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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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn