Simon Cocks
Contributing Writer; London, England

Interview: ORPHAN BLACK's Ari Millen Talks New Clones And Surprises For Season 3

When Ari Millen started out on Orphan Black in the second season, he was most definitely in the background as supporting character Mark. There's no doubt he had a confident and attention-grabbing screen presence, but there was still little to... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E10, MARCO (Or, Could Be Worth A Couple Of Bucks)

The most obvious similarity between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul is that they're both tragedies, just in very different ways. Bad was about seeing Walter White revealed as the criminal he's always been inside and how his actions doom him,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E09, PIMENTO (Or, You're Not A Real Lawyer)

And, suddenly, it all makes sense. In one devastating conversation, Better Call Saul tells us everything we need to know about why Jimmy McGill becomes Saul Goodman, and in doing so it has revealed what I was so uncertain of... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E08, RICO (Or, Let's Reassess In Six Months)

For all of its strengths, one thing Better Call Saul appears to lack is a firm sense of its overall narrative. Breaking Bad seasons are like lessons in structure, but this prequel doesn't appear to have quite the same composition.... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E07, BINGO (Or, Building Up An Immunity To Electromagnetism)

Theft is at the heart of "Bingo", whether it's the Kettlemans and their theft of the money in the first place, Mike's theft of it back, Jimmy's perceived theft of the Kettlemans as clients from HHM, or Mike and Jimmy's... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E06, FIVE-O (Or, The Tragic Backstory Of Mike Ehrmantraut)

"Five-O" is the Mike-focused episode of Better Call Saul we've all been waiting for. It must be incredibly confusing for those that are fans of Breaking Bad to find themselves watching an episode entirely devoted to a Saul side character,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E05, ALPINE SHEPHERD BOY (Or, Need A Will? Call McGill!)

More than any episode of Better Call Saul so far, "Alpine Shepherd Boy" questions whether Chuck's condition is something physical that he's really suffering from, or more of a psychological affliction. It's to the show's credit that this has been... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E04, HERO (Or, The Plan Comes Together)

With its fourth impressive episode so far, we can now confidently say that Better Call Saul knows what its doing and is doing it well. It's a worthy successor to Breaking Bad, not because it slavishly mimics what that show... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E03, NACHO (Or, The Perils Of Trying To Do The Right Thing)

For an episode called "Nacho", this includes very little of the man himself. It's more about Jimmy's perception of Nacho (Michael Mando) and what he might do, rather than what he's really done. Jimmy is scared of him, but he's... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E02, MIJO (Or, Talking Your Way Out Of Being Held At Gunpoint)

Better Call Saul deserves to be talked about for its own merits, so I'm going to put the Breaking Bad comparisons to one side this time around. Saul's second episode, "Mijo", throws Jimmy into a dangerous and seemingly deadly situation, but... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: BETTER CALL SAUL S1E01, UNO (Or, Going Back Before BREAKING BAD)

Better Call Saul was always going to struggle, like all prequels do, to feel relevant. The nature of a prequel makes it an afterthought, but it's a good start that Saul firmly places itself in the world of Breaking Bad,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO, LAST CHRISTMAS (Or, Dreams Within Dreams Within Dreams... And Nick Frost Is Santa Claus)

Getting the Doctor Who Christmas special just right is not something Steven Moffat has always found to be easy to do. Last year's was too tangled and messy, the one before was great but the one before that was another... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Twitch's Top 10 Movies Of 2014

And that's the end of that chapter. 2014 is running on fumes and all eyes are already looking to awards season and the behemoths of next year that threaten to decimate the box office. The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star... More »
By James Marsh   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E12, DEATH IN HEAVEN (Or, Maniacal Missy And Her Cybermen)

While last week's "Dark Water" was patient and tense in ways Doctor Who rarely is, this finale reverts to the mode of rushing around while nothing that happens makes any sense. It has more than a few moments of brilliance, but... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E11, DARK WATER (Or, Meet Missy)

It was always going to be the case that Steven Moffat would only answer the question of time lords regenerating as any gender other than male on his own terms. He's made it clear he doesn't want a woman playing... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E10, IN THE FOREST OF THE NIGHT (Or, London's Overgrown)

We rarely see the Doctor as ineffective as he is here, floundering and lacking plans or ideas in the aftermath of the entire world being transformed into an enormous forest. "In the Forest of the Night" is, for the most part,... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E09, FLATLINE (Or, Everything's Sideways)

As further proof this series is all about Clara, "Flatline" sees her become the Doctor while the man himself is stuck in a shrinking Tardis. The role reversal works fantastically, as putting Clara in the Doctor's shoes makes it clear... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E08, MUMMY ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Or, A Thoroughly Unpleasant Train Journey)

To its credit, Doctor Who doesn't attempt to sweep Clara's impassioned outburst from last week under the rug. Her eventual decision to continue travelling with the Doctor doesn't suggest she's forgotten why he made her so angry in the first... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E07, Kill The Moon (Or, The Doctor Doesn't Decide)

Let's get straight to it. The idea that Doctor Who is weighing in with its thoughts on abortion and a woman's right to choose is surprising, to say the least. The episode uses the realisation that there's something going on... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E06, THE CARETAKER (Or, The Doctor Goes Undercover)

Now this is much more like it. "The Caretaker" is a considered and nuanced episode of Doctor Who that still manages to be great fun. It handles the complex relationships and emotions that are driving the show rather deftly, and... More »
By Simon Cocks   
  
 
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