BFI events

The Radio Times festival has moved to the South Bank

Last year saw the hosting of the first Radio Times festival. As I pointed out when I went, it was a slightly odd affair hosted in a park opposite Hampton Court, with plenty of illustrious speakers, book signings, pop-up food shops and regular old book shops. 

Maybe it’s oddness, the strange location and the difficulty booking tickets, particularly on the day, that meant that there wasn’t one this year, as the Radio Times events team had a rethink. But next year, it’s back on 7-9 April, this time in association with the BFI, who had a bit of a presence at the first event but wasn’t the co-organiser. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s therefore being held at the BFI Southbank and there aren’t quite as many things to see, given there are only three theatres. But the preliminary programme is out now, there’s plenty to watch – not just from the UK but from overseas thanks to Walter – a few authors and a bit about the radio, too. You can buy tickets today if you’re a BFI patron or champion, tomorrow if you’re a BFI member and Monday if you’ve not already given the BFI a big lump of cash this year. 

Friday
Radio Times Hall of Fame: Michael Palin

Join us as comedian, actor, writer and globetrotter Michael Palin takes us on a journey through his amazing life.

East of Ipswich
Palin’s acclaimed, bittersweet ‘near autobiographical’ drama about a teenager’s first sexual experiences on a seaside family holiday.

Saturday
TV Premiere: The Durrells
Screening of the first episode of the new series, followed by an on-stage chat with members of the cast and crew.

Call the Midwife
Join series creator Heidi Thomas as she shares the secrets of the show alongside executive producer Pippa Harris and cast members.

Victoria Wood: A Tribute
Julie Walters and colleagues come together to share their memories of the late, great Victoria Wood and introduce some memorable clips.

Victoria Wood: Two Creatures Great and Small + Victoria Wood at the Albert Hall
Two gems from Wood’s career that capture all her brilliance as an award-winning stand-up performer

Sunday
Hetty Feather + Meet Jacqueline Wilson
Watch two new episodes of the enchanting CBBC children’s drama, and meet author Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Hetty Feather and ex-children’s laureate, and selected cast and crew.

The Archers: The Trial of Helen Titchener
Louiza Patikas (Helen), Tim Watson (Rob) and former Archers editor Sean O’Connor reveal the inside story of Rob and Helen.

Judith Kerr and Michael Morpurgo
Two of our best-loved children’s authors, Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came To Tea) and Michael Morpurgo (War Horse) in conversation.

Mark Gatiss: From League of Gentlemen to Sherlock
Writer/actor/comedian and fantasy maestro Mark Gatiss talks to Radio Times Television editor Alison Graham about his favourite TV moments, including Sherlock.

Walter presents: TV Premiere: Merciless + Meet Walter
Following this bold Brazilian drama meet Walter Iuzzolino, curator of Walter Presents, the service introducing international TV dramas to the UK.

Walter presents: TV Premiere: Locked Up
Season 2 opener of the Spanish prison drama + interview with actor Berta Vázquez, co-creator Iván Escobar and Walter Iuzzolino.

Radio Times Hall of Fame: Steven Moffat
Steven Moffat – showrunner of two of the UK’s biggest TV shows, Doctor Who and Sherlock – in conversation with Frank Skinner.

TV Premiere: Guerrilla (Sky Atlantic)
Exclusive preview of a Sky Original 1970s set thriller about a group of black power activists in London + cast and crew on-stage.

What TV’s on at the BFI in January 2017? Including Sherlock, Abigail’s Party and Nuts in May

Gosh, 2017 came round quickly, didn’t it? Yes, already, we’re looking at what the BFI is showing in January next year. Two big things:

  1. A tiny, tiny Sherlock season. Only one episode in fact. But it’s a new one. Maybe some of the cast might even be attending
  2. An Aliston Steadman season. Quite a big one, since includes the likes of Abigail’s Party, Nuts in May, Pasmore, Girl and Virtuoso, as well as Alan Bleasdale’s first TV drama, Early To Bed.

Details after the jump, although you might want to listen to a bit of Demis Roussos first.

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in January 2017? Including Sherlock, Abigail’s Party and Nuts in May”

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US TV

Review: The Family 1×1-1×2 (US: ABC)

 

In the US: Sundays, 9/8c, ABC
In the UK: Not yet acquired

Virtually everyone who goes to prison in US TV dramas deserves it. In fact, frequently, they don’t get enough prison and it’s clear that by the end of the episode they deserve more of it; there also plenty of people who deserve to be in prison but who aren’t because of ‘technicalities’ such as no evidence, yet the cops know they should be.

Why don’t we just let the prosecutors and the cops do what’s right and stick anyone they think is guilty of a crime in jail forever and ever, hey? That would sort out the crime problem, wouldn’t it?

Well, trouble is, not everyone found guilty of a crime – or even suspected of a crime – is actually guilty, as John Oliver recently pointed out:

A few TV shows have faced up to this reality, including Life, Rectify and most recently ABC’s Secrets and Lies. But largely, the accused-but-innocent man, while guilty of something like adultery, isn’t guilty of anything too bad.

So you’ve got to at least credit The Family with addressing moral ambiguity in a deeper way than before. Here we have former Brat packer Andrew McCarthy coming out of partial acting retirement to play a man accused of kidnapping, murdering and probably raping the young son of his neighbours, aspiring politician Joan Allen (The Bourne Supremacy, Manhunter) and her husband Rupert Graves (Sherlock). When they find videos on his computer of children being abused, it seems like an open and shut case for rookie cop Margot Bingham (Boardwalk Empire, Matador), and McCarthy is sent away to prison.

Ten years later, Graves and Allen have separated and the children, who include The Newsroom‘s Alison Pill, are all grown up. Then the son they thought had died turns up on a road, having been kidnapped and imprisoned Room-style for close to a decade. McCarthy may be a paedophile but he is innocent of the murder, so is released back into the community.

Can the real kidnapper be found? What will happen to the family now the son has returned? How will the community treat McCarthy once he’s among them again? Can McCarthy be a nice man who’s kind to kids and should be allowed to be around them, even if he does have some rather nasty videos? 

These are just some of the interesting questions the show poses, even if it answers none of them well. However, another question is: “With such an interesting subject matter and strong cast, how can it be so astonishingly dull?”

Continue reading “Review: The Family 1×1-1×2 (US: ABC)”

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