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Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood to star in remake of Westworld

30 minutes ago

The iconic Yul Brynner film about psychotic robot denizens of a theme park is getting the long-form TV treatment from HBO, produced by Jj Abrams

HBO, the Us TV network behind The Sopranos, Girls and True Detective, is to remake 70s sci-fi thriller Westworld with a host of blue-chip talent: Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood will take starring roles, and Jj Abrams will produce.

Westworld, set in the near future, imagines a theme park that recreates the Wild West, complete with artificially intelligent cowboys that visitors can shoot and kill, as well as pliant robots who agree to sexual encounters. A malfunction spreads through the robots, causing them to turn violently against the park's human visitors with a robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner most lethal of all. Released in 1973, it was directed by Michael Crichton, and was an early adopter of CGI.

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- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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Doctor Who hunter more Indiana Jones than Time Lord | Media Monkey

1 hour ago

Doctor Who fans are among the most dedicated in the television world, but one man takes risks beyond the call of duty in his devotion to the show. Philip Morris, who hunts down lost episodes of the show and last year handed nine over to the BBC, really puts his neck on the line when searching for the programmes around the world. The Daily Mirror reports that he told fans on his Facebook page about the dangers he faces. During the last announcement, I was in a hostile part of the world and was everywhere on TV, which made the team a target. Scary stuff. But it gets even more hair-raising when he tells them: In Syria I missed a shell by 10ft. There have been tricky moments, bandits, armed militia. Tricky moments? Now thats an understatement worthy of the Time Lord himself.

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- Monkey

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Sir Chris Hoy: How To Win Gold and 100 Seconds to Beat the World: The David Rudisha Story review two compelling victory stories

5 hours ago

How to Win Gold? Think machines, psychiatrists, inner chimps or heated trousers but not in Kenya, where a dusty track and weights made out of old tins sufficed for one ambitious teenager

There's a sad time in most of our lives when we realise we're never going to win Olympic gold. Realistically, I'm there. Equestrian maybe? Can't ride, don't like horses, except in a burger. Shooting? Too blind, too pacifist, too don't like loud noises.

So I'm watching Sir Chris Hoy: How To Win Gold (BBC1) with my children in mind. The younger one, I think; the older is more academic, or as academic as a two-year-old can be. The good news is that anyone can do it, says, Sir Chris. No one is born a champion, champions are made through endless hard work and determination. As a parent I need to be not pushy but totally supportive. You got it, »

- Sam Wollaston

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TV highlights 23/o07/2014

5 hours ago

Commonwealth Games: Opening Ceremony | The Fifteen Billion Pound Railway | Shops & Robbers: Caught on Camera | The Mimic | Veep | The Bermuda Triangle | Liverpool v As Roma

Live coverage from Celtic Park, Glasgow, to launch 11 days of competition by athletes from 71 nations. This event will inevitably be conducted in the long shadows of Danny Boyle's splendid opening of London's 2012 Olympics and beneath the burden of its own deeply weird pre-publicity, much of which has been consumed by an ill-conceived (and eventually abandoned) plan to somehow involve the demolition of the Red Road tower blocks. Andrew Mueller

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- Andrew Mueller, John Robinson, Ben Arnold, Hannah Verdier, Jonathan Wright, Rachel Aroesti and Gwilym Mumford

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Fargo will return for a second season, but you might not recognise it

17 hours ago

Anthology series like Fargo and True Detective rely on ditching characters to keep it fresh. But is that fair to audiences?

At the summer edition of the Television Critics Association conference in Los Angeles, where network execs hand out news about their upcoming series like breadcrumbs leading to the witchs gingerbread house, we learned that FX renewed critically beloved show Fargo, which airs on Channel 4 in the UK.

When Fargo returns viewers may not immediately recognize it. John Landgraf, the CEO of the network, announced that the show would be back in fall 2015 (or later) with a new cast, a new set of characters, and a new story set in a different time period. Thanks to the name, the location is sure to stay the same. Yes, this is the great age of the anthology series, a program whose title, creators, and tone remain the same, but everything else changes from season to season. »

- Brian Moylan

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Letters: James Garner always made it seem as though he was not acting at all

18 hours ago

Fred Lee writes: James Garner co-starred with Joanne Woodward in an excellent adaptation of Anne Tyler's novel Breathing Lessons. Made for TV in 1994, it is a story of a middle-aged couple re-evaluating their marriage on a journey to a friend's funeral. Garner belonged in that group of actors who always make it seem as though they are not acting at all. In Breathing Lessons he gives one of my favourite performances as a patient and devoted husband to a frustrating wife, showing no malice but I don't think he could do malice very well anyway.

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- Fred Lee and Stephen Roberts

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Fargo 2 is go and Jake Gyllenhaal wants a job plus the rest of today's breaking pop culture news

18 hours ago

Back once again with the ill behaviour, it's the Guide Daily liveblog

Keep refreshing for regular updates from what is sure to be a momentous day in pop culture history

We've got scorching hot news on Guide covers stars of the recent past (Jake Gyllenhaal, Adam Driver) and the near future (Fka Twigs)

Get involved by commenting below or tweeting @guideguardian

5.02pm BST

Right, time to wrap this thing up. Utopia's on telly tonight, which is all you really need to know, although there are also programmes about bees, running, cycling and Geordies.

4.22pm BST

Oh, this is clever. Remember we told you about the excellent, funny, heartwarming documentary concerning The National's Matt Berninger and his deadbeat brother Tom? Well now Bored To Death's Tad Danson and Zak Galifianakis have reunited to pretend to turn Mistaken For Strangers into a stage play.

I particularly love the bit where Matt turns »

- Sam Richards

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How Orange is the New Black uniforms became a hit in prisons

20 hours ago

The hit Netflix series has had an unintended impact on the rules at least one prison in the Us. And it's not the first time inmates' outfits have become cool

Orange is the New Black might be an arch reference to fashion and life behind bars, but the influential Netflix series has now had an impact on what prisoners actually wear. Saginaw county jail in Michigan has banned the orange uniforms seen on the show because they have become, as the sheriff William Federspiel said to the Saginaw News, too "cool". In fact, they're so popular as a fashion item that Federspiel is concerned that prisoners doing projects in the community could be mistaken for civilians. Prisoners at Saginaw will now wear the more familiar black-and-white stripes worn by convicts in the Us since the 19th century.

This may not prise open fashion's grip from prison clothes as quickly as Federspiel thinks. »

- Lauren Cochrane

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Voice of Thomas the Tank Engine quits over contract dispute: 'I feel so bullied'

23 hours ago

Martin T Sherman has voiced the Us version of the beloved children's character for five years. Now he says he's been 'silenced'

Tracy Van Slyke: why I cut my child off from Thomas the Tank Engine

For five years, American children have grown accustomed to Martin T Sherman's voice as Thomas the Tank Engine, the central character of the hit animated series Thomas and Friends. But now Sherman, who also voices Thomas' sidekick Percy and the villainous Diesel, has quit after contract negotiations with the show's production company, Hit Entertainment, broke down.

Sherman announced his decision in an open letter to fans of the show, posted to a fan-run blog. For the last five years it has been my great honour and pleasure to create the American voices of Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy, it said. Unfortunately, I must now quit the show. It is embarrassing but the »

- Nicky Woolf

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Evan Davis joins Newsnight Stylewatch

23 hours ago

So the Today programme's Evan Davis will be replacing Jeremy Paxman as the lead presenter on Newsnight. News of the appointment has been met with mixed reviews cue accusations of 'gender imbalance', as well as concerns over whether Davis can mimic Paxman's famously dogged interview technique. Either way, he does have the edge on Paxman in one capacity his style preferring a slim-fitting, tie-less suit on television, and a baggy T-shirt and skater chain in his 'down time'. In the spirit things, we'd like to see Davis continue in this low-key vein, perhaps flying the flag for some British designers (via Jw Anderson or Paul Smith) for Newsnight, and, hell, why not a Givenchy kilt for those off-duty moments? Continue reading »

- Guardian Fashion

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24:Live Another Day, Utopia, Stewart Lee's Alternative Comedy Experience and more: TV review video

22 July 2014 2:29 AM, PDT

This week, telly addict Andrew Collins reaches the vexing finale of the London-set 24: Live Another Day on Sky1, welcomes - with one caveat - the controversial return of dystopian conspiracy farce Utopia to C4, and recommends three comedies: the returning stand-up-fest Stewart Lee's Alternative Comedy Experience on Comedy Central, mournful sitcom The Mimic on C4, and HBO's new tech start-up satire Silicon Valley, showing on Sky Atlantic

Warning: This video contains strong language that may offend some viewers Continue reading »

- Presented by Andrew Collins

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Bear Grylls and Zac Efron: gunning for TV success | Media Monkey

22 July 2014 2:03 AM, PDT

Survival expert and Bad Neighbours star go shirtless in trailer for new Running Wild series

Let no one say Bear Grylls doesn't know how to get publicity. Fresh from sparking controversy by showing contestants having enemas on his UK reality show The Island, the survival expert has recruited Zac Efron for the trailer for his NBC series Running Wild. Not only that but he persuaded the High School Musical and Bad Neighbours star to strip off his shirt as the buff buddies rappel down a cliff in upstate New York. The inevitable beefcake fest features Grylls proclaiming "we're gonna do this together" before lashing himself together with Efron and heading over the edge. The series also apparently features the pair skydiving, while Monkey can't wait to see what Grylls persuades Ben Stiller to get up to.

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- Monkey

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Soaps may be violent, but I find their sense of justice comforting

22 July 2014 1:23 AM, PDT

As Hollyoaks is revealed to be the most violent TV soap, it's important to remember that these villains get their just desserts which is not true of all TV drama

Last week, Ofcom announced that Hollyoaks, broadcast daily on Channel 4 at 6.30pm, has replaced EastEnders as the UK's most violent soap. As we cast our minds back over soap stories of recent years murderous plotting, trams crashing into back bedrooms, Poundland gangster families it's clear this is some achievement. Hollyoaks, you have my awed congratulations. Bravo on your 11.5 violent scenes per hour last year, overtaking EastEnders the butt of a thousand jokes regarding the competence of the Walford police and the personal safety of Albert Square residents who were slacking with only 2.1 violent scenes, down from a respectable 6.1 per hour in 2001/02.

If I reach into the tombola of current soap plots and pull out a few for your perusal, »

- Filipa Jodelka

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MH17: my error of judgment, by Sky News reporter

21 July 2014 11:41 PM, PDT

Colin Brazier on how he came to pick up crash victims' luggage live on air and immediately realised he had crossed a line

Journalists spend most of their working days in familiar environments. For me, that mainly means the Sky News studio in London, following a well-worn routine: interviews, breaking news, discussions.

But our job also requires that we confront the unfamiliar and, occasionally, the unsafe. In my greener days that meant Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and many other places besides.

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- Colin Brazier

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TV highlights 22/07/2014

21 July 2014 11:00 PM, PDT

Cycling: Tour De France Live | Hive Alive | Kirstie's Fill Your House For Free | Utopia | 100 Seconds to Beat the World: The David Rudisha Story | Geordie Shore | Sir Chris Hoy: How to Win Gold

The tour throws up one of its most challenging stages. This 237.5 kilometre slog from Carcassonne to Bagnères-de-Luchon is the longest stage on the tour, with a brutal mix of climbs and descents that could suit a breakaway. A name that's been bandied about as possible winner here is Italy's Vincenzo Nibali, who was an early wearer of the yellow jersey after his win in Sheffield. He is an excellent descender and will need all his skills if he is to prevail and reclaim the jersey. Lanre Bakare

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- Lanre Bakare, Rachel Aroesti, Jonathan Wright, Ben Arnold, Gwilym Mumford, Hannah J Davies, Mark Jones

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Clothes To Die For review it said so much more than 'boo, sweatshops'

21 July 2014 10:00 PM, PDT

The film sifts through the tragedy in forensic detail while never letting you forget that it's a desperately sad story about people

The terrible tragedy of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka last year, in which more than 1,100 people died, has been covered exhaustively. I think most vaguely news-aware people know what happened, no? And why it happened, too. So how do you make a new documentary about it?

Like this, that's how. After some footage of the immediate aftermath dust, disbelief, wailing, horror This World: Clothes To Die For (BBC2) cuts to a few fashion haul videos. You know, young western women showing off, via YouTube, all the clothes they've just bought at well-known shops for not very much money. Clothes that are very likely to have been made in Bangladesh.

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- Sam Wollaston

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How vampires die: clues to how True Blood will finally end

21 July 2014 8:26 AM, PDT

Will Bill and Sookie burn to death or live happily ever after?

The end of yet another vampire tale is nigh. HBO's True Blood is halfway through its final season, and based on the death and destruction that have defined the show so far, it's very unlikely that the saga will end with a fizzle.

While the grand finale remains a mystery, one thing is almost certain: death. A vampire franchise can't exist without it, as has been proven by nearly every vampire story in recent memory. So will Bill Compton and Sookie Stackhouse become HBO's Romeo and Juliet? Will Eric finally earn a place as pop culture's ultimate anti-hero? Or will Lafayette and James find love in a hopeless place? We examine some of pop culture's most famous vampires for clues as to how the series will end. Sookie, you've been warned.

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- Anne T Donahue

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The exciting truth about my glamorous life as a soap actor

21 July 2014 8:04 AM, PDT

I've enjoyed bit parts in Emmerdale and Coronation Street lately, but my friends are confusing the gentle world of soap with the studio system of 1940s Hollywood

A few weeks ago I filmed a couple of episodes of Emmerdale. I played Dhillon Verma, a plucky buck intent on marrying beautiful regular Priya Sharma, played by Fiona Wade. It didn't work out my character's mother found out about Priya's anorexia, and stamped on the union like a wasp at a toddler's birthday. The scenes were funny and sweet, and I was sad I didn't get to put a ring on it.

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- Rhik Samadder

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Miranda Hart, David Walliams and Jo Sargent launch production company

21 July 2014 6:07 AM, PDT

King Bert Productions, backed by BBC Worldwide, is adapting Walliams novel Boy in the Dress and producing Big School

Miranda Hart and David Walliams have teamed up to launch their own independent production company, backed by the BBCs commercial arm.

King Bert Productions, set up with comedy producer Jo Sargent whose credits include Absolutely Fabulous and French and Saunders is already adapting Walliams novel Boy in the Dress for BBC1 and producing the second series of his BBC1 comedy Big School.

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- Mark Sweney

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Krusty the Clown: the greatest Simpsons character ever?

21 July 2014 4:52 AM, PDT

There are worrying rumours circulating about Herschel Shmoikel Pinchas Yerucham Krustofsky. Here's a look at the great life of a TV institution

In this age of gritty, anti-hero drama, audiences have become conditioned to expect death. The primary question surrounding Breaking Bad was not if Walter White would die, but how. Same with about two-thirds of the cast of Fargo. And if a Game of Thrones actor somehow manages to get through an entire season intact, the natural thing to assume is that it's down to some sort of accidental administrative snafu.

But The Simpsons is different. The characters on The Simpsons don't just live forever, they never even age. They're eternal. And, on the rare occasion that the show has bumped off a character out of design (Maude Flanders) or necessity (Edna Krabappel), they've never actually been very central. The Simpsons universe is so vast that it absorbed these »

- Stuart Heritage

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