May 2014

Category:Movies

Liam Neeson and Dan Stevens in the Trailer for ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’

The first trailer for A Walk Among the Tombstones has been released, starring Liam Neeson and based on the bestselling series of mystery novels by Lawrence Block. The film, in which Neeson plays – surprise, surprise – an ex-New York City cop with a tragic past turned law-bending private detective, also stars Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, Luther’s Ruth Wilson, Sebastian Roche, and Boyd Holbrook .

Interestingly enough, however, in role that seems particularly designed to be the anti-Matthew Crawley, Stevens plays a heroin trafficker who hires Neeson’s character to track down (and presumably do bad things to) the men responsible for kidnapping and murdering the drug dealer’s wife. So, not exactly a swoony romance, y’know?

Category:Drama

‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ to Air on Masterpiece This October

Heads up, Jane Austen fans – Pride and Prejudice sequel Death Comes to Pemberley has an official American airdate.

The lavish period drama was previously announced as part of the Masterpiece lineup on PBS for 2014, but dates have only recently been set for the premiere. Death Comes to Pemberley will officially screen on Sunday nights at 9pm from October 26 – November 2. 

More details below.

Category:Drama

BBC ‘Poldark’ Remake Headed to Masterpiece in 2015

Good news for fans of lavish period dramas – the BBC’s splashy upcoming remake of the classic period drama Poldark is coming to America on Masterpiece in 2015.

Interestingly enough, the original Poldark also screened on Masterpiece Theater in the 1970s, and starred Robin Ellis in the title role. Poldark was one of the BBC’s first costume dramas and remains beloved on both sides of the Pond.

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. 

British Actors You Should Know: James McAvoy

It’s hard for me to believe I’ve been following this versatile actor for a decade now. Many may be familiar with this talented Scotsman for his high profile role as Charles Xavier in the most recent X-Men franchise.

But the very reason I so enjoy James McAvoy’s work is that I never know what that boy’s going to do next. For that reason I try to make a point of seeing everything he’s in even though I might not think at first glance that it’s my cup of tea. 

I hope you’ll indulge me as I take you along on a tour of some of the highlights of McAvoy's career so far.

Category:Sci-Fi

‘Doctor Who’ Series 8 Will Begin in August : Watch the 15 Second Teaser Trailer

According to the series' official Twitter account, our torturous wait for the return of the iconic sci-fi drama Doctor Who has an official end point. Series 8 – and brand-new Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi – will debut this August. 

That means we can officially start getting excited now, right? 

Category:Drama

Vanessa Redgrave to Pop Up on ‘Call the Midwife’ Next Season

Iconic actress Vanessa Redgrave has been a part of the Call the Midwife cast since the show began in 2012, as the voice of Jennifer Worth (née Lee), whose memoirs provide the basis of the show and whose frequently heartwarming, occasionally treacle-y voiceover narration bookends each episode.

Her narration has become as much as part of the show as the midwives themselves – as evidenced by this Red Nose Day spoof from a couple years ago – so it’s a relief to know that Redgrave will indeed be continuing on in her role as the voice of reason and perspective, even though Jessica Raine – who plays the younger Jenny – has departed the canvas for the time being.

But that’s not all: Redgrave herself will actually appear herself in the period drama’s fourth season. The seventy-seven year old actress will appear in the 2014 Christmas special, which has just begun filming, playing the mature Worth onscreen for the first time.  My best guess: A later in life Worth explains how she knows all these stories when she left the midwives in 1959. After all, Worth did maintain a lifelong friendship with the residents of Nonnatus House, so it would make sense. 

Category:Drama

Julie Walters to Star in Period Drama ‘Indian Summers’, Slated for Masterpiece Airing in 2015

Prepare yourselves, Anglophiles, your next sumptuous period drama fix is here. Or it will be, in the not too distant future. 

Titled Indian Summers, this forthcoming drama from Channel 4 and PBS stars iconic actress Julie Walters in a ten-part series focused on the final years of British colonial rule in India. Basically, it seems as though this series is meant to be a sort of Indian Empire Downton Abbey, telling the story of the decline of the British Empire and the rise of modern India, from all sides. (Or, that’s what I’d like it to be, so that’s how I’m choosing to interpret the initial plot synopsis at any rate.)

Walters, who is a two-time Academy Award nominee and played Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, will be joined by an all-star cast that includes fellow Potter alum Henry-Lloyd Hughes, The Borgias Jemima West, Bedlam’s Nikesh Patel, Lilette Dubey, Mr. Selfridge’s Alexander Cobb, Craig Parkinson, Fiona Glascott  and many more.  Indian Summers marks Walters’ first role since her appearance in Shakespeare miniseries The Hollow Crown a few years ago. 

Read on for a more detailed breakdown: 

Category:Movies

Life After the TARDIS: First Look at ‘Doctor Who’s’ Matt Smith in ‘Lost River’

Remember that movie Doctor Who star Matt Smith was making, right as his time in the TARDIS was winding down? And it’s why he shaved his head and had to wear a wig in his final Christmas special, and all that jazz?

Well, buckle up, gang. That movie has arrived. And it’s probably not anything like what you expected.

Called Lost River, the film is something of a fantasy tale, and marks the directorial debut of the Internet’s Original Boyfriend Ryan Gosling. Smith stars opposite Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, as well as Iain De Caestecker, Saoirse Ronan, Eva Mendes and Ben Mendelson.

Smith’s character is apparently named Bully, who may or may not inhabit some sort of dreamscape, and there are an awful lot of explosions and fire and destruction. 

Category:Drama

Martin Clues to Play Sherlock Holmes Creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Worlds colliding! Well, sort of, at least. Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has signed up to play Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in an upcoming drama for British network ITV. Whilst it’s not exactly Clunes scoring a guest spot on popular mystery series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, it’s close enough for me.

The three-part series, called Arthur and George, will adapt Julian Barnes’ novel of the same name, which is loosely based on an intriguing series of genuine events in the life of Conan Doyle.

Set in 1903, the story focuses on Conan Doyle’s real-life attempts to clear George Edaliji, an Anglo-Indian solicitor who is serving time in Pentonville Prison after being (falsely) accused of a series of attacks on livestock in Staffordshire that have become known as the The Great Wyrley Rippings.

Category:Drama

Recapping ‘Mr Selfridge’: Series 2, Episode 8

Previously on Mr. Selfridge: Harry comes back from his Not at All Sekrit Trip to Germany and discovers he’s getting blasted in the English press over the fact that Vile Loxley’s government committe allegedly sold the army poor quality boots on his recommendation. Harry and Agnes join forces to track down Henri’s irritating French ex-girlfriend Valerie, who clears him of embezzlement charges so he can be set free. Henri helpfully used his time in jail to realize he’s into Agnes, who’s busy getting ready to marry Victor. Delphine, who remains the worst friend ever, convinces some obnoxious American film stars to come shop in Selfridges so Harry can feel like a special snowflake. Vile Loxley tries to get Mae to come back to him and she tells him she wants a divorce. She also tries to make things right with Harry, who responds by (awesomely) throwing her out of his house.

How are we already at the season finale? How? At least it’s an extended episode, but still. Anyway, lots to talk about! Onward! 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Series 3: Episode 8 Recap

Previously, on Call the Midwife: You can catch up everything that happened during last week’s episode this way.

Okay, did everyone have their hankies ready for the finale of Call the Midwife Series 3?  As the saying goes, I have good news, bad news and for lack of a better term, bittersweet news that in fact is a new beginning for one of our major characters. So I’ve decided to begin with the good news…

Category:Movies

‘Sherlock’s’ Benedict Cumberbatch Joins Cast of Iraq War Drama ‘The Yellow Birds’

Just in case you were worried that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t have enough to keep himself occupied during the hiatus of the detective drama series, well, you can rest easy.  According to Variety, Cumberbatch has officially joined the cast of upcoming Iraq War drama The Yellow Birds, alongside Mud’s Tye Sheridan and The Maze Runner’s Will Poulter.  

The film will adapt Kevin Powers’ novel of the same name, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award. It follows the story of 21-year-old Private Bartle (Poulter), who promises the mother of a young soldier he meets in boot camp (Sheridan) that he will watch over her son and bring him home safely after they are deployed to Iraq. Cumberbatch will play an older sergeant that takes the two young soldiers under his wing.  

Category:Comedy

Watch: See the First Trailer For Karen Gillan’s New ABC Comedy ‘Selfie’

As previously mentioned, former Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan will be headed back to our television screens this Fall, as the star of a brand new ABC comedy called Selfie.

Gillan’s new show is ostensibly a My Fair Lady update, and follows the story of a self-obssessed social media star named Eliza Dooley (in case you didn’t get this was a My Fair Lady remake), who realizes that a “like” doesn’t necessarily translate to a friend. She becomes internet famous following the release of a particularly humiliating viral video, and subsequently hires a marketing expert – played by the always awesome John Cho (Sleepy Hollow, Star Trek) to help her repair her tarnished image.

Watch the first trailer for the new series below:

Category:Drama

Damian Lewis, Mark Gatiss, Jessica Raine and More Join Cast of ‘Wolf Hall’

Homeland star Damian Lewis heads a rather lengthy list of impressive British talent slated to take part in upcoming period drama Wolf Hall, based on the pair of Booker Prize-winning, bestselling novels – Wolf Hall and sequel Bring Up the Bodies – by Hilary Mantel.

Mantel’s novels put a somewhat new spin on the story of Thomas Cromwell, a key adviser to King Henry VIII and a leading force behind the Protestant Reformation in England who has been presented as a rather unlikeable figure, historically speaking.  Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith, enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame, first when he served under Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, then later as a key minister to the King himself. He was instrumental in bringing widespread religious reform to England, helping to engineer the annulment of King Henry’s first marriage and his wedding to Anne Boleyn, as well  as her subsequent fall from grace. Plus a whole lot more.

Read on for details. 

Category:Drama

Get Your First Look at David Tennant in ‘Gracepoint,’ the US ‘Broadchurch’ Remake

Fresh off the news that former Tenth Doctor David Tennant would be returning to his gripping role as DI Alec Hardy for another season of the sublime series Broadchurch, we can now get our first look at Tennant’s American-style take on the same role.

Upcoming Fox series Gracepoint – which is slated to air Thursdays this Fall – is an Americanized remake of Broadchurch, in which Tennant is reprising his role as the lead detective, though he’ll be called Emmett Carver this time around. In the US version, however, his partner will be played by Emmy-winning Breaking Bad actress Anna Gunn, rather than BAFTA-winning Twenty Twelve actress Olivia Colman.

However the new show will also center on the mysterious murder of a young child and follow the story of its impact on the small town (the titular Gracepoint) as the detectives attempt to find his killer. According to Kevin O’Reilly, the head of programming for FOX, Gracepoint *will* have a different ending (i.e. a different killer) than Broadchurch, so get your speculation engines started on that now. 

Category:Online

Watch: ‘Sherlock’ Fans Put on Amazing Flashmob Dance Routine in Russia

Oh, Sherlock fans, never change. Seriously, don’t.

In case you needed further evidence that the Sherlock fandom is populated by some of the most creative and, frankly, fun people around, look no further than this new fan tribute from Russia.

Several hundred fans in St. Petersburg gathered to pay tribute to their favorite show, and since it’s 2014 now and it’s what people do because the internet exists, they put together an intricate dance routine and filmed it for YouTube.

And it’s awesome. Seriously, this will be one of the coolest things you see this week. 

Category:Drama

Its Official: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to Return for ‘Broadchurch’ Series 2

Mystery fans the world over can breathe a sigh of relief today – ITV has officially confirmed that stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman will both be returning for the highly anticipated second series of Broadchurch.

The pair will also be joined by several other familiar faces in Series 2 – including Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan, who portrayed the parents of Danny Latimer, the young boy whose murder started it all, as well as Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill, who plays local vicar Paul Coates.

The first season of Broadchurch centered around the investigation – lead by Tennant’s tortured DI Alec Hardy and Colman’s more empathetic DS Ellie Miller – into the mysterious death of a young boy, and the impact the case had on the small town of Broadchurch and its residents.  It was also fairly remarkable for the simple fact that it told a self-contained story and actually solved the case at the end – and is still coming back for another season. What will Series 2 look like? How do you follow up the Danny Latimer case with something else? We’ll have to wait and see, because creator Chris Chibnall and the folks at ITV are keeping story details on serious lockdown.   

Category:Drama

Recapping ‘Mr Selfridge’: Series 2, Episode 7

Previously on Mr. Selfridge: An entire episode in which Harry Selfridge did not appear happened! However, there was still a lot of drama to be had. Henri has been arrested, because someone turned him in to the police as a spy, but it turns out he’s also a wanted man in America To the shock of zero people, Loxley’s crime-infested military suppliers turn out to be shady, and scandal ensues when the army ends up with shoddy boots. Loxley blames Harry, who can’t defend himself because he’s on a secret mission to Germany. Miss Mardle, whose hairstyle is deeply troubling at this point, discovers that her attractive Belgian lodger has a thing for her. Mae decides she’s had enough waiting to become a statistic, SVU-style, and leaves her vile husband (but keeps her awesome ladies maid).

Well, we have a lot of stuff to deal with this week, huh? 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Recap: Series 3, Episode 7

Previously on Call the Midwife: Catch up on everything that happened last week with the recap post, here.

By virtue of what midwives do, every installment of Call the Midwife features some element of motherhood.  However seeing as today is Mother’s Day in the US, the timing of this week’s episode is quite apropos considering it is almost exclusively about mothers and the burdens and struggles that they bear.

But before we get into the abundance of maternal storylines, let’s take care of other business. 

Category:Online

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of 'Mansfield Park' with Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant

The potential combination of Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Doctor Who’s David Tennant would be high on any Anglophile’s wishlist – for virtually any kind of production, whether it was a children’s cartoon, a BBC period drama or a Shakespeare play.

Sadly, the schedules of both these stars are so crowded now that seeing them perform in, well, anything together any time in the even vaguely foreseeable future seems like a pretty big pipe dream. Luckily, that wasn’t so true a few years ago.

Way back in 2003, before either of these actors had ever played the Doctor or the consulting detective, the pair was cast in a BBC Radio Four production of Jane Austen’s classic Mansfield Park. And since it’s highly likely that you had no idea who either of these gentlemen were at the time, you probably missed out on it. But, not to worry – the radio version is about to get a special repeat broadcast. Radio 4 is pulling the production out of the station archives to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the classic novel’s publication, and also probably just to make a lot of fans around the world very happy. 

Category:Comedy

‘Doctor Who’s’ Karen Gillan to Star in New ABC Sitcom ‘Selfie’

Fear not, fans of Doctor Who companion Amy Pond – her portrayer Karen Gillan will back on your television screens again this Fall.

Gillan is set to star in a new ABC comedy from Emily Kapnek, creator of the network’s current hit Suburgatory. Called Selfie, the half-hour sitcom is apparently a modern take on My Fair Lady, and tells the story of a self-obsessed twenty-something named Eliza Dooley (ha ha, right?). After suffering a public and humiliating breakup, she becomes the subject of a viral video and suddenly has more social media "followers" than she ever imagined -- but for all the wrong reasons. She then enlists the help of a marketing expert at her company to help repair her tarnished image.

 

Category:Drama

Watch: Full Television Academy Webcast with the 'Downton Abbey' Cast

Having Downton Abbey withdrawal? Of course you are. We all are. Thankfully, we’ve got a particularly fabulous tidbit to help get us through the (seemingly endless) wait for Series 5.

The Television Academy of Arts & Sciences hosted a special event for its members in Los Angeles on May 3rd which featured appearances by several members of the Downton cast and crew and was streamed live over the internet as it happened. Part Series 4 retrospective, part general show discussion, there’s plenty of fun here for all who love the megahit costume drama.

Stars Joanne Froggatt, Phyllis Logan, Sophie McShera and Robert James-Collier all took part, along with series creator Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Naeme. It was actually pretty fun to watch some members of the cast who may not get in front of the media as frequently get the chance to shine. McShera, for example, is completely adorable, and I promise you’ll be so charmed by James-Collier that you’ll basically forget how much you hate Thomas.

Category:Drama

1960s Medical Drama 'Breathless' Comes to Masterpiece This Summer

It’s official: Splashy-looking British period drama Breathless is set to premiere on Masterpiece this summer.

The drama follows the lives of a group of doctors and nurses in a 1960s London hospital, a world in which everything and everyone has their place. But underneath this veneer simmers a cauldron of lies, deceptions and guilty secrets, driven by love, ambition and sex. To be honest, it sounds (and even looks!) a bit like a medical drama version of AMC’s critical darling Mad Men.

Category:Drama

Recapping ‘Mr Selfridge’: Series 2, Episode 6

Previously on Mr. Selfridge: Harry got picked by the British intelligence service to go basically spy for them in Germany and had to vanish off on a secret mission without telling anyone. Except Delphine for some reason, who has suffered a complete collapse as a character and decided to basically throw herself at Harry because he is rich. Mae reminisces about her days as a showgirl with Alfie Boe, Victor proposes to Agnes and Henri gets arrested at a charity concert because someone’s reported him to the police as a spy.

Lots of stuff going on this week - and the biggest surprise? Star Jeremy Piven actually doesn't appear in this episode at all. Yeah, really. 

Let's get right to it, shall we? 

Category:Drama

'Call the Midwife' Recap: Series 3, Episode 6

Previously, on Call the Midwife: Catch up on last week's drama with the Episode 5 recap, right this way.  

If this week’s episode has a theme, it may be that when things don’t go the way you expected, there’s often something important to be gained from life’s little detours. Nurses Mount and Lee both experience the disappointment of a well laid plan – one career related the other romantic. And Shelagh Turner finally sees her way clear to pursue a different kind of motherhood.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Category:Drama

BBC to Remake ‘Mapp and Lucia’ Series with Miranda Richardson and Mark Gatiss

The BBC is set to remake the classic series Mapp and Lucia, which tells the tale of two scheming small-town social rivals, and the people that aid, abet or are simply affected by their competition.

The comedic drama will be based on the novels by author E.F. Benson, originally published during the 1920s. The story begins during the summer of 1930, when Mrs. Emmeline Lucas, known to her friends as Lucia, decides to take a holiday in the charming Queen Anne town of Tilling and runs into – and almost immediately afoul of – Miss Elizabeth Mapp, its designated social ringleader. Chaos (predictably) ensues. 

Two-time Academy Award-nominee Miranda Richardson has been cast as Mapp and she’ll face off against The Hour’s Anna Chancellor as Lucia. These rather fantastic leading ladies will be joined by The League of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton as Lucia’s devoted acolyte and dapper chief courtier Georgie Pillson, as well as Sherlock star Mark Gatiss – who called Benson’s novels “some of the most sly, funny and waspishly brilliant stories in the language – as Raj Army veteran Major Benjy.

Category:Comedy

‘Vicious’ Starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi to Premiere on PBS Stations in June

It’s official: Gay British comedy Vicious – which stars acting legends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi – will make its American debut this summer on PBS stations nationwide beginning June 29.

Vicious follows the story of elderly gay couple Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Jacobi) who have been living together in the same Covent Garden flat for nearly 50 years. An incredibly co-dependent duo, their primary activities seem to be centered around bickering with one another, making sarcastic comments and walking the dog, but there is, nevertheless a deep love between them. However, the couple finds their lives turned upside down by the arrival of their new young upstairs neighbor, played by Game of Thrones' Iwan Rheon in a much, much less creepy role then you’re generally accustomed to seeing him on Sunday nights these days. 

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