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.
If the creators of Wet Hot American Summer (WHAS for short) want to do another series after this, I have no idea what they could do. First Day of Camp was a stroke of brilliance and Ten Years Later makes sense but unless there’s some reference in the final episode that I’ve yet to come to then who knows where this universe can now go. One of the core reasons is that there’s not a huge amount of mean spiritedness on show and it feels more like Parks and Rec then any other cruder comedy shows.
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.
Earlier this year, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, a teen drama about suicide, was criticised for its alleged glamorisation of its delicate and harrowing subject matter. Starring Lily Collins, To The Bone is a Netflix original movie released in mid-July and tackles the story of Ellen (Collins) who is living with anorexia. The film sees the character explore her attempts to deal with the illness after meeting a quirky, unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves).
The Great War is here! Jon’s doom laden voice confirms all fears as Cersei acknowledges she’s surrounded and Daenerys hits Dragonstone with fighting talk. “We’re the last Lannisters left” intones Cersei to Jaime, and in a slight at Tyrion: “The last ones who count”. With Jon to the north, Euron to the west, Dany to the east and what’s left of the Tyrells and Martells in the south, Cersei’s giant map must be looking smaller to her every day.
Strictly Come Dancing has finally announced Len’s replacement – and fans are ecstatic with the choice of the ‘Queen of Latin’ Shirley Ballas.
2000 AD's most iconic creation is getting another crack of the whip, but this time he's heading for the small screen.
The BFI Radio Times Festival hosted key members of The Night Manager’s cast and crew last month, with Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier, executive producer Simon Cornwell and cast members Alistair Petrie and Tom Hiddleston sharing backstage secrets on this magnificent edge-of-the-seat spy thriller.
A unique documentary celebrating the life and work of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be broadcast by ITV later this year. The two people who knew her best will talk openly about their mother and the influence she had on shaping their lives, showing us Diana as never before. Princess Diana became the nation’s sweetheart following her marriage to Prince Charles in 1981.
The Netflix original series pretty much fleshes out each character with some epically detailed backstories - they are intimate, hilarious, awkward and excitingly different. Dear White People cleverly tackles racism by speaking about it boldly and loudly at an Ivy league university that is predominately white. Woah. I applaud Sam’s radio show - some may laugh but it certainly burns too because the disturbance we feel as an audience, reveals the underlining truth there is to what she says…
At the BFI/Radio Times festival recently, Call the Midwife (which won the Best Period Drama category in the opening vote) was voted Best Drama of the 21st Century, beating The Night Manager (Contemporary), Merlin (Sci-fi), The Bridge (Foreign Language), The West Wing (US) and Happy Valley (Crime). Sent the memoirs by author Jennifer Worth, Pippa, Ann and Heidi batted a few ideas about, eventually deciding against a film and heading for television, and the BBC.
On June 1, 1967, The Beatles released their seminal 8th studio album, Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As the 50th anniversary approaches, the BBC will celebrate with programmes across TV and radio. BBC Two will present Sgt.Pepper’s Musical Revolution, written and presented by Howard Goodall, the EMMY, BRIT and BAFTA award winning composer, best known to TV fans for his work on The Vicar of Dibley, Red Dwarf and Blackadder.
Stephen Mangan hosted the awards, held at The Brewery in London, and opened proceedings with a speech celebrating our re-aquaintance in 2016 of a few old favourites, from The X Files and Cold Feet to rampant xenophobia and the threat of nuclear armageddon. Anything fronted by David Attenborough is quality assured, so there’s no surprise to find that his must-see programmes scooped three awards: Sound, Factual for Planet Earth II, The Great Barrier Reef Dive winning Digital Creativity and Planet Earth II taking Photography, Factual – a somewhat foregone conclusion since all four nominees were from the series! ‘Cities’ was the most acclaimed episode. The Night Manager – with all parties involved up for doing a series 2 – was the first double winner of the evening, taking the Editing, Fiction Award along with Sound, Fiction.
It happened at the BFI/Radio Times Festival, where not only did we get to watch the opening episode of Series 2, we sat in on the conversation between screenwriter Simon Nye, star Keeley Hawes and executive producers Lee Morris and Sally Woodward Gentle, hosted by Radio 4’s Kirsty Lang. In the books, Louisa was more in the background, but the show puts her centre stage (“Well done, Simon,” quips Keeley) as they wanted to tell a fuller picture – four kids were a handful, like herding cats.
With Episode 3’s ending even more shocking than Episode 1’s and both in contention to upstage “Urgent Exit Required” – currently in the running for a BAFTA (go vote) – who could say what Jed Mercurio’s scheming brain has in store for us? A tense episode sees the investigation closing in on Huntley – both of them, since hubby Nick (Lee Ingleby) is now up to his eyes in it too. Because since when has Lee Ingleby ever been just a bit player?
BAFTA has released the nominations for its Virgin sponsored TV awards on May 14 – and there’s a chance for us to choose the top must-see moment of 2016.
John Simm – set to rejoin Dr Who as The Master in the new series starting this month – stars alongside a trio of Britain’s top female actors in Collateral, a gripping, high-octane thriller set in present day London, from pre-eminent playwright David Hare. A multi-talented playwright, screenwriter, director and producer, Hare wrote Oscar winning films The Hours and The Reader, and widely-acclaimed plays including Plenty and Skylight. The cast includes a second time collaborator with Hare, Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby, Suffragette) following her role in the revival of Skylight.
The Holby City wards will fill with irrepressible charm just in time for Christmas, as 8th Doctor Paul McGann flies in to spread the cheer. It won’t be a case of Dr Who though, as McGann will take on the role of Professor John Gaskell, arriving on site with a programme of surgical innovations set to rescue Holby from crisis and lead it into an exciting but unknown future. Having made his breakthrough as Percy Toplis in the 1986 mini series The Monocled Mutineer, McGann has been much in demand, featuring in Withnail and I, Our Mutual Friend, Luther and of course, reprising his Dr Who role in The Night of the Doctor in 2013.
The finale of the The Voice saw a gobsmacked Mo Adeniran win that coveted record deal.
It seems most of us were distracted by the outfits though: Will.i.am fresh off the set of A Clockwork Orange, Tom as Colonel Sanders and Jennifer as the coconut Quality Street. Money can’t buy you everything it seems, including a decent stylist.
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) has landed and is taking the throne at the Targaryen’s ancient seat, Dragonstone, while Jon (Kit Harington) heads for the equivalent in Winterfell. Current incumbent of the Iron Throne, Cersei (Lena Headey) takes her place but that’s no sigh of relief slipping through her lips. The air she breathes signifies tells us she’s soon to find out the one thing that Jon Snow has known all along: Winter, by way of the White Walkers, is definitely here.
Douglas Henshall and Alison O’Donnell will be back to fight crime again in the close knit community of Shetland. When Islander Thomas Malone has his conviction overturned after serving 23 years in jail, Henshall’s DI Jimmy Perez has to review the 1994 death of local teenager, Lizzie Kilmuir, and continue the investigation. Series regulars returning include Alison O’Donnell as Alison (Tosh) McIntosh, who suffered that horrible life changing event in Series 3 and relocated to the mainland, while Steven Robertson reprises his role as DC Sandy Wilson.
The Doctor is out… and he’s still torn up about it. It’s no secret that Peter Capaldi is leaving Doctor Who. Peter Capaldi previously explained that working on a long-running show such as Doctor Who presents ‘certain problems’ and ‘acting issues’ – especially when it comes to keeping things fresh.
A new trailer for The Leftovers Season 3 has appeared online, with Kevin Garvey jetting off to pastures new. As you can see, The Leftovers hasn’t stepped away from its grim and gritty tone, with just as much violence, soul searching and civil unrest as the previous seasons.