Watch: The Trailer for the 'Sherlock' Special is Here!

Finally, the moment has arrived – the full trailer for the upcoming Sherlock special is here!

And, for those of us who’ve been waiting almost two years for anything featuring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, this is basically water in the desert. This could be the worst trailer in the world, and it probably wouldn’t matter, because we’re all so desperate for new material.  

So it’s probably a good thing that the new trailer is fantastic then.


First Look at ‘Inspector Lewis’ Season 9

Despite a bit of back and forth that occasionally seemed to leave the future of the popular mystery series in doubt, Inspector Lewis is returning for a ninth season. Stars Kevin Whatley and Laurence Fox are back as Robbie Lewis and James Hathaway, alongside Angela Griffith as DS Lizzie Maddox.

The slate of six new episodes – which will be retaining the one-hour format, two-part mystery first used in Season 7 – marks yet another chapter in the occasionally confusing history of Lewis, itself a spinoff of popular drama Inspector Morse. Lewis seemingly wrapped up its run back in 2013, when star Whatley wanted to pursue other projects or possibly just take a break from a character he portrayed for something like 20 years. (They even gave Lewis a happy, looking off into the sunset with a beer ending. Things seemed pretty done.)

But, happily, the show returned for something of a surprise eighth season in 2014 and was renewed for Season 9 back in April. Huzzah! 


Filming Begins on ‘Poldark’ Season 2

Everyone who is missing the always dishy Aidan Turner on their TV screens on Sunday nights can breathe a sight of relief – we’re one step closer to Poldark Season 2!

Filming on the period drama’s highly anticipated second outing is officially under way in Cornwall, which means that the odds are high that someone is probably riding a horse across a beautiful countryside backdrop or staring dramatically at the ocean right now


A ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 6 Wishlist

Now that the trailer for Downton Abbey’s final season is out and airdates have been announced on both sides of the pond, the end of the series is starting to feel really real.  Sure, we all knew the end was nigh and all that, but on some level many of us Downton fans sort of were operating as though the finale was never actually going to happen.

Some people – yours truly included – may now be finding themselves emotionally compromised or aggressively nostalgic over the thought of the show coming to a close. (Please take a wild guess at how loudly I shrieked when I saw this picture of Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens together at a BAFTA event.) It’s like the stages of grief, basically.

But the end is happening, and it’s almost here. We’ve got about nine hours left to spend with the Crawley Clan and their various friends, servants and associates, so, here’s hoping that the show makes them count.

However, just because I am something of an emotional wreck about this situation does not mean that I don’t have a firm list of demands, hopes and general thoughts about things the show needs to make sure to deal with before we leave Highclere behind forever. And obviously we all need to talk about them. 


PBS Previews ‘Indian Summers’, Premiering on Masterpiece in September

Lavish period drama Indian Summers begins on Masterpiece this September. The nine-part stars the always amazing Julie Walters as the glamorous doyenne of a group of English socialites living in India in 1932 during the time of the British Raj.

The series has something of a Downton Abbey meets Jewel in the Crown vibe – the promos indicate that there are plenty of class issues, ill-advised romantic entanglements, beautiful sets and incredibly gorgeous costumes to go around.

PBS has released a new trailer that not only features Walters at her sort of overdramatic, fabulous best, but also adds in a bit more context than some of the initial British promos – you know for those of us who aren’t quite as familiar with this time period and/or location in history. 


The End is Nigh: Watch the Trailer for ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 6

The end of an era is upon us: ITV has released the trailer for the final season of Downton Abbey.

And it is fantastic.

It is also, as we all probably expected, a veritable five-alarm Kleenex fest, complete with loads of nostalgia, long looks, many repeated meta references to things ending, and the completely unfair use of Time to Say Goodbye as a soundtrack, just in case you weren’t already in a state of complete emotional collapse. 


Fish Out of Water Telly: A Very British Phenomenon

There’s a three part mini-series that aired in the UK recently called Very British Problems. Based on, believe it or not, a Twitter feed of the same name, this show gathered a host of British celebrities to talk about social awkwardness as a national character trait.

Topics such as avoiding others, confusing doubletalk and the complicated process of saying goodbye are addressed in a humorous manner. At the same time, it’s acknowledged that straight forward communications would be simpler, but it’s just not the British way.

All this self-conscious discomfort got me to thinking about how the British have the perfect sensibility for fish out of water stories. That universal feeling of embarrassment in an unfamiliar situation is apparently a constant state of being for our friends across the pond so it’s not surprising that it’s a well-utilized device in British telly. Think Life on Mars, Doc Martin or even An Idiot Abroad’s hesitant world traveler, Karl Pilkington. Therefore I thought it might be worthwhile to look at a few more examples. Shall we?


So That ‘White Queen’ Sequel is Maybe Really Happening After All?

You guys remember The White Queen, right? It was this BBC miniseries that adapted several of Philippa Gregory’s popular historical novels about the Wars of the Roses. It aired here in the States on the premium cable network Starz and a lot of people liked it and were pretty sad to learn that it was a one-and-done sort of series, particularly when there’s so much story leftover after King Henry VII is crowned.

Anyway, despite the fact that the BBC announced that they were finished with the property, back in 2013 Starz seemed really into the prospect of doing some sort of sequel, most likely based on Gregory’s novel The White Princess. The novel follows the story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of White Queen Elizabeth Woodville, focusing on her marriage to Henry Tudor and their life together, which included the birth of multiple children, several rebellions and various other dramatic incidents.

That post has remained pretty popular on this site for the past year and a half, so it would seem the interest in this property is still there, despite the fact that no more news – or even confirmation that the project was in the works – seemed forthcoming. Many fans (probably) had given up on ever hearing anything else about The White Princess. (I may have been one of those people.)

Well, get ready, people, because it looks like The White Princess might just be happening after all. 


ITV Commissions New Episodes of 'Scott and Bailey'

ITV has ordered a new three-part special series of popular detective drama Scott & Bailey.

Stars Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp are back as Rachel Scott and Janet Bailey, the odd couple-ish crimefighting partnership forged over four previous series. This new season will feature a single crime story told over the course of all three installments, and will be “one of the biggest and darkest cases” that the detective duo has ever had to face. 

The new three episode order marks a fairly significant format switch for the show, whose previous seasons clocked in at between six (Season 1) and eight episodes (Seasons 2-4) each. Of course, those episodes were all standalone installments in the sense that they lacked an overarching case between them – though I’d argue that many thematic and character beats carried over each week – instead of a serialized narrative.  


World War II Drama ‘Home Fires’ to Air on PBS This Fall

Good news for those who like period drama - PBS has announced that World War II-set series Home Fires will be part of the Fall Masterpiece lineup this year!

Acclaimed British actresses Francesca Annis (Cranford, Jane Eyre, Wives and Daughers) and Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey, the Pierce Brosnan era of Bond films) lead an impressive ensemble cast that includes Ruth Gemmell, Mark Bonnar, Claire Rushbrook, Mark Bazeley, Frances Grey and Ed Stoppard.

The six-part series follows a group of inspirational women in a rural Cheshire community with the shadow of World War II casting a dark cloud over their lives. The isolated village couldn’t feel further away from the impending bloodshed and battlefields and yet it is not immune from the effects of war.

As the conflict takes hold, and separates the women from their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers, the characters find themselves under increasing and extraordinary pressures in a rapidly fragmenting world.


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