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The 50 best TV shows of 2016: No 4 Happy Valley

The second series of Sally Wainwright’s Calder Valley cop drama was devastating, satisfying – and even more brutal than the astonishing first

It kicks over every cliche-covered rock and holds the squirming, desperate truths underneath up to the light. In a crowded field that includes Last Tango in Halifax, Scott & Bailey, At Home With the Braithwaites and Unforgiven, the two series of Happy Valley are writer Sally Wainwright’s masterpieces. The second series, broadcast this year, was arguably even better than the astonishing first. The violence was less bloody, but Wainwright’s pitiless examination of the human condition as it plays out in the Calder Valley was bleaker, more brutal and even braver than the first time round.

As ever in Wainwright’s work, women were – simply, unapologetically, vitally – at the heart of it. Sarah Lancashire was the lynchpin again, of course, as Sergeant Catherine Cawood, stoically shouldering burden upon
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Hazel Douglas obituary

Actor whose best known role in a seven-decade career came in a Harry Potter film in her 80s

The actor Hazel Douglas, who has died aged 92, landed her most prominent role in her 80s, when she joined the starry cast of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010), as Bathilda Bagshot, the author of A History of Magic, a textbook used at Hogwarts school, and great-aunt of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. And there were more performances to come in a stage and screen career that altogether spanned seven decades.

In the ITV series Vicious, Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi played Freddie and Stuart, a longstanding and quarrelsome couple. Hazel joined them in 2013 as Mildred, Stuart’s no-nonsense mother, failing to understand the relationship between the two men. In Elephants Can Remember, an episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot from the same year with David Suchet, Zoë Wanamaker and Greta Scacchi,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Peter Davison interview: Doctor Who, naked Germans, Campion

Simon Brew Oct 10, 2016

From Doctor Who and The FiveIsh Doctors to Campion and Button Moon: we chat to the fifth Doctor, Mr Peter Davison...

Ah, the mighty Peter Davison. The Fifth Doctor, All Creatures Great And Small, Campion, and living in a house with Freddy from Rainbow are just some of the topics we chatted to him about, ahead of the publication of his terrific autobiography, Is There Life Outside The Box.

We’ve got a fair bit to get through, so without further ado….

I got a sense you thoroughly enjoyed writing this book, once you were over some initial research-y hurdles. Would that be fair?

Yeah, that’s fair. It was kind of a journey, really. A reassembling. I’ve had these memories, and it was really a chance to put them down on paper and order them. Everything fragments as you get older, and things come out,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Our favourite things about The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot

Feature Andrew Blair 27 Nov 2013 - 07:00

Here are our favourite moments from Peter Davison and co.'s tremendous gift to Who fans, The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot...

Contains Spoilers for The Day of the Doctor.

While we didn't see the Fifth, Sixth or Seventh Doctors in the flesh during The Day of the Doctor there's a possibility that they might still have featured somewhere. It's possible that, on set, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy refused to let Zygons be Zygons.

As with much of the anniversary programming, once you're done with being merely incredibly entertained by the Pythonesque brilliance and sequences involving K9 and Lisa Bowerman haunting Steven Moffat's dreams, you can then embark on a game of 'Spot the Reference'. Written, directed, and initiated by Peter Davison (confirming himself as the bigger nerd in the room), The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot is like a Easter Egg within an Easter Egg,
See full article at Den of Geek »

Sally Wainwright: not the same old

Last Tango in Halifax is that rare thing: a feelgood hit drama about older people. Writer Sally Wainwright tells Caroline Rees about putting her own mother's romance on screen

'I've never had feedback like that before," says writer Sally Wainwright of the correspondence she received last year in the wake of her BBC drama Last Tango in Halifax, about two septuagenarian sweethearts. "As a writer, you don't get many letters from members of the public. I think I've had the same number for Last Tango that I've had in the past 20 years." She adds, drily: "That's about seven."

Last Tango, which won two Baftas, returns for a second series this month. It is popular, in part, because it tells the story of older people without depicting them as senile or terminally ill. Actors Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, who play the couple, report receiving an "extraordinary" public thumbs up.

"It's so un-ageist,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

10 screenwriters we'd like to see Doctor Who episodes from

Feature Andrew Blair 2 Apr 2013 - 08:30

Andrew offers up ten screenwriting names on our wishlist for appearing on the front of future Doctor Who scripts...

Gone are the days where you could send a letter to Peter Darvill-Evans and write a New Adventure. Big Finish will occasionally hold a writing competition, but for most of the time your examination of what it truly means to be an Ogri will be returned unopened. Fan-fiction will never surpass the heights of Ben Chatham's adventures (apart from all the many times it will), and so it came to pass that Doctor Who writing became something of a closed world. The positives of this outweigh the negatives.

To get a job writing for televisual Doctor Who, you have to be an experienced pro with television experience who can turn in a script on time, not minding that their work might be tampered with by
See full article at Den of Geek »

Women on the case: the new winning formula for primetime TV drama

Series like Call the Midwife and Scott & Bailey are attracting record audiences with a mix of strong female characters

Call the Midwife has been crowned as the BBC's most successful new drama of the past decade, thanks to its mix of strong female characters and a realistic portrayal of childbirth. Now ITV is poised to strike back, with a female detective series also entirely shaped by women.

Industry figures believe these programmes represent a tipping point, with women now producing, writing, directing and acting in more television drama than ever before – and their efforts are proving hugely successful.

Pippa Harris, executive producer of Call the Midwife, said: "It is an interesting moment. We have always had women producers and drama executives, but now we are seeing women directors and writers taking centre stage. It does make a tonal difference and it is leading to a shift in the dramas we are seeing.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Women on the case: the new winning formula for primetime TV drama

Series like Call the Midwife and Scott & Bailey are attracting record audiences with a mix of strong female characters

Call the Midwife has been crowned as the BBC's most successful new drama of the past decade, thanks to its mix of strong female characters and a realistic portrayal of childbirth. Now ITV is poised to strike back, with a female detective series also entirely shaped by women.

Industry figures believe these programmes represent a tipping point, with women now producing, writing, directing and acting in more television drama than ever before – and their efforts are proving hugely successful.

Pippa Harris, executive producer of Call the Midwife, said: "It is an interesting moment. We have always had women producers and drama executives, but now we are seeing women directors and writers taking centre stage. It does make a tonal difference and it is leading to a shift in the dramas we are seeing.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

'Coronation Street' Eileen to clash with newcomer - Spoiler snippet

'Coronation Street' Eileen to clash with newcomer - Spoiler snippet
Coronation Street's Eileen Grimshaw will be having arguments with a Weatherfield newcomer next month, according to reports. Inside Soap says that Eileen (Sue Cleaver) is due to clash with a "fiery" new character called Lesley, who appears on our screens in October. No further details of the character are known just yet, but Lesley will be played by actress Judy Holt, who is best known for her role as Elaine Fishwick in At Home With The Braithwaites. Holt (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Legally Blonde: The Musical to get new London cast

We here at The Hollywood News are starting to cover the very latest West End theatre news right here on the site, as well as some exciting stage-themed features over the coming weeks, and we are so excited about it all. Anyway, here’s some more news from theatreland regarding Legally Blonde, the award-winning stage musical that has been wowing audiences at The Savoy in the Strand since 2009.

College sweetheart and homecoming queen Elle Woods doesn’t take no for an answer. So when her boyfriend Warner dumps her for someone serious, Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books, and heads for Harvard Law! Along the way, Elle proves that being true to yourself never goes out of style.

Well, this coming October, the show is getting itself a new cast in the form of Stephen Ashfield, Ben Freeman, Carly Stenson, Natalie Casey and Doctor Who legend Peter Davison.
See full article at The Hollywood News »

ITV to increase drama funding by nearly £30m

Broadcaster's extra investment is equivalent to 40 extra hours a year or six to seven new series annually

ITV is hoping to build on the success of shows such as Downton Abbey and Marchlands by boosting its drama output by 40 hours a year, or nearly £30m.

The new drama will be broadcast on ITV1 from 2013, with the rise in hours equivalent to six to seven new series annually and about £28m in extra funding for the genre.

Laura Mackie, the ITV drama director, and her team are looking to commission returning drama series for 2013 from writers and producers for the ITV1 8pm and 9pm slots. There are also drama slots still open for the second half of 2012.

While most of the new drama will be screened at 9pm, Mackie is also interested in more shows for the 8pm pre-watershed slot, where Wild at Heart runs on Sundays.

She wants to expand the range of ITV drama,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Grimetime TV: why the north rules

From Coronation Street to Cold Feet, the north of England has dominated TV drama. Mark Lawson reveals the grim truth about why southerners don't get a look in

Quiz shows and gameshows – from It's a Knockout! to Round Britain Quiz to University Challenge – have long enjoyed pitting teams from the north and south of England against each other. It's an idea imported from sport, the rivalry giving extra zest to the contest. Similarly, throughout the history of broadcasting, there has always been needle over the amount of representation each region gets – with TV and radio regularly accused of being London-centric.

In this context, many observers north of Watford will feel regret at the fate of the most recent northern show on BBC1. Sugartown, a comedy drama set in a Blackpool-like resort and centring on a factory that makes sticks of rock, has been relegated to a 10.25pm Sunday-night summer slot,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Have you been watching … Scott & Bailey?

Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp solve the mystery of how to make Sunday ITV detective shows fresh and exhilarating

"It's a bit ITV Sunday police drama" seems to have become an increasingly acceptable way to pour scorn on shows not possessing the exotic charms of The Wire or The Killing. But while the genre has been known to have its limits, there is an undeniable amount of comfort to be had in easing your way out of the week watching an upper crust detective deduce against a splendid backdrop that it's the episode's biggest guest star who dunnit. And ITV's recent Sunday 9pm offering, Scott & Bailey, has given magnificent ammunition to those tired of hearing the genre done down.

The Manchester-set drama is written by At Home with the Braithwaites' Sally Wainwright and headed by the formidable pairing of Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp as DS Rachel Bailey and DC Janet Scott.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

William Boyd, Sally Wainwright to pen BBC dramas

William Boyd, Sally Wainwright to pen BBC dramas
BBC One has announced a range of new dramas, including shows penned by William Boyd and Sally Wainwright. Boyd has agreed to adapt his novel Restless into a two-part drama for the channel, Broadcast reports. Restless focuses on a young woman who finds out that her mother was a spy during World War II. The Channel 4 adaptation of another of Boyd's novels, Any Human Heart, won a BAFTA on Sunday. Wainwright, who has worked on shows such as At Home with the Braithwaites and Unforgiven, has signed up to write Anthony and Cleopatra. The six-part series focuses on two widows in their 70s who fall in love but have to deal with their families. Elsewhere, Stephen Butchard will pen Savage, a show about a young policeman who witnesses the murder of his best friend. Butchard's credits include Five Daughters, (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Doctor Who complete reviews: Castrovalva

Climbing Kilimanjaro. Getting a cat to speak English. Finding any merit in hideous squealathon Glee. All impossible, and all rank alongside having to follow Tom Baker as the Doctor.

To accomplish this daunting task was Peter Davison, a familiar actor whose career spans over 30 years and several roles. Familiar to many people who watch At Home With The Braithwaites, Campion or All Creatures Great And Small, Davison was a brave choice for the role back in 1981. For one thing, at the time, he was only 29 when announced as the new Tardis incumbent, which - until Matt Smith - was the youngest age for an actor to play the Doctor. Davison was also the most familiar face to take on the role - at the time, he was well known from sitcoms such as Holding The Fort and Sink Or Swim (featuring Robert 'Salateen' Glenister), and also as Tristan Farnon, the
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Lancaster, Smart for new 'Doctor Who'

Lancaster, Smart for new 'Doctor Who'
Marshall Lancaster and Sarah Smart will appear in the upcoming sixth series of Doctor Who, according to Spotlight. The casting directory lists the two actors as appearing in episodes five and six of the new run, written by Bonekickers creator Matthew Graham. The episodes, currently titled 'The Rebel Flesh' and 'Gangers', will see Smart play a character named Jennifer Lucas. The actress previously starred in BBC detective drama Wallander as Anne-Britt Hoglund, and has also appeared in At Home with the Braithwaites alongside former Doctor Who star Peter Davison. Lancaster, known for his role as Chris (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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