Turns out that back in the day, 1925 in Soho to be precise, when John Logie Baird invented the TV, the first image he recorded was the head of a ventriloquist’s dummy (actually true, Stooky Bill, was his name, and yes Stooky was as spooky looking in real life; what was Baird thinking? Sick man, with all due respect).
But this is where Theroux comes into his own. Nodding, with that trademark ‘slightly perplexed look and furrowed brow’, he waits – until Walters bursts out laughing, “Noted, good bants”, Theroux smiles. After that, the chat thaws considerably. They clown around, do weights together and head to Whitstable to eat oysters. They do indeed talk about the low times of prison, and the random attack that nearly killed him when he was a teen.
Co-created by Glover alongside Atlanta writer Francesca Sloane, the series boasts a star-studded cast, with Paul Dano, Ron Pearlman, Michaela Coel, Alexander Skarsgard, Sharon Horgan and Sarah Paulson also making an appearance (Dano seems to be the couple’s neighbour).
Beyond that, there’s the issue of Lisa herself, who can’t actually talk to anybody on account of being, you know, dead. Who knows why there aren’t more lost souls lurking around Peterborough – or indeed, the rest of the UK – but beyond her new friend, we never bump into any others, so she is condemned to wander alone for most of the series.
Of course, a great script is one thing, but selling it is another. As the face of the show, Tennant could switch from cheeky chappie to ultra-serious blaster of baddies in a nanosecond; yes, Eccleston had the gravitas, but Tennant had that, plus sass. And clearly, he loved playing the Doctor: a lifelong fan himself, he once told GWR FM, “Who wouldn’t want to be the Doctor? I’ve even got my own TARDIS!” It’s a fair point.
All in the Family did the seemingly impossible, combining comedy with serious messages. Inspired by the British sitcom Till Death Do Us Part, Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Sally Struthers, and Rob Reiner starred as members of a working-class family. The series broached a tonne of subjects that had previously been deemed inappropriate for television including rape, miscarriages, abortion and cancer, and further divided audiences by presenting complicated characters – some of whom, like father Archie Bunker – were explicitly, and purposefully, bigoted.
More than six years after her release, Manning is living in Brooklyn and working as an activist raising awareness of the dangers of AI and big tech. The interview takes place at the Three Dollar Bill, a gay bar and space where she regularly DJs.
Theroux’s awkwardness appears to have a calming influence on Manning, who speaks of wanting to expose the “callous” behaviour of the American military in Iraq. It is a world of moral ambiguity, where the laws of war are broken with impunity and civilian death is justifiable. Yet she is also struck by the kindness shown by some soldiers. “You can see the best and worst of humanity in a single 30-minute window,” she says.
Theroux is less interested in the political implications of the leak, which have been discussed to death. Even the brief mention of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, sends chills through the room. The activist recently lost an appeal in the British High Court to avoid extradition to the US, where he faces 17 charges of espionage and one charge of computer misuse.
Though the pair have never met, Assange’s legal troubles have put Manning in an uncomfortable position and she is forced to bat away questions from Theroux about the extent of their cooperation. At one point, her manager intervenes and requests that he “stop going down the Assange route”. This is understandable given the obvious legal complications, but I don’t think that aides and communications professionals realise how awful it looks on screen. Have none of them heard of the Streisand effect?
Actor, singer and songwriter Kate is a mainstay of British TV. Starting her career on the iconic ITV soap Crossroads, she’s worked as a singer for years, penning the theme tune to Surprise, Surprise, which was sung by Cilla Black. She’s part of a star-studded family – her daughter is Emily Atack, she is the older sister of actor Amy Robbins, sculptor Jane Robbins and singer Emma Robbins, and her older brother, Ted Robbins, is a broadcaster and actor.
The show, which is currently filming, will see Harriet Walter (Killing Eve, Succession) assume the role of Lady Margaret Pole, while Timothy Spall will play the Duke of Norfolk. Lydia Leonard (Gentleman Jack, The Fifth Estate) joins as Lady Jane Rochford, alongside Charlie Rowe (Rocketman, Vanity Fair) as Thomas Cromwell’s only son, Gregory, and Harry Melling (Harry Potter, The Queen’s Gambit) as the skilled but shifty Thomas Wriothesley.
When the last season finished, Aegon II, Rhaenyra’s half-brother, had been crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms, and tensions were high as the Greens (House Hightower, House Baratheon, House Lannister, Lord Larys Strong, Ser Arryk Cargyll and Rhaenyra’s spurned lover, Ser Criston Cole) and Blacks (House Targaryen, House Velaryon, Ser Erryk Cargyll, some members of The Dragonstone court and potentially House Arryn) prepared for an almighty battle.