Everyone loves a comeback story. Just look at Matthew McConaughey, who went from a punchline to an Oscar winner in just a few short years. Film critics didn’t just admire his performance as an Aids patient in Dallas Buyers’ Club. They appreciated that he transformed from being the shirtless stud of romcoms like Fool’s Gold and Failure to Launch to a serious actor. It seemed an unlikely turnaround, but it’s one many actors have made over the years. In fact, you can identify seven specific stages of male movie stars’ career life cycles – stages that actors as diverse as John Travolta, Marlon Brando, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr, McConaughey and Dennis Hopper have all shared. No female actors on this list? It’s hard to think of one who fits these specific stages – this is a uniquely male phenomenon.
Comebacks: Tales of triumphant returns
Anglophenia: Best of British revivals
From ancient languages to boy bands, these British cultural artefacts fell out of favour, but were rescued from history's bin.
Autos: The 3 Wheeler’s return to form
From forgotten oddity to modern sports car hero – Britain's top ‘Mog’ is on a roll.
BBC America: A guide to every Doctor Who
Every Doctor has one thing in common - he regenerates. Get up to speed on how each one made the ultimate comeback.
Capital: The comeback kings
They rose to lofty heights and fell mightily. How some one-time giants got back into good graces.
Future: 'I bring the dead back to life'
The radical procedure that involves replacing a patients’ blood with cold salt water could retrieve people from the brink.
Travel: A new dawn for Italy’s south
For the first time since the Grand Tour of the 18th Century, southern Italy is registering on savvy travellers’ radars.