RIP Murray Melvin

Murray Melvin, the accomplished British actor, passed away on April 14, 2023, at the age of 90. Melvin was a versatile performer whose talent shone across various mediums, including film, television, and stage. He was known for his memorable roles in productions such as Torchwood, The Phantom of the Opera, and Jonathan Creek.

Melvin was born on August 10, 1932, in London, England. He started his acting career in the 1950s, performing in local theater productions before landing his first major role in the film “A Taste of Honey” in 1961. Melvin’s portrayal of Geoffrey Ingham in the film earned him critical acclaim and a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor.

Melvin continued to work in films throughout the 1960s and would work with people such as Michael Caine and Stanley Kurbrick. However, it was his role as Bilis Manger in the hit sci-fi series “Torchwood” that brought Melvin to a new generation of fans in the 2000s.

John Barrowman, who played the show’s lead, wrote: “Murray Melvin, he always brought a cheeky warm smile to the Torchwood set and had the power to make us all laugh.”

Melvin would later reprise this role, in several Big Finish audio dramas.

Torchwood creator Russell T Davies said: “He lived through a century that saw the understanding of his identity change so profoundly, and he did so with dignity, class and wit. His last email to me ended, ‘Take care, we still cannot afford to take chances.’ Oh he was wise. Night, Murray.”

Melvin will be remembered as a gifted actor who brought depth and nuance to every role he played. His contributions to the entertainment industry will be greatly missed.

Rest in peace, Murray Melvin.

Jodie Whittaker and Bella Ramsey to star in series 2 of prison drama Time

The BBC drama series focuses on the criminal justice system and the lives of people affected by it. The first season, which aired in 2021, starred Sean Bean and Stephen Graham and portrayed life in a male prison. The show was critically acclaimed and won two BAFTA awards for Best Mini-Series and Best Actor for Sean Bean’s performance.

For the second season, the story will be set in a women’s prison, and the cast will include Jodie Whittaker, Bella Ramsey, Tamara Lawrance, and Siobhan Finneran. Whittaker, best known for her role as the Thirteenth Doctor in Doctor Who will play one of the convicted women who arrives at the prison. Ramsey, who played the character Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones and starred in The Last of Us, will also appear as an inmate. Lawrance, known for her work in The Silent Twins, will join the cast, and Finneran will reprise her role as a prison chaplain.

The second season of Time will be co-written by Jimmy McGovern, who created the show, and Helen Black, whose BBC Three drama Life and Death in the Warehouse has been nominated for a BAFTA award. McGovern has praised the cast as the “best” he has ever seen assembled for any of his dramas.

Filming for the second season of Time is set to take place in and around Liverpool soon, and the show is expected to air on the BBC later in 2023. The new season promises to be another gripping and emotionally charged drama that sheds light on the experiences of people in the criminal justice system.

Beyond Paradise to return for second series and Christmas Special

The hugely successful BBC drama Beyond Paradise is set to return for a second series and a Christmas special.

With an audience of 8.7 million viewers for episode one, the heart-warming relationships and puzzling criminal capers of DI Humphrey Goodman, Martha Lloyd, DS Esther Williams, PC Kelby Hartford, Margo Martins and Anne Lloyd will continue to captivate audiences.

Lindsay Salt, Director of BBC Drama, expressed her excitement for the return, while Executive Producer Tim Key of Red Planet Pictures thanked fans for their support. CEO of BritBox International, Reemah Sakaan, praised the series for its charm, humour and gripping mysteries, and promised more best in British programming for subscribers.

Created by Robert Thorogood and Tony Jordan, Beyond Paradise is produced by Red Planet Pictures, with Tony Jordan acting as a showrunner for the new series and Christmas special. Series one is currently airing on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK, and is available on BritBox International in North America, the Nordics and South Africa.

Listen to our interview with Tahj Miles.

Harry Potter TV series in development?

HBO Max is reportedly in talks to create a TV series based on the beloved Harry Potter franchise. While the popularity of The Wizarding World makes this unsurprising, what’s interesting is that it would be another adaptation of the books rather than an original work.

J.K. Rowling’s novels chronicle the adventures of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley as they progress through Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The books were adapted into a highly successful film franchise starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, so the need for a TV series begs the question.

However, the first film turns 22 years old this year, and a reboot could be timely. The movies omitted significant portions of the source material and amalgamated characters due to time constraints, making a TV series the perfect opportunity to include previously unseen content. Each book would be the basis for one series of the TV show.

Warner Bros. Discovery, the company behind the film series, is undoubtedly looking at ways to capitalize on the Harry Potter franchise, following the success of other formats such as the stage play ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’, the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film series, theme parks, and the popular video game ‘Hogwarts Legacy.’

J.K. Rowling, who has creative control over any adaptations of her work, is likely to have “story approval” on each episode and receive an executive producer credit.

While reboots are not uncommon, it is worth considering whether another adaptation is what’s needed here. Like Star Wars, Harry Potter has stood the test of time, and a series about the next generation – Harry’s kids at Hogwarts, for example – could be a more refreshing and captivating approach.

Ghosts to end with series 5

The fifth series of Ghosts has wrapped up filming and the show’s creators have announced that it will be the final season. In a statement on social media, the team expressed their gratitude to the cast, crew, and fans of the show, while also hinting at exciting new projects in the future. 

The BBC’s Director of Comedy, Jon Petrie, expressed his sadness at the show’s end, while Alison Carpenter, Creative Director at Monumental, praised the show’s success and impact on audiences. 

Ghosts stars Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, and Ben Willbond, with Charlotte Ritchie, Kiell Smith-Bynoe, and Lolly Adefope. The upcoming fifth series will see Alison and Mike exploring new opportunities, potentially altering the afterlives of the Ghosts. The fourth series, which premiered in Autumn 2022, was a hit with audiences, drawing in 5.7 million viewers for its first episode. It was also nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Scripted Comedy. 

The cast said in a joint statement: 

“After five incredible years haunting the halls of Button House, we have decided that the time is right to let our beloved sitcom Ghosts rest in peace. We have just wrapped filming on our fifth and final series and we can’t wait to share it with you all later this year”.


Netflix has exciting news for fans of the ‘Scott Pilgrim’ franchise. A brand-new anime series titled ‘Scott Pilgrim The Anime’ has been ordered by the streaming giant, based on the popular comics by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The series will feature the original cast from Edgar Wright’s 2010 cult movie ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World’ voicing the characters, with Wright serving as an executive producer. The new series is being produced by anime house Science SARU and promises to expand the ‘Scott Pilgrim’ universe in exciting ways.

O’Malley and BenDavid Grabinski are serving as executive producers, writers, and showrunners, and are sure to bring their unique creative vision to the project. Wright expressed his excitement at the opportunity to reunite the entire original cast for the project, saying, “Original creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, along with writer BenDavid Grabinski, have conjured up an anime series of Scott Pilgrim that doesn’t just expand the universe, but also… well, just watch it. I’m more than happy to announce that I have helped coax the entire original cast back to voice their characters on this epic new adventure. You are in for a treat.”

No premiere date for ‘Scott Pilgrim The Anime’ has been announced yet, but it will be available to stream worldwide on Netflix.

Liv Tyler to reprise her role as Betty Ross

In exciting news for Marvel fans, it’s been confirmed that Liv Tyler will reprise her role as Betty Ross in the upcoming film Captain America: New World Order. The actress previously played the character in the 2008 film The Incredible Hulk, and it seems that Marvel has decided to bring her back into the fold after 15 years.

In the film, Betty Ross is the daughter of General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, a military official who was previously played by the late William Hurt. This time around, Harrison Ford will be taking on the role of Ross, who will be the President of the United States in the movie.

Tyler will be joining a star-studded cast that includes Anthony Mackie as Captain America, Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres, Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley, and Tim Blake Nelson as The Leader. While plot details are still scarce, it has been revealed that the film will see Captain America facing off against Thunderbolt Ross.

Speaking about the project, producer Nate Moore teased that the dynamic between Sam Wilson and Thunderbolt Ross will be an exciting one to watch. “There’s going to be some natural sparks there, which I think are going to be really fun,” he said.

Directed by Julius Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox) and written by Dalan Musson and Malcolm Spellman (who both wrote for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), Captain America: New World Order is one of the highly anticipated Phase Five films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spellman will also serve as a producer alongside Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

Captain America: New World Order is set to arrive in cinemas. on May 3, 2024. The return of Liv Tyler to the MCU is sure to have fans buzzing with excitement, and we can’t wait to see what this film has in store.

First Look at Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn Costume

The highly anticipated film, Joker: Folie Deux, is currently in production and being filmed across various locations including Los Angeles, New Jersey, and New York City. Recently, leaked photos from the New York City set have given fans their first glimpse at Lady Gaga’s portrayal of the iconic villain, Harley Quinn.

While the Joker-verse version of Harley Quinn has a more stripped-down and grounded appearance, the character’s signature colour scheme of red, black, and white has been retained from the original Batman: The Animated Series. However, it’s unlikely that we’ll see Lady Gaga’s Harley Quinn donning a full-on motley costume while running around Gotham City in this movie.

Joker: Folie a Deux hits theaters on Oct. 4, 2024.

Patton Oswalt joins Ghostbusters cast

As production for the Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel kicks off, exciting news has emerged about the cast. Joining the team are Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjiani, James Acaster, and Emily Alyn Lind, alongside returning cast members Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, and Mckenna Grace. Ernie Hudson, who will also be involved, is set to play a significant role in the sequel as the character of Winston Zeddemore and Zeddemore Industries are said to be key to the future of Ghostbusters.

The sequel will be directed by Gil Kenan, who co-wrote and executive produced Afterlife, with Jason Reitman serving as a writer and executive producer. The sequel’s working title is Firehouse, and Hudson has already read an early version of the script and expressed his enthusiasm for the project.

While not much else is known about the sequel, the news has sparked a lot of excitement, and fans are eager to see what the story will bring. The roles of the new cast members have yet to be announced, so it remains to be seen how they will fit into the Ghostbusters universe. Overall, this is shaping up to be an exciting and highly anticipated sequel.

BBC Halts Top Gear Series Following Presenter’s Accident

The latest series of Top Gear has been halted by the BBC after presenter Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff was injured in an accident during filming. The former England cricketer was hurt in December while testing a vehicle at Top Gear’s track in Surrey.

The BBC has stated that it would be inappropriate to continue making series 34 under the circumstances. The broadcaster has also apologized to Flintoff and will continue to support him in his recovery. The decision to stop the show has disappointed fans, but the BBC believes it is the right thing to do.

The production team has been affected by the decision, and the BBC has ordered a health and safety review of the show to be undertaken by an independent third party. BBC Studios, the production company for Top Gear, has also conducted its own investigation of the accident.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the national regulator for workplace safety in England, Wales, and Scotland, has completed its enquiries into the incident and will not be investigating further. It is understood that the circumstances of the incident did not meet the threshold for further investigation.

Bectu, the union for workers in the creative industries, has emphasised the importance of crew wellbeing on set and the need for productions to have stringent policies and procedures in place to protect workers’ physical and mental health. The union has called for productions to meet the highest safety standards and ensure that appropriate support is provided for the workforce.

Top Gear, one of the BBC’s most successful and exported programmes, has had a series of different presenters since 2002. December’s accident was not the first that Flintoff has suffered since he started presenting the show. He crashed into a market stall in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in February 2019 and also crashed during a drag race in September of the same year while filming at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire, but walked away unharmed. In June 2022, Flintoff was racing a bobsleigh at a course in Norway when it flipped over, but he again came out of the crash unscathed.

The decision to halt the latest series of Top Gear due to Flintoff’s accident highlights the importance of health and safety in the workplace, particularly in the entertainment industry. It is essential that productions prioritize the safety and well-being of their workers, and that appropriate support is provided in the event of an accident. The BBC’s decision to stop filming is a responsible and necessary measure that will hopefully prevent further incidents from occurring.