December 2011

Category:Drama

A 2012 Wishlist: 5 Things That Would Be Awesome To See in Sherlock Series 2

With the UK premiere of Sherlock Series 2 roughly 24 hours away (give or take a bit), the internet is flooded with pictures, promos, and a palpable sense of excitement. Some might even say euphoria. (Don’t believe me? Just check out the Sherlock hashtag on Twitter. It’s a bit busy!)

At the beginning of December, a group of seriously lucky people in London attended a screening of the first episode of Series 2, “A Scandal in Belgravia,” and if that weren’t awesome enough, they got to watch the new installment in the company of many of the cast an production crew who made it *and* attend a panel Q&A session afterward with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch and Lara Pulver. (Watch a video of this panel here; beware, it’s a tiny bit spoilery.) I was not one of those people unfortunately, but the event did serve as a bit of a catalyst to start the personal speculation gears turning about what Series 2 might actually look like. (And if it has since given me an occupation that has distracted me from looking for reviews and spoilers the past couple of weeks, well, that’s all to the good.)

After all, this new series is tackling what are probably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most recognizable, iconic stories and, given the quality of the first season, there’s little doubt that the episodes will do the source material justice, it’s likely that both viewers and dedicated Holmes fans will have strong opinions on how they should be depicted. And from a personal perspective, I wanted to get this on paper before I inevitably found out too much about them. We will have to wait until May to see these episodes in America, but it’s never too early to start talking about them!

So, click through for some spoiler-free ramblings on what I’d like to see in the new series, and feel free to share what your ideal Season 2 would look like in our comments!

 

Category:Drama

12 Days of Downton: Highclere Castle, or, The "Real" Downton Abbey

A character that is probably just as important to Downton Abbey as the Crawley family or the servants who work for them, is the house they all inhabit. Hands up: Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to live on such a gorgeous estate? I mean, just to get to stroll around those grounds regularly would probably be enough for me. It’s beautiful!

Click through for a look at the actual house that serves as our beloved Downton Abbey and learn about some of the things that make it unique.

 

Category:General

The Friday News Roundup: The Last Roundup of 2011 Edition

Happy Friday, Telly Visions readers! And Happy New Year's Eve Eve! Hope everyone is planning to have fun (and be safe) ringing in 2012 this weekend. We're looking forward to lots of great things in the New Year.

But, onward! Click right on through because there are plenty of goodies of all shapes and sizes in the Roundup this week - from playing catch-up with some holiday news (Christmas ratings and No. 1s, oh my!), to the Royal Family, to news updates on Sherlock, Downton Abbey , Bedlam, Great Expectations, Titanic, Upstairs Downstairs and more.

Category:Drama

12 Days of Downton: A Guide to Forms of Address and Other Social Minefields in Downton Abbey

For those of us who’ve grown up on this side of the Pond, another potentially confusing bit of Downton Abbey is the complicated system of proper forms of address among the all the British upper classes. (Also known as the “Who are these people?” or “Who are they talking about, again?” effect.)

For example, though I used “Lord Robert” repeatedly in my post about Downton and the entail problem for the sake of clarity, this is actually a huge faux pas, as he would never be called that by anyone he interacted with, be they servants, family members or peers. But, why? What are we supposed to call him instead? (Answer: it often depends on who is doing the talking.)

But, click right on through to the rest of this post, and I’ll try to explain some of the occasionally bizarre rules of the British peerage and the forms of address that would be used by the characters who inhabit the world of Downton.  (And please, British scholars out there, jump on in if you’ve got more in-depth reasoning for some of these rules or if you can add some clarity!)

Category:Drama

More New Sherlock Season 2 Goodies: Photos and Premiere Q&A Video

Those lucky folks in the UK are just days away from the return of Sherlock (days, the jealousy!), but at least we Americans can partially console ourselves with all the new interviews, photos, clips and other promotional items that seem to be all over the internet right now as we ramp up for the premiere of Series 2.

Click through the cut for a few Sherlock bits and bobs, including a highlight reel of the cast Q&A which followed the British Film Institute screening of Series 2’s first episode and some lovely new photos, including one that has instantly became my new desktop background.

Category:Drama

12 Days of Downton: Celebrate Maggie Smith’s Birthday with the Best of the Dowager Countess

Happy Birthday to the Dowager Countess herself! Dame Maggie Smith turns 77 today.

The Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning actress is well known for fantastic performances on both stage and screen, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Travels with My Aunt, A Room with A View, Gosford Park, and her turn as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films.

Her amazing performance as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, is a major highlight of Downton Abbey. The delightfully imperious head of the Crawley family gets all the best lines, and Smith’s impeccable delivery is fantastic.

So, what better way to celebrate the birthday of such a great lady than to relive some of her best Downton moments? Click through for the most memorable scenes from the Dowager Countess – and be sure to share any favorites that may have been left out in the comments!

Category:Sci-Fi

Watch a Preview of Merlin Series 4: Coming to Syfy in January

Fantasy drama Merlin just aired its fourth series finale over the weekend in the UK, but American audiences won’t have to wait very long to see it for themselves. Merlin Series 4 is set to debut here in the States on Syfy this January.

Extra good news for Merlin fans: the show will be returning for a Series 5, though no word yet on when that will air on either side of the pond.  

You can watch a full preview for the new series under the fold, as well as a sneak peek clip from season premiere, “The Darkest Hour”. Merlin returns to Syfy starting January 6!

Category:Drama

12 Days of Downton: Photos from Series 2!

We’re 12 days away from Downton Abbey Series 2 – and yes, that means our 12 days of Downton celebration is really going to be more like 14, but consider it bonus material, really.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the gorgeous promotional photos from Series 2, and, while we’ll get around to talking about Downton fashion later in the week, it seems necessary to say that every character just looks exceptionally lovely in these! I am apparently doomed to covet Mary Crawley’s wardrobe.

Click through for a look, featuring Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith and more.

Category:Sci-Fi

Supernatural Drama The Fades to Premiere on BBC America

BBC America’s latest addition to their Supernatural Saturday lineup will be fantasy/horror drama The Fades, premiering on Saturday, January 14 at 9pm.

Penned by Skins writer Jack Thorne, The Fades centers on a 17-year-old boy named Paul, who is haunted by apocalyptic dreams no one can explain. Unfortunately, it turns out the Paul’s visions are actually real, and he finds himself caught in a battle between the living and the undead. These undead are the titular “Fades,” or the dead who, for whatever reason, are trapped on earth and unable to pass on.  

Iain De Caestecker stars as Paul, and he’s joined by Skins’ Lily Loveless, The Tudors’ Natalie Dormer, Daniel Kaluuya, Johnny Harris and more.

The BBC Three property has gotten strong buzz in the UK, and if you like Being Human, Misfits, or Skins, you’ll probably want to give this a look when it lands here.

Click through to watch BBC America's first trailer for the supernatural thriller.

Category:Drama

12 Days of Downton: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About an Entail

Thirteen days until the premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2! Today, we’ve got a bit of a history lesson to talk about, centered around the one of the series’ most central and confusing tenets – that Lady Mary Crawley cannot inherit Downton Abbey, her father’s estate. The reason? Much like the practice of primogeniture that regulates the Royal succession (the Crown passes to the first born male heir), there are also special laws and regulations – many of which date from as early as the 13th century – specific to inheritance and how the assets of the peerage – titles, estates, and land – may be passed down.

The reason that Mary cannot inherit Downton is because the estate is entailed to a male heir. Yes, the property has an entail, as Lord Robert, Lady Cora, the Dowager Countess and many other folks kept reminding us during the first series. But what IS an entail, exactly? Well, a “fee tail,” or an entail is “an estate of inheritance upon real property which cannot be which cannot be sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the owner, but which passes by operation of law to the owner’s heirs upon his death” says Wikipedia. Great. So, what does that mean?

Click on through to find out!

Category:Drama

Preview Sherlock’s “A Scandal in Belgravia”

All those lucky viewers in the UK have just under a week to go until new episodes of Sherlock to appear their screens.  Here in the US, we’re waiting until May for Sherlock’s return, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy all the great promotional items that are cropping up on what appears to be a daily basis, thanks to the BBC.

Like this, for example – we can now see a full trailer for Series 2’s first episode, “A Scandal in Belgravia.” And it looks fantastic! Click through to take a look for yourself (I'm keeping these sorts of things under the fold, to make it easier for those looking to avoid anything potentially spoilery.)

Category:Drama

12 Days of Downton (Plus A Couple Extra): Day One

Welcome to the first day of our Countdown to Downton Abbey Series 2! And, I thought, what what better way to frame it up than to have a special celebratory post pop up every day from now until the S2 premiere on January 8th? Much like the 12 Days of Christmas (though we'll get a couple bonus items because the math didn't quite work out exactly) we'll have different previews, discussion topics, wishlists and silly things every day for the next two weeks. We hope enjoy this whole series - it should be pretty fun! (And we're looking for suggestions on future features, so drop us a note!)

Click through for a Series 2 treat, and stick around over the next few days for more Downton-related fun.

Category:Other

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas, Telly Visions readers! If you’re celebrating of course – Happy Sunday and long weekend, if you’re not.  Hope Santa brought you something outstanding!

And, while there’s an opportunity,  we’d like to reiterate how happy and grateful that you’re all here with us, reading and commenting and tweeting. It’s the best present a girl could ask for really. Well, that and maybe those classic Doctor Who box sets I don’t own yet. But you guys are still better than that.

Looking forward to a really fantastic 2012 with all of you!

 

Category:Drama

Our Countdown to Downton Abbey Series 2 Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is fabulous, not only because it’s Christmas for those that celebrate, but because it officially marks two weeks until the premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2 in the U.S.  Hurrah! (I’m almost as excited for the Dowager Countess’ return as I am for Santa; just saying…)

To really get in the spirit for our return to Downton, we’re planning a slew of features and fun things here at Telly Visions, as well on our official WETA website.  Things are kicking off tomorrow afternoon with a marathon rebroadcast of Series 1, starting at 5pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. We’ll air the entire first season back-to-back-to-back-to-back, so this is a perfect time to refresh your memory about the Crawley family drama or perhaps finally see what all the buzz is about for yourself. 

Here on the blog we plan to cover all the reasons you should watch this amazing show in the first place, dish about previews and cast Q&As, share some new photos, talk fashion, look at some history, and celebrate some of the amazing actors that bring the series to life.

However, I thought it might be fun to ask you, the readers – what about Downton fascinates you? It’s been ages since I’ve seen a series like this sort of capture such a large piece of the public imagination, and I think that’s awesome.  So, what would you like to talk about over the next couple of weeks? And what do you think would be fun for those of us who are (I assume) all such huge fans of this drama? More history? Trivia? Character studies (from the in-depth motivational analysis to the more basic “Who are all these people?” variety)? Something silly? Open to any and all suggestions – and would appreciate it!

 

Category:General

Have Yourself a British Little Christmas: Fun Holiday Traditions From Across the Pond

It’s Christmas this weekend – and though we have our own very American activities that are considered essential to properly celebrating this holiday (tacky lights tours, anyone? Just me?), we might do well to consider adopting a few of traditions that are popular in Great Britain at this time of year. (I vote for adding in Christmas telly and Boxing Day off for my part, but feel free to disagree with me in the comments.)  

Click through for some tidbits on what makes Christmas in the UK special – feel free to chime in if you think something vital has been left off of the list, or if you know a place in America where someone might easily be able to get a bulk order of Christmas crackers for next year. Or both!

Category:General

The Friday News Roundup: End of the Year Madness Edition

Happy Holiday Weekend Friday, Telly Visions readers! Hope everyone is gearing up for a great few days with family and friends and safe travels if you’re headed anywhere for the holidays today.

There’s a lot of fun stuff in the roundup today, and a little something for everyone probably – featuring Downton Abbey, Great Expectations, Sherlock, The Borrowers, Doctor Who, Julian Fellowes’ new Titantic miniseries, and a bunch more, so click through and start reading.

Category:Movies

Telly Visions Goes to the Movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It seems strangely fitting that Cold War spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opened in the States – or at least expanded beyond two cities - the same weekend people started screening Mission Impossible 4 for the first time.  Not because the two films are in any way alike, but because of the strong contrast they present to one another. (Full disclosure: I’ve not seen MI 4 yet, but I’m guessing that it’s not probably not moving the needle too far from its three predecessors in terms of tone.)

Tinker Tailor sits firmly on the side of the classic espionage thriller, the kind which does not rely on impressive stunts, nifty gadets or breathtaking explosions to carry the story. Popular mainstream spy films, like the MI franchise and others of its ilk (Looking at you Bond, Bourne) often appear far more interested in the trappings of spycraft than the people who perform it, or the often boring particulars of how they do their jobs. (I imagine it’s a lot more talking than car chases for those folks, most days.) Conversely, Tinker Tailor, as a film, feels a bit like watching a stage play – a good two thirds of it is comprised of various combinations of men sitting in variety of dimly lit rooms and talking, but it’s just as riveting as if things were exploding throughout. It does require you to really pay attention to the many twists, turns, and seemingly throwaway moments that turn out to be anything but.

The film is based on John le Carre’s 1974 novel of the same name, which was also turned into a very popular six-hour BBC miniseries starring Alec Guinness. (Personal aside: I’ve just gotten a coyp of  this and can’t want to watch it.) The film’s premise is deceptively simple: it’s the height of the Cold War and there’s a Soviet mole/double agent operating at the highest levels of British intelligence. Gary Oldman plays master spy George Smiley, whose job is it to sort through the Who’s Who of British character actors that comprise the rest of the cast and determine which of them is passing secrets to the Russians.

So what can you expect if you see it? This is not a movie for everyone, first of all. It’s very intricate and a little bit on the slow side, and it actively requires that you, as a viewer, pay (a lot of) attention, because if you don’t you’ll definitely miss something. There’s a great deal of talking - there has to be, if they’re going to condense a 400+ page novel into a two hour movie – and less in the way of action than a typical MI-style spy film. But it’s a densely plotted mystery with many layers that peel back like an onion, and an extremely well done character piece. I loved it, but there will certainly be those that call it boring rather than intriguing. (I also think those people are wrong, but I can see why the argument is being made.)

If you’re curious about the specifics, click through for my take on the film’s highlights and occasionally problematic areas. If you’ve seen this – what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Category:Movies

In Case You Missed It: The Hobbit Trailer!

It’s likely that most of you saw this particular bit of awesomeness yesterday, but for those who somehow haven’t – the trailer for the first installment of Peter Jackson’s long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was released this week, and features a star-studded cast full of great British performers.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14, 2012, and stars Sherlock’s Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, alongside several members of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy cast including Sir Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, and Elijah Wood. They’ll be joined by a ton of new faces – most of them British – such as Stephen Fry, MI-5/Robin Hood’s Richard Armitage, Being Human’s Aidan Turner, Jekyll's James Nesbitt, Sylvester McCoy, Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch (eventually), Luke Evans, and more.

Click through to watch the trailer for yourself - it's really quite glorious, especially if you're a fan, and I've loved Tolkien since I was a kid. The Hobbit trailer is running in theaters before The Adventures of Tintin, so if you’re heading to the cinema this holiday weekend, you can see it on the big screen.

Category:Drama

Two New Clips From the BBC’s Great Expectations

The BBC has released two new clips for their new Christmas production of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. This adaptation stars Gillian Anderson, Ray Winstone, David Suchet, Vanessa Kirby and Douglas Booth.  (You can see the promo for this special here if you haven’t yet.)

Anderson is the youngest woman to ever play the mad Miss Havisham and it certainly seems as though she’ll be marking her mark on the role in other ways as well.  She is really quite creepy and disturbing. (Though somehow she manages to look exceptionally beautiful all done up in the white makeup.)

Click through and take a look for yourself. Great Expectations will be coming to a TV near you in Spring 2012 as part of Masterpiece Classic. We'll keep youp posted on an airdate as that develops.

Category:Drama

Watch Four New Trailers for Sherlock Series 2!

Although we viewers here in the US will have to wait for May for new episodes of Sherlock to air on Masterpiece Mystery, the BBC has kindly given us a little something to help tide us over with the release of the first trailer for the new episodes. Well, not exactly, they've released four of them. To quote Sherlock himself, oh, it’s Christmas, basically.

UK fans get their first look at the new series January 1st on BBC One, and Sherlock will return to the States on May 6, with three feature length episodes titled A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville and The Reichenbach Fall

Click through to watch all four new spots. Though they’re brief, they contain snippets from all three new installments. Rush Relents Rock, indeed.  Or Secret Horns Lurk. Or Reckless Nor Hurt. Whichever anagram you prefer (and that will make sense in a second, promise), these are amazingly good!

Category:Sci-Fi

Spoilers: Big Changes in the Works for Doctor Who Series 7

Steven Moffat has dropped several informational bombshells about the next series of Doctor Who during various promotional interviews and activities focused on the upcoming Christmas special. Obviously spoilers abound in this post – huge, honking spoilers – for the upcoming season of Who, so if you don’t want to know anything then absolutely please don’t click through the cut! (It's likely that some - probably a lot - of you have seen some of these already given that one's been plastered on just about every news outlet possible for the past couple of days, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.)

Category:Drama

Two New Photos from Sherlock’s A Scandal in Belgravia

A couple of new pictures from Sherlock’s much anticipated second series have surfaced – click through for your first look at two photo stills from Episode 1, A Scandal in Belgravia.

This episode premieres on New Year’s Day in the UK (lucky ducks!), and on May 6 here in the US.

Get the countdown calendars ready!

Category:General

The Friday News Roundup: The It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like the Holidays Edition

Happy Friday, Telly Visions readers! Welcome to this week's edition of the News Roundup! Click through for news about Doctor Who, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Being Human, interesting celebrity tidbits and more!

As an FYI, a few of this week's links have spoilers for certain plot or casting elements of upcoming series. These are clearly marked so that those of you who don't want to know anything about what might be about to happen on your favorite shows can easily avoid clicking on them, but do keep an eye out if that's something you're concerned about. For those of you who want to know everything immediately, have at it. 

Category:Comedy

Another New Clip from the Absolutely Fabulous Christmas Special!

A new clip has been released for the Absolutely Fabulous Christmas special – and this time we get our first looks at the returns of Joanna Lumley's Patsy and Julia Sawalha's Saffy.

Click through for a look at Patsy and Eddie explaining something called the Kardashian syndrome to pop culture-challeged Saffy. It’s hilarious, and sadly just too short. But it’s really nice to see that Lumley and Jennifer Saunders still sparkle together.

Category:Other

Golden Globes: Lots of Love for British Actors as Downton Abbey Scores Four Nods

The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning and they included many fabulous British actors in multiple categories, as well as several recent series you’ll recognize.

Masterpiece Classic’s Downton Abbey walked away with four nominations – for Best TV Movie or Miniseries, Best Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie (Hugh Bonneville), Best Actress in a TV Miniseries or Movie (Elizabeth McGovern), and Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Miniseries or Movie (Dame Maggie Smith).

Downton will face off against a fellow British hit - 1950s period drama The Hour – in the Best TV Movie or Miniseries category. The Hour stars Dominic West and Romola Garai also both grabbed nods for Best Actor and Actress in a a TV Miniseries or Movie. (Though, if you ask me, it is a crime that Ben Whishaw’s work in that series went unrecognized.)

In fact, the two lead acting in a TV Movie or Miniseries categories are almost exclusively British, with only one Yank making the cut in each. Among the Brits recognized on the men’s side, Bonneville and West are joined by Luther’s Idris Elba and Bill Nighy, nominated for his role in Masterpiece’s Page Eight. For the ladies, Emily Watson and Kate Winslet are nominated alongside McGovern and Garai. 

Among the film nominations, former Hex star Michael Fassbender scored a Best Actor nod for his role in the somewhat controversial NC-17 sex addiction drama Shame. Tilda Swinton scored a Best Actresss nomination for her powerful performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin. And Kate Winslet is actually a double Golden Globe nominee, receiving a lead actress nod for her performance in the film Carnage, in addition to her nomination for Mildred Pierce.

Despite critical buzz for Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hardy’s performances, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was completely shut out in the movie categories. Vanessa Redgrave’s much-lauded supporting performance in Coriolanus was ignored for the second time in two days (she didn't snag a Screen Actors Guild nomination either).  Steven Spielberg’s Brit-filled War Horse earned a Best Drama nomination, but the man himself did not receive a Best Director nod. And somehow, Madonna’s Wallace Simpson drama W.E. managed to pull off a Golden Globe nomination – for Best Score.

Full list of nominees after the jump, if you’ve not seen them. Do you think the Globes got more right than wrong this year? Was something or someone obvious left off the list? Tell us in the comments.

Category:Movies

Ten Movies For Anglophiles to Get Excited About This Winter

Y ou can always count on the end of the year to provide you with two things: Top Ten lists of all varieties (and don’t worry, we’ll probably do one of those in the next couple weeks too) and a plethora of great movies at the box office, as studios scramble to beat the deadline for Academy Awards consideration with any film they think might have a shot at a nomination.

This year, for those of us who are Anglophiles, there are a many fantastic looking films heading our way – whether you’re looking for spy thrillers, family dramas, literary adaptations, or historical biopics. Click through for some of the most interesting looking movies headed our way through the end of the year (and into early 2012).  Are you planning to get a little British at the box office in the next few weeks? Is there something missing in this list that’s a must-see? Let us know in the comments.

Category:Drama

First Preview for the BBC’s New Great Expectations!

As the centerpiece of their 2011 Christmas schedule, the BBC is presenting a new three-part, star-studded adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations.

The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson – who has already done fantastic work in a Dickens adaptation in Bleak House – stars as Miss Havisham, and is joined by Ray Winstone, Vanessa Kirby, Douglas Booth and Poirot’s David Suchet.

The first official promotional trailer was released last week and it looks wonderfully creepy. (And Anderson certainly looks the part of Miss Havisham, that’s for sure!) 

Take a look for yourself via the clip below and let us know what you think. Great Expectations will be coming to Masterpiece and WETA in the Spring of 2012.


 

Category:General

The Friday News Roundup: The "Brrrrrr!" Edition

Happy Friday, Telly Visions readers! That means only one thing - time for the weekly News Roundup! Here in the Washington, DC area, it's actually become quite, well, seasonably cold this week, which probably explains the slightly haphazard organization of this week's post - I had to keep getting up to get something else warm to drink!

But, be brave anyway, and click on through for news about Luther, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Skins, The Hour, upcoming new dramas The Girl and Dancing on the Edge, and more!

Category:Drama

More New Sherlock Series 2 Photos Released and UK Airdate Announced

It’s official – Series 2 of Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will air in the UK on New Year’s Day on BBC One.  We’re waiting until May 6 to see things for ourselves here in the states, but it’s still very exciting to start seeing more information surface about the new episodes after such a lengthy hiatus.

Along with the UK premiere announcement came a few more new promotional images, including a haunting new poster-style one sheet, new photos of both Cumberbatch and Freeman, and our first Series 2 shots of Andrew Scott as Moriarty and Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes.  They’re all under the cut, so feel free to go stare to your heart's content.

 

Category:Drama

The Countdown is On: One Month Until Downton Abbey is Back!

The wait is almost over! Downton Abbey returns for a second series on Masterpiece Classic one month from today, on January 8th!

And, a bit of extra exciting news – if you’ve been meaning to try out Downton, or just want to get in a little refresher before the new episodes begin, you’re in luck! WETA will be airing the entire first season in full, back-to-back-to-back-to back on December 25! So make sure to leave some room in your holiday plans to spend some quality time with the Crawleys.   

In the meantime, start getting excited by watching another new promo for Series 2 – it looks really good!


Category:Comedy

Preview Absolutely Fabulous' Long-Awaited Return!

It’s been a long six years – but break out the bolly and Pop Specs, because Absolutely Fabulous is finally coming back!  The beloved cult series has had an exceptionally erratic history – it  ran for three seasons on the BBC between 1992 and 1995, had a two-part “finale” television film in 1996, was resurrected for two more seasons from 2001-2003, then had a few one-off specials until it finally (we thought) ended for good in 2005.  Absolutely Fabulous (or “AbFab” to those of us who love it) is ranked the 17th greatest British Show of All Time by the BFI, and features Jennifer Saunders as alcoholic, desperate to be hip PR agent Edina Monsoon and her chain-smoking, hard-partying best friend Patsy Stone (played by the always amazing Joanna Lumley).  And it is hilarious.

Now, six years after that last appearance, AbFab is returning with a two-part holiday special (as well as additional episodes next year) and though it’s been (gulp!) twenty years since this show first appeared on our screens, almost everyone looks basically like they’ve lived in a cryogenic chamber for the past half-decade, because they don’t appear to have aged a day (see photo). Looking fabulous, indeed, ladies! Click through for some details on the Christmas episodes, as well as a look at the first video clip.

Category:Sci-Fi

BBC Releases Prequel Video for Doctor Who Christmas Special

The BBC has released a special prequel video for the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special. Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor finds himself in a bit of a tight spot on an adventure and phones a friend. And, of course, well, we all wonder how the little mini-cliffhanger will resolve itself.

The Who Christmas special will air on Christmas Day on both BBC One and BBC America. If you need more goodies from this episode, Digital Spy has a great gallery of photos from "The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe" available here.


Source: BBC America

Category:Drama

New Sherlock Series 2 Promotional Photos!

As it appears everything is gearing up for premiere of the second series of Sherlock in the UK (though there’s still no airdate that’s been finalized there as yet), this means it’s time for fun promotional things to start cropping up in drips and drabs online. And so all win!

Click through for the first three promotional photos for Series 2, featuring the first two images of Lara Pulver as Irene Adler, as well as a shot of Sherlock and John. And start X-ing the days off of a calendar until May.

Category:Drama

Christmas Telly in the UK: Downton Abbey Squares Off Against EastEnders

There’s basically no better time to be in Britain than Christmas – yes, the decorations are lovely (Regent Street!), the mince pies are delicious, the panto is usually pretty funny, and the Boxing Day shopping is great. But, the best part about Christmas there is, of course, the wonderful assortment of great television that’s just lined up back-to-back for your viewing pleasure. 

We don’t really have an American equivalent of the British “Christmas Special” – most of our original programming tends to go on hiatus or into repeats sometime around Thanksgiving, give or take a week or two, and it’s a wasteland for new episodes of most major network properties until the New Year.  The Brits take a much more sensible approach (if you ask me), and schedule new special episodes from many of their most popular programs over the holidays.

This year there will be Christmas specials from many British favorites – including Doctor Who, Absolutely Fabulous, Strictly Come Dancing, Coronation Street, an All-Star Family Fortunes in which The Only Way is Essex will compete against a team from the sitcom Benidom to win money for charity, and the BBC’s new Great Expectations adaptation (more to come on that this week), among others.

But, the big news for TV fans is that ITV has scheduled a Christmas installment of their hit costume drama Downton Abbey opposite beloved soap opera EastEnders. Both series have huge fanbases, both have loads of drama and romance, and both will be airing at 9pm on Christmas Day. It’s a pretty bold move by ITV to schedule Downton against a perennial holiday ratings heavyweight like Eastenders, which has become a Christmas tradition for a lot of people.  Who will emerge victorious in the holiday ratings battle between Team Downton and Team Eastenders? What would YOU be watching if you had the choice?

Category:General

The Friday News Roundup: Somehow It's December Already Edition

Happy Friday everyone! And welcome to this week’s edition of the Friday News Roundup!  

Click through for news on Martin Clunes, Alan Cumming, Jeremy Clarkson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Britain’s Got Talent photos from the new Sherlock Holmes film opening next week, and more.

Category:Drama

Fantastic New Downton Abbey Promo for Series 2

If for some reason you've yet to hit Maximum Anticipatory Excitement over the new series of Downton Abbey that's premiering in just 38 days, this new promo will get you there pretty quick. It's that awesome.

Is it embarrassing if I admit I got a little bit emotional watching this? Oh, and if you're curious, the truly excellent U2 cover song used here is by Scala and Kolacny Brothers.

Public Broadcasting for Greater Washington Copyright © 2014 WETA. All Rights Reserved. Terms | Privacy | Guidelines | Photo credits: BBC America