5 items from 2014
This bold, flawed and admirably out-there adaptation of Michel Faber's 2000 novel about an extraterrestrial stalker opens with a pinpoint of light that may be a distant twinkling star or an approaching headlight – it's impossible to tell. From here we move, via kaleidoscopic invention, to an image of an eye; a constructed gaze, human on the outside, alien on the inside – inner space from outer space. With a brilliant blend of abstraction and precision, this sequence establishes a tension between the intergalactic and the earthly that underwrites the subsequent narrative; an eerie tale of a space traveller inhabiting human form, prowling the streets of Glasgow in search of raw flesh.
As the alt/indie descendant of Natasha Henstridge in Species, Scarlett Johansson is initially predatory, her clipped English vowels and thousand-yard stare effectively suggesting an imitation of life, »
- Mark Kermode
Whishaw, who played Q in the latest James Bond film Skyfall, will co-star with Billie Piper in Foxtrot, the first TV drama by acclaimed playwright Polly Stenham, about an ill-fated heist by an all-girl gang.
Perry will appear in The Dog Thrower, a near silent 30-minute comedy written and directed by Jon Ronson with a soundtrack by Belle and Sebastian. Delevingne will make her TV acting debut alongside Sylvia Syms in Timeless, written by Tim Firth, about a young woman whose fiance is serving in Afghanistan.
Other stars appearing in the latest Playhouse season include Jo Brand, who will star in Damned, »
- John Plunkett
Sky Arts HD is getting ready for its annual Playhouse Presents series which returns to the channel this May. The showcase is devoted to one-off comedies and dramas with talent lined up this year to include Matthew Perry, Billie Piper, Ben Wishaw, Mark Strong, Jo Brand, Simon Callow, Cara Delevingne, Lindsay Duncan, Kevin Eldon, Jane Horrocks, Daniel Mays, Sylvia Syms, Ashley Walters, Jason Watkins and Richard Wilson. Previous editions have had such names as Jon Hamm, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Thompson, Idris Elba and David Tennant. This year also involves the writing talents of Oscar-winner Peter Straughan, among others. Perry, who’s prepping his Odd Couple pilot at CBS, will make his UK TV comedy debut with The Dog Thrower, the story of a man who finds fame, then infamy, when he starts throwing his dog. It’s produced by Runaway Fridge. Among the other offerings, Piper and Whishaw will star in Foxtrot from Sprout Pictures, »
- NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor
Roger Lloyd Pack, the Only Fools and Horses and Harry Potter actor, has died aged 69, his agent confirmed on Thursday.
His agent, Maureen Vincent, said he had pancreatic cancer and had "died at home surrounded by his family".
Best known for his TV work, including his popular character Trigger in the late John Sullivan's long-running BBC1 sitcom and Owen Newitt in The Vicar of Dibley, Lloyd Pack also featured in films including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as Barty Crouch Sr.
Other film work in recent years included Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy and Dagenham Girls.
Lloyd Pack was also an accomplished stage actor, playing the Duke of Buckingham in a production of Richard III at the Globe Theatre in 2011 and last year taking on Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night. »
- Rehema Figueiredo, Jason Deans
Being remembered for one beloved character is one thing, but Roger Lloyd-Pack, who has died at the age of 69, had a handful.Lloyd-Pack, who will forever be best known on these shores as Colin “Trigger” Ball in Only Fools And Horses, had a long and varied career on TV, the big screen and stage. Born and raised in Islington – his father Charles acted in Hammer Horror films – he was encouraged to hone his love of performing at Bedales boarding school, moving on to Rada where he trained alongside another future sitcom favourite, Richard Wilson.His first stage acting work came with The Shoemaker’s Holiday in Northampton, and he scored early TV work on the likes of The Avengers and Jason King. Through his career, he appeared on an incredible range of shows, spanning a variety of genres, including The Professionals, Survivors, Moving, Inspector Morse, Byker Grove, Boon, Lovejoy, Doctor Who, »
5 items from 2014
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