Ellen E Jones

Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.

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Space oddity: Halle Berry stars in ‘Extant’

Extant, TV review: Slick sci-fi series has an intriguing plot, but the characters aren't quite out of this world

If you're yet to sign up for an online streaming service, then Extant, the glossy new Steven Spielberg-exec produced sci-fi series, may be the one that lures you in. Episodes will be available on Amazon Prime Instant Video one day after they're first broadcast in the US.

Champneys, TV review: It's rather hard to discern what makes this spa hotel so special

There's nothing futuristic about the 90-year-old spa hotel and subject of ITV documentary Champneys.

In the dark: Eva Green and Josh Hartnett in 'Penny Dreadful'

Penny Dreadful, Sky Atlantic - TV review

Unconventional posthumous options were available in the concluding episode of Sky Atlantic’s gothic horror series Penny Dreadful. Billie Piper’s character Brona Croft, the consumptive Irish prostitute may have died a gruesome death, but that doesn’t prevent her from involvement in series two. Not if Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) has anything to do with it. After treating Brona on her deathbed, the young doctor gave this chilling reassurance to grieving Ethan (Josh Hartnett): “Don’t worry... I’ll take care of the body.”

No beating around the bush: Germaine Greer featured in 'Rebels of Oz'

Rebels of Oz, BBC 4 - TV review: A fascinating culture clash with Howard Jacobson and the wizards of Oz

Germaine Greer, Robert Hughes, Barry Humphries, Clive James; feminist, art critic, comedian, polymath. These are the four subjects of Rebels of Oz, the two-part documentary made by Independent columnist Howard Jacobson, which concluded on BBC4 last night. For Jacobson, who moved to Sydney in 1964, the connection between these four Aussie exiles must be almost intuitive, but he’s aware that the rest of us require further justification.

All-new couples 'Come Dine With Me'

Couples Come Dine With Me, Channel 4, review

Channel 4 has added a moreish new ingredient to the reality TV recipe

The 100, E4

The 100, E4, review: TV’s take on the dystopian teen fiction

The 100, E4’s new sci-fi series, is set in the future, 97 years after human civilisation was destroyed by a devastating nuclear war.

Swots, oddbods, boffins and book-kissers; University Challenge

University Challenge: Class of 2014, BBC 2 - TV review: A class act that’s spoilt by a chronic shortage of female faces

“I was never good enough to get on to it, but I certainly watched it,” said Jeremy Paxman last night. That pretty neatly sums up how all University Challenge fans feel about the quiz show he’s presented ever since it was revived in 1994. All, except this lot, that is. In the two-part University Challenge: Class of 2014 (BBC2), we get to meet the swots, oddbods, boffins and book-kissers who are forming teams to enter this year’s competition. Prepare to feel very stupid.

Common, BBC1, TV review: Jimmy McGovern’s harrowing crime drama is another cracker

An action-packed opening is all very well, but as 17-year-old Johnjo (Nico Mirallegro) sped down the road in his brother’s car, you did wonder how he got himself into this mess. Unwitting or not, he’d become the getaway driver in a fatal stabbing.

A woman has given birth in the Birmingham Primark store

Primark's baby blues: Despite a birth outside a Birmingham branch, the high-street chain has once again found itself making headlines about its labour practices

It's where this country confronts its embarrassing failings as a supposedly developed nation
All-new couples 'Come Dine With Me'

Inside television: Dining disasters go down a treat

We’ll be sitting down to an early dinner this Monday. At 5pm, Channel 4 will is adding to its already 1,300-strong stockpile of Come Dine with Me episodes with a brand new couples-based spin-off. So what’s the show’s moreish special ingredient? Many fans will cite the sarky voiceover provided by comedian Dave Lamb, but, for me, it’s the food itself.

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Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment