Can a New Fantasy Drama Fill Doctor Who’s Void?

  • BBC is hoping Merlin, a fantasy drama starring John Hurt and newcomer Colin Morgan, will fill the void left by the on-hiatus Doctor Who. BBC exec Julie Gardner says, “In this new version, Merlin and Arthur are young contemporaries for the first time ever, bringing a much loved tale to a whole new generation with a fresh, youthful new look and approach for Saturday nights.”(Telegraph)
  • If you recall, Merlin has been in the works for a while now and will be aired on NBC.
  • Torchwood‘s Eve Myles will guest-star on Merlin as Mary Collins. Little Britain‘s Anthony Head, Jekyll‘s Michelle Ryan, and blond Green Wing stud Julian Rhind-Tutt will also appear on the show. (UK Press)
  • Hamlet director Gregory Doran talks to The Daily Telegraph about protecting star David Tennant from obsessive Doctor Who fans: “We were going to meet in a local cafe to have a chat,” Doran says. “But David said, ‘I can’t go there now. It just turns into a sci-fi convention.’”
  • At 7 pm et/4 pm pt today, you may be able to watch live Comic Con interviews with Steven Moffat, Julie Gardner, and the brilliant Naoko Mori (Torchwood) over at the Bad Astronomy blog.
  • John Barrowman is signing autographs of his autobiography Anything Goes out in LA today.(Playbill)
  • More new Little Britain characters!(Daily Mail)
  • John Cleese tells Britain that they can keep their knighthood – he’s fine with having a lemur named after him. Also: video of Cleese at the Bristol Zoo.
  • Cleese is not pleased with his hometown of Weston, England. After a recent visit, he said, “It’s really not that beautiful any more. There used to be bits of it that were lovely. The Westonians are aware of it and I think they are going to start doing something about it. It was very sad to see, very unattractive.” A town council member retorted, “I wonder just how much time he spent walking around Weston, I suspect very little.”
  • Christian Bale has been released without being charged after his arrest for allegedly assaulting his mother and sister. More information is trickling out about what happened at the Dorchester on Sunday, and a source tells The Daily Mail: “Christian was stressed, but he didn’t lay a finger on anyone. Instead, he flew off the handle and cussed his mother. He just got very loud because his mother was saying some very outrageous things about him, and his wife. Christian’s attitude is that this was his mother’s fault because she became very provocative in an argument they were having…Things got out of control and he now says he wishes he just left the room. Normally Christian would just call a friend and go out to a pub to cool off. But he was literally trapped into this confrontation with his mother and sister because there was an army of fans and paparazzi outside.”
  • Nick Jenkin, the tour manager for the Foals, corroborates Kele Okereke‘s story about his brawl with John Lydon. Three members of the Foals were injured when they intervened in the fight at a music festival in Barcelona this past weekend. According to Jenkin’s account in The Times, “Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis tried to help Okereke but was put in a sleeper hold by a security guard until he passed out and was then handcuffed as he lay on the ground. ‘He had a boot on his back,’ Jenkin said. Foals bassist Walter Gervers suffered a black eye, and guitarist Jimmy Smith was shoved through a barrier during the brawl on Saturday afternoon, Jenkin said.”
  • In the wake of Peaches Geldof‘s OD, The Daily Mail‘s Amanda Platell points a finger at Father Bob.
  • Amy Winehouse‘s dad says he prefers the waxwork version of his daughter to the real thing. Hmmm, can’t imagine why Amy has insecurities…(Digital Spy)
  • Did Jude Law get digital hairplugs for his Alfred Dunhill ads?(Daily Mail)
  • The Guardian‘s Jude Rogers, who’s on this year’s Mercury Prize panel, responds to the Mercury Prize “conspiracy theorists.”
  • Talk show host Jeremy Kyle, a.k.a. the British Maury Povich, was in a car crash but was uninjured.(BBC)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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