Shiny Shelf
By Mark Clapham on 28 November 2011 Comments Off

Ironically, considering its premise is that there’s a separate ‘London Below’ entirely unseen by the denizens of the normal, everyday capital, ‘Neverwhere’ seems to have slipped over from a parallel reality.
Broadcast in the mid 90s on BBC2, during a period when British TV didn’t make really make any fantasy or SF shows, its a real [...]

By Eugene Jones on 23 May 2011 Comments Off

After three BBC series shot entirely in the UK, ‘Torchwood’ comes back later this year with a fourth series shot partially in the US, subtitled ‘Miracle Day’. Following on from the surprise critical success of the high-concept mini-series ‘Children of Earth’, ‘Miracle Day’ also starts with a big idea – one day, no-one on Earth [...]

By Mags L Halliday on 12 May 2011 3 COMMENTS

contains spoilers… for ‘Lord of the Rings’.
Steven Moffat has a thing about spoilers. You’d have guessed it, given he snuck the word into ‘Doctor Who’ and then turned it into River Song’s catchphrase. But his recorded complaint about fans posting spoilers made BBC Breakfast News (and elsewhere).
I agree with Moffat. The kind of person who [...]

By Jonn Elledge on 20 April 2011 Comments Off

Elisabeth Sladen has a claim to be the most important actor to play a companion in ‘Doctor Who’.

By Iain Hepburn on 24 February 2011 1 COMMENT

A triumvirate of Scots comedy shows have broken through to critical acclaim in the last couple of years, gaining support from the likes of Grace Dent despite their availability on the other side of Hadrian’s Wall being limited to iPlayer.

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By Eddie Robson on 18 February 2011 4 COMMENTS

He’s cute! He’s controversial! We look at the furore surrounding the lovable reggae rodent.

By Mags L Halliday on 06 January 2011 4 COMMENTS

The return of 165 Eaton Place is compact and lively, with only the odd wandering accent to let it down.

By Shiny Shelf on 27 December 2010 Comments Off

Like Scrooge, we’re a bit at sea about what the future holds for our favourite kinds of nonsense.

By Shiny Shelf on 25 December 2010 Comments Off

One late Christmas Ever Ebenezeer Scrooge was visited by three spirits who showed him the past, the present and the Yet To Come. This is like that, but with three reviewers & Shiny’s usual pop culture nonsense. Merry Christmas.

By Eddie Robson on 25 December 2010 Comments Off

Note: Eddie wrote this in 2006, as part of Shiny Advent, but it got lost in an email thread for four years. So here, at last, it is:
The ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas special appears to be establishing itself as a tradition, so ingénues into the world of Who may be surprised to discover that, until [...]

By Matthew Badham on 11 October 2010 Comments Off

‘Our Friends in the North’ isn’t just first-class drama, it’s a stunning piece of fictive social history that charts the lives of four friends and their extended networks from 1964 until 1995.

By Mags L Halliday on 17 September 2010 Comments Off

The third series of ‘Merlin’ has started with grim spectacle, aside from the odd slapstick scene that’s escaped from a different tone meeting.

By Jim Smith on 28 July 2010 2 COMMENTS

I thought I’d like ‘Sherlock’, because I like both Sherlock Holmes apocrypha and Steven Moffat scripts, but I didn’t think it possible it would surprise me. Thrillingly, I was both right on the first count and very, very wrong on the second.

By Shiny Shelf on 29 June 2010 11 COMMENTS

So, ‘The Big Bang’ went off and there’s no more ‘Doctor Who’ until Christmas. Luckily, we’re here with a recommendation list of ten old ‘Who’ stories (well, not exactly ten, but we’ll get to that later) that are worth watching to help the next six months pass a bit quicker.

By Mags L Halliday on 25 June 2010 Comments Off

BBC4’s fatherhood season includes one of the channel’s drama biopics, this time on John Lennon.

By Jonn Elledge on 24 June 2010 2 COMMENTS

‘Doctor Who’ the series, like Doctor Who the character, has a tricky habit of regenerating, with producers and other creative types moving on. The current season, which ends this Saturday, marks the first time the show has made that transition since its 2005 relaunch – and even by the standards of such jumps this was a risky one.

By Stephen Lavington on 10 June 2010 4 COMMENTS

‘Pulse’ delivers high-quality genre stuff, though exactly which genre is hard to pin down. It’s a medical drama that’s also a dark conspiracy thriller that’s also a chilling supernatural horror show that also dabbles in great gouts of Grand Guignol.

By Mark Clapham on 28 May 2010 Comments Off

I only know Martin Amis’ novel ‘Money’ by reputation, but it’s a big reputation as one of the defining novels of the 1980s, with lead character John Self hailed as a scabrous avatar for the excesses of the age.

By Mags L Halliday on 24 May 2010 Comments Off

A couple of years ago Philip Glenister, TV’s Gene Hunt, swore he “wouldn’t do bloody ‘Tin Machine’” so it’s best to assume that this really is the end of the ‘Life on Mars’/'Ashes to Ashes’ franchise. Huge spoilers ahead…

By Mark Clapham on 06 May 2010 1 COMMENT

Luther, the first British star vehicle for Idris Elba, is a combination of lightweight detective show cliches and preposterously grandiose villainy that isn’t so much bad as a bit baffling.

By Steffan Alun on 26 April 2010 1 COMMENT

Thanks to the magic of iPlayer, the rest of the UK can catch up on BBC Scotland’s latest sketch show, ‘Burnistoun’. I’ve now seen the first two episodes.
The sketches are mostly surreal takes on mundane, everyday experiences. Setting the show apart from most sketch shows is its amiable tone, as well as the length of [...]

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By Steffan Alun on 20 April 2010 1 COMMENT

As a fan of ‘Being Human’, BBC3’s post-watershed horror drama about a vampire, werewolf and ghost sharing a house in Bristol, the first question that came to mind as I read ‘The Road’ – the first of three tie-in novels – was, “who is the target audience for this book?”.
It seems odd that the novel [...]

By Mags L Halliday on 16 April 2010 4 COMMENTS

‘Ashes to Ashes’ is not a great TV drama. It’s enjoyable, and a pleasant lightweight watch for the weekend. But it’s not a great police procedural series, and it’s not an overly complex mystery series.

By Mags L Halliday on 29 March 2010 1 COMMENT

‘Eddie Izzard, Marathon Man’ follows the comedian as he attempts to run 43 marathons in 51 days. The Olympic sports doctors and trainers are aghast when he arrives at their centre for training. He’s never run a marathon before: “I’ve run for the bus.”

By Mark Clapham on 11 January 2010 Comments Off

‘Why Grandma, what a lot of plot you have,’ said the reviewer to the Big Bad Werewolf Show.

By Mags L Halliday on 21 October 2009 Comments Off

This ‘Emma’ isn’t clueless…

By Mark Clapham on 20 October 2009 Comments Off

If Britain has a great TV industry it is because of the BBC, not in spite of it.

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By Mags L Halliday on 19 May 2009 Comments Off

I can’t seem to stop watching ‘Robin Hood’…

By Mark Clapham on 29 March 2009 Comments Off

… they take up most of our time: recent UK TV crime series ‘Whitechapel’, ‘Moses Jones’, and ‘Red Riding’ hit DVD.

By Mags L Halliday on 24 December 2008 Comments Off

A 21st century ‘Wizbit’.

By Mark Clapham on 30 November 2008 Comments Off

Bleak and beautiful.

By Mags L Halliday on 01 April 2008 Comments Off

Season one of ‘Love Soup’ didn’t quite taste right, but season two has fixed the recipe…

By Eddie Robson on 12 February 2008 Comments Off

A different kind of ‘Doctor Who’ story, from the days before the idea of what a ‘Doctor Who’ story was like became so set in stone…

By Mark Clapham on 05 January 2008 Comments Off

Was it me, or was this a fairly quiet Christmas for the BBC?

By Jim Smith on 19 December 2007 Comments Off

The BBC’s new adaptation of ‘Oliver Twist’ offers high production values and a cast stuffed with ‘names’.

By Mags L Halliday on 26 November 2007 Comments Off

It’s hard to avoid Kenneth Clark’s 1969 landmark ‘Civilisation’ documentary series if you are doing a series on the history of civilisation…

By Mark Clapham on 22 November 2007 Comments Off

‘Doctor Who’ has a long history with the BBC’s ‘Children in Need’ charity telethon…

By Mags L Halliday on 16 October 2007 Comments Off

That don’t impress me, Much.

By Abigail Twitch on 03 October 2007 Comments Off

This is the show that deserves to make Peter Serafinowicz into a household name. And rather helpfully for those households, there’s finally a definitive pronunciation of ‘Serafinowicz’.

By Mark Clapham on 02 October 2007 Comments Off

In the first three episodes of this teatime ‘Who’ spin-off the Slitheen return, the Gorgon rises, and the Sontarans get a namecheck…

By Mags L Halliday on 20 August 2007 Comments Off

There used to be a television clip series called ‘Best of British’. ‘British Film Forever’ is a modern, arch version of my old wet bank holiday friend. And that just makes it worse.

By Jim Smith on 07 August 2007 Comments Off

Concorde was the great Anglo-French aviation project. It promised, nay delivered, supersonic travel for civilians and took its name from a word meaning ‘agreement’ (albeit with an unnecessary vowel appended to it to make it sound more French).

By Jim Smith on 11 July 2007 Comments Off

‘Timelash’ is bad. In fact, it’s quite difficult to appreciate just how jaw-droppingly bad it is unless one is in the process of actually watching the thing.

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 09 July 2007 Comments Off

Over the last few years Doctor Who has built a tradition of ending each season with a multi-part epic where the Doctor confronts a major enemy from his past. For the conclusion of the current season it was the turn of the Doctor’s old nemesis the Master.

By Mark Clapham on 23 June 2007 Comments Off

‘Utopia’ is low on plot, but high on major developments…

By Mark Clapham on 15 June 2007 Comments Off

Following ‘The Empty Child’, ‘The Doctor Dances’ and ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’, writer Steven Moffat continues his faultless run of ‘Doctor Who’ stories with ‘Blink’…

By Jonn Elledge on 06 June 2007 Comments Off

‘Human Nature’ is one of the best bits of television ever broadcast under the label ‘Doctor Who’.

By Mags L Halliday on 03 June 2007 Comments Off

The history of modern Britain is a tale we think we already know…

By Mark Clapham on 23 May 2007 Comments Off

Fun in the sun…

By Jim Smith on 12 May 2007 Comments Off

‘Doctor Who’ newcomer Stephen Greenhorn peppers his first script for the show with allusions;