War and Peace – a BBC masterpiece

c1536bdc-33e8-4d32-9fbb-280192077276As far as Sunday dramas go, the latest adaptation of War and Peace surely must be up there. It had costumes, fantastic acting, battle scenes and sex scenes. Something for everyone.

I won’t go into the plot. There’s some jolly, peacetime stuff with the nobility of Moscow and St Petersburg. Then Napoleon enters and the young men we’ve got to know enter into war. War and peace.

What made this adaptation so good were three things: the acting, the grandeur and the plotting.

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Two John Wilson Orchestra Proms – Sinatra and Bernstein

Prom 30: My first Prom of 2015 (and second ever) was one I was so keen for I actually bought tickets rather than risking the queue – Seth MacFarlane and The John Wilson Orchestra performing Sinatra in a Late Night Prom on Friday August 7.

From my ear and eye viewpoint in the circle, the performance was absolutely stunning. The John Wilson Orchestra produced a magnificent, rich sound which climaxed with the High Society Overture – a fantastic piece of work played at the highest of standards.

Seth MacFarlane, best known for creating Family Guy, American Dad and Ted, is also a fantastic crooner which often inspires his oeuvre. It was apparent throughout that he genuinely enjoyed the experience and put his heart into the songs, mostly with great success, with just a few moments that weren’t quite rich enough.

But if it’s a rich, broad vocal you’re after, the other male singer, Jamie Parker, certainly delivered and was possibly the night’s best surprise, for me at least.

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Sherlock: His Last Vow (Spoiler Alert!)

What a way to end the series. It finished with less of a bang than series two, but there was plenty of excitement all the same.

Sherlock’s way of solving the problem of Magnussen was rather less complicated than the way he tried to save his friends from Moriarty – one bullet versus a whole convoluted secret plan is hardly a comparison – but it certainly was unexpected.

Despite the drama of this moment, the whole ending did feel a little disappointing and anti-climatic as it became clear that there would be no massive mystery hanging over the finale. Then, even as this crossed our minds, we realised we had thought too soon. Moriarty’s voice creeping back into the nation’s consciousness was wonderful – especially after we’d seen a reminder of Andrew Scott’s magnificently psychotic persona earlier on.

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Sherlock: The Sign Of Three

Image courtesy of Fat Les http://www.flickr.com/people/24696776@N06

It’s no exaggeration to say season three, episode two of Sherlock was my favourite episode yet.

Looking through Twitter, it seems people were annoyed about the “lack of plot” but then conceded that actually it worked when Sherlock and the little boy, Archie, pointed out how it all tied together near the end.

But that’s how plot works- it doesn’t have to be painfully obvious the whole time! Just trust it and enjoy the ride- this series has taken lots of risks, so they were unlikely to suddenly completely muck it up on John’s wedding.

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Sherlock: The Empty Hearse Is Empty Of Explanations

This was possibly the most anticipated TV episode ever. If you dare go on Tumblr and certain other corners of the internet, it is impossible to avoid talk of Sherlock. That’s a lot of pressure for Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss, but they took it all in their stride and even used it for fan fodder. But was it worth the wait? Yes and no.

If you weren’t desperate for a solid explanation of how Sherlock pulled off his roof jump, then easily, but most fans certainly were. The fake explanations were certainly entertaining, especially the first one when viewers nationwide were simultaneously outraged that they were wasting it on such a silly conclusion, before they all breathed a sigh of relief.

However, it was slightly frustrating that we don’t even know for sure if we received the actual explanation – I’m not convinced that the sequence of events Sherlock told Anderson was correct, although others believe it was. Perhaps only time will tell (or many repeat viewings).

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Doctor, Who Is Peter Capaldi?

2013-08-04-peter-capaldi_official_doctor_who-533x710After all the tension, the debates and the scorn from non-Whovians who say it just doesn’t matter, the Twelfth Doctor has been revealed as Peter Capaldi, a 55 year-old Scottish actor who has so far appeared both on TV and in films.

Peter has been active in the acting world for around thirty years, but it may also have been easy to overlook him in the past unless you watch certain things; Doctor Who’s young fans are even less likely to have seen him before, since he is best known for an extremely sweary character.

I first noticed him as Sid’s aggressive father in series one and two of Skins, creating a character that actually terrified me a little in his angry alcoholism. He is, however, most famous for his role as aggressive Media Advisor Malcolm Tucker in both the BBC’s The Thick of It and its spin-off film In The Loop, in which he was basically the only person playing the same character – Malcolm Tucker had become integral to the brand.

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