New Constantine TV Pilot Greenlit by NBC

Icon-TV-150The news is now nearly a week old, but still worth noting amid the frenetic controversy around the new Batman TV show, Gotham. But Deadline announced at the same time was the news that NBC had greenlit a TV pilot  for a Constantine TV show.

“It is written/executive produced by The Mentalist executive producer Daniel Cerone and David S. Goyer, the go-to writer for Warner Bros.’ feature DC adaptations.

The two are executive producing, with Cerone serving as showrunner.”

In the days of the deserved success of shows like Arrow, and American Horror Story, I think the time could be right for a Hellblazer TV show. But, as ever, it depends on how it’s adapted. Will it be a Vertigo Constantine on, or a New 52 one? Or will we have another version of Keanustine?

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with it. I certainly wish I was writing it.

Review – Sherlock S3E1 – The Sign of Three

Icon-TV-150Last night had the BBC grace us with the second episode of the third season of Sherlock. Focussed around the wedding day of John Watson, this episode was hugely divisive; and in amongst the cries of dismay could be heard my own belly-aching.

I described it as being all over the place, of skipping around the timeline too much, of gracelessly using Sherlock’s best man’s speech as a through line, of too many fast cuts and swipes, too many jokes. After 45 minutes not particularly much had happened and I was getting increasingly irked.

Then things began to change; not in the episode itself, though the cuts became less erratic as the case(s) started to show themselves, but in myself. This episode of Sherlock was a different style, it wasn’t a simple ‘case of the week’ show, and was focussed more on the personal, a trend began in episode 1 and exemplified here. But I realised that it worked and that it actually went a very long way to not just defining this Holmesian world’s characters, but also to entertain. And I was very much entertained. It was more comedic, more light-hearted than I had grown to expect, but it did work.

Furthermore, the characterisation of both Molly and Mary is very much needed. Molly seems to have agency of her own now, and John’s wife Mary is certainly no wallflower, keen and bright as she is.

I need to rewatch the episode, to see if the first half still irks me the same way, post change in perspective. But overall, by the end, I really enjoyed the episode, a lot more than I thought I would

Episode three, the last of this season, His Last Vow, shows on Sunday January 12th, and looks darker by far.

Addendum: If you want to see a list of people who utterly hated this episode, including people who want to see Mary killed off, check out the comments on the Guardian review. If you want to see glee about drunk Sherlock in an explosion of animated GIFs, there’s always Buzzfeed.

Top Ten List of Things 2013

It’s the end of the year and everyone is doing best of year lists; books, films, music, footwear, memes, you name it, it’s on a list somewhere. So, I’ve decided to do one of my own, a list of the top 10 favourite things of 2013. (It was either this or a top 10 list of top 10 lists)

  1. Gravity in the Imax – I’ll start, not just with a movie, but with a cinema experience. I cannot remember being more thrilled, of experiencing a more fulfilling cinema experience than this. I have no idea whether Gravity will work anywhere near as well in 2D on my TV, I doubt it, but that moment will be unforgettable.
  2. Daft Punk’s ‘Random Access Memories – 2013 had a lot of great music released, but it’s no great shock to anyone who has ever perused my Last.FM account that I was going to decide on RAM as my favourite album of the year.
  3. The Hour – I’d been recommended The Hour for a long time by a friend, but it was always a TV show that I’d eventually, maybe get around to. Well, I did get around to it, it was amazing and I’m gutted there won’t be a third season.
  4. London Screenwriters’ Festival – This was a game changer for me; the lessons I learnt, experiences I had and people I met have had a hugely positive effect on my writing, my confidence and, dare I say it, my life.
  5. Chic at Glastonbury – Oh, how they laughed. ‘Chic?’ they sniggered. ‘Well, they were okay back in the day I suppose, but they’re no Arctic Monkeys’. Indeed. Chic’s set was the best party at the best festival and I danced for an hour and a half solid.
  6. Saga – In a standout year for comics, this was nearly a close call. But the art, writing, excitement and emotional power of Saga easily dominates the field.
  7. The Sexy Lamp Test – Both in terms of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s alternative to the Bechdel Test, but also the fact that it was far and away the top post on my blog in 2013, with 5,854 views.
  8. Gizmo Love – After a less-than-stellar theatre experience, I sought out recommendations for theatre. I ended up in the wonderful New Diorama Theatre for Gizmo Love, a dark tale of obsession and writing. I’ll definitely be back to the New Diorama, currently in the shortlist for Fringe Theatre of the Year.
  9. London’s Southbank – You’d think I’d be tired of it by now, but I still have so many amazing memories of that stretch just south of the river, from Waterloo station to London Bridge.
  10. Friends – Yes, yes, I know this one is cheesy. But this year has been a year for friends being there for me, people becoming friends and spending time with friends. And that will never not be important to me.

Doctor Who? – Fifty Years of a Jack In A Box

Icon-TV-150It’s the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, and the BBC is spoiling fans with special after special, culminating with The Day of The Doctor, the hotly anticipated anniversary episode. As a sometimes fan of The Doctor, I wanted to give some thought to his identity, and this seemed the perfect time to do so.

I recently saw the character of Doctor Who described as ‘C.S. Lewis meets H.G. Wells meets Father Christmas.’ But the Doctor isn’t just a heroic, time-travelling nigh-paedophile. No, Doctor Who is a monster. A monster who needs a companion to keep him human, to keep him interested; someone to spark off, to tell him how brilliant he is, a muse, someone he can impress, someone who isn’t afraid of him, someone who needs him, who adores him. Basically: A child.

He is all those things and he is also none of them. In short, whether we like to think of him that way or not, Doctor Who is our hero/anti-hero of postmodernity; a mercurial deity in our cultural pantheon. He becomes what the narrative demands, from scientist to genocidal maniac, lover to virgin. He shifts and changes as the viewers do, coaxing them out from behind the sofa, then slapping them around the head with a lonely over-sized clown shoe, while telling them they like it. No wonder he is feared. No wonder he is loved.

And the best bit of this analogy? It’s completely untrue, and also as true as it needs to be. The Doctor is a mirror; we choose to see and embrace the aspects of our favourite incarnations, we see what we want, what we need. And the opposing views of co-fans are just as true and just as relevant.

Happy birthday, Doctor Who.