Class spinoff

Been meaning to write this post since the news was announced a couple of weeks ago but haven’t got round to it until now as I’ve been busy and am also commuting to work now which adds extra hours onto my day.

The Doctor Who team have announced a new spin-off series called Class. My brother first brought my attention to it the day before the news was released. The Doctor Who twitter account was hinting at massive surprise and huge announcement. I didn’t even think of a spin-off series – I thought they may be announcing the new companions as it was not long after Jenna Coleman confirmed her departure would take place this series so she can take the lead role of an ITV drama about Queen Victoria’s life.

I did think it may be a bit premature to announce the companions as I would like more of an in-episode introduction rather than hear it from the the BBC’s publicity machine. I was disappointed by the earlier announcement that River Song would return for the Christmas episode – it is making me hesitant about the Christmas episode as I feel her character has been overused and doesn’t have anything more to offer really. I wouldn’t have minded a surprise cameo in the episode but her announcement dampens my excitement. Speaking of the BBC’s publicity, I wouldn’t be surprised if Maisie Williams’ character becomes a recurring character or companion the way that the Doctor Who team and BBC press department are gushing over her.

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Series 9 Trailer Dissection

The trailer for the next series of Doctor Who was debuted at San Diego Comic Con on Thursday giving fans a glimpse into what is in store for the Doctor and Clara and importantly a  tranmission date – 19th September. I believe the trailer’s release, from what I have seen from sources on the internet, was released in conjunction with a Doctor Who panel featuring Steven Moffat, Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and Michelle Gomez. The first three names are those you would expect at almost every Doctor Who promotional and marketing event. The inclusion of Gomez on the panel suggests that Missy will become a recurring character and that Gomez will be possibly as prominent in Capaldi’s era as Alex Kingston as River Song was in Matt Smith’s.

The trailer is very slick and almost cinematic in feel as many excited fans have pointed out. I think this shows that the BBC is aware of Doctor Who’s popularity and success. As a result, the BBC are obviously heavily investing in the programme and the Doctor Who brand which is exported globally. Another initial thought before I potentially get into closer analysis of the trailer is how dark the trailer is visually. A lot of plain, dark colours are used and the lighting is very dim which suggests that the series is going to be hopefully more scary.

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The final four

After a shock boot in the quarter-finals (Team Trixie – my favourites and if the show was based purely on dancing ability, the clear winners) and a slightly less shocking but still a surprise boot in the semi-finals for Jake & Janette, the finalists of Strictly Come Dancing 2014 have been chosen.

I thought the public vote might have pushed Jake through to the final but I am not too bothered about him leaving because at this stage he was the least technical/improved dancer left. However, I feel that we may have been deprived of a fun showdance of gurning, bumwiggling and seeing how high he can throw Janette.

Obviously as a Team Trixie supporter I would have loved Pixie & Trent to win but I have had to switch my allegiance to another couple.

Click continue reading to find out my thoughts on the final four.

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Team Trixie

With just a few weeks to go until the final of Strictly Come Dancing 2014 I have finally chosen my favourites. I say finally but I was probably at the same stage last year, selecting Abbey and Alijaz as my favourites and winners after Mark and Iveta were knocked out of the competition. For the reasons below, Pixie and Trent (Team Trixie) are my favourites and I hope they win.

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Strictly speaking

As a massive Strictly Come Dancing fan I am so excited that the series is nearly upon us. The launch show took place about two weeks ago and officially introduced the competitors of 2014. This series looks to be the best yet from the line-up. I’ve been worried the last few years that they were running out of credible celebrities but I have actually heard of ALL this year’s contestants and know who they are!

During the launch show the celebrities are paired with their professional partners and they will have been training for 2-3 weeks before the series starts next Friday.  I was going to write this blog post sooner but having started a job 2 weeks ago and various other things going on, I haven’t found much time or made the effort to sit down with my laptop and just write. At least I’ve got round to it before the series properly starts or I don’t think I ever would!

I’m going to discuss the pairings based on the launch show and the First Steps clips available on the programme’s website  but before that I just want to say how happy I am about the all-female presenting team. Sir Bruce Forsyth decided to retire from presenting duties earlier this year although he is still returning for charity and Christmas specials to maintain some sort of presence and continuity. I’m happy to see Bruce go. I appreciate his contribution to the show but I have felt he has been a bit all over the place for the last two series at least.


I’ve preferred the shows where Claudia had to step in which makes me so excited for her and Tess to be the official presenting team now. I also think it’s a bold move from the BBC to have an all-female presenting team. Yes I know they already have Mel & Sue presenting bake-off on a Wednesday night but I’m pretty sure this is the first female presenting team for a primetime Saturday night slot!

Now back to the couples…

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Make Clara a character

Speculative tabloid journalists working for the Mirror have written an article claiming that current Doctor Who companion Clara Oswald is leaving the series at Christmas. The Mirror allege that

“The conversations about Jenna’s exit have started, and a plan is in place which is being ironed out.”

There are no named sources and the BBC have refused to comment or confirm the story which leads me to believe that it simply is just speculation and that there’s no truth to it. This is the same newspaper that claimed that Peter Capaldi was only staying for one season because the BBC only do year-long contracts. This probably fake story has gone viral online within the fandom and creates a lot of traffic to the newspaper’s website. Other newspapers mostly tabloids like the Daily Mail, Daily Express but also the Independent have duplicated the story.

I hope that the story is not true because I believe that Clara could be a good companion but hasn’t been developed well.

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Have our viewing habits changed already?

As I mentioned in my previous blog post about BBC3, the way we are viewing television is changing. We are no longer confined to the small screen and a limited amount of programming. Television can be accessed on mobiles, tablets and computers. Television can be consumed online whether live or catchup. Some channels such as E4 and BBC3 have even used their websites to premiere episodes up to a week before they are broadcast on television and the websites also contain additional interactive content. Apps and social media transform viewing into a second-screen experience (although there are some doubts as to how much this is actually happening) so audiences can interact with the programme itself and other viewers simultaneously. One of the biggest changes has been the introduction of services like Netflix. Netflix is an on-demand streaming service which has films, television box-sets, American programmes that aren’t broadcast in the UK and exclusive content available to subscribers.

I predicted, in my BBC3 blog post, that these new methods were bound to have an impact on our viewing habits. I agreed with the plan for BBC3 to go online as that seems to be the future of television for young people although I also acknowledge that maybe the BBC’s announcement was a little premature. My conclusion were that viewing habits were changing and that television was not simply television anymore.

Yesterday I came across an article written by one of my lecturers which partly suggests that viewing habits have already changed and that some people only a few years younger than me do not value public service broadcasting like the BBC as much as we do.

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Quick quotes

In the run up to series 8 of Doctor Who, the official BBC website has been updating its blog feature to introduce new characters that will appear in the new series. These characters are usually played by well known British actors and actresses such as Michelle Gomez, Frank Skinner, Tom Riley and Hermione Norris. The announcements made via the BBC’s Doctor Who blog break the news about their casting days or just hours before they begin filming so as to release the news before photos are taken by journalists.

The posts vary in the amount of information given. Some just announce the actor’s casting and background whilst others also add the character’s name or an image of the actor in costume. Without fail, there is a short quote from both the actor and Steven Moffat in every article. The quick quotes are usually about how excited the actor is to join the programme. However, the quotes seem to be more zany and superficial as each post is published. It seems that they are acting as the equivalent of soundbites  – short (sometimes edited) quotes to summarise the position of the speaker and usually contain “buzzwords”. Soundbites can sometimes be misleading and manipulated to create the initial interest from the listener before the wider context is examined. The quotes in the posts on the official website seem to be full of buzzwords and of a certain style.

Do these quick quotes excite the reader by the overly positive announcements for the series (and subsequently building expectation)? Or do they fill the fan with dread as they seem edited, misleading and a little bit fake?

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“We’re going on a job hunt. We’re not scared….”

…Well maybe a little bit!

It’s come to that time. I have finished education and now I have to enter the real world of jobs, no student loan to help pay my rent and the start of taxes. Fun, fun, fun. I’ve had an amazing three years studying Media Communications. I have learnt so much and the course really interested me. I’m glad that I decided to study this course and that I studied something I genuinely love. I suppose the one disadvantage of a course like mine is that there is no set occupation to enter following the completion of the degree. I have been indecisive for three years about what I want to do (or actually my whole education since they started talking about careers in secondary school).

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The exposure of the ‘Right’

When I started this blog, the purpose was to keep up my writing and write posts about television. In my About Me section, I do mention that I would cover other topics but this is mainly a blog about television as that is an area I am really interested in. I am now writing a post on a topic I never thought I would: POLITICS. Though I suppose I can link this post to the blog’s main purpose as I want to examine the exposure given to certain political groups on television and especially social media.

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