October 2013

Category:Online

Happy Halloween: Learn How to Make Realistic Fake Blood From 'Sherlock's' Mark Gatiss

Besides starring in Sherlock, writing for Doctor Who and being the driving force behind upcoming Who docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, Mark Gatiss is also known for his love of the horror genre. (You may have already been able to guess this based on some of the episodes he’s written.)  

Anyway, back in 2010, Gatiss created a three-part documentary series for the BBC called A History of Horror, which was basically his personal exploration of the history behind horror films, and the culture that surrounds them. It’s a rather fascinating series if you can manage to see it – sadly though it doesn’t seem to be available on DVD anywhere, so you’ll probably only to be able to find bits and pieces of it on YouTube. Which is still worth it, but is an annoying amount of work.

Anyway, in celebration of Halloween, one of the most fun of all holidays, here’s a fabulous clip from A History of Horror that might actually help you with your last minute costume plans for trick or treating. Watch as Gatiss teaches you the recipe and technique for how to make super authentic-looking horror movie blood. It’s kind of creepy, but you kind of can’t argue with the fact that the end results look real…

Watch Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart Talk to the New York Times About Their Friendship and New Play(s)

Acting greats Sir Patrick Stewart  and Sir Ian McKellen are currently performing on Broadway in a repertory production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. The two actors have starred opposite each other on stage and screen several times previously – most notably as Magneto and Professor Magneto in the X-Men films, which is apparently when they became the biggest BFFs to ever BFF – and their friendship is absolutely lovely to behold.

McKellen and Stewart have been splashing their epic friendship all over New York City over the past couple weeks, whilst preparing for their Broadway run. (Basically, we all want to be BFFs with them. It’s okay. They’re amazing.)

The duo did a special appearance at the New York Times’ Times Talk series – basically an awesome intimate Q&A session with Times theater reporter Patrick Healy, in which the two of them discuss everything from their mutual love of Shakespeare, to their experiences in blockbuster movie franchises X-Men and The Lord of the Rings,  to their current adventures sharing a dressing room on the Great White Way. It’s a fascinating chat with two of the greatest actors working today – and well worth a watch.

British Actresses You Should Know: The Many Faces of Catherine Tate

Normally when we do these British Actors You Should Know installments, Lacy or I choose a talented British performer and then introduce you, the readers, to a sampling of their TV and film work.  This time I’ve selected Catherine Tate as my featured actress.

Sure she’s played my favorite Doctor Who companion Donna Noble, appeared as James McAvoy’s mother in the delightful comedy Starter for 10 and even crossed the pond to join the cast of the American Office for their final two seasons.  But I’ve elected to highlight her sketch comedy work from The Catherine Tate Show. This wide range of characters display Tate’s talents for memorable catchphrases, comic timing and a hilarious ability to transform into characters of any age, class or gender.  Let’s meet a few, shall we?

Category:Movies

WATCH: Brit-packed Trailer for 'X-Men: Days of Future Past'

Casting buckets of British actors in your upcoming blockbuster film certainly seems to be the thing to do nowadays – The Hobbit’s bursting with Brits, and the recent Star Trek sequel had more than its fair share. And, of course, that’s not counting the art house-style films that are always packed with accent-ridden thespians, like 12 Years a Slave, Philomena or Great Expectations. Adding a bit of Britishness to your upcoming feature film certainly seems to be a popular choice amongst casting directors and producers – which means it’s basically a great time to be an anglophile who happens to live near a multiplex.

And this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. One of Summer 2014’s most-anticipated films is the sequel to X-Men: First Class, a film which was, in itself, a prequel to the super successful X-Men trilogy from the early 2000s. Yeah, it’s a bit timey wimey if you think about it too hard. Anyway, called Days of Future Past, this prequel sequel looks set to give us an amazingly good time – and will blend together the best parts of all the films, including two sets of Charles Xaviers and Erik Lehnsherrs (that’s Professor X and Magneto to y’all that don’t follow comics much), who are all British in real life.

That’s a lot to say that the first trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past is here, and it’s kind of awesome.

Category:Movies

A Sequel to 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' is Actually Happening; Filming to Begin in 2014

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a heartwarming British film about a group of retirees who are duped into spending their golden years in an over-hyped Indian  retirement hotel, features an all-star cast that basically reads like an wishlist of British acting royalty, including Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie and more. It also grossed more than $130 million dollars at the box office worldwide.

Thus, you can probably guess why rumors of a Marigold Hotel sequel have been swirling around the internet for well over  a year. Yet, despite the strong likelihood of a sequel happening – and the obvious excitement with which such a film would doubtless be greeted – no concrete details managed to emerge.

Until now. 

Category:Documentary

'Hawking' Documentary to Premiere on PBS Stations in January

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking is a household name – an author who has sold more than ten million books, a scientist who has made remarkable discoveries about time and space, and an icon who has spoken in front of thousands of people and served as an inspiration to countless more. He is, sadly, also famous for his struggle with Motor Neurone Disease, an ailment which eventually paralyzed him, but didn’t dampen his intellectual brilliance.

So, yeah, it seems like his life story might make a pretty good movie, right? Or at least a fascinating documentary.

A brand new film called Hawking is set to provide an in-depth look at the life of this extraordinary individual and his accomplishments. The documentary will give viewers a rare look into Hawking’s life, past and present, aided by a cast of celebrity contributors and fans, including astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., actors Jim Carey and Benedict Cumberbatch, mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

The story follows Hawking’s life through his early days as a student, his diagnosis with motor neurone disease and his astonishing scientific discoveries to his status as the bestselling author of A Brief History of Time and general worldwide pop culture icon.  It also provides a look into the scientist’s daily life, including how he travels and some of his favorite personal pastimes.

Hawking, who is very, very private, narrated and directed the documentary himself and it is the only official autobiographical account of his life. (How cool is that??) Watch a preview below. 

Category:Sci-Fi

The Great 'Doctor Who' Rewatch: 'World War Three'

Previously, on Doctor Who:  The Doctor and Rose return to modern day London, an alien spaceship crashes into the Houses of Parliament, flatulent aliens called the Slitheen are actually walking around in zip-up human costumes and have taken over the government, Downton Abbey’s Penelope Wilton is the best MP ever, and about five different characters are currently being attacked by the aforementioned kind-of-gross aliens.  Yes, we’re experiencing our first two-parter, which is part of the reason this previously doesn’t make a lot of sense. We’re still in the middle of things.

This week, we continue on into the back half of this adventure, called not-at-all-dramatically World War Three. Wish I could tell you the flatulence jokes are fewer in this half.  They’re not. 

Category:Movies

Who Wants to Live Forever? Ben Whishaw May Play Queen's Legendary Freddie Mercury in New Film

It appears that The Hollow Crown star Ben Whishaw may be about to play a different sort of royalty – the rock music kind. Rumor has it that Whishaw, who recently starred as Q in Bond film Skyfall, among other assorted and varied roles, is the frontrunner to play legendary Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury in a biopic about his often tumultuous, and ultimately tragic, life.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who is currently doing British press for his new solo album, revealed this news after being asked about the status of the project on BBC evening chat program The One Show. Taylor has been overseeing the Mercury biopic project for several years with bandmate Brian May and apparently the pair have been rather hard to impress when it comes to casting. But, when asked who he hoped might take on the role, Taylor revealed that the actor the band was most hoping to snag had the initials B and W. When pressed whether he meant Whishaw, Taylor replied “Well, we hope so.” 

Read on for more.

Category:Movies

Who Needs CGI?: First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch Filming Smaug in 'The Hobbit'

The second installment of director Peter Jackson’s epic The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, will open in theaters on December 13. Fans everywhere have been beside themselves with anticipation basically since the credits rolled on An Unexpected Journey last December, eager to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s story continue.

Of course, the main thing we’re all excited about is basically what it says on the tin – this is the one that’s got the dragon in it. Yeah, we will finally meet the titular and legendary Smaug the Golden in this installment, and, if the initial trailer where we finally get to hear him speak is any indication, he’s going to be pretty impressive.

And, of course, many of us would argue he was always going to be pretty impressive given the fact that such an impressive actor is behind-the-scenes. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who seems to have a different movie out every other week for the duration of 2013, is playing Smaug – or, at the very least providing his voice (which you can here in the trailer above) and doing the motion capture work that is turned into Smaug through the magic of the folks at the Weta Workshop. (Who, obviously, is not our WETA, but who we like quite a bit all the same. Gollum is awesome.)

Category:Drama

Hugh Bonneville’s ‘Mr Stink’ Headed to PBS Stations This Christmas

Get ready for an unexpected and heartwarming treat this holiday season, coming to PBS stations nationwide. Mr. Stink, a feature-length drama adapted from the popular children’s novel written by David Walliams, will premiere this December, as part of PBS’s upcoming holiday programming line-up.

Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville stars as the titular Mr. Stink, a homeless man who is befriended by a lonely twelve-year-old girl named Chloe who invites him to live in the shed at the end of her family’s garden.  It’s a role that seems to be about 180 degrees removed from the ultra posh Robert, Earl of Grantham, which is part of the reason it should be so fun to watch. 

Read on for more details. 

Category:Movies

‘Luther’s’ Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in ‘Long Walk to Freedom’

Just because we’ve seen the last of crime drama Luther (at least on the small screen) doesn’t mean we won’t still be seeing a lot more of its star. Idris Elba, who, along with Luther, is also fairly well known among US audiences for his role as drug dealer Stringer Bell in The Wire, will be taking on the role of inspirational civil rights leader Nelson Mandela in a biopic to be released at the end of November.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is based on Mandela’s own bestselling 1994 biography of the same name. It chronicles his life from his childhood in a rural village, to his political awakening, to his subsequent 27-year imprisonment for his involvement in anti-apartheid protests and his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

To say that this is an inspiring story of an extraordinary man, is, well, possibly, a bit of an understatement.

Watch the trailer below and marvel at how great Elba’s performance looks in just two minutes worth of footage. 

Category:Online

Amazing Internet Things: Wishbone Dons a Deerstalker in Adaptation of ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’

For many people, the long wait between seasons of popular mystery series Sherlock has turned us all into embarrassingly rabid Holmes fans, eager for any scrap of the great detective that we haven’t seen yet, by any actor, in any form. Yes, kids, this is what obsession looks like. But at least the source material is actually literature, so you know, it could be worse, right?

However, in your quest to consume every snippet of available Sherlockiana in any medium in which it exists, here’s something you probably missed. Unless, of course, you’re old enough to remember a certain children’s show about a dog that had aspirations of being the star of stories from classic literature and saw this clip the first time around.

Yes, we’re talking about Wishbone. Yes, Wishbone did a Sherlock Holmes story. And yes, you can watch it below thanks to the magic of YouTube. 

Category:Drama

Watch: First Trailer for 'Ripper Street' Series 2

Ripper Street, the period drama focusing on a group of police officers fighting crime in London’s notorious Whitechapel district during the late nineteenth century, will be returning to BBC One at the end of October, with a US airing not too far behind.

Created by Richard WarlowRipper Street is set in the East End of London in 1889, during the aftermath of the “Ripper” murders. The series follows H Division, the police precinct from hell which is charged with keeping order in the chaotic streets of Whitechapel. H Division was responsible for policing a relatively small area of just 1¼ square miles, yet into that space were packed some 67,000 people; a seething, bustling mass of the poor and dispossessed.

And, even though the shadow of the Ripper murders may be receding, it doesn’t mean that east London has found any peace.

Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn and Adam Rothberg are all back as crime solving trio Detective Edmund Reid, Detective Bennett Drake and Captain Homer Jackson in the second installment of the popular series. This time, they’ll also be joined by Being Human star Damien Molony as a new detective who’s clearly (as you’ll see in the trailer below) carrying around his own secrets with him.

Category:Sci-Fi

Get in the Halloween Spirit: A Suggested Playlist for a Creepy British Telly Marathon

Once upon a time Doctor Who was the standard bearer for British telly that made viewers want to hide behind the sofa.  In recent years though, tales of vampires, werewolves and other paranormal beings have risen in popularity and by the look of UK television schedules, British networks have obviously picked up on the trend.

Always at a disadvantage over American horror series with much bigger budgets, the Brits have been able to figure out a way to be scary with more suggestion and less CGI. They also have a tendency to employ strategically placed humor to counter the tension and violence; thus making it more palatable to slightly sensitive audience members like me, for instance.

Seeing as Halloween is fast approaching, I’ve compiled a list of eerie series perfect for putting you into a spooky mood. So turn off the lights and settle in for a creepy telly marathon.

Category:Drama

It's Official: 'Sherlock' Series 3 to Premiere on PBS Stations Nationwide in January 2014!

The news that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here – the long awaited US premiere date for Sherlock Series 3 has been announced and it’s probably a lot closer than you were expecting.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will return as everyone’s favorite crime-solving duo beginning Sunday, January 19, according to an exclusive announcement from Entertainment Weekly. EW also released the first official promo image for the new season, which you can see below.

Yes, this is really happening. It’s okay if you need to take a deep breath. 

Category:Sci-Fi

Watch: Extended Trailer for the Fifth and Final Series of 'Misfits'

The fifth and final series of teen superhero drama Misfits is set to premiere on E4 beginning October 23 in the UK. It was previously announced in the Spring that this would in fact be the show’s last season, and so everyone’s curious as to how our favorite foul-mouthed, super-powered teens bow out.

The show, which chronicles the adventures of a group of teenagers forced to do community service who also happen to develop extraordinary abilities in the wake of a freak lightning storm, has been something of a cult hit for the network, even though the show underwent a few growing pains during its fourth season last year, after introducing an almost entirely new cast.

The final season looks to be more coherent – and, thankfully, the powers that be behind the scenes were aware that this was the end for the show, and have had time to really wrap things up for its characters. Series 5 kicks off just one year – yes, really, apparently one year in Misfits time equals like five in the real world – after the storm arrived that gave original Orange Jumpsuit Gang of Nathan, Kelly, Alisha, Curtis and Simon their special powers.

The final eight-episode run will feature returning characters Abbey, Finn, Jess and Rudy, but questions still remain. Perhaps, now that the show’s ending, it’s finally time to answer them. Will we finally get an explanation for the storm? Will its effects ever wear off?

Get a look at the extended trailer for the final series – complete with violence and swearing, so consider yourselves warned – below.

Category:Drama

US Cable Network Starz Looking to Commission ’White Queen’ Sequel Series ‘The White Princess’

Some serious good news has arrived for those that enjoyed lavish period drama The White Queen on Starz. Even though the Wars of the Roses are over, the series itself might not be. Sort of. Maybe. Cross your fingers.

The Telegraph is reporting that Starz, the US premium cable network which has been airing the Wars of the Roses drama this summer, is hoping to commission a sequel series, based on author Philippa Gregory’s The White Princess. Princess is also part of Gregory’s “Cousin’s War” series of novels, and follows the events depicted in The White Queen, The Red Queen and The Kingmaker’s Daughter, the trio of stories which formed the basis for the original series. The White Princess tells the story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the titular White Queen Elizabeth Woodville, through her marriage to Henry Tudor and their reign together, which included the birth of multiple children, several rebellions and other various dramas.

The White Queen has received mixed reviews in the States, but seems largely popular among fans. It’s also done quite well in the ratings in America, averaging over 2.5 million viewers per episode, so it’s not a surprise that Starz is considering its options about whether or how to continue the franchise. 

Category:Sci-Fi

David Bradley Really Looks Like William Hartnell: Images from ‘Doctor Who’ Drama ‘An Adventure In Space in Time’ Released

Doctor Who fans can look forward many goodies to this November as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the adventures of an amazing alien and his time travelling blue police box. From a special installment of the series itself that brings back several fan favorite characters, to Doctor Who-themed documentaries and cultural programs, to the continuation of BBC America’s ongoing retrospective series on each of the Doctor’s incarnations. 

But one of the most exciting things we’re going to get to see as part of the sci-fi series’ anniversary celebrations has to be An Adventure in Space in Time the new special that will dramatize how Doctor Who first got started back in 1963 and tell the stories of those involved in getting the show off the ground. The feature-length biopic is written by Sherlock co-creator and frequent Who scribe Mark Gatiss, and stars David Bradley as First Doctor William Hartnell.

Now first photos from the upcoming film have been released and everyone can see for themselves how true to life this dramatization actually looks. 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' 2013 Holiday Special to Air This December on PBS

While we’ve known for quite some time that the popular period drama Call the Midwife  would be returning for a third series, we’ve been going for quite a few months now with little to no information beyond the fact that filming on the new season had begun, along with a quick snippet of new footage in a BBC drama trailer.

Well, rest easy, Midwife fans, we can now report that, well, there is news to report! It’s official: the Call the Midwife holiday special, slated to air Christmas Day in the UK, will be making its way Stateside just a few days later, on December 29, 2013. Mark your calendars and start your countdowns now. 

Read on for more details - and a handful of new photos! 

Category:Drama

Amanda Abbington Reveals Her Guest Role in ‘Sherlock’ Series 3

As Sherlock fans the world over wait for official word about when the acclaimed mystery series might make its way back to our television screens, we’re all becoming more and more desperate for the tiniest snippet of information that might let us know what we can expect to see from Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and company in the upcoming episodes. But, since filming on the new series has wrapped, there’s even less new information to go on than there was previously, and the production crew seem to be playing things as close to the vest as possible to preserve the surprises of Series 3 for fans. Which, we can all agree, is wonderful, but it doesn’t feel that great whilst we’re in the midst of our own version of the Great Hiatus.

However, one bit of news has cropped up that seems worth sharing. Most of you know that the BBC confirmed back in March that Freeman’s real-life romantic partner (and  Mr. Selfridge star) Amanda Abbington would be joining Sherlock Series 3 as an unidentified character who ““significantly impacts…the lives of John and Sherlock”. 

Well, now we know who Abbington’s playing for sure – straight from the horse’s mouth. 

Category:Sci-Fi

WATCH: ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Tribute Trailer Released and It’s Basically Everything

We’re all counting down the seconds, basically, until November 23, 2013, the official 50th anniversary of beloved sci-fi series Doctor Who and the highly anticipated broadcast of special episode The Day of the Doctor which stars Matt Smith, brings back Tenth Doctor David Tennant and former companion Billie Piper, and introduces John Hurt as….whoever John Hurt is playing.

The BBC has released a specially made tribute video in celebration of their iconic series’ special milestone and it’s (to steal a word from my Doctor), fantastic. It would appear that they’re calling it a “tribute” trailer because it doesn’t actually contain any new footage, merely a very clever montage featuring various classic Doctors frozen in time with a dramatic voiceover from Smith. Watch for yourselves below. You won't be sorry. 

Category:Movies

Go Behind the Scenes of ‘12 Years a Slave’ with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch

Director Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated drama 12 Years a Slave – by many critical accounts a lock for a Best Picture Oscar next year – opened in theaters beginning October 18. Of course, that’s a limited release, so you may still have to wait a bit before you get to see this powerful film for yourself if you don’t live in a major metropolitan area.

The drama features a bevy of British stars – including a trio of up-and-coming “it” actors in star Chiwetel Ejiofor, as well as supporting players Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch. There are also a few Americans you might recognize, most notably Brad Pitt. The film retells the true story of Solomon Northrup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War United States. Northrup was forced to work on plantations in Louisana for twelve years before his release and fought both to return home and preserve his dignity against impossible odds.

The film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last month to almost universal acclaim – with most critics hailing it as a harrowing, uncompromising (and sometimes difficult to watch) portrayal of slavery in America, and lining up to pour accolades on Ejiofor’s performance, in particular.

Website ScreenSlam shared three behind-the-scenes set interviews with Ejiofor, Fassbender and Cumberbatch, as all three actors shared their thoughts on the film, their roles, and what it was like to work on the set and with acclaimed director McQueen. Watch them all below.

Category:Drama

'Last Tango in Halifax' Will Return For A Second Season; Filming on Series 2 Already Under Way

For those that enjoyed heartwarming romantic drama Last Tango in Halifax, you can look forward to spending more time with Alan, Celia and their various contentious family members next year. Halifax was renewed for a second series at the end of 2012, following its successful UK broadcast.

The series stars Sir Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid as a couple who find a second chance at love with one another, sixty years after they first met. Series 1 concluded with a cliffhanger on several fronts, as Alan suffered a serious heart attack, leaving the couple’s nuptials in doubt and fans questioning whether Celia might have to go through losing the love of her life – again. 

Category:Sci-Fi

The First Images From the 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special Are Here

Doctor Who fans around the globe are counting down the minutes until November 23 and The Day of the Doctor – the official broadcast of the iconic sci-fi series’ special 50th anniversary episode.

With just over a month to go until transmission, we’ve still seen no trailer for the special and we have only the sketchiest details about its plot. However, we finally do get a glimpse of what the episode has in store for us – the BBC has released a handful of pictures from The Day of the Doctor which, while not as good as a trailer, are plenty enough to start getting fans exciting and start whipping up speculation about what we can expect to see in this highly anticipated installment.

The new photographs feature current Doctor Matt Smith, former Doctor David Tennant and nebulous, as-yet-unidentified-how-he-quite-fits-in-yet Doctor John Hurt. While none of the new pictures reveal anything in the way of plot, they at least show all three Doctors together, as well as several other current and returning characters.

And, of course, it’s always fun to see what we can deduce from these seemingly harmless images. Let the speculation (and wild excitement) begin! 

Not Just Our Little Sherlock Anymore: Benedict Cumberbatch Lands the Cover of ‘TIME’

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has been barreling toward stardom ever since he landed the role of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective a few years ago. Today, it would seem that moment has finally arrived.

With major roles in three high-profile films set to open by the end of the year – the kinds of movies that get a lot of critics dropping words like Oscar buzz – in The Fifth Estate, August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave – it’s not surprising that the actor kind of seems to be everywhere right now. Literally. This week, the actor landed the cover of the international version of TIME magazine, as well as a feature interview in which he discusses his rising fame and his recent string of breakout roles from Sherlock to Star Trek to Julian Assange.

So, fellow Sherlock fans, the moment is fast approaching when you can rub your friends’ faces in the growing popularity of “that British actor with the funny name” and say that you were a fan well before it was cool. (Does that make us all Cumberhipsters? Maybe?)

Read on for a bigger look at Cumberbatch’s TIME cover, as well as a look behind the scenes at his photoshoot for them. 

British Actors: The Next Generation

It used to be a common expectation that, in terms of occupation, children would follow in their parents’ footsteps.  After all, mums and dads do have the tendency to pass along their own talents and aptitudes to their offspring.  And while for many reasons sticking with the family business doesn’t happen nearly as much these days, in the acting world, at least, the practice of carrying on the family profession is alive and well.

Let’s have a look at a few of the up and coming British actors out there who have a parent or two to thank for getting them a good start in the world of the dramatic arts.

Category:Sci-Fi

'Doctor Who' and the Case of the Recurring Peter Capaldi

Now that Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith has officially hung up his sonic screwdriver with the completion of filming on the 2013 Doctor Who Christmas special, all eyes turn to the man who’ll be taking his place: incoming Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi. We know little so far about what Capaldi’s Doctor will be like, or what storylines for his upcoming iteration will entail. We do know that apparently the actor will use his actual Scottish accent, but that’s about it.

However, one of the more interesting twists connected to the decision to cast Capaldi as the Doctor is that he’s actually be on the show before. This isn’t unprecedented – companions Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan both had bit parts prior to their landing the roles of Martha and Amy, respectively. However, Capaldi’s actually popped up in the Whoniverse twice before now – once as Roman merchant Lucius Caecilius Iucundus in Series 4’s The Fires of Pompeii and then again as the uber-creepy Home Office secretary John Frobisher in Who spinoff Torchwood’s Children of Earth miniseries. So, fans have been wondering whether or not Capaldi’s previous appearances might be addressed.

Well, now it looks like we might get an answer to that question at some point. 

Category:Drama

First Look: David Tennant in Upcoming BBC Drama ‘The Escape Artist’

Former Doctor Who star David Tennant is seemingly everywhere at the moment – still riding high off the critical and popular success of mystery series Broadchurch, the actor is set to reprise his Time Lord role for the Who 50th anniversary special, and is gearing up to star in the American Broadchurch remake we’re all not quite sure how to feel about.  Now he’s got yet another drama headed our way, starring in the new BBC miniseries The Escape Artist.

Created and written by David Wolstencroft, the three-part drama stars former Tenth Doctor Tennant alongside Tony Kebbell, Sophie Okonedo, and Ashley Jensen. It follows the story of talented barrister (that’s British for lawyer) Will Burton, who is known for never losing a case and for his ability to get criminals out of tight legal corners. (That’s why he’s called “the Escape Artist”.) But when Burton agrees to defend a notorious murder suspect and manages to get him off on a technicality, the decision comes back to haunt him.

You can see a few snippets of footage in the BBC’s Fall “Original Briitish Drama” trailer, but this is our first proper look at the mini-series.  Watch the trailer for The Escape Artist below. 

Watch: Benedict Cumberbatch Has an Alan Rickman Impersonation Competition with Jimmy Fallon

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch has been seemingly everywhere the past few days, promoting the upcoming release of his new drama The Fifth Estate, where he plays the notorious Julian Assange. While many of you will probably have some conflicting opinions (as I did) about the film itself, it’s hard to feel anything but giddy about all of Cumberbatch’s various promotional appearances, which have run the gamut from his standard default setting of charming to unbelievably fantastic.

Apparently Fallon and Cumberbatch both do an impersonation of British star Alan Rickman. So, of course, the two had to have a competition to compare their respective Rickman versions. And what better proving ground than the world of hip hop lyrics? Obvious, as Sherlock Holmes would say.

Yes, you read that right. Hip hop lyrics. Watch below. It’ll be the best thing you see all day.

British Actors You Should Know: Tom Hiddleston

Much like previous British Actor You Should Know Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s highly likely that you probably actually do know who Tom Hiddleston is, even if he’s only “Loki from The Avengers” or “Henry V from The Hollow Crown” in your mind and you have no idea what his actual name is as a real live person.

You should probably remember his actual name though, because he’s quite a talented actor with a diverse array of roles under his belt. And given the fact that he’s now garnered quite the online army thanks to his Marvel role, general good nature and focus on worthy charitable causes, it would seem that he’s not going anywhere time soon and will probably be making his mark on many more roles in future. (And it's the sort of acclaim that will be well deserved.)

However, Hiddleston’s career is made of more roles than just Loki. Here’s a look at a few of them. 

Category:Drama

First Look: Andrew Scott and Romola Garai in Cold War Drama ‘Legacy’

The first image has been released from upcoming BBC Two drama Legacy – which boasts a trio of recognizable British stars as its leads. The Cold War thriller stars Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Cox, Sherlock’s Andrew Scott and The Hour’s Romola Garai (who recently showed up on our British Actresses You Should Know list).

The three are also joined by Simon Russell Beale – who recently won a BAFTA for his performance as Falstaff in The Hollow Crown - Olivia Grant, Christian McKay and Tessa Peake Jones.

Check out a bigger look first promotion image below – and tell us what you think is more dramatic – Scott’s mustache or the color on his jacket? (Amazing!)

Category:Drama

BBC Adaptation of Acclaimed ‘Wolf Hall’ Novel Will Be Coming to Masterpiece in 2015!

Exciting news for fans of both period drama and good literature! Casting has finally been announced for the upcoming BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novel Wolf Hall. And – even better news – the series is already confirmed for a transmission on Masterpiece in 2015

The six-part drama will adapt the Booker Prize-winning bestsellers Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies into one series, which follows the story of Thomas Cromwell, a key adviser to King Henry VIII. Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith, enjoyed a meteoric rise to power, first when he served under Cardinal Wolsey and later as chief minister to the king himself. Among other things, Cromwell was a chief architect of the English Reformation, helping to engineer the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon, in order to allow the king to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn.  He was also instrumental in Anne’s later fall from grace, negotiated Henry VIII’s fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves and instituted widespread (and extensive) religious reforms.

Mantel’s novels present a somewhat revisionist take on the infamous politician, as Cromwell has been historically presented as an unlikeable figure.  It’s also just an incredibly great story.  Read on for more details. 

Category:Drama

David Suchet’s Last Case: Watch ITV's Bittersweet and Awesome Trailer for the Final Series of ‘Poirot’

David Suchet will reprise his iconic role as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot one more time for a final series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. With the release of this new season, the actor will achieve his stated “life’s ambition” of filming the entirety of Christie’s Poirot canon.  Suchet has been playing Poirot for over twenty years, so this is a truly impressive accomplishment.

The thirteenth and final series is comprised of four new feature-length Poirot films, which include The Big Four, Dead Man’s Folly, The Labours of Hercules and Curtain, the latter of which is the famous detective’s last case.  ITV has released an official trailer for this final season, and it’s wonderfully bittersweet. With a tagline of “The End is Near”, the spot features new footage interspersed with classic clips from Suchet’s many previous episodes and a voiceover of the detective reflecting on his life and career.

It’s really rather lovely. Watch for yourselves below.  

Benedict Cumberbatch Responds to Julian Assange and More in the Best ‘Ask Me Anything’ Q&A Ever

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch did a Reddit AMA (otherwise known as an Ask Me Anything) on Friday afternoon, which was ostensibly meant to focus on his role as the notorious Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in upcoming drama The Fifth Estate.

After nearly two hours and thousands of questions from hundreds of eager fans, the topic had moved a bit further afield, covering the majority of Cumberbatch’s many roles, his favorite reading material, Halloween costumes, love of comedy and personal awkward celebrity encounters. It was basically the greatest thing that happened on the internet this week – from both the thoughtful and the silly sides of the spectrum.

Read on for details – including the actor's impassioned response to Fifth Estate criticisms from Assange himself.

Category:Sci-Fi

Several Long-Lost ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes with Patrick Troughton Have Been Recovered!

One of the great heartbreaks of being a Doctor Who fan is the fact that – even though the show’s about to celebrate its 50th anniversary – you can’t actually can’t watch all of it. Unfortunately, many of the show’s earliest episodes – featuring First and Second Doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton – have been lost, as the BBC destroyed many of the show’s original transmission tapes from the 1960s and 1970s.

However, in a stroke of fantastic good luck for fans everywhere – all is not actually lost. Literally. The BBC has officially confirmed that nine episodes of Doctor Who have been found at a television station in Nigeria. It is thought to be the largest single find of missing episodes recovered in the last three decades. The tapes have been remastered and two stories – The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear – available to download exclusively on iTunes. (They will both also be available on DVD in the coming weeks, if digital viewing isn’t your cup of tea.) Want more details? Read on.

Category:Theater

From ‘Doctor Who’ to ‘American Psycho’: What’s After the TARDIS for Matt Smith

It’s official: filming wrapped on the 2013 Doctor Who Christmas special this week, which means that Matt Smith has officially hung up his sonic screwdriver as the Eleventh Doctor. Though we’ll see his Eleven in two more episodes before Smith officially departs, the next time filming on the iconic sci-fi series kicks off, Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi will have taken over the role. So, it’s a bittersweet time for Whovians everywhere as one era ends and another begins.

But, all is not lost – with Smith exiting the TARDIS, that means he’ll have plenty of time for new projects. Who’s grueling filming schedule generally meant that its star didn’t do very much outside of play the Doctor, but now he seems poised to take advantage of his new found stardom. Smith already filmed the movie How to Catch a Monster during the break between the 50th anniversary and Christmas specials, and has now turned to the stage for his next project. He’ll be starring in the upcoming musical (yes, musical) production of American Psycho, which is set to begin in London this December.  

Category:Drama

Starz to Air Chiwetel Ejiofor Miniseries 'Dancing on the Edge'

Premium cable network Starz is slowly becoming something of a destination for fans of British television. Though you probably wouldn’t expect it, the network has been responsible for bringing several popular British programs to America over the past several years, including sci-fi sequel Torchwood: Miracle Day and lavish War of the Roses drama The White Queen.

Starz will now bring us period drama Dancing on the Edge, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, another British actor whose complicated name you should probably get used to spelling, because he’s about to have a breakout year with three films coming out, one of which is the basically guaranteed Best Picture nominee 12 Years a Slave.  (Also? He’s an amazing actor.) Ejiofor is joined by a cast of notable actors, including Matthew Goode, John Goodman, Anthony Stewart Head, Merlin’s Angel Coulby, Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman and The Paradise’s Joanna Vanderham. 

British Actresses You Should Know: Tamsin Greig

The British actresses I like to watch most are the funny ladies. I have an affinity for British comedy anyway, but comediennes tend to show that awkward, less- than-perfect side that make them endearing; the type of woman you’d befriend rather than consider a rival. 

The actress I’m introducing you to today is one of those funny ladies who isn’t afraid to look a little clumsy or less than lady-like. It just so happens I’ve copied her trademark pixie-esque hairstyle more than once. Odd how I never look anything like her afterwards…

Her name is Tamsin Grieg, and you may not know who she is. But she's an actress who's worth checking out. 

Category:Drama

David Tennant to Reprise Role in American Remake of 'Broadchurch'

Mystery series Broadchurch was one of the most buzzed-about dramas of 2013 on both sides of the pond –earning rave reviews from critics and fans alike. Therefore, it probably shouldn’t surprise many people that an American television network has already jumped on the chance to make a US version of the series. FOX is currently working with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall, to craft an American remake of the eight-part drama. Chibnall will serve as the series’ executive producer, as well as write its first episode.

And now the American remake has gotten a bit closer to its British roots – TV Guide announced last week that David Tennant, star of the UK version of the series, will be reprising his role as the tortured lead detective assigned to investigate a devastating murder in a small town. Tennant, who is best known for his turn as the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who, received high praise for his portrayal of a tortured divorcee put in charge of the investigation into the murder of a young boy. It’s being reported that Tennant’s lead investigator character in this American production will be virtually the same as UK version DI Alec Hardy, However, Tennant will apparently be doing an American accent for the FOX production, which makes a certain amount of sense, but still seems kind of strange at the same time. No other casting has been announced yet, but the choice of Tennant makes everything very interesting right out of the gate.

Category:Drama

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Short Film ‘Little Favour’ to Get Worldwide iTunes release

It’s a day that ends in “y”, so it’s probably time to watch a preview for a new Benedict Cumberbatch project of some type. This is in no way a complaint, mind you. At all. We can do this everyday; it’s cool.

The Sherlock star’s latest is a new independent short film project, an action thriller entitled Little Favour. The film was made by production company SunnyMarch – a collaboration founded by Cumberbatch himself, along with friends Adam Ackland and Ben Dillon – and made headlines earlier this year by way of its super successful Indigogo public fundraising campaign. We’re talking £85,000 worth of successful, just so you know.

A brief teaser trailer was released a few weeks ago, and now a proper trailer has finally arrived, which you can watch below. (Spoiler: It looks amazing.) Best news of all, however, is probably the announcement that Cumberbatch fans around the world won’t have to struggle with how to see the film for themselves – a frequent problem in a global media marketplace. 

Category:Drama

The First PBS Preview for 'Downton Abbey' Series 4 is Here!

American Downton Abbey fans are furiously counting down the days until the costume drama returns to our television screens on January 5, 2014. We’re all also trying to contain our jealousy that our lucky lucky UK friends are currently getting to watch the new season for themselves as we speak, so any tidbit or snippet of new information is like water in the desert for us.

So, while we can’t have new episodes yet, we can get another new look at the upcoming season – PBS has released its official first trailer for Downton Series 4. Watch for yourselves  below.

Category:Online

Amazing Internet Things: 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' as 2013 Summer Blockbuster

In many (most?) cases, the original version of something is usually the best one. Remakes and re-imaginings almost always leave fans of the original disappointed in some way.

So, generally, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Mel Brooks classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail definitely falls under that category. In fact, the film ought to be nigh on untouchable when it comes to internet remakes, right? It really doesn’t need too much in the way of improving (and most can agree with that statement whether or not Brooks’ humor is really their cup of tea or not).

But, of course the internet never respects that kind of thing, does it? Remixing is what the internet was made for. Especially when the end result is cool enough that you won’t even mind that someone messed with the original.

Category:Movies

Telly Visions Goes to the Movies: ‘The Fifth Estate’

Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate has had plenty of buzz behind it ever since Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch was announced as director Bill Condon’s choice to play the infamous Julian Assange, founder of the controversial website, which was ostensibly meant to hold governments accountable for their actions by providing the public with access to confidential intelligence documents. As many of you probably already know, the story of Wikileaks goes well beyond that – and the real Assange remains a polarizing figure today for a variety of reasons.

Much like public opinion on its subject matter, film goers are likely to be similarly divided on how they feel about The Fifth Estate as a movie. There’s much to recommend it, but don’t be surprised if it leaves you strangely cold.

Category:Movies

'Sherlock’s' Louise Brealey in New Indie Film ‘Delicious’

Sherlock co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are both so busy with other projects outside of 221b Baker Street that it seems we’re constantly hearing that one or the other of them has signed on for something new. (The latest: Cumberbatch will play a British explorer and Freeman’s and Freeman’s going to Fargo.) But, the tremendous success of the show’s leads often means that the stellar work of the rest of the cast doesn’t always get its due recognition.

Take, for example: Louise Brealey. She plays the adorable (adorkable?) Molly Hooper on Sherlock, is also a playwright (!) and seems the most lovely lady imaginable on Twitter. She’s also got a new movie coming out, which you probably haven’t heard of yet – but that looks thoroughly charming. Get the details below.

Category:Theater

Kenneth Branagh to Make New York Stage Debut with His Manchester ‘Macbeth’

Remember how we theater-loving Americans were really jealous when we heard about the special production of Macbeth happening in Manchester over the summer, starring no less than Sir Kenneth Branagh and Doctor Who star Alex Kingston in the lead roles?

Sure, the National Theatre Live program broadcast the production, and many American cinemas will be holding screenings of it through the end of the year. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great program, and one which I wholeheartedly support, and it certainly saves ua all a lot of airfare to London, but at the end of the day there’s still nothing quite like being there in person, right?

Well, it turns out that now we can. Or will be able to next Spring, at any rate. Branagh – who was also the co-director of this particular production – will be bringing his Manchester Festival Macbeth to America in 2014 and (surprise!) making his New York stage debut at the same time. Want details? Read on.  

Category:Drama

Get Your First Look at 1960s Medical Drama 'Breathless', Coming to PBS in 2014!

Another British series has joined the list of intriguing imports we can expect from across the pond next year – period drama Breathless will be coming to Masterpiece next year on PBS stations nationwide.

The upcoming six-part drama will focus on the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital in the 1960s. The series is set in a busy gynecology unit in  1961, during a time when abortion was still illegal, the contraceptive pill was only just available to married women and moral codes were shifting. 

Read on for more details. 

Category:Drama

Watch an Extra Scene From ‘Broadchurch’s’ First Season Finale

We’re all missing Broadchurch, the complex mystery series that recently wrapped up its first season on BBC America. So here’s an extra treat for those that just can’t get enough of the twisty mystery – an extra scene that most US viewers probably haven’t seen yet.

After the season finale aired in the UK last April, ITV was kind enough to provide a bit of bonus material for fans: a clip of several characters attending the wake for young Danny Latimer. (In the actual episode, this moment would have occurred at some point before the emotional scene when the entire town gathered to light a memorial beacon/bonfire for him.) 

Take a look for yourselves below (and warning: there are mild spoilers here if you haven't finished Series 1 yet!)

Category:Movies

Meet Benedict Cumberbatch’s Smaug in New Trailer for ‘The Hobbit’ Sequel

The second installment in director Peter Jackson’s massive The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, is due to hit theaters this December and fans everywhere have been beside themselves with excitement – well, since basically last December when An Unexpected Journey premiered – to see Tolkien’s story famous continue.

And also most of them (you? us? everyone?) are sort of (really) looking forward to seeing finally that titular dragon that our hero Bilbo Baggins has to face off with. Luckily, you get a little bit of your wish today.

Watch the newest trailer for the film below.

Category:Drama

‘The Paradise’ Comes to Masterpiece in October: Watch the First PBS Preview

Costume drama fans rejoice! You can get your period drama fix once again starting this October on PBS stations nationwide. The new series The Paradise, which adapts Emile Zola’s classic French novel set in a Victorian-era department store premieres on PBS stations nationwide beginning this October.

The Paradise is a rags-to-riches tale set in the first department store in northern England in the late nineteenth century. It follows the story of Denise Lovett, a bright-eyed country girl who finds more than just shop work when she brings her clever ideas and ambition to the glamorous store called, you guessed it, The Paradise. She is plunged headlong into intrigue and romance as she catches the eye of the store’s dashing and enigmatic owner, John Moray, who harbors a dark secret. Drama, predictably, ensues.

Watch the first PBS preview for this new lavish costume series below – and get a sneak peek at a scene from the first episode! 

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