Tuesday, 19 July 2011

'The Hour' is Upon Us

Continuing the BBC’s Original British Drama season and their commitment to ‘re-establish its reputation as the home of intelligent and ambitious drama’, the first episode of the 1950s set thriller The Hour hit our screens this week.

Undoubtedly following the success of the US hit Mad Men, writer Abi Morgan’s new drama whisks viewers into the turbulent behind-the-scenes world of the launch of new BBC current affairs programme 'The Hour', delving into the sexual and social politics of the era.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day

When Russell T Davies made the decision to shake up the formula of Torchwood from 13 part ‘monster of the week’ to five part mini-series, the show turned from a somewhat tacky sci-fi drama in the shadow of its time-travelling older brother to an intelligent, stylish and thought provoking supernatural thriller.

Still executive produced by the team who brought back Doctor Who, but with a big cash injection from US cable network Starz, Miracle Day looks set to continue this success and take the show onto bigger and better things.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Killing - Review

Back in January, BBC4 aired the Danish original of The Killing (entitled ‘Forbrydelsen’ - ‘The Crime’) and this week the American remake, made its way onto our screens courtesy of the kind people at Channel 4. Since it was hidden away in a shadowy corner of the BBC’s scheduling, I missed the original, and subsequently have no frame of reference for comparison, but that allows it to be judged as a programme in its own right.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Luther - Return of the DI

‘He is the Sunrise. He loves everyone’

I didn’t watch the first series of Luther - not because it didn’t interest me, but because I didn’t have the luxury of recordable TV - so I went into last night’s second series opener with virtually no prior knowledge of the story.

The first test was whether I would be left in the dark with regard to previous plot, but this was swiftly and cleverly dealt with. Rather than relying on the slightly lame and lazy flashback, or ‘previously on…’ technique, the back story was told through a clever expository opening in which Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) is being questioned in a mental institution about the events of last series.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Who dares - but does it win?

The first part of the eleventh Doctor’s second series* came to a climactic close on Saturday, finally giving viewers the answer to a question first pondered over in May 2008, but leaving them asking a million more. This series has been described as more daring, intelligent and confusing than ever before by critics and fans alike, with many complex plot-points being seeded from the first episode, but looking back on it, was it really as good as we all first thought?

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Under the Radar - Great films that may have passed you by: Battle Royale

Battle Royale - Kinji Fukasaku - 2000

It’s hard to sum up the premise of this film better than the opening prologue:

“At the dawn of the millennium, the nation collapsed. At fifteen percent unemployment, ten million were out of work. 800,000 students boycotted school. The adults lost confidence and, fearing the youth, eventually passed the Millennium Educational Reform Act, AKA the BR Act...”

In a near future world where adults are trying to regain the respect of the rebelling younger generations, a new programme is established whereby classes are arbitrarily selected to compete in the Battle Royale; a sadistic, kill or be killed game ,which can only have one winner.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Living on The Only Way is the Real Chelsea Shore

I’m not reality TV, I’m not ITV2, and I’m simply not interested in watching posh/rich/shallow people bumble through their lives without a care in the world, which is why I’m annoyed that yet another vacuous docusoap has graced our TV schedules with its presence.

Made in Chelsea is the latest addition to this new craze of fly on the wall documentary dramas following the lives of ‘ordinary’ people. It centres around some of London’s young elite, and affords viewers a ‘candid’ (not scripted scenarios in the slightest), triple-A insight into the way they live their rich and glamorous lives. Do we really need (or for that matter want) another?