Category:Drama

Recapping ‘The Paradise’: Series 2, Episode 4

Previously, on The Paradise: Interviews begin to find the new Miss Audrey and Clara and Denise make the final round along with two randoms we’ve never met. Denise and Moray have had multiple fights over her desire to have this position, and it basically boils down to Moray not understanding Denise’s dreams and Denise believing that he thinks her incapable of doing the job in question. Once Denise helps Weston throw a super successful musical revue for the staff, it’s obvious she’s got the gig though. In other news, Weston remains the creepiest, because in one episode he: threatens his wife with apparent bodily harm, calls his daughter an idiot, threatens to send said daughter to boarding school because of said alleged idiocy, disparages all The Paradise employees and lights his daughter’s doll on fire. What a catch!

Anyway. We’re halfway through Season 2 now, though whether that makes you sad or relieved is largely up to you. Nowhere to go but up, yeah? Onward. 

Category:Sci-Fi

‘Merlin’s’ Colin Morgan, ‘Doc Martin’s’ Katherine Parkinson to Star in New AMC Series ‘Humans’

Well, this is certainly interesting.  AMC – the US cable network home to critical darlings like Mad Men and Breaking Bad, as well as smash hit zombie drama The Walking Dead – is joining forces with England’s Channel 4 to create a remake of Swedish sci-fi series Real Humans, starring quite a few notable British actors.

Merlin star Colin Morgan is set to star, alongside Doc Martin’s Katherine Parkinson, Mr. Selfridge’s Tom Goodman-Hill, Damages William Hurt, The Thick of It’s Rebecca Front, Game of Thrones Will Tudor, Bedlam’s Gemma Chan and more.

The drama is set in a near-future world in which robots – called “Synths” – that are made to look like real people are commonly used as domestic workers and personal servants. In a twist that will surprise no one that’s watched any sort of science-fiction ever, some of the synths seem to develop some form of consciousness and start engaging in various sorts of more “human” behaviors. 

Category:Drama

First Look: 'Death Comes to Pemberley' (and PBS)

Do you ever love a book and its characters so much that you continue the story in your mind? What happens after the happily ever after? Imagine it is 1803, six years after Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have married and started their family together at their lavish Derbyshire estate. The happy couple is busy planning their annual Lady Anne Ball when Lizzie’s spoiled flibbertigibbet of a sister, Lydia, bursts in the night before the festivities to announce her husband George Wickham might have been murdered in Pemberley Wood. An investigation ensues which spells mayhem and the potential undoing of the entire Darcy family.

This may not be the fan fiction in your head, but it is the premise of famed crime writer P.D. James’ sequel (of sorts) to Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. Released in 2011 and entitled Death Comes to Pemberley, the book received good reviews though most I read lamented the toning down of Lizzy’s much admired outspokenness and complained that the Darcys’ love had been cooled by boring domestic routine.

I’ve not read the aforementioned novel, so I can’t reliably comment on those claims. However, as one might expect in an industry eager to provide viewers with remakes and sequels featuring cherished characters that feel like family, Death Comes to Pemberley was adapted for the small screen and broadcast in the UK last Christmas. Masterpiece Mystery has picked up the series and will be airing it in two parts – Sunday, October 26th and November 2nd from 9:00 – 10:30 pm ET. Check your local listings for exact times and details.

Want an early look at this upcoming drama? Read on. 

Category:Theater

Helen Mirren Will Bring the Queen to Broadway in 2015 with ‘The Audience’

Theater lovers of America, it’s okay if you’re sometimes secretly sad that we so infrequently get the chance to see the many great British productions that go up in the West End. Sure, sometimes you get lucky and are on a UK vacation right when something grand is on, but given the sheer volume of long-running shows and ever-changing limited engagement options in London, well, we all know we’re missing out on something incredible pretty much nearly all the time. 

Thanks to the heroic efforts of outfits such as the National Theatre Live program or various Fathom Event promotions, we do occasionally get the opportunity to see simulcasts of particularly popular British theatrical productions on a significant scale in America – both Helen McCrory’s Medea and Gillian Anderson’s A Streetcar Named Desire were recently screened nationwide, and Danny Boyle’s brilliant production of Frankenstein is about to get another round of encore runs in honor of Halloween (and the fact that the Benedict Cumberbatch-led production consistently sells out houses all over the country). But, as much as we love it, it’s just not the same.

However, sometimes, a particularly popular or acclaimed British production will be picked up and recreated on Broadway, giving American fans with the ability and desire to go to New York the chance to see the show in person for themselves. Most recently, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe reprised his leading role in The Cripple of Inishmaan last winter, but come 2015, the Great White Way is going to get a little bit more regal. 

Category:Drama

Crime Drama ‘DCI Banks’ Will Return for a Fourth Season

It’s official: ITV has renewed gritty contemporary crime drama DCI Banks for a fourth season.

The series, based on Peter Robinson’s novels, stars Stephen Tompkinson as DCI Alan Banks alongside Andrea Lowe as DS Annie Cabot and Doc Martin’s Caroline Catz as DI Helen Morton. Series 4 will be comprised of six new episodes, which will explore three separate mysteries.    

British Actors You Should Know: Hugh Bonneville

I’d wager a majority of Americans first became acquainted with this week’s featured British Actor You Should Know thanks to his role as Robert Crawley, The Earl of Grantham, in PBS’ monster hit period drama, Downton Abbey. 

However, before he became the patriarch of our favorite English country estate, Hugh Bonneville had already built up a successful and varied acting career.

Let's take a look at some of the highlights. 

Category:Sci-Fi

'Doctor Who' Series 8: Let's Discuss the Road So Far

The eighth episode of Doctor Who Series 8 aired this weekend, which puts us well past the halfway point of the new season, and of Peter Capaldi’s first year as the Doctor.

Originally, I’d been planning to do a recap series on this season, but then, as a lot of you know, I broke my foot and that sooo didn’t happen, so instead I thought I’d check in now that we're past the seriesn the comments, please. ' midpoint and see how people are feeling about the new season, the new Doctor, and the many new characters and dynamics we’ve seen on our screens thus far.  As with any season in which the show is faced with big, series-altering changes, there’s a lot to discuss. Particualrly when a season feels as polarizing as this one. 

So, here's me attempting to sort through what's been working and not working for me in Series 8 so far. Join in and share what you think below.

Category:Drama

Recapping ‘The Paradise’: Series 2, Episode 3

Previously, on The Paradise: Moray’s obnoxiously French lady friend Clemence arrives at The Paradise to sell fireworks, drive the men crazy and teach the shopgirls about girl power. Flush with the glow of feminism, Miss Audrey debates whether to give up her job to marry Edmund, while Denise gets jealous of Clemence’s friendship with Moray. Until she finds out that their new French friend generally prefers the ladies, or at least she does until we need a super boring subplot that involves Tom Weston stalking her, Katherine Weston trying to sanction an affair between the two of them in her home, and Clemence suddenly becoming obsessed with Dudley because he’s super nice, I guess. And, to top it all off, Jonas – who totally killed a guy that one time – returns just in time to save the apparently married Dudley from drunkenly cheating on his wife with Clemence, and that’s enough of a good turn from the store to overlook the whole murder thing and take him back. Yikes, what an episode.

Nowhere to go but up, yeah? Onward.

Category:Drama

Christopher Eccleston to Star in ITV Drama ‘Safe House’

Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston has been tapped to headline a new crime drama for ITV called Safe House.

The new four-part series is described as a tense thriller set in the beautiful wildnerness of the Lake District, and its story is inspired by the life of a real couple. Eccleston, who has most recently been seen on HBO drama The Leftovers, will be playing Robert, a retired detective thrust back into the criminal world when he and his wife Katy are asked to turn their remote bed and breakfast into a safe house for protected witnesses and crime victims.      

Did You Know ‘Downton Abbey’ Star Elizabeth McGovern is in a Band?

While American actress Elizabeth McGovern is probably best known these days for her involvement in the very British Downton Abbey, in which she plays Lady Cora Crawley, she also has a few hidden talents that might surprise those who only know her from the popular costume drama.

For example, Did you know that when she’s not busy filming at Highclere Castle, McGovern regularly fronts a folk-rock band called Sadie and the Hotheads? Yup, her seven-piece group which will be embarking on a ten-date US tour along the East Coast this December.  The band, which was formed in 2007, has seen something of an uptick in popularity since the rise of a global appreciation of all things connected to Downton Abbey.

The tour will kick off in Washington, D.C. on December 4 and wrap in Hartford, CT on December 14. 

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