Thursday, 21 August 2014

This week, I'm loving... OUTLANDER's Opening Titles & Song

Isn't it beautiful? Totally captures the mystery and romance of the Highlands of Scotland, while cleverly mixing together The Skye Boat Song's melody with lyrics paraphrasing Robert Louis Stevenson's poem Sing Me a Song of a Lad That is Gone (with lad altered to lass). I find composer Bear McCreary's arrangement very evocative and often hum the track around the house. I even bought it on iTunes! My only complaint is how it doesn't last long enough because OUTLANDER's opening credits are only 93-seconds long. It gets cut short after a brilliant key change, and there's no extended version on iTunes. Maybe they'll release one soon and get another 99p out of me...

TWIN PEAKS, 1.2 - 'Zen, or the Skill to Catch a Killer'

THE ONE-ARMED MAN: Through the darkness of future past / the magician longs to see / one chance out between two worlds / Fire walk with me.
Until now, Twin Peaks hasn't really been as off the wall as its reputation would have you expect. Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is definitely eccentric, some of the townsfolk are oddballs, and there's a pervasive strangeness in its auburn aesthetic and droning soundtrack, but it's generally more quirky than wilfully bizarre. Maybe we've just become accustomed to peculiar TV since Twin Peaks first aired? However, "Zen, or the Skill to Catch A Killer" is undoubtedly the moment when Twin Peaks embraced its famous surrealism, creating diehard fans with a taste for the fantastical, while possibly losing those less receptive to a murder-mystery with supernatural overtones...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

AMC aren't letting HALT AND CATCH FIRE halt or catch fire

AMC are sticking by niche drama HALT & CATCH FIRE, about 1980s computer programming, having now renewed the show for a second season. I wasn't a huge fan of the first year, which had some problems, but I like the female characters and the final handful of episodes were an improvement. AMC seem to have faith in it, despite the fact it debuted with 900,000 less viewers than their Revolutionary War drama Turn, and only averaged 1.2 million viewers over its 10 episodes.

Stuff You (Probably) Didnae Know About... DOCTOR WHO's Peter Capaldi

Scottish actor PETER CAPALDI is best-known for playing foul-mouthed politician Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It and its spin-off movie In the Loop, but he'll soon become a family favourite when he takes up residence in the TARDIS as the twelfth actor to portray The Doctor in the BBC's Doctor Who. But what else is there to know about this Scot with the penetrating stare...?

THE WRONG MANS returning as two specials instead of full series

It always felt weird BBC2 recommissioned THE WRONG MANS for a second series, considering the story concluded, so I'm glad creators James Corden and Mathew Baynton have instead opted to make two hour-long specials. Although that's equal to four half-hours, which isn't far off the six half-hours they made last time...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Sony are casting their POWERS pilot for the Playstation Network

FX made a pilot based on the comic-book POWERS starring Jason Patric, but it wasn't ordered to series. But now Sony Pictures Television is giving an adaptation a go, with a series heading to the Playstation Network. The comic is about two detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, who solve crimes perpetrated by people with super-abilities. They're sort of the Men In Black in a superhero context.

TRUE BLOOD, 7.9 – 'Love is to Die' – relationship counselling

SOOKIE (to Bill): Whatever this is, whatever you're doin', you don't get to hide behind the word "fate".
Oh, TRUE BLOOD. Did you really just spend 40-minutes of your final season's penultimate hour on pairing up Hoyt (Jim Parrack)-Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), and Jason (Ryan Kwanten)-Bridget (Ashley Jones)? It was obvious from the moment Hoyt returned to Bon Temps with Bridget in tow that a 'partner swap' was on the cards, so it wasn't anything close to a surprise. And while I was once a big fan of Hoyt and Jessica as a loved-up young couple, seeing them back together didn't fill me with the intended warm glow. I think it's because Hoyt was once a naïve and charming hick who managed to land himself a world-class babe, but now he's just gruff and dull.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Keanu Reeves accepts lead role in planned TV action drama RAIN

It seems Keanu Reeves has sensed a change in the air, regarding his box-office standing. He hasn't had a major critical and commercial success since The Matrix trilogy ended in 2003, and last year's dismal 47 Ronin marked a particular low in his career. So what do you do to perk things up? Easy: head for the bosom of television, in search of edgier material that will make audience falls back in love with you again!

OUTLANDER, 1.2 – 'Castle Leoch' - lies of a spy

JAMIE (to Claire): You're a kind woman... with a good touch... and your husband is a lucky man.
The disdain many men feel toward romantic fiction is perhaps a belief the love story will be too gooey, but I'm not getting that impression from OUTLANDER. "Castle Leoch" saw involuntary time-traveller Claire (Caitriona Balfe) arriving at the titular stronghold, home of the Clan MacKenzie, where she spent five days adjusting to her new environment/century, and trying to put everyone's mind at ease over rumours she's an English assassin or spy...

TV Picks: 18-24 August 2014 (Celebrity Big Brother, Doctor Who, New Tricks, Ramsay's Hotel Hell, Resurrection, Suspects, etc.)

Below are my picks of the most notable new shows, returning or premiering on UK screens over the next 7 days...