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Graham Hughes Odyssey

Graham Hughes managed to travel around the entire world, without using air transport . He did this in the period Jan 1st 2009 to November 2012. He holds the Guinness World Record for this feat.

On a tight budget Hughes traveled by public transport including trains, buses, boats and whatever he could blag. His accommodation was similarly sourced. He kept a video blog which has been published via YouTube and also used for a National Geographic Channel series.

In his epic journey Graham Hughes managed to visit all the UN recognized countries plus a few extras, totalling 201 nations. He managed to visit 133 in one year. As he states, ten years ago this wouldn’t have been possible, but in todays climate [albeit with a few hiccups] the world is a much freer place.

Here’s the start of his video blog, and you can follow the entire journey via Youtube…

 

Holy Flying Circus

monty_pythons_flying_circus_uk-show There’s not enough Monty Python on TV, so I set my Tivo to record anything from the boys, and it came up with this gem.

Holy Flying Circus  is a strange kind of meta-dramatisation of the events just after the launch of Life Of Brian . It is a surreal look at how church groups orchestrated a partial ban of the film in it’s home market. It is, in effect, a drama about Monty Python in the style of Monty Python.

The acting is top notch. The film focuses on John Cleese (played by Darren Boyd ) and Michael Palin (Charles Edwards) , but these are very exaggerated versions of the real life Pythons, a fact acknowledged by the drama in various asides and “fourth wall” breaking mentions of the world outside the dramatised re-enactment, including gags about BBC4 (who commissioned this). Steve Punt also provides an excellent Eric Idle , and the actors playing Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman also do sterling work. Rufus Jones, as Terry Jones, also plays Palins wife – a common Python trope where the guys plays the gals. The nods to the films and TV series continues throughout, such as the use of speech impediments. In fact, apart from Eric Idle himself in the opening sequence no actual members of the comedy troupe are involved.

The drama starts in 1979 with the Monty Python crew returned from Tunisia, feel buoyed by the little movie they just made. Although aware that Brian’s content may prove controversial they still believe that, through comedy, they’ve made an important point about religion. And anyway, everyone knows Brian is not Jesus – so there’s no problem.

Soon the American launch makes the headlines, and the British premiere likewise. Alan Dick, an over the top TV programmer hits on the idea of cashing in on this outrage and getting the Monty Python crew into a debate with some religious types.

The discussion in the UK about freedom of speech and religion was really quite important, but also quickly forgotten. There are some insightful points made here with the over the top profanity and “bad taste” one liners, but I guess at the time censorship was a big issue. This film benefits massively from hindsight. Stephen Fry, as God, has some interesting things to say in his cameo, but as I said it’s really the portrayal of the Pythons in their heyday that makes this TV gold.

It’s a hard job to follow or even emulate the Monty Python gang but I think this nails it perfectly. 9/10.

 

 

 

You’ll find YouTube is full of Monty Python (it’s own channel) and you’ll find the original TV debate here .

 

 

Person Of Interest

This is one of my current favourite TV series.  Developed by Jonathan Nolan (“Dark Knight” Christopher Nolan’s brother) it concerns a crime fighting duo who act on secret information to protect – or apprehend – the aforementioned person.

This information is provided by Harold Finch – the nom de plume of a secretive billionaire who developed a  suspiciously echelon-like system for the US government after 9-11. Finch,  played by Lost’s Michael Emerson, acts on the social security numbers of those people deemed to insignificant by the machine which is only concerned with the bigger picture of preventing  terrorism.

Aiding him is ex-CIA black operative John Reese played by Jim Calviezel. Again a man with a shadowy past but one who needed a mission like this.

What could have been a “crime of the week” show is elevated by the drip fed histories of Finch and Reese as well as some interesting recurring characters.  There’s also the very grey area of who’s a perp and who is a victim that makes for some interesting shows.

As well as Emerson lost’s J J Abrams serves as executive producer and sometimes it feels as if seeds are planted just to be figured later. But still,  conspiracies,  action,  moral dilemma,  technology. .. What’s not to love?

With Lost long gone,  Fringe likewise,  and some of the current crop of genre shows not quite filling the gap this is a refreshing change.  And as a bonus. .. I haven’t seen it from the start so I’m in catch up mode – the best way to avoid next-episode blues.

So Game Of Thrones and Person Of Interest , genre TV at its best .

PS this is typed on the Android WordPress app. Not the easiest way to post,  because of the keyboard,  but swiping type input helps. Phones are probably best left for Twitter level short posts !

Black Mirror: White Bear

 

Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror has returned for a second series of three episodes, and White Bear (the second episode) is, to put it mildly, quite a romp.

English: Charlie Brooker at the RTS awards.

English: Charlie Brooker at the RTS awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whenever you read any reviews of Brooker’s work in this area you’ll frequently see it described as satirical, morally ambiguous, noir, black humour. Undoubtedly all are probably true to one extent or another.

 

If you’ve never caught this or any of his other episodes or shows they’re all Channel 4 On Demand in the UK.

 

Spoilers…

 

White Bear starts as a modern horror where a young woman awakes with no memory of who she is. Slowly she pieces together clues from her surroundings, finding pills around her (suicide?) and a photograph of a young girl (daughter?) as well as a strange icon showing on her TV screen.

 

Soon she notices that the people around her are all filming her with their mobile phones and any attempt to communicate with these voyeurs is to no avail.

Then the terror is ramped a notch for this poor victim when a crazed shotgun-wielding balaclava-headed man appears and stalks her right towards a petrol station.

Here she meets up with another survivor and slowly discovers that society seems to have collapsed with the public brainwashed into being mindless thrill seekers, some watching, some taking a far more hands on approach.

So far, so zombie flick, comment on mindless media consumption, comment on  reality TV.

Then the story is turned on it’s head and frankly leaves a horrible taste in this viewers mouth.

You see, she is actually a child murderer (or at least, accomplice) who filmed the death of a little girl her fiance murdered. She is living through her sentence, in a unique correctional facility that is part game show, part mob rule.

Each day she is tortured in this way, waking, her memories wiped, and playing through the scenario that is already written. And each night, after a final humiliating parade past those who scream and shout (there’s a lot of that in this episode) “Child murderer! Killer! Rot in hell!”

Very morally ambiguous. Very dark, and you’ll be left with the uncomfortable feeling that even someone as heinous as this doesn’t deserve such punishment.

 

 

The Golden Age Of Video / Ricardo Autobahn

I just saw this video on youtube and just had to post it here – an amazing video / remix called “The Golden Age Of Video” by Ricardo Autobahn:

Try and see how many classic movies and TV shows you can spot!

This deserves extra kudos for the way the Audio syncs with the Videos with a thumping beat to drive the whole thing along. It even rhymes !

Alltogether now: We came, we saw, we kicked his ass!

Torchwood: Children Of Earth Review

Torchwood: Children of Earth

Torchwood: Children of Earth

Warning: There may be spoilers ahead.

Torchwood, what happened to you?

Moved from the obscurity of BBC3 to BBC1. Shown at primetime, and on consecutive nights no less. This has turned from it’s “sexy scifi” origins into a real TV event.

And, boy – did it deliver!

I, and many other Dr. Who / Torchwood fans, did not expect much from this. Of course the previous two series had it’s surprises and stand-out episodes but in the main it was a fun, silly blast. Russell T. Davies, the head writer and the man responsible for bringing Who back from the dead, said it was his attempt at a US-style show, something along the lines of Buffy. You can see what he meant.

Torchwood: Children Of Earth is a different matter entirely.

This is a moral story, painfully so. It’s unrelentlessly bleak and depressing. It’s brave, moreso because of the peak time and channel it’s shown on. You might be forgiven for thinking it would be to Torchwood as the Who Christmas specials are to it’s parent show – light, entertaining fluff. You’d be seriously wrong.

The plot concerns an alien visitor coming to London and demanding that we turn over 10% of the worlds children – or our entire race will die. It soon turns out that a similar event happened in 1965, where we gave it 12 children in exchange for an antidote to a virulent form of influenza it used to threaten us.

John Frobisher, brilliantly played by Peter Capaldi, is a government paper-pusher tasked with dealing with the menace, mainly to keep the Prime Minister’s hands clean. The alien, called the 456 because of the frequency it used to communicate, sends instructions for a special room and airtight tank to be built so it can visit and hold court. But before this is done Frobisher has to ensure all details of the 1965 meeting are kept secret. He signs the assassination order for all those involved, including one Jack Harkness.

Jack is the leader of Torchwood, an organisation formed by Queen Victoria to protect Britain from alien threats. He has a long and convoluted story. Jack is “outside of time”, and is therefore immortal. And his assassins are aware of this. Lured into a meeting with Dr. Rupesh Patanjali he is shot and a bomb is implanted in his body. Upon resurrecting Jack returns to Torchwood, discovers the bomb, and all hell breaks loose.

The plot is brilliantly paced across the five days. What begins as the children of earth simply stopping in their tracks quickly escalates to them chanting in unison “We Are Coming”.

Although this is a science fiction story, it isn’t in your face. We have an alien visitor, but it’s not the true evil here. That is reserved for the higher echelons of government. This is character-driven. A weak Prime Minister excellently played by Nicholas Farrell is more concerned with keeping his job and his reputation. The Americans and Who favourites UNIT also become involved.

There are many stand out moments. The cabinet committee, coolly discussing which children we should hand over and deciding that we should give the 456 the children from the sink estates, from the lowest-performing schools. And deciding to keep their own children safe in the meantime.

There’s the character Clement McDonald, sole survivor of the 1965 abduction. He is, as are all the portrayals in this series, excellently plaid by Paul Copley.  The moment he sees Jack is a stand out moment, as are all the scenes where he appears as much more than simply a token “crazy”.

Then there’s Frobisher himself, who starts out as a mere pawn of the Prime Minister and who is eventually moved to shoot his entire family and commit suicide in order to protect his two daughters from the alien. This is a scene reminiscent of the dark ending in “The Mist”.

And there’s the moment when we discover why the 456 want our children. It’s because of the chemicals they produce , says the alien chillingly. It makes us feel good .

Then there’s the scene where Ianto, Jack’s lover and Torchwood stalwart dies. We almost cannot believe this, expecting some miracle cure to be discovered or some magical remedy to surface but no – he remains dead. Of course Torchwood is not afraid to kill off major characters, right from the pilot episode.

And, finally, we get to the end where Jack is forced to sacrifice his own Grandson in order to transmit some killer sound wave back to the alien, and thus save the earth. This kind of moral argument is prevalent in the series. The needs of the many over the needs of the few. Kill one, to save millions. Again, we expect the poor defenceless boy to resurrect, since he’s Jack’s grandson, but no. He dies.

We do eventually defeat the alien. I’d like to say that was a given, but because of the bleakness so far I wouldn’t have put it as a certainty. Even the prime minister gets his comeuppance as he pathetically states how “lucky” he is that the Americans took charge and that it’s their vault. We, as the viewer, can afford a smug grin as we realise that everything was recorded.

So Torchwood: Children of Earth is a must-see. It’s intelligent Science Fiction, unafraid to take risks, and it makes the most of it’s five-day story arc. Will there be more? I’m not sure, but I think there will. CoE was a ratings hit. It had nearly 6m viewers for the first day, but more importantly it kept most of the viewers right through to the final day, even increasing that count as it went. It’s debatable whether the BBC should be in the ratings game at all, but there’s no doubt this was a success. Doctor Who proved that SciFi can be mainstream, and with CoE Torchwood has shown it can reach those heights too.

The danger is, of course, we won’t get a full series again. It may be another five day story, because of the success of this. In many ways Torchwood benefited greatly from this. It has been done before, notably in the beebs historical adaptations or in two-parters of shows like Waking The Dead, but a five dayer is a rarity. However I’d like there to be a full 13 or so episode series, even though I know it would mostly be single stories. We don’t make shows like 24 or Lost in this country, with 20+ episodes and continuing story lines, but surely something like Torchwood would be ripe for that kind of treatment.

Russell T. Davies has shown us how great a scriptwriter he can be. He personally wrote days 1 and 5, and plotted the whole arc. Sometimes in the past he has faced criticism from fans for various Who episodes he has helmed, but with CoE and given free reign by the BBC he has shot those critics down.

If Torchwood continues it will be a new crew. Already in this series we lacked Toshiko and Owen. Then we lost Ianto. Gwen is pregnant, so maybe she’ll return and maybe she won’t. But John Barrowman, a star sometimes accused of overacting and who is maybe in danger of overexposure, is likely to want to continue. There are options we have seen already: Johnson the government fixer would be a great addition to the crew, as would Lois Habiba (who acted as Torchwood’s government insider) and even Jack’s daughter, Alice.

If you didn’t catch Torchwood and – even though you’ve read this far and now know most of the plot – you can see it at Iplayer. If you’re in the US it will be shown on BBC America later this month. Everyone else will have to grab the DVD , use a proxy to access iPlayer , or (ahem) use the usual sources.

Torchwood: Children of Earth gets a 10 / 10 from me.

For more information visit the official BBC mini-site or check out the always dependable IMDB and Wikipedia .

Watch Online Streaming TV In The UK

Here in the UK there are a few good sources of online TV, mainly the BBC iPlayer (excellent), Channel 4 On Demand (4OD, works well), and now the ITV Player. All give you a selection of catch-up TV (usually a week or 30 days depending on the program) as well as older, archived programs and series (more so with 4OD).

iPlayer : No Ads. Streaming and Expiring Downloads supported. Resume feature let’s you continue a program from where you left off. New Higher Quality setting if you have the bandwidth. Great selection of the weeks programs from across the BBC TV and Radio network.

4OD : Sometimes, a small ad break but nothing to worry about. Supports Streaming and Downloads (which expire). Excellent selection of the weeks programs and a massive archive of such classics as Shameless, Skins, Derren Brown, Documentaries, Peep Show, Black Books, etc. It also uses a propriatry interface, not a web page. 4OD also sells movies and certain programs, and you can pre-book downloads in advance.

ITV Online : This is the new baby on the block, seems rather more limited that the other two since it is Streaming only, and plenty of ad breaks. These ads will also show if you try to jump through a program, making it harder to continue where you left off. It also has some great archive content, such as Ruth Rendell mysteries, Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, Cracker etc.

Demand 5 : This is Channel 5’s online offering. Here you can watch C5 programs, on demand, but Streaming only.  You can also buy or rent programs for download, which requires special software to be installed. This means there’s only usually a weeks worth of telly to watch for free. Don’t forget, Five is home to some great US imports such as CSI, NCIS and Numb3rs.

There’s also a Sky Player but unless you’re already a Sky TV subscriber you won’t get in without paying a £15 a month subscription!

You also have the choice of watching some TV from around the world, using Joost and Miro . Joost is full of everything from TV series, to Shorts, to Music Videos. It’s now web based, though I liked the original flash download version better. It’s full of channels you can watch and fully supports favourites, voting, queues and much more. Miro is more patchy, less premium content and more in the way of obscure niche programs but it is open source and continuously updated.

But, the granddaddy of all online TV sites is Hulu . You get to watch the latest Simpsons, Battlestar Galactica, etc at that site as well as full movies and entire series of some US gems. Unfortunately, Hulu is locked to the USA and won’t display content to anyone outside there.

In fact, a lot of US TV stations have their own online TV sections, allowing you to watch everything from Lost to Prison Break and beyond. Stations such as Fox (24, American Idol, Prison Break), ABC (Lost, Greys Anatomy), CBS (CSI) and many more, including some familiar to UK Cable and Sattelite users such as SciFi Channel , Discovery, History Channel, etc.

The only way these sites now that you are not from the USA is because of your IP Address. So if you can mask, or hide, your IP address you are good to go.

There are many solutions to this. One way is to use a proxy based in the US and altering your browser manually, though it can be slow and hard to find these proxies. Luckily there is an easy way…

Download and install Hotspot Shield . This is a security application designed to hide your IP by connecting your PC via a Virtual Private Network to the Hotspot network. You will see a speed hit, but it depends on your broadband connection whether or not it will affect you too much. And you do see ads on top of webpages (or should, they just seem to leave a blank space on mine!) but they can be closed.

But the best thing about Hotspot Shield is it’s easy to activate and deactivate whenever you wish, and if you want to browse all the great US TV content – you can! Simple 🙂

Lost Season 5

After the travesty that was the latest – and probably last – season of Prison Break, and the messy but finally reinvigorated Heroes I was running out of hope for my favourite US TV Series.

New this year are Lost Season 5, 24 Season 7, and the continuation of CSI Season 9 (without Grissom…).

First up, we have Lost.

Lost has benefited massively from the fact that it has a set run of 6 seasons, so this is the penultimate – and it’s time to wrap up loose ends.

By now we have our Oceanic survivors either lost in time at the Island, or back in the “real world” experiencing side effects.

Since the hook of the series now seems to be about time travel (or perhaps dimensional in some way) earlier suppositions about our survivors being in purgatory or similiar can be thrown out of the window. But time travel itself always throws up it’s own problems whenever it’s been used as a plot hook. But it’s fun. All the way!

Currently, the story follows the two groups of the Oceanic survivors.

Firstly, on the Island, we have Sawyer and the gang jumping around in time. After Ben turned the mysterious wheel back at the end of Season 4 the Island has been moved – apparently in time. But it seems that its the people themselves that are moving in time throughout points in the Island’s history. An important character is the Oxford scientist Daniel Faraday, who seems to be the only one who knows what’s going on. Another is the new “leader of the Others” Locke, the one firm believer in the Island among the survivors. He’s already met the mysterious Richard Alpert at various moments in time, even telling him to find him at his birth which we saw in a previous episode.

This is getting confusing!

There are, as usual, set rules to avoid the paradoxes that time travel throws up. Daniel neatly explains that you can’t change the past or affect the future, as whatever you do will always end up with the same effect. But then he does precisely that (or does he?) by knocking on the old hatch door at the Swan where Desmond is still inside typing the numbers. He tells Desmond to find him and his mother back in Oxford when he escapes the Island, and then we flash forward (or switch to the present) where Desmond awakes with a new memory of meeting Daniel…

Did I say that it’s getting confusing? 🙂

So with our Island crew jumping around time having fun, what are the Oceanic 6 and Ben getting up to back in the real world?

Well… Ben knows he has to get everyone back to the Island. And Jack, initially lost in a drink and prescription pills haze, agrees. Ben has already worked with Sayid, sending him on murderous missions, but Sayid has vowed never to work with Ben again. And now Sayid has busted Hurley from the nut house, and they’re both on the run with a string of muders behind them. There’s a neat cameo from Ana Lucia too, as a cop who stops Hurley to give him advice while he’s on the run.

Kate has had a visit from lawyers asking for a DNA test to determine if she’s Aarons mother, so she’s also on the run, and Sun seems to be working with Charles Widmore… or is she? Whatever the reasons, they’re all heading for or already in LA. Including Desmond, who has discovered by now Daniel Faraday’s mother is there.

So what do we know so far? And what is unanswered?

1. Ben has to get the survivors back to the Island to save them, the Island, and possibly time and space itself. And he has to do it soon, according to Mrs. Hawking…

2. Locke has to help them, and already been told by Richard Alpert that he has to die to do so. Of course, we see him dead back in the real world, where Ben is taking his corpse along for the ride back to the Island with the survivors.

3. Daniel has Desmond as his counterpart in all this time-travel malarkey and is hoping that he finds his mother. Or perhaps he already knows he will. I expect in a future episode he must jump back to when the Wheel was discovered, as we’ve already seen it.

4. Charles Whidmore still wants the Island, and we now know he was there with the Others back in the 50’s. He might be working with Sun.

What we don’t know… Some of these are long standing questions.

1. Who or What is Jacob?

2. Who is Richard Alpert – and by extension, the Others?

3. What exactly were the Hanso Foundation up to on the Island before Ben and the Others wiped them out? We already saw Daniel was there at the start – how did he get there? What exactly is his role in all this?

4. How will it all end? There only seems to be two answers to that: Either they’ll all end up surviving the experience and end up back in the real world (perhaps, we’ll flash back way back to the initial plane ride – and it never crashes), or they’ll all end living on the Island along with the Others. I really hope there’s not a totally downbeat ending where they end up circling in time or they all die, though I expect at least a few major characters will.

This Season should finally answer all the questions. There are no more flashbacks, no more flash-forwards – the story seems to be following multiple timelines at once. We know everyone is connected throughtout their histories, far beyond simply being on the wrong plane at the wrong time.

How will it end? There’s a lot of speculation on the Web, but enjoy the ride!

NB: There’s also a Lost “actual reality” game across the web among various sites that fill in some of the plot holes and provide background information, with fake sites for the Hanso Foundation and the Valenzetti Equation among others. Check out the Lostpedia (link below) for a LOT of info on the Lost world.

LostPedia

Den Of Geek Lost Review

BBC Iplayer Picks

The BBC Iplayer is the UK’s main catch-up and program streaming service. Unlike the USA where almost every TV network have their own services, or perhaps use Hulu, here we really have only Iplayer, 4oD (Channel 4 on Demand), ITV and Joost.

But… Iplayer is excellent! I rarely watch TV these days – I’d rather just pick what I want to watch, when I want to watch it. Stuff the schedules 🙂

Of course, Iplayer is only available in the UK and is just part of the BBC’s gigantic web presence. In fact, I’d say that the BBC is my favourite website, from the News pages (especially the Magazine section) right through to their TV program support sites. Yeah – it does come at a premium, since we pay a TV licence here, but as the BBC is fond of reminding us it’s this unique funding method that allows it to make the programs that it does. The envy of the world? Just maybe, in some areas at least.

Anyway, to get back on track here’s my favourites on Iplayer at the moment. No point in providing links because they’ll fall out of date rather quickly, but you can search the program titles.

Stephen Fry In The USA – not up to his usual standards so far, but Fry is eminently watchable.

Little Britain USA – This feels a little like they’re flogging a dead horse, but there are good moments.

Merlin – I reviewed the start of this series below, perhaps only a “B” but still entertaining.

Heroes – only an episode or two behind the US but if you’re a major fan I guess you’ll be using, erm, other sources…

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross – you will love him or hate him, but when he’s good he does get the best out if his guests.

Never Mind The Buzzcocks – I don’t think Simon Anstell is as good as Mark Lamarr was, but he does bring something different to the show. And now that Bill Bailey’s left they’ve taken the Have I Got News For You approach… guest captains!

Mitchell and Webb – Both “Look” and “Situation” are up on Iplayer, and the Peep Show guys sketch show continue to mix gross, surreal and plain weird comedy. You can of course go over to 4oD for Peepshow 🙂

James May’s Big Ideas – Here the Top Gear guy looks at the future of transport, robotics and energy.

If your broadband has limited bandwidth beware that streaming video can eat it up, fast. I’m on Virgin Media and although they’ll cut your speed once you hit the limit iPlayer is still very usable here. Yay. And be careful with certain sites like 4oD since it uses Kontiki as it’s peer-to-peer to service, and it may continue to use bandwidth even when not in use. Disabling it will disable 4oD so your best course is to press ctrl+alt+del, start task manager, and kill the Kservice process when not in use.

I’ve just noticed ITV.Com has updated their site and have a new catch-up service. ITV are not the best network in my opinion, plagued with reality shows and very little quality drama and non-existent comedy, but there is one reason to visit… Wire In The Blood! Another hard hitting crime-series that I’ll review in another post sometime.

BBC Merlin Review

Merlin is the new primetime BBC series, that takes the Arthurian legend into the kind of territory that was used for the channels Robin Hood and others.

So yes, it’s a “re-imagining” of the classic. It concerns a young Merlin and a young Arthur. In this series, Uther is on the throne of Camelot, and has banned magic from the kingdom. The dragons have been defeated, apart from one he keeps in his dungeons, and so Merlin must learn to keep his burgeoning talents quiet.

Don’t expect a strong story here, as it’s very much standalone episodes with a challenge-of-the-week format (so far). The first episode concerned Merlin’s arrival in Camelot and a plot against the young prince by a vengeful sorceress. The second episode was about a Tournament for the kingdoms knights. In each, Merlin has to surreptitiously use his magic to defeat these perils.

The cast is pretty good. Merlin is played with conviction by Colin Morgan. ( My Merlin will always be Nicol Williamson in Excalibur 🙂 ) You’ll also find Richard Wilson (One Foot in The Grave) as the good doctor Gaius, Merlins guardian – and Anthony Head (Buffy, Gold Blend…) as King Uther Pendragon. Somehow, John Hurt is involved as the voice of the dragon. There are also guest stars in each episode: Will Melor (from Two Pints Of Lager) is the Knight Valiant (really…) in the second episode, and Eve Myles (from Torchwood) in the first. In fact, there’s very much a Torchwood/Doctor Who feel to the enterprise.

This is perfect weekend family TV. There is impressive attention to detail for this kind of thing – the Knights fight realistically, and the armour and weapons look the part, and the locations also fit well. The special effects are mainly CGI fare and again, are not to shabby.

Looking at reviews across the web it seems people find this too modern, and don’t like the fact that this isn’t true to the myth – but hey, it’s a children’s TV show. What do you expect?

Rating: 7.5 / 10

IMDB | BBC Homepage | Watch on iPlayer (UK Only)