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December 22, 2014

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Behold the Unrelenting Horror of (Gulp!) McG's 'Spaced' Remake

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 23rd 2010 11:03AM
Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin and Jessica Hynes on the BBC sitcom
There are very few moments in American history when the unrepresented and disenfranchised masses of society manage to muster together enough courage and strength to topple the high watermark of oppression. They seem to come along once in a millennium, but when they do, they give you this warm and fuzzy feeling inside that maybe life doesn't suck as much as you thought it did and everything, like the movies, may actually turn out alright in the end, closing credits, fade-to-black.

The early days of the American colonies saw the uprising of the Boston Tea Party in which angry settlers grew tired of unreasonable taxation. The mid 20th century saw the sluggish but eventual snowballing steamroll of the Civil Rights Movement. And I like to think that the new millennium's moment of triumph goes to the total destruction and annihilation of Fox's 'Spaced' remake. Granted, I'm not setting the bar very high, but it's only been ten years. Baby steps.

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Top Gear Getting Into Video Games

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 10th 2010 8:03PM
Ever wanted to strap a Scion to two thermal rocket boosters and launch the bastard into the stratosphere or fill a car to the brim with water and drive it into general traffic just to see the reaction of the others drivers on the road? Do you still like having a clean driving record and car insurance that doesn't require the blood of your first born child?

BBC has got the solution for gearheads like you and me: an official 'Top Gear' video game! The broadcasting giant is taking the world's greatest car show and bringing it to a a Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS or iPhone near you, news that doubly good to me because I'm a huge 'Top Gear' fan and I called for it to be turned into a video game right here at TV Squad! Who says dreams don't come true now, Mom?

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Doctor Who: Dreamland coming to DVD this May

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 28th 2010 9:00AM
A 3D animated David Tennant stars in Dreamland.David Tennant's last appearance of the The Doctor to arrive on a Doctor Who DVD will arrive this spring with the animated Dreamland.

According to a BBC America news release, the CG-animated adventure will arrive in U.S. stores on May 4 for $24.98. Voiced by Tennant, The Doctor visits Dry Springs, Nev. in 1958 in an environment deliberately reminiscent of Roswell and the would-be New Mexico UFO crash.

In the one-off episode, The Doctor befriends a young waitress, Cassie, and her friend, Jimmy. When the Doctor examines an extraterrestrial artifact, he draws the attention of a mysterious man in black, an alien warrior and Colonel Stark, commander of "Dreamland" (the military base also known as Area 51).

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Top Gear revs for new season with DVD giveaway

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 14th 2010 11:00AM
Top Gear Seasons 11 and 12 are now available on DVD.A new season of Top Gear, one of this particular gear head's favorite shows, is headed to BBC America on January 25. And, to build buzz for the show's upcoming 13th season, BBC America is giving away DVDs for the new releases of Top Gear Season 11 and Season 12.

One of the modern stalwarts of British TV, Top Gear is a popular import to the U.S. with its mix of super cars, stunts and less than politically correct humor. For viewers like me, it's fantasy fulfillment and as close to some mammothly powerful cars as we'll ever come.

We're a season behind here in the U.S., as U.K. fans already worked their way through Season 14. But, the show's ongoing success on U.S. screens means this franchise should drive on a little farther.

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David Tennant's Doctor Who swan song comes to DVD

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 13th 2010 7:32PM
Doctor Who: The Speicla features David Tennant's last episodes of Doctor Who.Doctor Who went from regular production to sporadic specials last year to freshen up the show and to give former lead David Tennant a shot at playing Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The end results of that year of specials are headed your way on DVD in a five disc set.

Doctor Who: The Complete Specials features what proved to be a mixed bag of special episodes that became a sort of de facto fifth mini-season for Tennant. While you're not going to find a bad piece of television anywhere on this disc (or anywhere in Doctor Who's 21st century rebirth), last year's programs got weaker as they marched toward Tennant's regeneration.

The line-up includes The Next Doctor, Planet of the Dead, The Waters of Mars and The End of Time, Parts One and Two. The first two stand alone, but the last three create a sort of trilogy documenting the 10th Doctor's final days.

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Sci-fi comedy cult classic Red Dwarf lands at iTunes

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jan 12th 2010 6:00PM
Viewers have a chance to ctach up on Red Dwarf on iTunes.While American TV viewers are aware of major British TV imports like Doctor Who, Top Gear or Monty Python, it's uncertain how well the sci-fi/comedy cult classic Red Dwarf made the overseas jump. But, you have a chance to sample the funny adventure series at the iTunes Store.

The show features a blue collar loser trapped aboard a massive ship -- lost in space with an android, an uppity hologram and other assorted defective folks.

It ran for eight series on BBC2 between 1988 and 1999 before returning for a one-off Easter special in 2009 (Red Dwarf: Back to Earth).

The show ran on PBS affiliates and briefly on BBC America. Now, all eight seasons are available on iTunes. If you dig The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Blake's 7 and The Mighty Boosh, give Red Dwarf a try and see if its quirky sci-fi sitcom style stick with you.

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Jonathan Ross says bye-bye to the BBC

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 7th 2010 6:02PM
While Americans were wondering whether or not they are about to lose their familiar late night face, Great Britain said goodbye to theirs.

Jonathan Ross, the host of the BBC's and BBC America's late night chat show Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, has announced he won't renew his contract with the broadcasting giant.

The talker released a statemen
t that said his decision to leave was not motivated by money and contained "other considerations." He reiterated his kind sentiments towards the network met with reporters at his home as he brought them some tea.

Any idea who might make for a good replacement once his contract runs out?

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Is Top Gear about to run out of road?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 24th 2009 3:50PM
Top Gear is one of those shows that feels like it could go on forever. It's been on for a long time, yet still manages to retain a rare youthful exuberance that makes it feel fresh and forever young. It's the Dick Clark of the British television world.

But nothing lasts forever and producer Andy Wilman told The Guardian that Top Gear, like all great shows, is headed towards a finale.

And there is no bigger critic of the show than Wilman. He said they were "too rushed and too knackered to get everything right" and were just wanting to get to the end of the latest season running in the UK. He even described the presents as caricatures of themselves with "Jezza (Jeremy Clarkson) the walking nuclear bomb, Richard (Hammond) the daft Norman Wisdom, and James (May) the bumbling professor."

Does this put you off of the new season coming to the States in January? It sure does for me.

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Some say The Stig has a face and that he'll reveal it on the next season of Top Gear

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 23rd 2009 9:02PM
The new season of Top Gear hasn't hit the US airwaves yet, but it seems the most recent has ended, as Jeremy Clarkson might put it, on quite a bombshell.

The Stig
, the show's mysterious test driver, actually revealed his identity during the last season, probably the new one headed stateside next month. So if you're a fan of the show and hate spoilers, don't watch it. Also, some say his eyes can emit laser beams that can cook potatoes from the inside and that people have mistaken the mole on his face for an image of the Virgin Mary. All we know is we won't be held responsible for the consequences.

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BBC sci-fi classics show up for free on on YouTube

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 21st 2009 4:05PM
BBC is offering classic sci-fi shows like The Quatermass Experiment.The BBC's official YouTube channel is offering free Christmas gifts to sci-fi fans in the form of a classic hero and a field full of deadly plants. The move gives American viewers a great (legal) chance to catch up on quality productions that didn't (yet?) make their way over to BBC America.

Among the many full episodes of BBC programming now awaiting your computer's perusal is the creepy 1981 production of Day of the Triffids. Most pop culture and horror buffs know the title from the 1962 monster movie of the same title. But this BBC production was a much more faithful and in-depth production of John Wyndham's book.

The online series serves as a great lead-in to the new BBC production of Triffids -- set to premiere Dec. 28.

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BBC America brings back Van Helsing in Demons

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 20th 2009 1:29PM
The descendants of Van Helsing do battle with the supernatural in Demons.Though I still haven't forgiven the great Dr. Abraham Van Helsing for allowing that awful movie with Hugh Jackman to be made about him -- or for not showing up and killing the entire cast of the Twilight -- I'm excited to catch his descendants on the new British import, Demons.

A new horror series from the writers of past British hits Hex and Merlin, Demons features Philip Glenister (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) as cold, stern American Rupert Galvin. The yank must recruit the last descendant of Van Helsing to join forces with him commit to life battling monsters -- before those monsters kill him.

Demons unveils a world just out of humans' sight -- full of vampires and other inhumans. (Insert joke about politicians here.) Luke Rutherford (Christian Cooke) is the "everykid" teenager forced to come to terms with the harsh reality that he's the direct descendant of the vampire-hunting Van Helsing.

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Gruffalo stars as centerpiece of BBC's Christmas

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 9th 2009 1:02PM
The Gruffalo is becoming a BBC star this Christmas.When Christmas time rolls around, you can enjoy visits from Santa Claus, St. Nick, the Ghost of Christmas Past and, if you're watching the BBC, the Gruffalo.

The popular children's book is now an animated special for the BBC (soon to visit the U.S.) and is now the centerpiece of the network's holiday season.

Written by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and published in 1999, The Gruffalo is a 700-word story that's been translated into multiple languages and adapted into a stage play. It tells the story of a mouse outwitting several deadly animals as he walks through the forest until he meets the title beast.

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New Year brings Inbetweeners sitcom to BBC America

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 5th 2009 1:01PM
The award-winning Inbetweeners is coming to BBC America in 2010.One of the best British comedies you've never heard of is headed to BBC America in early 2010.

The Inbetweeners features a handful of awkward young men constantly stuck, well, "in between" childhood and adulthood, loneliness and popularity, romance and dignity, etc. The electric wit of the show's dialogue helped it knock down "Best New Sitcom of 2008" at the British Comedy Awards.

Written and created by Damon Beesley and Iain Morris (Peep Show, Flight of the Conchords). the show stars Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison as the hopelessly awhward teens struggling through a new school in suburban Britain.

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Could the rest of the world get Hulu... or at least the U.K.?

by Danny Gallagher, posted May 25th 2009 9:02AM
Hulu.comA lot of readers outside of the United States regularly express their disgust with us over our use of Hulu's videos on some of our posts.

Well, I've got some good news ... for 1/100ths of the rest of the world.

Hulu could be coming to the United Kingdom and include more programming than what's available in the States. So if you Brits have been hankering for some Facts of Life but don't feel like the necessary humiliation of having people see you buy it at the local video store, you're in luck.

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The BBC still isn't sure about a dedicated HD station

by Richard Keller, posted Oct 22nd 2007 11:02AM

The BBC ponders the near future of BBC HDIt seems Auntie Beeb -- that's the BBC to all of us blokes here in America -- can't make up its mind whether or not to step into the 21st century earlier than planned and go HD. That's according to our colleague Matt Burns over at EngadgetHD, who reports that a decision has yet to be passed down on some ongoing high-definition tests.

The dedicated high-def station currently in trial, BBC HD, is a mixture of programming from all current BBC stations. Fifty percent of its material comes from BBC One, thirty comes from BBC Two, and twenty percent comes from the company's digital networks, Three and Four. The tests seem to be garnering a great deal of support. Yet, it looks like BBC HD's trial service will end in November and not return until the British digital switchover of 2012.


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