Review of the Year: July 2014

Doctor Who fans got an early glimpse of Peter Capaldi thanks to a leak, and a Sherlock star took to the stage

July began with fevered speculation about what Peter Capaldi would be like in the lead role of Doctor Who, whose first episode would premiere in August. Then we stopped speculating, because we already knew.


Initially, the first five scripts of series eight including Capaldi’s debut in Deep Breath, appeared on file sharing sites. Despite fans rallying to stop spoilers, that wasn’t the end. First reported by, a black and white work in progress version of Deep Breath also cropped up online. The next four episodes followed not long afterwards. 

How did such a massive leak happen? We traced the embarrassing mistake back to a BBC Worldwide office in Miami, and found it wasn’t just Doctor Who that was affected.

Much loved entertainer Rolf Harris was sentenced to five years, nine months in prison on charges of indecent assault. revealed that his paintings, previously worth tens of thousands, had lost 90% of their value following the verdict. Many paintings in public collections appeared to have gone missing.

Some of our favourite TV actors took to the stage. Martin Freeman’s version of Richard III was like Gollum in the 1970s, if you can imagine such a thing. Billie Piper impressed former co-star David Tennant and Mark Gatiss with her sexy take on the phone hacking scandal. And the Monty Python boys reunited at the O2 to give us something completely familiar.

The World Cup inspired 15,000 memes, and a massive drubbing. The Scottish Commonwealth team wore some natty kilts.

But forget sports, the real competition was just beginning. launched the first ever TV Champion, pitching 128 stars against each other over seven rounds of head to head votes. Millions voted and Radio Times writers played pundit, but who won? Tune in to next month’s round-up.

In a less (but actually much more) epic competition, it was proved definitively that the Thunderbirds would beat ThunderCats in a fight.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was released, to the joy of everyone in the world. It helped that the cast were as awesome as their characters. Chris ‘Starlord’ Pratt could braid hair like a boss. Zoe ‘Gamora’ Saldana wants to be in Doctor Who.

Oh, while we’re talking of fandoms, Tom Hiddleston’s fanboy letter to Joss Whedon is the most adorable thing ever.


And finally Tim Glanfield, editor of, managed to put in a decent time on the Top Gear test track AND get Benedict Cumberbatch into the headline. Nice work Tim.

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