Emmys spotlight: Asa Butterfield on ‘Sex Education’ resuming production

When hit Netflix series Sex Education (hopefully) returns to production this summer, it will be one of the first major shows to do so following the coronavirus shutdown.

Asa Butterfield, who plays lead character Otis, is looking forward to it. “We’re going to be paving the way, potentially, for how things are done for the next while,” he says. “They want to get it right – there will be a lot of safety protocol put in place.”

Shot predominantly in south Wales, the high school drama’s sun-kissed visuals require long days of light. It was scheduled to film season three in May, before lockdown intervened; the restart is now tentatively scheduled for August, according to Sony, parent company of the show’s UK-based production company Eleven.

The option of quarantining a full cast and crew has been floated as a solution to Covid-19 transmission concerns in the industry. “If that’s what needs to be done, then that’s what needs to be done,” says Butterfield of the possibility that Sex Education could adopt such a measure. “I’m lucky that Wales isn’t that far from home – it’s in the same time zone and relatively similar. I’ve been staying in my apartment for the last few months so it wouldn’t be all that different – it’ll just be a different apartment!”

Whatever social distancing measures are required on set, he is naturally keen they don’t alter the essence of the show. “The foundation of this show is relationships, friendships, and intimacy, and it gives such a positive message. Otis and [best friend] Eric are always hugging and jumping around – we can’t change that. I would rather we all quarantined and we keep the heart of the show than lose that.”

Butterfield hopes the detailed work the industry is doing for a post-pandemic return as a chance to adopt greener shooting practices. “People are realising what’s important and what’s necessary, and then what’s just being wasteful. I know Sex Education is really pushing to minimise waste; taking that even further would be something that could come out of this.”

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Netflix codes: The secret numbers that unlock thousands of hidden films and TV shows

Withnail & I

Netflix’s incredibly niche, personalised subgenres have long captivated movie nerds, from “Steamy Crime Movies from the 1970s” to “Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life”.

The genres, based on a complicated algorithm that uses reams of data about users’ viewing habits to recommend exactly what a particular user is into, number in the tens of thousands.

When Netflix thinks you’ll like sentimental Spanish-language dramas or gritty tearjerkers, they’ll show up on your home screen, but aside from that, they’re not easy to find.

But a simple web address trick has emerged showing how you can find any one of these genres simply by switching a number in a URL.

How it works

If you’re logged into Netflix, enter http://www.netflix.com/browse/genre/XXXX into your browser’s toolbar to bring up one of the thousands of genres in Netflix’s library.

“XXXX” is a series of digits – 1089 is “Mind-bending Movies”, for example; while 354 is “Movies Starring Matthew McConaughey” – currently a genre of one film.

Not all numbers will result in a subgenre, and given Netflix’s ever-changing algorithms, they might move around every now and then, while there may be regional differences meaning that some codes don’t work.

Codes for the main genres are available here. At the foot of the list is a link to a list of even more.

Netflix streaming by alternate genres (main list)

Action & Adventure (1365)     

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The Accident review – echoes of Grenfell in devastating disaster drama

Sarah Lancashire stars in Jack Thorne’s sweeping, harrowing look at how the aftershock of a disaster ripples out into people’s lives

Apart from the explosion, The Accident (Channel 4) is very quiet. Hairdresser Polly (Sarah Lancashire) doesn’t even shout when she finds her 15-year-old daughter Leona’s latest one-night stand still in her bedroom. She just flings his clothes at him, notes that Leona (Jade Croot) is underage and that he looks 28, and makes him jump out of the window. Then she takes herself off to the local charity run with her friends. They are walking, Polly’s best friend, Angela (Joanna Scanlan), says firmly.

So begins the new four-part drama by Jack Thorne, the unassailable powerhouse behind the likes of This is England, Skins, Kiri (in which Lancashire also starred) and the forthcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials. […] Continue reading

Radio Times “TV 100” 2019 – the full list

Phoebe Waller-Bridge tops a list of the biggest stars on television – but who else makes this year’s rundown?

Who has captured the imagination of TV viewers in the past year? Which stars are at the top of broadcasters’ wish lists, who landed the biggest roles, and who masterminded the moments that had you glued to your screen?

The Radio Times TV 100 put those questions to some of the most powerful television executives and broadcasting veterans who suggested names they thought should be included – and the final 100 was selected by a RadioTimes.com panel of editors.

The result is a rundown of 100 TV stars who’ve had a tremendous past 12 months. See the full list below…

1. Phoebe Waller-Bridge

“Phoebe is a phenomenal force of nature who has taken the world by storm with her breathtakingly original voice (creations Fleabag and Killing Eve). She’s an utterly unique writer and performer whose emotional honesty and mischievous wit constantly surprises and captures the zeitgeist, and leaves the audience only craving more.  I can’t wait to see what she’s done to 007!” CHARLOTTE MOORE – BBC’s Director of Content

2. Stephen Graham

Stephen Graham in Save Me (Sky, EH)

“Stephen has been giving us captivating and vivid performances on screen for years. He excels at bringing humanity to complex, challenging characters, which he manages to imbue with absolute truth and credibility. From This Is England to Save Me, he has shown what a brave and emotionally inquisitive actor he is. He gives himself over to each role completely, and as an audience, you can’t help but respond in kind.

“This year feels like a defining moment. His portrayal of Joseph in Shane Meadow’s The Virtues was astonishing. It completely blew my mind. And to move from that into playing Anthony Provenzano in Scorsese’s The Irishman, shows just how vast his range is. The rest of the world is finally waking up to his immense talent and audience appeal. I can’t wait to see what he does next.” NIRA PARK – TV and Film Producer

3. Rylan Clark-Neal

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Rylan Clark attends the Celebrity Big Brother male contestants launch night at Elstree Studios on January 5, 2018 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/ WireImage)

Rylan has a brilliant connection with the audience, he’s naughty and warm but incredibly sharp too. He brings something fresh to our screens with that elusive human touch.” CHARLOTTE MOORE – BBC’s Director of Content

4. Ashley Walters

Top Boy Netflix

“Ashley Walters is a true Renaissance man – a gifted actor, musician, father, brilliant collaborator, leader, friend-and this year, all his myriad talents were on full display, including his stunning return as Dushane Hill in Top Boy.” ARIA MOFFLY – Netflix content executive

5. Emily Maitlis

CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Emily Maitlis addresses students at the Cambridge Union Society on October 5, 2015 in Cambridge, England. (Photo by Chris Williamson/Getty Images)

“Emily was already having a fantastic year. As lead presenter of Newsnight, she’d brought renewed urgency and clarity, making the show unmissable again. Who will forget her exceptional interview on College Green with a tearful Nicholas Soames and rueful Ken Clarke as they reflected on the abrupt end to their long careers as Tory MPs? But then, together with producer Samantha McAlister, she landed and delivered the scoop of the year. Her interview with Prince Andrew made for spellbinding television and was a masterclass in long form interrogative journalism. The nation was gripped. Brilliant.” PATRICK HOLLAND – Controller BBC Two

6. Stacey Dooley

Stacey Dooley: The Young and Homeless (BBC, EH)

“Stacey’s star rose to new heights on prime time TV as she held aloft the Strictly Come Dancing glitter ball in December last year. But since then her career has gone from strength to strength with hard-hitting documentaries on the BBC and her own investigative series on W. Add to that entertainment formats and regular presenting gigs, and you have a year that has demonstrated the versatility of Stacey as a journalist, presenter and broadcaster.” TIM GLANFIELD – Editorial Director, RadioTimes.com

7. Motsi Mabuse

Motsi Mabuse Strictly 2019 (BBC)

“While she’s been a familiar face to German audiences since her debut on their version of Strictly Come Dancing in 2007, in this country 2019 has seen Motsi go from relative unknown to one of the queens of Saturday night, showcasing her effervescent personality – and killer dance moves – as a judge on the biggest entertainment show on British TV. Now that’s what I call a good year.” PAUL JONES – Executive Editor, RadioTimes.com

8. Jodie Comer

Jodie Comer plays Villanelle

“Jodie Comer inhabited the role of [Killing Eve’s] Vilanelle with a bravura that captured everyone’s attention and hearts.” PHILLIPPA GILES – Managing Director, Bandit TV

9. Vicky McClure

Vicky McClure (BBC Pictures)

“Vicky’s got the incredibly rare combination of star quality and down-to-earth authenticity that sets her apart as an actor. She brings warmth, honesty and empathy to every performance.” JED MERCURIO – Line of Duty creator/writer [ . . . ]

See All 100 at RADIO TIMES: Radio Times TV 100 2019 – the full list – Radio Times