Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week Forty Five: Between The Emotion And The Response Falls The Shadow

Armando Iannucci, who helped to make yer actual Peter Capaldi a star in The Thick Of It, said that the actor is 'smart, funny and thoughtful' in Doctor Who – but 'always hilarious' when he breaks into a run. Iannucci said that some of Capaldi's most memorable moments in the BBC1 role had nothing to do with the script but 'what he does with his pauses and his changes of tone. He'll just say, "Oh good" or "You'd better go outside" in this particular way and it sticks with you far more than the finest scripting,' Iannucci wrote in the latest issue of Radio Times. 'Is he a good Doctor?' asked Iannucci. 'The Peter I know is the smart, funny, thoughtful guy – and I think he's exactly what The Doctor should be. I'll give you a tip though – watch him run. It's always hilarious. Stop it, pause it and go back. It'll be worth it every time.' It is in the nature of the Time Lord's adventure through space and time that breaking into a trot and occasionally a full-on sprint is an inevitable part of the job. Peter, who ran around a bit as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick Of It, has not as much practice as his immediate predecessors. There are two episodes to go in Capaldi's first series as The Doctor, with last Saturday's instalment written by Frank Cottrell-Boyce watched by an overnight audience of more than five million viewers. Broadcast slightly later than the fifty one-year-old programme's traditional slot to make way for Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who's consolidated viewing, including people who watch it recorded or on-demand in the following seven days, typically tops seven million. Iannucci said that Capaldi had 'the air of the classic Doctor. His Doctor is a completely different character from any previous Doctor, but also from Malcolm,' said Iannucci. 'I’ve watched every episode with my three kids – they're twenty, fifteen and twelve. They've been amazed by the transformation. The eldest has seen Malcolm Tucker but the others just know Peter from when he's been over to the house.' Iannucci said that he was 'worried that the twelve-year-old in particular wouldn't take to the idea of an older guy but they're drawn to him. He's funny in a bamboozled way,' said Iannucci. 'And that allows Clara more space so they've become a proper, classic double act. He's also the first Doctor to give off that air of the tremendous responsibility – which you never quite saw before. Is he a good Doctor? He's how the Doctor should be.' Former Doctor Tom Baker also said Capaldi was a 'wonderful choice. Instantly one felt: this fellow comes from far, far away, he's strange. An instant frisson. And what's the word? Yes, got it! Alien. I salute him.' The latest issue of the Radio Times features Peter Capaldi on its front cover as the magazine looks at the two-part series finale which starts this Saturday. Famous fans, TV critics, children and personalities share their thoughts on the latest incarnation including Professor Brian Cox (no, the other one), Marc Almond and Keeley Hawes.
Strictly Come Dancing topped Saturday's primetime overnight ratings and gave The X Factor yet another damned good thumping in the process. Which, simply imagining the lip-curling scowl on Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef from Crossroads' mush at the very thought of it is, let's face it, always funny. Despite the much-anticipated return of Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads and Wor Geet Stroppy Cheryl Fernandez-Versini-Whatsherface to its judging panel, the ITV talent show has been unable to reel in its BBC1 rival, with Strictly doubling its lead over The X Factor from last week. The BBC1 pro-celebrity dance competition averaged 9.52m punters from 6.30pm, enjoying a peak audience of 10.38m at 7.45pm. By contrast, ITV's The X Factor managed 7.22m from 8pm, the biggest gap of the season so far between the two Saturday night juggernauts. The latest Doctor Who episode In The Forest Of The Night was watched by 5.03m - five hundred thousand up on the previous week's overnight figure. The episode had an audience appreciation index score of eighty three. That was followed by Casualty, which continued with 4.02m. Earlier, Pointless Celebrities attracted 4.74m. The channel's night culminated with Match Of The Day's 3.47 million. BBC2's Restoring England's Heritage had eight hundred and six thousand viewers from 7pm, with a Dad's Army repeat and Qi XL drawing respective audiences of 1.68m and 1.13m from 830pm and 9pm. ITV's The Chase drew 3.07m in the 7pm hour and The Jonathan Ross Show continued to struggle with 2.53m from 10.10pm. On Channel Four, Walking Through History was seen by eight hundred and ninety one thousand in the 8pm hour. The Reese Witherspoon movie This Means War attracted eight hundred and forty six thousand afterwards. Channel Five's live boxing bout between Stuart Hall (no, the other one) and Randy Caballero was watched by five hundred and forty four thousand from 8.30pm. On the multichannels, ITV3's Midsomer Murders had an audience of eight hundred and ninety four thousand from 9pm.

And, Strictly's dominance over The X Factor continued on Sunday with an audience of 9.54 million as former rugby star Thom Evans's made a surprise exit between 7.20pm and 8pm on Sunday. Its Sunday night lead over the ITV Show was over three times larger than the previous week when the difference between the shows had been a mere five hundred thousand. The X Factor had 7.62 million for its results show between 8pm and 9pm, down by around seven hundred thousand viewers from last week's average. Downton Abbey's latest snoot-fest was watched by 7.57m at 9pm. Strictly had the advantage on Sunday of following BBC1's popular Countryfile, watched by 6.7 million viewers between 6.20pm and 7.20pm. Antiques Roadshow appealed to 5.47m at 8pm. The excellent documentary Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered drew 2.91m at 9pm and Match Of The Day 2 scored 2.55m (23.5%) at 10.35pm as yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Magpies picked up their first away win of the season at Stottingtot Hotshots. The X Factor had to piggyback on ITV's new Bradley Walsh game show Keep It In The Family, which began with 3.21 million viewers, down seventeen per cent on ITV's three-month slot average. Speed With Guy Martin was back for a second series on Channel Four with 1.65 million viewers from 8pm, ahead of BBC2's Wonders Of The Monsoon, with 1.6 million. Human Universe attracted 1.11m to BBC2 at 7pm, whilst Afghanistan: Lion's Last Roar had 1.03m at 9pm. On Channel Four, the latest episode of Homeland was watched by 1.20m at 9pm. Channel Five's broadcast of the risible Angels & Demons was seen by 1.07m. Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways on BBC4 attracted one hundred and thirty two thousand viewers. The Scum's last-gasp 1-1 draw with Moscow Chelseki FC was watched by just under two million viewers on Sky Sports 1 between 3.30pm and 7pm, with a five-minute peak of 3.2 million – the most watched programme of the day on pay-TV channels. The BBC3 repeat of Doctor Who had an overnight of one hundred and fifty thousand viewers.

ITV crime drama Grantchester rose by around five hundred thousand overnight viewers from the previous episode to top Monday's ratings. Perhaps thanks to New Tricks concluding last week, the period drama appealed to an average of 4.63 million from 9pm. Earlier, Countrywise brought in 3.35m at 8pm. BBC1's Inside Out interested 3.19m at 7.30pm, whilst the documentary Baby P: The Untold Story was seen by 2.38m at 8.30pm. On BBC2, University Challenge was watched by 2.66m at 8pm, followed by Only Connect with 1.92m at 8.30pm. Intruders launched with nine hundred and fifty one thousand at 9pm, while its second episode fell to seven hundred and one thousand at 9.45pm. Channel Four's How To Sell Your Home attracted 1.01m at 8.30pm, followed by Twenty Four Hours In Police Custody with 1.57m at 9pm and Eight Out Of Ten Cats with 1.22m at 10pm. On Channel Five, Marilyn Monroe: The Missing Evidence had an audience of eight hundred and fifty six thousand at 8pm. Under The Dome continued with six hundred and thirty eight thousand at 10pm. Gotham's latest episode held steady from last week, rising slightly to 1.36m at 9pm.

BBC1's new drama The Missing topped Tuesday's overnight ratings outside soaps, opening with 5.76m at 9pm. On BBC2, Great Interior Design Challenge brought in 1.60m at 7pm, followed by the start of a new series of Autumnwatch with 2.67m at 8pm and Human Universe with 1.63m at 9pm. ITV's Wilderness Walks With Ray Mears gathered 2.31m at 7.30pm, while a repeat of Midsomer Murders appealed to 1.95m at 8pm. On Channel Four, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners drew an audience of 1.66m at 8pm, You Can't Get the Staff attracted 1.13m at 9pm, while Gogglebox had 1.08m at 10pm. Channel Five's Caught On Camera was seen by eight hundred and forty four thousand at 8pm, followed by the CSI series finale with 1.05m at 9pm. On BBC3, the new well-trailed series Life Is Toff was seen by five hundred and eighteen thousand at 10pm. Sky1's new series The Flash began with five hundred and ninety eight thousand. Storage Hunters UK attracted big audiences for Dave. The new series launched with 1.05 million viewers at 8pm, followed by a second episode with nine hundred and forty nine thousand.

Here's the final and consolidated ratings figures for the Top Twenty Five programmes for week-ending Sunday 19 October 2014:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 10.30m
2 Downton Abbey - Sun ITV - 9.75m
3 The X Factor - Sun ITV - 8.97m
4 Coronation Street - Wed ITV - 8.91m
5 The Apprentice - Tues BBC1 - 8.22m
6 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 7.81m
7 Emmerdale - Wed ITV - 7.08m
8 Doctor Who - Sat BBC1 - 6.71m
9 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 6.15m
10 New Tricks - Mon BBC1 - 5.84m
11= Lewis - Fri ITV - 5.50m*
11= Antiques Roadshow -Sun BBC1 - 5.50m
13 Grantchester - Mon ITV - 5.12m*
14 Pointless Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 5.11m
15 Our Girl - Sun BBC1 - 4.93m
16 The Great Fire - Thurs ITV - 4.91m*
17 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 4.91m
18 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 4.90m
19 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 4.79m
20 Scott & Bailey - Wed ITV - 4.64m*
21 Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.59m
22 Ten O'Clock News - Thurs BBC1 - 4.50m
23 Not Going Out - Fri BBC1 - 4.39m
24= The ONE Show - Tues BBC1 - 4.36m
24= BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.36m
ITV programmes marked '*' do not include include HD figures. Doctor Who's consolidated figure for Flatline included a timeshift above the initial 'live' audience of over two million viewers (2.17 million to be exact), the eighth time in nine episodes this series that this has occurred. Saturday evening's episode of The X Factor had a final rating of 8.39 million viewers. Strictly Come Dancing's Sunday episode drew 9.61 million. BBC2's highest rated programme of the week wasUniversity Challenge with 3.12m. Trust me, I'm A Doctor drew 3.02m, followed by The Apprentice: You're Fired (2.80m), Only Connect (2.25m), Peaky Blinders (2.20m), The Great British Bake Off Masterclass (2.16m) and Qi (2.15m). Channel Four's top-rated show was Grand designs (2.42m) followed by Stan Up To Cancer (2.13m) and Homeland (2.11m). Channel Five's best performers were the opening episode of Gotham with an excellent 3.20m and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation with 1.88m. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's largest rated programme with nine hundred and fifty eight thousand. The Code drew BBC4's biggest audience of the week (seven hundred and twenty one thousand). Cosmonauts: How Russia Won The Space Race was watched by five hundred and seventy nine thousand.

Yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch featured in a new trailer promoting BBC Drama this week. The Sherlock actor has recorded William Shakespeare's 'All the World's a Stage' monologue from As You Like It for the promo, which was before The Missing on BBC1 on Tuesday evening. The promo featured moments from BBC dramas of the past, present and future. Upcoming dramas featured in the trailer included the adaptation of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, Esio Trot starring Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman, Damian Lewis drama Wolf Hall, Jimmy McGovern's new series Banished, the new version of Poldark, Susanna Clarke's Strange and Norrell, One Child and The Interceptor. Past dramas featured included the likes of The Singing Detective, House Of Cards, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, This Life, Pride and Prejudice, Criminal Justice, Small Island, [spooks] and Life On Mars. Doctor Who, Last Tango In Halifax, Sherlock, Call The Midwife, Line Of Duty, Happy Valley, EastEnders and Luther were also included. BBC Drama Controller Ben Stephenson said: 'It's a privilege to premiere a new trailer tonight that celebrates BBC Drama. Who better than yer actual Benedict Cumberbatch to narrate this special film that showcases the BBC's unique role in nurturing talent and its powerful storytelling from the past, present and future.'
The first images from the upcoming Dad's Army movie have been revealed. Bill Nighy and Catherine Zeta-Jones lead the cast in the big-screen reboot of the classic sitcom. The film will see Nighy play Wilson and Zeta-Jones take on the role of glamorous journalist Rose. Toby Jones is starring as Captain Mainwaring, with Oliver Parker directing. Blake Harrison will play Pike, with Sir Michael Gambon as Godfrey, Daniel Mays as Walker, Sir Tom Courtenay as Jonesy and Bill Paterson as Fraser. Shooting on the movie version - which counts Perry among its executive producers - begins this month on location in Yorkshire. The cast is, undeniably, terrific although the fact that the director and the scriptwriter's last collaboration was Johnny English Reborn does not, exactly, fill one with confidence that it'll be an unsurpassed masterpiece.
Meanwhile, is this the greatest tabloid headline since Becks Wears My Keks? I think it might be.
And now, because we always like to give the public what they want here at From The North, a photo of yer actual Victoria Coren Mitchell her very self looking stunning when guest presenting Have I Got News For You last week.
After the horrors suffered watching that odious, risible, unfunny lanky streak of piss Jack Whitehall stink up the gaff in the previous episode, Qi XL was back on the ball in its latest episode with Alan Davies, Frank Skinner, Sue Perkins and Josh Widdecombe all on particularly fine form. Loved the bit where Stephen Fry got to demonstrate 'fun with liquid nitrogen and magnets'!
Sherlock star and co-creator Mark Gatiss his very self is to play Peter Mandelson, the spin doctor during the New Labour era in a TV drama based on the back room deals that led to the coalition government in 2010. Blimey, I know some of Mark's Doctor Who episodes haven't proved a hit with some of The Special People but, turning him into The Prince of Darkness, that's a bit much. The one-off Channel Four drama, Coalition, aims to portray the 'astonishing rise' (if not, necessarily, the subsequent spectacular fall) of deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a 'rank outsider' who 'would decide the fate of the country'. And, proceeded to complete bugger it up. Gatiss would seem perfectly placed for the role of Mandelson. He has already claimed to have drawn inspiration from the politician, credited with rebranding the Labour party during the 1990s, for the part of Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock's older, smarter brother, who secretly runs the government in the hit drama, once saying he imbued the character with 'reptilian and Mandelsonian' qualities. Bertie Carvel, who won several awards for his performance as Miss Trunchbull in the stage adaptation of Roald Dahl's Matilda, is cast as Clegg. Mark Dexter, of The Bletchley Circle and Ripper Street, plays David Cameron and Ian Grieve takes on the role of Gordon Brown, a part he has already taken on in the play The Confessions Of Gordon Brown. Channel Four said that the drama, due to be broadcast in 2015, will deliver 'penetrating insight into one of the most influential and significant political decisions of recent years.' Written by James Graham, whose political play This House, set at the end of James Callaghan's Labour government, was a hit at the National Theatre, Coalition 'charts the emotional wrought, politically charged and often frenzied moments which led to Nick Clegg's astonishing rise from rank outsider to the man who would decide the fate of the country.' Graham told the Sunday Times: 'As with many of the parts Gatiss has played, there is that slight darkness, slight edge that Mandelson has. But he also has the capacity for that three-dimensional pathos. We also need to avoid Mandelson descending into the stereotype.'

If you missed it on Tuesday, dear blog reader, allow this blogger to highly recommend Janina Ramirez's superb BBC4 documentary Architects Of The Divine: The First Gothic Age in which Nina - a big favourite of all of us here at From The North - looked back at the Fourteenth Century, a time when craftsman and their patrons created the Perpendicular Gothic, a new form of architecture that was to be Britain’s first cultural style. A little, thoughtful, handsomely shot gem. Catch it on iPlayer.
ITV's thriller Wire In The Blood is the latest British-made series to be optioned for a US TV remake. ABC - the company which is also said to be working on a Silk remake - is planning to adapt the Robson Green drama, Deadline reports. Based on the 'Bradfield' novels by Scottish crime writer Val McDermid, Wire In The Blood ran for six series between 2002 and 2008. Wor Geet Canny Robson starred as the troubled, but brilliant, clinical psychologist Tony Hill, with Hermione Norris playing his police partner Carol Jordan for the first three series. Simone Lahbib later replaced Norris as Alex Fielding for the fourth, fifth and sixth series. Also featuring Emma Handy and Mark Letheren, Wire In The Blood was, actually, really jolly good and has recently undergone a complete repeat run on ITV3. The American version, if it's made, will be written by AM Holmes - the crime novelist and former producer of Showtime's The L Word. 'Bringing the iconic character Tony Hill to American audiences has been a passion of ours for a number of years,' said David Hoberman, executive producer for Mandeville Films and Television. Other UK series being adapted for US television this development season include The IT Crowd on NBC and Friday Night Dinner on CBS. One of Robson former starring vehicles, Touching Evil was also the subject of a US remake, produced by actor Bruce Willis's production company, Cheyenne Enterprises/ But, it was crap.

Sherlock, Doctor Who and Tom Riley were among the winners at the 2014 BAFTA Cymru Awards, isn't it? The awards, which are held annually to celebrate achievements by performers and production staff in Welsh-made films and television programmes, took place in Cardiff on Sunday evening. Sherlock was the biggest winner of the night, collecting three awards. The popular detective drama picked up the award for Television Drama. It also won in the technical categories, with Arwel Wyn Jones picking up the award for Production Design for his work on the show. Claire Pritchard-Jones also won the Make Up and Hair category for Sherlock. Doctor Who picked up the award for Special, Visual Effects and Graphics, with Tîm Effeithiau and the Effects Team winning the category for their work on the BBC's long-running family SF drama. Tom Riley was named Best Actor for his work on Da Vinci's Demons, while Rhian Blythe won Best Actress for Gwaith/Cartref. Griff Rhys Jones won the award for Best Presenter for his work on A Great Welsh Adventure, while The Call Centre was named Best Factual Series. Nerys Hughes won the BAFTA Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television. There's lovely.

The Fall has released the first trailer for the forthcoming series two. Yer actual Gillian Anderson shared the video on her Twitter account on Sunday. Which is very nice because, of course, it gives this blogger an excuse to illustrate this with another image of Gill her very self. Never a chore, frankly. The BBC recently confirmed that second series of The Fall will begin on Thursday 13 November on BBC2.
And from that to this week's Top Telly Tips:-

Saturday 1 November
'I'm sorry everyone, another ranting Scotsman in the street. I had no idea there was a match on!' In, Dark Water, the first of the two-part Doctor Who series finale - 8:15 BBC1 - The Doctor finally comes face-to-face with Missy, the mysterious woman who has been popping up throughout the series, greeting various dead characters as they have entered what she and her assistant, Seb, have variously described as 'The Promised Land', 'Heaven', 'the afterlife' and 'the Nethersphere'. It turns out that plans have been drawn up and an impossible choice is looming, as the sinister organisation known only as 3W promises: 'Death is not an end'. Oh, and The Cybermen invade London. Again. Plus, what, exactly, is the deal with Clara. Yer actual Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman her very self star, with guest appearances from Michelle Gomez and Capaldi's former The Thick of It co-star Chris Addison.
Another week, another new slot for Qi XL - this time, the quote ludicrously late hour of 11:15 on BBC2. Yep, that seems to finally nail the notion that someone at the BBC simply doesn't want anybody to watch the damn thing. Anyway, question master Stephen Fry continues the comedy panel quiz's exploration of subjects beginning with the letter L as he asks a range of fiendish questions about Lenses, Lungs and Legs. With comedian and The Last Leg co-host Josh Widdicombe, Jo Brand, Phill Jupitus and regular panellist Alan Davies.
Frankenstein & The Vampyre: A Dark And Stormy Night - 9:00 BBC2 - is part of the BBC's Gothic Season and is, as you might expect from the title, an exploration of one of the most significant moments in Gothic fiction history. The night of what the horror novelist Stephen King once called 'one of the maddest British tea party of all time', when Lord Byron, Mary and Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Polidori gathered together on the shores of Lake Geneva at the Villa Diodati, to tell each other ghost stories. This docu-drama is based on the group's letters, journals and diaries and examines what happened the night the tale of Victor Frankenstein, the modern Prometheus, and his wretched creature, as well as the modern vampire were born. Including contributions by authors Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris and Margaret Atwood.
In the latest episode of Walking Through History - 8:00 Channel Four - yer actual Tony Robinson visits the Cairngorms National Park to discover how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert helped shape Scottish traditions and imagery, such as tartan, bagpipes and caber-tossing. Starting in Pitlochry, he traverses the Killiecrankie Pass, where the Jacobites won the Battle of Killiecrankie, and ends his trek at Balmoral and the fantasy castle Albert built as his and Victoria's Highland escape.
Sunday 2 November
This week's Storyville - 9:00 BBC4 - is a documentary chronicling the American magician James Randi's attempts to expose supposed faith healers, fortune-tellers and psychics who have borrowed tricks from illusionists and masters of prestidigitation like Randi himself - and his British counterpart, Derren Brown - to swindle the gullible. The programme examines his rivalry with spoon-bending mentalist Uri Geller, as well as how he exposed evangelist Peter Popoff's use of in-ear receivers in the 1980s.

Carrie receives a tip from Redmond regarding Quinn's lead, Saul calls in a favour with an old friend in the Pakistani military and Fara uncovers a deep-rooted conspiracy in Homeland - 9:00 Channel Four. Homeland always has been good at planting conundrums like a trail of breadcrumbs for the audience to follow, and so far series four hasn't disappointed in the way that the last couple of years have. Such as: who was the 'dark asset' that Sandy (the dead CIA station chief) was trading secrets with? Was Langland in on the arrangement? Who is the long-haired man Quinn spotted on footage of the street mob, wearing an earpiece? Does his presence mean the mob was the work of Pakistani intelligence? What were the drugs young Aayan hid at his friend's house? And not forgetting, will Carrie get it on with Quinn? The answer to some, all or, indeed, none of these questions may be answered tonight. CIA drama, starring Claire Danes, with guest appearances from Mad Men's Mark Moses and Art Malik.
No television documentary on any kind of horror theme can resist images of bubbling liquids in chemistry flasks, or fractured, flickering bits of jagged film. So it will surprise no one that Alice Roberts's leaf through Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is accompanied by all of these in The Secret Life of Books - 8:30 BBC4. If you haven’t read this Gothic horror classic then maybe Alice her very self will pique your interest. Poor Victor Frankenstein and his creature have been cruelly abused at the hands of Hollywood. But Shelley's source material is a complex, layered novel, which, Alice hears, roams widely through varied and numerous philosophical ideas when she examines the original manuscript at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Alice also visits Villa Diodati where, during the long, dark, wet summer of 1816 Mary Godwin, her husband-to-be Percy Shelley, their pal Lord Byron and his doctor, John Polidori amused one another by making up ghost stories.
Monday 3 November
Jack returns home to find Amy sleeping soundly in bed, but his relief at her reappearance is short-lived when she asks for a divorce the next day in Intruders - 9:00 BBC2. Meanwhile, Gary calls with alarming news, Madison hitches a ride to Seattle as she tries to evade capture, and a deal from Richard's past continues to haunt him. The real interest lies with terrifying devil-child Madison (the brilliant young actress Millie Brown), who reveals an unnerving knowledge of Mozart to the startled woman she's bribed into giving her a lift to Seattle. None of this can end well. Supernatural thriller, starring John Simm and Mira Sorvino.
Sidney takes Geordie to Johnny Johnson's London jazz club, hoping to leave their worries in Grantchester for the night, but the backstage murder of Johnny's sister Claudette puts paid to that in the latest episode of Grantchester - 9:00 ITV. When Archie, the victim's father and owner of the club, calls in a police officer pal to crack the case, Geordie immediately detects the copper is corrupt, while Sidney makes an important discovery about Claudette that she had kept hidden from all but those closest to her. As every lead seems to come back to Archie's violent past, recriminations within the family begin to play out.
Cobblepot turns up at Gordon's apartment and passes on information that Maroni and Falcone are at war about development plans for the Arkham district in Gotham - 9:00 Channel Five. The detective and Bullock are assigned to the case of a murdered councillor and his aide, and when another politician is found burned alive at the asylum, Gordon deduces that the gangsters are trying to sway the vote in their preferred directions. However, Ed Nygma's research reveals the same peculiar murder weapon was used for all of the killings. Crime thriller, starring Ben McKenzie.

Former national heartthrob David Tennant investigates the Bard's tale of monarchy, madness, murder and suicide, asking what it is about the play's title character that remains so compelling four hundred years after his creation in My Shakespeare - 9:00 Sky Arts 1. With his own acclaimed performance as Hamlet in 2008 still fresh in the mind, David talks to a variety of other former Hamlets, including Simon Russell Beale, Jude Law and Ben Whishaw, to discover some of the challenges of playing the vengeful Danish prince.
Tuesday 4 November
Possibly the most feared and respected chef in the country replaces Michel Roux Jr as a judge in the new series of MasterChef: The Professionals - 8:00 BBC2. Anyone who's seen Marcus Wareing on Great British Menu- or, indeed, on various guest appearances on MasterChef itself - knows how tough Gregg Wallace's new oppo can be. Yet, oddly, he's all cheery smiles and encouraging chat as he meets the first five professional chefs taking their places in the brand new MasterChef kitchen. The other good news is that the equally fierce, scowling Monica Galetti is still on board and ready, as usual, to make grown men cry for their mummy. Here, setting a really difficult skills test in today’s edition: assembling a croquembouche in twenty minutes. Piss easy. In this first heat, five chefs from around the nation have an hour to cook a dish that showcases just what they can do, before one must leave. The remaining four chefs then face Monica's skills test, before Marcus asks them to prepare an inspired plate of food featuring quail, with the judges deciding which three make it through to the next round. Continues tomorrow.
Professor Brian Cox (no, the other one) concludes his exploration of humanity's place in the cosmos by examining what the future holds in Human Universe - 9:00 BBC2. In Florida, he learns about the latest efforts to protect Earth from potential catastrophic events and joins a team of NASA astronauts who are in a submerged laboratory that simulates space as they train for a future mission to an asteroid - should one ever be discovered heading to Earth. At the National Ignition Facility in California, the physicist witnesses the world's most successful fusion experiment in action, one which he believes may unlock a way to the stars that will not destroy the planet in the process. Coxy his very self is good at creating awe and his almost poetic wonder over the massive massiveness of the Saturn V makes it clear to the viewer the staggering power which  was needed to escape the Earth's gravitational pull. His bigger point is that the rocket was based on the same technology our furthest ancestors used: fire. But fire has now taken our civilisation as far as it can, he says. 'What next for the apes who went to space?' Last in the series.

It's three days after Oliver went missing, and with little information to go on, suspicion falls on a known paedophile living in the area in the second episode of The Missing - 9:00 BBC1. With the police keeping Tony and Emily in the dark, Tony is tempted to learn more from an ambitious journalist who claims to have obtained information about the suspect in custody. In the present day, the father's campaign to have the investigation reopened gathers momentum when he and Julien, the detective in charge of the original case, find the first piece of concrete evidence. Drama about the disappearance of a five-year-old boy on a family holiday to France in 2006, and the father's search for the child eight years later. Jimmy Nesbitt, Tcheky Karyo, Frances O'Connor and Jason Flemyng star.

In the second of two Imagine programmes - 10:35 BBC1 - we learn how the end of the Second World War signalled the beginning of another battle in the German art world. Many people continued to work in the museum jobs they had held during Nazi times, so people involved in looting art might now be in charge of deciding whether to return it. However, for families of collectors who had lost their art there seemed no hope. Only now, with the discovery of the Gurlitt hoard in Munich, have some of their expectations been raised - and old disappointments been repeated. Presented by Alan Yentob.

Wednesday 5 November
The students are shocked by the return of Gabriella Wark to Waterloo Road - 8:00 BBC1 - and despite her claims that she has turned over a new leaf, she gets a frosty welcome from Kacey, whose hopes of competing in the Commonwealth Games were ended in the accident caused by the trouble-maker. Taking their friend's lead, Lisa and Shaznay mark the returnee out as an easy target. Allie feels uneasy as Vaughan and the boys prepare to visit Olga on her birthday - and with the couple so wrapped up in their own problems, they don't notice Justin and Tiffany are growing closer. Hector finds an ally in Sue - and it soon becomes clear there's a chemistry between them.
Michael Portillo ventures once more onto the European rail network to retrace journeys featured in George Bradshaw's 1913 publication Continental Guide, beginning by travelling through Russia in Great Continental Railway Journeys - 9:00 BBc2. He starts in the industrial city of Tula, before visiting Leo Tolstoy's former home of Yasnaya Polyana and learning how the author's life and works were intertwined with the railways. Michael then boards the train that runs from the Caspian Sea to Moscow, where he performs an important role in a dramatic opera at the Bolshoi Theatre, before exploring the beauty and history of St Petersburg and riding on the first railway ever built in Russia. Hate to admit it, dear blog reader, but I really do rather enjoy Mister Portaloo's TV programmes and, especially, his rail travelogues. Ever since he got out of parliament he seems, shockingly, to have turned himself into a relatively nice human being. Who'd have predicted that? More Tories should try it, frankly. This blogger nominates Iain Duncan Smith for a kick-off.
Secrets Of The Universe: Great Scientists In Their Own Words - 9:00 BBc4 - is, as the title might suggest, a documentary following the stories of renowned physicists of the Twentieth Century and the discoveries they made, told in their own words. Yeah, like I say, you got that from the title, right? Archive material provides an insight into the lives and personalities of the men and women who transformed people's understanding of the universe, from unlocking the secrets of the atom to solving the mysteries of the cosmos. The human side of scientific endeavour is revealed, showing how the advances made depended greatly on the character and personality of the scientists involved. A look at the personalities behind a century of paradigm-shifting discoveries in physics, we start with Einstein, obviously, though the programme perhaps misses a trick by not really allowing the great man to speak for himself. Instead, we get a voiceover run down of his relativity theories. Thankfully we hear more from the most engaging and loquacious of physicists: Richard Feynman. His enthusiasm is utterly infectious. 'I get a kick out of thinking about these things. I can't stop; I could talk for ever,' he notes. Narrated by Michael Pennington.

NCIS - 9:00 FOX - is, according to most reports, currently the most watched television show in the world (even more than Top Gear which, I know takes some believing but, there you go). And, it's one of the most popular a well. This is especially true of Great Britain where, on an average day, episodes of the long-running US crime drama can be watched not only on FOX but also on, get this, Channel Five, 5USA, the Universal Channel and CBS Action. And it always seems to be a different one whenever you tune-in, that's the bizarre thing! Well, to be fair, they have got eleven seasons and two hundred and sixty odd episodes worth to chose from. Anyway, tonight's is one of the more recent ones, the second of a really rather decent two-parter from series eleven which also served as a back-door pilot for the franchise's forthcoming second spin-off NCIS: New Orleans. DiNozzo, McGee and the FBI continue to track political connections to a case and Bishop sends Tony a souvenir. Meanwhile, Gibbs and Special Agent Pride chase leads in New Orleans after evidence points to a copycat killer. Starring Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Michael Weatherley, Sean Murray, Emily Wickersham, Rocky Carroll and Pauley Perrette with guest appearances from semi-regular Joe Spano, the very excellent Scott Bakula and The Shield's CCH Pounder.
Thursday 6 November
Mike Read presents an edition of Top Of The Pops - 7:30 BBC4 - first broadcast on 1 November 1979. That's, if he hasn't been banished from the airwaves for his astoundingly ill-advised UKiP Calypso malarkey before then, of course. Featuring performances by Sparks, The Ramblers, Darts, The Jam (aw, yeah!), Lene Lovich, Thin Lizzy, Suzi Quatro, BA Robertson and Lena Martell. Plus, dance sequences by Legs & Co.
The importance of homes to animals, not only as a place to live but as a shelter from the elements and a refuge from enemies is the focus of Life Story - 9:00 BBC1. A pack of African hunting dogs have made their home on a vast plain in Zambia, but it's far from safe as they must battle hyenas and protect their young. Hermit crabs on a tropical island settle down in empty snail shells - and when a new property washes ashore, they all form a queue, then move up the housing chain until all the shells are taken. On the edge of the Sahara are chimpanzees, whose survival relies on knowing where to find water in the most extreme droughts. Here the elders lead a troop on a brutal trek to a dried-out riverbed to dig wells. On of the joys of this series is the way David Attenborough can leap between different continents in the blink of an eye. So as well as the hunting dogs we have the struggles of weaver ants in Australia defending their nest – built by using their own grubs like portable glue guns. And if you've never encountered a pika before – a mousy little rodent in the Rockies – he's a cheeky little character.

It is the day of the Epsom Derby and Tommy is there to carry out the mission given to him by Major Campbell, but he plans to turn the situation to his advantage by bringing his gang to the racecourse and striking a blow against Sabini in the final episode of Peaky Blinders - 9:00 BBC2. However, more than one of his adversaries have forged secret schemes, and as he readies his troops, Tommy receives shocking news that will change everything. Writer Steven Knight has spent the preceding episodes winding up the springs of his plots and subplots and now it's time: That's one cog in Tommy’s plan. He also has to murder an Army officer on behalf of Winston Churchill (so it can be blamed on Irish rebels) and avoid being killed by Campbell afterwards. The trouble is – so often the case with Tommy – that matters of the heart have a way of interposing themselves at the worst possible moment. Superb period gangster drama, starring Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill. Last in the series.
Fred And Rose: The Untold Story - 10:00 Channel Five - is a documentary examining the crimes and motives of serial-killing couple Fred and Rose West, using testimonies from family members and those who were close to the pair as well as dramatic reconstructions. Once could try to ignore the ghoulish reconstructions which pepper this lurid series about the folie a deux that was the Wests. But, however much you might wish to turn away from yet another examination of their sick and murderous depravity, it's still a story which exerts a powerful hold. An impressive cluster of criminal psychologists, authors and behavioural experts – even West's brother Doug – lead us through Fred's early years in Herefordshire as an oafish jack-the-lad to his eventual meeting at a bus stop with a teenage Rose Letts. The pair were sexual sadists who would go on to progress from an unhealthy interest in S&M to torture, rape and murder young women at their Gloucester home. The opening programme explores the events in their early lives that may have led to them becoming murderers, starting with their chance meeting in Cheltenham when she was fifteen and he was twenty seven. The film investigates whether the couple's behaviour was rooted in their childhoods, with Fred West's claims that he was sexually abused by his parents denied by them in their first full-length interview.

Friday 7 November
Jo Brand takes charge for another half-hour of laughs pulled from the news in Have I Got News For You - 9:00 BBC1. With guests including Pointless co-host Richard Osman joining team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton to take some well-aimed potshots at the week's headlines and other stories.

You can debate the virtues of the ideal Qi guest, but tonight's is a pretty perfect line-up - 10:00 BBC2. Sara Pascoe, Bill Bailey and the Reverend Richard Coles all have so much to chip in and riff with that the episode reaches some kind of comedy plateau where the questions feel almost like an interruption to the general flow of pithy drollery. Sara, one of this blogger's favourite comediennes, has astonishing facts about rats' love lives to impart, Bill, in his usual surreal way, objects to the phrase 'the birds and the bees' on the basis that bees are, actually, 'sexless lackeys for a monstrous sugar giant' - the lad does have a point - and Richard ponders the uselessness of a tie rack in a vicarage. He also enlightens us on what it means to be soundly 'firked.' That's firked dear blog reader. Yer actual Stephen Fry continues the comedy panel quiz's exploration of subjects beginning with the letter L as he asks a range of fiendish questions on L-themed Larks - a 'Liblabble', as he calls it.
A case from thirteen years earlier returns to haunt Robbie when the evidence comes under review in Lewis - 9:00 ITV. Graham Lawrie was incarcerated in a secure psychiatric hospital after being found guilty of the murders of three police officers, but now the findings of the forensics lab have been called into question and an appeal has been launched. As Lawrie remains locked up ahead of his day in court, PC Mark Travis is lured to an isolated location with a hoax call and falls victim to a killer who uses the same weapon as that used in the original murders. The title of this penultimate episode – Beyond Good and Evil – gives viewers a clanging great Nietzsche alert, a heads up that every serial killer's favourite philosopher will hang heavily over the plot. And so he does. There are big close-ups of the titular book as the murderer of three police officers in 2001 prepares for an appeal hearing. Robbie was the investigating officer and there are claims that the DNA evidence was compromised. Anger and tension crackle between Lewis and Hathaway after another police officer dies in exactly the same way as the first trio of victims. Surely the convicted killer can't be to blame? Or is he, in the way of TV multiple murderers, a clever, Hannibal Lecter-type puppet-master?
The hunters become the hunted when the discovery of a mutilated corpse leads Liz to investigate the bloody underworld of animal poaching in the latest episode of The Blacklist - 9:00 Sky Living. As Red provides a lead on who could be behind the murder, Ressler develops an unhealthy habit. Drama, starring James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff and Harry Lennix.

Or, if you prefer your comedy about as funny as a serious case of testicular itch, there's always Citizen Khan - 8:30 BBC1.

And now, dear blog reader, for today's ...
It's the truly Earth-shattering question of whether Wee Shughie McFee, the sour-faced Scottish chef off Crossroads will be giving Wor Geet Stroppy Cheryl Fernandez-Versini-Whatsherface back on the judging panel for The X Factor in 2015. That's if there is an X Factor in 2015. A story which was front page news in the Mirra, the Scum Express and the Sun on Monday morning. As if anybody with half-a-frigging-brain in their skull actually gives a monkey's fek about such utter trivia. Here's an idea, lads and lasses of Fleet Street, how about you trying reporting the bloody news for once instead of bollocks like this? There's plenty of it about if you know where to look. No, that's far too much like hard work, isn't it?

Plans for an 'Eric Morecambe Day' and a sculpture of him with comic partner, Ernie Wise, have been proposed after his statue in his home town was vandalised. The Marine Road Central statue was removed after the 11 October incident. Jim Cadman, who will lead the project to create the two new tributes, said the vandalism had become 'a springboard for further celebrating Eric's memory.' A public meeting on Wednesday put forward the new ways to 'achieve a last legacy for Morecambe's favourite son.' Cadman, business partner of the statue's sculptor Graham Ibbeson, said the 'galvanising effect the attack has had in the local community [and] nationwide has been truly inspirational. There seems to be a great willingness to use this as a springboard for a way of further celebrating Eric's memory and the joy he brought to his millions of fans.'
Things we learned from CSI this week: Every single time that Brody, Sara and Finn decide to go on some form of girlies fun time (even if this one was a CSI's conference) carnage and bloody mayhem, inevitably, are never far away.
The actress Elizabeth Norment, who played Nancy Kaufberger, the secretary to Kevin Spacey's character in US TV drama House Of Cards, has died aged sixty one. Spacey paid tribute on Twitter, writing: 'We all loved her and she leaves a void in all of us here at HoC's.' The show's writer Beau Willimon said: 'Everyone at House of Cards is deeply saddened by Elizabeth's passing. She was a talented actress, a warm soul and a good friend to us all.' Norment's character worked for Spacey's politician Frank Underwood, a cunning congressman from South Carolina, in the Netflix series. The actress died in New York on 13 October, her sister told The Hollywood Reporter. She had also previously had roles in the TV shows Law & Order, St Elsewhere, Party of Five, ER and Mad About You. On the big screen, she appeared in The Woman in Red, Runaway and Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.
A painting sold by Sotheby's in London for forty two grand is at the centre of a legal battle amid claims that it could actually be the work of Italian baroque master Caravaggio and worth up to eleven million smackers. Which is quite a bit more than forty two thousand notes, dear blog reader, just in case you were wondering about that. Former owner Bill Thwaytes, of Penrith in Cumbria, has accused the auction house of 'professional negligence.' When it was sold in 2006, it was attributed to 'a follower' of the artist. Thwaytes claimed that more should have been done to determine whether it was by Caravaggio, who died in 1610. The oil painting The Cardsharps depicts a wealthy man falling victim to two cheats at a card table. Ironic, really, considering the kerfuffle it's now causing/ It was bought by the Thwaytes family in 1962 for one hundred and forty quid. Which is quite a bit less than the forty two grand they got for it in 2006 so, you'd imagine they'd be happy with their investment. But, it would seem not. In 2006, Thwaytes asked Sotheby's to value the work and the auction house concluded that the painting was one of several copies made of the original, which is on display at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. In the 1950s, the Thwaytes family sold a genuine Caravaggio, The Musicians, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Thwaytes, he claims, 'suspected' his version of The Cardsharps was also likely to be authentic. But Sotheby's decided the copy was not created by the Italian master himself and attributed it to a Seventeenth Century follower. The painting was sold for forty two thousand knicker. But its new owner - a British collector - has declared it to be by Caravaggio and, as a consequence, worth millions. Which it is, or not, is now the subject of some debate. Speaking at the High Court in London on Monday, Henry Legge QC, for Thwaytes, said that the issue was not whether it could be proved on the balance of probabilities that the painting was by Caravaggio. The core of the case, he said, was a claim of negligence. He said that Sotheby's had 'failed to thoroughly research' the painting, consult outside experts or 'properly advise' Thwaytes. Sotheby's is defending the claim and has described suggestions the painting is worth eleven million smackers as 'preposterous.' In papers submitted to the court, the auction house said that its experts were competent to assess the artwork and none of the leading scholars who have examined it since it was sold think it is by Caravaggio. Thwaytes, and some of the world's leading Caravaggio experts, will give evidence at the trial, which is due to last for four weeks.
Police think 'an Oasis fan' may be responsible for breaking into an art gallery to steal a picture of the band. Whether they mean any Oasis fan or one (or more) specific one is, at this time unclear but, just so we're absolutely straight about this, yer actual keith Telly Topping - who is, very much, an Oasis fan - never done it. He has a cast iron alibi. He was in Stately Telly Topping Manor at the time of the alleged incident, writing this very blog. A window was reportedly smashed at MASA-UK on Bolton Street in Bury, in the early hours of Monday morning. Oh, well, in that case, scrub the last alibi. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping was still in Stately Telly Topping Manor but was in bed with a big dirty woman. Just so we're clear. The black-and-white painting by Olga Tsarevska Loma of the group is inscribed with 'otz2013'. Referencing Oasis songs, PC Katherine Gosling said she was not aware of 'a master plan' behind the theft and that 'some might say' a fan was responsible. Oh look, a funny copper. Almost. Tell you what, stick to the day job, Katherine and leave the comedy to the professionals. She added: 'This was the only piece taken and some might say we are therefore looking for an Oasis fan - similarly it may have been stolen to order. Regardless we are keen to find it and return it.'
A former personal assistant to Adam Clayton of The U2 Group has lost an appeal against her conviction for stealing more than two million smackers from the bass guitarist. In 2012, Carol Hawkins was found extremely guilty of one hundred and eighty one counts of theft from his bank accounts. The judge said she had used the money to fund 'a lavish lifestyle.' The expensive items she bought included twenty two racehorses and a New York apartment. The Irish Court of Criminal Appeal has upheld the conviction. It has still to rule on the severity of her jail term. The former PA was very sentenced to seven years in pokey after her 2012 trial, but later appealed both her conviction and the length of the jail term imposed. Originally from North London, Hawkins later moved to Dublin and took up a position of trust in the multi-millionaire musician's home. Her original trial was told that she embezzled the money from two of Clayton's bank accounts over a four-year period, from 2004 to 2008. The fifty one-year-old, who carried out housekeeping duties for Clayton, reportedly spent the cash on shopping sprees and on her children's education. At the Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin, her lawyers had argued that her conviction was unsafe on several grounds. These included alleged inadequacies in the disclosure process of her trial, admission of prejudicial evidence and the refusal to exclude witnesses from court during cross-examination.Her barrister told the court that the privacy afforded to Clayton during the 2012 trial had 'effectively hamstrung' Hawkins' defence. However, the three judges who heard her case were having none of it and dismissed all grounds of the appeal. They will rule on her appeal against the jail term within the next few days.

An unmanned supply rocket bound for the International Space Station has exploded shortly after its launch from Virginia. Antares, built by Orbital Sciences Corp, combusted seconds after leaving the seaside launch pad at Wallops Flight Facility. The cause of the cargo ship malfunction has yet to be determined. The initial planned launch of the spacecraft on Monday was delayed due to a yacht in the surrounding danger zone. The flight was expected to be the third contracted mission with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The rocket was due to carry nearly five thousand pounds of supplies to six astronauts aboard the International Space Station. It included experiment kits for the astronauts to conduct tests on blood flow to the human brain and the analysis of meteors. Officials said there were also some pre-packaged meals and freeze-dried crab cakes on board. 'We will understand what happened, hopefully soon, and we'll get things back on track,' said Frank Culbertson, executive vice-president of Orbital Sciences. 'We've all seen this happen in our business before, and we've all seen the teams recover from this, and we will do the same.'
Two men were thrown out of a UKiP event in Gateshead on Wednesday evening after loudly telling odious rat-faced smear Nigel Farage to 'fuck off back to Toad Hall.' This blogger isn't quite sure why that's thigh-slappingly hilarious rather than just merely, you know, funny. But is it. Michael Holt told The Huffington Post he and Josh Wright decided to launch the protest because they do not like 'the way that political culture in the UK is totally fixated with race and immigration' and that 'Nigel Farage is a big part of the reason that that has been allowed to happen. This is England and I don't want people like him giving our country a bad name around the world by going around spreading his bigotry, stirring up tension and making people wrongly think that the weak and vulnerable are responsible for our nation’s problems,' he said. Good on ya, chaps.

On Tuesday, dear blog reader, much to his own surprise since he hadn't been feeling over clever for the previous couple of yays, yer actual Keith Telly Topping his very self only went and set a new British, European and Commonwealth All Comers PB of thirty one lengths at the pool.
Which he was, you know, delighted about, even if he did need oxygen by the finish. On Wednesday he managed a mere but twenty eight lengths at the pool. Yes, yer actual keith Telly Topping does fully realise that, before Tuesday, 'but twenty eight' would have equalled yer actual's British, European and Commonwealth All Comers PB and all that. But, hey, once you've cracked the thirty barrier - and started comparing yourself to Aquaman - 'but twenty eight' is just 'but twenty eight'. What can yer actual keith Telly Topping tell you dear blog reader? The mathematics are unequivocal.

For the latest Keith Telly Topping's 45 of the Day, dear blog reader, in belated tribute to the late Jack Bruce, here's a taste of yer actual Cream on Beat Club. Check out Clapton's perm, dear blog reader, it's a darzah!

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