Drama

Preview the Plays of ‘The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses’

Benedict Cumberbatch in full "Richard III" gear for "The Hollow Crown The Wars of the Roses" (Photo:  Courtesy of Robert Viglasky © 2015 Carnival Film & Television Ltd )

After a long wait, American audiences are finally getting the chance to see The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses for themselves. The sequel series is airing on PBS’ Great Performances this December. (Friendly reminder: you should definitely check your local listings and find out the specifics because end of year pledge-time may affect what days this airs).

The original The Hollow Crown series adapted four of Shakespeare’s history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Pts. 1 and 2 and Henry V – into a single chronological narrative, with the majority of the relevant actors performing the same roles across all the plays. The three-part sequel takes on the next part of the story, the titular Wars of the Roses, when two families battled for control of England’s throne.

'Call the Midwife' Renewed for Three Additional Seasons

The cast of the new "Call the Midwife" holiday special.  (Photo: BBC/Neal Street Productions)

In good news you might have missed during the Thanksgiving holiday: popular period drama Call the Midwife is going to be sticking around awhile. The BBC announced last week that the series has been renewed – not just for a single additional season, or even two, but three.

The medical drama follows the story of a group of nurse midwives and nuns who care for the residents of the economically disadvantaged neighborhood of Poplar. Call the Midwife, of course, is so much more than that though – really digging into the personal stories of all the different women involved. (It’s also great if you happen to need a good cry for whatever reason.) 

Watch 'The Hollow Crown Wars of the Roses' Cast and Director Discuss the Show

Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III in "The Hollow Crown" (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky © 2015 Carnival Film & Television Ltd)

After what feels like an excruciatingly long wait, the highly anticipated sequel to The Hollow Crownsubtitled The Wars of the Rosesis finally airing in America on PBS’ Great Performances this December.

The original Hollow Crown adapted four of Shakespeare’s history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Pts. 1 and 2 and Henry V – into a single chronological narrative, with the majority of the relevant actors performing the same roles across all the plays. The three-part sequel takes on the next part of the story, and will feature adaptations of Henry VI (streamlined into two parts) and Richard III.  The plays recount the story of the titular Wars of the Roses, when two families – the Plantagenets and the Lancasters – battled for control of England’s throne.

PBS has released a new video interview where several members of the Wars of the Roses cast and production team – including star Benedict Cumberbatch – discuss the series, Shakespeare’s works, and the history behind the plays.

New ‘Sherlock’ Season 4 Photos Released

Amanda Abbington, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the cutest family photo ever. (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky/Hartswood Films 2016 for MASTERPIECE)

Even though Thanksgiving is technically over for us Americans, there’s still plenty to be thankful for this week. One of the biggest is that we’re just over a month away from new Sherlock episodes (finally!!). And since that’s the case, that means new promotional material is ever so slowly starting to head our way.

There’s already been a rather dramatic trailer for the new season, but now it’s time for some new photos of the series’ main cast. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are prominently featured (obviously), but we also get new looks at Amanda Abbington, Mark Gatiss, Una Stubbs and guest star Toby Jones. Oh, and Baby Watson makes his or her first official appearance! (Sort of.) 

Recapping 'Poldark': Season 2, Episode 9

Ross and Demelza and dramatic firelight from the local riot. (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Poldark: Ross waffles some more about his feelings for Elizabeth and Demelza. For her part, Demelza has had quite enough of Ross’ awful behavior, and lets him know about it. She also takes herself to a house party where she tries to commit some revenge adultery with Captain MacNeil. She can’t go through with it in the end, but she can’t seem to forgive Ross either. (And his attitude is not helping.) Elsewhere, Elizabeth gets tired of putting her life in limbo for Ross, and marries George Warleggan. And I debate whether I can start a petition to ban all men in Cornwall, and let the women of Poldark build their own matriarchy.

Need more details? You can find last week’s recap here

Recapping 'Poldark': Season 2, Episode 8

Demelza looks amazing - that dress! (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Poldark: Elizabeth agrees to marry Vile George Warleggan, because she’s a broke widow with a child who’s out of options. Ross, as you might expect, doesn’t take well to this news and barges over to Trenwith to confront his ex about her choices that have no impact on his life at all. The two of them end up sleeping together, in an act that’s in an uncomfortable grey area, consent-wise. (Surprise: Ross is the worst!) Elsewhere, things are looking up for a moment at Wheal Grace when the miners discover a significant tin deposit, but a cave-in destroys all their hopes. (And kills a couple of people.) Dwight gets a letter from Caroilne, asking him to stop writing to her. And Ross admits to Demelza that he “had no choice” but to sleep with Elizabeth, and she knocks him flat.

Need more details? You can find last week’s recap here

New PBS Trailer Promises a New Era with 'Victoria'

Long live the Queen. (Photo: Courtesy of ITV Plc)

The wait it almost over, folks! Victoria, the latest big period drama hit in the UKwill finally begin in America in just about two months. It's two-hour premiere is officially set for January 15, 2017. And, honestly, I think a big, old-fashioned splashy costume drama is exactly what we all need right now. 

Filming is Already Under Way on 'The Durrells in Corfu' Season 2

The cast of "The Durrells in Corfu" (Photo: Courtesy of John Rogers/Sid Gentle Films & MASTERPIECE)
Good news for those who love heartwarming family drama The Durrells in Corfu: The series has been renewed for a second season and filming on the new episodes has already begun! 
 
The Durrells, based on Gerald Durrell’s trilogy of memoirs, tells the story of Louisa Durrell who makes a radical change and uproots her four unruly ‘children’ Larry, Leslie, Margo and Gerry, from Bournemouth to start a new life in Corfu in the 1930s. Keeley Hawes will return as matriarch Louisa alongside her fictional brood played by Josh O’Connor (Larry), Callum Woodhouse (Leslie), Daisy Waterstone (Margo) and Milo Parker (Gerry).

Recapping 'Poldark': Season 2, Episode 7

Ross and Demelza's relationship needs some work. (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE)

Previously on Poldark: Ross and his miner friends locate Mark Daniels, but his knowledge of Wheal Grace doesn’t help them find any copper. Dwight and Caroline make plans to run off together and get married, even though he’s struggling with leaving his village life behind. Elizabeth has complicated feelings about Ross. Demelza weirdly seems angry at Elizabeth for existing than she does at Ross for being a jerk. Dwight discovers the identity of the informer that’s been telling the local soldiers about the smugglers running in and out of area coves, he leaves Caroline waiting to go help his friends. The soldiers and the smugglers scuffle, but all the locals manage to get away without being captured. Well done, Dwight! Unfortunately, Caroline doesn’t think so, and heads off to London with her Uncle Ray. She says she expects she’ll never see Dwight again, since its obvious his art is really with his patients and their village.

Need more details? You can find last week’s recap here

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