Friday, 28 November 2014

Newsbuzz: DOCTOR WHO's Christmas clue, TRUE DETECTIVE casting, WONDER WOMAN finds a director, ITV adapting JEKYL & HYDE

The BBC have revealed that this year's DOCTOR WHO Christmas special is entitled "Last Christmas", fanning the flames of a summer rumour about Jenna Coleman leaving the series.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Is Joel McHale ripping off Adam Buxton now?

Look, I really like Joel McHale. He's great on Community and he seems like a really nice guy, but it's just been announced he's producing a new E! pilot called COMMENTS SECTION. The show will find comedian Michael Kosta taking a sardonic look at the 'bottom half of the internet', where cretinous people leave dumb comments. (No offence to the wonderful commenters of DMD, who are the clear exception to the rule). I'm talking more about YouTube commenters and the like. But does anyone else think that sounds worryingly close to a remake of Adam Buxton's live stage-show (and subsequent Sky Atlantic series) BUG? Hmmm.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Trailer: JURASSIC WORLD (2015)

The good news: they're finally doing a Jurassic Park movie where the park's actually in full operation. It always struck me as odd the original was about a group of scientists getting a sneak peek of the place. I'd like to say it was down to the cost involved in making then-cutting edge CGI dinosaurs, but Michael Crichton's original novel also didn't take place during a fully-functioning park. So—yay!—the dinosaurs are going to escape and terrorise hundreds of people, not just Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and their friends. (Although I guess there's the possibility of a successful Act II evacuation, leaving behind a clean-up team of character actors for the majority of the film...)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Newsbuzz: CONSTANTINE cut, Netflix save Tina Fey's cult comedy, Fox adapting GLOBAL FREQUENCY

NBC have refused to give their new supernatural drama CONSTANTINE a "back nine"; additional episodes to take it beyond the thirteen hours commissioned. The show hasn't been cancelled, but it's a sign the network isn't entirely happy with its longterm prospects. Maybe they just see the benefit of a cable-length run, rather than force the writers to crank out more episodes (which does tend to mean a saggy middle, past a natural end-point, in these circumstances). The ratings haven't been abysmal (considering it's in a Friday night timeslot U.S TV abhors) and it's a very marketable show overseas, so I'm optimistic of renewal...

Monday, 24 November 2014

TV Picks: 24-30 November 2014 – American Dad! • The Doctor Blake Mysteries • The Martin Lewis Money Show • Psychobitches

Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...

Sunday, 23 November 2014

First-look: PENNY DREADFUL - Season Two

Sky have released a first-look photo from PENNY DREADFUL season 2, which is currently filming in Dublin. It's not much to get excited about, unless the fact Eva Green wearing her hair down is a cryptic clue about something (beyond changing Victorian fashions). More interesting is knowing that Helen McCrory will have a bigger role as spiritualist Evelyn Poole/Madame Kali, and will be joined by new stars like Patti Lupone (as a character linked to Vanessa's past), Douglas Hodge (as a Scotland Yard investigator), Sarah Greene (as Evelyn's daughter Hecate), and Johnny Beachamp.

Penny Dreadful will return to Showtime/Sky Atlantic in 2015.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Reviews of television shows have been sparse over the past few weeks (apologies), so this little batch of mini-reviews will have to suffice...

THE AFFAIR (season 1). I fell behind the U.S airings on Showtime, so I'm playing catch-up now. I'm still enjoying this relationship drama a great deal, although a part of me's beginning to wonder if the narrative gimmick's more trouble than it's worth. It was a fun idea to split each episode into two halves (each from the perspective of Dominic West or Ruth Wilson's character), but I find myself more invested in West's "angle"... and yet it could be the "wrong one". But is there a singular truth? Maybe both versions of the story works of fiction and the truth's an amalgamation? Sometimes there are differences in the story that make me scratch my head, because there's no point in either character intentionally lying about certain things (like whether their interviewing cop's married or separated). And the cop stuff's happening in the present, so it's not even a case of the characters remembering the past wrongly, which I thought was partly accounting for the differences in their recollections... so the show itself has two separate outlooks. Weird. ★★★☆

Friday, 21 November 2014

Newsbuzz: JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORELL adaptation, Isaac Asimov's FOUNDATION and Tom Hardy's TABOO

The BBC are adapting Susanna Clarke's 2004 novel JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL into a seven-part series for next year. Peter Harness (Wallander) has written the scripts, which will star Eddie Marsan (as Mr Norrell) and Bertie Carvel (as Mr Strange), two Englishmen living in an alternate 19th-century, who help the British government in the war against Napoleon using magic. It will also star Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures), Marc Warren (Mad Dogs), Samuel West (Mr Selfridge) and Charlotte Riley (Wuthering Heights).

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Fox remaking hit UK crime thriller LUTHER - and the original to return?

Despite the response to Gracepoint (Fox's remake of ITV's Broadchurch) being lukewarm, the same U.S network is pressing ahead with another adaptation of a British hit. BBC1's LUTHER has been given a pilot order, with creator Neil Cross involved with the script. Idris Elba (The Wire) won't be reprising his role as tough city cop John Luther, but he will executive-produce the new show. My thoughts below...

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Trailer: CHAPPIE (2015)

It's quite amusing how similar CHAPPIE is to Short Circuit at first glance. Both movies concern a robot becoming sentient, but it's the smaller details are what make the comparisons feel apt. Both 'bots were partly created by Indian men (Fisher Stevens with a silly accent in Short Circuit, Dev Patel here), and Chappie also contains a sequence where a street gang initiate the robot into their group. I'm hopeful it will otherwise be a very different film, although it strikes me as odd how South African director Neill Blomkamp keeps making films with robots/aliens created using motion-capture (regular collaborator Sharlto Copley's the actor in a ping pong-adorned leotard for this). Still, Blomkamp has a distinctively grungy look, and I'm a big fan of District 9. Hopefully, Chappie will be the hit he needs after the weak Elysium.

CHAPPIE premieres in the U.S and UK on 6 March 2015.