Sunday, 29 May 2016

TOP GEAR: SERIES 23, EPISODE 1 (BBC TWO)

Here is a spoiler-free "mini-review". Please blame the ever-changing weather and its consequences on your humble servant, not me...

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May do their antics elsewhere. Well, one had to go but the others followed their pal (1). From 2002 to 2015 they brilliantly turned a motoring programme (created in 1977) into one of the most successful brands of the BBC, a worldwide phenomenon. Their secret: under their tenure, Top Gear was actually a lavish sitcom about the adventures of three guys in things with wheels.

Enter English star presenter Chris Evans and American actor Matt LeBlanc (Episodes, Friends), with German professional motor racing driver Sabine Schmitz. The mysterious driver only known as The Stig is still there (they got custody!) Evans has to find his own style within the show but his UK/US pseudo-rivalry with LeBlanc has shades of The Persuaders. Matt LeBlanc seems to have a good time. His presence aboard is a great coup and global markets should adore that.

The new presenters bring some fresh air but the spirit remains the same. Top Gear is entertaining, spectacular and fun as ever. Clarkson, Hammond and May will return on Amazon Video in an upcoming motoring series called The Grand Tour.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mj59

(1) Producer Andy Wilman left too.

Friday, 27 May 2016

PRIVATE EYES - EPISODE 1: THE CODE (GLOBAL)

Starring Jason Priestley (Call Me Fitz, Beverly Hills, 90210) and Cindy Sampson (Rogue, Supernatural), Private Eyes is a 10 X 60-minute Canadian light-hearted detective series which premiered this week on Global.
 
Created by Tim Kilby (M.V.P.) & Shelley Eriksen (Continuum, Flashpoint), Private Eyes is loosely based on The Code, a 2012 novel of the Brad Shade mystery series written by sports journalist and author Gare Joyce. Jason Priestley plays Matt "The Shadow" Shade, an ex-pro hockey player who doesn't shine as a freelance scout. But when the young Cory Sinclair, his top pick, collapses on the ice, Shade wants to know the truth. He teams up with tenacious private investigator Angie Everett, played by Cindy Sampson, the daughter of a friend of his father.

Private Eyes is a decent PI procedural show which doesn't pretend to be original or "edgy" and turns out to be very enjoyable. Its appeal lies in the banter between this unlikely sleuth partnership (Priestley and Sampson are excellent), and the Toronto backdrop. Not Toronto as "a big unnamed American city" but as the Canadian city of Toronto, Ontario. Matt's father Don Shade is performed by the talented veteran Canadian actor Barry Flatman (Fargo). Jordyn Negri plays Jules Shade the legally blind (because of macular dystrophy) teenage daughter of Matt. Also starring Ennis Esmer (The Listener) as Detective Curtis Mazrahi.

The Code, the pleasant premiere episode, is written by Tim Kilby & Shelley Eriksen and directed by Kelly Makin. Comedian and actor Kenny Robinson appears as a politician and hockey legend Doug Gilmour has a cameo. The trailer of the second episode promises even more fun. Private Eyes looks like a worthy successor to Republic of Doyle (2010-2014). Produced by Entertainment One Television with Piller/Segan, and the assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit and Canada Media Fund/Fond des médias du Canada. Produced with the participation of the Cogeco Program Development Fund.

Exec produced by Tecca Crosby & Rachel Fulford (for eOne), Shawn Piller & Lloyd Segan (for Piller/Segan) with Tassie Cameron, Kelly Makin, and Jason Priestley. Co-executive producer Derek Schreyer. Produced by Manny Danelon. Music by Shawn Pierce. The theme song is a cool cover of Daryl Hall and John Oates's classic song Private Eyes by rock band Dear Rouge. Private Eyes is distributed by Entertainment One.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dk-latta/private-eyes-tv_b_10114976.html
https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/television/2016/05/24/jason-priestley-turns-detective-in-private-eyes.html
http://www.tv-eh.com/2016/05/24/jason-priestley-has-fun-solving-crimes-in-globals-private-eyes/
http://globalnews.ca/news/2719585/private-eyes-5-reasons-to-watch-the-new-jason-priestley-show/

Monday, 23 May 2016

EL MINISTERIO DEL TIEMPO - SERIES 2, EPISODE 11: TIEMPO DE LO OCULTO (LA 1)

[Spoiler-Free] The existence of the Ministry of Time is about to be revealed but Salvador has a solution.
 
Sebastián Lombardi used to host a TV show about paranormal and other mysteries where he told his viewers that General Franco is frozen with Walt Disney or that if you listen to a LP of Argentine singer Luis Aguilé backwards your head explodes. Then he discovered the Ministry of Time by accident. Except that Lombardi didn't know that the Ministry was actually financing his programme and they managed to handle the problem.

Eight years later, the man is on an internet video platform and he seeks revenge. Salvador Martí invites Sebastián to visit El Ministerio del Tiempo, or rather an obscure branch of the Ministry of Public Works. After four hours of transformation of the Ministry into the dullest administration of Spain, Lombardi arrives with his daughter Sonia to film a video. Things don't go as planned and both end up in 1485, where they meet... Christopher Columbus.

Alonso must deal with a very modern concept. There's a crowd in the men's room of the Ministry of Time. Velázquez doesn't "scribble". A new face appears on banknotes in 1992. There's a confrontation involving "Christiano", "Ronaldo" and "Ronaldinha da Silva Mourinho". An hilarious episode written by Borja Cobeaga & Diego San José and directed by Javier Ruiz Caldera. Pure comedy was undoubtedly needed after the powerful Separadas por el tiempo.

Starring Rodolfo Sancho (Julián Martínez), Aura Garrido (Amelia Folch), Nacho Fresneda (Alonso de Entrerríos), Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene Larra), Juan Gea (Ernesto Jiménez), Francesca Piñón (Angustias Vázquez) and Jaime Blanch (Salvador Martí). Guest starring Roberto Drago (Sebastián Lombardi), Anna Castillo (Sonia Lombardi), Joan Carreras (Christopher Colombus), Susana Córdoba (Elena),  José Ramón Iglesias (Germán), Emilio Linder, Ramón Merlo and Julián Villagrán as Velázquez.

Created by Pablo Olivares & Javier Olivares (Victor Ros, Isabel). Produced by Cliffhanger TV, Onza Entertainment and RTVE. María Roy & Maite L. Pisonero (TVE), José María Irisarri & Gonzalo Sagardía (Onza Entertainment) and Javier Olivares (Cliffhanger TV) exec produce. Anaïs Schaff and Abigail Schaff are the content coordinators for Cliffhanger TV. Music composed by Dario González Valderrama. In Tiempo de lo oculto we learn that the Ministry can influence ratings (the joke about the films of José Luis Garci), which certainly explains the little improvement of the numbers with this episode.

http://www.rtve.es/television/ministerio-del-tiempo/

Saturday, 21 May 2016

WIVES AND DAUGHTERS (FRENCH REGION 2 DVD)

Wives and Daughters (1999) is a superb BBC costume drama available in France on DVD from Koba Films since the end of last year.
 
This four-part serial is adapted from Wives and Daughters, an Every-Day Story (1865), the final book of Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865), who wrote North and South and Cranford. Wives and Daughters comes from producer Sue Birtwistle and scriptwriter Andrew Davies (the House of Cards trilogy), the duo behind the popular 1995 BBC version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and an ITV adaptation of Austen's Emma the following year.

Elizabeth Gaskell died before finishing Wives and Daughters, so Andrew Davies had to write an ending. 17-year old Molly Gibson (Justine Waddell) lives a quiet life in the English countryside with her widower father, the kind Dr. Gibson (Bill Paterson). When he marries Hyacinth Kirpatrick, a former governess to the children of Lord and Lady Cumnor, Molly must accept the presence of her self-absorbed stepmother. Soon, Hyacinth's daughter Cynthia (Keeley Hawes) joins the household and Molly befriends her stepsister. Cynthia attracts the attention of Roger Hamley (Anthony Howell), the youngest son of Squire Hamley (Michael Gambon) and Mrs Hamley (Penelope Wilton), friends of the Gibson family.

Directed by Nicholas Renton, this classy co-production of the BBC and WGBH Boston is a pure wonder. The whole cast is absolutely perfect, starting with the great Francesca Annis. Before Molly Gibson, the excellent Justine Waddell played Estella in Great Expectations (1999) and Tess in Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1998). In 2000, Michael Gambon deservedly won a BAFTA TV Award and a RTS TV Award for his portrayal of the gruff but good-hearted Squire Hamley.
Tom Hollander, who's now one of the major British television actors, plays Osborne Hamley. Iain Glen brings his subtlety to the character of Mr Preston, a man who knows that Cynthia has a secret.

Ian Carmichael (Lord Cumnor), Rosamund Pike (Lady Harriet) and Richard Coyle are amongst the other cast members. Wives and Daughters was filmed at Elstree Studios and at some historic properties like Levens Hall, in Cumbria, or Wentworth Woodhouse (in South Yorkshire). The DVD two-disc set from Koba Films contains the original dialogue track (subtitled or not). It includes a documentary called Who the Dickens is Mrs Gaskell?, about Elizabeth Gaskell and the filming of Wives and Daughters. BBC One aired the four 75-minute episodes between November and December 1999. BBC America and PBS aired them later in the United States.

http://www.kobafilms.fr/films/381-femmes-filles-5051889542599.html
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/wives/index.html

Friday, 13 May 2016

EL MINISTERIO DEL TIEMPO - SERIES 2, EPISODE 10: SEPARADAS POR EL TIEMPO (LA 1)

[Spoiler-Free] Written by Diana Rojo, Carlos de Pando and series co-creator Javier Olivares, Separadas por el tiempo (aired on May 2) is definitely the best episode of El Ministerio del Tiempo to date.
 
Irene notices the presence a teacher with a group during an exhibition. The woman explains who was Spanish feminist Clara Campoamor. Suddenly, one of her pupils spots the doppelganger of her teacher on a photo from 1930 about Las Sinsombrero (the women of "The Generation of '27"). Meanwhile, Amelia receives the visit of Enriqueta Martí, the ex-maid of the Folch family, that she fired in Óleo sobre tiempo

The problem is that Enriqueta has seen her future: she will become the "Vampiress of El Raval", a (real life) sadly famous child serial murderer amongst other horrible activities. This has consequences in several eras so Salvador, who insists that Enriqueta is not related to his family, asks the team to stop a potentially chaotic situation. And Ernesto meets his son. Separadas por el tiempo is beyond brilliant. The script equals those of the best episodes of Doctor Who. The performance of Maria Rodríguez Soto (1) as Enriqueta Martí is absolutely extraordinary.

Starring Rodolfo Sancho (Julián Martínez), Aura Garrido (Amelia Folch), Nacho Fresneda (Alonso de Entrerríos), Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene Larra), Juan Gea (Ernesto Jiménez), Francesca Piñón (Angustias Vázquez) and Jaime Blanch (Salvador Martí). Carlos Cuevas (Javier), Fanny Gautier (Carmen Folch), Mario Tardón (Dr. Madrigal) José Antonio Barón, Luna Fulgencio, Arnau García and Alexandra Jiménez (Julia/Teresa) are the other guest stars of this episode, perfectly directed by Abigail Schaaf.  

Created by Pablo Olivares & Javier Olivares (Victor Ros, Isabel). Produced by Cliffhanger TV, Onza Entertainment and RTVE. María Roy & Maite L. Pisonero (TVE), José María Irisarri & Gonzalo Sagardía (Onza Entertainment) and Javier Olivares (Cliffhanger TV) exec produce. Anaïs Schaff and Abigail Schaff are the content coordinators for Cliffhanger TV. Music composed by Dario González Valderrama. El Ministerio del Tiempo is one of the best dramas currently on the air. And it's also a fantastic cultural ambassador of Spain.

(1) Credited as Maria Rodríguez.

http://www.rtve.es/television/ministerio-del-tiempo/
http://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/la-generacion-del-27-spains-tragic-literary-generation/
http://www.lassinsombrero.com/#!home/cjp6

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

CAPITAINE MARLEAU: LE DOMAINE DES SOEURS MEYER (RATINGS)

France 3's excellent crime drama Capitaine Marleau is one of the French favourites of this blog since even before the pubcaster showed its pilot last year. 

The channel aired Le domaine des soeurs Meyer, the second case of the unconventional gendarme, yesterday. And the rating numbers of the episode make us very happy. 

4.428.000 viewers (18.4%) watched the return of the amazing Corinne Masiero as Marleau (no first-name), an offbeat cop between Vera Stanhope, Columbo and French comedian Coluche. Last night, private channel TF1 aired two new episodes of Unforgettable and lost the lead against Capitaine Marleau after the first one (18.5% and then 17.4%). Capitaine Marleau: Philippe Muir, the pilot, caught  3.731.000 viewers (15.3%) in September 2015 on France 3. See links below for details:

http://www.toutelatele.com/audiences-tv-du-mardi-10-mai-unforgettable-tf1-battu-par-capitaine-marleau-france-3-m6-leader-avec-the-island-aupres-des-moins-de-50-ans-81944
http://www.ozap.com/actu/audiences-unforgettable-puis-france-3-en-tete-france-2-faible-julien-courbet-demarre-correctement/497618
http://www.ozap.com/actu/audiences-mentalist-en-tete-scenes-de-menages-et-capitaine-marleau-en-forme-france-2-decoit/477702 (Pilot)

Belgian channel La Une aired Le domaine des soeurs Meyer on March 11 and the next episode, Les mystères de la foi, last month, ahead of France 3.

Spoiler-free reviews:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/04/capitaine-marleau-les-mysteres-de-la-foi.html (Les mystères de la foi)
http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/03/capitaine-marleau-le-domaine-des-soeurs.html (Le domaine des soeurs Meyer)
http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2015/09/capitaine-marleau-philippe-muir-france-3.html (Capitaine Marleau: Philippe Muir)

See also:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/03/capitaine-marleau-returns.html

Monday, 9 May 2016

BLOG ADVISORY

April was a month particularly troublesome for your humble servant. 

Well, it seems that May is a bit jealous of its predecessor: we're starting it with last month's problems plus "technical" difficulties.

More than ever we thank you  for your constant interest, your fidelity and your  trust. 

« Never give up, never surrender! »

CAPITAINE MARLEAU RETURNS ON FRANCE 3 TOMORROW

Following a pilot aired in 2015 by France 3,  the excellent crime drama Capitaine Marleau returns on the French pubcaster tomorrow with Le domaine des soeurs Meyer

Belgian channel La Une aired this episode on March 11, ahead of French TV. You can read our spoiler-free review here:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/03/capitaine-marleau-le-domaine-des-soeurs.html

You can also read our review of the next episode, Les mystères de la foi, aired last month by La Une but not yet by France 3:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/04/capitaine-marleau-les-mysteres-de-la-foi.html

See also:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2015/09/capitaine-marleau-philippe-muir-france-3.html (Capitaine Marleau: Philippe Muir)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

EL MINISTERIO DEL TIEMPO - SERIES 2, EPISODE 9: ÓLEO SOBRE TIEMPO (LA 1)

[Spoiler-Free] The second series of El Ministerio del Tiempo came back on April 25 after a three-week break.
 
In 1734, a commando led by Lola Mendieta raids the Royal Alcázar of Madrid, the residence of King Felipe V, before the fire which devastated it the same year. They steal the paintings and replace them by forgeries. Meanwhile at the Ministry, the great Diego Velázquez writes another of his resignation letters when he learns about the auction of one of his works (via an alert on his mobile phone!)

The thing is that this painting was amongst those destroyed in the fire of the Alcázar. Salvador Marti sends Irene and Velázquez to the court of Felipe V in 1734 in order to investigate this case of "intertemporal art trafficking". They meet the Queen, Isabel de Farnesio, who's the de facto ruler of Spain because of the poor mental health of her husband. Of course, old foes of the Ministry of Time are behind the heist: the American company Darrow. Lola learns that her colleague Paul Walcott is severely ill. What he tells her from his hospital bed prompts Lola to have a talk with Ferguson, the chief of Darrow.

Amelia, Julián and Alonso arrive in 1734 as a backup. Lola makes to Salvador "an offer he can't refuse". Amelia has a problem with her maid and Alonso meets again the lookalike of his wife. Felipe V and Julián have a touching conversation. Written by Javier Pascual & Anaïs Schaaf and directed by Jorge Dorado, Óleo sobre tiempo is both brilliant and surprising. Starring Rodolfo Sancho (Julián Martínez), Aura Garrido (Amelia Folch), Nacho Fresneda (Alonso de Entrerríos), Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene Larra), Juan Gea (Ernesto Jiménez), Francesca Piñón (Angustias Vázquez) and Jaime Blanch (Salvador Martí).

Guest starring Fernando Conde (Felipe V), María Álvarez  (Isabel), María Rodríguez (Enriqueta), Fanny Gautier (Carmen Folch), Xavier Boada (Enric Folch), Algis Arlauskas (Ferguson), Susana Córdoba (Elena Castillo), Markos Marín (Bennett) and Jimmy Shaw (Paul Walcott). With Julián Villagrán (Diego Velázquez) and Natalia Millán (Lola Mendieta). Created by Pablo Olivares & Javier Olivares (Victor Ros, Isabel). Produced by Cliffhanger TV, Onza Entertainment and RTVE. María Roy & Maite L. Pisonero (TVE), José María Irisarri & Gonzalo Sagardía (Onza Entertainment) and Javier Olivares (Cliffhanger TV) exec produce.

Anaïs Schaff and Abigail Schaff are the content coordinators for Cliffhanger TV. Music composed by Dario González Valderrama. The three-week pause of this second series, which was supposed to return (according to some initial plans) in September, certainly didn't help the already declining ratings. The episode caught 1.911.000 viewers (9.9%). Unfortunately the launch of El Embajada, the (lacklustre) new series of Bambú Producciones for Antena 3, did the rest.

http://www.rtve.es/television/ministerio-del-tiempo/
http://www.abc.es/madrid/20141114/abci-alcanzar-madrid-incendio-misterio-201411131650.html
http://cadenaser.com/ser/2016/03/29/television/1459251323_939940.html 

Monday, 2 May 2016

LAST MONTH ON THIS BLOG (OR NOT)

Reviews, news and a visit in Thailand.

REVIEWS

- Captain America: Civil War:


Capitaine Marleau (France 3):


- I Want My Wife Back (BBC One):


- The Five (Sky 1):


- Alarm für Cobra 11 - Die Autobahn Polizeï (RTL):

NEWS

- Partners in Crime (D8):

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/04/agatha-christies-partners-in-crime-on.html

In Spain, La Embajada, the new series of Bambú Producciones (Bajo Sospecha, Velvet) started last monday on Antena 3. Circumstances didn't leave us some time to review the first episode, a tedious "Dallas-esque" visit in Thailand (thanks to some vfx wizardry). This said, the premiere caught 4.034.000 viewers (22.5%). Most regrettably, it was against the return of the second series of the excellent El Ministerio del Tiempo after a three-week break. 1.911.000 viewers (9.9%) for the Ministry. Ouch...