Russell T Davies in conversation
RTS events

What TV’s on at the RTS in October? Including Russell T Davies in conversation and Zomboat!

Oddly, there doesn’t appear to be much on at the RTS in September, but October is giving us a couple of interesting events. Tickets for the Russell T Davies event are going fast, but a new batch have just been released, so get them while you can.

Plus if you can work out when the Zomboat! screening is actually going to take place, let me know.


Zomboat! premiere screening and Q&A

Date: Thursday 3 October
Timings: Not listed
Venue: IET, Cambridge Street, Birmingham

The premiere of new ITV2 comedy series, Zomboat!, is being held at the IET Birmingham on Thursday 3 October with its four stars in attendance.

The Royal Television Society (Midlands) event at the canalside IET building is set to welcome stars Leah Brotherhead, Hamza Jeetooa, Ryan McKen and Cara Theobold; and they will be joined on the night by Executive Producers Camilla Campbell and Robert Wulff-Cochrane from Noho Films and Writer Adam Miller, for a Q&A straight after the screening.

When the zombie apocalypse is unleashed in Birmingham, sisters Kat and Jo, together with unlikely travel companions Sunny and Amar, must flee for their lives… by canal boat. Jo has just returned from a season as a club rep and has decided to move back in with younger sister Kat, a computer game addict who buys into every conspiracy theory around. Jo struggles to take her sister seriously when Kat claims the zombie apocalypse is real and happening, right now…in Birmingham. Alongside gym bunny Amar, the upbeat and ready to face things head on character and his oldest friend Sunny, a wannabe misanthrope who’d rather sit out the apocalypse from the comfort of his sofa, Kat, Jo, Sunny and Amar find themselves trapped together on board Dorothy, a narrow boat on the Grand Union canal. As they journey along the canal in their tightly packed living quarters, friendships develop, alliances form, arguments occur and romance blossoms. Along the way, they realise there is no escaping the problems of everyday life, even in a zombie apocalypse.

Book tickets

In Conversation With Russell T Davies

Date: Monday 28 October
Timings: 7.00pm
Venue: Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3ER

The Royal Television Society commemorates 60 years in Wales with an evening dedicated to Swansea-born screen writer and executive producer, Russell T Davies, hosted by Gethin Jones.

Russell has penned ground-breaking shows such as Queer As Folk and The Second Coming, while his recent adaptation of A Very English Scandal for the BBC has won numerous awards.

This year, his latest drama, Years And Years, received outstanding critical acclaim.

We’ll speak with Russell about his entire career including, of course, Doctor Who and its family of shows.

Book tickets

Marvels Inhumans

Review: Marvel’s Inhumans 1×1-1×2 (US: ABC; UK: Sky1)

In the US: Fridays, , ABC
In the UK: Acquired by Sky1. Will air this Autumn

Famously, infamously or “Really? Jesus. What’s wrong with you?”ly, I’ve now seen Marvel’s Iron Fist three times.

What can I say? I don’t think it’s excellent, but neither do I think it’s terrible. It’s enjoyable, does some interesting things with a B-grade Marvel character and has some good superheroics. Even watching the trailer below again makes me almost giddy with excitement. Number four viewing isn’t far off now, I reckon.

However, I’m almost certain I’m the only person on the planet to do so, outside of Gitmo and various institutions for the criminally insane – indeed, 10 years from now, repeatedly viewing of Iron Fist will almost certainly feature in some supervillain’s origin story.

Because  the general critical reaction has been negative. Oh so very negative. Many critics were especially surprised by how bad it was, because Iron Fist‘s showrunner was Scott Buck, who was a producer and/or writer on Six Feet Under, Rome and Dexter. Not a shabby credits list, hey?

Yet I imagine some of them even wondered if they’d make a mistake in retrospect in liking those shows, such was the perceived awfulness of Iron Fist.

Marvel’s Inhumans

I’m having the same issue now I’ve seen the first two episodes of Marvel’s Inhumans, whose showrunner is one Scott Buck. Was I wrong to like Iron Fist? Did I make a mistake?

Because Inhumans… is pretty terrible. Based on the Marvel comics of the same name created by the dream team of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, it’s focused on the ‘inhumans’ – genetic mutations of humans with superpowers whom you might already have seen in the increasingly inept Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (still watching? And you think I’ve got problems?).

A while back, a whole bunch of them left the Earth and decided to build themselves a city on the Moon.

As you do, obviously.

There they set up shop and created a new society, complete with weird genetic rituals, a monarchy, a council and a caste system. Current King: a mute, but maybe telepathic bloke called Black Bolt (Hell on WheelsAnson Mount). Current Queen: a woman called Medusa, who has superpowered hair that can pick things up and hit people (Graceland/Breakout Kings‘ Serinda Swan).

Trouble is, the population is increasing but the city and resources aren’t getting any bigger. Because it’s the Moon.

This is something that irks Black Bolt’s brother (Iwan Rheon of Misfits, Game of Thrones and Riviera), who fluffed the mutant-activation test and so is pure human, which would normally get him sent down the mine and certainly stops him from becoming King.

One day, though, he senses his chance for power so decides to mount a palace coup, in the name of re-taking the Earth for the Inhumans. However, that’s not before the Royal Family and some of their loyal followers escape to Earth. And they might have been noticed by someone who has been monitoring their activities (Ellen Woglom).

The plusses

Which is all the sort of politicking and intrigue that made Iron Fist so enjoyable for me. Since he’s usually quite faithful to the comics, Buck also mines Inhumans for some more bonkers and comedic opportunities. The head of the Royal Guard (Eme Ikwuakor) has giant hooves. The family owns a giant teleporting dog. Their most trusted advisor (Lost‘s Ken Leung) is so cunningly strategic and able to predict what’ll happen, it’s almost like he has a heads-up display and can rewind time to have another go at things if he cocks up. Black Bolt has another power as well that’s rather cool, but telling you would spoil things.

At the very least, Marvel’s Inhumans is occasionally exciting and also quite funny at times. There’s imagination going on, the acting’s quite fun, with Mount likeable and expressive despite never being able to say anything, and Leung’s pleasing acidic. There’s also a huge budget for CGI-ing a city on the Moon – so huge that the first two episodes were shot and shown in IMAX.

Plus you’ve got to love a giant teleporting dog.

The trouble is that we have a double-punch combo of almost knock-out blows that render the show almost unwatchable.

Continue reading “Review: Marvel’s Inhumans 1×1-1×2 (US: ABC; UK: Sky1)”

Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who

Question of the week: what do you think of Jodie Whittaker being cast as the 13th Doctor Who?

Unless you’re some kind of ‘sports fan’ (whatever they are) then the big news of yesterday was that actress Jodie Whittaker joins a long line of actors with awkwardly spelt names to become the 13th/14th official TV Doctor Who.

She’s already done an interview with the BBC web site, if you want to find out more about her, the casting process and important things like whether she’s picked out a costume yet.

Continue reading “Question of the week: what do you think of Jodie Whittaker being cast as the 13th Doctor Who?”


Review: Stan Lee’s Lucky Man 1×1 (UK: Sky 1)

In the UK: Fridays, 9pm, Sky 1
In the US: Not yet acquired

Stan Lee’s the kind of guy who gets to have his name in the title of things. While opinion is divided about exactly how responsible he, rather than say Jack Kirby et al, is for creating Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, the X-Men, Daredevil and Doctor Strange, he did enough that he gets to have movies and TV shows called Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, Stan Lee’s Superhumans, With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, Stan Lee’s Mutants, Monsters & Marvels, Stan Lee’s Academy of Heroes and Stan Lee’s Oscar Campaign, and to cameo in pretty much all the Marvel universe movies.

By now, he has both name and face check familiarity with the general populace. At least in the US. In the UK? Maybe.

Anyway, that’s what Sky 1’s probably gambling with Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, in which James Nesbitt is a London police detective with a gambling problem who gets possibly the worst thing in the world for a man with his addiction – a magic bracelet that gives him incredibly good luck.

Lee contributed a one-page synopsis for the show, so by normal naming rights, this should probably be called Neil Biswas’s Lucky Man, given Biswas (The Take) developed the synopsis into the series and has written most, if not all of the first season’s 10 episodes. However, Sky 1 almost certainly figures the show could do with a boost in the ratings/overseas exports sales through Lee’s presence in the show’s name since in the scheme of things, Lucky Man is probably on a par with Crime Traveller and other mildly science-fictiony/fantasy TV series without a huge amount of oomph.

Here’s a trailer.

Continue reading “Review: Stan Lee’s Lucky Man 1×1 (UK: Sky 1)”