Friday, 26 October 2007
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Source: Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide
Tuesday, 23 October 2007
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
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
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
Thursday, 11 October 2007
“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
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
Spooks - Episode One
Tuesday 16 October 2007
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
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?
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 © radiotimes.com
Thursday, 4 October 2007
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”.
Text © BBC NEWS