Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

The Thick of It’s Peter Capaldi to play 12th Doctor Who – he’s a bit of a sweary man isn’t he Mummy?

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Peter Capaldi

I can’t work out whether this is the most inspired choices for Doctor Who in the world ever. Or one of the worst? Certainly it’s been pretty darned effective generating publicity.

Already on Twitter most people are fed up with swearing Doctor Who tweets like the one below because, as we all know kids, Peter Capaldi played a sweary man in a political comedy (note to self – Peter Capaldi is an actor and therefore capable of playing a role where presumably swearing is less of an essential requirement).

“Knock knock”
“Who’s there?”
“Doctor”
“Doctor who?”
“Come the fuck in, or fuck the fuck off”

Or perhaps this more visual joke from Time Out (amusing nonetheless):

Peter Capaldi as doctor doctor

But my first thought was isn’t he a bit old to play the 12th Doctor at 55. Like policeman and, er, real Doctors it seems that the Doctors Who are getting younger and younger. And although I seem to remember John Pertwee being quite old when I was a kid, he was probably only 27 or something – people just looked older back then.

Anyway here’s a clip of Peter Capaldi swearing an awful lot in The Thick of It. Probably not great to watch in front of your 8 year old Doctor Who loving son.

The 11 Doctors

1. William Hartnell (1963-1966)

2. Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)

3. Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)

4. Tom Baker (1974-1981)

5. Peter Davison – pictured (1982-1984)

6. Colin Baker (1984-1986)

7. Sylvester McCoy (1987-1996)

8. Paul McGann (1996)

9. Christopher Eccleston (2005)

10. David Tennant (2005-2010)

11. Matt Smith (2010 – 2013)

RIP James Gandolfini. The giant actor who played Tony Soprano dies of heart attack at 51

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Top-50-TV-The-Sopranos-001Simon Poulter of WWDB pays tribute to James Gandolfini, a great actor best known for his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos.

Talk to any actor famous for a particular part and they will, more than anything else, do their level best to divorce fiction from reality. Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy even named his first autobiography I Am Not Spock to get some distance from fans who found it hard not to think of him as the pointy-eared Vulcan.

James Gandolfini – who died today at the age of 51 while on holiday in Italy – was a serious actor, with the Broadway chops to prove it. But when The Sopranos came along in 1999, and effectively rewrote series television drama as anyone had known it,

Gandolfini’s casting as the show’s central character – a New Jersey mob boss balancing suburban family life with the complex politics of his business – appeared to be an uncannily perfect fit. And as the series progressed, through six seasons, it became clear that creator David Chase had produced something extraordinary. I would even argue that The Sopranos was television’s greatest ever series. And Anthony John Soprano its greatest ever character.

Gandolfini was born in 1961 to Italian-American parents in Westwood, a town in north-eastern New Jersey and close to where he was living up until his death. After graduating in communications from New Jersey’s Rutgers University, Gandolfini moved to New York and working as a bartender, amongst other jobs, until his acting career took off with a Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1992. The following year he appeared in Tony Scott’s True Romance as Virgil, an enforcer working for Christopher Walken’s mobster Vincent Coccotti. It was a part that drew attention to Gandolfini when The Sopranos began casting.

There was, of course, far more to Gandolfini’s canon than just Tony Soprano: at 6’1″ and a substantial frame, Gandolfini filled the screen with presence in films like Get Shorty, The Mexican and most recently in Zero Dark Thirty as a Pentagon general.

This was a role he’d played before, in Armando Iannucci’s big screen version of The Thick Of It, in which Gandolfini stole the show as a thunderously profane, Norman Schwarzkopf-style general who puts the equally potty-mouthed Malcolm Tucker firmly in his place for possibly the first time ever.

However, it was the role of Anthony John Soprano, crew boss in the fictional DiMeo crime family (said to be based on the real DeCavalcante family of New Jersey), who grew up in Newark’s tough Ironbound neighbourhood the son of Johnny Boy Soprano before enjoying the comforts of life at 633 Stag Trail Road, North Caldwell in Jersey’s considerably more upmarket Essex County…….

The Sopranos was more than just another crime show. Part Shakespearian drama, part Greek tragedy, like The Godfather’s depiction of the American dream, it depicted the American dream as suburban life.

Yes, it riled some Italian-Americans for being yet another portrayal of crime in their community, but it also held a mirror to modern day America, of modern American family life.

And that was the premise of Tony Soprano: a modern American dad balancing family life and ‘family life’, with random violence and moral ambiguity ever-present throughout.

“The Sopranos was ambiguous to the point where, to this day, I’m not really sure whether it was a drama or a comedy,” it’s creator told Vanity Fair last year.

If it was a comedy – and there were numerous funny moments (the best being the episode Pine Barrens, with Paulie Walnuts and Christopher Moltisanti lost in the New Jersey woods) – it was certainly humour of the darkest shade.

Gandolfini’s portrayal of Tony Soprano drove that darkness to its core. Through all six seasons it’s there, played out in the Soprano kitchen, at the ‘Bing or Satrale’s, at Vesuvio, and most critically in Dr. Melfi’s counselling room.

“We lost a giant today. I am utterly heartbroken,” Lorraine Bracco – who played Melfi – said today at news of Gandolfini’s death. It’s a sentiment that has been shared by many.

“We’re all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family,” a statement on the HBO website for The Sopranos said. [James] was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”

Since The Sopranos ended Gandolfini tried to put a little distance between him and his best known alter-ego. Acting, however, and particularly roles like Tony, had been useful. Last year he told the Associated Press that acting had become a means to deal with an inner rage.

“I don’t know what exactly I was angry about,” he said. “I try to avoid certain things and certain kinds of violence at this point,” he added. “I’m getting older, too. I don’t want to be beating people up as much.”

Sopranos creator David Chase said today: “[James] was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that. He is one of the greatest actors of this or any time. A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes.”

Those sad eyes. In Tony Soprano, truly the window of the soul. And in James Gandolfini, a brilliant actor whose life has been cut so short. RIP.

The Guardian: James Gandolfini – Remembered by Mike Figgis

In the Loop – Don’t Call Me English

Post originally appeared here.

BBC announce Doctor Who biopic

Friday, August 10th, 2012

The BBC have confirmed that they are planning a biopic about the origins of the Doctor Who TV series. The show will be along the same lines of the BBC 4 Road To Coronation Street drama, which told the back stage story of the development of Corrie.

The 90-minute show, tentatively titled An Adventure In Space, will air on BBC 2 in 2013, to coincide with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary

The show will be written by long-term Doc Who scribe Mark Gattis and produced by Stephen Moffat and Caroline Skinner. Gattis said: “This is the story of how an unlikely set of brilliant people created a true television original, and how an actor – William Hartnell – stereotyped in hard-man roles became a hero to millions of children. I’ve wanted to tell this story for more years than I can remember! To make it happen for Doctor Who’s 50th birthday is quite simply a dream come true.”

Moffat added: “The story of Doctor Who is the story of television, so it’s fitting in the anniversary year that we make our most important journey back in time to see how the TARDIS was launched.”

Withnail enters the Tardis: Richard E Grant to star in Doctor Who

Monday, August 6th, 2012

The BBC have announced that star of Withnail & I Richard E Grant will appear in the upcoming new series.

Grant had been touted as a possible Doctor himself before Mat Smith’s appointment an even provided the voice of the time traveller in an animated version of the show. Now the BBC are saying that he is the ‘iconic star’ they have been trailing on Twitter.

Little more is known about Grant’s appearance on the show except that it will be the Christmas special, which also features the first appearance of new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman.

Here’s a trailer for the new series of Doctor Who, which starts this month.

Karen Gillan ‘cried for two weeks’ after leaving Doctor Who

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Outgoing Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan has told fans at San Diego’s Comic-Con that she cried for two weeks after shooting her final scenes on the show.

Karen, who has played ‘Tardis Totty’ Amy Pond for the last 2 series, will leave the show during the next run, as will co-star Arthur Darville who plays Amy’s boyfriend Rory. She said: “I cried for two weeks. Everything set me off, I couldn’t hold it together at all. (The show) has changed my life in so many ways. And even thought I don’t want to say it, I’ve made two really good friends.”

When asked about Karen and Arthur’s departure Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, said: “I will miss them. I miss these cats. It’s been three years on set. You develop a language with these people. It’s like two older brothers who bully their sister and I miss being able to bully Karen.”

Benedict Cumberbatch deliberately renamed Bandersnatch Cummberbund by Washington Post – goes viral on Twitter

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Benedict Cumberbatch. Or should that be Bandersnatch Cummerbund!

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch was at the centre of an unlikely internet storm after it appeared a newspaper had spelled his name drastically and comically wrong – as “Bandersnatch Cummerbund”. Commentators took to Twitter in their thousands to ridicule the Washington Post for the apparent error, debating whether it was down to a faulty spell check.

The discussion proved so popular the name became a trending topic on the social networking site with some hailing it “outstanding”, “epic” and “the best typo ever”. But any sarcastic commentators were left red-faced after it emerged the author had misspelt the name deliberately. Journalist Lisa de Moraes was forced to write a separate piece, far longer than her original article, explaining her choice.

She clarified: “It has come to our attention that there is raging debate, whether we intentionally referred to Benedict Cumberbatch as Bandersnatch Cummerbund in The TV Column and blog. The nickname “Bandersnatch Cummerbund” originated with one of the serious students of television who join me each Friday to chat about all things TV.”

In a short article entitled “Sherlock vs Downton”, the journalist originally used the correct spelling of Cumberbatch in her introduction, before using the bizarre alternative in the third and final paragraph.

The so-called “error” was then picked up by website Poynter, before spreading like wildfire on Twitter. One user wrote: “Amazing Washington Post typo renames Benedict Cumberbatch: Bandersnatch Cummerbund. This needs to be his new name. Amazing.”

A second said: “Holy cow – did not realise that Washington Post ACTUALLY PRINTED ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ as ‘Bandersnatch Cummerbund’. Another said simply: “Ouch.”

Hours later, the tide of commentary turned as users realised it was a deliberate joke.After placing a bet with a colleague, who leapt to the defence of de Moraes, Poynter writer Craig Silverman is now said to “owe him a beer”.

“De Moraes can also enjoy one on me if we should ever find ourselves in the same place at the same time with alcohol on offer,” he added magnanimously.

This is the second time Cumberbatch has become an unlikely internet hit this year, after a blog comparing him to an otter went viral.

Cumberbatch was also voted the World’s Sexiest Man in a recent newspaper poll for The Sun. The British star beat off stiff competition from second placed David Beckham to secure the coveted top spot, while The Only Way is Essex star Joey Essex came third.

The One Direction boys did very well in the poll, with Harry Styles and Zayn Malik coming in fourth and fifth, Niall Horan sixth, Louis Tomlinson eighth and Liam Payne 11th.

Via The Telegraph

Q&A with Vince Gilligan as Breaking Bad season 3 hits the UK

Friday, March 30th, 2012

breaking-bad

Despite the fact US audiences have already seen seasons one, two, three AND four of cult TV show Breaking Bad, audiences in the UK haven’t been quite so lucky. Until now. This weekend the first three seasons will be available from the online streaming service and to celebrate we had the chance to interview the show’s creator, Vince Gilligan.

For those not in the know, Breaking Bad is a US TV show that’s received widespread critical acclaim and follows the tense story of Walter White, a high school teacher who after being diagnosed with lung cancer turns to a life of crime.

We sat down with Vince Gilligan to find out more about the show, Walter’s character and how it all might end…

Can audiences still sympathise with Walter?

Although the whole Breaking Bad cast is outstanding, a large part of our conversation with Gilligan was about Walter White, a truly fascinating character played by the very talented Bryan Cranston.

Gilligan explained that from the start Breaking Bad has been “a story about both change and transformation” and how Walt’s moral dilemmas and decisions shape the character he becomes.

One of the main things we wanted to know about Walt is whether Gilligan feels the audience will still be able to identify with him as he gradually becomes darker and darker. Gilligan said, “Oh, he’s definitely a Jekyll and Hyde kind of character.” However, he believes that because the audience has empathised with him so much from the start, they’re now being taken along on his journey and continue to root for him as his choices become even more questionable. He doesn’t think there’s a problem with that though, “as long as he remains interesting and his decision making process remains relatable” he said.

Who’s your favourite character?

Gilligan spoke in great depth about the supporting characters too and admitted that he LOVES Saul Goodman because he finds he’s one of the most genuine characters on the show, “he’s the only one who has made peace with who he is […] I’d love to see a spin-off, the Saul Goodman show!” He also said that Gustavo Fring is “one of the most interesting bad guys” he’s ever come across and there’s some fascinating Fring back story to come…

Have you decided on an ending?

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and although we’ll be sad when it does, we’d hate to see Breaking Bad just fizzle out slowly.

When asked about the ending of the show, Gilligan admitted he’s got a lot of ideas floating around and has some “big hopes and dreams for the main characters”.

According to Gilligan, the writers have been toying with ideas about how the show will end for months now. Although they all have a “pretty good idea” about what’ll happen, it’s still not set in stone despite the fact season 5 has begun filming, which is pretty exciting if you ask us.

Which other TV shows do you rate?

Gilligan was keen to talk about his love for TV, particularly the talent over here in the UK, “there’s so much British television I love”, he admitted, “The Office is one of the best pieces of television ever made.”

Season 3 of Breaking Bad will be launching exclusively on Netflix from the 1st of April and the first two seasons will also be available for those who are a bit behind and need to catch up.

[Image via Press Association]

Benedict Cumberbatch reveals car-jack terror

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed he “argued” his way out of an attempted kidnap.

The Sherlock actor was left in fear of his life when he was attacked by gun-toting car-jackers who tried to bundle him into their vehicle, but he was able to persuade them to let him go.

Recalling the incident – which took place in South Africa while he was filming mini-series ‘To The Ends of the Earth’ with actress Denise Black – he told the Daily Star newspaper: “These six men appeared suddenly from the eucalyptus plantation. They said, ‘Put your hands on your head, don’t look at us,’ and were frisking us for drugs, money, weapons.Then they bundled us into the car.

“I could see the headlight beams bumping over the dirt track and I thought of shallow graves.

“They pulled over, pulled the stuff out of the car. They dragged me up and put me in the boot of the car.

“But I argued my way out. I said, ‘If you leave me in here, it’s not the lack of air, it’s the small space. There’s a problem with my heart and my brain.’

“I just tried to explain to them, ‘I will die, possibly have a fit, and it will be a problem for you. I will be a dead Englishman in your car. Not good.’

“They shut the boot and had an argument, and then pulled me out.

“So I kind of thank God I had the presence of mind to give them the idea that it would be better to keep me alive. And the other two hadn’t been harmed.”

The gang fled, leaving the trio tied up, and Benedict says the experience changed his outlook on life.

He said: “It taught me that you come into this world as you leave it, on your own. It’s made me want to live a life slightly less ordinary.”

Does Jonathan Creek pilot from 1997 show that BBC knew about phone hacking?

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

By Marc Moninski

The BBC was fully aware that hacking into people’s answerphone messages was a widespread journalistic practice as long ago as 1997.

If proof is needed, just watch this clip from the pilot episode of Jonathan Creek called ‘The Wrestler’s Tomb’ – produced by the BBC’s own in-house entertainment department, and aired on 10th May 1997.

In the episode, Caroline Quentin plays the role of a freelance investigative journalist called Maddie Magellan.  In one scene  she taps into the answerphone of a character she is investigating, by entering combinations of the possible message retrieval code until she gets the right one.

For activities such as this to make it to a drama series, it has to have been pretty widespread and well-known.  Hacking into phone messages (albeit mobile ones) is at the heart of the current furore.  Which makes all the denials we are hearing during the Leveson Inquiry seem like complete hypocrisy.  It seems to me that it’s time for the BBC – and David Renwick (who conceived and wrote the series) – to explain where they got the idea from and how widespread the practice was.  After all, we’re talking 14 years ago.

I wonder how many of the 9.31 million* people viewing the episode thought they were watching something that was wrong, let alone that it would lead to the demise of The News of the World.

(*and that’s just the first airing of this episode, which has also been aired on several PBS stations in the U.S. and on BBC America, as well as countless repeats on Watch in the UK.  Which begs the question as to whether there isn’t a touch of hypocrisy in the public’s surprise and outrage at such practices.)

Via Moninski.com

A time-travelling trilogy of Doctor Who games heading to PS3, PS Vita

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Budding time-lords will get a console-gaming Doctor Who fix next year, as developers SuperMassiveGames have just revealed they’re working on a trio of time-travelling games for the PS Vita, PS3 and PC.

SuperMassiveGames, whose previous work includes DLC packs for LittleBigPlanet, will launch Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock as their first title.

Written by the team at BBC Wales and featuring the voice-over talents of Matt Smith and Alex Kingston (AKA the Doctor and River Song), the game bosts ‘Photo-real’ graphics and ‘television quality scenes.’

No word yet on what to expect in terms of gameplay, but we’d expect a light mix of exploration and point-and-click style puzzle solving, with liberal dashings of sonic screwdrivering.

While Sony has initially bagged console exclusivity rights for the early 2012 launch, it’s thought that an Xbox 360 port will follow shortly afterwards.

Via Tech Digest

Steven Moffat wants Matt Smith for Doctor Who movie

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Steven Moffat wants the existing TV Time Lord to appear in the Doctor Who movie.

The BBC One sci-fi show is set to be turned into a film and the programme’s showrunner thinks the current Doctor – who is played by Matt Smith – should portray him on the big screen.

Writing on his twitter page, Steven said: “There are no developed plans for a Doctor Who movie at the moment. It’s an incredibly exciting idea to get that magic blue box flying across our cinema screens.

“But if and when the movie happens it will need to star television’s ‘Doctor Who’ – and there’s only ever one of those at a time.”

Steven spoke out after ‘Harry Potter’ director David Yates revealed he was working on a ‘Doctor Who’ movie and that it would likely have a new star playing the Time Lord.

He added: “The brilliant David Yates was talking off the cuff and a little prematurely.”

David – who said he plans to spend “two to three years” working with the BBC to turn the popular sci-fi TV series into a cinematic spectacular – revealed he was looking for a writer rather than thinking about the lead actor.

He said: “I can’t really talk about that because it’s such a long way away. We’re principally looking for a writer, and we’ll start with that. Everything has to start with a great script, so that’s more important than [casting].”

Doctor Who costume raises £50,000 for Children in Need

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Matt Smith and Pudsey bear

Matt Smith’s Doctor Who costume has sold for £50,000.

Final bidding on the outfit – which included a tweed jacket, shirt, black jeans, black boots, braces, bow-tie and a watch worn in the episode The Doctor’s Wife – and a script signed by the actor closed at the staggering sum on Monday (22.11.11), with proceeds going to Children In Need.

Of the auction, Matt said: “I’d say the tweed jacket or the bow tie are the most iconic – although the boots are my personal favourite. I hope people donate generously for BBC Children in Need because it’s a wonderful cause.”

In the episode in which he wore the attire, the Doctor’s TARDIS was transported into the body of a woman, portrayed by Suranne Jones.

The auction of the Doctor’s clothes, and a copy of the script written by showrunner Stephen Moffat were part of BBC Children in Need’s Once in a Lifetime online auction being held at www.bbc.co.uk/Pudsey.

Pics of the day: Dalek toys at Brand Licensing Europe 2011

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Is Downton Abbey set haunted?

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Downton Abbey - Emmy Award winner

The ITV1 period drama is filmed at Highclere Castle, Berkshire. And Lady Carnarvon, the country pile’s chatelaine, thinks there are spirits and ghosts living all over stunning property.

She told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “There are a few different ghosts here. We all know who they are. Some people see ghosts. Some don’t. It doesn’t matter.

“But a lot of people have lived here, and I think you can tell when something terribly upsetting has happened in a room.”

However, it seems the ghosts are having a positive effect on the show, as its second series has proved hugely successful, with creator Julian Fellowes admitting he is stunned by the affection people have for the period drama.

Speaking about the show – which has now been sold to more than 100 countries, including America, Australia, Japan and Israel – Julian said: “I thought we’d made a good show and people would enjoy it, but it was extraordinary.

“We were playing to something like a third of the adult population. I mean, nobody could expect that level of success, except for Simon Cowell. It was completely mad.”

Downton Abbey to screen feature-length Xmas episode

Friday, September 30th, 2011

ITV is to air a feature-length episode of Downton Abbey at Christmas.  The broadcaster’s plans to air the special show could lead to them winning the coveted Christmas Day ratings war against the BBC, with their rivals as yet unsure what to screen head-to-head against the period drama.

The BBC may rely on EastEnders – which traditionally draws in the biggest audience – another Royle Family special, or begin airing their three-part Great Expectations series starring Ray Winstone.

There is also the possibility that ITV could air Downton Abbey at an earlier time than its usual 9pm slot for the festive special, which could result in it going up against Doctor Who in the ratings battle.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “A feature-length episode of Downton Abbey is likely to skew the figures considerably in ITV’s favour.”

A spokesperson for ITV insisted their Christmas scheduling has not yet been finalised, but added: “We are delighted that Downton Abbey will be part of ITV’s Christmas line-up.”

In previous years, ITV has beaten the BBC in Christmas Day primetime ratings just twice.

In 1999, two editions of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? topped the annual battle as the BBC struggled to fill the slot left by Only Fools and Horses, and the previous year the BBC’s screening of Titanic failed to attract as many viewers as predicted.

24’s Jack Bauer voted TV’s hottest male crime fighter

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Sexiest crime fighter? 24's Jack Bauer played by Kiefer Sutherland

24’s Jack Bauer has been named as the hottest TV crime fighter ever.  The terrorist agent – played by Kiefer Sutherland – topped the list of the sexiest law enforcement officials, beating EastEnders’ retired police officer Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) and Ashes to Ashes detective Gene Hunt in the poll to celebrate the launch of the second series of cop drama Rookie Blue.

Anna Morgan of NBC Universal said: “‘Rookie Blue takes a sexy look at the high-octane lifestyle of rookie cops so we wanted to pay tribute to some of the hottest crime fighters of the small screen.

“It’s great to see some classics in there such as Farah Fawcett and Bruce Willis, proving that policing will always be the sexiest profession in the TV world!”

Hollywood stars Bruce Willis and David Duchovny rounded out the top five for their respective portrayals of detective David Addison in ‘Moonlighting’ and alien obsessed FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder in ‘The X Files’.

Sexiest female crime fighters include poll topper ‘Ashes to Ashes’ DI Alexandra Drake, played by Keeley Hawes, Diana Rigg’s Emma Peel from ‘The Avengers’ and Joanna Lumley’s Purdey as featured in ‘The New Avengers’.

Special Agent Dana Scully as played by Gillian Anderson in ‘The X Files’ and Helen Mirren’s smouldering Jane Tennison in ‘Prime Suspect’ complete the top five.

Rookie Blue, season two, starts on Sunday 25th September at 9pm on Universal Channel.

Top 10 Hot Male Cops

1. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland in ’24’)

2. Jack Branning (Scott Maslen in ‘Eastenders’)

3. DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister in ‘Ashes to Ashes’)

4. David Addison (Bruce Willis in ‘Moonlighting’)

5. Special Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny in ‘X Files’)

6. Calvin Valentine (Ricky Whittle in ‘Hollyoaks’)

7. DCI Sam Tyler (John Simm in ‘Life on Mars’)

8. Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth in ‘Law and Order’)

9. Sonny Crocket (Don Johnson in ‘Miami Vice’)

10. DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles in ‘Midsomer Murders’)

Top 10 Hot Female Cops

1. DI Alexandra Drake (Keeley Hawes ‘Ashes to Ashes’)

2. Emma Peel (Diana Rigg in ‘The Avengers’)

3. Purdey (Joanna Lumley in ‘The New Avengers’)

4. Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson in ‘The X Files’)

5. Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren in ‘Prime Suspect’)

6. Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett in ‘Charlie’s Angels’)

7. Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox in ‘Silent Witness’)

8. Makepeace (Glynis Barber in ‘Dempsey and Makepeace’)

9. Agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner in ‘Alias’)

10. DS Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman in ‘New Tricks’)

Outnumbered’s Claire Skinner and Bill Bailey to star in Doctor Who special

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Outnumbered actress Claire Skinner (pictured with onscreen hubbie played by Hugh Dennis) and comedian Bill Bailey are to guest-star in the Doctor Who Christmas special.

The two stars will also be joined by Fast Show actress Arabella Weir and comedian Alexander Armstrong in the festive episode with the Doctor, who is played by Matt Smith.

The storyline is set in World War II England and will see the Time Lord crash land his TARDIS in Dorset and pretend to be the caretaker of a creepy house where he will meet widow Madge Arwell – portrayed by Claire – and her two children, Lily and Cyril.

The trio have been evacuated from London to the countryside to escape the German bombing raids and with the Doctor they embark on a wintery adventure partly inspired by C. S. Lewis’ classic children’s novel The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Claire said: “I am thrilled Madge is a bit of a super-mum. It’s a magical part.”

Showrunner Steven Moffat insists the Yule Tide story is the most “Christmassy” ‘Doctor Who’ episode yet.

He said: “If you thought last year’s show was the most Christmassy ever then think again!

“The Doctor at Christmas – nothing is more fun to write. It’s maybe because it’s so his kind of day. Everything’s bright and shiny, everybody’s having a laugh, and nobody minds if you wear a really stupid hat. Of all the Doctors, Matt’s is the one who was born for this time of year.”

Production on the Christmas special has already begun in Cardiff and is scheduled to conclude in mid-October.

Doctor Who continues on BBC One this Saturday (24.09.11) with Closing Time, which sees James Corden return as Craig Owens.

Emmy Awards: Downton Abbey and Modern Family are big winners. Kate Winslet cries (again)

Monday, September 19th, 2011
Emmy Awards: Downton Abbey and Modern Family are big winners. Kate Winslet cries (again)

Modern Family and Downton Abbey were the big winners at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards last night (18.09.11). The comedy series and the British period drama both took home four accolades from the prestigious ceremony at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, while Mad Men and Mildred Pierce were also awarded some of the top prizes.

Modern Family was named Best Comedy Series, with its stars Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell taking home the prizes for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series and Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series respectively. Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman also won in the Writing, Comedy Series category.

Downton Abbey’s gongs included Best mini series and Best Supporting Actress in a mini series or Movie for Dame Maggie Smith.

The show’s writer Julian Fellowes was honoured for Outstanding Writing in a mini series, Movie or Dramatic special.

Accepting his statuette, Julian said: “When we were in the hotel a bit earlier, my wife said to me, ‘I think we should just relax and enjoy the evening, because I don’t think we’re going to win.’ Well, we’re going to enjoy the evening now!

“And at the risk of sounding grandiloquent, I would like to thank you, the American industry. Ten years ago you kick-started my second career with an Oscar, tonight you have nurtured it, I am very grateful, thank you.”

Mad Men, an advertising drama set in the 1950s, was named Best Drama Series, while Kate Winslet and Guy Pearce both won for their roles in Mildred Pierce.

Kate – who was named Best Actress in a min series or Movie – said of her prize: “It doesn’t matter how old you are or what you do in your life, you never stop needing your mum and I will never stop needing mine, so thanks mum, thank you so much.”

Other winners included Julianna Margulies, who was named Best Actress in a Drama Series for her role in The Good Wife, while Friday Night Lights star Kyle Chandler won Best Actor in a Drama Series at the ceremony which was hosted by ‘Glee’ star Jane Lynch.

63rd Primetime Emmy Awards full list of winners:

Drama Series: ‘Mad Men’

Actress, Drama Series: Julianna Margulies – ‘The Good Wife’

Actor, Drama Series: Kyle Chandler – ‘Friday Night Lights’

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Peter Dinklage – ‘Game of Thrones’

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Margo Martindale – ‘Justified’

Writing, Drama Series: Jason Katims – ‘Friday Night Lights’

Directing, Drama Series: Martin Scorsese – ‘Boardwalk Empire’

Comedy Series: ‘Modern Family’

Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons – ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Actress, Comedy Series: Melissa McCarthy – ‘Mike & Molly’

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Julie Bowen – ‘Modern Family’

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Ty Burrell – ‘Modern Family’

Writing, Comedy Series: Steven Levitan and Jeffrey Richman – ‘Modern Family’

Directing, Comedy Series: Michael Spiller – ‘Modern Family’

Miniseries or Movie: ‘Downton Abbey’

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Kate Winslet – ‘Mildred Pierce’

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Barry Pepper – ‘The Kennedys’

Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Maggie Smith – ‘Downton Abbey’

Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Guy Pearce – ‘Mildred Pierce’

Directing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Brian Percival – ‘Downton Abbey’

Writing, Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special: Julian Fellowes – ‘Downton Abbey’

Reality-Competition Programme: ‘The Amazing Race’

Variety, Music or Comedy Series: ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart’

Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Series: Don Roy King – ‘Saturday Night Live’

Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Series: ‘The Daily Show With Jon Stewart’

Julian Fellowes shocked by success of Downton Abbey

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Julian Fellowes is shocked by the success of Downton Abbey.

The show’s creator didn’t anticipate how popular the ITV1 period drama would be and is still stunned by the affection people have for the series – which has now been sold to more than 100 countries, including America, Australia, Japan and Israel –

He said: “I thought we’d made a good show and people would enjoy it, but it was extraordinary. We were playing to something like a third of the adult population. I mean, nobody could expect that level of success, except for Simon Cowell. It was completely mad.”

Julian insists the show has attracted a wide-ranging audience, not just the traditional older Sunday night viewers.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine, he said: “The demographics were very wide backgrounds, very wide social grouping, very wide age grouping and ethnic backgrounds. And I’ve had every type come up to me about ‘Downton’ – taxi drivers, shop assistants, not just people having lunch at Fortnums.”

The second series returns to TV screens this Sunday (18.09.11) and Julian says the door is open for another run.

He said: “Unless you have a nuclear bomb go off, there’s always an opening.”

David Tennant and Billie Piper to reunite in BBC drama, Love Life

Friday, August 26th, 2011
David Tennant and Billie Piper to reunite in BBC drama, Love Life

Former Doctor Who co-stars David Tennant and Billie Piper will be reunited on screen in a new BBC romantic drama.

The tenth Doctor will join forces with Billie – who played his companion Rose Tyler from 2005 to 2010, when they both left the sci-fi show – to star in five-part series Love Life, which follows the romantic affairs of five couples in one town.

Unveiled at the Edinburgh Festival this weekend, the series will be a first for the BBC as it will feature a number of improvised scenes.

BBC Drama head Ben Stephenson told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “It features some of our very best acting talent working in a way we’ve never seen on screen from them before.”

David has previously filmed erotic scenes with actress Suranne Jones for drama Single Father, but admitted he didn’t find the experience very sexy.

He said: “Whatever you might think, filming a sex scene is never an erotic and charged experience, not that Suranne isn’t lovely. I wouldn’t wish to be doing it with anyone else! What am I saying?

Love Life also stars Jane Horrocks, David Morrissey and Ashley Walters, and was written by BAFTA award winner Dominic Savage.