Showing posts with label Russell T Davies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Russell T Davies. Show all posts

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wizards vs Aliens Season 2

The children’s drama series co-created by Russell T Davies returns for its sophomore season with renewed intent. The opening story `100 Wizards` feels sharper and more self-assured and if some of the same drawbacks remain, at least matter s are propelled at a speed that allows the viewer not to notice. Tom Clarke in particular seems to have had a burst of wizard energy and become a far better written and played character who now justifies Scott Haran’s position as lead of the show. Unlike much of the first season where he was outshone by others Haran is front and centre with a more nuanced character who has clearly learned from his experiences and feels emboldened. There is both light and shade; a budding romance with fellow wizard Chloe is perfectly played and contrasts with his new found defiance against the Nekross. Thus there is also a much sparkier relationship between Tom and Benny reflecting their developing friendship.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wizards vs Aliens: Is It Magic?

Russell T Davies and Phil Ford’s new children’s series Wizards vs Aliens has potential despite an uneven first adventure.
 Russell T Davies returns to the place where he started his television writing career with this new CBBC show. Born out of difficult personal and professional problems, Wizards vs Aliens gainfully employs many of the behind the scenes personnel who worked on The Sarah Jane Adventures, with which it is inevitably going to be compared. Unlike that series however, Wizards vs Aliens does not have the protection or heritage of a much loved classic parent show and must stand (or fall) solely on the basis of its own merits. This could be advantageous allowing the writers a clean sheet or it could mean lack of publicity – or even anticipation- will be problematic. Davies has stated how he had to pitch the idea far harder than SJA and it is hoped this will give the new series a rigour it might otherwise lack. As if to buffer themselves from any early doubts, two seasons worth of episodes have already been planned. On the basis of  Dawn of the Nekross`- and bearing in mind debut stories rarely personify a subsequent season- the jury is still out but erring on the positive.

Gran's scarf was a problem in high winds

Monday, 14 May 2012

Up-words - It's Time for Doctor Who

Up-words features the best of the articles from This way up when it was published as a print fanzine from 2002- 2010.

It’s Time for Doctor Who / John Connors / June 2005

Imagine you’re a Doctor Who fan. One day in the 1990s someone appears from the future (and, hey, he might be a bit Northern with prominent ears and a black coat, you never know) and tells you that your favourite telly show will be back on air in 2005 and not only will it be great, exciting, terrifying and epic but it will be a ratings trouncing success, the serious critics will rave and even people who previously thought it was all silly wobbly set laden kids stiff will swoon when they catch an eyeful. There will also, he adds with a twinkle in his eyes, be Daleks, millions of them. “Fantastic!”  It sounds like something that could never happen but here we are in 2005 and it has happened. It were never been like this in the old days when effects were rarely special and Daleks were mostly cardboard cut outs and fans existed in their own enclosed world. A short write up in the `Radio Times`, the odd snippet wedged in the midst of a big `Saturday night on BBC1` trailer and that was your lot in the halcyon days of the 70s. Doctor Who, however successful it was, never had the cachet it has right now.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Up-words - Messianic

Up-words features the best of the articles from This way up when it was published as a print fanzine from 2002- 2010.

Messianic / Sean Alexander / July 2004

The phrase ‘high concept’ is one much bandied about by television executives.  But in these days of formulaic dramas, populated by seemingly endless casts of former soap stars, the reality is only rarely glimpsed.  One such occasion was Russell T. Davies’ 2003 drama The Second Coming.  Davies, previously most renowned for controversial gay-drama Queer as Folk, is perhaps more known now as the man responsible for resurrecting Doctor Who next year.  And as a foretaste to what devotees of the Time Lord can expect, The Second Coming is an intriguing glimpse at a path the new show could take.  Principally, there is new Doctor Christopher Eccleston’s unofficial audition for the role; all manic energy and other-worldly presence.  But perhaps what whets Who fans’ appetite most is the customary grittiness Davies’ writing brings. 

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Living Things

Torchwood: Miracle Day reviewed by John Connors

"We'll have four lagers, please."
It was a surprise to everyone that silly old Torchwood ended up producing something as superb as Children of Earth, one of 2009’s television highlights. The problem then became how to follow what was surely intended to be the series’ swansong. Turning up a tardy two years on, Miracle Day finds the chameleonic series undergoing yet another change, this time becoming a co-production with US company Starz. How much Stateside influence has infiltrated Torchwood was bound to be almost as intriguing as what the series was about.