Look Who’s Back! Well, nearly…

Tonight on BBC One the promotional work for the brand new series of Doctor Who began in earnest, with a trailer featuring the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) exploding onto our screens.

With the recent announcement that the Beeb are 3Difying it for showing in cinemas, the in-yer-face look of it is no surprise, and there’s a real energy here that will hopefully be carried over into the full season come Easter 2010.

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TV Preview: Being Human, Series Two, Episode Five

Please note that this preview doesn’t include spoilers, but if you’d rather know nothing about the episode then come back after you’ve watched it.

“It’s the library books isn’t it?”

Another week, another flashback and another shock ending which threatens to send Being Human off in another direction from the one we were expecting 55 minutes previously. Can this series lay claim to being the most surprising on British television today? Almost certainly.

It’s London, 1969, and we’re first introduced to…ah, but that would be telling. Typical of Being Human, there’s nothing typical about its opening salvo, a pre-credits sequence which is both shocking and hilarious, as is the programme’s wont.

The past is tied indelibly to the present in Being Human, this episode entwining the two as Mitchell recalls events from one night in the Sixties.

Back in 2010, Ian Puleston-Davies’ turn as Herrick-lite, Wilson, continues to impress, though the absence of Jason Watkins is still felt even with the new band of adversaries faced by Mitchell, Annie and George.

This week Wilson wants to recruit Mitchell to carry out a little job for him, one which goes against the new vampire code that demands that no blood is shed on his watch. This may seem a ludicrous turn of events but it’s given enough conviction from Aidan Turner that there seems nothing unusual with the idea.

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DVD Review: How Not to Live Your Life

How Not to Live Your Life

*****

Back for a second series of embarrassment and strange situations, Dan Clark’s How Not to Live Your Life continues to be one of the more unique comedies on British TV while still hidden away on BBC3.

Heartbroken after the departure of his housemate and not-so-secret crush, Abby, Don Danbury (Clark) still shares his home with friend and (almost) carer Eddie (David Armand) while trying to navigate the pitfalls of modern life.

When a beautiful new lodger arrives in the shape of student Sam (Laura Haddock), Don starts to realise that perhaps Abby wasn’t the most important thing in his life, while events continue to move into odder and odder territory.

As the season goes on it’s clear there’s more progression than in the first series, Don’s relationship with Sam frequently allowing for moments of emotion in among the jokes.

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DVD Review: Tutti Frutti

*****

How’s this for a sure-fire recipe for TV success: Robbie Coltrane as a doesn’t-really-wannabe rock star about to tour small-town Scotland and Emma Thompson as his will-she-ever-be-his-girlfriend in a TV series from Mr Tilda Swinton himself, John Byrne?

First screened in 1987, Tutti Frutti tells the story of Scottish rock band The Majestics who decide to celebrate their Silver Jubilee with a tour of Scotland under the management of small-time businessman Eddie Clockerty (Richard Wilson).

When lead singer Big Jazza McGlone (Robbie Coltrane) is killed, Clockerty must find a replacement or call off the tour. In desperation, Clockerty’s attention turns to McGloan’s younger brother Danny (also played by Coltrane), just returned from New York for his sibling’s funeral.

Tutti Frutti

Tutti Frutti arrives on DVD

Soon McGlone is embroiled in various ploys designed to help save the band, while all the while rocker Vincent Diver (Maurice Roëves) goes through a midlife crisis and Scotland braces itself for the tour of the century.

Winning six Bafta’s after its initial screening on BBC One, Tutti Frutti has only ever been repeated once by the broadcaster, otherwise relegated to TV history.

Watching the series today, it’s obvious that a crime has been committed in the BBC keeping it locked up for so long.

This isn’t just television, this is art: time and money may be spent trying to keep paintings and statues in the country for future generations, but we’ve been sold a pup – the release of Tutti Frutti from the archives is what we should have been fighting for all along.

This is a story of its time, a Glasgow’s Miles Better-era world of fish ‘n’ chips and chips on shoulders, where small town radio stations and village halls are the norm, glamour is something you see on TV and trying to better yourself is viewed as being stuck up rather than something to be encouraged.

In fact, nothing much has changed in the intervening decades, the eating of fish suppers in the rain still preferable to posh nosh in a restaurant and success still frowned upon.

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