. Naughty Media Guardian.