ITV commissions new 10-part wrestling series

After months of rumours and a stop-start production, ITV have finally announced World of Sport Wrestling (WOS Wrestling).

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The statement reads:

“ITV has commissioned a new 10-part wrestling series from ITV Studios Entertainment. 
WOS Wrestling (10 x ‘60)  will be jam-packed with the UK’s top names in the sport, competing in a fun-filled evening of family sports entertainment. 
 
Recorded in front of a live audience at studios in Norwich, fans will get to see some of the finest pro wrestlers compete in various, intense bouts. At the end of each show, only one will get to take home the coveted WOS Wrestling Championship belt. 
 
Plus, backstage interviews between rounds will deliver news on what the wrestling stars are thinking – be it elation or frustration. 
 
Tom McLennan, Creative Director, ITV Studios Entertainment said
 
“There is a massive indie wrestling scene in the UK and a strong nostalgia for the wrestling shows of our youth. WOS Wrestling will combine the best of the past with incredible talent available today to make a fun, exciting and thrilling show that the whole family can enjoy.”
 
WOS Wrestling is an ITV Studios Entertainment commission for ITV. It was commissioned by Jane Beacon and Clare Ely. 
 
Audience tickets are available through https://lostintv.com/
Time will tell how the WWE reacts to the news, but one thing is for sure, it looks as though the UK wrestling scene is about to heat up even more and that can only be a good thing.

Review: The Rage of Dragons by Evan Winter

The phrase “page-turner” is easily banded about these days, but Evan Winter’s debut fantasy novel earns the accolade.

Set in a mystical fantasy world, filled with Dragons, giant lizards, magic and an endless war The Rage of Dragons manages to deliver one of the most human and relatable fantasy epics in recent memory.

Rather relying on characters that are larger than life and wholly unattainable, Evan Winter creates a world populated with emotionally driven characters who, like all of us, have their own unique flaws and motivation.

The protagonist of the story, a commoner called Tau Solarin is the perfect example of a flawed individual. Rather than being the often-trod paragon of virtue that you can find in many, especially older, fantasy tales Tau is instead a young man who often does the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Despite us seeing the world through his eyes, thanks to Winter’s writing we are both able to understand Tau and disagree with his actions. Creating the perfectly balanced and compelling character that makes you want to keep reading, to keep turning the pages to see how their story continues to unravel.

And therein lies the biggest strength of The Rage of Dragons. Beyond the compelling protagonists and the fleshed out ensembles of characters that surround them, beyond the well realised world that is unlike any that have come before and beyond the intricately woven rules of the magic that takes our characters quite literally to another plane of existence. The strength of this novel lies in its story. Evan Winter does an expert job of keeping the reader focussed on Tau and his personal story of revenge. Then as if being jabbed with a hidden blade Winter exposes the reader to the wider connotations, the grander paths of subterfuge, betrayal and loss. The story appears to take the right step at every single turn in the path and I cannot fault any directions that Winter decided to opt for.

I would be doing a disservice to the novel if I finished this review before mentioning the love story. Yes, like most stories The Rage of Dragons does indeed feature a love story. One that at first I felt was both forced and unnecessary. But I am happy to admit when I am wrong, and by the end of the novel Winter had successfully caught me in a spun web of young love.

Everything flows near perfectly, and it’s almost astonishing to think that this is Evan Winter’s first foray into the realm of fantasy. I dare to say that this series could be something special. Get in there now and read The Rage of Dragons before it becomes something much larger. Hold on to that and brag to your friends in a few years time that you were a part of this world before it was cool.

Book 2 of The Burning can’t come soon enough and you can now consider me a full-blooded Indlovu, I am now part of this world.

Final Score: 9/10 Porgs

Review: Westworld Season 2. Episode 1

After what feels like an eternity of waiting, Westworld has returned to our screens to bring violent ends to these violent delights.

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Westworld Season 1 ended with a multitude of questions that still needed answering. Whilst we do receive a small handful of answers to kick-start the new season, Episode 1 unfortunately leaves us with two new questions for every one we have answered. It’s in this vein that the episode finds its core thread, it’s a new beginning both for the TV show itself and the characters within.

It’s an episode that deals with self-discovery on quite a large scale. Whilst the story of Bernard took center-stage, the motif of self-awareness ran strong throughout every storyline and I find it highly doubtful that this theme will suddenly dissipate in the coming weeks.

The episode itself, whilst intriguing in the numerous plot points it established, was slow at times. Despite being an hour and a half long episode, it didn’t feel the need to rush events too far. Instead it took a slower approach to proceedings, giving characters plenty of time to re-establish themselves with the audience. What did disappoint however was that new characters were often given one line introductions and then left to sink or swim. Gustaf Skarsgård’s new character Karl Strand, Head of Operations for Delos, feels highly important to this seasons storyline, but received little in the way of introduction or fleshing out. This isn’t unheard of for Westworld though as season 1 was inherently a very slow show until the latter stages. I have enough faith in the character work shown by the show so far that all these characters will be given enough time to fully develop in future episodes.

So, unsurprisingly, it was characters of old who stole the show this week. As always the acting was fantastic across the board, but it was great to see Evan Rachel Wood depict a much darker version of Dolores Abernathy. If I was a betting man I would say that her relationship with James Marsden’s character, Teddy Flood, will be one of the better threads of the season. It’s also worth noting that The Man in Black once again had an episode stealing scene, this time with the younger version of Robert Ford.

I’m certainly intrigued to see where the story takes us across the course of Season 2. The time-jumping is also something that makes it openly different to Season 1, as rather than secretly installing different timelines, the show is instead using them as a device for confusion and to engage attention.

Roll on Episode 2 and let’s just hope that now we’re fully integrated back into the world, things can pick up slightly quicker than they did in Season 1.

Final Score: 8/10 Porgs

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Xbox at E3

With E3 steadily approaching we’re begging to get more and more details about exactly what is going down at the gaming industry’s biggest extravaganza.

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After outlining their plans for this year’s conference back in MarchMicrosoft have now provided further details of what you can expect come June.

Providing the details on Major Nelson’s blog, Microsoft will be kicking things off with their annual Xbox E3 2018 Briefing. Stating that “during the briefing, you’ll have a chance to check out everything from in-depth looks at previously-announced games to trailers for our unannounced titles coming in 2018 and beyond”.

Furthermore “this year will mark the first year that…Inside Xbox” emanates from E3. With the show featuring “”exclusive announcements, game demos, interviews, giveaways, and more.”

It will be interesting to see what approach Microsoft take to their announcements this year. Despite laying out more info on how the conference is going to work for them, they’re yet to tease exactly what game titles are going to be discussed. After being on the receiving end of quite a battering from Sony throughout this console generation it’s probably about time that they turn their attention away from console hardware and put some focus on actual games. More specifically, following the failure of titles such as Scalebound and Sony’s success with God of War it’s about time that Microsoft hit with some home-run console exclusives.