13 items from 2014
If you like twisted, but funny and intelligent television, you should definitely check out Channel 4's Black Mirror. Created by Charlie Brooker (Dead Set, Nathan Barley) Black Mirror is a British anthology series, with a different cast and setting for each episode. Brooker has said his series is "about the way we live now . and the way we might be living in 10 minutes' time if we're clumsy," with others describing it as "a hybrid of The Twilight Zone and Tales of the Unexpected »
- Jesse Giroux
John McNaughton, enfante-terrible of the BBFC thanks to his stunning 1986 debut feature Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, returns to genre film making after two decades away from horror (his Masters of Horror episode in 2006 is his only “horror” credit in 25 years), with a psychological thriller starring Britain’s very own Samantha Morton and everyone’s favourite Superman villain, Michael Shannon, who play married medical professionals Katharine and Richard Young who keep their sick son Andy isolated from the outside world in their remote countryside house.
However that isolation is broken when Maryann, following the death of her parents, moves in with her grandparents just down the road. Having left all she knows behind and feeling alone, she eventually befriends Andy – despite the vehement protest of his overprotective mother, »
- Phil Wheat
There's something about these short, sharp shockers that gets under the skin. The BBC has already repeated A Quiet Night In, the remarkable, almost dialogue-free instalment of the series, which is starting to accrue awards. This DVD release should help spread the word: it's very lendable.
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton the show's creators, writers and stars eschew the current TV trend for long, involved story arcs, choosing instead to resurrect the once-popular anthology format. In the 70s and 80s, there were plenty of TV short-story strands, from Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected to Nigel Kneale's Beasts, not to mention Hammer House of Horror. Here, over six episodes, we get unrelated 30-minute tales of morality and mortality, all with different characters, »
- Phelim O'Neill
New Indie: It racked up lots of buzz on the film festival circuit, and now Cheap Thrills (Drafthouse Films) makes it to DVD for those who missed its theatrical run earlier this year. This exceedingly dark comedy follows two old pals (played by Pat Healy and Ethan Embry) who find themselves pushed by economic circumstances into accepting increasingly dangerous and degrading bets and dares from an eccentric rich couple (David Koechner and Sara Paxton) over the course of one unforgettable night. In one sense, the film is a close cousin to that episode of “Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected” that inspired the Quentin Tarantino segment of Four Rooms, but Cheap Thrills definitely has chutzpah, constantly upping its own sleazy ante and leaving us wondering if...
- Alonso Duralde
Static, screaming and scenes of terror. It's the new teaser trailer for found-footage anthology sequel, V/H/S: Viral...
Like a cross between Tales Of The Unexpected and You've Been Framed, the V/H/S series has served up bite-sized chunks of shaky-cam fear and loathing since 2012.
These tales, we've learned, will take in a serial killer, portals leading to alternate worlds, death cults on the hunt for teen skaters. As you've probably guessed, the teaser trailer below contains some moments of bloodletting which could be considered not safe for work. You have been warned. »
Digital Spy and some other journalists sat down with Reece to talk about his acting role in three-part factual drama The Widower, which starts tonight on ITV.
"It's a delicate thing to get right, but I think it's done really well," said Shearsmith of the true story of murderer Malcolm Webster.
"There's very little music on it, it's not done like 'an ITV drama' in the way that it's telling you, 'This is the dramatic bit'. I think they just showed the facts."
While we were chatting, Shearsmith got onto the topic of why audiences and TV commissioners don't always see eye to eye...
Cycling: Tirreno-Adriatico Road Race | Breaking Magic | Famous, Rich & Hungry | Law & Order: UK | Astronauts: Living In Space | Who Needs Ibiza? The Great British Holiday | How To Get Ahead: At Medieval Court | Inside No 9U
Cycling: Tirreno-Adriatico Road Race
1.30pm, British Eurosport
Ahead of the Grand Tours (which kick off with the Giro d'Italia in May) the Tirreno-Adriatico is a testing warm up. Last year, the winner, Vincenzo Nibali, also took the Giro crown and eventual Tour de France winner Chris Froome finished second. This year's opening stage is a team time-trial on Italy's Mediterranean coast: over the course of seven days the riders make their way to the east coast and the Adriatic. Hence the contest's nickname: the Race Of The Two Seas. Lanre Bakare
- Lanre Bakare, Hannah Verdier, John Robinson, David Stubbs, Ben Arnold, Hannah J Davies, Ali Catterall, Mark Jones
Feature Mark Harrison 3 Mar 2014 - 07:02
Roald Dahl has often been referred to as one of the greatest storytellers for children in the 20th century. His books have delighted children for generations, with their dark and inventive sense of humour and their eccentric, dastardly adult characters.
Likewise, his written work for adults has just as much wit and creativity, and over the years, he also worked as a screenwriter on a number of projects, including TV work on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and his own anthology series, Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.
Given how it doesn't even take the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer five years to have their popular works adapted by Hollywood, there has inevitably been an extensive crossover between Dahl's written work and the big screen. »
Winter Olympics 2014
Day 12 from Sochi brings the final figure-skating discipline of these games: the ladies' singles. First up, it's the short program, with the longer free-skating portion of the competition to come tomorrow. Those looking for something less delicate would do well to catch the opening run of the men's alpine skiing giant slalom, where flailing limbs and big falls are on the cards. Elsewhere, there's bobsleigh action, as the women's two-man begins its concluding run. Gwilym Mumford
Brit Awards 2014
Last year's gangshow of "great" British music felt very tame indeed – Ben Howard won two awards. But this year's looks somewhat more fun, with Bruno Mars following up his barnstorming Super Bowl performance, Pharrell getting Happy, and Disclosure and Lorde teaming for something or other. Even Bastille, nominated four times, are »
- Gwilym Mumford, Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Jonathan Wright, Mark Jones, David Stubbs, Bim Adewunmi
The League of Gentlemen stars and creators of Inside No 9 interview each other to get answers to the big questions. Like who's got a pickled werewolf foetus at home
While their friend Mark Gatiss has travelled with his writing to the heart of mainstream TV (Doctor Who, Sherlock), Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton have been happy to till their own patch of marshy ground outside its walls. Once co-stars in The League Of Gentlemen, the noughties comedy chiller about the inhabitants of a bereft northern town called Royston Vasey, the pair have since developed their acting careers while delving further into the grotesque for two series of their BBC2 show Psychoville. For their new project – the funny and occasionally troubling Inside No 9 – they have reprised the "anthology" series' format for six stories about the secrets that lie behind our front doors. Who better to uncover their darkest thoughts than each other? »
- John Robinson
Review Ryan Lambie 6 Feb 2014 - 08:31
Looking for a refreshingly different bit of British telly? Look no further than the new comedy drama series Inside No. 9, Ryan writes...
In a modern world where media, news stories, tweets and animated gifs of cats whistle past our eyes with increasing speed, Inside No. 9 emerges as a bold and refreshingly different bit of British telly.
Written by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton - two members of The League Of Gentleman and the warped imaginations behind the wonderful Psychoville - it harks back to an earlier age of carefully-wrought, austere TV drama, where great acting and screenwriting take centre stage.
Although set in a rambling country mansion, Inside No. 9's opening episode takes place entirely in one room. In the midst of a terribly posh engagement party, bride-to-be Rebecca (The It Crowd's Katherine Parkinson) is playing a game of Sardines. »
The anthology series – a collection of individual, unrelated episodes – gave birth to some famous hit shows before falling into disrepute among commissioners
The six-part comedy series Inside No 9 (tonight, 10pm, BBC2) is notable not only for its quality and provenance – it was created by former-League of Gentlemen members Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton – but also because it is an example of a rare genre, the anthology or portmanteau TV show.
Each of the half-dozen comedies has a separate plot and location, linked only by at least one (and generally both) of Shearsmith and Pemberton being among the cast and every setting – whether a country house, bachelor flat, millionaire's apartment or theatre dressing room – having a number 9 on the door or wall.
- Mark Lawson
From the talented minds of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the duo behind the excellent Psychoville and The League of Gentlemen (with Mark Gatiss and Jeremy Dyson) comes a brand new series entitled Inside No. 9.
Over the next six weeks we will be served six different macabre tales where what appears to be ordinary suddenly turns a little less than ordinary. The stories range from a country house where a game of Sardines reveals some chilling revelations, a blood-soaked actor’s dressing room, or a one-bedroomed flat of a happy primary school teacher (well apparently happy). If you're fans of the duo’s work you will know there will be dark comedy woven through these instalments, twists that throw you and horrific turns; for those of us remember Tales of the Unexpected with Roald Dahl this may ring many bells with you.
Our first episode Sardines starts with the »
- Gary Collinson
13 items from 2014
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