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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Humans on Channel 4

Tomorrow, a new drama series called Humans begins on Channel 4. It looks like a drama that is based on science-fiction, exploring the relationship between man and machine. Humans appears to be based on an award-winning Swedish sci-fi drama called Real Humans.

Whilst it is not the typical kind of Channel 4 drama that catches my attention, I have been drawn to this programme and intend on watching it (the first episode at least) due to the channel’s clever and intriguing marketing strategies.

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Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

On Monday evening I went to see the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff. The tickets were a Christmas present from my sister and 5 months later I finally got to use them! The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular is a concert featuring the music of the series and a few monsters in a similar format to the Doctor Who Proms. The Symphonic Spectacular began in Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to its popularity, the current UK tour is happening this week before it heads to New York and the United States.

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BAFTAS (Television) 2015

My favourite awards show of the year takes place this Sunday (10th May): the BAFTA television awards. As a self confessed television nerd, so much so that I took every opportunity in university to specialise in the medium in essays and projects that I could, I am looking forward to the awards.

The BAFTA Craft awards for television took place about a fortnight ago which I usually also get quite excited for as it rewards the creators and people behind the scenes. However, this year I wasn’t that enthused over the nominees for the craft awards so I only caught up on the results after the ceremony instead of following it religiously on Twitter in real time. Continue reading

The election

I usually try to shy away from non-media related blog posts and especially about topics like politics! I have only done one really politically focussed post before about UKIP and the correlation between their media exposure and votes. Politics is a tricky and quite often sensitive topic to blog about. It’s easy for someone like myself who doesn’t fully understand all the policies to contradict and generalise when discussing politics. For someone who primarily blogs about television shows from a mostly objective perspective, I was wary about doing this post. It won’t be completely clear, easy to comprehend or make a lot of sense but I wanted to just unload my thoughts about the recent election and current political parties.

This week, in the United Kingdom, we have had a general election. Following six weeks of campaigning and various television appearances (the debates that weren’t quite conventional), voters went to the polling stations on Thursday and cast their votes to decide who should be the next government. I saw the exit poll and the first result come in from Sunderland (Labour) before I gave in and went to bed. I wished I had stayed up to watch more of the results as there is a sense of excitement and anxiety but I would definitely have been more of a zombie at work yesterday if I had! I caught up on the results during the day at work, watching on the BBC website as the map of the UK turned more blue (Conservative). By midday, Cameron had got a majority Conservative government and three other party leaders had resigned. The most unpredictable outcome.

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Reggie Yates: Extreme Russia

Recently I have been watching the documentary series Reggie Yates: Extreme Russia on BBC Three. I stumbled upon it by accident but became very intrigued, catching up on the first episode on iplayer and then watching the other two episodes of the series on television.

The series was split into three locations in Russia and three topics: Far Right and nationalist groups in Moscow, homosexuality and homophobia in St Petersburg and aspiring teen models in Siberia.

I would recommend this series as it is a really interesting watch. This is partly due to how the documentaries were made and the use of Reggie as a presenter.

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Strictly New Pros

Last week the BBC announced that three new professional dancers are joining Strictly Come Dancing this year. Strictly fans, myself included, scrambled to see the news as when new dancers join, it means others have left (or been dropped) to make room for them. Three questions are in the minds of strictly fans when these announcements are made: Who are the new pros? Who is returning? Who is leaving?

The new pros were announced as Giovanni Pernice, Gleb Savchenko and Otlile Mabuse. Special mentions in the announcement were given to Iveta and Trent who are not returning and Robin Windsor is also not returning (though the executive producer neglects to comment about Windsor at all!) bringing the total number of pros to 16 for this year’s series in the Autumn.

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Reimagining Disney

2015 seems to be the year of the remake in Disney’s eyes. The children’s entertainment conglomerate has announced plans to remake a number of its animated classics into live action films. The cynic in me sees this as a ploy for Disney to rake in even more money. As a fan of the original animations, I am also worried about the new adaptations and how it might affect my memories of the previous films. For me, Disney is synonymous with animated fairytales.

If done well, I will view the remake as equally good but if done badly (or not to my taste) then I would most likely be very protective over the animations. I think this problem may only affect my generation and older who have watched all the Disney classics as animations on video or the cinema (with the exclusion of the live action version of 101 Dalmations from 1996) as we have grown up with the animated tales and the gradual developments in animation style from 2D cell animation to CGI/digital animation. New audiences of young children may have less of an issue with the live action films especially if these are the first versions of the story they have seen.

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What a fracas!

March was a month of big news stories. These included the upcoming general election, Richard III’s reburial, a terrorist attack in a Tunisian museum and the plane crash in the French Alps. Despite all these big, rolling news stories, another story seemed to dominate in the newspapers and television news: Jeremy Clarkson’s fracas with a producer on Top Gear. Even when there wasn’t much to report such as Jeremy Clarkson saying he hadn’t heard anything, it still became news probably much to the annoyance of the BBC.

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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 series  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