Dirk Gently returns to televisionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
This coming Monday (4th March) sees the return of the Douglas Adams inspired private detection Dirk Gently to BBC4, in the start of a new, three-part series.

Starring Stephen Mangan as Douglas Adams’ self-styled Holistic Detective. Perennially broke and morally dubious, Dirk’s methods are based on ‘The Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things’.

Darren Boyd stars alongside as Dirk’s business partner Richard Macduff, who attempts to rein in Dirk’s more tangential decisions, keep them both out of prison and generally restore order to the chaos that Dirk creates.

Dirk Gently’s one-hour instalment in December 2010 proved hugely popular, attracting 1.1m viewers (3.9% share) on BBC Four, over three times the channel’s slot average.

Created by one of Britain’s most exciting screenwriting talents, Howard Overman (Misfits), from the books by Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently is a dramatic, witty and intelligent series with plots that delight, surprise but ultimately satisfy - and with two characters at the heart of each story that you just want to spend time with, brilliantly portrayed by Stephen Mangan and Darren Boyd.

The series also boasts a sensational cast of regulars returning from the pilot - Helen Baxendale as Macduff’s girlfriend Susan in Episode 2, Jason Watkins as Det. Insp Gilks in Eps 1 and 3 with Lisa Jackson returning as the unpaid, unloved and quite deeply disturbed receptionist Janice Pearce across the series.

The series is created and Episode 1 written by Howard Overman, Episode 2 is written by Matt Jones, Episode 3 by Jamie Mathieson. The series is directed by Tom Shankland and produced by Chris Carey with music composed by Daniel Pemberton.

The show's executive producers are Saurabh Kakkar for ITV Studios and Brian Minchin for the BBC. The series is produced by ITV Studios in Association with The Welded Tandem Picture Company for BBC Cymru Wales for BBC Four.

Stephen Mangan says: "Slipping back into Dirk's pointy shoes to renew my double act with Darren Boyd for three brand new episodes is, for me, about as good as it gets. I wish I WAS Dirk."

Howard Overman says: “It’s a real honour to back in the world of Dirk’s holistic detection methods. He’s the loosest of loose cannons and it’s always fun putting such outrageous lines in his mouth to see them so skillfully delivered by Stephen Mangan and the rest of the brilliant cast.”

The show’s producer Chris Carey says: “Dirk Gently feels like a rare and precious storytelling gift. Douglas Adam’s books are treasure troves filled with brilliant details and profound, hilarious observations that Howard and the other writers endlessly mine to lead them off into new tales for Stephen and Darren to bring memorably to life on screen.”

The following synopsis is for episode one and may contain spoilers

Episode One, Monday 4th March, 9:00-10:00pm, BBC4

In this, the first of three episodes, Douglas Adams' private detective discovers the connection between two unrelated cases: a client who believes the Pentagon are trying to kill him and another whose horoscopes appear to be coming true. When the mysteries collide, Dirk is the only man for the job.

Stephen Mangan plays Dirk, Darren Boyd plays Macduff, Jason Watkins plays DI Gilks, Lisa Jackson plays Janice, Paul Ritter plays Oliver, Cosima Shaw plays Emma, Ken Collard plays Matthew, Colin McFarlane plays Terrence and Miranda Raison plays Kate.

FILTER: - BBC - Dirk Gently

The Walking Dead: David Morrissey castBookmark and Share

Sunday, 26 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
British actor David Morrissey has been cast in the next series of The Walking Dead, due to start filming this spring in Atlanta.

Morrissey will be taking on the role of "The Governor", a character originating from the comic series who is the leader of Woodbury, a survivor settlement. The character is described as:

The following is a description of the character that can be considered a spoiler!

In the comics, he keeps a zombified girl named Penny whom he says is his daughter, and at once point removes her teeth so he can kiss her. Readers of Kirkman's "Dead" novel, "Rise of the Governor" learned that the character, who calls himself Philip Blake, is actually impersonating his ruthless dead brother.

Eventually, The Governor becomes the chief antagonist of former sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes (portrayed by Andrew Lincoln) and his group.

Morrissey is well known in the United Kingdom for his television roles, such as Thorne, State of Play (alongside John Simm), Blackpool (alongside David Tennant), and also as "The Next Doctor" in the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas Special of that name. He has also appeared in a number of films, notably the starring role in Basic Instinct 2.
(newslink: Reuters)

FILTER: - The Walking Dead

Coming soon: Tree Fu TomBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
The BBC have released details of their forthcoming children's animated series, Tree Fu Tom, which will feature the vocal talents of Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Seventh Doctor companion Sophie Aldred.

Former Doctor Who stars David Tennant and Sophie Aldred voice the lead characters Tom (Aldred) and Twigs (Tennant) in the new multi-platform fantasy action adventure series, Tree Fu Tom coming to CBeebies in March.

Aimed at four to six year olds, Tree Fu Tom is set in an enchanted world where movement creates magic. Tom appears to be a normal eight-year-old boy but putting on his magic belt and performing a special sequence of magic action-movements (known as Tree Fu) transforms him into a tiny but mighty magical super-hero.

Using a Tree Fu spell, Tom is transported into a wondrous enchanted kingdom in a tree called Treetopolis, inhabited by sprites, bugs and naughty fungi – the ‘Mushas’. Here he meets his faithful sidekick Twigs, a silly and energetic Acorn Sprite.

Tom and Twigs are inseparable as they become embroiled in amazing, action-packed adventures, which always lead to trouble, impending disaster and catastrophe. When events run beyond their control it is only with help from the audience performing Tree Fu moves, that Tom can create spectacular Big World Magic and save the day!

All of the Tree Fu magic moves that children are encouraged to copy are developed from therapeutic techniques that are used to help children with movement disorders like Dyspraxia, but are designed to assist and enhance the development of all participating children at a crucial time in their growth.

Controller of CBeebies, Kay Benbow, says: “We have a fantastic cast on this show, who work brilliantly as a team. Their rapport permeates through to the programme reflecting the characters as a group of friends working together. We are delighted to have David on board as part of the team. The physical energy in his performance works so well for animation and his sense of fun and cheeky humour will delight the older CBeebies audience.”

Sally Payne from the Dyspraxia Foundation adds: “The Dyspraxia Foundation is delighted to have been involved in Tree Fu Tom since the early days of its development and believe that all children, not just those with dyspraxia, will both enjoy and benefit from making Big World Magic come to life!”

Tree Fu Tom is a co-production between CBeebies In-House Production and FremantleMedia Enterprises. Jackie Edwards and Alison Stewart are the executive producers for the BBC, and Sander Schwartz and Bob Higgins for FME.

The animation will be done by the BAFTA Award winning Blue Zoo Animation. Tree Fu Tom was created and is being produced by Daniel Bays. FME will distribute Tree Fu Tom outside of the UK and manage all other ancillary rights globally.

Meet the Cast:

Meet the Characters:

You can read more about Tree Fu Tom from the CBeebies website.

FILTER: - BBC - Animation - CBeebies

Coming soon: Twisted ShowcaseBookmark and Share

Thursday, 23 February 2012 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Twisted Showcase have released details on their new web-based anthology series:

A new eerie anthology web series, Twisted Showcase, is heading your way. Twisted Showcase is a mixture of self-contained horror, drama, psychological thriller and comedy; much like a modern day Twilight Zone, but delivered in 5 short film installments for the web at www.twistedshowcase.com

Episode 1, titled Peter & Paul launches the series on Thursday March 1st and stars Gareth David Lloyd (Torchwood) in the lead role of Paul, a man plagued by a voice on the other end of a phone which also happens to be his hand.

Stay tuned every Thursday after that for more Twisted Showcase episodes which include insanity, fear, the devil, vampires, possession and hoovering.

Twisted Showcase was conceived and produced by Rhys Jones, Robin Bell and Leigh Jones who all wanted to create something new for the web in tone and style, utilising the anthology approach which means that each week will have a completely new plot, new characters; all around something completely different. It’s a showcase for new ideas and a celebration of the weird, with unlimited imagination and scope, not limited by settings, character or even genre. Twisted Showcase aims to entertain with straight up scares as well as cerebral psychological horror that will hopefully deliver something that will stay with viewers for a long time afterwards.

Twisted Playhouse Trailer, via YouTube
(with thanks to Robin Bell)

FILTER: - Twisted Playhouse - Web