The old saying “Think global, act local” is the new mantra for the Netflix-led, global tech platforms as they push for ever greater numbers of subscribers. In recent months, Netflix, Apple and Amazon have all started to open offices, staffed largely by locally grown TV commissioners, in the UK and other non-US markets. Simultaneously, the tech platforms are ramping up local marketing efforts.
Amazon has also jumped into local sports markets, purchasing major live sports rights for the UK, including a Premier League football package and US Open tennis rights.
The two-part drama for BBC One sees the actor take on the part of Joseph Merrick, who got the unkind moniker due to severe facial and body deformities.
The Elephant Man follow’s Merrick’s extraordinary journey from his working-class beginnings in Leicestershire into the freak shows that made him famous, and on to his time at the London Hospital and his friendship with Dr Frederick Treves.
Treves saw Merrick exhibited in a shop in 1884 and brought him to the London Hospital where he lived until his death in 1890, aged 27.
The eight-part drama, the name of which translates as Duty/Shame, is set across London and Tokyo, traversing multiple timeframes, and brings together a stellar cast of Japanese talent and British TV and film actors.
Alfred Hitchcock was the first filmmaker to widely use them, making cameo appearances in 39 of his films.
Over the years Easter eggs have become more complex and are almost a trademark for some series such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On the small screen they remain prolific in shows where the writers wish to give something back to their audience.
Whether it’s secret messages, inside jokes or obscure references, we’ve got a rundown of ten of the best Easter eggs from British TV.
Seven years after the world has become a frozen wilderness, Snowpiercer centres on the last remnants of humanity, who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the planet.
The series is based on the 2013 movie of the same name which starred Hollywood heavyweight Chris Evans and beloved Brits John Hurt and Jamie Bell. Through the train’s hierarchical system of occupancy the series explores the issues of social injustice, class warfare and the politics of survival - the rich ride up front in luxury, while the poor struggle in the desolate tail-end.
However it ends, the battle royal for the right to own most of the assets of 21st Century Fox, and all of Sky, reflects deep and significant trends in global media. The resolution (in favour of suitors Disney, Comcast or both) may end up being less important than what the outcome tells us about market dynamics.
This battle is about the response of legacy media to accelerating shifts in consumer behaviour and to the threats posed by the big digital disruptors. In a market where content and distribution are increasingly intermingled and global, size unlocks the prize.
Monday: Channel 4, 10pm
Our reaction to a major change of any kind usually goes in phases…
Avoidance (“I’m not going to look”)
Denial (“I’ve looked but I don’t believe it”)
Fear (“We’re doomed”)
Panic (“I just need to do something”)
Response (“Ok – maybe there is something practical I can do”)
Acceptance (“Well that wasn’t so bad”)
British TV has been fairly consistent in following this pattern when it has faced transformative change in the sector in the past.