BBC One to adapt Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses

Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman Noughts and Crosses Levi David Addai and Matthew Graham Vivian Oparah bbc one tv adaptation

If you’ve never read it, you absolutely must; Noughts and Crosses is a rather nuanced and thoughtful YA story about racism and prejudice, with a very clever ‘twist’; the society depicted is one wherein black ‘Crosses’ are the ruling classes, who previously enslaved the white ‘Noughts’, who are now second class citizens. This allows for a subtle, clever representation of racism, with several strongly drawn characters, and an emotionally compelling plot. The book was met with particular acclaim, and has been the subject of a radio adaptation in 2012, as well as a play toured by the Royal Shakespeare Company, starring Richard Madden and Ony Uhiara in 2008.

Now, then, it’s going to be a television series. While there isn’t yet word on the length of the series, or exactly when it will air, the two writers in charge of the adaptation have been announced: Levi David Addai and Matthew Graham. Levi David Addai is an accomplished playwright, having written plays such as I Have A Dream and Oxford Street, as well as being nominated for an Olivier award in 2009 and winning the Alfred Fagon award in 2011. His most prominent television credit is E4’s Youngers, but a look at his CV reveals several drama awards and nominations across the years. Matthew Graham is similar accomplished, known for Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, and episodes of Doctor Who under both David Tennant and Matt Smith; interestingly, it was also recently revealed that Graham was tapped to write for a Star Wars television show, and worked closely with George Lucas for several months.

Some very exciting news here, as the BBC will be adapting Malorie Blackman’s rather fantastic YA novel for television. Very exciting!

(Haven’t heard any news about this since then. I know Vivian Oparah wanted to be in it, that’d be pretty neat.)

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Bryan Fuller confirms female lead, gay character, and prequel setting for Star Trek: Discovery


Excitingly, one of the first things that Fuller confirmed was a human female lead; interestingly, however, it’s been said confirmed by Fuller that she will not be a Captain, but rather a lieutenant commander “with caveats”. The intention is to provide a different point of view from prior Star Trek series, given that the previous iterations have been from the perspective of the Captain. This female lead is yet to be cast, with shooting still two months away; Fuller has, in the past, stated that casting for Discovery will be ‘colour blind’, and as such our new lead may be of any race. Rather excitingly, Fuller has also said there will “absolutely” be a gay character, thus breaking new ground for televised Star Trek.

The show is going to be set 10 years before The Original Series; it’s another prequel series, much like Enterprise before it, although far closer in time to the original Star Trek. In setting the show so closely to the original, it means that Discovery is able to “play with all the iconography of those ships and those uniforms.” It won’t just be the ships and the uniforms, though, with one returning character having been brought up in discussion – Spock’s mother, Amanda Greyson. Rather obliquely, Fuller has suggested that Discovery will depict an event in Starfleet history that has “never been explored”; several guesses as to what this unexplored event is have been ruled out, such as the Romulan War, and it currently remains a guarded secret. This event was, however, confirmed to be referenced on The Original Series, so get ready for plenty of speculation. 

I’ve been up for the past few hours writing this article about the new Star Trek series; you can click on the above to be linked to the full piece, which has a lot more detail about the nature of the series, and what we can expect to see.

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New Details about 2017 Star Trek Series Released!

star trek discovery news bryan fuller uss discovery spaceship first image drydock first flight akiva goldman

The teaser trailer gave a January 2017 premier date for CBS All Access, as well as restating that the opening episode of the series would also play on the CBS channel proper. (Within the past week, it was also confirmed that Star Trek: Discovery would be available on Netflix in the UK, within 24 hours of the American release.) David Semel, who has previously worked on Person of Interest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and American Horror Story, will be executive producing and directing the opening episodes. He’s also been nominated for an Emmy award for his work directing the pilot episode of Heroes, making him particularly well suited to helm the pilot episode of Star Trek: Discovery.

Fuller has also stated that the series “won’t be episodic”, and compared the storytelling to being akin to a novel. He was also keen to restate his commitment to continuing the ethos of Star Trek, saying “The new series has to remind audiences the message of Star Trek — continuing to push boundaries”. As well as this, Fuller also commented on the need to “celebrate a progression of our species”, because “right now we need a little help”; he also drew attention to one of the core ideals of Star Trek, stating that “individuality should be celebrated. Star Trek celebrates diversity”.

I’ve written an article about Star Trek: Discovery! It collates some different quotes of Bryan Fuller’s, as well as discussing the new ship design, its antecedents, and what it might mean for the series going forward.

I have to say, I remain very excited for this series.

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American Gods – First Trailer Released!

American Gods Logo News Trailer

The series is intended to last for several years; the first season, comprising of ten episodes, will cover the first third of the book, ending at the House on the Rock, with the second season being predominantly set at Lakeside. Neil Gaiman, who has taken an executive producer role on the series, stated that  “one of the first things that we’re doing is going we don’t have to make a TV series that only exists from Shadow’s point of view”; the story is going to be expanded, further developing each of the characters and their plotlines. Similarly, Bryan Fuller has said that “it feels like the book would be anywhere from three to four seasons”, noting that Starz has said they “want [American Gods] to last a while”. It seems that we have quite a lot to look forward to!

Also intriguing is Fuller’s comment that American Gods will focus on the “political climate and the sociological climate” of America, with commentary on the perspective of black people and of woman, as well as an episode invoking the gun control debate; the hope, Fuller says, is to use “those sort of hot-topic issues as a platform to have a conversation about faith and our role in the universe”.

I’ve written a little news roundup and reaction piece to the new trailer for American Gods, which was released at SDCC last night; I’ve also included some details which were released by Neil Gaiman and Bryan Fuller in some recent interviews.

Have to say, I’m very excited about this!

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SDCC 2016 News Roundup: Marvel Television

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San Diego Comic-Con has been underway for a few days now, and we’ve already got plenty of exciting news from the Marvel Television department. A particular focus was on the Netflix television projects, which have enjoyed a lot of success already, with several new trailers having been released.

So, trailers have been released for Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders; that’s obviously all very exciting, so I’ve written a little bit of a news roundup/reaction post for Yahoo TV.

In related news, I finially got around to finishing the second season of Daredevil today. That’s kinda been my process for each of these Netflix shows, albeit somewhat inadvertantly; I watch the first 7 episodes or so, and then don’t get around to the back half until several months later. It’s a bit of a nuisance, really, because it means I tend to pick up on spoilers and whatnot  – but that’s all my own fault, really. I think in future I’ll try and watch the opening episodes more slowly in future, so I don’t burn out quite so quickly.

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Bryan Fuller reveals exciting details about new Star Trek series!

star trek discovery news logo bryan fuller season 2 exclusive information

Something I’ve always admired about Star Trek is the vision of an inclusive future that it put forward – I’m glad that’s going to preserved in the new series, because I feel like today, that’s a vision we need more than ever. 

Something a little happier than what we had this morning, with an article about Bryan Fuller’s new Star Trek series.

I’m particularly looking forward to it; of course, on one level that’s because I’m a huge Trekkie and I kinda always have been. Star Trek is, after all, rather brilliant. But more than that, what I’m really looking forward to is a show with a little hope – something I think we all need these days.

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What does Brexit mean for the TV and Film industry?

brexit uk tv film industry effect impact result leave eu mean affect europe funding grant

EU funding has been important to other ventures too, of course; notable movies in recent years that have received, and been dependent on, funding from Europe included Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady (€1.5m), Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (€1.3m), and historical movie The King’s Speech (€1m). In terms of television, the EU’s Media Desk provided funding for Sky’s The Last Panthers, as well as Hinterland, Shaun the Sheep, and Inside Obama’s White House for the BBC.

The Olswang Media Group – an international law firm renowned for their experience and expertise in the area of technology, media and telecoms – commissioned an independent report on the impact of Brexit, which can be read in full here. It highlights the potential damage done by restricting free movement of industry professionals, the likelihood of losing important subsidies and support, as well as the general uncertainty which will afflict the industry for a long time to come. 

New Yahoo article from me, on Brexit, and its effect on the TV and film industry. As with a lot of industries following this vote, it’s in a pretty precarious position.

Gotta admit, I am very worried about this vote; it genuinely seems that the country has been co-opted by a very specific, and a very ugly, set of ideologies. This is not a future I ever would have hoped for, or ever wanted to live in.

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doctor who friend from the future bill potts pearl mackie announcement reaction doctor who series 10 the pilot prince jacket

So I’ve already written my Yahoo article about it, but I figured it was also worth writing something here, because it’s not every day we get a new Doctor Who companion, and if anything warrants multiple articles…

I have no idea who Pearl Mackie is, but that’s exciting in and of itself. I mean, I say that, I haven’t actually known who any of the companions were ahead of their casting, but the point still stands! There’s a lot of potential here, which is something I’m really looking forward to. (I do keep calling her “Pearlie Mack” by accident, which is her Twitter handle. I kinda need to stop doing that.)

Beyond that, though, it’s really far too early to actually say anything. Judging by the trailer, you can make an educated guess that she’s probably from the 80s, or thereabouts; they refer to 2017 as the future, she’s wearing clothes with that sort of aesthetic, so on and so forth. That, however, tells us little about her character.

I can understand, I think, why people are a little frustrated with the introductory scene; the meta humour and questioning causes a little friction against the accepted Doctor Who norms, and that’s always the sort of thing that pushes fans out of their comfort zone. More to the point, there’s also the fact that we’ve seen this kind of genre awareness before, so it feels a little derivative.

Again, though, this is a very short clip; it doesn’t give us a lot to go on, and there’s also very little context to the whole thing. For introducing a character during Match of the Day, this is a reasonably effective conceit. Makes sense to engage in that sort of questioning for the general public, who likely do think the Daleks are a little bit silly.

It’s great that this casting is showing a commitment to diversity, of course; it’s really important that Doctor Who gives us good representation, particularly considering it’s a family show. Similarly, it’d be nice if Bill was LGBT as well – explicitly, that is, rather than the bisexual subtext of Clara. (Which was great and all; it’d just be nice to have some direct confirmation, you know?)

All in all, then, this is pretty cool. New companion! How could it not be pretty cool?

New Doctor Who – be it episodes, Doctors, or companions – is always pretty cool.

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Doctor Who spinoff Class cast & details revealed!

doctor who class patrick ness news cast details revealed greg austin fady elsayad sophie hopkins vivian oparah katherine kelly jordan renzo peter capaldi

Described as being akin to Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the Whoniverse, this spinoff series has just begun filming, and is set to be released later this year on BBC Three, with another broadcast on BBC One shortly afterwards. It’s an eight part series, written by esteemed YA author Patrick Ness, and will also feature a guest appearance by Peter Capaldi.

Today we’ve had our first official news about the project since it’s first announcement, including some teasing details from Patrick Ness, as well as information about the cast themselves.

I wrote an article about all the Class news over on Yahoo TV – check it out! Really, very excited for this, I’ve got to say.

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Peter Capaldi talks Doctor Who diversity – will we see a Muslim companion?

doctor who new companion rakhee thakrar shabnam masood muslim character

Peter Capaldi said “the thing about Doctor Who is, it’s at its best when it reflects the culture and the times that it’s in. Because it’s a very successful show, sometimes it just digs its own groove of success, and I think it’s time for us to be more recognizable as being in the 21st century”, going on to note that it “could easily be time” to see a Muslim companion.

A news article I wrote when it seemed like this was a possibility – I suspect I was riffing on something the Radio Times wrote? Not sure. Certainly, there was a rumour that Rakhee Thakrar was going to be the new companion (enough of a one that I suspect in hindsight that she probably did audition) and I’m almost certain the Radio Times would’ve done an article linking Rakhee Thakrar, potential Doctor Who companion, and Rakhee Thakrar, actress who played a Muslim woman on EastEnders. Probably wouldn’t title this the above if I were writing it now, anyway, since I don’t quite like the way it removes Rakhee Thakrar from the headline.

Weirdly, despite publishing this on Yahoo, I had published the text of it on my tumblr about sixteen days earlier. Ah, the days before the exclusivity clause.

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