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10 items from 2014

Doctor Who is diverse | @guardianletters

3 September 2014 11:44 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

While I agree with most of what Mohammed Ali says about social elitism and diversity (Letters, 30 August), I must take issue with his claim that in Doctor Who "you will only see white and green faces". Yes, the Doctor himself sadly has yet to be anything other than white (and male and hasn't even made it to "ginger" yet), but racial diversity among other characters, both regular and more minor, seems unquestionable; witness, for example, companion Martha (Freema Agyeman), semi-companion Mickey (Noel Carke), and in the latest episode Mr Pink and Courtney (who may be about to become regulars), and at least two other major speaking parts.

Given the series' matter-of-fact portrayal of non-"straight" sexuality (Captain Jack, Madame Vastra and Jenny) too, I think its makers can be credited with a reasonable stab at reflecting a diverse society given the obvious limitations of time and space.

Carol Fellingham Webb

Keighley, »

- Guardian Staff

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Meme: New View of Parker Young’s Ass, Daleks Are Coming In New “Doctor Who” Trailer, D&D Gets Lgbt Friendly

14 July 2014 3:12 AM, PDT | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

Bryan Fischer doesn’t want to think about gay sex while eating a Whopper, Sam & Cat comes to early end, Emmy Awards are not about making audiences happy

Angelica Celaya has been cast in Constantine as Zed, who acts more as a foil for Constantine than the original female lead Liv would have.  “Zed has a little more smarts, has a little more wherewithal. By design, she’s more assured. She comes from a very, very dark background. Even down to the love interest at the end of the day. Zed is the first character in the Hellblazer comics whom Constantine gets romantically or sexually involved.” So they’re going to establish that he likes girls up front. There are no plans to reshoot the pilot, as people drop in and out of Constantine’s life all the time.

Bryan Fischer is upset about the Proud Whopper, because he doesn »

- Ed Kennedy

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Mitchell and Webb's Ambassadors may return to BBC as a drama

10 June 2014 4:44 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

David Mitchell and Robert Webb's BBC Two comedy Ambassadors will not be back for a second series in its current format - but could return as a drama.

According to Radio Times, production company Big Talk are believed to be in discussions with the BBC about reformatting the show.

Ambassadors was written by Rupert Walter and James Wood, who also wrote BBC Two sitcom Rev.

The show, which aired in October on BBC Two, contained strong dramatic elements.

David Mitchell told Digital Spy last year, that Ambassadors was actually "very much on the drama side".

"I think the key distinction between a sitcom and a comedy-drama is that in a sitcom people are bad at their jobs, but in a comedy drama, they can be good at them," he explained.

"It's about some diplomats - I play an ambassador and Robert plays a deputy ambassador in a fictional -stan in South Asia. »

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Doctor Who: the film careers of Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi

4 June 2014 11:59 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Alex's series looking back at the film careers of actors who've played the Doctor finishes with Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi...


Read the previous part in this series: the film careers of Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, here.

By 2009, the new version of Doctor Who had become not only an integral part of Saturday night television and a huge Christmas ratings winner but also an international success all over again. David Tennant, who had played the Time Lord since 2005 and was, arguably, more popular than any Doctor since the mighty Tom Baker hung up his scarf in 1981, had announced his resignation from the part he loved in October 2008. Many wondered how the incoming showrunner, Steven Moffat, would follow Tennant and what kind of show would emerge.

Tennant spent much of 2009 on stage in Hamlet and was only able to devote small amounts of time to Doctor Who. Occasional specials »

- louisamellor

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Mark Heap: Mr Zany buttons up

2 April 2014 11:12 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

From Green Wing's creepy consultant to the resident artist on Spaced, Mark Heap is TV's go-to oddball. Now he returns to the stage as Jeeves and, in person, seems curiously straightforward

Bertie Wooster or Jez from Peep Show? Take our quiz

Mark Heap is wryly recalling an online comment describing his bizarre turn in Channel 4's Green Wing. It ran: "Mark Heap doing his usual mad thing, but slightly fatter." "Which I thought was brilliant," he says, "but it's kind of true."

Heap has become television's go-to oddball, best known for the roles of otherworldly conceptual artist Brian in Spaced and Green Wing's outlandish and obsessive Dr Alan Statham. More recently, he's been stealing scenes in Friday Night Dinner as an over-friendly neighbour. Now he is returning to the stage after a 20-year hiatus. Next week he takes over from Matthew Macfadyen as PG Wodehouse's famously unflappable »

- Catherine Love

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Peep Show creator: 'We won't kill off Jeremy and Mark'

27 January 2014 8:14 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Peep Show co-creator and writer Sam Bain has discussed the conclusion of the long-running comedy.

Channel 4's Head of Comedy has confirmed that the series will not continue beyond its commissioned ninth series.

Discussing the fate of the sitcom's duo Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell) and Jeremy Usborne (Robert Webb), Bain reassured fans that he and co-creator Jesse Armstong had no plans to kill off the flatmates, meaning that the series could resume at some point in the future.

He told the Radio Times: "We will be doing series nine, we are not sure exactly when. We don't plan to kill them off so the opportunity to do more would be there if we chose to."

Bain has admitted that work is yet to begin on the comedy's final run, but said that extra care was being taken to ensure that the show bows out on a high note.

"We »

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Robocop (1987): Unused Vehicle Designs For Robo-Car

24 January 2014 1:09 PM, PST | | See recent ComicBookMovie news »

RoboCop, in Paul Verhoeven's 1987 film, was originally supposed to drive around in a custom built vehicle, like Batman does. It had several nicknames: "Robo-Car," "Robo-Mobile" and "Turbo-Car." A final design was complete and brought to set, but when the crew reacted with laughter director Paul Verhoeven decided to scrap it and go with a Ford Taurus. Surprisingly, Ford wanted nothing to do with the film. Mostly cause of the excessive violence. This forced producers to purchase the vehicles outright, instead of normally getting them for free in exchange for free publicity. Now, let's take a look at some of the early and final designs for the Robo-Car that artist Robert Webb illustrated. Concept Art by Robert Webb, via Film Sketchr Click Here to See More Images at Film Sketchr There's a new law enforcer in town and he's half man, half machine! From the director of Total Recall and »

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10 Unexpected Sitcom Scenes That Made Us Bawl Our Eyes Out

22 January 2014 7:50 AM, PST | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Channel 4

If you watch a moving episode of a drama, it’s usually fairly easy to deal with; writers tend to build up to these things, signpost the tragedy along the way, and then watch you turn into a wreck come the credits.

Sitcoms have different rules when it comes to crying though; they catch you off-guard because they’re simply not there to make you cry and the result is often increased because of that. They over-riding agenda, of course is to do the opposite, obviously. And bearing in mind that, a lot of the time, there’s not all that much difference between the poignant and the completely ridiculous, it can be difficult to guess when writers are going to pull out a tearjerker.

But which are the most devastatingly sad moments of sitcom history? To answer that particular query, we’ve put together ten scenes that reduced us to quivering, »

- Mark White

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The Sky at Night presenter Maggie Aderin-Pocock: 'In space, race doesn't matter'

20 January 2014 3:35 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The space scientist who is about to replace Patrick Moore on how Spock, Sherlock Holmes and physics inspired her

As a child, space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock was allowed to stay up late and watch one programme, The Sky at Night. She mainly grew up in light-polluted London, unable to see much outside the window of her family's council flat in Camden, but still she had a fascination with space. Some long winter nights, walking home from school across Hampstead Heath, she would look up and think, "Patrick talked about that constellation, I can see it now."

Patrick Moore presented the astronomy programme for more than 50 years; from next month, Aderin-Pocock will present the series, with astrophysicist Chris Lintott, in a new monthly slot on BBC4. "It's a wonderful opportunity, but with a bit of fear and trepidation as well," she says. "[Patrick] was just such an iconic figure. There is no »

- Emine Saner

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TV highlights 09/01/2014

8 January 2014 11:20 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Dolphins — Spy In The Pod | The Undateables | Tough Young Teachers | Benidorm | The Treasures Of Ancient Egypt | Castle | Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe | PGA Tour Golf: Sony Open

Dolphins — Spy In The Pod

8pm, BBC1

To infiltrate unsuspecting pods, this two-part documentary makes use of robotic sea creature "spies", which surreptitiously film dolphins with their camera eyes. In this concluding episode, a spy baby dolphin is deployed off the coast of Mozambique, while a spy squid looks on as some dolphins discover a pufferfish and get high off its toxins. As the footage needs quite a lot of explanation, this is heavy on the David Tennant voiceover; the only other sound being the creaky-door noise of the dolphins' sonar. Rachel Aroesti

The Undateables

9pm, Channel 4

A new year and a new raft of undateables: people with restrictive conditions on the lookout for love and romance. This episode follows three: Mary, four-time »

- Rachel Aroesti, Bim Adewunmi, Julia Raeside, Mark Jones, Ben Beaumont-Thomas, David Stubbs

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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