This Wednesday I’m recommending the BBC’s Doctor Who YouTube Channel.
As you might know, if you’ve been on my blog long enough, I really love the BBC show Doctor Who, both old and new episodes.
Every week on this channel, there is a ‘Fan Show’ video hosted by Christel Dee. I love this show especially recently since they have been ‘reviewing’ the latest Doctor Who episodes. Christel, joined by Luke Spillane, and usually one or two other guests, discuss the events of the latest episode sharing their favourite moments, their theories and their anticipation for what’s to come. I find these videos very interesting.
Other videos shared on this channel include interviews with the cast, behind the scenes videos, introductions, teasers or trailers for the coming episodes, scenes from old and new episodes and the odd tutorial.
See below for a couple of the Doctor Who videos…
Disclaimer – I do not own the above image, it is from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/doctorwho/entries/4dd992c8-2b50-4450-a7c1-46b275a20397
A friend of mine recently invited me to see Mr Holmes at a local cinema and as much that is what I’m recommending today.
I love everything Sherlock Holmes, especially the modern adaptations of the books such as the BBC series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the two films starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law and lastly, the American series, Elementary, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. From that I figured, I had to watch this new adaptation starring Ian McKellen.
‘The story is set in 1947, following a long-retired Holmes living in a Sussex village with his housekeeper and [her] rising detective son. But then he finds himself haunted by an unsolved 30-year old case. Holmes memory isn’t what it used to be, so he only remembers fragments of the case: a confrontation with an angry husband, [and] a secret bond with his beautiful but unstable wife.’ (IMDB)
This magical story sees Mr Holmes in his self-made isolation from the world as he lives his old age. Sherlock is suffering with his aging, as his brain doesn’t work how it used to; he can’t remember his old cases as much. The film sees Sherlock go over his one unfinished case with the help of young Roger, the housekeeper’s son. While Roger helps Sherlock with the case, Sherlock teaches Roger the art of bee-keeping, something that Sherlock Holmes, in his legacy, enjoys. This shows an amazing relationship grow between the two, but not everything is as perfect as it seems for Mrs. Munro, the housekeeper, who struggles to look after a stubborn old man while ensuring her child is safe from harm. She eventually considers leaving Mr Holmes to work in another household.
I really enjoyed the film, it was very simple in its concept and the film isn’t particularly punchy (like many of the newer adaptations) but it offers a chance for the current generation to see Sherlock in a different way; it is very unique and interesting. There wasn’t a large cast and most of the film only focuses on Sherlock, Roger and Mrs. Munro but this just seemed to add to the magic of it all.
I truly recommend this film, if you haven’t seen it, even if you don’t know much about Sherlock Holmes. (However, this is the only modern version that sees very little of Holmes’ sidekick Dr. John Watson).
Fresh from watching the very last episode, I would like to recommend My Family: a BBC sitcom about ‘a modern, outwardly functional family… engaged in constant psychological warfare’. The Harpers are a dysfunctional family comprising of Susan, the wife, Ben, the grumpy dentist and also her husband, Nick, the older brother who refuses to move out, Janey, the self-absorbed popularity conscious sister and Michael, the brainy younger brother obsessed with girls. As the series goes on we meet more characters such as Abi, Roger, Kenzo and Alfie, who all join the main cast.
A comedy at heart, My Family aims to provide humour throughout and is really light-hearted. Definitely a good watch for a bad day or when you’re in a bad mood but also for good decent entertainment whenever that is necessary.
‘It will appeal to an audience who likes the humour of Seinfeld mixed with the madness of someone of the ilk of Lenny Henry and it does really work. The wit is very clever, very in your face and not as subtle as English humour can be at times but nevertheless it is great fun’. (Quote from IMDB User Review)
Not only is the show clever in its concept, albeit simple, funny and well written, it contains an amazing cast. The cast is a mixture of well-known English actors (Robert Lindsay, Zoe Wanamaker) and talented unknown young individuals (who literally grew up in their roles) taken and turned into well-known and popular actors and actresses (Daniela Denby-Ashe, Gabriel Thomson, Kris Marshall). This worked perfectly to create the family many people know and have loved.
The show, while not airing any more, lasted a solid 11 series and 9 Christmas Specials from 2000 to 2011. It was something I grew up watching, and something my parents would always have on. In its final two series I made sure to watch every episode and was slightly heart broken when I heard that the show was ending. I bought the boxset and have definitely not regretted it since.
This week I don’t just want to rave about one TV show, so here are my top 5 favourites of right now:
My entire household loves NCIS, that’s me, my parents and my granddad, and a lot of my friends also watch NCIS avidly. We’ve been watching odd episodes here and there on several TV channels and now my Dad has recently purchased Seasons 1 – 8 on DVD so that we can finally watch them in order. I think one reason why the show is so good is because of its characters; their relationships are what keep the audience interested after all.
2. Death in Paradise.
This is a brilliant BBC One show. It’s set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint-Marie and is currently into its fourth season. The show follows the islands police and homicide detectives who solve various murders. Again, I think the characters are what keep the audience watching.
This show is so flawlessly put together with an amazing cast displayed so stylishly that it’s hard not to be enthralled in it. It is a very popular show but if you are in the minority and don’t know what it’s about, it follows corporate lawyer Harvey Specter and his relationship with fraudulent lawyer Mike Ross.
4. Happy Endings.
I feel like this show has been underrated and thus only spanned three seasons from 2011 until 2013. It is staged alike popular shows such as Friends, and How I Met Your Mother, with a cast of six friends following their various relationships and comic problems. I enjoy this show so much and as thus have been trying to buy the seasons on DVD.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
My final recommendation today is, of course, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I couldn’t not mention Buffy as it will always be my favourite TV Show. Although it has been little over a decade since Joss Whedon ended the series, it is never too late to start watching it. I remember when I was a lot younger, that I watched Buffy with my Dad but I was too young to fully comprehend what I was actually watching. So, when my Dad bought the series, I started to watch it all in order and fell in love with it. I love the concept and the characters and I just think it’s a seamless mix of horror and comedy with that ninety’s/noughties feel and for me it’s the perfect show.
Disclaimer – I do not own the pictures, they are from: http://www.givememyremote.com/remote/2014/11/25/the-cw-bumps-up-hart-of-dixies-premiere-date/, http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-01-14/death-in-paradise-series-3—what-did-you-think, http://www.tsquirrel.com/stv/suits-4582, http://www.zap2it.com/blogs/happy_endings_season_3_casting_scoop_matthew_del_negro_and_kulap_vilaysack_cause_trouble_for_penny_a-2012-09 and http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/buffy-the-vampire-slayer/images/182338/title/buffy-vampire-slayer-photo.
I’ve recently been watching Still Open All Hours, a BBC programme, which is a sequel series to the 1976 Open All Hours show that lasted for four seasons. Open All Hours, which has been (and still is), repeated endlessly on various channels such as BBC One and Comedy Gold, was a part of my childhood. I absolutely loved watching Ronnie Barker and David Jason together in Arkwright’s shop.
Open All Hours was a sitcom set in a small Grocer’s shop. Albert Arkwright (Ronnie Barker) is the tight owner with a stammer. He is joined by his nephew Granville (David Jason), a young boy caught between his long working hours and his social life. The show follows their management of the shop and their interactions with their customers and neighbours.
Still Open All Hours, the sequel series, commissioned for six special episodes, follows Granville (still David Jason) as the owner of the shop, running it with the help of his son, Leroy (James Baxter). Granville now has the occasional stammer when referring to his uncle and has grown up to live by the standards that Arthur Arkwright himself did, this includes how little money he felt comfortable spending.
In addition, some of the neighbours and customers in the new series are the same characters played by the same actors as in the old series adding a real sense of how the community has grown with Arkwright’s shop and giving continuity between the two shows.
I love the show for its standalone qualities but I most enjoy the fact it brings that little gem from the past to those who used to love the show and to an entirely new generation. I think the show is a lovely tribute to the late Ronnie Barker who was and still is loved by many across the nation. I just think the whole concept is extremely heart-warming and I’m sure that David Jason, James Baxter and the entire cast of Still Open All Hours would make Ronnie feel very loved and very proud.
This week’s book recommendation is definitely for the Doctor Who fans because I’ve been reading Wit, Wisdom and Timey-Wimey Stuff: The Quotable Doctor Who which is a lovely book filled with quotes from across the last 50 years of the programme. Written by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright and published in 2014; this book has only recently been released following the incredible 50th Anniversary celebrations of last November.
The book is incredibly well designed, starting with the hardback cover which is just so lovely to hold and finishing with the beautiful illustrations inside.
I feel like this book is perfect for any whovian; whether they’ve only just started watching or whether they’ve only watched the revived series or whether they’ve watched all of Classic Who. I, myself, have watched all of the revived series and many serials from Classic Who but there are still loads I have yet to watch, even so, the quotes in this book are good for those who don’t recognise them, as they still provide information about the Doctor, his companions and his enemies, and for those who do recognise the quotes, it allows the reader to revisit those episodes and to reminisce which is always nice if you’re a fan of the show.
I really like the book, I like the way it’s organised, it’s illustrations and I love that it’s the type of book you can just pick up for a few seconds or if you have more time, sit and read for a while.