The People says of "Kidulthood," Noel Clarke's new film, "I'm vexing, oh yes! Like a lot of smallscale features, Kidulthood has a pretty small, woolly storyline, and a pretty big cast - and most of them are first time actors. Essentially this is a look at the lives of a few lads and lasses, living in London and coping with sex, violence and bullying. It's hard not to feel you've seen something very similar before (say, Bullet Boy, which is quite a bit more accomplished). There are some nice bits though, and there's a fight at the end which looks as good as any I've ever seen in the cinema. Special mention to Noel Clarke, as the thuggish Sam, who seemed like a terrifying movie villain stuck in the middle of a long episode of Grange Hill. Kidulthood never quite gets you hooked, but I quite enjoyed it. Easy now, bruv, respect is due." Meanwhile, yesterday's Observer says that it's "a refreshing slice of urban life" and says, "Slicker and less worthy than last year's acclaimed Bullet Boy, Kidulthood has been described as London's City of God: it's not quite that, but it's a good sight closer to that kinetic portrait of street life than Love Actually. Kidulthood and its talented team of actors showcase what this country is really good at - anti-authoritarianism, music and lust. The fact that there's a mobile phone or two in there has led some (the Sun) to label Kidulthood the 'happy slapping movie' but, in fact, it examines every current teenage media cliche you'd care to name, from hoodies to unwanted pregnancy. ... Kidulthood has had some criticism, from those who accuse it of being unbelievably bleak or, weirdly, voyeuristic (as though we're only allowed to watch films that directly depict our own lives). But for Corrine, from Streatham, south London: 'The film definitely felt real to me. I mean, all that stuff wouldn't have happened in one day, they crammed it in. But the way everyone in that film is, that's how everyone I know is. And the talk is perfect, to be honest.' ... When I talk to Kidulthood's writer, Noel Clarke (Mickey in Doctor Who), who also plays Sam, the film's bullying bad guy, he agrees with Corrine. 'It seems like sex isn't a big deal these days. There's a weird hippy attitude, like all bodies are the same ... and everyone knows a girl like Becky, just dirty.' Clarke wrote the screenplay three years ago and based the trio of central male characters - Trife, Jay and Moony, played by Aml Ameen, Adam Deacon and Femi Oyeniran - on himself and his schoolfriends. He says that some of the film's action came from his own life (taxis refusing to stop for him, being falsely accused of shoplifting) and some from friends' experience or the media. ... It also captures another part of west London, the part the Japanese tourists have missed out on so far. 'Yeah, so far we've only seen one side of the road in films,' says Clarke. 'If you walk out of that nice house and cross that road, there's a council estate bang opposite.'" The film is released this Friday.
Canada's National Post says of the DVD release of the first season of the new series there that "The box set of the newest season of Doctor Who missed a great advertising opportunity: It could have been labelled 'Official purveyors of DVDs to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.' The story is that the first set of discs was ordered last summer by Her Royal Highness, a fan of the Doctor since the series premiered on the BBC in 1963. She thought her vacation at Balmoral in Scotland would be a good time to catch up with the Time Lord's latest adventures. The news appeared in Britain's Daily Mirror under the headline "Ext-EIIR-minate!", which is pretty funny if you're up on royal nomenclature as well as Doctor Who bad guys. In any case, every peasant and colonial can now enjoy the first new season of Doctor Who in 17 years; the five-disc set was released last week." The article then reviews the first season.
This past weekend's Daily Express said of Bonnie Langford, currently a finalist on ITV1's "Dancing on Ice", "For 30 years she has had to live down the legacy of her child star image and come to terms with the death of her best friend. Now Bonnie Langford is skating back to the big time as hot favourite in Dancing On Ice. Page-boy petite, eyes and teeth as bright as fog lamps, showbiz trouper Bonnie Langford gets her skates on tonight as hot favourite to win ITV1's Dancing On Ice. At 41, she is eerily reminiscent of the precocious child actress who, as lisping Violet Elizabeth Bott, used to shriek at poor Just William ... One source said: "Bonnie's every inch the professional. She was born to act, smile and dazzle. But this is all about her great comeback. She's had some terrible knocks. Bonnie may giggle and swoon like a schoolgirl and, even at 41, she still looks like one. But there's damage there – she's had more than her fair share of tough breaks." .. She may be a wee slip of a thing but in a catfight I'd back her over anybody, even Pete Burns." She has already seen off her Dancing On Ice arch rival Dame Kelly Holmes and Dr Who's John Barrowman. Olympic gold medallist Kelly, 35, was so incensed to lose to Bonnie that she stormed offstage without a word." The article discusses Langford's history in film and television including her role as Mel on Doctor Who during the 1980's.
Saturday's Financial Times - oddly - uses the fact that David Tennant's Doctor will not be wearing a scarf to introduce an article about scarves; more oddly, the article is headlined 'The scarf-clad Dr Who era dawns again'.
Nicola Bryant is interviewed at the Rainbow Network regarding her new role in the play "Taboo". Some of the questions regarding Doctor Who: "You're perhaps best known for your role in Doctor Who as Peri Brown, the companion of two Doctors (Colin Baker and Peter Davison). What do you think of the new series of the show? 'I love it.' ... So, Colin Baker or Peter Davison? 'As if I'd say!' ... Which of the Doctor's enemies would you secretly most like to have seen succeed? 'Probably the Rani. I loved Kate O'Mara in the role and I like the idea of a female adversary for the Doctor.' ... There's a rumour that in the new series of Doctor Who we'll get to meet one of the Doctor's past companions. Would you go back into the show if you were offered the chance? 'Just try and stop me.'"
Pauline Collins is featured in a mini-interview in this month's edition of BBCGood Food magazine. It states she's back in Doctor Who after nearly forty years (having appeared both in "The Faceless Ones" in the original series and as Queen Victoria in the forthcoming second season's "Tooth and Claw") and that, if she had a TARDIS, she'd travel forward 2000 years and have dinner with H G Wells, eating stardust sundaes.
UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's has started selling a Doctor Who celebration cake with soundchip. Priced at 7.99, it is a Genoese sponge coated with sugarpaste and filled with buttercream and strawberry jam. The cake is in the very rough shape of a Dalek and has a (presumably edible) image of a new-series Dalek on it. To the side of the cake, inside the box, is the (presumably inedible) soundchip. The box has the phrase "Exterminate" emblazoned across it, which may or may not be a clue as to what the soundchip emits. On the reverse of the box is a simple dice game a la ludo called Race To The Tardis and featuring counters depicting a Slitheen, the Moxx of Balhoon, Cassandra and a Dalek. It is unknown if Sainsbury's has the sole concession for the cake.
This months edition of the UK Model and Collectors Mart magazine features a full four-page feature on the new Doctor Who merchendise, as well as a full color cover dedicated to it, depicting several items from the range such as the foot tall David Tennant figure, and the Slitheen and Sycorax figures.
BBC Focus Magazine is offering a free copy of Paul Parsons' book "The Science of Doctor Who" to new subscribers; click here for details.
(Thanks to Paul Engelberg, John Bowman, Steve Tribe, Paul Armstrong, Peter Weaver, Chris Winwood)