10 items from 2014
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
- Guardian Staff
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
According to Radio Times, production company Big Talk are believed to be in discussions with the BBC about reformatting the show.
The show, which aired in October on BBC Two, contained strong dramatic elements.
"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. »
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 »
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
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.
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 »
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
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
Dolphins — Spy In The Pod
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
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
10 items from 2014
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