Sunday, August 08, 2010

"I'd Be Lost Without My Blogger!"

The final Sherlock - The Great Game - was a loose adaptation of The Bruce Partington Plans with a few bits of A Study In Scarlet, A Scandal in Bohemia, The Five Orange Pips and The Final Problem and a liberal dose of [Spooks] thrown in for good measure. The script was a critical summation of the various themes and conceits explored and exploited in the opening two episodes, Mark Gatiss cleverly interweaving about five or six separate plots - each with their own set of devices and highs and lows - and each of which could've had a whole episode devoted to it if the show had followed its original sixty minute template - around a central story which  concerned the playing of games. Both literal and metaphorical. A kind of Twenty First Century version of Sleuth, if you will. And it was fantastic, full of razor-sharp diamond chips of dialogue, numerous funny moments (Holmes' sudden obsession with daytime TV), some gut-wrenching drama, extraordinary set pieces (Golem at the Planetarium is one that's going to live long in the memory), surprise revelations and a cliffhanger that even old Conan Doyle himself would have licked his lips at the prospect of. 'Do you really not know that the Earth goes round the sun?!' For the most part the fans appears to have enjoyed it and it seems to have gone down pretty well with the critics too, Jim Shelley in the Mirror noting: 'Sherlock was great fun and nasty with it - co-creator Steven Moffat's speciality. After his triumph with Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in Doctor Who, Moffat's pairing of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman has been a nifty encore. Fascinating Fact: Matt Smith auditioned for the role of Dr Watson.) Last night's premise was decidedly sinister with the perpetrator's victims tied to a bomb and forced to speak the killer's words. 'Why are you doing this?' Holmes asked. 'I like to watch you dance,' read a terrified old lady, sobbing. 'Ah, elegant!' Holmes acknowledged his rival's twisted genius. Intriguingly, Holmes failed to save two of the victims or spot that Moriarty was working right under his nose. The casting of the master villain was the series' only let down - a crucial one at that. He looked like an amalgamation of Ant and Dec.' (For what it's worth I thought Andrew Scott's performance was pitched just the right side of utterly ludicrous and worked perfectly given the context of Sherlock's world in the beautifully structured last ten minutes at the, erm, Riechenbach swimming pool!) A great script, Paul McGuigan's assured direction and a couple of great performances by Cumberbatch and Freeman, the best double act currently working on TV. Way better than Horne and Corden, whatever a bunch of students might try to suggest otherwise. Current BBC insider talk is that the show - which had already been sold to BBC America and which will debut stateside in October - will almost certainly return next year as soon as Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' busy schedules allow. Definite confirmation on a recommission as soon as possible would be, you know, appreciated, auntie. When you find something as good, as downright unique, as this on your doorstep, it's best not to drop it or it'll break. And you might never find another one like it!

Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, meanwhile, has drawn comparisons between TV illusionist Derren Brown and his lead character. In an interview with What's On TV, Gatiss said that both men approach their work in the same way, saying the massive leaps they make are very 'exciting.' He suggested: 'There's a comparison between Sherlock and Derren Brown. They both say something outrageous and then show you how they worked it out. Sherlock can fit things together and make massive leaps. It's very exciting and when you think in his mindset you start to see things differently.'

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has reportedly been offered a role in the US forensic drama CSI after she praised the show's producers. The French first lady penned a letter of thanks to programme bosses, who were so touched that they replied with a request for her to appear in an upcoming special which will, hopefully, be set in Paris. Producer Carol Mendelsohn explained to French magazine Pure People: 'Carla Bruni wrote to us to say she absolutely adored our show. So we would be delighted to offer her a part in our CSI film set in France.' The feature-length episode has long been rumoured and some reports suggest that it may feature a return of William Petersen, although other sources say that not deal has yet been done. Bruni-Sarkozy recently made her foray into acting with a cameo in Woody Allen's new film Midnight In Paris.

Matthew Perry has revealed that he would like his former Friends co-stars to guest in his new show. The actor, who created and will star in the upcoming ABC series Mr Sunshine, has insisted that he would prefer for his old friends to appear once the show is into its third season. He told Absolute Now: 'People ask a lot about guest stars but we're a little bit early for that. There's a lot of talk about will I ask some of my former cast mates to be on the show, and I think ultimately, yes. In the third season then maybe some of them can come back.' The forty-year-old also claimed that he doesn't want to use his former colleagues' names as the draw for viewers to tune into the show, adding: 'I don't want to use them as sort of a launching pad.'

Clint Eastwood has urged George Osborne to reconsider the Government's decision to close the UK Film Council. The Hollywood actor-turned-director wrote to the Chancellor claiming that without the 'vigorous support' of the council his Malpaso production company would not have made its latest movie Hereafter, starring Matt Damon, in Britain. 'I cannot stress how important the Film Council is to me,' Eastwood wrote. 'I have been following the news of its proposed abolition with great interest. The prospect of losing such a valuable resource is of great concern as we contemplate future projects.' The Oscar-winner warned that scrapping the council could stop some film-makers coming to Britain. 'The Film Council gave us the crucial detailed information we needed to make our decision to shoot in the UK with information on tax credits, availability of crews and other support,' he said. 'Without such assistance in the early stages, the likelihood of a London shoot would have been greatly diminished. Locales with active, knowledgeable film commissions are far more appealing to us as producers.' Last month the Culture Secretary, oily Jeremy Hunt, announced the decision to axe the council, which receives sixty three million pounds a year in grants and Lottery funds to develop the domestic industry. Eastwood's letter follows a campaign launched last week to save the council by more than fifty British actors including Bill Nighy, Timothy Spall and Emily Blunt, who accused the Government of threatening 'a British success story.'

Coronation Street legend Jack Duckworth will beg his girlfriend to help him commit suicide after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a report has claimed. According to the News of the World, the character, played by Bill Tarmey, will ask Connie Rathbone to assist him in ending his life after being diagnosed with the incurable cancer. Rathbone will reportedly refuse to help him, resulting in him moving back in with Tyrone. It is claimed that Jack will later secretly carry out good deeds for his neighbours before dying from his illness. A source said: 'Bill's been such a huge part of the show for so long that we wanted to give him a fitting send-off.' The report comes amid growing speculation as to how Tarmey will leave the soap. Last week, it was claimed that his character will be killed in the show's upcoming tram crash storyline.

U2 frontman Mr Bonio has taken to the stage for the first time since sustaining a spinal injury in May. The band resumed their world tour in Turin, where the singer thanked fans for 'all the love and letters you've sent me in recent months.' He added: 'That's in the past now and I'm very much fit for the future.' Mr Bonio had emergency surgery to save him from possible paralysis, forcing them to postpone the US leg of the tour and a Glastonbury Festival headline slot. In Turin, the band unveiled a new song called 'Glastonbury' - which they had intended to perform at the legendary event.

Agonisingly for the Gruniad Morning Star, Top Gear finished last week so, for the first time in eight weeks, Monday morning's paper doesn't feature some wholly made-up 'Clarkson annoys somebody with something' story. They must be gutted.

A US woman who had a crush on Munsters star Butch Patrick as a child had her dream come true after she tracked him down and he fell in love with her. Donna McCall, fifty five, sent a fan letter to Patrick, who played Eddie The Wolfboy Munster, when she was just ten years old, reports the Daily Telegraph. In her letter, she asked the child star how tall he was because girls at the time were making gum wrapper chains long enough to match the height of their boyfriends. Decades later, an article about a man who holds the gum wrapper chain world record triggered Ms McCall's memory of her pre-teen idol. She found his e-mail address and a correspondence began. Divorcee McCall, who lives near Philadelphia, sent a picture from her cheerleading days and photos of herself doing activities such as scuba diving, trapeze lessons and racing car driving. Patrick, fifty seven, said: 'That intrigued me a lot. She's single, she's beautiful, she's in the nicest part of the country and she likes to do adventurous things. I figured I had to meet this woman.' The pair agreed to meet in May at a horror convention outside Pittsburgh called DraculaCon. 'I think a lot of people thought there was something special going on between us,' McCall said. 'It was just very comfortable, very easy.' Within weeks, Patrick, who has homes in Los Angeles and Florida, moved to Pennsylvania to be with McCall. But the couple deny reports that they have got engaged: 'It's not that it's not going to happen, but one day at a time, so to speak,' said Patrick.

Times Newspapers is understood to be facing damages of about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars after losing a high court copyright infringement case over a Jimi Hendrix CD given away with the Sunday Times. The Sunday Times covermount CD, given away in September 2006, featured ten songs from a live performance by The Jimi Hendrix Experience at London's Royal Albert Hall in February 1969, including 'Purple Haze' and a cover of Cream's 'Sunshine of Your Love'. The US-born singer and guitarist Hendrix died aged twenty seven in London in 1970 choking on his own vomit. Two American companies associated with the Hendrix estate, Experience Hendrix and Last Experience, launched legal action three years ago claiming that the newspaper, published by News International subsidiary Times Newspapers, did not obtain the proper copyright clearance for the giveaway. Footage of Hendrix's 1969 London concert recording was due to be released as a film by the claimants, along with accompanying DVDs, CDs and merchandising, and two companies claimed that this had been delayed in part by the Sunday Times's free CD and the negative impact it would have on UK earnings. In May 2008 the claimants chose to pursue a claim for damages relating to loss of earnings from the delay to the concert film project. High court judge Sir William Blackburne last Friday ruled that the Sunday Times covermount had delayed by a year the receipt of over five million dollars earnings in earnings to Experience Hendrix and Last Experience from the Hendrix concert film. He ordered Times Newspapers to pay damages equivalent to one year's interest on that sum. The exact damages figure is still being worked out by the two sides' legal teams, but the Gruniad Morning Star suggests it will be just over a quarter of a million bucks. S'cuse me while I kiss the sky.

Abbey Clancy has had an angry confrontation with her boyfriend, Peter Crouch, according to sources. The model reportedly called Crouch 'a bastard' after it was claimed that the England striker paid eight hundred smackers to sleep with a teenage escort on a stag weekend in Madrid. According to the News of the World, the footballer paid to sleep with nineteen-year-old Monica Mint after meeting her at a nightclub. And, the funniest things about that is that she's called Monica Mint, frankly. Well, it's either that or wondering if, when she said 'yes' to his financial proposal, he got up and did the robot dance? I'm guessing not. TV presenter Clancy, who got engaged to lanky Crouch in July 2009, called her fiancé 'in a blind rage' before 'rushing to the couple's Surrey home for a face-to-face showdown,' reports the Sun. A 'friend' said: 'Abbey was livid someone she was madly in love with treated her so badly. She found out the true extent of what he'd done while she was filming [her E4 show Great British Hairdresser] in Manchester and rang in a blind rage. She screamed at him calling him every name under the sun. Crouchy's a big lad but she made him feel two feet tall. He was pleading with her to forgive him, saying he still loved her like crazy. He tried to calm her with some tall story - but she was having none of it. She yelled, "You bastard, how could you do this to me?" She feels hurt, angry and humiliated and is considering whether they have a future.' Clancy's mother Karen is said to be 'even more furious' over the footballer's alleged infidelity, with a 'source' adding: 'Karen's absolutely livid. She wants to give him a bloody good hiding.' However, despite the potential damage to his engagement, it has been reported that Crouch spent yesterday playing golf with friends. The 'source' said: 'Peter went on the course to get away from it all. He thinks they can get through this and Abbey will forgive him like Toni Terry did with John.'