Arts and Entertainment Shock treatment: Billy Brown, Toni Collette and Dylan McDermott in ‘Hostages’

Just as well that this pilot episode got stuck straight into the action

Finally, some TV dramas that know when to end it

Something unusual happened on American television last week: a drama finished its first season with all the loose ends tied up. There were no cliffhangers. No teasing hints at stories to come. The show in question was Hostages, which started on Channel 4 last night, and it is adding to the stirrings of a television revolution.

Between The Sheets: What’s really going on in the world of books

Just to make you feel old, 2014 is the 25th anniversary of Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury’s classic children’s book, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt. “Swishy Swashy! Squelch Squelch! Hooo wooo!” and all the rest. The book has sold more than 8 million copies in 18 languages, but initially Rosen didn’t think that it would work: “The story seems to have originally been a folk song,” he says. “David Lloyd at Walker Books saw me perform it and asked me to write it down. So I added to the story and, 18 months later, I was stunned to see the beautiful pictures that Helen had created – the family adventure is from Helen’s imagination and I enjoy and admire the book almost as an outsider – but back then I couldn’t quite figure out how it would work as a book!” To celebrate, Walker will publish an anniversary edition in January and an interactive sound book in the summer, and in February the Royal Festival Hall in London will host a “promenade performance”, where children will be invited to dress up and take home a pair of bear ears. Oxenbury recalls illustrating the book: “Michael and I never met until after the book was finished, but what was wonderful about it was there was nothing described in a way that restricted me. I modelled the children and the dog on my own. The bear’s posture I modelled on a friend who had depression, with his dropped shoulders – I felt the bear was probably lonely and wanted company rather than eat the children!” So now we know. We’re not scared!

Julianne Moore stars in The English Teacher

The English Teacher: Julianne Moore is a quirky woman forced out of a straight-laced life

The Craig Zisk-directed movie is informed by his strong female TV characters Nurse Jackie, Weeds and The Big C

DVD & Blu-ray review: Mental (15)

PJ Hogan DVD/Blu-ray (115mins)

Cracking up: P J Hogan’s new comedy provides a fresh take on family life

IoS film review 2: Mental
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

The hitchhiker's guide to staying sane and celebrating dysfunction

Movie review: Mental, starring Toni Collette, Liev Schreiber

PJ Hogan, 15, 116mins

ScreenTalk

Our contact at The Hollywood Reporter gives us the insider gossip from Tinseltown

Fright Night (15)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, David Tennant

Embers: An Evening with Tunng and Friends, HMV Forum, London

East London collective Tunng were founded by Sam Genders and Mike Lindsay in 2003. Their winsome combining of folk melodies and harmonies with glitchy electronics soon won them fans, as well as the tag of "folktronica" (though don't let that put you off). After a few albums and growing success, however, Genders stepped aside, leaving female vocalist Becky Jacobs to step into the spotlight alongside Lindsay on their excellent new album ...And Then We Saw Land. Tonight's performance comes with support from their also rather talented "friends" – Hannah Peel, Gable and Sam Amidon – but Genders also makes a few guest appearances onstage. It's a fluid, familial set-up that lends a warm, inclusive atmosphere to the gig.

Rich Fulcher: An Evening with Eleanor the Tour Whore, Udderbelly's Pasture, Bristo Square, Edinburgh

At the end of Rich Fulcher's flawed show some members of the audience give him a standing ovation. They're probably the same people that started a Mexican wave before it even began. Such slavish behaviour is typical of fans of The Mighty Boosh, in which Fulcher famously stars.

NBC's pitch-perfect Community rarely falters

Sometimes it's hard to work out why television programme chiefs buy in certain foreign shows and completely overlook others. For example, why did E4 buy the dull One Tree Hill, but not the savvy Veronica Mars? Why has no one picked up the charming Bored to Death or the clever Party Down? Why was there no interest in United States of Tara, despite a script by Juno's Diablo Cody and the presence of Toni Collette in the lead role?

Nevin's Notes (07/05/10)

An alternative take on the election

Evening Session to return... on 6 Music

The show that chronicled the birth of Britpop is back – for one night only

Free Independent Drama: As We Forgive Them

As President Obama marks his first year in office, The Independent is giving you an exclusive opportunity to download an award-winning new drama about a subject that cuts to the very heart of American politics.

Ian Craig: Lobby journalist for the 'Liverpool Echo' and 'Manchester Evening News' for more than two decades

The sudden death of Ian Craig, who was a stalwart of the Westminster press lobby for more than 25 years, has generated a stream of tributes unusual both in their number and in their warmth.

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent