Posts by: Malcolm Stewart

‘Doctor Who’ spoiler-free preview: ‘The Magician’s Apprentice’

‘The Magician’s Apprentice’. When an episode wears a title as Harry Potterish as that, you’d expect its characters to be shrouded in an invisibility cloak. There’s an element of that – it’s called a BBC embargo. However, if you’re looking for wizardiness or witchcraft, look elsewhere. The Doctor’s magic sonic screwdriver may have its part...

‘W1A’ Season 2 Episode 1 review

W1A, the trailers tell us: it’s not just a postcode; it’s a state of mind. They’re not wrong. Most of the pre-publicity for the BBC satire-sitcom has, inevitably, focused on the inclusion of a prescient storyline involving a Mr J. Clarkson (of which more later). But, in truth, W1A is more than just a game...

‘Cucumber’ Episode 8 review

And so we come to the final episode of Cucumber: the one which, following the events of Episode 7, didn’t seem strictly necessary. Was it worth it? No, but we’ll come to that later. Before that, there is the matter of Henry’s attempts at social engineering, and the fact that – having clearly read too...

The Timeline of the Doctor: Making sense of Matt Smith’s ‘Doctor Who’ era

Here at CultBox we are aware that the era of the Eleventh Doctor has been accused of being a tad confusing.

We are also aware that, if you were watching ‘The Time of the Doctor’ on Christmas Day, it is just possible that you had to endure an onslaught of enquiries from sizzled relatives, asking you to explain the plot. In the interest of public service, therefore, we have sought to summarise the story arc of the Eleventh Doctor… And we think we’ve got it right, honestly we do.

‘Cucumber’ Episode 7 review

In this penultimate episode of Cucumber, Russell T Davies doesn’t give us what we expect. There’s no knock at the door for Henry or Marie – no sudden, shocked bewilderment at news only half-comprehended. Instead, the action begins on the day of Lance’s funeral and we follow Henry going through the motions of thanking guests...

‘My Night With Reg’ play review

Revisiting Kevin Elyot’s 1994 drama, My Night With Reg, after twenty years, it’s striking how the play both epitomises and transcends its period. Telling the story of six friends knit together by a shared history, the shadow of the AIDS epidemic and sexual encounters with the titular Reg, the play sparks with pathos, heart and...

‘Cucumber’ Episode 6 review

Well, you can’t say we weren’t warned. In the opening sequence of this episode, the caption clearly reads, ‘Lance Edward Sullivan, 1966 – 2015’. There was the possibility that this could have been a piece of Russell T Davies misdirection, in the spirit of Rose Tyler’s ‘This is the story of how I died’. But...

‘Cucumber’ Episode 5 review

‘I hate gay men,’ said Henry (Vincent Franklin) in Cucumber’s opening episode last month. ‘It’s all ‘Hi!’ and ‘Oh my God! Look at you!’’ It was the kind of comment that was all whipped cream with knives: the kind of frothy acerbity which – following on from a titillatingly phallic opening sequence – wolfishly opened...

‘Cucumber’ Episode 4 review

Finally, after years spent traversing the space-time vortex, Russell T Davies gets to write a scene of two men, sat at a table, talking about relationships. As Henry (Vincent Franklin) opens up to newcomer Leigh (Phaldut Sharma) about his fears of sex and fears of men, the character visibly softens, beginning the journey perhaps towards...