Westworld TV series to debut in October

On the day HBO confirmed the end of Game of Thrones, it threw us a bone by announcing the premiere date of new scifi series Westworld.

The one-hour drama kicks off a ten-episode season in the US on Sunday 2 October at 9pm (ET/PT).

Westworld is based on the iconic ’70s film starring Yul Brynner (watch both trailers below), which in turn was based on the Michael “Jurassic Park” Crichton novel.

The basic plot is the worst day ever for Alton Towers’ PR office after Worf forgets to turn the safety protocols back on after a particularly challenging holodeck workout with Lore and the Final Five pre-switch-on.

It was created for television by Jonathan Nolan (“Interstellar,” “The Dark Knight,” “Person of Interest”) and Lisa Joy (“Pushing Daisies,” “Burn Notice”), both of whom are executive producing and writing, with Nolan also directing.

In true HBO fashion Westworld boasts a knockout cast: Ed Harris as the evil Man in Black, plus Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Simon Quarterman, Angela Sarafyan, Luke Hemsworth and Clifton Collins, Jr.

Excited much?

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Star Trek Beyond: Trailer Released

Is this the day J.J. Abrams became the sci fi movies supreme being?

Today all we’re really thinking about is Star Wars, right? (Major shout out to Friend of TVClaw and Star Wars Superfan, Dave McKew for nabbing a ticket to the world premiere in Hollywood today!)

Not to be left out, Paramount have just gone and released a trailer for the J.J. Abrams-produced Star Trek Beyond. Directed by Justin “Fast and Furious” Lin it’s going boldly into new territory. What do you think?

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What Have I Enjoyed Watching in 2015?

This year has been a really busy one — hence the paucity of posts from TVClaw Towers. Apologies to anyone who’s missed me.

last kingdom

The Last Kingdom | Episode Two © Carnival Film & Television Ltd Photographer: Joss Barratt Alexander Dreymon (as Uhtred)

What have I enjoyed watching in the rare moments when I haven’t been working? Here’s what. And if you haven’t seen the good stuff yet, then pull up a comfy chair and get ready to watch some really, really excellent TV shows.

In no particular order, here’s what’s grabbed my attention in 2015:

Ripper Street: the perfect ending to the whole H Division saga. The very end even had a cheery little nod to Spooks. *Sob*

Game of Thrones: gory, sad, frightening. Utterly compelling.

Fortitude: clever plot twists and a knock-out cast. Some completely bonkers moments. Can’t wait for Season 2.

Penny Dreadful: utterly bananas, but Timothy Dalton + stunning production design = a must-watch in the first half of the year.

No Offence: Joanna Scanlon is terrific as potty-mouthed DI Vivienne Deering. Rocking the heels-and-leather combo she turned in one of the most memorable performances of the year. Brilliant scripts from the “Shameless” team.

Pointless: best host banter. Ever.

The Last Kingdom:  in the mood for some Anglo-Saxon Chronicles action but fed up with Vikings‘ insanely violent torture porn? Watch this instead. Clever and well-written, with a winning lead in Alexander Dreymon. A breakout role for superb Ripper Street alum David Dawson.

Man Down: still funny, but I found myself pining for Rik throughout.

Les Revenants: t’inquiete pas — it’s still brilliant.

Yonderland: talc my downstairs! The hilarious Season 2 paid homage to Star Wars and Sherlock among other things and was chock full o’ family-friendly nudges, winks and smutty asides.

30 Degrees in January: have to admit, I loved the first half but found the second half heavy-going. Too many annoying, poor decisions.

University Challenge: obviously I have no idea what Paxo’s asking most of the time, but it’s an oldie that remains a goodie. (Cough, looking at you Doctor Who, cough…)

Last Man on Earth: if I was the last man on earth I would so steal all the great art from every museum and poo in the neighbour’s pool. This makes me laugh out loud every episode. Boris Kodjoe steals every scene he’s in.

River: unbeatable combo of Nicola Walker and Stellan Skarsgard aided and abetted by most of the ex-cast from last season’s Game of Thrones and a Sixth Sense-y vibe. Is River totally batshit crazy, or is he the ghost whisperer?

Great British Bake Off: ’nuff said.


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Jenna Coleman is Leaving Doctor Who

claraIt’s official — Clara Oswald has left the building

The BBC has confirmed that Jenna Coleman is leaving Doctor Who during Series 9, which kicks off tomorrow, Saturday 19 September. And Jenna told Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw, “I’ve filmed my last scene.”

Her exit details haven’t officially been released so the rumour mill’s gone into overdrive. The Mirror reports that Jenna will be gone before the Christmas Special.

ITV has confirmed that Jenna has jumped ship to play the Queen Vic in their major new drama series, Victoria. The ambitious eight-parter comes from the production team behind Poldark and Endeavour, and it marks novelist Daisy Goodwin’s screenwriting debut.

Jenna Coleman made her Doctor Who debut back in 2012 as Oswin “Eggs, Stir” Oswald in Asylum of the Daleks. She’s since been in all of Peter Capaldi’s episodes to date and after filming for the last series finished he said, “Jenna has been absolutely brilliant. I think she’s wonderful in the show, and she’s my favourite companion.”

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The Returned: Series 2 Trailers

“T’inquiète pas…” the Lake Pub will soon be open again for business — Les Revenants are back!

Channel 4 has confirmed that The Returned Series 2 will be back on UK screens this autumn. (Feels like a long time since we last watched it, non?)

Set six months after the craptastic Series 1 cliffhanger, the local gendarmes are missing, Adele is heavily pregnant with Simon’s hellspawn, and Léna and Jérôme are searching for Claire and Camille.

Victor is menacing. There’s a stag. And now there are people with dogs coming.

Can’t wait? Then pull up a chair, put on your old Mogwai t-shirt and watch the trailers with the volume turned all the way up to 11.

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Blue Man Group Does Game of Thrones

Hodor? Hodor!

Hodor’s Horde has been fretting since it was announced that Hodor and Bran would not be appearing in Game of Thrones Season 5.

Now the Hodorites have gained some unlikely allies in the shape of Blue Man Group. Unveiling their cover version of the Game of Thrones theme music, the group announced (in writing, natch) that: “Blue Man Group’s vow of silence to remain in place until Hodor’s status in season 5 is confirmed.”

If you’re missing Hodor already, here are the greatest moments of “‘Hodor,’ said Hodor”:

Game of Thrones 5 premieres in the US on April 12 at 9PM ET on HBO

Game of Thrones 5 premieres in the UK on April 13 at 9PM  on Sky Atlantic

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Rivers of London – A Hidden Chapter

Fans of writer Ben Aaronovitch who have been pacing the floor anxiously awaiting a Rivers of London TV series, can take the edge off by joining the London Met’s Department of Economic and Specialist Crime, Supernatural Sciences branch, a.k.a. The Folly.

Peter Grant is on a recruitment drive!


Come to the official training centre for new recruits to see if you have what it takes.

Hidden in the depths of Westminster Reference Library lies a secret training centre for the Metropolitan Police where new recruits are taught the necessary skills to work for the supernatural sciences branch. Learn how to tackle vampires, try your hand at magic and avoid temptation from the river spirits.

The product of a collaboration between Aaronovitch, CityRead London and experimental theatre troupe Look Left Look Right, A Hidden Chapter is a live, interactive performance at Westminster Reference Library.

Audiences are invited to try their hand at detective work, magic and fending off supernatural spirits.

It’s one of a series of events in April celebrating Rivers of London and CityRead London, a fantastic scheme that promotes reading across the capital by focussing for a month on just one book featuring London. Previous years’ books have been: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks and My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young.

A Hidden Chapter is running on weekends in April. Tickets cost £10 and include a special copy of Rivers of London. Click here to book tickets and find out more.

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