Doctor Who Dark Water

Movies come and go from Netflix Watch Instantly every month, and we’re normally fine with the idea. It’s not that different from the decades-long tradition of movies coming and going from premium cable rotation. If anything, it gives us meaning in our lives to have expiration dates to plan our lives around. That last weekend of any month is an occasion for marathoning those titles about to leave our queues (yes, I still call them that). But there’s a difference between movies being purged from the service and TV shows getting the boot. Netflix subscribers go ballistic when whole series expire, and it might as well be the end of the world if multiple series from one network are headed out the door. I’ve seen people get upset in the past over Discovery, Learning Channel and ESPN 30 for 30 programming going bye-bye. It’s nothing like what I’m seeing over the current expiration notices for all of BBC’s shows, which will apparently no longer be available after January 31st. So long, Doctor Who (the classics and the new run), Torchwood, Red Dwarf, Little Britain, Luther, the original House of Cards and old favorites like Fawlty Towers and Black Adder, plus 14 other titles. Unless, that is, the arrangement between Netflix and BBC is renewed. This is actually quite normal practice for the service and its content. A lot of deals are revisited at the end of their contracted period, and many aren’t settled until the last minute. Movies, too, as was seen last […]



There has been a lot of speculation as to what director David Yates would work on now that he’s done capping off the Harry Potter franchise with four hugely successful films. He’s got a lot of offers on the table, a lot of irons in the fire, and up until this point it has mostly seemed like he would be able to choose whatever he wants to do. But that may no longer be the case. News coming out of Variety suggests that Yates isn’t going to be able to do whatever he wants to do…but whenever he wants to do. That’s right, Yates is teaming up with the BBC to create a big budget, big screen, Big McLarge Huge version of everyone’s favorite Time Lord, Doctor Who. If you don’t know what Doctor Who is, then man you must really hate things that are British. When you talk about long-running TV shows, you’re talking about Doctor Who. Running all the way from 1963-1989 and then spawning a revival in 2005, Doctor Who is a science fiction show that concerns itself largely with rubber aliens, time-traveling police boxes, scarves, and David Tennant’s floppy hair. So far 11 different men have portrayed the Sonic Screwdriver wielding Doctor, and if Yates gets his way, this new film will introduce a 12th.


Iran jails filmmakers

Continuing a noted dislike for creative types, Iran has arrested six filmmakers who they claim are creating negative news stories about the country while in the employment of the BBC Persian Service. Today, the BBC released a statement affirming that the news service had purchased the rights to the filmmakers’ films, but disavowing that they were direct employees. According to Fox News, the filmmakers were not identified by name. This move comes amidst the claims by the Iranian government that the BBC is responsible for encouraging and creating dissent amongst its citizens which led directly to the large-scale protest of the 2009 presidential election wherein incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedineejad beat reformist challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi. It also comes after the Iranian government effectively ended the career of internationally known director Jafar Panahi in December of last year. Is the BBC setting the record straight, or is it redefining employee status in order to help them get out of detainment? Without more information, it’s unclear what exactly is going on here, but it’s still safe to say that Iran is not a big fan of free speech.



I’ve never been one for the Doctor Who mythos. I’ve tried a few times to get into it, but the audience it targets is simply to niche for my tastes. Within that mythos also exists the show’s spin-off, Torchwood. And the same problem applies to that series. Its target audience is simply too niche for me. But then I saw Torchwood: Miracle Day and that all changed. When I first heard of the latest series in the program, I was as interested as I’ve always been about Doctor Who related media… ie not at all. Then I started seeing the trailers play in front of all the summer blockbusters in my local theater and thought about what that was implying. It was implying that Starz, the new co-production company, thought they had a program that could expand beyond the standard Who crowd. But still, I wasn’t all that interested. But I figured “what the hell, I’ll give it a shot.” So the Monday following the premiere, I flipped it on, and here’s where things get interesting.



The Trip was a Michael Winterbottom-directed independent comedy that recently opened in the US to pretty decent critical buzz. It featured comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as less than happy bedfellows traveling the countryside of northern England and eating at fancy restaurants. The story was that they were writing reviews for a magazine, but really the plot was just an excuse to get Coogan and Brydon together to riff on comedy bits, duel with Michael Caine impressions, and get on each other’s nerves. The results were rather humorous, and it’s looking like there is going to be a sequel. Or, at least, there will be a sequel to the BBC series. You see, The Trip actually started as a six part series on BBC2. In a kind of strange move, the six episodes were edited down to one feature length release for US theaters. In a Q&A at this week’s Latitude Festival, producer Andrew Eaton revealed that Winterbottom was going to send Coogan and Brydon on another trip, this time to Italy. This guarantees that the original fans of the series in the UK will be getting more odd couple action from the duo, and points to the fact that we might be getting another movie here in the US as well. If the content is there, and all you have to do is pay someone to make an alternate edit, why not give it another go in the US? Or maybe they’ll strike a deal to get the […]



In the Bizarro-world version of Ghostbusters, where you call on ghosts instead of calling to exterminate them, Russell Brand has taken up shop as the ghostly ring leader. He’ll play Fred Mumford, a loser who happens to have lost his life, that decides to band together other dead losers to help the living. Rentaghost will be Warners’ film adaptation of the BBC Television show from the 1970s. The words “BBC” and “1970s” should clue you in that the show is campy and over the top, which just might be perfect for Brand, although the studio is likening the film to Beetlejuice. Having never seen the show, it’s difficult to speculate, but it does seem clear that there will be a lot of opportunities for other comedic actors to play eccentric characters (like an 18th century man afraid of technology). Plus, this seems like a much better option than seeing Brand remake Drop Dead Fred. Thankfully, Warners decided not to make DeLaRentaGhost, the film about a ghost who isn’t dead that will come design clothes for you, or Rent-a-Ghost, the film about a group of New York City bohemians who die of AIDS and come back to help their friends live in huge lofts without paying rent. [Cinema Blend]



Doctor Who star David Tennant takes time away from his rounds at the TCA’s to tell our own Kevin Kelly all about his childhood dream of wearing that scarf.



Primeval is a fantastic British TV series filled with all manner of time-traveling creatures from the past and future as well as one extremely cute chick who loves snakes… Season three begins on BBC America this weekend!



Foreign Objects travels the world of international cinema each week to look for films worth visiting. So renew your passport, get your shots, and brush up on the local age of legal consent, this week we’re heading to… the UK!



The Fall 2008 television season is almost upon us, but in all the coverage you’ll be seeing here at FSR and elsewhere one show is conspicuously (and criminally) absent.


The bigwigs over at the BBC should be pleased to hear that Natalie Portman, the latest big screen Anne Boleyn, has reportedly pulled out of the upcoming adaptation of Emily Bronte’s classic period novel, Wuthering Heights.

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published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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