Monday, October 14, 2013

A Risk I'm Willing To Take

Kill List's director Ben Wheatley is to direct two episodes of Doctor Who in the forthcoming eighth series. The acclaimed film-maker will be behind the camera for the first two episodes of the BBC's long-running popular family SF drama's next series, Screen Daily reports. Series eight of the show - to be filmed and broadcast in 2014 - will be the first to feature yer actual Peter Capaldi as the twelfth (or, possibly, thirteenth) Doctor, with the actor replacing current lead Matt Smith in the show's forthcoming Christmas special. 'I am very excited and honoured to be asked to direct the first two episodes of the new series of Doctor Who,' said Wheatley. 'I've been a fan since childhood. I'm really looking forward to working with Peter Capaldi and finding out where Steven Moffat is planning to take the new Doctor.' Wheatley's past credits include 2012's Sightseers and episodes of the classic BBC3 sitcom Ideal and the sketch show The Wrong Door. He most recently directed the award-winning (and, shit-weird) civil-war movie A Field in England starring Reece Shearsmith.

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat has divulged further details on how John Hurt's mysterious 'Doctor' came about. Speaking to SFX, Moffat said: 'Why not a mayfly Doctor, who exists for one show only? I'd often thought about that. Would it be weird in the run of the series to have the forty fifth Doctor turn up and be played by Johnny Depp or someone? Would that be a cool thing to do?' Errr ... yeah, it would, actually. 'There was also the idea that if you could bring one classic Doctor back, you'd actually, impossibly, want it to be William Hartnell. You wouldn't want any of the others. You'd want him to come and say "What in the name of God have I turned into?" That's the confrontation that you most want to see, to celebrate fifty years. Going round and round in circles on it I just thought "What about a Doctor that he never talks about?" And what if it is a Doctor who's done something terrible, who's much deadlier and more serious, who represents that thing that is the undertow in both David and Matt. You know there's a terrible old man inside them. Well, here he is, facing the children he becomes, as it were.'
Neve McIntosh has said that she is 'excited' at the prospect of working with Peter Capaldi his very self. McIntosh recently told the Daily Record that she's looking forward to her character Vastra, along with Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and Strax (Dan Starkey) 'helping The Doctor more' in the future. 'It will be sad not to be working with Matt again, but I'm really looking forward to Peter taking over and seeing what he does with it,' McIntosh commented. Neve also praised Doctor Who showrunner The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat's choice of having Vastra and her friends based in Victorian England. 'We can do so much in Victorian times, it's got that steampunk edge to it,' she said. 'Think how freaky that era was with The Elephant Man and all that and just add us into the mix, with time travel and all sorts of weird, wonderful stuff.'
There have always been contextual links between the BBC's Sherlock and Doctor Who, what with the detective drama's co-creators, The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss his very self, both having also extensively written for the family SF drama (and in the former's case, being executive producer of both). Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) even wrote a Christmas special last year in which Matt Smith did a turn as Sherlock Holmes. Now, Gatiss has has revealed that the forthcoming - and much-anticipated - Sherlock series opener, which is largely set in the London Underground, was at least in part inspired by a 1960s six-parter of the time-travel series - the recently (mostly) recovered The Web Of Fear. The Sun quotes Gatiss as saying: 'I am obsessed with the tube and I think it all comes from that story when I was a kid. The first episode of Sherlock is explicitly about the London Underground for exactly that reason – because I love The Web of Fear!'
Continuing From The North's recurring feature Examples of things that are, like, totally geet cush, and make the world a better place by their very existence. Number six, Diana Rigg. In a catsuit. With a gun. Nice. I mean, really nice.
Followed, of course, by our other new, irregular, series Great Daft Moments From TV History. Number four, that really stupid puppet alien in The Tomorrow People story War Of The Empires.
And now, for all of the people doing Google image searches of naughty pictures of Lucy Lawless who always seem to end up here, for some reason, a special treat.
Jimmy Nesbitt will lead the cast of Babylon, Danny Boyle's new project for Channel Four. Nesbitt will play London police chief Richard Miller in the comedy-drama, which will be directed by Boyle from a script by Peep Show co-creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong. Brit Marling will play opposite Nesbitt as Liz Garvey, a PR executive who arrives in London from America to give the Metropolitan Police a public image overhaul. Peep Show's Paterson Joseph has been cast as deputy police commissioner, Charles Inglis, with ex-EastEnders regular Jill Halfpenny playing Territorial Support Group officer, Davina. Skins actor and writer Daniel Kaluuya will also star alongside Adam Deacon), Jonny Sweet, Bertie Carvel and Andrew Brooke. Kaluuya's character is a TV camera operator named Matt Coward, who trails specialist police officers in a bid to get dramatic first-hand footage of their operations. 'We're excited to be writing about the action-packed yet fiercely political world of modern policing,' said Armstrong. 'Crime solving receives a lot of attention on TV. What excited us as we all developed the show with Danny and Robert [Jones, the executive producer] was looking above and below that level - the comedy and drama of on the street police-public interactions, and life in the upper reaches of the police.' Babylon's pilot episode will be shot soon for broadcast in early 2014. A six-part series has already been ordered, and is tipped to enter production next year.

The X Factor's Sunday show overnight audience climbed from last week to top the ratings for ITV. The first results show of the series rose by over one million punters from the previous Sunday episode to 9.21m at 8pm. Downton Abbey gained around one hundred thousand viewers from last episode to 8.92m at 9pm. On BBC1, Strictly Come Dancing's second results show also rose by over two hundred thousand viewers from the previous Sunday to 8.42m at 7.15pm. Antiques Roadshow interested 5.37m at 8pm, followed by the latest By Any Means with 3.09m at 9pm. BBC2's How To Build A Supercar appealed to 1.03m at 8pm, while Rageh Omaar's The Ottomans was watched by 1.04m at 9pm. On Channel Four, Kevin McCloud's Man Made Home was seen by 1.25m at 8pm. Homeland's latest episode attracted 1.66m at 9pm. Channel Five's broadcast of Angels & Demons thrilled 1.65m at 9pm.

Meanwhile, here's the final and consolidated figures for the Top Twenty Four programmes for week-ending 6 October 2013:-
1 Downton Abbey - Sun ITV - 11.29m
2 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 10.33m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 9.66m
4 The X Factor - Sat ITV - 9.64m
5 Doc Martin - Mon ITV - 8.87m
6 New Tricks - Tues BBC1 - 8.26m
7 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 8.01m
8 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 7.72m
9 The Great British Bake-Off - Tues BBC2 - 7.76m
10 Atlantis - Sat BBC1 - 6.37m
11 Countryfile - Sat BBC1 - 5.93m
12 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 5.53m
13 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 5.48m
14 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.03m
15 Six O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.60m
16 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.53m
17 Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.50m
18 Watchdog - Wed BBC1 - 4.26m
19 The ONE Show - Mon BBC1 - 4.19m
20 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.08m
21 By Any Means - Sun BBC1 - 4.07m
22 The Great British Year - Wed BBC1 - 3.93m
23 Match of The Day - Sat BBC1 - 3.89m
24 BBC O'Clock News - Sun BBC1 - 3.86m
For once, all ITV programmes do include HD figures. BBC2's top-rated programmes of the week, aside from The Great British Bake-Off, was the wretched The Wrong Mans (3.24m, over a million viewers down on its previous episode, which does rather restore ones faith in the viewing public, slightly), University Challenge (3.13m), The Wonder Of Dogs (2.98m), Tom Kerridge's Proper Pub Food (2.40m), Qi (2.34m) and Peaky Blinders (2.31m). Educating Yorkshire topped Channel Four's list (3.34m), followed by Marvel's Agents of SHIELD (3.08m) and Homeland (2.80m). Under The Dome topped Channel Five's week (1.69m). The Sunday episode of The X Factor was watched by 9.13m. Strictly's Sunday audience was 8.85m.

The Thick Of It had a rather eerie knack of anticipating developments at Westminster, and it looks as if Armando Iannucci's US political comedy Veep (which begins its second series on Sky Atlantic on Wednesday) has the same ability – coming up in episode seven is a federal government shutdown. Mind you, to be fair, The West Wing did that in 2003.
Strictly Come Dancing professional dancer Aliona Vilani has 'blasted' (that's tabloid=speak for 'criticised' only with less syllables for readers whom the journalists clearly regards as 'thick scum') her pairing with Tony Jacklin on this year's series. The twenty nine-year-old claimed that producers 'purposely' paired her with Jacklin so she would exit the competition early, although she praised the golfer's attitude and said that she 'loved' dancing with him. In which case, what's she whinging about? Jacklin became the first celebrity to leave the competition last weekend, and received largely negative comments from the judges during his time on the programme. Vilani was dropped from the show's line-up of professional dancers earlier this year, but was drafted in as a late replacement for Natalie Lowe after she sustained an injury. She told the Mirror: 'I knew one hundred per cent I'd be paired with Tony. It was so obvious to me. If the producers say they don't want you on the show and then, because of circumstance, they need to ask you to come back, then they are going to put you with [someone] who they think will lose the competition. If I got somebody who was favourite to do well, and had been in the show a long time, it would have made their decision to get rid of me look like a mistake.' However, Vilani continued by saying that it was 'a pleasure' to work with Jacklin, even if it was for a short period of time. 'I made the best of the situation. I loved dancing with Tony because he was such a sweet man and in such a short time we became friends. It was a pleasure to teach him. He was pushing himself and did great for a sixty nine-year-old,' she said. Vilani added that Jacklin 'did not get the respect' he deserved on the show, saying: 'He had so many nice things in his dancing, but the judges just said really bad things.' Vanessa Feltz became the second celebrity to leave the BBC series on Sunday, after losing out in the dance-off against fashion designer Julien Macdonald (no, me neither).
The investigation into dirty old scallywag and stinking rotter Jimmy Savile's alleged abuse of patients at NHS hospitals has been extended to other hospitals, the health secretary says. The inquiry, currently focused on Broadmoor, Stoke Mandeville and Leeds General hospitals, as well as a further ten trusts, will be expanded to include 'other hospitals', the vile and odious rascal Hunt said. The hospitals involved were not named. A final report will be published in 2014. The late DJ, TV presenter and - alleged - proper bad'un, is believed to have abused hundreds of victims. The former presenter of Top Of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It, who also worked as a Radio 1 DJ, was close personal friend of Mrs Thatcher and received a knighthood for his charitable works in 1990, died aged eighty four in October 2011 - a year before the allegations were broadcast in an ITV documentary. Revelations that he had sexually abused children prompted hundreds of alleged victims to come forward, including some who claimed that they were attacked at a number of institutions. Savile had a bedroom at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, an office and living quarters at Broadmoor, and widespread access to Leeds General Infirmary. The vile and odious rascal Hunt said: 'It is vital that the final NHS investigation report is thorough and complete and reflects all the evidence about Jimmy Savile's pattern of offending.' A Scotland Yard investigation into Savile's alleged crimes - one of three strands of Operation Yewtree - is due to report in the new year. It is claimed that it will put the number of alleged victims at over five hundred. The Department of Health investigation into the three hospitals is being overseen by barrister - and former deputy chairman of the Financial Ombudsman Service - Kate Lampard. In a written ministerial statement, the vile and odious rascal Hunt said: 'The Metropolitan Police Service, working with Kate Lampard, has established there was further relevant information regarding Jimmy Savile. The Department of Health asked the Metropolitan Police Service, through an agreed information sharing process, to review information it held to ascertain if it included material related to health and care settings.'

Tour De France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins made a special appearance at a memorial ride for a promising cyclist who died at the age of fifteen. Lewis Barry, who was known as Spadger, was a talented rider from Garforth in West Yorkshire who died of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome in June 2010. Earlier nine hundred cyclists took part in a forty eight-mile circular route based on his favourite training circuit. Sir Bradley flew in after diverting his helicopter en-route to Wigan. Lewis's father, Mark Barry, said: 'My wife and I have some pretty dark days but these are the ones that help us through when we are feeling our worst.' Barry said that Sir Bradley spent an hour talking to people at the event and presented him with the Crédit Lyonnais Lion he was given on winning the 2012 Tour De France. The ride, which marks Lewis's memory and raises funds for two charities, went through West and North Yorkshire. Barry said one of the aims of the ride was to help raise awareness of Lewis's medical condition and to promote research. Lewis was a pupil at what was Garforth Community College and had been cycling seriously since he was eleven years old. The teenager had been expected one day to ride for Great Britain. Lewis came from a cycling family; his father took part in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and his mother, Carol, is a former national cycling champion. The ride passed began at Lotherton Hall through Church Fenton, Selby, Cawood, Thorner, Scoles and Aberford before returning to Lotherton Hall.

Poland legend Jan Tomaszewski says that Southampton keeper Artur Boruc cannot stop England reaching the World Cup. Inspired by Tomaszewski's goalkeeping, Poland famously held England to a draw forty years ago when - just like this week - the hosts needed a win to reach the finals. 'Artur is one of the best keepers in the world,' said Tomaszewski. 'But can he stop England on his own? No. I made mistakes in 1973, but my team-mates saved us. Our defence isn't so good now. Artur must rely on himself.' On his first visit to Wembley, Tomaszewski was famously dubbed a 'clown' during TV analysis by Brian Clough, but made a series of superb saves as Poland clinched a 1-1 draw which saw them qualify at England's expense. At the finals in West Germany the following year, Tomaszewski, then twenty six, saved two penalties and his nation beat Brazil in the third-place play-off in their joint-best showing in the tournament. Poland are no longer in contention to make the 2014 finals, but with top-class players in Borussia Dortmund duo Robert Lewandowski and captain Jakub Blaszczykowski, they still pose a threat as England bid for the victory that would guarantee a place in Brazil next summer - albeit, their record against England since 1973 is dreadful. Tomaszewski, now sixty five and a politician and broadcaster in Poland, will be at Tuesday's game and told BBC Sport: 'I wish there was more riding on it for Poland so it was a big game for both of us. But we still need to perform well at Wembley because we are building a team for Euro 2016. A good performance would really motivate us. There is no pressure on Poland and England will be very stressed because they have to win, otherwise their supporters won't forgive them. If England don't win, Poland will be famous again,' added Tomaszewski, who will be among about eighteen thousand Poles at Wembley on Tuesday. Boruc has been in fine form for Saints this season, keeping five clean sheets in seven Premier League games. In contrast, England keeper Joe Hart has been criticised after making some costly errors for Sheikh Yer Man City. But England manager Roy Hodgson stuck by Hart for Friday's crucial 4-1 win over Montenegro, and Tomaszewski is sure he will keep his place against Poland too. 'Joe Hart is a top keeper, and even the very best make the occasional mistake,' he said. 'The most important thing for England is that he knows the defenders who play in front of him. They trust him, and he trusts them. Putting a new goalkeeper in at this stage would be extremely risky. I think he will play well against Poland and I am convinced that, if England do go to Brazil, he will be one of the best goalkeepers at the tournament.'

Côte d'Ivoire took a large step towards qualifying for their third World Cup in a row by beating Senegal 3-1 in the opening leg of their play-off. A Didier Drogba penalty and an own goal from Lamine Sane gave the Elephants a commanding first-half lead. Salomon Kalou added a third in the second half but Papiss Demba Cisse pulled one back deep in stoppage time. The second leg will be played in Morocco next month, because Senegal are barred from playing matches at home. The ban results from their last competitive meeting with the Ivorians, who were leading an African Cup of Nations qualifier 6-2 on aggregate when rioting inside the Leopold Senghor Stadium forced the game's cancellation. If Senegalese fans found that scoreline hard to swallow, they would have been similarly unimpressed with their side in Abidjan as Drogba fired the home side into a fifth-minute lead. After Gervinho was fouled by Cheikh Kouyate, the talismanic striker sent Senegal goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul the wrong way from the spot. Worse was to come for the visitors just nine minutes later when Gervinho cut in from the flank and fired a shot that was helped in by a massive deflection off defender Lamine Sane, leaving Coundoul with no chance. And Ivorian players and fans might have started to permit themselves thoughts of Brazil as the Elephants went 3-0 up just minutes into the second half. Gervinho, who now plays at Roma after an underwhelming spell at The Arse, was involved again, breaking free from a crowd of players before teeing up Kalou, who took a touch before tucking home. Minutes later, it was the turn of reigning African Footballer of the Year Yaya Toure to try his luck but his effort was blocked out by some committed Senegalese defending. That could yet prove a crucial intervention because instead of being four goals down going into the second leg, Senegal will only trail by two after Cisse scored with the last kick of the match. In the ninety sixth minute the hosts failed to clear a corner, allowing the Newcastle striker to poach a goal which prompted the Ivorian players to collapse to the turf in frustration at the final whistle seconds later. If the late goal was disappointing for the hosts, so was the booking for Cisse's club colleague Cheick Tiote - a second caution of the qualifying campaign which rules him out of the away leg on 16 November. Even so Côte d'Ivoire , frequently described as the strongest side on the continent, take a healthy advantage into the game in Casablanca, where Senegal will need to deliver one of their best performances of recent years if they are to qualify for their first World Cup since reaching the quarter-finals in 2002. 'We showed today that we can be a team,' Kalou told BBC Sport. 'We scored early, which gave us the confidence to go forward and score more. I think it's a good victory. We can be positive about the next round because there is one more game to go, but we did one step and we have to fight to get the second one.'

And finally, the actress and comedian Miranda Hart used Twitter on Sunday to make a plea for the recovery of her laptop. She tweeted: 'If people who stole my laptop last night in W6 [are] out there. Please please please return. Precious creative projects all lost. Will reward.' Presumably, like most people, it's also got some naughty stuff on there as well. Her request has been retweeted by more than eight thousand times. Details of the lost material were not disclosed, but Miranda is currently preparing for a forty show live tour next year, which starts in Bournemouth on 28 February. The tour also includes dates in Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow before finishing at London's O2 on 12 April. This will be her first stand-up comedy tour since her successful BBC series Miranda.

For today's Keith Telly Toppings' 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, here's another classic TV theme.

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