November 2013

Category:Sci-Fi

‘The Time of the Doctor’: Get Details on the ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special

Following on the heels of the mega-successful Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations, it’s time to turn our attention to the next big deal for Whovians around the world: this year’s upcoming Christmas special, when we say goodbye to Matt Smith and his Eleventh Doctor. Fiftieth anniversary episode The Day of the Doctor left fans everywhere giddy, crushed a Guinness World record and was a smashing box office hit at movie theaters around the globe. How is the Christmas special going to be able to top that? Who knows, but we can wait to find out.

The first details surrounding Smith’s swan song were released by the BBC this week, and, if the title is anything to go by, seems to be drawing a lot of threads together as the Eleventh Doctor’s story draws to a close. The Christmas special will be titled The Time of the Doctor and the first bit of official artwork has been released. 

Get all the latest below.

Category:Drama

‘Foyle’s War’ to Return for Another Season!

Good news, mystery fans – Foyle’s War will return!

ITV, Acorn Productions and Eleventh Hour Films have commissioned an additional three feature-length episodes of the popular period crime drama.

Michael Kitchen will return as scrupulous widower Christopher Foyle, now a Senior Intelligence Officer with MI-5. Honeysuckle Weeks will also be back as Foyle’s loyal sidekick Samantha Stewart. The new season will once again be written by novelist and screenwriter Anthony Horowitz.

The most recent series – which aired on Masterpiece Mystery this past Fall – was set immediately after the war, but the three upcoming episodes will focus more squarely on the Cold War and are inspired by real events.

Category:Drama

The BBC Announces ‘Sherlock’ Series 3 UK Premiere Dates in Grand Fashion

Talk about coming back in style.

In a move packed with so much dramatic flourish that we can only assume the consulting detective himself would approve, the BBC announced that the highly anticipated third series of Sherlock would begin on January 1, 2014 in the UK. And they did so by having an actual hearse drive around London’s several notable Sherlock-related landmarks with the premiere date emblazoned in tribute wreaths.

Yes, really.

It’s pretty fitting, actually, given that Series 2 finale The Reichenbach Fall ended with Sherlock Holmes presumed dead (though it seems like everyone but poor John Watson knows that’s not exactly true) and that Series 3 will begin with an episode entitled The Empty Hearse. Whether this particular promotional hearse is the same as the one we all presume will show up in that episode at some point, is anyone’s guess.

The premiere date hearse, sporting a hashtag in the window that read #SherlockLives, made the circuit of important Sherlock filming locations in London, including St. Bart’s hospital and the North Gower Street address that houses both the actual Speedy’s Café and the building that stands in for the exterior of Sherlock and John’s Baker Street flat.

Get a look for yourselves below.

Category:Theater

Get Your First Look at Tom Hiddleston’s ‘Coriolanus’ Which Will Stream to Cinemas Worldwide

Tom Hiddleston, internet darling and star of such fan favorites as The Hollow Crown and the Thor movies, is taking to the stage for his next role. He’ll be starring in the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Coriolanus in London, playing the lead role opposite an all-star cast that includes Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss among its ranks.

The West End production is sold out for the duration of its run (the Donmar Warehouse is an infamously small space), but the show will be broadcast worldwide through the National Theatre’s (awesome) NT Live program on January 30. Many international encore dates are set around the world in February, so check your local theaters for exact screenings.

It looks fantastic – and it’s okay if you’re also super jealous of those lucky folks that score tickets in London!

Click through for more details about the show, including a preview and some rehearsal photos.

Category:Other

It's That Time of Year Again: Things We Are Thankful For 2013 Edition

Happy Thanksgiving, Telly Visions readers! Thanksgiving is one of the few quintessentially American things we acknowledge here around the blog, but it seems important to take the opportunity to say THANK YOU as loudly and as often as possible, so here we are. We like to do this every year, because, well. Sometimes it needs saying.

Thank you for reading and commenting and liking and tweeting and basically being willing to enable my otherwise embarrassing obsessions with British television generally and Benedict Cumberbatch specifically.

Thank you for watching some really great programming with us and for being so smart and thoughtful in your discussion of it. Thank you for loving so much of the same stuff that those of us around here do – isn’t it nice to feel part of a group? 

Mostly, thank you for being here and just for being generally awesome people. We’ve got big plans for 2014, so stick around.

As is now a Telly Visions tradition, here is what I’m thankful for this year, in list form.

Category:Documentary

Documentary 'How Sherlock Changed the World' to Air on PBS Stations This December

Here’s a treat for Sherlock fans everywhere who are chomping at the bit to get to January 19 and the Series 3 premiere. Though sadly, neither Benedict Cumberbatch nor Martin Freeman are involved. But, if you enjoy Sherlock Holmes at all, you’ll probably be quite interested to see this new special. It sounds fascinating.

A new two-hour documentary will air this December, called How Sherlock Changed the World, and will explore the real-world impact of history’s most famous fictional detective, including the effect that Holmes has had on the development of real forensic and investigative techniques, and will feature noted forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee

Read on for details and to see a clip featuring Dr. Lee.

British Actors You Should Know: David Bradley

Did you happen to watch An Adventure in Space and Time last week while we were all celebrating the Doctor Who 50th anniversary? If not, you should absolutely go find it on On Demand or iTunes, because it’s excellent, not for the least of which reason is because actor David Bradley is just stunning in the lead role. 

After having seen that, we thought some people might be curious about what else the actor’s done, so he seemed an ideal choice for a profile in our British Actors You Should Know series. Much like previous BAYSK Bill Nighy, Bradley has been working in film, television and theater for several decades at this point, and this list is but a sampling of a long and successful career (there’s no way all his roles would fit in one blog post!), though he’s only really broken through into the pop culture mainstream in the past few years.

You’ve seen him in something though, for sure, even if you didn’t know who he was. Take a look at some of his more famous roles. 

Category:Sci-Fi

Even More 'Doctor Who' Goodies: Watch a 50th Anniversary Behind the Scenes Clip and a Christmas Special Teaser

Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be any more Doctor Who-related goodness after the magical 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor, well, guess what, the BBC seems bound and determined to spoil us all, with a continued flood of video goodies sure to make all Whovians pretty happy.

Even after we got a whale of an episode for the 50th already, the fun doesn’t stop there. There’s a new behind-the-scenes clip and a deleted scene from the anniversary special itself, as well as our first (incredibly brief) look at the upcoming 2013 Christmas special – also known as the episode where Matt Smith hangs up his sonic screwdriver and we say goodbye to the Eleventh Doctor.

Basically, this is a really good week to be a Doctor Who fan.

Category:Culture

British Telly Chefs: Who Would You Trust to Make Your Thanksgiving Feast?

In case you’ve lost track of time, Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, a holiday which holds many fond memories and a lot of anticipation for me.

It’s a great celebration for several reasons. As the name suggests, it reminds us to be thankful for all the good things in our lives. I find Thanksgiving to be less stressful than Christmas; one single day designated for families to gather together and gorge on the most delicious meal of the year. We also get to watch a parade that features giant character balloons and Broadway musical numbers. Only in America, right?

I don’t know if the Brits are jealous of our feast-based holiday, but I do know Americans miss the holiday terribly when they’re away from home. Let’s say you found yourself in the UK over the Thanksgiving holidays, no family and no kitchen facilities of your own.  Who would you choose to prepare this most important repast, the meal that would make you feel less homesick on this special day?

 Jamie? Gordon? Nigella, you say?  They’re all fine and good and granted they are real food preparation professionals.  Nonetheless, the telly chefs I have in mind tend to be a tad more amusing.

Category:Drama

Get a Behind the Scenes Look at ‘Doctor Who’ Drama ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’

As part of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations, origin drama An Adventure in Space and Time told the story behind the iconic sci-fi series’ beginnings and the people who made the show possible.

The drama was written by Sherlock co-creator (and frequent Who scribe) Mark Gatiss and starred David Bradley as First Doctor William Hartnell, alongside Jessica Raine as original producer Verity Lambert, Sacha Dhawan as director Warris Hussein and Brian Cox as BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman.

(If you haven’t seen it yet, do try and find an Adventure in Space in Time repeat or locate it on your on-demand service. It’s quite simply wonderful and if you are in any degree a fan of Doctor Who, you will love it.)

The BBC has released a special ten-minute behind-the-scenes clip about the making of this special anniversary film, which you can watch below.

Category:Comedy

HBO's Newest British Remake: An American Version of Comedy "Getting On"

Another American version of a British series is headed to a television near you – though this one actually looks kind of entertaining. Possibly because it’s from HBO, which has already had some success adapting a British comedy for American audiences in their Emmy-winning Veep, which is a somewhat roundabout remake of political satire The Thick of It.  (Honestly, the two shows are so different it feels strange to call Veep a remake, though they share a creator. But it seems fair to say it’s at least “inspired by” the British series..)

Next up, HBO is producing an American version of Getting On, the popular BBC Four comedy series about nurses working in a geriatric extended care wing of a National Health Service hospital. The US version will be comprised of six half-hour episodes, and will be set in a down-at-the-heels extended care facility in Long Beach, California. The comedy will star Roseanne’s Laurie Metcalf alongside Alex Borstein, Niecy Nash and Mel Rodriguez.

Watch the trailer for HBO’s new comedy below.

Category:Drama

Sherlock Lives: A New 'Sherlock' Series 3 Teaser Trailer is Here

Just in case your emotions weren’t already in hyper-meltdown thanks to the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebration and all its assorted wonders this weekend, there’s also a bit of good news to share with the long-suffering fans of mystery series Sherlock, who have been suffering through their own Great Hiatus the past..well, quite long while.

A brand new teaser trailer for the massively anticipated third series is here and while it’s another clip that’s barely thirty seconds long, it’s still more than enough to leave fans everywhere aggressively drawing circles around January 19 on their calendars. (If you didn’t remember, that’s when Series 3 premieres in the US. Start preparing your emotions now.)

Watch for yourselves below.

Category:Sci-Fi

Happy Birthday, 'Doctor Who': Nine Must-Watch Episodes for Its 50th Birthday

It’s a big weekend for Anglophiles everywhere. Doctor Who, the iconic British science fiction series that follows the adventures of a time-traveling alien, his wide variety of ever-changing companions and a blue police box celebrates its fiftieth anniversary on November 23.  Fans the world over are beside themselves with excitement, eager to see the new broadcast special The Day of the Doctor and share their love for the show with the world. Yours truly is no different, so forgive this bit of egregious sentiment on this significant occasion in the life of my personal favorite show.

There are, at the moment, 738 episodes of Doctor Who in existence. That’s a total of 239 different stories, if we count the way that classic Who used to break its episodes into several parts during a singular adventure.  I haven’t even seen all those episodes, so please be aware that it’s highly likely this is the most biased post ever written. I make no claim that this list comprises the best episodes of Who all-time, merely my personal favorites. Argue with me! Tell me what I should pick instead! Recommend me episodes of older Doctor’s I’ve not yet seen! That’s what birthdays are for, after all: remembering.

Oh, and if you haven’t guessed this yet: There are nine episodes in this list, because Nine is my Doctor, and, well, if you’re going to be sentimental, that’s what birthdays and anniversaries are ostensibly for, right? (Thanks for changing my life, Christopher Eccleston, just by the way.) Because Doctor Who is the best show in the world, to me, and I’m so proud of this bit of history that it’s making this weekend.

Happy birthday, Doctor. Here’s to 50 more fantastic years.  

British Actors You Should Know: Tom Hollander

While you may not know his name, I would wager most of you recognize the diminutive bloke with the dog collar in the center of the photo to your left. Don’t let his stature deceive you because at 5’5”, Tom Hollander is probably one of the most talented actors of any height working today. He’s played proper villains, spies, royalty, politicians and clergymen. He can menace and belittle with the best of them and then in the blink of an eye be as bumbling and endearing as you please. His secret weapon is his unpredictability and he uses it to great effect.

A working film and TV actor since the early 1990s, the demand for Hollander’s dramatic and comedic skills seems to increase with every passing year.  And each time I see him on the screen, big or small, I know I’m in for a quality performance.

Let’s look at a brief sampling of Hollander’s work below and perhaps you’ll get a better idea of what I mean.

Category:Movies

‘Downton Abbey’s’ Dan Stevens to Play Lancelot for ‘Night at the Museum 3’

Life goes on, even once you leave Highclere Castle it would seem. Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens has kept pretty busy since departing the megahit costume drama – with roles in Wikileaks biopic The Fifth Estate, romantic drama Summer in February and crime drama A Walk Among the Tombstones, as well as some voicework on sci-fi CW series The Tomorrow People.

Now Stevens looks set to join the third installment of the family-friendly Night at the Museum series with Ben Stiller and Robin Williams, which basically follows the story of a night guard (Stiller) who discovers that all the exhibits in museums come to life after the buildings shut down. We know that security guard Larry will be headed to London for this go-round, so get your guesses as to the film’s location in early. My money’s on the Museum of Natural History, simply because the space is so gorgeous, but, on the other hand, you kind of can’t beat the British Museum in terms of sheer volume of neat things that could come to life. 

Read on for more.

Category:Online

Amazing Internet Things: Tom Hiddleston Does Car Karaoke

Everyone is in love with Tom Hiddleston right now, huh? Even yours truly – loyal member of the Cumbercollective as I am – isn’t completely immune to the incredible charm rays and general adorableness of Hiddleston, who seems to be on some sort of worldwide mission to prove that he is, in fact, the perfect man.

And if that mission includes performing semi-embarrassing karaoke in a tiny automobile, well, Hiddles is up to the challenge. (Seriously, this video will make your day. I promise.)

Category:Drama

Preview Cold War Drama 'Legacy' with Andrew Scott and Romola Garai

BBC Two has released the first trailer for Legacy – a one-off Cold War thriller which boats an impressive roster of recognizable British actors among its cast. The drama stars Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Cox, Sherlock’s Andrew Scott, The Hour’s Romola Garai and The Hollow Crown’s BAFTA-winning Falstaff Simon Russell Beale among others.

Based on the novel by Alan Judd, Legacy is written by Paula Milne, who also penned the recent The Politician’s Husband with David Tennant. The drama tells the tale of a British spy named Charles Thoroughgood (played by Cox), who, at the height of the Cold War in 1970s London, discovers some rather unsettling information about his father’s complex past. Though Charles has barely begun his MI-6 training, he also winds up on a case involving an old university acquaintance (Scott) who is now a Soviet diplomat. Obviously this is going to complicate matters further.

Milne describes Legacy as more than just a British spy thriller, claiming that it has "an extraordinary personal twist" because of the family relationships involved in the story.

Watch the trailer for yourselves below and see what you think. 

Category:Drama

More Casting News for American ‘Broadchurch’: ‘Gracepoint’ Lands Anna Gunn and Jacki Weaver in Key Roles

British mystery series Broadchurch was one of the most critically and commercially successful British series of 2013 – earning rave reviews from virtually everyone, or so it seemed.  So it’s not entirely surprising that a US television network is jumping on the bandwagon to remake the show for American audiences. There are an awful lot of American remakes of British television programs languishing in the dustbin of history, after all – for every The Office that finds its own voice and success, there are a dozen US versions of things like Skins, Life on Mars, Gavin and Stacey, The Inbetweeners, Prime Suspect and others that were abject failures.

Nevertheless, the story of the Broadchurch remake is an interesting one.  FOX is working with Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall to put together the US version – which now looks set to be called Gracepoint – and has already tapped Doctor Who star David Tennant to reprise his role as DI Alec Hardy from the original British series.  Now comes news that further casting decisions have been made about the series and, honestly, they sound pretty promising.

Read on for more. 

Category:Theater

David Tennant’s Turn as Richard II to Broadcast in US Cinemas

Doctor Who star David Tennant is not only putting Ten’s brown trenchcoat this Fall, he’s also busy sporting a crown. The actor is currently starring in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II in Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon, playing the titular monarch who is overthrown by his cousin Boilingbroke. (If this story sounds familiar, it’s because this play was recently included in Great Performances mini-series The Hollow Crown, though in that instance Ben Whishaw was the one giving the famous speech about sitting on the ground and telling sad stories of the death of kings.)

Early reviews praised Tennant’s “mesmerizing” performance in the lead role, even those that were a bit more iffy on the show overall. Though the most often-remarked upon feature does seem to be the impressive mane of hair extensions Tennant is sporting – a long, flowing sort of hairdo that is definitely different than almost anything you’ve seen the actor with before. (It’s also apparently to help underscore the whole Christ-imagery thing in the play itself, but. Well. Wow. There’s a lot of it.)

Luckily, there’s an alternative available for those of us who don’t have tickets or can’t pop to Statford to see this production (and the amazing hair) for ourselves. The RSC has decided to screen the play in cinemas around the world and it’s probably coming very soon to a town near you. (DC locals see the end of this post for details.) 

Category:Movies

WATCH: The Magical Trailer for ‘Winter’s Tale’ with Colin Farrell and “Downton Abbey’s’ Jessica Brown Findlay

We’re getting ready for our first full season of Downton Abbey without Jessica Brown Findlay’s Lady Sybil, but you can still see her at your local multiplex this Spring. Findlay’s first big Hollywood role will be in an adaptation of Winter’s Tale, alongside such recognizable Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly

This film is based on the novel by Mark Helperin, not the Shakespeare play with a similar title, before anybody gets their hopes up about Findlay playing Hermione or anybody exiting pursued by a bear. (Seriously, Hollywood, someone make that movie.)

Anyway, the story goes like this: A thief named Peter (Farrell) breaks into a wealthy man’s home, sparking a relationship with his terminally ill daughter, Beverley (Findlay). There are some unclear complications, which appear to involve Crowe as some kind of evil Irish gangster who may actually be a demon or something. Luckily, Peter and Beverley’s love is epic enough to also involve time travel and possible reincarnation, as Peter finds himself in modern day New York, looking at mimeograph photos of Beverley with Jennifer Connelly to help him remember his past. What happens after that? Why is Peter there? What happened to Beverley? Who knows.

But this trailer sure does make you want to figure out what’s happening.

Category:Drama

‘The Paradise’ Will Return for Series 2: Americans, Get Your First Look

Series 1 of the lavish department store drama The Paradise just wrapped up this week on Masterpiece Classic, so it will probably come as good news to fans of the show that the story’s not over yet.

The department store drama has already been renewed for a second season, thanks to strong ratings on BBC One last year. The drama, which averaged nearly six million viewers per episode in the UK, will return with eight new episodes in Series 2 (in fact, the new season is currently airing in Great Britain as we speak – er, type.)

As those who have watched the Series 1 finale know, Series 2 is already shaping up to be quite, um…dramatic. Read on for details -and just so you know, there be spoilers ahead if you haven’t finished Series 1 yet!

Category:Drama

‘Sherlock’ Composers Promise Epic, Tear-Filled Series 3

Well, there’s nothing like setting the bar high out of the gate, right?

Sherlock composer Michael Price, along with his partner in crime David Arnold have been putting the finishing touches on the music for the drama’s highly-anticipated third season, and they’re  promising fans an intense ride – at least musically, if nothing else.

Via Twitter, Price has stated that Series 3 will not only contain more strings than ever before, but also more “epicness” and more tears along with it. Probably best to start preparing yourselves now. 

Category:Drama

Get Your First Look at ‘Mr. Selfridge’ Series 2: Coming to PBS in March 2014

Period drama Mr. Selfridge will return next year, and ITV has helpfully given us a first look at Series 2 with a brand new trailer that should do a lot more than pique your interest in where the story is going.

The drama’s second season will consist of ten episodes, and the story will be set in 1914, during the onset of the First World War. Yes, this does mean that we’re jumping ahead five years from where we left things in the Series 1 finale, so possibly you should start preparing yourself now for what are surely going to be a few dropped plot threads.

However, if this clip is anything to go by, there’s still going to be plenty of drama going on, even five years into the future. The jazzy, dramatic promo clues us in to the series’ time jump, shows off the new looks of all our favorite characters, and gives us a quick glimpse of some new faces from around the store the store, all set to a Patented Selfridge Pep Talk voiceover. (It might be a bit odd, but I think I’ve actually kind of missed that.) 

Watch for yourselves below:

Category:Drama

‘An Adventure in Space and Time’: Watch the Trailer for Mark Gatiss’ Gorgeous ‘Doctor Who’ Drama

We’ve seen some amazing photos from the upcoming Doctor Who origin story An Adventure in Space and Time. We’ve seen cool retro-style posters. We’ve read descriptions. (Heck, if you follow the British press, you’ve maybe even seen some reviews from folks lucky enough to attend a screening at the BFI this week). But we’d yet to see any actual footage from the highly anticipated film. Until now.

An Adventure in Space and Time tells the story behind Doctor Who, focusing on the people responsible for creating the series in the first place, as well as the actor who first brought the Doctor to life. Written by Sherlock co-creator and frequent Who writer Mark Gatiss, the drama stars David Bradley as First Doctor William Hartnell, alongside Jessica Raines as original Who producer Verity Lambert, Sacha Dhawan as director Warris Hussein and Brian Cox as BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman.

It also looks fantastic. Watch the first trailer below:

Category:Sci-Fi

BBC Fantasy Drama ‘Atlantis’ Comes to the US This November, Has Already Been Renewed for Series 2

Fantasy adventure drama Atlantis has been recommissioned for second series by the BBC, well ahead of its premiere here in the US. This isn’t that surprising, though, as Atlantis was the biggest new Saturday night drama series launch across all BBC channels when it premiered in the UK this Fall. Makes sense that the BBC would re-up it before it had even finished airing its first run.

The series, which is produced by Merlin co-creators Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps, follows the adventures of Jason (Jack Donnelly), a young Greek hero who arrives on the mysterious island of Atlantis. Along with his new friends Hercules (Mark Addy) and Pythagoras (Robert Emms), they battle against some of the most famous names in Greek legend, while Jason searches for the secrets of his destiny.  All three main actors will be returning for the second season, along with Jemima Rooper, Aiysha Hart, Sarah Parish, and Juliet Stevenson. 

American audiences will get their first chance to see Atlantis this November, as the series will premiere on BBC America on November 23. Read on for more details.

Category:Sci-Fi

'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Mini-Episode 'The Night of the Doctor' Features a Big Surprise

With just over a week to go until beloved sci-fi series Doctor Who turns 50, the official promotion surrounding the anniversary celebrations is kicking into high gear and Whovians everywhere are just a little bit excited at this point.

We’ve had a couple of really mind-blowing trailers for The Day of the Doctor and we’ve got a whole week of Who-related programming starting November 18, including a feature-length TV film about the origins of our favorite series.

Now there’s even a special mini-episode to really make everyone crazy. It’s called The Night of the Doctor and, without spoiling the surprise of this seven-minute clip, it seems safe to say that it’s going to blow your mind.

Watch below. 

Category:Drama

WATCH: The First BBC Trailer for ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ Series 2!

The BBC has released a trailer for Series 2 of the crowd-pleasing romantic drama Last Tango in Halifax. The show was renewed for a second season at the end of 2012 after its successful UK broadcast and went on to win a BAFTA for Best Drama Series

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. 

Series 2 will also be comprised of six episodes, and will pick up right where we left off, with Alan regaining consciousness following his heart attack, much to Celia’s relief and delight. She promises to never fall out with him again and the duo decide to get married immediately, because life’s too short. We will also see the struggles of Celia’s daughter Caroline (played by Sarah Lancashire) as she tries to deal with her newfound sexuality, while Alan’s daughter Gillian (played by Nicola Walker) will find herself in a disastrous love triangle after cheating on her partner Robbie with Caroline’s husband.     

Watch the BBC trailer for Series 2 below and let us know what you think in the comments!

Category:Online

Amazing Internet Things: Meet the Doctor Puppet

Doctor Who fans have become famous over the last half century for their dedication to the show, their enthusiasm for all its actors that lasts well past their respective tenures in the TARDIS, and their exceptional creativity. Whovian talents extend to many arenas, including show-based costumes, fan videos, crafts, home décor, wall art, clothing items and more. Basically, if you can dream it, odds are that there’s a Doctor Who fan out there that’s made it. (Or could be convinced to make it if it doesn’t exist yet.)

With such an embarrassment of riches to choose from, whoever, finding the truly unique in the online world of Whovian fun and fandom can be challenging. (Or scary, if you choose unwisely as you go down the rabbit hole of the internet.) Which, makes it all the more outstanding when you do find the awesome bits –of which, fair warning there are kind of a lot. This is one of those awesome bits. 

British Actors Read War Poetry For Remembrance Day

While we call November 11 Veterans Day here in the United States, it’s referred to as Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, and some folks still like to call it Armistice Day, or even Poppy Day, depending on who you talk to. Nevertheless, the sentiment is all the same – November 11 is a date 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 around the world, whatever country they may hail from.

Remembrance Day is observed on the 11th of November 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.

There are many traditions surrounding Remembrance Day in the UK – the general population wears poppies as part of the Royal British Legion’s annual fundraising appeal, a moment of silence is observed, the Queen and other members of the monarchy and government place wreaths at the Cenotaph in memory of fallen soldiers, and many other events around the country at various war memorials and elsewhere.

This is the second year running that More 4, a digital channel run by UK broadcaster Channel 4, has marked Remembrance Weekend with special programming focused on the war and war poetry. The channel created a series of special interstitials featuring several notable British actors reading poems about the war, including Sean Bean, Christopher Eccleston, Gemma Aerterton, Sophie Okonedo, Noel Clarke and more. Poets featured include Seamus Heaney, Wilfred Own, Siegfried Sasson, Rupert Brooke and others. 

Category:Drama

It’s Official: ‘Downton Abbey’ Renewed for Series 5!

Megahit costume drama Downton Abbey just wrapped its fourth season in the UK, and we’ve still got several weeks to go before we get the new episodes arrive in America, but there’s still some good news to be had for fans of the Crawley clan.

ITV has officially confirmed that Downton Abbey will return for a fifth season. Rejoice, fans everywhere! This news isn’t incredibly surprising, given that Downton is a monster ratings hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and its fourth season just averaged around 11.8 million viewers per episode in Great Britain. The delay between UK and US airings hasn’t impacted ratings for the show here in America, as it remains PBS’s most-watched drama to date. Read on for more details.

Amazing Internet Things: Benedict Cumberbatch's Chewbacca Impression

So, does anyone else have a list of links that they turn to if they’re having a bad day? And you can just watch them whenever because they never stop being awesome and making you smile? Today’s Amazing Internet Thing is one of those.

(It’s really not an internet thing in the strictest sense, however, as it’s not a fan creation or anything like that, but since it’s a clip that lives on the internet and is not exactly new news at this point, I’m going with it. Indulge me, thank you muchly.)

Anyway. Sherlock star and general internet heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show to promote his Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate, and it just so happens that one of the other guests on Norton’s red sofa that evening happened to be movie legend Harrison Ford. Both Cumberbatch and Ford have been rumored to be taking part in the Star Wars sequels that are currently in pre-production, though no casting details on any of those films have been released as yet. Plus, well, Ford’s already been in Star Wars, and apparently Cumberbatch is a big fan, so there’s no way this topic wasn’t going to come up.

And that’s how we know that we can add the Wookie Chewbacca to Cumberbatch’s impressive list of on-point celebrity impressions. Which is basically the definition of must-watch. 

Category:Comedy

Finally Coming to Hulu: BBC Comedy 'The Wrong Mans'

It seems as though a year has gone by (and it almost has) since Hulu announced they were producing this particular new comedy in partnership with the BBC. Co-starring and co-written by James Corden of Gavin and Stacey fame and Matthew Baynton (Spy and Horrible Histories), this original series called The Wrong Mans is billed as a spy thriller within a sitcom.

Category:Sci-Fi

The Day of the Doctor is Near: BBC Releases TWO trailers for 'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Special

The BBC has released the first trailer for the rabidly highly anticipated Doctor Who 50th anniversary special – or at least the first trailer that actually features footage from the episode rather than stock imagery and a voiceover – and, get ready to get excited, because it looks amazing. The Day of the Doctor combines Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith with Tenth Doctor David Tennant, brings back Billie Piper alongside current companion Jenna Coleman, and finally solves the mystery of whoever John Hurt’s apparent “Doctor” happens to be.

Interestingly enough, this is still not the anniversary trailer that was shown during the Doctor Who panel at San Diego Comic Con last July.  It’d be a shame if that never saw the light of day, so here’s hoping another trailer is in our future before November 23.

Anyway, sit back, relax and enjoy. The Day of the Doctor looks pretty amazing. ETA: Would you believe that while writing this post, a second, extended 50th anniversary trailer was released, which includes almost another minute of new footage. Click through and enjoy.

Category:Comedy

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi’s ‘Vicious’ Coming to PBS Stations in 2014

It’s official: The first season of gay sitcom Vicious –starring acting legends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi – will be making its American debut next year. According to Deadline, Shine International has closed a deal with PBS to bring the comedy to local stations nationwide in 2014.

The comedy, which follows the adventures of an elderly gay couple who have been living together in the same Covent Garden flat for nearly fifty years.  An incredibly co-dependent duo, they spend most of their time bickering and walking the dog, but the couple finds their lives turned upside down with the arrival of their new young upstairs neighbor.  Harry Potter’s Frances de la Tour  and Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon also star.

Vicious bowed in the UK to mixed reviews but strong ratings, premiering as the highest-rated comedy launch of any UK channel in 2013 at the time of its airing. It went on to average around 3.4 million viewers an episode, which isn’t exactly Downton Abbey numbers, but is certainly nothing to sniff at either.

Watch the UK trailer below.

Category:Sci-Fi

‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ Gets A US Airdate Amidst Full Week of ‘Doctor Who’ Anniversary Festivities

Finally. While we’ve all known for ages that the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, would air on November 23, 2013 (that being the actual date of the series’ premiere back in 1963), there haven’t been many details about what other things we can expect to see during the run-up to the big day. But now, official word has been released that Whovians will be getting a full week of Doctor-related fun to celebrate the two-hearted alien with a time traveling police box reaching the half-century mark.

BBC America has also announced a week-long celebration of Doctor Who kicking off November 18, with several new specials, character marathons, retrospectives and other goodies, including a US airdate for highly anticipated Who docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time.

Click through for all the details.

British Actors You Should Know: Bill Nighy

Our British Actors You Should Know series is on a bit of a trend lately where we talk about actors that you probably actually do know, you just may not realize it yet. Bill Nighy is another one of those people, a total “Hey! It’s That Guy!” kind of actor who has actually been doing film, television and theater work for decades. So, don’t be surprised if you have a few moments of “Oh, that was *him*?” as you go down this list of some of his more memorable performances.

Confession time: Nighy’s list of accomplished – or at least interesting – performances is so long, there’s no way it would fit in one blog post. These are highlights, at best, of an exceptionally long and varied career as one of Britain’s finest character actors. If you like any (or all) of these roles, there are definitely more where they came from. (And if you have a must-see Nighy performance that didn’t make this list, tell us about it in the comments.)

Category:Movies

Stop What You Are Doing and Watch: Epic Three-Minute Trailer for 'The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug'

The highly anticipated second installment in The Hobbit trilogy, subtitled The Desolation of Smaug, is due to hit theaters this December and excitement levels are rising among fans everywhere.

Director Peter Jackson hosted a worldwide Hobbit fan event that spanned several countries this week – it included in-person events in New York, London, Los Angeles and Wellington, New Zeland, all hooked together by a live-stream that was broadcast to cinemas and computers around the world. The event featured a Q&A with many of the film’s stars, including Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Andy Serkis, Lee Pace, Luke Evans and Jackson himself.

But, despite how lovely it is to hear the actors share behind-the-scenes stories, the most exciting thing revealed during the fan event was a brand new, extended sneak peek trailer.

Which you should stop what you are doing and watch right now. Seriously. It's that good. 

Category:Online

‘Thor’s’ Loki Arguing with Small Children is the Best Thing You Will See All Day

So, the Tom Hiddleston bandwagon is getting kind of crowded lately, huh? (Possibly this is because I am finally starting to really understand everyone’s obsession with him. Forgive me, I’m slow.) The Internet’s Other Boyfriend (who is not Benedict Cumberbatch) has risen to the status of pop culture phenomenon thanks to his charismatic portrayal of Norse trickster Loki in the Marvel universe of comic book films.

Don’t believe it? This is what happened when Hiddleston showed up – in costume and character – as Loki in front of a massive Hall H crowd at San Diego Comic Con last July. It seems that both the actor and the character command this sort of allegiance wherever he goes.  Non-comic book fans may recognize Hiddleston from his many other roles, most notably as King Henry V in Shakespeare miniseries The Hollow Crown. But it’s really Loki that the actor’s known for – and with good reason. He’s pretty fantastic in the role.

Despite the fact that the character of Loki hasn’t actually headlined a Marvel film of his own, Hiddleston’s been busy generating nearly as much (possibly more?) buzz than Thor star Chris Hemsworth during the run up to the release of the Dark World sequel.  (British villain effect? Probably. We were all talking about Cumberbatch’s John Harrison back when the Star Trek sequel came out too.)

And now, thanks to the help of Comedy Central, the best thing you will see all day – nay, possibly all week – has arrived. Taking the epic Thor and Loki sibling rivalry into the real world, they’ve made a video in which Loki asks a group of pre-school children which brother they prefer.

(Spoiler: It’s even more awesome than you’re expecting. It really is.)

Category:Culture

Remember the Fifth of November: The Gunpowder Plot and Bonfire Night

Rememeber remember the Fifth of November 

The Gunpower Treason and plot

I know of no reason the Gunpower Treason 

Should ever be forgot. 

Nowadays many Americans are more likely to be aware of the Remember, remember the fifth of November rhyme from the Wachowski Brothers’ cult hit V for Vendetta or the flurry of Facebook status updates on the subject in their Newsfeeds once a year, rather than because of actual history, but did you know that there’s an actual British holiday associated with this saying? 

Category:Drama

The Countdown is On: First 'Sherlock' Series 3 Still Released and Press Release Details

Now that we're inching ever closer to the highly anticipated third season of Sherlock, it's finally time for some Series 3 goodies to start being released. Which, for fans who've spent the better part of two years in the desert, is basically better than Christmas (I myself fall firmly in this category).

So, rejoice Sherlockians! While there's still no official UK airdate to go with the show's January 19 US premiere date, the BBC has released the first official photo from Series 3, along with a press release to prove this whole thing isn't some kind of shared fever dream we're all having.

Get your first look at stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in action (sort of) below and start preparing yourself and your feelings for the utter devastation and emotional angst that’s basically lying in wait for us all. If this picture is anything to go by, tonally. Just guessing. 

Category:Movies

British Romantic Comedy 'About Time' Is Coming to Theaters Nationwide Soon!

It’s been months since I first saw the trailer for director Richard Curtis’ newest film and I’ve been waiting more or less patiently for its release. But I’m happy to finally announce that it’s almost time for About Time! Corny I know, but I had to go there.

Curtis, writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, ascended to the status of king of the British romantic comedy when he wrote and directed the consummate standard of the genre, 2003’s Love Actually. Now Curtis is back with a time traveling love story that looks like it might rival his earlier masterpiece in terms of humor and heart.

About Time is currently playing in limited release in select cities, but will be opening everywhere on Friday, November 8. (Editorial note: If you’re a DC-area local, this film’s actually already at the AMC Courthouse and the AMC Georgetown 14, so if this piece convinces you to check it out – you don’t have to wait long!)

Watch the trailer below – along with some reasons why you should see it! 

Category:Theater

Celebrate 50 Years of the National Theatre with Every British Actor Ever

Well, not quite. But that’s what it feels like.

Britain’s National Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – much like several other British greats, including the Rolling Stones and, of course, Doctor Who. For those that don’t know, the NT is one of the UK’s two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. It presents a varied program, staging everything from Shakespeare and international classic dramas to new and modern works by contemporary playwrights.

Saturday night the BBC ran an all-star gala event in celebration of the British theatrical institution – which has featured many of the UK’s acting greats treading its boards over the years – crossing the half-century mark and it was basically a dream program for anyone who has ever been any sort of fan of British film, television or drama. The celebration featured snippets from some of the NT’s most celebrated plays and musicals from the past fifty years, performed by a wide array of British acting greats.

Dame Judi Dench sang Send in the Clowns from Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Dame Maggie Smith (one of the six members of the original NT company in 1963) performed a scene from The Beaux Strategem. Dame Helen Mirren did a scene from Mourning Becomes Electra. James Corden reprised his role from One Man, Two Guvnors, Alan Bennett performed Richard Griffith’s famous role from The History Boys. Michael Gambon and Sir Derek Jacobi did a scene from Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land together.  Joey, the amazing puppet from War Horse, put in an appearance. And that’s not even close to everyone who participated. All in all, you couldn’t ask for a more magical evening. 

Watch a video montage of scenes from the gala’s rehearsals and play spot the famous face as you go. 

Category:Drama

New 'Downton Abbey' US Teaser Trailer!

We’re now just about two months away from the US premiere of megahit costume drama Downton Abbey and it seems fair to say that most American fans are beyond excited to see what’s in store for our favorite characters after the dramatic (and traumatic) events of Series 3.

As we inch closer to the Series 4 premiere date of January 5, 2014, more and more goodies pertaining to the new season are starting to appear courtesy of the lovely folks at PBS and Masterpiece, to help us get through the torturous final few weeks of waiting (and ease our annoyance at our British friends who are watching it right now!)

A brand new Downton teaser trailer has been released, complete with some new footage that isn’t part of the initial Series 4 trailer that was released back at the beginning of October. In this – sadly, quite brief – clip, you’ll get a look at many of your favorite returning characters, as well as some new faces, who primarily seem to be of the “potential love interest” variety.

Watch for yourselves below.

Category:Movies

Watch: First Trailer for 'Only Lovers Left Alive' with Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton

The long-awaited first trailer has been released for upcoming indie vampire romance drama Only Lovers Left Alive, the latest film from director Jim Jarmusch that chronicles the story of two vampires that have been in love for centuries.

The film stars The Avengers and The Hollow Crown fan favorite Tom Hiddleston alongside the always interesting Tilda Swinton, an Oscar winner whom you may remember as the White Witch in the recent Narnia films and also as that woman who lived in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art for several weeks as a part of a strange piece of performance art. Hiddleston and Swinton play a pair of vampires named Adam and Eve, who are part of a rather epic love story.

Don’t worry – as you’ll see from the trailer below – Only Lovers Left Alive seems to come with a lot more emotional complexity and existential moodiness than your average vampire flick.

Watch for yourselves below:

Category:Sci-Fi

Mark Gatiss Calls ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ His ‘Love Letter’ to ‘Doctor Who’, Plus Two Retro-Style Posters!

We’re all counting down the minutes until November 23 and the worldwide (simulcast even!) premiere of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor. But, there’s plenty of other fun Who-related things going on – both onscreen and off – to celebrate the momentous occasion that is the adventures of an amazing alien and his time-traveling blue police box hitting the half-century mark .

One of the most eagerly anticipated bits of anniversary programming – outside of the actual special itself – is Mark Gatiss’ docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, which explores the creation and early days in the life of the iconic science fiction series. David Bradley – of Harry Potter and Broadchurch fame – is playing First Doctor William Hartnell and looks incredibly perfect in the role, if these initial photos are anything to go by

Gatiss, who is a life-long  fan and frequent writer for the show, told the BBC in a recent Q&A that An Adventure in Space and Time is his “love letter to Doctor Who”, and that he hopes fans “will be thrilled by it” and see “the struggle of talented people (almost) accidentally creating a legend”. 

Get more details and a look at two (awesome) retro-style promotional photos after the jump. 

Category:Drama

Save the Date: 'Call the Midwife' Series 3 to Premiere on PBS Stations in March

Lots of good news for fans of period drama Call the Midwife – not only do we have the holiday special to look forward to this December (airing  just a few short days after the UK broadcast!), we also have an official premiere date for the show’s third series. We’ll all officially head back to Nonnatus House beginning Sunday, March 30, 2014.

It’s okay if you need to take a minute to let the excitement out. 

 

Category:Drama

Missing 'Sherlock'? Here's What You Should Watch Instead

One of the most torturous times of year for any TV fan is the interminable wait between seasons of your favorite show. When that show only airs three episodes at a time and the wait between seasons is somewhere between one to two years? Welcome to the life of a Sherlock fan.

Since Series 3 is premiering in January, we can at least see the light at the end of the tunnel that is this particular Great Hiatus. But, even with this fantastic knowledge to sustain us, we’ve still got a couple of months to go before new episodes arrive, so now might be the perfect time to find a new show to help fill the consulting detective-shaped hole in your heart.

Here are several suggestions for Sherlock fans – each based on various aspects that make the show so appealing. Read on, and let us know what you think – or what you’d recommend instead! 

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