Posts Tagged ‘Television Score’

THE ENGLISH – Federico Jusid

November 18, 2022 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The English is a 6-part television mini-series, co-produced by Amazon and the BBC. The show is an epic, romantic, action-packed but also uncompromisingly bleak and realistic western which follows the fortunes of an aristocratic English woman who finds herself on a quest for revenge on the plains of north America circa 1890. Emily Blunt plays Lady Cornelia Locke, who travels to the old West searching for the man she holds responsible for the death of her son; upon arrival, she immediately crosses paths with Eli Whipp, played by Chaske Spencer, a Pawnee who has just finished an honorable tour of duty as a cavalry scout for the US Army, and is trying to get back to his home. The fates of Cornelia and Eli are drawn together when they save each other’s lives, and from then on the bond that develops between them helps them in their epic trek across the rugged terrain, as they encounter ruthless cattle barons and gold prospectors, shady businessmen, vicious mercenaries, and various other dangers that threaten to keep them from their destiny. The series co-stars Rafe Spall, Tom Hughes, Stephen Rea, Toby Jones, and Ciarán Hinds, and is written and directed by Hugo Blick. Read more…


November 8, 2022 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton


The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is one of the most lavish, ambitious, and expensive television shows in the history of the medium. It’s a prequel to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film series, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings histories, The Silmarillion, and its various appendices, and is set in the Second Age of Middle-Earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings took place. Essentially it tells the ‘origin story’ of several key events in LOTR lore: the fall of the Dark Lord Morgoth and subsequent rise of his chief servant Sauron, the creation of the land of Mordor, the fate of the island kingdom of Númenor, and the forging of the Rings of Power, as well as the relationships between various elves, dwarves, and men, who make and break alliances in an effort to combat the tide of evil. Numerous familiar characters from the film series appear, not least the elves Galadriel and Elrond, as well as a race of creatures known as ‘harfoots,’ the ancestors of the hobbits. Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2022, Part 2B

July 5, 2022 Leave a comment

Life has returned to world cinema in 2022 following the easing of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and at the end of the second quarter of the year I’m absolutely delighted to present the latest installment in my on-going series of articles looking at the best under-the-radar scores from around the world. This article covers five more scores for projects from all over the globe, and includes a French drama, two Japanese animated action films, a German adventure set in the world of horse training, and a ballet-themed drama from Spain! Read more…

OBI-WAN KENOBI – Natalie Holt, William Ross, John Williams

July 1, 2022 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The expansion of the Star Wars universe into live action episodic television began in 2019 with The Mandalorian – which introduced the world to the now ubiquitous ‘baby Yoda’ character – and continued in late 2021 with The Book of Boba Fett, a spin-off series focusing on the bounty hunter character originally introduced in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. This third standalone series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, follows the adventures of the titular character in the chronological period between the events of Revenge of the Sith and the original Star Wars, after the fall of the Jedi and the rise of the Galactic Empire, when he is in exile on the planet Tatooine watching over young Luke Skywalker, the son of his former apprentice Anakin, now Darth Vader. The plot kicks into high gear when Kenobi is contacted by Bail Organa, the adoptive father of Luke’s sister Leia, after she is kidnapped by sinister forces related to the Inquisitors, Jedi hunters working for Vader. Read more…

Ramadan Scores 2022, Part 1

May 17, 2022 1 comment

Every year, during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, television stations across the Middle East and North Africa broadcast lavishly-produced, high profile drama and comedy television series. The cream of the Arabic-speaking world is involved in their creation – directors, writers, actors, and composers – and the resulting shows play to audiences of millions across the region. Many of the best series come from Egypt, and this article takes a look at the music from five of the most high profile Egyptian-made Ramadan dramas of 2022, featuring music by composers Khaled Al Kammar, Khaled Hammad, Layal Watfeh, Mohamed Nassef, Ashraf Elziftawi, and Adel Hakki, among others, plus additional scores from shows made in Kuwait and Syria.

I want to publicly thank my friend, the award-winning author and poet Hasan Namir, for his invaluable help here – this article literally would not be possible without him! Read more…

MOON KNIGHT – Hesham Nazih

May 6, 2022 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The latest super-hero to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Moon Knight, is also the first one to be introduced via a Disney+ television series. Whereas this show’s small screen predecessors – WandaVision, Loki, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye – all had their roots and main characters in the big screen film franchise, Moon Knight is a brand new story featuring original characters, who are intended to move into the main MCU as the films progress. The show is a wonderful combination of action, drama, comedy, and fantasy, which stars Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, a mild-mannered docent at the British Museum in London, whose life is turned upside-down when he realizes that he has a form of dissociative identity disorder, and actually shares his body with an American former mercenary named Marc Spector; even more amazingly, Marc is also the earthly avatar of the ancient Egyptian god Khonshu, and has the power to transform into the super hero Moon Knight in order to do Khonshu’s bidding. Before long, Steven/Marc are swept up in a grand adventure involving a religious cult leader who wants to purge the world of sinners, and a search for a mysterious artifact deep within the pyramids of Giza, while also conducting a deep exploration of the emotional trauma and latent mental illness that defines Marc and Steven’s relationship. Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2022, Part 1

April 5, 2022 Leave a comment

The new year has hopefully brought a new lease of life to world cinema, and at the end of the first quarter of 2022 I’m absolutely delighted to present the latest instalment in my on-going series of articles looking at the best under-the-radar scores from around the world. This article covers nine scores for projects from all over the globe, and includes dramatic TV series from Kuwait and Japan, an exploration of childhood nostalgia and a contemporary action-thriller from France, a giallo thriller from Italy, a fantasy epic from Russia, a religious drama from Spain, and an intimate drama from Denmark, among others! Read more…

CAT BURGLAR – Christopher Willis

March 4, 2022 1 comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

A new project from the mind of the British satirist and filmmaker Charlie Brooker – whose anthology series Black Mirror received general critical acclaim – Cat Burglar is something very, very different. Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books when you were a kid? Actually, probably not, if you were born at any point after 1990, but they were basically novels where, at certain points in the story, you were asked to make a decision about what the hero did next. Walk through Door A? Turn to page 28. Walk through Door B? Turn to page 23. And so on and so on… and depending on what you chose, the hero lived or died or got the girl. Cat Burglar is something like that, except it’s animated and on Netflix. The story follows a cartoon cat named Rowdy who is trying to steal valuable artwork from a museum which is being protected by a security guard dog named Peanut. The viewer uses their remote control to answer a series of trivia questions in order to advance the story, with the animation having different outcomes depending on how the viewer answers. It’s a clever idea that combines interactive video games with classic cartoon animation, and it will be interesting to see whether the concept takes off or becomes a one-off novelty. Read more…


February 11, 2022 Leave a comment

Original Review by Christopher Garner

The Bureau of Magical Things is an Australian television series for tweens and teens about a girl named Kyra, who is transformed by a magical book. She discovers a whole world of magical spells, objects, and creatures hidden amid the world she’s always known. She joins a colorful cast of young elves and fairies who are in training to join the Department of Magical Intervention (DMI), whose job it is to keep the magical world a secret. Kyra joins these magic students to save the world from a burgeoning threat. Elements of the show are clearly inspired by Harry Potter. The show was created by Jonathan M. Schiff, a titan of Australian television whose productions have launched the careers of no less than Liam Hemsworth and Margot Robbie. The first season of The Bureau of Magical Things aired in Australia in 2018 and then in the US on the Nickelodeon network. The second season aired in 2021, and the score was released in December. Read more…


October 1, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Only Murders in the Building is a highbrow TV comedy-drama series from Hulu, set in the world of ‘true crime podcasting’. The show stars Steve Martin and Martin Short as Charles and Oliver, a reclusive former TV actor and a failed Broadway producer, respectively, who live in an exclusive New York apartment building. They are both fans of true crime podcasts and, when a young man named Tim Kono is apparently murdered in their building, they come together to make a podcast of their own, and begin investigating Tim’s death. However, things become more complicated when a third party, a young woman named Mabel (Selena Gomez), also shows interest in Tim’s death, and joins the podcast gang. There is more to Mabel than meets the eye, and before long the trio is knee-deep in a conspiracy more dangerous than they ever expected. The show co-stars Nathan Lane and Amy Ryan, and was created by Martin and screenwriter John Hoffman along with Dan Fogelman, the producer of the hit NBC drama series This Is Us. Read more…

SCHMIGADOON – Cinco Paul and Christopher Willis

September 17, 2021 Leave a comment

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

If, like me, you grew up watching Hollywood movie musicals, then Schmigadoon is the show for you. Of course, everyone knows that musicals are completely ludicrous. No-one bursts into song every ten minutes to sing about what they are thinking or feeling. Random strangers don’t join you in complicated choreographed dance sequences to accompany the songs. The world doesn’t exist in a fairytale environment of pastels and primary colors. But, despite this, movie musicals are magic. They are prime escapism. They are the epitome of Hollywood Golden Age glamor. Gene Kelly splashing down the street in Singin’ in the Rain. Rita Moreno flipping her skirt in West Side Story. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers tripping the light fantastic. Julie Andrews making us fall in love with her twice, in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. And Schmigadoon acknowledges both those realities by presenting the story through the eyes of a couple, one of whom loves musicals, and one of whom hates them, which allows it to appeal to people in both camps. Read more…


September 14, 2021 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Godzilla Singular Point is the 287th television series and/or film based on the popular Japanese kaiju lizard character to be released since he first appeared in 1955. Actually, that’s not true; it just feels like it sometimes. It’s actually an animated TV series directed by Atsushi Takahashi, produced in Japan for Netflix, which debuted on the streaming platform in April 2021. The setting is Nigashio City in the year 2030. Engineer Yun Arikawa (voiced by Johnny Yong Bosch in English) investigates happenings in a Western-style house, long thought abandoned. Meanwhile Mei Kamino (Erika Harlacher), a graduate student studying imaginary creatures, investigates a series of mysterious signals emanating from a different abandoned building. These two strangers, visiting completely different places as part of completely different investigations, eventually contact one other when they realize they are hearing the same song, and once they become united they are led into a battle against a new group of kaiju monsters – and one very old, very famous one. Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2021, Part 3A

August 31, 2021 2 comments

2021 is already more than half way done and, as the world of mainstream blockbuster cinema and film music continues to recover from the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we must again look to smaller international features not as reliant on massive theatrical releases to discover the best new soundtracks. As such I am very pleased to present the third installment (for this calendar year) in my ongoing series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world.

The six titles included here are a mixed bag of styles, genres, and national origins, and include a powerful drama from Palestine, a German fantasy adventure, an Egyptian action TV series, a children’s adventure film from Finland, a light French comedy-drama, and a beautiful nature documentary score from China. Read more…


August 17, 2021 3 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I am Adam, Prince of Eternia, defender of the secrets of Castle Grayskull. This is Cringer, my fearless friend. Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said… by the power of Grayskull!

When I was a kid growing up in the 1980s, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was one of my favorite cartoon shows. It was, of course, created as a vehicle to sell action figures by the global toy company Mattel, and it was exceptionally preachy, with an obvious ‘moral of the story’ coda at the end of each episode, but 8-year-old me didn’t care. I couldn’t get enough of the noble warrior Adam and his muscular alter-ego, saving his home planet from the evil Skeletor with the help of his friends – an ever-changing cast that usually included the heroic man-at-arms Duncan, his trusty steed Cringer aka Battle Cat, the magical Orko, and the warrior princess Teela. Looking back at it now with more adult eyes, it was incredibly cheesy and repetitive, badly animated, and somewhat crudely written; despite this, I have fond nostalgic memories of the show, which have stayed with me over the years. Read more…

Under-the-Radar Round Up 2021, Part 2B

July 2, 2021 1 comment

The new year is already half way done and, as the world of mainstream blockbuster cinema and film music continues to recover from the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we must again look to smaller international features not as reliant on massive theatrical releases to discover the best new soundtracks. As such I am very pleased to present the second installment (for this calendar year) in my ongoing series of articles looking at the best “under the radar” scores from around the world.

The five titles included here are heavily based around love and romance, and include a WWII-era drama from the Czech Republic, a Spanish period drama television series set in early 18th-century Madrid, a tragic teenage romance from the Philippines, a biopic from Colombia about a son remembering his murdered father, and another Ramadan series from Egypt, this time a family drama about parents trying to make a better life for their unborn child. Read more…