Shiny Shelf
By Mark Clapham on 02 May 2007 Comments Off

The 1930s are inescapably associated with a certain kind of straightforward adventure story…

By Jonn Elledge on 22 April 2007 Comments Off

If you’ve spent any time in the last two years in the festering cesspool that is ‘Doctor Who’ fandom, then you’ll know there have been two distinct reactions to Russell T Davies’ reinvention…

By Jim Smith on 09 April 2007 Comments Off

The second episode of the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ takes the Doctor and Martha Jones into an immaculately staged 1590s London and a meeting with the man the Doctor describes as both ‘the genius’ and ‘the most human human’ of all; William Shakespeare.

By Mark Clapham on 03 April 2007 Comments Off

To have lost both of your original leads by the third season of a series may be considered careless, but on balance it doesn’t seem to have done ‘Doctor Who’ any real harm…

By Mark Clapham on 03 January 2007 Comments Off

No bite, but plenty of suck.

By Eddie Robson on 03 January 2007 Comments Off

Sometimes different versions of a text can complement each other, but this is a case where experiencing one first is pretty much guaranteed to spoil the other…

By Jim Smith on 02 January 2007 Comments Off

You could be forgiven for thinking that Sydney Newman’s forty year old creation had taken over Xmas 2006 entirely.

By Jim Smith on 23 December 2006 Comments Off

For me there’s only one annual Xmas ‘must watch’ and it’s the 1984 BBC TV adaptation of former poet laureate John Masefield’s utterly peculiar seasonal children’s novella ‘The Box of Delights’.

By Mark Clapham on 21 December 2006 Comments Off

A fondly remembered BBC tradition, it was always a mystery through the 1980s and 90s as to why exactly the BBC never revived the ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ series of literary chillers…

By Eugene Jones on 17 December 2006 Comments Off

“Cor blimey, isn’t life amazing and stuff, yeah right? Cos even if you’re a dull stereotype like me, you can still get an entire episode of ‘Torchwood’ devoted to you. And that’s, like, so amazing, yeah!”

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By Eddie Robson on 14 December 2006 Comments Off

The BBC may have caused a bit of noise this year with its decision to cancel ‘Top of the Pops’ but it has, very quietly, kept the show ticking over…

By Eddie Robson on 10 December 2006 Comments Off

Given that ‘Only Fools and Horses’ has had about three episodes designed to stand as its definitive finale, it’s hard to imagine a time when the BBC wasn’t bothered about giving closure to its sitcoms…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 09 December 2006 Comments Off

We’re now more than half way through the first season of Torchwood and despite some shaky moments, it’s shaping up to be a bold, confident, crazy and clever show…

By Mags L Halliday on 06 December 2006 Comments Off

The tradition of the Christmas Special is embedded in British culture…

By Jim Smith on 29 November 2006 Comments Off

If you go down to the woods today…

By Mark Clapham on 08 November 2006 Comments Off

Low budgets and high camp in cosmic Cardiff…

By Mark Clapham on 28 October 2006 Comments Off

The next wave of Russell T Davies’ ‘Doctor Who’ based takeover of the BBC is here, with his first ‘Who’ spin-off ‘Torchwood’…

By Eddie Robson on 08 October 2006 Comments Off

This is the first of 2entertain’s budget-priced ‘Doctor Who’ releases, and it has raised the odd complaint from fans…

By Jim Smith on 24 September 2006 Comments Off

Surprisingly restrained in its use of graphic violence the first episode of BBC One’s drama-documentary series ‘Ancient Rome – The Rise and Fall of an Empire’ boasted outstanding production values and an extraordinary central turn from Michael Sheen.

By Jim Smith on 17 September 2006 Comments Off

‘That Mitchell and Webb Look’ is a TV version of the radio sketch comedy series from the team behind Channel 4’s skin-crawlingly excellent ‘Peep Show’.

By Eddie Robson on 14 September 2006 Comments Off

‘Blackbeard’ is a quintessentially BBC response to the ongoing pirate craze…

By Jim Smith on 10 September 2006 Comments Off

‘The Mark of the Rani’ is one of the strongest stories from the mid-eighties (lets say 85 – 87) drought that ‘Doctor Who” suffered.

By Eddie Robson on 31 July 2006 Comments Off

It was fundamentally wrong-headed for TOTP’s final edition to be an exercise in nostalgia: a compendium of material from the past, linked by ancient DJs…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 18 July 2006 Comments Off

It was always going to be difficult to live up to ‘The Parting of the Ways’, so people were expecting great things from the conclusion to the second season of Russell T Davies’ ‘Doctor Who’…

By Shiny Shelf on 18 July 2006 Comments Off

Belated Billie bye-bye.

By Eddie Robson on 25 June 2006 Comments Off

It’s perhaps unfortunate that ‘Fear Her’ comes straight after ‘Love & Monsters’ in this season, because after an episode in the company of Elton, stuck on ‘the slow path’, what we could really do with is a big old cosmic epic…

By Eddie Robson on 25 June 2006 Comments Off

Traditionally, ‘Doctor Who’ has often managed to make a virtue of necessity…

By Mark Clapham on 11 June 2006 Comments Off

To the Doctor, a devil.

By Eddie Robson on 27 May 2006 Comments Off

Mark Gatiss’ previous ‘Doctor Who’ episode, ‘The Unquiet Dead’, attracted some criticisms of playing to the gallery…

By Eddie Robson on 17 May 2006 Comments Off

For once we’ve been able to peep at an advance copy of this week’s ‘Doctor Who’: however, you’ll find no spoilers here…

By Eddie Robson on 15 May 2006 Comments Off

Considering it’s one of the most shopworn sci-fi clichés in circulation, ‘Doctor Who’ has done surprisingly few alternative universe stories…

By Mark Clapham on 07 May 2006 Comments Off

Steven Moffat’s ‘The Empty Child’ was one of the highlights of last year’s series of ‘Doctor Who’: funny, scary, romantic and ingenious. With ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’, Moffat has done it again – this is as good as ‘Doctor Who’ gets…

By Jon de Burgh Miller on 02 May 2006 Comments Off

The Doctor Who New Adventures were a series of novels published during the 1990s that bridged the gap between the old and new series of the television show. ‘School Reunion’ shows that the thinking behind those books was way ahead of its time…

By Jim Smith on 28 April 2006 Comments Off

‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’ comes from a period where ‘Doctor Who’ was tired. Mired in formula, it was flagging badly and ended up reiterating the same plot week after week after week.

By Jim Smith on 25 April 2006 Comments Off

There’s something inherently mid-to-late Nineteenth century about ‘Doctor Who’.

By Eddie Robson on 17 April 2006 Comments Off

For those of us who retained a keen interest in ‘Doctor Who’ when it was a fusty old dead thing, it’s still difficult to get used to it being something that comes and goes like any other TV programme…


By Shiny Shelf on 14 April 2006 Comments Off

With only one day to go to the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, time to reflect on how far the series has come in a year…

By Jim Smith on 03 March 2006 Comments Off

If ‘Snuff Box’, the brilliant new semi-narrative sketch show from Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher, had a high concept it would be something along the lines of ‘What if The Persuaders were a pair of depraved hangmen?’

By Jim Smith on 28 February 2006 Comments Off

Between them these two CDs release into the wild the last episodes of twentieth century ‘Doctor Who’ never made available to the general public in a mass market edition.

By Jim Smith on 27 February 2006 Comments Off

‘The Beginning’ is a handy box set which contains the first thirteen episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ plus two separate versions of the series unbroadcast (indeed judged ‘unboradcastable’) pilot episode and assorted extras.

By Mark Clapham on 18 February 2006 Comments Off

Weapons Grade Cheese. Do Not Handle Without Proper Protection…

By Jim Smith on 25 January 2006 Comments Off

Okay, it’s ‘nail your colours to the mast by typing out your stupid theory’ time.

By Stephen Lavington on 16 January 2006 Comments Off

There are some things about ‘Hyperdrive’ that are rather objectionable…

By Mags L Halliday on 12 January 2006 1 COMMENT

Time-travel is the new reality TV…

By Mark Clapham on 12 January 2006 Comments Off

Even by BBC4 standards, Andrew Graham-Dixon’s ‘I, Samurai’ is self indulgent…

By Jim Smith on 05 January 2006 Comments Off

The beginning of a new series of ‘Just A Minute’ is always a cause for small celebrations.

By Eddie Robson on 03 January 2006 Comments Off

Yes, we should have reviewed this earlier but frankly who has their best critical faculties working on Christmas Day?

By Eddie Robson on 29 December 2005 Comments Off

Another in our series of end-of-year reports on the state of British TV at the end of 2005…

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

‘The Seeds of Death’ hails from the second half of the 60s, from when ‘Doctor Who’ was genuinely the favourite TV show of the children of the British nation.

By Jim Smith on 26 November 2005 Comments Off

This is neither the best Doctor Who TV story, nor the best Doctor Who DVD package of recent months, but there’s much to enjoy here all the same.