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A Press Democrat Blog

TV Scoop

News and commentary on TV

Watching Doctor Who

The now traditional Christmas Doctor Who show brought Matt Smith’s reign as the 11th Doctor to a close wrapping up a number of previous plot points and introducing Peter Capaldi as the next version of the character. I’m somewhat in the minority when it comes to this most recent vintage of the Doctor. I like Matt Smith a lot and he does an excellent job with the material provided, but it is that material that I question. For every mind… Read More »

‘Zen’ and the art of fine drama

Charisma and presence are hard to define.  So too is the chemistry between actors; it’s one of those things that you know when you see it. I mention this because I happened to watch the BBC show Zen over the past couple of days. On reflection, if ever I was offered the opportunity to cast a mystery drama the actor I’d start with is Rufus Sewell. Sewell, who caught my attention as Dr. Jacob Hood in the short-lived, and I… Read More »

Pauline Collins plays ‘The Ambassador’

Pauline Collins is one of those actresses that seem to have been around forever. Now 73 years old, Collins has appeared at regular intervals on the small screen since 1971 when the BBC worldwide hit Upstairs, Downstairs made her a star. Probably best known here for the title role in the movie Shirley Valentine, Collins has a number of interesting credits to her name, not least as Queen Victoria in Doctor Who, but I was pleasantly surprised to find her… Read More »

That one special show: ‘Ellery Queen’

For those of us that love television there is always that one show. The one show where to this day it remains unfathomable how the network executives only gave it one season. Firefly is the most obvious for a lot of people and shows such as My So-Called Life, Freaks And Geeks and Rubicon also come to mind, particularly the latter which still colors my reaction to The Walking Dead as the show that replaced it on AMC. For me… Read More »

‘New Tricks’ is the best show you haven’t seen!

I’ve been a huge fan of Hulu since it first became available a number of years ago. The ability to watch multiple episodes of shows, in some cases whole seasons of quality television, gives the viewer wonderful freedom and the price – free – can’t be beat. While I have happily signed up for both Netflix DVD and Streaming services, I had yet to do so for Hulu’s premium service most recently bombarded with the latest offer from Hulu of… Read More »

Trevor Eve plays to type in Kidnap and Ransom

There’s something rather comforting and compelling about Trevor Eve. The actor has been on our screens since 1979 when the detective show Eddie Shoestring made him a household name in the UK. Since then Eve, now 62, has appeared regularly as the strong dependable type in such shows as Waking the Dead. True to form Eve is back in just such a role in the ITV commissioned Kidnap and Ransom, with two seasons of the show each split into three… Read More »

4-10-3-11-9 in that order… anyone got a jelly baby?

Doctor Who celebrates its 50th anniversary with the Day of the Doctor on BBC America this Saturday morning. That Doctor Who has become something of a cultural phenomenon in the US is one of those weird and wonderful things that sometimes happen with television. That such a positive reception has centered on the more recent incarnations of the Doctor, specifically the ninth, 10th and 11th played by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith respectively, is a curious thing for… Read More »

Glenister highlights the Hidden

One of the nice aspects of Netflix is that their recommendation algorithm is actually rather good. No sooner had I watched The Bletchley Circle than Netflix added the Hidden to a list of suggestions based on that information; well that and Apparitions and Ripper Street, the former a supernatural drama starring Martin Shaw and the latter available on BBC America. And on first look at the cover art used as the icon for the show you’d be forgiven for thinking… Read More »

The Bletchley Circle is a superior drama

Every now and again you sit down to watch a show and the sheer quality and brilliance of the writing, and the performances involved, makes you go “whoa.” Welcome to The Bletchley Circle a three-part series that appeared so briefly on PBS earlier in the year that I, and I suspect countless others, missed it completely. However The Bletchley Circle has now become available for streaming via Netflix. Do not hesitate; watch this show. Set in post war Britain in… Read More »

Much to like in Single-Handed, Irish TV drama

One of the joys of digging into online services such as Hulu and Netflix is finding a show that you had no idea existed. Such is the case this week as we take the time to look at a very popular Irish series called Single-Handed which is available for streaming on Hulu. Set in the west of Ireland, a bleak, desolate and yet beautiful landscape, the series revolves around Sergeant Jack Driscoll, of the local Irish police called the Garda.… Read More »

Anderson perfect in The Fall

Up first in our foray into the hidden gems of television is The Fall, the new series starring Gillian Anderson that debuted this past May in Ireland and the UK and is available for streaming on Netflix. Anderson, more popularly known for her role as Dana Scully in the X-Files, plays a Detective Superintendent brought in from London to oversee a murder investigation in Belfast after the original investigation is unable to make headway. Now 45 and still able to… Read More »

TV from around the globe

Hello and welcome to a slightly different angle on the TV Scoop. I’m Wallace Poulter and I’ll be your tour guide as we examine some of the hidden television gems that are available with just a little bit of exploring. Gone are the simple days of not so long ago when the networks ruled and cable was something of a wasteland. Today brilliant shows are to be found throughout the dial, even if it isn’t a dial anymore, and the proliferation of broadband… Read More »