Oh, so that’s why.
Overpriced media specialists 2entertain have just announced the release of the five final episodes of the RTD era of Doctor Who in a blu-ray collection ‘Doctor Who: The Specials’.
It’s a classic “penny drops” moment, in the light of the earlier decision to exclude release the first four series only in the latest DVD box set. That said, if the blu-ray release features exclusive extras, there’ll be trouble. Still, jolly good show.
So, mere months away from a point at which the entire, self-contained RTD era of Doctor Who (and the wholesale rebranding exercise of the Moffat production suggests that we are free to consider it as such) could be collected in a boxset, and what is this we find about to be released?
A series 1-4 boxset. Containing everything but the specials.
As you might have gathered, there are three things we like rather a lot on Noise to Signal : Doctor Who, games, and Charlie Brooker. And in the absence of TARDISwipe, last night’s BBC4 special Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe was bound to get us a bit excited.
And a fairly decent piece of television it was, too. While far from the best thing that Charlton has ever put his nickname to, it generally spoke from an informed and authoritative position, was as well-made as ever (including a wonderful opening titles sequence), and made a number of salient points, some of which had never really been touched upon by TV-based games coverage before (including a discussion of… TV-based games coverage). And with each new series, the Zeppotron archive-hunting department seem to get better and better, with some brilliant choices of old footage (indeed, the sections that looked at the mass media’s attitude to gaming over the years were generally among the programme’s best material).
Nevertheless, we wouldn’t be complete bastards if we didn’t get nitpicky, so here are a few general thoughts on the show, and on how we felt it might have done a bit better.
Not sure I’d pay a single penny for a Voyage of the Damned script, but who knows what else might show up…
Shamelessly nicked from Off the Telly (and speaking of that site, we’re a bit late in wishing Graham and the gang a happy tenth birthday, but it’s well worth doing, because it’s collectively one of our favourite sites, and indeed perhaps the biggest inspiration for the creation of NTS), here’s some info from Endemol on the upcoming BBC4 special Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe, a project that I imagine something like 99.9% of the regular readership of NTS are probably at least a bit excited about. Hurrah!
Following on from Simon Dee's recent death, NTS presents a scan of an interview with Simon Dee at the height of his fame, taken from the June 14, 1969 edition of Woman's Own. Although the day-in-the-life is something of a puff piece, it does feature the passage "Dee seems, to his fans, boyishly engaging. To his critics he is irritatingly incompetent", suggesting that opinion on him was, at the very least, divided.
Another iconic part of the Sixties passes on with Simon Dee, the host of the notorious Dee Time, a show which had 18 million viewers in 1967. It’s quite possible that most NTS readers won’t know who Simon Dee was, which is the main tragedy of his life; a man who epitomised the famed spirit of the late ’60s spent the rest of his life in obscurity. His Wikipedia entry documents his dramatic rise and fall from grace, and although there’s very little evidence of his charm and talent remaining in archives (Dee Time was mainly transmitted live and not recorded by the BBC), NTS did a review of his one celluloid appearance in the 1970 film Doctor In Trouble earlier this year, and YouTube hosts the one remaining piece of Dee Time, with part of the 2003 remake (produced by Victor Lewis Smith), along with some other interview footage.
It seems very sad that there’s so little left to remind us of a man Elizabeth Hurley cites as the inspiration for Austin Powers, but his career could be seen as a metaphor for the ephemeral medium that television was seen as in the 1960s; the ultimate Sixties icon indeed.
When showing episodes of The Fast Show, please don’t cut out my favourite bit of the entire damn episode. For reference:
… or, rather, it isn’t. At least not yet, anyway.
Because despite being one of the best sketch shows of the last decade, and although a DVD has been put together and is raring to go, the distributor is currently refusing to release it. So the man himself has requested that you help out, by pre-ordering or reviewing the DVD on Amazon. Do so and he’ll even thank you personally, because he’s nice like that.
And as if you needed one, here’s a reminder of why this series needs to be preserved for posterity…
This probably shouldn’t jump out as much as it did, but I couldn’t help but notice this story from San Diego Comic-Con, where The Simpsons was honoured by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “longest running sitcom in the world”.
Only… it isn’t, even, is it?
There’s a most entertaining punch-up developing on the MediaGuardian blog as a result of their poll on the greatest TV show of recent years. When voting opening, there was a strong showing from The Wire, but Top Gear has now started storming ahead. There have been some attempts at starting a vote-rigging campaign on the petrolhead forums, but it’s impossible to know how seriously to take this. I’d get agitated at Doctor Who’s poor showing, but it’s a low-profile year for the show, not helped by the last episode being utter dross.
The real fun, however, is in the comments section, which features a heated-multi page debate between several people who appear to be incapable of conceding a point. It’s like Prime Minister’s Questions without a bloke in fancy dress shutting people up.
I’d strong encourage you to head over there and watch from the sidelines- doing so has been successfully distracting me from the MSc dissertation that I’m supposed to be writing…
Lots and lots has been going on in the world of Doctor Who recently, and after the Matt Smith based excitement of recent weeks we've been brought back into the present thanks to that annual collection of whooping imbeciles, Comic-Con.
(Some of the below could be considered to be mild spoilers, but it's all stuff released through official channels, so I wouldn't worry too much.)
I don't recommend reading that entire comments thread unless you wish to have a brain haemorrhage, but here are a few choice excerpts. Presented without individual commentary, because it would be like shooting fish in a barrel, but...
(oh, and spoilers for Children of Earth, natch)
Well, I was hoping for one, and here we go - Lab Rats is being released on DVD on the 27th July. Hooray!
First Primeval and now this? It’s certainly not been a good few months for fantasy TV chaff.
Excellent news, as the series showed promise, and I had fun with it - but I think they also have a fair amount to fix for the next series. In the meantime, you can read our episode-by-episode reviews here. DAVID NOBBS AND SIMON NYE HAD BETTER DO EVERY SINGLE THING I SAY OR ELSE IT WILL BE RUBBISH.
Tonight’s BFI preview screening of the first episode of Torchwood’s third series was an unexpectedly hilarious event, with the panel all in sparkling form. Eve Myles entered the stage with the words “He’s on crutches and I’m pregnant- we’re your action heroes!”. The two cast members present proceeded to spend the rest of the session corpsing each other, while Russell T Davies talked about how he’d developed the initial idea for the five part serial.
Spoiler-free impressions of the episode itself after the jump.
The casting of Scottish actor Karen Gillan as the full time companion for next year’s fifth series of Doctor Who has caused the expected kerfuffle in the media, with even casual fans indulging in a moment of speculation as to her unnamed character. At NTS towers, however, we have simple tastes. We like to focus on less visionary questions. And after viewing the publicity shots issued by the BBC, we’re more preoccupied by matters such as “Does it look like we’ve got a new TARDIS exterior for the next series?”.
Analysis after the jump.
At just past midnight, they just showed the video for ‘Poker Face’. Just past midnight, you understand. And they censored the line “Cos I’m bluffin’ with my muffin”, and cut out the shot of Lady GaGa pointing at her bits. THREE HOURS AFTER THE WATERSHED.
Meanwhile, in the middle of the day, MTV Dance showed the entire thing intact. And quite right, because this isn’t even at the level of a naughty seaside postcard. If you can show gyrating lovelies not wearing very much throughout the day, you can show this.
Slightly behind the curve on this one, perhaps, but I’ve only just found out - Lab Rats has been cancelled. And for anyone thinking “no shit”, it’s worth pointing out that the ratings beat the (also excellent) Peter Serafinowicz Show, and that got a Christmas special last year.
This programme has been hanging around on BBC Four for a while, but I think it’s only available on iPlayer now until 22 April, and is well worth your time if you’re at all interested in social history. Although it’s partly a celebration of the Panorama team of the time, it also has fascinating reports on the issues of the day, such as the idealistic experiment of new towns such as Harlow in Essex, race relations, youth culture and the political fallout of Britain’s decline of Empire.
Thanks to Beelzebub on NOTBBC for bringing attention to this fabulous collection of adverts from 1970, which starts with a recruitment campaign for miners, an industry which was to be destroyed a mere 10 or so years later, and claims that off-peak InterCity travel saves "four bob in the pound". I don't know what that means, but it sounds good. Also, is it me, or does the mining job description 'An Underground Man' sound rather like the Butterfield sketches in the Peter Serafinowicz show?
Watch this PIF.
Go and do something else for 5 minutes or so.
Come back and tell us in the comments whether you remember what F.A.S.T stands for.
Drive Carefully, Darling (Part 1 and Part 2) is a 15 minute PIF (so probably not intended for broadcast on TV) addressing the all-too-common attitude amongst drivers that driving regulations don't apply to them.
Whilst other people ponder the intelligent questions about Margaret, BBC TWO/HD’s drama about Thatcher’s fall from power, I’m here to debate the frivolities. Such as: is the House of Commons set used in the programme the longest-serving set in UK television history?
So those rumours about an older companion in one of the Who specials were true. Lindsay Duncan, 58, has been cast as Adelaide in the second of the upcoming specials.
Marvellous, frankly. I’m all for shuffling about the companion dynamics, and RTD - non-stupid that he is - is clearly mindful of the popularity of Evelyn Smythe. I’d like to think that in the third one we might get a male/female pairing, or a robot, or an alien, or a talking penguin, but we also know that he’ll probably be on his own for at least one of them - and it can’t be the fourth, because he can’t be on his own when he regenerates. So I’m laying bets now that there’ll be no proper companion for the third, and Martha (and possibly Mickey and/or Jack) will be back for the fourth. You heard it here first.
Seriously, I think they should be taken to The Hague for this :
Okay, I know that switching the show to HD means that a new title sequence is necessary. But did they have to do such a completely rotten job? I mean, is Mr Burns really a less important character than Disco Stu, the Texan oil baron and the crazy cat lady?
Still, at least this means there's no longer any pretence that it's still the same show.
Tomorrow’s issue of Doctor Who Magazine includes the announcement that this year’s Easter special will see the series upgraded to High Definition. What makes this surprising is the about-face it represents towards the creators’ previous opinions. Like the production team of every other TV fantasy programme, Russell T Davies & Co have always been at pains to remind us that their creation is “the most difficult show to make”, and previous interview comments were pretty categorical that HD Who wasn’t practical politics. The “bedding in” of the technology on Torchwood suggests that this has been planned for some time, although it’s a bit of a stretch to claim that that James Strong has been appointed director purely on the strength of his HD experience.
There’s been a bit of speculation that this will see a new console room in order to stand up to the scrutiny of a sharper picture, but this seems rather unlikely. If there was every something to be left as a means of ringing in the Moffat era, it’s the change of “desktop wallpaper”…
Having had it vehemently recommended to me by Cappsy and Andrew (among others), I recently stuck the entire series of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on my spangly new Lovefilm list - and it took watching only two discs for me to promptly take it off my Lovefilm list, because I was sufficiently hooked to shell out eleven quid and buy the boxset from Amazon. I’m about halfway through the series now, and still enjoying it a lot, but one thing in particular does strike me as being a bit wrong with it.
The titular show-within-a-show, Studio 60 itself, just isn’t that funny.
So Michelle Ryan probably won’t be the companion in 2010 (unless Moff reuses the character), and Lee Evans is in it. And it’s on a bus. So it’s Delta and the Bannermen, right?
No, I don’t want tickets to sit in the audience for the upcoming abomination known as “A Remake Of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin Starring Martin Clunes”. I’d be grateful if you could stop harassing me like a jilted lover, now, please - particularly as each time you do so I’m reminded of the ghastly thing’s very existence.
As sure as eggs is chicken ovulations, the recent announcement of the identity of our Eleventh Doctor has brought about a whole new round of tedious guess work on who will be his first companion. Will they be female? Male? Young? Old? Alien? Modern? Historical? Me? Only tedious guess work and lists will give us the answer!
Oh, it’s easy to see it as a lazy nostalgia piece - “REMEMBER WHEN MOBILE PHONES WERE MASSIVE!!!??!?!” and the like. But what stops it from being just that that it’s simply superbly made - the very opposite of lazy - and there are a few shots in there that you wouldn’t necessarily expect. (The Our Price moment being my favourite.)
But perhaps best of all is the 25th anniversary logo at the end - a beautiful piece of retro design…
BBC News have made one of their traditional “pre-announcement announcements”, this time that the eleventh Doctor will be confirmed in a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential at 17:35 pm on the 3rd of January.
NTS reserves the right to be staggered if it’s anyone other than Patterson Joseph.
YouTube videos are not broadcast quality material. In any way whatsoever. Stop being lazy and source decent quality clips, dammit.
It’s even worse when this is done in obituaries, like ITV News has just done on the sad death of Eartha Kitt. Luckily, they were interspersed with higher quality material… which was broadcast in the wrong aspect ratio. A wonderful way to pay tribute to her, I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m sorry, how did this make it to air again?
Festive cheer? Bugger off.
The entire first episode of season two. Why? I dunno. Consider it an early xmas gift.
I won’t be able to watch this until after work (how unfair!) but to call me excited about this is a hell of an understatement.
For God’s sake, somewhere on the front page, have in big letters when the next broadcast of the show is. It’s the most important thing people will want to know, and it should be available at a glance - not buried away on a non-obvious page, or - incredibly - nowhere on the site at all.
The current site where this has really pissed me off is with The IT Crowd, but make no mistake - this happens everywhere. Stick it in a box at the top somewhere!
CBC being the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - the same fellows who provide funding for the series, and get mentioned in the end credits. Which means they’d treat the show with respect, yes?
It looks like March 24 (in honor, obviously, of our favorite dead henchman) is the date to look forward to, according to IGN…The Venture Bros. season 3 will be making its DVD debut in a beautiful Atari-themed package (check it out after the job). It will also be released on Blu-Ray…which I have nothing against. Except that the Blu-Ray version will COME WITH A COMPLETE AUDIO SOUNDTRACK OF THE THIRD SEASON.
Which means I now HAVE to buy a Blu-Ray player. Like…now. So can anyone point me toward a decently-priced multi-region model?
2008 has been a ghastly year, death-wise. Sydney Pollack, Geoffrey Perkins, George Carlin, Anthony Minghella, Stan Winston…to name but a few. And now Bob Spiers’s name has been added to that rotten list of wonderful talents.
Everyone’s going to have their preferences from his impressive body of work, but by any standard he had one of the most enviable CVs of any TV comedy director. And, put simply, he did what he did extremely well – he got every laugh on the page onto the screen, and did it with a definite (but always appropriate) style. It’s rarer than you think – so this evening I’ll be tipping a glass to an episode of Press Gang.
With all of the promised and then canceled Muppet projects over the past few years, fans are rightfully excited about the actually happening Muppet Show comic book. It looks like it’ll be a four-issue arc revisiting the Muppets at the peak of the televisual fame. This is a good thing. But some art has been leaked/released/whatever recently, and I have a few concerns.
I’ll share them after the jump.
The charge? (Amongst many.)
During the programme Health is Wealth, a homeopathic practitioner, Dr Professor Mohammed Jamil Jilu (“Dr Jamil”), was allowed to make unsubstantiated and potentially dangerous claims regarding the ability of his homeopathic treatments to cure cancer and other serious illnesses, such as diabetes and hepatitis. This could have resulted in viewers with treatable serious medical problems choosing to dispense with orthodox medical treatment in favour of Dr Jamil’s treatments. This risked serious harm to viewers (breach of Rule 2.1)
Ah, Golden Balls. A show which is actually rather good fun - which is why I popped along to a recording of the new series at BBC TV Centre the other week. Do that thing you do with the “Read more” link if you’re interested.
Just a quick heads-up - partly because I know the guy that wrote and directed it, and partly because I genuinely recommend it - that 9pm tonight on BBC1 sees the first episode of Apparitions, a new supernatural drama starring Martin Shaw as an exorcist. I saw a version of this first ep a while back, although apparently some of the grislier/more controversial stuff has been cut, and it’s VERY GOOD, WATCH IT. I’ll be intrigued to see if the rest of the series - which it was expanded into after the originally-planned two-parter turned out better than they’d hoped - lives up to the promise of the first one…
Jeffrey Tambor confirms that the Arrested Development film is getting the go-ahead. Check check it.
Apparently creator Mitch Hurwitz contacted him and told him to get ready. No definite dates or anything yet, but Jeffrey says “when the writer/director calls you it’s a pretty good sign.”
I was a bit late to the party on this Arrested Development thing, but from the moment I actually sat down to watch it I realized that its cancellation was a serious crime against television. I’m not entirely certain what I’d expect from a big-screen version, but I’ll be looking forward to it all the same. Also, how old is Maeby now?
Undoubtedly, Lost’s new season structure (16ish episodes a year, running from February to March for its final three seasons) has been great for the show. What little pointless filler we had before (and it WAS only a small amount) has been stripped out and then some, and as a result season 4 was a lean, satisfying beast. So, season 5 is coming up in a few months, I’m getting foamy and after the jump we have two new trailers (via Dark UFO, a site you really don’t want to visit unless you like massive spoiler sandwiches.)
It’s an Elvis joke. Elvis was known as The King. The show has the word “king” in the title. Fuck you.
King of the Hill has been canceled. I’ve known a few people who have loved this show and will no doubt be heartbroken, but upon reading the news my first reaction was, “This show is still on?”
As an unrelated (so far as I can tell) addendum, the article informs us that American Dad will live on into its fifth season. It’s a great show—no matter what everybody in the world who isn’t me says—and I’ll be interested to see the direction it takes under a Democratic president. (Stay tuned!)
Silva Records has now made the Doctor Who Series 4 soundtrack available as a download, in advance of the CD release later this month.
Much as I hate to say it… I’m kinda glad. A regeneration as the climax for the specials - and Moffat choosing his own Doctor - is just too irresistable for me to, erm, resist.
Oh dear. (Opinion after the break.)
For instance, how about the site for On The Record, which finished at the end of 2002? You can even still watch the last episode - amazing how easy it is to forget how bad online video was back then…
Someone must be able to beat December 2002 for the oldest abandoned BBC site still online, though. Any takers? Old BBC News pages don’t count, you cheating bastards.
… that (according to well-connected comics gossip king Rich Johnston) Paterson Joseph might just be Steven Moffat’s first new Doctor, in the 2011 series.
Of course, he’s basically already played the character once. Take all of this with a pinch of salt, of course, but if it’s true… well, I’ve been saying since 1996 that he’d be perfect for the job, so count me excited.
File this one under “believe it when I see it”, not least because I consider the chances of Ecclescakes doing anything else Who-related within about a decade as pretty low. Could be good fun if it happens, though. Also fun is the bad-grammar-induced hilarity of the following paragraph :
He was followed by Peter Davidson from 1981 to 1984, whose daughter Georgia Moffett has also featured in the programme and who is now dating the current doctor, David Tennant.
I mean, they had good chemistry in Time Crash, but even so…
Will people ever learn? I mean, ever?
Easily among the top five or so UK gameshows of all time, this is fantastic news. But while I’m all for bringing things up to date where necessary, The Krypton Factor is one of those shows that would benefit from sticking as close to the original format as possible. To wit :
Incidentally, if you’ve not already watched The West Wing, then watch The West Wing. And vote Democrat if you’re American. And get me a sandwich.
Thanks entirely to us, obviously, School of Comedy has been picked up for a full series:
A new release from Mute Records. Check out that track listing! I’m perhaps most interested in the radio jingles, but there’s something there for anyone who’s even got a passing interest in the Radiophonic Workshop’s work. My copy of this is one of my favourite CDs I own, but it’s fantastic to see a proper range of their work represented.
Mute are also reissuing two other CDs, currently out of print - BBC Radiophonic Workshop and BBC Radiophonic Music. All are due November 3rd, and it can’t come fast enough.
The first teaser for E4’s Dead Set is online. Click the eye for the video:
While it’s debatable as to whether the zombie thing has run its course for this decade, Big Brother satire definitely has. Still, it’s such a bizarre combination of genres and talents that it’ll either be a) utterly brilliant, b) a train wreck, or c) that show everyone refers to as ‘That E4 thing that wants to be Shaun of the Dead’.
Charlie Booker has insisted that it’s not a comedy, but that is Kevin Eldon in the BB house…
No, not that. We reported on this when it fucked off, so we may as well tell you now it’s fucked back on again - excellent TV site Off The Telly is back! Actually, it’s been back for a while, in various states of incompleteness - but things have now settled down over there, and it all looks nice and spangly. And hooray for comments, too.
Hooray also for the fact that at least one other person in the world appreciated Lab Rats…
Series two of The Secret Diary of a Call Girl is being trailed right now, and with Billie Piper currently expecting her first offspring, fans of The X-Files's Gillian Anderson or Friends's Lisa Kudrow will instantly recognise the hide-the-belly 'fun' the production have been having.
So we can expect the usual baggy clothing and neck-up photography that is always so convincing – seriously, is anyone fooled by this technique any longer? – but Secret Diary being the 'shoes for her, nudity for him' type of telly that it is, we're once again promised a basic level of wriggly flesh...
...which means there's a fantastic game of Spot the Body Double up for grabs. Hurrah!
Take a look at the NSFW teaser trailer after the break:
“The 39-year-old, who appeared briefly as Nigel Pearson in the second series and full-time in the third series of the Norfolk-based legal drama, is to play down-on-his-luck kids’ entertainer Jessie.”
Sorry, I just wanted to do the headline. Carry on.
It would appear that Jemaine Clement and Brett McKenzie are planning to end their HBO show after two seasons. I, for one, am disappointed. I suppose I should be used to this sort of thing, what with Fawlty Towers or The Office only having two series. Let’s hope that they have a long string of albums, at least.
An amazing producer with an incredible track record, but a wonderful writer and performer as well - his performances in Radio Active and KYTV pretty much sum up what comedy IS to me.
Since Friday gone digital TV across the board has been ‘enjoying’ the morphing of The Hits [insert your own hilarious play on name here] into 4Music. So far it definitely feels like a better channel, with a much better mix of the genres, individually themed shows to add some much needed structure and actual presenters in an attempt to give the channel an identity and some personality. However…
… winning the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form for an absolutely staggering third year in a row. It’s hard to disagree with the award, given that “Blink” is not only the best episode of New Who, but quite probably the best thing that’s been on telly in years if not decades; but on the other hand, there’s a nagging feeling that maybe, just maybe, it should have been Paul Cornell’s turn this time out, given that - all things considered - “Human Nature” is perhaps a deeper and more substantial piece of work (and because he’s already lost out to Moff once, although once again you couldn’t really argue with the “Empty Child” win).
Anyway, congratulations to Moffat (and indeed to all the other Hugo winners), and the win once again shows that the programme really is falling into the absolute best possible hands in 2010…
I love Comic-Con. It’s the first point in the year where the notoriously secretive Lost show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse break their ‘radio silence’ about the up-coming new season. Thankfully, this year is no different.
One of the first exciting things to come out from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con is this slightly extended trailer for the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special. Hurrah!:
Man About The House, Series 4, Episode 1 (titled Home and Away), between 23:45 - 23:47:
EDIT: Video now removed, but you can watch it here for now...
So, Hippies, one of my favourite underrated sitcoms, is actually getting a release! This is excellent news, obviously. Unfortunately, most of this didn't happen - but seeing as I was just expecting a vanilla set, I was pleased to read the following:
Fuck me, it looks great. (High quality version, so even if you've seen it it's worth a look - none of your YouTube crap.)
Series starts Thursday, BBC ONE, 9:00pm. There's also a preview clip on the BBC site, but I'm waiting to see it properly. I still can't get over the fact that the BBC are making drama I want to see again...
I love reviews of things that give away more about the reviewer than the thing they're reviewing. Such is the case with this DVD review of Series 1 of George and Mildred.
Who spoilers follow, folks :
On this of all dates, it's being reported by Outpost Gallifrey that legendary BBC producer Verity Lambert has died. BBC have yet to report/confirm the story.
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is now running on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. Their schedule only has it listed for a single run-through this week, every night at 11, starting tomorrow.
There is absolutely, positively no reason not to watch this. I'll be tuning in if only for the thrill of knowing that I'll be among a large amount of confused Americans seeing it for the first time.
Tell your friends and your dads.
Uh...yum. Now you too can have breath as fresh as a summer ham.
Fuck off. Seriously, just fuck right off.
We're not even talking about the right people doing it. McG and a Will and Grace writer? ARGH.
As all of you are no doubt aware, I've been passively seeking a DVD copy of Christmas Eve on Sesame Street for the past few years. I knew it existed, but I never had any luck locating one. Until now. Until just a few days ago.
You might remember an earlier post on the subject of the riotous audience reaction to the Flight Into Terror episode of Father Ted. It does seem to have a pretty fantastic joke-to-applause rate, which makes it stand out not only among Ted episodes, but among episodes of any sitcom as well. Why the huge reaction?
So UKTV G2 is moving over to Freeview and rebranding under the name of 'Dave'. It is to catering for that obviously undernourished 16-34 male audience. According to the same story on Digital Spy, it's called Dave because "everyone knows a bloke called Dave".
After a frankly tedious amount of speculation about the future series of Doctor Who and the availability of David Tennant, the BBC have finally clarified matters to some extent.
So, in one announcement we get Christmas 2008, a series of 3 specials for 2009 (Easter, Summer and Christmas?) and a full series 5 for 2010 confirmed. Blimey!
Tonight. Channel 4. 9:30pm. Saw it recorded. Funniest thing I've seen in ages. Watch.
I've found it really hard to give a shit about this series of Big Brother at all - by the end of the first fortnight, I was so bored I wanted to die, and every time I bothered to tune in after that I didn't recognise half of the people onscreen. None of them really were interesting enough to stand out from the endless arguments about hair straighteners or more frequently about *nothing at all* between Charley, the vile, malicious "star" of BB8 and you know, everyone else.
Just thought I'd give a heads up for UK Sky/Virgin viewers about a new US drama that premiered last night on FX, which provides 'uncompromising TV from Fox'. It's a bit confusing, as the series was actually shown on Showtime in the US, a subscription channel.
The final episode of Series Three may only have aired on Saturday, but already the BBC has clarified casting details about this years Christmas episode, "Voyage Of The Damned" (which will, presumably, follow on directly from this series' 'Titanic' cliffhanger - ho ho!), aswell as the forthcoming series of Who and it's racy, adult, rubbish spin-off Torchwood. If you wish to approach either entirely unspoiled, then don't read on.
Despite the planned eviction being cancelled, the first week (or so) of BB8 has seen the usual early drop-outs. Least predictable of the two was Emilys eviction after dim-wittedly addressing the vile Charley as "you nigger" in what we can only presume was an ill-concieved, "ironic" address or more likely a catastrophically unfortunate slip of the tongue.
Noise To Signal begins it's coverage of this years Big Brother with a live-ish commentary on the launch night episode, to be followed hopefully by regular weekly-ish updates right through to the series end.
As the American TV season draws to a close, Laceyvision takes a look back at what tickled it's fancy and what tickled the gag reflex at the back of it's throat.
Yes, trials are about to open up once more for iMP, and those who tested it back in late 2005 are being sent emails inviting them to apply for the new run.
The official site linked to in the above link has since been taken down for one reason or another, but the offical blub says it all:
Expect the NTS verdict on the finale of Life on Mars (and indeed on the second series in general) at some point over the next week, but in the meantime, enjoy this excellent interview with Matthew Graham, in which he elaborates on the ending, and attempts to claim that it's not really open to interpretation before admitting that yes, alright, it kind of is. Well worth a look, both for the light it sheds on the series itself, and the Ashes to Ashes tidbits.
So evidently a 10-minute pilot was filmed sometime in December that is making the rounds at Disney and may well lead to a brand new Muppet mini-series. You can read about it here, but perhaps the most interesting thing about the possible Muppet revival is the format:
The short pilot uses the television syntax of a documentary (think "The Office" meets "The Muppet Show").
It had previously been a pretty long dry spell on Jackson Publick's livejournal, which meant I wasn't checking it frequently. And jeez oh man did I miss a great update on March 8...
There's all sorts of good news in there, not the least of which is this:
[...] Season 3 has been greenlit, we are currently trying to write it, and production will begin (in World Leaders Entertainment's new Chelsea headquarters, which promise to be comparatively plush) on April 9th. [...] Season 4 has technically been greenlit as well [...] the network basically committed to it, but we won't be treating seasons 3 & 4 as one big, 26 episode order because we just don't swing that way.
Which means at least two more seasons of The Venture Bros. Which is, especially after the obvious character-development bravery of season two, fantastic news, because there is absolutely every indication that, by the end of its run, The Venture Bros. will have reached true masterpiecehood. I'll get into it more in my inevitable season two DVD review, but it's enough to say that The Venture Bros. is going League of Gentlemen, and not Little Brittain.
There's a bit more, too...indulge me please...I know you aren't all fans, but fucking hell...you should be...
Daleks zipping through the air, terrifying-looking scarecrows, wedding, "I am not the Doctor", Captain Jack salutes, Sir Derek Jacobi, and JOHN FUCKING SIMM...
With the unarguably disappointing Torchwood out of the way, it's nearly time for Doctor Who Series 3, which starts this Saturday (March 31st, 7pm, BBC1). The first episode, "Smith & Jones", sees The Doctor investigating a London hospital which has been transported to the moon, and meeting his new companion Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman. Who I already really, really fancy.
First of the Futurama films.
Bender's Big Score.
That is all.
(No, wait, that's not all. iF Magazine gets to interview Matt Groening but they can't even proofread the result for basic spelling and grammar? Come on, now...if you're going to post an interview like that that'll cause an influx of visitors, at least make an effort to look professional for them. That is all.)
But: it's such a joy to see regional news veteran Wesley Smith deal with things so wonderfully. The bit near the end where he has to fill time reminds me of old IVC. I half expected him to get his TV Times out. A pure joy.
When things go wrong is when you really earn your money as a presenter.
A shame this didn't go into production, as it could have been pretty good. I love the set especially.
ITV Play went off air on Tuesday.
For the EPG on ITV1 to be telling me that it's still on is nothing short of embarassing in its ineptness.
Broadcast on December 22nd 2001. The full series came the year after, and started on November 14th 2002. I'd completely forgotten it had started so long ago...
Until recently, I used to play spot the voiceover in the ad breaks during ITV programmes. Now, more and more, I find myself playing spot the ad. You expect ad breaks that consist of nothing but trailers during regional opt-out documentaries, even if they're rather good ones about canals presented by Timothy West. However, even a high-rating Saturday night show like Al Murray's Happy Hour can struggle to pull in the advertisers.
Watching the Flight Into Terror episode of Father Ted I was struck by the staggeringly high number of jokes that are met with not only laughter but enthusiastic applause from the studio audience. Applauding at a particularly clever joke isn't anything out of the ordinary, but watch the episode again and take note of just how often it happens. I counted four bursts of applause in the short end section alone.
Just a quick one to notify you that Dreamwatch Sci-Fi has spilled the beans as to the airdate of Doctor Who's opening episode of series 3, Smith & Jones.
Matt Groening has clarified the future of Futurama. As previously reported, it will be returning as a series of four films. As also previously reported, it will be returning as a new season of episodes on Comedy Central. To whit:
Right, you all know how I bitch about TV programmes being edited by yer UK Golds and the like. But I came across an example yesterday which should make even the most carefree of souls CHOKE ON THEIR TV LISTINGS MAGAZINE AND DIE.
Anna Nicole Smith this morning, Ian Richardson this afternoon.
Despite his age, the latter is quite saddening - a fine, fine actor, who was still working hard right up to his death. It also means that he'll never get to appear in Doctor Who (despite the fact that every Who novel that Lance Parkin's ever written features a character based on him in some way), which is a shame, as you always suspected he'd be perfect for some villain or other at some point.
Just a quick heads up to let you all know that our Lord and Master is back on telly tonight, BBC FOUR, 10pm. Repeated at half past midnight if you're, I don't know, pissing off to watch some comedy bollocks or something.
Oh, and he's also right about Macs.
Not sure how long this has been up, or how many of you may have already seen it, but I thought it was more than worth drawing attention to.
A bootleg recording of the studio performances of episode two of series two of I'm Alan Partridge.
No, I'm not kidding.
I should just like to point out that this morning (or early afternoon, forgive me) CNN ran a "breaking news" banner regarding ten suspicious "packages" with very probable terroristic intentions in Boston.
When I got home from work (around 4 p.m. my time) the banner was changed to explain that all 10 "packages" were definitely related, but were now likely a hoax. Still no explanation otherwise.
He's played him before. It's got to be. Right?
Some really, truly, excellent news has emerged from the Television Critics Association this weekend, where Executive Producers of the fucking brilliant US drama Lost spilt the beans on some very interesting negotiations between themselves and the ABC network. And it could well become to stock answer to ANYONE who claims the show is going no where.
IGN's account is as good as any, so here be the juicy bits:
Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe is fucking brilliant. And the Xmas special was fantastic - from lovely old Christmas BBC idents, to his steadfast refusal to admit Victor Lewis-Smith exists (a clever way of admitting his influence), the only bad thing was the constant cropping of 4:3 material to widescreen. You'd expect it from some shows; but it seems an anomaly for someone who loves old telly as much as Brooker clearly does.
Series 1 and 2.
Wondered why I've not been around much lately? No? Well, fuck you, then.
But just in case you have, it's for two reasons. Firstly, my web design company is to launch IMMINENTLY. And secondly, I've been working on this:
It's a Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews fansite! Written by me! With bugger all on it! Apart from some interesting IT Crowd news, that might not actually be news at all! But there's loads of stuff to come! So hooray!
That is all.
Welcome to Noise To Signal's live commentary on the British Comedy Awards 2006, featuring Seb Patrick and Jonathan Capps. And yes, we know that the Comedy Awards are completely rubbish and pretty much lost all meaning as soon as they started, but it's Wednesday night, it's 9pm, we've got a few beers in, and to be perfectly frank - what else are we going to do?
How much of the original cast and crew were you able to put together?
DAVID X. COHEN: We have the entire cast back, as well as a good chunk of the writing staff. We also have Rough Draft Studios animating once again, and they seem determined to top even their own amazing work from the first time around. To complete the reunion of our original crack team, it looks like we will also have Chris Tyng back to work his magic on the musical score.
Only in crappy Windows Media and even crappier RealMedia for the moment - but still, of course, worth a look. How gorgeous is that blue-lit shot of the TARDIS (shame about C'ne F'ng T'te in the foreground, like)?
This past weekend our militaristic presence in Iraq exceeded the length of our involvement in all of World War II. Of course, in the case of World War II we were actually fighting something, rather than just stomping around shooting things in the name of some vague ideal.
But the worst is yet to come, because--on December 27--Elmo's dad gets deployed.
Preview clip on Youtube right now...
Here is my title sequence for my very own Young Ones episode starring me as Vivian and Mike, and Tom as Neil and Rik. I hope you enjoy it, i tried to make it like the original but better.
You tried to make it like one of the best sitcoms ever produced... but better. Erm, yeah.
Best TV comedy actor
David Mitchell and Robert Webb - Peep Show (Channel 4)
Ricky Gervais - Extras (BBC Two)
Stephen Merchant - Extras (BBC Two)
Sorry, I'm confused. Why have Mitchell and Webb been nominated as a double act, but Merchant and Gervais separately? Whose bright idea was that? Well, anyway, this should definitely be the Peep Show pair. But it won't.
So a few years back I had an idea that I never really bothered to tell anyone...because, well, I didn't know anyone that could do anything about it...and it was just a little fantasy after all...
But doing some very early Christmas browsing I realized that now, more than ever, my years-ago brainstorm of a Custom DVD franchise could really, really take off...what with all the "themed" collections of TV shows for sale now...
I'll repeat that : Neil Hannon. To do Song For Ten. Holy flying fuck.
I'm currently watching Remembrance of the Daleks, the 25th Anniversary Who serial. I've just watched Part One, and it's pretty great stuff so far. The Doctor and Ace have a really good dynamic, and it's got Michael Sheard in it. (Oh, and DALEKS COULDN'T CLIMB STAIRS UNTIL RUSSELL T DAVIS MADE IT SO, HE DID, IT'S TRUE.)
Can it really be fourteen years since Ghostwatch? Almost a decade and a half since that fateful Halloween night in 1992, when a complacent British viewing public was shaken to its core by Stephen Volk's groundbreaking TV play.
The Mirror online has posted news today of a possible spin-off to Life On Mars, to be shown in 2008. As the article contains potential spoilers for the next series of Life On Mars, it follows under the link.
The article can be found here:
Whether or not you liked the first two episodes of Torchwood (me, I thought "Pretty good, entertaining, but not brilliant"), it's still extremely annoying to read people on Good ol' OG saying that (spoilers, highlight) introducing someone as a "lead" character in pre-publicity then killing them off in the first episode is "stolen" from Joss Whedon.
O YES BECAUSE JOSS WHEDON WAS THE FIRST PERSON EVER TO DO THAT WASN'T HE.
Sky One to screen Lost Season 3 in the UK. That's sure to be good for the fans. OK, so the hardcore and the able will be downloading it from the US (my housemate is currently watching episode three), but a lot of analogue/Freeview users are going to be pretty pissed off.
This is good news, and--oddly--something I was just asking a coworker about this past week. Why not release the first season of Saturday Night Live on DVD?
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is - at long last - released on DVD this coming Monday, 16th October.
After two years or so of bouncing publication dates I know it's going to happen for sure this time because they actually trailered it just after the repeat of episode 3 at stupid o'clock on Tuesday morning on Channel 4. My advance order has already been placed with Amazon, and you should order it too, because it will make you laugh until snot comes out of your nose. Fact.
Highlights include an interview with RTD, an absolutely brilliant tour of the 'Hub' set (it's farking huge!) and Eve Myles' lovely, lovely face.
I don't want yet another of your fucking best ofs. This is one of the most fondly-remembered and influencial comedy shows ever made, and you can't actually buy the full thing in Region 2. I want all four series, in full. We're not talking about some obscure show here that couldn't financially sustain it.
Well, IGN has named their top 25 prime-time animated series of all time, and you can find the complete list here, all fulla descriptions and fancy, descriptive rundowns, but I'm going to reproduce the list below. Can you guess the identity of number one? If you can't, you drank bleach.
:-o, frankly. I knew they weren't going to go on indefinitely, but I thought they'd give it three series...
Excuse me, I think I've just come.
(SPOILER behind cut)
Also, the cat's now out of the bag over something I've known about through work but couldn't talk about - CYBERGIRL...
Would anyone like to inform me why UKG2 replaced the scheduled Top Gear at 15:00 with an episode of TOTP2?
Surely the best way to deal with what's happened to Richard Hammond is simply to enjoy his work?
This is quite exciting. Paul Rose, who you might know as Mr Biffo off of sadly-defunct Teletext games page Digitiser, has got a couple of sitcoms in development. In today's blog post, he's finally revealed a few more details. With comments from Zombie Dave.
Don't forget, folks, That Mitchell and Webb Look starts at 9:30pm, tonight, on BBC TWO. I went to the recording of the pilot, and it's absolutely incredibly amazingly fantastic. Mitchell and Webb are the best double act since Lee & Herring. Watch it, or it'll be a bad miss.
I got an email through the Tim and Eric mailing list that made public a few very tantalizing details about an upcoming DVD collection of Tom Goes to the Mayor...
Haha, not really. I tricked you. This is a clever joke based on the fact that the Doctor wears a blue suit and has red shoes. Do you see?
A comedy legend getting the attention she deserves, there. Joyce won't be to everyone's taste, I'm sure, but this is just the sort of thing BBC Four do well.
Excellent news, I think you'll agree.
All 13 episodes, complete, uncut, free and legal. It's online at The Adult Swim Fix but I don't know for how long. A week or so? I've never used the Fix before so someone can feel free to correct me. Point is The Venture Bros. is a killer show, so take advantage while it's free and on demand.
So, Deal or No Deal's back. Hurrah! Monday's game was a bit of a damp squib, but Tuesday's and Wednesday's were absolutely superb. Go and download them if you didn't catch them, like if you're one of those people with so-called 'jobs'.
It's looking that way. See Steven Bagley and Rob Ford's posts. Most of the buzz surrounding Torchwood seems to confirm that that series is still being shot in HD, though.
A shame about Who, if it's true. Still, Series 4 will almost certainly be HD.
I took advantage of UK Drama's presentation of the whole of the excellent 1995 BBC adaptation of 'Pride and Prejudice' tonight, and I noticed two interesting appearances: Lucy Davis as Maria Lucas and David Bamber as Mr Collins.
Doesn't Lucy look cute?
Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that this statement in many adverts now is tantamount to casual racism?
Carry On Doctor, as shown today on UK Gold:
As you may be aware, the third episode of Armando Ianucci's political satire Time Trumpet was last week pulled from the schedule and replaced with Episode 4. Episode 3 was eventually shown this week, but was reportedly missing the following footage for reasons best left to your own imagination:
(Hint, it's either the plane crash or the murdered Prime Minister)
Nice to see UKTV G2 giving this an airing.
But on the first episode tonight, they cut out the entire first scene. This is a great sequence introducing Richie and Eddie, and lasts about two minutes. It's our first introduction to the characters - and it's just gone. FFS. I gave up watching after that - I couldn't trust that the rest of the programme hadn't been fucked about with.
When you're reporting on the non-story (at least, in the sense that it's not national news-worthy, nor is it particularly new today) of Russell T Davies' Doctor Who Magazine-published admission that a Rose spin-off was commissioned and well into the planning stages before being canned, and when there's another, quite well-known and well-hyped spinoff in the works, is it really that wise an idea to put the story under the front-page headline of Doctor Who spin-off "cancelled"
The first Doctor Who serial. The first episode is one of the finest television programmes ever made, but after that... well, it's just a huge pile of tedious boring old cack, isn't it? It takes a special kind of incompetence to come up with such a great idea for a series, fill it with great regular characters, and then manage to bore the audience half to death.
Not an original opinion perhaps, but nonetheless the CORRECT one.
Today I bought two of your new products - Party Babies ("Fruit flavoured Jelly Babies"), and Dessert Allsorts ("Dessert flavour Allsorts"). I've not tried them yet, but I suspect they will be up to your usual standards of excellence.
David Tennant returns to his role as the tenth Time Lord and meets his brand new companion, as filming commences on the highly anticipated third series of Doctor Who for BBC ONE.
The best I can come up with is "Kelly Packard".
On Fear Her:
"...the moment when the Doctor takes the Olympic torch was just arch, unconvincing and unnecessary."
I loved that!
On Army of Ghosts:
"The Ghostbusters gag induced a cringe; the Eastenders and Trisha skits were crass..."
I loved that an' all!
The point I'm trying to make? That there's a specific type of humour in those instances that I love - indeed, those were the moments that stuck with me after watching the episodes.
From the Beeb :
Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst will return to the BBC in a sitcom scripted by My Family creator Fred Barron.
In After You've Gone, Lyndhurst, 45, plays a divorced father who has to look after his children when his wife leaves the country to work in the third world.
His attempts to be a father are hindered by his mother-in-law, played by Acorn Antiques star Celia Imrie.
From the latest issue of Ariel, the BBC In-house mag (as mentioned on the Restoration Team forum):
"Mr Fincham has promised to reinvigorate comedy on BBC1. He has reunited Ben Armstrong and Lee Miller, the comic double act last seen on Channel 4 five years ago..."
Ben Armstrong and Lee Miller? Would it hurt, in the interests of decent journalism, to at least get their fucking names right?
There's an interesting thread on the Doctor Who Restoration Team Forum at the moment - which has turned into a discussion about appalling cover art. Can anyone beat this supreme example, from the American Fawlty Towers laserdisc release?
The Search for the Apollo 11 SSTV Tapes (PDF, 2MB)
Fucking hell. Long, but well worth reading. Especially for the comparisons between the quality of picture these tapes hold, and the pictures that were actually transmitted at the time by the TV stations.
How the fuck can something like this happen?
On UK Gold this evening:
Broadcast more than once, I might add.
Yes. Also being shown daily on BBC ONE - exactly like Series 1.
Just thought I'd start another story to discuss them, so people who don't want spoilers can keep away...
Spoof panel show with Rob Brydon, premiering on the BBC THREE site. You need to be living in the UK and have Realplayer, though.
Not seen it myself yet, so off for a watch now...
She, of course, played Adeola in Army of Ghosts (our review of which should be coming this evening), but will be playing a *different* character in Series 3, named Martha Jones. How are they going to account for that then? Whatever happens, she won't be in the Christmas episode, but will presumably be introduced fairly early on in the new series.
Alright, I can understand cutting makeover shows. I can understand scrapping Des and Mel (although I'd argue, trash as it was, that it was a show that had a firm niche, and a firm core audience - the success of Richard and Judy and Paul O'Grady tells you that). But cutting drama? Come on.
Recently posted to gotfuturama.com:
Also, according to OG, Stephen Fry's no longer doing his episode. Bugger!
I mean, for fuck's sake:
It's bad enough that over intrusive DOGs actually exist just generally getting in the way, but when TMF actually feel it's necessary to impose their DOG *over the top* of VH1's, when they show a production of theirs, is just completely inept.
Do these people actually know how to do telly?
Just a quick note for Stateside readers: Spaced, the brilliant (and brilliantly done) Channel 4 comedy series, is coming to BBC America. Their official blurb:
Peter Kay. In Doctor Who. As the Abzorbaloff.
Warning : Not suitable for those who've just had their tea.
...are finally to get a DVD release!
Now, how about Moondial, Earthfasts, The Gift, etc? There's surely a goldmine of top quality CBBC drama waiting to be exploited, if only someone would.
As was stated at the time the accusations were originally made, there's a world of difference between being questioned over something, and being charged with it. Right now, though, things aren't looking particularly good, are they?
YES! Stuff is such a brilliant show - and the first two releases were disappointingly short on extras. Finally, they've realised that the show deserves a nice in-depth Making Of...
Full Frame, SERIES 3 EPISODE 6
I saw the bearded tit filming a link for an unknown TV show right outside the window of my train carriage yesterday. Does anyone know what train themed show he might be involved in at the moment? I wouldn't mind seeing it.
I was in one of the old GNER 125s, so I'm assuming it's about their retirement and imminent replacements. As it happens, I'm sad enough to be very interested to see what he was making.
So, The Prisoner is being remade by Sky One, and Christopher Eccleston is being heavily linked with the title role.
Another death knell is sounded for early hours TV programming as the Quiz Call channel gets its own weekly slot on Five.
Blame this on the fact that my job currently involves Googling the telephone numbers of various academics, lecturers, teachers and professors so that I can ask them questions about free books they've been sent, and the fact that while looking for someone else I recently found a "Dr Chris Eccleston"...
... but I dare someone to phone up one of these people and ask "Is that Doctor Hu...?"
Tonight, 9:00pm, ITV1 - Sharpe's Challenge 1/2
Tomorrow, 9:00pm, ITV1 - Sharpe's Challenge 2/2
Watch this, everyone!
Read this. Gives you a warm glow all over, doesn't it?
Then read this. And after you've unstuck yourself from your seat, GET SUGGESTING.
Here's a question. How many things did you love as a kid, but you don't love now?
For me, I can put my hand on my heart and say - nothing. Indeed, this came up recently in the comments to my Knightmare article - someone who clearly loved the show as a kid wouldn't bother now. I, on the other hand, still see it as one of the best shows ever made - I thought that when I was ten, and I still think it now.
Tonight. 10pm. Challenge TV.
That is all.
I've just seen a trailer for a BBC ONE show called "The McCartneys versus The Fur Trade" or something similar. The McCartneys. This is a programme about Paul McCartney and his wife, and their battles against animal-based clothing. That's Paul McCartney. So, what song did they chose to use on the trailer, for the show about Paul McCartney?
Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who.
It's not as if that bloke in the show has got a huge back catalogue of well known songs, though, is it?
Ever wondered what makes Alan Partridge such a significant creation in British comedy? His Royal Highness Sir Philip Reed offers us an analysis of Alan's psyche, and, as Freud said, it's all down to sex.
Ladies and gentlemen: Alan Partridge and the Maturity Paradox in Bravealan.
A Times Online writer attempts to prove the popularity of Doctor Who is symptomatic of our cultural infantilisation in a shockingly badly written comment piece.
I apologise in advance for this. I didn't want my first NTS post to be a whinge, but by crikey, this article has really wound me up.
"Actually, as I write, I realise that I haven't seen Knightmare for sodding years."
So, why write about it?
"Mr Davies said he was still angry that Queer as Folk, his seminal gay drama from the late 90s, never got a Bafta."
HA HA, SEMINAL!
While Kudos are busy making a second series of our beloved Life on Mars, they will also be overseeing a pilot for a US remake of the show, commissioned by the ABC network (Lost, Invasion, some other stuff).
The episode in question is already available online, even for those without BitTorrent; I couldn't possibly condone illegal TV show downloading by telling you where, but suffice to say if you Google "south park", you don't have to go more than, ooh, a page or so before you'll find the site.
God, The Doctor Dances (yes, I did just watch it again) really is just the best episode of anything ever, isn't it?
It's got everything. It's funny. It's scary. It's clever. It's well-paced. It's beautifully-shot. It's gripping. It's just a wonderful forty-five minutes of television.
The third series premiered tonight at 9:00pm.
And, you know what, I was pretty disappointed. I'm a massive fan of the show, and its creator Tony Jordan, but I think it took the 'silly' tone just a tad too far tonight. And NO-ONE should attempt to perform a 'Gansta Rap' accent - comedically or seriously - it's just poor.
SEE WHAT I DID THERE.
Anyway, apparently (well, I say "apparently", but it is a BBC press release; the wires, however, don't seem to have got hold of it yet) Peter Kay is going to be in Doctor Who. Hm.
Re: The force feeding of your 'DOWNLOADING MOVIES IS LIKE STEALING A CAR' video at the start of all your recent releases.
Don't, you bunch of cunts. It is rubbish, invasive and factually incorrect.
While you're at it, you can remove the pointless and unskipable copyright notices shown in every language known to man, too. Also, some people might be watching your show on DVD for the first time, so don't have menu images which spoiler the episodes on the disk (e.g. Nina coming back in 24).
Sort yourself out, you rubbish people.
Notice on the back of the DVD:
Due to the archive nature of the footage sound and picture quality may vary occasionally
THE SERIES WAS MADE IN 1988. Besides, there's no real problems with the sound and picture quality anyway. What are they up to?
YES! Eight episodes, too! I haven't been this chuffed for a long time. The funniest comedy in years.
And Peep Show has been recomissioned as well. Has Channel 4 suddenly realised what good comedy is again?
BE ON TV! (sort of)
Next Friday, the 2nd December, is the live shoot of Monkey Tennis, a music/entertainment programme that I'm producing. We need an audience. Please come along! It's at Trent Park, Enfield, which is next to Oakwood tube station. The show's at 4pm, so turn up no later than three. The show will be beamed live to the Middlesex Student Union, and it'll be taped for anyone who wants a copy.
Unfortunately for the BBC, this one has no grounding in comedy, either.
From today's Mirror :
Alright, so the pedigree behind the programme is quite good - it's the Thick Of It/People Like Us creative team - but it's still hard to shake the feeling that this has been done quite comprehensively before, and that it's impossible to do anything in the way of spoof news that The Day Today and Brasseye haven't done already. I mean, there's a reason why Morris stopped doing it himself, after all.
Erm, folks. I've got some bad news. It's not "cult" any more.
(and yet still, STILL, a US broadcaster refuses to pick it up. Crazy. Sci-Fi Channel, I'm looking at you.)
There's something very odd going down at Ofcom.
The Ofcom Broadcasting Code: Section 1 - Protecting the Under-Eighteens quite clearly states:
Remember this? Released on 19th May 2003.
So... why has it been classified again recently - 20 minutes shorter? Both versions are listed at the bottom of the page.
Obviously I find this interesting because I still use a direct descendant of the BBC Micro, but I'm sure a lot of you will be too...
... but you may be about to lose the title of "Best DVD menus" :
I swear, if I read one more reference to The Young Ones being dated, I'll smash someone's face in.
I mean, what does that actually mean? WOW, WHAT A SHOCKER, A TV PROGRAMME MADE IN THE 80S CONTAINS A FEW REFERENCES THAT WOULDN'T BE MADE TODAY. I think you'll find this doesn't ruin the show, in Any Way Whatsoever.
The Daily Show? Curb Your Enthusiasm? Provocative and challenging debate, comedy and drama from both sides of the Atlantic? Yes please.
Anyone catch any of the launch? Missed it myself, but that Blunkett thing looked interesting. I'm hoping to make The Daily Show as, um, daily an occurrence as possible, though.
According to Robert Popper on the Yahoo! lookaroundyou group, the Series 2 DVD is due out mid-January. Excellent. No word on extras as yet, but I'm really hoping for some behind-the-scenes stuff, as that was one thing that was sorely missing on the Series 1 DVD.
As for a Series 3:
I'm just watching Vic Reeves' Best and Worst of God on BBC TWO. Not only has the programme been put through a pointless filmising effect (really, what does it add to a programme like this?), but... all the clips from various comedy shows have been too!
I mean, why? It's a CLIP FROM ANOTHER PROGRAMME. Have some respect for it and use it as originally broadcast, for fucks sake. It completely changes the feeling of the shows - and looks diabolical as well.
So, things are gearing up on Hyperdrive - shooting started last month in Manchester, the original home of Dwarf, amusingly. Here's a couple of concept sketches of the main ship, the HMS Camden Lock, with thanks to Glazy on the Starship Modeler Forums who scanned it in from SFX - click to enlarge.
A genuine wit, there. And they come along all-too rarely. The "four candles" sketch is overplayed, but he really was a master of linguistic play and trickery. And I'm a sucker for that.
Apparantly, Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash are working together again. This is excellent news - The Royle Family is one of my favourite sit-coms of recent times, as is Cash's criminally under-rated Early Doors. They're a great writing partnership, and, like many others, probably better together than apart. This'll be an interesting one to follow, what with Aherne's well-documented and worrying recent problems. Fingers crossed she's all better now...
Watch the latest Newswatch on 'Watch Now', from 5mins 40secs onwards.
I was keeping a straight face until she mentioned the textile industry...
Luckily for me, I'm one of the 5,000 chosen for this second phase of the trial and I can't bloody wait to my hands on the bugger. Presumably my email detailing where I can download the software should arrive VERY SOON.
Obviously, I'll be reviewing the software for NTS, giving you my experience of one week's use of the new software. The trail itself will continue until December so there could well be more regular updates on the service coming form me through the blog, too.
Tonight. BBC ONE. 10.40pm (well, probably more like 10.45, 'cos the lottery always overruns).
It's only a repeat, but... watch it.
Did anyone watch This Morning, erm, this morning? Phillip Schofield hosted a live vasectomy operation at a London hospital, with Fern Britton and some experts giving analysis from the studio. It was hilarious, if a little nauseating for that time in the morning.
Appalling title, but this new series that's starting on BBC1 tonight at 9pm has got to be worth keeping an eye on for the brilliant Tamsin Greig, if nothing else. And it's easy to dismiss David Renwick these days after how tired and hackneyed Jonathan Creek became in its later years, but you can never write off the man behind One Foot In The Grave and you'd hope he's still capable of moments of genius...