Results tagged “Bbc”

Doctor Who Comes to the Big Screen with 'Twice Upon a Time' on December 27

Event to include exclusive content featuring Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat.
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Press release: Doctor Who fans are getting a special gift this Christmas from Fathom Events with BBC AMERICA’s Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time. The epic finale to the Peter Capaldi era of Doctor Who is coming to U.S. movie theaters for one night on Wednesday, December 27 at 7:00 p.m. local time, featuring the return of Pearl Mackie and special guests Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and David Bradley (Game of Thrones). The event will also introduce the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker (Broadchurch), who is the first woman to assume the role. The cinema event will also feature two

And Then There Were None (2015) Blu-ray Review: And Then There Was Yet Another

There can be only one. But is this much-anticipated (and greatly needed) BBC miniseries event truly 'it'?
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Of all the stories written and published by Britain's crowned queen of mysteries, Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None has had the privilege of being adapted, staged, filmed, re-adapted, re-staged, re-written, re-published, remade, and ripped-off more than any other tale in the literate world. And it stands to reason that it should: it is, after all, one of the most ‒ if not the most ‒ successful mysteries ever published. Originally published in its native country with a far less respectable title taken from an 1860s blackface song (you may look it up at your discretion and leisure), the

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Blu-ray Review: A Magical Series About Real Magic in England

A faithful adaptation of the modern classic novel, a complicated and convoluted fantasy story about rival wizards in 19th-century England.
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There are people who cannot handle fantasy. There are viewers who think that any mention of the specifically impossible (instead of what fiction is normally filled with, which is the "practically impossible" or the "completely improbable") invalidates a story. I know people who like Game of Thrones who get upset at the dragons and the Red Woman and the White Walkers - which is strange, since the very first scene of the first episode has White Walkers in it - they came first. Those elements are "unrealistic", while all the other made up stuff is taken in stride. For the

Planet Ant DVD Review: Tiny Social Wonders

They're not so different from us.
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Planet Ant acts as part of a special season of BBC Four programs that originally aired starting in 2013, and are centered around taking a close-up look at the insect world. If you had an ant farm growing up, you might think you know a thing or two about ants. Expand that to the size of an entire room, build it out with cameras, radio tracking, tunnels, an ample food source, and a migrated colony of thousands of leafcutter ants, and now you're really cooking. This is exactly the challenge taken on by entomologist Dr. George McGavin and leafcutter expert

Nazi Hunters: The Heroes Who Defeated Hitler DVD Review: The Story of the Filthy Fifth

An in-depth look at the British Fifth Royal Tank Regiment and the tanks they used to overpower the Germans during World War II.
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It has been over 75 years since World War II began, and it would seem that by now every possible aspect of it has been explored. Yet with Nazi Hunters: The Heroes Who Defeated Hitler, the British Broadcasting Corporation have found a unique angle with which to tell the story. The program offers an in-depth look at both the Allied soldiers and the tanks they used to overpower the Axis powers. The descriptions and comparisons between the tanks used by both sides is important in understanding what happened. What really sets this series apart though is the focus on the

Ghost Story: Turn of the Screw DVD Review: Should Have Turned It Off

A completely forgettable adaptation of a novel I'll never read.
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I don’t believe I have ever read a single word written by Henry James. I have a BA in English so presumably have read something, but if that is true, it made absolutely no impression on me. Sadly, this adaptation of James’ story The Turn of the Screw is likely to reach the same fate. It is utterly unremarkable in every way. It stars Michelle Dickery and Dan Stevens and came out about a year before both became huge stars in Downton Abbey. Retroactively, the film suffers from their stardom because I expect so much more from both of them.

Doctor Who Last Christmas Blu-ray Review: When the Doctor Met Santa Claus

"Happy Easter." - The Doctor
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When one can travel through all of time and space, sometimes Christmas comes about at the strangest of times. For Doctor Who fans, it's Christmas right now as the BBC releases 2014's Christmas special "Last Christmas" on DVD and Blu-Ray between Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. While the title gets the 1984 song by Wham! instantly stuck in my head for hours to come, "Last Christmas" proves to be a brilliantly written and highly entertaining holiday outing for the Doctor. In fact I think it's my favorite of all the Doctor Who Christmas specials so far. Imagine Alien, The

Miss Marple Volume 1 DVD Review: Old Dames Rule

Agatha Christie's approved actress expertly brings her literary heroine to life in the investigation of deaths.
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Agatha Christie’s famous fictional heroine has moved from page to screen many times, but this series bears the distinction of the author’s seal of approval on the lead actress, Joan Hickson. All of 78 years young at the time of her casting, Hickson continued portraying Miss Marple in this series for the next eight years before finally stepping down. Hickson brings gravitas and wisdom to the role, getting more mileage out of questioning glances than younger actresses could achieve with pages of dialogue. Miss Marple is the quintessential nosy old lady, a simple civilian who somehow finds herself involved in

Silent Witness: The Complete Seasons One and Seventeen DVD Reviews: Ch-ch-ch-changes

BBC Video releases the earliest and latest seasons of the long-running crime drama series.
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In 1996, the BBC debuted a new contender into an arena of crime dramas that was already heavily populated by a venerable assortment of combatants both old and new. Silent Witness certainly wasn't the first series of its kind, but it has nevertheless managed to cope with the ever-changing world it is based upon - all the while making a number of substantial alterations within its own fictional settings. Though the elements of adult-themed story devices and the sight of a rotting cadaver is something television producers across The Pond have embraced ever since they determined they could get away

The Honorable Woman DVD Review: A Slow, Dense and Immensely Entertaining Thriller

A densely plotted drama that loses none of its depth while remaining thrilling to watch.
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Awhile back I made a pact with myself to not get involved in internet discussions of politics. There were many reasons for this but the main one was that nobody’s mind is ever changed via Facebook. A big part of the why this is comes from the lack of nuance one typically gets with an internet argument. We speak in gifs and memes and argue in soundbites. Big ideas, important topics, and certainly national politics are much too complicated to be settled in 140 characters. This is true not only in our social media, but in our TV, radio, and

Father Brown Season One DVD Review: Uninspired Priest Detective Series

Catholic priest detective isn't particularly Catholic, nor much of a detective, in this BBC series.
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It is difficult to determine where Father Brown fails more completely: as an adaptation, or as a mystery show in its own right. Based on a character created by Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton, the TV Father Brown's Catholic priest isn't particularly Catholic. The series is set in the '50s (all of Chesterton's stories were contemporary and written from 1910 to 1936) but though the look of the '50s is mostly right, the feel is not. This show is a series of mistakes, of strange and uneven characterization, and, the greatest sin of all, of outright boring mysteries. Set in a

In the Flesh: The Complete Season Two DVD Review: The Undead Return. Again.

Because who doesn't long for a BBC drama that includes gay zombie love?
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As the curtain rang on the previous, initial season of the BBC's In the Flesh last year, its fate was entirely undetermined. Was the show that actually succeeded in making the overused element of the reanimated dead going to be given a second chance at life (pun possibly intended), or would it be permitted to simply pass on gracefully in its sleep? Well, as they say in the industry, "You can't keep a good corpse down", and it seemed only natural that In the Flesh return to right all of the many, many wrongs would-be filmmakers and the trendy hipster

The Musketeers (2014) Blu-ray Review: Finally, A Reimagining Worth Viewing

Sporting great battles, amazing costumes, and a fresh take, this incarnation of the Alexandre Dumas tale has a lot of potential.
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As I had iterated in a somewhat recent article, there are really only a venerable handful of classic literary characters and stories that seem to re-emerge in order to be retold time and time again upon small and big screens alike. And there is certainly little doubt in my own mind that the classic Alexandre Dumas 1844 work Les Trois Mousquetaires falls somewhere at the very top of that limited grouping; its immortal characters having appeared in many various adaptations over the last couple of centuries, along with the particular tale itself. Granted, some of us may be prone to

Death in Paradise Season Two DVD Review: Conventional Murder Mysteries, Unconventional Setting

Second season of this tropical murder series flirts with interdepartmental romance but otherwise maintains staid formula.
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A stuffy English investigator gets transplanted to a laidback Caribbean island to solve their murders and his own misanthropy. Even after a year on the island, Detective Investigator Richard Poole (Ben Miller) foolishly clings to his stodgy habits, wearing full dark suits in the blazing tropical sun, searching for a decent cup of tea, and gathering his suspects at the end of each case for his grand chamber reveal of the culprit. He’s completely out of place in his environment, and makes barely any attempt to adjust, but boasts a stunning closure rate on his cases. Meanwhile, the local police

Doctor Who: Deep Breath DVD Review: You Don't Need to Hold Your Breath to Bring the 12th Doctor Home on DVD or Blu-ray

Peter Capaldi's first outing as the Doctor time-travels onto DVD/Blu-ray.
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The new Doctor has arrived...on DVD and Blu-ray! Doctor Who: Deep Breath sees actor Peter Capaldi stepping into the role of The Doctor for his first full-length episode (having made brief appearances in episodes The Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor). Wasting little time, the BBC has already produced a DVD and Blu-ray of the episode for those who, like me, can't watch the BBC or BBC America, giving us our first real look at the new 12th Doctor. Having just regenerated, the Doctor finds himself having trouble remembering important information, like the identity of his friends

A Young Doctor's Notebook DVD Review: And You Thought Don Draper Was A Dark Character

Dead babies, botched amputations, and lots of laughs.
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It must be a difficult experience for an actor to try and move beyond starring in a successful series. You work so hard to find success and then when it comes you can be overshadowed by it. There are examples after examples after examples of actors finding success in a movie or television series only to either get caught playing the same sorts of characters for the rest of their careers or to sink into obscurity. Both Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe know all about this struggle. Radcliffe having starred as Harry Potter in eight hugely successful films and Hamm

Death in Paradise Season 1 DVD Review: British Mysteries with a Tropical Twist

Traditional British sleuthing set in the easy-going Caribbean.
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Given the sheer volume of British mystery series available, it’s almost essential to have a hook to differentiate from the crowd. This one has a gem, transplanting a stuffy English detective from London’s Metropolitan Police to a backwater tropical paradise in the Caribbean. While the humor of the situation is entirely predictable, it’s still a fine setup for this fish-out-of-water series that initially feels more like Northern Exposure than Midsomer Murders. That humor, while fairly pedestrian, keeps the entire series light-hearted in spite of its murder-based premise. DI Richard Poole (Ben Miller) is dispatched to the fictional island of Saint

An Adventure in Space and Time Blu-ray Review: A Must-have for any Whovian

A loving remembrance of how Doctor Who got its start.
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In 1963, the BBC had a space to fill in its Saturday time slot. Legendary producer and head of drama Sydney Newman had an idea for an educational science fiction show to fill it. He promoted Verity Lambert to produce the show (creating the first female producer of a dramatic program at the network). She hired character actor William Hartnell as the lead. It had a minuscule budget, a tiny studio, and got off to a rough start (the pilot aired the day of the JFK assassination) but went on to become the stuff of legend. The show, of course

Ripper Street: Season Two Blu-ray Review: Hey, Things Are Improving!

It's not quite dead. It's getting better.
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My initial assessment for the first series of the BBC Victorian Era police procedural Ripper Street was highlighted by the short quip "Needs Improvement". When the second season/series landed at my doorstep, a part of me wondered what I was in for. Essentially, there were three roads the makers of this television programme could go down: that of altering the formula for the worst, keeping things exactly the same, or adjusting it just enough to improve the show overall. Fortunately, it would appear that the latter path was the one chosen to travel here - as Ripper Street: Season Two

Atlantis: Season One (2013) Blu-ray Review: Let's Get Mythical

Sometimes, placing all your eggs in one basket pays off.
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I only caught Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy's alleged brainchild Merlin once a few years back, and quickly wished I had not. It was a dull fantasy series created to no doubt cash-in on some franchise about a kind of magic kid named Harry. Fortunately, someone else finally figured out the show was a dreary excuse for all things interesting, and Merlin came to an end in late 2012. But with an empty timeslot and the broadening possibility of life in the unemployment line on the horizon, TV producers Capps and Murphy had to think of something new. So, with
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