March 2014

Category:Drama

Recapping Mr Selfridge: Series 2 Episode 1

Previously on Mr. Selfridge. All the drama from last season isn’t going to fit in a paragraph here. Just go skim last season’s recaps. They’re fun, I promise.

Guys, we’re back! Shopping drama Mr. Selfridge returns for what I must presume is another season of random inspirational speeches, poor relationship choices, impromptu appearances from random historical figures, and posh outfits. Admittedly, I was not the biggest fan of Selfridge when it premiered last year, but it really grew on me over the course of the season, mostly because it’s just fun to watch. I’m looking forward to another year of Patented Pep Talks, dreamy Henri, and Lady Mae glaring at everything, so let’s just jump right in.

 

Category:Drama

Call the Midwife Series 3: Episode 1 Recap

Welcome Carmen to the fabulous and fun world of Telly Visions recaps! She'll be handling Call the Midwife this season, as we thought it'd be fun to finally give fans of that show a space to talk about the new episodes, same as we've done for Downton Abbey, Sherlock and Mr. Selfridge fans. Or, you know, just for any of you that don't want to slog through my several thousand word missives on those other shows. (For those of you that are wondering, I'm still on duty for Mr. Selfridge recaps but as some of you might have already guessed, I'm out of town at the moment, so that'll be going up in the morning. I'm sure it'll still be predictably massive.) Enjoy! 

I am happy to be here to share the return of Call the Midwife with the many fans of this dramatic, touching, and dare I say it, life-affirming show. It has come back in fine form and includes all the elements avid viewers have come to expect.

This first episode of the new series is very much about change. The midwives are finally reuniting and settling into the new and improved Nonnatus House. In fact, the place is quite luxurious compared to their previous digs.

Category:Theater

To Be, Apparently: Benedict Cumberbatch to Perform 'Hamlet' in London in 2015

Anyone up for a group jaunt across the pond next summer? We’ve all got the perfect reason to go now.

After much speculation, it’s finally been confirmed that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch will return to the stage next year, to star in a new production of Hamlet in the West End. The production will run for twelve weeks, and is tentatively scheduled from August 5 to October 31, 2015 at London’s Barbican Theatre. Further ticketing information and booking details will be announced in May of this year, so keep an eye out.  

Cumberbatch has gone on the record before about how much he wants to play the character who is arguably Shakespeare’s most famous tragic hero, claiming that he feels that he’s now at an “appropriate age” to take on the role.

Category:Drama

‘The Bletchley Circle’ Series 2: Watch the First PBS Preview

The wait is almost over – Series 2 of popular, female-driven mystery series The Bletchley Circle premieres on PBS stations nationwide beginning Sunday, April 13. The period drama follows the story of four women, who all possess the extraordinary ability to break codes and recognize patterns, skills honed during their time at the famous Bletchley Park during World War II, site of the United Kingdom’s main decryption establishment. Now, after the war, they use their unique skills to solve crimes.

Series 2 will be comprised of four episodes, rather than three and tell two separate, self-contained stories, each spread across a pair of sixty-minute installments. Stars Anna Maxwell Martin, Rachel Stirling,Sophie Rundle and Julie Graham are all set to return, and we can expect the addition of a new face to the gang, as well.

The official PBS trailer for Series 2 has arrived and actually looks quite a bit different than its ITV counterpart which was released to promote the show’s UK return earlier this year. It’s geared a bit more obviously toward those who may have missed out on Series 1, and focuses more on the premise behind the show – and the women who solve crimes – than on the actual plot of the mysteries themselves.

Watch for yourselves below:

Category:Movies

Paddington Bear is Getting a Movie: Watch the Teaser Trailer

Iconic British children’s character Paddington Bear – who is also pretty beloved here in America if my own childhood circle is anything to go by – is about to get introduced to a whole new generation, courtesy of a brand new live action feature film that happens to be stuffed with fantastic Brit actors we all love.

Yup, really. Time to start getting excited.  The iconic bear will be created through the magic of stop motion animation and voiced by the amazing Colin Firth.

For those that don’t know, Paddington’s story originally began as a book series by Michael Bond, the first of which was released in 1958. His story goes like this: A small bear is found by a family at Paddington Station in London. Named for the station in which he was discovered, he’s a very polite bear from Darkest Peru who comes equipped with that amazing red hat and a dark blue duffle overcoat to which is attached the label “Please look after this bear, thank you.” 

Listen: 'Sherlock's' Benedict Cumberbatch as Young Rumpole in Two Radio Plays for BBC Radio 4

The one nice thing about the fact that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch never seems to stop working ever (or sleep, possibly) is that even when we’re faced with marathon delays between new seasons of the popular mystery drama, we only really ever have to go a few weeks without seeing the actor somehow involved in something or other.

This time, he’s playing a lead character from another beloved literary mystery series, and, even if it is just audio-only, these dramas are still more then worth your time. Cumberbatch plays the younger version of Horace Rumpole, the barrister known generally as Rumpole of the Bailey, the star of a long-running courtroom TV series, which was followed by series of books and several radio plays.            

Cumberbatch has been serving as the voice of young Rumpole since 2009 and has recorded 7 previous adaptations to date, all of which also featured Timothy West as an older version of the character. These two new installments however, are basically all Cumberbatch all the time, so that should make a lot of fans out there very happy.

Category:Movies

Check Out ‘Doctor Who’ Star Karen Gillan in the Trailer for Her New Horror Flick ‘Oculus’

Former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan has certainly kept herself busy since she exited the TARDIS back. And her goal appears to be trying roles in every kind of project. She’s since starred in an indie romantic comedy called Not Another Happy Ending and landed the role of a major sci-fi villain in upcoming Marvel tentpole Guardians of the Galaxy. She’s also playing the lead role in a creepy new horror film called Oculus, which has released its first official trailer.

Gillan, who rose to international fame as sidekick to Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, stars as Kaylie Russell, a young woman who attempts to prove that her brother Tim did not murder their parents by insisting that the real culprit was a malevolent supernatural force that lurks in a particular mirror in their house, which may have also been responsible for the violent deaths of many others over the years.

Category:Drama

WATCH: Get Your First Look at FX’s ‘Fargo’ Featuring 'Sherlock's' Martin Freeman

It’s become something of a running joke on the internet that the biggest problem mystery series Sherlock has is the fact that its success has transformed its leads into such stars they barely have time to make the show anymore. (Given the fact that we seem to be on a fairly regular two-year-hiatus schedule, the joke isn’t exactly wrong, either.)

You couldn’t turn around without seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in some sort of feature film last year – with major roles in Star Trek Into Darkness, The Fifth Estate, August Osage County, 12 Years a Slave and more, he was kind of everywhere. His co-star Martin Freeman, however, has been pretty tied up playing the world’s most famous hobbit in Peter Jackson’s epic The Hobbit trilogy for the better part of the last three years and, subsequently, we haven’t had the chance to see him as much beyond John Watson and Bilbo Baggins lately.

Well, that’s about to change. 

Category:Comedy

‘Twenty Twelve’ Lives On in New BBC Mockumentary ‘W1A’

Good news for those of you that loved Olympics mockumentary Twenty Twelve – it’s back! Well, sort of. Since the London Games are long past in our collective rearview, we’re getting the next best thing – a sequel series! The new comedy comes complete with several returning characters from the original, including Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville as harassed executive Ian Fletcher and Jessica Hynes as PR whiz Siobhan Sharpe.

Called W1A, the new series will see Bonneville’s Fletcher take on a new role as the (fictional) Head of Values at the BBC. His task is to clarify, define, or re-define the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future, in particular for Licence Fee Renegotiation and Charter Renewal in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The show takes its name from the postcode of the BBC’s London headquarters and – given some of the real-life going on at the corporation lately, including the planned closure of BBC Three - art may end up imitating life fairly closely in this instance. 

Category:Online

'The Simpsons' Parodies 'Downton Abbey' Again with a Bloody 'Itchy and Scratchy' Spoof

It’s official – literally everyone has made a Downton Abbey parody. Or so it seems.

It’s not enough that long-running pop culture staple The Simpsons already did a version of the show’s opening credits in the style of Downton last year, this time the show has decided to feature the mega-hit costume drama as part of its incredibly violent in-series cartoon The Itchy and Scratchy Show.

Because nothing says posh period costumes and a rigid class structure like buckets of animated violence, right?

Category:Movies

Irish Films on the Horizon

As I was thinking about what I wanted to write for Saint Patrick’s Day, my internet searches kept bringing me back to the compelling Irish offerings that have been making the film festival circuit in recent months.  The signs were there so I had no choice but to share some Emerald Isle film magic and highlight the actors to look out for in these productions. 

Each of these films has multiple nominations for the 2014 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards. But if you’re expecting tales of The Troubles, famine or leprechauns among this list, think again. I’ve gathered a variety of intriguing stories that I wager feature a fair bit of masterful acting. 

Category:Sci-Fi

Keeley Hawes to Guest Star on ‘Doctor Who’ in Series 8

With filming underway on Series 8 of Doctor Who, more and more details about Peter Capaldi’s inaugural turn in the TARDIS are starting to emerge.  We already know that Samuel Anderson is set to have what looks to be a fairly significant guest role as a colleague (and potential new secondary travelling partner possibly?) of current companion Jenna Coleman.

Now the BBC has announced that Upstairs Downstairs and MI-5 star Keeley Hawes is set for a guest role in the new season. She’ll be playing a character called Ms. Delphox, who is described as “a powerful out of this world character with a dark secret”. She is also interestingly enough, a banker, because obviously that’s what we all think of immediately when it comes to Doctor Who villains. 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' to Return for a Fourth Season in 2015

If there’s one positive thing to be said for the life of an American British TV fan – besides the fact that we all obviously have impeccable taste in what to watch – it’s that we tend to get a lot of good news about our favorite shows at oddly convenient times. For example, we know that department store period drama Mr. Selfridge will be back for a third season, and Series 2 hasn’t even started in the States yet. (It premieres March 30.) Fans can rest easy already about it's future - which is a luxury we don't get for most shows! 

Happily, there’s some similarly excellent news for fans of popular period drama Call the Midwife. The BBC has officially renewed the show for a fourth season, which is slated to go into production later this year, with an eye to an early 2015 transmission. 

WATCH: Video of Benedict Cumberbatch Photobombing U2 Will Vastly Improve Your Day

If you went near the internet basically at all in the days immediately following the broadcast of the 86th annual Academy Awards, you probably already saw the picture I’m about to talk about.

But don’t worry. It gets better. Yes, really.

Category:Drama

Get Your First Look at the Upcoming Second Season of Morse Prequel 'Endeavour'

For those that have been eagerly anticipating the return of Inspector Morse prequel series Endeavour – good news! We finally have our first look at the mystery’s upcoming second season, courtesy of British network ITV. (And, spoiler: It looks pretty fantastic!)

Shaun Evans returns as a young Endeavour Morse, along with co-star Roger Allam as Morse’s partner, DI Fred Thursday, as the two investigate various crimes in the 1960s. The series is written by acclaimed screenwriter Russell Lewis, who also wrote for the original Morse mysteries.

Endeavour follows the story of a young Morse the early days of his career, after leaving his Oxford college without taking a degree and joining the police force. Series 1 aired last summer as part of Masterpiece Mystery to a very warm reception from fans. (It’s also been one of the best performing dramas on ITV, as well.)

The second season will also be comprised of four feature-length episodes: Trove, Nocturne, Sway and Neverland

Category:Drama

It’s Official: ‘Mr Selfridge’ Renewed for Series 3

While the second season of popular department store drama Mr. Selfridge hasn’t even aired in the US yet – and actually hasn’t finished screening in the UK yet either – fans everywhere can rest easy in the knowledge that Series 2 won’t be our last trip to the store.

Selfridge has officially gotten the green light for a third season, despite the fact that the ITV drama has struggled a bit in the ratings opposite the BBC’s Sunday night adventure drama The Musketeers. It’s still averaging around six million viewers a week, however, which is probably why it scored a renewal.  Well, that and the fact that it’s also been quite successful with international audiences, particularly here in the US on Masterpiece.

 ''We're delighted to commission a third series of 'Mr Selfridge',” said ITV Head of Drama Steve November in a press release. “It's been very pleasing to see how the audience have reacted to 'Mr Selfridge' and the vibrant and inspirational world the production team have created.''

Category:Movies

Go Behind the Scenes of ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ and Watch Benedict Cumberbatch Be a Dragon

How am I only just now sharing this? I feel like a bad fan.

The second installment in director Peter Jackson’s epic The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, is due to hit DVD shelves everywhere in a few weeks and, subsequently, we can look forward to an influx of behind-the-scenes material and other fun goodies to help us while away the days until There and Back Again drops in December.

A new behind-the-scenes featurette has been released, focused on how Jackson, the film designers and the crew at Weta Workshop created the titular dragon Smaug, which is fascinating in and of itself, but also features what is potentially the greatest bonus footage ever.

Yes, I’m talking about Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch wearing a motion capture suit, rolling around on the floor and acting like a dragon, in addition to providing Smaug’s very distinctive voice in the recording booth.

That is a thing that has happened and even though this glimpse of it is not nearly long enough, it still exists. 

Category:Drama

Missing ‘Call the Midwife’? Here’s What You Should Watch Instead

It won’t be too long now for fans of the heartwarming period drama, Call the Midwife. Episode one of Series 3 is set to air on March 30.  However, if the appetizer that was the Christmas special whet your appetite, I’m sure you’re chomping at the bit for more medical drama and strong female bonding. 

Never fear, we at Telly Visions are here to bridge that gap and find you something to watch while you wait for the return of the midwives and nuns, formerly of Nonnatus House. 

Category:Online

This is Fun: Ellen DeGeneres Helps Minnie Driver Audition for ‘Downton Abbey’

Just go ahead and add Minnie Driver to the ever-expanding list of famous people who are gunning for a role on megahit costume drama Downton Abbey. But Driver has something most of those celebs don’t – an audition tape, courtesy of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Driver appeared on DeGeneres’ afternoon chat show last week, ostensibly to promote her new NBC series About A Boy, based on the popular 2002 British-American film of the same name. But that’s not the only British topic the pair covered. The two participated in a Downton-themed skit complete with posh period costumes and overly dramatic period names (Lady Gwendymere of West Bedford Applebees for DeGeneres and Countess Penelope of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buttersworth for Driver).

The catch? Driver wasn’t allowed to see the script for her impromptu “audition” beforehand, and had to perform her lines for the first time off of a teleprompter. Predictably, hilarity ensues – especially when Driver is forced to bark like a dog, make violent arm gestures and try on a variety of accents on the fly.

This clip might not get Driver a job, but it should definitely make Downton fans laugh. 

Category:Drama

‘Being Human’s’ Aidan Turner to Star in Remake of BBC Classic ‘Poldark’

The BBC has cast former Being Human star Aidan Turner in their forthcoming remake of the popular British classic Poldark. The new eight-part series is written by Debbie Horfsield and is based on the novels by Winston Graham.

The original 1970s Poldark was one of the BBC’s first and most beloved costume dramas. Set in Cornwall in 1793, it tells the story of a man named Ross Poldark, a brooding British officer returning from the American Revolutionary War who finds his home life much changed. He finds his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin. 

For You on St. David’s Day - Actors You May Not Know Are Welsh

March first is St. David’s Day, a Welsh national holiday and a day to remember the death of the country’s patron saint. Festivals and parades are held across Wales and in other countries as well. Celebrants can be seen sporting daffodils and leeks on their lapels and yummy Welsh cakes are happily consumed.

Since I can’t exactly stage a festival here on the blog, I thought the next best thing might be a parade of Welsh actors to bring the spirit of Wales to Telly Visions. Of course we are all familiar with acting legends like Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins. Others have names that hint pretty strongly at their land of origin – Rhys Ifans and Ioan Gruffudd are just two examples. And, finally, let’s not forget the outstanding Wales-based sitcom, Gavin and Stacey and its many talented Welsh cast members such as Ruth Jones, Rob Brydon and Joanna Page.

What follows is a cavalcade of talented actors that you may not have known have Welsh roots. Today, let’s find out what’s occurring with this lush group from Wales…

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