As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 3 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 14 May 2012

Third Series Of Episodes CommissionedBookmark and Share

Saturday, 22 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
A third series of the award-winning comedy Episodes has been commissioned by BBC Two.

The show - starring Tamsin Greig as Beverly Lincoln, Stephen Mangan as Sean Lincoln, and Matt LeBlanc as a stylised version of himself - will enter production in London and Los Angeles next year and will again be written by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik. As with the second series, it will comprise nine episodes.

In the second series we saw the aftermath of Beverly's one-night stand with Matt. Her marriage was over and Matt's friendship with Sean was beyond repair but all were forced to work together as their sitcom, Pucks, was about to premiere.

As the series progressed we were plunged deeper into the twisted world of making television and were given an insight into the hilarious and bitter-sweet portrait gallery of megalomaniac network executives, surgically-enhanced actresses, and naked stalkers. The final episode of series two saw all the skeletons come out of the closet as affairs were uncovered and true feelings revealed.
BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow said:
I'm delighted that the critically-acclaimed Episodes is returning for a third series to BBC Two. The last season ended with a thrilling finale and like the rest of the audience I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Gregor Sharp, executive editor for comedy, said:
David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik are supremely-talented comedy writers and we're thrilled they'll be bringing their amazing cast back to the BBC for another series of Episodes.
Series 2, which aired in the UK between 11th May and 6th July 2012, averaged a consolidated audience of 1.1 million (5.17 per cent share).

In January this year, LeBlanc won a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series - Comedy or Musical for the seven-part first series of Episodes, which was shown in the UK from 9th January to 20th February 2011. The programme was nominated for Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical but lost out to Modern Family.

The show, which is a Hat Trick/Crane Klarik production for the BBC and Showtime Networks, will be executive-produced by Jimmy Mulville, Crane, Klarik, and Sharp.

FILTER: - Comedy - BBC Two - Episodes

Kenny Everett Drama To Air On BBC FourBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
A drama celebrating the life and work of pioneering radio DJ, TV star, comedian, and record producer Kenny Everett is to be shown on BBC Four next month.

Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story stars Oliver Lansley as Everett and Katherine Kelly as his wife, Lee, in a production written by Tim Whitnall. It is billed as the story of Everett's against-the-odds struggle to achieve both personal and professional fulfilment, as seen through the prism of his marriage - Everett wed Lee Middleton in 1966 but by 1979 they had separated, divorcing in 1984 - and is told with the help of some of Everett's most famous comic characters, including Sid Snot, Cupid Stunt (pictured below), and Quentin Pose.

It charts how he became one of Britain's best-loved, most rebellious, and truly innovative broadcasters and comedians.

Also appearing in the 90-minute drama, which has been directed by James Strong, are Simon Callow as Dickie Attenborough, Jonathan Kerrigan as John Alkin, and James Floyd as Freddie Mercury.

Everett, who courted controversy throughout his broadcasting career, started out as a DJ for pirate station Radio London. He later moved to presenting shows on Radio Luxembourg, Radio 1, Radio 2, and Capital Radio. In 1968 and 1969, Everett produced the Christmas records made by The Beatles for members of their fan club.

His TV CV included The Kenny Everett Video Show and The Kenny Everett Video Cassette for ITV between 1978 and 1981. After a fall-out with the commercial broadcaster, though, he took The Kenny Everett Video Show to the BBC, where it ran from 1981 to 1988.

In 1984, he starred in the Hammer horror spoof Bloodbath At The House of Death, in which Don Warrington, Gareth Hunt, and Sheila Steafel also appeared.

Everett died in April 1995 aged 50.

Describing the ambition behind the BBC Four drama, associate producer Luke Franklin said:
The task of distilling the multiple, often chaotic strands of Kenny Everett's remarkable and eventful life into 90 minutes of drama felt like an ambitious one, right from the off. Luckily, the desire to see the project made generated endless enthusiasm in its key creative team – writer Tim Whitnall, and director James Strong, who was on board for much of the development process – as well as the consultants, who knew Kenny and advised on every detail of the production.

From the start of the development process, authenticity was always a central aim. It soon became clear that the script was likely to focus upon Kenny's relationship with Lee Middleton (now Lee Everett-Alkin) – to whom Kenny was married for almost a decade and a half. It was through the prism of this defining relationship that Tim Whitnall felt Kenny's story could best be told. The period of Kenny and Lee's relationship encompassed Kenny's rise to fame in the UK and his coming to terms with his sexuality – but also worked as an unconventional love story in its own right.

Together with her husband, John Alkin, Lee was the first consultant to come on board the project, to which she gave invaluable support and access to her archives – as well as notes on the accuracy of the script at each draft stage. Given the script dealt with the gradual breakdown of the marriage, as well as its many happier periods, Lee's involvement as a first-hand source was essential.

Lee met with Oliver Lansley and Katherine Kelly early in pre-production, sharing with both actors details and insights from her life with Kenny which could inform the events dealt with in the script.

Kenny's long-time manager and friend Jo Gurnett was the other major consultant on the project, advising and providing detail and perspective on the whole script, but especially on those elements which dealt with Kenny's professional life and his personal life outside of his marriage to Lee.

Barry Cryer - Kenny's colleague and co-writer on Kenny's television series for both Thames and the BBC – was also a script consultant, as was journalist David Lister, the author of Kenny's biography In The Best Possible Taste.
Richard Klein, the controller of BBC Four, said:
Kenny Everett was a genuine original: wild and unfocused maybe but also deliciously anarchic and always entertaining.

In many ways Kenny was a very modern celebrity, wearing his heart on his sleeve while coping with a complex life. Re-evaluating this talented and exuberant personality, enabling audiences to reconsider Kenny's undoubted impact and legacy, makes this a very BBC Four drama.
Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story, which has been made by Mammoth Screen for BBC Wales, will air on Wednesday 3rd October at 9pm.

FILTER: - Drama - BBC Four

Wolfblood Episodes 9 and 10 StorylinesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 20 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Synopses for episodes 9 and 10 of CBBC's 13-part fantasy action drama Wolfblood have been released by the BBC.

It's full moon again and Rhydian is due to spend a practice night in Maddy's family's den. On their way to school, Maddy and Rhydian sniff out some stolen goods, sports gear hidden in the woods, and they take a few T-shirts for themselves, Tom, and Shannon.

However, Shannon doesn't want hers as it's not ethically made, so Rhydian ends up selling it to Kara, which sparks lots of orders for the T-shirts. Maddy warns him to stop, but he feels he has to make his own way in the world.

When the police catch up with him and lock him in the cells for the night, it looks like he's going to make his transformation in the police station. Can Maddy rescue him in time?
Maddy, Rhydian, Tom, and Shannon are hanging out in the woods when Tom notices someone (or something) spying on them. Maddy and Rhydian catch the scent - the wild wolfblood is back! Later, though, they hear about a homeless woman who has been sleeping rough in the woods. Could the two be connected?

On the way home, the homeless woman - Ceri - stops Rhydian in the street and tells him she is his mother. Later, she asks him to live with her in the wild, like a true wolfblood. Deep in the woods, Ceri teaches Rhydian about living in the wild and a special skill wild wolfbloods use to connect themselves with nature, Eolas. Rhydian has never experienced anything like Eolas and spends the night in the wild with his mother. He decides to leave with her, to find out more about where he came from and who he really is.

The episodes are scheduled to air at 5.15pm on Monday 8th October and Tuesday 9th October respectively.


Red Dwarf X Pics And Another New ClipBookmark and Share

Sunday, 16 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
More promotional pictures for the forthcoming new series of Red Dwarf have been released by the official website as has another teaser clip by TV channel Dave.

The clip, called Going postal, sees Rimmer (Chris Barrie) and Lister (Craig Charles) dealing competitively with a sizeable amount of mail.

Another teaser clip will be released next weekend by Dave. The new series of Red Dwarf, comprising six episodes, begins on the digital channel on Thursday 4th October at 9pm with the episode Trojan, which journalists were given a preview of by UKTV - the network to which Dave belongs - at a programme showcase last Tuesday at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

FILTER: - Red Dwarf - Online - Comedy - Dave

Wolfblood Episodes 7 And 8 StorylinesBookmark and Share

Saturday, 15 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The plot outlines for episodes 7 and 8 of CBBC fantasy action drama Wolfblood have been released.

The episodes are due to air at 5.15pm on Monday 1st October and Tuesday 2nd October respectively.

It's the day of the dark moon, and Maddy and Rhydian have lost all of their wolfblood powers, which doesn't bode well for Shannon trying to prove that Maddy is the beast . . .

Stuck in detention, mischievous Maddy decides to have some fun and gets Rhydian to join in. While Mr Jeffries slips out they take the school trophy and hide it on the school roof, but Maddy accidentally cuts herself.

She is exhausted, her cut isn’t healing, the plaster won't stick and her parents won't let her off school! In biology they study evolution and suspicious Shannon gets the idea to analyse Maddy's blood to find out what she really is . . .
Animals have been going missing around the village and Shannon thinks that the beast is back so wants them all to go beast- hunting. Maddy isn't keen to go, wanting a wolf-free night, but when Shannon tells Maddy that her mum is sending her to a psychiatrist because of her beast fixation she finally agrees as she feels guilty.

Maddy has a cold and so Shannon gives her a herbal remedy to make her feel better, but it contains wolfsbane, which brings the wolf to the surface. Rhydian has to try to control the partially-changed, food-obsessed Maddy and Tom gets jealous, thinking he is trying to keep her separate from her friends.


Brian Blessed To Star In Wizards Vs AliensBookmark and Share

Friday, 14 September 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The actor Brian Blessed is to voice the Nekross King in the forthcoming CBBC drama Wizards Vs Aliens, it was announced today.

In the 12-episode show, the Nekross are a race of aliens who feed on magic, travelling from planet to planet draining every drop of it. On Earth, 16-year-old Tom Clarke - who seems an ordinary boy but is actually a wizard - and his friend Benny Sherwood are determined to thwart them.

The new action adventure series, created by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford, launches on the channel this autumn on a date yet to be confirmed, although a preview of the first two episodes is to be held at the BFI on 5th October.

Blessed said:
Wizards Vs Aliens is hugely exciting and has a feeling of total originality. It is full of vision and brilliance. The earthly realistic scenes are so heartfelt and moving, and they contrast vividly with the universal feel of the Nekross King and his subjects. I find the whole concept miraculous and I am thrilled to be part of such an exciting project.

Clarke is played by Scott Haran and Sherwood by Percelle Ascott. Three new promotional pictures featuring the duo were also released today by the BBC, as seen above and here:

Wizards Vs Aliens is produced by BBC Cymru Wales in association with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and was filmed at the BBC's Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff. The show is executive-produced by Davies, Bethan Jones, and Sue Nott for the BBC and Bob Higgins and Sander Schwartz for FME. The producer is Brian Minchin and the co-producer is Ford.

FILTER: - CBBC - Wizards Vs Aliens