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Thursday, 31 October 2013

November 2013: The 15 Releases You Can't Miss

It's Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary this month, but that's not all. Discover 2013's biggest period of releases right now!
If you've been under the impression that the past couple of months of entertainment have been just a little underwhelming, then November is here as the perfect antidote to that dissatisfying previous mixture. Of course, Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary will be a major event to watch out for, manifesting itself in a multitude of different ways, yet there are lots of other major 2013 releases launching this month which simply cannot afford to be missed.

In fact, the shortlist is so extensive that we've needed to expand our 'The 5 Releases You Can't Miss' feature not to ten releases, but a whopping fifteen must-see entertainment experiences launching before November's end. Here, then, is our full round-up of every essential purchase, viewing and the like coming to an entertainment venue near you very soon:

15. ARROW- The CW's accomplished superhero drama got off to a stunning start last month with Season Two's opening episodes, especially with Black Canary entering the fray. Here's hoping, then, that Arrow reaches even greater heights as its continues the first act of its run- get ready to discover exactly what the League of Assassins and Ra's Al Ghul himself have planned for Starling City! (Monday 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th- Sky1)
14. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY EXTENDED EDITION- An unexpected expansion, perhaps? Quite to the contrary, this second version of The Hobbit's first instalment is a natural development given the popularity of the Lord of the Rings extended cuts. Thirteen minutes of new footage lie within this updated feature, including more of Bilbo's antics in Hobbiton, further sequences in Rivendell and an expanded Goblin King song in the Lonely Mountain...(Monday 11th)
13. DOCTOR WHO: THE TIME MACHINE- AudioGo's 50th Anniversary Destiny of the Doctor range reaches its dramatic conclusion this month. As the Eleventh Doctor faces an invasion of time by the deadliest of adversaries, can he contact his ten past incarnations, rallying them together in a dastardly quest to reclaim lost and vital relics in time to save reality and the Void space from utter annihilation? (Thursday 7th)
12. PLAYSTATION 4- One of two major video game hardware launches in November, Sony's PlayStation 4 may yet hold the upper edge thanks to the company's lack of policy changes in the history of the console's promotional campaign. What remains to be seen, however, is whether the PS4 can do much more than claim to have a consistent strategy, its video recording and online gameplay capabilities hardly up and above Microsoft's offerings. Time will tell. (Friday 29th)
11. DOCTOR WHO: THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD- And speaking of time- this is one for the Doctor Who classic series fan, to be sure. The first of BBC Worldwide's DVD releases of their recently recovered Patrick Troughton stories, The Enemy of the World casts Troughton as both the Second Doctor and his shady counterpart Salamander, and while it's not exactly a recovered version of The Power of the Daleks, any opportunity to see more Troughton Who content is more than welcome! (Monday 25th)
10. CHILDREN IN NEED 2013- The BBC's Children in Need live show is always a celebrated annual event, and rightly so. Its 2013 edition should be no different in this regard, packing surprises from Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, One Direction (sigh) and more in an ever-commendable evening of fundraising which continues to warrant the viewer's attention thirty three years on from the programme's inception.(Friday 15th- BBC One)
9. GRAVITY- Now September and October behind us, you can anticipate a bunch of major blockbuster films releasing before 2013's climax. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney lead one of the year's most notable science-fiction inclusions, Gravity, which leaves its protagonists hurtling through space after their satellite station is torn apart by debris. Critics are already calling this high-flying motion picture one of the year's standout greats, and you'll find our verdict on the film in all its glory soon after release...(Friday 8th)
8. FORZA MOTORSPORT 5- Turn 10's latest Forza retail release is launching exclusively on the Xbox One. Don't expect major gameplay innovations here, yet the visuals are stellar, the competitor AI has been refined to exemplary standards, and the online campaign's lifespan will match Grand Theft Auto V and FIFA 14 for sheer longevity here. Suffice to say that if it's a graphical showcase that you desire to kick-start your One's video game catalogue, then Forza Motorsport 5 is the perfect experience! (Friday 22nd)
7. BIOSHOCK INFINITE: BURIAL AT SEA EPISODE 1- As if Grand Theft Auto V, Batman: Arkham Origins and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag weren't enough these past couple of months, a reprisal of BioShock Infinite's storyline is here to kick-start gamers' inner adrenaline once again this month. Burial At Sea takes place before the collapse of the underwater city of Rapture, and in Episode 1, the player encounters Agent Booker in a new guise, as the mysterious Elizabeth offers him a dangerous quest which threatens to bring world-changing secrets to light about the realm he inhabits. (Tuesday 12th)
6. THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE- After what seems like an age and a half, Katniss is back in action in the second film adaptation of Suzanne Collins' hit The Hunger Games franchise. Catching Fire takes place just days after its predecessor, as the Girl on Fire commences her Victory Tour of the twelve Districts, only to discover that social upheavals across Panem could threaten to change everything. Seeing as this particular tale was the best of its series in its original novelised guise, I've high hopes for the motion picture version, although the only concern is that things can only go down from here...(Friday 22nd)
5. DOCTOR WHO: THE LIGHT AT THE END- A light confession- we already know that this is going to be great. The reason? The Light at the End is already available as a digital release at Big Finish, yet the retail version of the studio's 50th Anniversary Special audio drama won't arrive until later this month. Suffice to say, though, that regardless of the medium that you use to experience it, Light is a brilliant multi-Doctor adventure that should raise the listener's anticipation for The Day of the Doctor higher than they had ever thought possible! (Saturday 23rd)
4. AN ADVENTURE IN SPACE AND TIME- Set to broadcast shortly before the 50th Anniversary Special, Mark Gatiss' nostalgic docudrama An Adventure In Space And Time depicts Doctor Who's innocent yet incredible origins. Harry Potter and Game of Thrones' David Bradley gives a spectacular portrayal of the First Doctor, William Hartnell, and is joined by a wealth of other British stars including Jessica Raine, Brian Cox, Reece Shearsmith, Gatiss and the iconic Daleks and Cybermen in what should be an amazing prologue to this month's main event. (TBC- BBC Two)
3. LEGO MARVEL SUPERHEROES- Another thrilling video game launching in November, LEGO Marvel Superheroes' release comes nearly a month after its US d├ębut. Nevertheless, at least players already know for certain that they're in for a treat, since the product has amassed a worthy 84% score on Metacritic. Over 100 unique superheroes and supervillains star in the campaign and its outlying Free Play modes, making this an essential purchase for anyone who can't get "Excelsior" out of their vocabulary...(Friday 15th)
2. XBOX ONE- Well, it's finally here. Despite the iconic, infamous 'Xbox One-Eighty' reversal from Microsoft, the new console is looking absolutely smashing. With launch titles including Forza 5, Dead Rising 3 and Killer Instinct, right now Microsoft certainly has the upper hand in terms of its initial exclusives, but of course, the journey to discover which of the two major publishing behemoths will come out on top in the hardware race will be long and exhilarating! (Friday 22nd)
1. DOCTOR WHO: THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR- But inevitably, on the throne of November's justifiably anticipated releases must come the one that we've all been waiting for. In twenty-three days' time, we'll have reached the big day, Doctor Who's landmark 50th Anniversary. To celebrate, Steven Moffat is giving fans the ultimate present, a 75-minute blockbuster adventure starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as three Doctors destined to battle it out against the Daleks and Zygons, with plenty of groundbreaking twists and blasts from the past along the way. The Eleventh Doctor's days are numbered, but The Day of the Doctor should prove to be nothing less than a captivating celebration of Matt's incarnation, each Doctor who has come before him and the stunning legacy of Doctor Who! Now, is it the 23rd yet? (Saturday 23rd- BBC One, UK Cinemas and BBC Networks worldwide!)

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