Friday, 31 December 2010


Allow me to wish you all the best for 2011.

Once again I also sincerely thank you for your constant interest, your enduring fidelity, your support and your trust.

Thursday, 30 December 2010


The seventh series of Hustle begins on Friday January 7, 2011 at 9pm (British Time) on BBC One.

TV Choice has an interview of the excellent Matt Di Angelo, who plays Sean Kennedy since series five of the hit show. Kelly Adams, aboard since the fifth series too, is back as his sister Emma.

Original cast members Adrian Lester (Mickey 'Bricks' Stone), Robert Glenister (Ash Morgan), Robert Vaughn (Albert Stroller) and - fortunately - Rob Jarvis (Eddie) also return.

Hustle is a Kudos Film and Television production in association with Red Planet Pictures for the BBC (with the support of Screen West Midlands).

See also:


British producer, director and writer Gerry Anderson will soon be rightfully celebrated by UK's Royal Mail stamps.

On January 11, 2011, Royal Mail will issue a set of stamps marking the 50th anniversary of the puppet TV series of Gerry Anderson (Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons). This set is called FAB: The Genius of Gerry Anderson.

The next logical step would be definitely to knight Gerry Anderson. It would be about time.

Details here:

See also:

Wednesday, 29 December 2010


[10.57 - French Time] Chortle reports that American comedian and actor Sam Lloyd, who played hospital lawyer Ted Buckland in Scrubs from 2001 to 2009, is to tour the UK with his sketch and a cappella group The Blanks.

Comical genius Sam Lloyd and The Blanks are performing 10 dates in the UK, and one in Dublin in February – the biggest being the Shepherds Bush Empire in London on February 12 (dates available on Chortle).

Some years ago your humble servant had the honour to interview Lloyd and we evoked The Blanks as its members appeared regularly in Scrubs, with wonderful renditions of TV theme songs and other things.

See also:

Monday, 27 December 2010


Doctor Who - A Christmas Carol. Newlywed couple Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) are aboard a Galaxy Class liner for their honeymoon. But the spaceship is about to crash and only the Doctor (Matt Smith) can save them and the passengers. Only if he succeeds in making a grouchy old rich man better.

[Spoiler and Chimney-Free review]

Each Christmas since 2005 the mandatorily lavish Doctor Who special is the highlight of BBC One's holiday programmes. Previously our favourite time lord saved the Earth from alien invasions, deadly Santa Claus robots, a space Titanic, Victorian era Cybermen and even Timothy Dalton as Ming the Merciless. No such extravaganza this year but Who supremo Steven Moffat's rather clever twist on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, a classic adapted a gazillion times. Even soap opera character icon Victor Newman got the Ebenezer Scrooge treatment in The Young and The Restless last week.

Directed by Toby Haynes, Moffat's own Christmas Carol opens with the intrusion of "Mr and Mrs Pond" on the command deck of their honeymoon spaceship and judging from their costumes the incoming catastrophy is rudely interrupting something. This hilarious pre-credits sequence clearly has the epic flare of past specials and the knack of Steven Moffat for adult comedy. Arthur Darvill's name is deservedly on the opening titles, but curiously not the two prestigious guest stars: acting royalty Sir Michael Gambon and singer Katherine Jenkins.

Michael Gambon plays a Scrooge-like character named like a Mission: Impossible villain, Kazran Sardick ("Good morning Doctor Phelps, this man is Kazran Sardick.") Of course Gambon is, as always, beyond brilliant. The same has been said of Sir Ian McKellen in the infamous Prisoner remake, which is not surprising as the two veteran thespians could move you just by chanting their shopping lists. And the first scenes with the grumpy old miser are great, with just the appropriate touch of "icy cool" humour and a contemporary political subtext.

Michael Gambon in a Doctor Who Xmas special is a safe bet for the show's bosses and a treat for viewers. But the choice of Katherine Jenkins for "her first major acting appearance" (1) is somewhat puzzling, especially when the episode goes BBC Proms sings Christmas for the shark of Jaws 38. Too bad we can't get more of the newlyweds instead and more true interaction of the Williamses with the Doctor. And too bad most of the work of production designer extraordinary Michael Pickwoad (Whitnail and I, Lost in Austen, The Prisoner 2009) is plunged in the dark.

The sled pulled by Bruce's cousin is the most cringy thing in the History of modern Doctor Who since a certain flying bus. And sorry, no thanks for all the fish... but stetsons are "cool". To end on a positive note please read the review of this Christmas Carol by the respected, erudite and talented blogger Frank Collins ( Frank is a specialist - among so many subjects - of Doctor Who, and the author of The Pandorica Opens, a book exploring series five (


Tuesday, 21 December 2010


Filmed in Brittany for French network TF1, the French adaptation of ITV1's Doc Martin arrives on January 10, 2011.

Doc Martin, a 6 x 52-minute series, stars Thierry Lhermitte (The Dinner Game) as Martin Le Foll, a misanthropist surgeon from Lyon whose hemophobia forces him to become a GP in a village called Port-Garrec (actually Doëlan in South Finistère). TF1 will air each week two episodes during three weeks in its usual primetime Monday night comedy slot.

The French Doc Martin is produced by Ego Productions (a Groupe Carrere subsidiary) and is the result of a deal between DRG - distributor of the original show starring Martin Clunes - and TF1. A German version, Doktor Martin, ran in 2007 and 2009 on pubcaster ZDF, and Spanish viewers have their own version called Doctor Mateo since 2009 (on Antena 3).

The incoming French version raises a lot of interest and curiosity both in France and in the United Kingdom - where Doc Martin is a huge hit. Series 4 aired in Autumn 2009 on ITV1 with strong ratings against Waking the Dead or the Emma starring Romola Garai. Martin Clunes will be back as grumpy Dr Martin Ellingham in 2011 for a fifth series. (Trailer) (Doktor Martin - DVD Trailer) (Doctor Mateo - Promo)

Update - Review:

See also:

Monday, 20 December 2010


Since November things here are slightly complicated by the charms of "urban renewal" works and by other delights which give our little Upton Abbey the unique ambiance of East Berlin in a Harry Palmer movie.

Anyway allow me to wish you, faithful readers or new visitors, the best holidays possible. Let me also thank you for your fidelity, your trust and your interest.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


[10.06 - French Time] Broadcast reports that Tony Jordan (Hustle, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) is to exec produce a £9m police drama set in the Caribbean, which will be co-produced for BBC One and French pubcaster group France Télévisions.

Death In Paradise, a 8 X 60-minute drama, is centered around English police detective inspector Richard Gill, who has a strong dislike of travel, as he is posted to the West Indies island of Sainte Marie. It is produced by Tony Jordan's Red Planet Pictures and French company Atlantique Productions in association with BBC Worldwide (which brokered the funding) and Kudos Film and Television.

Casting of this UK/France co-production is currently underway. Death In Paradise is due to start filming in Guadeloupe in April.
[13.15 - French Time] Joint press release from the BBC and BBC Worldwide:

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


[8.54 - French time] This thursday ITV1's venerable soap Coronation Street will turn 50 and ITV celebrates the event with a week of special shows.

Yesterday ITV1 aired the very first episode of "Corrie", originally shown on December 9, 1960. This was the occasion to see a young Ken Barlow, played by William Roache. The actor, now 78, is still in the drama serial and according to The Independent his character has been married four times (twice to the same woman), widowed twice and divorced once. His first wife was electrocuted in 1971 by a faulty hairdryer, although not before giving birth to twins. Add two other children, both illegitimate.

Ken Barlow's second wife died in 1977 after taking an overdose. He has had 27 girlfriends and almost as many jobs ( In 1981, 24 million viewers watched the wedding of Ken with Deidre Langton (Anne Kirkbride) – more than the audience of Charles and Diana’s wedding on ITV two days later (

The repeat of Coronation Street's episode one was followed by the highly-publicized tram crash disaster, a very spectacular stunt which reportedly costed over £5m ( This week of celebration also include a two-part retrospective show titled Coronation Street: 50 Years, 50 Moments, a 60-minute live episode aired on thursday, and Coronation Street: The Big 50th, a one-off quiz show hosted by Paul O'Grady which will test celebrities' knowledge of Corrie history.

The actual Coronation Street producer is Phil Collinson, formerly producer on Doctor Who.

Sunday, 5 December 2010


[19.32 - French Time] Premiere of the seventh series of Hustle is announced by the BBC for early January 2011.

Original cast members Adrian Lester (Mickey 'Bricks' Stone), Robert Glenister (Ash Morgan) and Robert Vaughn (Albert Stroller) return. Kelly Adams and Matt Di Angelo, aboard since series five of BBC One's hit show, are back too as brother and sister Emma and Sean Kennedy. And Rob Jarvis also returns as Eddie.

In Episode One of the six-part new series, Anna Chancellor guests as ruthless Wendy Stanton, CEO of Model Devotion, a modelling scam. The perfect adversary for the gang and Mickey, who poses as emerging fashion guru "Hilary King".

Hustle is relocated in Birmingham since previous series in order to contain production costs and receive welcome subventions thanks to a deal with Screen West Midlands. But the team's playground remains set in London, except this year for one episode set where it is filmed.

The con artist drama is a Kudos Film and Television production in association with Red Planet Pictures for the BBC (with the support of Screen WM).

See also:

Friday, 3 December 2010


[22.12 - French Time] In October Entertainment Weekly reported that the CW's version of Nikita, which debuted in september, was about to get a retooling.

Michael Ausiello, then at EW, explained that the network was looking to "lighten the show’s somber mood and jack up its title character’s love life" in order to boost the young female demo. Ausiello reported that several new characters would be introduced, including a confidant and potential love interest for Nikita (Maggie Q).

Nikita originated as a 1990 movie directed by Luc Besson, with Anne Parillaud and a US remake Point of No Return (1993), with Bridget Fonda. In 1997 the movie(s) became a TV show called La Femme Nikita starring Peta Wilson. In the 2010 version Nikita, an assassin working for a spy agency called The Division, goes rogue and her former employers want her back at any price before she destroys them. Meanwhile, young Alex (Lindsy Fonseca) becomes the Division's newest recruit but is actually Nikita's inside mole.

Now we learn from EW's Tim Stack that Alex will work with Nikita on the outside and will get a "potential" love interest played by Thad Luckinbill. Years ago Luckinbill played Fonseca’s love interest on CBS's soap opera The Young and the Restless, where he was J.T. Hellstorm and she played Colleen Carlton.

See also:

Monday, 29 November 2010

LESLIE NIELSEN (1926-2010)

Versatile Canadian-born actor Leslie Nielsen has died at the age of 84.

He spent the first half of a long movie and TV career playing heroes, law enforcement officers, authority figures and even villains. Before conscienciously wrecking this dramatic persona during the second half, for his own delectation and the joy of millions of moviegoers around the world.

Leslie Nielsen started on TV in some 1950s anthology dramas. While a contract player for MGM he played the spaceship commander in the movie Forbidden Planet (1956) but asked to be released two years later. Then the actor worked mostly for television: he starred in Disney's Swamp Fox (1959-1961) and played Lieutenant Price Adams in The New Breed (1961-1962), a crime show produced by Quinn Martin. Later he starred as another cop in a segment of The Bold Ones called The Protectors (1969-1970).

But during two decades Hollywood used Nielsen as a reliable but typecast character actor, particularly in a long list of TV guest spots. Until director/writer trio Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker gave him the role of hapless Dr. Rumack in their movie Airplane! (1980), a spoof of aerial disaster films. There he draw attention to his comedic nature and his ability to deliver deadpan lines. The trio brought the formula to television with Leslie Nielsen as incompetent detective Frank Drebin in Police Squad! (1982).

In this hilarious ABC comedy series, Nielsen spoofed his no-nonsense cop roles in a bizarro version of the Quinn Martin or Jack Webb productions. The network quickly cancelled the show but Police Squad! acquired a cult status which led to a cinema spin-off, The Naked Gun: From the files of Police Squad! (1988). Nielsen returned as Drebin and after almost 40 years in the industry he enjoyed a worldwide popularity thanks to the hit movie and its two sequels, The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33 ⅓: The Final Insult (1994).

Proclaimed "King of spoof" by many of his global fans, Leslie Nielsen gave the Drebin treatment to Dracula in Mel Brooks's Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), James Bond in Spy Hard (1996), The Fugitive in Wrongfully Accused (1998) or to President George W. Bush in Scary Movie 3 (2004) and 4 (2006). But in the last years of his career he also successfully toured the US in a "serious" one-man show as the great American lawyer Clarence Darrow.

Thursday, 25 November 2010


[10.22 - French Time] Broadcast reports that Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) have co-written a 6 X 60-minute drama for ITV about two angels sent to Earth as lawyers.

Eternal Law is co-produced by their indie Monastic Productions with Kudos Film and Television. It is centered around two angels, named Zak and Tom, who are sent on Earth to assist in the salvation of Mankind as lawyers in a York law firm.

Their mission is imperilled when they come up against an old adversary, dark angel Richard Pembroke, and when one of the angels is reunited with a woman he fell in love with on a previous visit.

The new drama is is exec produced by Jane Featherstone, Simon Crawford-Collins and Alison Jackson for Kudos, with Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham for Monastic. Georgina Lowe is the producer.

Eternal Law will go into production in February 2011. Broadcast's piece doesn't tell if the two angels are actually two living Manchester coppers undercover.!/MonasticProds

Saturday, 20 November 2010


Since 1980 Children in Need, the British Charity appeal, offers each year great moments of television for a great cause. Presented by Sir Terry Wogan with Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton, BBC One's star-studded 2010 edition of "The Greatest fundraising show on Earth" had everything you can expect from CIN and more.

The Great British public and numerous personalities united to raise money for the important cause of children. Chris Evans joined window cleaner Paul Wright to clean the windows on One Canada Square, Britain's tallest building. The cast of Merlin showed their hilarious bloopers. Matt Smith and Karen Gillan invited two youngsters for a tea party in the TARDIS before revealing a teaser for the much awaited Doctor Who Christmas special.

Strictly Come Dancing went pop for a Children in Need special presented by Tess Daly, with judges Craig Revel Horwood, Len Goodman, Sir Terry Wogan and Pudsey. Soap fans were treated with a glorious crossover between EastEnders and Corrie - including a rendition of You're the one that I want by the great Shane Richie with Kym Marsh. As promised by Sir Terry (« A night when television history will be made »), this one-off summit meeting was one of the best segments of the evening.

The multi-talented John Barrowman presented a musical fundraiser show live from Glasgow. BBC female newsreaders and journalists delivered their annual special performance: this year a Lady Gaga musical number, with a little help of their male colleagues and choreographer Louie Spence. The "Dragons" of Dragon's Den tested their entrepreneurial spirit in the kitchen for Come Dine with the Dragons. And The Hairy Bikers gave us another highlight of the night when they sang Meat Loaf's classic A Bat Out Of Hell.

Cheryl Cole, the stars of Harry Potter, Kylie Minogue, JLS (performing Love You More, the official 2010 CIN single), Susan Boyle, Take That, ITV's Loose Women, John Owen-Jones (amazing Phantom of the Opera) and many others were there too. The awesome London Gay Men's Chorus Far from Kansas illuminated the night throughout the event.

See also: (Far from Kansas)!/johnowenjones

Friday, 19 November 2010


Since 1980 Children in Need, the British Charity appeal, offers each year great moments of television for a great cause.

Tonight on BBC One, the event will be hosted by Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly and Fearne Cotton. And it will be of course the occasion to have a look to a preview of the Doctor Who Christmas special.

Cheryl Cole, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, Kylie Minogue, Alex Jones, John Barrowman and Take That (with the return Robbie Williams) are among the many personalities announced.

BBC One Friday 19 November (Starting 7pm - British Time). Note that there will be a Mastermind Children in Need Special on BBC Two at 10pm.

See also:

Thursday, 18 November 2010


[12.05 - French Time] Broadcast reports today that ITV has commissioned a three-part thriller adapted from What To Do When Someone Dies, the novel by bestseller crime writer duo Nicci French (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French).

Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) stars as a widowed schoolteacher coming to terms with the death of her husband in a horrific car accident while travelling with a mystery female passenger who died with him. Unable to accept her husband’s infidelity, she borrows her best friend’s identity to infiltrate the mystery woman’s workplace and discover who she was.

Sally Head (Prime Suspect, Cracker) exec produce for Sally Head Productions (Tipping the Velvet) and the 3 x 60-minute drama will be filmed on location in Manchester and London in spring 2011. With What To Do When Someone Dies ITV add another novel adaptation to its recent crime line-up, after DCI Banks, Vera (starring Brenda Blethyn), The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or the two-part drama based on Sophie Hannah's The Point Of Rescue.

In 2002 ITV aired TV versions of Nicci French's Beneath the Skin and The Safe House. Three years later David Tennant starred in Secret Smile, an ITV two-part drama based on their novel.

See also:


1963 - When the GP of a small Welsh mining village dies, his replacement isn't quite what the locals expect: Dr Prem Sharma arrives from Delhi with his glamorous wife Kamini, under a NHS recruitment programme of highly-qualified Indian doctors. But surprise is on both sides because Kamini isn't happy about the situation, as she rather wished for the bright lights of London.

The Indian Doctor is a five-part daytime drama aired all this week on BBC One to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Swinging Sixties (with Rewind The Sixties, presented by singer Lulu). It is created by Tom Ware and Deep Sehgal, written by Bill Armstrong and directed by Tim Whitby and Deep Sehgal. It stars the talented Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No. 42) as Prem.

South Wales in 1963. Trefelin, a mining village, loses its local doctor but gets a replacement thanks to a massive recruitment campaign of Indian doctors encouraged by health minister Enoch Powell. The villagers are completely ignorant about Indians and are briefed through an information film and "valuable cultural insight" from the screening of The Millionairess (1960), with Sophia Loren and Peter Sellers!

High-flying Dehli graduate Prem Sharma, the new GP, sees his enthusiasm watered down by his regal wife Kamini (« What do you expect me to do? Cook? »), who had other ambitions and urges him to leave the place quickly after their arrival. Kamini Sharma is played brilliantly by Ayesha Dharker (Outsourced, Coronation Street). Other cast members include Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise) as Richard Sharpe, the Coal Board's local manager with an hidden diary problem.

« Though the story does involve race, I don't think it's about racism. It's more about curiosity and preconceptions, » explains Sanjeev Bhaskar. The Indian Doctor is a wonderful, intelligent and subtle rural comedy-drama in the mold of Doc Martin. Far from the hype of high-profile big signature primetime projects with stunt castings, it is the pleasant surprise of this end of the year. And another treasure in Bhaskar's resume after that unsung gem which is Mumbai Calling (2007).

The Indian Doctor is a Rondo and Avatar production for the BBC. Tom Ware and Deep Sehgal exec produce, Gerard Melling is executive producer for the Beeb and Cliff Jones is the producer. The 5 X 45-minute series is filmed in Wales with the support of the Wales Creative IP Fund and the Welsh Assembly Government.

See also:

Wednesday, 17 November 2010


[12.03 - French Time] Borys Kit reports in his Heat Vision blog that Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Ocean's Eleven) is in early talks to direct the long-in-development movie adaptation of the cult classic The Man From U.N.C.L.E. TV series.

The original Man from U.N.C.L.E. ran on NBC from 1964 to 1968 and was a product of the 60s James Bond craze. It followed the adventures of two spies, Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Illya Kuriakin (David McCallum), working for U.N.C.L.E. (United Network Command for Law and Enforcement). They received their assignments from Alexander Waverly (Leo G. Carroll) and fought an evil organization named Thrush.

In the heyday of the show, co-producer MGM released theatrical movie compilations of episodes with extra footage and there was a spin-off series, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966-1967), with Stefanie Powers as April Dancer. Solo & Kuriakin and Dancer even appeared respectively in two episodes of a NBC/MGM sitcom called Please don't eat the Daisies (1965-1967).

Vaughn and McCallum returned as the U.N.C.L.E. agents in The Return of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Fifteen Years Later Affair, a 1983 backdoor pilot for CBS, which unfortunately didn't pick up the series. Three years later they played "disguised" versions of their characters in an episode of The A-Team's fifth season - where Robert Vaughn was a regular.

With Steven Soderbergh helming the 2010 U.N.C.L.E. movie project for Warner Bros, does that mean we can expect George Clooney as Napoleon and Matt Damon as Illya? Clooney would not be a bad choice at all for the cool and suave Mr Solo, as long as Soderbergh's film doesn't recall the painful memory of the calamitous 2002 cinema adaptation of I Spy with Eddie Murphy.

See also:

Friday, 12 November 2010


[18.21 - French Time] Craig Ferguson, comedian and host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS, announced on his Twitter that his Tuesday 16 show will be a Doctor Who special.

"Tuesday(16) I am having a Dr Who special with @nerdist and Matt Smith. @jimmyfallon has Springsteen."

And today he added: "Confirmed Dalek for Dr Who special on Tues 16. For those who don't know Daleks are bitter grumpy aliens. Remind you of anyone?"

We're looking forward for a confrontation between the Dalek and Geoff Peterson, Ferguson's robot sidekick. Yep!!/CraigyFerg

See also:


[16.53 - French Time] Since the beginning of this month we're right in the middle of "urban renewal" works which complicate in the most annoying way our everyday lives.

Not to mention the fact that our youngest intern doesn't particularly appreciate to be disturbed during her afternoon nap. We're working to find a modus operandi allowing us to complete our daytime tasks within the limits of what the situation permits.

In the meantime let me please thank you for your enduring interest, your warm support, your fidelity and your trust.

Thursday, 4 November 2010


[21.55 - French Time] Nikki Finke reports for Deadline that production of Tim Burton's Dark Shadows movie starring Johnny Depp (who else?) will start in April 2011 instead of January.

In July Deadline New York's Mike Fleming reported that novelist Seth Grahame-Smith (author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) would write the film, produced for Warner Bros by Depp’s company Infinitum Nihil and GK Films. John August (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) was the first scriptwriter to work on the project.

Dark Shadows was originally an atypical gothic soap opera - imagine Y&R with vampires, werewolves, or ghosts - aired by ABC from 1966 to 1971. It was created and produced by Dan Curtis and was centered around the wealthy Collins family (living in their Collinwood mansion). Its most popular character was vampire Barnabas Collins, played brilliantly by Canadian actor Jonathan Frid.

The daytime drama jumped to the big screen with two MGM movies: House of Dark Shadows (1970) and Night of Dark Shadows (1971). In 1991, NBC and Dan Curtis tried to revive Dark Shadows with British actor Ben Cross as Collins - but the primetime show didn't last more than 12 episodes. In 2004, the WB network ordered a pilot for a new and younger version but the show was never picked up.

Johnny Depp always wanted to play Barnabas but we still cannot imagine him in the role.

See also:


[21.04 - French Time] Since September, we note the TV show casualties of the US Network 2010-2011 season (this list will be updated when necessary):

- Lone Star (Fox)
- My Generation (ABC)
- Outlaw (NBC)

- Undercovers: NBC will not pick up additional episodes of the spy-fi/comedy from J.J. Abrams beyond the original 13-episode order.

Interestingly, a similar project is in the pipeline for ABC: a series adaptation of James Cameron's 1994 action comedy True Lies.

Friday, 29 October 2010


[18.25 - French Time] The Waters of Mars will be aired in France by DTT pubcaster France 4 this saturday. The Doctor Who specials starring David Tennant as the tenth Doctor marked a new era for the French-speaking dubbing dialogues with the arrival of two talented authors: Chantal Bugalski (The West Wing, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and François Dubuc (The State Within).

Because of the number of episodes for a regular series two other authors joined Bugalski and Dubuc for the adaptation of Doctor Who's fifth series in French: Rodolph Freytt (True Blood) and Olivier Lips (Nip/Tuck). François Dubuc could only work on The Eleventh Hour and The Beast Below, due to adjustments in his planning.

Recording of Amy's choice and The Hungry Earth started this week in the Belgian studios of Dubbing Brothers under the direction of David Macaluso. The French-speaking dubbing process of Doctor Who is closely followed by fans in France and other countries of Francophonie and even regularly attracts interest in the United Kingdom (

See also:


[9.30 - French Time] Lasko - Die Faust Gottes: Gegen die Zeit (Season 2, Episode 2).

Brother Lasko (Mathis Landwehr), Brother Gladius (Stephan Bieker) and novice Michael (Oliver Bender) meet a renegade operative from Ares who must give Lasko and Gladius information. But Ares agents are there to shut him down and he can only give a phial to Michael.

This phial breaks in Michael's hand and its content mixes with his blood. Gladius and Lasko have only a few hours to prevent an attack from Ares and save their friend from a certain death.

Lasko - Die Faust Gottes is back since last week for a second season. Aired by German private broadcaster RTL, the action/adventure series from Hermann Joha's action concept, was a pleasant surprise for the German television fiction industry last year. Ratings and market shares were amazing in a country where television viewers tend to favour US shows like House. But with a budget estimated around 1 million euros per episode for this initial season, RTL asked for a careful development process before greenlighting season two and some changes were made.

Gone are the origins of Pugnus Dei (the monastic order Lasko belongs to) before the pre-credits sequence, and gone are BKA agent Sophia von Erlen (Simone Hanselmann) and her boss played by André Hennicke. Idem for the wise Abbot Magnus (Karl Merkatz), replaced by the younger and more combative Georg (Heio von Stetten). There's also a new intro and a more urban setting.

After the Dan Brownesque season premiere and its annoying Vatican girl cop character Clarissa de Angelo (Julia Maria Köhler), yesterday night's episode gives us more reasons to worry about what was in 2009 the most interesting action concept show in years - since Der Clown (1996-2001). And besides their always enjoyable and spectacular Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahnpolizeï - aired since 1996!

Gegen die Zeit has its moments: the countryside is back (but not enough), great fights (the tunnel, the factory and the U-Bahn) and the amusing "Blue Danube" rope scene. Unfortunately the character of Michael breaks the momentum between Lasko and Gladius and sometimes provides a comic relief too many. And Ares is now more a corporate equivalent of SPECTRE than an occult Vatican lodge, with plans out of a 60s US spy-fi.

Ares is a shark tank. Did Lasko jump it?

See also:

Thursday, 28 October 2010


[7.07 - French Time] Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports that a remake of Charlie's Angels in the pipeline since last year is headed to pilot production.

The original Charlie's Angels ran from 1976 to 1981 on ABC and was a detective show about three young women working for the secretive and invisible boss of the Charles Townsend Detective Agency. Charles "Charlie" Townsend was voiced by a pre-Dynasty John Forsythe and the show, created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts (producers of Mannix), made Farrah Fawcett a worldwide sex symbol. TV czars Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg were executive producers.

The "reboot" project from Sony Television was originally set up at ABC with a pilot commitment last November with Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) as writer and exec producer. This new Charlie's Angels didn’t go to pilot stage and was put in redevelopment with new writers, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville). Now we learn from Deadline that a pilot will be filmed in Miami at the beginning of 2011.

Charlie's Angels 1976 was a conventional cop show with a difference: beautiful young women with a wardrobe specially designed to catch the eyes of male viewers. It popularized the expression "T&A TV" and it, er... "inspired" shows like Agence Acapulco (1993), The Dream Team (1999) or She Spies (2002-2004). It also spawned the two movie adaptations directed by McG in 2000 and 2003.

At least if this modern Charlie's Angels becomes a series and bombs they can always try to relocate it in Hawaii - the original tried that for its fifth season - and Grace Park from CBS's 2010 Hawaii Five-O could coach the new angels.

See also: (Archie's Angels)

Sunday, 24 October 2010


[19.27 - French Time] While The Waters of Mars is due to be aired by French DTT pubcaster France 4 on October 30th, Doctor Who's fifth series is currently dubbed for French-speaking territories since September 29 in the Belgian studios of Dubbing Brothers, under the direction of David Macaluso.

As we reported in March, Matt Smith is dubbed by experimented Belgian stage actor Marc Weiss. We're told now that Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan, is dubbed by the excellent Audrey d'Hulstère (French-speaking voice of Liz White in Life on Mars). And "Mr Pond", aka Rory Williams - performed by Arthur Darvill, has the voice of stage and improv actor Xavier Elsen, which seems an interesting choice.

In The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, the very talented Scottish actor Iain Glen (Father Octavian) is dubbed by the equally talented Philippe Résimont. Résimont is one of the finest Belgian stage actors and has a long string of dubbing credits. In Doctor Who he dubbed the Chancellor in The End of Time 1 & 2 and he was the voice of Diagoras in series three's Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks.

The characters of Mo, Elliot and Ambrose in The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood will be dubbed by Michelangelo Marchese (Ed Gold in The Waters of Mars), Matteo Marchese and Valérie Lemaître, who are also a family in real life.

Artistic director David Macaluso explained us that Marc Weiss and Audrey d'Hulstère particularly enjoy working on the French-speaking version of this series, whose recording will end at the beginning of December. This Tuesday begins the dubbing of Amy's Choice and The Hungry Earth. (In French) (In French) (In French)

See also: (In French)

Friday, 22 October 2010


[17.19 - French Time] Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports exclusively that Robert Cochran (24) is developing Pinkerton, a 8-10-hour limited series for Starz about the famous detective and spy, with actor Gerard Butler on board to executive produce.

American premium channel Starz has commissioned a pilot script and a "bible" for a fictionalized project centered around Allan Pinkerton (1819-1894), creator of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency - the first detective agency in the United States.

Scottish-born Pinkerton emigrated to the US at age 23. He served as head of the Union Intelligence Service, the forerunner of the US Secret Service. As such, he guarded Abraham Lincoln on his way to his inauguration and foiled an assassination attempt on him in Baltimore.

Funnily, soon after the success of Steven Moffat's Sherlock your humble servant joked on Twitter that someone in L.A. or London was asking himself if the rights of Nick Carter (the 19th century detective, not the singer) were available.


[6.39 - French Time] Lasko - Die Faust Gottes: Das 5. Evangelium (Season 2, Episode 1).

Brother Lasko (Mathis Landwehr) and Brother Gladius (Stephan Bieker) are in the Vatican to pick up their new abbot Georg (Heio von Stetten) when a valuable book is stolen and the secret archivist of the Vatican murdered. Lasko tries to catch the killer but the man drops the book to an accomplice and commits suicide.

The precious stolen book is a biography of a 16th century evangelist. Clarissa de Angelo (Julia Maria Köhler), a Vatican police detective explains that in this book and three other evangelist biographies is hidden a code leading to a fifth one. This fifth gospel countains a secret that could shake the foundations of Christianity.

Launched in 2009 on German private broadcaster RTL, Lasko - Die Faust Gottes came almost as a pleasant surprise for German television fiction. Ratings and market shares were more than spectacular in a country where television viewers tend to favour US shows like House.

But a second season was not guaranteed for Hermann Joha's production company action concept (Alarm für Cobra 11), regarding a budget estimated around 1 million euros per episode for this initial season. The awaited season 2, filmed from April to August in Berlin and its area, finally started yesterday on RTL for eight new episodes.

Lasko, the young monk from Pugnus Dei, an ancestral secret monastic order fighting for justice with the help of martial arts, is back with his epicurian friend Gladius but the show gets some retooling. A new intro, a more urban setting, gone are the origins of Pugnus Dei before the pre-credits sequence, and gone are BKA agent Sophia von Erlen (Simone Hanselmann) and her boss played by in-demand actor André Hennicke. Idem for the wise Abbot Magnus (Karl Merkatz).

Stunts and fights are still up to action concept's top-notch standards but one of this premiere's problems is definitely the Dan Brownesque story as last year the Ares lodge, Lasko's nemesis, evoked The Da Vinci Code less blatantly. Another problem is the annoying Vatican cop character and her forced chemistry with Lasko.

Mathis Landwehr is brilliant, Stephan Bieker steals the show as comic relief Gladius and Heio von Stetten is a great addition to the cast. The episode is visually superb - as usual - thanks to director Axel Sand (also behind the photography), who clearly enjoys his job. But we could rapidly miss the countryside and we need more of Pugnus Dei's magnificent monastery.

And let's hope there will be some improvement next week on the story front. (In German) (In German)

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(C) Thierry Attard

Friday, 15 October 2010


[19.06 - French Time] British actor Simon MacCorkindale has died, aged 58.

The very popular Cambridge-born TV, movie and stage actor Simon MacCorkindale played Dr. Harry Harper in the BBC medical drama Casualty from 2002 to 2008. But of course he was known worldwide by generations of television viewers for his character of Professor Jonathan Chase in Glen A. Larson's short-lived but cult series Manimal (1983).

Between 1990 and 1993, MacCorkindale starred as Peter Sinclair in Counterstrike, a rather enjoyable adventure drama. Sinclair was a frustrated Scotland Yard investigator hired by billionaire Alexander Addington (the legendary Christopher Plummer) to lead a private anti-terrorist team. The show was a co-production between Canada and France and was filmed in Toronto and Paris. It was aired by CTV in Canada, TF1 in France and USA Network in the United States.

His other television credits include I, Claudius (1976), The Quatermass Conclusion (1979), Falcon Crest (between 1984 and 1986) or Poltergeist: The Legacy (in 1999). Simon MacCorkindale reprised his Manimal character in an episode of the syndicated Glen A. Larson superhero series Night Man (1997-1999).

His most notable film role was Simon Doyle in the 1978 Agatha Christie film Death on the Nile. Last Friday, British viewers watched the actor on BBC One in an episode of New Tricks where he guest-starred as Sir David Bryant, his last role.

Simon MacCorkindale was married to British actress Susan George.


Thursday, 14 October 2010


[10.21 - French Time] Broadcast reports that ITV has commissioned a 2 x 60-minute crime drama adapted from Sophie Hannah’s novel The Point Of Rescue.

According to Broadcast, Point Of Rescue (working title) will start filming on location in Buckinghamshire this month and stars Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer) as DS Charlie Zailer and Darren Boyd as DC Simon Waterhouse. It will be aired on ITV1 in 2011.

This new crime drama, produced by Hat Trick Productions and distributed globally by BBC Worldwide, rejoins the recent ITV crime novel adaptations DCI Banks, Vera (starring Brenda Blethyn) and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

No wonder why Downton Abbey , ITV1's lavish period drama from Carnival Films, is such a hit. Maybe Carnival could do a Cluedo episode...

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


[22.33 - French Time] THR's James Hibberd reports exclusively that Robert De Niro and writer Richard Price (The Wire) have sold a script for a cop drama project to CBS.

Rookies is centered on a team of six freshman cops who are sent into high-crime trouble spots. Robert De Niro's Tribeca Productions and CBS Television Studios would produce the crime procedural with De Niro and Price as executive producers. They previously worked together on the film Mad Dog and Glory (1992).

ABC aired this summer a Canadian police drama called Rookie Blue, about five ambitious rookie cops who have just graduated from the Academy. And CBS is already the home of many crime procedurals (the CSI and Criminal Minds franchises, The Mentalist, etc.) But according to James Hibberd, Richard Price's distinctive style would make the difference.


[21.12 - French Time] EW's Michael Ausiello reports exclusively that The CW's version of Nikita, which debuted last month, will soon get a retooling.

Ausiello explains that the network is looking to "lighten the show’s somber mood and jack up its title character’s love life" in order to boost the young female demo.

Several new characters would be introduced, including a confidant and potential love interest for Nikita.

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[11.04 - French Time] ITV1 has commissioned a second series of Downton Abbey, its lavish period drama, after it proved a spectacular hit with both viewers and critics.

Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) will return to pen a new seven-part series, which will air in 2011. Downton Abbey, produced by Carnival Films, is set in an Edwardian country house in April 1912 and portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them.

The big-budget costume drama debuted on September 26 with a consolidated audience of 9.2m viewers, making it the most successful new drama on British television since the launch of ITV’s Whitechapel in February last year. Whitechapel, also produced by Carnival, was the most-watched new drama series of 2009 and its second series started last night on ITV1.

Downton Abbey averaged more than 8m viewers across the opening three episodes of its initial seven-part run (1 x 90-minute and 6 x 60-minute).

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[4.56 - French Time] Since September, we note the TV show casualties of the US Network 2010-2011 season (this list will be updated when necessary):

- Lone Star (Fox)
- My Generation (ABC)

- Outlaw (NBC) - Jimmy Smits as a Supreme Court Justice who gives up his lifetime appointment to open a private practice after being frustrated with flaws in the legal system. He shouldn't.

Outlaw was put on production hiatus last week by NBC after three weeks of lacklustre ratings.

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Monday, 11 October 2010


[6.52 - French Time] Single Father, David Tennant's post-Doctor Who new drama, premiered yesterday on BBC One.

Every now and then someone risks a comparison between UK television dramas and what is done in the US, generally chanting the glory of HBO's The Wire as a mantra. After ITV's Collision and The Silence (aired this summer on BBC One), Single Father proves one more time - if needed - those who affirm that the British television industry should only kneel before David Simon's creation are dead wrong.

It seems like an ordinary day for Dave (David Tennant), a photographer and the loving husband of Rita (Laura Fraser). He is also a good dad to their three kids and an excellent stepfather to Lucy (Natasha Watson), Rita's 15-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. But things will never be ordinary again for Dave and his family: Rita dies in a tragic traffic accident. Everybody tries to cope the best he/she can and things get even more complicated when Dave falls in love with his wife's best friend, Sarah (Suranne Jones).

« I love you too! » (Dave)

You need a good deal of courage and a whole container of paper tissues to enter into Dave's emotional journey through the tragedy. But the first hour of this single father's new life worths the effort and writer Mick Ford's four-part relationship drama is both moving and refreshing. The perfect return in a TV drama for David Tennant's tremendous talent and extraordinary versatility.

Everybody plays Ford's words in the right tone, from the adults to the kids, under the inspired direction of Sam Miller and with the music of Murray Gold. It's rather fortunate that Rex is Not your Lawyer, the legal drama pilot shot by Tennant in the US, failed to be picked up by NBC. Apparently the far-fetched premise of a top Chicago attorney who suffers panic attacks and coaches clients to represent themselves in court was poorly executed (1).

Miles away from a tenth Doctor in a lawyer suit, the Scottish actor delivers one of his best performances ever as this father of an ordinary family whose only superpower (shared by its members) is the force to try to live one day at a time. Single Father is produced by Red Production Company (Casanova) for BBC Scotland. Nicola Shindler exec produces for Red and Anne Mensah and Gaynor Holmes for BBC Scotland. Peter Gallagher is the producer.


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Sunday, 10 October 2010


[16.41 - French Time] BBC America reports via Twitter that two episodes of Doctor Who will be filmed in the US "next season".

After last August's announcement by the BBC and Steven Moffat that the transmission of the next series of Doctor Who, in 2011, would be split into two blocks of episodes aired in spring and autumn, here comes another (semi) surprise:

"Doctor Who to film in the U.S. for the first time. First 2 episodes to be set in the U.S. next season. #DoctorWho #DWUS" (

This happens after some months after Torchwood's fourth series got its greenlight thanks to a partnership between BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and US premium entertainment network Starz Entertainment (Spartacus: Blood and Sand). Does this mean that a US co-producer will be involved in Doctor Who's next series?


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[13.43 - French Time] Single Father, David Tennant's post-Doctor Who new drama, premieres tonight on BBC One. And the competition is tough: Downton Abbey on ITV1 and Thorne, Sky1's new crime drama starring David Morrissey.

In Single Father, written by Mick Ford, Dave (David Tennant) is a photographer facing the seemingly impossible task of bringing up four kids alone after the sudden death of his wife, Rita (Laura Fraser). And things get even more complicated when Dave falls in love with his wife's best friend, Sarah (Suranne Jones). The four-part relationship drama is directed by Sam Miller and produced by Red Production Company (Casanova) for BBC One through BBC Scotland.

Single Father marks the return of ex-Doctor Who star David Tennant in a TV series after Rex is Not your Lawyer, the legal drama pilot he shot in the US, failed to be picked up by NBC. The Beeb must really be confident in Tennant's rating magnet magic as poor Dave (the character, we mean) will not only face the death of his wife but also ITV1's new jewel in the crown Downton Abbey.

Episode 2 of the commercial broadcaster's sublime return in the period drama territory (thanks to producer Carnival Films) was watched last week by an average of 8.782 million viewers and attracted a 33.2% audience share across ITV1 and ITV1 HD from 9pm. And Downton Abbey is preceded by ITV's juggernaut The X Factor.

As if it was not enough this sunday night premieres Thorne, Sky 1’s new big-budget crime drama adapted from Mark Billingham’s novels. Actor and director David Morrissey stars as DCI Tom Thorne and produces this adaptation with the affirmed ambition to emulate the best US dramas. He's supported by Sky, which wants to be a major player on the British drama front with shows like Chris Ryan's Strike Back or commissions like Mad Dogs, The Runaway, or Sinbad - a multimillion-pound modern take on Sinbad the Sailor from Impossible Pictures (Primeval).

But Thorne comes one week after the second part of DCI Banks: Aftermath, another adaptation of a literary detective. Based on the novels by Peter Robinson, DCI Banks stars Stephen Tompkinson (Wild at Heart) in the title role and attracted 5.8 million viewers for ITV1. BBC One's Single Father shares one essential quality with Downton Abbey: it's not one more gloomy crime drama.

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