What Will Be This Year’s The King’s Speech?

The end of the year is nearly upon us, which inevitably means the transition from “blockbuster”-type films and popcorn movies at your local multiplex to what can most aptly be labeled “Awards Season Movies.” Sure, there are still a few big Fall/Holiday releases slated – the new Twilight film (ummm), Happy Feet 2 (okay, kind of cute), yet another Mission Impossible (why??), along with a few others – but come December, it’s basically Christmas for the more serious film fans all month long.

Last year, drama The King’s Speech opened in December to gushing critical accolades (Rotten Tomatoes still lists it as 95% “fresh”), widespread audience acclaim, and a multitude of awards, including recognition at the Oscars, the British Academy Film Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, the British Independent Film Awards, etc. etc. Star Colin Firth won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a vertiable bucket of other accolades. Even the Queen liked it.

Now, of course, in the wake of The King Speech’s success, we wonder – what will be the next film to strike it big in America and clean up at awards time? Two upcoming British movies look especially promising, though both are quite different in tone. (And they both have Benedict Cumberbatch in them, which is really just an extra win for me.)

More (including trailers) after the jump!

Royal Ramblings: David Cameron Supports Historic Reform of the Monarchy

The British government seems poised to end primogeniture, a practice in place since feudal times guaranteeing that male children receive preference in the Royal succession. In the current system, a male child will always be first in line for the British throne, even if he has older female siblings. For example, this is how King Henry VIII’s youngest child, Edward VI, hopscotched over both his sisters Mary and Elizabeth to the crown, even though he was only nine years old at the time of his father’s death.

Only when there is no male heir at all is it possible for a female child to ascend the throne. Queen Elizabeth II became Queen only because she had no male siblings.

Now, however, Parliament and Prime Minister David Cameron are moving toward making significant changes to the law of succession. Cameron has written to British Commonwealth leaders proposing that the law which ensures male children automatically take precedence in the line of succession be altered. (The 16 nations who recognize the Queen as their monarch have to agree to any changes.) This proposed change would apply to any children produced by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, guaranteeing that if their first child is a daughter, she would be at the head of the line for the throne behind her father and take precedence over any subsequent sons.

More Royal-related rambling after the jump!

New William & Mary Tonight! Martin Clunes Sure Looks Different, Huh?

Starting at 10pm tonight on WETA, we've go two more back-to-back episodes of romantic drama William & Mary. (For those of you keeping track at home, these are episodes three and four of the series’ first season.) In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that despite my vast personal knowledge of all sorts of British TV, I’m a relative newcomer to Doc Martin and the acting of Martin Clunes. In the interest of really full disclosure, I’ll even admit that I’m only on the first season! But, all that said, I can already tell why so many people love it, and I’m looking forward to catching up to the rest of you.

Anyway, despite my relative ignorance of Clunes’ acting resume, I still have to say that his performance in William & Mary is really charming, displaying a sort of quiet (even adorable) everyman appeal that’s almost a complete 180 degree shift from his role as the prickly, grumpy Doc Martin. He even plays the guitar in a band! I mean, just compare the two pictures after the jump, and that should kind of tell you all you need to know about just how far apart these performances are. (Plus, I had to come up with SOME way to share that - I just get a tremendous kick out of that William & Mary episode photo. It’s just so unlike every other image I’ve ever seen of Clunes. It’s awesome.)

Britwatch: Catherine Tate to Return to The Office

Doctor Who alum and fantastic funny lady Catherine Tate is set to return to NBC’sThe Office this season.

Tate, who appeared briefly on the series last May, will return as Nellie Bertram, one of the candidates who interviewed to replace Michael Scott. If you didn’t catch her original appearance back when it aired, click through and watch the video below, because Tate’s performance is quite hilarious. (Apparently, she so impressed The Office producers that she was one of their top choices to permanently replace the departing Steve Carrell, though obviously that didn’t work out at the time.)

Friday News Roundup

Here at Telly Visions, we’ve decided to implement a Friday roundup for all those fabulous little bits and pieces of news and fun things that surface over the course of the week that don’t necessarily merit an entire post on their own, but are too interesting to just ignore.

(Well, for now it’s a Friday roundup. We’ll see how we go. If you want more of this kind of thing, give us a follow on Twitter, it'll be a bit more lax over there.)

Anyway, click right on through for bits and bobs on Sherlock, Downton Abbey, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Doctor Who, Misfits, and more!

Preview This Sunday’s Case Histories!

The second episode of Masterpiece Mystery!’s new drama Case Histories premieres this Sunday night at 9pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. Jason Isaacs remains tremendously dishy appealing, the writing remains snappy, and the mysteries remain intriguing, involving a drowned girl who may or may not exist, a crime novelist who witnesses a violent act, and a society lady who learns shocking secrets about her husband after he ends up in a coma. Don't worry, it'll all make sense by the end.

And for a hint of things to come: We’ll see some familiar faces from the first episode pop back up again, and get a little more insight into the events surrounding the death of Jackson’s sister.

Whet your appetite with a preview for Episode 2 below:

More New Sherlock Series 2 Promotional Art!

More new Sherlock Series 2 promotional art has surfaced! (Like water in the desert, hurray!)

Both images are included after the jump to protect those that are uninterested in seeing anything about the new series before it airs. So, you’ll have to click on through if you’re feeling brave.

Britwatch: Karen Gillan to Make West End Debut

Doctor Who Companion Karen Gillan will make her theater debut this month in London’s West End, starring opposite Douglas Hodge in a revival of John Osborne’s 1964 play Inadmissable Evidence.

Dame Eileen Atkins (most recently of Upstairs Downstairs) played Gillan’s role in the original production, proving once and for all that there are way less than six degrees of separation between basically every British actor/actress you like.

Unfortunately, if you’re going to happen to be in the UK during the play’s run and would like to check it out, you’re out of luck. Tickets sold out in a record-breaking fashion, thanks to what the Telegraph calls “the Doctor Who effect.” (This production actually sold out faster than their last effort starring Jude Law. Well done, Karen!)

NBC Really, Really Wants You to Try Their Prime Suspect Remake

NBC is doubling down (tripling down?) on their new Prime Suspect. If you’ve been curious to try the American remake, next week is going to be your chance. With the early demise of several of their new Fall offerings, the network is lining up a big push for the police drama heading into November sweeps. Repeats of Prime Suspect will air on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night next week, leading into the series’ regular Thursday broadcast.

If you're a British TV fan - should you try it? Well, maybe. But not because you loved the British version.

In all honesty, NBC’s Prime Suspect isn’t a terrible show. Yes, it has some issues (the relentless portrayal of every man on the police force as an obnoxiously sexist ogre is especially tiresome.) But, it’s well-acted, well-produced, and if detective/procedural shows are your thing, you could do a lot worse. The problem is, is that it isn’t Prime Suspect. Calling this series by the same name is not only, well, incorrect, but offers viewers no clue about what this series is actually going to offer them. British TV fans are no more likely to enjoy this show than anyone else, and will probably be predisposed to a let down once they actually try it out.

More after the jump!

Tune-In Tonight: William & Mary at 10pm on WETA!

Don't miss Doc Martin star Martin Clunes in a very different kind of role, starting tonight at 10pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. William & Mary features Clunes alongside Survivors' Julie Graham; the duo plays a pair of lonely hearts looking for love.

You’ll probably be shocked at just how different a role this is for Clunes! His character, undertaker William Shawcross, is a virtual 180 from his role as Portwenn’s Doctor, both in attitude (William is actually quite charming and nice and dare we say cuddly?) and appearance (Clunes gained something like 25 pounds for this role and as you can see in our photo, his hairstyle is quite a bit different!)

 

Pages