Arts and Entertainment

Spoiler alert: Last week's episode of Breaking Bad was one of the most shocking in TV history. Can they top it this week?

The Dr Who history of Britain

Roy Strong has a cliche for every occasion. By Felipe Fernandez- Armesto

How did Darth Vader ever expect to stay on top of things if he kept killing his own commanders?

There's a rumour that George Lucas is going to make another three Star Wars films, set before the events in the first three Star Wars films. So we'll get to meet Luke Skywalker when he was a boy, we'll see how Yoda looked when he was only 124, and Obi Wan Kenobi when he was played by a different actor.

Bard therapy

also showing

FILM; Winning ways that save Babe's bacon

IF YOU happen to be a certain sort of animal - the edible sort - December is the cruellest month, so perhaps there's a guilty, vegetarian agenda behind the fact that several of this week's movies feature charismatic livestock. And forget dumb - you can't turn round for gobbling frogs, magic dogs, wiseass mice and psycho ducks.

'I'm as sharp as a razor, but I can't hear a thing'

Richard Lloyd Parry discovers how it feels to be deaf and infirm in a suit that simulates the effects of advanced age

Racing: New whip strikes out with jockeys

Those within racing know it is impossible to win on the whip issue. The name of the instrument itself seems enough to inflame those who see the sport as little more than a horse-beating exercise. Thus, insiders have developed alternative phrases for the whip, such as the less offensive persuader, stick or wand, and the Jockey Club will perhaps be happy only when it is known as the "fluffy".

Berlusconi's trash TV is here to stay

Even a 'no' vote in tomorrow's media-ownership poll will not alter Italy's tacky tastes, writes Andrew Gumbel in Rome

Film / Look, but don't be touched

OTHER RELEASES

The bus broke down, but the show goes on

Shoestring budgets, low ratings, travelling the land in a beaten- up bus in search of an audience. That's life for the pioneers of cable programming. Where's the future in it? Maggie Brown reports

BOOK REVIEW / American psycho-drama: The informers - Bret Easton Ellis: Picador, pounds 9.99

ANYONE seeking a spiritual shot in the arm from Bret Easton Ellis's new book will draw a blank. For the lean, tanned Californians who glide like models on a catwalk through the pages of The Informers, life is only skin deep.

MUSIC / Classical Releases

PROKOFIEV: Symphony No 3.

Nationalistic spy novels strike chord in Romania

A FORMER Romanian intelligence agent is making a fortune with novels that depict a world in which glamorous spies, endowed with superhuman qualities, defend Romania against Jewish, Russian and Hungarian enemies. The novels, six of which have appeared in the past year, can be interpreted as an effort to rehabilitate the Securitate, the secret police force that persecuted Romanians under the late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone