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First Thoughts: Channel 4’s London Irish

London Irish

Now, it may have been the Guinness on the go in the foyer, or the fact that I’m an ex-pat ‘norn’ Irish’ living in London, or just the bloody brilliant writing, but London Irish is a cracking piece of telly.

Written by Lisa McGee, known more for drama than comedy (Being Human, Raw, The White Queen) it is set in London. The plot follows a core group of 4 Northern Irish friends as they, literally, sway through the typical ‘having a ball living the dream in London but really living in a damp hovel and drinking too much and confused about their existence’ coming of age yarn.

Written with, at the writer’s own omission, influence from her own friendship circle, it is tough and spiky, wrought with the harsh intricacies of Northern Irish dialect, but it retains heart and remains endearing. The quick paced dialogue and heavy, let’s say, smattering of quite possibly every swear word known to man, including the elusive ‘C’ word, is an honest depiction of a very particular group of mates. This is the key. It would be easy to play the stereotype card; Irish youths, drinking, swearing and generally getting into bother. Those who do will conveniently be forgetting the remaining spectrum of characters that become embroiled in the shenanigans throughout the series.

It may come under the category of ‘edgy’ comedy for some, which is what the powers at be at Channel 4 want. It’s their ethos for late night comedy; this airs at 10pm. But there’s something charming about this rough bunch, whose passion for the mundane and self-referential treatment of traditionally taboo topics (terrorism, racism, necrophilia and, dare I say it, rape…) excuse the behavior. There’s a contextualized acceptance, perhaps due to the Irish brogue, which will be relatable to many.

The performances are individual and strong, showcasing some fresh comedy talents on the rise including Kerr Logan, Sinead Keenan, Peter Campion, Kat Reagan, as well as Ardal O’Hanlon and Tracy Lynch. With such a strong cast and a vehicle such as this one, I think Channel 4 are on to a winner.

London Irish starts tonight, Tuesday 24th September at 10pm on Channel 4 and we’ll leave you with a tasty trailer.

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Dexter: 8 Years Inside the Kill Room


Sad as it may be, after all of eight years of blood-soaked brilliance, the end is in sight for everyone’s favourite serial killer, Dexter Morgan and his Dark Passenger. It’s been quite the rollercoaster ride and you’d give yourself a headache if you tried to remember almost a decade of the plot twists and turns we’ve been treated too along the way.

To stop that from happening Showtime decided to bid farewell to the show with a retrospective video which, in a mere four minutes, pieces together all the major kills and thrills we’ve witnessed alongside the Bay Harbor Butcher and co. It is of course needless to say, the video is chock-a-block with spoilers so, if you have yet to catch up with the show, it is probably best to look away now. That’s the first rule of our code anyway.

Whilst actor Michael C. Hall has decided to throw down the splatter expert’s gloves, fans can still enjoy his talents over on the big-screen as he is all set to star in the revenge thriller Cold in July, the Beat biopic Kill Your Darlings, and the crime drama I Fought the Law.

Something else that fans can hold on to is that whilst Dexter‘s eighth and final season wraps everything up in plastic this Sunday, 22nd Seprember there are still spìn-off rumours floating about. Let’s hope we could be heading back to Miami Metro sooner than expected. We’ll let you know as soon as any further information is revealed but for now, enjoy the trip that has been Dexter…

kill room

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TV News

Walking Dead Companion Series Confirmed


Following rumours AMC has now confirmed that there is indeed a Walking Dead ‘companion series’ in development from the hand of the the comic book creator Robert Kirkman.

Providing everything goes to plan we should be tuning into the new series as soon as 2015 following an all new story arc and cast set in the now familiar zombie apocalypse. Commenting on the news Kirkman stated:

“After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”

It certainly looks like AMC are all for making the most of a good thing as this comes hot on the tails of last week’s announced of the Breaking Bad spin-off, Better Call Saul which focuses on Peter Gould’s criminal lawyer creation, Saul McGill (AKA Saul Goodman) (Bob Odenkirk). For the time being, fans of The Walking Dead can rejoice as season four kicks off on Sunday, October 13.


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HeadlinesTV News

HBO Orders J.J. Abrams Produced Westworld Series Pilot


And another ’70s cult classic film is getting the television series revival treatment as HBO has raised a pilot order for a remake of 1973’s Westworld with The Dark Knight scribe Jonathan Nolan directing, and co-writing together with Pushing Daisies’ Lisa Joy, under the executive production of Bad Robot partners J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk. The original film, written and directed by Michael Crichton, starred Yul Brynner as an android in a futuristic Wild West theme park.

This isn‘t Nolan first foray into the world of television as he is currently acting showrunner on CBS’ series Person of Interest, which he also helmed for one episode.

So far it all sounds like a great high-profile project to look forward to but you know all too well how hard it is for projects to get picked up based on the cast and crew alone so we’ll have to wait to see if the finished pilot can compete against the ever-growing list of new series hitting the small screen. Given the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones a new high-profile science-fiction show like Westworld would certainly hit the mark.

We’ll leave you with the trailer for the original movie which looks to prove that Christian Bale indeed time travels (0.12 seconds in):

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No Looking Back For Morgan Creek as The Exorcist Series Looks Imminent


It’s hard to believe but it’s been 40 years since the release of the horror classic that was, and still is, William Friedkin’s The Exorcist and people still van’t get enough of it, even to this very day.

Last year Morgan Creek tried to shop a ten episode Exorcist television series penned by Sean Durkin but it failed to rouse any real interest. Now, in the light of succesful horror shows such as Hannibal and Bates Motel, both picked up for a second season, the studio hasn’t lost hope and are said to be re-shopping the series with a different script writer. The new adaptation comes from the hand of relative newcomer Jeremy Slater, currently writing the FANTASTIC FOUR reboot and, by the sounds of it, he is onto something as interest is reportedly coming out of various broadcast and cable network television camps.

Roy Lee, executive producer of the aforementioned Bates Motel series and hundreds of horror feature films such as The Ring, The Grudge and The Eye, is attached to exec. produce, as he was when Durkin was involved.

Although little else is known in relation to the proposed adaptation of William Peter Blatty‘s best selling novel, given the number of existing horror series currently flourishing on the small screen, it was clearly only a matter of time before other horror franchise TV adaptations stepped forward.

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HeadlinesTV News

Sherlock Season Three Gets A Teaser


Already 18 months since the end of the second season, the very first teaser trailer for the third season of the BBC’s Sherlock aired after a repeat airing of season-two finale “The Reichenbach Fall.”

Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is revealed to be alive and kicking after his presumed death fall, whilst his partner in crime John Watson (Martin Freeman) finally grows the character’s infamous moustache. If you followed the recent Sherlock panel at July’s Comic-Con you will be well aware of the above details as executive producer Steven Moffat premiered an exclusive scene featuring Sherlock delivering his best man’s speech at Watson’s wedding and also announced that the premiere episode would be “The Empty Hearse,” focusing on Watson coming to terms with Sherlock’s faked death.

It has also since been revealed that Lars Mikkelsen will be playing Sherlock’s next arch enemy, Charles Augustus Magnussen. Lars is a Danish actor, and brother to one of Nicolas Winding Refn’s faves, Mads Mikkelsen, who we recently enjoyed see slipping into the shoes of none other than Hannibal Lecter for the TV series Hannibal. Lars most recently played the troubled politician, Troels Hartmann, in the television series Forbrydelsen, now adapted in the US as The Killing.

We’ll leave you with the aforementioned teaser trailer.

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24: Live Another Day to Evolve Outside US. Chloe O’Brian is Back


During today’s 2013 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Fox Entertainment confirmed recent rumours of no CTU in the upcoming season of 24 stating that the story will evolve outside of the US:

“This is gonna be set in an international setting. They’ve got a great idea.”

Further to this reveal, it was also announced that 24: Live Another Day will premiere in May alongside an all new FOX drama series Gang Related.

Good news for 24 fans was the news that Mary Lynn Rajskub will be back as everyone’s fave tech guru Chloe O’Brian, a role she played from the third season right up until the show ‘ended’ in 2010.

Commenting on her return she said “I am thrilled to be working with Howard and the writers again. And of course, Kiefer [Sutherland]!” and she even confirmed that she is currenty “sharpening [her] computer skills” to prepare for the next season.

To date Rajskub and Sutherland are the only two cast members officially attached to 24: Live Another Day although we hope and expect to see some familiar faces when it does air next year. At least we’ll get to hear Jack shout out “Dammit Chloe” once or twice…

Let us know who you’d like to see back this time round…

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Syfy’s ‘Ghost Shark’ Hot on the Heels of ‘Sharknado’


With Twitter and Facebook still going shark crazy following Syfy’s crazily popular Sharknado over the weekend yet another creature feature is on its way. The channel will premiere an original film, Ghost Shark on the 22nd of August.

This news comes hot on the tail of Sharknado’s broadcast on Syfy and writer, Thunder Levin’s confirmation that a Sharknado sequel was already planned well before the first film aired.

Thomas Vitale, EVP of programming and original movies, has announced that the new film was in fact inspired by something his young daughter came up with and he also suggests the ghost shark does have “a logical reason” to it – as tends to be the case with Syfy movies, right? As we have come to expect, the trailer hints at more amazing amounts of state-of-the-art CGI and Oscar winning performances.

Fans of Sharknado can expect more of the same soon as Levin is currently working on a number of projects such as the action-thriller Shadows of the Jungle, which he has described as “Indiana Jones meets Cat People and Apocalypto.” Enough said, once again.

We’ll leave you with a sneak peek of Ghost Shark starring Mackenzie Rosman, Richard Moll, Tim Taylor and Lucky Johnson. A Sharknado beater? We’ll let you decide. There’s also a nice surprise Tweet for UK Syfy fans below the video.


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TrailersTV News

Sons of Anarchy Season 6 Promo Fisty Cuffs


With internal tension coming to boiling point in Charming at the end of season five of the hit series Sons of Anarchy, all eyes are looking to Comic-Con this year as the full cast and showrunner, Kurt Sutter will be putting in an appearance on July the 21st.

So what can we look forward to next season, scheduled to air September the 10th?

With Bobby’s resignation the VP seat needs filling and it has also been confirmed that Jimmy Smits‘ character, Neron Padilla, introduced in season 5, has been given and upgrade to a regular. Sutter has also teased fans with the promise of two new characters who he describes as “an old-school shot-caller that’s out of Stockton,” and a key female character who is “in sort of the escort world.”

Prior to all the info that will be riding out of Comic-Con in a couple of weeks a new thirty second sneak peek promo has been released confirming how ready the Sons are to put up a fight in September:

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Robert Maillet and Francis Capra Cast in ‘The Strain’ Pilot


In brief: Further to yesterday’s news that Sean Astin had been signed up for a role in Guillermo del Toro’s FX Drama Pilot The Strain, Pacific Rim actor Robert Maillet has now been cast to play the main Strain villainous vampire The Master.

The Canadian former wrestler and actor, playing Lt. Kaidanosvsky in del Toro’s Pacific Rim, joins the ever-growing ensemble cast for the pilot being eyed for a 13-episode pickup by FX. In the novel of the same name, The Master flies over to New York from Europe aboard a plane to initiate his plan to take over the world.

Francis Capra (Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro in Veronica Mars) has also been signed on to play Crispin, a mid-30s shyster always intent on finding the easiest and highest-paying escape from every situation.

Should the pilot be picked up, both Capra and Mailler will play recurring roles in the series.

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‘The Strain’ Pilot Adds Sean Astin to the Canary Team


Carlton Cuse (Producer/Writer – Bates Motel, Lost) has tweeted details that actor Sean Astin has signed on for the Guillermo del Toro/FX pilot episode of The Strain.

Del Toro is attached to direct the pilot and is also co-writing with author Chuck Hogan, adapting the show from their successful trilogy of vampire novels. The story follows Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (, head of the Centers for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. The high-concept vampire drama series, already boasting a top notch cast of Corey Stoll (playing Ephraim Goodweather), Mia Maestro and John Hurt, adds Astin to the list to take on the role of CDC team administrator, Jim Kent, the third member of the Canary Team triumvirate. Although best known for his roles as Mikey in The Goonies and Samwise Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings franchise, Astin is no newcomer to the world of television having taken on long-term roles in series such as 24 and Jeremiah.

Cuse is executive producing the pilot and will oversee the project with del Toro. Providing the pilot is picked up for a full series, he will serve as showrunner.

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