November 2011

Scotsman Ewan McGregor Joins HBO's The Corrections

Scottish film star Ewan McGregor is officially set for his first major television role. He’ll be starring in HBO’s upcoming adaptation of the 2001 Jonathan Franzen novel The Corrections, which tells the story of three decades in the lives of the highly dysfunctional Lambert family – a Midwestern couple and their three children. The novel culminates in a final Christmas visit in which the children learn that their father is losing his mind to dementia.

McGregor is known primarily for his performaces in popular film roles, including the Star Wars prequels, Moulin Rouge, Velvet Goldmine, and more. He will play middle child Chip, an academic who has an affair with a student, to disastrous results (he ends up working for a crime boss). The Lambert parents will be played by Chris Cooper and Dianne Wiest, so this is already shaping up to be an all-star cast with at least two big roles still left to be filled - eldest son Gary, a depressed banker, and Denise, an unlucky-in-love chef.

Admittedly, I’m curious about how Franzen’s story will adapt to the small screen. The Corrections is an exceptionally dense novel, so it should definitely work better as a series than a one-shot feature film, but I also don’t know how long I think it’s necessarily viable, in terms of multiple TV seasons, without going a bit past the parameters of the story.

The project is still in the pilot stage, which means it may never actually see the light of day as a full series, but with a cast already full of “names” (with likely more to come), it seems to have a pretty good shot.

Happy Birthday Martin Clunes!

Happy birthday to Doc Martin star Martin Clunes, who turns 50 today! Best known for his portrayal of the curmudgeonly, cranky Doctor Martin Ellingham in the ITV comedy/drama, Clunes has also starred in Men Behaving Badly, William and Mary, and Reggin Perrin, among other things.  He was seen most recently in the fifth series of Doc Martin, which just wrapped up its run across the pond a few weeks ago and will be airing here in the States in 2012 – most likely in the spring. (WETA viewers who love this show to pieces: the minute we know a confirmed airdate, we’ll share it. Pinky swear. But it’s coming, promise!)

Clunes is one of the few British television actors where virtually everyone seems to absolutely love him to bits – so he must be doing something right. We’ll be doing our best here at Telly Visions to make the wait for new episodes interesting for you – join me in the coming weeks as I confront a rather significant personal lapse (embarrassing Anglophile confession alert), namely that I’ve never really seen Doc Martin. Well, an episode or two, here or there. But, still. Most of the series = complete, unforgiveable gap in my British TV knowledge base. Obviously, this means it’s time for a viewing party.

So, whether you’d like to take a walk down memory lane in Portwenn with me while we’re waiting for the new series, or just laugh at my reaction to a surprise character or storyline that everyone knows about except yours truly – stick around! Feel free to leave a rundown of your favorite episodes in the comments, just to give a sense of which you all might have the most interest in revisiting.  

Category:Drama

Tonight on Masterpiece Contemporary: The Thoroughly Charming “Framed”

Tonight at 9pm, catch Framed on Masterpiece Contemporary, starring Waking the Dead’s Trevor Eve and Torchwood’s Eve Myles and based on the book by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It’s a fanciful, lighthearted, thoroughly charming story, in which the National Gallery is forced to move its priceless collection of artworks to a remote Welsh village while a massive plumbing leak is fixed.

While this premise is an event that would probably never actually occur nowadays (though something similar did happen during World War II when Winston Churchill was concerned about the possibility that British treasures might be damaged in the Blitz), the story is fun enough that you won’t care so much that it’s not entirely plausible. The colorful array of local village residents – especially the children – are quirky and entertaining and the film strikes a perfect fun holiday tone to round off your long weekend.

This film also marks a bit of a personal first for me, as it’s the first time I’ve ever really loved Eve Myles in anything. Her character on Torchwood has always struck me as just this side of annoying, but she’s really quite charming and adorable in this, so perhaps I’m finally starting to see her appeal as an actress.

Category:General

The News Roundup: Black Friday Edition

Happy (Black) Friday! Hope everyone had a great day yesterday, whether you were feasting on turkey or not. Welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday News Roundup, as we try to cover all things interesting in British entertainment news.  Click through for news on Doctor Who, Absolutely Fabulous, Downton Abbey and the new Great Expectations, as well as celebrity updates on Colin Firth, Ben Whishaw, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adele, Ricky Gervais and more!

Category:Other

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Telly Visions readers! Thanksgiving is a quintessential American holiday, I know, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the opportunity to just say thank you.

Thank you for reading, and commenting, and tweeting, and liking, and just being here in the early days of our blog’s life. We’re really excited about what’s ahead around here, and we’re thankful that you’re along for the ride with us.

Have a wonderful, thoroughly American day (or a just a really great Thursday, if you don't celebrate it), and we’ll be back to covering all things British tomorrow.

Category:Sci-Fi

Happy 48th Birthday, Doctor Who!

On November 23, 1963 at 5: 16pm, Doctor Who premiered on the BBC, starring William Hartnell as the very first Doctor in “The Unearthly Child.” With nary a Dalek in sight, mind, as those weren’t introduced to the series until a little bit later on.  (I actually meant this post to go up right at 5:16. Missed it by that much.)

Forty-eight years later, the series is the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, and arguably is more popular now than it has ever been, on the Eleventh incarnation of the Doctor. 

Want more Who trivia today? This list of 48 Facts for the 48th Anniversary over at the Radio Times is pretty fantastic. And if you’re feeling really nostalgic you can watch classic clips and a great many of the Doctor’s regenerations at the official BBC site.  How many of you are big Who fans? And who’s “your” Doctor?

 

Category:Drama

Reminder: Our Two-Day Inspector Morse Marathon Starts Tomorrow!

What says Happy Thanksgiving more than British mysteries? Nothing, that’s what! So, have some quality sleuthing along wit h your turkey and stuffing over the next two days!

We’ll be airing full-day marathons of Inspector Morse episodes both tomorrow and Friday, from 8am-6pm, and digging into some classic episodes from early in the series’ run. (And, remember WETA Mystery night will be happening as usual on Thanksgiving night, with Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Foyle’s War.)

Click through for a full list of all the episodes that will be playing on both days during our Morse Marathon and enjoy the long weekend!

Category:Drama

Tune-In Tonight: Sherlock’s “Great Game” is Most Definitely On

We’re wrapping up our rebroadcast of Sherlock tonight at 8pm with “The Great Game,” which is the best and most exciting installment of the three episode lot, and other than the shock of its very last minutes is basically perfect television. Watch it tonight, even if you’ve never seen it – you really can jump right in, even if the extent of your Sir Arthur Conan Doyle knowledge is that you know Sherlock Holmes and John Watson exist. It’s absolutely worth it.

In the spirit of conducting appropriate Sherlockian levels of research I took it upon myself to watch the DVD commentary for this episode to try and come up with some impressive new insights into the way this particular story is put together, rather than just massive amounts of adoration. Alas, the only thing that appears to have stuck in my brain from it is that Benedict Cumberbatch loves clothes, and also the acting process, and does a mean impression of Alan Rickman. So, prepare for the adoration.

Click through for the best things about this particular episode, which are actually far more legion than could possibly have fit in this post, and then feel free to leave me reminders of the things I’ve left out in the comments.

Category:General

Your Week in British TV on WETA

Happy Thanksgiving week, everyone! Hope you are all gearing up for a festival of delicious food and family time, with a splash of excellent British TV thrown in.  We’ve got a lot of goodies coming up on-air for you this week!

Monday William and Mary, starring Martin Clunes and Julie Graham, continues tonight at a slightly shifted time of 10:30pm, due to the extended run length of our American Masters Woody Allen documentary.

Tuesday – We wrap up our rebroadcast of Masterpiece Mystery!’s Sherlock at 8pm with the pretty-much-flawless episode “The Great Game” at 8pm. This will also repeat on Wednesday at 2pm, if you happen to be home early in preparation for Turkey Day and need something to watch.

Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving! The first day of our Inspector Morse marathon kicks off at 8AM – we’ll be airing the entire ten-episode second season.  Then, if that’s not enough British mystery for you, WETA Mystery night will also continue as usual!  Watch Sherlock Holmes' “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” at 8pm, Agatha Christie’s Poirot in “The Chocolate Box” at 9pm, and Foyle’s War’s “The Funk Hole” at 10.

Friday – Welcome to Day Two of our Inspector Morse marathon! We’ll be airing the entirely of Series 3 all day today from 8am-6pm.

Saturday – Catch comedies As Time Goes By and Keeping Up Appearances starting at 7pm. These will be followed by Doc Martin at 8pm, with two episodes from Series 4, “The Departed” and “Midwife Crisis.”

SundayMasterpiece Contemporary returns at 9pm with Framed, starring Trevor Eve and Torchwood’s Eve Myles. Then stick around for back-to-back episodes of con-man drama Hustle, starting a bit earlier than usual this week, at 10:30pm.

Category:Drama

ITV Commissions Final Five Poirot Films

Heads-up for our mystery fans! UK network ITV has commissioned adaptations of five new feature-length Poirot films, slated to go into production in 2012.

David Suchet will reprise the role of Hercule Poirot, and achieve his stated “life’s ambition” of filming the entirety of Agatha Christie’s Poirot canon. Suchet has been playing Poirot for over twenty years, so this is a rather impressive achievement, if you ask me.

The five new adaptations will include Labours of Hercules, Dead Man’s Folly, The Big Four, Elephants Can Remember, and Poirot’s final mystery, Curtain.

According to the lovely folks at AgathaChristie.com, Curtain is the Belgian detective’s last case, in which an arthritic and immobilized Poirot calls on his old friend Captain Hastings for assistance as they return to the scene of their first case, Styles Court, to try to prevent an imminent murder.

“Poirot is without doubt one of fiction’s finest detectives and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to ITV1 with his refined approach to crime-fighting, “said ITV’s director of drama commissioning Laura Mackie.  “We’re equally delighted that David has agreed to play him in the final Poirot films for the ITV1 audience and immensely privileged to be producing Curtain.”

No word yet, obviously, on when we might expect to see these adaptations here in America, especially with filming not happening for some time yet. We’ll keep you posted!

Category:Sci-Fi

Doctor Who Supports Children in Need and Previews the 2011 Christmas Special

As part of the BBC’s Children in Need annual charity telethon in the UK tonight, Doctor Who offered a special mini-sketch, as well as the first trailer for the series’ upcoming Christmas special, titled “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe.”

Thanks to the lovely folks over at Doctor Who TV, click through to watch the special Children in Need segment that sees the Doctor offering to sell the clothes off his back, then catch the first preview for the Christmas special, which should air on BBC America here in the States sometime in December.

Category:General

The Friday News Roundup!

Happy Friday! Welcome to this week's edition of our News Roundup, where I attempt to fill you in on all the things of interest that happened this week in British entertainment news. (Emphasis on the "attempt" - if I've missed something excellent, link me!). This week we've got quite a bit of Doctor Who, some Misfits, Sherlock, Poirot, as well as news on a new Pixar film, the Golden Globes, annual charity appeal Children in Need and more.  So click right on through to get started.

Category:Movies

Meryl Streep is "The Iron Lady"

Is anyone else looking forward to upcoming Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady with the always amazing Meryl Streep in the title role? I'm actually not sure how accurately I think this film is going to portray the Thatcher era, but I still cannot wait to see it, even if it does have one of the weirdest promotional posters I've ever seen (Why is Westminster growing out of her head?).

Apparently I'm not the only person not quite sure how to feel about this film, as it's already sparking many mixed reactions and some controversy, even when it's a month away from release. The Guardian's Xan Brooks calls Streep's performance "astonishing and all but flawless," but labels the film itself "silly and suspect." The Daily Mail  also has many complimentary things to say, one of which being that all those naysayers who were worried about the film "villifying" Baronness Thatcher can calm down.  On the flip side, one-time Conservative party chairman and trade and industry secretary Norman Tebbit wrote a fairly blistering dismissal of the film in the Telegraph, claiming that this film version "is not the Margaret Thatcher [he] knew." Other Thatcher allies are similarly upset. I suppose this is what happens when we make biographical films about subjects who are both this recent and this polarizing.  I'm willing to see for myself though, if only because I would probably watch Streep read the phone book with no complaints.

The full trailer came out on Monday - take a look below. The Iron Lady will open December 30 in New York and Los Angeles - I presume to make sure Streep is eligible for this year's Academy Awards, as she's probably a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. The rest of us Yanks will have to wait unti the film's wide release on January 13.


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Category:Drama

Tune In Tonight: The Best Things About Sherlock's "The Blind Banker"

Our rebroadcast of Masterpiece Mystery’s Sherlock continues tonight with the second episode, “The Blind Banker” at 8pm. Loosely based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story “The Dancing Men,” the premise involves a mysterious break-in at a major London bank, possible suicides that turn out to be murders, an unintelligible code left in graffiti, a Chinese traveling circus, and an underground smuggling ring.  Just go with it – it ends up being a pretty great ride. This episode also really cements the wonderfulness that is this new Holmes-Watson partnership; Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are just gangbusters together onscreen and I would like to applaud the casting director who was genius enough to come up with this pair.

But, to be fair, “The Blind Banker” is my least favorite of the three episodes of Sherlock’s first series. That statement is also kind of like saying, Oh, yes, that’s the Van Gogh painting I enjoy the least, but nevertheless.  Whether it’s because its lacking the really great villain of the other two episodes, whether the mystery is just a teensy bit less compelling and more convoluted than the other two offerings, whether it’s the absence of Lestrade, Mycroft or the other interesting supporting characters from “A Study in Pink” while we’re stuck with the truly dreadful Sebastian, I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just that “Pink” is a really hard act to follow.  All that said, there’s not a lot that’s truly “wrong” with this episode – most of its problems really are more missteps than outright failures – and while it may not reach the heights of the pilot, it’s still loads better than pretty much anything else you could be watching on a Tuesday night.

Click on through for some of my favorite things about this episode – mostly a lot of small moments that add up to a pretty great whole. One thing this episode does do very well is character moments and relationship development – and these are so strong and well done that the centerpiece mystery matters less.

Category:General

Your Week in British TV on WETA

Happy Monday! Here’s a look at what we’ve got coming up this week on WETA for our British TV fans.

But first – a save the date for next week! We’ve got a two-day Inspector Morse marathon coming up over the Thanksgiving long weekend (Thursday and Friday). So, make plans now to save some time for sleuthing along with your turkey.

Monday – Tonight William and Mary with Martin Clunes and Julie Graham is on at 10pm with two back-to-back episodes.

Tuesday – Our rebroadcast of Masterpiece Mystery’s Sherlock continues at 8pm with “The Blind Banker.” One of my all time favorite Benedict Cumberbatch moments is in this episode!  (Any guesses?)

Thursday – Time for WETA Mystery night!  This week, we’ve got Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventures of Shoscombe Old Place” at 8pm. Agatha Christie’s Poirot in “The Case of the Missing Will” at 9pm and Foyle’s War’s “War Games” at 10pm.

Friday.  We’re airing a special four episode block of Eastenders from 4-6pm to compensate for last Friday’s preemption. (Note: The first two episodes aired last Saturday AM, however.)

Saturday – Watch As Time Goes By at 7 followed by Keeping Up Appearances at 7:30pm. Then visit Portwenn with Doc Martin in “Perish Together as Fools” and “Driving Mr. McLynn” from Series 4.

Sunday – There’s no new Masterpiece Contemporary this week, but it will return on Sunday, November 27, with Framed.  You can still catch con-man drama Hustle at 11pm, though!

Category:Drama

Preview The Song of Lunch

Let’s spend a Sunday night watching a film dramatization of a narrative poem! You’re forgiven if an eyebrow went up at reading that sentence –it’s almost a little too painfully highbrow, even for me, and I live for stuff like this.  But The Song of Lunch is a unique, occasionally painful depiction of a lunch date between two ex-lovers over a decade after their relationship ended is definitely worth a look. It’s rare that something on television nowadays is willing to take a risk and be original – and this has that in spades.

Take a minute to watch a scene from the film, then click through for a few of my (spoiler-free) thoughts!

Category:General

It's Friday - Must Be News Roundup Time!

Happy Friday, everyone! That means it’s time for our weekly News Roundup post, where we fill you in on all things interesting in British entertainment. It’s also 11/11/11, so let’s just pretend that there’s a creative Doctor Who joke inserted here somewhere. (I was trying to come up with puns on “The Eleventh Hour” that were actually funny all morning, with no luck. Alas.)

But, before we jump into that, a quick heads-up for our Eastenders fans. Every week we repeat Friday’s Eastenders episodes on Saturday mornings. Due to the special programming marathon airing for Veterans Day today, we won’t be visiting Albert Square this afternoon. However, the Saturday repeats tomorrow will go on as scheduled. So, if you must have your Eastenders fix as soon as possible, we’ve got you covered! However, we’ll also be airing a four-episode block next Friday, to make up for the preemption today.  Let us know if you’ve got any questions on this programming shift, and we’ll sort you. 

Now, go ahead and click through for news on Remembrance Day observations, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, The Only Way is Essex, Absolutely Fabulous and more!

Category:Other

Remembrance Day

We call today Veterans Day here in the United States, it’s referred to as Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Countries, some folks still like to call it Armistice Day, or even Poppy Day, but, nevertheless, the sentiment is all the same – when we all take a moment to reflect and to say a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve in the armed forces, whatever country they may hail from. We’re grateful for your sacrifice!

Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 to recall the official end of World War I; hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” when Germany signed the Armistice agreement.

The use of a red poppy is a popular symbol for Remembrance Day in the UK and other Commonwealth nations. Paper poppies are sold by as part of the Royal British Legion’s annual fundraising appeal (and they look like the image above.)  

The use of the poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” by Colonel John McCrae (quoted below), which describes the fields of flowers that were the first to grow over soldiers’ graves on battlefields in Belgium and France.

If you’d like to read more on the history of the Remembrance Day poppies, this site is a great resource. If you’re in the DC area and you’d like to go get yourself one, and donate to a worthy cause at the same time, you can get one at the British Embassy’s main security gate, according to their Twitter account. (If you’re not in the DC area, check the British Embassy's full site, it’s likely that you can get one where you are, as well.)

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Category:Other

The Great Sherlock Debate: Holmes in the 21st Century

Something exceptionally cool is going on in the UK right about now – the start of the Great Sherlock Holmes Debate! This event features leading Holmes experts from the UK, USA, and Australia facing off in an attempt to answer the question – Which Sherlock Holmes adaptation makes the best contribution to Holmes in the 21st century? These experts have been split into teams – originally this event was supposed to only feature supporters of BBC’s Sherlock adaptation versus loyalists of Guy Ritchie’s recent Sherlock Holmes film, but a third team has been added for the “Traditionalists”, who feel that the traditional adaptations (Jeremy Brett’s series, especially) still have an important impact on modern audiences.  How awesome is this? I’m intensely jealous of all the folks who get to sit in the audience (apparently fans from 23 countries scored tickets) and watch this all go down.  If you’re really interested in the particulars, you can learn more about the folks representing each team here and the debate on Facebook as well.

As, I’m sure most of you have probably guessed by now, I’m firmly  on Team Cumberbatch BBC Sherlock personally.  Not that I would disparage any of these other fine adaptations, as they both have strong merits of their own, and, really, I’m generally of the opinion that the world can’t have too many versions of Sherlock Holmes running ‘round it. (Hey, I watch House too. Or at least I did, until that whole weird Cuddy storyline happened. But that’s another blog post.)

There’s plenty to like and debate about with each team though, so click through for a run-down on each.

 

Category:Drama

The Song of Lunch This Sunday on Masterpiece Contemporary

Coming this Sunday night to Masterpiece Contemporary, The Song of Lunch is an innovatively presented drama starring the always awesome duo of Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. While writing about Bill Nighy’s role in Page Eight last weekend, I was reminded of how very much I adore the film Love Actually and apparently all roads lead back to that film for me this week, because it’s the Rickman/Thompson storyline that’s my favorite bit there. They’re just incredible together.  (It’s also the only storyline that I wish they’d continued a few minutes further on at the end of that film, but that’s a rant for another day.)  So, I am especially looking forward to watching this, if only because it’s always a pleasure to see two people who are such excellent actors on their own work together.

The interesting thing is that The Song of Lunch is a narrative poem. Written by Christopher Reid, it’s the story of ex-lovers who meet for lunch at an old favorite restaurant. The film is largely a dramatic reenactment of the poem and uses minimal dialogue other than the text itself being read. I think this is a tremendously intriguing concept, so watch this space for an early review towards the end of the week. For now, take a look at the preview to get a feel for it, and marvel how both of these actors just keep aging so darn well.

Category:Drama

Obvious: Five Reasons You Should Watch Sherlock’s “A Study in Pink” Tonight

For those who’ve yet to experience the excellence that is the BBC's modern re-imagining of Holmes, you’re in luck, because we’re re-broadcasting all three episodes from the brilliant first series of Masterpiece Mystery's Sherlock on WETA over the next three weeks. The first installment,  “A Study in Pink,” airs tonight at 8pm, and its two subsequent episodes will air on November 15 and 22, respectively.

So do click through to read the rest of this article, and I’ll try my best to convince you why it will be of an ultimate benefit to your life to park yourself in front of the TV this evening.

Category:General

Relevant to Our Interests: British TV Highlights on WETA This Week!

Thought it might be useful to start providing everyone with a handy reference guide to our upcoming must-see British programming of the week here on WETA, to make sure that no one ends up accidentally missing anything important. Let us know if this feature is helpful, or if I accidentally end up leaving off anything you'd particularly like to see covered!

Happy Monday, and hope you’ll find something you’re excited to watch this week!

Monday – Tonight William & Mary returns to its regular 10pm timeslot with two back-to-back episodes. Polish off Series 1 and get started on Series 2!

TuesdaySherlock’s “A Study in Pink” airs at 8pm. We’ll be airing all three episodes of the Masterpiece Mystery! hit on Tuesdays in November, so mark those calendars accordingly.

Thursday – WETA Mystery night means loads of British sleuthing going on. Watch Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett edition) in “The Problem of Thor Bridge” at 8pm, Agatha Christie’s Poirot in “The Underdog” at 9pm, and the two parts of Foyle’s War’s “Among the Few” start at 9:52pm.

Friday – An important note for our Eastenders fans: Due to special programming for Veterans’ Day, we won’t be visiting Albert Square this week. But not to fret – next Friday, November 18, will feature a four-episode block to make up for it.

Saturday – We’ve got Doc Martin at 8pm.  Catch “Better the Devil” and “Uneasy Lies the Head” from Series IV.

Sunday – The amazing duo of Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson star in The Song of Lunch on Masterpiece Contemporary at 9pm. We’ll also wrap the first series of Hustle with back to back episodes starting at 10pm.

 

Category:Drama

Preview Tonight’s Masterpiece Contemporary: Page Eight

The new season of Masterpiece Contemporary kicks off tonight at 9pm with a star-studded, twisty spy drama called Page Eight. The cast list is impressive – Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Judy Davis, Michael Gambon and more – and reason enough on its own for you to tune-in, but Page Eight is also a cracking good drama that’s much more focused on character than it is about the traditional trappings of spy films. (Nothing blows up and no one waves a gun at anything.)

Page Eight has a similar feel to some of the other conspiracy-themed dramas that have been popping up in recent years. If you’ve enjoyed Homeland, Rubicon, State of Play, or any of their ilk, you’ll like Page Eight. It’s familiar enough to fall into easily, but the story still feels fresh, despite the fact that “Higher Ups in Government Hide Information From General Public” is not exactly a new tale.

Watch a preview to get a feel for the film, and then click through for some (spoiler-free!) thoughts!

Category:General

Time for the Friday News Roundup!

Happy Friday folks! Here’s a look at a bunch of the stuff I thought was interesting in British entertainment news this week. We’ve got Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter, and more. (But if you only look at one thing, please click the link about Jonathan Ross’ Halloween party that’s first up. The pictures are comedy gold.)

Category:Drama

News of the Day: Downton Abbey Renewed!

Exciting news for Downton Abbey fans – the period drama was picked up for a third series yesterday by ITV! [Pause for happy dancing and various forms of enthusiastic celebration. A long pause.]

Downton’s second season, which wraps in the UK this weekend and will air in America starting January 8, has been doing fairly gangbusters ratings for ITV, so this isn’t exactly shocking news, though it’s certainly very welcome. Downton Series 3 will be comprised of eight episodes, set over the two year period of 1920 and 1921. Crowleys in the Roaring Twenties? Yes, please!

Obviously, as this news was just announced yesterday, there’s no indication of when Series 3 will debut, either abroad or here in America, and it's highly likely no one involved has given any thought to any of that just yet. I wouldn't expect to hear anything on that front for quite a while, actually, but stay tuned for updates as news becomes available.

Category:Drama

New Downton Abbey Series 2 Promo!

We’re now 66 days from the premiere of the new series of Downton Abbey on January 8, 2012. Just over two months to go!

To help get through the wait, here’s a brand new promo just released for the new season, with a few superquick scenes which should probably get everyone chomping at the bit for Christmas to just get over with already. (Personally, I’m definitely looking forward to a visit from the Dowager Countess way more than I am from Santa, that’s for sure.)

If you need more ideas on things to do while you’re waiting for new episodes to return, why not let Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton offer her suggestions on how to survive the hiatus, including several great ideas for the history buffs in our crowd.

Category:Drama

All Things Sherlock: Series 1 Rebroadcast and Series 2 Gossip

All of you who’ve been wondering what the big deal is about Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ modern retelling of the famous Sherlock Holmes story are going to get another chance to see what all the fuss is about.

Starting a week from today, we’ll be re-broadcasting the entire first series of my current obsession Sherlock, every Tuesday night for three weeks. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (♥) and Martin Freeman, Sherlock is a 21st century version of the world’s most famous detective (thankfully, minus deerstalker thus far), set in an exceptionally nice-to-look-at modern London.  The first episode “A Study in Pink,” a retelling (mostly) of the story “A Study in Scarlet,” will re-air next Tuesday, November 8, at 8pm.

And, as I am always looking for an excuse to watch the trailer again, have a look at the Series 1 promo and get in the mood for a trip back to 221B Baker Street.   

If that’s not enough Sherlock for you, click through and after the jump we’ve got some casting tidbits and Series 2 gossip that those of you seeking to remain entirely spoiler-free for the new episodes might want to avoid.

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