Two years ago, a hostile Prime Minister launched the Monochrome inquiry, investigating "historical over-reaching" by the British Secret Service. Monochrome’s mission was to ferret out any hint of misconduct by any MI5 officer—and allowed Griselda Fleet and Malcolm Kyle, the two civil servants seconded to the project, unfettered access to any and all confidential information in the Service archives in order to do so. But MI5’s formidable First Desk did not become Britain’s top spy by accident, and she has successfully thwarted the inquiry at every turn. Now the administration that created Monochrome has been ousted, the investigation is a total bust—and Griselda and Malcolm are stuck watching as their career prospects are washed away by the pounding London rain. Until the eve of Monochrome’s shuttering, when an MI5 case file appears without explanation. It is the buried history of a classified operation in 1994 Berlin—an operation that ended in tragedy and scandal, whose cover-up has rewritten thirty years of Service history. [more inside]
Top Chef: Fin Season 20, Ep 14
Top Chef World All-Stars finishes up in Paris with the final 3. Given the classic challenge of cooking the best (four-course progressive tasting) meal of their lives, given a sous-chef, given €2000, given six and a half hours over two days, given a chef's table meal to celebrate the night before, given a table of global chefs led by three restaurant six-Michelin-star chef Hélène Darroze, the guest judge. And one of them is given the title. [more inside]
Top Chef: Champions In Paris Season 20, Ep 13
The final four head to Paris for the penultimate challenges. First to the Champ de Mars, where they compete in the wall challenge quickfire. Then, after a mushroom harvesting trip, they wind up on Alain Ducasse's floating boat restaurant where they must cook a mushroom-forward dish, highlighting the champignons of Paris for a table with more Michelin stars than Buddha has molds or Gabri has messes. [more inside]
Top Chef: Goodbye London Season 20, Ep 12
As the journey in London comes to a wrap, the final four chefs welcome back the winner of Last Chance Kitchen. For this week's Quickfire, the chefs are joined by guest judge Sam Bompas, who challenges them to create a dish featuring jellies and molds. For their final Elimination Challenge in England, they're tasked with creating trompe-l'oeil dishes, where the plates must literally fool the eye and taste like something completely different than what they look like. Who will make it to the finals in Paris, and who will bid adieu? [more inside]
Top Chef: Battle of the Wellingtons Season 20, Ep 11
Coming into the final stretch before the finale. It's full steam ahead as the remaining six chefs are tasked with creating a steamed dish for their Quickfire Challenge. In one of the hardest Elimination Challenges yet, the chefs are put in teams of two and must create not one, not two, but three different Wellingtons to serve 20 diners, along with Padma, Tom and Gail. The two chefs from the losing team will pack their knives. [more inside]
Top Chef: Thali Time Season 20, Ep 10
There's nothing like preserved fish in the morning, which is exactly what the chefs have to cook with for this week's Quickfire Challenge. The chefs enjoy a night off as famed chef Asma Khan treats the cheftestants and Padma to an Indian thali dinner. For the Elimination Challenge, they must use six different flavor profiles to create their own Thali platter to impress a panel of chefs from India and judges Padma, Tom and Gail. [more inside]
Top Chef: Restaurant Wars Season 20, Ep 9
It's Restaurant Wars, and this season, the perennial favorite is back with a twist. The chefs split into two teams of four and are tasked with creating a restaurant concept and tasting menu. To add to the pressure, they must debut their restaurants at three Michelin-starred Core by Clare Smyth, and the judges will have a full view of the kitchen. Unbeknown to the chefs, Jimi Famurewa, the Chief Restaurant Critic for the Evening Standard, is seated in the dining room and later joins Padma, Tom and Gail at the judges' table. [more inside]
Top Chef: Street Food Fight Season 20, Ep 8
After a quickfire featuring Judy Joo themed around street food, the cheftestants face the dreaded movie tie in episode, with a Fast X themed mise-en-place relay turned team challenge. [more inside]
Top Chef: Hands Off Season 20, Ep 7
This week's guest judge is the food rebel Gaggan Anand. After a quickfire inspired by emoji, the teams eat a dish, 'Rainbow World', prepared for them by Gaggan involving licking a plate that is covered in geographic goo. The elimination challenge? Prepare a dish that is visually stunning, sends a message, and... can be eaten without utensils. [more inside]
There is an epidemic of ghosts in Britain. Their touch brings death, and only children have the power to fight them. Lucy Carlyle, a young psychic investigator, joins London's smallest agency, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood and his ever-hungry assistant George Cubbins. Together the trio must investigate some of the spookiest and deadliest spectral hauntings in the city, armed only with the tools of the ghost-hunting trade (magnesium flares, iron filings, chains and salt bombs), their courage and a thermos of tea. Ghosts and ghouls beware! [more inside]
Top Chef: Top Chef is No Picnic Season 20, Ep 6
It's picnic time for the Top Cheftestants, who are challenged with catering a high-end picnic at Downton Abbey filming location Highclere Castle. [more inside]
Top Chef: Holiday Vacation Season 20, Ep 5
Following a quickfire involving cooking a celebratory dish with honey and mead, the cheftestants hit the road to a [sponsor name removed] vacation house in Kent to cook a family celebration dinner for their fellow chefs and judges. [more inside]
Top Chef: Spurred Lines Season 20, Ep 4
After a biscuit-based quickfire (aka cookie in American), the cheftestants head to the Tottenham Hotspur football stadium for a team-based showdown. [more inside]
A governmental think-tank, whose remit is to curb the independence of the intelligence service, has lost one of its key members, and Claude Whelan—one-time head of MI5's Regent’s Park—is tasked with tracking her down. But the trail leads straight back to the Park itself, with Diana Taverner as chief suspect. Has Diana overplayed her hand at last? What’s her counterpart, Moscow’s First Desk, doing in London? And does Jackson Lamb know more than he’s telling? Over at Slough House, with Shirley Dander in rehab, Roddy Ho in dress rehearsal, and new recruit Ashley Khan turning up the heat, the slow horses are doing what they do best, and adding a little bit of chaos to an already unstable situation… [more inside]
This book was my prize from the white elephant book exchange at a Christmastime book club meeting. The story bounces back and forth between early 1800s London, where the secret apothecary exists to help women rid themselves of abusive or cheating husbands, and modern day London, where 30-something Caroline is rediscovering her love of history on a solo 10th anniversary trip that her husband missed because he was cheating on her. It's a really fun and well paced suspense story that will keep you interested until the last page as the historical story unravels while Caroline closes in on understanding what happened, 200 years later. It's also a story of a woman reconnecting with the things that bring passion to her life, while coming to terms with her decision to junk it all 10 years ago to get married.
We Are Lady Parts: Full Season Season 1, Ep 0
Written and directed by Nida Manzoor, this six-episode comedy series follows the all-Muslim women punk band, Lady Parts, as its members balance their faith, feminism, families, friendships, identities, careers, and dreams. [Trailer] [more inside]
In 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, a young grifter named Estella is determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella's flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella. [more inside]
The Irregulars: Season One Season 1, Ep 0
"Set in Victorian London, the series follows a gang of troubled street teens who are manipulated into solving crimes for the sinister Doctor Watson and his mysterious business partner, the elusive Sherlock Holmes." -- IMDB description [more inside]
At Slough House, Brexit has taken a toll. The slow horses have been pushed further into the cold, Slough House has been erased from official records, and its members are dying in unusual circumstances, at an unusual clip. No wonder Jackson Lamb’s crew is feeling paranoid. But are they actually targets? With a new populist movement taking hold of London’s streets and the old order ensuring that everything’s for sale to the highest bidder, the world’s a dangerous place for those deemed surplus. Jackson Lamb and the slow horses are in a fight for their lives as they navigate dizzying layers of lies, power, and death.
The discussion about Reign of Fire on the blue reminded me that it was time for me to rewatch Primeval (the original UK version, the the US remake). [more inside]
I May Destroy You: Line Spectrum Border Season 1, Ep 8
After discovering a demoralising development in the investigation, Arabella hatches a risky plan and convinces an adverse Terry to bankroll it; still navigating his own assault, Kwame challenges himself to explore the full spectrum of his sexuality. [more inside]
I May Destroy You: Happy Animals Season 1, Ep 7
Arabella takes a job working alongside Theo at a vegan delivery start-up. Terry takes covert measures to ensure Simon won't make an appearance at her birthday party. [more inside]
I May Destroy You: The Alliance Season 1, Ep 6
Arabella attends a support group for rape and sexual assault survivors run by their high school acquaintance, Theo. In a flashback to 2004, teenage Arabella and Terry intervene when Theo attempts to flip the narrative on consensual sex. [more inside]
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Elementary, Dear Data Rewatch Season 2, Ep 3
Data decides to out-LARP Picard on the holodeck in a Sherlock Holmes adventure that turns dangerous when Geordi botches a line of code. [more inside]
I May Destroy You: It Just Came Up Season 1, Ep 5
Arabella reassesses a sexual encounter with Zain and opens up to Biagio about her assault. She is in danger of breaking the internet when she goes off script at a writing summit. Kwame is prompted to report his assault to the police. [more inside]
I May Destroy You: That Was Fun Season 1, Ep 4
2 months after the incident, Arabella meets with a therapist, Carrie. Her agents assign another client, Zain, to help her with the first draft of her book. Kwame introduces his new love interest, Damon, to a stranger he met online. [more inside]
I May Destroy You: Someone Is Lying Season 1, Ep 2
Disturbed by what little she remembers of the previous night, Arabella attempts to retrace her steps, but Simon seems reluctant to help her. Meanwhile, Terry has a lousy audition. [more inside]
I May Destroy You: Eyes, Eyes, Eyes, Eyes Season 1, Ep 1
After visiting her boyfriend in Italy, Arabella returns to London and a deluge of frantic messages from her literary agents. She plans to pull an all-nighter to finish a draft of her book but is tempted to join a friend on a night out. [more inside]
The Silent Patient (fiction, 2019) is a psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband―and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive. [more inside]
It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure-garbage removal, clean water, sewers-necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. [more inside]
Curfew: Episode 1 Season 1, Ep 1
IMDB's synopsis "A group of amateur drivers from all over the world compete in an illegal night-time street race." Featuring Adrian Lester, Adam Brody, Miranda Richardson, Sean Bean, Guz Khan (If you haven't seen Man Like Mobeen, you're missing out), Robert Glenister. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! [more inside]
ShortsTV presents a theatrical release of the five Oscar nominees for Best Documentary, Short Subject [more inside]
Bodyguard: Episode 4 Season 1, Ep 4
Struggling to come to terms with the traumatic events of the last 24 hours, the home secretary's bodyguard David Budd himself falls under suspicion. [more inside]
A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers. [more inside]
When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate. [more inside]
A sly, funny, unique gem of a film about the psychogeography of London. Shot in long, static takes by Patrick Keiller, "an architect diverted into making films", under the guise of a fictional flâneur known as Robinson, the film is narrated by the genteel tones of Paul Scofield, who plays Robinson's anonymous companion. London captures the city moving about its business, but with emphasis upon the quiet, historical undercurrents of a city in the dying grips of Thatcherism. It traces the modest flats of famous poets, views that inspired great painters, the fallout from the 1992 general election and the aftermath of an IRA bombing. [more inside]
Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. [more inside]
An illegal Nigerian immigrant discovers the unpalatable side of London life. [more inside]
A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a crime involving a violent Russian mob family. [more inside]
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living. [more inside]
A 1950s period piece exploring the relationship triangle between couture dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis), his sister and business partner Cyril (Lesley Manville), and Alma (Vicky Krieps), the woman Woodcock invites into his home to be his latest muse and model.
Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.
Dominic Cooper is Stratton. A Special Boat Service agent who's doing Special Boat Service type stuff. Aided by a mid star cast of that guy, from that other thing, and Derek Jacobi.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The Paris Climate Agreement Season 4, Ep 14
- Terrorist attacks in London killed 7 and injured more. The American news media is full of stories of London "reeling" and "under siege." Londoners take issue with that description, continue drinking beer and carrying on.
- Vladimir Putin is in many places, from clips to an Oliver Stone series of interview on him to interviewing former Fox host Megyn Kelly, where he admited Russian citizens may have interfered with the US election, while Trump's administraion looks into returning Russian compounds on US soil known to have been used for spying.
- And Now: 60 Minutes Anchors Are Still Prompting People To Give Them The Exact Soundbites They Need.
- Main story: Trump announces that he is pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement, a decision with possibly disasterous consequences. YouTube (21m)
- And Now: Still More 60 Minutes Anchors Prompting People To Give Them The Exact Soundbites They Need.
Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists. [more inside]
Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.
Identical twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray terrorize London during the 1950s and 1960s. [more inside]
Call the Midwife: Episode 4.1 Season 4, Ep 1
New arrivals at Nonnatus House (and elsewhere), major life events (and not only for the expectant mothers), and an Antipodean connection that is the definition of bittersweet. [more inside]
A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.
After many listener requests, Dan examines the issue of the morality of dropping the Atomic Bombs in the Second World War. As usual, he does so in his own unique, unexpected way. [more inside]
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