The Man Who Fell to Earth

ZoŽ plays the enigmatic Watt in this sci-fi series about an alien, Faraday, who comes to Earth on a mission to save his home planet. Streaming now on Showtime (US).

Constellations

The Donmar has re-released the digital version of Nick Payne's multiverse play, starring ZoŽ and Peter Capaldi as a quantum physicist and beekeeper, following its Oliviers success. Streaming on Donmar On Demand until 25 May.

Shadow and Bone

ZoŽ plays Baghra, a stern teacher, in this major new fantasy series based on Leigh Bardugoís bestselling Grishaverse novels. Series one is streaming now on Netflix and series two is in production.

Britannia

The third series of Sky Atlantic's epic drama about the Romans invading ancient Britain stars ZoŽ as vengeful Queen Antedia. Streaming now on Sky, NOW and other services.

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ZoŽ in Showtime's The Man Who Fell to Earth

25 May 2022 16:59

After performing the multiverse play Constellations in London's West End last summer, ZoŽ worked on another show that takes life, the universe and everything as its ambitious subject matter: The Man Who Fell to Earth. Watt, her character in this new TV sci-fi series, debuts in episode five, 'Moonage Daydream'.

The episode will be available to stream in the US on Showtime on 29 May. For now, enjoy this fast-paced trailer featuring Watt. It's refreshing to see a sci-fi show in which the characters' hair, make-up and costumes are uncomplicated - ZoŽ looks like ZoŽ here!

Sequel to the classic David Bowie film

As you've probably guessed, The Man Who Fell to Earth has a David Bowie connection. It's a continuation of the classic 1976 film of the same name; Newton, the alien portrayed by Bowie in that film, is played by Bill Nighy on TV. (There's another link too: ZoŽ and David Bowie memorably acted together in a 1982 BBC production of Baal, the unsettling Brecht play.)

The central character in Showtime's series is Faraday (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), an alien who's journeyed to Earth from the same troubled planet as Newton, Anthea. Like Newton before him, Faraday is on a mission to save Anthea and believes the solution could be found here.

In episode five, Faraday is struggling to decipher Newton's blueprint for a vital machine. Judging by the trailer, Watt seems to know more than she's letting on, doesn't she? (My perceptive friend and fellow fan, Karoline, thinks there may be a hidden connection between Faraday, Newton and Watt, as they share their names with three of history's most influential scientists.)

Coming to the UK this summer

Right now, it's not possible for viewers here in the UK to watch The Man Who Fell to Earth, so I can't tell you a great deal more about it yet. However, the Paramount+ streaming service is due launch in the UK on 22 June with the series as part of its line-up. Hooray!

Thanks to Karoline for her help. Photo source: Seat42F

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Love Hurts on BritBox UK

25 May 2022 14:38

Many fans fondly remember Love Hurts. The witty, touching BBC comedy-drama made ZoŽ a household name overnight and ran for three series in the early 1990s. She and former popstar Adam Faith starred as Tessa and Frank, a corporate exec turned charity worker and plumber turned self-made millionaire, who meet when the former has a plumbing problem!

The characters' relationship rarely goes smoothly (as the show's title suggests), but because ZoŽ and her co-star acted so wonderfully together, every episode is a joy to watch. As Faith wrote in his autobiography, 'Guy Slater, the producer of Love Hurts, put ZoŽ and me together for a lunch and after about two and a half seconds we were firm friends.'

Although Love Hurts has been released in the UK as a DVD boxset, I'm not aware of it being repeated on TV here - until now! All 30 episodes will be available on streaming service BritBox UK from 2 June, according to an ITV press release. Ideal if you fancy binging the show over the long weekend.

I'm so glad one of Zoe's most successful TV programmes will soon be (re)discovered by viewers across the UK. And if you're in the US instead, don't worry - you can still watch Love Hurts via Acorn TV on Amazon.

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Lady Cassandra returns in Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder

19 May 2022 16:06

There's just days to go before a brand new, blockbuster exhibition, Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder: Where Science Meets Fiction, opens at World Museum, Liverpool. Visitors 'exploring the world of science within the universe of Doctor Who' will be treated to Zoe's considerable vocal talents. Yes, you've guessed it - she's reprising her role as Lady Cassandra, the last human (and 'bitchy trampoline'!), in an area of the exhibition dedicated to the iconic baddie from 'The End of the World' and 'New Earth'!

Precise details about this and the rest of the interactive exhibition, which will feature sets, props, costumes and more, are under wraps. But if you'd like to learn all about the 'timey wimey' science behind the classic BBC series, not to mention come face-to-face with Cassandra (the computer-generated picture on CultBox gives you an idea of what this encounter might be like), you can book tickets now.

Doctor Who Worlds of Wonder runs from 27 May to 30 October and looks set to be absolutely fascinating.

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Bid for ZoŽ's All My Sons poster in Mousetrap charity auction

19 May 2022 14:55

ZoŽ has donated a fantastic signed piece of memorabilia to Mousetrap Theatre Projects, of which she's long been a patron, to help the charity raise vital funds to continue making theatre more accessible to young people. (She described Mousetrap as 'the most wonderful charity' during a Q&A session at a fundraising event several years ago.) The item, a poster given to Zoe when she starred in the 2010 West End revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons - lauded by the Telegraph as 'a stunning production of a modern classic' - is among the amazing lots you can bid for in Mousetrap's 25th Anniversary Gala Auction.

The beautiful framed poster features ZoŽ and her All My Sons co-star David Suchet, best known as TV's Hercule Poirot. Suchet has signed it and dedicated a heartfelt message to Zoe, as have the rest of the cast. Zoe has autographed the back of the frame to make the item even more special.

If you'd like to be in with the chance of owning this incredible piece of theatre history, you can bid online until 25 May, knowing that you're helping one of ZoŽ's favourite charities.

And if you missed All My Sons at the theatre or want to refresh your memory of this multi-layered, compelling play about grief and secrets, head over to Digital Theatre, where you can watch it online.

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Remembering Kay Mellor and rediscovering Girlfriends

18 May 2022 17:50

You may have heard that Kay Mellor, the trailblazing British scriptwriter, sadly passed away on 15 May. The team at her production company, Rollem Productions, calls her 'a phenomenal talent and a true luminary'.

Mellor created and scripted Girlfriends, the 2018 ITV drama starring ZoŽ, Miranda Richardson and Phyllis Logan - and it was undoubtedly a trailblazer too. As BBC News pointed out at the time, Girlfriends stands out because it 'focuses on an under-represented group on British TV - older women'. It even featured on ITV News at Ten for this reason.

Girlfriends showcases the talents of its writer and stars

Girlfriends, which was a hit with audiences in both the UK and US, exemplifies what made Kay Mellor a superb writer: rollicking good storylines and strong female characters. Plus it reaffirms the importance of friendship and sticking together - another hallmark of her work.

Zoe's character, Gail, is caring for her grandson and elderly mother, forever putting everyone else's needs above her own. Magazine features editor Sue (Miranda Richardson) has a glamorous, affluent lifestyle - but she still faces major challenges. They both rally round long-standing friend Linda (Phyllis Logan), a housewife who's in need of their support after the loss of her husband.

ZoŽ found the drama compelling

Interviewed about Girlfriends when it was first shown, ZoŽ emphasised that she loved the concept of the series from the outset. 'I read three episodes and thought they were really good [...] It was something different for me as [put-upon Gail is] not the kind of part I'd normally do and I have been a big fan of Kay's work for many years'.

Rediscover Girlfriends on the ITV Hub

Now feels like an appropriate time to rediscover Girlfriends (or watch it for the first time) and marvel at Kay Mellor's writing and the quality of the acting. The full series is available free to UK viewers on the ITV Hub. In fact, Girlfriends is currently featured on the ITV Hub homepage, which invites viewers to 'commemorate [Mellor's] life with her drama series'.

If you'd like to add Girlfriends to your DVD collection, you'll be pleased to hear there are Region 1 and Region 2 versions. Another option is to stream it on Acorn TV on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

However you choose to watch Girlfriends, I'm certain you'll come away with renewed appreciation of the power of friendship - and British drama.

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