Sunday, October 13, 2013

Week Forty Three: Rocket Through The Wilderness

Doctor Who fans anxious to know what comes next after Matt Smith and his bow tie (and fez), may be interested to hear that Smudger's successor, yer actual Peter Capaldi, is out looking at potential outfits his regeneration of for The Doctor as we speak. Asked over the weekend when Capaldi would be heading to the shops, Doctor Who showrunner The Lord Thy God revealed 'I think literally right now. He was texting me "I'm out with [the wardrobe stylist] at the moment, it's going quite well" and some descriptions of clothes I did not understand. If it's not a suit.' The Moffinator explained that he would be taking a hands-off approach to tracking down the appropriate costume for his new leading man after failing to spot the potential of a bow-tie for Smudger's Doctor. 'I'll just let them get on with it and it’ll be "yes" or "no" a the end,' said Moffat. 'Matt said "I should be a boffin, I think I need to go with the bow tie" and I said "No, absolutely not, you’re not wearing a bow tie – that's a cartoon idea of what Doctor Who is. Oh, you are going to wear a bow tie – you look incredible in it." And from that moment on he came to life, and he put the tweed jacket on and suddenly he's leaping round the room with a biro pen and that was it – he was The Doctor.' Is it possible Capaldi will have as much influence on the twelfth Doctor's attire? 'He likes his clothes,' said Moffat, 'he's got very strong opinions about clothes, he’s very dashing.'
The recently recovered Patrick Troughton Doctor Who stories The Enemy of the World and The Web Of Fear have been a hit on iTunes in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. I take it you already knew about the rediscovery of the nine episodes, dear blog reader? I mean, it's been on The News and everything. Due to the serial nature of the stories, iTunes is currently listing each story as a 'series' (UK) or 'season' (US, Canada and Australia) instead of the far more accurate 'serial'. We'll let them off, however. The Web Of Fear is currently at number one in the UK iTunes Store Top Series chart, with The Enemy Of The World at number two; in Australia, the positions are reversed. In the United States, The Enemy Of The World is at number two, while The Web Of Fear is at number four. In the Canadian chart, The Web Of Fear is in third place, while The Enemy Of The World is in fourth. The individual episodes are also charting in the UK's iTunes store. These placings are, of course, utterly remarkable for a forty five-year-old programme. So, is yer actual Keith Telly Topping alone in not, actually, downloading them but, instead, waiting until they come out on DVD later this year (or, early next year in the case of The Web Of Fear )?
Still the finest source for reasonably up-to-date info on your favourite long-running popular family SF drama, Doctor Who Magazine has announced that it now has its own dedicated website. Editor, the lovely Tom Spilsbury said: 'It's still in the early stages of development, but we hope to improve it over time. We hope you enjoy visiting.' The site can be found here.
David Tennant has paid tribute to his Doctor Who predecessor Patrick Troughton in a new documentary about the BBC's long-running family SF drama series on Watch. Tennant claims that he 'wouldn't be sat here' without Troughton's work on the programme, arguing that the second Doctor 'gave the show a way to keep going. Patrick Troughton created The Doctor as he is now.' fair point, actually.
Now, continuing our From The North feature Examples of things that are, like, totally geet cush, and make the world a better place by their very existence. Number five, two words, dear blog reader. Recovered Debbie. 'nuff said. All right, that's four words but, who's arguing?
Next, our other new, semi-regular, series Great Daft Moments From TV History. Number three, Sam Tyler's shit-weird Brian Cant-narrated dream sequence in Life On Mars complete with Gene Hunt 'kicking a nonce.' Trippy.
According to yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch he honed his acclaimed comic timing in the company of his friend and Sherlock co-star Martin Freeman his very self. 'I learned from the master, Martin Freeman,' he revealed during a Reddit question and answer session on Friday. Benny, who has been making something of a name for himself in Hollywood with a string of roles including Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and the Oscar-tipped Twelve Years A Slave, also expressed a desire to return to comedy in the future. The thirty seven-year-old - who, in the earlier stages of his career took on comic roles in Starter For Ten and Radio 4's Cabin Pressure - said, 'I love my comedy and when the right project comes up I won't shy away from it. There's a lot of humour in what I do, specifically Sherlock, but it would be great to play a "normal guy" in a "normal comedy."' The actor also hinted at the possibility of a return to the Radio 4 airline comedy when asked by a user about the likelihood of the Cabin Pressure cast reuniting for more episodes. 'Ask John Finnemore,' Benny replied. 'He's the writer. Hello John, if you're out there. We love you!'
ITV's new medical drama, Breathless, topped Thursday's overnight ratings outside of soaps. However, the Jack Davenport-fronted hospital drama was watched by a mere 3.44 million overnight punters at 9pm - a pretty fair indication of just what a desperately poor night it was on TV. Earlier, the risible and not-even-remotely-funny alleged sitcom Pat and Cabbage spectacularly failed to amuse 2.30m at 8.30pm. Don't hold your breath waiting for a second series of that. On BBC1, it was if anything even worse, the new - and much-trailed - haulage drama Truckers fell straight on its arse, pulling in but 2.88m at 9pm. Don't expect to see a second series of that one, either (unless the timeshifts are, genuinely, record-breaking). BBC2, on the other hand, were having rather a good night: Trust Me, I'm A Doctor appealed to 3.18m at 8pm, followed by the latest Peaky Blinders with a steady 1.47m at 9pm. Mock The Week was watched by an audience of 1.52m at 10pm. Channel Four's Location, Location, Location continued - with yet more cardboard caricature young professionals from the Home Counties most of whom seem to have 'that's not a real job' type jobs being 'helped' by mumsy Tory Kirstie and poor put-upon Phil - was seen by 1.84m at 8pm. Educating Yorkshire climbed to 2.54m at 9pm, whilst My Tattoo Addiction had 1.13m viewers at 10pm. On Channel Five, The Railway attracted seven hundred and thirty seven thousand at 8pm, followed by Countdown To Murder with nine hundred and eighty two thousand at 9pm. If you went out, frankly, you missed nowt.

The novelty really seems to have worn off regarding Britain's (two week) love-affair with Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. The Joss Whedon action series fell to but 1.28m punters on Channel Four on Friday evening, overnight data reveals. The third episode of the series, which was broadcast at 8pm, was down six hundred and fifty thousand overnight viewers on last week and a total of one and a half million fewer than its debut. On BBC1, The ONE Show interested 3.8m from 7pm and Ronnie's Animal Crackers appealed to 3.66m at 7.30pm. A repeat of Miranda took 3.49m at 8.30pm, after which Have I Got News For You achieved 3.74m a lower-than-usual at 9pm. At 9.30pm, Citizen Khan had 2.69m desperately searching for anything even resembling a joke in it and The Graham Norton Show was watched by 3.48m at 10.45pm. BBC2 showed Dig WW2 With Dan Snow to 1.26m at 7pm. Mastermind and Gardeners' World then acquired 1.51m and 2.15m viewers respectively from 8pm, while Meerkat: Secrets Of An Animal Superstar had 1.6m at 9pm. Simples. Qi's latest episode was watched by 2.05m at 10pm. On ITV, coverage of the World Cup qualifier between England and Montenegro picked up 6.89m punters at 7.30pm, topping (or, should that be, ahem, telly topping - hey, I don't just throw these things together, you know) the ratings for the evening outside of the soaps. On Channel Four, Sex Box secured 1.04m at 7.30pm, while Eight Out Of Ten Cats had nine hundred thousand viewers at 9pm and Alan Carr: Chatty Man pulled in an audience of 1.39m at 10pm. On Channel Five, The World's Strongest Man earned four hundred and ninety one thousand at 7pm and Extraordinary People took nine hundred and seven thousand punters an hour later. Hens Behaving Badly was viewed by seven hundred and sixty eight thousand at 9pm and Celebrity Wedding Planner was seen by five hundred and three thousand at 10pm. Lewis was the most watched broadcast on the multichannels, picking up seven hundred and thirteen thousand viewers on ITV3 at 8pm.

Strictly Come Dancing topped the Saturday night ratings with 9.82m on BBC1, overnight data reveals. The show, which was broadcast at 6.30pm, was up over half-a-million viewers on last week's episode. It peaked with 10.79m at 7.45pm. Meanwhile, its rival The X Factor was watched by 7.82m on ITV at 8pm, down three hundred and sixty thousand from last Saturday's overnight figure. It peaked with 8.63m at 8.45pm. Also on BBC1, the third episode of Atlantis was seen by 4.66m at 8.30pm, Casualty was watched by 3.97m at 9.30pm, while The Rolling Stones Return to Hyde Park: Sweet Summer Sunday attracted 1.62m an hour later. On BBC2 a repeat of Count Arthur Strong interested but three hundred and thirty thousand punters at 7pm and Meerkats: Secrets Of An Animal Superstar was seen by six hundred and fifty thousand at 7.30pm. Dad's Army took 1.5m at 8.30pm and The 70s appealed to 1.38m at 9pm, while The Sarah Millican Slightly Longer Television Programme had 1.07m at 10pm. At 10.45pm, Glorious Thirty Nine was watched by four hundred and thirty thousand. On ITV, The Chase had an audience of 3.1m at 7pm and The Jonathan Ross Show returned with 3.6m at 10.15pm. On Channel Four, another showing of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and Grand Designs had five hundred and seventy thousand and five hundred and ninety thousand viewers respectively from 7pm. The movie The Adjustment Bureau was watched by 1.31m at 9pm. Channel Five broadcast The Big Dig to seven hundred and six thousand at 7pm. War Hero In My Family was seen by three hundred and eighty thousand at 8pm. A Fistful of Dollars followed with eight hundred and ninety four thousand from 9pm. Foyle's War was the highest rated broadcast on the multichannels, bringing seven hundred and fifty one thousand to ITV3 at 8pm.

The grumpy and odious ITV presenter, breakfast TV flop and greed bucket, horrorshow (and drag) Adrian Chiles was at the centre of a Twitter storm on Friday night after making what some viewers considered to be 'potentially offensive' remarks about Polish supporters live on-air. Chiles, who has anchored ITV's coverage of England's World Cup qualifying 4-1 victory over Montenegro at Wembley - badly, as usual - was discussing Tuesday's final group game against Poland with the pundit and former England defender Lee Dixon. After Dixon said that he was sure Poland fans would be 'crying at the end' of Tuesday's game, Chiles added that he hoped they would not be too upset as 'I am trying to get some building work done at the moment.' Okay, it's a bit stereotypical and obvious but, as 'offensive' jokes go it's hardly Jim Davidson. And, this blogger says that as someone who - genuinely - loathes Chiles as both a broadcasters and a human being. Chiles had already called the game 'practically a home game' for Poland, referring to the large number of Poles currently living and working in and around London. And, you know, paying their taxes and getting on with life and contributing to British society far more than many British people. Just for a bit of context. England must beat Poland on Tuesday to be sure of automatically qualifying for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. In a statement, Chiles later said: 'I made the remark in relation to the nice Polish builders currently working at my place, who I knew would already be fed up having watched their team lose to Ukraine. No offence was intended – apart from anything else I could hardly be prouder of my own East European background. But to anyone who thought what I said constituted some kind of lazy stereotyping, and was offended by it, I certainly apologise.'

Forza Motorsport Five has been given a new Top Gear style trailer. Featuring commentary by yer actual Jezza Clarkson his very self, the trailer introduces The Stig's Digital Cousin. Some say he only exists in virtual reality. Much like its predecessor, Forza Five gives users the opportunity to race and set times on the Top Gear Test Track. Clarkson will provide commentary alongside co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond. Top Gear vignettes will also introduce players to each campaign, providing context, manufacturer rivals and humorous anecdotes to 'get you in the mood to experience these cars.' And, presumably, to piss off both the Daily Scum Mail and the Gruniad Morning Star at the same time. Which is always a good thing.

When she appeared at the BAFTA awards two months after the birth of her daughter to hand out a prize, Romola Garai, star of the BBC's newsroom drama The Hour, told what some considered to be a rather risqué joke. 'After the recent birth of my child,' she said, 'I had the misfortune of having twenty three stitches in my vagina. So I didn't think I'd be laughing at anything for a long time. But tonight's nominees have proved me wrong.' Heh! What's wrong with that? Indeed, the gag went down well in the hall but, for at least one national newspaper website, there was something else worthy of note. 'Despite giving birth only weeks ago, the Hong Kong-born actress looked like she had lost most of her baby weight already,' the site sneeringly reported. As thought that had anything to do with anyone apart from Romola her very self. For Garai, whose credits also include the acclaimed The Crimson Petal And The White and film adaptations of Emma, Atonement and One Day, it was a depressing confirmation of her view of what she today describes as the media's 'inherent sexism', a culture which she believes not only reflects but often exacerbates inequality in the way that women and men are treated. 'It makes me sad because I struggled to lose my post-pregnancy weight and I felt under a great deal of pressure to do so. And the unhappiness I feel about my own body is something I know is not exclusive to me; it involves almost all the women I know, and it makes me very sad that women are constantly made to feel that they have to be ashamed or that there is something wrong with them, that they are inherently broken in some way. I think we don't really do anything in our society to counteract that movement at the moment.' She added: 'I don't live in a bubble. I try and counteract those sorts of fears in my own mind, but I am not a robot. I would love to live free of the fear and sadness and real desperation that I think the effect of childbirth has on women, especially because we are expected to be so concerned by 'recovery' from childbirth. Yeah, it makes me very sad.' Garai has a target – 'a small ambition' – that by the time her daughter is an adult she 'can enjoy the experience of living as a human being rather than being purely defined by her gender at every turn.' In this vein Romola, a double Golden Globe award nominee, has loaned her name to a campaign targeting what she and others, including the Green MP Caroline Lucas, believe is one of the most galling symptoms of Britain's inequitable and unequal society: the lads' mag. 'Zoo and Nuts are not just pornographic magazines. They also have a culture that makes it permissible to hate women,' Garai said in her first interview on the issue. 'They are sort of fanzines for misogyny. They grew out of a reactionary culture that was growing out of women being much more public and in the workplace and more empowered in day-to-day life. I think we have to recognise that reaction occurred and we have to try and combat it. I think it is hard to think of specific ways to take action but asking major retailers like Tesco to make an ethical choice about the kind of publications they sell is, I think, a very specific way of doing that. And also at the very least you are saying to Tesco that you cannot claim to have corporate responsibility when it comes to selling adult magazines when in fact you do sell pornographic magazines, because that is what these are.' It is undeniably true that Garai's own career has benefited from a few glamorous photo shoots and roles that play on her sexuality. Her figure-hugging dresses in The Hour were, in her own words, worn less for their historical accuracy than for the addition of some 'badda-bing.' She may not need, or more accurately choose, to take part in such photo shoots now, but surely her principled stance should have come sooner; why stop other women using their sex appeal to boost their careers? 'I am not an idiot,' she says. 'I realise people make their livelihoods from these magazines. I have tried to think long and hard about this and I am afraid for me the rights of all women – who I very, very strongly believe are affected by the sale of these magazines, by the kind of views they perpetrate and the kind of ideas they sow in younger minds, and by the fact that it normalises sexism on such an enormous sale – trump the rights of women whose livelihoods depend on them. It is a numbers game for me. It's harsh, but that is the way I feel about it. I am very aware that I have at times in my career been part of the problem and not part of the solution and as I have got older I have tried to correct that. But it is very difficult because I believe the media in this country is inherently sexist. And so if you do a job which involves you interacting with it, that does inevitably lead to some difficult choices, and I am sure that very often I haven't made the right choice. But, you know, this is an attempt on my part to support a campaign which is encouraging people to think about what is acceptable in terms of media sexism.'

Which brings us to the next batch of yer actual Top Telly Tips:-
Saturday 19 October
In Sir David Frost: That Was The Life That Was - 8:20 BBC2 - Forst's close friend Stephen Fry looks back at the career of the legendary TV host and journalist, who died in August. The interviewer's life is recalled by his three sons and friends including Michael Caine, Michael Parkinson, Ronnie Corbett, Michael Palin and Barry Cryer. And there are further insights from former prime ministers and interviewees Tony Blair and John Major.
The trio are hunting in the mountains when they stumble across an abandoned baby, and Jason insists they take it back to the city against his friends' advice in the latest episode of Atlantis - 8:20 BBC1. Sure enough, his charitable act has far-reaching consequences when they find themselves embroiled in a web of secrets and lies, with their own lives on the line - as well as that of the missing infant. Fantasy drama, guest starring Donald Sumpter.

Sunday 20 October
Emun Elliott and Joanna Vanderham return for a second series of The Paradise - 8:00 BBC1 - the period drama following the lives and loves of the people running a Victorian department store. It's one year since Moray jilted Katherine, for which he was banished and ended up working in Paris. Denise was allowed to stay, while Lord Glendenning and his daughter disappeared from the city. In the twelve months since, The Paradise has been put up for sale. However, unforeseen circumstances bring Moray back and the lovers are reunited, although their elation is short-lived when Katherine also returns - with her new husband. Elaine Cassidy, Ben Daniels and Sarah Lancashire co-star.
In Dive WWII: Our Secret History - 8:00 BBC2 - Jules Hudson presents the first of two documentaries following a deep water diving team as they search the sea bed off the coast of Northern Ireland for the forgotten shipwrecks of the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest naval campaign of the Second World War. Among their first discoveries are an allied escort vessel sunk in battle forty miles off Donegal and the wrecks of German U-boats which prowled the Northern Ireland coast looking for targets. On dry land, Jules uncovers the remains of a massive US military base in Derry.

Father Ted and The IT Crowd writer Graham Linehan joins Jo Brand and Jimmy Carr and regular panellist Alan Davies in the latest episode of Qi XL - 10:30 BBC2. Host and national treasure Stephen Fry asks a range of fiendish questions on the topic of Knowledge, with points being awarded for interesting answers as well as correct ones.
Brody finds himself in an increasingly desperate situation and returns to his faith for guidance, but in an unexpected way in the latest episode of Homeland - 9:00 Channel Four. In Washington, Carrie struggles to connect with Saul, and help offered by a mysterious man may incur a great penalty. Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin star in the terrorism thriller.
Monday 21 October
Panorama carries out an investigation into the killing of Saad al-Hilli and his wife Iqbal, her mother Suhaila al-Allaf and the French cyclist Sylvain Mollier in the Alps almost fourteen months ago in Murder In The Alps - 9:00 BBC1. The British family's two daughters survived the attack, although the eldest suffered serious head injuries. Jane Corbin visits the scene of the crime near Lake Annecy with witnesses who were there that day but have never spoken in public before.

Louisa decides to leave for Spain with baby James and says an awkward goodbye to Martin, but when he finds the scan of her brain, he spots a malformation and realises she could suffer a haemorrhage if she gets on the plane in the last episode of the current series of Doc Martin - 9:00 ITV. Will the doctor make it to the airport in time? Meanwhile, Margaret reveals the real reason she has come to Portwenn, and disaster strikes at Bert and Jennifer's engagement party when Caroline receives an electric shock.
Tonight's Storyville is Pussy Riot - A Punk's Prayer - 10:00 BBC4. Thos award-winning documentary examines how a group of young feminist punk-rockers captured the world's attention. In February 2012, three members of the collective were arrested and, subsequently, convicted of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred' for a forty-second protest which took place on the altar of Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral - sparking a global debate about freedom of expression. This provocative documentary is more important for what it says than how it says it. Using standard home video, talking heads and court footage, director Mike Lerner chronicles the controversy surrounding the well-publicised incident in February 2012, ostensibly to rail against Vladimir Putin and his seemingly unassailable grip on the Russian presidency. Much of the film charts the prosecution of the three women arrested. There's insightful background on the women and their lives from their surprisingly chilled-out parents - though even the right-on father of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova blushes over the film of his pregnant daughter having sex in a biology museum. This is no objective affair, but with critics from the Church dressed like Hell's Angels and likening the trio to 'witches', it's not difficult to take the side of the outspoken activists, whose eloquence under duress is often genuinely inspirational. The film features interviews with the trio's band mates, their families and defence team, offering an insight into the personal motivations of Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich, who some - this blogger included - perceive as modern-day political icons. And, in the case of two of them, still political prisoners held by an oppressive knobcheese regime.
Tuesday 22 October
There are thirty three thousand urban foxes roaming suburban Britain. In the one-off documentary Fox Wars - 10:35 BBC1 - reveals different people's attitudes toward the animals. North London resident Nobby is a keen fox feeder - the vixen he has been feeding for the past five years provides him with a welcome distraction and a companion through the night. However, his approach isn't much appreciated by many of his neighbours - nor by some of the others featured in the programme. From the London pest controllers paid to shoot the animals to the South Wales woman who wants to put twenty thousand volts through the next fox to venture into her garden, it seems the suburban fox has more enemies than friends.
The Sarah Millican Television Programme - 9:30 BBC2 - the popular comedienne and presenter talks to the historian Dan Cruickshank about TV history shows, money-saving expert Martin Lewis about finance-themed programmes and Made In Chelsea type person Gabriella Ellis (no, me neither I'm afraid) about the 'scripted reality' genre. The host also performs her own unique stand-up monologues inspired by things she has seen on TV recently.

Johnson and Masters continue to conduct their research in the brothel, but after receiving skewed data, they are determined to get the project reinstated at the hospital in the third episode of Masters Of Sex - 9:00 Channel Four. Meanwhile, Libby experiences more problems in her efforts to conceive, and Ethan is handed the case of a lifetime. American drama set in the 1950s, starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
Wednesday 23 October
The documentary The Great British Year - 9:00 BBC1 - comes to a conclusion as it follows wildlife throughout the autumn, when the fading sun brings a change of energy to the landscape, while creatures prepare for shorter, darker days. Sika deer stags battle for supremacy, dormice curl up for their winter snooze, barnacle geese arrive from the Arctic and baby seals face the tempestuous waves, while salmon complete their epic journey to spawn before they die. By December, birds huddle together as the first snowflakes fall, and the seasonal cycle begins again. Narrated by Joseph Fiennes.
Ambassadors - 9:00 BBC1 - is a, not especially funny-looking, alleged comedy following the 'exploits' of Keith Davies and Neil Tilly, two British diplomats stationed in the fictional Central Asian country of Tazbekistan. In the opening episode, the pair are tasked with securing a lucrative helicopter contract, but things do not get off to a good start when the country's president witnesses Keith accidentally shoot an ibex, Tazbekistan's national animal. And, the embassy's Best Of British festival fails to win over the natives. Starring David Mitchell - the reasonably funny one. And Robert Webb. Who isn't.

Karl finds himself in Folkestone's seedy underbelly, while Elise heads to Boulogne to investigate threats made to Marie Villeneuve and makes a grisly discovery in a deserted slaughterhouse in episode two of The Tunnel - 9:00 Sky Atlantic. In England, reporter Danny Hillier receives another phone call from the killer, who targets a care home where Stephen Beaumont's sister Suze (Keeley Hawes) has been stealing painkillers from resident Harriet Stone (Liz Smith). Stephen Dillane and Clemence Poesy star. In English and French.
In the first of the final four Agatha Christie's Poirot episodes - The Big Four - the Belgian sleuth is reunited with Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser), his former secretary Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) and Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) in a case which plunges him into the world of global espionage as the Second World War looms. The public are in panic after the shocking death of Russian grandmaster Ivan Savaranoff during a game of chess. Poirot must try to determine the good guys from the bad, as a complex plot by a gang of dangerous dissidents sees a host of international figures used like pawns. David Suchet stars in a story adapted by yer actual Mark Gatiss and Ian Hallard.
You, Me & Them - 9:00 Watch - is a new sitcom starring a couple of genuine Telefantasy icons, Anthony Head and Eve Myles, as Ed and Lauren, a couple with an age gap of over twenty years. The difference in age may not be a problem for them, but it seemingly is for their interfering relatives - and the relationship is complicated further by Ed's ex-wife (Lindsay Duncan) living next door. With hilarious consequences, no doubt. Sitcom, starring Anthony Head and Eve Myles as Ed and Lauren, a couple with an age gap of over 20 years. The difference in age may not be a problem for them, but it is for their interfering relatives - and the relationship is complicated further by Ed's ex-wife (Lindsay Duncan) living next door.
In the third episode of State of Play - 9:00 Drama - Cal is released from helping the police with their inquiries and immediately colludes with DCI Bell in a plan to smoke out the hitman. The newspaper team identify the author of the anonymous letters as City wide boy Dominic Foy, but questions remain about Stephen's involvement and how Sonia knew she was assured of a job in his office a clear month before he interviewed her. Classic Paul Abbott, starring David Morrissey, John Simm, Philip Glenister, Bill Nighy, James McAvoy, Kelly Macdonald and and Marc Warren.
Thursday 24 October
In Breathless - 9:00 ITV - when Jean arrives at the hospital with a patient who wants a 'private' procedure, Angela struggles to believe her sister is risking everything to assist with Otto's illegal activities. Still hurting from his new wife's betrayal about the miscarriage, Richard seeks out Margaret, a glamorous woman from his past, and he's keen to rekindle their romance. Meanwhile, Elizabeth arranges to meet Chief Inspector Mulligan in the hope of getting him off her case for good.
Yer actual Kid Jensen presents an edition of Top Of The Pops from 16 November 1978 which has been unaffected by the activities of Operation Yewtree. With performances by Buzzcocks, Elton John, yer actual Showaddywaddy, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Heatwave, Blondie, Dean Friedman, Streetband, Child and The Boomtown Rats. And Queen. So, if you're taping this, have your remote controls ready.

Tonight sees the return of Person Of Interest - 9:00 Channel Five - the drama about a CIA agent recruited to stop crimes before they happen. Reese discovers more about how the supercomputer works, but becomes frustrated when it fails to track down Finch, who is being held hostage by Root. He tries to get Carter to investigate Alicia Colwyn's death, unaware that other forces are working against him, while the machine leads him to the doorstep of a criminal at the mercy of Aryan gangsters. Starring Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson and the legend that is Amy Acker.
Friday 25 October
It's comedy night as usual on the BBC. Jo Brand hosts Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1 - with panellists including John Prescott joining Paul Merton and Ian Hislop as they take the mickey out of the latest news stories. That's followed on BBC2 at 10:00 by Qi in which Isy Suttie, Tim Minchin and Bill Bailey join regular panellist Alan Davies as host Stephen Fry asks a range of unusual questions on the topic of Keys. In Orphan Black - 9:00 BBC3 - Paul's disappearance forces Sarah to confront the conspiracy head on, but when he discovers she has been withholding essential information, the fragile trust between the erstwhile allies threatens to shatter. Meanwhile, Cosima grows closer to Delphine and the dangerously magnetic Doctor Leekie. And, in The Blacklist - 9:00 Sky Living - Red's curiosity is piqued by the abduction of a witness testifying against a drug trafficker, and he identifies a professional kidnapper on his list as the likely perpetrator. Meanwhile, Liz digs deeper into her husband's murky past and tries to keep a low profile as she too is a witness in the hearing.

In The Making Of Tommy - 9:00 BBC4 - the surviving members of The Who (both of them) discuss the making of Tommy, the critically acclaimed rock opera LP which brought the financially struggling band commercial success on its release in 1969. Inspired by the teachings of Indian spiritualist Meher Baba, Pete Townshend composed the musical tale throughout 1968, telling the story of titular hero, Tommy Walker, a 'deaf, dumb and blind kid' who achieves fame through playing a mean pinball before becoming the leader of a hedonistic cult. And then, getting cast aside by his followers. Here, the veteran rockers discuss the success of the release, and its impact on their careers. Includes archived interviews with the late Keith Moon, the late John Entwistle, the late Kit Lambert and the late Chris Stamp.
And, so to the news: The actor Mark Rylance is to be reunited with the director of the television drama about the death of the weapons inspector David Kelly for an 'intensely political' seven million smackers BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Booker prize-winning Wolf Hall novels. Peter Kosminsky, the award-winning director of a string of docu-dramas based on contemporary events – including Channel Four's The Government Inspector, which starred Rylance as Kelly – may at first glance appear an unlikely choice for a historical costume piece. It will be his first period drama – and first book adaptation. However, Kosminsky shares with Mantel a reputation for in-depth research – the Wolf Hall author spent five years investigating the Sixteenth-Century historical background to her narrative on the grim political machinations of Henry VIII's court. Rylance will play the main protagonist, the Tudor king's adviser and spin doctor Thomas Cromwell, in the six-part adaptation of Wolf Hall for BBC2, which is expected to be broadcast in 2015. The BBC will also broadcast the sequel Bring Up The Bodies and producer Company Pictures has an option on the as-yet-unpublished final book of Mantel's Tudor trilogy, The Mirror And The Light. Wolf Hall follows Cromwell's career as he ascends from a lowly start as a blacksmith's son to becoming an indispensable ally of Cardinal Wolsey, succeeding him as Henry's VIII's chief adviser after Wolsey's downfall. Kosminsky said: 'This is a first for me. But it is an intensely political piece. It is about the politics of despotism, and how you function around an absolute ruler. I have a sense that Hilary Mantel wanted that immediacy.' The pairing of Kosminsky with Peter Straughan, the playwright who has adapted Mantel's work, suggests the BBC is looking for 'a darker and grittier take' on British history than the soc-called 'bonkbuster' The Tudors or the corporation's own recent Wars of the Roses drama The White Queen, also made by Company Pictures, which received a critical drubbing. Kosminsky admitted that he had not watched either series but said: 'We may be dealing with the same period, but it will be a very different piece of work. Our job is to distinguish this, focus on the pedigree.' He added: 'When I saw Peter Straughan's script, only a first draft, I couldn't believe what I was reading. It was the best draft I had ever seen. He had managed to distill one thousand pages of the novels into six hours, using prose so sensitively. He's a theatre writer by trade.' Mantel called Straughan's scripts a 'miracle of elegant compression and I believe with such a strong team the original material can only be enhanced.' Kosminsky is renowned for meaty, contemporary and quasi-documentary dramas, which he has often written himself, including Warriors, about the ethical dilemmas facing British soldiers on a peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, and The Project, which followed Labour activists from youthful idealism to the harsher political realities of government after Tony Blair's 1997 election victory. Straughan is noted for his dark and witty theatre work, including Bones and Noir, and co-wrote the recent film adaptation of John Le Carré spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He also adapted Jon Ronson's Men Who Stare At Goats. Kosminsky said that he 'relished' the prospect of working on a second big production with Rylance, who is sparing in his television work. 'He's a total dream for a film director. I have been looking for an opportunity to work with him again, he generates a stillness and intensity; he almost mesmerises you,' he said. 'You have the greatest British writer working today paired with possibly the finest actor of his generation. We are aiming to be the very best.' The drama features one hundred plus characters and Kosminsky is just starting to cast the other leading parts. It will be shot largely on location in Bruges, in medieval buildings appropriate to the period, starting next April, rather than studio sets. Rylance, a former artistic director of the Globe Theatre, arrived in New York this month for the first Globe transfer to Broadway, the all-male productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre has called Lord Snooty's comments about needing 'a Shakespearian scholarship' to understand the Bard's work 'misguided.' The could have added that they were also bastard moronic and exactly the sort of crap one would expect from Lord Snooty. But, sadly, they didn't. The Downton Abbey creator said that he adapted the language in his version of Romeo and Juliet to 'make it accessible.' But Fiona Banks from Globe Education said no one should feel 'excluded' from Shakespeare's original prose because of their level of education. 'Shakespeare's for everybody. We can all understand him,' she claimed. Lord Snooty, who won a best screenplay Oscar in 2002 for Gosford Park, had been criticised by Shakespeare experts for rewriting certain passages and altering the language used in the Bard's work for his film. However, he told the BBC this week that the film was 'never intended' to be a 'straight' adaptation of Shakespeare's original play. ;When people say we should have filmed the original, I don't attack them for that point of view, but to see the original in its absolutely unchanged form, you require a kind of Shakespearian scholarship and you need to understand the language and analyse it and so on,' he said. 'I can do that because I had a very expensive education, I went to Cambridge. Not everyone did that and there are plenty of perfectly intelligent people out there who have not been trained in Shakespeare's language choices.' Banks, who is a senior education advisor at the Globe, told the BBC Lord Snooty's comments were misguided. 'To see Shakespeare in the original, in its absolutely unchanged form, we need nothing more than a performance space and a company of actors who are able to share his stories in a way that engages their audience,' she said. 'Shakespeare's for everybody. If we've ever been in love, or fallen out with a friend or been jealous, we can understand him.' Banks added that one of the reasons Shakespeare's plays were read so widely was because they dealt with fundamental human issues that affect everyone. 'Romeo and Juliet is a prime example of that,' she said. Much of the work carried out by Shakespeare's Globe involves introducing young people to Shakespeare and his classic plays. Last year, the Globe ran a drama project which introduced the playwright to children as young as three. 'When I produce a piece of theatre for young people it is really important they feel Shakespeare is something they have a right to and can access, and could be - if they wanted - something they could return to throughout their lives,' Banks said. 'It would be very worrying if anyone read [Lord Snooty's comments] and felt excluded from Shakespeare's original language because of their level of education. She added that Lord Snooty was a 'brilliant' screenwriter and said adaptations had an important role to play in the contemporary production of literary texts. 'They have the potential to help us re-imagine and re-discover a wealth of wonderful literature. But they are not a prerequisite for their enjoyment by the non-Oxbridge educated members of the population,' she said.
The lack of culture secretary, the vile and odious rascal Miller, has 'reached agreement' with Labour and the Liberal Democrats over a new royal charter system for press regulation, after all three parties agreed on minor concessions aimed largely at placating local newspaper groups. A final draft of the royal charter was published on Friday afternoon, ending days of political wrangling between the three parties over concerns raised by the major newspaper groups. But the revised document looks unlikely to satisfy a majority of the whinging scum at the national newspaper publishers, who indicated that the changes offered would 'probably not' be enough for them to create a press regulator that would be compliant with the royal charter system. The revised charter addresses concerns raised by local and regional publishers by introducing a small administration fee for complainants who wish to use the new regulator's arbitration scheme, which aims to settle legal disputes out of court. The final draft also includes changes to the committee that draws up the newspaper code of practice, abolishing quotas which previously limited membership to one-third each of serving newspapers editors, journalists and independent members. The deal was reached on Friday following three days of private talks between the parties in an effort to persuade the newspaper industry to sign up before its delayed sealing by the privy council on 30 October. The revised charter offers three significant concessions to the industry, including two aimed at addressing concerns raised by regional publishers, including Trinity Mirra and Johnston Press. Those publishers will now be able to opt out of an arbitration scheme if they can prove it is causing them 'serious financial harm.' They had warned that they could be 'driven out of business' by lawyers who encouraged complainants to seek compensation from the regulator's arbitration arm, rather than use its complaints unit. Complainants will also be charged a small fee to use the arbitration service – which will be recoverable if they are successful – in another move designed to win support from the local and regional press. A third amendment opens the way for serving editors to have a greater role on the committee that establishes the code of practice, removing the quotas that limited their membership to just one-third, alongside independent members and other journalists.
One alleged government 'source' allegedly 'familiar with the talks' allegedly told the Gruniad Morning Star that the deal showed that ministers had not 'stuck their fingers in their ears.' The government was in 'listening mode', although any more changes would require further cross-party agreement, the alleged 'source' allegedly said. In a strongly worded statement, the group representing the biggest newspaper owners showed little sign of being won over by the changes. 'We welcome the fact that, after more than six months, politicians are finally seeing some of the flaws in their unacceptable and unilateral 18 March charter. We will study their latest proposals closely,' said the steering group which is leading industry plans for a rival system of self-regulation. 'However this remains a charter written by politicians, imposed by politicians and controlled by politicians. It has not been approved by any of the newspapers or magazines it seeks to regulate. Meanwhile the industry's charter was rejected by eight politicians, meeting in secret, and chaired by the same politician who is promoting the politicians' charter.' Lord Justice Leveson called for 'voluntary, independent self-regulation' of the press. 'It is impossible to see how a regulator operating under rules imposed by politicians, and enforced by draconian and discriminatory provisions for damages and costs in civil cases, could be said to be either voluntary or independent.' News UK, the publisher of the Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, had indicated on Thursday that it would press on with plans to establish a self-regulator which it said satisfied virtually all of the recommendations proposed by Leveson last November. The shadow lack of culture secretary, Mad Hattie Harman, who had been locked in negotiations with the vile and odious rascal Miller over the charter, said it must not be boycotted by the press. She said the charter established a proper complaints system which did not affect the freedom of the press and met the principles set out by Leveson. 'I hope that the press will engage with this new system of independent self-regulation. We must have no press boycott. We need a press which is robust and free, which holds those in power to account, but which does not wreak havoc on the lives of innocent people.' Hacked Off, the group representing victims of press intrusion, including the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, said that the amended royal charter meant that the press now had 'no reason to object' to joining the regulator. 'We note that in the last-minute technical changes to the charter there have been further concessions to the press industry lobby, notably that it now permits an administrative charge for members of the public to use the new arbitration service,' said Professor Brian Cathcart, the executive director of Hacked Off. 'This is not what Lord Justice Leveson recommended and may well deter some members of the public from seeking redress when they have been wronged by news publishers. We trust that those newspaper organisations which have been demanding this change – notably the local and regional press – will now accept that they have no reason to object to the system and will fully embrace the charter process.'

And, still on the subject of vile and odious rascals, the Daily Scum Mail vile and odious editor, the coward, bully and rascal Paul Dacre - whom, hopefully, no one is scared of any longer - has defended his paper's indefensible piece which described Labour leader Ed Milimolimandi's late father as 'the man who hated Britain.' Writing in the Gruniad Morning Star, the coward, bully and rascal Dacre said that the headline about the Marxist academic Ralph Miliband was 'controversial' but 'justifiable.' Ed Milimolimandi had said he was 'appalled' and the accusation was a 'lie'. The coward, bully and rascal Dacre also, of course, went on to criticise 'the Mail's bete noir, the BBC' - because, as we all know, according to the various turd-sucking lice at the Scum Mail everything under the sun is, in some way, the BBC's fault - accusing the Corporation of presenting 'a one-sided tone' in its reporting of the story. Something the Daily Scum Mail, of course, never does. The twats. The coward, bully and rascal Dacre claimed that the BBC had 'allowed Labour to misrepresent Geoffrey Levy's article on Ralph Miliband.' The BBC has previously defended its coverage of what it called a significant political story, describing it as 'appropriate, balanced and impartial.' In a statement, the Corporation said: 'We completely reject any suggestion that our reporting has been biased. We followed the story as it unfolded and ensured both sides had the chance to express their views. As a public broadcaster, we have a responsibility to report the news without fear or favour, providing balanced information and independent analysis, allowing our audiences to make up their own minds.' Sadly, they didn't note that the Daily Scum Mail is a loathsome Hitler-supporting, gay-bashing hateful pile of faeces edited by and written by a bunch of scummish right-wing thug bully lice gits. They didn't say that because they are, of course, far too polite to do any such thing. But, this blogger isn't. The original article, published on 1 October, questioned how the beliefs of Ralph Miliband, who died in 1994, may have influenced the Labour leader and his brother, the former Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

A genuinely hilarious printing mix up led to early copies of the latest Bridget Jones novel having a chunk of Sir David Jason's memoirs in the middle. Thigh-slapping. About forty pages of Jason's My Life were printed in Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, both of which came out on the same day. 'The printers have had a Bridget moment,' claimed publishers Vintage. It said that it was recalling the misprinted copies and replacing them with correct versions. 'A printing error has been detected in some of the very early copies of Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy,' said a Vintage spokesman. 'Copies printed on one day have given readers an accidental preview of David Jason's autobiography.' Both Fielding and Jason's book were published on what the publishing world has dubbed 'Super Thursday', when publishing houses put out some of their highest-priority titles for the Christmas market.
ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five have won a high court ruling forcing controversial London-based website TVCatchUp to stop streaming more than twenty of their services. Under the ruling TVCatchUp, which uses the strapline 'never miss a show again', has been told it cannot stream the main ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five networks on its mobile TV service. In addition the court has told TVCatchUp that it cannot stream eleven of the broadcasters' digital channels – including ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, E4, Film4 and More4 – on its web-based online service. TVCatchUp, which earlier this month added catch-up TV to its offering of live streaming services, posted a statement on its website acknowledging the changes to its operation following the ruling. 'We enjoy excellent relationships with most of those whose content we carry, but this sadly hasn't proved to be the case with all of the public service broadcasters,' the company said in a three-paragraph statement. 'We pride ourselves in always working within the law, we accordingly felt it necessary to remove certain of the channels to avoid perpetuating contention.' TVCatchUp has provided direct links to broadcasters' websites for the channels that it can no longer stream. 'ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five welcome this decision,' said the broadcasters in a joint statement. 'It is a significant vindication for this action that the judge has ruled twenty one of our channels are to be removed from the TVC website. This result will help protect the substantial investment broadcasters make in content and is a clear message to those who seek to infringe our copyright or use our content in an illegal capacity.' TVCatchUp has the right to appeal against the verdict. But lawyers consider the decision to be 'a major victory' for UK broadcasters, which have been concerned about TVCatchUp's copyright infringement since as far back as 2007. 'The high court has finally confirmed that TVCatchUp must cease streaming all of the claimant broadcasters' channels on its service on mobile networks and all of the non public service channels, such as ITV2 and E4, on the Internet,' said Nick Swimer, partner at Reed Smith. 'Whilst TVCatchUp may continue to stream the main public service channels on the Internet, the high court indicated that the legal loophole which allows TVCatchUp to do this should be closed by the UK government, as it is not compatible with European law.' Swimer said that it was a 'very positive outcome' overall for the broadcasters. In March, ITV, Channel Four and Channel Five's case against TVCatchup was ruled upon by Europe's highest court. The European court of justice ruled that websites that retransmit live TV over the Internet without permission from broadcasters are in breach of copyright.

Ex newspaperman Ian Katz's first significant contribution to his newly adopted medium as Newsnight editor appears to be resurrecting the ... And Finally tradition. Following Emily Maitlis's encounter with Cookie Monster on Monday, on Wednesday Newsnight signed off with a BBC1+1 gag. Viewers were shown what was supposedly going on in the studio an hour earlier – Andrew Neil cleaning the camera and Jeremy Paxman sweeping the floor. Paxo, of course, couldn't help but introduce the item with his usual languid disdain – 'always looking to please the boss ...'

Which brings us to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader. And it's one that featured on Friday's night's special Singles Club instalment of Uncle Scunthorpe's Record Player at the Live Theatre on the Quayside. The legend that is Hebburn's lovely Steffen Peddie (an old acquaintance of yer actual KTT) spoke eloquently (and amusingly) about a particular favourite song of his, one which yer actual Keith Telly Topping also has a very soft spot for. So, dear blog reader, here's a quality slab of the mighty B-52s. And thanks to yer actual Big Keith his vey self for reminding this blogger about it.