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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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.

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.

Channel 4's conspiracy thriller Utopia will continue its interest in how genetic science might save or damn the human race

Inside Television: Sci-fi series set out to answer questions - and could deliver plausible theories

"Science fiction," said Ray Bradbury, “is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas.” If that’s true, then TV drama has lately been shirking its responsibilities and indulging instead in escapist genres like fantasy (Game of Thrones) and period drama (Mad Men, Downton Abbey). Now, sci-fi is back in a big way. So does that mean we’re once again ready to engage in some serious thought?

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
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week