December 2013

The Really Important Retrospective: The Best Benedict Cumberbatch Videos of 2013

(I assume you all knew this post was coming in some form or other after the similar Tom Hiddleston version yesterday.)

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch had something of a breakout year in 2013. While Anglophiles everywhere were already aware of him thanks to his fantastic performance as the world’s only consulting detective, this year, he definitely gained a more..um… global profile. Or at least took over the internet it would appear.

Cumberbatch had a major role in no fewer than five feature films this year – Star Trek Into Darkness, The Fifth Estate, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,  and August: Osage County. Consequently, if it seemed like the actor was literally everywhere in 2013, well. That’s probably because he was.

As a fan of his work, it’s been rather lovely to watch his career take off. It’s also lead to some rather amazing moments from all sorts of surprising places, which is what this post is here to celebrate.

Behold, some of my favorite Cumberbatch moments from 2013. This list is in no way comprehensive and, to be honest, I’m actually looking forward to watching any and all videos that might get suggested to me instead in the comments. (Hint Hint.)

Category:Drama

WATCH: The ‘Sherlock’ Cast and Crew Dish What’s Ahead in Series 3

As you may have heard, new behind-the-scenes documentary Unlocking Sherlock is streaming online in full prior to its on-air debut January 12, and it takes a look at how popular mystery series Sherlock came to be. This is, of course, all completely well and good and fascinating – the film is a totally worthwhile way to spend an hour or so of your time.

However, if you’re a Sherlock fan, what you probably really want to know about after a two-year hiatus is as much scoop as humanly possible on the new episodes, and what Series 3 will look like. Luckily, you can have the best of both worlds. 

An Obviously Important Retrospective: The Best Tom Hiddleston Videos of 2013

As a card-carrying member of the Cumbercollective, no one’s ever very surprised when I write posts like this about Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch (in fact, you can prepare to continue not being surprised about that tomorrow cough cough). However, in 2013, a new name has joined the pantheon of British Actors I Am Obsessed With and – given the general reaction whenever this person’s name is mentioned – it seems unlikely that anybody’s going to be shocked to hear that his name is Tom Hiddleston.

Yes, even I am not immune to the charming anecdotes, adorable impressions and winsome willingness to do the stupidest things in the name of promoting a project or making fans happy. I give up, Hiddlestoners. Welcome me to your number.

Anyway, once this new affliction manifested itself, I did what any normal person with obsessive tendencies might be expected to do in this situation. I took to YouTube in order to watch as many Hiddleston-related video clips as possible.

Here are some of my favorites, from what has been an astonishingly busy year for the actor. Take a look, then come link me to things that I’ve missed in the comments.

Category:Other

In Memoriam 2013

It’s a sad occasion whenever we are faced with bidding farewell to actors and other creative types who have enriched our lives with their outstanding talents.  What follows is a list of some of the British actors/personalities who passed in 2013.  Fortunately for us, they left behind a generous body of work for us to enjoy for years to come.

Category:Movies

First Image of Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in 'The Imitation Game'

Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is well known for his ability to take on complicated genius-type characters, and he’s set to continue to that trend with his upcoming role as legendary British codebreaker Alan Turing in drama The Imitation Game.  And he certainly looks perfectly cast!

The film’s official Twitter account shared the first image featuring Cumberbatch in character as Turing, in honor of the fact that the famous mathematician was given a posthumous royal pardon by Queen Elizabeth over his conviction for homosexual acts in the 1950s, in a victory for a long-running campaign, which had been attempting to have Turning pardoned since at least 2009.

Get a bigger look at Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game below. 

British Actresses You Should Know: The Great Dame Maggie Smith

The great Dame Maggie Smith turns 79 on December 28, and since she is a treasure that deserves to be celebrated basically every day of the calendar year, it seemed fitting to include her in our guide to British Actors You Should Know. (Many happy returns, Dame Maggie! We love you!)

Obviously, we’re pretty sure that you in fact do know who Maggie Smith is. She’s such an accomplished performer that it would be hard to have missed her completely. But, whether you know her primarily as Downton Abbey’s acid-tongue matriarch or Harry Potter’s awesome Transfiguration teacher, Smith has a back catalogue of work that’s well worth checking out if you haven’t seen the bulk of it before.

A few favorites are below – and this list is in no way comprehensive of everything she’s done, just warning y’all about that up front. 

Category:Theater

British Stage Stars Perform an Amazing Holiday Musical Number for a Good Cause

Need a reason to smile? Then stop what you’re doing and watch this great holiday video.

Many theater stars from all around the world joined forces to perform a cover of the anthem Do They Know It’s Christmas, a song that was originally recorded in 1984 to benefit famine relief. This time, this cover is meant to help raise money for WaterAid, an organization which helps transform lives by helping providing access to clean water and sanitation.

So, you know, absolutely adorable video and a great cause. No reason not to watch. Click through for more details and to watch for yourself. 

Category:Other

The Most Interesting British Telly Families We Met in 2013

Few people would refute that the holidays are a time for family.  Whether it fills you with anticipation or dread, reuniting with loved ones is a big expectation of the season.  I personally enjoy getting together with my relatives to reminisce and catch up with one another.  A nice meal, a heartfelt exchange of presents and a hug on the way out the door? What’s not to like?

However, when I think about some of the clans I’ve met while watching telly this year, I have to concede that family matters can be complicated.  By now you must know that I have compiled a list of some recent shows that have featured family scenarios, both loving and dysfunctional. 

You just might rethink how mad, or just dramatic, your relatives really are…

Category:Drama

Watch: First Look at 'The Musketeers' with ‘Skins’’ Luke Pasqualino, ‘Merlin’s’ Santiago Cabrera and ‘Doctor Who’s’ Peter Capaldi

The BBC has released the first trailer for upcoming drama adventure The Musketeers, a ten-part drama series that attempts to capture the epic feel of Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel.

The adaptation stars several familiar British faces in the lead roles and looks like it’s going to be well worth our time next year. Skins star Luke Pasqualino (who played fan favorite Freddie) leads the cast as D’Artagnan, and is joined by Merlin’s Santiago Cabrera as Aramis, The Hour’s Tom Burke as Athos and theater actor Howard Charles as Porthos.  And, in what’s probably the most intriguing bit of casting – Doctor Who’s brand new Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi will be playing the villainous Cardinal Richelieu. How fun is that going to be.

Get more details and watch the first trailer for this new series below.

Category:Drama

‘Unlocking Sherlock’ to Air in January, Streaming Online Early as a Holiday Treat for Fans

Leading up to the long-awaited third season of super-popular mystery series Sherlock on January 19, PBS has announced that a new behind-the-scenes special, titled Unlocking Sherlock, will premiere the week before the great detective’s return on January 12. This one-hour special explores how co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss created the hit television sensation and updated the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories and characters for the modern age.

“As excitement builds for the new season of Sherlock on Masterpiece, we invite viewers to join us as we delve into the writers’ inspiration for the modern-day Sherlock Holmes that has captivated fans nationwide,” said Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming for PBS. “This special highlights the transformation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most-portrayed character into a cultural phenomenon.”

Read on for more details, including a special early online streaming date.

Category:Other

Happy Christmas to the Best Readers on the Planet

Happy Christmas, Telly Visions readers! (Or Happy Wednesday and generally Winter-ish season if this holiday isn’t your cup of tea.) Either way, the point is, is that today is a day about where it’s appropriate to celebrate people we care about – and also hopefully to get a ton of great British telly on DVD – and you all are basically the best readers ever.

Thanks for being a part of our blog community for the past two years and change – for reading, and commenting, and tweeting, and sharing and just generally being fantastic. It’s the best present a girl could ask for. Well, other than an advance copy of Sherlock Series 3. Just in case Santa is listening. (Sorry, I had to try.)

Here’s hoping that you find a pile of great Anglophile-appropriate presents under the tree – we’re looking forward to a great 2014 with all of you!

Did you get any particularly great Brit-themed gifts today? Do tell in the comments!

Category:Online

'Sherlock' Mini Episode 'Many Happy Returns' Sets the Stage for Series 3

The BBC has released an absolutely amazing seven minute mini-episode prequel clip for Sherlock Series 3 that’s basically better than anything you’re going to get from Santa this year. No kidding. 

No, seriously. Admittedly, some of us (cough yours truly cough) may have not have expected much from this particular prequel clip, given Steven Moffat’s track record with enjoyable-but-not-quite-vital similar clips for Doctor Who.

However, yours truly is quite happy to be wrong in this particular instance, because Many Happy Returns is fantastic. Featuring appearances from a huge chunk of the major cast, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Rupert Graves, as well as a surprising emotional punch, it’s well worth a chunk of your morning to watch.

So, stop whatever you’re doing and check out the full clip below.

Category:Movies

Why British Rom-Com ‘Love Actually’ is the Best Christmas Movie Ever, Actually

Apparently, there’s a fairly massive internet debate raging at the moment about the British holiday-themed romantic comedy Love Actually, its merits as a film, what it means about you as a person, woman, feminist, antifeminist or general human if you enjoy or don’t enjoy it, and whether or not it should be required viewing during the wider holiday season.

I can’t speak to many of the specifics in this unexpected socio-cultural online civil war, other than to say that Love Actually is probably my favorite Christmas movie. I watch it every year whilst I wrap presents on Christmas Eve. It makes me smile, and feel warm and fuzzy inside, and honestly, isn’t that what this time of year is supposed to be about in the first place. So, don’t expect a thesis-level defense of the film here – but, rather, a list of what it is I like so much about it.

Feel free to agree, disagree or leave me a list of what I ought to be watching instead in the comments. 

Category:Drama

‘Sherlock’ Plus ‘Downton Abbey’ Equals the Best Sunday Nights Ever in 2014

Basically, we’re all counting down to the New Year not because we want to celebrate turning over a new calendar page or anything, but because crossing into 2014 means that two of the most (if not absolute most) highly anticipated pieces of British television will be just days away from airing. Megahits Downton Abbey  and Sherlock are both set to return to US television screens this January, airing back-to-back on Sunday nights, and fans everywhere are basically beside themselves with excitement.

PBS has put together a special promo touting the fact that Sunday nights in January are about to become a Very Big Deal with the back-to-back airings of two of the networks biggest hits to date.  The new spot features snippets from both shows – sadly, predominantly from earlier seasons – along a similar theme that looks to the future.

Watch the new double-feature promo for yourselves below – and start getting excited for Sunday nights!

Category:Other

Naughty and Nice British Television Shows of 2013

Father Christmas sure must have his work cut out for him.  With all that business of trying to determine who’s been naughty and who’s been nice, it surely must do his head in a bit.  How do I know?  Because I’ve been attempting to do the same with the British TV shows of the past year and have found it to be more difficult that I originally thought.

First of all, there is no way I could watch every series broadcast in the past twelve months, even if I lived in the UK and did nothing but sit on the couch with my eyes glued to the tube 24 hours a day.  Therefore, I reviewed the list of programs I had watched, sorted them into quick first-impression categories, ruminated on the line-up I had assembled and then narrowed down both lists to the naughtiest and the nicest British shows of 2013. 

Category:Drama

WATCH: The PBS Preview for the 'Call the Midwife' Holiday Special

Get ready to head back to Nonnatus House – we’re just a few short days away from the Call the Midwife holiday special! And, to celebrate, PBS has released the first US preview for the popular 1950s period drama.

And, from the looks of things, we can expect more of the show’s trademark mix of heartfelt humor and emotion.

Watch the trailer for the holiday special for yourselves below:

Category:Theater

'Great Performances' to Air National Theatre 50th Anniversary Celebration in February

Britain’s National Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – much like several other  well-known British institutions, 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.

Many of the British actors we all love have done stints at the NT, performing a wide variety of roles in various productions.  And by many, we really mean pretty much everyone ever who works in British entertainment. Familiar faces like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi,  Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and many, many more are all alumni of the National Theatre and clearly remain very fond of it.

Earlier this Fall, the BBC held an all-star gala event in honor of the 50th birthday of this cultural institution and the stars turned out in force to celebrate. The program was basically a dream for anyone who loves theater or has been any sort of fan of British television or film over the past couple of decades and we all were basically green with envy that we had to miss out on seeing this once-in-a-lifetime line-up for ourselves. Well, we can all turn a little less green – because the special is going to be aired in America.

Read on for more.

Category:Other

'Downton Abbey' Series 4 NYC Screening & Cast Q&A Report: Plus, Watch for Yourselves!

Hi guys – miss me? I was out of the office on vacation, which was lovely, but wow, it’s nice to be back! Tweet me with anything good I’ve missed!

Last week, I was privileged enough to attend a Downton Abbey fan and social media screening with the cast and producers in New York. Talk about an amazing opportunity! Not only did we get to see the first hour of Downton Series 4, we also got to watch a question and answer session featuring creator Julian Fellowes, producer Gareth Naeme, and several members of the series’ cast, including Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Phyllis Logan, Allen Leech, Lesley Nichols, and  Robert James-Collier . The conversation was wide-ranging and super interesting – the Downton crew talked about everything from the new season, to how the show’s success has impacted their lives offscreen, to what things they miss the most abou the series’ 1920s setting when they have to return to real life.

Here are some highlights from my perspective, the best photos my iPhone camera could manage to capture (of course this is when my real camera battery decided to conk out!), and a link to watch the full Q&A panel yourself. Enjoy! 

Category:Online

Sherlock Meets the Doctor in This Amazing Fan-Made Mash-Up Video You’ll Wish Was Real

Surprisingly, there tends to be quite a bit of overlap between the sorts of fans who are die-hard supporters of iconic sci-fi series Doctor Who and those who are equally obsessed with crime drama Sherlock. Or maybe it’s not really that surprising, considering that both shows currently involve Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss behind the scenes, boast many extremely talented and popular British actors on their payrolls, and frequently feature twisty plots or brutal cliffhangers.

This phenomenon has spawned a whole fannish subculture, called “Wholock” which imagines what would happen in the worlds of these two shows managed to have some kind of crossover, even if it were only of the wink-wink-nudge-nudge in-joke variety. Which would then undoubtedly cause the entire internet to break down under the weight of so much geek joy. We all know it’s unlikely, but it’s nice to dream, right?

Category:Sci-Fi

Preview ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special ‘The Time of the Doctor’

"And now it's time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven’s hour is over now. The clock is striking Twelve's."

With an opening line like that, you almost don’t need to bother with making the rest of an actual trailer, but, we’ll certainly watch it anyway if you do.

Yes, the trailer for the Doctor Who Christmas special, called The Time of the Doctor, but better known as The Episode Where Matt Smith is Leaving, has arrived, and it’s pretty fantastic.  This episode marks the end of Smith’s run as the Eleventh Doctor, and the dawn of the Peter Capaldi era, and that transition seems to be a fairly major plot point in this episode.

Watch for yourselves below and then let’s engage in some rampant speculation shall we?

Category:Movies

'Only Lovers Left Alive' with Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton Gets US Release Date

Only Lovers Left Alive, the upcoming indie vampire romance from director Jim Jarmusch, has already done the film festival rounds – showing at Cannes, the Toronto Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, Sundance and more – and a lot of lucky people have already gotten to see it. However, the rest of us can finally breathe a sigh of relief because it has been officially given a US release date at last.

The film, which features internet darling and The Hollow Crown star Tom Hiddleston alongside Tilda Swinton,  Anton Yelchin, John Hurt and Mia Wasikowska, will hit American theaters in limited release beginning April 11, 2014. Of course “limited release” generally tends to translate to “you’ll probably still have to wait a couple of weeks if you don’t live in New York or Los Angeles”, but at least we know it’s coming, eventually. 

Category:Sci-Fi

First Photos from 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special 'The Time of the Doctor'

It’s a bit of a bittersweet time to be a Doctor Who fan. We’re all still basking in the joy generated by the fantastic 50th anniversary celebrations and looking forward to the bonus of another new episode airing at Christmas. Yet, the excitement is also tinged with a hint of sadness, as the arrival of the holiday special means that we’ll be officially saying goodbye to Matt Smith and his Eleventh Doctor. Oh, and we’re also all pretty excited to see incoming Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi at the same time. Like I said, it’s a complicated time to be a Whovian.

But, let’s focus on the joy for now, at least – and the excitement that comes with new Who goodies to share. BBC America has helpfully released some new photos from the upcoming Christmas special, entitled The Time of the Doctor.  The episode will air on Christmas Day in both the UK and the US, which means that us Americans will only have to manage to avoid the internet for about 5 hours. Whew.

The synopsis for The Time of the Doctor is as follows: Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor.  Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.

Take a look for yourselves below.

Category:Theater

‘Sherlock’ Star Benedict Cumberbatch Confirmed to Play Hamlet in London Next Fall

Start comparison shopping for flights to London now, Benedict Cumberbatch fans - it looks like that whole rumored production of Hamlet? Not so much a rumor anymore.

In a recent interview with USA Today, the Sherlock star himself confirmed that Hamlet is definitely a go, at some point in the Fall of 2014 in London’s West End. When discussing what his upcoming projects might include, Cumberbatch declared, “I know for certain I'm doing Hamlet sometime in autumn on the London stage.”

“Before that,” he continued, “There are all sorts of film projects flying around, but the one that looks most real at the moment is Lost City of Z with James Gray.”

So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth, we can all basically start camping out at the British Airways ticket counter immediately. Not really, obviously, as no firm dates, theater location, other cast members or basically any specifics at all have been determined, but still. It’s actually going to happen! 

Category:Drama

Watch: The First PBS Promo for Upcoming Holiday Special ‘Mr Stink’

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 special line-up of holiday programming.

Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville stars as the titular Mr. Stink - a role that seems quite a bit removed from the uber-posh Lord Robert Grantham. A particularly odiferous homeless man with more than a few secrets of his own, Mr. Stink is befriended by a lonely twelve-year-old girl named Chloe, who lets him stay in her garden shed.
Sheridan Smith, Isabella Blake-Thomas
and Johnny Vegas also star in this heartwarming holiday tale.

Watch the first trailer from PBS below to get a better feel for the show. It looks wonderfully ridiculous.

Category:Drama

Prepare Your Emotions: A Full 'Sherlock' Series 3 Trailer is Here

So, remember what I was saying earlier about a positive avalanche of new Sherlock material emerging over the past couple of weeks, by way of apology for making us all wait two years for Series 3? Well, the most awesome bit of all may have arrived at last. (And it’s so awesome, I’m breaking my own personal rule about posting on the blog twice in a row about the same subject.  I expect you’ll all forgive me.)

Yes, an actual full minute long trailer for Series 3 premiere  The Empty Hearse is here, and it’s amazing. There’s actual dialogue, and footage, and a fairly big emotional punch in the gut at the same time.

Category:Drama

LOOK: Photos from ‘Sherlock’ Series 3 Premiere ‘The Empty Hearse’

Well, it would seem that when your fanbase has to wait two years for new material, it’s pretty much right and proper to provide them with a ton of it when you have the chance.

This seems to be the philosophy being adopting regarding the new series of everyone’s favorite mystery drama Sherlock, which (FINALLY) returns to our television screens next month in both the UK (January 1) and US (January 19). There have already been a ridiculous amount of new extras in the past couple weeks, including a hearse-related promotional announcement, new behind the scenes pictures, a new teaser trailer, and the announcement of a holiday prequel mini-episode. But, now it’s time to really steel your nerves. With the premiere(s) inching ever closer, there’s been a positive flood of promotional photos from a variety of sources over the past several days, and it’s possible you’re going to need to sit down for a minute.

But we’re okay with it. Really we are. We promise.

Click through for a long-awaited look at the new season that includes  pretty much every major cast member – including Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Rupert Graves, Una Stubbs and Louise Brealey – as well as a new face you might recognize.

Category:Drama

Splashy New Trailer for the 'Downton Abbey' Series 4 Christmas Episode Has Arrived

ITV has released a trailer for the forthcoming Downton Abbey Christmas special, and it is beautiful.

The clip gives us our first look at the return of the indomitable Shirley MacLaine as Cora’s mother Martha Levinson, as well as the debut of award-winning actor Paul Giamatti as Cora’s brother Harold.

The clip is not terribly spoilerish for those who have seen nothing of Series 4, but depending on your own personal tolerance for such things, you might want to think about it for a moment before clicking play. 

Category:Movies

Dan Stevens' Film 'Summer in February' Gets an American Release Date

Are you already wondering what your January is going to look like now that Downton Abbey’s coming back without leading man Matthew Crawley? Not to worry though – you can still get your Dan Stevens fix this winter when his latest period drama (finally) gets a US release.

According to Variety, Tribeca Film has acquired the US rights to romantic drama Summer in February, which stars Stevens alongside Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning. The film is a period drama set on the eve of World War I and Stevens plays a character who is agonizing over his feelings regarding a woman he can’t have. Sound familiar? Yeah, this could prove a more than adequate Downton substitute for those of us suffering from Matthew withdrawal.

The film is based on the Jonathan Smith novel of the same name and tells the story of the dramatic real-life love triangle between painter Alfred Munnings (Cooper), his best friend Gilbert Evans (Stevens) and fellow artist Florence Carter-Wood (Browning).

Watch the trailer below. 

Category:Documentary

Preview Documentary ‘How Sherlock Changed the World’, Premiering in December

From blood to ballistics to fingerprints, Sherlock Holmes was 120 years ahead of his time. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective is still infamous today for the rigorous nature of his investigative methods, protecting crime scenes from contamination, looking for minute traces of evidence and searching for what the eye couldn’t see.

Two-hour documentary How Sherlock Changed the World is set to premiere on this December and will explore the real-world impact of history’s most famous fictional detective, including his effect on the continued development of forensic and investigative procedures, even during the present day. The film will feature noted forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee, who is often referred to as something of a modern-day Holmes himself.

Category:Drama

Watch: Lavish Trailer for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Sequel ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’

The new trailer for the new three-part series Death Comes to Pemberley has arrived, and it’s well stocked with familiar faces, lavish costumes, beautiful scenery and, well, murder. That last bit is taking us a bit far afield from the world of author Jane Austen, it’s true, but, here we are.

The new adaptation is based on the 2011 P.D. James novel of the same name, which picks up the story of famous Austen couple Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy six years into their marriage and combines a look at their life together with a murder mystery.

Benedict Cumberbatch Reciting R. Kelly Lyrics is the Best Thing You’ll See All Day

Should Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch decide he doesn’t want to be an actor anymore, he might just have a future in the music business.  Or poetry. Or both.

We’ve already seen him read Snoop Dogg lyrics in an Alan Rickman voice with late night host Jimmy Fallon, so we know he’s passingly familiar with hip-hop. Next up, he tackles the often baffling, generally uncomfortable and occasionally frightening work of R&B singer R. Kelly.  And you’ll want to watch it. No, really. You will.

Cumberbatch is currently doing the promotional rounds in support of the imminent release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, in which he provides the voice of the titular great dragon. He appeared on ABC late night chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live this week,  during an episode in which Kelly was also scheduled to be a guest. Kelly’s forthcoming album, titled Black Panties, has already become something of an internet sensation, thanks to its largely crass – and, quite frankly, totally crazy – lyrics.  

Kimmel had Cumberbatch – and his distinctive baritone voice – perform a dramatic reading of the song Genuis off of Kelly’s upcoming album and it’s simultaneously hilarious and vaguely terrifying, by which I mean all-around wonderful.  The dramatic pauses! The serious actor pose! There’s even a wink in there.

In short: Stop what you are doing and watch right now. 

Category:Drama

An Awesome Present: 'Sherlock' Christmas Mini-Episode to Arrive December 25

Looks like Santa is bringing Sherlock fans something special this year!

While the hotly anticipated third series of the mega-popular crime drama doesn’t air until the new year (January 1 in the UK, January 19 in America), the BBC has announced that a special Christmas mini-episode will be screened on its Red Button interactive platform this December. The new segment will be called Many Happy Returns and will go live on Christmas Day.

Category:Drama

Watch: First Trailer for the ‘Call the Midwife’ Christmas Special is Here!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holidays are rapidly approaching, which means its time for an onslaught of excellent telly. And we’ve got a tremendous amount to look forward to – what with new episodes of Downton Abbey, Doctor Who and Sherlock all headed our way, plus new dramas like Death Comes to Pemberley, The Great Train Robbery and more.

One of the most highly anticipated bits of holiday programming this year is the Christmas episode from critically acclaimed drama Call the Midwife. We haven’t seen the ladies of Nonnantus House in almost a year, and fans everywhere have missed them. Luckily, we don’t have to wait too much longer. The BBC has released the first trailer for the Call the Midwife 2013 holiday special, set to air on Christmas Day in the UK, and just a few days later here in the US, on December 29.

And it looks wonderful.

Watch it for yourselves below.

Category:Online

Must-See for 'Doctor Who' Fans: 'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot'

In the wake of  all the hype, excitement and general flailing surrounding the Doctor Who 50th anniversary, there’s something extremely awesome you might have missed seeing. 

We can probably all agree that, although The Day of the Doctor was pretty awesome, the one thing that could have made it even more exceptional would be if it had featured a few more classic Doctors.  (Not that it wasn’t nice to see David Tennant, Tom Baker and Paul McGann engaged in various 50th anniversary-related festivities, but, well, Whovians were hoping for a full house, if you will. So, you’ll probably be excited to know that, in the end, we did get something a bit closer to it.

Fifth Doctor Peter Davison has put together an absolute treat for Doctor Who fans everywhere – a thirty-minute special called The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot that was by turns funny, dramatic and sweet. Named  in honor of the episode which marked the iconic series’ 20th anniversary in 1983, the mini-special featured not only Davison himself, but also Sixth Doctor Colin Baker, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy , several more surprising (and seriously fantastic) guest stars and dozens of inside Who jokes. 

Really, if you haven't seen this yet, stop what you are doing and watch. It's that good. 

Category:Drama

Look: First Photo From Upcoming Drama ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’

Gather ‘round, Jane Austen fans, there’s finally some news to share about the small screen adaptation of Pride and Prejudice sequel Death Comes to Pemberley.

The three-part adaptation is based on the 2011 P.D. James novel of the same name, which tells the story of famous Austen couple Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy six years into their marriage and combines a look at their life together with a murder mystery.

The drama stars Matthew Rhys as Darcy, The Blechley Circle’s Anna Maxwell Martin as Lizzie, Matthew Goode as Wickham and Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman as Lydia.

Now the first promotional image featuring the four leads has been released. See for a bigger version for yourselves below:

 

Category:Other

Beyond Television: A Look at 'Making Masterpiece'

As the blog’s name suggests, we normally talk telly here at Telly Visions, but today I’d like to share with you a book I’ve been reading that I believe is an appropriate subject for this forum.  It chronicles a television program near and dear to my heart and yours, I’m sure.

In Making Masterpiece: My 25 Years behind the Scenes at Masterpiece and Mystery! on PBS Rebecca Eaton, the executive producer of Masterpiece, tells two stories you’ll want to read if you’ve been a fan of the Masterpiece brand in recent years. The history of Masterpiece and Eaton’s personal memoir intertwine to create a compelling narrative about the ups and downs of a cultural institution and the woman who has been at its helm for the past quarter century.

Read on for more details.

Category:Drama

See Two More ‘Sherlock’ Behind the Scenes Pictures From Series 3

Two new images from Sherlock Series 3 filming have been released by the BBC and while – yet again – they don’t show any actual episodic shots that are clear enough to figure out what’s going on, they’re still quite lovely to look at.  (These have apparently been out for a week or so, but what with all the other Sherlock news of late, seem to have passed under our radar. Apologies!)

The behind-the-scenes pictures show stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman filming the upcoming third season and show various dramatic expressions worn by Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

I think we’re all assuming these two must be from sometime near or around filming of the Holmes/Watson reunion and subsequent fall-out, right? Everyone looks so angsty! Freeman’s expression here is particularly amazing. That better be in an episode.

See the new shots for yourselves below, courtesy of the BBC. 

Category:Drama

Watch Christopher Eccleston and Rory Kinnear in Trailer for ITV's New Drama ‘Lucan’

Sometimes a real-life drama is so twisty, it’s hard to believe it’s true. The disappearance of Lord Lucan has a little bit of everything: a fall from grace, shocking violence, aristocratic celebrity and a mystery that endures to this day.

No wonder someone wanted to dramatize it for television.

ITV has released the first trailer for Lucan, a new two-part series about the infamous aristocrat. It stars The Hollow Crown’s Rory Kinnear in the title role, buffered by an impressive cast that includes Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston and Harry Potter’s Michael Gambon

 

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