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Undelete! Undelete! Undelete!

On the cusp of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary, rumors have been swirling for months that at least 90 of the 106 missing Doctor Who episodes have been recovered. Today, a Sunday tabloid in the UK ran the same rumor. A report in the Radio Times seems to confirm it. [more inside]
posted by 1970s Antihero on Oct 6, 2013 - 124 comments

The Ninth Doctor

The pre-2005 series had a Doctor who was dressed in vaguely Edwardian clothing, who spoke with an RP accent, who had his stories adapted into books. That’s just the way it was. - Andrew Hickey's  Fifty Stories For Fifty Years, one for every year of Doctor Who, reaches 2004 and  Scream of the Shalka (previously) - arguably the end of the line for "Classic" doctor who. Previous instalments had covered the TV series from start to end, as well as the odd novelisation or movie. Possibly of greatest interest are the years before the new TV series where, TV movie aside, the franchise survived and evolved in strange directions via novels and audio stories. Then, at the outmost reaches of Whodom, there is the Book of the War and the strange world of Faction Paradox, which THERE IS NO FACTION PARADOX, THERE IS NO EVIL RENEGADE, YOU DID NOT READ THIS POST.
posted by Artw on Oct 1, 2013 - 47 comments

"Oh? Breakfast I think. No need to let standards drop"

This is a greeting, that needs to be resurrected. Please use it today.
posted by timsteil on Sep 23, 2013 - 103 comments

Gormenghast

The BBC mini-series of Mervyn Peake's epic Gormenghast covers the first two novels in the series, and includes amongst its cast Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Christopher Lee, Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, Zoë Wanamaker, Stephen Fry, and many others. The four-hour, four episode series can be found in its entirety on YouTube in ~10 minute segments. The first episode segment is here, the rest can be found on this page. (Sorry no playlist.) [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Sep 1, 2013 - 45 comments

EGO·TIBERIVS·CLAVDIVS·CAESAR·​AVGVSTVS·GERMANICVS

The 1976 BBC drama I, Claudius, an adaptation of Robert Graves's novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, which came out in 1934 and 1935, respectively, is on YouTube in its entirety. [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 30, 2013 - 71 comments

No more powerful than a car headlight

Finding a Way: The Future of Navigation (BBC Radio 4 program audio, 30 minutes) examines problems with our dependence on GPS and what can be done about it. [more inside]
posted by double block and bleed on Aug 27, 2013 - 34 comments

How to: make a microscope from a webcam

Create a high-powered microscope from a cheap webcam by following Mark's simple step-by-step instructions. Because your microscope is connected to your computer, you can save and share your images easily.
posted by nickyskye on Aug 9, 2013 - 26 comments

Thatcher was Wrong

Selfish traits not favoured by evolution, study shows "Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research. This challenges a previous theory which suggested it was preferable to put yourself first. Instead, it pays to be co-operative, shown in a model of "the prisoner's dilemma", a scenario of game theory - the study of strategic decision-making. Published in Nature Communications, the team says their work shows that exhibiting only selfish traits would have made us become extinct. "
posted by marienbad on Aug 2, 2013 - 79 comments

Codename: Whodini

After much speculation and teasing, at midnight on Sunday, August 4th, in a live broadcast hosted by Zoe Ball, the BBC will reveal the actor who will play the Twelfth Doctor on Doctor Who. (Mysteriously, in the past week Peter Capaldi has suddenly surged in the bookmakers' odds as a favourite.) Meanwhile, rumours persist that some of the programme's fabled "lost" episodes have been recovered. (previously)
posted by Doktor Zed on Aug 1, 2013 - 646 comments

I have to be clear. Clear as glass.

"Echo Point" is a chilling, sound-rich supernatural radio drama written by Australian author Louis Nowra. Originally aired on BBC Radio 4, it is now available on SoundCloud via producer/director Judith Kampfner. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Jul 31, 2013 - 6 comments

Who are you? I really wanna know.

Between 1959 to 1970, late English film director Ken Russell (The Who's Tommy and Women in Love) created art documentaries for the BBC, many of them unusual adaptations of artists' lives. The documentaries included The Debussy Film, Dante's Inferno, Isadora, Song of Summer, and Always on Sunday. Bonus: Ken Russell in Conversation and Ken Russell at Work. Previously.
posted by seemoreglass on Jul 18, 2013 - 3 comments

The jury's in... and they can't deny that view, either.

A month after its release, Naughty Dog's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us is being hailed as one of the best games of all time, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics. Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps fungus (previously), leaving behind lush wastelands of elegant decay teeming with monsters and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies. Into this bleak vision of desperate violence journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future. Boasting tense, immersive gameplay, compelling performances from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite and Half-Life 2 as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages. And don't miss the 84-minute documentary exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 14, 2013 - 81 comments

Goodbye World.

RIP Alan Whicker globe trotting reporter and 'television natural'. In a career that spanned 60 years he presented the BBC/ITV documentary series Whicker's World for nearly 30. He was the inspiration for the Monty Python Whicker Island sketch. (previously) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jul 12, 2013 - 15 comments

The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia

Tomorrow, the 2013 Ashes series (England verses Australia) begins with the start of the first match at Trent Bridge (Nottingham). Though England and Australia have battled since 1861, the Ashes were first contested in 1882. Australia lead England 31-30 in series victories. England start as strong favorites with the bookmakers. Glenn McGrath cautiously predicts a 2-1 Australia series win, whilst Ian Botham predicts a 10-0 wipeout for England over the two series. The 2013 Ashes will be streamed live to 53 countries over YouTube. With Britain in the grip of unusual summer weather (sun), much play is likely. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jul 9, 2013 - 127 comments

Ovaries! Time MAchines!

British comedian Josie Long explores All the Planet's Wonders in a very short series on BBC radio: Collecting. Animals. Astronomy. Plants.
posted by 1f2frfbf on Jul 8, 2013 - 11 comments

Portishead at Glastonbury 2013

The enduring appeal of an act with such a relatively small oeuvre is understandable based on their 2013 Glastonbury set. Fantastic live act cinematography. [SLYT]
posted by panaceanot on Jul 8, 2013 - 26 comments

HandsFree

Recently, at the BBC Proms, the National Youth Orchestra performed a piece by the composer and electronic musician Anna Meredith. The name of the piece is HandsFree. It's not your typical Proms fare. The musicians put down their instruments and commence twelve-odd minutes of clapping, stomping, shuffling, shouts and even singing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
posted by jason's_planet on Jul 6, 2013 - 22 comments

Pop History

The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience , and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex. There are 25 more to come. There is also a blog and profiles of the songs already discussed. [Previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 25, 2013 - 14 comments

He missed the shipping forecast

Jake Yapp presents the whole of Radio 4 in 4 minutes. (SYLT)
posted by Cannon Fodder on Jun 15, 2013 - 32 comments

On the tiles

The BBC put cameras, GPS and mics on 50 domestic cats to find out what they get up to. The link shows the movements of ten within their village in Surrey with a highlight video for each.
posted by biffa on Jun 13, 2013 - 41 comments

John Oliver: "The most formative comedy of my teenage years."

There was no wink and they never sold it out for these half-hour, densely, beautifully produced pieces, which is, for all possibilities, obscuring that this doesn’t at all sound like a comedy show. It is all the production elements you would use in a full-scale news production. All the gravitas, but just inflated to a point that it has no gravitas whatsoever. And I think that is where it became this excitingly subversive thing because it just showed that BBC Radio 4 and everything it stood for was just a big bag of shit.
John Oliver on why he's a fan of On the Hour. On the Hour, of course, is the legendary BBC news radio program created by, among other people, Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In The Loop, Veep), Christopher Morris (Jam, Brass Eye, Four Lions, Why Bother?), Stewart Lee (41st best stand-up comic ever), and Steve Coogan (Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge, I'm Alan Partridge). Short-lived but influential, On the Hour mimicked the tone and production of other radio news shows but replaced the content with what Oliver describes as "unremitting bullshit". On the Hour was aired in two six-episode series (S1E1 S1E2 S1E3 S1E4 S1E5 S1E6; S2E1 S2E2 S2E3 S2E4 S2E5 S2E6), and begat a television series called The Day Today. That show in turn added Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted, The IT Crowd) to On the Hour's already all-star lineup, upped the already-insane levels of overproduction, and ran for six short-but-glorious episodes (one two three four five (WAR!) six), as well as a special 9/11 radio report. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 10, 2013 - 64 comments

BBC documentary on automata, clockwork and miniaturisation (UK only)

Mechanical Marvels: Clockwork Dreams Detailed and thoughtful exploration of clockwork and automata as a phenomenon in the 17th Century and their development into machines that could imitate human activity - eventually leading to the famous Mechanical Turk (eventually exposed as fake) and the truly astounding "Silver Swan" built by John Joseph Merlin. (Definitely not a fake) [more inside]
posted by JohnnyForeign on Jun 8, 2013 - 9 comments

Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who

After four years as the Doctor, Matt Smith will be leaving Doctor Who at the end of the year. [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler on Jun 1, 2013 - 890 comments

In reality, the headband antenna was a sham

How to Convince People WiFi Is Making Them Sick [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on May 21, 2013 - 127 comments

It's a knitted voodoo thing

Voodoo, also titled Mini-Me, is a stop animation short created by Wonky Films featuring two knitted characters named Knit and Purl. Wonky Films has also produced two more films featuring the same knitted characters: Stuffing Up and Tickle. These knitted little guys have won the Bablegum film festival's Jury Runner Up Award and appeared on BBC Big Screens across the U.K. to help promote Children in Need.
posted by orange swan on May 21, 2013 - 3 comments

The Big News of the Week

The Royal Horticultural Society has temporarily lifted a ban on garden gnomes - normally deemed too "tacky" - at the Chelsea Flower Show. Garden historian Twigs Way charts the public's long love-hate relationship with these figurines.
posted by marienbad on May 20, 2013 - 26 comments

Doctor Who?

BBC America has shipped the ‘Doctor Who’ Season 7B Blu-Ray/DVD set early to those who pre-ordered it. Only one problem: it includes the season finale, which airs next week. The BBC confirms on Facebook (where people are having fun in the comments,) and Steven Moffat has promised that if fans keep spoilers off the net, they'll release a special video featuring the 10th and 11th Doctors after the finale airs. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 12, 2013 - 144 comments

'Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky'

BBC Radio 4 has begun to transmit Tweet of the Day, a 90 second 5:58 A.M. weekday broadcast (also podcast!), featuring the songs of UK birds. The program is set to last for 265 episodes, and will feature a revolving door of presenters, beginning with Sir David Attenborough.
posted by Omon Ra on May 8, 2013 - 8 comments

And so the World New Chess Championship begins.

How to play chess properly, as explained by the BBC. Written and performed by John Luke Roberts. Directed by Steve Dawson.
posted by Wonton Cruelty on May 3, 2013 - 15 comments

BBC: How to Eat Healthily on £1 a day

"Starting on Monday 29 April, 5,000 Britons will be challenging themselves to live on just £1 a day for five days, as part of a campaign by the Global Poverty Project. But is it possible not just to survive, but also to eat a balanced and healthy diet on that sort of budget?" [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Apr 30, 2013 - 78 comments

DNA Lab Party at 4 PM: Staph only!

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the discovery of DNA's structure with a pictorial story behind DNA's double helix and the Rosalind Franklin papers, including correspondences and lab notes that detail some of her crystallography research, findings that laid the groundwork for Watson and Crick's later publication.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 25, 2013 - 6 comments

The twentieth century started here

When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in the same place.
posted by Gilgongo on Apr 18, 2013 - 53 comments

Where are all the right-wing stand-ups?

Stewart Lee asks "Where are all the right-wing stand-ups?" after BBC Radio 4's commisioning editor Caroline Raphael recently admitted they struggle to "find comedians from the right" on shows such as The News Quiz.
posted by dng on Apr 17, 2013 - 166 comments

The Fishing Party

The BBC documentary The Fishing Party captures the mood of the Thatcher era with devastating accuracy. First broadcast in 1986, it follows a group of four City businessmen on a fishing trip to Scotland as they air their opinions on politics, money, education, discipline, women and dogs. Hilarious and appalling by turns, the whole documentary can now be viewed on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. (Bonus link: the director Paul Watson describes the making of 'Mrs Thatcher's least favourite film ever'.)
posted by verstegan on Apr 9, 2013 - 22 comments

DOCTOR PUPPET!

To celebrate Doctor Who's 50 year(!) run, our friends at Nerdist bring you a new animated web series featuring a stop-motion 11th Doctor investigating a mystery involving his previous selves. It's Doctor Puppet! (I wouldn't have though it was possible for Matt Smith to look even more like a Rankin/Bass stop-motion puppet, but these folks proved me wrong...)
posted by Ursula Hitler on Apr 7, 2013 - 32 comments

Charlie Is My Darling

The Rolling Stones are playing at Glastonbury this summer. (Here's the full line up of the acts). Sold out. Followed by another open-air show in Hyde Park, London. On July 6. Also sold out. "So Charlie, the Stones are playing Glastonbury! Excited?" [more inside]
posted by Mister Bijou on Apr 7, 2013 - 39 comments

The moment has been prepared for.

Something is coming. Not Winter (well, yes, that), but the new half-series of Doctor Who. Here's the prequel to this weekend's episode: The Bells of St Johns. And here's what you really want: Madame Vastra, Jenny 'n' Strax The Sontaran in: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To London, Boy. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Mar 28, 2013 - 171 comments

Itching to snitch

The latest Dwayne Johnson vehicle, Snitch, has used an activist approach for its marketing campaign in a bid to expose the human damage caused by police activity in the War on Drugs. Meanwhile, the BBC notes that some law enforcement agencies in the US use informants in as many as 90% of their drug cases, with little oversight or consistency. Snitching is now an end in itself: at least 48,895 federal convicts — one of every eight — had their prison sentences reduced in exchange for informing, with much higher rates in certain states. Since the murder of informant Rachel Hoffman in 2008, there has been a growing focus on reforming the business of snitching, what the ACLU calls the "unnecessary evil." [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 27, 2013 - 29 comments

It's the capital of the world, but is it still the capital of the UK?

BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders asks "Should Britain let go of London?"
posted by nickrussell on Mar 26, 2013 - 82 comments

Bye bye Boris

London mayor (and oft talked-up potential future PM) Boris Johnson is demolished in a slow motion bicycle crash of an interview. (The whole thing)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 25, 2013 - 92 comments

Memories of BBC Television Centre.

Memories of BBC Television Centre. The British Broadcasting Corporation's central production hub for the past fifty years closes this week (though parts of it will reopen soon as a post-production facility). There have been many hagiographies, but this is perhaps the most poignant. It's a building full of the memories of millions, good and bad (SLYT).
posted by feelinglistless on Mar 25, 2013 - 18 comments

Secret Universe

The Hidden Life Of the Cell (57:24) There is a battle playing out inside your body right now. It started billions of years ago and it is still being fought in every one of us every minute of every day. It is the story of a viral infection - the battle for the cell. This film reveals the exquisite machinery of the human cell system from within the inner world of the cell itself - from the frenetic membrane surface that acts as a security system for everything passing in and out of the cell, the dynamic highways that transport cargo across the cell and the remarkable turbines that power the whole cellular world to the amazing nucleus housing DNA and the construction of thousands of different proteins all with unique tasks. The virus intends to commandeer this system to one selfish end: to make more viruses. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. Exploring the very latest ideas about the evolution of life on earth and the bio-chemical processes at the heart of every one of us, and revealing a world smaller than it is possible to comprehend, in a story large enough to fill the biggest imaginations.
You may be familiar with molecular movies from my two previous megaposts collecting them, but this extended documentary uses original animation that is collected into a coherent educational narrative and is just so fucking gorgeous. Enjoy.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 24, 2013 - 20 comments

Some nifty special effects models

Steve Howarth has made a lot of practical special effects miniatures, including work on the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, Moon, Crystal Maze and many more projects. Perhaps the most interesting is his work on Red Dwarf. [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Mar 22, 2013 - 12 comments

We used to have these things called books, and some told you where to go

Does BBC Worldwide's sale of Lonely Planet at an £80 million loss (after writing down its value by £67 million over 6 years), on top of Google's purchase of Frommer's last year, herald the end of travel guidebooks? [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on Mar 20, 2013 - 52 comments

"Sarcastic Fringehead?" Really?

Amazing territorial behavior by a fish bearing the rather odd name of "Sarcastic Fringehead," from the David Attenborough's BBC Life series via WTF, Evolution?
posted by Scientist on Mar 11, 2013 - 46 comments

Dalek designer sadly exterminated at 84

In 1963, BBC production designer Raymond Cusick was asked to design the first monster for a new show, Doctor Who. Terry Nation's script required aliens called "Daleks" whose hobbies included world-domination and shouting "exterminate". In response, Cusick came up with the amazing and even iconic Dalek design which spawned Dalek-Mania across the world. [more inside]
posted by w0mbat on Feb 25, 2013 - 60 comments

This is no domestic moggy.

Earthflight is a BBC nature documentary narrated by David Tennant that takes a breathtaking flight on the wings of birds across six continents and experiences some of the world's greatest natural spectacles from a bird's-eye view. There are some full episodes up on YouTube (including South America, Africa, and the Making Of), but in particular these two clips caught my eye: Feral Cat Hunting and Peregrine Falcon Hunting.
posted by lazaruslong on Feb 14, 2013 - 9 comments

The Other 11 Doctors

An alternate history of Women cast as of Doctor Who
posted by Artw on Feb 9, 2013 - 86 comments

Battered Vinyl Retaliates

BBC DJs Mark and Lard show of some of their treasured vinyl recordings which are "particularly hard to find these days in this kind of condition": Mull of *Kintyre, Messing about on the River, Rocking around the Christmas Tree, Bright Eyes (more). NSFW - although somehow they got away with broadcasting it in the middle of the afternoon.
posted by rongorongo on Jan 30, 2013 - 13 comments

The Real George Orwell

The Radio 4 on the BBC is presenting a month of readings from George Orwell's books. Some of them will only be available for one week from the date of broadcast, so be quick. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Jan 29, 2013 - 5 comments

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