Tag Archives: BBC

Doctor Who Season 4

2 Apr

This is it! The wait is over!

The TARDIS will finally land and out comes the Doctor with a new companion, Donna Noble, played this time around by Catherine Tate.

3 DVD Boxsets later and come Saturday will be the start of the Doctor Who Season 4 on BBC One. It’s the first time I will be following the season and it’s really quite exciting. I still don’t own a telly mind, but bless the BBC for coming up with the iPlayer so I can still watch it albeit an hour after the telecast. So if you know my number don’t bother calling for I won’t answer, if you think you can do telepathy, believe me it ain’t gonna work.

Welcome back Doctor!

For more Doctor Who Season 4 updates please follow this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho

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Watch This Spacey!

31 Mar

Kevin Spacey.

Hollywood A-list actor and now stage impresario of The Old Vic.

I have admired the man since I first saw him in 1995’s The Usual Suspects. Not convinced? Righto, check him out again in Se7en, that might change your mind. No? Not doing anything for you? What about L.A. Confidential? Nothing still? Did you at least like his portrayal of Lex Luthor in the last Superman film? If that doesn’t do anything for you still, then perhaps you need to head off my neck of the woods, try and finagle seats for a revival of David Mamet’s Speed the Plow and then maybe that will change your mind.

Now, why am I on about Spacey at the moment? Sure he’s got a new film coming out this week but since I have momentarily stayed away from the cinema in favour of the theatre in the last couple of months, this rant really has more to do with the fact that he has raised the alarm bells quite loud this week after criticizing the BBC’s unfair promotion by way of talent shows of West End musicals at the expense of other productions, and you know what, I think he is ABSOLUTELY right.

I don’t own a telly so I may not be as livid as some of you who (if you live in the UK) has to pay a license fee and be subjected to the kind of programming we are getting from the BBC. “The BBC is not a commercial operation and I thought it was crossing the line unfairly.” Spacey said of the shows: “I felt that was essentially a 13-week promotion for a musical … where’s our 13-week programme? When are they going to do one about a play?”

The talent search show in question is I’d Do Anything which is a search for the actress who will play Nancy in the revival of the musical Oliver! which followed on from Any Dream Will Do, which was a search for the lead in the new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? in which contestants vied to star as Maria in The Sound of Music. Both musicals are produced by the Really Useful Group, owned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who has been a judge on all three series. Oliver! is a Cameron Mackintosh production, but is due to be staged at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, owned by the Really Useful Group.

I have already expressed my own thoughts of this in one of my discussion groups in Facebook and it may not be the same as what Spacey here has pointed out, but apart from this idea of bringing in a new audience to the theatre by way of talent shows, or casting possible recruits in some soap opera first (e.g., Sound of Music’s Summer Strallen who was previously in Hollyoaks) to get a fanbase, although clever is really more about cheap gimmickry. I am cringing just watching the Oliver! auditions to cast the Nancy character.

Theatre critics and fans seem to unanimously agree on Spacey’s comments as you can find here:

Michael Billington (Guardian Unlimited)
http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/theatre/2008/03/the_bbcs_attitude_to_theatre_i.html

Benedict Nightingale (Times Online)
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/theatre/article3652462.ece

The hoot team of West End Whingers
http://westendwhingers.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/nancy-notes/

Evening Standard
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/theatre/article-23469229-details/Spacey+attacks+BBC+over+Lloyd+Webber+shows/article.do

What about you?

Should I Get A Telly?

24 Dec

 

I have a confession to make. I have never owned or bought a telly.

There, it’s now out in the open. Well, what kind of confession were you expecting? I know my confession is not really going to make BBC or CNN headline, but in my own little world, it’s one of the things I can say I am proud of, that is, not having my own tv. I like the reaction it gets from friends especially when they start talking about some show they have seen, and I’d say, I wouldnt know any of that because I don’t have tv. The conversation then segues to why I don’t own one. I already got them distracted, clever huh?

Back home where there’s a telly in every room of the house, and we had cable, watching television (save for Seinfeld, X-Files & PBA/NBA) has never really been one of my favorite things to do if I want to relax. I would much prefer to curl up reading an engaging book, or play my fave music whilst I am puttering online, or if I am not watching DVD’s on my home PC.

Recently though, having spent a lot of sleepovers with friends, I find it rather exciting to play with the remote control and just surf through the channels especially if they have Freeview. I even got to enjoy looking over TV guides to see what’s on telly that particular weekend. I was able to see portions of Strictly Come Dancing (congrats Alesha!), I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! (Biggins won! Yey!), and BBC’s adaptation of E. Gaskell’s Cranford among others. I have also been quite taken by the now defunct The Vicar of Dibley and can not believe I had missed very good tv, thank God for DVD’s, I can still catch the whole series!

It’s also not helping that Filmstalker, for over a year now has been featuring the weekly Weekend Films to Stalk, (click this link for this week’s list: http://www.filmstalker.co.uk/archives/2007/12/weeks_films_to_stalk_21st_to_2.html) where what’s on tv for the coming weekend in the UK is recommended and given a comprehensive review. And although it encourages discussion on films already seen which is the only way I can participate, I have found that there are definitely still a LOT of films being shown on telly that I would love to see, which can save me from adding them to my LoveFilm/Amazon rental queue.

So why, you might ask, with all the seemingly good reasons I just gave you now that should behoove me to run to my nearest Dixon’s or Curry’s, why then, have I still not purchased a telly? For one thing, paying the TV license is very off-putting. If you live in the UK, you need to pay a tv license fee that will cost £135.50 per year, this is mainly to defray costs of running the BBC. To learn more about TV Licensing you can go here: http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/index.jsp

Another reason is, I don’t seem to have enough time. I work fulltime and don’t usually get home until after 6 pm, and that’s not almost always mind you. I am also in the middle of finishing my degree which will require a lot of study and research. I spend 2 evenings to attend to spiritual activities during the week, and make it a point to go to the cinema one evening a week. I have the weekends free but it’s mostly spent on more spiritual commitments and having the occasional lie-in every now and then. Then there’s a lot of secular reading that needs to be done, and household chores to catch up on. Telly watching just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere.

I can ramble on and on but now I would really like to hear more from you my readers, with all the pros and cons I have just mentioned, do you think I should get telly? Is it worth it with all the other distractions life has thrown into our already busy lives? Discuss.

(Above photo courtesy of http://www.plasmawarehouseuk.com)