Saturday, April 03, 2021

Why Should The Private Pleasure Of Someone Become The Public Plague Of Many More?

It's that old bloggerisationisms time again, dearest blog reader. Therefore, welcome you are to From The North's latest update and settle ye back for another session in the company of yer actual Keith Telly Topping, brain the size of an Adidas Testar and all that ...
We begin with this week's almost-certainly wholly bollocks made-up Doctor Who story, from that ever reliable bastion of accurate and truthful reportage, the Daily Scum Mail: 'Jodie Whittaker looked in good spirits as she filmed scenes for Doctor Who alongside her co-star John Bishop in Liverpool on Monday,' the Scum Mail reports. That much, as Spandau Ballet once noted, is true. 'The actress, was seen laughing and joking with members of the crew as she stood alongside the TARDIS while filming an evening scene.' Then, it all got a bit ludicrous: 'Fans of the programme were sent wild when passers-by in Liverpool claimed they saw former star Catherine Tate in the city, prompting speculation [that] she could be returning to the series.' The piece then, helpfully, added: 'Other users insisted the comedian would not be returning to the series. One said: "Catherine Tate is in Liverpool to film a new comedy series for Channel Four and just happens to be good friends with fellow comic John Bishop. She isn't filming Doctor Who."' Which will, no doubt, come as a surprise to exactly no one.
A sequel to the American procedural forensics crime drama series and From The North favourite Crime Scene Investigation, called CSI: Vegas is, officially, making a return for the 2021-22 season, CBS has announced. It has been twenty one years since the first episode of CSI debuted and William Petersen and Jorga Fox are returning to the show as Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle. The last time Grissom and Sidle were on the screen on the show, the married couple was driving their boat into the dusk. 'Twenty-one years ago, we launched CSI and watched in awe as this new cinematic series launched an entire genre and became a ground-breaking juggernaut that still has global resonance today,' said CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl in a statement. Along with Peterson and Fox, the new series will star Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria, Mel Rodriguez and British actress Mandeep Dhillon. 'We are thrilled to welcome the next generation of forensic criminalists to the CSI brand and unite them with the legendary characters from the past who we still love, including the extraordinary Billy Petersen and Jorja Fox,' Kahl added. 'Crimefighting technology has advanced dramatically over the last several years and combined with classic CSI storytelling, we can't wait to watch this new CSI team do what they do best: follow the evidence,' concluded Kahl. The original CSI ran for fifteen series, launching three spin-offs (one of which was quite good, the other two, not so much) prior to wrapping with a two-hour film finale in 2015. It was the most-watched drama on the planet for seven consecutive years before being overtaken by NCIS. 'I'm excited to be bringing back the CSI franchise to all our fans who have been so loyal to us for all these years,' said executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer. 'CSI: Vegas opens a brand-new chapter in Las Vegas, the city where it all began. Facing an existential threat that could bring down the Crime Lab, a brilliant new team of forensic investigators must welcome back old friends and deploy new techniques to preserve and serve justice in Sin City,' says the official synopsis of the new show. Also returning will be Wallace Langham, who played lab tech David Hodges.
Great uses of popular music on the soundtracks of recent TV episodes, part the first. The latest episode of The Blacklist - Captain Kidd - and its superb incorporation on Anne Clark's 1984 techno trance epic 'Our Darkness' into the action.
Great uses of popular music on the soundtrack of recent TV episodes, part the second. The series' finale of the now extremely cancelled American Gods using 'Life Song' by The Black Angels.
The stars of the BBC's Line Of Duty have taken time out from their duties tackling police corruption to help a Belfast football club go undercover. Three of the actors in the drama series have come together to buy new kits for two of the girls' teams at Belfast Celtic, as reported by the BBC News website.
Meanwhile the second episode of the current Line Of Duty series brought a predictably enthusiastic response from the Gruniad Morning Star. And, a predictably sneering and offensive one from some shit of no importance at the Torygraph. Or, two, in fact.
From The North favourite, Peaky Blinders has reportedly concluded three days of filming in Bolton town centre for the sixth series earlier this week.
From The North favourite Game Of Thrones is coming to the stage, with a theatre adaptation likely to be a major attraction in the West End and on Broadway. The show will open in 2023 and depict a pivotal gathering more than a decade before the events in George RR Martin's novels and the hit TV series. Some of the best-known characters from the epic story will be involved. The show will be brought to life by the British pair of playwright Duncan MacMillan and director Dominic Cooke. 'The production will boast a story centred around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy, in the process revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now,' a statement said. The stage show, set during a grand jousting tournament that helped set in motion the subsequent events, 'ought to be spectacular,' Martin said. 'The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace,' he said. 'Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring. It is a tourney oft referred during HBO's Game Of Thrones and in my novels, A Song Of Ice & Fire. And now at last, we can tell the whole story on the stage.' Characters who were present and went on to be major figures in the books and TV show include Robert Baratheon and Jaime Lannister. The author said that starting work with MacMillan and Cooke before the pandemic had been 'a treat - and I am eager for our collaboration to resume. Our dream is to bring Westeros to Broadway, to the West End, to Australia and, eventually, to a stage near you,' he added. MacMillan, whose plays include Lungs, People, Places & Things and 1984, said: 'I have such admiration for George's world and his characters. His generosity and trust during this process has been incredible. Working on this play during lockdown has felt like a real privilege. I can't wait until we can be back in a theatre to experience this together.' Cooke was artistic director of London's Royal Court Theatre from 2007 to 2013 and directed The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses, the TV adaptation of Shakespeare's plays. 'One of George's inspirations for the original books was Shakespeare's history plays, so the material lends itself naturally to the theatre,' the director said. 'Duncan MacMillan and I are having a great time digging into the dynastic power struggles at the heart of George's extraordinary imaginative world - and he has been hugely generous and supportive towards both of us.' The announcement came after the news Martin has signed a five-year deal to develop more TV shows for HBO. A prequel series, House Of The Dragon, set three hundred years before the events of Game Of Thrones, is expected to be broadcast next year, while several other TV spin-offs are also already in the works.
It seems that Netflix's forthcoming adaptation of The Sandman is continuing to grow its already impressive cast. According to DCTV.News, Cassie Clare has been cast as Mazikeen. Created by Neil Gaiman and artists Kelley Jones in 1990, the character debuted in Sandman issue twenty two (Seasons Of Mist, Part One). A devoted ally of Lucifer, she serves as a servant to The Lord Of Hell, even leaving with him for Earth when he retired. Clare is not the first actress to play the character of Mazikeen. Lesley-Ann Brandt has portrayed her in the Netflix series Lucifer opposite Tom Ellis. It is not known how significant Clare's role will be in the series, given the character played a relatively small role in The Sandman. The series was given an eleven episode order from Warner Brothers and Netflix. Gaiman is set to executive produce with David Goyer and showrunner Allan Heinberg. Production on the series was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which luckily gave the creative team time to perfect the scripts. Thankfully though, production on the highly anticipated series is finally underway - as detailed recently on this very blog. The series features Tom Sturridge as the title character, Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian, Stephen Fry as Fiddler's Green, Asim Chaudhry as Abel and Sanjeev Bhaskar as Cain.
The Applause Store website has confirmed this week that filming on the S series of From The North favourite Qi will begin 'soon' (presumably, next month once lockdown has ended and they can actually get some sort of an audience into The London Studios.
From The North favourite The Brokenwood Mysteries has recently returned to TV screens in its native New Zealand for its seventh series as this - rather spoilerific - article confirms. There's still no news as to when the six new episodes will be turning up in the UK on the Drama Channel. But, hopefully, it shouldn't be too long.
Bridgerton fans will not be getting more Regency-era romance just yet. It seems that we can only trust news straight from Lady Whistledown her very self, because fans of hit Netflix series have been the target of an April Fools' trick. Excitement generated after The Tab (no, me neither) revealed that the second series of Bridgerton would have a surprise premiere next week. But it turns out, 'the announcement was merely a practical joke.' Although production on the second series isn't set to begin until this spring, the news source pretended this was a ploy to 'shock viewers.' How desperately adult of them. April Fools? Are you twelve?
Christopher Eccleston has explained why he reprised his role as The Doctor in a Big Finish audio drama, saying that now was 'the right time' to return to the character. Or, in other words, it's the only work he can get at the moment and he needs the bread. Big Ecc, who played The Doctor in the popular long-running BBC family SF drama in 2005 (you knew that, right?), told Doctor Who Magazine that he had been asked to return before - notably for the 2013 fiftieth anniversary episode - but that it hadn't worked out. 'I'd been asked on a few occasions, but it wasn't the right time because of various things about where I was in my personal and professional life. And then, it became the right time. We talked about it at the convention [2019's GallifreyOne in Los Angeles] and then they contacted Sara Elman, who's my VoiceOver agent. I had a look at the scripts and I was really encouraged by the quality of them. And here we are.' On why he wanted to revisit The Doctor character, he added: 'What convinces a bricklayer to build a wall? What convinces a plumber to plumb? What convinces you to do your job? First of all, it's not a fashionable thing to say - and because we're all English, we don't talk about these things - but I'm an actor and the way I pay my mortgage and support my children in by acting. So it's paid work. Secondly, as I've always said, I have a great love for the character. I've always said that.'
If you're looking for something well-fascinating to read over the Easter weekend, dear blog reader, allow Keith Telly Topping to point your web browser in the general direction of Shaun Curran's superb investigative think-piece The Mystery Of 'Lost' Rock Genius Lee Mavers on the BBC Culture website.
Or, on a somewhat more contemporary note, Sirin Kale of the Vice website's in-depth piece Insiders On What Happened in the Days Before Britain's First Lockdown is, also, worthy of a few moments of your time.
Or, if you're looking for something with far more potential comedy value than either of those, ABC News's Some Capitol Riot Suspects Apologise As Consequences Sink In by Jacques Billeaud and Michael Tarm may well be right up your collective straße, dear blog reader. Containing, as it does, the following gem: 'Confronted with compelling video and photographic evidence in court, dozens of rioters have apologised and expressed regret as the consequences of their actions have started to sink in. The ramifications include potential job losses, financial ruin and possible time behind bars.' Which, this blogger is sure you'll agree, is effing hilarious.
And now, dear blog reader ...
Serenity. For some reason, The Horror Channel was playing Joss Whedon's flop Firefly movie spin-off last weekend - work that one out if you can? First time this blogger had watched it in several years, as it happens. And, it actually stood up pretty well though it retained that vague air of being, perhaps, a little bit too clever for its own good which so harmed its box office receipts back in 2005.
Berbarian Sound Studio. Peter Strickland's suitably twisted, creepy little tribute to the Italian Giallo horror movie genre of the 1970s which benefited from a strong and impressive central performance by - the always great - Toby Jones
Moon. Duncan Jones's compelling 2009 debut, with Sam Rockwell giving two of his best performances. With it's sparse narrative and minimalist, low-budget design it was (and remains) a suitably strange and moving experience.
The Hippopotamus. John Jencks' fine adaptation of the Stephen Fry novel, with a great central turn by Roger Allam as the jaded, aging alcoholic poet-turned-theatre critic-turned-detective.
Mississippi Grind. 'It's Machu Picchu time!'
Contact. Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe and a Carl Sagan source text ... What's not to love?
Motherless Brooklyn. Edward Norton's excellent adaptation of the Jonathan Lethem novel. This blogger has always been a bit of a sucker for the look of 1950s New York, if it's done well. And this is done really well.
Eye In The Sky. Worth it for several reasons but, mostly, for Alan Rickman in his final film role being as deliciously world-weary and cynical as ever.
No Country For Old Men. One of the Coen Brothers' most extreme movies, yet it shares the jet-black humour of Fargo, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink et al.
You Were Never Really Here. 'Joe, wake up. It's a beautiful day!'
Colette. From The North favourite Keira's finest one hundred and twelve minutes.
Absence Of Malice. That Paul Newman didn't win an Oscar for this but did for The Colour Of Money is shameful. Then again you, could say the same about a dozen other, previous, movies featuring him.
High Rise. Proof that the works of JG Ballard are pretty much unfilmable. Unless you're Ben Wheatley, obviously.
The Hole. A reminder that before he went mad-as-a-mad-bastard, Laurence Fox occasionally used to be an actor. Keira Knightley, on the other hand, there's never been any doubt that she's an actress.
The Quiet Ones. A definitive example of the Mark Kermode-described strain of 'quiet, quiet, quiet, bang!' school of psychological horror. Pretty good, in patches, though it would've been nice if Hammer had spent a bit more money on it ...
The Awakening. 'Boys believe in Santa Claus and The Tooth Fairy. I'm sure some of them even believe in God.'
The Young Ones. 'Do you dig graves?' 'Yeah, they're all right!'
Japan: Earth's Enchanted Islands. Because Michelle Dockery's husky-voiced narration on this charming and handsome natural history series is always guaranteed to give this blogger The Horn.
A letter from the future Sir Paul McCartney (MBE) settling a 'debt' for a missing holiday blanket is going up for auction. The singer allegedly 'made off' with the alleged bedding after staying at a farmhouse with fellow Quarrymen bandmate George Harrison in North Wales. Decades later, he was reminded by owner Irene Brierley that she was o Allegedly. ne blanket short. He responded with a cheque for thirty smackers and his accompanying letter to her is now being sold off. Sir Paul and Harrison became friendly with the Brierley family after taking a hitchhiking holiday in 1958. The pair had knocked at the door of their farmhouse in Harlech, Gwynedd, asking to pitch their tent in a field. But after a downpour on their first night, they sought refuge inside and ended up staying the week. They became friendly with the young John Brierley, a musician himself and, later, sat in with his local skiffle group The Vikings during a performance at The Queen's Hotel pub in the nearby town. Brierley also recalled several days of playing snooker and listening to Elvis Presley's first LP, as well as Sir Paul banging away on the family piano trying to work out the solo in the middle of the Buddy Holly song, 'Think It Over'. The following year the pair returned to Harlech, which is when the alleged blanket was allegedly taken. The alleged bedding incident stayed with Brierley's mother long after Beatlemania swept the globe and, in the 1980s, she wrote to Sir Paul to remind him. He responded to her letter writing: 'Dear Mrs Brierley (Irene), Your letter reached me eventually and I was sorry to hear about my "debt." I remember well the fun we had in Harlech and hope the enclosed cheque will settle our differences. Excuse the scrawl as I'm trying to write this on a bouncing express train! I was very sorry to hear about your hubby - he was a very nice man. Please give my best to your boys. Kindest regards, Paul (McCartney).' The letter has now been put up for sale through the Beatles memorabilia specialists Tracks, with a starting price of three thousand knicker. The alleged current location of the alleged blanket has not been revealed. Allegedly.
G Gordon Liddy, the notorious, convicted Watergate burglar who subsequently became a controversial radio talk-show host, actor and best-selling author after his release from The Slammer, has died at the age of ninety. Liddy remained unapologetic for his part in the hair-brained scheme to bug the Democrats' HQ at the Watergate complex during the Republicans' 1972 erection campaign. The scandal led to a - magnificently botched - White House cover-up and, eventually, to the resignation of then President Nixon. Born George Gordon Battle Liddy in New Jersey in 1930, Liddy claimed to have been a frail boy who was inspired by the radio speeches of Adolf Hitler (who only had one) which residents in his German-American neighbourhood were listening to at the time. 'If an entire nation could be changed, lifted out of weakness to extraordinary strength, so could one person,' he wrote in his - completely mad-as-toast - autobiography, recalling how he also roasted and ate a rat at the age of eleven to overcome his fear of rodents. Having served in the army and graduated from law school, Liddy joined the FBI. At the age of twenty nine, Liddy became the youngest Bureau Supervisor in Washington. A protégé of deputy director Cartha DeLoach, Liddy became part of J Edgar Hoover's personal staff and one of his ghostwriters. Amongst his fellow agents, however, he had a reputation for recklessness - if not complete barking madness - and was known primarily for two outrageous incidents. The first was an arrest in Kansas during 'a black bag job'; he was released after the personal intervention of Clarence Kelley, former FBI agent and chief of the Kansas City Police. The second was Liddy running an FBI background check on his future wife before their marriage in 1957, which Liddy later referred to as 'purely a routine precautionary measure.' Liddy resigned from The Feds in 1962, worked with his father as a patent attorney in New York until 1966 and, eventually, moved to the White House. Beginning in 1970, he served with Gordon Strachan and David Young as an aide to Domestic Affairs Advisor John Ehrlichman at the behest of Bud Krogh, who had previously worked with Liddy at the Treasury Department. Liddy nominally served as General Counsel to the finance committee of the Committee to Re-erect the President from 1971 to 1972. Subsequently, Krogh, Liddy, Young and Erlichman were all indicted for conspiracy to commit burglary in September 1973. At CRP, Liddy concocted several plots in early 1972, collectively under the title Operation Gemstone. Some of the extreme ideas that Liddy and his 'Plumbers' colleague, the equally fruitcake Howard Hunt a former CIA officer, came up with included kidnapping anti-war protest organisers and transporting them to Mexico during the Republican National Convention, luring mid-level Democratic campaign officials to a house boat in Miami, where they would be secretly photographed in compromising positions with prostitutes, plotting to kill Nixon critics and firebombing the office building of political opponents. Most of their ideas were rejected by Attorney General John Mitchell (who became CRP manager in March 1972), but a few were given the go-ahead by Nixon administration officials, including the 1971 break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in Los Angeles. Ellsberg had leaked The Pentagon Papers to The New York Times. At some point, Liddy was also instructed to break into the Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate. At least, that was their story and they stuck to it (or, variations on it) throughout the decades. However, the botched burglary, cover-up and subsequent investigation snowballed into one of America's biggest political scandals. Liddy, Hunt and five others were arrested and faced charges of conspiracy, burglary and illegal wiretapping. Liddy was the only one who refused to cooperate with the prosecution. He was sentenced to twenty years in The Joint and served nearly five years before his sentence was commuted in 1977 by Democratic President Jimmy Carter. Years later, Liddy said: 'I'd do it again for my President.' In 1980, once the Watergate offences statute of limitations had expired, Liddy published his autobiography, Will, which sold more than a million copies and was made into a television movie. In it, he claimed that he once planned, with Hunt, to kill the journalist Jack Anderson, based on a literal interpretation of a Nixon White House statement, 'we need to get rid of this Anderson guy.' He started a security firm and wrote several other best-selling books. He later joined with Timothy Leary for a series of debates on multiple college campuses and, similarly, worked with Al Franken in the late 1990s. Liddy served as a radio host from 1992 until his retirement in 2012. In 1994 the British documentary company Brian Lapping Associates sent producers Norma Percy and Paul Mitchell to interview many of the conspirators for its series five-part Watergate - subsequently, the basis for Fred Emery's best-selling book on the scandal - in which an unrepentant Liddy talked, frankly - admittedly, sometimes amusingly - about his role in the whole malarkey. He was filmed at home while sitting in front of his sizeable collection of firearms. Liddy appeared in the 1993 straight-to-video Encyclopedia Brown: The Case Of The Burgled Baseball Cards as Corky Lodato. In Miami Vice, he acted with John Diehl, who would later go on to portray Liddy himself in Oliver Stone's Nixon (1995). Liddy's other television acting credits included appearances in Airwolf, MacGyver and The Highwayman. He also acted in several movies including Street Asylum, Feds, Adventures In Spying, Camp Cucamonga and Rules Of Engagement. In 1986 he appeared at WrestleMania II as a guest judge for a boxing match between Mister T versus Rowdy Roddy Piper. Liddy was also an interviewee in the documentary The US Versus John Lennon. Comic book author Alan Moore has stated that the character of The Comedian from Watchmen was based, in a large part, on Liddy. In the 1979 TV adaptation of John Dean's Watergate book Blind Ambition, Liddy was played by William Daniels. In the SF series Stargate SG-1, the character of the (somewhat incompetent) air force spy Harold Maybourne (played by Tom McBeath) was given the nickname 'G Gordon' by Jack O'Neill. Liddy was married to Frances Purcell-Liddy for fifty three years until her death. The couple had five children: Thomas, Alexandra, Grace, James and Raymond.
Yeovil Town's captain Lee Collins has died at the age of thirty two. Collins began his career at Wolverhampton Wanderers and spent time at Port Vale, Barnsley, Northampton Town, Mansfield Town and Forest Green Rovers before joining Yeovil in 2019. He played his last game for the club in February against Stockport. A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said Collins' 'sudden' death was not being treated as suspicious and had been referred to the coroner. Yeovil were due to play Altrincham in the National League on Friday but the game was postponed. 'All at Yeovil Town Football Club are mourning the loss of club captain Lee Collins,' a club statement read. 'Lee sadly passed away yesterday and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We ask everyone to respect the family's privacy at this time.' BBC Radio Somerset's Yeovil commentator Sheridan Robins told BBC Sport: 'The main thing that everyone will be feeling is a deep sense of shock. He was a real winner. I remember when he first joined the club we were at rock bottom having been relegated to the National League. In his interview he was said he wasn't there to make friends, he wanted to win. He wore his heart on his sleeve on the pitch and was known for his leadership, he was the epitome of a captain, he did everything he could in that ninety minutes to win the three points.' Collins had been out of the side with injury for large parts of the current season, but returned to the bench last week in the three-one win over Barnet. 'After the game I spoke to Yeovil manager Darren Sarll and he told me how pleased he was to have Lee back,' added Robins. 'He was an old fashioned centre-half and we've not seen him play a lot this season because of injury.' Mansfield Town owner John Radford - for whom Collins played from 2015 to 2017 - tweeted he was 'shocked and saddened' to learn of Collins' death. Barnsley said they would pay tribute to Collins at Friday's home Championship game against Reading. Collins was part of the Wolves side, which included Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey and former Bolton midfielder Mark Davies, that reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup in 2005, losing on penalties to a Southampton team featuring Theo Walcott.