Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Show Of Strength From Your Boys Brigade

The surprise - but very welcome - inclusion of not one but two Jam songs in the first of two new Lie To Me episodes shown in the US this week will no doubt have swelled Paul Weller's - already not insignificant - bank balance, somewhat. This blogger imagines that would have been yer actual Tim Roth's doing, he been a noted fan of the band for a long time. Because, let's face it, you just don't expect to turn on a bit of superior psychological American crime drama and be confronted with 'Going Underground' and 'Mr Clean' pumping on the stereo at massive volume. The public wants what the public gets, it would seem. Of the two episodes, the first - Funhouse - was the better story, although the second - Rebound - featured marginally the more plausible plot of the two. Further down on today's blog update, you'll find some cautiously good news about the future of Lie To Me. Meanwhile, here's Paul, Bruce and Rick playing Cal Lightman's favourite song.'Let the boys all sing and boys all shout/For tomorrow.'

And, speaking of great television uses of guitar-based British rawk, congratulations to whichever Aussie it was in charge of the PA system at Adelaide who decided to stick on '(What's the Story) Morning Glory' just after Chis Woakes had hit the winning run in the first Twenty20 international. (England won by one wicket off the final ball in a thrilling finish, just in case you missed it.) The smile on yer actual Keith Telly Topping's boat-race almost resembled what it would've been like if he'd slept with a coat hanger stuck in his mush. Wouldn't have been the first time, to be fair. I also hope that plenty of people caught the earlier women's Twenty20 game - which England's ladies also won - and David Lloyd's deliciously naughty bit of (I'm assuming unintentional) double entendre when Holly Colvin took a brilliant left-handed catch. 'What a snatch that is,' noted Bumble. Words fail me, man!

The Lord Thy God Steven Moffat (Thou Shalt Worship No Other Gods Before He) has said that he finds the scenario presented in the new BBC comedy series Episodes 'painfully familiar.' The co-produced sitcom, which is broadcast on Showtime in the US and BBC2 in the UK, follows two British writers (played by Stephen Mangan and Tamsin Grieg) who move to Hollywood to remake their successful UK sitcom, only to have the project completely altered by interfering network executives. Moffat, whose own acclaimed and award-winning BBC sitcom Coupling was remade into a short-lived NBC series a decade ago, wrote on Twitter: 'I laughed a lot at Episodes. It might be a specialised market, but dear God, those scenes with the execs aren't even exaggerated.' Responding to a fan query for further details, the Doctor Who and Sherlock showrunner replied: 'Of course, it's not always like that. But it can be like that. Been at this a long time [and] mostly I've had a laugh.' The US remake of Coupling was cancelled after just four weeks, with seven produced episodes remaining unaired. At the time, and subsequently, Moffat blamed NBC's 'continual, flat-footed interference' for the cancellation.

Tom Baker has called described his fellow Doctor Who actor Jon Pertwee 'an insufferable know-all.' Baker, who took over the role of the Time Lord from Pertwee in 1974, also said that the late actor, who died in 1996, was obsessed with money, reports the Mirror. 'Jon Pertwee was an insufferable know-all,' Baker told Doctor Who Magazine. 'Jon found it physically impossible to buy a drink.' Baker went on: 'He liked the idea of big sums of money for voice-overs, so I would say in Jon's earshot that someone had offered me fifteen thousand pounds for a voice-over, but I turned it down because it was going to take a whole hour. This wasn't true, but I could hear Jon's heart pounding. In fact, he died of a heart attack shortly after that. I think that's why.'

The BBC has announced that filming has begun on the fourth series of Torchwood. The ten-part series - Miracle Day - commenced shooting on Monday morning, according to the show's official Twitter feed. The account's first post read: 'Day One. First shot 8:01am. Coffee pots are bottomless today.' A second post from the production office later in the day confirmed that executive producers Russell Davies and Julie Gardner have begun work on the second and third episodes. It stated: 'Russell and Julie are here today to oversee filming and attend concept meetings for EP two and three.[sic]'

David Boreanaz has admitted that he still finds directing Bones difficult. Boreanaz recently helmed an episode of the show for the third time. The episode, which is scheduled to be broadcast on 25 January begins with serial killer The Gravedigger being transported to court. On the way, she is targeted by a sniper. 'This one was challenging in terms of what you are allowed to show,' Boreanaz told TV Guide. 'You want to make this show as dynamic as possible.' Boreanaz will direct his fourth episode later this month but added: 'It doesn't get any easier - which is a good thing, because you want to keep pushing the bar.'

Mark Pellegrino has revealed new details about his character in the Syfy remake of Being Human. It was first announced in July that the former Lost and Supernatural actor will play the vampire Bishop in the show. He told Daemon's TV: 'Bishop is a very old vampire. He was turned in the 1600s in England [and] came over to the New World because of the Revolutionary War to make his bones and his mark in the world. He has become the vampire boss of Boston.' Pellgrino confirmed that Bishop is responsible for turning Aidan (Sam Witwer) into a vampire. 'Aidan has since had second thoughts about his lifestyle and is trying desperately to change it,' he explained. 'I'm trying desperately to bring him back in the fold.' The actor also claimed that his character is 'not an archetypal villain. I'm supposed to be villainous, I guess, but you can relate to me,' he said. 'You understand what I'm going through and hopefully empathise with my point of view. I think everybody [in the show] has those moments of grey.'

The Royal Mail has this week unveiled a range of stamps in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of Gerry Anderson's TV shows Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet. Neither of which are fifty years old but, we'll let them off because the stamps themselves are very cool. The 'FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson' set features a number of iconic images from the series, including an image of Thunderbird Two in take-off. Also included is a specially-created comic strip and a miniature set of four 'motion stamps.' The UK's first motion stamps show two different images when viewed from separate angles, displaying the opening sequence of Thunderbirds with each of the crafts launching. Anderson said: 'I feel incredibly proud that my work has been chosen to appear on a set of Royal Mail stamps and to see actual animation of the opening scenes of Thunderbirds appear on the motion stamps is really wonderful.' Philip Parker, Royal Mail Stamps spokesperson, added: 'Gerry Anderson's ingenuity and inventiveness caused a sensation in the 1960s. We're delighted that fifty years on we are able to recognise and celebrate his work on our first stamp issue of 2011. It's particularly fitting that his characters will once again be visiting millions of homes across the UK as they arrive through the nation's letterboxes on letters and cards. And also that the dramatic five, four, three, two, one opening sequence is now a UK first through its appearance on our new motion stamps.' Indeed, they look great, and if for no other reason than it gives yer Keith Telly Topping the opportunity to post a link to this and this, I applaud Royal Mail's endeavour. Spectrum is green.

ITV has reportedly cancelled the regular version of long-running quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The Chris Tarrant-hosted programme launched in 1998 and pulled in huge audiences at its peak. But that was long ago. Now, the Mirror claims that falling ratings have prompted the broadcaster to scrap the show. Following the success of the live edition screened over Christmas, ITV is said to be keen to develop more of the special episodes in order to create 'event' TV. 'We are looking to do fewer shows but make them higher profile,' a 'source' allegedly told the paper. 'The appetite at the moment is for big specials while the audience has drifted away from the run-of-the-mill ­instalments featuring ordinary punters. It's still a popular brand but we need to make sure it remains fresh and relevant. There's a realisation that having Millionaire on every week for eight weeks perhaps isn't the way forward anymore.' The show introduced a revamped format, which included fewer questions to win the top prize, in 2007. Further changes made last year also saw the Fastest Finger First section scrapped. 'The changes that were made last year haven't necessarily worked,' the 'insider' supposedly admitted. An ITV spokesman added: 'The first ever live edition over Christmas attracted 6.9 million viewers. We are talking to producers, Sony Pictures, about future episodes.'

Davina McCall has tried to defend the rapid weight loss of the various contestants on ITV reality show and example of gross, sick fat fascism The Biggest Loser. The fourteen lucky hopefuls, who are competing to lose the most weight for a twenty thousand pound prize (and wouldn't it be a right laugh if, having won it, they spent it all on chocolate, lager and curries?), shed huge amounts of weight in the opening episode. The most successful contestant took off one stone thirteen pounds in the first week of training. Speaking about the health aspects of the programme, McCall told This Morning: 'They are not crash-dieting, it's all sensible eating and exercise. That amount is what Claire did and actually they are just kick-starting their metabolisms, and a lot of that is just fluid in the first week. But they are all amazing. I find it very inspirational seeing people that think they can't change their lives and they need a leg up.' It was, yer Keith Telly Topping notes, very gratifying for anybody with an ounce of dignity in their body (and a genuine enjoyment in feeling morally superior) to discover than, when the ratings for the first episode came in, there are - it would appear - only 3.6m disgusting sick voyeurs in the country who get off on this sort of thing. And, that Silent Witness on the other side got a seven million.

Harry Hill has revealed that he is related to EastEnders newcomer Tamara Wall. Last month, it emerged that Wall had been cast in the role of Martine, a new friend for grief-stricken Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace). According to the Sun, Wall refers to TV Burp presenter Hill as her 'uncle Harry' although their actual family relation is a bit more distant. Hill explained: 'I'm really thrilled that my mum's cousin's daughter is going to be in EastEnders. Hopefully she'll put in a good word for me and I'll be in the Square soon.' The character of Martine will appear on screen alongside her 'cheeky' daughter, Shenice, played by Lacey Turner's nine-year-old sister Lily Harvey.

CBS has announced that Justin Bieber is to reprise his role on CSI next month. Bieber made his acting debut in the crime drama's season premiere in September, where he played Jason McCann, a teenager who was caught up in a plot concerning his brother, a serial bomber. The teenage pop singer will return to the series in the 17 February episode, titled Targets of Obsession, in which Nick Stokes (George Eads) warns Jason that he is in 'imminent danger.' That'll be them little girl fans, they can be vicious when they want to be.

Allison Janney has claimed that her new show Mr Sunshine is 'the opposite' of former series The West Wing. Although, hopefully not in every respect otherwsie that would make it 'the worst TV show in the world, ever.' The actress, who played CJ Cregg on the acclaimed NBC political drama, told Movieline that her previous role involved 'a lot of intense dialogue.' Yers. That's why lots of people liked it. 'On West Wing, it was a lot of policy and memorisation and talking, knowing your lines,' she explained. 'This is more of an [improvised], childish, silly thing. It's the opposite, but everyone works really well together.' Janney added that she continues to enjoy working as part of an ensemble cast. 'I think acting is a team sport,' she suggested. 'I like being with people and it's what I love about Matthew [Perry] and this show. He's the star, it's his show, but he wants everyone to shine.' She added: 'We all push each other to be funnier and go further, but we [also] tell each other when we've gone too far.' Discussing her new role as eccentric sports arena owner Crystal Cohen, she revealed: 'I figure skate. I sing with James Taylor. I slap Matthew Perry.' Sounds like every boys dream!

FOX has denied that Lie To Me and Fringe are in danger of cancellation. The network recently opted to cut the former show's third season to thirteen episodes, while the latter has been moved to an unpopular Friday night slot. Speaking at the TCA press tour, FOX president Kevin Reilly explained that the decision not to order a back-nine episodes for Lie To Me was 'a needs thing. We've got a lot of mid-season shows that we're rolling out and we just have to get a little deeper into the spring and size everything up [before deciding on another season],' he explained. 'We'd like to believe there's [a future] for Lie To Me. It delivers a very loyal audience wherever we put it.' Regarding Fringe, Reilly also warned fans 'not to write the eulogy prematurely. It's a show we're very passionate about,' he insisted. 'I want the audience to transfer to Friday. I would be heartbroken if it went away. But if the fans stick with us the show could be on the air for many years.' He added that the show's production team should feel 'really liberated' by the new timeslot. 'I think now they can say, "You know what? We are playing to our fans [but are] happy to take anyone new that wants to get on board."' Reilly also admitted that the cancellation of Lone Star was 'a real bummer.' The con man drama was axed in September after just two episodes due to disappointing ratings. 'We made a show that we really loved,' Reilly told reporters. '[Critics] really believed in the show. But not enough people showed up. We were very disappointed, but that's the reality of the business. I'd much prefer to fail with a show we are creatively proud of than fail with a show we're embarrassed with.' Reilly also disputed claims that the series would have been better served on a cable channel. 'I take umbrage with the idea that all the great shows can only be on cable,' he said. 'It's the culture of FOX to be bold creatively. One discussion we did not have is saying, "Let's not do that again."'

Jason Manford has become a father for the third time. The Sun reports that the comedian and his wife Catherine welcomed their daughter over Christmas. The couple have never revealed their 2008-born twin daughters' names and have not confirmed the name chosen for their new baby either. 'Jason and Catherine are delighted with their new arrival,' a 'source' allegedly told the paper. 'He's back in at the deep end with nuclear nappies and the midnight feed.'

David Tennant has been linked to the role of Thranduil the Elvenking in the forthcoming Hobbit movie by Internet rumours. Which almost certainly means he won't be appearing in, or anywhere near, the movie. According to Movieweb, the former Doctor Who star is preparing to join Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood and Sir Ian McKellen in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings prequel project. Thranduil is the father of the character Legolas, played by Orlando Bloom in Lord of the Rings. Bloom is also reportedly attached to portray the part in The Hobbit. Tennant was previously rumoured to be in consideration for the lead role of Bilbo Baggins, which eventually went to Freeman.

Gordon Ramsay has criticised people who drink shark fin soup. The celebrity chef tried the dish in Taiwan as part of Channel Four's Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait show, which broadcasts this coming Sunday, The Mirror reports. Ramsay said: 'What does it taste of? It's really bizarre, because it actually tastes of nothing. The broth is really good. But it could have anything in there, chicken, duck, pork belly, anything. The one item spoiling it is the shark's fin. The bland fin doesn't deliver. They eat it because it is a symbol of status. It is fucking mad.' On learning that sharks have their fins hacked off before they are dumped back into the ocean, Ramsay added: 'Leave them alone. Respect their beauty.'

Major Richard Winters, whose WWII heroism was captured in the TV mini-series Band of Brothers, has died at the age of ninety two. Winters' death was confirmed by a family friend, and followed a long battle with Parkinson's disease. The 2001 HBO/BBC co-production charted the exploits of a company of US paratroopers from the Normandy invasion to the end of World War II. Winters, from Hershey, Pennsylvania, had asked that news of his death be withheld until after his funeral. An HBO spokesman said he died on 2 January. Born in 1918, Winters studied economics before enlisting in the army when American joined the second world war in 1941. He rose to become the commanding officer of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on D-Day. He was decorated for leading a thirteen-man attack on a fortified German gun placement, which had been shelling US soldiers landing on Utah Beach. Winters also led his men in the ill-fated Operation Market Garden, to try to capture bridges over the Rhine river in the eastern Netherlands in late 1944. He also played a leading role in the Battle of the Bulge, when a breakout by German forces saw the Allies besieged in the Belgian town of Bastogne.

A TV trailer advertising the film Saw 3D has been banned after a ten-year-old complained that it was 'distressing' and 'inappropriately scheduled.' It began with a screaming man reaching towards the screen with a bloodied hand and featured images of saw blades. The unnamed child saw the advert at 2029 in a break during The Gadget Show on Channel Five. The Advertising Standards Authority said it was 'likely to cause distress to young children.' Advertising services organisation Clearcast had originally cleared the advert to be shown after 1930. It said that anyone watching TV later than that would know that it was for a film trailer and clearly based in fantasy. But the ASA upheld the child's complaint. It said images in the advert which depicted people in a cinema 'linked the scenes from the film with a recognisably real situation.' These include scenes which showed cinema-goers 'suddenly trapped by metal restraints and where the figure reached out and pulled a cinema-goer back towards the screen,' the ASA said. 'We considered it was therefore likely to cause distress to young children who might not make a clear distinction between the scenes from the film and the scenes in the cinema.' It said a post-1930 restriction was 'not sufficient' and ruled the advert must not be be broadcast again in its current form before 2100.

A new James Bond film has been given the go-ahead and is due to be released on 9 November 2012, MGM and EON Productions have announced. Producers Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and MGM said the twenty third Bond movie would go into production in late 2011. The latest 007 adventure, starring Daniel Craig for the third time, will be directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes. The franchise had been on hold amid financial troubles, with MGM filing for bankruptcy protection last November. A rescue deal and restructuring plan put US firm Spyglass Entertainment at the helm of MGM, which had struggled due to several box office flops and a DVD sales slump (although, ironically, not on the Bond series itself which has always been one of MGM's biggest grossing franchises). Pre-production work on the Bond film was suspended in April 2010 because of uncertainty over the company's future. James Bond is one of the longest running franchises in movie history. Its return marks a four-year gap since the character's last outing in 2008's Quantum of Solace. Daniel Craig - who made his Bond debut in Casino Royale in 2006 - is the sixth actor to play the British secret agent in the official Bond series. Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan preceded him in the iconic role. Craig's debut, in Casino Royale, was the most successful instalment in the franchise's forty eight-year history, taking almost six hundred million dollars at the global box office. The latest Bond screenplay has been written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and John Logan.

And so to yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day. And, for one day only dear blog reader, because I'm a damned good mood after the cricket, yer Keith Telly Topping would like you all to go up to your wardrobe, get out yer bondage trousers and wear yer safety pins with pride. Because punk is back, ladies and gentlemen and tonite I'm gonna party like it's 1977. It's time, I reckon, for a bit of the old filth and the fury. Is she really going out with him?See, told you yer Keith Telly Topping was damned happy. Ho, ho. (He'd have to be cracking shite-awful puns like that.) Of course, after watching something as impressively in-yer-face as Vanian, The Captain, Rat and Brian, you need a few adverts to calm you down. Four of them, to be precise: TV, Gaye, Howie Pickup and Laurie Driver.There was then (and probably still is) a rather daft - yet widespread - belief that little girls should be seen and not heard. Punk - via Siouxsie, The Slits, et al, took that sexist notion to the woodshed. Poly, in particular, did not agree with such a conceit. And said so. Loudly.And, frankly, what with Laura Logic's bloody loud sax honking in yer ear, that was never likely to happen around X-Ray Spex, was it? Meanwhile, over in Bromley the Banshees were howling... Anybody fancy a Chinese?And, at the same time, down in Hersham ...To be fair, and despite the throughly nasty habits of some of their fans, it was hard not to love the Shammers. 'Don't turn it off, turn it up!' Some people - mainly writing in the NME, it should be noted, reckoned that, unlike their Polydor labelmates, the Banshees (who were that bit more art-school and well read), Jimmy and the boys were just 'cartoon punks.' Which might've been true but they made a hell of a decent racket getting their cartoonesque point across for a couple of years. Then again, so did The Ruts and there was sod all cartoony about them. Like all good things, it ended far too quickly, of course. But, God it fun whilst it lasted. As Sidney will demonstrate. Tomorrow, From The North will be happily trying to convince you all, dear blog reader, to never trust a hippy. Until then, 'ever get the feelin' you've been cheated?' Give it some phlegm, Steve!