Friday, 30 January 2009

Rebecca Hall in Empire magazine

I just bought the new issue of Empire magazine and was pleased to find Rebecca Hall has been featured. Here's my scan:

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Terminator, Emma, Kelly, Justine, Alastair Reynolds

It's been over a week since my last post so here is a round-up of what has been in my head these last few days.

First of all Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles returns to UK TV screens on Thursday 5 February 2009. I saw the trailer twice last night during Criminal Minds and found myself going "Yessss!!!"

Friend Barbie send me this news:

Jane Austen's masterpiece Emma is to be adapted by award-winning writer Sandy Welch (Our Mutual Friend, Jane Eyre, North And South) into a fresh, humorous and perceptive 4 x 60-minute serial for BBC Drama Production, for transmission on BBC One in autumn 2009.

This is of interest to me because Sandy Welch did such a good job with Jane Eyre in 2006. Thanks to the writing, Ruth Wilson's acting and the music the makers were able to dispense with the narration telling you what Jane was thinking at any one moment. I'm not sure the world needs another adaptation of Emma but I'm sure I will watch it anyway.

I mentioned before about my lack of interest in sport but I had been looking forward to seeing Kelly Sotherton compete at this weekend's Aviva International event in Glasgow. Alas she's hurt her back and will not compete.

Photo of Kelly. Just because.

I've officially decided I like Justine Waddell. Since watching Wives and Daughters I've seen Great Expectations (she was very good in that), Thr3e (OK movie) Dracula 2000/2001 (she was a bit wasted) and the movie of Mansfield Park (I admit I had finger on the fast-forward button a few times). Still have to watch Tess.

I've almost finished House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds. I've had it for a while but it's only in the last week or so that I've got stuck in. I must admit I flew through his last few novels (Century Rain, Pushing Ice and The Prefect) much sooner after buying them. And some of those were long books. But now that I'm into it I find that House of Suns is an entertaining space opera set 6 million years in the future. The main characters are clones who skip through time by traveling close to light-speed and observe the turnover of galactic civilisations.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Wives and Daughters

I've had the DVDs of the BBC's Wives and Daughters lying around the house for ages and late on Saturday night I finally made myself watch episode 1. I enjoyed it very much and on Sunday I immersed myself in the remaining three episodes.

You know, that show was really very good. Much better than I had expected it to be. Maybe not just up to the standards of my beloved Jane Eyre 2006 (staring Ruth Wilson), but very excellent nonetheless.

It's had to believe that it was out in 1999! Good lord, 1999 used to sound like the future and now it's 10 years ago.

W&D is based on Elizabeth Gaskell's final unfinished novel. It principally concerns Molly Gibson, a doctor's daughter who is less than pleased when her widowed father brings home a new wife. With her new "mother" comes a stepsister in the form of Cynthia, who has a few skeletons clattering in the metaphorical closet.

Molly is played by Justine Waddell. I have to confess that Justine somehow managed to pass me by, despite being Queen of the Costume Drama a few years ago. In addition to W&D she was in Tess and Great Expectations to name just two.

Fantastic cast in this one. Bill Patterson as Molly's father, Francesca Annis as the awful yet fascinating new mother, Michael Gambon as the Squire.

God, Gambon is excellent. He has the best line in the whole thing:

"Madam - your wife - and I didn't hit it off the only time I ever saw her. I'm not saying she was very silly, but one of us was very silly and it wasn't me."

Tom Hollander is in it as the Squire's son with a secret. Keeley Hawes is Cynthia. Rosamund Pike turns up (pre James Bond) to play Lady Harriet. It's a small role next to the others but vitally important to the story. She single-handedly rescues Molly from the gossip of the misinformed townsfolk.

Justine handles the required adversity well, such as when she's playing the piano while across the room Cynthia is unknowingly stealing the man Molly secretly loves.

I'm going to try to see some more of Justine Waddell's work. next is Tess I think. If I can stand it so soon after the most recent version. Brace myself...

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Patrick McGoohan, 1928 - 2009

I was quite saddened to hear Kirsty Wark announce the death of "the man in the black turtleneck" on Newsnight. Along with many others I will remember him best as Number 6 in The Prisoner.

I wasn't even born when it was first broadcast in 1967. In 1992 Channel 4 showed the series for the 25th anniversary and I was immediately hooked. Part of the appeal was watching the wonderful opening credits and listening to Ron Grainer's pounding theme music.

The stores were clearly an allegorical look at our own society. Four decades on we discover that we are living in a surveillance society after all. We passively swipe our Tesco club cards when buying our shopping. We buy the newspaper and accept the pre-packaged prejudices of the editor, getting 'outraged' on cue. (The episode of The Prisoner dealing with a village election was particularly scathing of the press. Number 6 gives an interview to a reporter and moments later is handed a newspaper with his 'comments' already written.)

It's very interesting that McGoohan went on to play authority figures such as the warden in Escape From Alcatraz or the King in Braveheart.

Recently a remake of The Prisoner has been in production with Sir Ian McKellan on Number 2 duties and one of my favourite actresses, Ruth Wilson, co-staring. it is sure to be very different but I hope the spirit of the original is still there.

Now I'm off to punch a table like Number 6 does in the opening credits...

Gemma Arterton and the Bafta nominations

I got a nice surprise this morning when I turned on my TV just before 8am. The BBC had live coverage of Gemma Arterton reading out the Bafta nominations. (OK, so Hayley Atwell read some out too, but I was only paying attention to Gemma.)

Admittedly she did stumble on the title 'Persepolis', but that understandable. Hey, the sun still hadn't risen and there she was looking very presentable.

After just a few minutes it was all over and Mark Kermode popped up. All before 8am! If only the actual awards ceremony was that quick.

I've got to sent a "boo, hiss" to the Daily Mail who have a nasty story about Gemma not looking as skinny as she did in October. Seriously! Will the British press ever stop attacking people for the sake of it? Go complain about Jonathan Ross if you've got to.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Lena Headey to direct

Empire magazine reports that Lena Headey is to make her directorial debut. in a film called Kill Drug, "a dark thriller about an underground society dedicated to murdering society’s ingrates, nincompoops and scallywags." It doesn't shoot until next January though.

Read the full article at

Yet another Rebecca Hall post

I just found a good long article about Rebecca Hall on the Telegraph newspaper website. It seems to be dated December 2008 so perhaps its the article from the Stella magazine that I missed.

Anyhow, here is the link:

Nice photo too!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Rebecca Hall, more news

The BBC report that Rebecca hall has been nominated for the Bafta's Rising Star award. The winner will be announced at the Bafta film awards in London on 8 February 2009.

You can read more about it at

And you can vote for Rebecca at

Rebecca was featured in the January 2009 issue of Vanity Fair. You can see her photo at

Finally the new issue of Tatler is out with Rebecca on the cover.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Rebecca Hall in Tatler magazine

I have just discovered that Rebecca Hall is on the cover of the February 2009 issue of Tatler magazine in the UK.

She is also featured on one page in the current InStyle UK magazine.

Also I missed her in the Stella magazine that comes with the Telegraph newspaper. She was featured in it on 28 December 2008 according to a copy I saw on eBay.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Victoria Pendleton wants more cycling events

There's an article about Victoria Pendleton (MBE!) in today's Sunday Mail. In it she points out that she is limited in the number of events she can compete in because of her gender.

While Hoy, who was knighted in the New Year Honours, was able to fight for a hat-trick of gold medals, Pendleton was restricted to just one race because the Olympics limit the number of women's cycling events.

Fair enough.

The whole article is linked below.

The Diary of Anne Frank article in Sunday Mail

The BBC's new adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank starts tomorrow night (5 January 2009).

The writer, Deborah Moggach, kept her own diary of the making of the series in 2007 and you can read it at

Friday, 2 January 2009

Tess of the d'Urbervilles on Masterpiece Theater

Tess of the d'Urbervilles will be shown in the USA this month on PBS. I believe the first episode is on Sunday 4 January.

It's a good adaptation, but be warned, as it's a Thomas Hardy book there ain't many laughs.

I was very impressed with Gemma Arterton as Tess. Here she is with Alec. (Boo, hiss!)

Find out more at