X Company is the new drama about five spy recruits based at an unconventional and top-secret training facility in Canada. The show revolves around these recruits and their experiences out on the field in World War II Europe.
The cast includes Évelyne Brochu (Orphan Black), Jack Laskey (Endeavour), Warren Brown (Luther), Connor Price (Being Human US), Dustin Milligan (90210), Hugh Dillon (Flashpoint), Lara Jean Chorostecki (Hannibal) and François Arnaud (The Borgias).
How many episodes are there?
The full series is three seasons, comprising 28 episodes. The first season, currently airing on HISTORY in the UK, is eight episodes long.
When and where can I watch X Company?
X Company airs Tuesdays on HISTORY (Sky 529, Virgin 270, BT 327) at 9pm.
The long-running series Crimewatch has been cancelled.
The police reconstruction show, which was presented by Jeremy Vine, has aired on the BBC for 33 years. The BBC will be replacing it with two series of daytime show Crimewatch Roadshow instead.
A BBC spokesperson said: “We believe the successful Crimewatch Roadshow format in daytime is the best fit for the brand going forward and we will increase the number of episodes to make two series a year.
“We are incredibly proud of Crimewatch and the great work it has done over the years and the work Crimewatch Roadshow will continue to do, and this move will also allow us to create room for new innovative programmes in peak time on BBC One.”
During the last 33 years, Crimewatch has helped solve a number of high profile cases – including the identification of toddler James Bulger’s killers in 1993.
Other high profile cases solved with the help of Crimewatch include the murders of Lin and Megan Russell in 1997, Sarah Payne in 2001 and the capture of the M25 Rapist in 2002.
The series was originally commisioned for three episodes in 1984. Since the first episode, every police force in the UK has been involved and the series has even gone global by working with appeals for America’s Most Wanted.
WW2 Treasure Hunters follows the work of detectorist Steven Taylor and Madness frontman as they team up to uncover historical artefacts across the UK. While expert Steven unearths hidden treasures, Suggs meets with survivors and historians to learn exactly what these items were used for during the war.
Steven Taylor is a detectorist who has spent twenty years searching for Second World War artefacts, building an impressive personal collection and a remarkable knowledge of the period. He is also chairman of the WW2 Relic Retrieval & Preservation Group, which organises digs around the UK.
Suggs is best known as the frontman of English pop band Madness, who rose to prominence in the late 1970s. Madness has sold over 10 million albums and 15 million singles. They still perform all over the world to this day.
How many episodes are there?
The full series is eight episodes long and is currently airing on HISTORY.
When and where can I watch WW2 Treasure Hunters ?
WW2 Treasure Hunters airs Mondays on HISTORY (Sky 529, Virgin 270, BT 327) at 9pm.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Disney stars Booboo Stewart and Thomas Doherty on Descendants 2
The hottest Disney franchise since High School Musical is finally back on our screens this Friday, December 20.
Descendants, the musical drama where the children of Disney’s villains take centre stage, returns this week with a vengeance. When Mal (Dove Cameron) starts to struggle with the perfect life in Auradon with Ben (Mitchell Hope), she seeks the comfort of home. Little does she know that her old nemesis Uma (China Anne McClain) and henchmen Harry Hook (Thomas Doherty) and Gil (Dylan Playfair) have a wicked plan in store.
It’s up to her friends Ben, Evie (Sofia Carson), Jay (Booboo Stewart) and Carlos (Cameron Boyce) to bring Mal home and convince her of the importance of staying true to one’s identity in this touching, all-singing, all-dancing sequel.
We were lucky enough to sit down with the stars of Disney’s Descendants 2, Booboo Stewart and Thomas Doherty, about what’s changed since the first Descendants film, their characters and some crazy new stunts.
Starting off with their characters, Booboo tells us that Jay, the son of Aladdin villain Jafar, has been through a lot of changes since the first film. While he used to follow in Jafar’s lead, Jay’s now evolved into his own person – and a completely different one to his father.
“In the first movie, there’s a lot of similarities. He works for his father. He’s stealing things. He’s a thief, he goes around stealing things.”
On the subject of heartthrob new bad boy Harry Hook, Thomas admits basing the son of Harry Hook on a number of interesting real-life characters.
“[Descendants director Kenny Ortega] wanted Harry to have the swagger of Mick Jagger and the cheekiness of Harry Styles and I had Heath Ledger as the Joker – I kind of added that to the mix.”
Harry is the son of Captain Hook and a friend of Uma, the daughter of Ursula and enemy of Mal from her childhood in the Isle of the Lost. The teenagers who remained on the Isle harbour a lot of resentment towards Mal and her friends.
On the bad blood between Mal’s group and Uma’s, Thomas adds: “I think the difference between our characters is you got off the Isle. I’m still on the Isle of the Lost. I want to get off and have the life these guys have had. So there’s a lot of frustration and anger towards the injustice of it all. That’s my own journey.”
It’s a journey that resonates throughout the new film. Uma is driven by the anger she feels about the select few kids allowed to live in Auradon. She lives and works at her mother’s fish and chip shop, where the musical number “What’s My Name?” is set. The video, which was released in June this year on YouTube, has accumulated nearly 80 million hits.
The song was the first time Thomas has ever rapped, though he jokingly describes it as a “piece of cake”.
“I’d never done it before. If anything, I had to get over the wall of embarrassment.”
It’s not the only new skill Thomas and the other actors have had to acquire. The new Descendants film is bigger and better than ever before, featuring a huge extended fight sequence aboard a pirate ship where all the characters engage in sword fighting.
There’s one stunt he wasn’t particularly keen on, however. In the midst of the action-packed battle scene, Harry is forced to jump overboard.
“I jumped into the water from the crane,” says Thomas, “It was so scary. Everything was so heavy that I just went right back under.”
He and Booboo laugh. Thomas jokes: “Near death experience.”
Watch our full Descendants 2 coverage here:
Descendants 2 premieres on Friday 20th October at 5.30pm on Disney Channel
REVIEW: X Company is an well-crafted and emotional tale of WW2 espionage
Stories about WW2 spies aren’t exactly breaking new ground, but new HISTORY series X Company manages to put a new spin on an old premise.
X Company follows the lives of five spies as they both undergo training at a top secret and unconventional facility in Canada and take part in covert missions in Europe. Yes, it’s not an overly original premise for a thriller, but its first episode is executed so stylishly and powerfully that it’s still a brilliant watch.
X Company wastes no time in throwing us into the midst of German-occupied Europe, highlighting both the brutality and defiance of the period. There’s a strong focus on the setting and its locals, which helps transport the viewer into the world in the same way our spy recruits have been. We are outsiders, thrown into the deep end, as they are. It’s a very human touch – and the episode’s more emotional human moments are its strength.
That’s not to say X Company isn’t also action-packed. It does a fantastic job of balancing the drama with sensitivity and character development. The pacing of the show is excellent. In one episode, we’re introduced to all of our main characters, get a hint at where they’re from and what they’re about, and witness how they live in different environments. None of it feels rushed.
There’s a lot that’s right about this show. As said, the pacing is excellent. X Company also offers a surprisingly decent script. It’s the balance between powerful story moments and the emotional impact on its audience, however, that proves how well crafted it is. A brilliant start.
Premium content channel AMC will be available to Sky customers for free later this month.
From Saturday, October 28th to Sunday, November 5th, AMC will be available for all Sky subscribers to watch for free as part of AMC Showcase week. AMC is currently only available to BT subscribers and Sky customers subscribed to the BT Sports package.
This means that Sky users will have their chance to sample some of the premium content currently exclusive to the channel, including gems such as the third season of Fear The Walking Dead and the premiere of new Rupert Grint-fronted television series Snatch.
Also on the line-up for Showcase week is the linear television premiere of the acclaimed supernatural drama Preacher plus full seasons of Pierce Brosnan Western The Son, martial arts drama Into the Badlands and comic thriller Hap and Leonard.
AMC UK President Mike Moriarty said: “Funny, thrilling, epic, ground-breaking and unique, we’re looking forward to showcasing a great line-up of shows that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.”
BT TV Content and Business Development Director Tony Singh added: “We’re really excited about our AMC Showcase week: we’ve packed the schedules with premieres and some of our best, binge-worthy shows. For this week, viewers will have the chance to sample the amazing content that our BT Sport customers already have access to, at no extra cost, as part of their BT Sport package on satellite.”
AMC will be available to Sky customers from Saturday, October 28th to Sunday, November 5th on channel 192. It is currently available to BT customers on channel 332.
REVIEW: Jo Frost investigates 14-year-old murderer inspired by Coronation Street on Britain’s Killer Kids
In 2012, teenager Daniel Bartlam was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for the brutal and premeditated murder of his mother Jacqui. Jo Frost is a parenting experts with more than years’ experience doesn’t believe children can be born evil. As she investigates the case of Bartlam in the brand new CI documentary Jo Frost on Britain’s Killer Kids, will she change her mind?
Daniel Bartlam’s story is unique. While the typical murderer tends to fit a certain profile, Bartlam does not. Raised in a middle-class suburb of Nottingham, Bartlam attended private school and did not suffer a mental health disorder. After the divorce of his parents, he grew obsessed with Coronation Street character John Stape, who attacked a character on the soap with a hammer.
Finally, one evening in 2011 when he was just 14-years-old, Bartlam attacked his mother with a hammer to the skull and set the house on fire to cover his crime. He told the police an intruder had murdered his mother, and that he had heroically managed to save his little brother and dog from the ensuing blaze. He believed his crime would go undiscovered, but days later the police recovered a haunting script written by Bartlam that depicted the teen killing his mother in exactly the same circumstances.
It’s a mind-boggling case to unpick – and Frost asks a number of questions to investigators, child behaviour experts and family members of the deceased to try to piece together some answers. What inspired Daniel Bartlam to commit such a horrific crime? Was he born mentally unstable or were his actions a result of life experiences? Can children really be psychopaths when they are still forming their personalities? And is rehabilitation the answer for someone like Bartlam?
The result is a fascinating insight into a mind that seems almost unfathomable. We may never know what Bartlam’s exact motive, but we do delve into possible explanations for his behaviour. Importantly, the documentary deals with what happens after the storm – the task of rehabilitating children in general. It’s a shocking but very thought-provoking hour of television.
Jo Frost on Britain’s Killer Kids airs Sundays at 10pm on Crime and Investigation.