Special Branch (1969) - News Poster



‘Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem #5′ Review

  • Nerdly
Written by Kim Newman | Art by Paul McCaffrey | Published by Titan Comics

I’ve really enjoyed this series so far, it has definitely had its own feel to it from the beginning. Kim Newman has crafted a bizarre yet semi-familiar world, full of bizarre, but semi-familiar characters. I am, of course, a bizarre and semi-familiar reviewer. It’s been a blast though, much like the blast the rebels wanted to give Dracula during his anniversary celebrations. Last issue saw us on the evening of the Jubilee itself, with Kate being framed for the planned bombing while actually trying to defuse the bomb. It set this book up for an, ahem, explosive finale.

Although we have a cast of thousands, the main thing to be aware of since last issue is that there seem to be a lot of spies and turncoats everywhere, possibly on both sides. No-one can trust anyone.
See full article at Nerdly »

How James Bond 25 could reinvent the franchise

Mark Harrison Jul 26, 2017

James Bond 25 will arrive in November 2019. Eon Productions still has much to consider...

This feature contains spoilers for Spectre.

It was announced this week that James Bond Will Return in November 2019, for the 25th movie in the series. After the box office reception and subsequent backlash against the previous film, 2015's Spectre, there has been much speculation about the next film taking on a radically different approach, from casting to storytelling.

The signs strongly point towards Daniel Craig reprising his role for a fifth time, according to a report in the Mirror earlier this month and a recent confirmation in the New York Times that his return was “a done deal”. Despite Craig's much repeated quote about slashing his wrists rather than returning, which the actor has since put down to being overtired by the junket schedule, it certainly looks like he's coming back for one last go.
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem #2′ Review

  • Nerdly
Written by Kim Newman | Art by Paul McCaffrey | Published by Titan Comics

The first issue of the Anno Dracula 1895 comic series, from the mind of Kim Newman, threw in enough ideas and concepts to fill a dozen issues of most other series. I say ‘new’, but the series grew out of Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula world he has been building through his novels. In what has become a familiar genre now, Newman creates his own fictional stories using real world people and events, but always with a twist. Queen Victoria marrying Count Dracula for example, or Jack the Ripper murdering prostitutes because they were actually vampires. A lot of clever ideas bobbing around gave me extremely high hopes for this 5 part series.

Very tough to give a complete summary of last issue if you missed it, but essentially Count Dracula has been in control of The British Empire for 10 years,
See full article at Nerdly »

Guerrilla: Episode One Review

  • HeyUGuys
Author: Hannah Woodhead

When Sky Atlantic announced it was producing a miniseries about the 1970s black power movement in the UK, many people were excited. This area of history is largely ignored by the history books, particularly in the British school system, and many Britons will know far more about the American civil right movement than the persecution that Poc faced right on our doorstep. Still, with talent on board in the form of Idris Elba as Executive Producer and 12 Years A Slave’s Oscar-winning scribe John Ridley as director and writer, this Showtime/Sky collaboration promised to shine a light on this fascinating, important, and incredibly current part of British history. It’s unfortunate then that in its first episode, Guerrilla fails to compel in quite the way that it should.

Rather than being a factual depiction of events or a biopic, Guerrilla is a reimagining of history, borrowing
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Rory Kinnear interview: Guerrilla, Bond, Penny Dreadful, Count Arthur Strong

Louisa Mellor Apr 20, 2017

We chatted to actor Rory Kinnear about his roles in Sky Atlantic's Guerrilla, Bond, Penny Dreadful and more…

In Rory Kinnear’s first answer during our chat about his role in Sky Atlantic drama Guerrilla, he makes a wry joke at his own expense. He’s not a well-known actor, he says, and perhaps not one with “a particularly heroic face!” he laughs when we talk about the moral complexity of his roles. Give him an outright compliment and he deflects the praise elsewhere, onto writers and directors, John Logan for Penny Dreadful, John Ridley for Guerrilla. His role as Bill Tanner in the James Bond franchise is a “very, very small” part of an enormous machine, he stresses.

See related Line Of Duty series 4, and the clues hiding in series 1 Line Of Duty: creator Jed Mercurio interview Explaining the Line Of Duty series 2 finale
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Anno Dracula 1895: Seven Days in Mayhem #1′ Review

  • Nerdly
Written by Kim Newman | Art by Paul McCaffrey | Published by Titan Comics

The horror comics renaissance of recent times seemingly continues with the arrival of Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. Kim Newman should need no introduction to horror fans, being a critically acclaimed writer and critic, and the fact he is not just licensing but also writing his ‘baby’ obviously bodes very well indeed. This new series, together with some new Anno Dracula novels out this year too, will expand his fictional universe nicely.

Anno Dracula began life as an early 1990′s novel, with Kim Newman doing the Alan Moore-esque thing of intertwining a fictional narrative with real historical personalities, creating a different yet familiar alternate timeline. This is a world split, between humans who have chosen to ‘turn’, and those who have chosen not to. The initial book saw Jack the Ripper killing prostitutes, as per our real world history,
See full article at Nerdly »

James Bond 25, and the untapped stories of the novels

Mark Allison Feb 22, 2017

Iam Fleming's James Bond novels still have narratives and ideas that haven't made it to the 007 movie series...

A spoiler lies ahead for Spectre

See related The world of the Peaky Blinders

Over the course of 11 years, Ian Fleming wrote 12 James Bond novels and nine short stories before his death in 1964, forming the basis for the film series which survives to the present day. 24 films and 55 years since the birth of the cinematic Bond, it might come as a surprise that the franchise hasn’t completely exhausted its source material. More often than not, however, the James Bond films have been adaptations in name only.

Starting with Roald Dahl’s outlandish screenplay for the fifth Bond film, You Only Live Twice, the film scripts began to drift away from their literary inspirations. For most of Roger Moore’s seven-film tenure, for example, entire plots and characters were
See full article at Den of Geek »

‘Bodyguards’ Exclusive Clips: Documentary Examines the Lives of People Who Protect the Rich and Famous

  • Indiewire
‘Bodyguards’ Exclusive Clips: Documentary Examines the Lives of People Who Protect the Rich and Famous
Though they remain silent out in public, bodyguards and protection agents are still the individuals on the front lines for the rich and famous. Their job is to protect those most vulnerable to attack in any and all walks of life. The new documentary “Bodyguards: Secret Lives from the Watchtower” explores the lives of these people and their daily struggles to maintain control amidst chaos. Some of the people interviewed in the film are Justin Bieber and his Director of Security, Whitey Bulger’s protector, 50 Cent and Lil Wayne’s bodyguard and Ambassador’s under Blackwater.

Read More: Laurence Fishburne Will Star in Bet’s Nelson Mandela Miniseries, Directed by Kevin Hooks

See two exclusive clips from the film below that feature Rory, a white South African and former member of Special Branch, the department of the South African police force tasked with breaking up anti-Apartheid groups. In his quest
See full article at Indiewire »

Tom Clegg obituary

Director who launched The Sweeney and was in demand for many television action series

The television director Tom Clegg, who has died aged 81, gained a reputation for his expert handling of action on screen, in work ranging from the pilot episode of The Sweeney, featuring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman as tough, no-nonsense detectives, to the swashbuckling Sharpe television films, following the daring exploits of a British officer (Sean Bean) in the Napoleonic wars. “Action isn’t just about fights,” Clegg told Rachel Murrell, author of Sharpe’s Story: The Making of a Hero (1996). “Action is what moves the story on dramatically. Just because people are rushing around, [it] doesn’t make it action. A good argument between Sharpe and Hakeswill can have as much action as the Chosen Men running across a battlefield.”

Clegg directed Regan, the 1974 pilot of The Sweeney, which featured Thaw as the detective inspector of the title,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

BFI London Film Festival 2015: ‘Suffragette’ impactfully chronicles a long, hard struggle


Written by Abi Morgan

Directed by Sarah Gavron

UK, 2015

As the high-profile spearhead of UK film culture, the London Film Festival thrives on promoting the heritage films that its indigenous industry clings to so dearly: the historical and period dramas which keep the production designers, wardrobe wranglers and most of the Royal Shakespeare Company solvent throughout another procurement drive of Elizabethan ruffs, period-accurate Wren uniforms and Victorian fainting couches. Last year the festival opened with the Second World War espionage thriller The Imitation Game, and this year the opening gala focus is turned to Britain’s history of female emancipation which won women the vote through a long and bitter political campaign against the patriarchal status quo. Quite how long and brutal this struggle was will be shocking to some (this reviewer included), as recent revelations from parliamentary records and the excavation of supressed law enforcement records build a
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Voytek obituary

Stage and screen designer remembered for his many elegant masterstrokes

Voytek, who has died aged 89, brought distinctive vitality and creative adaptability to productions for theatre, film and television. His work ranged from theatre design to credits as a director, producer and writer of TV drama. In the 1960s and 70s, he directed episodes of Callan, Man at the Top, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm, Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Frankenstein and Special Branch. He was producer for The Pilgrim's Progress (1967), and wrote Judas (1966) and Two's a Crowd (1978). But Voytek is best remembered for the many elegant masterstrokes of production design that resulted from his sharp wit and incisive analysis of a screenplay.

He was dubbed Voytek by the theatre director George Devine, who deemed it more memorable than his given name, Wojciech Roman Pawel Jerzy Szendzikowski. Son of Wadysaw, a doctor, and Maria, Wojciech was born and brought up in Warsaw.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Crimson Petal and The White Hits DVD Stands Stateside

  • bestbritishtv
The Crimson Petal and the White. Acorn Media

Kieran Kinsella

The Crimson Petal and the White is a controversial Dickensian style novel about the struggles of a working girl named Sugar. Last year, the BBC took the brave decision to bring the story to TV. Lucinda Coxon’s adaptation of Michael Faber’s tale proved to be one of the biggest hits of the year helped in part by an all-star cast and a hard hitting storyline. The Crimson Petal and the White recently aired on the Encore channel in the U.S. and it’s now available on Acorn media DVD.

X-Files actress Gillian Anderson puts in a powerful performance as the malevolent brothel owner who helps to guide Sugar down the path to misery and despair. The heroine of the piece is played by Romola Garai who is probably best known to American viewers for her role in
See full article at bestbritishtv »

Rewind TV: Imagine: The Fatwa – Salman's Story; Downton Abbey; New Tricks – review

You need good friends when you're under a fatwa, and Salman Rushdie certainly had them

Imagine: The Fatwa – Salman's Story (BBC1) | iPlayer

Downton Abbey (ITV1) | ITV Player

New Tricks (BBC1) | iPlayer

"You just have to lie low for a few days and let the politicians sort it out."

Valentine's Day 1989, and perhaps the romance of the day had made their little heads a touch giddy, because seldom can such touchingly naive advice have been offered by the hard-headed members of a Special Branch protection squad. It was, of course, 10 years before Salman Rushdie was effectively freed from the sentence of Khomeini's fatwa – it was never officially rescinded but it was made clear that Iran was no longer pursuing this particular murder-hungry daily pastime – and, of course, the politicians, our politicians, had been as confused and hobbled by events as is America today, and never "sorted it out".

All the controversies,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Elisabeth Sladen obituary

Actor whose role with Doctor Who brought her new audiences through The Sarah Jane Adventures

The actor Elisabeth Sladen, who has died aged 65 of cancer, was for many a favourite companion of BBC television's great time traveller, Doctor Who. But though her character, Sarah Jane Smith, was much missed when her three years of voyaging in the Tardis came to an end in 1976, there was still more to come.

An inquisitive, independent, feminist journalist, Sarah Jane provided a somewhat bolder sidekick than previously. The producer Barry Letts had seen hundreds of candidates for the part: many had shown the necessary vulnerability, and others bravery, but only Sladen displayed both. When Russell T Davies revived Doctor Who in 2005, he wanted to show Billie Piper's character, Rose, that she was not the only person to have travelled with the Doctor, and it was Sladen he turned to. Working with her proved
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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