Sunday, October 15, 2017

If You Want To Know The Future, Don't Look In The Mirra

There was another alleged 'exclusive' story on that bastion of truthful and accurate reportage, the Daily Mirra's website earlier this week, which claimed that the next series of Doctor Who will be broadcast as ten sixty-minute episodes rather than twelve forty five minute episodes. And that the series will also have a new theme tune arrangement, there will be a new sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS will be redesigned, both inside and out. The story also quotes a - suspiciously anonymous and, therefore probably fictitious - alleged 'insider', who allegedly suggested that the series 'will continue to have stories set both in the past and the future.' No shit? And, in other news, the Pope is Catholic, apparently. Other than the first claim - about the ten hour-long episodes - anyone even remotely acquainted with the BBC's long-running popular family SF drama would have been able to guess that all of those other elements were likely to feature given the arrival of both a new Doctor and a new showrunner. It doesn't take an alleged 'insider' to allegedly tell you, dear blog reader, that the TARDIS is still blue. As for the ten episodes of sixty minutes claim, that was something which was speculated about by fans on the popular Doctor Who forum Gallifrey Base (where the disgracefully click-bait websites of the national dailies often source their Doctor Who-related stories from, frequently presenting mere idle fan speculation as 'fact') the best part of two years ago. This speculation has been repeated quite frequently in fan circles over the last couple of years and, frankly, the only surprise here is that it has taken all this time for a variant on the rumour to hit the website of a national tabloid. And, of course, the particular tabloid in question has, as recently as April of this year, made a complete and utter fool of itself by claiming that Kris Marshall had been cast as the next Doctor. When he, you know, hadn't. One very much wonders if the alleged 'insider' the Mirra allegedly quoted in that alleged story - or, indeed, the alleged 'insider' allegedly quoted in their subsequent alleged 'exclusive' that Bradley Walsh had, allegedly, been cast as Jodie Whittaker's TARDIS companion, a story which, despite being widely reported by lots of media outlets after the Mirra first made this claim, has still to be confirmed by the BBC - is the same alleged 'insider' they've allegedly used for this most recent alleged story. Now, it is perfectly possible that Doctor Who might be in ten episodes of sixty minutes next series. Or not. Sixty minute dramas are, after all, something of a hard sell to all of those foreign broadcasters who need to fit advertisements in and around it. But let's face it, if that does happen, it's not going to be confirmed in a click-bait story where some alleged 'insider' is confidently predicting that the TARDIS will continue to travel in time. Does anyone remember when the Mirra used to be an accurate reporter of 'news'? Of course, that was when they were still hacking people's phones, admittedly ...
Incidentally, the Independent's reporting of these claims comes in a piece of abject nonsense entitled Doctor Who set to follow Game Of Thrones' lead as Jodie Whittaker series aims for longer episodes but fewer of them. Brilliant, is it not, how the Indi, just like their Middle Class hippy Communist mates at the Gruniad Morning Star, can usually manage to crowbar in whatever the latest flavour-of-the-month the DVD box-set kiddies in the office are, like, rilly into? Because, as everybody knows, television only began when Game Of Thrones started in 2011. Before that, there was nothing but silence. Doctor Who, incidentally has, on at least three previous occasions, changed the length of its standard episode running time and this blogger has lost count of the number of occasions that the yearly episode number has also changed.
The Daily Scum Express also folded the Mirra's claims into a piece about the forthcoming Doctor Who Christmas special and some speculation about the identity of the character being played in the episode by yer actual Mark Gatiss. 'Some Whovians have wondered if he will be playing a younger version of The Brigadier (originally played by Nicholas Courteney) due to his familiar costume,' they claim. Okay, we'll try to ignore the use of the hateful, sneering 'W' word for a moment and concentrate instead on the fact that most fan rumours concerning the character Mark is playing have speculated that he is The Brigadier's father - or, possibly, grandfather - rather than The Brig himself (who, if he had fought in the First World, War would have been at least in his eighties when he was leading UNIT alongside Mister Pertwee!) Like the Mirra, it appears that the Scum Express have been scouring Doctor Who fan sites on the Interweb looking for speculation that they can report as an 'exclusive'; this blogger's old mate Davie McIntee - among others - advanced the theory that Mark could be playing Gilbert MacKenzie-Trench, the - real-life - designer of the police box, some months ago online.
Tom Baker has returned to Doctor Who to complete an unfinished story thirty six years after it was infamously abandoned. Shada, which was partly filmed in Cambridge, was in production in 1979 for the end of the popular family SF drama's seventeenth series. But, tragically, strike action at the BBC meant that studio scenes were never completed and the six episode story was eventually abandoned. It will be released on BBC Worldwide with the original footage combined with new colour animations and voiceovers to complete the story. The newly-recorded lines from Mad Tom as The Doctor and Lalla Ward as his companion, Romana, will follow the original scripts written by Douglas Adams. The story finds the Doctor in Cambridge working alongside Romana and a retired Time Lord, Professor Chronotis, to defeat the evil alien Skagra who is attempting to steal the secrets to the Time Lord prison planet, Shada. Baker said: 'Shada was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories. I have many fond memories of shooting the location scenes in Cambridge and it was disappointing not to finish the story in the studio. I'm so glad that BBC Worldwide have found a way to bring fans a complete visual version.' The release of Shada follows the successful animation of the lost 1966 Doctor Who story The Power Of The Daleks in November 2016. Some footage from Shada was used in the Doctor Who twentieth anniversary special, The Five Doctors in 1983. Tom Baker did not want to reprise his role for that story so a scene from Shada of The Doctor and Romana punting on The Cam was used and the characters were said to have been 'trapped in the time vortex.' A video was released in 1992, with Tom Baker providing linking material to camera for the missing scenes and this was subsequently re-released as a DVD. For the show's fortieth anniversary, in 2003, the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, joined Lalla Ward for a new version of Shada in an animated webcast on the BBC website. In 2013 a - highly unofficial - 'fan' version, directed by Ian Levine, was completed using amateur animation to fill in the gaps. In that version, although a number of original cast members revoiced their parts, Tom Baker did not take part and The Doctor was voiced by another actor. The story has also been novelised by Gareth Roberts. Shada is being produced by the team behind the highly successful and critically acclaimed animation of The Power Of The Daleks and the lost Dad's Army episode A Stripe For Frazer. The team have had access to nearly seven hours of raw footage from the 1979 Shada shoot from which they are editing the new production from scratch, with all the original location film negatives re-scanned in full HD and digitally remastered. It will not, however, be possible to create a full HD version of the new production, as the original studio video material is locked into its original SD format and no higher resolution is possible. Shada will be released as a digital download on 24 November and on DVD and Bluray on 4 December.
Whomsoever is in charge of writing up the TV Guide listings for the W channel's current repeat run of Doctor Who clearly thinks that The Wilderness Years never happened. Series forty nine? Nice try, no cigar. (It's either 'series thirty three' or 'series seven' - depending on if you view the series which began in 1963 and ended in 1989 as, effectively, the same production as the one which revived the popular long-running SF drama in 2005 - but, not forty nine.)
The shooting script for Peter Capaldi's final episode as The Doctor is being sold at a charity auction. The script for Twice Upon A Time is being auctioned to raise money for William Shatner's Hollywood Charity Horse Show, set up by The Shat to raise money to support a number of charities dedicated to helping those in need. The script is signed by two of the three Doctors featured in the story - Peter Capaldi and David Bradley - as well as other members of the team and has been donated by Mark Gatiss. Online bidding in the silent auction begins on Sunday 15 October. The winner of the auction will not be sent the script until after transmission of the episode this coming Christmas.
Traffic is to be banned from part of a County Antrim road - made famous by the TV fantasy drama Game Of Thrones - to protect trees known as The Dark Hedges. The tunnel of beech trees on the Bregagh Road, near Armoy, has become a major international tourist attraction. The scene was used by the Game Of Thrones crew to represent The Kingsroad in the HBO drama series. Stormont's Department for Infrastructure is introducing a ban on cars using the road from 30 October. The order will also prohibit buses and coaches from using the designated stretch of the Bregagh Road. Any motorist who flouts the ban could face a fine of up to a grand. Although, it is unlikely that they will also be beheaded by the guitarist from Doctor Feelgood. So, in that regard, Ireland and Westeros would appear to have somewhat different systems of justice. Some vehicles - including agricultural and emergency vehicles - will be exempt from the ban 'in certain circumstances.' The Dark Hedges were planted more than two hundred years ago by the Stuart family, who created a tree-lined avenue along the entrance to their Gracehill House mansion. About one hundred and fifty were planted by James Stuart, but time has taken its toll over the centuries and now fewer than two thirds remain standing. In January 2016, during Storm Gertrude, high winds ripped up two trees, causing them to collapse. Later that year, a large, rotten branch broke off one of the trees and fell across the road. The Dark Hedges became a huge draw for tourists and TV fans after they appeared, albeit very briefly, in the closing scene of one episode of Game Of Thrones. Conservationists have 'expressed alarm' about the increasing traffic levels in the area and the possible damage to the trees' roots. During the Easter holidays this year, pictures of traffic jams were shared on social media, some criticising the number of vehicles lining the road. The cycling blog NI Greenways described The Dark Hedges as 'a national treasure' and claimed that it was 'being slowly killed.' The Department for Infrastructure published the banning order on 5 October. It had proposed the ban last year, after 'discussions with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and other interested parties.' It launched a consultation and said 'four written objections were received and duly considered and no other representations were received.' The department said that new traffic signs, advising the public of the ban, would be erected in the area 'in due course.'
The opening episode of the next, fifteenth - O - series of Qi will begin on BBC2 on Friday 20 October with an episode called Ologies and a guest-panel joining Sandi and Alan that includes long-time regulars Bill Bailey and Phill Jupitas along with Claudia Whatshereface. The extended XL episode will be broadcast on Saturday 21 October.
Unexpected TV Moment Of The Week: An alarmingly bearded hipster-type bloke on Only Connect getting an answer correct by quoting an R.E.M. song.
TV Comedy Moment Of The Week: The great Andy Hamilton on Have I Got News For You on the subject of what fellow guest Isabel Hardman described as 'the next episode of The Demise Of Theresa May': 'It's a bit like a very dull, slow Attenborough, isn't it? Where the same wounded Wildebeest is limping across the plain and the Hyenas can't quite get organised enough to kill her off!'
The subject then turned to the revelation this week that Boris Johnson is alleged to have told Lord Adonis that he only joined - and took a leading role in - the Leave campaign specifically to annoy David Cameron. 'He confessed it in an interview,' Ian Hislop noted. Guest host Richard Ayoade confirmed that, indeed, Johnson had done exactly that. 'According to the Mail ... [Would you] call that an interview?' 'Can we edit that bit out so people believe it?' Ian asked, hastily. 'Well ... according to a reputable paper,' Richard continued before Hislop stopped him again. 'Can we edit that bit out as well!'
Here are the final and consolidated ratings for the Top Twenty Eight programmes broadcast in the week-ending Sunday 8 October 2017:-
1 Strictly Come Dancing - Sat BBC1 - 11.15m
2 Doctor Foster - Tues BBC1 - 9.78m
3 Coronation Street - Mon ITV - 8.07m
4 The Great British Bake-Off - Tues Channel Four - 8.04m
5 Liar - Mon ITV - 7.71m
6 Emmerdale - Mon ITV - 6.92m
7 The X-Factor - Sun ITV - 6.83m
8 EastEnders - Mon BBC1 - 6.70m
9 The Apprentice - Wed BBC1 - 6.49m
10 Doc Martin - Wed ITV - 6.14m
11 Antiques Roadshow - Sun BBC1 - 6.05m
12 Victoria - Sun ITV - 5.90m
13 Countryfile - Sun BBC1 - 5.72m
14 Six O'Clock News - Mon BBC1 - 5.66m
15 Casualty - Sat BBC1 - 5.57m
16 World Cup Qualifiers 2018: England versus Slovenia - Thurs ITV - 5.19m
17 Have I Got News For You - Fri BBC1 - 5.18m
18 Ten O'Clock News - Tues BBC1 - 4.91m
19 The Last Post - Sun BBC1 - 4.84m
20 Cold Feet - Fri ITV - 4.48m
21 Pointless Z-List Celebrities - Sat BBC1 - 4.36m
22= Who Do You Think You Are? - Wed BBC1 - 4.31m
22= Holby City - Tues BBC1 - 4.31m
24 Ambulance - Thurs BBC1 - 4.28m
25 BBC News - Sun BBC1 - 4.22m
26 Bad Move - Wed ITV - 3.91m
27 World Cup Qualifiers 2018: Lithuania Versus England - Sun ITV - 3.75m
28 Porridge - Fri BBC1 - 3.65m
These consolidated figures, published weekly by the British Audience Research Bureau, include all viewers who watched programmes live and on various forms of catch-up TV and video-on-demand during the seven days after initial broadcast. They do not, however, include those who watched on BBC's iPlayer or ITV Player via their computers. Don't ask this blogger why, dear blog reader, they just don't. The Sunday night Strictly Come Dancing results episode had a consolidated audience of 9.64 million punters. Given that the ratings for the opening three episodes and the launch show of this years competition are all (marginally) up on the equivalent episodes from 2016, with each passing week that exceptionally silly girl at the Gruniad Morning Star claims, before remember a single episode had even been broadcast, that Strictly Come Dancing was 'in a fight for its survival' look more and more ridiculous. As with much else printed in the Gruniad Morning Star, frankly. The X-Factor - which, despite some of its lowest ever audiences this series probably isn't 'in a fight for its survival' either, at least not yet - drew a total of 5.75 million viewers for its Saturday episode. Given that, generally appalled, critical savaging that the opening episode of Lee Nelson's Porridge remake received (after the pilot episode last year had been broadly well-received) one could suggest keeping an eye on how the sitcom's ratings plot from this point onwards, although given that on an average week anything below 3.65 million would struggle to get into BBC1's top thirty that might not be a very easy task. Time will tell. It usually does. On BBC2, the highest-rated show was Louis Theroux: Dark States with 3.11 million. Russia With Simon Reeves drew 2.81 million, University Challenge, 2.62 million, Dragons' Den, 2.39 million, Gardeners' World, 2.09 million and Mastermind, 2.03 million. The Detectives: Murder On The Streets was watched by 1.91 million, Only Connect by 1.77 million, both The Apprentice - You're Fired! and Saving Lives At Sea by 1.76 million, Mock The Week by 1.69 million, Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two, by 1.68 million, Antiques Road Trip by 1.63 million, The Human Body: Secrets Of Your Life Revealed by 1.59 million, W1A by 1.54 million, The Big Family Cooking Showdown by 1.47 million and Coast: The Great Guide by 1.45 million. Wretched, unfunny waste-of-oxygen Upstart Crow attracted 1.24 million people who wouldn't know a joke if it got up and gave them a haircut. Channel Four's highest-rated broadcast was, of course, The Great British Bake Off. Gogglebox (2.75 million),F1: Japanese Grand Prix Highlights (2.14 million) and The Supervet (1.88 million) followed. Location, Location, Location, Location, Location had 1.87 million viewers, Grand Designs, 1.79 million, The Undateables, 1.76 million, First Dates, 1.72 million, Escape To The Chateau, 1.69 million, The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice, 1.60 million, The Last Leg With Adam Hills, 1.59 million and Educating Greater Manchester, 1.47 million. The fourth episode of Philip K Dick's Impossible Dreams was seen by nine hundred and sixty four thousand and Britain's Ancient Tracks With Tony Robinson by seven hundred and twenty one thousand. Channel Five's top performer was The Yorkshire Vet, with an audience of 1.72 million. Paddington Station 24/7Police Interceptors, Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! and Alaska: A Year In The Wild rounded-off Five's list with audiences of 1.62 million, 1.49 million, 1.35 million and 1.29 million. Britain By Bike With Larry & George Lamb was watched by 1.08 million. Due to the international break for the final batch of World Cup Qualifiers, it was a quiet week on the Sky Sports Premier League Channel. The top-ten was headed by Gillette Soccer Saturday which had one hundred and thirty three thousand views, along with one hundred and thirteen thousand watching on Sky Sports HQ. One2Eleven was watched by forty six thousand punters. Sky Sports Football managed to cover a few games this week, with Live EFL action from Barnet Versus Coventry City (two hundred and seven thousand) and Gillingham Versus Portsmouth (one hundred and eighty two thousand) actually drawing more viewers to the channel than the World Cup games between The Republic Of Ireland and Moldova (one hundred and forty thousand), Slovenia Versus Scotland (one hundred and thirty four thousand), Georgia Versus Wales (one hundred and fourteen thousand)and Bulgaria Versus France (ninety four thousand). Sweden Versus Luxembourg attracted ninety two thousand. Scotland's trip to Slovenia and Wales's victory in Georgia, however, topped the Sky Sports Main Event top ten with three hundred and thirty four thousand and two hundred and fifty thousand respectively. Northern Ireland's defeat in Norway had one hundred and eighty one thousand. On Sky Sports Mix, Live World Cup Darts was watched by thirty five thousand. Live NFL Red Zone had twenty nine thousand. On Sky Sports Cricket the channel's highest audience of the week was live coverage of the India Versus Australia T20 with sixty four thousand. Live Japanese Grand Prix was seen by three hundred and ninety eight thousand punters on Sky Sports F1 - quite a bit lower than the channel usually attracts for a Grand Prix due, no doubt, to the early morning 6am start. Live Super League Grand Final attracted one hundred and seventy three thousand viewers on Sky Sports Arena. Sky 1's weekly top-ten was headed by the return for a new series of the popular US sitcom Modern Family with nine hundred and seventy six thousand viewers. Worthless, rancid puddle of festering, bog-awful manure A League Of Their Own, watched by six hundred and ninety three thousand punters - every single one of whom needs to take a good, hard look in the mirror for any remote signs of common sense. The equally worthless and equally unfunny Stella drew exactly the same number of viewers - six hundred and ninety three thousand. Given how bloody awful and depressingly lowest-common-denominator both of these wretched things are, one has to wonder if it was the same six hundred and ninety three thousand people who were watching both. Because, strange as that would be, it's not beyond the bounds of possibility. The Russell Howard Hour - another insult to the intelligence of the average mollusc - drew six hundred and fifty one thousand. For shame, people of Great Britain, for shame. And, it doesn't get any better - the opening episode of Sing: Ultimate A Cappella was seen by four hundred and sixty nine thousand. Why, for the love of God, why? Sky Arts' Discovering: ABBA was viewed by sixty nine thousand viewers. The excellent documentary XTC: This Is Pop drew sixty three thousand punters whilst a hastily scheduled broadcast of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Live following Petty's death a couple of days earlier was seen by thirty nine thousand. Sky Atlantic's list was topped Last Week Tonight With John Oliver with two hundred and thirty three thousand. The opening episode of the Curb Your Enthusiasm revival had one hundred and seventy eight thousand, episode five of Tin Star, one hundred and seventy six thousand, Ray Donovan, one hundred and seventy two thousand, the second episode of The Deuce, one hundred and sixty nine thousand and the latest Game Of Thrones repeat, fifty two thousand. On Sky Living, Chicago Fire drew by four hundred and sixty nine thousand whilst Law & Order: True Crime had two hundred and fifty thousand. How To Get Away With Murder attracted one hundred and eighty seven thousand. T2: Trainspotting was watched by three hundred and twenty eight thousand punters on Sky Cinema Premiere. Midsomer Murders was ITV3's top-rated drama (eight hundred and fifty nine thousand viewers). Foyle's War was seen by five hundred and fifty one thousand. Coverage of the World Cup Qualifier between Belarus and The Netherlands was seen by four hundred and seven thousand and ITV Racing by four hundred and four thousand. The Bond movie Licence To Kill - one of the worst ones - drew three hundred and eight thousand. ITV2's top-ten was headed by full-of-its-own-importance bucket of foul-smelling spew, Z-List Celebrity Juice, seen by 1.08 million sad, crushed victims of society. Vera headed ITV Encore's top ten with ninety two thousand viewers, followed by Whitechapel (fifty seven thousand) and Poirot (thirty seven thousand). Worthless, shallow, stinking smear of appalling diarrhoea, The Only Way Is Essex, was viewed by eight hundred and sixty eight thousand of exactly the sort of specimens who enjoy such risible and ugly exercises in z-list-celebrity-by-non-entity on ITVBe. Similarly tripe conceit, The Real Housewives Of Cheshire was seen by five hundred and fifty thousand. Broken Britain in a sentence, dear blog reader. BBC4's list was headed by two episodes of Black Lake (six hundred and seven thousand and five hundred and eighty six thousand viewers) and two episodes of The Viet'Nam War (five hundred and seventy four thousand and five hundred and fifty thousand respectively). British History's Biggest Fibs With Lucy Worsley had five hundred and twenty two thousand. The opening episode of Tunes For Tyrants: Music & Power with Suzy Klein drew four hundred and seventy four thousand, Ocean Giants, four hundred and sixty nine thousand and The Sky At Night, four hundred and sixty two thousand. Britain's Lost Masterpieces was seen by four hundred and sixty thousand. 5USA's latest Chicago PD episode was viewed by six hundred and seventy seven thousand punters, NCIS: Los Angeles by five hundred and forty eight thousand, Castle by four hundred and seven thousand, Bull by four hundred and three thousand and Longmire by three hundred and thirty one thousand. On Five Star, Home & Away scored four hundred and forty one thousand. Missing In Action topped the most-watched programme list of CBS Action (one hundred and fifteen thousand). Medium attracted seventy eight thousand on CBS Drama. For the FOX Channel, The Gifted'sdebut episode was watched by six hundred and fifty one thousand. American Horror Story: Cult had two hundred and ninety three thousand and the surprisingly decent Lucifer, two hundred and eighteen thousand. Murder In The First was watched by one hundred and forty six thousand viewers. The second series of Private Eyes continued with two hundred and twelve thousand viewers on The Universal Channel, followed by Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and NCIS (one hundred and fifty thousand and eighty four thousand, respectively). On Dave, funny as a geet ugly boil on ones little chap, Taskmaster was watched by six hundred and thirty six thousand very undiscerning punters. Another example of unfunny tripe, Gavin & Stacey was seen by three hundred and twenty eight thousand. The first episode Red Dwarf XI by three hundred and twenty five thousand and Live At The Apollo, by three hundred and nine thousand. Drama's Father Brown attracted five hundred and two thousand viewers and Death In Paradise, four hundred and forty seven thousand. Inspector George Gently was watched by three hundred and thirty four thousand, Shetland by three hundred and five thousand and Rizzoli & Isles by two hundred and ninety seven thousand. Death In Paradise (ninety seven thousand) and Shetland (one hundred and six thousand) also appeared in the weekly top-ten of Alibi. Sony TV's weekly list was headed by Orange Is The New Black (forty four thousand). Yesterday's Wild Canada continued with two hundred and twenty nine thousand, whilst All The King's Men attracted two hundred and twenty seven thousand and The Churchills, two hundred and eighteen thousand. On the Discovery Channel, Garage Rehab was seen by one hundred and ninety nine thousand viewers. Gold Divers had one hundred and forty nine thousand, Misfit Garage, one hundred and seven thousand, Ed Stafford: Left For Dead, one hundred and four thousand and Alaska: The Last Frontier, one hundred and two thousand. From The North cult fave Wheeler Dealers appeared in the weekly top tens of both Discovery Shed (forty six thousand) and Discovery Turbo (twenty nine thousand). Discovery History's Industrial Revelations headed the top ten with thirty two thousand. Toughest Military Jobs attracted twenty eight thousand. On Discovery Science, UK's Toughest Jobs was seen by thirty six thousand. On Quest, Salvage Hunters was watched by four hundred thousand. Pick's Z Nation had an audience of three hundred and thirty five thousand. National Geographic's list was headed by Air Crash Investigations and Nazi Megastructures. They were watched by one hundred and thirty seven thousand and one hundred and twenty one thousand respectively. National Geographic Wild's Snakes In The City was viewed by forty six thousand. The History Channel's most-seen programmes were Forged In Fire (ninety three thousand) and American Pickers (seventy four thousand). Snipers on the Military History channel was seen by twenty six thousand and Ancient Aliens by nineteen thousand. Jo Frost On Britain's Killer Kids, The First Forty Eight, Unusual Suspects and Homicide: Hours To Kill were Crime & Investigation's top-rated programmes with eighty nine thousand, fifty one thousand, forty seven thousand and forty six thousand blood-and-snots-lovers, respectively. Coroner: I Speak For The Dead, Shattered, Six Degrees Of Murder and Guilty Rich headed Investigation Discovery's list (eighty thousand, seventy six thousand, seventy four thousand and sixty eight thousand respectively). GOLD's - seemingly never-ending - documentary series The Story Of Only Fools & Horses had six hundred and sixty nine thousand. Comedy Central's largest audience of the week was for Impractical Jokers with three hundred and sixty six thousand. Your TV's repeat of Bones series six continued with eighty seven thousand viewers. On More4, Outlander was the highest-rated programme with five hundred and fifty six thousand. Nine-Nine-Nine: On The Frontline had four hundred and seventeen thousand and Inside Birmingham Children's Hospital, three hundred and fifty nine thousand. E4's list was topped by Hollyoakes 1.02 million). The latest episode of Blood Drive, headed Syfy's top-ten with three hundred and twelve thousand whilst The Jackal was watched by one hundred thousand. The Horror Channel's weekly list was topped by four episode of Star Trek: Voyager - horrible, certainly, but horror? Scotland Yard, Forbidden Cargo and A Chump At Oxford topped Talking Pictures list, with seventy eight thousand, fifty eight thousand and fifty four thousand respectively. Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! had two hundred and fourteen thousand on Spike. Great Barrier Reef was viewed by twenty six thousand on Eden, whilst Wondercore Smart had twenty three thousand. Alaska: The Last Frontier was the Animal Planet's most-watched programme with thirty four thousand. MasterChef Australia on W attracted two hundred and thirty three thousand punters. True Crime's Fatal Attraction was seen by sixty three thousand viewers and the awkwardly misogynistic Deadly Women by fifty one thousand. On True Entertainment, The Winds Of War, was watched by one hundred and fifty eight thousand. Rick Stein's French Odyssey drew seventy four thousand on Good Food. TLC's list was headed by Cake Boss (with one hundred and sixty six thousand). Shameful shat-splat Geordie Shore on MTV was viewed by four hundred and seventy one thousand pure glakes whilst equally worthless Teen Mom 2 had two hundred and sixty four thousand. The great Comic Relief Bake-Off was seen by two hundred and eight thousand on Really. Dorothy & The Wizard Of Oz had one hundred and twenty three thousand viewers on Boomerang. American Lawmen topped PBS America's weekly list with twenty three thousand. On Cbeebies, Topsy & Tim was seen by five hundred and six thousand, Clangers by five hundred and four thousand, Messy Goes To Okido also by five hundred and four thousand and Sarah & Duck by five hundred and two thousand. Alvinnn!!! & The Chipmunks had one hundred and ninety six thousand on the Pop Channel. On AMC, Fear The Walking Dead was watched by twelve thousand. Pawn Stars drew one hundred and thirty two thousand punters on Blaze. Keeping Up With The Kardashians attracted one hundred and eighty six thousand viewers on E! whilst Total Bellas had sixty thousand. Dance Moms pulled in one hundred and twenty six thousand on Lifetime.

Paddy Considine is set to lead the cast of new BBC drama, Informer. The actor will star as Counter-Terrorism officer Gabe, who coerces a second-generation Pakistani man from East London called Raza (played by Nabhaan Rizwan) to go undercover and inform for him. Gabe has a past that he is unwilling to expose, but his new and ambitious partner Holly (Bel Powley) has an endless curiosity that becomes threatening, and when the central counter-terrorism investigation heats up, the stakes for all three of these characters get ever higher. Written by Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani, Informer is described as 'a sophisticated and character-driven thriller' that tells 'a story about identity' in a world where 'lines are increasingly being drawn and sides are being taken.' And it 'questions what happens when you or someone you know ends up on the wrong side of that line.'

Keith Telly Topping's laws of television, number one: American television simply cannot get British regional accents right no matter how hard they try. Case in point - this week's episode of NCIS where Ducky's visit to his old stamping ground, Edinburgh University, saw poor David McCallum having to try and act a scene with a bunch of young - presumably American - actors who wouldn't know a decent Scottish accent if it was wearing a sporran and bellowing 'Hoots! Och-aye, th' nooo!'
Keith Telly Topping's laws of television, number two: Any Star Trek series will take a minimum of four episodes before it falls back on that old plot cliché, 'appearances can be deceptive.' Discovery was up to just such malarkey with its latest, rather over-earnest, fourth episode The Butcher's Knife Cares Not For The Lamb's Cry.
Somewhat more controversially, the following episode - Chose Your Pain - saw what this blogger believes is probably the first use of the 'f' word in the Star Trek franchises fifty year history. And, I don't mean 'Ferengi', either. or 'Federation'.
Speaking of Discovery, there are a couple of rather good overviews of the series so far and the themes that the drama wishes to cover which can be read here and here.
Keith Telly Topping's laws of television, number three: The inclusion of a couple of elephants can liven up even the dullest of episodes of The Blacklist.
Keith Telly Topping's laws of television, number four: Each episode of Gotham must, by law, include some cool music (albeit, in the latest episode, it wasn't the series' standard slabs of British punk, post-punk or indie but, rather, some quality Jefferson Airplane to accompany a sinister scene little in Barbara Keen's club).
From The North favourite Gillian Anderson plans to close her final case on The X-Files with the forthcoming eleventh series. Gillian, who has been playing Dana Scully on-and-off since the show debuted on FOX in 1993, told the press she was 'likely done' with the character and the series after the upcoming batch of episodes. 'I think this will be it for me,' Anderson said at New York Comic Con when asked if she was open to continuing beyond the upcoming series, set to debut in 2018. She said that she returned for another round of episodes, 'Because it felt like it wasn't over. It didn't feel like we necessarily deliver everything the fans were expecting of us last time, and so it was that.'
'Doesn't this all seem like some ancient male fantasy? What they used to call science-fiction? I, literally, have a flying car and a gorgeous lesbian wife who wants to have sex all the time!' Channel Four's dystopian anthology series Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams continues to be patchy but, occasionally, quite brilliant. The opening episode, The Hood Maker was properly terrific as was this week's fifth episode, Real Life, an adaptation of Dick's 1954 short story Exhibit Piece starring Anna Paquin and Lara Pulver. Though, some smear of no importance at the Torygraph described it as offering 'a hackneyed vision of the future, full of clichés and self-referential asides.' Simply one more reason to loathe and despise Tories and everything they stand for, this blogger supposes.
National heartthrob David Tennant will be voicing The Highway Rat from Julia Donaldson's children's book of the same name for the BBC this Christmas. The half-hour animated special will see David voice the title character from the 2011 book in a voice cast which also includes the likes of Rob Brydon, Nina Sosanya, Tom Hollander and Frances De Le Tour. The Highway Rat is about - not unsurprisingly - a highway rat who is always hungry and on the look-out for biscuits and sweet treats. The children's book follows the rat as he tears along the highway searching for snacks to steal until his sweet tooth 'leads him to a sticky end.'
Joanne Froggatt has admitted that she would have turned down Liar had the twist halfway through the six-part drama been different, particularly after her experience filming a similar storyline in Downton Abbey. The actress plays a teacher named Laura who accuses her date – a surgeon, Andrew – of drugging and raping her. The thriller forces viewers to consider which character is telling the truth and whether we can trust our own judgement of people – or whether we are subconsciously swayed by their background or the way they behave in certain situations. In the third episode of the series – written by BAFTA winners Harry and Jack Williams – we discover that it is Andrew who is lying and guilty of rape and Froggatt said that she wouldn't have taken the part had it been the other way around, following her experience of playing a character who was sexually assaulted in Downton. Froggatt also said that, had Laura been lying, it wouldn't have been representative of the vast majority of cases, telling Harper's Bazaar: 'I personally wouldn't have taken the job if [Laura] had been lying. [Both] as a woman and mainly because of my experience of doing a storyline about rape on Downton and having had contact from people who had been sexually assaulted. They felt that they had huge support with a show like Downton tackling that subject matter and I learned so much from the letters I received that I felt a real connection towards these people after it had aired.'
Coronation Street's executive producer Kieran Roberts has decided to leave after eleven years in the job. Roberts has announced that he will be standing down at the end of the year. He has served as Corrie's executive producer since 2006 and currently oversees the work of series producer Kate Oates. His association with the popular programme dates back to 2002, when he served as series producer for two years. He is also a former producer of fellow ITV soap Emmerdale. In a statement, Roberts confirmed that he stayed with Corrie for 'longer than originally planned' to 'help facilitate' the new six-episode scheduling pattern. 'This has been a huge and very difficult decision and it's one I have been thinking about for more than a year. When the move to six episodes was announced, I knew I should stay to help make that happen,' he explained. 'I've been incredibly lucky to have worked on so many wonderful programmes and with so many brilliant colleagues during my time at ITV. Coronation Street is a special place and it's been a huge privilege working on such an amazing programme with the greatest team in television.' John Whiston, ITV Studios' managing director for continuing drama, added: 'Kieran has brought to both Coronation Street and Emmerdale his unrivalled eye for story and character and his own particular humour and humanity. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone in ITV who doesn't deeply respect and admire Kieran. He's one of the most conscientious, hard-working, clever and humane colleagues one could ever hope to have. Ally this to one of the keenest editorial eyes in the business and you have the consummate television executive. ITV has been fortunate to have him devoting his incredible energy, talent and his working life to the company for as long as he has.' In total, Roberts has worked at ITV for thirty four years. As well as Coronation Street, his role as Creative Director for drama produced from ITV's Northern-based production team has seen him oversee other shows like Blue Murder, Mobile, Cold Blood, The Trials Of Jimmy Rose, Midwinter Of The Spirit and Tina & Bobby.

'I had a whale of a time on the Strictly and while I'm sorry to go I can't quibble with the judges' verdict,' The Reverend Richard Coles noted. after his - somewhat unexpected - elimination from the dance competition last weekend. 'Big love to Dianne, who had to put up with me dancing like a walrus in anaphylactic shock and taught me really interesting things about foundation and Instagram and how to look like gravity is optional (didn't quite get the last one). The best thing was discovering that dancing is really cool and beguiling and tells you lots of stuff about being alive.'
The competition watchdog has said that it will 'assess' whether Rupert Murdoch would be able to control or influence editorial decisions at Sky News as one of the key points of its investigation into his eleven billion smackers Sky takeover bid. On Tuesday, the Competition and Markets Authority outlined the scope of its inquiry into how the deal would affect UK media plurality and broadcasting standards and invited submissions for the six-month investigation. Among the areas the CMA will look at is whether the Murdoch family's ability to control or influence editorial and commercial decisions at Sky News will change if Twenty First Century FOX's attempt to buy the sixty one per cent of Sky that it does not own is successful. The regulator will also assess their ability to 'influence the political agenda' and how this could change after a takeover, alongside more general scrutiny of the potential effect on the number and variety of British media, including the 'range of viewpoints.' FOX and Sky's broadcasting standards will be scrutinised, with the CMA saying that it will look at whether the merged group would have 'a genuine commitment' to the standards, while giving consideration to their track record. Corporate governance and the treatment of employees in the UK and overseas are also to be assessed. The vile and odious rascal Bradley, the lack of culture secretary, referred FOX's proposed takeover of Sky to the CMA last month for a full inquiry, after a three-month investigation by Ofcom. While Ofcom 'raised concerns' over media plurality, it found that there was 'no reason' to block the takeover bid on the grounds of broadcasting standards. Anne Lambert, the CMA panel chair, said: 'The CMA will use its extensive experience of investigating different issues in a wide range of sectors to thoroughly and impartially investigate the proposed takeover of Sky Plc by Twenty First Century FOX. Once the investigation is complete, we will report back to Karen Bradley for her to make a final decision.' The vile and odious rascal Bradley will appear at a select committee hearing on Wednesday, while Sky is to face shareholders for its annual general meeting on Thursday.
Tom Watson - power to the people! - the Labour deputy leader, has written to the Competition and Markets Authority calling for its report on Twenty First Century FOX's proposed takeover of Sky to 'include an acknowledgement from Rupert Murdoch's newspaper business last week that it benefited from computer hacking.' Watson said that the admission - made on Friday from Murdoch's News Group Newspapers, the publisher of the Sun and the disgraced and disgraceful Scum of the World - was 'highly significant and relevant' and he wants a written assurance that the CMS will include it in the findings of its investigation. In a letter to Andrea Coscelli, the chief executive of the CMA, Watson said: 'With this admission of guilt we can now add computer hacking to the ever growing list of criminal activity engaged in by the Murdoch media empire. These crimes may be historic, but as the Murdochs attempt to expand their reach and power through FOX's bid for the remaining stake in Sky that they do not already own, they are highly significant and relevant. They are not only examples of criminal behaviour, but of corporate governance failure and demonstrate the lengths members of the Murdoch family, who occupied senior executive positions at the company, were prepared to go to in order to avoid the truth coming to light.' In a hearing at the high court on Friday, News Group extremely admitted that a private investigations firm had hacked the computer of a former army intelligence officer, Ian Hurst, in 2006 and that its boss, Jonathan Rees, had then sent intercepted information to the newspaper publisher. Lawyers for News Group said that the company offered its 'sincerest and unreserved apologies' to Hurst and his family and accepted 'vicarious liability' for the hacking. News Group will pay 'substantial' damages to Hurst and cover his legal costs. Watson said: 'They chose to fight Mister Hurst's claim in court rather than taking responsibility for the crimes that took place on their watch. As the phone-hacking scandal demonstrated, this is not an isolated incident but a pattern of behaviour. It is important that there is public and political faith in the CMA investigation and that you take all relevant evidence, including Friday's settlement, into account.' The investigation will last up to six months. One of the CMA's first steps, which will occur in the next few weeks, will be to publish an issues statement that clarifies the depth and breadth of the investigation.
The BBC's director of news James Harding is to stand down at the beginning of 2018. In a statement, he said: 'I am proud to have worked for BBC News as we renewed our reputation for responsible journalism.' The BBC's Director General, Tony Hall, praised Harding, saying: 'James has done an incredible job during a hugely complex and momentous period.' After four years in the role, Harding is leaving the BBC to set up his own news media venture. Announcing the move, Harding said 'even when we're pedalling into the wind' that working at the BBC was 'rewarding and worthwhile.' Talking about his new company, he explained: 'There is some journalism that the BBC, for all its brilliance, can't, and probably shouldn't, do. And that's what I want to explore: I am going to start a new media company with a distinct approach to the news and a clear point of view. I know I will enjoy the chance to do some more journalism of my own and, at such a critical time, I'm seriously excited about the prospect of building a new venture in news.' He said that he would reveal more in the new year. Lord Hall thanked Harding for his service to the BBC. 'James has done an incredible job during a hugely complex and momentous period of British and world history,' he said. 'He has led the BBC's coverage through two referendums, two general elections, an astonishing US presidential election, not to mention a series of extraordinary events at home and abroad. In the years James has been with us he has played an important part in modernising and changing the BBC, but beyond that, he has been a first-class colleague and a pleasure to work with.' A successor will be appointed by the end of the year, Lord Hall said. Harding joined the Financial Times in 1994 and served as Shanghai correspondent, media editor and Washington bureau chief. He joined The Times in 2006 as business and city editor and was editor from 2007 to 2012. Harding was appointed in April 2013 to oversee all of the BBC's news and current affairs programming, the division's workforce produces output across network news, English regions and the World Service group.

US President - and hairdo - Donald Trump has raised the prospect of challenging media licences for NBC News and other news networks after unfavourable reports. Quite right too because, as Josh asks Toby in an early episode of The West Wing: 'What's the good of being in power if you're not gonna haul your enemies in for questioning?' Oh, hang on. He was being sarcastic, wasn't he? And President - and hairdo - Trump, seemingly, wasn't. He took aim at NBC, which made the series which first brought him to public attention, The Apprentice, after it reported that he wanted to boost America's nuclear arsenal almost tenfold. Trump labelled the report 'fake news' and 'pure fiction.' NBC also angered The White House last week when it said that the Secretary of State had called Trump 'a moron.' In a follow-up tweet, President - and hairdo - Trump said: 'With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!' Walter Shaub, who led the US Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama, responded on Twitter: 'At what point? At the point when we cease to be a democracy.' The Committee to Protect Journalists also 'slammed' (that's 'criticised' only with less syllables for the hard of thinking) the President's tweet, saying that it 'serves as a poor example' for other world leaders. And, indeed, for most seven year olds whinging because they've been told to go to bed. According to NBC News, Trump told a top-level meeting at The Pentagon in July that he wanted to 'dramatically boost' the American stockpile of atomic missiles. He reportedly made the request after seeing a downward-sloping curve on a briefing slide charting the gradual decrease in US nuclear weapons since the 1960s. Attributing its report to three officials in the room, NBC claimed that Trump's request 'surprised' those present, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Media commentators say that the President would 'struggle' to remove broadcasters' licences even if he wished to do so. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates US broadcasters, issues licences not to networks as a whole, but to local stations. NBC owns nearly thirty local stations. It would be difficult to challenge a licence on the basis that coverage is 'unfair,' say pundits. Not to mention making those who made such a complaint look like a thin-skinned prat.
A van driver was reportedly pulled over by police as he had too much cheese on-board. Officers found that the vehicle had about two thousand eight hundred and twenty two pounds of cheese inside, in Sawtry, Cambridgeshire on Monday. The driver was left in something of a pickle as the van was an estimated forty one per cent over its legal weight limit, police said. Officers said that the cheese had to be 'removed or eaten.' After a subsequent grilling, the driver was allowed to take some of the dairy produce away with him but made to call to another van to take the excess to its destination. To do otherwise would, of course, have been crackers. Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire road policing unit officers discovered the problematic produce, at a weighbridge off the A1. It is not yet known exactly which varieties of cheese had grated with the police so much.
Manolo Gabbiadini marked his return to Southampton's side by scoring both goals as The Saints twice came from behind to deny yer actual Keith Telly Topping's beloved (though unsellable) Newcastle United victory at St Mary's. Isaac Hayden fired The Magpies ahead from twenty five yards after Saints keeper Fraser Forster was left flat-footed before Joselu was denied from making it two-nil by the bar. Southampton conjured up a rare home goal through Gabbiadini's shot on the turn only for Newcastle to restore their lead eighty seven seconds later, Ayoze Perez finding the net from an angle after Forster had spilled the Spaniard's initial shot. Newcastle were denied victory, however, when Gabbiadini scored from the penalty spot after Florian Lejeune bundled over Shane Long. The point saw Newcastle end the weekend in seventh place in the Premier League, level on points with Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws, The Arse and Moscow Chelsea FC, while Southampton are twelfth.
Sheikh Yer Man City scored seven (SEVEN) against Dirty Stoke while rivals The Scum were held to a goalless draw at Liverpool Alabama Yee-Haws as Pep Guardiola's team went two points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday. City had seen a three goal lead whittled down to three-two before eventually taking the game away from their opponents after the break in truly blistering fashion with a seven-two victory. At Anfield, Herr Klopp hinted that, as boss of Liverpool, he would not be able to deploy the sort of defensive tactics used by Jose Mourinho's team after a largely dour encounter. The most dramatic action of the day took place at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace Nil ended their seven hundred and thirty one-minute wait for a Premier League goal when Roy Hodgson's team took the lead eleven minutes into their match against champions Moscow Chelski FC thanks to an own goal from Cesar Azpilicueta. The Blues soon equalised through Tiemoue Bakayoko but Wilfried Zaha restored Palace's lead on the stroke of half-time - the first league goal scored by a Palace player since Patrick van Aanholt struck in the last minute of their four-nil win against Hull City on 14 May - and they held on to pick up their first points of the season. There was also drama at Vicarage Road, where Watford came from behind to beat The Arse, thanks to an injury-time winner from Tom Cleverley. Stottingtot Hotshots had not won in three league matches since moving into Wembley whilst their new stadium is being built but they finally ended that sequence with a victory over Bournemouth - Christian Eriksen scoring early in the second half. It was a case of clumsy Andy Carroll at Turf Moor - the West Hamsters United striker was booked twice in the space of ninety nine seconds for the use of an elbow at Burnley and received his marching orders. His team led for most of the match after Michail Antonio rounded the keeper early on but Chris Wood equalised close to full-time for the home side. Tammy Abraham scored twice as Swansea defeated Huddersfield two-nil to ensure The Terriers' dramatic slump continued - they have now gone seven games without victory in all competitions. The result also lifted The Swans out of the bottom three. In the Championship, Notlob Wanderings were another club ending a long wait for a goal. Sammy Ameobi's strike against Sheffield Wednesday was Notlob's first in six hundred and forty minutes of league football. However, The Trotters remain firmly rooted at the bottom of the table despite eventually winning two-one. Blunderland's miserable home form continued as they were held by Queens Park Strangers. The hosts - without a win at The Stadium Of Plight since December 2016 - needed a second-half equaliser from Aiden McGeady to earn a point after Idrissa Sylla's opener. The Mackems also remain in the relegation zone. Chris Wilder's Sheffield United went level on points with Cardiff after defeating Ipswich. Elsewhere, Dirty Leeds and No One Likes Us, We Don't Care Millwall both missed late penalties as they suffered one-nil defeats to Reading and Brentford respectively. Wolverhampton Wanderings beat Aston Villains two-one in the late game to go top of the table, Burton Albinos held Bristol City to a goalless draw on Friday night while, in League Two, Luton put seven (SEVEN) past woeful Stevenage. Afterwards, Stevenage manager Darren Sarll said: 'It was a disrespectful performance to our town, our supporters and our club.'
Brazilian footballer Fabio Rochemback - formerly of Barcelona and The Middlesbrough Smog Monsters - has been extremely arrested after an alleged cockfighting ring was busted in the country's South. A police operation was conducted at a farm in Rio Grande do Sul state, reported news site Globo. It said that eighty nine roosters were seized along with more than one hundred thousand dollars in cash. However, Fabio's father said that his son was not present at the scene. Cockfighting is banned in Brazil. UOL Sport reported that police arrested fifty seven people, out of one hundred and forty seven present during the early-morning raid close to Palmeira das Missoe. But Rochemback's father, Juarez, claimed that they had been together at the family farm elsewhere in the state at the time. Fabio Rochemback, now retired from football, was - briefly - part of Brazil's national team (winning seven caps). He also played for Sport Club Internacional, Barcelona and Sporting Lisbon, before joining The Smoggies in August 2005.
For decades, even before astronomers stripped Pluto of its status of being a planet, there was a raging debate on the existence of a hitherto undiscovered giant planet on the distant icy outer edges of our solar system. Back then, it was referred to as the ominous-sounding 'Planet X.' While most modern astronomers accept that Planet X, at least as originally defined, does not exist, a new press release from NASA might just change that belief. The press release, issued by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, talks about several indirect signs - mainly gravitational footprints - that now makes a compelling case in favour of the existence of something called 'Planet Nine.' According to NASA, this ninth planet is so distant that even with its large size, it is nearly undetectable. The large size of Planet Nine, however, is affecting bodies that lie within the inner solar system and is perhaps even tilting the entire solar system to one side. To be able to exert such a force on the solar system, Planet Nine, as per current estimates, should have ten times the mass of the Earth. The planet is also believed to be twenty times farther from the Sun than Neptune. According to Konstantin Batygin, a planetary astrophysicist at Caltech in Pasadena, who has been tracking the elusive Planet Nine for several years, it is now difficult to imagine our solar system without this Planet Nine. 'There are now five different lines of observational evidence pointing to the existence of Planet Nine. If you were to remove this explanation and imagine Planet Nine does not exist, then you generate more problems than you solve. All of a sudden, you have five different puzzles and you must come up with five different theories to explain them.' In 2016, Batygin and another Caltech astronomer, Mike Brown, first talked about the effect of Planet Nine on six known objects in the Kuiper Belt, a region of icy bodies stretching from Neptune outward toward interstellar space. All six objects were observed to have a highly elliptical orbit pointing in the same direction. All six of them were also 'tilted' downwards about 3thirty degrees. After that paper was published in 2016, two more clues came to light which once again reinforced the possibility of the existence of Planet Nine. A study led by Batygin's graduate student Elizabeth Bailey showed that Planet Nine was large enough to have tilted the planets of our solar system during the last four billion years. Could the massive gravitational pull of Planet Nine be the reason why all planets have their orbits tilted by about six degrees compared to the Sun's equator? According to Batygin, eventually, Planet Nine will 'make the entire solar-system plane precess or wobble, just like a top on a table.' Whilst all these are indirect signs that indicate the existence of Planet Nine, the ultimate prize for NASA would be to find the elusive planet and settle the debate once and for all. Batygin and his associates are using the Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii to try to do just that. It remains to be seen if the team manages to one day find conclusive evidence that proves the existence of Planet Nine. Meanwhile the Sun - that's the newspaper rather than the celestial body - when reporting this news also included the startling revelation (for which read, bloody obvious revelation) that so-called 'deadly' planet Nibiru 'is a fraud.' No shit? 'Conspiracy theorists have recently claimed that a similar world, called Nibiru, is about to plunge into Earth and wipe out humanity,' the Sun state. 'But while NASA said it was "closing in" on Planet Nine, it has repeatedly said the Nibiru is a fraud. In its latest statement, NASA reassured the world that Planet Nine has no chance of "colliding with Earth or bringing 'days of darkness'" to our own fragile world.' So, that's a relief. Nibiru alarmist speculation about the end of the world have been circulating online for more than two decades, with the latest dubious prophecy predicting the apocalypse would occur on 23 September 2017. However, the world didn't end then. Oddly, that failed to  stop some morons from continuing to believe in and spread this crap.
Trevor Martin, the first actor to play The Doctor on stage, has died at the age of eighty seven. Trevor, a richly-voiced character actor and stalwart of the major British classical theatre companies with an impressive sixty-year career, first appeared in Doctor Who in 1969, playing a Time Lord in Patrick Troughton's final story The War Games. However, he is best remembered for playing The Doctor in a stage play based on the series, Doctor Who & The Daleks In The Seven Keys To Doomsday, which ran at London's Adelphi Theatre for four weeks at the end of 1974. The play, written by Terrance Dicks, was set just after the regeneration of the Third Doctor, with Martin playing an alternate version of the Fourth Doctor, who made his TV debut in the form of Tom Baker, during the run of the play. The Doctor's companions were played by Wendy Padbury and James Matthews. In 2008 the play was adapted for audio by Big Finish with Martin once more taking the lead role. Away from Doctor Who, Trevor was a regular face on British Television, first appearing in the play Tomorrow Mister Tompion! And About Time Too! in 1958. Appearances followed in Three Golden Nobles, The Splendid Spur, Orlando, The Troubleshooters, Z CarsThe Newcomers, Jackanory, Ramshackle Road, The Tragedy Of King Richard II, Van Der Valk, Armchair Thriller, Special Branch, Within These Walls, Prince Regent, The Onedin Line, Bird Of Prey, Angels, Harry Enfield & Chums, Inspector Morse, Coronation Street, Whitechapel, Call The Midwife and The Bill. His film appearances include Othello (1965), Absolution (1978), Krull (1983), The House Of Mirth (2000), Babel (2006) and A Little Bit Zombie (2012). He was born Trevor Gordon Martin to Dundonian parents who had relocated to Enfield after the First World War (during which his father - who worked for the Post Office - had been seriously injured). After national service, Trevor, who had acted in many school plays, enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Whilst there he won the original Carleton Hobbs Radio Award in 1953, which resulted in him getting an early break with the BBC Radio Drama Company. He ultimately did three eighteen-month contracts with them and contributed over four thousand performances, making good use of a versatile and resonant voice. After graduation he helped to set up the Guildhall Players and did three summer seasons at Peter Bull's Perranporth theatre in Cornwall. In 1963 he became a member of Laurence Olivier's company at the start of the National Theatre, playing Voltemand to Peter O'Toole's Hamlet and the Archbishop of Rheims to Joan Plowright's Saint Joan. He had a repeated association with Peter Shaffer's play The Royal Hunt Of The Sun: he was in the original production with Robert Stephens and Colin Blakely when it moved to London, played the lead role of Pizarro for Prospect Theatre's Old Vic tour (1972 to 1973) and then appeared (alongside his son, Benedict) in the Compass Theatre production in 1989 directed by Tim Pigott-Smith. He recently completed an interview about his career which will be released on DVD by Reeltime Pictures this month and was holidaying in Bulgaria when he was taken ill. He died there and is survived by his second wife, the actress Hermione Gregory and by four children (Alexander, the MP for Ipswich, Rachel, Victoria and Benedict) all from his first marriage to Janet Moreton, which ended in divorce.
Purchase(s) of the week at Stately Telly Topping Manor.
This blogger went to get his six monthly type two diabetes blood-extraction at the local Medical Centre earlier in the week, dear blog reader. It took poor Nurse Zoe three separate attempts to draw off a pint. Then Keith Telly Topping had his annual 'flu jab as well. So, frankly, by the end of the visit, both arms felt like pin-cushions. As this photo ably demonstrates.
Keith Telly Topping is hugely indebted to his fine old mucker, the legend that is Clay Eichelberger for, ahem, making a mug of this blogger!
This blogger responded with the following thought: Their's is not to reason why, 'i before e except after c' is received wisdom when, in fact, there are more examples of the former than the latter. As Qi once ably proved.
Speaking of mugs, Sunday morning, dear blog reader and The Guv'nor was very much in the house, as it were. As, of course, was the Rich Tea, Because, 'a drink's too wet without one.' Or, indeed, several.
And finally, dear blog reader, it's getting close to that time of the year where yer actual Keith Telly Topping starts the massive and onorous task of putting together From The North's Annual Best & Worst TV Shows Of The Year Awards lists. So, you might wonder, what will be the show that follows Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock, Luther, Sherlock (again), Broadchurch, True Detective, Wolf Hall and The Night Manager to land the coveted prize for 2017?
Of course, if From The North were a democracy - or, you know, like just about every TV format imaginable these days, interested in 'introducing a voting element' into things - at this point this blogger could make a handful of 'short-list suggestions' and then let you, dear blog reader, decide on the eventual outcome.
To which this blogger can only respond: 'What do you think this is, The X-Factor?!' Sadly, dear blog reader, Keith Telly Topping his very self - and only his very self - gets to decide what Keith Telly Topping's favourite TV show(s) of any given year was/is/are and this year is no different. Sorry. It's The Law. And if, after being grossly insulted like that, you nevertheless still have an interest in finding out what the winner will be, come back some time around the last week of November or the first few days of December (depending on how long it takes this blogger to compile the damn thing) for the results. Here endeth the lecture!