Game of Thrones Season 3 comes out today, the 17th of February 2014, on DVD and Blu-Ray. To celebrate, HBO put together a load of fun events, and we went along to take a look.
The first was a Red Wedding themed evening at the Soho Hotel last Tuesday. Upon arrival, we were given a glass of wine and led into the Crimson Bar, where we found the most amazing cake:
It was commissioned especially for the screening and was created by the cake artists at Choccywoccydoodah, who sculpted the outside from chocolate (and Stark blood, apparently), and filled the inside with rum (lots of rum!) and raisin.
We then entered the screening room, where we were treated to a preview of the hour-long documentary about the making of the Red Wedding episode, which is included in the DVD set. It’s definitely worth watching – seeing how the CGI effects are layered onto the scenes was especially interesting.
Maisie Williams also graced us with her presence, and was questioned about previous GoT episodes and the upcoming season. When asked to comment on the Red Wedding episode at the end of season three, Maisie replied: “You know you’ve done a great job when the audience are crying”, which is possibly my favourite GoT quote of all time.
Apparently in season 4 we can expect even more bloodshed and lots more action – rather than building to a peak, this one will just be a peak all the way through – and Arya’s relationship with the Hound grows and deepens.
Not content to just give us an excellent screening, HBO have now set up an installation in Spitalfields market, where they have collaborated with street artists Joe and Max to create a huge piece of 3D art depicting the Wall. You can go and pose as a wildling, or as Jon Snow, or just as a confused human wandering the gap between the worlds, near Liverpool Street station today:
Season 3 is out on DVD & Blu-ray now, and Game of Thrones Season 4 premieres on HBO on April 6th 2014 and 7th of April at 9pm on Sky Atlantic in the UK. Here’s a teaser if you can’t quite wait that long:
Suspects is a new procedural crime drama starting 10pm on Wednesday 12th Feb 2014 on Channel 5, starring Fay Ripley, Damien Molony and Clare-Hope Ashitey. Set in London, the show focuses on a team of three detectives and their distinctive approaches to the job of policing. Each of the ten episodes tells a self-contained crime story – starting with a news report about the crime. We then follow the team of detectives as they investigate the circumstances of the crime, forensicate the crime scene, collate and analyse the evidence, and interview their suspects – until they finally identify and charge the perpetrator.
To help promote the show, we’ve been passed an interview with one of it’s stars – Damien Molony – who’s probably best know for playing the vampire Hal in Being Human, and Detective Constable Albert Flight in Ripper Street.
Suspects starts 10pm on Wednesday 12th Feb 2014, only on Channel 5
Who do you play in Suspects?
I play Detective Sergeant Jack Weston. He comes from a long line of police officers in Ireland, and has moved to London to join the police. He has very strong opinions about what’s right and wrong, and he’s very willing to cross certain boundaries, bend certain rules, if he believes that the end justifies the means.
What’s his relationship with the rest of the team?
Martha is his boss, and he is Charlie’s boss. He has to make sure he’s doing his own day-to-day job, as well as keeping an eye on the DCs, motivating his team, and then answering to Martha, making sure she’s up to speed with what’s happening. Jack has a responsibility to, sort of, coach Charlie and challenge her; to make her a better cop. He’s been tested and put through the wringer lots and lots of times by his superiors, when he was a DC and a PC, so he feels that that’s probably the best way to train someone. Charlie is very competent, so Jack is constantly impressed by her. But at the same time he’s looking out for her. As for his DI, Fay’s character, Martha, there is a lot of respect for her. He thinks she’s fantastic at what she does, but equally, if he thinks that she’s maybe missed something, maybe being too ‘by the book’, Jack isn’t afraid to say: ‘this needs to be done.’
How does that go down?
There have been a few times where Jack gets taken in and reprimanded for that. But you can’t really teach an old dog new tricks. Jack is too instinctive, and while he knows he’s not done the ‘right’ thing, getting in trouble with his superiors is not going to worry him too much if he’s the one who solves the case. Jack is emotional: his emotions often dictate his actions.
Did you speak to real police officers who behaved like that?
We spent a lot of time with police officers and detectives, both retired and still serving, researching the character and the world of the show. A lot of them spoke of the ‘red mist’. Police work these days, I gather, has lots of procedural elements to it. Lots of questions and paperwork and less time spent out on the beat. ‘Are you aware of what you’ve done?’ ‘This is why we’re taking you in, do you understand this?’ ‘Can you confirm your full name for me please, sir?’ But there are times, maybe, that during an arrest or a routine questioning where you get a slap in the face or a kick down below or something, and the ‘red mist’ comes down, and that’s it. All you want then is what the police call ‘the collar’. Getting the collar is always a great day.
Can you describe how the show is set up?
There is a very structured storyline – this is where the scene starts, this is where the scene ends; the scene must contain this information – but then, what happens when we’re filming the scene, is really up to the actors, the director and the cameraman, as the scene is being filmed, in the moment. That’s what will make it very exciting to watch, I think. It makes it very real.
What is that process like for the actors?
It’s exhilarating. It’s a very, very exciting way to work as an actor, because, you read the story, you read the story again, you read the story a third time, and then it’s like, ‘OK, let’s start shooting and we’ll see what happens’. That was daunting, maybe a little scary at the start. I remember the day we started shooting, there was just a sense of kind of nervous excitement from everyone. But two days in, two scenes in and then suddenly it’s like, ‘Give me the storyline – let’s go, let’s go!’ It was a huge rush of adrenaline. We were all absolutely shattered when we finished shooting!
What sort of research did you do and what did you take from it?
We did a few weeks of intense workshops with a retired Detective Chief Inspector. A lot of interview technique, learning a lot of police terminology and general day-to-day lingo, because to make it look and sound real, you want to be very, very specific. We then spent several nights with working detectives in boroughs across London, which was really exciting, because you see them work, but we also got to see them in a slightly more relaxed environment. We inundated them with questions, anything from ‘What do you keep in your desk?’ to ‘Why did you want to become a police officer in the first place?’ From an acting point of view, and from a character point of view, what interests me are ‘private moments’, when you think you’re alone at your desk but the camera is secretly filming – if Martha and Charlie are in the DI’s office talking, am I trying to stuff a croissant into my mouth, or going through my emails, or sending a cheeky text to an ex-girlfriend – that kind of thing. What does a DS do when he thinks he’s on his own?
Did the set feel like a real police station?
The sets themselves were incredible: it was a fully-functioning office, no fake walls, a hugely reduced camera and sound department, so it did feel very much like we were working as police officers, and being followed around by a documentary crew. Sometimes we didn’t even know where the cameras were. The phones were all connected, the photocopiers, printers – everything. There were evidence boards, CCTV cameras, different offices, Martha’s office, our desks. Then, within the desks were handcuffs, or my police notepad or my lanyard… or a bottle of whiskey, something I think every police officer has stashed away. If they’ve ever messed up and need to apologise to a superior, it’s very handy to have a spare bottle in a gift bag. Jack’s had to give out quite a few bottles in his time as peace offerings, I’d imagine.
Is the audience to understand that it’s faux documentary – as if we’re seeing a documentary that’s being made?
Obviously it’s a drama, but it’s shot in a documentary style, so it’s this fly-on-the-wall kind of thing. It’s as if this camera crew have been given access to a police department for however many months, and they follow ten cases from the 999 call up until the case is solved. As well as your everyday work relationships playing out on camera, there’s also a relationship between the character and the camera itself, because as the character you’re thinking, ‘Why is there a camera following me, when I’m chasing a thief down an alleyway?’ I was really keen to explore that relationship when starting the job. Being aware that a documentary crew are there, I think that will hopefully add another level of reality to it.
And has it changed how you think about the police, and policing?
Oh, massively. I did have a big respect for the police anyway, but watching them work and getting to understand the type of day that they have, only increases that respect. A bad day at work for me, I’ll come home, I’ve messed up: shock-horror, I mispronounced one word in the scene today, and that’s hell on earth for me. Whereas a bad day for a DS often involves horrific things, rescuing women from a cellar, telling a family their son’s been killed, awful stuff. They have a very difficult job, no doubt about it.
Sky Atlantic HD today announces that the, season 7 (the final season) of the multiple award-winning and critically acclaimed MAD MEN will premiere on the channel on Wednesday 16 April at 10pm, just 3 days after it returns in the US. The final season will consist of 14 episodes, with seven episodes (The Beginning) airing on Sky Atlantic HD this year, and the remaining episodes (The End of an Era) premiering in Spring 2015.
One of the best television dramas of recent years, MAD MEN has cemented its reputation as a critics’ darling and awards season favourite, with Matthew Weiner’s depiction of life in the world of advertising in 1960s New York capturing imaginations across the globe. Since the series premiere in 2007, the iconic series has earned a raft of honors, including six Emmy® Award nominations for Outstanding Drama Series leading to four wins, three Golden Globe® Awards for Best Television Drama Series and two BAFTA Awards.
Season six saw Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce merge with rival agency Cutler Gleason and Chaough; Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) and Trudy (Alison Brie) splitting up after she discovered one of his affairs; Sally (Kiernan Shipka) walking in during a romantic clinch between her father Don (Golden Globe® winner Jon Hamm) and their neighbour; and Don having a change of heart about a move to LA, much to his wife Megan’s (Jessica Pare) disappointment. In the season finale, an erratic Don was ordered to take an extended leave of absence following an unexpected admission during a client pitch that he is an orphan and was raised in a brothel.
Of the final episodes, creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner said: “We plan to take advantage of this chance to have a more elaborate story told in two parts, which can resonate a little bit longer in the minds of our audience. The writers, cast and other artists welcome this unique manner of ending this unique experience.”
Created and executive produced by Matthew Weiner, MAD MEN stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Jessica Paré, Rich Sommer, Aaron Staton, Robert Morse, Kiernan Shipka, Jay Ferguson and Christopher Stanley. Scott Hornbacher and Janet Leahy also serve as Executive Producers and Semi Chellas is Co-Executive Producer.
The season opener is written by Matthew Weiner and directed by Scott Hornbacher. The series is produced by Lionsgate.
MAD MEN returns on Wednesday 16 April at 10pm to Sky Atlantic HD, available exclusively to Sky TV customers and contract free on NOW TV with the NOW TV Entertainment Month Pass
Trundling around the net, and I stumble across numerous sites quoting an interview with Fox exec Kevin Reilly. Now, before you prepare your rotten fruit to hurl at him (for that is usually the appropriate response to meeting a Fox exec), Reilly is the man responsible for bringing The Following, Fringe, and Glee to Fox and My Name Is Earl, Heroes, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights to NBC, so he’s no slouch when it comes to picking interesting TV series. In the interview Reilly talks about a number of Fox’s upcoming projects, however there was one bit where he’s discussing the new show ‘Gotham‘ they have in the works (based in DC Comic’s Gotham City), which piqued my interest…
“This is all of the classic Batman characters, with a young Bruce Wayne, with Detective Gordon before he’s Commissioner Gordon, with the Penguin, with the Riddler, and with the Joker… …And we will arc a young Bruce Wayne from a child into the final episode of the series, when he will put on the cape.”
He goes on to explain how these will be proto-villains – early version’s of characters we know before they really formed into the villains we’ve come to ‘love’. I don’t have that much of an issue with creating origin stories for a lot of these characters. After all, Penguin is often shown as an older guy, and well connected mobster, it would be interesting to see how he gets to that point. Or how the Riddler became obsessed with riddles. The one that he mentions that does bother me is Joker… One of the recurring themes in the comic books that many of these villains wouldn’t actually exist without Batman, but that fact never really rings more true where the Joker is concerned. Joker can’t exist without Batman. There is also the issue that Gotham is going to have Gotham PD presumably manage to stop every Batman villain under the sun, which if they could do, would effectively negate the need to have Batman in the first place wouldn’t it?
I do try not to pre-judge shows, especially when there isn’t even a scene shot yet, but as a huge DC Comics and Batman fan, I’m preying they manage to pull this off, as it’s an ambitious task. I will also be interested to see if this will somehow fold into the wider DC universe. With the new movie coming out, Arrow doing so well on the small screen, and a Flash series potentially in development, you’d hope they’d somehow manage to tie everything together… but I get the feeling that won’t be the case. It does somewhat bother me that despite Marvel having issues with the rights of their characters been sold to the 4 corners of Hollywood, they still manage to have a far more coherent universe than DC, who have control of all their characters, but seem happier to fracture their world into tiny parts…
Whatever happens, Fox have already committed a series order to Gotham, so I’d expect the US will get it in the Autumn (Fall) season.
In anticipation of Ronald D. Moore’s (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander) new show HELIX airing on Channel 5 this Monday (20th Jan 2014) at 10pm, they’ve sent us this little clip of the opening episode.
HELIX is an intense thriller about a team of scientists from the Centers for Disease Control who travel to the high-tech research facility - Arctic BioSystems - to investigate a possible disease outbreak, only to find themselves pulled into a terrifying life-and-death struggle that may hold the key to mankind’s salvation or total annihilation! However, the lethal threat is just the tip of the iceberg… and as the virus evolves, the chilling truth begins to unravel.
Starring Billy Campbell (The Killing US, The 4400, The Rocketeer, The O.C), Hiroyuki Sanada (Lost, The Railway Man, The Wolverine), Jordan Hayes (Nikita) and Neil Napier (Riddick, White House Down).
Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Outlander), Steven Maeda (Lost, The X-Files) who is also showrunner, Lynda Obst (Contact, Sleepless in Seattle), and Brad Turner (Hawaii Five-0, 24) are Executive Producers.
HELIX will air in the UK on Channel 5, Monday 20th January at 10pm
In an announcement which I think surprises no one (although it’s nice to hear it confirmed), Sky have said that Jack Bauer is back and returning exclusively to Sky 1 HD!
The Emmy award-winning 24 is coming to London in February to film a brand new series after a four year absence. As a nice added bonus, Sky customers will be able to revisit the entire 24 series through Sky’s On Demand service.
Acquired exclusively in the UK by Sky 1 HD from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY will see Kiefer Sutherland return as Jack Bauer for this event series with a thrilling international adventure. Breaking from the usual formula, the series will restart the clock for a limited run of twelve episodes. Mary Lynn Rajskub will reprise her memorable role as Chloe, William Devane stars as James Heller and Kim Raver will play Audrey Raines. New cast includes Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck/Dexter), Giles Matthey (True Blood), and Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Wire/Graceland).
Howard Gordon is returning to executive produce and Jon Cassar, who produced and directed 24 from seasons 2 to 7, will also return to executive produce and direct episodes. Evan Katz and Manny Coto will serve as show runners and executive producers.
Sarah Wright, Controller, Acquisitions, Sky said “We’re thrilled to be bringing 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY to Sky 1 HD. We remain passionate about bringing the best of the US to Sky customers and the return of the iconic 24 is a hugely exciting TV event.”
24: Live Another Day, should air in May 2014 on Sky 1, and the first season of 24 will be available from Sky’s On Demand service from February, with the box set of seasons 1-8 being available from March.
To get you in the mood, here’s a collection of every Jack Bauer ‘dammit!’ from all 8 seasons… enjoy.