The Last Day - PicturesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
A bumper crop of pictures was released by the BBC today for the final adventure in the current series of Wizards vs Aliens.

Written by Phil Ford and directed by Joss Agnew, The Last Day guest-stars Jennifer Hennessy as Helen.

In part one, while the Nekross's master plan is advanced in secret, Tom is haunted by dreams of his childhood. And when he tries to have a normal life by going on a date with Katie he suddenly sees someone from his past and discovers the impossible has happened. His entire life will never be the same again . . .

In part two, with a powerful new ally by his side, Tom must bring his entire family together with Benny to destroy the Nekross master plan before the whole of Earth is changed forever. But are they strong enough to stop the Nekross? And in order to save the world, how much will Tom have to lose?



Part one will air on Monday 3rd December, with the second and concluding part going out on Tuesday 4th December, both at 5.15pm, bringing to an end the 12-part first series.

A second series comprising 14 episodes has been confirmed for next year. It will reportedly include an adaptation of a story originally to have been in Series 5 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. The adventure, called The Thirteenth Floor, written by Phil Ford, ultimately was not made for The Sarah Jane Adventures as the show ended following the death of Elisabeth Sladen.





Merlin: With All My HeartBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 27 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Pictures from With All My Heart - the ninth episode of the current series of Merlin - were released by the BBC today.


Merlin knows he must act fast before Morgana's twisted control over Gwen gets further out of hand. But only the most powerful magic can save the Queen and this will not be easy, even for Merlin. As the High Priestess tightens her grip on Camelot, one thing is clear - she will not give up her puppet without a fight.

Written by Richard McBrien and directed by Alice Troughton, the episode, which guest-stars Maureen Carr as The Dochraid, will air on BBC One on Saturday 1st December at 8pm.





Merlin To End After Current SeriesBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The current series of Merlin will be the show's last, the BBC announced today.

Created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy, and Johnny Capps, the first series began airing on BBC One on 20th September 2008, with a new series shown every year since. Now on its fifth season, the fantasy drama is scheduled to bow out on Saturday 29th December with the promise of "a spectacular finale".

Starring Colin Morgan as Merlin, Bradley James as Arthur Pendragon, Katie McGrath as Morgana, Angel Coulby as Guinevere, Anthony Head as Uther Pendragon, Richard Wilson as Gaius, and John Hurt as the voice of the Great Dragon, viewing figures over the years have ranged between 5.37 million (series 1, episode 5: Lancelot) and 8.39 million (series 4, episode 12: Sword In The Stone, Part I). The current series average is 6.94 million. Since 2008, the show has been sold to more than 50 broadcasters in 183 countries.

Guest stars across the series have included Michelle Ryan, Santiago Cabrera, Emilia Fox, Asa Butterfield, Mackenzie Crook, Adrian Lester, Warwick Davis, Miriam Margolyes, Eddie Marsan, Will Mellor, James Cosmo, Lindsay Duncan, Janet Montgomery, James Fox, Tom Ellis, Nathaniel Parker, Michael Cronin, Charles Dance, Gemma Jones, Sarah Parish, Miranda Raison, Ben Daniels, and John Lynch.

At the San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, Capps said that a trilogy of films may be made after the fifth series of Merlin, but nothing more has been said about that in the wake of today's announcement. In a joint statement today, he and Murphy said:
This is the series where the storylines truly reach their apex. We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best-known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot.

We'd like to thank the amazing cast and crew for their professionalism and dedication, the BBC, [investor] Fremantle Media Enterprises, and all of our partners globally for their incredible support and encouragement across the last five series. But chiefly, our thanks go to Merlin's remarkable and loyal audience around the world for their enthusiasm for the characters and Camelot universe.

The series was made by Shine TV for BBC Cymru Wales, and BBC One controller Danny Cohen said:
Merlin's mix of magic, adventure, and humour quickly became a hit with BBC One audiences and has continued to thrill families over the past five years on Saturday nights. I admire the creators' decision to end Merlin on a high, but also know that we will miss it in the BBC One schedule.

On behalf of BBC One I would like to thank Shine and all those involved in the making of the show both on and off screen. I hope fans will tune in over the coming weeks to see the spectacularly dramatic final episodes, and we have ambitious plans for new drama in the Saturday evening slot in 2013.

Members of the main cast have each had something to say about the show coming to an end.

Colin Morgan:
From the beginning this was always going to be a five-year journey that we embarked on and I think the show has run its natural course. The show has grown and grown each year and now we've arrived at its strongest point and we've achieved what we set out to do. I know this is the end, and I know this is goodbye, but thank you for being there on the journey with us because it has been a lot of fun!

Bradley James:
The Merlin years have provided me with fond memories, great experiences, and beloved friends, and all the while we were supported by a devoted fan base who made the show a unique, surreal, and special experience. My words won't do justice to the honour of being King Arthur, so I shall just say that it has been an exceptional one and that knowing the show has been a part of so many people's lives has been humbling.

Katie McGrath:
I have always said the success of the show has stemmed from our audience being able to relate to the characters on different levels. Being based on the universally-loved Arthurian legend is only a tiny part of its success - it's a story about acceptance and growing up. The breathtaking finale of this series leaves you with no doubt that characters have been on their journeys and had their stories told - it's completely the right time to draw our telling of the story to a close.

Angel Coulby:
It has been a very special and memorable five years making Merlin. I feel extremely proud to have been part of such a brilliant show and such a great team. I think we've told the story we set out to tell, which ends with the fantastic two-part finale by the way! I believe the key to any successful show is making sure you leave people wanting more!

Richard Wilson:
Firstly, I would like to say that I'm extremely sad that Merlin has come to an end. Speaking as Gaius, I feel I have mentored the young wizard as far as I can - he is much smarter and greater than me now and I am simply exhausted!




Merlin Series 5 Finale Pictures ReleasedBookmark and Share

Monday, 26 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC today released a set of four pictures from the 13th and final episode of the current series of Merlin.

The episode, whose title has not yet been announced, is due to be broadcast on BBC One on Saturday 29th December, and images are usually released the preceding Tuesday, but the BBC is making this set public more than a month in advance.


Pictures from episode 9 - entitled With All My Heart, which airs on Saturday 1st December at 8pm - will be released tomorrow.





Mobile Apps For Primeval Spin-OffBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Two apps have been produced to bring Primeval: New World to the mobile world.

The North American spin-off of the UK series Primeval is set in modern-day Vancouver and is co-produced by Omnifilm Entertainment.

Gabriela Schonbach, partner at Omnifilm Entertainment and executive producer of the series, said:
The audience for the Primeval: New World brand is very savvy and comfortable with technology. There are already dozens of fan sites popping up, and we're seeing strong buzz in social media. We are delighted to provide this very active fan base with unique new ways to interact with the dinosaurs and the characters across as many platforms as possible.

Primeval: dFX – Dino Movie Maker - out now - is said to be easy to use and ideal for a general audience, including people who don't consider themselves "gamers".

Users can select from a variety of dinosaurs featured in the TV series, record a video clip using their iPhone or iPad camera, and then the app quickly inserts the selected dinosaur into the video clip. All videos can be saved for montages, uploaded to popular social media channels, or e-mailed out to friends and family.

Primeval: New World, which is scheduled to launch on Thursday 22nd November, is described as being more of a traditional platform game.

Players choose which character from the series they want to control. The characters then embark on missions to defend the streets of Vancouver from dinosaur attacks, work to capture creatures, and rescue civilians. As players move up levels and enter into new environments they collect tokens and points to be redeemed for in-app purchases.

The apps were produced by Calgary-based Robots and Pencils.

Thirteen episodes were commissioned for the first series of the TV show, which is currently being broadcast on Canadian channel SPACE on Mondays at 10pm ET, having started on 29th October. A date for it to start on Watch in the UK has yet to be announced. It was originally believed it would be shown here at some point late this year but January 2013 now looks likely to be the series' UK premiere month.

Bill Lundy, senior producer of digital at SPACE, said:
Primeval: New World has the richest and most diverse collection of online and mobile content we have ever launched for a SPACE original series. Not only are we offering our viewers an exciting and engaging website with unique user-generated content, we are also providing them with mobile app game experiences. The cross-promotion of the television series through these different media is a perfect fit for our engaged audience.
  • The first eight episodes of Primeval: New World will be shown in a marathon broadcast on SPACE on Friday 28th December beginning at 6am ET.




TV Props And Models Going Under The HammerBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 20 November 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Models and props from Captain Scarlet, Blake's 7, and the latest series of Red Dwarf are to be auctioned next month in London.

Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia sale takes place on Wednesday 12th December at its Knightsbridge showroom, starting at midday, where the following will be available to bid for:

Lot No: 137 - A Captain Brown puppet from Captain Scarlet

Original, restored head with reproduction body and uniform, puppet approx 22in (56cm) high with statement from Terry Curtis regarding the restoration. The character was only in the first episode and in flashback in the second. It was then used for other characters in the series, including Major Reeves and Dr Conrad. The puppet also appeared as Dr Blakemore in the Joe 90 episode Operation McClaine and as Harry Sloane in Double Agent in the same series. In The Secret Service it portrayed several characters, including the spy George Grey and, with grey hair and moustache, General Brompton in the episode Hole In One. Provenance: This head is ex-lot 14, The Sylvia Anderson, Mary Turner and John Read Collection, Phillips, September 1995. Restorer Terry Curtis's statement details the work he undertook on the puppet head, including re-wigging with original mohair, repainting the head to its original colour, replacing missing teeth with a set moulded from the close-up Captain Blue head and using leather from Pittards in the uniform, as was the original leather. The eyes are original.

Estimate: £12,500-13,500, €16,000-17,000; $20,000-22,000
 
Lot No: 138 - Stardrive prop from Blake's 7

A prop stardrive device from the Blake's 7 episode Stardrive (series 4, episode 4), circa 1981, constructed mainly from metal and plastics, with internal wiring and carrying handle, 30 x 7½ x 5½ inches (76x19x14cm).

Estimate: £500-700, €630-880; $800-1,100
 
Lot No: 141 - Mothership from Red Dwarf X

A detailed model Mothership spaceship designed and made by William 'Bill' Pearson, constructed from plastic and metal. Featured in Red Dwarf X in 2012. Length - 24 inches (61cm). This model was originally built for a proposed science-fiction television series in the 1980s that was not commissioned. The model spaceship remained in Bill Pearson's workshop until this year and featured in episode 4, Entangled, as a space station.

Estimate: £500-700, €630-880; $800-1,100
 
Lot No: 142 - Annihilator from Red Dwarf X

A detailed model Annihilator fantasy spaceship designed and made by William 'Bill' Pearson. Constructed from plastic and metal, and featured in Red Dwarf X in 2012. Length - 22 inches (56cm). Originally made for a Red Dwarf Christmas special more than ten years ago but never used. It then remained in Bill Pearson's workshop until this year when it was called upon for Red Dwarf X and featured in episode 6, The Beginning. Only one model was made, which was duplicated in the episode using visual effects.

Estimate: £500-700, €630-880; $800-1,100