TV

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Highlights of the BFI's Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder film and TV festival

24 Oct 2014

Inculding events at Bletchely Park, the Eden Project, Caerphilly Castle and Dungannon Film Club

The BFI’s new film and television festival Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder is taking place across the length and breadth of the UK at 124 locations, from the Isle of Skye to Falmouth. Until December, 576 screenings and events are set to take place…

Opinion: the return of Twin Peaks

22 Oct 2014

Will the cult TV show live up to expectations when it returns to the small screen in 2016?

This has been an extraordinary year for fans of Twin Peaks. To mark its 25th anniversary, the show was re-released on sparkling Blu-ray alongside the much-maligned feature film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me and, for the first time, the fabled 90 minutes…

A guide to the TV shows reinventing comic icons

10 Oct 2014

Including Gotham, Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter and Daredevil

After the massive popularity of superhero movies at the worldwide box-office, it should come as no surprise that TV producers have now sat up and taken proper notice. While many viewers still have fond memories of Adam West and the biff! pow! capers of…

New TV series Outlander explained

10 Oct 2014

All you need to know about the 'Scottish Game of Thrones' starring Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan

What’s Outlander about? It’s 1946. While on her second honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, Claire Randall walks through a stone circle and suddenly finds herself in 1743, two years before the beginning of the Jacobite Uprising. Claire quickly falls…

Interview: Creator and star of Toast Of London Matt Berry

10 Oct 2014

The former Mighty Boosh actor discusses making sex faces for new series

One thing might strike Toast of London fans on witnessing the opening episode of series two: Steven Toast’s sex face has really upped its game. Creator and star Matt Berry has ploughed his own comedic furrow when it comes to expressing sexual ecstasy…

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Gotham

10 Oct 20143 stars

New police procedural drama set in the years before Batman

Gotham is probably the most famous city in the world of comics. An even darker, crime infested version of New York, home to the Batman and his rogues gallery of nefarious villains. New TV series Gotham takes you onto the city's dangerous streets several…

A guide to the best horror DVDs to watch this autumn

9 Oct 2014

Including Soulmate, The Purge, Afflicted, Zombeavers and Night of the Comet

Hallowe’en is almost upon us so it's the perfect time to rifle through the darkest corners of the DVD cupboard for a selection of horror movies available this October. And it's a grab bag witches brew of genres starting with British ghost story Soulmate…

Alien: Isolation

9 Oct 20143 stars

Despite thrills, repetition in latest Sega videogame ensures frustrating experience

Ridley Scott's world of Alien has proved fertile ground for sci-fi imaginations. Not only a series of sequels (including James Cameron's superlative Aliens and David Fincher's directorial debut Alien 3) but a plethora of comics, videogames and…

The Knick

9 Oct 2014

Bold new period hospital drama from Steven Soderbergh starring Clive Owen

The trend for renowned cinema types to make a move into TV (aka that place where The Big Stories are being told) continues with Steven Soderbergh directing the ten episodes of a bold new US medical drama. If the phrase ‘medical drama’ makes you think of…

A guide to the best lesser known TV series

9 Oct 2014

Including Treme, 15 Storey's High, Hannibal, Generation War and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Treme Who? Writer David Simon's follow-up to The Wire. What? The lives of a cross-section of the New Orleans community as they come to terms with life after Hurricane Katrina. Where? The fourth and final season is coming soon to Sky Atlantic, with…

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A guide to the best videogame releases this autumn

9 Oct 2014

Featuring The Evil Withinm Fable Legends, Sunset Overdrive and Little Big Planet 3

The Evil Within The last-ever game from Mikami Shinji (the creator of Resident Evil) looks like a fairly generic survival horror but expect a few twists. Bethesda Softworks, out now. Fable Legends Sword and sorcery prequel based around a…

The Walking Dead returns for Season Five

19 Sep 2014

Zombie series starring Andrew Lincoln is highest rated cable show of all time

Season four of The Walking Dead closed with a massive cliffhanger. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his cohorts thought the colony of Terminus would offer them safe haven from the ever-present zombie hordes but now they find themselves stripped of their…

Crackanory

19 Sep 20144 stars

Iconic TV show returns for new series featuring Vic Reeves and the late Rik Mayall at his best

When Rik Mayall appeared in a 1986 episode of Jackanory reading George’s Marvellous Medicine, his idiosyncratic take on Roald Dahl’s tale was, inevitably, loved by the kids, and pooh-poohed by a small number of parents. ‘Dangerous and offensive’ they…

Creative Assembly's Alien Isolation aims to revive the sci-fi survival horror videogame franchise

19 Sep 2014

Latest Sega videogame based on 1979 Ridley Scott movie, with voice acting from original cast members

The world of Alien has been the inspiration for multiple videogames. Most have focused on the all-out action of James Cameron's Aliens rather than the creeping terror of Ridley Scott's sci-fi horror hybrid. After the misfire of 2013's reviled Aliens…

The Driver

16 Sep 20143 stars

David Morrissey, Ian Hart and Colm Meaney star in BBC cab driver crime drama

Even if you’re bored and miserable, 'be happy with your safe lot' seems to be the clarion cry message of this three-parter. David Morrissey plays Vince, a cabbie who is made to feel worthless at home (by a dismissive wife and sullen daughter) and…

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season One

16 Sep 20144 stars

Andy Sandberg finds the perfect vehicle for goofy humour in hilarious series

Saturday Night Live alumnus Andy Sandberg has found the perfect vehicle for his goofy humour in Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He takes the lead as Detective Jake Peralta, the precinct's top cop who butts heads with the uptight new Captain Ray Holt (Andre…

Cilla

12 Sep 20142 stars

Sheridan Smith and Aneurin Barnard work with humdrum raw material in insipid biopic

Given that her TV appearances these days seem limited to a news soundbite whenever the latest of her contemporaries gets either Yewtreed or convicted, it’s hard to imagine that Cilla Black was once hot showbusiness property. But here she gets the…

Tyrant

10 Sep 20142 stars

The creators of 24 and Homeland deliver a ropy script and even ropier cast choices in new series

Anyone expecting subtlety from a show created by various folk who were involved in 24 and Homeland is the kind of person who thinks that peace in the Middle East will be announced tomorrow. Tyrant has been dubbed in some quarters as a Dallas for the…

Cucumber, Banana, Gotham, The Knick: this autumn's best TV shows

10 Sep 2014

Toast of London and Broadchurch revamp Gracepoint also among our highlights

In 1999, Russell T Davies helped remould the British TV landscape with Queer as Folk. After resurrecting the Time Lord for a whole new generation, he’s returning to his Channel 4 roots for three separate series, linked by a vivid exploration of modern…

Almost Royal

27 Aug 20143 stars

Amy Hoggart and Ed Gamble star in a gentle, Royalty-mocking romp

It’s easy for us all to say it in hindsight, but you’d have thought that the Americans would have seen regal siblings George and Poppy Carlton (heirs to the throne, albeit way, way down the list) coming a mile off. Sacha Baron Cohen had already made US…

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Black Sails - Season 1

26 Aug 20142 stars

The swashbuckling series is a po-faced Pirates of the Caribbean knock-off

Black Sails is prequel of sorts to Treasure Island following the lives of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) and John Silver (Luke Arnold) 20 years before Robert Louis Stevenson's pirate adventure. But this is no salty sea yarn for the kiddies: there's far…

The Sopranos: The Complete Series on Blu-ray

26 Aug 20145 stars

A chance to revisit the majestic TV series that reshaped the small-screen form

With the tragic death of James Gandolfini last summer, any prospect of more Sopranos episodes or the much-discussed movie died with him. So, what we are left with is a mere 86 episodes of majestically written, acted and produced television, which only…

Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014 interview: BJ Novak of the US Office on debut short story collection One More Thing

15 Aug 2014

'There’s a story in my book called “Regret is Just Perfectionism Plus Time". That’s how I feel'

If you’ve ever watched the US series of The Office, BJ Novak’s face will be instantly recognisable as obnoxious temp Ryan Howard. A producer, writer and actor on the show (he landed the gig aged just 25, after producer Greg Daniels saw him at a comedy…

The Killing and Ripper Street: two shows revived by the post-TV age of video on demand

15 Jul 2014

With streaming services fast becoming the norm, network cancellation is no longer the final curtain

The US remake of The Killing might not have had the same cultural impact as the Danish original (which sparked the UK obsession with Nordic Noir) but was still an absorbing atmospheric crime thriller. Transposing the action from Denmark to Seattle with…

Amy Pascale - Joss Whedon: Geek King of the Universe – A Biography

15 Jul 20144 stars

A refreshingly candid look at the man behind Buffy and Marvel's Avengers

With his genre-changing series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon shaped the face of television in the 1990s. Nearly 20 years on, having written and directed 2012’s The Avengers, which became the third highest grossing film worldwide, he now plays a…