Streaming TV

What have you been watching? Including A Ghost Story for Christmas, Plan Coeur and Counterpart

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

And we’re back in the room. Yes, TMINE’s back for 2019 and WHYBW is back on Wednesdays again. All is right in the world, non?

Marvel’s Runaways

This week’s reviews

Obviously, TMINE’s been back for a few days now and I’ve done not one but two full boxsets this week:

  • Season 1 of Bloom (Australia: Stan)
  • Season 2 of Marvel’s Runaways (US: Hulu; UK: Syfy)

How impressive is that? Feel free to peruse their wisdom at your leisure.

Kevin Eldon in Cavendish
The actor Kevin Eldon

New shows

Both Canada and the US have started firing up their mid-season shows and offering previews of some forthcoming ones as well. As a result, between now and next WHYBW, I should be serving up reviews of:

  • Coroner (Canada: CBC; UK: Universal) – Serinda Swan and Roger Cross in a crime procedural adaptation of MR Hall’s novels
  • Cavendish (Canada: CBC) – comedy about two brothers who return to look after their ailing father, The Actor Kevin Eldon
  • Project Blue Book (US: History) – Aidan Gillen and Michael Malarkey investigate UFO sightings in the 50s. Not related to this show at all.
  • Deadly Class (US: Syfy) – adaptation of the graphic novel that sees Benedict Wong teach kids how to kill in the 80s
  • Black Monday (US: Showtime; UK: Sky Atlantic – probably) – Don Cheadle in a scathing satire of Wall Street in the 80s

And anything else that pops up, such as ABC (US)’s Schooled, which starts tonight (although that’s a spin-off from The Goldbergs so maybe not). Sex Education is on Netflix from Friday, so I might boxset it.

That’s a pretty full schedule, though, and as Deadly Class and Black Monday don’t air in the US for a couple of weeks, I might postpone them until nearer the time.

Plan Coeur
Plan Coeur

The regulars

After the jump, it’ll be just the usual regulars, as well as what I watched over Christmas: three full episodes of Counterpart, the remaining four episodes of Plan Cœur (The Hookup Plan), the penultimate episode of Happy Together and the season finale of Titans, as well as 2018’s A Ghost Story For Christmas. See you in a mo…

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including A Ghost Story for Christmas, Plan Coeur and Counterpart”

The Weekly Play

The Wednesday Play: K9 and Company (1981)

K9 and Company

Okay, a little bit of a cheat since it wasn’t broadcast as part of a play ‘strand’, such as Play for Today or Armchair Theatre, but here, for your delectation, is K9 and Company, the first ever Doctor Who spin-off and arguably the best of them all.

First broadcast on 28 December 1981, this pilot for a TV show that would never materialise saw Elisabeth Sladen return to her most famous role, Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith, now safely returned to Earth and living a life for herself once again as a journalist. But when she goes to visit her Aunt Lavinia in the country, she finds her aunt is missing – but Lavinia has left behind a present from her friend the Doctor… Can you guess from the title what it is?

The show was an attempt by then Doctor Who producer John Nathan Turner to solve two ‘problems’ – the first was that he wanted to get Lis Sladen back into Doctor Who, but she was unwilling to be just a companion again; the second was what to do about Doctor Who companion K9, who was logistically problematic. As a result, JNT wanted to write out the robot dog but he/it was incredibly popular. K9 and Company, in which Lis Sladen would be the Doctor figure and K9 a helper, was his solution.

And, actually, it’s pretty good. Written by former BBC producer Terence Dudley (Doomwatch, Survivors), beyond K9, it doesn’t touch on science fiction at all, instead being a spooky Christmas mystery involving what appears to be the supernatural. Sarah Jane gets some character development and family background – and gets to beat up a baddie (in Dudley’s novelisation of the story, it’s suggested she’s now a karate black belt). And it’s an enjoyable 50 minutes or so.

The show got above average ratings – 8.4m, which was more than the average episode of Doctor Who was getting at the time. But unfortunately it was a victim of BBC politics: commissioned by Bill Cotton, it was disliked by his replacement as BBC1 controller, Alan Hart, who chose not to commission a series.

But in many ways, the show lived on and was not forgotten. In the Doctor Who story The Five Doctors, both Sarah Jane and K9, now living together in a suburban house, make an appearance. School Reunion reintroduced Sarah Jane to the new series of Doctor Who and she had K9 with her – by now, broken down and in need of repair by the Doctor. And, of course, Sarah Jane got another spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, in which a new and improved K9 made at first occasional appearances before becoming a regular in the third series.

But here, for your delectation, is the full thing, which is also available from Amazon: buy it if you like it! One word of advice: even if your eyes can withstand the title sequence, your ears probably won’t be able to take the theme tune, so probably best to mute it.

Wednesday’s “the end of Wallander” news

Doctor Who



British/Swedish TV

  • Third and final series of both English and Swedish Wallander go into production with three episodes and six episodes respectively


  • Richard Schiff to play Christina Applegate’s dad on Up All Night
  • NBC orders pilot of Save Me
  • ABC adapting BBC3’s White Van Man
  • Starz commissions second season of the Boss before the first one airs
  • Boardwalk Empire returns with 2.9m viewers
  • True Blood‘s Kristin Bauer to guest on Once Upon A Time
  • Monday ratings: Terra Nova starts okay, Two Broke Girls down 37%, Playboy Club drops 19%