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.

Vote for DMD at the UK Blog Awards!

Dan's Media Digest is one of the many entries in 2015's UK Blog Awards. If you have enjoyed reading this blog and have a minute to spare, please vote here. All votes must be registered by 3 December, so you only have a few weeks.

If you want to help out even more, please encourage other people to vote. Adding the hashtag #UKBA15 to relevant tweets of support is also a good idea. I'm sure the chance of winning is a thousand-to-one, but it would be nice to see a valiant effort. Vote! Vote! Vote!

Monday, 17 November 2014

TV Picks: 17-23 November 2014 - Live at the Apollo • Remember Me • Sarah Millican Live • Some Girls

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

Saturday, 15 November 2014

CONSTANTINE, 1.4 – 'A Feast of Friends' • hunger blames


I enjoyed this hour of CONSTANTINE; perhaps because it was adapting a storyline from issue #1 of Hellblazer. The opening teaser reminded me of a Fringe setup, with an anxious-looking Irishman flying into a U.S airport from Sudan and being questioned over an ornate bottle containing a swarm of bugs that flew down the throat of an unfortunate customs official. It actually suits the show being a magical, supernatural variant of Fringe—although the writers are still struggling with the characters that surround Constantine (Matt Ryan).

Preview: DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special 2014 - The Doctor and Santa

Children in Need had their traditional sneak peek of this year's DOCTOR WHO special for Christmas Day. The two-minute scene selected appears to show Clara's first encounter with Santa Claus (as played by Nick Frost, looking uncannily like Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street), before The Doctor interrupts and whisks her away in his TARDIS. Also amusing to spot Nathan McMullen from Misfits as one of Santa's elves. If you appreciated seeing this clip early, please donate to Children in Need.

Friday, 14 November 2014

MTV's SCREAM series won't involve Ghostface, so is it really SCREAM?

The good news? MTV recently ordered 10 episodes of a new television horror drama based on the successful SCREAM movie saga. I'm excited about this because I think the concept could work on television, and it's being developed by Jill Blotevogel (who wrote for Harper's Island, which was a very Scream-esque CBS drama from 2008 that only lasted a season).

The bad news? The Scream TV series won't debut until October 2015, despite the fact they started filming the pilot three months ago, so we still have a whole year to wait. (You wonder if this would be the case if it didn't make marketing sense to launch it around Halloween time.)