Friday, 31 August 2012

Doctor Who: It's fair to say none of these characters will be in the new series


Oh to be a minor character in a reasonable but not amazing Doctor Who episode. Not a Dalek, not a Cyberman, or a Weeping Angel - just, you know, a plot function in a mid-season episode: someone to just help tell the story.

A character that's unlikely to ever appear again; to be forgotten by the general viewing public and perhaps destined only to repeats on BBC Three or a clip on an actor's show reel, and maybe a few convention appearances in a version of the costume they mocked up themselves and got a bit wrong.

At best, their character will even have some lines to say, but their story will be over in one episode. Unless, of course, the character becomes an action figure - everyone loves an action figure, and Doctor Who fans will buy anything, right?

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Paralympics opening ceremony: Nice apples, but where was the parachuting senior Royal?

To be honest, we’re still not entirely sure what the opening ceremony of the Paralympics was all about, apart from the giant apples, but then that’s probably ok – sometimes it’s best just to sit back and enjoy the spectacle, even if that spectacle sometimes feels like a Pet Shop Boys concert with wheelchair users on enormous fruit and hundreds of umbrellas in the sky and something or other about ‘enlightenment’.

It all looked like quite a good laugh, and the music was generally good, too - no George Michael single promotion here, cheers - even if at times the event's smaller budget seemed evident. Where was the parachuting senior Royal?

Even so, it had enough moments to tick the boxes marked ‘humbling’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘Beverley Knight’, but right now tv-ooh’s main concern is that the many volunteers who did all the dancing  - moving from side to side while the athletes entered the stadium in the procession, alternating moves of hand claps and hand rolls as they shuffled from one foot to the other like some sort of drug-crazed dance-bot, and bedecked in fetchingly attractive (ie not fetchingly attractive) purple trainers – are now getting the medical help they need. 

They must have been knackered.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Accused: Jimmy McGovern does the wicked stepmother in Stephen's Story

You know you'll never come away from watching an episode of The Accused feeling happy and lark-some, but the relentlessly grim 60 minutes of drama it offers always seems to be as gripping as it is bleak, so you don't mind so much the feeling of having been beaten to a gibbering wreck come the start of the Ten O'Clock news.

Nestling, as it does, somewhere in between the greyness of tragedy and the blackness of misery, episode three of this series (the second) follows the downward spiral of 17-year-old Stephen after the death of his mother to cancer. We learn via flashback that he's had mental health problems before, but his suspicions that his mother's nurse, Charlotte, hastened her death in order to bag Stephen's father trigger further problems.

What you get, more or less, is a Jimmy McGovern-take on idea of the wicked stepmother, shot in a freezing-looking Stalybridge, Lancashire, with mental health issues for added dramatic grit, and a serious turn from stand-up comic John Bishop, playing Stephen's dad and who can't quite cope with his son and lets himself be ruled by Charlotte. And no, he doesn't do any jokes.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Made in Chelsea series four: This is what we know

Everyone's favourite made-up so-called 'structured reality' relationship knees-up with nice hair and the odd dim-wit here and there - aka Made in Chelsea - is due to return to E4 'this autumn', which means, probably, a Monday in mid-September.

In between promoting their own products or businesses, or appearing in magazines or saying stuff on Twitter, the cast have been filming since July and, of the cast, some people have left, some people have stayed, some people have said they're staying and then left, and then some people who we haven't seen before will also be appearing but how much they'll get to do depends on how much trouble they cause, really. 

It is, in short, a brand new series and the whole prospect is quite exciting - but we think the hair will still be the same, ie perfect at all times, and we also think there will be Champagne on order and lots of half-finished drinks in nice cafe/bars, too. So that's a relief, eh.

This is what we know:

Friday, 17 August 2012

London 2012 Olympics: Twelve things we're missing about the Olympics on tv

How are you coping, readers? Around these parts of the internet we were unashamedly IN SUPPORT OF the Olympics and everything that that entailed, and, as a result, we're not faring too well in its wake, as it happens.

It does, in particular, and like most things here on tv-ooh, relate to watching television.

How did we ever manage prior to wall-to-wall coverage of sport of varying quality and engagement, delivered to us by presenters of varying quality and engagement, all mainly from a glass box on top of some shipping containers at the Olympic park in east London?

Suddenly Homes Under the Hammer just isn't enough anymore for daytime. Cash in the Attic just feels hollow; empty somehow. If there's not a live programme linked to wining a competition recognised by a medal and a small bunch of flowers then there's just no point to it. And no, the phone-in competitions on This Morning don't count.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

BBC Panorama: Introducing the new Panorama-matrix-machine-pad graphics interface thing

Somewhere deep in the BBC, probably in a corner of the Panorama office next to the photocopier or maybe over by the stationery cupboard, there is an expensive, interactive, giant iPad-style device, mixing virtual, intelligent graphics that are responsive to a swish of a palm or a prod of a finger of a bemused journalist who is more occupied with hoping that no one will notice he has forgotten to iron his new shirt.

Let's call it the Panorama-matrix-machine-pad, shall we? It's not a very catchy name but let's go with it for now.

It can't help with the ironing, but the idea is that it helps present otherwise dry information in a whizzy, funky way for the benefit of the viewer, like a sexier white board without the need for blu-tack or a marker pen.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Accused: Anyone order a Sean Bean in drag?

There are some things in life that are so unlikely they will never even cross your mind - and the site of burly man-actor Sean Bean fleeing for his life in a wet Peak District in January, dressed in a tight red dress and ripped black stockings, is one of them.

The scenes were from the climax of the first episode of the new series of BBC One's Accused - four self-contained, high-quality, one hour episodes exploring an individual's guilt or innocence as they stand in the dock, accused (hence..) - and given that the tv-drama-overlord-in-chief Jimmy McGovern is at the helm, actors of the calibre of Sean Bean want to be involved. Even if that means putting on a frock.

He tells the BBC media centre: “I had a call from my agent saying, ‘Do you fancy playing a transvestite?’ I said, ‘Not really, why?’

Monday, 13 August 2012

London 2012 Olympics: A generally quite positive review of the closing ceremony including inevitable Spice Girls reference

After surpassing even the most ambitious of expectations for all-round feel good amazingness, much of which was due to Clare Balding and her remarkable flick-fringe hair arrangement, the intention of the Olympic organisers to have the Games go out with the biggest-possible bang seemed only fitting for such a successful event.

The medals, the tears, the tracksuits - oh how we were gripped during the 17 days of genuinely unforgettable sporting fun.

And amid talk of Spice Girls atop buses and Pet Shop Boys in funny hats, expectations were dizzingly high - and matched only by fears of a reappearance by an obligatory Beatle, which in real terms means Paul McCartney.