Visit the official Doctor Who website

Visit the official Doctor Who website
Look to the future

Asylum seekers...

Asylum seekers...
Refuge of the Daleks

Doctor Who picture resource

Doctor Who picture resource
Roam the space lanes!

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website
Step back in time

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood
Armed and extremely dangerous

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures
Fearless in the face of adversity

Call on Dani’s House

Call on Dani’s House
Harmer’s a charmer

Intercept the UFO fabsite

Intercept the UFO fabsite
Defending the Earth against alien invaders!

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse
Programmable agent Echo exposed!

Hell’s belles

Hell’s belles
Naughty but nice

Love Exposure

Love Exposure
Flash photography!

Primeval portal

Primeval portal
Dressed to kill or damsels in distress?

Charmed, to be sure!

Charmed, to be sure!
The witches of San Francisco

Take on t.A.T.u.

Take on t.A.T.u.
All the way from Moscow

Proceed to the Luther website

Proceed to the Luther website
John and Jenny discuss their next move

DCI Banks is on the case

DCI Banks is on the case
You can bet on it!

On The Grid with Spooks

On The Grid with Spooks
Secret agents of Section D

Bridge to Hustle

Bridge to Hustle
Shady characters

Life on Ashes To Ashes

Life on Ashes To Ashes
Coppers with a chequered past

Claire’s no Exile

Claire’s no Exile
Goose steps

Vexed is back on the beat!

Vexed is back on the beat!
Mismatched DI Armstrong and bright fast-tracker Georgina Dixon

Medium, both super and natural

Medium, both super and natural
Open the door to your dreams

Who’s that girl? (350-picture Slideshow)

Friday, 26 October 2007

From Russia with Love?

It really is a bit chilly in West Kensington at this time of year, even allowing for global warming, so I was thinking that ex-“Celebrity Big Brother” contestant Danielle Lloyd was just a teeny weenie bit ill-advised to go out on a photo shoot wearing nothing save a skimpy bikini, despite its fetching shade of yellow matching that of her oversized prop! But then, as everyone knows, this particular model isn’t renowned for the size of her brain!! Quite why she would promote the launch of some ski company, so inappropriately dressed, is beyond me? Wouldn’t you dress up warmly to go skiing, to ward off the possibility of catching a slight chill?! And, what’s a weapon of mass destruction got to do with taking a vacation?!!

In some shots the “lovely” Danielle is wearing an ushanka (Russian fur cap with ear flaps) like a spy in a cold war “Bond” movie, or my old choirmaster! And, in others, the wee lassie sports a pair of moon boots which put me in mind of Jon Pertwee’s autobiography “Moon Boots and Dinner Suits”. There are even pictures in which she is wearing both and thus seems, all things considered, a little overdressed! If Miss Lloyd wrote her autobiography, no doubt with the help of a ghostwriter, maybe she could call it “Moon Boots and Birthday Suits”! It’s all a little bizarre, though, in that it’s not entirely clear what this company is trying to say through their advertising campaign. Something along the lines of… Come on a skiing holiday with us and you’ll meet a totally gorgeous babe wearing next to nothing, out in the snow, but beware of the tanks because, like The Stranglers’ song says, they can maim?

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Singin’ in the Rain!

Rihanna established herself, big-time, in the summer of 2005 with her debut smash hit, “Pon de Replay” and has continued to demonstrate her smash hit potential in subsequent years (e.g. “S.O.S.”, 2006; “Umbrella”, 2007). By the time of her third album, “Good Girl Gone Bad” (2007), she was a full-fledged international pop star with a regular presence atop the charts, from Germany to Japan.

Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty on February 20, 1988, in Saint Michael, Barbados, she always exhibited a special quality, winning beauty and talent contests as a schoolchild. But because she lived on the fairly remote island of Barbados in the West Indies, she never foresaw the sort of stardom that would later befall her. That stardom came courtesy of a fateful meeting with a man named Evan Rogers. The New Yorker was vacationing in Barbados with his wife, a native of the island, when someone turned him on to Rihanna. Since Rogers had spent years producing pop artists -- including superstars like *NSYNC, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, Laura Pausini, and Rod Stewart -- he offered her the opportunity to record some music after he recognized her talent and potential. Along with Rogers’ production partner, Carl Sturken (the other half of Syndicated Rhythm Productions), Rihanna recorded some demos that sparked the interest of the Carter Administration -- that is, newly appointed Def Jam president Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. This led to an audition and, in turn, an on-the-spot offer to sign with Def Jam, which Rihanna indeed inked on the spot. Come the summer of 2005, Def Jam rolled out “Pon de Replay”, the lead single of “Music of the Sun”, which was produced almost entirely by Rogers and Sturken and which synthesized Caribbean rhythms and beats with urban-pop song writing.

“Pon de Replay” caught fire almost immediately, climbing all the way to number two on The Billboard Hot 100 and contesting the half-summer reign of Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” atop the chart, and this was before “Music of the Sun” even had been released. The album spawned one other hit, “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want”, which broke the Top 40. Rihanna’s follow-up album, “A Girl Like Me”, was a greater success, spawning three big hits: a chart-topper (“S.O.S.”) and two Top Tens (“Unfaithful”, “Break It Off”). Rihanna’s third album, “Good Girl Gone Bad” (2007), continued her success and, more notably, signalled a change of direction. Whereas her past two albums had been imbalanced -- often weighed down by faceless balladry and canned Caribbean-isms -- “Good Girl Gone Bad” was a first-rate dance-pop album. Moreover, it was surprisingly solid, stacked with potential singles and easily enjoyable from beginning to end. Collaborators included Jay-Z, Ne-Yo, Timbaland, and StarGate. The lead single, “Umbrella”, shot to number one and, for the third year in a row, was a potential “song of the summer”. By this point it was clear that Rihanna had become one of the biggest singles artists of the mid-2000s.

Source: Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

A Room with a View - November 4th, ITV1

Timothy Spall and his son Rafe are to appear together for the first time as father and son in a new ITV adaptation of E. M. Forster’s novel “A Room with a View”.

This classic drama, set against the backdrop of rural Italy and England in the early twentieth century, tells the story of the impressionable young English woman, Lucy Honeychurch, and her attempts to find love and happiness.

In 1912, chaperoned by her cousin Charlotte, Lucy arrives at an Italian guesthouse looking for adventure. There she meets Mr. Emerson and his unusual son George, who offer up their room with a view to the newcomers…

Lucy soon finds herself drawn to George, but all too quickly the holiday ends and Lucy returns to her normal life in England. Time passes and she gets engaged to a new man, Cecil Vyse – but will she be able to go through with the marriage when George suddenly reappears in her life?

Timothy Spall (“Auf Wiedersehen, Pet” & “Shooting the Past”) and son Rafe (“The Chatterley Affair” & “Dracula”) play Mr. Emerson and his son George in this adaptation by Andrew Davies (“Pride and Prejudice” & “Bleak House”), while Elaine Cassidy (“Felicia’s Journey” & “Fingersmith”) and Laurence Fox (“Gosford Park” & “Lewis”) play the parts of Lucy Honeychurch and Cecil Vyse.

Source: ITV Drama

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Opening Gambits

Watching television in recent years, I’ve noticed a decline in the importance of the opening title sequence and accompanying theme tune. Take “Torchwood”, for example. Did I hear somebody reply, “I wish you would”?! It has a title sequence, listing the actors, but is very brief. And now “Heroes”. Shorter still, it imparts the show’s title and creator, Tim Kring. These two examples aren’t going to go down in the annals as anyone’s favourites. Maybe they just want to get on with the story. “Heroes” theme tune, in terms of length, is a far cry from other American series of the same genre. Look at all the “Star Trek” series, the opening title sequences of which all seem to go on forever, especially “Deep Space Nine” with its slow dirge-like fanfares. The cynic in me suggests the longer the opening melody the less material has to be produced before reaching the closing credits. Veering slightly off subject, BBC ONE never shows any closing titles for “Spooks”. I have no idea why? They made a big deal of it to begin with, as being a radical departure from the norm, but these credits do exist as they are shown on BBC THREE. That makes the BBC ONE transmissions of “Spooks” incomplete to my way of thinking, not remotely radical, but simply a thorn in the side of the completist!

Of course, you all know I’m going to cite the original version of the “Doctor Who” theme tune as one of the finest examples of the art of opening a show! Written by Ron Grainer and electronically realised by Delia Derbyshire, it knocks spots off the most recent, overblown and bloated, orchestral reinterpretation. The piece of music itself is actually quite thin when you analyse it. This is because, like early Roxy Music, there are no thirds in the accompanying chords. I’ve no doubt, however, that this was the intention as it’s one of the aspects that contribute to the underlying eeriness of the composition. One of the best matched of theme tunes to image is that of Gerry Anderson’s “UFO”. I have a feeling this is because the pictures were edited to Barry Gray’s piece of music rather than the music written to accompany the completed piece of film. Done the traditional way, of adding music to the final cut, would’ve been nigh impossible to synch in this instance. The pace of both music and image is remarkable. It’s commonly believed that television is faster today but just look at this particular sequence. The “UFO” opener holds up well and is, perhaps, only let down by numerous shots of ladies’ bottoms, undoubtedly now regarded as sexist in our politically correct world! I think it’s brilliant and not necessarily for the reasons you may now be thinking!! In the space of just over a minute, it cleverly introduces all the main characters, concepts and machines, telling a potted version of the story so that you know what to expect from each episode. They knew how to make television back in 1969!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Sibling Rivalry?

I wonder which of the Minogue sisters is the more successful? How do you judge their success? Financially or artistically?!! I don’t suppose they care or even see it in that way. The public sees Kylie as the dominant one but it’s Dannii who has the most air time, currently on British TV, appearing as one of the judges in “The X Factor”. I can’t offer an opinion as to whether or not she’s any good in this role because I’ve never watched it and never will. As far as I’m concerned, appearing on a talent show in order to try and find fame in the pop industry is a waste of time. Join a band. Form a band. Rehearse. Play gigs. Old fashioned approach, I know, but maybe that’s why the songs of yesteryear are way better than most of the ones on offer today. Dannii may be on our screens more than her sister, at the moment, but Kylie is the one with the anticipated tenth album “X”. And it’s Kylie who’ll be on our screens Christmas Day!

Dannii was initially considered the more successful of the pair in the Minogue’s native Australia. Both sisters were first seen in the UK in daily soap operas but Dannii was already successful as a regular performer on the weekly music programme “Young Talent Time”. Kylie only started to overshadow her younger sister when she took on the role of the girl next door type in “Neighbours” while Dannii tried her own hand at acting as a teen tearaway in rival show “Home and Away”. I wonder if these two parts have had a knock on effect where Kylie is seen as the nice one and Dannii the nuisance. The public do tend to take these things to heart, often believing that characters and the actors and actresses who play them are one and the same, interchangeable personalities, even if only subconsciously! I’ve even seen Dannii described as always looking constipated whereas, once upon a time, I thought she was the more attractive of the two girls.

Both of the Minogue sisters went on to have successful pop careers although Kylie’s has, without doubt, far eclipsed Dannii’s. I must confess to not being able to remember a single song title by the younger sister despite having watched her on numerous occasions on the now sadly defunct “Top of the Pops”. When I worked in a CD store during the Eighties, it was a running joke how much I couldn’t stand Kylie. But, I have mellowed towards her which is more than will ever happen regards Robbie Williams, with whom the poor lass once had the misfortune to duet! On the plus side, I think her work with the Manics but especially the duet with Nick Cave, “Where the Wild Roses Grow”, helped me enormously in appreciating her a little more. I was particularly partial to the languorous “Confide in Me” which allows itself some room to breathe where the more robotic disco of “Can’t Get You out of My Head” somehow lacks soul. Still a very good pop single though.

Both Minogue girls’ careers definitely seem to be going through a bit of a renaissance and it’s nice to see Kylie’s positivity following her recent health problems. Both sisters are also, undeniably, better grounded than a certain Miss Britney Spears. While the American seems content to wallow in sleaze, Kylie and Dannii - at least - still know the meaning of fun!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Good Girl Goes Gold!

Rihanna’s rise to the top of the popular music industry has been rapid, to say the least. She’s been in the public eye for roughly the same amount of time as “Doctor Who” has been back on air in the UK. She’s been very productive, too, for a pop artist, producing an album a year over the last three years. In 2005, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, to give her her full name, released her debut CD, “Music of the Sun”, the songs on which reflect her native Barbados. This record spawned the first two of - currently - a total of ten singles, “Pon de Replay” and “If it’s Lovin’ that You Want”. These two tracks would reappear, in new versions, on the end of her second album, “A Girl Like Me” (2006), presumably to help sales! A further four singles were lifted from this release; “SOS”, which samples Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love”; the beautifully-understated “Unfaithful”, written by R‘n’B singer Ne-Yo and with whom she would later collaborate on her third full-length release; the less successful “We Ride”; and “Break it Off”, featuring Sean Paul, meaning this disc actually contains a total of six singles and thus borders, already at such an early stage in her career, on a greatest hits package!!

One year later and Rihanna’s ascension is complete! I would go so far as to say Miss Fenty is now bigger than either Britney or Kylie. They’ll be battling it out next month for chart domination but I can’t see either beating the phenomenal success of Rihanna’s lead single, “Umbrella”, from her third album “Good Girl Gone Bad” (2007). Again, this release contains four singles. They are the aforementioned ultra-successful “Umbrella” featuring Jay-Z, which opens the album; “Shut Up and Drive”, the fifth track on the CD; the funkier “Don’t Stop the Music”, which is the disc’s third song; and, finally, sixth track “Hate That I Love You”, a duet with Ne-Yo, is a ballad accompanied by a clever little video with a twist in its tale. This type of R‘n’B isn’t usually my thing but, on this occasion, Rihanna’s third album seems to be infused with a rock sensibility which makes it more agreeable to my ear! I’ve posted the promos that accompany these four tracks in a “Rihanna Special” on my Jukebox, currently at the bottom of the front page, together with a slightly distorted performance of second single “Shut Up and Drive”, from the “Late Show with David Letterman”, directly above it. Hope you enjoy listening to some of the songs from what will probably end up being voted album of the year!!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Miss Takes

I’ve resisted offering an opinion on the progress of the next series of “Doctor Who”… until now! But, if true, the latest revelations on how Series Four will end just beggar belief!! For goodness sake, someone with some clout please have the courage to tell Russell T. Davies that less is more. Robert Holmes was one of the finest writers to work on the classic series of “Doctor Who” and he turned down the job of writing “The Five Doctors” twentieth anniversary story on the grounds there were too many leading characters. So, why is the new series’ lead writer now proceeding to make exactly the same error of judgment? He must know his “Who” history and yet he blunders on! Just read the following Daily Star item from a few days ago…

“Doctor Who” bosses are set to call back FOUR of the Time Lord’s favourite assistants – including Billie Piper – for a sensational showdown. The old cast members will be reunited to help the Doctor fight evil Dalek creator Davros in an explosive finale to the next series.

Leading the way in the line-up will be Billie (Piper) as Rose Tyler along with the rest of the Tyler family; they will hook up with the TARDIS traveller’s latest assistants Martha Jones and Donna Noble. Also on hand to help out the Doctor will be his old companion Sarah Jane Smith as well as “Torchwood” boss Captain Jack Harkness. Even the Time Lord’s dog K-9 will make an appearance.

The TV source said: “This is the daddy of all shows. The writer Russell T. Davies really wants to pull out all the stops for the finale next year.”

As well as the aforementioned load of old nonsense, reports also suggest the return of the Sontarans. They are too similar, in design, to the Judoon. I think the programme would fare better, next year, with an appearance from the Ice Warriors. Just a personal preference. I grew up with the series in the Sixties and thus view the Daleks, Cybermen, Ice Warriors and Yeti as the four main adversaries of the Doctor but I wouldn’t be averse to seeing the Silurians or Sea Devils again as long as the latter dump their string vests!

On the plus side, both the Christmas and Rome episodes boast strong casts. Joining David Tennant and Kylie Minogue on the Titanic, alongside Geoffrey Palmer and Clive Swift, is George Costigan. I recently rewatched him in a rerun of P. D. James’s “A Mind to Murder” and thought him superb. I have fond memories of him, also, as the editor of The Jupiter newspaper in “The Barchester Chronicles”.

The Rome episode includes “The Thick of It” actor Peter Capaldi guest starring as Caecillius. I remember him as pop star Zeno opposite George Baker as Inspector Wexford in “Some Lie and Some Die”, one of “The Ruth Rendell Mysteries”. He’s joined by “Quadrophenia” and “Rose and Maloney” actor Phil Davis as Lucius. He is always terrific, never more so than in “Births, Marriages and Deaths” and, more recently, in “Bleak House”. “Howards’ Way” and “Born and Bred” actress Tracey Childs plays Metella. I remember her in the Gareth Thomas vehicle “Morgan’s Boy” and, before that, as Marianne Dashwood in an early-Eighties’ production of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”. So, all things considered, it’s not entirely bad news!

Monday, 8 October 2007

Taken 2 the Cleaner!

I just want to let you all know, I’ve hired a new cleaning lady. She’s not particularly good at her job but I thought, all things considered, keeping a tidy house no longer seems such a priority. She sings her heart out when she’s on the job, a right little songbird! Strange choice of subject matter, though. Seems to get passionate about staying out of the rain… I told her as long as she works for me she need never go outside again. She’s more than welcome to stay undercover. I didn’t want to appear dictatorial about it and told her it’s her choice if she wants to get wet! I complimented her on her singing and suggested she take it up professionally. The girl only went and took me at my word. I know it’s only early October but, would you Adam and Eve it, she looks as though she’s secured herself the position of top-selling single of the year 2007, by a mile. It was Shirley Manson of Garbage who once sang about “Golden Showers” - strikes me those words are better suited to this young lady!! Miss Fenty - that’s her with the vacuum - tells me she’s gonna “stick it out ’till the end”. It looks as though she’s a girl of her word and already doing exactly that!!!

Irish Rumour Scotched?

Ulster star Jimmy Nesbitt has dismissed rumours that he could be the next Time Lord.

Gossip columns were rife with rumours that the Coleraine man would receive the TARDIS key this summer.

However, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph on Friday night, the father of two dashed sci-fi fans’ hopes that he would become the first “Doctor Who” with a Northern Ireland accent.

The 42-year-old “Cold Feet” star said he had heard the rumours, but added: “There is no truth in it at all. David (Tennant) and Chris (Eccleston) were so good I don’t think I could follow them. I think I would be found out!” he joked.

When asked if he would consider the role if approached by the creators of “Doctor Who”, he said: “I think not.”

It was alleged that Jimmy would take over from the current Time Lord David Tennant - who is rumoured to be quitting at the end of the next series, along with executive producer Russell T. Davies - to become the eleventh incarnation of the famous time travelling Doctor.

Nesbitt enjoyed success in the six-part series “Jekyll” and is well-known for his role in police drama “Murphy’s Law”.

And the actor said he hoped he could continue making “Murphy’s Law”.

“I hope I can, it has been a great experience, a great challenge,” he said.

Interview by Victoria O’Hara © Belfast Telegraph

Friday, 5 October 2007

Spooky Goings-on!

By strange coincidence, I purchased Series Five of “Spooks” on DVD, earlier in the week, the very day I saw the trailer, in the evening, for Series Six for the first time, sandwiched between “Heroes” and “Heroes Unmasked”! I’d been wondering, for a while, when it was actually going to start as, this time last year, it was already up-and-running. I was beginning to think that the BBC were going to hold over the new series until the New Year but not so!! “Spooks” is back on our screens from the middle of this month…

Spooks - Episode One
Tuesday 16 October 2007

Story Line

Adam and Zaf target a UK-bound terrorist with a train bomb in Tehran. As the operation goes catastrophically wrong, the team learn of the darker goals of their mission and the influence of a mysterious external agent, with the repercussions of the Tehran blast felt on the streets of London.

Episode 1/2 - In-Depth Synopsis (Contains Spoilers)

The team are sent undercover in Iran when they receive intelligence that suspected terrorist Mehan Asnik is plotting a bomb attack on London. Their aim is to blow up Asnik in Tehran, making it look like a terrorist attack, but just as the team are about to detonate the charge, a train packed with civilians pulls up yards from the target. With the operation at a critical stage, the team must make a split-second decision that could cost many innocent lives.

Spooks - Episode Two
Tuesday 16 October 2007

Story Line

The highly-contagious plague-like virus unleashed by the Tehran blast is on the streets of London and a wounded, infected Zaf has been captured, possibly already killed. As the team races against time to stop the virus spreading, they corral and infect top international spies in a bid to discover a vaccine.

Episode 2/2 - In-Depth Synopsis (Contains Spoilers)

With Britain facing a deadly plague, Harry rounds up key spies from nations likely to be involved in the plot, and begins an interrogation that he hopes will lead him to the vaccine. But these are some of the world’s most hardened characters and they are going to need a lot of persuading. Ruthless agent Connie James is charged with obtaining the information, and what better weapon to use against her captives than the threat of infecting them with the virus itself?

Principal Cast

Adam Carter - Rupert Penry-Jones
Harry Pearce - Peter Firth
Ros Myers - Hermione Norris
Zafar Younis - Raza Jaffrey
Jo Portman - Miranda Raison
Malcolm Wynn-Jones - Hugh Simon
Connie James - Gemma Jones

Story Lines & Synopses ©

Thursday, 4 October 2007

France Walks With Lynch

The acclaimed US film-maker David Lynch has been awarded France’s top civilian honour, the Legion d’Honneur.

Lynch is famed for productions such as “The Elephant Man” and “Mulholland Drive”, plus cult hit TV series “Twin Peaks”.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed his eclectic “genius”. Lynch replied in halting French: “My French is poor, but my heart is rich today thanks to you.”

Lynch has film credits including work as a director, writer, producer, actor, cinematographer and composer.

He was also nominated for four Oscars - twice for “The Elephant Man” and once each for “Mulholland Drive” and “Blue Velvet”.

Lynch was accompanied by his partner, actress Emily Stofle, and was flanked at the ceremony by director Roman Polanski, plus actresses Fanny Ardant and Charlotte Rampling.

“It’s no secret that I love France, the art-making, art-loving and art-supporting people of France,” he said.

Mr Sarkozy told the director that seeing “The Elephant Man” as a teenager had “definitively convinced” him that “cinema was a highly important matter”.


Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Space Girl

Perhaps this is where the rumour came from that David Bowie is to appear in an episode of the next series of “Doctor Who”! The sleeve for Kylie’s new single, “2 Hearts”, is more than a little reminiscent of David Bowie’s early-Seventies’ “Aladdin Sane” album cover with perhaps an added touch of Kiss. That’s the makeup sorted while the hair is very much Bowie again, combed over and slicked back, circa his “Young Americans” period. Ms Minogue’s single is released on November 12th with her tenth studio album, appropriately titled “X”, to follow a fortnight later on the 26th. I wonder who she’s met recently with 2 hearts, who also happens to be the tenth, to inspire her so?!!