Review of the Year: January 2014

This month was divided into two types of news - Sherlock and Not Sherlock...

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The events of the first month of 2014 fell into two main categories…

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Sherlock

Fans had been waiting two long years for the return of the BBC1 detective drama, which kicked 2014 off with a bang on New Year’s Day as we finally learned how Benedict Cumberbatch’s detective had survived that plunge from the roof of St Bart’s Hospital – well, sort of

But if we didn’t get a conclusive solution to The Fall, we did at least get to meet Benedict Cumberbatch’s real-life parents, as well as being treated to an unexpectedly early glimpse of our major new villain

We were also introduced to John’s new girlfriend – soon to become his wife – but was she all that she seemed, and could she be trusted? Sherlock wasn’t convinced but even he got in on the romantic action, finding himself engaged to be married – if only as a means to an end.

The big shock of the finale was, of course, the apparent return of one James Moriarty. It had the Internet in meltdown and, along with news of Sherlock’s girlfriend, helped the series break its own Twitter record as well as become the most watched BBC drama series for over a decade.

US critics were equally impressed – but, more importantly, here’s what the RadioTimes.com podcast team thought.

And while fans began to contemplate another long wait for more Sherlock, they could at least hold on to the fact that series creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat had already plotted out the next two series.

Not Sherlock (mostly)

“After the Christmas binge, January serves up TV junk food,” said our columnist Mark Jefferies. Speaking of which…

Channel 5 revealed the Celebrity Big Brother line-up and, of course, Twitter had its say. Channel 4 unveiled its own, brand new, winter sports-based, reality show The Jump. We sent our intrepid reporter up a mountain to find out how it all worked, while Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards told us how to do a ski jump and, of course, Twitter had its say.

Series three of The Voice UK introduced new coach Kylie Minogue. She went down well with viewers but according to Twitter will.i.am was still the most popular of the mentors.

Talking of The Voice, a new cookery competition hit our screens in January (bear with us) – this reviewer described The Taste with Nigella Lawson as “like The Voice but with food – and the sound turned down“.

As with any month, there were farewells to be said – in particular to Roger Lloyd-Pack, aka Only Fools and Horses’ Trigger, who died aged 69. We remembered his best-loved roles and let Twitter pay tribute.

There were fictional farewells too – Ben Miller’s DI Richard Poole was finally the victim of Death in Paradise but after passing the baton (truncheon?) to Kris Marshall’s DI Humphrey Goodman, he spoke to us from beyond the grave about having just been murdered.

Coronation Street’s Hayley finally succumbed to cancer in an emotional episode of the ITV soap, which left Twitter in tears. But actress Julie Hesmondhalgh was rewarded for her performance at the National Television Awards (see the full list of winners here).

Speaking of awards, the Golden Globes also provided plenty of entertainment, big wins for American Hustle and Breaking Bad, some upsets for the Brit contenders and some awesome dancing from Messrs Fassbender and Cumberbatch.

Speaking of whom… Benny C picked up the Radio Times award for the best TV detective – yep, that’ll be Sherlock – at the NTAs and accepted it via video link wearing a dinner jacket… and board shorts.

And while we’re on the subject of striking costumes, Peter Capaldi’s new Doctor Who outfit was finally unveiled. The Doctor himself described it as “100% pure rebel Time Lord”, while fans had their own ideas, ranging from Pertwee to magician, and our fashion expert called it “skinhead style“.

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And that, my friends, was January – give or take a few Sherlock stories…


How much of this year’s television can you remember? Take our Big TV Quiz 2014 and find out!