The Orville is basically just Star Trek fan-fiction - but in the grand scheme of things, that's not the worst thing to be.
Tonight saw the conclusion of The Cuckoo’s Calling, the BBC’s adaptation of Robert Galbraith’s novel of the same name. In every respect, The Cuckoo’s Calling was a competently executed detective drama, moving intelligently between the different hallmarks of the genre. Burke and Grainger have an easy, confident chemistry together, and after even a short time, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else portraying the characters.
Trump continued to haunt the narrative as the series went on, with regular reference to the realities of his presidency. John Cameron Mitchell played Felix Staples in an episode that satirised the realities of online abuse in a stark and discerning manner. Indeed, The Good Fight is shaped as an explicitly, brazenly post-Trump drama, intimately in tune with the concerns of the day.
Following their success with The Night Manager – which recently won three Golden Globe awards and was nominated for a fourth – the BBC are going to be bringing another John le Carré novel for the screen. Simon Beaufoy, Oscar award winning writer of Slumdog Millionaire, will be adapting le Carré’s famous novel, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Set in 1962 at the height of the cold war, the story is set in the wake of the building of the Berlin Wall – leaving a British intelligence network in East Germany in tatters.
After a guest appearance in Arrow Season 4 following the cancellation of NBC’s Constantine, fans have been clamouring for another opportunity to see Matt Ryan as John Constantine. A series of six 10-minute long episodes have been ordered as part of a new Constantine series, which will join the CW’s other animated ventures Vixen and The Ray on CW Seed. Matt Ryan will be reprising his role as Constantine for this series, which is set to be jointly produced by Greg Berlanti (executive producer on the four Arrowverse shows) and David S Goyer (creator of the original NBC Constantine programme).
More than that, though, I was quite disappointed by the death of Mary Watson – it was difficult not to view that as a misstep, albeit one which would clearly have significant repercussions for the rest of the series, again establishing a brand-new status quo for Sherlock moving forward. You can tell it’s a concept Moffat and Gatiss are aware of – there’s a knowing nod to the idea in The Six Thatchers, with Mycroft looking forlornly into a fridge and then closing it shortly after Mary’s (apparent) death.
Ten years ago today, The Sarah Jane Adventures aired its first episode – an hour-long special entitled Invasion of the Bane. At times there’s an inclination to see The Sarah Jane Adventures as trivial or unimportant – when considered alongside Doctor Who or Torchwood, the perception of The Sarah Jane Adventures is that it’s the third show. The one that matters least, by virtue of the fact that it could be summed up as “Doctor Who for children”.
Ahead of Sherlock’s return tonight, I thought it’d be appropriate to take a look at his other return – his return from the grave – and why I felt it didn’t quite work. In 2012, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss presented The Reichenbach Fall, a loose adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes story The Final Problem. It presented a fairly unambiguous depiction of Sherlock’s suicide, indicating he was quite dead – this, of course, wasn’t the case.
Of course, even if that weren’t exciting enough, there’s the fact that this show is building off of a very rich and compelling source material – Neil Gaiman’s American Gods novel is possibly the best fantasy book I’ve read in years, if not ever, and I’m hugely excited to see that story adapted for the screen. American Gods is set to be released on Amazon Prime, at an as of yet unannounced date in early 2017. Including new characters played by Lenny Henry, Sarah and Charlie Higson, alongside all our favourites from previous seasons, Broadchurch is set to return in 2017 at an as of yet unannounced date.
Bill is set to be accompanied – in at least “most episodes”, according to Steven Moffat, but possibly “all of them” – by Nardole, as played by Matt Lucas. Nardole has appeared twice already, in the Christmas specials The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Doctor Mysterio. At the minute, it seems to be the case that Nardole has been included largely because Matt Lucas is a talented comedian, a big name, and presumably a lot of fun to work with.
Creator of the acclaimed hacker drama Mr Robot Sam Esmail is turning his sights to the classic 1927 German sci-fi movie Metropolis. The original movie was directed by Fritz Lang, who co-wrote the screenplay with his then wife, Thea von Harbou.
It was recently revealed that Michelle Yeoh would be playing Captain Han Bo of the USS Shenzhou in the new CBS drama, Star Trek: Discovery. Since that announcement, there’s been some further news about the rest of the cast. Most significantly, Sonequa Martin-Green has been cast in the role of Lieutenant Commander Rainsford, the series’ lead. Martin-Green is best known for playing Sasha Williams on The Walking Dead, as well as Courtney Williams in The Good Wife, also a CBS production.
JJ Abrams is no stranger to science fiction. Most recently, he’s been involved with HBO hit Westworld – and it looks like he’s set to deliver another one. It’s recently been announced that Abrams will be executive producer on new HBO programme Glare, which is set to be made by his production company Bad Robot.
Ahead of Sherlock’s return on New Year’s Day, a new trailer has been released, revealing a few interesting new details. The ending of last year’s The Abominable Bride made it obvious that Sherlock would begin to explore its eponymous character’s drug use and abuse, an idea that series creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss had previously made a conscious choice to avoid. There’s no sign of Moriarty here – the focus is very much on Toby Jones’ new villain, one Culverton Smith.
Earlier today, Marvel’s official Luke Cage twitter account confirmed that the popular Netflix show would be receiving a second season. Primarily that most of the core cast will return - Mike Colter as Luke Cage, Simone Missick as Misty Knight (who will also be appearing in The Defenders), and Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard can presumably all be expected to return. With both Daredevil season 3 and a Punisher miniseries to fit into the schedule, it appears that we won’t see Luke Cage season 2 until at least 2019.
With just about twenty days to go before The Return of Doctor Mysterio, the BBC have released some exciting new images to tease the upcoming Christmas special.The special sees the Doctor “teaming up with an investigative reporter (played by Charity Wakefield) and a masked vigilante (Justin Chatwin) to defend New York from a terrifying alien invasion.”
With Game of Thrones, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and American Gods all either currently airing or soon to start, it’s something of a golden age for books to be adapted to television – and it looks like Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles might be making the leap to the small screen as well. In a recent facebook post, the supernatural author shared that she’d recently regained the screen rights to her novel series (two entries in the series, Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned, had previously been adapted for cinema). “A television series of the highest quality is now my dream for Lestat, Louis, Armand, Marius and the entire tribe.
In a recent interview with ComingSoon, Nicholas Meyer (executive producer, and writer of the second episode, on the new series) revealed that Michelle Yeoh would have a part in Star Trek: Discovery.
Despite having been announced as the final movie in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was recently revealed that Inhumans will now be a television miniseries, rather than a film. Marvel’s Inhumans is set to focus on “a race of superhumans with diverse and singularly unique powers” – more specifically, though, it’ll be characters such as Black Bolt and the Royal Family who appear in this new TV show. While we don’t know a lot about the show so far, one thing is likely: we won’t see Vin Diesel play Black Bolt.
This episode will also see the return of Nardole (Matt Lucas), ahead of his role as a recurring guest star throughout series 10. Admittedly, I’ve got some concerns here - Nardole’s previous appearance in The Husbands of River Song was far from a persuasive case that he should join the show full time, and this clip wasn’t exactly a compelling argument either.
Entertainment Weekly has released some new pictures from the CW’s four night DC crossover, which will see characters from Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl uniting to fend off the alien Dominators, in a loose adaptation of comic story Invasion!The crossover is set to air from the 28th November in America, with the UK airdate following several weeks after this.
Back in April, Variety released this synopsis for Cloak and Dagger, which focuses on two teenage heroes - Tyrone Johnson, known as Cloak, and Tandy Bowen, known as Dagger. Pokaski has previously served as a writer and co-executive producer on Marvel’s hit Netflix show Daredevil, and is also well known for his work on Heroes.
The central issue, to my mind, was the rather convoluted reveal that ‘Jay Garrick’, as we knew him, was in fact Zoom the entire series. It would also have provided Candice Patton with some much needed screentime, bringing Iris much closer to the centre of the program, and further developing the character.
Brooker recently revealed that he’d love to write an episode of Doctor Who – why not let him? The mind behind some of television’s greatest original science fiction would no doubt be an impressive hire for Doctor Who, and Brooker would surely contribute something truly unique. With over 50 years of history to Doctor Who, any opportunity for something truly innovative is one worth taking – and Charlie Brooker could certainly give the show that.