A decade of New Who

Yesterday (26th March) marked ten years since ‘Rose’ was broadcast, rebooting the Doctor Who franchise in a new era. I remember being encouraged to start watching by relatives who had good memories of classic who from when they were younger. As a family, we sat down to watch this new series and by the end of the episode, I knew I would be a regular viewer.

The risks surrounding the programme coming back were large. It was agreed that it would be made in Wales by BBC Wales as part of a scheme to regionalise production and meet an internal target that a certain percentage of programmes should be made in the regions (i.e outside London). Another risk was that Doctor Who had been off air for years. The last series featuring the seventh doctor was aired in the late 80s and a television movie had been made featuring Paul McGann’s eighth doctor in 1996. This means there was almost a decade between the new seriesĀ  starting and the last time Doctor Who had been on air. Also, would audiences be interested in a fantasy, sci-fi family programme and would it achieve the ratings to keep it on air?

Luckily, New Who got it right and the programme is currently filming its ninth series. New Who’s 10-year anniversary hasn’t received as much attention as the show’s overall 50th anniversary in 2013 but its contribution has been celebrated by fans, including current Doctor Peter Capaldi.

If I’d been a bit more organised and not watching Battle for Number 10, I would’ve written this blog post yesterday to coincide with the actual anniversary. Click continue reading to find out what my TEN favourite New Who episodes have been from the last decade. Continue reading

The Voice Lives (Series 4)

Back in January I wrote a blog post about The Voice UK returning for its fourth series and compiled a list of my favourite blind auditions. About 2 months later and all the blind auditions have been completed, the battles and the knockouts done. The live shows start tonight with the quarter final.

The live shows seem to be the point where the programme’s audience changes. I know myself and people my age like the blind auditions stage the most. I suppose this is because it is the show’s unique selling point; what makes it different from other reality talent shows. The same can be said for the battle stages and the knockouts. When the shows are live I guess the format is standard talent show like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent so the Voice loses some of its enticing features. However, whilst The X Factor and all of Simon Cowell’s replica shows have a relatively young audience, I would say that The Voice loses most of its younger audience at the live stage. This leads to singers progressing or winning (series 2 I’m looking at you!) that you wouldn’t have expected.

I won’t be watching the programme live tonight as I am at a concert but I will be watching on catchup. This blog post will discuss each team’s live show contestants ahead of tonight’s programme.

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The Casual Vacancy

A three-part adaptation of J K Rowling’s first book post-Harry Potter was recently on the BBC over the last few Sunday nights. The Casual Vacancy is a book which examines class, families, death and numerous societal issues. Adapted by Sarah Phelps and approved by J K Rowling herself, the book was made into a mini-series as a collaboration between BBC and HBO.

As with any book to screen adaptation, there are concerns from fans that important parts are changed or left out completely and this version of The Casual Vacancy was no exception. I shall discuss some of these changes and my thoughts on the series in this blog post. There were parts that were done exceptionally well but some bitter disappointments as well.

Abigail Lawrie as Krystal Weedon in The Casual Vacancy

Abigail Lawrie as Krystal Weedon in The Casual Vacancy

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Broadchurch Series 2

Broadchurch was a hugely popular crime drama when the first series was broadcast in 2013. The first series focussed on the murder of an 11 year old boy from a tight-knit community in a fictional town in Dorset. No character was free from suspicion and the series progressed with the community growing further apart due to grief and a lack of trust. The whodunnit proved to be a surprise hit for ITV and spurned a lot of cultural tourism to the Jurassic Coast and West Country locations used in the programme.

I was a little late to the first series. Initially, I didn’t watch due to the hype surrounding the programme. I thought that as when many programmes become suddenly popular and hyped up that it wouldn’t live up to the expectations and quality that people have raved about. Other reasons for missing most of the series included simply missing it due to other commitments. Eventually I caved in following the finale due the high praise regarding the series’ resolution of the whodunnit and the acting. Unfortunately, by this time I could only watch the last two episodes so I found out the killer was Joe Miller, the father of murdered boy’s best friend and watched in awe at Olivia Colman’s brilliant reaction to this news as Ellie Miller, the wife of the murderer.

Having been impressed by the two episodes that I had managed to see, I set time aside every Monday evening this year as series 2 of Broadchurch was broadcast (from January to February). However, whilst I was on the whole enjoying this series, many fans of the first were disappointed by its sequel and took to the internet to complain about absolutely anything they could! This week, Chris Chibnall the writer of Broadchurch has responded to some of these complaints.

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