Lights Out

Photo: Courtesy of The Royal British Legion

Photo: Courtesy of The Royal British Legion

“The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime” — Sir Edward Grey, British Foreign Secretary, August 1914

Today, 4 August 2o14, is the 100th anniversary of the UK entering World War I, the so-called War to End All Wars.

Can it really be 100 years since the start of World War I? For my generation, whose parents were born in the 20 years between the twin cataclysms of World Wars I and II, the Great War has always been a looming presence. It’s always been part of our shared experience. However, for our children it is ancient history. It’s no closer to them than the Boer War was to us.

It’s hard for people my age to grasp that our children have no idea what we’re talking about when we joke, “I fought in two world wars for you!” at the bus stop.

The World War I veterans are all dead now. The grand old woman who skittered along the local shopping parade in her bath chair — an ancient relic of a vanished world even then — and the scarred old man with the metal plate in his head who used to shout at us for no reason, they’re both long gone.

Tonight, as a mark of respect and reflection everyone in the UK is invited to join in with LIGHTS OUT from 10pm to 11pm. Turn off all your lights except one. Light a solitary candle in your window, whether it be a wax candle, a torch or the light from your phone.

Bring World War I alive with modern technology: download the fantastic, free LIGHTS OUT app from Turner Prize-winning conceptual artist Jeremy Deller and watch his four short films. The culmination of the work happens at 10pm tonight when the final LIGHTS OUT film will be available for just one hour.

Search the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database by street name and postcode and see how your street was affected by the war. Did the women living in your house or the house next door receive one of the dreaded telegrams announcing that a cherished husband, father or son had been killed in action?

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Doctor Who 8: The Cybermen Are Back!

Peter Capaldi takes on the Cybermen in Doctor Who Series/Season 8

BBC Pictures

BBC Pictures

Panic not, shoppers of Cardiff: you’re not being invaded by cyborgs from another planet. Just a lot of Scots people and a camera crew. As this excellent photo gallery from Wales Online shows, Series/Season 8 of Doctor Who will see the new Doctor  surrounded by his ancient foes, the Cybermen.

Although the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) is reportedly absent, the Doctor does have the assistance of plucky U.N.I.T. boffin Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere (Green Wing and Bad Education star Michelle Gomez, pictured).

The Cybermen first had children leaping behind the sofa in 1966 and have been through several changes of image and voice since then. Modern Cybermen are considerably bigger, buffer and more intimidating than their somewhat squishy progenitors. Sadly, due to the untimely demise of Head Cyborg Roger Lloyd-Pack these Cybermen will doubtless be in search of a new voice, but there’s been no word yet on who will provide it.

Check out the BBC’s new oh-so-short teaser trailer for Doctor Who Series/Season 8 below. Excited much?




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William Shatner, Karl Urban, Bruce Greenwood To Headline Destination Star Trek 3 In London

Star Trek fans! It’s time to fluff up the Tribble and dig out the party pants.

It’s been announced that huge names from all the Star Trek franchises will be heading to London in October for Destination Star Trek 3. William Shatner, Karl Urban and Bruce Greenwood will be headlining the three-day Trek fest and a host of other stars will also be appearing.

But that’s not all. In news to melt your plastic pointy ears, Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy will be beaming down to chat to fans via a live video link.

Shatner, Urban and Greenwood will be appearing on stage and will be available for photograph and autograph opportunities throughout the weekend with fans.

The event will also host a special Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion moderated by William Shatner. Fans will get the chance to be photographed on the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D bridge with stars including Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, LeVar Burton, Marina Sirtis and Gates McFadden.

But that’s still not all. Sirtis and McFadden will be joined by some of the other leading women of Star Trek including Nichelle Nichols, Denise Crosby, Alice Krige and Jeri Ryan (form an orderly queue lycra fans).

And, if you’ve ever wanted to dance in the holodeck to the smooth sounds of Vegas crooner Vic Fontaine, you’re in luck. Sci fi god James Time Tunnel Darren will be performing in character at one of the after-parties.

Excited much? Stay tuned for updates. Click here to get the full line-up and book tickets.

My Day With the Trekkies: Destination Star Trek 1



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BAFTAS 2014: Who Won What?

Wikipedia/Niels Noordhoek

Wikipedia/Niels Noordhoek

Now the 2014 BAFTAS are done and dusted it’s time to see who won what.

As expected, Broadchurch, The IT Crowd and Ant & Dec were big winners, and Julie Walters received this year’s BAFTA Fellowship.

Those Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2014 winners in full:

Leading actor
Sean Harris – Southcliffe (Channel 4)

Jamie Dornan – The Fall (BBC Two)

Luke Newberry – In The Flesh (BBC Three)

Dominic West – Burton and Taylor (BBC Four)

Leading actress
Olivia Colman – Broadchurch (ITV)

Helena Bonham Carter – Burton and Taylor (BBC Four)

Kerrie Hayes – The Mill (Channel 4)

Maxine Peake – The Village (BBC One)

Supporting actor
David Bradley – Broadchurch (ITV)

Jerome Flynn – Ripper Street (BBC One)

Nico Mirallegro – The Village (BBC One)

Rory Kinnear – Southcliffe (Channel 4)

Supporting actress
Sarah Lancashire – Last Tango in Halifax (BBC One)

Shirley Henderson – Southcliffe (Channel 4)

Claire Rushbrook – My Mad Fat Diary (E4)

Nicola Walker – Last Tango in Halifax (BBC One)

Entertainment performance
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV)

Charlie Brooker – 10 O’Clock Live (Channel 4)

Sarah Millican – The Sarah Millican Television Programme (BBC Two)

Graham Norton – The Graham Norton Show (BBC One)

Female performance in a comedy programme
Katherine Parkinson- The IT Crowd (Channel 4)

Frances de la Tour – Vicious (ITV)

Kerry Howard – Him & Her: The Wedding (BBC Three)

Doon Mackichan – Plebs (ITV2)

Male performance in a comedy programme
Richard Ayoade – The IT Crowd (Channel 4)

Matthew Baynton – The Wrong Mans (BBC Two)

James Corden – The Wrong Mans (BBC Two)

Chris O’Dowd – The IT Crowd (Channel 4)

Single drama
Complicit (Channel 4)

An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC Wales/BBC America/BBC Two)

Black Mirror: Be Right Back (Zeppotron/Channel 4)

The Wipers Times (Trademark Films/BBC Two)

In the Flesh (BBC Drama Production Salford/BBC America/BBC Three)

The Fall (Fables Lts/Artists Studio/BBC Two)

The Great Train Robbery (World Productions/BBC One)

Southcliffe (Warp Films/ Channel 4)

Drama series
Broadchurch (Kudos and Imaginary Friends [a co-production]/ITV)

My Mad Fat Diary (Tiger Aspect Productions/E4)

Top of the Lake (See-Saw Films/BBC Two)

The Village (Company Pictures/BBC One)

Soap and continuing drama
Coronation Street – Production Team (ITV Studios/ITV)

Casualty (BBC Drama Productions/BBC One)

EastEnders (BBC Productions/BBC One)

Holby City (BBC Drama Productions/BBC One)

Breaking Bad (High Bridge Productions, Inc and Gran Via Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television/Netflix)

Borgen (DR/BBC Four)

House of Cards (Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in association with Media Rights Capital for Netflix/Netflix)

The Returned (Haut et Court/Channel 4)

Factual series
Bedlam (The Garden Productions/Channel 4)

Educating Yorkshire (TwoFour Productions/Channel 4)

Keeping Britain Alive: The NHS in a Day (The Garden Productions/BBC Two)

The Route Masters: Running London’s Roads (Blast! Films/BBC Two)

Specialist factual
David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive (Collossus Productions/Sky 3D)

Martin Luther King and the March on Washington (Smoking Dogs Films/BBC Two)

Richard III: The King in the Car Park (Darlow Smithson/Channel 4)

Story of the Jews (Oxford Film and Television/BBC Two)

Single documentary
The Murder Trial (Windfall Films/Channel 4)

28 Up South Africa (Shiver/Aljazeera English/ITV)

The Day Kennedy Died (Finestripe Productions/ITV)

The Unspeakable Crime: Rape (Goldstar Productions/BBC One)

Long Lost Family (Wall To Wall Productions/ITV)

The Choir: Sing While You Work (Twenty Twenty Television/BBC Two)

Grand Designs (Boundless [part of FremantleMedia UK]/Channel 4)

The Great British Bake Off  (Love Productions/BBC Two)

Reality and constructed factual
Gogglebox (Studio Lambert/Channel 4)

The Big Reunion (Potato for ITV Studios/ITV2)

Dragons’ Den (BBC Entertainment Production Salford/BBC Two)

The Undateables (Betty TV/Channel 4)

Current affairs
Syria: Across the Lines (Dispatches) (True Vision/Channel 4)

The Cruel Cut (Love Productions/Channel 4)

The Hunt for Britain’s Sex Gangs (Dispatches) (Hardcash Productions/Channel 4)

North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State (Dispatches) (Quicksilver Productions/Channel 4)

News coverage
ITV News at Ten: Woolwich attacks (ITN for ITV News/ITV)

Channel 4 News (ITN/Channel 4)

The Dale Cregan Verdict: North West Tonight Special (BBC News/Northwest Tonight Special/BBC One)

The Lee Rigby Trial: ITV Granada Reports (ITV Granada/ITV)

Sport and live event
The Ashes 2013 – First test, Day five (BSKYB, Sky Sports/Sky Sports 2)

Bollywood Carmen Live (BBC Sports/BBC Three)

Glastonbury 2013  (BBC Music Productions/BBC Two)

Wimbledon Men’s Final (BBC Sports/BBC One)

Entertainment programme
Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV Studios/Mitre TV Ltd/ITV)

Derren Brown: The Great Art Robbery (Objective Productions/Channel 4)

Dynamo: Magician Impossible (Phil McIntyre Television/Inner Circle Films/Red Rocket/Watch)

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC Entertainment/BBC One)

Comedy and comedy entertainment programme
A League of Their Own (CPL Productions/Sky One)

The Graham Norton Show (So Television/BBC One)

The Revolution Will be Televised (Hat Trick Productions/BBC Three)

Would I Lie to You? (Zeppotron/BBC One)

Situation comedy
Him & Her: The Wedding (Big Talk Productions/BBC Three)

Count Arthur Strong (Retort/Komedia/Delightful Industries co-production/BBC Two)

The IT Crowd (Retort [part of FremantleMedia UK]/Channel 4)

Toast of London (Objective Productions/Channel 4)

Radio Times Audience Award (voted for by members of the public)
Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

Breaking Bad


Educating Yorkshire


The Great British Bake Off


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Goodbye Supernatural, Hello Farscape?

The Jim Henson Company

The Jim Henson Company

Sky Living’s decision to drop Supernatural has been causing a fair amount of teeth-gnashing over at TVClaw Towers. (We don’t watch Cougar Town anymore so meh to that.)

However, Winchester fans, fret ye not: The CW is searching even now for an alternative UK home for the show. Stay tuned for updates.

Perhaps the Sam ‘n Dean-sized hole can be filled by some John Crichton action? The frelling awesome Farscape will soon be back on screens. Pick TV is airing the ground-breaking sci fi series from the beginning, starting 21 April at 7pm.

How do we know this? It is courtesy of the bods over at GeekTown who maintain a list of UK air dates for US and UK shows.

If you’ve never seen Farscape before, give it a go. The stylish precursor to Ronald D. Moore’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica, Farscape has it all: comedy, drama, action, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. And a lot of shiny black leather. Like, a lot.




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DWTS: Lando Calrissian Does The Cha Cha Cha With Princess Leia And Some Stormtroopers

“I had no choice. They arrived right before you did. I’m sorry.”

This deal is getting worse all the time  (Photo: ABC)

This deal is getting worse all the time (Photo: ABC)

Dancing With the StarWars kicked off Season 18 in spectacular fashion on St Patrick’s Day.

Billy Dee Williams vamped it up Cloud City style as he did the Cha Cha Cha with Princess Leia (Slave version, natch), R2D2 and some Stormtroopers.

Time to revive the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special?



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Game Of Thrones 4: The ‘Secrets’ Trailer Is Amazeballs



It’s only a matter of days until Game of Thrones Series/Season 4 hits our screens and to whet fans’ appetites HBO has been releasing a steady stream of trailers.

This latest, third, trailer focuses on the women: Sansa hell-bent on revenge for the slaughter of her family; Cersei still seeking to make her loved ones safe (at the expense of making lots of other people considerably less safe); Daenerys continuing to dish out justice The Targaryen Way.

Oh, and there’s also Jon Snow. And Samwell Tarly. And Giantsbane. And dragons. Big dragons. My, haven’t they grown? Enjoy!

Game of Thrones 4 premieres in the US on HBO, Sunday 6 April at 9pm ET

Game of Thrones 4 premieres in the UK on Sky Atlantic, Monday 7 April at 9pm

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