Simon Cocks
Contributing Writer; London, England

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E02, INTO THE DALEK (Or, They Shrunk The Doctor And Put Him In A Dalek)

Regeneration episodes tend to be anomalies, so Peter Capaldi's second installment as the Doctor was always going to be more telling as to his take on the character. The good news, then, is that he remains brilliant. This Doctor is... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S8E01, DEEP BREATH (Or, Look Who's Got A New Face)

As ever, there were a lot of questions to be asked as we welcome a new actor to the title role of Doctor Who. Few, however, questioned whether Peter Capaldi could deliver the goods. Unsurprisingly, he's excellent. He slips into... More »
  

Review: ALAN PARTRIDGE Keeps The Stakes Low And The Comedy Hilarious

The highly anticipated big screen debut of Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge arrives in Alan Partridge a blissfully straightforward and outrageously hilarious comedy that finds the titular character caught up in a hostage situation at the local radio station in Norfolk... More »
  

Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Is A Taut, Engaging Conspiracy Thriller

"How do we know the good guys from the bad guys?," Anthony Mackie's Falcon (real name: Sam Wilson) asks in the midst of the climax to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's a line that is played for laughs and... More »
  

2013 TV Talent That Flew Under The Radar

More so than any other recent year, 2013 is notable for the sheer breadth of quality television on the schedules. Because of this, you'd be forgiven for not noticing some of what flew under the radar.In writing this list, I've... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO, THE TIME OF THE DOCTOR (Or, Farewell To Matt Smith As The Christmas Special Welcomes Peter Capaldi To The Title Role)

Opinions appear to be divided when it comes to "The Time of the Doctor", something that is bound to make discussing the episode rather lively. Personally, I liked it in parts but don't think it adds up to a complete... More »
  

DOCTOR WHO: THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR Aims For Fun And Excitement As The Show Gets Cinematic For Its 50th

I don't think I've ever had a moviegoing experience quite like watching the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who in the cinema. That's not to say it's the greatest thing ever, just that the atmosphere in the screening was really something... More »
  

Review: ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA Keeps The Stakes Low And The Comedy Hilarious

The highly anticipated big screen debut of Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge arrives in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, a blissfully straightforward and outrageously hilarious comedy that finds Partridge caught up in a hostage situation at the local radio station in Norfolk... More »
  

Review: SKINS S7E06, RISE: PART 2 (Or, The Final Episode Ever Provides A Strong Send-off For Cook)

The second part of Cook's story in "Rise" is able to stay true to the character and provide him with a fitting conclusion, although the buildup to the final moments is notably less focused or coherent than last week's excellent... More »
  

Review: SKINS S7E05, RISE: PART 1 (Or, Cook Is On The Run And Haunted By His Past)

What the first part of "Rise" shows us is just how much the past can benefit what the seventh series of Skins is looking to accomplish. I don't mean to say that the previous episodes should've been focussed on previous... More »
  

Review: SKINS S7E04, PURE: PART 2 (Or, Cassie's Story Ends On A Somewhat Happier Note As She Finds Clarity)

Last week's episode of Skins was all about Cassie feeling lost, and it seems for a moment that the second part of "Pure" is about her finding her calling as a fashion model. Things aren't quite that simple, though. Cassie may... More »
  

Review: SKINS S7E03, PURE: PART 1 (Or, Cassie Remains Adrift But In A Distinctly Different Way)

Like Effy, Cassie (Hannah Murray) has now moved to London. She's been here for less time, though, and she has realistically not landed herself a perfect job. She works as a waitress at a cafe and is clearly searching for... More »
  

Review: SKINS S7E02, FIRE: PART 2 (Or, Things Get Rather Bleak As Effy And Naomi Deal With Their Struggles)

On one level, the second part of "Fire" is just plain depressing. I mean that more as an observation than a critique, because Skins has consistently been a show that is unafraid of venturing into a dark narrative and not... More »
  

Review: SKINS S7E01, FIRE: PART 1 (Or, E4's Teen Drama Grows Up While Effy Encounters Difficulties At Work)

The return of Skins for a seventh series of specials that gets us caught up with three of the characters from the first two generations of the show is such an unusual decision by E4 that it has drawn me... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E14, THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR (Or, Things Get Dark And Interesting In An Excellent Finale)

Steven Moffat has made a great number of promises throughout the seventh series of Doctor Who. I was unsure whether he'd really be able to write a satisfying answer to the mystery of Clara but "The Name of the Doctor"... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E13, NIGHTMARE IN SILVER (Or, An Underwhelming Episode Sees The Doctor Battle Cybermen While Irritating Kids Tag Along)

Neil Gaiman's previous scripting effort, "The Doctor's Wife," is acknowledged as one of the strongest episodes of recent Doctor Who, effortlessly feeling like something that fits very naturally into the show's past while giving us a fresh spin on something... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E12, THE CRIMSON HORROR (Or, A Trip To Victorian Yorkshire Results In A Steampunk Adventure That Is As Exciting As It Is Fun)

"The Crimson Horror" is a fantastic example of just how much fun Doctor Who can be when it really keeps its story focussed and aims to deliver as an exciting adventure that's full of intrigue and laughs. This is easily... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E11, JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE TARDIS (Or, Mysteries And Secrets Fuel An Exploration Of The Doctor's Time Machine)

The notion of discovering more about the Tardis will always be enticing. It's essentially a big box full of secrets and there's so much about it that I'd love to discover or at least have explained in more depth. To... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E10, HIDE (Or, The Doctor And Clara Go Ghost Hunting)

"Hide" certainly has similarities with the other episode of Doctor Who written by Neil Cross, "The Rings of Akhaten," in that they both manage to sell the emotion of the story without constructing a coherent narrative throughout. When it begins, it... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E09, COLD WAR (Or, An Ice Warrior Causes Havoc In A Sinking Russian Submarine)

While last week's episode devoted some of its focus to having Clara witness the scale of the danger that she'll face as the Doctor's companion, "Cold War" is more about the immediacy of the danger. This is the first episode that... More »
  
 
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