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Last Updated: May 18, 2015
Doctor Who is the persistent subject of rumours - from the credible to the outright absurd - and it can be difficult to separate what's fact from what's fiction.
Lucky for you, dear reader, that Digital Spy is on hand to cut a swathe through the nonsense - these are the facts, 100% confirmed, about series 9 of the world's greatest science-fiction series.
Filming began on the 9th series of Doctor Who - its 35th run overall - on January 5, 2015 for a planned transmission in the autumn. Steven Moffat will serve as lead writer and executive producer for the fifth time.
Coleman was widely expected to be leaving the series in the 2014 Christmas special - and indeed had planned to exit - »
In the first episode of the adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s fantasy novel, we meet the Learned Society of York Magicians, explore Norrell’s library, and hear a warning about a Raven King
And so, filling our magic bowl with water and scattering around some dead petunias, we embark upon director Toby Hayne’s ambitious adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke’s girthsome doorstop, a bewilderingly detailed “tale of the fantastic”, as Neil Gaiman so gracefully described it. As a reader and now viewer – and let’s just get it out there from the get-go, I’m an evangelistic fan of the book – this is an apprehensive time indeed. But there is much in the plus column before the titles roll. The casting here is reassuringly sturdy. Eddie Marsan is Gilbert Norrell, the humourless magician of York, opposite Bertie “Babylon” Carvel’s Strange, a charming, but directionless flibbertigibbet. »
- Ben Arnold
This review contains spoilers.
1.1 The Friends Of English Magic
If, like members of the fusty York Society Of Magicians, you needed proof that magic has been restored to England, that episode was it. Forget bringing half a hundred statues to life, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has pulled off an even unlikelier feat: bringing quality grown-up fantasy to UK television.
Susanna Clarke’s source novel was a canny choice for the task. Its Regency setting plays to the BBC’s period drama strengths and grounds the seven-part series in a recognisable context for any viewers who might ordinarily run a mile at the word ‘faerie’.
What are some of the best British dramas of recent years? Here’s just a few. Wolf Hall, Utopia, Peaky Blinders, Broadchurch, Happy Valley, Luther, Doctor Who and In The Flesh. It's been said to death but remains the case: we truly are in a golden age of original British drama. But now you might just have to make room for a new favourite. I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is the finest new drama that’s been on our screens this decade. In fact, if the first two episodes are anything to go by, it could go down as one of the best this century.
As an adaptation of Susanna Clarke’s epic genre-bending novel, it’s almost perfect. As a »
BBC fantasy Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is already set to be our drama of the year. See the first full trailer here to find out why...
Prepare to hear a great deal more from us about Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell in the coming weeks. The short version: it's excellent and we urge you to tune in when it arrives on the BBC next month.
Writer Peter Harness (Doctor Who, Wallander), director Toby Haynes (Sherlock, Doctor Who, The Musketeers) and co. have done a magnificent job adapting Susanna Clarke's 2004 debut for this seven-part drama series - no mean feat, as those who've read the novel will understand.
For those who haven't, it's a story of magic in an alternative nineteenth century England, it brims with imagination, depth and beauty, and boasts an excellent cast led by Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel, including Marc Warren, Paul Kaye, Alice Englert, Charlotte Riley, »
He’s faced such foes as the Daleks, Cybermen and Ukip, after leader Nigel Farage argued his adventures should cease under a slashed licence fee. However, the BBC are keen for fans to get a look at who – or should that be what – the Doctor will be up against as a new enemy is unveiled for the upcoming ninth series of Doctor Who. Check out the armoured menace below…
Resembling a walking immersion heater, this as-yet-unnamed and decidedly rusty-looking threat faces Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Time Lord in an episode currently filming at Cosmeston Medieval Village, South Wales.
The on-set snap comes hot on the heels of a teaser image released by the corporation earlier in the week…
Starring Capaldi with Jenna Coleman as Clara, the new series features guest stars Maisie Williams, Rufus Hound, Paul Kaye and David Schofield. Michelle Gomez and Jemma Redgrave are returning to their roles »
- Steve Palace
Giving both the film and the filmmakers some extra breathing room, the opening date of Warner Bros. Pictures' action adventure Pan has been moved to fall and will begin its global launch with the new domestic release date of October 9, 2015. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. Pan will now go up against Relativity's Kidnap and Universal's Steve Jobs on October 9. Here's what Dan Fellman had to say in a statement.
"We wanted to give Pan the space to extend its theatrical run, so taking it out of the cluttered summer season made the most sense. Moving the film to the heart of the fall will allow us more time to screen the picture, enabling us to capitalize on what we anticipate will be strong word of mouth."
Veronika Kwan Vandenberg added her own statement.
15 best new TV shows for 2015: Daredevil, Better Call Saul, Thunderbirds and more
Set against the Industrial Revolution, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell re-imagines history as a world where magic is acknowledged as real but frowned upon.
Strange's discovery of his destiny as a great magician coincides with Norrell helping England in its bloody war against France.
Spall takes the title role, while Wood, Hawes and Marc Warren will play "dry cleaners".
Spall said of his casting: "Fungus has brought joy to generations of children and I am so thrilled to be playing such a beloved character.
"It's great to be working with Sky again and the skilled folk at Imaginarium to bring Fungus the Bogeyman out of the »
It’s All Gone Pete Tong
Written and directed by Michael Dowse
The term ‘mockumentary’ is used whenever a film comes along employs the familiar storytelling techniques typically found in documentary filmmaking but for a piece of fiction, specifically comedy. In other words, a parody of a documentary. Talking heads played by actors, characters interacting with the camera, such tropes, hallmarks of documentaries, are turned on their heads as everything in the mockumentary is in actuality a construct of screenwriters and a director and played for giggles. Certainly one of the more fondly remembered examples is the hilarious This is Spinal Tap, the Rob Reiner picture that follows the trials and tribulations of the titular fictional heavy metal band. Few other mockumentaries have ever reached the same heights of verisimilitude to actual documentaries. In 2004 Michael Dowse took his own stab at the genre, so to speak, with It’s All Gone Pete Tong, »
- Edgar Chaput
Hugh Jackman took to his official Instagram page today to reveal a brief trailer preview for his upcoming summer adventure Pan. While the video doesn't contain a ton of footage, we do get a new look at the actor's character Blackbeard, who welcomes young Peter Pan (Levi Miller) to Neverland, and we also catch a glimpse at Rooney Mara's Tiger Lily. It isn't known if a full trailer will follow in the coming days, but we'll let you know as soon as more footage is available.
From director Joe Wright comes Pan, a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie. Peter (Levi Miller) is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is »
There’s an old joke that tends to go around the internet that Britain only has about ten actors. While this is a little hyperbolic, it often seems the case when the same performers pop up in the same shows. One such example is the amount of actors who’ve been in both the BBC and HBO flagship shows, Doctor Who and Game of Thrones.
After the recent announcement that she would be appearing in Series 9 of Who, Maisie Williams (above), who plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, looks like she’ll be the next actor to cross the divide. She won’t be the only Thrones alumn to appear in Series 9, either. Paul Kaye, who plays Thoros of Myr, will also have a guest star role. Furthermore, casting announcements aren’t over, so there could be even more actors making the trip from Westeros to the Whoniverse. »
- Adam Livermore
While her exact role has not been revealed, Steven Moffat, lead writer and Executive Producer, added:
“We’re thrilled to have Maisie Williams joining us on Doctor Who. It’s not possible to say too much about who or what she’s playing, but she is going to challenge the Doctor in very unexpected ways. This time he might just be out of his depth, and we know Maisie is going to give him exactly the right sort of hell.”
The announcement also revealed two more episode titles for the new series, ‘The Girl Who Died’ written by Jamie Mathieson and Steven Moffat, and ‘The Woman Who Lived’ by Catherine Tregenna. Tregenna has written several episodes of Torchwood, including “Captain Jack Harkness”, for which she received a Hugo nomination. »
- Vinnie Bartilucci
Successful scripted comedy is, for the most part, built on firmly established characters that an audience grows to loathe, love or basically care one jot about. Which is why Inside No 9 is such a wonderful anomaly.
The BBC Two anthology series – written by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith – invites the audience into six standalone and terrifyingly bonkers worlds where the only constant is the number on the door of the house / booth / train carriage.
The first episode in the returning series, which begins tonight, is every bit as farcical, dark and hilarious as the comedy we've come to expect from Pemberton and Shearsmith.
'La Couchette' sees irritable Dr Maxwell (Shearsmith) trying and failing to fall asleep on an overnight train from Paris to Bourg St Maurice. He has an important job interview the following morning at the World Health Organisation.
Any chance of actually getting to sleep is thwarted by »
Lilyhammer's 'gangster on the lam in a remote Norwegian town' story is a quirky, comic gem that richly deserves a fourth season...
Lilyhammer’s third season arrived on Netflix last November, bolder, bloodier and sillier than ever. The most recent batch of episodes, boasting a budget bigger than Norway’s Gdp, catapulted viewers from the cold climes of Scandinavia to the tropical slums of Rio de Janeiro and back again, with a few stop-offs in New York along the way. There was murder, intrigue, Islamic terrorism, a dying whale, a mafia cookbook, drug-running, a big-budget Brazilian telenovela, reindeer racing and of course the requisite explosions, gun fights and fist fights that are now a permanent staple of life in the quiet and quaint little town of Lillehammer. There was also a finale that featured one of the more bizarre cliff-hangers in modern television history: a bludgeoned breast-crazed maniac lying »
Inside No 9 will return to BBC Two later this month.
A new series of twists and turns from @ReeceShearsmith and Steve Pemberton, #InsideNo9 returns Thursday 26 March. pic.twitter.com/2e2wQdvYFT
— BBC Two (@BBCTwo) March 11, 2015
Reece Shearsmith: 'TV commissioners fixate on things you don't care about'
The first series of Inside No 9 ran for »
MacDonald helmed the classic episode 'Blink', which featured David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and introduced the villainous Weeping Angels.
Director of photography Ali Asad previously hinted that filming could take place in Spain.
The series premiere, written by showrunner Steven Moffat, is titled 'The Magician's Apprentice'.
Mehmed (Dominic Cooper) gets a message from Prince Vlad (Luke Evans) through General Ismail (Arkie Reece) in our exclusive clip from Dracula Untold, which just debuted on Blu-ray and DVD earlier this week. This scene shows Ismail recalling memories from the past, which doesn't sit too well with Mehmed, who is literally forced to "kill the messenger." The question remains: was Ismail literally possessed by Vlad himself?
For almost a century, the legend of Dracula has mesmerized audiences with the story of a charismatic royal who feasts on the blood of innocents after the sun goes down. Dracula Untold reveals the man behind the myth in the thrilling, action-packed tale of Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia (Luke Evans - The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, Fast & Furious 6), who makes a terrifying deal with a supernatural ally that will allow him to save his family and his country »
Having recovered from a shattering emotional breakdown, college professor Ben Marshall relocates to the countryside with his wife and young son, hoping for a fresh start. He has a teaching job lined up and a new home to move into; things finally look to be going Ben’s way. Until, that is, he starts to feel that something isn’t quite right in the house. Finding himself plagued by spectral visions, Ben becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind a local mystery that appears to be putting the lives of his family in danger.
Within the first few minutes of Blackwood, I had a general idea of what to expect from the film. It all became clear after Ben says the line: “Once I’m onto something, »
- Richard Axtell
Wildcard Films Distribution has today announced the DVD and On-Demand release of director Adam Wimpenny’s directorial debut Blackwood, a reworking of the classic British Ghost Story, which stars Ed Stoppard (The Pianist), Sophia Myles (Hallam Foe), Paul Kaye (Dracula Untold), Russell Tovey (Him & Her) and Greg Wise (Effie Gray).
The film, which has been described as “genuinely tense” by Anna Smith of Metro, is set for release on February 23rd across both platforms, and to tease the film’s release, director Wimpenny has released the video below with a taster of what can be expected…
Wildcard Films Distribution is proud to announce the DVD release of Adam Wimpenny’s feature film directorial debut which reworks the classic British ghost story in this compelling psychological drama with a chilling, modern twist. College professor Ben Marshall is recovering from a nervous breakdown and looking for a fresh start when he takes »
- Scott J. Davis
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