Is Unbelievable a true story? How Marie Adler’s real experiences inspired the Netflix crime series

Amid the popularity of real life and true crime genres, Netflix has released a new drama based on the Pulitzer Prize winning article, An Unbelievable Story of Rape.

Unbelievable tells the story of teenager Marie Adler, an 18-year-old who filed a report claiming she had been raped in 2008. But police detectives and those closest to her doubted the truth of her claim, and Adler later retracted her story, telling the police she had lied.

While Adler went through this, hundreds of miles away, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall meet while investigating an eerily similar pair of intruder rapes, and partnered up to catch a what they suspected was a serial rapist.

Here’s all you need to know about Unbelievable.

Unbelievable on Netflix
The police believed that Adler was making up the claims that she had been raped (Photo: Netflix)

Is Unbelievable based on a true story?

Yes it is. The eight episodes have been inspired by the real events in The Marshall Project and ProPublica Pulitzer Prize-winning article, An Unbelievable Story of Rape, written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, as featured in the This American Life radio episode, “Anatomy of Doubt”.

In 2008, Adler reported that she had been “tied up, blindfolded, gagged and raped” in her apartment in Washington.

Unable to remember much about the attack, the sparse details that she did have was that her attacker was a “white man” who was wearing a “grey sweater”.

In the aftermath of the attack, Adler came under suspicion from her former foster mother Shannon, who claimed that Adler showed “no emotion” when they met after the attack. Friend Peggy Cunningham, who Adler lived with for a short while, also wondered whether she was telling the truth.

It had been documented that Adler’s upbringing had been unstable as she was in and out of foster homes for much of her childhood. However, by the age of 18 she was living independently and had got a job at Costco.

As the police were alerted to the concerns that her claims may not have been entirely truthful, Adler was asked to go through the incident again. After noticing inconsistencies in her story, the police believed the idea that Adler had made it all up and asked her to write out a true statement of what really happened that night. In her statement, she wrote that she had “dreamt that someone broke in and raped me”.

However, after some time, Adler wrote another statement where she said that she had lied. As a result, she was charged with false reporting and faced spending a year in prison.

But she was spared jail when she agreed to a number of conditions which included attending mental health counselling for her lying and paying $500 to cover court costs.

However, two years later, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall were investigating a similar rape case and found a man called Marc O’Leary was actually guilty. He had taken pictures of his victims, and detectives discovered photos confirming he had attacked Adler.

O’Leary was later found guilty of two rapes in Washington, with Adler named as one of the victims.

Toni Collette can be seen in the role of Detective Rasmussen alongside Merritt Wever as Detective Duvall
Toni Collette can be seen in the role of Detective Rasmussen alongside Merritt Wever as Detective Duvall (Photo: Netflix)

What happened after Adler’s rapist was convicted?

Following O’Leary’s conviction, the police removed the charge against Adler and returned the $500 she had paid to cover the court fees. She went on to sue the city of Lynwood and was awarded $150,000 in settlement.

According to reports, Adler is now married with two children.

When is Unbelievable on Netflix?

Unbelievable is available to stream and watch now.

Who is in the cast?

Booksmart actress Kaitlyn Dever plays the role of Adler while Toni Collette can be seen in the role of Detective Rasmussen alongside Merritt Wever as Detective Duvall.

More on Netflix

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Autumn TV: The best shows to watch over the next few months from The Crown to Strictly Come Dancing

DRAMA

Top Boy

Netflix

Kane Robinson as Sully in Top Boy series 3
Rapper Kane Robinson, also known as Kano, plays Sully in the show (Photo: Netflix)

Channel 4’s hit drama has been resurrected and transported to Netflix with the help of Canadian rapper and London fanboy Drake. Dushane (Ashley Walters) is out of prison and taking his place back as Summerhouse’s premier drug dealer alongside frenemy Sully (Kane Robinson). With Simbi Ajikawo and David Omoregie – better known as Little Simz and Dave – joining the cast, the new series promises to be a showcase of Britain’s best black talent.

The Crown

Netflix

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II and Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip in The Crown series 3 on Netflix
Olivia Colman takes over from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II for series three (Photo: Netflix)

Olivia Colman makes her debut as Queen Elizabeth II following on from Claire Foy’s two-year tenure. Hers are big shoes to fill, even for an Oscar winner, though it’s doubtful the Broadchurch star will fall short of the world’s high expectations. The third and fourth series were filmed back-to-back and span across 1964-76, meaning we’ll be privy to Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) and Lord Snowdon’s (Ben Daniels) divorce.

World On Fire

BBC Two

Jonah Hauer-King as Harry Chase in World On Fire on BBC One
Jonah Hauer-King plays Harry, a young soldier in the Second World War (Photo: BBC)

This epic World War II series has already been bought by US broadcaster PBS, so is already looking rather promising. Starting with the day Germany invaded Poland and ending with the Battle of Britain, World On Fire aims to tell the story of the second world war through the eyes of “normal people” on every side. Lesley Manville and Helen Hunt head up an international cast, and are also joined by Sean Bean. Bets on whether he’ll die in the first episode are now closed.

Unbelievable

Netflix

Merritt Weaver and Toni Collette in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)
Merritt Weaver and Toni Collette as the detectives who uncover the truth about a serial rapist in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)

Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning ProPublica article, this difficult and emotional adaptation tells the true story of 18-year-old Marie who was charged with reporting a false rape in 2008. She accepted a plea deal, but two years later a team of investigators tracked down her attackers and proved her story to be true after all. You’ll recognise Marie as Kaitlyn Dever, the sidekick to Beanie Feldstein in hit summer movie Booksmart.

Dublin Murders

BBC One

Killian Scott as Rob and Sarah Greene as Cassie in Dublin Murders
Killian Scott and Sarah Greene star in the BBC adaption of Tana French’s novels (Photo: BBC)

Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series has been crying out for a TV adaption for years, and with help from Irish national broadcaster RTÉ the BBC has finally stepped up. Killian Scott (Strike) and Sarah Greene (Penny Dreadful) play detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox tasked with solving two equally disturbing murders – a ballerina found on an ancient altar and a woman found stabbed to death inside an old Famine cottage.

Britannia II

Sky Atlantic

David Morrissey as Aulus in Britannia II
David Morrissey takes on the role of Roman commander Aulus (Photo: Sky Atlantic)

Mackenzie Croook takes on a second role in this year’s series of Britannia, Sky’s original drama charting the birth of the country we know today. Created and written by Jez Butterworth, the playwright behind The Ferryman and 2015 James Bond movie Spectre, the second round will see the Romans settle into their new role as rulers – “In the pantheon of right s***holes, Britannia is right up there,” says Steve Pemberton’s Emperor Claudius of his new home.

The Politician

Netflix

David Corenswet as River and Ben Platt as Payton Hobart in The Politician on Netflix
The Politician is the first of Ryan Murphy’s shows for Netflix (Photo: Netflix)

American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy goes back to his Glee roots with this new high school drama-comedy. Ben Platt plays a privileged, high achieving wannabe politician who will stop at nothing to become high school president. It’s essentially the 2016 US presidential race under a microscope, with all the subterfuge, games and underhand tactics you could ever want. Gwyneth Paltrow also stars as Peyton’s mum, with a less-than-subtle nod to her oft debated public image.

Undone

Amazon

Undone on Amazon Prime Video
Undone comes from the brains behind BoJack Horseman (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)

A step away from the grown-up cartoons of Bojack Horseman and Big Mouth, Amazon’s Undone is a little more stylish in its animation. Starring Rosa Salazar (Bird Box, Maze Runner) as Alma and Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) as her dead dad, it tells a trippy story of time when the 28-year-old finds herself the victim of a life threatening accident. One for fans of Doctor Who, but with a little more grit.

Catherine The Great

Sky Atlantic

Helen Mirren in Catherine The Great on Sky Atlantic
Helen Mirren makes a return to TV as one of Russia’s most famous rulers (Photo: Sky Atlantic)

Helen Mirren returns to serialised TV for the first time since 2005, when she played Queen Elizabeth I on Channel 4. Now she’s taking on Russia’s former empress, Catherine II, in a four-part co-production between Sky Atlantic and HBO. The monarch was in charge of the Russian empire for 34 years and this series chooses to focus on the latter part of the 18th century, otherwise known as the Golden Age of Russia.

Modern Love

Amazon

Anne Hathaway in Modern Love on Amazon Prime
Modern Love has an impressive ensemble cast, including Anne Hathaway (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)

The phrase ‘ensemble cast’ might be overused to plump up an average line up every now and then, but that’s certainly not the case for anthology series Modern Love. Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, Andrew Scott, Dev Patel, John Slattery, Andy Garcia and Cristin Milioti are just a small handful of the A-listers set to appear in the series, which is based on the popular New York Times column of the same name. Think Love Actually, but for 2019.

The Accident

Channel 4

You might not recognise Jack Thorne’s name, but you will have almost certainly watched his work – National Treasure, Kiri, This Is England ‘86, ‘88 and ‘90 as well as theatre production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. For the final instalment of his Channel 4 trilogy, Thorne has recruited Happy Valley star Sarah Lancashire to help tell a story of “justice” after a huge explosion kills a number of residents – including children – of a small town.

DOCUMENTARIES/FACTUAL

Seven Worlds, One Planet

BBC One

Seven Worlds One Planet
David Attenborough will teach us about the Guanaco in Torres del Paines, Chile (Photo: BBC)

David Attenborough’s much-anticipated follow up to last year’s Blue Planet promises to live up to expectations, as we’re taken on a journey through each of Earth’s seven continents. From sparring lizards and gravity defying monkeys in Asia, to the charging bison of Europe and humongous blue whales of Antarctica, the natural history legend’s newest venture promises to leave no stone of our glorious but endangered planet unturned.

Inside The Vatican

BBC One

Easter procession in St Peter’s square, Vatican
The BBC take an in-depth look at The Vatican’s inner workings (Photo: BBC)

This documentary fits a whole year’s worth of footage of the seat of the Catholic world into just two hour-long programmes. Pope Francis himself makes an appearance, but it’s the day-to-day running of the Vatican and the confines of the city walls that really make this an interesting watch.

The Cheltenham Literature Festival

Sky Arts

As the only channel on UK television completely dedicated to culture, it’s a no-brainer that Sky Arts would set up camp to broadcast live from one of the nation’s biggest book festivals. With headliners ranging from Blondie’s Debbie Harry and comedian Lenny Henry to former Prime Minister David Cameron, the coverage promises to be as interesting as it is diverse.

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Unbelievable on Netflix is an excellent, important, and relentlessly bleak depiction of rape reporting

Smuggled

Channel 4

Just how easy is it to sneak through the UK’s borders illegally? This new reality show aims to find out as Channel 4 have tasked a series of normal British citizens to find their way back home from Europe without using their passport. A thinly veiled attack on Brexit, this two-parter has billed itself as a “dramatic experiment” with “real purpose at its heart”.

Population with Chris Packham

BBC Two

Chris Packham
Chris Packham turns his attention to the world’s population problem (Photo: YUI MOK/AFP/Getty)

Chris Packham isn’t scared of controversy, but this might well be his most opinion splitting documentary yet. According to forecasters, by 2050 there’ll be a billion people in the world – a figure pretty much everyone agrees is far too big. But what are we supposed to do? Stop Having children? Well, maybe.

ENTERTAINMENT/COMEDY

Strictly Come Dancing

BBC One

Strictly Come Dancing celebrities and professional dancers
The nation’s favourite dance show returns (Photo: BBC)

Former national footballer Alex Scott is the current favourite to take home the 2019 Strictly glitterball trophy, but for now, it’s all to play for. New judge Motsi Mobuse will step up to the panel for the first time, though she won’t be the only newbie – Latin dancer Nancy Xu also joins the professionals for 2019.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK

BBC Three

RuPaul's Drag Race UK contestants
Who will take home Ru’s first UK crown? (Photo: BBC)

This UK version of RuPaul’s reality show has finally arrived, a mere ten months after its announcement. Queens competing for Ru’s crown of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent include Baga Chipz, Sum Ting Wong and Scaredy Kat, while chat show hosts Graham Norton and Alan Carr will take it in turns to sit on the judging panel. Fans of the US version will be glad to hear the Snatch Game challenge has safely made it across the pond.

Defending the Guilty

BBC Two

Will Sharpe and Katherine Parkinson in Defending The Guilty
Will Sharpe plays a student barrister in new comedy Defending The Guilty (Photo: BBC)

A new comedy from the clever brains behind Mum and Cold Feet, Defending the Guilty pretty much does what it says on the tin. At once hilarious and questioning of our impossibly complicated and tricky legal system, it follows student barrister Will (Will Sharpe, Flowers) who is guided by the world weary but impressively staunch mentor Caroline (Katherine Parkinson, The IT Crowd). A word of warning to any readers in the legal profession – the constant battle between holding onto your principles and doing your job might hit close to the bone.

State of The Union

BBC Two

Rosamund Pike as Louise and Chris O'Dowd as Tom in State of the Union on BBC Two
Rosamund Pike and Chris O’Dowd star in Nick Hornby’s State of the Union (Photo: BBC/Confession TV)

Not strictly a comedy, but funny all the same, these ten-minute vignettes of a marriage in crisis are some of the best TV this autumn. Proper Hollywood stars Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) play husband and wife Louise and Tom, who meet in the pub ten minutes before their weekly couple’s counselling session. Whether they’re discussing Louise’s affair or Call The Midwife, the razor sharp dialogue straight from Nick Hornby’s novella of the same name is enough to keep you hooked.

The Circle

Channel 4

The Circle on Channel 4
The Circle sees contestants manipulate social media to win a cash prize (Photo: Channel 4)

Former Big Brother presenter Emma Willis takes the reigns for the second series of social media reality show The Circle. The concept is simple: a group of people are locked away in separate rooms in a block of flats, with only The Circle – a sort of online network – as a form of communication between them. The twist is that, thanks to the anonymity of The Circle, the contestants can choose to be whoever they want and since the winner is the most popular, most of them decide to present as someone entirely different to their true self. Terrifying and entertaining in equal measures.

The Good Place

Netflix

The Good Place
The Good Place gang are back for one last season (Photo: NBC/Netflix)

After four seasons, the standout NBC comedy takes its final bow at the end of September, much to the dismay of its fans. For the uninitiated, The Good Place refers to the space where intrinsically good people go once they die – as opposed to The Bad Place. Over the years it has gotten a lot more complicated, though also much funnier. Not an accolade often afforded to a TV with roots in philosophical theory.

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The best TV shows to watch this week, from Drake’s Top Boy reboot to a documentary on David Cameron

Top Boy

Friday 13 September, Netflix

Kane Robinson as Sully in Top Boy series 3
Rapper Kane Robinson, also known as Kano, plays Sully in Top Boy (Photo: Netflix)

The first two series of Channel 4 crime series Top Boy – about drug dealing and gang violence on a London estate – were billed as England’s answer to The Wire when they aired in 2011 and 2013. This revival, filmed after rapper Drake bought the production rights, brings back Dushane (Ashley Walters) and his rival Sully (Kane Robinson) for a new, stand-alone story. Additions to the cast include Simbi Ajikawo (aka rapper Little Simz) and David Orobosa Omoregie (Dave).

Unbelievable

Friday 13 September, Netflix

Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)
Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)

This harrowing true-crime miniseries, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”, tells the story of Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever), an 18-year-old who is raped by a masked stranger in her home. The high-calibre cast includes Elizabeth Marvel and Bridget Everett as Marie’s foster parents, and Merritt Wever and Toni Colette as detectives who discover a similar case elsewhere.

Temple

Friday 13 September, 9pm, Sky One

Mark Strong as Daniel Milton in Temple on Sky One
Mark Strong opens a underground surgery in Temple (Photo: Sky)

A remake of the Norwegian crime series Valkyrien, set in a secret underground tunnel system beneath Temple tube station in central London. Mark Strong stars as Daniel, a tragedy-stricken surgeon who runs an off-the-grid medical centre below ground. Carice Van Houten (Game of Thrones) plays Anna, Daniel’s troubled medical researcher, and Daniel Mays (Line of Duty) is Lee, a dissatisfied transport worker.

Last Night of the Proms

Saturday 14 September, 7.15pm, BBC Two

Proms 2019 artwork by Loch Ness
Proms 2019 artwork by Loch Ness (Photo: BBC)

Live from the Royal Albert Hall, Katie Derham hosts proceedings from the world’s most celebrated classical music festival as it draws to a close. Highlights include a world premiere by Daniel Kidane, ballet from Manuel de Falla’s The Three Cornered Hat and classics by Bizet and Verdi. Shifting to BBC1 for part two at 9pm, there are pieces by Offenbach, Grainger and Gershwin, before the traditional Last Night classics.

Cyprus Avenue

Sunday 15 September, 10pm, BBC Four

David Ireland’s award-winning play comes to television through a combination of shooting on location in Belfast and live capture of a performance at the Royal Court Theatre. A pitch-black comedy, Cyprus Avenue focuses on a Belfast loyalist (Stephen Rea) who, in the midst of a psychotic episode, mistakes his five-week-old granddaughter for Gerry Adams.

Crime and Punishment

Monday 16 September, 9pm, Channel 4

Prisoner with a freedom tattoo
Is the criminal justice system fit for purpose? (Photo: Channel 4)

This series takes a closer look at the criminal justice system and whether its archaic ways are still fit for purpose. In the first episode, we meet 28-year-old Paul Bousell, who is being held in prison without a fixed release date after robbing a shop at knife point. He is on an IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) sentence, a controversial ruling that was abolished in 2012. However, there are still 3,429 IPP prisoners in the UK, each struggling to convince a parole board that they are safe to release.

Defending The Guilty

Tuesday 17 September, 10pm, BBC Two

Will Sharpe and Katherine Parkinson in Defending The Guilty
Will Sharpe plays a student barrister in new comedy Defending The Guilty (Photo: BBC)

Another legal-themed show, but this time designed to make you laugh. Will (Will Sharpe) is a fledgling barrister, thrown into the lion’s den of chambers, where his fellow pupils are desperate to prove their worth. Taken under the capable but rather cold wing of senior barrister Caroline (Katherine Parkinson, The IT Crowd), he finds himself navigating a world of politics and backstabbing. And that’s not even the clients he finds himself defending, every one of them as guilty as sin.

Japan with Sue Perkins

Wednesday 18 September, 9pm, BBC One

Sue Perkins trains with members of the Sumo Club at Asahi University
Sue Perkins trains with members of the Sumo Club at Asahi University (Photo: BBC)

Sue Perkins has really leaned in to travel presenting since leaving Bake Off behind and who can blame her. This time Japan beckons, so off we go to Tokyo, home to 36 million people and a booming tech industry. After spending a night in a “robot hotel”, Sue finds herself learning how to sumo wrestle with an all-female team and attending a wedding with only one participant. Away from the city, the presenter is put through her paces in “Hell Camp” – Japan’s toughest business school.

City on a Hill

Wednesday 18 September, 9pm, Sky Atlantic

Kevin Bacon as Jackie Rohr & Aldis Hodge as Decourcy Ward in City On A Hill
City On A Hill is produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (Photo: Sky Atlantic)

Set in 90s Boston, this 10-episode cop drama stars Kevin Bacon as a corrupt FBI veteran who teams up with the district attorney to clean up the city’s streets. It is loosely based on the policing initiative known as “The Boston Miracle”, which resulted in a ceasefire across the city. A second season of the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon-producedshow has already been greenlit.

The Cameron Years

Thursday 19 September, 9pm, BBC One

David Cameron
The first part of the BBC’s David Cameron documentary airs tonight (Photo: BBC)

Broadcast to coincide with the release of David Cameron’s memoir, this two-part documentary explores the political career of the maligned former prime minister. Going back to 2013, the first episode looks at the Conservative infighting which prompted him to hold a referendum on EU membership – a decision the British political system is still grappling with today.

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Unbelievable on Netflix is an excellent, important, and relentlessly bleak depiction of rape reporting

Unbelievable
Netflix, available now
★★★★★

In the opening episode of Netflix’s absorbing new true-crime drama Unbelievable, 18-year-old Marie Adler is forced to recount the details of her rape more than six times. The first time, she is sitting on the floor, wrapped in a sleeping bag, flinching and shivering.

When asked how it happened, she finds it hard to verbalise the answer directly – to make the specifics clear, she can only say, “Not his fingers”.

By the fourth or fifth time the words are prised out of her she is bouncing up and down in her seat with impatience, frustration and indignation, panic swarming around her as she is scrutinised by stern, accusatory pairs of eyes.

Merritt Weaver and Toni Collette in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)
Merritt Weaver and Toni Collette in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)

In the brutal first hour, there is barely a moment that Marie (played by Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever) – a woman with an apartment in a kind of foster-care independent facility – is not on screen. Dever’s performance is intimate and sensitive, displaying the sort of resigned acceptance that someone with a difficult upbringing might possess about life’s injustices.

Eventually, she comes to doubt her own memory and concedes to the police – who pounce on every inconsistency – that perhaps she did hallucinate, perhaps she did black out, perhaps it didn’t happen at all.

Unbelievable probes the fragility of those surviving in the aftermath of barbaric crimes

She is soon punished by officers who accuse her of lying, wasting time and impeding their ability to “protect the public” – though they fail ever to make any committed attempt to protect her. Her trauma becomes their inconvenience, and after a life of being made to feel like an inconvenience, she accepts it.

Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)
Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)

In its portrayal of a vulnerable woman devastatingly mistreated, Unbelievable is relentlessly bleak. Throughout, Marie flashes back to the crime, when she was gagged and blindfolded, her wrists constrained by shoelaces. Sometimes it is the sound of the smacks and pounds and grunts; at others, it is the distorted vision of a terrifying shadow in a balaclava looming over her.

Then there is her wearying ordeal in hospital, another invasion: bright camera flashes and swabs wherever he might have touched, cold speculums, a cup to unscrew and aim into, a gown to button up and rip off. The “phut, phut, phut” of syringes.

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Everything is sterile and she is alone and exhausted, all her senses heightened and confused on no sleep. There is the deafening rustle of a paper bag (side-effects of STD exposure medication: “excessive bleeding”, “shortness of breath”, “thoughts of killing yourself”, all matter of fact). There is a growing, tinnitus buzz in our ears, too. Every colour is muted, most of them a shade of grey. Except for her chipped blue sparkly nail polish, a reminder – if you needed one – that she is just a child.

Toni Collette in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)
Toni Collette in Unbelievable (Photo: Netflix)

The eight-part series, which is available to watch from today, broadens out to tell another story in tandem, in which the superb Toni Collette and Merritt Wever star as (far kinder, more diligent) police on the search for a serial rapist who operates in a similar way to the man who attacked Marie. It’s a desperately sad starting point, and the show is not an easy watch.

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But it is powerful, compelling television – even more so as the two narratives begin to bind and our hopes build for justice for Marie. Most of all, it is one of very few times that a story of sexual assault is used not as a lazy plot device, nor as an excuse to indulge in violence, nor to shock, nor as a vehicle to tell the twisty-turny story of a male hero detective.

Instead, Unbelievable probes the fragility of those surviving in the aftermath of barbaric crimes and examines the innate, institutionalised misogyny that means their testimony is so rarely believed.

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A Time Lost: Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown joining forces with her sister Paige for new Netflix movie

Stranger Things fans may be able to see more of Millie Bobby Brown on the small screen as she teams up with her sister for a new Netflix movie.

Brown and her older sister Paige are bringing A Time Lost to the streaming service, based on a story that the pair developed themselves.

“We are so grateful to Netflix for their confidence in us and this beautiful story, which we have spent years writing and developing,” Millie and Paige said in a joint statement.

What is A Time Lost about?

A Time Lost follows a long-standing feud between two Long Island families who are brought together after one of their teenage daughters is diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s about friendship, family and overcoming obstacles when it feels like the world is pushing you down,” said Millie.

“It’s been a labour of love, literally.”

The film will be written for the screen by Anna Klassen, who previously wrote 2017 drama Dark Hours: Roxana, about a woman trapped in a mental asylum controlled by malevolent staff.

Who stars in it?

paige brown
Paige Brown is Millie’s older sister (Photo: Shannon Stapleton Photography)

As yet, casting details for the new film are unknown, so it’s not clear whether Millie or her sister will be appearing in the movie.

They will be taking an active role behind the scenes at least, with both serving as producers.

“It is a genuine thrill to witness Millie bring her distinct vision to the screen, now as a writer and producer, alongside her sister on this wonderful film” said Netflix’s vice president of independent film and documentary features, Lisa Nishimura.

“Millie is an extraordinary creative talent. We’ve been lucky to have her in our family from the beginning of her career.”

When can I watch it?

There’s no word yet on when A Time Lost may be available on Netflix, but don’t expect it to be released until mid 2020 at the earliest.

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Is The Spy a true story? How Eli Cohen’s real life and death inspired Sacha Baron Cohen Netflix series

Sacha Baron Cohen has left his comedic characters Ali G and Borat behind to tell the story of an Israeli spy in new Netflix political thriller, The Spy.

Inspired by spy Eli Cohen’s (not related to the actor) life story, the drama documents how he successfully went undercover in Syria in the early 1960s and became close to ambitious military leaders and their rich friends to earn a game changing level of trust about the country’s biggest anti-Israel secret initiatives.

But during the mission the Mossad agent becomes torn between his beliefs as a man who wants nothing more than to be of service to his country – and his job.

Following four years of operation in Syria, the country’s counterintelligence operatives eventually uncovered Cohen’s work as a spy. He was sentenced to death and publicly hanged in Damascus in 1965.

Here’s all you need to know about Eli Cohen.

Sacha Baron Cohen in The Spy
Sacha Baron Cohen plays the role of Eli Cohen in the hit Netflix political thriller (Photo: Netflix)

Who was Eli Cohen?

Cohen was a Israeli spy who began working for Israel’s national intelligence agency Mossad in 1961. He was given a false identity as a Syrian businessman who was returning to Syria after living in Argentina for some time.

In order to make his story believable, Cohen moved to Buenos Aires in 1961, before heading to Damascus in 1962 where he lived under the alias of Kamel Amin Thaabet.

Cohen’s methods of gaining top secret military information from highly placed officials involved him hosting parties where he feigned intoxication and listened to them reveal confidential details. Due to the trust that he had built with government officials, they also asked for his advice on various matters.

He later became the Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense.

During the four years of espionage, Cohen provided an array of intelligence to the Israeli army via secret letters and radio.

What happened to Cohen?

Cohen was eventually captured in 1965 when he was caught sending a secret radio transmission to Israel.

Having been found guilty of espionage at a military tribunal, he was sentenced to death. Despite international appeals and attempts of clemency, Cohen was publicly hanged in the Marjeh Square in Damascus.

He was 40-years-old at the time of his death, and was survived by his wife and three children.

Sacha Baron Cohen on The Spy
Eli Cohen was a spy for four years before being exposed and later sentenced to death (Photo: Netflix)

Is The Spy still available to watch on Netflix?

The six-part series landed on Netlfix last month, and all episodes are available to stream.

Who stars in The Spy?

With Baron Cohen in the lead role, the drama also features Noah Emmerich (The Americans) in the role of Dan Peleg, Cohen’s Mossad handler who tries to ease his own guilt over the sacrifices the spy makes.

Homeland star Hadar Ratzon Rotem can be seen in the role of Cohen’s wife, Nadia, who knows something isn’t right about her husband’s government job, and Waleed Zuaiter (Colony) stars as  Amin Al-Hafz, a military officer who thinks he’s found the perfect ally in the undercover Cohen.

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Sorry Drake, bringing back Top Boy is a step back for black British culture

I want to start by saying that I bloody love Drake, I enjoy his music, his eyebrows weirdly do it for me and he’s the only celebrity ever to apologise to me after accidentally stepping on my foot. You’d be surprised at the number who don’t – I’m looking at you, Kanye West, and you, Judge Rinder.

Aubrey Drake Graham has championed black British music from day one, sampling our funky house songs, shouting out our UK Garage artists, collaborating with our grime stars. He’s even used our slang, bless him. And I’m all for it. I’m so proud of black British music, and everything Drake has done to bring it to the forefront of popular culture is epic. To quote Kris Jenner: Drake, you’re doing amazing sweetie… But bringing back Top Boy? The gangs, guns and drug-ridden black drama that Channel 4 cancelled six years ago? Why Drake, why?

To understand my view, maybe you should learn a bit about me, first, so you can gain a bit of perspective and I can humblebrag a bit.

My name is London Hughes, I’m 30, I’m a hilarious black female comic from Thornton Heath, Croydon (the birthplace of Stormzy and south London’s first 24-hour Tesco). I’ve been working in British TV and entertainment for almost a decade now and I recently became the first black British woman ever to be nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy award, so let’s just say, I’m used to taking up space in white places.

Drake at the Top Boy premiere
Drake is the executive producer on Top Boy series three (Photo: Netflix)

On television, I have often played the role of the token black person, making me a spokesperson for all things black culture for white people who have no black friends or who haven’t bothered to do their research.

When Top Boy arrived on Channel 4 in 2011, written and created by the Northern Irish screenwriter Ronan Bennett (a white man, lol), the same thing happened: British people thought that here was black culture. I couldn’t blame them: what other shows were depicting Black Britain on TV at the time? The extent of black British culture seemed to be one black family on Eastenders.

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The television industry jumped on Top Boy – the show was gritty, edgy, critically acclaimed and constantly came up in meetings I found myself in. I forever had to explain to white people that, no I had never been in a gang (that’s a lie, I was in a library gang: we used to sit and read books at speed because we were very, very cool), yes I was from South London, but no I’d never heard a gunshot in real life.

The depiction of black people on British TV over the years has not only been sparse, but terribly one-sided. Black men have been portrayed as thugs, while black boys made delightful cameos on popular shows such as Crimewatch and the News at 10. By the time Top Boy arrived, that was the version of Black Britain that stuck.

Off the back of Top Boy’s success came shows such as BBC Three’s true crime dramas, “My Murder” (2012) and 2014’s “Murdered by my Boyfriend”. (Fun fact – there are no BBC Three dramas about black people which don’t have the word “Murder” in the title). As important and gripping as these stories are, they shouldn’t be the only ones being told. For every Top Boy, there should be at least one “Keisha goes to Uni”.

The narrative is slowly starting to shift, however. In 2016, BBC1 aired the six-part drama Undercover, which starred Britain’s first upper middle-class black family in which Sophie Okonedo played a barrister. This year, Dark Money told the story of a working-class black family, but with no gangs and no knife crime. Last year, there was even Sky One’s Bulletproof with Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters (who also stars in Top Boy), playing two black policemen.

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We’re finally starting to see black actors playing people and not just stereotypes. We’re finally shifting the narrative and offering more to the mainstream than the downsides of black Britain and gang culture. We’re finally starting to see different parts of black culture being celebrated, different black voices being heard. Black talents are finally being allowed to create their own stories, in their own words. And then Drake comes along and says, ‘Let’s take Top Boy and put it on the world stage! Let’s introduce Black Britain to the world this way! Here you are, Netflix!’

I’m currently in the process of making my own scripted comedy show in America, and I cannot wait to explain to them, too, that yes, I am black, yes I am from South London, but no, I have never been in a gang, nor heard a gunshot in real life.

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Drake the TV producer: How the rapper went from winning Grammys to reviving Top Boy for Netflix

Drake is a rapper. Not just any rapper, a rapper whose album Scorpion was streamed over a billion times in just one week and who has the most charted songs of any solo artist in Billboard history. He’s a rapper with five studio albums, three compilation albums and six mixtapes. He’s won four Grammys and two Brits. As a Canadian, he’s almost as big an export as maple syrup. So why was he on stage at an east London cinema last week, introducing a new series of Channel 4’s long dead drug-dealing drama, Top Boy?

“I want to thank you all so much for allowing me to be a part of this,” Drake told the audience at Hackney Picturehouse, where the premiere for the third season was held. “I just hope it’s half as captivating as Love Island and we’ll be on our way.” He is executive producer on the drama and is credited with being the catalyst for the show’s revival after he posted a screenshot from the first series on Instagram back in 2014.

Given Drake’s appreciation for British rap (J Hus, Skepta and Giggs are just a few of the MCs who have joined the Canadian on stage), his involvement in Top Boy’s revival isn’t that surprising; the leads are Kano (Kane Robinson) and former member of So Solid Crew Asher D (Ashley Walters). What is impressive, however, is just how committed he was to getting it off the ground. Speaking on Lauren Laverne’s Radio 6 Music show, Walters said: “I thought he watched it on Netflix, but he told me he actually watched it on YouTube. He was literally having to find part one, part two to piece it together – his dedication is real.

“He got in contact with me after he’d seen it and was asking when the next season was coming out and I said, ‘it’s not happening, it’s been cancelled’. He said, ‘We’ll see about that’.” A new 10-minute documentary charting Top Boy’s legacy reiterates the rapper’s dedication: it was Drake who did the bulk of the pitch to Netflix, where the show now lives; he went to the first table-read; he tells the cast they’ll all be back together when they’re “winning awards.” For Drake, this is so much more than a financial investment.

Most people will have either willingly or unwittingly heard a Drake song, but perhaps not many will realise that the young Aubrey Drake Graham started his career on TV. Starting as all child stars do – with adverts – he was eventually signed up to the teen drama, Degrassi: The Next Generation and his character, Jimmy Brooks quickly became a show favourite.

Following his exit in 2009, Drake scored minor roles in The Border and romance dramas Sophie and Being Erica, before making music his full-time job. That’s not to say he wasn’t still reaping the benefits of his on screen time: in 2017 he posted a royalty cheque from the Degrassi production team for the grand total of $8.25 (£6.70) on Instagram.

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Degrassi money still coming in don't sleeeeeeeep…💰💸💵💴💴💶💷

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In 2017 the Hotline Bling star dipped his toe back into the world of TV but in a more behind-the-scenes role. He was executive producer on The Carter Effect, a documentary about the NBA star, Vince Carter, whom he credits with inspiring him to try his hand at something new: “It just let me know that it was possible. It was confidence. It was the realisation that it was attainable.”

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In the same year, Drake announced that he was working on various projects with Steve Golin (The Revenant, Spotlight), film studio A24 and – to seal a hattrick of television deals – Apple, who are due to release their own streaming service later this year. “My taste in television or movies is always kind of similar to my approach to music, which is, I like when people really hit the nail on the head with real human emotions,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

Drake’s next move was as executive producer on HBO’s Euphoria, a controversial and often explicit drama series about American teenagers. With naked penises and scenes of drug-taking from the off, the show has been praised for its complex characters and sensitive handling of often difficult subjects. Drake lauded the show as “one of the most remarkable creations I have ever been a part of.”

Drake is committed to hyping up “authentic” drama from across the world – and with the power he has to step in and save a production he deems worthy of continuing such as Top Boy, it seems there is no stopping his growing TV presence. Next, he’s set to executive produce Ready For War, a documentary about immigrants to America who serve in the military, then are deported from the country once their duty is over.

Just three projects in to his producing career, it already looks like Drake has the golden touch. If you thought he’d peaked with his musical output, just wait – the Drake era of TV is upon us.

Top Boy series three will be available to stream on Netflix from 13 September.

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Top Boy recap: here’s where we left things at the end of season 2, ahead of season 3’s release on Netflix

Top Boy is making a return to TV screens six years after the critically acclaimed crime drama was cancelled by Channel 4.

The drama, which featured So Solid Crew member Ashley Walters in the role of Dushane and Kane Robinson as Sully, came to an end in 2013 with Dushane taking drastic measures to keep him and Sully out of prison. However, it didn’t work as Sully was incarcerated.

Top Boy fans have Canadian rapper Drake to thank for the show’s revival after he played a pivotal role in getting the new season on Netflix. With Sully now out of prison and Dushane keen to reclaim his throne within the lucrative drug market, season three promises to be full of drama.

But before it all kicks off, here’s a look back at what happened in season two.

Top Boy characters
Dushane and Sully reunite to reclaim the drugs that were stolen from them (Photo: Netflix)

What happened in the last season of Top Boy?

Following on from the discovery that Sully was in possession of the gun that killed three people, the second season opened with the police discovering a body. Forced to deal with the repercussions, Dushane also attempted to stay ahead of his friend turned new rival, Sully.

As the season continued, things went from bad to worse for Dushane and Sully when a police witness threatened to destroy them. With their lives in danger, the characters reunited with the intention of retrieving the drugs that had been stolen from them by the Albanians. But their plan to raid the Albanians’ warehouse went horribly awry.

Amid the drama, Dushane was forced to take drastic measures in a desperate attempt to keep him and Sully out of prison.

What can we expect from the new season?

The new season consists of ten new episodes and will pick up from the moment Dushane returns from exile to his home in London to reclaim his throne in the highly lucrative drug market.

He teams up with Sully, his spiritual brother, partner and sometime rival who is also returning to the same streets after his own form of exile – prison – comes to an end.

But awaiting them both is Jamie (Micheal Ward), the young, hungry and ruthless gang leader whose ambitions leave no place for Dushane and Sully.

When is season three on Netflix?

The third season can be streamed on Friday 13 September.

Drake at the Top Boy premiere
Drake is the executive producer for the drama (Photo: Netflix)

How is Drake linked to Top Boy?

Drake, who holds the title of Executive Producer on season three, recently spoke about his love for Top Boy during the drama’s premiere. As a fan who enjoyed the first two seasons, BBC Newsbeat reported the rapper as saying: “At first it was kind of, just for me, I was like – I need this back. But then I realised how much it meant to so many people.”

The rapper then took matters into his own hands as Walters explained how Top Boy made it onto the streaming service.

“Next thing I knew, we were sitting in a room with Netflix. And here we are,” he said at the premiere.

Despite his involvement in the season, there are currently no plans for Drake to make a cameo appearance.

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The Spy cast: who stars with Sacha Baron Cohen in the Netflix series – and the true story behind it

Emmy-nominated Sacha Baron Cohen returns to our screens today (Friday 6 September) with a six-part spy thriller on Netflix.

Marking a departure from his comedic characters such as Bruno and Borat, The Spy sees Cohen take on the role of secret agent Eli Cohen (no relation to the star) who goes undercover in Syria on a perilous mission to spy for Mossad.

But who stars in the drama alongside Cohen, and what is the true story behind it?

What’s the story behind The Spy?

Picture: Netflix

The Spy is based on the real-life story of former Mossad agent Eli Cohen, who successfully goes undercover in Syria in the early 1960s.

Cohen manages to infiltrate the Syrian government by getting close enough to military leaders to gain valuable insights into Syria’s anti-Israel secret initiatives.

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However, he becomes torn between his two lives and struggles to abandon his double identity. 

All he really wants is to be of service to his country, but his loyalties become divided, forcing him to ask himself who he really is.

Who is Eli Cohen?

Eli Cohen (26 December 1924 – 18 May 1965) was an Israeli spy, best known for his espionage work in 1961 – 1965 in Syria.

He developed close ties with military and political leaders of the country and became Chief Adviser to the Minister of Defense.

He was eventually exposed by Syrian counterintelligence authorities who uncovered the conspiracy.

Cohen was captured, convicted and sentenced to death before being executed in 1965.

However, the intelligence that he gathered before he was arrested was reportedly an important factor in Israel’s success in the six-day war, which took place between Israel and its neighbours in 1967.

What happens in the trailer?

In the trailer we see Eli struggling as the boundaries between his identity as Eli Cohen and that of his alias Kamal Amin Ta’abet begin to blur in his mind.

Eli says at the end of the trailer: “Taking off the clothes doesn’t work anymore, I can’t put him away,” and he’s told: “Kamil isn’t real, that life isn’t real, you are Eli Cohen, you need to remember that.” 

He responds to this, saying: “It’s a bit late for that.”

Who’s in the cast?

Picture: Netflix

Alongside Cohen (Who is America?) as Eli Cohen, Noah Emmerich (The Americans) plays Dan Peleg, Eli’s Mossad handler who uses Eli’s sacrifices to ease his own guilt.

Hadar Ratzon Rotem (Homeland) portrays Eli’s wife, Nadia, who is left to raise their family on her own and knows something isn’t right about her husband’s government job. 

Waleed Zuaiter (Colony) plays Amin Al-Hafz, a military officer who thinks he’s found the perfect ally in the undercover Cohen. 

The series is written and directed by Emmy-winner Gideon Raff (Prisoners of War, Homeland and Tyrant) and Légende Films. 

It’s been produced by Alain Goldman (La Vie en Rose).

 

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From Euphoria to Big Mouth to Sex Education, teenagers are finally seeing normal bodies on TV

Despite having “sex” in its title, I never expected Netflix’s Sex Education to feature actual nudity. So as the first episode opened to the sight of sixth form students Aimee (Aimee Lou Wood) and Adam (Conor Swindells) having vigorous, naked, conventionally unattractive sex, it’s safe to say that I was pretty shocked.

Like the rest of the world, TV has a weird relationship with the naked body. Beyond the topless women dotted around the scenes of Game of Thrones to titillate, on-screen sex has mostly consisted of strategically-placed sheets and heaving chests to fit a pre-watershed slot.

However in 2019, the relationship between young people and nudity and sex has drastically changed; 53 per cent of 11 to 16 year olds have seen pornography online. When the only naked people teenagers have ever seen are the smooth, symmetrical figures of the average porn actor, they may come to see their own bodies as inadequate in comparison. Partner this with the not-quite-nudity seen on TV (not to mention film and the sexualised advertising used to sell underwear, perfume – even yoghurt) and any hope of a normal relationship with their nakedness is gone.

In reaction to ever-pervasive porn culture, a number of TV shows have worked hard to flip this phenomenon on its head, using the R-rated language and imagery of pornography to show what sex – and in turn, naked bodies – are really like.

Zendaya as Rue in Euphoria Sky Atlantic
Zendaya stars as drug addicted teen Rue in HBO’s Euphoria (Photo: HBO)

The problem of pornography is at the heart of HBO’s Euphoria, a show that has been (slightly reductively) dubbed the US answer to Skins simply because it follows a group of rebellious teens. While Skins was often criticised for glamorising immoral behaviour, there is nothing sexy about Euphoria’s sex scenes, which either fall into the categories of violence or mundanity.

Nudity in the show is prolific. Initially seen in disturbing flashes of hardcore videos, nudes and naked selfies are circulated on phones as a form of social capital – nothing remains private and every aspect of these teens’ sexuality is seemingly up for discussion.

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One moment in the show’s second episode prompted particular outrage for showing the boring reality of the men’s locker room, with a crowd of high school boys going about their business with their flaccid penises fully visible.

Even now, male genitalia is very rarely seen on screen (erect penises are banned from commercial film), but the truth is that men have body issues tied up in pornography, too. How could they not?

Showing a variety of male bodies in a location that is so often associated with “locker room talk” and porn sets, Euphoria tries to get us to consider the male body outside of a sexual context.

Asa Butterfield as Otis and Emma Mackey as Maeve in Sex Education on Netflix
Sex Education is unapologetic in its depiction of teenage sex and nudity (Photo: Netflix)

Another show leading the way in this arena is Netflix’s Big Mouth, an animated comedy series written by Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg about their adolescent experiences. With its third series dropping on the streaming service in October, the show focuses on the early stages of puberty, with tweens of all genders worrying about their bodies not looking conventionally “right”.

However, the show seeks to soothe the minds of teens watching and show them that all bodies are normal. In one scene featured in Big Mouth’s second series, confused teenage girls Jessi and Missy are taken to a Korean spa by Missy’s mother in the hope that her daughter learn to accept herself. Surrounded by naked women who all look different and treated to an “I Will Survive” style self-empowerment anthem from a Hormone Monstress voiced by Maya Rudolph, the girls see the female form in all its saggy, wonky, hairy glory.

It’s a shocking moment, but only in how removed this image is from a sexual context. For once, nudity is not about titillation, but education.

Teens have always turned to coming-of-age dramas in hope of finding answers in a time when they feel totally alone, from John Hughes movies in the 1980s to Netflix shows like Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why. With perfect bodies everywhere – from porn to Instagram – today’s young people are dealing with body issues on a stratospheric scale, with a recent poll revealing that one in three teens feel ashamed of their bodies and have altered their eating habits in an attempt to change how they look.

But if they can watch these shows and see squidgy, asymmetrical, wonky bodies that look just like theirs, it may become easier to to accept the normal, natural changes in their own.

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Ryan Murphy reveals all his new Netflix series in the works, from A Chorus Line to an Andy Warhol documentary

Ryan Murphy has a whole plethora of new Netflix series in the pipeline, having signed a record $300m (£246m) deal with the streaming service.

The screenwriter, director and producer behind TV hits such as Glee, American Horror Story and Pose has been developing a wide-ranging new roster of projects, from dramas to documentaries.

The Roster

On 27 September, he releases The Politician. Starring Ben Platt, its a whip-smart, caustically funny series about an ambitious teenager running for high school office.

Murphy is next set to release Ratched, a dark and brooding origin story about Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The lead will be played by Sarah Paulson.

Nicole Kidman will star in The Prom (Photo: Getty)

A Murphy collection simply wouldn’t be complete without a smattering of musical remakes for the small screen too. Fans can expect adaptations of two Broadway shows: 10-part miniseries A Chorus Line; and The Prom, which will star Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep.

In May next year, he releases Hollywood, which aims to cast a lens inside show business and the sex industry, featuring Patti LuPone and Holland Taylor.
Plus, there’s a whole miniseries about the famous couturier Halston, who will be played by Ewan McGregor.

Documentaries galore

Take a quick breath, because the line-up of new offerings is far from finished – we have documentaries galore too.

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Look forward to a classic portrait of a closeted lesbian couple who finally came out in their 80s in A Secret Love, as well as a “big, flashy 10-part series” about Andy Warhol.

As a boy, Murphy had a penchant for year-end fashion best dressed lists, too, so he’s decided to use that as inspiration for a series of shows about the world’s most stylish people.

He’s also working on a piece about Marlene Dietrich with Jessica Lange, though he admitted to Time magazine he’s not sure when he’s going to have time to shoot it.

“I’m only into April of next year’s calendar,” he said.

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The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, Netflix review: A stunning piece of artistry for the whole family

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Netflix
★★★★

The plot to The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance isn’t hard to understand as it’s mostly in the title – it’s about a crystal which has dark powers and the Gelfling residents of Thra form a resistance against its misuse in the hands of the evil Skeksis. See, simple. As long as you’re familiar with Jim Henson’s 1982 fantasy movie The Dark Crystal, that is.

A prequel to a relatively obscure film that came out almost 40 years ago might be a turn-off for the younger Netflix crowd, but that would be their loss. Yes, there are a lot of odd names and places to learn – Gelflings, Thra, Skeksis, The Stonewood Clan, The Vapra Clan, something called Fizzgig – but the story and characters are more or less dwarfed by the breathtakingly detailed and intricate artistry behind the sets, models and, of course, the puppets.

Thra – the world in which the magical warring creatures inhabit – is in part inspired by Nickelodeon’s animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and the seemingly never-ending scope of Game Of Thrones, as well as by Henson’s source material. The result is a stunning series of mountain ranges, soaring castles, dank dungeons, luminescent forests and underground caverns. Some of it is CGI, but more impressively, a lot of it is created by a detail-driven team of artists.

Age Of Resistance wouldn’t be the watchable epic fantasy romp it is without the stars of the show: the puppets. As opposed to the relatively lumbering ones used in the 80s which required four people to operate them, the spangly new 2019 characters require just two people and are remotely controlled from a wireless Nintendo Wii. For anyone who thinks the behind-the-scenes creation of the new series sounds more fascinating than the show, there’s an accompanying feature-length documentary charting the artists and puppeteers’ work also on Netflix.

The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance on Netflix
Netflix has also released a feature-length documentary detailing how the series was made (Photo: Kevin Baker/Netflix)

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If you’re not sold on the technical beauty of Age Of Resistance, perhaps its starry cast can tempt you. Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Helena Bonham-Carter (Fight Club, Sweeney Todd), Natalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Peaky Blinders, Split) are just a handful of the starry British voices you’ll hear over the 10 episodes, not to mention a cameo from fantasy legend Mark Hamill (Star Wars).

There’s enough plot and nostalgia for the adults and an abundance of bright, gross, captivating spectacles for children to gawp at. With Doctor Who off the air until 2020, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance fills a family-friendly gap long forgotten by most big-budget networks – unless it’s Christmas, of course.

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The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: cast, Netflix release date and everything else about the Jim Henson prequel

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, an adaptation of Jim Henson’s much-loved 1982 film, is finally here.

To some who saw the initial trailer it might look a little too much like Fraggle Rock meets Stranger Things, but the fantasy thriller is a prequel to the original movie and shows the Gelflings headed out on a mission to get The Crystal of Truth back.

The spin-off hopes to bring the lost art of puppetry back to the fore – here’s everything you need to know about it.

When was it released?

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was made available on Netflix on 30 August.

What’s it all about?

Age of Resistance is set many years before the events of the original movie with the world of Thra dying.

So it falls to three Gelflings to head out on an adventure to recover The Crystal of Truth – a source of untold power – and ignite a rebellion that hopes to bring the planet back from the brink.

Who is in the cast?

The voice cast is stacked, with Taron Egerton (Kingsman), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Sigourney Weaver, Helena Bonham-Carter, Eddie Izzard, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Alicia Vikander, Mark Hamill, and Simon Pegg all on board.

What do the cast say about the series?

Anna Taylor-Joy plays Brea and she told Entertainment Weekly: “Brea’s the best, I love her so much. She’s a Gelfling princess. She reminds me a lot of myself when I was a kid.

“Always reading, obsessed with reading. Obsessed with learning and acquiring as much knowledge as she possibly can. It’s not like she doesn’t like being a princess, it’s just that I think she finds the duties quite tiresome.

“She just wants to go out in the world and explore and learn all that she can. She makes me laugh sometimes because she is a bit of a know-it-all.

“Sometimes she can’t help herself, butting in and interjecting. She just makes me really really happy.

She added that she met the puppet she was going to be playing on the first day: “It was just really exciting because she’s got those lovely ears and her hair.

“She actually looks a bit like me when I was a kid, because I had really really really long blonde hair.

“It was just so wonderful to see her move. I find her really sweet. I get really excited about all of this kind of stuff and I’m just over the moon to be part of this project.

“I’m really really quite in love with Brea. It’s just wonderful.”

Taron Egerton, who plays Rian told ETCanada.com: “I basically bit [director] Louis Leterrier’s hand off. I was so excited to be involved in something I was so enamoured with as a kid.

“I watched the film originally when I was 7. My dad showed it to me. I thought it was completely enchanting and thought it was quite scary.”

What does Netflix say about the series?

“Light the fires of resistance! Join Deet, Rian and Brea on an epic quest to find hope in darkness, save Thra, and reveal their destiny. Nothing will ever be the same.”

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The best TV shows to watch this week, from Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions to Netflix’s prequel to The Dark Crystal

Carnival Row

Friday 30 August, Amazon Prime Video

Orlando Bloom as Rycroft Philostrate and Cara Delevigne as Vignette Stonemoss in Carnival Row on Amazon Prime Video
Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne star in Carnival Row (Photo: Amazon Prime)

Set in an otherworldly Victorian city, where humans mingle with supernatural creatures, this glossy fantasy noir features Cara Delevingne as a winged refugee “faerie” and Orlando Bloom as a human detective who becomes her lover. It’s fanciful stuff, but Amazon seems confident enough, having already commissioned a second season.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Friday 30 August, Netflix

Brea in The Dark Crystal
Brea in The Dark Crystal: The Age of Resistance (Photo: Netflix)

A prequel to the 1982 puppet fantasy film The Dark Crystal, this new series from the Jim Henson Company follows three Gelflings (humanoid creatures who can share memories and emotions through touch) who inspire a rebellion against the dominating bird-reptile-dragon antagonists, the Skeksis. Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel, Eddie Izzard and Helena Bonham Carter lead the voice cast.

Britain’s Got Talent: the Champions

Saturday 31 August, 8pm, ITV

Ant and Dec launch Britain's Got Talent: The Champions on ITV
Ant and Dec launch Britain’s Got Talent’s new spin-off (Photo: Syco/Thames)

The talent show returns, with a roster of previous winners competing for ultimate victory. Regular judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon all return, with Ant and Dec hosting. Champions in the running include dance duo Twist and Pulse, Paul Potts, George Sampson, Lost Voice Guy and this year’s winner, Chelsea Pensioner Colin Thackery.

Untouchable: The Rise and Fall of Harvey Weinstein

Sunday 1 September, 9pm, BBC Two

Harvey Weinstein walking into court
Harvey Weinstein walking into court (Photo: BBC/Shuttershock)

In October 2017, sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein rocked the film industry and the world. This feature-length documentary uses interviews with his former employees, friends and reporters, along with painful testimony from some of his alleged victims – more than 80 women have come forward – to paint a damning picture of the disgraced titan, as he awaits trial.

50 Years of The Troubles

Sunday 1 September, 10.20pm, Channel 4

Mark Cousins
Mark Cousins looks back at how The Troubles have been represented through cinema (Photo: Channel 4)

Prolific art-house documentarian and film critic Mark Cousins presents this special, marking half a century since the outbreak of sectarian riots in Northern Ireland that began the Troubles. Travelling to his home town of Ballymena, Cousins reflects on how the country has been represented – and possibly misrepresented – in the past 50 years of cinema.

Rise of the Nazis

Monday 2 August, 9pm, BBC Two

Hans Litten in court prosecuting four Stormtroopers in Rise of the Nazis
Hans Litten in court prosecuting four Stormtroopers (Photo: BBC)

Offering dramatic reconstructions, archival footage, and in-depth interviews with experts and historians, this three-part documentary digs deep into the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, throughout the 20s and 30s in the Weimar Republic. It is a timely history lesson from the BBC, and a reminder of just how fragile democracy can be when faced with xenophobic populism and fascists who know how to leverage the system in their favour.

A Confession

Monday 2 September, 9pm, ITV

Martin Freeman as Steve Fulcher in A Confession on ITV
Martin Freeman plays real life detective Steven Fulcher (Photo: ITV)

Detective Superintendent Steve Fulcher is tasked with investigating the disappearance of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan. Suspecting a link with another young woman who went missing years prior, Fulcher breaks protocol, risking his job to catch a murderer before it’s too late. Based on a true story, this crime drama, written by Bafta-winner Jeff Pope (Philomena, Stan & Ollie), stars Martin Freeman.

Paxman: Why are our Politicians so Crap?

Monday 2 September, 9pm, Channel 5

Jeremy Paxman outside Buckingham Palace
Jeremy Paxman outside Buckingham Palace (Photo: Channel 5)

Jeremy Paxman offers a wry assessment of the state of British politics, and tries to find out why trust has broken down between politicians and the public, canvassing opinion in the pubs and on the streets of Peterborough – where Labour narrowly beat the Brexit Party in a recent by-election. He also interviews high-profile figures including Alastair Campbell, Ann Widdecombe, Rachel Johnson and Roy Hattersley.

The Capture

Tuesday 3 September, 9pm, BBC One

Holliday Granger in The Capture
Holliday Granger investigates the world of fake news in the BBC thriller (Photo: BBC)

Callum Turner plays Shaun Emery, a soldier convicted of murder while stationed in Afghanistan, only for the conviction to be overturned after a flaw is found in the video evidence. Then, damning CCTV footage from a night out in London throws his life into turmoil again. This surveillance thriller also stars Holliday Grainger as an investigator struggling to find the facts in a post-truth, “fake news” world.

The Loudest Voice

Thursday 5 September, 9pm, Sky Atlantic

 Russell Crowe as Roger Ailes. in The Loudest Voice
Russell Crowe is unrecognisable as former Fox News boss Roger Ailes (Photo: Showtime)

Russell Crowe dons heavy prosthetics to portray Roger Ailes, the original chief executive of Fox News, in this star-spangled Showtime bio-drama. The seven-part series covers his appointment by Rupert Murdoch, the sexual harassment accusations that ended his career and his early work as a presidential media adviser. Sienna Miller, Naomi Watts and Seth MacFarlane also feature in this study of the American right-wing propaganda machine.

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Ben Platt on his new album and ‘insane’ journey from Broadway to a starring role in Netflix’s The Politician

If you are into musical theatre, or watch Pitch Perfect repeatedly, then, like Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton, you will already be very familiar with Ben Platt. If not, no matter, because at the end of September, Platt is going to be right there on your TV, starring as the lead in The Politician, with Gwyneth Paltrow playing his mother, in the latest big hitter from Netflix.

It is TV mogul Ryan Murphy’s first show as part of his multi-million-dollar deal with the streaming company, and Murphy created the role specifically for Platt. No audition required.

It’s a busy time for Platt: on Monday, the 25-year-old headlined the ceremony that launched tennis’s US Open; in a few weeks, he will perform alongside Queen, Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams at New York’s Global Citizen concert (co-hosted by a friend, Hugh Jackman); and his new single, “Rain”, came out last Friday.

Musically, it sounds as if Platt burst into a Carly Rae Jepsen and Bleachers house party – and frankly, I wish I’d been invited. I did luck into his sold-out debut UK gig in June, where seats in the stalls went for £70.

It’s a busy time for Platt: on Monday, the 25-year-old headlined the ceremony that launched tennis’s US Open
It’s a busy time for Ben Platt: on Monday, the 25-year-old headlined the ceremony that launched tennis’s US Open (Photo: Julian Broad)

When we meet a few days later, Platt’s anxiety about whether he would sell any tickets in the UK appears to have been unfounded. “I tend to ask over and over again, are people going to come?” admits Platt, as we awkwardly share a too-small sofa. “I’m never quite comfortable just assuming that it’s all going to go well, it’s not in my nature. Then it’s just all the more enjoyable when it does.”

Dear Evan Hansen was the Broadway musical that made LA-born Platt a star, winning him a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy. The show’s songs are written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the duo behind The Greatest Showman, and a UK production (as yet uncast) opens in London’s Noël Coward Theatre in November. It’s an emotional high-school story about struggling to fit in, mental health and teen suicide, all heightened by social media.

Platt’s breakout song from that show was “Waving Through a Window” (24 million listens on YouTube, compared with 310,000 clicks for Katy Perry’s cover). Dear Evan Hansen is also the show that piqued the interest of Ryan Murphy and, in turn, Netflix. “He [Murphy] came to Evan Hansen and sort of built [The Politician] around me,” admits Platt, somewhat sheepishly.

Even if he does play an unstoppably ambitious teen politician, I suppose that’s still a compliment. “He came backstage and mentioned he’d love to do something together,” continues Platt. “I was like, ‘Sure, but you’re Ryan Murphy, you’ve got 10 things going on’, but he really followed through.”

Platt was “freaking out” during their exchange, but by that point in 2016, his idols had been regularly dropping by the Broadway theatre where he was performing. It was a lot to take in aged 22. “I mean, it was insane. It was the kind of thing that I tried really hard not to normalise, because we have Hillary Clinton and then Beyoncé and then Mandy Patinkin and then Melissa McCarthy. And then, you know, all of my theatre heroes like Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim.”

Much of Platt’s life might seem surreal; his father is the film producer Marc Platt, responsible for Legally Blonde, La La Land and Mary Poppins Returns. He came out to his parents when he was 13, yet there was still a media flutter when it was deemed that he had come out publicly earlier this year, when his first pop video, for the track “Ease My Mind”, cast him in a gay romance.

“I never wanted the album, or any part of it, to be just a blanket statement about coming out or queerness,” says Platt. “It’s just a part of the story that I have, because that’s who I am.”

Discussing the sexuality of the characters of The Politician, Platt says “everybody in the show is sort of fluid”. He doesn’t think only gay actors should take gay roles: “It’s less in the particular casting of who is given which role, and more about whether the room is filled with different identities. If we start to say that only queer people can tell queer stories, it’s difficult, because we want to be able to tell other kinds of stories, too.”

Ben Platt is a delightfully chatty performer at the London gig, his first outside the US
Ben Platt is a delightfully chatty performer at the London gig, his first outside the US (Photo: Atlantic)

He cites Jonathan Groff as a role model in this regard. “He did a show that was incredibly queer-positive, called Looking, on HBO, and now is the lead in David Fincher’s Mindhunter, playing an everyman, straight man, and he’s just really shown that his talent supersedes everything and he can tell both kinds of stories. I’d love to fit in that space, too.”

Platt is a delightfully chatty performer at the London gig, his first outside the US; there are charming traces of musical theatre in his stage presence – a little Flashdance dip here, a Fosse-style hand flick there.

‘As an artist, there’s more room for humanity than in politics’

He draws the crowd in by detailing that teenage coming out (to loud applause), leaving the stage mid-set because he needs the loo (more applause) and dropping “fun facts” about himself. These include how he thinks cats are the devil’s children, partly because he is allergic; his love of all things Harry Potter (“Hufflepuffs unite!”); and how he once accidentally broke a glass cauldron in a shopping mall during an impromptu performance as Elphaba from Wicked. It seems that, while the swathes of teenage fans came for the angst of Dear Evan Hansen, they have stayed for the authenticity of Platt.

Ben Platt says he will be back performing in the UK at some point, which hopefully means more tales like the one when his parents used a McFlurry to bribe him to join in football practice
Ben Platt says he will be back performing in the UK at some point, which hopefully means more tales like the one when his parents used a McFlurry to bribe him to join in football practice (Photo: Julian Broad)

It is a quality any politician would kill to have. Might a career in politics hold any appeal? “I don’t think I’d be capable of quelling my own opinions and emotions and wellbeing for the greater good, or for self-serving reasons,” he says. “I mean, as an artist, there’s more room for humanity than in politics.”

It’s not something that he is cut out for, he concludes – but that’s not to say he doesn’t have political beliefs. It is worth looking up his March 2018 live performance with Lin-Manuel Miranda at the March For Our Lives rally in Washington DC. The pair performed “Found/Tonight”, their mash-up of a poignant song each from Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen, in support of the mass student-led demonstration for better gun control legislation in the US. It took place the month after 17 people were shot and killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.

Read More:

Emeli Sandé: ‘I don’t care about being cool. I just want to sing’

He now has ambitions to write his own musical: “I’m looking for the right idea or the right thing to adapt or to write from scratch.” And he is only an Oscar away from EGOT status – winning an award from each of the four major US entertainment ceremonies (Emmy/Grammy/Oscar/Tony).

An Evan Hansen film is planned, with his father producing, and while Platt appears most likely to star, he is not officially attached to the movie. “Not officially, in the sense that there is no script yet,” he clarifies. “There’s no reality to it, it’s just in development, but hopefully, down the line, that’d be a wonderful thing and I’m just waiting to see what happens.” Platt turns 26 in a month; he can’t pretend to be in high school for ever. “Sooner rather than later would be good,” he agrees.

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Cara Delevingne on playing a pansexual faerie in Carnival Row: ‘I went on a fairy-finding trip and came back with a harp’

He confirms that he will not be appearing in the long-gestating Wicked musical movie adaptation that his father is also producing (“I don’t think I’m a Fiyero”). He would be happy for the role to go to his brother, Jonah, who has already played it on Broadway – or, failing that, Harry Styles. So, Styles is his Fiyero, then? “Harry Styles is my anything, really,” comes the reply.

He says he will be back performing in the UK at some point, which hopefully means more tales like the one when his parents used a McFlurry to bribe him to join in football practice. “But when I got there, I would spend most of the time grabbing the chalk, delineating the lines and throwing it up in the air like it was fairy dust because I loved Peter Pan. There were some clues,” he deadpanned on stage in London. Frankly, what the world needs now is more Ben Platt.

Ben Platt’s single ‘Rain’ is out now. ‘The Politician’ is on Netflix from 27 September

More Music Interviews

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New on Netflix UK in September 2019: best TV series, movies and Originals released this month

The temperatures are cooling down and it’s almost time to say goodbye to summer, but fear not – Netflix has plenty of great new shows to keep us cosy as the autumn nights roll in.

As well as getting to enjoy new seasons of our favourite shows such as The Good Place, Call the Midwife and American Horror Story, September will see the launch of some exciting new series, films and documentaries.

Read More: The Good Place season 4 cast: Netflix release date, how many episodes there are and everything we know about the new series

New series hitting our screens include the Toni Collette-starring drama Wanderlust, which explores modern relationships and whether monogamy is feasible, and science fiction thriller The I-Land, which is already causing a stir following the release of its trailer.

Some great films are also coming to the service, such as the new Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis comedy, Between Two Ferns: The Movie, the Lego Batman Movie and old classics such as Dirty Dancing.

Read More: 15 of the most memorable Ron Burgundy quotes as Anchorman marks its 15th anniversary

In the documentaries category, we’ll get an insight into the personal and professional life of business magnate Bill Gates in Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates, while Explained returns with more short documentaries unravelling some of the key issues of our time.

Here’s a list of all the shows coming up in September on Netflix.

Dirty Dancing 

Picture: IMBD

The 1987 romantic dance drama starring Patrick Swayze will be available on Netflix in September. It starts Jennifer Grey as Frances “Baby” Houseman, a young woman who falls in love with dance instructor Johnny Castle (Swayze) at a holiday resort in the 1960s.
When can I watch it? Sunday 1 September 

Wanderlust

Picture: BBC

This series, which first aired on the BBC last year, stars Toni Collette as Joy Richards, a therapist who tries to save her marriage after a cycling accident causes her and her husband Alan Richards (Steven Mackintosh) to reassess their relationship.
When can I watch it? Wednesday 4 September 

Vagabond 

Picture: Netflix

Season one of this Korean drama tells the story of stuntman Cha Dal-geon (Lee Seung-gi), who gets involved in a tragic plane crash and ends up discovering a national corruption scandal in the process.
When can I watch it? TBC, September

Hip-hop Evolution: season three

Picture: Hip-Hop Evolution/ Banger Films.

The third series of the Canadian music documentary profiles the history of hip-hop music through interviews with many of the genre’s leading cultural figures.
When can I watch it? Friday 6 September

Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father

Picture: Netflix

The third installment sees jovial comic Jack Whitehall and his stuffy father, Michael, take unusual and amusing trips to foreign lands in an attempt to strengthen their bond.
When can I watch it? Friday 6 September

The Spy

Picture: Netflix

Starring Emmy-nominated Sacha Baron Cohen (Who is America?) in the lead role, this new limited series is inspired by the real-life story of former Mossad agent, Eli Cohen, who successfully goes undercover in Syria in the early 1960s.
When can I watch it? TBC, September

Archibald’s Next Big Thing

Picture: Netflix

Inspired by the critically acclaimed children’s book from Tony Hale and Tony Biaggne, Archibald’s Next Big Thing follows the adventures of Archibald Strutter, a happy-go-lucky chicken who may not remember to do his chores, but never forgets to have fun.
When can I watch it? Friday 6 September

 

Elite: season two

Elite
Picture: Netflix

The second season of Spanish drama Elite returns to Netflix this September with more tension between the haves and have-nots at Las Encinas, the most exclusive school in Spain. As well as new faces, season two promises dramatic plot twists as Samuel tries to find out who covered up Marina’s murder.
When can I watch it? Monday 9 September

Bill Burr: Paper Tiger

Picture: Netflix

Stand-up comedian, actor, and podcaster, Bill Burr, delivers a scathing review on the state of the world in his new Netflix stand-up comedy special. He dives into Michelle Obama’s book tour, the problem with male feminists, his hang-ups on taking a bath, and why his personality is affecting his marriage.
When can I watch it? Tuesday 10 September

Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020

Terrace House
Picture: Netflix

Six strangers share a fabulous house in Tokyo, looking for love while living under the same roof. With no script, what happens next is all up to them.
When can I watch it? Tuesday 10 September

Call the Midwife: season seven 

Call the Midwife season 7
Picture: BBC

The BBC period drama continues as the nuns and nurses face challenging issues, from leprosy, tokophobia and stroke to Huntington’s chorea and unmarried mothers.
When can I watch it? Wednesday 11 September

The Mind, Explained

Emma Stone. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty
Emma Stone. Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty

Ever wonder what’s happening inside your head? From dreaming to anxiety disorders, discover how your brain works with this illuminating series, narrated by Emma Stone (La La Land).
When can I watch it? Thursday 12 September

The I-Land

The I-Land
Picture: Netflix

The trailer for this series starring Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns) is already terrifying Netflix fans. When ten people wake up on a treacherous island with no memory of who they are or how they got there, they set off on a trek to try to get back home. They soon discover this world is not as it seems. Faced with the I-Land’s extreme psychological and physical challenges, they must rise to their better selves – or die.
When can I watch it? Thursday 12 September

Marianne 

Marianne
Picture: Netflix

This new Netflix Original series sees a horror novelist take a break from writing, only to discover the demon from her book exists in the real world. This malevolent spirit named Marianne draws her home and insists she continues writing… or else.
When can I watch it? Friday 13 September

American Horror Story: Apocalypse  

American Horror Story: season 8
Picture: FX

Series eight of Ryan Murphy’s spooky anthology series is set in the near future. A nuclear blast wipes out most of the known world, settling in a dystopian nightmare that pushes humanity on the brink of extinction.
When can I watch it? Friday 13 September

Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea

Hello Privilege it's me Chelsea
Picture: Netflix

In this documentary, comedian Chelsea Handler explores how white privilege impacts American culture, and the ways it’s benefited her own life and career.
When can I watch it? Friday 13 September

The Chef Show: Volume two

The Chef Show
Picture: Netflix

Lion King director Jon Favreau and Roy Choi cook up a variety of treats and then enjoy them with special guests.
When can I watch it? Friday 13 September

The Ranch: Part seven 

The Ranch
Picture: Netflix

The seventh series of Netflix’s longest running sitcom, starring Ashton Kutcher as Colt, returns to the platform. Being a pro athlete didn’t pan out for Colt, so now he’s helping his dad and brother keep the ranch afloat, and figuring out how he fits into the family.
When can I watch it? Friday 13 September

Tall Girl

Tall Girl
Picture: Netflix

This Netflix Original film is a heartfelt coming-of-age story about finding the confidence to stand tall and stop slouching. Jodi (Ava Michelle) has always felt awkward about being the tallest girl in school – until she meets Stig (Luke Eisner), a Swedish foreign exchange student who turns her world upside down, making her realise there’s more to her than she thinks.
When can I watch it? September 13, 2019

Unbelievable

Unbelievable
Picture: Netflix

Inspired by a true tory, this new series tells the story of teenager Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) who files a police report claiming she’s been sexually abused by an intruder. Nobody believes her until hundreds of miles away, detectives begin exploring a similar case and the two departments partner to track down the perpetrator.
When can I watch it? Friday 13 September

Only Fools & Horses: seasons one and two

Only Fools & Horses
Picture: Getty Images

The classic comedy centering on the misadventures of Del Boy and Rodney Trotter comes to Netflix in September. It follows two brothers from London’s rough Peckham estate and the dodgy deals they carry out in search of the big score that’ll make them millionaires.
When can I watch it? Sunday 15 September

The Lego Batman Movie  

The Lego Batman Movie
Picture: Warner Bros

Voiced by Will Arnett (Bojack Horseman), the Caped Crusader must deal with the usual suspects as they plan to rule Gotham City, while discovering that he has accidentally adopted a teenage orphan who wishes to become his sidekick.
When can I watch it? Thursday 19 September

Between Two Ferns: The Movie 

Between Two Ferns
Picture: Netflix

Zach Galifianakis dreamed of becoming a star. But when Will Ferrell discovered his public access TV show “Between Two Ferns” and uploaded it to Funny or Die, Zach became a viral laughing stock. Now Zach and his crew are taking a road trip to complete a series of high-profile celebrity interviews and restore his reputation.
When can I watch it? Friday 20 September

Criminal

Criminal Netflix
Picture: ©joseharo / Netflix

Criminal is a police procedural with a unique premise: it takes place exclusively within the confines of a police interview suite. This stripped down, cat-and-mouse drama will focus on the intense mental conflict between the police officer and the suspect in question.
When can I watch it? Friday 20 September

Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates 

Bill Gates
Picture: Netflix

Directed by Academy Award-winning Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth, He Named Me Malala), this three-part documentary explores the mind and motivations of celebrated tech visionary, business leader, and philanthropist Bill Gates, focusing on his post- Microsoft years when he began solving some of the world’s most persistent problems.
When can I watch it? Friday 20 September

Disenchantment: part two

Disenchantment Part Two
Picture: Netflix

The second part of season one of Matt Groening’s (The Simpsons) animated series comes to Netflix in September, continuing the story of Bean, who wants to break away from her princess role and go on adventures and does so with a half-elf named Elfo and Luci, a demon.
When can I watch it? Friday 20 September

Fastest Car: season two 

Fastest Car Netflix
Picture: Netflix

The reality show returns with more super-car drivers going up against sleeper cars in a quarter-mile drag race. The winners of the first seven episodes get to move on to the championship at El Mirage dry lake bed.
When can I watch it? Friday 20 September

Team Kaylie 

Team Kaylie
Picture: Netflix

In this Netflix Original series, selfie-obsessed teen celebrity Kaylie Konrad is sent to serve her community as the leader of an after school wilderness club for preteens, after another run in with trouble. But, being pushed out of her comfort zone will prove that she has so much more to offer than just a pretty face.
When can I watch it? Monday 23 September

Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself

Jeff Dunham
Picture: Jeff Dunham

Ventriloquist and comedy star Jeff Dunham talks parenting and pink eye, all the while skewering political correctness in his second Netflix Original stand-up comedy special.
When can I watch it? Tuesday 24 September

Abstract: The Art of Design: season two 

The Art of Design
Picture: Netflix

Two years after the design documentary first aired on Netflix, the second season returns in September, taking viewers into the minds of some of the world’s most creative designers.
When can I watch it? Wednesday 25 September

Glitch: season three 

Glitch Netflix
Picture: Netflix

The award-winning Australian series, which follows the mystery of seven people who return from the dead in perfect health, returns for a third season.
When can I watch it? Wednesday 25 September

Call Me By Your Name 

Call Me By Your Name
Picture: Sony Pictures

Set in the north of Italy in 1983, this film, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Suspira, I Am Love) tells the story of a love affair between 17-year-old Italian Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) an American student, hired as Elio’s father’s research assistant.
When can I watch it? Thursday 26 September

Explained: season two

Explained Netflix
Picture: Netflix

Each episode of this docuseries lasts just 16 – 18 minutes and focuses on a different topic, with previous topics including things like esports, cryptocurrency and monogamy. Voiced by a different guest narrator each time, the show returns for its second season in September.
When can I watch it? Thursday 26 September

In The Shadow Of The Moon

In the Shadow of the Moon
Picture: Netflix

This film explores a Philadelphia police officer’s lifelong obsessive struggle to track down a mysterious serial killer, whose crimes defy explanation.
When can I watch it? Thursday 27 September

The Good Place: season four

The Good Place
Picture: NBC

The fourth and final series of NBC’s fantasy comedy hits our screens in September, as the four stars of the show, led by Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristin Bell) continue their struggle in the afterlife to define what it means to be good.
When can I watch it? Thursday 27 September

Skylines

Skyliners
Picture: Netflix

Set in Frankfurt, this series follows a young and gifted hip-hop producer who gets the chance of a lifetime when he signs with Skyline Records. But the worlds of music, organised crime and high finance collide when the label owner’s gangster brother returns from exile to claim his share.
When can I watch it? Thursday 27 September

The Politician

The Politician Netflix
Picture: Netflix

Since the age of seven, wealthy student Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) has known he’s going to be President of the United States. But first he’ll have to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: Saint Sebastian High School. Full of comedy and sly satire, it offers a rare glimpse into just what it takes to make a politician.
When can I watch it? Thursday 27 September

Mo Gilligan: Momentum

Mo Gilligan
Picture: Mo Gilligan

Comedian Mo Gilligan blends smooth moves and sharp humour as he riffs on humble beginnings, family dynamics and the complex art of dancing in the club.
When can I watch it? Monday 30 September

The post New on Netflix UK in September 2019: best TV series, movies and Originals released this month appeared first on inews.co.uk.

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13 Reasons Why season 4: latest Netflix release date and cast news, and everything we know about the final series

*Warning: spoilers for seasons one, two and three of 13 Reasons Why and references to suicide*

The third season of 13 Reasons Why just became available on Netflix on Friday 23 August, but already a fourth and final season has been confirmed.

In series one and two, the controversial drama from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content, centred around the story of Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), a teenage girl who dies by suicide, leaving behind a series of 13 taped clues.

Season three saw the death of football player Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice) and the drama is concerned with identifying who killed him.

But what can we expect from season four? Here’s everything you need to know.

What happens in season 3?

Eight months after preventing Tyler Down (Devin Druid) from bringing a gun to Spring Fling, Clay Walker (Dylan Minnette), Tony Padilla (Christian Navarro), Jessica Davis (Alisha Boe), Alex Standall (Miles Heizer), Justin Foley (Brandon Flynn) and Zach Dempsey (Ross Butler) find ways to shoulder the burden of the cover-up together while helping Tyler move toward recovery. 

But when it’s discovered that footballer Bryce has been killed after the homecoming game, everyone is forced to question each other about who did it – and Clay finds himself under police scrutiny.

Season three saw the death of football player Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice). Picture: Netflix

Several of the characters are involved in Bryce’s death – Zach, who beat him up on the night he died, Alex, who found Bryce injured and threw him into the river to die and Montgomery de la Cruz (Timothy Granaderos) who got the blame.

Read More: Who killed Bryce Walker in 13 Reasons Why? Season 3 centres on shock death – here are the suspects

As Bryce’s murder investigation was closing, it transpired that Monty had been beaten to death in prison and so Clay’s friends pin the murder on him. At the end of the series Winston Williams (Deacon Bluman) confronts Ani Achola (Grace Saif) about the lie.

What will happen in season 4?

Season three left lots of loose ends which the final season will have to answer, the most important being whether Clay will get away with lying to the police about who killed Bryce.

The fourth season is expected to centre around the graduation of the core cast, according to Deadline.

Several questions remain unanswered, such as what happened to Tyler’s guns that were dumped, whether the relationship between Justin and Jessica will work out, and what will happen to Alex, whose police officer dad is aware of his role in Bryce’s murder, as well as his drug use.

13 Reasons Why season 4 cast: Who’s in it?

Hannah, Bryce and Monty clearly won’t return to the show but so far we can expect the other main characters to appear.

So we can expect to see Clay Jensen, Justin Foley and Jessica Davis back on our screens for season four, among others.

When will season 4 be aired?

Netflix hasn’t announced yet when season four of the show will be on our screens, but since 2017 when it premiered, there has been a new series each year, so it’s expected to land in 2020.

The Hollywood Reporter has said that production is already underway.

Why has there been controversy around 13 Reasons Why?

Hannah’s suicide scene has been cut from season one. Picture: Netflix

The show received a lot of negative criticism for its second season, which included a graphic suicide scene.

In July, Netflix announced it would remove Hannah’s death scene from the show following concern from viewers and experts such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

A study by the National Institute of Health, which was published earlier this year, found that there were nearly 200 more deaths by suicide than expected over a nine-month period following the 2017 release of the show.

Read More: 13 Reasons Why cast: who stars with Justin Prentice in series 3, and what else they have been in

Ahead of the launch of season three, Netflix made a statement, saying: “We’ve heard from many young people that 13 Reasons Why encouraged them to start conversations about difficult issues like depression and suicide and get help — often for the first time.

“As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we’ve been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show.

“So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we’ve decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one.”

The first three seasons of 13 Reasons Why are available now on Netflix.

The post 13 Reasons Why season 4: latest Netflix release date and cast news, and everything we know about the final series appeared first on inews.co.uk.

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Power season 6: Netflix release date, cast, trailer and what you need to know about final series of US crime drama

The sixth and final season of crime drama Power is now available on Netflix, with Omari Hardwick and Joseph Sikora returning in their lead roles.

Exploring a dark underworld of crime with dramatic plot twists, the show, produced by US rapper 50 Cent, has captivated viewers since it premiered in 2014.  

After a year of waiting, the final season is here at last – here’s everything you need to know about it.

What happened in season 5?

The dramatic last episode of season 5 saw Ghost’s best friend Tommy Egan shoot police officer Angela Valdes in the chest.

However, it was unclear whether the bullet was fatal, and viewers were left questioning whether Angela would survive into season 6. 

The shooting took place just after Ghost confessed he still loved Angela – but the bullet was actually meant for Ghost.

Tommy was under the impression Ghost had been involved in the killing of his father and was also to blame for the murder of Mike Sandoval.  

What will happen in Season 6?

Season six is set to be full of more dramatic twists and turns, and kicks off with Ghost trying to get even with Tommy.

The official synopsis of season six says: “It picks up with James ‘Ghost’ St Patrick (Hardwick) seeking vengeance. His former drug partner and brother in arms must pay for the ultimate betrayal. 

“Rocked to his core by the perfidiousness and cruelties of those he once called his family, Ghost devotes himself to one notion: success is the best revenge, with all intentions of getting both.

“Ghost aims to get even with Tommy (Joseph Sikora), get the Queens Child Project built to consecrate Raina’s legacy, and finally achieve a thriving legitimate lifestyle with no criminal strings attached.

“Ghost’s need to wrestle satisfaction and happiness from this world by any means necessary is the most dangerous he’s ever faced. As the Feds grow closer to convicting him, Ghost must remain vigilant toward those wanting to take him down for his past criminal enterprises.”

Who is in the cast of Power?

Omari Hardwick (Kick-Ass, The A-Team) returns as James ‘Ghost’ St. Patrick and Tommy Egan is played again by Joseph Sikora (Jack Reacher, Charlie Wilson’s War). 

In the role of police officer Angela Valdes is Lela Loren (Snitch, Lost) and Naturi Naughton (Notorious, Fame) is back in the show as Tasha St. Patrick.

When can I watch it?

The show was released on 25 August on US platform Starz, but in the UK it became available to watch on Netflix from Monday 26 August.

There are 15 episodes to be released weekly on Mondays.However, the final season has been split into two parts, so only ten episodes will be shown this year, with the final five to be released at the start of 2020.

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13 Reasons Why cast: who stars with Justin Prentice in series 3, and what else they’ve been in

The third season of 13 Reasons Why hits Netflix today (23 August).

The anticipated third series of the hit teen drama follows the dramatic – and controversial – end to season two, and some interesting changes are afoot.

The show follows the story of Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who takes her own life, leaving behind a series of 13 taped clues as to what led her to her tragic end.

Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay in the hit Netflix show, has hinted that the last few episodes of Season 3 are among “the show’s best”.

What are we set to expect from the plot?

Season 2 ended in a dramatic and harrowing scene, with Tyler Down sexually assaulted by Montgomery De La Cruz and his indignant jock friends.

Tyler then took an assault rifle and headed to the Spring Fling in order to seek revenge, but Clay intercepted him and managed to convince him to drop the weapon just as the police arrived.

Meanwhile, Bryce walked free from court with only three months of probation following standing trial for the rape of Hannah and her friend Jessica.

From the trailer, we can see that somebody kills the school rapist, Bryce Walker, leading the series to end up being a whodunnit.

Bryce’s girlfriend Chloe also found out she is pregnant in the last series.

“I think [the topic of abortion could be covered] and it would be interesting to see how they handle it, because from my point of view, Bryce comes from a powerful family and they have a way of making things disappear, so I don’t know,” Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce, told Digital Spy.

Speaking at a Netflix For Your Consideration panel, creator Yorkey added: “It’s a question of, is there more story to tell, do we want to see these kids not only continue to recover, but, how do they bring forward into their lives the thing they’ve learned about what they’ve been through?”

Who is in the cast of Season 3?

Dylan Minnette is Clay Jensen

(Photo: Netflix)

Clay is a close friend of Hannah’s, and has spent the last couple of seasons of 13 Reasons Why on the hunt for answers on what happened to her.

Where have I seen him before?

Minette played a bully named Kenny in Let Me In, a remake of Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In, and starred opposite Hugh Jackman in Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners.

He’s also appeared in drama series like Lost, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.

Anne Winters is Chloe Rice

(Photo: Netflix)

Described as a “smart, clueless, popular girl” at Liberty High, Chloe was at one time the new head cheerleader, and is (or rather was) Bryce’s girlfriend.

Where have I seen her before?

Winters won’t be too familiar to UK film and TV fans, although she has had her fair share of starring roles in US dramas over the years.

She’s known for her roles in FX’s series Tyrant as Emma Al-Fayeed and ABC’s series Wicked City as Vicki Roth, and has also starred in films like Sand Castles and Night School.

Grace Saif is Ani Achola

(Photo: Netflix)

Introduced in Season 3, Ani is a new student at Liberty High who has an unknown prior criminal history and is close to Clay and Jessica.

Where have I see her before?

This is the first major role for Saif, so viewers likely won’t recognise her from any of her previous projects.

Obsessive fanatics of daytime soap Doctors may remember the one episode she appeared in as Angel Hurley in 2017 though…

Alisha Boe is Jessica Davis

(Photo: Netflix)

Jessica and Hannah always had a connection at Liberty High, seeing as they both started attending the school at the same time.

Where have I seen her before?

Another actress who has yet to really appear in any screen hits on this side of the pond (other that 13 Reasons Why of course), Boe has popped up in episodes of NCIS, Teen Wolf and Modern Family.

Devin Druid is Tyler Down

(Photo: Netflix)

Tyler is a bullied student at Liberty High and an avid photographer.

Where have I seen him before?

Druid has appeared in TV shows like House of Cards, and films like Netflix’s Cam.

Miles Heizer is Alex Standall

(Photo: Netflix)

The ex-boyfriend of Jessica, Standall is also a former friend of Hannah.

Where have I seen him before?

Heizer has appeared in a nhumber of US dramas and sitcoms, including Parenthood, Bones and ER.

Last year he appeared in critically acclaimed Netflix rom-com Love, Simon, the same year he reached a career zenith when he was invited to be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Christian Navarro is Tony Padilla

(Photo: Netflix)

Tony is Clay’s best friend at Liberty High who tries to help him deal with Hannah’s death.

Where have I seen him before?

Having appeared in TV shows like Blue Bloods, Vinyl and The Affair, Navarro appeared in Oscar-nominated film Can You Ever Forgive Me? in 2018.

Brandon Flynn is Justin Foley

(Photo: Netflix)

Justin was the character responsible for setting the events of the series into motion by being the first person to humiliate Hannah after their first date.

Where have I seen him before?

Primarily a screen actor (Flynn joined the third season of True Detective as Ryan Peters in a recurring capacity this year), Flynn has also appeared on stage in plays including Much Ado About Nothing and The Crucible.

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13 Reasons Why season 3: Netflix release date and UK time, cast and what to expect from the new series

After a dramatic – and controversial – end to season two, 13 Reasons Why is back for a third season, and some interesting changes are afoot.

The show follows the story of Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who takes her own life, leaving behind a series of 13 taped clues as to what led her to her tragic end.

Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay in the hit Netflix show, has hinted that the last few episodes of Season 3 are among “the show’s best”.

When is 13 Reasons Why season three on Netflix?

The third season of 13 Reasons Why became available on Netflix on Friday, 23 August – as with all new releases, it went live at 8.00am UK time.

Excitement began brewing ahead of the series back in June 2018, when Netflix announced the return in typically cryptic fashion.

The video showed someone opening a locker with a number three painted on the door before an unknown character walks across the screen.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, the trailer has now been released:

What are we set to expect from the plot?

Those who do not like any form of spoilers – and who have not yet seen Season 2 – we advise you to look away now.

Season 2 ended in a dramatic and harrowing scene, as Tyler Down is sexually assaulted by Montgomery De La Cruz and his indignant jock friends.

Tyler then takes an assault rifle and heads to the Spring Fling in order to seek revenge, but Clay intercepts him and manages to convince him to drop the weapon just as the police arrive.

Meanwhile, Bryce walks free from court with only three months of probation following standing trial for the rape of Hannah and her friend Jessica.

13 reasons why netflix
(Photo: Beth Dubber/Netflix)

From the trailer, we can see that somebody kills the school rapist, Bryce Walker, leading the series to end up being a whodunnit.

Bryce’s girlfriend Chloe also found out she is pregnant in the last series.

“I think [the topic of abortion could be covered] and it would be interesting to see how they handle it, because from my point of view, Bryce comes from a powerful family and they have a way of making things disappear, so I don’t know,” Justin Prentice, who plays Bryce, told Digital Spy.

Speaking at a Netflix For Your Consideration panel, creator Yorkey added: “It’s a question of, is there more story to tell, do we want to see these kids not only continue to recover, but, how do they bring forward into their lives the thing they’ve learned about what they’ve been through?”

Who is in the cast of Season 3?

Again, the details on this are sparse, but reports suggest we will certainly see Dylan Minnette, who plays Clay, in Season 3.

Navarro (Tony Padilla), Brandon Flynn (Justin Foley), Justin Prentice (Bryce Walker) and Alisha Boe (Jessica Davis) are also highly likely to feature.

As for Katherine Langford, who plays Hannah Baker, we’re not yet sure.

Hannah Baker in 13 Reasons Why (Photo: Netflix)

“The loss of Hannah will continue to be the inciting traumatic event for this group of kids and parents. It will always be part of the story,” Yorkey continued.

“But I don’t see a tremendous continued presence for Hannah because I think we needed her to finish telling everyone else’s side of her story and we needed her so that Clay could get to a point of saying, ‘I love you and I let you go’. If the story does continue, and certainly there is lots more to know about a lot of these characters, then the spotlight focus on Hannah Baker is probably done.”

Why has there been so much controversy around 13 Reasons Why?

The graphic scene in which the character Hannah Baker takes her own life has been heavily criticised.

Suicide prevention charity The Samaritans praised Netflix’s recent decision to remove that particular segment from Season 1 of the series in July.

Executive Lead of the Samaritans Media Advisory service Lorna Fraser told the RadioTimes.com:

“We raised our concerns over the content and have been working with the Netflix team here in the UK to provide advice on the safe portrayal of suicide, including viewer support and signposting to helplines such as Samaritans.

Read more:

Searches related to ‘suicide’ increased after Netflix released 13 Reasons Why

“While covering difficult topics in drama can help to increase understanding and encourage people to seek help, it’s important this is done in a responsible way, due to the evidenced risks associated with covering this topic in the media. Programme makers should always seek advice from experts on the portrayal of suicide, to ensure any risk to vulnerable viewers is minimised.”

However, others have condemned producers decisions to leave in equally graphic and potentially triggering scenes of rape and sexual assault. Netflix warnings already state at the content within the series may be upsetting to some viewers.

The new season will also allow viewers to access a database of crisis resources.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans for free on 116123 or 020 7734 2800.

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BBC chief warns broadcasters that streaming companies will bring ‘seismic changes’

BBC head of content Charlotte Moore has predicted there will be “seismic change” in the TV industry because of the challenge from streaming companies.

Ms Moore warned that the TV industry was facing enormous change and traditional broadcasters must try to keep up with subscription streaming services.

She also said there was “great approval” for the licence fee, adding that the broadcaster is vital to the UK TV industry.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, she said the loss of the corporation would be “catastrophic” for television.

Killing Eve

Killing Eve has attracted 96 million hits on iPlayer (Photo: BBC)

Ms Moore said current streaming giants may themselves be replaced by new contenders as companies learn how to operate online.

She said: “It might be challenging, but I think it’s incredibly exciting for creatives.”

Hit series Killing Eve was at the forefront of the director of content’s case for the BBC continuing to maintain its position, as it was announced that the first and second series of the show had attracted a combined total of over 96 million hits on iPlayer.

Licence fee

Ms Moore also said the BBC would continue to rely on the licence fee, which supported the corporation in its vital role for British TV.

“I think the world is changing incredibly fast. We have the licence fee. The world will change, and who knows where that will lead? Without the BBC at the heart of the British creative industry, I think it would be catastrophic for the British television.”

BBC factual commissioner Alison Kirkham has said that Netflix and other competitors will not tempt away talent, and Sir David Attenborough will continue to return to the corporation.

She said: “There is room for people to work elsewhere but keep coming back.”

Additional reporting from Press Association.

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YouTube’s next tactical move in the battle for online attention? Embracing philosophy, science and history

While Netflix and Amazon fight out the great streaming war in the battlefield of addictive drama, YouTube is making a tactical move in the unlikely genres of philosophy, science and history.

The Google-owned platform’s strategy is based on its evolution into the modern home of practical education. Part training college, part public library and part in loco parentis, YouTube is increasingly our first port of call for learning new life skills.

YouTube executive Luke Hyams describes the platform as “the biggest video library and resource in the history of civilisation”. It is also a media giant competing in an increasingly crowded video entertainment market.

Whereas rival streaming services throw their budgets at star directors, scriptwriters and acting talent, YouTube’s content focus is on its own “YouTubers’”, the creators and influencers who have used the platform to build channels that attract millions of visitors each day.

Homegrown talent

Hyams, who is head of YouTube Originals for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will look to harness this homegrown talent in making a series of ambitious UK-commissioned shows which he hopes will become global hits.

Netflix is already ramping up its UK-made portfolio, which runs to more than 700 shows. BritBox, a streaming service dedicated to UK content, launches later this year. Hyams describes the UK as “incredibly important”, not least because it has international appeal.

YouTube is partnering with British philosopher Alain de Botton’s educational company The School of Life, the BBC’s science team and the London-based production company Remarkable TV to make a series of YouTube Originals for release from October this year.

The School Of… is inspired by The School of Life’s already popular YouTube channel (it has 4.7 million followers) but will feature prominent YouTubers examining 21st century philosophical issues.

The grime artist Lady Leshurr will seek to answer the question “Is Democracy Dangerous?”, while the opening episode will feature Spanish-born vloggers The Martinez Twins exploring the theme of anxiety, after their own dizzying but traumatic rise to internet fame.

‘Redefining’ education in visual media

YouTube will make its new library free-to-air. (Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)
YouTube will make its new library free-to-air.
(Photo: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

Hyams says YouTube has an opportunity for “redefining” the intersection of education and visual media, which he says has come a long way from the days of the BBC’s long-running Look and Read and the Open University. “We have found a generation of young people who are really hungry for knowledge but don’t want it in a boring way.”

Virtually History, which debuts in November, is a 40-minute virtual reality film on the fall of the Berlin Wall, aimed primarily at an audience too young to remember an event in 1989 that was era-defining for the MTV generation. Hyams says “the whole idea of a united Europe” and “the dangers of building walls” gives additional contemporary relevance to the film.

He was also taken with Remarkable TV’s innovative use of VR. “It allowed an immersion into the past which is the closest you can get to time travel.”

A third show, The Edge of Science, will premiere on the BBC Earth YouTube channel in December and is an examination of the most “out there” scientific theories and whether they might actually fly. Hyams says that BBC Studios pitched the idea by pointing out that Albert Einstein spent many years as a lowly patents clerk and that his theory of relativity was long regarded as “codswallop”.

Portrait taken in 1950 of German-born Swiss-US physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955), author of theory of relativity, awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. (Photo: Getty Images)
Albert Einstein’s struggles will feature in one of the YouTube Originals shows (Photo: Getty)

The film, which will be fronted by Cambridge University scholar and podcaster Rick Edwards and features UK inventor and YouTuber Colin Furze, seems timely with automated cars on the horizon.

It also speaks to Google’s long-held interest in space travel and to YouTube’s track record in influencers exploring science through the medium of photogenic stunts. “If we are trying out these [theories] we need to do so on a scale that feels entertaining,” says Hyams. “Not like we are in a classroom with a couple of Bunsen burners.”

Free-to-air

While the streaming war is largely a scramble for subscribers, all of these UK YouTube Originals will be released free-to-air. YouTube needs the films to be talked about and shared widely to enhance the platform’s reputation as a home for professionally made content. “My priority is getting these shows to as big an audience as possible,” says Hyams. But the Originals will also come with a prompt to users to try them in the ad-free, £11.99-a-month environment of YouTube Premium, where they can view entire series from day one and access other UK YouTube Originals, such as The Sidemen Show.

YouTube is in a media struggle but it competes on its own terms in a parallel space to its rivals, defined by its creators. “We [YouTube Originals] are really staying truer to the stuff that works on YouTube,” says Hyams. “If it feels like it could fit in anywhere else, it’s really not for us.”

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He-Man: Netflix hires Clerks director Kevin Smith to launch animated series of He-Man and Masters of the Universe

By the power of Grayskull! He-Man is making a comeback. With his sword aloft, he will once again bellow: “I have the power!”

Kevin Smith, who directed the cult indie slacker movie Clerks, has been hired by Netflix to lead its forthcoming animated revival of the series He-Man and Masters of the Universe.

Who is He-Man?

He-Man first appeared in 1982 as a Mattel toy range (inspired by the success of Star Wars merchandise) and in comic books. He made it on to the small screen in 1983. In the animated series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, the hero is Prince Adam of Eternia, son of King Radnor and an earthling, Queen Marlena, who ruled the Kingdom of Eternia on the planet of the same name.

Prince Adam has special powers that enabled him to transform into a ripped He-Man, “the most powerful man in the universe”. All he has to do is raise his sword and proclaim: “By the power of Grayskull!” Once transformed, he has superhuman strength, extraordinary speed and indestructible skin. He-Man, originally voiced by actor John Erwin, defends Eternia and the secrets of Castle Grayskull from the evil forces of his arch-enemy, Skeletor. The animated series ran until 1985.

But has he been entirely absent from our screens?

Prince Adam has special powers that enabled him to transform into a ripped He-Man
Prince Adam has special powers that enabled him to transform into a ripped He-Man

No. In 1987, there a live-action film, Masters of the Universe, starred Dolph Lundgren as He-Man and a pre-Friends Courteney Cox as orphaned schoolgirl Julie Winston.

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A commercial flop at the time, it has since attained cult status. In 2002 came another animated series of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. A live-action film is planned for release in 2021.

So what can we expect from He-Man in the Netflix cartoon version?

It will use Japanese animé-style animation and is likely to pick up where the 1980s series left off. “This is the Masters of the Universe story you always wanted to see as a kid!” Smith told the Power-Con convention in California.

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The Family: what we actually know about secretive ‘Fellowship’ explored in the Netflix documentary

The mysterious church group The Fellowship is the the subject of a new Netflix documentary, which explores the reach that the religious group has over people in power across the globe.

The Family – which is a nickname for The Fellowship – is based on the 2009 book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet. The five-part series looks into the inner workings of the highly private group, and its members who have held positions in government.

But who are the powerful collective, who have been described as “a group with tentacles around the world”, why do we know so little about them, and what do they actually get up to?

Here’s your need-to-know:

What is The Fellowship?

The Fellowship Foundation can be traced back to 1934, when its founder, a Norwegian Methodist clergyman called Abraham Vereide, started hosting prayer meetings in San Francisco. He was also said to be a social innovator, and he set up a system in which the unemployed could repair old clothing and furniture in a bid to earn money, and The Fellowship was founded a year later in 1935.

During this time, Vereide extended an invite for local business and civic leaders to join the group for “prayer” meetings in which it was said they “shared their visions, studied the Bible and developed relationships of trust and support.” The idea picked up in different cities across the country, and by the mid ’40s, there were 60 breakfast prayer groups in the US. In 1947, following a conference in Zurich, the idea went global and a decade later, there were 125 groups across the world.

Jimmy Carter, second from right, and Doug Coe, leader of The Family, right,
Jimmy Carter, second from right, and Doug Coe, leader of The Family, right (Photo: Netflix)

What are their beliefs?

According to their mission statement its aim is: “To develop and maintain an informal association of people banded together, to go out as “ambassadors of reconciliation,” modelling the principles of Jesus, based on loving God and loving others. To work with the leaders of many nations, and as their hearts are touched, the poor, the oppressed, the widows, and the youth of their country will be impacted in a positive manner.”

Why is it so influential?

In 1953, Douglas Coe, who was working alongside Vereide, founded the National Prayer Breakfast. The religious event has since taken place in Washington DC every year, and every President since Dwight D. Eisenhower has attended. Sharlet says in the docuseries that Coe’s development of the event was to create a “public ritual”.

“Their idea was that they wanted a public ritual consecrating the United States to Jesus,” he said.

At the National Prayer Breakfast, the President usually arrives an hour early and meets with eight to ten heads of state, usually of small nations, and guests chosen by the Fellowship, including a keynote speaker. Since 2006, these speakers have included Bono, Tony Blair and Hilary Clinton.

Read more

The Family: who was Doug Coe?

According to The Los Angeles Times, the Fellowship Foundation has had extraordinary access and significant influence over U.S. foreign affairs for the last 75 years. The groups have funded meetings between controversial and political figures from across the world, appears to lobby people in power through their face-to-face meetings.

Former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback described Fellowship members’ method of operation: “Typically, one person grows desirous of pursuing an action”—a piece of legislation, a diplomatic strategy—”and the others pull in behind.

The Family on Netflix
The Family airs on Netflix (Photo: Netflix)

Where do they get their money from?

The Fellowship Foundation, which since 1935 has conducted no public fundraising programs, relies totally on private donations. In 2007, the group received nearly $16.8 million to support their 400 ministries.

What have others said about the group?

The New Yorker called it “like a Frat House for Jesus”.

Jeff Sharlet, who wrote the book that the series is based on says: “The Fellowship is the darkest expression of religious life that I’ve found in 20 years.”

D. Michael Lindsay, a sociologist who studies the evangelical movement, said “there is no other organisation like the Fellowship, especially among religious groups, in terms of its access or clout among the country’s leadership.”

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Doug Coe: what happened to leader of The Family, the religious sect explored in the Netflix documentary

Netflix‘s latest documentary The Family has caused a stir with viewers over the suggestion that a highly conservative Christian group has had a significant influence over politics in the United States of America.

Based on the 2009 book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power by Jeff Sharlet, each episode of the five-part series looks into the inner workings of the highly private group, officially known as The Fellowship Foundation, and it’s members who have held positions in government. Each episode includes interviews with a range of contributors, including a Fellowship Associate called Larry Ross and Sharlet himself.

As one contributor describes The Fellowship – which was also known as “The Family” – as “a group with tentacles around the world”, who meet with presidents and foreign leaders to spread their view of Jesus. The documentary also explores the identities of the people at the top, including the associate director of The Fellowship, Douglas Coe, who had access to officials through the annual National Prayer Breakfast.

Here’s all you need to know about Douglas Coe:

Douglas Coe preaching
Douglas Coe took over from the founder of The Fellowship Abraham Vereide (Photo: Netflix)

Who is Douglas Coe?

Born in Medford, Oregon, Coe rose to prominence when he was employed by The Fellowship’s founder Abraham Vereide in 1958.

By the early 1960s, Coe had moved on from being Vereide’s aide to becoming an assistant director of The Fellowship. Following Vereide’s death in 1969, Coe began to work on making The Fellowship more invisible while spreading his missionary message to American presidents.

According to various reports, Coe was rarely seen and preferred to work in private.

“Doug wanted to stay behind the scenes. He never wanted his name mentioned. He didn’t want his family’s name mentioned,” American politician Zach Wamp explained.

In 1953, Coe founded the National Prayer Breakfast. The religious event has since taken place in Washington DC every year, and every President since Dwight D. Eisenhower has attended. Sharlet says in the docuseries that Coe’s development of the event was to create a “public ritual”.

“Their idea was that they wanted a public ritual consecrating the United States to Jesus,” he said.

“You think you’re going to this event. There’s an opening speaker, an opening prayer, but Doug Coe does not speak. He’s always there.”

Referring to The Family’s link to the National Prayer Breakfast, Sharlet continued: “Using the National Prayer Breakfast is almost impossible to overstate The Family’s reach and access to governments all over the world.”

Pointing out just how private he was amid the debate about how much authority Coe had, investigative journalist Lisa Getter states in the docuseries: “He was the most powerful man in Washington you’ve never heard of. He’s like the Wizard of Oz.”

In 2005, Time Magazine named Coe as one of the most influential Evangelicals in the world.

Douglas Coe
Coe founded the National Prayer Breakfast that every President since Eisenhower has attended (Photo: Netflix)

What has happened to Douglas Coe?

Coe died on 17 February 2017, aged 88. He is believed to have passed away due to a heart attack and a stroke.

According to the New York Times, Coe’s son-in-law, Doug Burleigh, has become one of The Fellowship’s key leaders and has taken the responsibility of organising the National Prayer Breakfast since his death.

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Atlanta Child Murders: the true story behind Mindhunter season 2 – and why Wayne Williams is accused of being the killer

As audiences look forward to the new season of detective drama Mindhunter, the show’s writers have turned their focus to the events of the Atlanta child murders.

After setting up the Behavioural Science Unit within the FBI in in the first season, agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) continue their investigation into the minds of serial killers when they come across a set of unsolved murders in Atlanta, Georgia.

Over the course two years between 1979 to 1981, more than 28 children, adolescents and adults were killed in the city. The victims were mostly children, black and male.

One man who appears in the series, Wayne Williams, who had been was convicted of killing two adults, was linked to the murder of 20 children but he was never charged.

As Ford and Tench delve deep into the case, here’s all you need to know about the real-life events of Atlanta child murders.

Atlanta child murders on Mindhunter
The FBI agents will be seen investigating the Atlanta child murders that took place between 1979 and 1981(Photo: Netflix)

What were the Atlanta child murders?

In 1979, children began disappearing from their homes and surrounding areas. Their bodies were not discovered until days or weeks later.

The killing spree is thought to have begun with 14-year-olds Edward Hope Smith and Alfred Evans, who went missing within four days of each other. Milton Harvey, 14, became the third victim when he went missing while running an errand for his mother.

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The murders continued with the deaths of nine-year-old Yusuf Bell and 12-year-old Angel Lenair, and a trend about how the children had been killed started to appear. Both Usuf and Angel had been strangled. However, as the victim count grew over the next few months, the way they were killed changed to blunt blows to the head and asphyxiation.

In 1980 alone, 13 children between the ages of seven and 14 – who were mostly African-American – were murdered by asphyxiation.

In 1981, six more bodies were found, including the body of Eddie Duncan, the first adult victim.

In May 1981, a witness came forward following the death of another child, William Barrett, who described a black man standing over a body before driving away in a white and blue Cadillac.

Due to the number of murders that were taking place, the city of Atlanta enforced curfews and called for parents in the city to remove their children from school as the FBI attempted to find out who was behind the killings.

During its investigation, FBI agents predicted the killer would dump the body of his next victim in water in order to conceal the evidence. The prediction paid off when a police officer stationed at one of the many bridges in the area heard a splash and another saw a white 1970 Chevrolet station wagon at the scene.

The car was linked to 23-year-old Wayne Williams. Two days after hearing the splash, the body of a victim was found, leading the police to believe that Williams was to blame.

Circumstantial evidence – including certain belongings in his car – made Williams the police’s number one suspect.

Holden Ford and Bill Tench
Holden Ford and Bill Tench will be back to investigate the Atlanta child murders (Photo: Netflix)

Why was Wayne Williams accused of being the killer?

Despite never being charged with the Atlanta child murders, the police believed at the time they had gathered enough circumstantial evidence to link Williams to the killings.

Williams had been arrested and convicted in 1982 in Atlanta for the murder of two adults, Nathaniel Cater and Jimmy Ray Payne, and during his trial prosecutors matched nineteen different sources of fibres from Williams’ home and car to the child murders. There were also eye witness testimonies placing Williams with the victims whilst they were still alive.

FBI agent John Douglas, whose books the detective drama series is loosely based on, wrote about how his comments on the case at the time – in particular Williams’ alleged involvement – were taken out of context to make it sound as though he was confirming Williams’ guilt for the killings.

“I gave some of the background on the case and our involvement with it and how we had come up with the profile. I said he fit the profile and added carefully that if it did turn out to be him, I thought he ‘looked pretty good for a good percentage of the killings’,” he wrote in his book Mindhunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.

Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany in Mindhunter
The season will also focus on the heinous crimes committed by Charles Manson, Dennis Rader and Ed Kemper (Photo: Netflix)

Where is Wayne Williams now?

After being given two life sentences for the muder of Cater and Payne, Williams was sent to Georgia’s Hancock State Prison in Sparta. He was never tried for the child murders, but many believed he was the killer. Since his incarceration, Williams has maintained his innocence.

However, in 2005, DeKalb County Police Chief Louis Graham called for the case around the murders of five boys in 1981 to be reopened as he believed Williams was not responsible. The case was later dropped in 2006.

But in March 2019, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields confirmed that evidence from the murders would be re-tested by officials. Despite the link between Williams and the crimes, the Mayor explained that she wanted to make sure that everything had been done to find out the truth.

Speaking in a news conference, Bottoms said: “It may be there is nothing left to be tested. But I do think history will judge us by our actions and we will be able to say we tried.”

When is Mindhunter on Netflix?

The second season of Mindhunter is available to watch on the streaming service now.

More on Mindhunter

The post Atlanta Child Murders: the true story behind Mindhunter season 2 – and why Wayne Williams is accused of being the killer appeared first on inews.co.uk.

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Death to the binge watch: Watching TV week by week brings us together

How long have you spent watching television in one day? My record was set on a particularly miserable day in Cardiff in 2012, during my first year of university. I watched Breaking Bad for a whole nine hours, with only the occasional snack quest interrupting my marathon. There are three general reactions when I tell people this minor detail of my life – 1) nine hours? That’s disgusting, 2) That’s nothing, I once watched 12 hours of Friends and they’re only half-hour episodes or 3) You were in your first year of university in 2012?!

Looking back, I’m not proud of my nine-hour binge and I have never repeated it since (there are only five hours of Fleabag available after all), though if I wanted to, I could. Netflix releases a new show almost every Friday, more often than not with an entire eight to 10 episodes ready and available for my greedy eyes to gobble up. What am I supposed to do? Not watch the whole final series of Orange Is The New Black within 72 hours of its release?

Now, thanks to the perceived success of Netflix, our beloved terrestrial channels are joining in with the big boys and forcing – yes, forcing – us to watch their shows in one big gulp. With their Big Little Lies-esque family crime drama, Deep Water, ITV is the latest channel to upload a whole series to its online player straight after the first one has aired. The BBC started its insistence we must watch all the television all the time last year with the premiere of Killing Eve, which was instantly made available as a box-set.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow (Photo: HBO)
Game Of Thrones was released on a weekly basis and became one of the most talked about shows in history (Photo: HBO)

Deep Water is a well-thought-out, brilliantly written, expertly cast whodunnit, and by its very nature leaves its viewers wanting more. At the end of the first episode, which aired on Wednesday night, a missing child case was thrown into what had been up to that point a good but relatively tame show about women living in the Lake District. No one can be blamed for wanting to know what happens next. And of course we have a choice not to log on to our laptops and fire up the next episode as soon as we can, but since when have human beings ever resisted instant gratification?

Terrified of missing out

Read more:
Has Love Island killed the romcom?

The reason we feel like we need – and to a certain extent, it has become a need rather than a want – to watch endless hours of television is to make sure you have something to add to the conversation, even if that conversation only extends the people you have to share a desk with every day. We’re terrified of missing out, and are pressurised to feel in touch with the world around us.

Worse still, we’ve created a tentative world of spoiler alerts, which ultimately leads to a silent culture devoid of that conversation we crave. God forbid someone lets slip that Jon Snow is actually Daenerys Targaeryen’s brother and therefore the rightful heir to the Iron Throne over a whole year after the news was actually broken. Sorry to those of you who are yet to watch Game of Thrones, there will be no mercy here.

In charging ahead with a series, you transform TV into a solo activity, which feels like a shame. I’m reluctant to hark back to the days when 30 people would gather round the one television in the whole street – mainly because I can’t even fathom what that would have been like – but there’s a palpable magic in everyone watching the same thing at the same time. You only have to log on to Twitter during an episode of Love Island to know that.

Deep Water is available on ITV Hub now.

More from TV

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Son of Sam: the true story of serial killer David Berkowitz, featured in Mindhunter season 2

The shocking crimes committed by David Berkowitz, who was also known as the “Son of Sam”, are set to be explored during the second season of Netflix’s hit detective drama Mindhunter.

While there will be focus on the atrocious crimes committed by Charles Manson and Dennis “BTK killer” Rader, the new season will also show FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, turn their attention to Berkowitz.

The pair will try to find out what drove Berkowitz to go on a killing spree across New York from 1976 to 1977. The murderer killed six people and injured seven using a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver gun.

The latest trailer for the new Mindhunter season features only a small glimpse of Berkowitz, so viewers will have to wait until the season airs to find out what Ford and Tench do with the information they find.

Here’s all you need to know about the “Son of Sam”:

Who is David Berkowitz?

David Berkowitz
Berkowitz’s crimes will be looked into in the new season of Mindhunter (Photo: CBS News)

Berkowitz is an American serial killer who murdered six people between 1976 and 1977 in New York.

Read more:

Mindhunter season 2: As we head into the new series, here’s where we left the serial killer thriller

Born Richard David Falco in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, he was put up for adoption shortly after his birth, and it was his adoptive parents who changed his name and gave him their surname.

Reports have suggested that Berkowitz had a troubled childhood which led to him into starting fires and becoming infatuated with petty larceny. Despite losing interest in his education, the serial killer’s intelligence was above average.

At the age of 18, Berkowitz joined the US Army and he served in South Korea. However, three years after signing up, he was discharged and went in search of his birth mother. Having reunited with her, he was devastated to learn that he was born illegitimately.

What did he do?

From his own account of his crimes, Berkowitz claims he committed his first attack on two women on Christmas Eve in 1975. He used a hunting knife to stab Michelle Forman and her friend. While one of the victims was never identified, Forman was a student who had to be hospitalised due to the injuries inflicted on her by Berkowitz.

Read more:

Charles Manson makes a menacing appearance in Mindhunter season 2 trailer

Ed Kemper: the true story of the serial killer portrayed by Cameron Britton in Mindhunter

Having come into the possession of a gun, the criminal went on to shoot Donna Lauria and her friend Jody Valenti in 1976, killing Lauria instantly as she sat in her car. Valenti survived the attack but was unable to identify Berkowitz when she was questioned by the police.

Following the trend of targeting two people at a time, Berkowitz struck again when he aimed at and shot couple Carl Denaro and Rosemary Keenan, who were sitting in a parked car down a residential street in Queens, New York. Once again, both victims survived and despite the similarities in the attacks, the police did not draw a connection between them because they happened in different boroughs.

However, that changed when Berkowitz shot two girls who were sitting on a porch talking. Dressed in military clothes, Berkowitz began to ask Donna DeMasi and Joanne Lomino for directions in a high-pitched voice before shooting at them with the revolver he had been using.

Damon Herriman as Charles Manson in Mindhunter on Netflix
Cult leader Charles Manson will also appear in the new Mindhunter series (Photo: Netflix)

While many of his victims had survived, Berkowitz killed Christine Freund when he shot her as she sat in her car with her fiancé John Diel.

Read more:

BTK killer: the true story of Dennis Rader, the murderer featured in Mindhunter season 2

The killings continued with the murder of Columbia University student Virginia Voskerichian in 1977 after she came face to face with Berkowitz while walking home from her class.

Having been shot several times, Voskerichian died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.

In the months that followed, Berkowitz claimed two more victims when he shot dead Alexander Esau and Valentina Suriani, who were sitting in their car just blocks away from where he shot Donna Lauria and her friend Jody Valenti.

However, unlike previous crime scenes where he left no trace, this time Berkowitz left a letter for the NYPD where he referred to himself as the “Son of Sam” and revealed that he would continue with the killing sprees.

Why is he known as Son of Sam?

Berkowitz gave himself the name, using it to refer to himself in the letter he left for police in 1977.

According to reports Berkowitz also claimed that demons – and a dog owned by a neighbour by the name of Sam – ordered him to kill.

When was Berkowitz sent to jail?

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the longtime New York City prosecutor and judge who presided over the arraignment of the notorious ‘Son of Sam’ killer (Photo: AP/Mary Altaffer)

Berkowitz was arrested by the police as he left his house in Yonkers, New York in August 1977.

After confirming that he was the person who called himself the “Son of Sam” and the police discovered of a firearm, Berkowitz revealed he had been going out to commit another murder.

As he faced trial for his crimes, Berkowitz refused to plead not guilty by reason of insanity and instead pleaded guilty to killing six people.

His case drew a lot of media attention and Berkowitz was able to sell his story rights to a publishing house. New York state implemented the “Son of Sam laws” afterwards which sees the proceeds of any money a criminal earns from selling their story go to a compensation fund for victims.

Where is he now?

Berkowitz is currently serving six life sentences in prison at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in New York.

Who plays him in Mindhunter?

Netflix has yet to release the name of the actor portraying Berkowitz in the second season of Mindhunter.

When does Mindhunter return to Netflix?

The second season of Mindhunter returns to the streaming service on Friday 16 August. The first season of Mindhunter is still available to watch on the streaming service.

More on Mindhunter

The post Son of Sam: the true story of serial killer David Berkowitz, featured in Mindhunter season 2 appeared first on inews.co.uk.

Read More

Son of Sam: the true story of serial killer David Berkowitz portrayed in Mindhunter season 2

The shocking crimes committed by David Berkowitz, who was also known as the “Son of Sam”, are set to be explored during the second season of Netflix’s hit detective drama Mindhunter.

While there will be focus on the atrocious crimes committed by Charles Manson and Dennis “BTK killer” Rader, the new season will also show FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, turn their attention to Berkowitz.

The pair will try to find out what drove Berkowitz to go on a killing spree across New York from 1976 to 1977. The murderer killed six people and injured seven using a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver gun.

The latest trailer for the new Mindhunter season features only a small glimpse of Berkowitz, so viewers will have to wait until the season airs to find out what Ford and Tench do with the information they find.

Here’s all you need to know about the “Son of Sam”:

Who is David Berkowitz?

David Berkowitz
Berkowitz’s crimes will be looked into in the new season of Mindhunter (Photo: CBS News)

Berkowitz is an American serial killer who murdered six people between 1976 and 1977 in New York.

Read more:

Mindhunter season 2: As we head into the new series, here’s where we left the serial killer thriller

Born Richard David Falco in 1953 in Brooklyn, New York, he was put up for adoption shortly after his birth, and it was his adoptive parents who changed his name and gave him their surname.

Reports have suggested that Berkowitz had a troubled childhood which led to him into starting fires and becoming infatuated with petty larceny. Despite losing interest in his education, the serial killer’s intelligence was above average.

At the age of 18, Berkowitz joined the US Army and he served in South Korea. However, three years after signing up, he was discharged and went in search of his birth mother. Having reunited with her, he was devastated to learn that he was born illegitimately.

What did he do?

From his own account of his crimes, Berkowitz claims he committed his first attack on two women on Christmas Eve in 1975. He used a hunting knife to stab Michelle Forman and her friend. While one of the victims was never identified, Forman was a student who had to be hospitalised due to the injuries inflicted on her by Berkowitz.

Read more:

Charles Manson makes a menacing appearance in Mindhunter season 2 trailer

Ed Kemper: the true story of the serial killer portrayed by Cameron Britton in Mindhunter

Having come into the possession of a gun, the criminal went on to shoot Donna Lauria and her friend Jody Valenti in 1976, killing Lauria instantly as she sat in her car. Valenti survived the attack but was unable to identify Berkowitz when she was questioned by the police.

Following the trend of targeting two people at a time, Berkowitz struck again when he aimed at and shot couple Carl Denaro and Rosemary Keenan, who were sitting in a parked car down a residential street in Queens, New York. Once again, both victims survived and despite the similarities in the attacks, the police did not draw a connection between them because they happened in different boroughs.

However, that changed when Berkowitz shot two girls who were sitting on a porch talking. Dressed in military clothes, Berkowitz began to ask Donna DeMasi and Joanne Lomino for directions in a high-pitched voice before shooting at them with the revolver he had been using.

Damon Herriman as Charles Manson in Mindhunter on Netflix
Cult leader Charles Manson will also appear in the new Mindhunter series (Photo: Netflix)

While many of his victims had survived, Berkowitz killed Christine Freund when he shot her as she sat in her car with her fiancé John Diel.

Read more:

BTK killer: the true story of Dennis Rader, the murderer featured in Mindhunter season 2

The killings continued with the murder of Columbia University student Virginia Voskerichian in 1977 after she came face to face with Berkowitz while walking home from her class.

Having been shot several times, Voskerichian died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.

In the months that followed, Berkowitz claimed two more victims when he shot dead Alexander Esau and Valentina Suriani, who were sitting in their car just blocks away from where he shot Donna Lauria and her friend Jody Valenti.

However, unlike previous crime scenes where he left no trace, this time Berkowitz left a letter for the NYPD where he referred to himself as the “Son of Sam” and revealed that he would continue with the killing sprees.

Why is he known as Son of Sam?

Berkowitz gave himself the name, using it to refer to himself in the letter he left for police in 1977.

According to reports Berkowitz also claimed that demons – and a dog owned by a neighbour by the name of Sam – ordered him to kill.

When was Berkowitz sent to jail?

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the longtime New York City prosecutor and judge who presided over the arraignment of the notorious ‘Son of Sam’ killer (Photo: AP/Mary Altaffer)

Berkowitz was arrested by the police as he left his house in Yonkers, New York in August 1977.

After confirming that he was the person who called himself the “Son of Sam” and the police discovered of a firearm, Berkowitz revealed he had been going out to commit another murder.

As he faced trial for his crimes, Berkowitz refused to plead not guilty by reason of insanity and instead pleaded guilty to killing six people.

His case drew a lot of media attention and Berkowitz was able to sell his story rights to a publishing house. New York state implemented the “Son of Sam laws” afterwards which sees the proceeds of any money a criminal earns from selling their story go to a compensation fund for victims.

Where is he now?

Berkowitz is currently serving six life sentences in prison at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in New York.

Who plays him in Mindhunter?

Netflix has yet to release the name of the actor portraying Berkowitz in the second season of Mindhunter.

When does Mindhunter return to Netflix?

The second season of Mindhunter returns to the streaming service on Friday 16 August. The first season of Mindhunter is still available to watch on the streaming service.

More on Mindhunter

The post Son of Sam: the true story of serial killer David Berkowitz portrayed in Mindhunter season 2 appeared first on inews.co.uk.

Read More