Get Your First Look at ‘Doc Martin’ Season 7

Fans of curmudgeonly doctors everywhere, rejoice – the trailer for Doc Martin Series 7 has arrived! (Yes, really!)

This news is exciting on several levels, not the least of which being that there’s just been so little news released about Season 7 generally up until this point. (I’m not even sure that ITV even announced the show had been renewed prior to the news that filming was under way.)

The new season will be comprised of eight episodes. Star Martin Clunes will reprise his role as Britain’s grumpiest medical professional, and all regular members of the cast will also be returning, including Caroline CatzDame Eileen Atkins, Ian McNeice, Joe Absolom, John Marquez and Jessica Ransom.


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. 


‘The Great British Baking Show’ Recap: Cakes

Before I officially launch this of new string of recaps with Sue and Mel’s famous battle cry, “On your marks, get set, bake!” please let me clarify something about the sequencing of the series. Last year, PBS aired their first season of The Great British Baking Show; however, it was actually the fifth and most recent series of the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off. This year one might assume that we would be seeing the current series which is a little less than halfway through its run in the UK at the present time. Instead, PBS is going backwards to the fourth series of this British cooking competition and calling it Season Two. Got that?

Regardless of the particulars, this program is beloved here and in its homeland for several reasons. It’s addictive, entertaining and a civilized reality competition show. So no matter the order in which the seasons are broadcast, it’s going to be a delicious and occasionally tension-filled ride.

Now let’s get down to the business at hand for this season. Thirteen bakers have been selected out of over 10,000 applicants to take on the challenges set forth by our formidable judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. (Despite the unlikely nature of the monikers, both go by their given names.) Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are back in their capacity as comic relief, cheerleaders and comfort counselors.

I don’t have the time or space to introduce each contestant since for the first couple of weeks of the competition there will be a few standouts and a small number who will barely be around long enough for us to get their names straight. For now we’ll have to let this new crowd’s bakes speak for 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. 

Martin Clunes Doing Five Very Un-'Doc Martin'-like Things

As you probably already know, Martin Clunes will be coming back to PBS next month! Hold on, the broadcast of Doc Martin Series 7 is unfortunately still some time off in the future. But beginning Sunday, September 6, Clunes will be starring as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the three-part mini-series Arthur & George.

And while true Clunatics are well acquainted with the varied roles Martin has embodied over the years, I thought it would be good preparation (and entertaining as well) to look at Mr. Clunes through a decidedly less Dr. Ellingham-ish prism. The following are states of being and actions that would be quite contradictory to the persona of the Port Wenn GP we’ve come to know and love despite his prickly manner.


Watch James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe in 'Victor Frankenstein' Trailer

The trailer for upcoming film Victor Frankenstein features several things that are awesome – including James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe as the titular mad scientist and his loyal sidekick, a pretty terrifying monster (even if you only see it for like three seconds), and the most amazing hair cinematic hair accessory you’ve seen in years.

Plus, it also just looks like an interesting twist on the Frankenstein story. (But, seriously! This wig!)


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.  


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