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2016 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

1-20 of 21 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »


The best television of 2011: drama

28 December 2011 1:24 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

British drama had an ambitious but somewhat uneven year – while the Scandanavians produced a surprise hit. But what were your favourites?

It would be pushing it to suggest that 2011 was a landmark year for drama but viewers were certainly not badly served, with some fine new work emerging from both the UK and abroad.

In Britain, BBC2 led the field, in part thanks to the much-trumpeted extra investment that gave us The Crimson Petal and the White, The Shadow Line, The Night Watch and The Hour. A line-up that the BBC should rightly be proud of, but perhaps placed too much emphasis on.

Of that line-up, it was The Crimson Petal that played best for me, with Romola Garai capturing my attention as Sugar far more than she did as The Hour's Bel Rowley. Lucinda Coxon's adaptation of Michael Faber's novel was beautifully judged, with Chris O'Dowd a revelation as William Rackham. »

- Vicky Frost

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15th Annual Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

4 September 2011 12:46 PM, PDT | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

The 15th Annual Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (Plgff) begins September 30 and runs through October 8 at Cinema 21. This year the festival begins September 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Cinema 21 with a very special screening of local filmmaker David Weissman’s deeply moving We Were Here. The film chronicles the heavy impact the AIDS crisis had on San Francisco in the 80s through the eyes of five survivors. David Weissman will be in attendance. One of the subjects of the film is also scheduled to attend. This special screening is followed by a Gala Opening Night Party at 23Hoyt with hosted appetizers and drinks as well as a full cash bar and Holcombe Waller will perform a short set. Tickets for this event go on sale September 1.

The festival concludes on October 8 at Cinema 21 with the BBC production of The Night Watch based on the novel by Sarah Waters. Following four »

- Jeff Bayer

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Rewind TV: Torchwood; The Night Watch; British Masters; The Life of Muhammad; Strictly Kosher; The World's Most Expensive Paintings – review

16 July 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Torchwood provided pitch-perfect sci-fi while an adaptation of Sarah Waters's The Night Watch was marred only by being a one-off

Torchwood (BBC1) | iPlayer

The Night Watch (BBC2) | iPlayer

British Masters (BBC4) | iPlayer

The Life of Muhammad (BBC2) | iPlayer

Strictly Kosher (ITV1) | ITV Player

The World's Most Expensive Paintings (BBC1) | iPlayer

Torchwood, the so-called "Doctor Who for grownups", had been for too long one of those things I'd loved, admired, but never actually seen. The love and admiration were a teensy bit for Good Things coming out of Cardiff, but almost wholly for serendipitous anagrams and the creative delights within. Almost everything on telly, surely, could (in fact should) have an anagrammatic doppelgangy spin-off. "Whores Squat on Dai" would be an enticing if fabulously misleading version of Antiques Roadshow, and I might even have watched "Piers Morgan meets Sir Cliff Richard" had it been rejigged as "Charlie Crim frots deaf »

- Euan Ferguson

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Cometh The Hour: BBC newsroom drama hits screen

15 July 2011 4:08 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

1950s series has been hailed as the UK's answer to Mad Men, but writer says it has different pace and energy

A journalist slips some cash into the policeman's hand and minutes later is rifling through a dead man's pockets. Not the latest example of Fleet Street's rot but a detail from BBC2's new newsroom drama The Hour, set in 1956 as television journalism came of age.

"It's a really interesting time for the show to be broadcasting, although obviously I wasn't aware of the situation at the time," admits Abi Morgan, writer of The Hour. "We also have phone-tapping going on in our drama – although it's very different from the kind we're hearing about now."

With the Suez crisis as a backdrop, the stylish drama weaves thriller and newsroom drama together. It follows three news journalists – played by Dominic West, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw – as they launch a groundbreaking new programme, »

- Vicky Frost

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Great LezBritain: Review of "The Night Watch"

13 July 2011 7:09 AM, PDT | AfterEllen.com | See recent AfterEllen.com news »

Great LezBritain is a fortnightly stroll through the very best of British lesbo-centric entertainment and culture. Plus there will be some jolly good interviews with the top ladies who are waving the flag for gay UK.

The recent adaptation of The Night Watch on BBC2 is the fourth of Sarah Waters five books to have made the transition from page to screen, while her fifth book, The Little Stranger, will be made into a feature film sometime soon.

Waters is now undoubtedly a literary powerhouse. Her books have been lifted from the gay section of bookshops into the laps of straight women who might possibly be called Felicity and work in an office accounts department. Her previous adaptations, most notably Tipping The Velvet and Fingersmith were mightily successful, earning high ratings and high DVD sales. So in short, Waters seems a sure thing. So, with all that said, why the »

- Sarah and Lee

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'The Night Watch' debut delights 3.2m

13 July 2011 3:38 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

New BBC drama The Night Watch premiered with almost 3.2m on Tuesday evening, while Stephen Spielberg's Falling Skies lost viewers, according to the latest audience data. The Night Watch, Paula Milne's adaptation of a Sarah Waters novel following the lives of four young Londoners in the Second World War, averaged 3.03m (13.7%) for BBC Two between 9pm and 10.30pm, while 166k (0.8%) watched on the BBC HD channel. New science fiction thriller Falling Skies, executive produced by movie legend Spielberg, continued on the FX channel with 308k (1.4%) in the 9pm hour, down 115k on last week's debut. Also in the 9pm hour, Crimewatch arrested 4.2m (18.5%) on BBC One, beating Homes From Hell's 2.41m (10.6%) on ITV1 and 205k (1.1%) on +1. Animal Kingdom scooped 1.87m (9.1%) on ITV1 from 7.30pm. BBC One's Holby City (more) »

- By Andrew Laughlin

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TV review | The Night Watch

13 July 2011 2:49 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The Night Watch turned sirens, fear and desire back to front but left me unmoved

I remember going to the cinema once, and walking into the film late, after it had already begun. The other people in my row and in the row behind seemed uncommonly angry about my late arrival, more so than I thought befitted the crime; they moaned and what-the-frigged at having to stand up to let me through, and someone sniggered. I fought through to my seat though, and settled in to watch the film.

Now I can be a bit thick about what's going on in a film, especially if it's a complicated psychological thriller as this was, and I'd missed the beginning. But this time my befuddlement reached new heights; I can honestly say I didn't have one single clue as to what the hell was going on. And then after 10 minutes, something strange happened: the film ended. »

- Sam Wollaston

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Does BBC2 drama deserve a glowing report?

12 July 2011 6:03 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

From The Night Watch and The Shadowline to the The Crimson Petal and the White – has BBC2's newly boosted drama budget been well spent?

A 90-minute adaptation of Sarah Waters's brilliant novel The Night Watch hits BBC2 screens tonight – the latest drama from a channel that 18 months ago received a budget boost of £10m each year for the next three years.

That cash, earmarked specifically for drama, prompted a "collective sigh of relief" from a drama production industry keen to make more of the brainy stuff, according to BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson. But what difference has it made for the viewer at home? Time to give Stephenson and his team a half-term report, and look at what's coming up.

The Night Watch, tonight's single drama, shows the channel on fine form. A skilful, faithful rendition of the book, which tells various stories of lesbian love during the Blitz, »

- Ben Dowell

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Does BBC2 drama deserve a glowing report?

12 July 2011 6:03 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

From The Night Watch and The Shadowline to the The Crimson Petal and the White – has BBC2's newly boosted drama budget been well spent?

A 90-minute adaptation of Sarah Waters's brilliant novel The Night Watch hits BBC2 screens tonight – the latest drama from a channel that 18 months ago received a budget boost of £10m each year for the next three years.

That cash, earmarked specifically for drama, prompted a "collective sigh of relief" from a drama production industry keen to make more of the brainy stuff, according to BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson. But what difference has it made for the viewer at home? Time to give Stephenson and his team a half-term report, and look at what's coming up.

The Night Watch, tonight's single drama, shows the channel on fine form. A skilful, faithful rendition of the book, which tells various stories of lesbian love during the Blitz, »

- Ben Dowell

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Will the quiet craft of The Night Watch translate to TV?

12 July 2011 4:13 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Sarah Waters' tale of lives flattened by the second world war is a stunning novel, but it doesn't look like great telly

Sarah Waters is a darling of the small screen – her first three novels appeared in television adaptations between 2002 and 2008, feeding an apparently insatiable appetite for saucy Victoriana (she herself characterised her earlier books as "lesbo Victorian romps") to which the recent televisation of Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White so ably catered.

There's no great mystery behind the stampede to adapt Waters' books: they have that perfect mix of story and spectacle which translates so well onto television. But her fourth novel, The Night Watch, due to grace British TV screens this evening, is a knottier proposition than its predecessors. For one thing, it forsakes the seductions of corsets and gas lamps for the far less photogenic setting of 1940s Britain, blasted and blacked-out. »

- Sarah Crown

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TV highlights 12/07/2011: The Night Watch | Undercover Boss | Imagine | Perfume | Nurse Jackie | Silent Library

12 July 2011 1:04 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The Night Watch | Undercover Boss | Imagine | Perfume | Nurse Jackie | Silent Library

The Night Watch

9pm, BBC2

Anna Maxwell Martin, Claire Foy and Jodie Whittaker star in this gorgeous adaptation of the Sarah Waters novel. A group of young women, and one young man, live out their forbidden love lives behind closed doors in postwar London. The use of a set-up/rewind structure works to great stylish and dramatic effect and the performances are involving and beautifully understated against the backdrop of the London blitz and its horrors. The only thing you wish for is more time. This needs more than 90 minutes for the relationships to fully develop, but what is there is so worth watching.

Julia Raeside

Undercover Boss

9pm, Channel 4

Southern Fried Chicken may sound like some cheaply derivative Mickey Mouse outfit, but this British, family-run chain has a yearly turnover of £100m and branches in over 70 countries. »

- Julia Raeside, Ali Catterall, Andrew Mueller, Rebecca Nicholson, Martin Skegg

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Claire Foy: 'Next I want to do some singing and dancing' – interview

9 July 2011 4:09 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The glittering career of Claire Foy, star of The Promise and now The Night Watch, continues apace

Spend a little time in Claire Foy's company and you get the sense that, while she might be a bit stunned at how rapidly her acting career has progressed, she's certainly going to seize her moment. Irrepressibly cheerful, fast-talking and candid, the 27-year-old has barely rested in the four years since she left the Oxford School of Drama. It was only a matter of months before she starred in the pilot episode of Being Human (she always knew it could be huge, she says); she went on to take the leading roles in the BBC's 14-part adaptation of Little Dorrit and in Peter Kosminsky's acclaimed Israel-Palestine drama The Promise, which she describes as "a real love project for everyone who did it". Oh, and she's also squeezed in Upstairs Downstairs and a Hollywood fantasy thriller, »

- Alex Clark

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'The Hour', Ricky Gervais top BBC Two summer, autumn lineup

22 June 2011 5:03 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Ricky Gervais's Life's Too Short and 1950s drama The Hour headline BBC Two's 2011 summer and autumn lineup. The channel's controller Janice Hadlow revealed the highlights of its upcoming slate of shows this morning, which includes Gervais and Stephen Merchant's return to BBC Two with their upcoming Warwick Davis sitcom. The Hour, which stars Romola Garai, Dominic West and Ben Whishaw, heads up the drama output for the broadcaster, alongside Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon's Page Eight and Anna Maxwell and Claire Foy's The Night Watch. The comedy output includes a return for the award-winning sitcom Rev and a tenth series for Rab C Nesbitt. Further series of MasterChef: The Professionals, The Rob Brydon show, Dragons' Den, Frank Skinners' Opinionated and (more) »

- By Alex Fletcher

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My TV hero: Claire Foy on Joanna Lumley

13 June 2011 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Joanna Lumley is just brilliant in Absolutely Fabulous – I love that she's not afraid of looking like a wally

Perhaps because I now tend to play people who are quite miserable, or at least not at their happiest, in my normal life I try to be quite upbeat. I've always found Joanna Lumley in Absolutely Fabulous hilarious. My mum and my sister were obsessed with the show, so I grew up watching the show pretty much all the time – we even wore out the videos.

Jennifer Saunders is fantastic in it of course, but I really love Lumley as Patsy Stone. Rewatching it recently, I was even more taken by what an amazing character Patsy is, and how brilliantly Lumley plays her.

It's her physicality that makes Lumley so funny: the fact that she's this elegant, beautiful woman who, with just a stoop of her shoulders, makes herself look completely different. »

- Vicky Frost

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BBC2: putting the British in drama

13 April 2011 9:09 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Promo for shows including The Shadow Line and The Night Watch asserts their Britishness in face of Sky's Us onslaught

The BBC is "putting a stake in the ground" by airing a promo for new BBC2 dramas under the banner Original British Drama.

The promo shows highlights from forthcoming BBC2 dramas including the The Shadow Line, starring Christopher Eccleston, and an adaptation of Sarah Waters' The Night Watch.

BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson says: "This line [Original British Drama] goes to the heart of what we believe in here. It's an opportunity to put our stake in the ground and exemplify our attitude."

Why does the British Broadcasting Corporation feel the need to emphasise the Britishness of its dramas right now? After all, it has been making original British TV drama for about 60 years. Could it be that BSkyB banging on about all the high end drama on its new channel Sky »

- Tara Conlan

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BBC costume dramas to bare all

18 March 2011 5:04 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Racy new shows include adaptations of Dh Lawrence's Women In Love and Christopher Isherwood's memoir

First the BBC decided to ditch the bonnets, now the corporation's period dramas appear to be shedding the rest of their clothes as three racy new shows come to the screen in quick succession.

On Saturday night Matt Smith will swap his familiar Doctor Who tweed jacket for some fetching underwear as he explores the gay bars of decadent 1930s Berlin, before clambering into bed with one of the city's more attractive male residents. Smith plays novelist Christopher Isherwood in a BBC2 adaptation of his memoir Christopher and His Kind.

A new dramatisation of Dh Lawrence's Women in Love, starring Rosamund Pike and Rachael Stirling and adapted by William Ivory, follows on BBC4 next week, and next month the corporation will broadcast a decidedly unbuttoned-up take on Victorian London in The Crimson Petal and the White. »

- Vicky Frost

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BBC2 scents success with The Crimson Petal and the White

9 March 2011 7:28 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Broadcaster says racy Victorian series featuring Gillian Anderson and Richard E Grant shows support for drama despite cutbacks

Featuring numerous racy sex scenes, it is the BBC2 drama that executives say represents the future of the second channel, which faces the prospect of seeing its daytime output axed to save money.

The Crimson Petal and the White – hailed by the BBC drama controller, Ben Stephenson, as a "drama that only the BBC could make" – details the relationship between a clever Victorian prostitute and a wealthy but insecure industrialist with an ailing wife.

Starting later this month, the four-part adaptation of the book by Michel Faber is the first fruit of the tripling of the BBC2 drama budget at a time when the corporation faces a 20% cut in its budget.

It features a heavyweight cast including Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant, Mark Gatiss, Romola Garai and Chris O'Dowd.

Stephenson said that »

- Maggie Brown

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Anna Maxwell Martin: 'I don't like playing saps'

16 February 2011 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Anna Maxwell Martin is about to become the face of Sunday night TV. She tells Emine Saner what makes a meaty role

As a drama student, Anna Maxwell Martin used to go for walks along the Thames. "I would see the National theatre," she recalls, "and think, 'I'm going to be there one day.'" Two years later, in 2003, she was – playing Lyra in His Dark Materials, and bagging an Olivier nomination in the process.

Such single-mindedness seems at odds with the slight person sitting before me in a London bar, finishing her stories with great squeals. Like the one about her mother inviting all her friends round after Maxwell Martin won her first Bafta in 2006, for playing orphan Esther Summerson in the BBC's star-studded Bleak House; the guests were invited, she says, "just to look at it!" Other times, she's thoughtful, delivering considered answers with a faint Yorkshire accent. »

- Emine Saner

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Anna Maxwell Martin: 'I don't like playing saps'

16 February 2011 4:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Anna Maxwell Martin is about to become the face of Sunday night TV. She tells Emine Saner what makes a meaty role

As a drama student, Anna Maxwell Martin used to go for walks along the Thames. "I would see the National theatre," she recalls, "and think, 'I'm going to be there one day.'" Two years later, in 2003, she was – playing Lyra in His Dark Materials, and bagging an Olivier nomination in the process.

Such single-mindedness seems at odds with the slight person sitting before me in a London bar, finishing her stories with great squeals. Like the one about her mother inviting all her friends round after Maxwell Martin won her first Bafta in 2006, for playing orphan Esther Summerson in the BBC's star-studded Bleak House; the guests were invited, she says, "just to look at it!" Other times, she's thoughtful, delivering considered answers with a faint Yorkshire accent. »

- Emine Saner

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Season of the Witch (Starring Nicolas Cage) Giveaway

6 January 2011 5:00 AM, PST | BuzzFocus.com | See recent BuzzFocus.com news »

On January 7, Season of the Witch, starring Nicolas Cage (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Stephen Campbell Moore, Claire Foy (The Night Watch), Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire), Ulrich Thomsen (The Thing) and Christopher Lee (Hugo Cabret, Alice in Wonderland), comes to theaters nationwide

In celebration of the theatrical release, BuzzFocus and Relativity are teaming up to give away (1) Season of the Witch prize package.

The Season of the Witch prize package includes:

- Season of the Witch T-shirt

- Mini Poster

- $25 Fandango Movie Cash

You can enter twice daily by:

1) Following us on Twitter @buzzfocus and Rt this : I entered the BuzzFocus.com “Season of the Witch Theatrical Release” Giveaway

2) Leaving a comment in the form below or on our Facebook Wall at facebook.com/buzzfocus letting us know your favorite Nicolas Cage movie.

About Season of the Witch

Oscar(r) winner Nicolas Cage (National Treasure, »

- Buzzfocus Staff

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