Simon Cocks
Contributing Writer; London, England

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 »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E08, THE RINGS OF AKHATEN (Or, Real Development Allows Clara To Believably Help Save The Day)

While I still have problems with last week's messy return taking too long to introduce Clara for the third time, there's little to fault as this episode opens, with it providing real backstory for the Doctor's latest companion. It's a... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E07, THE BELLS OF SAINT JOHN (Or, Yet Another Introduction To Clara Oswald)

It's difficult to pretend that being introduced to the Doctor's new companion on three different occasions isn't overkill on Steven Moffat's part. The first time was a genuine surprise, the second was magical and fun, but at this point it's... More »
  

Review: BLACK MIRROR S2E03: THE WALDO MOMENT (Or, A Cartoon Bear Makes A Mockery Of Politics)

Where is the line drawn between politics and entertainment? In the final instalment of the excellent second series of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, that issue is exactly what is under the spotlight. It's perhaps the most plausible episode of the... More »
  

Review: BLACK MIRROR S2E02: WHITE BEAR (Or, Technology Leaves Us Disconnected In This Tale Of Memory Loss, Isolation And Horror)

"White Bear" is the single darkest episode of Black Mirror so far. That's definitely saying something for a show that is far from cheerful at the best of times. However, if you found last week's "Be Right Back" just a... More »
  

TV Review: BLACK MIRROR S2E01, BE RIGHT BACK (Or, Charlie Brooker's Sci-Fi Anthology Returns, Stronger Than Ever)

When Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror began in 2011, it seemed to be focused on being an effective satire above anything else. Its opener, "The National Anthem," is a sensationalist episode that definitely got viewers talking and kept them watching. As... More »
  

Review: DOCTOR WHO S7E06, THE SNOWMEN (Or, The Reluctant Doctor Is Coaxed Back Into Action By A New Companion)

Doctor Who's Christmas specials are rather fascinating occurrences. They try to appeal to a larger audience than usual and this has resulted in an interesting variety of episodes over the last few years. These installments don't always place much importance... More »
  

The Best of TV in 2012

There has a been a real abundance of great TV in 2012, perhaps even more so than in other recent years. Here are some of the performers and shows that I believe are deserving of appreciation this year.Best drama: Breaking BadSomehow able... More »
  

Review: MISFITS S4E08 (Or, An Uneven Series Ends With An Uneven Finale)

All things considered, there is probably just a bit too much going on in the finale of Misfits' fourth series. It wouldn't be an issue if everything focussed to a thematic point, but it's a bit muddled and spends more... More »
  

Review: MISFITS S4E07 (Or, Alex Searches For His Lost Appendage And Abbey Gets An Unexpected Surprise)

Misfits aims to explore modern gender roles with this week's episode but it's hard to say that it succeeds in everything that it sets out to do. The already obvious themes in Alex's storyline are made clearer here, yet there's... More »
  

Review: MISFITS S4E06 (Or, A Golf Club-Wielding Rabbit Causes Mayhem)

For a show that is able to make the most unusual of stories somehow work, Misfits hasn't really ventured into the crazier territory for a while. That all changes with the latest episode, though, which is easily one of the... More »
  
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