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October 6, 2015

British TV

'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 1 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Apr 24th 2011 12:40PM
doctor who s06e01['Doctor Who' – 'The Impossible Astronaut']

Grab your fezzes and Jammie Dodgers; The Doctor is back for more mind-boggling, timey-wimey fun!

It's been four months since we last saw Amy, Rory, and our beloved Doctor zipping through time and space and bending our little nerd brains with perplexing plots and paradoxes. And judging by the first half of the Season 6 premiere, 'Doctor Who' is making up for lost time by cranking the drama (and the complexity level) up to eleven.

It was a challenge, but not a chore, trying to keep up with all the tricky time–travel tidbits built into this incredibly compelling season opener. The tone of the episode grew gloomier and the characters grew more desperate as the minutes ticked on. But, luckily, 'The Impossible Astronaut' delivered a lively and joyous opening sequence before leading us down a very dark and strange path.

A lot of shocking and memorable stuff happened before the hour was over, but the opening sequence was one of my favorite parts of the premiere. It was funny and fast-paced, and the expert cinematography established an epic and cinematic tone, look and feel that, as far as I could tell, is new to 'Who.'

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Five British TV Shows to Catch on DVD

by Nick Zaino, posted Oct 3rd 2010 1:30PM
British TV is definitely more visible in America these days. BBC America reaches about 68 million homes, according to its press site, and features a few shows every TV fan probably recognizes, like 'Doctor Who' and 'Top Gear.' But it's still behind some of its basic cable brethren.

According to TV By the Numbers, the April premiere of 'Doctor Who' series 5 set ratings records for the network with 1.2 million viewers. That's a lot of people, but dwarfed in comparison to the 5.3 million who watched the 'Jersey Shore' season 2 debut in July.

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What to Watch: September 27 - October 3

by Stephanie Earp, posted Sep 27th 2010 2:25AM

Dead Set - Sunday October 3, 10PM ET, Space

This BAFTA-nominated British zombie series makes its North American debut tonight -- and with five episodes, that means it'll finish up on Halloween. The Brits really are the best at keeping zombie stories fresh -- no pun intended. This one takes place on the fictional set of a new cycle of 'Big Brother UK,' where cocooned in the safety of the house, the contestants are blissfully unaware of the horrific events unfolding outside. As eviction night looms, Britain is in the grip of an apocalyptic crisis where fast-moving hordes of the undead decimate the studio compound and the rest of the country. Awesome.

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'Doctor Who' - 'The Pandorica Opens' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 17th 2010 10:00PM
Doctor Who(S05E12) Tonight's episode accomplished something pretty major for Matt Smith's incarnation of the Doctor. I won't go into what until after the jump for fear that the Spoiler Police will clap me in irons, but the image along with this article is a pretty big clue.

This episode highlighted one of Moffat's greatest strengths as a writer: the ability to weave an interconnected story using plot points that viewers would dismiss as unimportant. As with RTD before him, the penultimate episode of the season brings together all the hints we've seen before and the last episode will be their resolution.

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'Doctor Who' - 'Vincent and the Doctor' Recap

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 26th 2010 10:00PM
Doctor Who(S05E10) Uber-writer Richard Curtis penned tonight's episode. The story is that he's a good friend of 'Doctor Who' executive producer Steven Moffat and produced the 'Doctor Who' spoof 'The Curse of Fatal Death' which Moffat wrote. Curtis' children wanted him involved with the show. If only the end result proved as inspired as 'Four Weddings and a Funeral.' Instead, it could very well be the low point of an otherwise very good season.

It wasn't a bad episode, perse. Some of the writing was quite good and Tony Curran was excellent as the impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. However, the episode seemed to concentrate more on being a Van Gogh love-fest rather than an episode of 'Doctor Who.'

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Jean-Claude Van Damme to Shoot Reality Show?

by Audrey Fine, posted Apr 28th 2010 8:43AM
Those darn Brits get everything. They have the Queen, they have fish and chips, and now, the lucky ducks get Jean-Claude Van Damme uncensored, according to sources.

According to The Sun, the Muscles from Brussels is poised to borrow a page from the Ozzy Osbourne comeback playbook and begin filming a reality show to air on British TV.

The 49-year old Belgian, who's best known to American audiences for his star-turns in action flicks like 'Bloodsport' and 'Universal Soldier,' is also a karate champion/kickboxer and it's his quest for a comeback title that will be at the heart of the series.

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Which British Reality Shows Should the CW Re-Air?

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 24th 2010 5:30PM
raymond_blanc_last_restaurant_standing_bbcaSome of the best reality shows on American television are based on ideas from other countries. That's not big news; it's a fact. This, however, is news: The CW is thinking about broadcasting a couple of British reality shows this summer instead of new programming. As Deadline.com reports, the network is not looking to do their version of the UK shows. They're simply going to re-run the shows as they aired in England.

For a network that's struggling for ratings, like the CW has all year long, this is a wise idea. And if they're smart enough to pick the right Brit shows, they could turn a tidy profit -- which is the point for the bean counters after all. From our point of view, there are at least six excellent British imports CW could re-air without altering a thing. Here are our choices:

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Brit Tries To Figure Out American TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 8th 2010 4:02PM
Americone DreamAs we watch television, we sometimes forget that the things we see on American shows might seem odd or make no sense to viewers in other countries. I don't think that's true for 98% of the stuff we have (most things are universal), but I bet there are some differences in cultures or some things that just aren't completely understood or believed.

Anna Pickard of The Guardian set out to find out if some very American scenarios we see on TV all the time actually are true. Do police officers eat donuts all the time? Do women eat ice cream right out of the container when they break up with someone? Do people actually walk down the street carrying groceries in a paper bag?

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Next up for Neil Patrick Harris is a game show

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 28th 2010 11:01PM
neil_patrick_harris_headshot_CBSIs there anything Neil Patrick Harris can't do? The other night he was positively stellar on American Idol as a guest judge, stealing the spotlight from Simon by being a fair but stern discerner of the talented and the talentless. You could really see him as a permanent replacement for Simon Cowell and doing a damn, good job. Then there was Dr. Horrible, Emmy host, Tony host and, naturally, Barney on How I Met Your Mother. Neil is a jack of all trade and a master of most!

Now we can add game show host to the list of accomplishments. The British competition show The Cube is coming to CBS and Neil Patrick Harris will be the host. You may recall that Fox attempted to get The Cube to America. After spending a few months developing it, the network dropped it in December.

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Why Does America Have to Ruin Every British TV Show?

by Scott Harris, posted Jan 20th 2010 10:30AM
On the heels of Fox's announcement yesterday that they are in the process of developing an American remake of the hit British TV series 'Torchwood,' sci-fi fans around the world are reacting with one universal response: why?!

'Torchwood,' for those not familiar with the original BBC cult favorite, follows the adventures of a group of secret government agents who handle and cover up alien encounters here on Earth, 'Men In Black' style. It's also very British in its origins (the show is a spin-off from the beloved 'Doctor Who' franchise), environment (the cast rarely ventures outside of their Welsh headquarters) and sensibilities (every character is bi-sexual, for starters).

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British comic claims TV ad ripped him off

by Danny Gallagher, posted Nov 12th 2009 7:02PM
If Mad Men is any indication of what its like to work in the real advertising world, then the writing process alone must cause more migraines than swimming in radioactive sewage.

That's still no excuse for stealing material, if that is in fact the case with this British ad. UK comic Micky Flanagan claims an ad agency stole a joke from his act for a phone service commercial and is a stone's throw away from filing a lawsuit. Punchline Magazine posted videos of the joke and the ad. Is this just a coincidence or is the ad pulling a Carlos Mencia?

First, listen to Flanagan's joke...

And now, watch the ad, which is after the jump.

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Torchwood: Children of Earth: Day Three (U.S.)

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 23rd 2009 2:10AM
torchwood children of earth, bbc, day three, jack harkness

They're here.

Species 456 finally touched down on Earth to scare the crap out of civil servant John Frobisher -- and this reviewer -- in the third suspenseful hour of Torchwood: Children of Earth.

Day two was an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish, but day three (scripted by Russell T Davies and James Moran) was the most intense episode of the miniseries so far. For the second time this week,Torchwood had me on the edge of my seat with some truly chilling moments. But before things got too creepy, there was some fun to be had with the team getting back together, finding a new Hub, and lifting a few credit cards and laptops from unsuspecting Londoners.

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All Allison wants for Festivus

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 18th 2008 11:30AM
P daisiesOh, Festivus, Oh, Festivus, the holiday for TV fans. How exciting that once a year we can close our eyes, click our heels and make our wishes for the magical ways television can be made better in the year to come. Still, there are more than a few changes that I think need to be made to make TV better ... not to say that it's bad. It just that everything can be better.

This is a great opportunity to get a little Scrooge-y and vent about what I want to see corrected/improved/altered in TV in 2009. Is it wrong that I hope the bigwigs at the networks and cable companies are surfing the net and take my grievances to heart? Is it wrong that I still believe they care about what viewers think? Yeah, probably, but here's my wish list anyway:

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Quick Chat with the Little Britain USA guys

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 26th 2008 11:00AM

Little BritainIf you love British comedy, people who make jabs at America or men dressed in drag for that matter (we won't judge), then Little Britain USA (premiering Sunday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 PM EST on HBO) should be right up your alley.

David Walliams and Matt Lucas, who created and starred in the hit BBC series Little Britain, are bringing their irreverent humor and a bunch of their best characters -- like Phyllis, who believes her dog talks to her; Carol Beer, the meanest hospital receptionist you'll ever meet; and Bubbles Devere, a wildly inappropriate and totally uninhibited British socialite -- to America.

We talked to David and Matt about their dream of dressing George Clooney up as a lady, why following in Sacha Baron Cohen and Ricky Gervias' footsteps is just fine with them and how Brits and Americans really differ. (Hint: Men don't shave their bikini lines over there.)

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Life on Mars gets female cop, played by Gretchen Mol

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 30th 2008 10:39AM
Gretchen MolI was really excited about the prospect of Life on Mars coming to ABC television. I speak in the past tense because everything that has happened since that initial announcement has me doubting that ABC's Americanized Life on Mars will ever make it out of the first season. It may not even air six episodes.

There have been production changes, the first pilot was trashed, they've inserted new characters, they've remade the mythology of the show (with the approval of the British creators), and now more news. The character of Annie Norris on Life on Mars will be played by Gretchen Mol. Yes, the beautiful, sexy and very blond Gretchen Mol. (Okay, she can dye her hair.)

I have the ultimate respect for Ms. Mol. She was excellent in 3:10 to Yuma (a really amazing Western that should have gotten some Oscar consideration). I just think she's the wrong choice for the role of Annie.

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