Thursday, January 31, 2013

Soap Discussion - January 2013

Last blog for January but enjoy nonetheless ...

Coronation Street: So it was the wedding from hell with Tyrone and Kirsty. I don't know why but the fact that now the street seem convinced that Tyrone is the abuser in their relationships doesn't seem that shocking. In fact, it's rather unfortunately predictable but it'll only be a matter of time before Kirsty gets her comeuppance though and this storyline (in spite of a needless affair subplot with Tyrone/Fiz) is still the best storyline on the show at the moment. Anything involving Gail's surprising gullibility surrounding Lewis or the bratty Faye just doesn't cut the mustard to be honest. Even the plotline with Sophie and Jenna could be a lot better to be honest.

EastEnders: Well, Dot came back, everyone seems to mostly know about Lauren and Joey, Denise snogged Ray and Ayesha seems to be hot for Masood while Alfie and Roxy are making a go of things despite Kat still being around the Square. Then there's also the Kirsty/Max/Tanya triangle which has been interesting enough and frustrating in equal measures. I actually don't mind Kirsty as a character but I still kind of wish she had been a character brought in who wasn't connected to the Brannings. Speaking of Brannings - how anticlimatic has the (lack of) fallout with Derek's demise been? I never liked the character but I thought killing him off would've made more of an impact. I guess not.

Emmerdale: Not exactly the most exciting of months, was it? Chas seems to be hated by everyone in the village, especially Carl's son who took to stalking her for about a week, Debbie is quickly morphing into her own father with her attitude, Charity and Jai's marital problems aren't exactly making either of them sympathetic and I couldn't be bothered with that whole Alicia/David/Priya triangle either. Overall, a pretty uneventful month for watching the show.

Hollyoaks: I've already covered the bullying plotline with Esther in a previous blog, so you all know that it was the most important plot in this show during this month but there were a few other gripping ones. I'll never like Ste and Brendan as a couple but with the returns of Seamus, Walker and Doug, at least the writers are setting up some interesting plot strands for Brendan's inevitable departure. That being said, I'll be sadder to see Mitzeee go than Brendan, although I've liked their friendship and their scenes together in the last few episodes have been better than Will/Dodger/Texas/Theresa, Bart and Joel's anticlimatic exits and the McQueens plots ranging from financial problems, Mercedes/Browning getting engaged and that embarrassing rubbish when Myra thought she had the 'shadow'.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An Adventure In Space And Time Casting Announced

With filming for the 90 minute biopic from Mark Gatiss due to start filming, the casting for An Adventure In Space And Time has been announced by the BBC and it's bloody good.

David Bradley will be playing First Doctor actor William Hartnell and his was the first casting announced, leaked by writer Mark Gatiss at the Radio Times covers party last night. Bradley has already appeared on Doctor Who recently, playing the role of ruthless smuggler, Solomon in Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, so it's going to be interesting to see him take on the role of Hartnell for this special.

The role for BBC head of drama's Sydney Newman will be played by Brian Cox, who most fans will remember as playing the Elder Ood from David Tennant's final story, The End Of Time. Newman was instrumental in the show's creation but he wasn't the only influential person working behind the scenes of this show.

There's also Verity Lambert, the show's first female producer back in 1963, who at the age of 27 was responsible for producing the series. She will be played by Call The Midwife's Jessica Raine, who will also be appearing in an upcoming Series 7 episode, rumoured to be titled Phantom Of The Hex.

The last casting announced for now (because casting has yet to be confirmed for William Russell, Carole Ann Ford and Jacqueline Hill) is Sacha Dhawan, best known for his roles in both The History Boys and The Mystery Of Edwin Drood. Dhawan will play director Waris Hussein, the very man responsible for helming the show's first story, An Unearthly Child. The 90 minute special will be directed by Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad) and will be produced by Matt Strevens (Misfits) and being made along with BBCAmerica as well. I have to admit that casting wise, there are some great choices here. I can't wait to see this biopic.

BBC Press Release:

An Adventure In Space And Time will air on BBC2 around November.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Game Of Thrones - Season 3 Pictures/Spoilers

It might not be back for over two months but HBO's best television show (sorry, Girls, not you) - Game Of Thrones has released some pictures and videos for the upcoming third season. Warning: spoilers for the upcoming season and the books.

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has managed to get out of Qarth and assuming that Season 3 remains faithful to the third book, A Storm Of Swords, we'll be seeing Daenerys going to Astapor along with her army and doubting the use of slaves. We definitely know that she'll be getting a new ally in Missandei as well as another love interest in the mix as well.

Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) and Margaerys Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) look quite the couple and while Joffrey seems uncharacteristically sweet to his latest betrothed, don't think his cruelty towards Sansa (Sophie Turner) is going to die down any time soon. It seems that having two women in his life and bed appeals to the little tyrant.

One of the new characters I'm looking forward to in the third season will be Diana Riggs's formiddable Olenna Tyrell - grandmother to both Loras and Margaerys and having read some of her exchanges with Sansa, it's definitely to be interesting to see how of her reputation as the Queen Of Thorns this upcoming season is really going to deliver on. I'm looking forward to any scenes between her and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) as well.

And the other character I'm looking forward to is the rather enigmatic and dangerous, Mance Rayder played by former Rome actor, Ciaran Hinds - a character central to many of Jon Snow's (Kit Harrington) stories in the third season. In terms of promotion, HBO have been giving us some nice behind the scenes looks at the third season, including a rather inspired trailer for Season 3 with the three eyed raven. This new season really can't come quick enough.

Season 3 Trailer:
Behind The Scenes:
Season 3 Pictures:

Game Of Thrones third season will air on HBO, Sundays at 9pm from March 30th and SkyAtlantic, Mondays at 9pm from April 1st.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Vampire Diaries Gets A Spin-Off

You can't be a successful fantasy show nowadays, unless you've got a spin-off or are being remade and it seems that while we're unlikely to see a UK version of Elena/Damon/Stefan etc, we are going to get a spin-off based on one particular character that's been causing them problems for a while.

The Originals - a series featuring Joseph Morgan's relentless vampire, Klaus Mikaelson will focus on him and his family of Originals as they return to the supernatural crucible that is the French Quarter of New Orleans, a town he helped build centuries ago. It will be here where Klaus  is reunited with his diabolical former apprentice Marcel. The show will also feature some human and witch characters, including one named Cami, who seems intrigued to learn what exactly makes someone evil in the first place. The spin-off itself is also rumoured to be co-starring Phoebe Tonkin as Hayley, a werewolf who is also currently appearing in the fourth season of parent show, The Vampire Diaries.

A pilot episode for this spin-off episode, produced by Julie Plec will air as part of the parent show's current fourth season during April (not dissimilar to what ABC did years ago with Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice). Season Four's 20th episode will introduce the new characters for fans to see and the series, if picked will air for the 2013-2014 television season. I've got to admit that given that Klaus is my least favourite character, I'm a little hesistant of this spin-off but I like Hayley and if it means getting to see more of her (if not in the parent show), I guess I could give it a whirl. Though, can a character as polarising as Klaus really hold off a spin-off show? On the plus side, it seems that Daniel Gillies will be making appearing on it as Elijah, so there's another incentive to give this one a go.

Press Release:

The pilot for The Originals will air on April 25th on the CW as part of The Vampire Diaries fourth season. UK viewers should be able to see it shortly afterwards, depending on ITV2's scheduling.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Being Human - Series 5 Airdate/Cast Pictures & Interviews

Well, the fifth series is finally due as BBC3 decided to get off their backsides and release a trailer and some promotional material for Being Human and it's certainly looking good. So what does the season hold for each of the main characters?

Hal Yorke (Damien Molony): He's still tied up at the start of the series and it seems that Hal getting off the blood is going to be a lot harder, especially with the presence of a new vampire named Crumb (Colin Hoult) around the block as well. Hal will also be getting a job as a Manager at the Barry Grand Hotel when one of the owners takes a shine to him. Also for the most enthusiastic of fans of the OCD vampire, we'll be getting some flashbacks with him as well as developing his continued relationships with both Tom and Alex throughout the six episode fifth year.

Alex Millar (Kate Bracken): She's adjusting to life as a ghost and if anyone thinks she's going to be like Annie, you're mistaken, though Alex has adopted both Hal and Tom as her family now. In the trailer, it definitely seems like her and Hal are having some strong conversations about feelings and she even cheekily kisses Mr Rook (Steven Robertson) on the cheek as well. I am hoping that we actually get to meet her father and brothers at some point in the series but no spoilers so far have indicated that happening.

Tom McNair (Michael Socha): Like Hal, he's got a job at the Barry Grand Hotel but at the same time, when they're not fighting baddies together, it does seem there could be some conflict with both Tom and Hal as well. Also reading on some spoilers, it seems that Alex will be helping make Tom a little cooler around girls and there's rumours from Sci-Fi Now magazine that Allison (Ellie Kendrick) may be returning for an episode as well.

Captain Hatch (Phil Davis): He's the devil! No, really, he is and with Phil Davis playing him, you just know that Hal, Tom, Alex and virtually everyone else (human or supernatural) are basically screwed. It seems that Hatch will go from a decrepit old man residing in the Barry Grand Hotel slowly gaining his foothold over humanity and also throwing things at our supernatural trio without them even knowing it at first. He's the main villain of the season, although Mr Rook, the Men In Grey and Crumb will also be causing problems for our main characters as well.

And here's the main cast shot with Crumb, Tom, Alex, Hal, Captain Hatch and Mr Rook all inside the Barry Grand Hotel (anyone else think it's the same place Doctor Who used for the Whithouse penned episode, The God Complex?). Apparently the first three episodes of the new series have the titles of The Trinity, Sticks And Ropes and Pie And Prejudice. I can't wait to find out what the remaining three episodes will be called but with the rather apocalyptic feel to this upcoming series and the fact that creator Toby Whithouse also seems to penning an upcoming spy drama for the BBC, could Series 5 be the last we see of our new favourite vampire/werewolf/ghost trio? I hope not but it is a possibility though. Also, tiny plug but the US version of Being Human has been picked up by Watch for those who want to give it a whirl.

Series 5 Trailer:  
Toby Whithouse Introduction/Cast Interviews:

Series 5 of Being Human airs Sundays at 10pm on BBC3 from February 3rd.

Friday, January 25, 2013

First Look: The Americans

I know I've already done a blog about this show but it's been a while since I've last discussed it and given that American Horror Story has finished up, well The Americans is very much due now ...

The concept for the show has already revealed that Keri Russell (Felicity) and Matthew Rhys (Brothers And Sisters) are playing a band of Russian agents pretending to be an average American couple (Elizabeth and Philip Jennings) but their cover does from a lot of the recent trailers look like it could be blown any minute.

Having watched the trailers quite a bit, I get the impression that in some ways, FX's latest success story (come on - I will be genuinely shocked if this flops) could be something of a mash up of Homeland and Alias and both Rhys and Russell look like they've got tonnes of chemistry to boast as well. This could definitely be one of the most talked about new shows of 2013 and the trailers definitely suggest it's worth getting invested in.

Season 1 Trailer:
Season 1 Credits:

Season 1 airs Wednesdays at 10pm on FX from January 30th. ITV have bought the rights to the series and will air it shortly after US transmission.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nashville - More4 Brings Some Country Music Drama To UK Viewers

As someone who generally doesn't like country music (making me the odd one out in my family), I have to admit that the constant ads airing for the latest US hit - Nashville are surprisingly making me want to watch this programme.

The show (which US viewers get on ABC) focuses on two rival country singers. Rayna Jaymes (Connie Britton, American Horror Story), a country music superstar about to be upstaged by the up and coming, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panettiere, Heroes). Both ladies take an instant dislike to each other as they're both determined to continue the successes of their careers, especially when they both try to get the same guitarist - Deacon Claybourne (Charles Eston). Matters are also not helped by Rayna's husband running for Mayor of Nashville and Juliette's addict for a mother.

Both Britton and Panettiere have admitted during the launch of the show that their respective characters are influenced by real life country singers such as Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood and rating wise, the show has managed to average around 8 million viewers as well as general critical acclaim. It certainly seems to be a little different compared to some of ABC's other hits right now, so I definitely think I'll be giving this one a whirl. Even some of the songs seem rather catchy.

Season 1 Trailer:

Nashville will air Thursdays at 10pm from February 7th on More4.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Doctor Who - Series 7 Returns In March

After some less than encouraging rumours yesterday concerning the 50th anniversary, which I'll get into in a moment, it seems that some good news is afoot in relation to the second half of Doctor Who's seventh series.

The eight remaining episodes of Series 7, which will feature two written by Steven Moffat (episodes 7 and 14), two by Neil Cross (episodes 8 and 10), two by Mark Gatiss (episodes 9 and 12) and one each by Stephen Thompson (episode 11) and Neil Gaiman (episode 13) will air on BBC1 from March 30th, though the timeslot has yet to be confirmed. This will also coincide with the fact that shortly in April, production on the 50th anniversary story will also take place.

Speaking of the 50th, a recent toy fare, displaying the recent figures made for Clara, the Cybermen and other Series 7 characters has also managed to leak that as well as getting 11 Doctor Who Revisited episodes (each one being 25 minutes long), there seems to be some rumour/confirmation that the actual 50th anniversary story itself might only be 60 minutes long. Considering that the BBC themselves not confirmed this (and also that we're nearly three months off it actually being filmed), perhaps we should wait/hope that the story itself will be a lot longer than an hour but either way, at least we're getting some news now.

Series 7 Part 2 News:
Series 7 Part 2 Trailer:

Series 7 of Doctor Who resumes airing on BBC1 from March 30th.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hollyoaks Bullying Storyline With Esther

I usually do one soap related blog a month but the current storyline on Hollyoaks with Esther Bloom being relentlessly bullied by her peers (one of whom she has the misfortune to actually live with) has certainly got me wanting to do one extra blog this month.

As viewers saw on Monday's episode on Channel 4 (or Friday, three days beforehand on E4), the bullying finally took it's toll on Esther and she made a suicide attempt, which at first didn't appear to be successful until the final five minutes of the episode where she had to be hospitalised after her overdose on booze and tablets. Now that we've seen the very worst thing to happen to Esther, does that mean things will finally get better?

I can congratulate this show on not really holding back when it comes to Esther's bullying, which for the last few months, courtesy of Sinead and Ruby has resulted in endless online abuse, nasty comments, isolation, some elements of physical assault and even getting the majority of the student body to even go as far as fire bottles of urine at Esther. On a frustrating note though the people who should have been supporting Esther such as her family, friends and teachers have either outright ignored her plight or been conveniently absent in order to further prolong Esther's general misery, resulting in her near suicide attempt, that is now rumoured to have lasting consequences on the character's general health.

Terrific performances from Jazmine Franks as Esther aside, I do think it's time we saw the proper consequences for Sinead and Ruby as well. Hollyoaks sometimes has a tendency to short change fallout for those deserving of it (Mercedes and Dr Browning being recent examples of this) but considering that this bullying storyline is being supported by a charity and that even a suicide attempt hasn't made either Sinead or Ruby (the main instigators of this storyline, along with Maddie, prior to her well deserved demise in November) take stock of their horrible actions, I think it would end up doing the storyline a massive disservice if somehow we don't see the bullies in question punished as well as proper fallout for the support systems that have generally failed Esther over the last few months.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 2x12: "Collusion"

Written by Sunil Nayar And Sallie Patrick
Directed by Matt Shakman

Aiden: “What do I have to do?”
Helen: “Kill Victoria Grayson. You have twenty four hours.”

If Victoria can survive a plane crash, then does anyone think for a moment that Aiden will succeed in actually getting rid of the devilish matriarch? Nah – but at the same time, Aiden really didn’t seem to have any problem with actually wanting to kill Victoria either and that’s taking out the fact that the Initiative were using Colleen as an incentive to get him to play ball.

I knew that Emily would be the one to actually stop Aiden in his tracks from doing away with Victoria but I was kind of surprised that he would turn on her so quickly. I get that the Initiative upped their threat but even still, it was a little shocking I have to admit. On the plus side, at least Emily and Aiden are conflicted over his family rather than Emily’s continued charade with Daniel.

Speaking of Daniel, I did find it rather amusing that he somehow seemed unfazed by Emily’s admission of being in cahoots with Victoria. More surprising was the fact that he didn’t fly off the handle as well but given that Emily has betrayed him less than Victoria, perhaps it’s not that much of a shock after all.

Emily went out of her way this week to ensure that Daniel got a stake in Stonehaven while Victoria tried and failed to make sure that Jason Prosser got the company instead. Looks like Victoria really has met her match this time and she wasn’t exactly shy in venting her annoyance at Emily either when she lost.

The subplot with Victoria and Jason seemingly having a romantic past though felt trite. Yes, it was consistent to his lusting of her in the previous episode but it seems that Victoria really does have a secret admirer in every port the more we get to know her. However it seems that once again her actions have worked against as Jason seemed annoyed that Daniel managed to outsmart him with the whole Stonehaven deal.

Keeping with the outsmarting – I liked that Nolan was able to deduce that Padma was up to something just because she referred to Carrion as a program and the fact that she fell for such an easy ruse proves that she’s an incompetent baddie or that she’s still a good guy who’s being forced by the Initiative to spy on Nolan. Either way, it might not be wise to write her or her motives off so quickly though.

Plot wise, this was certainly more interesting than Kenny and Nate’s continued vendetta with the Porters or the fact that there’s something about the Stowaway that happened to pique Conrad’s interest all of a sudden. At this point, I just want the Ryan brothers gone but it seems that with Conrad’s involvement, they might be around just that tiny bit longer.

Also in “Collusion”

What an interesting dream sequence of Emily in bed with both Daniel and Aiden at the same time – nicely shot too.

Emily (to herself): “Every human is born of collusion. We come into this world the result of a covenant, sometimes made out of love, sometimes made of circumstance but almost always made of secrets.”

I’m hoping the collusion isn’t hinting at another pregnancy plot to be honest. We’ve already just had Amanda being pregnant.

Victoria (to Conrad): “Don’t you know that politicians tend to keep their concubines in the closet?”
Ashley: “Spoken like a woman no-one’s sleeping with.”

Jack: “I knew this was a mistake.”
Conrad: “The only mistake being made here is yours.”

I quite enjoyed seeing Ashley being openly hostile towards Victoria. The whole political storyline with Conrad seems to be doing her character favours for the moment.

Charlotte (to Amanda): “I guess being a Grayson means learning to live with disappointment.”

Jason: “But you’re no-one’s possession, are you?”
Victoria: “No, least of all Conrad’s.”

It seems that the Initiative have some sinister plans afoot with turning off the lights while Charlotte decided to have her surname changed to Clarke.

Nolan (to Daniel): “Please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us.”

Nolan (re Aiden): “We know he’s trying to save his sister but who’s the target?”
Emily: “Victoria.”

Standout music: I’m pretty sure I heard some of that song “Twice” in this episode but I could be wrong.

Daniel (re alliance with Victoria): “I was curious to see how far you were willing to go.”
Emily: “Well, now you know.”

Chronology: Not long since the events of “Sabotage”.

Another solid episode but again, “Collusion” should’ve been a much bigger episode than it actually was. Some of the ideas this season aren’t terrible but even I’m noticing that something isn’t working either. That being said, at least the next episode will answer a vital question.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tough Cookie

There's a lot of shows to cover and I will do so over the next week or two but for now, here are some of the ones I've seen recently ...

American Horror Story: Asylum: I'm still watching this show at UK pace, which means only being an episode behind on proceedings but this show certainly manages to achieve a lot in three episodes than others do in half a season. For instance, we've lost three prominent villainous characters, gained more insight into the present day activities of the disturbed Bloody Face Jr while having the entire hierarchy at Briarcliff take an interesting turn for the worst as well. And that's enough even going into the sheer inspired lunacy of The Name Game song as well. In a show as wonderfully strange as this one, that was the strangest thing yet. As for Kit, Lana and Jude - well, the last two episodes are going to be interesting for our three heroes.

Mrs Brown's Boys: My guilty pleasure series. It might not be the most sophisticated of comedies but it's an undeniably funny one, compared to some of the other offerings on telly at the moment. So far, the first half of the third series has been great fun with episode based on psychics, hypnotists and poor Granddad constantly living in fear of Agnes's wrath. I do find myself wondering how well Brendan O'Carroll continues to play this role and given that's he's been playing it for a long time in various mediums, I should be used to it by now.

My Mad Fat Diary: I have to admit, I did watch this show with a little trepidation. On the surface, it did seem like an attempt for E4 to have another Skins style success but if you didn't like that show, there's a chance you might still like this one. First of all, the action is set in 1996, based on the real life diary of Rae Earl (here ably played by Sharon Rooney), a girl whose recently come out of a mental institution and it's actually quite good. Rae is a likeable enough character and the new band people she seems to befriend almost instantly seem like an interesting bunch, though like Skins, it does have a tendency of writing the adult characters (Rae's promiscuous mother and her shrink) as caricatures but other than that, this along with Utopia (to be discussed in a later blog) are a welcome relief to the plethora of period stuff that BBC1 and ITV are throwing at us at the moment.

Once Upon A Time: I sometimes wonder if I should be reviewing this show episodically because the last two episodes have continued to support my theory that it's not suffering difficult second season syndrome. It's nice that in the space of showing up in Storybrooke that in the last two episodes, Hook and Cora have kidnapped Archie (while making everyone think Regina killed him) and managed to screw Gold over by messing with Belle big time. Plus, the actual antics in fairyland have been fun to watch as this show continues to convince us that Mulan is meant for female partners and that Regina's burning hatred for Snow really was unquenchable as well. I still wouldn't mind learning a bit more about how Emma can't have her heart removed but I suspect we're getting to that fairly soon.

The New Normal: So, Ryan Murphy is determined to take over every corner of television, right? I have to admit that while I'm still likely to prefer Glee and American Horror Story (and early seasons of Nip/Tuck), this is another hugely enjoyable show of his to watch. The premise is simple - gay couple Bryan and David want a kid, something which aspiring lawyer Goldie (who has her own daughter, the delightful Shania) is happy to help out with, and that's in spite of a feckless husband and a bigoted grandmother, superbly played by Ellen Barkin - a character so cartoonish she'd make early Sue Sylvester seem reserved by comparison. It might not be a show to everyone's taste but it's certain an interesting one and this is coming from a person who's grown tired of most baby plots on television shows.

- Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson will be returning for the third season of American Horror Story, which will be set in the present day. Clues for the theme behind the new season have featured in the most recent episodes.
- Fans of Kurt and Blaine should be delighted to know that the upcoming wedding episode of Glee will feature them on better terms with each other.
- Gina Torres has mentioned that the upcoming Hannibal series is chilling.
- Ron Moore is developing a new drama for SyFy called Helix, focusing on a team of scientists trying to save humanity from a disease outbreak at an Arctic research facility.
- Australia will air the final four episode of the recently cancelled 666 Park Avenue.
- SyFy have cancelled Alphas after two seasons.
- Downton Abbey's fourth season will see a lot of changes as Mary adjusts to life as a widow.
- RAW actress Amy Manson could be Wonder Woman, though the show will be called Amazon and will be tonally similar to Smallville.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

True Blood - Season 6 News

It's a few months away but some more news has emerged as True Blood begins filming it's sixth season.

The first two episodes of the new season have the titles of Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and Here Comes The Sun and between Joe Manganiello having to get a new haircut for Alcide and Janina Gavankar coming to film more scenes as Luna, it seems that we'll be getting a slew of new characters. One of them being a governor of Louisiana named Creighton Burrell with actor Arliss Howard being made a regular for the new season. Robert Patrick's Jackson Herveaux will also be a regular in the new season as well as Rutgar Hauer (Macklyn) and Rob Kazinsky (Ben) too. Another character being added to the roster is Nicole Janssen, an altruistic twenty something girl.

Meanwhile the consequences of Bill's conversion to being Lilith's ultimate disciple will be a big thing in the new season. New showrunner Mark Hudis has promised that Bill this year will have more bite to him and that both Sookie and Jason will be occupied this season as they search for Warlow - the vampire promised to the former. Hudis also mentioned that he plans to keep the action more centred in Bon Temps this season as well, which undoubtedly should please many viewers.


True Blood's sixth season will air on HBO from June 2013, while UK viewers can watch the fifth season again on SkyAtlantic, Mondays at 11pm from January 21st.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dexter - Season 8 To Air In June

It's been a little over a month since the seventh season of Dexter finished up on Showtime and it seems that the wait for the show's eighth year might not actually be that long. In fact, instead of the show's usual late September/early October return, it seems that Season 8 will actually debut at the end of June, which should mean that True Blood will not be the only visceral show on television for US viewers during the summer period.

The eighth season will continue with having twelve episodes as previous years have done and the aftermath of Dexter and Deb's murder of LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) will certainly be at the forefront for the upcoming season. The new season will also feature two new recurring characters - Dr Evelyn Vogel, a whipsmart neuro psychiatrist and Jacob Elroy, a former cop turned private investigator, both of whom I assume will cause problems for both Dexter and Deb. There's also the faintest possibility that the show's eighth season might not be it's last but somehow, I think it just might be.

Season 8 News:

Season 8 of Dexter will premiere on Showtime, Sundays at 9pm on from June 30th while UK viewers can watch the show's seventh season on FOX from February 24th at 10pm.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 2x11: "Sabotage"

Written by Dan Dworkin And Jay Beattie
Directed by John Scott

Conrad: “And how do you intend to do that?”
Victoria: “Sabotage.”

Sabotage – which I would imagine that lying, manipulating and blackmailing is something that comes to Victoria Grayson as naturally as breathing and unsurprisingly enough, this episode nicely proved that it did. Step forward Jason Prosser because Victoria certainly saw you coming a mile off tonight.

Nicely played by Dylan Walsh turned out to be one of the easily manipulated characters I think this show has ever managed to bring on. He allowed his ego to blindside him several times in this episode and in painfully obvious ways as he couldn’t help needling both Conrad and Daniel and losing out to the latter during a wine auction of Emily’s as well.

Of course, the biggest fall for Jason was his stupidity in falling for Victoria’s little slip of the tongue. Victoria definitely took advantage of Jason’s lust for her in quite a way and soon enough, he went and bought Stonehaven Solutions from under both Daniel and Helen Crowley’s noses. Now that was a bold move on Victoria’s part and judging from the trailer of next week’s episode, one she could end up regretting as well.

However, Victoria wasn’t the only person out to get Helen Crowley this week either. Emily and Aiden banded together to try and come up with a way of extracting information from her with a fake kidnapping. However, unlike Victoria, I’m not entirely sure their plan was altogether successful though.

Helen seemed suspicious of Emily when they met at the wine auction and she was certainly playing her cards close to her chest with Aiden as well. Perhaps Emily and Aiden shouldn’t get too ahead with themselves when it comes to Helen and the Initiative. For all Aiden knows, Helen might actually know a lot more about him that she’s letting on and for that matter perhaps Emily too.

One person she does however know happens to be Nolan and it’s all thanks to Padma that she’s aware of that Carion project as well. I have to admit that while it’s not entirely a shock that Padma has turned out to be a spy for the Initiative, it is something of a disappointment though. I was actually warming to her and Nolan as a couple but I’m guessing her betrayal will pave a way for Marco to get back into Nolan’s good books as well.

That is, if Padma doesn’t have Marco taken out if he deduces that she framed him for supplying Daniel with the information about Carion in the first place. I guess now I really do have to sympathise with Marco. Even in this episode alone, it did seem like he was desperate to make amends with Nolan and perhaps if he doesn’t end up as a casualty he’ll get the chance to in the end. On the other hand – poor Nolan! He really doesn’t seem to have luck with romantic partners or employees, does he?

Speaking of luck, it’s amazing how Ashley managed to turn hers around in this episode as well. I have to admit that I had something of a grudging admiration for the way she managed to get herself a new job for Conrad as he (predictably) decided to head into politics and let’s be blunt, these two stepping into the Porter plotline has managed to make the storyline a little more interesting that before.

Granted, Amanda was going to do viewers a favour and kill Nate but it seems that by colluding with Conrad and Ashley, she managed to get Jack out of the slammer for a bit and now the Porters have a stronger force against the Ryan brothers and their tedious little schemes. With any luck, they’ll soon be gone as well.

Also in “Sabotage”

This episode did that thing of showing us the outcome of the kidnapping before revealing that Nolan and Emily were playing the kidnappers themselves.

Emily: “They say the best laid plans often go awry because no matter how detailed the preparation, the plan will always have a weak point and there will always be those looking to exploit it.”

Perhaps, I’ve watched The Dark Knight Rises a little too much over the Christmas period but Emily’s charity for kids ageing out of the system reminded me of John Blake a bit. Then again, Emily’s more of a Selina Kyle at times on this show, except way sneakier.

Padma (re Daniel): “What was that all about it?”
Nolan: “My guess, extreme daddy issues.”

Ashley (to Conrad): “We can look at it two ways. I know where the bodies are buried – both proverbially and otherwise.”

Aiden’s jealousy towards Emily’s renewed relationship with Daniel seems to be intensifying a lot. It was stupid of him to come over to her place and interrupt them, wasn’t it?

Emily: “Aiden, are you ready for this? You seem distracted.”
Aiden: “Anything but. On with the show.”

Aiden: “I just wanted to see my sister.”
Helen: “Then we’ll talk later.”

Standout music: Amanda decided to have Motorhead’s “Ace Of Spades” playing before trying to kill Nate was an interesting choice.

Nolan: “Bravo.”
Emily (re Helen): “Let’s see if she buys it.”

Chronology: Not long from where “Power” left off.

Another solid episode but “Sabotage” wasn’t as impressive as it could’ve been and we didn’t really learn anything new about the Initiative (aside from Padma working for them) and the ground with Emily and Aiden does seem to be shaking at the moment.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Doctor Who - Some 50th Anniversary Details

Well, it might be 10 months away from airing (and another three from filming) but some details about the upcoming 50th anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who have been revealed.

First of all in terms of audios, we've got a collaboration with Big Finish and AudioGo with an 11 part series called Destiny Of The Doctors with each Doctor getting a story per month, starting this month. The stories in question are Hunters Of Earth by Nigel Robinson (1st Doctor), Shadow Of Death by Simon Guerrier (2nd Doctor), Vengeance Of The Stones by Andrew Smith (3rd Doctor), Babblesphere by Jonathan Morris (4th Doctor), Smoke And Mirrors by Steve Lyons (5th Doctor), Trouble In Paradise by Nev Fountain (6th Doctor), Shockwave by James Swallow (7th Doctor), Enemy Lines by Alan Barnes (8th Doctor), Night Of The Whisper by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright (9th Doctor), Death's Deal by Darren Jones (10th Doctor) and The Time Machine by Matt Fitton (11th Doctor). And that's only the tip of the iceberg really.

Because in November, Big Finish are also doing a multi-Doctor story called, The Light At The End, which will be released in two different versions - a five disc Limited Edition version with two documentaries as well as a version with another companion based story called The Revenants. However, The Light At The End will feature Doctors Four to Eight as well as Leela, Nyssa, Peri, Ace and Charley and a series of e-books from Penguin Books, featuring all 11 Doctors will be released over the next few months as well, plus two soundtracks covering Series 7 as well as soundtracks covering stuff from both the Classic and New Series as well.

As for the actual televised material, the latest issue of DWM has stated that we've got the remaining eight episodes of Series 7 (or the anniversary series as they've labelled it) to look forward to in April with the 11th Doctor and Clara as well as two specials - the first one being Mark Gatiss's biopic, An Adventure In Space And Time as well as the actual special itself due for November. No details on casting for either or whether or not we're getting a Christmas 2013 special but hopefully more details emerge pretty soon.

More Details:

The second half of Series 7 of Doctor Who is due to air in April.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Being Human - Series 5 SFX Spoilers/Preview

With the show due back very soon, the promotion for Series 5 of Being Human has kick started and SFX Magazine has given us some interesting bits from the cast (including Phil Davis) and creator, Toby Whithouse. These include ....

5x01: Tom and Hal have been sacked from their jobs, we're reintroduced to Mr Rook and have two other villains in Captain Hatch and a vampire named Crumb (Colin Hoult). Also, we're meeting the first supernatural trinity as well. (Toby Whithouse).

5x02: Honolulu Heights is haunted and Captain Hatch gives an impressive baddie speech. (Daragh Carville).

5x03: Julian Barrett plays a deluded werewolf named Larry and Amanda Hale plays an unlikely Regency Ghost. Also a great comedy episode for Tom. (James Mathieson).

5x04: A big episode for Crumb and also another werewolf guest with Ricky Grover playing an innocent one named Bobby. (John Jackson).

5x05: A big lead up to the climax when all the stories start crashing into each other, also has a rather exciting five minutes and features Kathryn Prescott as Natasha. (Sarah Dollard).

5x06: The finale will feature cameos from characters from last year (none of the original cast). We're also told what Captain Hatch's plan is and we get to see it played out. (Toby Whithouse).

Now onto the grittier stuff - Captain Hatch is actually the Devil himself and he's able to get people to kill themselves with words. It also Mr Rook is an ambivalent character. Sometimes he'll be an ally to the Honolulu Heights gang, sometimes he won't be. We'll also be getting some more flashbacks with Hal as well as seeing him taking on a manager's position in the Barry Grand Hotel where Hatch is residing. Hatch is also twisted by his own malevolence, hence his current physical condition as well and his arc is about his slow climb back to power.

Being Human's fifth series will return on BBC3 in February.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Deception - One Of TV3's Better Efforts

Let's be honest, TV3 and their recent efforts for original programming has been pretty unimpressive, so their attempts of doing an original drama in Deception is something I approached with caution.

The six part hour long drama began last night and set within Galway (the second drama of the station to be based there - the other being Jack Taylor), Deception offered a slew of interesting enough topics such as a murder, a marriage on the rocks, some nosy and vindictive types, embittered police officers, a young girl who learned that her father was the deceased in this episode and a couple that seemed to comprise of a superficial WAG type Catriona French, played by Leigh Arnold (who wouldn't have looked out of the place on TV3's pointless non-entity, Dublin Wives) and her husband, former scrum Jack French (Connor Mullen), a hotshot who seems to be up to his eyes in debt as things around them seemed to be falling to pieces.

I won't lie - this is hardly a must see show at all to be honest and is probably unlikely to give RTE stablemates, Raw and Love/Hate a run for their money but despite some dodgy acting from the younger cast as well as the majority of the characters generally being an unlikeable bunch (you really would have to be a masochist to sympathise with Catriona), it did make for an entertaining enough hour. Plus, with five episodes left and a promise of developing all of the characters, perhaps TV3 might be onto something decent. It's either this or more of Tallafornia and I assume I can speak for everyone when I say no-one wants that to happen.

TV3 Site:

Deception airs Monday at 10pm on TV3.

Monday, January 07, 2013

My Review of Revenge's 2x10: "Power"

Written by Joe Fazzio
Directed by Roger Kumble

Nolan (to Emily/Aiden): “You two – a fake up? Colour me impressed. If I didn’t know better, I’d already say Daniel’s thinking make up.”

Ah, yes – the obviously staged break up trick. Well, Daniel clearly isn’t that bright if he was easily fooled by the most obviously contrived “fake up” going with Emily and Aiden making sure that they ended their relationship in the same restaurant that both him and Conrad happened to be at the same time.

Then again, maybe that density is inherited because even Conrad seemed awfully convinced (or perhaps not bothered) that Aiden and Emily decided to have a public spat before going their seperate ways. Of course, the most interesting thing here is that their fake break up is very likely to lead to a real one as the rest of the season gets underway.

Emily didn’t really seem to have that much trouble getting back in Daniel’s good books and she seemed rather comfortable in his company as well and I don’t mean her faking it but genuinely seeming to enjoy it. Heck, she didn’t even need to kiss him at the end of the episode to get him on side but she still did. Just maybe Emily has some feelings for Daniel after all.

Also, just maybe Aiden has picked up on that as well because he certainly didn’t look all that pleased with seeing his girlfriend kissing her ex for the sake of the mission too. Then again, given that Helen Crowley (a character I’m finding myself enjoying a lot) has some leverage over Aiden too, perhaps a betrayal is inevitable with Aiden and Emily as well.

I don’t know why but I’m almost kind of disappointed that Aiden’s sister is alive and that Helen was able to get to Aiden so quickly as well, As much as I’m enjoying her as a villain, it’s interesting that she made very little effort in getting both Daniel and Aiden where exactly she wants them at the moment.

Still, at least in this episode Daniel tried to be a little smart by getting Nolan to come up with a programme for rogue files in order to learn more about Conrad’s other dealings but by that turn of events, he gave Nolan an advantage over him. I’m beginning to think that Daniel is the ultimate puppet with Emily, Victoria, Conrad, Nolan and the Initiative all vying to pull his strings in whatever way they can.

Speaking of Nolan, he was disappointingly underused in this episode after his bad ass stance in the last episode. I’m still really not sure what to make of him and Marco as well. Does Marco actually want to help out his former flame or is he another pawn in the Initiative’s overall arc as well? At least Nolan is being clever enough to maintain a bit of a distance with Marco at the moment, which is nice to see.

A little less nice to see is the continued existence of the Ryan brothers. I’ve tried caring about this storyline but it’s rather dull and uninvolving that I really just want the both of them gone now. At least they upped the ante by managing to get Jack in jail by framing with narcotics and a weapon but personally, I think it’s time Amanda, Declan and company got a little creative and have these two losers rue the day they messed with the Porters. Basically, something interesting needs to happen with this plot and fast.

Last but not least, I liked seeing Emily taking out someone this week with corrupt Judge Barnes. Using his wife Patricia, an incriminating letter and her idealism was a nice touch and it’s reminded how much I actually missed the takedown aspect of the show at times. However, Emily was surprisingly less subtle than usual about her connections to the Clarkes in this one. She better hope for her sake that Barnes isn’t as creative as Mason when it comes to putting things together or she’s basically screwed.

Also in “Power”

Interesting that ABC used Tyler Shield’s photo shoots from last year to promote the second half of this season.

Emily: “True power can never be lost or won. True power comes from within.”

Nolan’s nicknames for Aiden were amusing – London Fog and Remington Steele. Aiden seems to be getting along a little better with Nolan as well.

Emily: “With a lovely view of my beach house.”
Victoria: “I didn’t notice.”
Emily: “You certainly did the other night.”

Daniel: “What’s going on?”
Aiden: “What does it look like? Your ex-fiancĂ©e just broke up with me.”

Emily and Victoria’s little team up in relation to Daniel is actually rather amusing, especially given that Victoria really doesn’t trust any more than she’s previously done.

Nolan: “I don’t really care what you believe any more, Marco. I’m not the bad guy here but if you keep siding with Daniel Grayson, the only bad guy is you.”

Conrad: “I could get used to this.”
Victoria: “Oh, God help us all.”

Both Ashley and Padma were absent in this episode and Marco quickly found a potentially dangerous file/weapon of Nolan’s as well.

Helen: “I think it’s time we meet.”
Aiden: “I couldn’t agree more.”

Marco: “I want a chance to start over.”
Nolan: “And there are so many reasons why that is never gonna happen, not the least being I’ve fallen for someone else.”

Standout music: I couldn’t find any of the listing for it. I’ll check again later.

Emily: “Power can be hoarded to the mighty and stolen from the innocent.”

Chronology: A couple of days since “Revelations”.

“Power” is a solid but not spectacular return episode for the show. I do hope that the series really knows where it’s going with these overall storylines because it does seem like some tighter plotting needs to take place in some parts.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Ryan Murphy Brings 'The Normal Heart' To HBO

It seems that Ryan Murphy is as determined to take over television in every way he can. If it's not Glee on FOX, American Horror Story on FX or The New Normal on NBC, it's an adaptation of The Normal Heart due for 2014 on HBO.

The telepic based on a Tony award winning play of the same name by Larry Kramer will go into production next year and already a slew of casting has been announced with both White Collar's Matt Bomer and Avengers Assemble's Mark Ruffalo playing lovers. The production will also feature Julia Roberts who has previously worked with Murphy in the 2010 movie, Eat Pray Love.

I got to hand it to Ryan Murphy in a lot of ways. He might not always be the most perfect of writers (something I plan to look into in another blog) but he's certainly becoming one of the more influential ones in Hollywood at the moment and while this is an adaptation of another writer's project and HBO have a fine history in LGBT characters/storylines/themes, it's nice to see that they're collaborating on this project. Definitely something I'll be reviewing and reporting more on within the next couple of months/year.

Press Release:

The Normal Heart will air on HBO in 2014.