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.


‘Downton Abbey’ Cast Documents the Last Days of Filming

The end of an era is upon us.

Filming wrapped up this week on the final season of beloved, megahit costume drama Downton Abbey, which has been something of an emotional affair for all involved. And will doubtless be an extremely emotional affair for fans when Series 6 finally broadcasts. (And by the way, it’ll be airing here in the US beginning January 3, 2016 if you missed that memo).

Several members of the series’ cast and crew have been sharing the experience on social media as they bid farewell to the world of the Crawley clan, using the hashtag #LastDaysofDownton. And, fair warning, even just scrolling through that hashtag is likely to make you a bit sniffly. 


'The Great British Baking Show' Returns to PBS This Fall!

Get excited, America – it’s time to start baking again! Another season of The Great British Bake Offor The Great British Baking Show, as it’s known here in the US - will kick off on Sunday, September 6.

For our lucky friends in the UK the latest season of Bake Off actually got under way last week. It’s technically their sixth season – the one we aired earlier this year was their fifth. However, you should know that the season PBS stations are about to air is not this latest effort – it’s definitely a bit confusing, but because since we’ve only aired a season of the cooking competition thus far, basically everything is new to us. Hence, it’s a new season! But, not the newest season, if that makes sense. (It just means we have more to get through in the end, is how I’m looking at it.)

Anyway, so here’s the deal: PBS will be broadcasting what aired as the fourth season of Bake Off in England– and calling it “Season 2” here in the States. Feeling confused? I hear you. But, luckily, we’re Anglophiles, so we’re used to the occasionally strange labeling tactics that get used when programs cross the pond. (Looking at you: Inspector Lewis and Foyle’s War.)


Colin Morgan to Star in BBC Drama ‘The Living and the Dead’

Merlin’s Colin Morgan and Line of Duty’s Charlotte Spencer have been cast as the leads in upcoming BBC supernatural thriller The Living and the Dead.

The six-part drama will take place in Somerset in 1894 and follow the story of a brilliant young couple who inherit a farm that’s almost as old as the countryside itself. The two move in, determined to start a new life together. But their presence in this isolated corner of England starts to unleash strange, settling and dangerous supernatural phenomenon that will start to threaten their marriage.

Woooo, ghosts, right?  (It’s gotta be ghosts, yeah?)


Are You Ready for Some Football? Five Soccer Movies You Can Stream Today

This Saturday (August 8) is the beginning of the Premier League football season. The Premier League is the top level of England’s professional men’s football association and it’s comprised of twenty clubs.

For those new to the concept of the English football system (and I’m not far ahead, I can tell you) here are a few of the very basics you should know.


‘Vicious’ Season 2 to Premiere on PBS Stations This August

The highly anticipated second season of Vicious, the ITV sitcom starring acting legends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi as a bickering, co-dependent gay couple is coming to America at last!

This is great news, since we’ve been waiting quite a while for the show to continue – Season 2 was commissioned way back in September 2013 and originally aired here in the US last summer. Due to the very busy schedules of both its leads, it took quite a bit of time for new episodes to be produced, but now we can finally see the continuing adventures of Freddie and Stuart for ourselves. 


‘Downton Abbey’ Season 6 US Premiere Date Announced

It’s official: The countdown to the end of Downton Abbey is underway.

It’s not like we didn’t know that the show was ending, of course – but it certainly feels more real now that we know, officially, when we can expect to see it.  

During PBS’ session at the annual Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, it was officially announced that Downton Abbey Season 6 will premiere in the US beginning Sunday, January 3 on Masterpiece


Recapping ‘Poldark’: Season 1, Episode 7

Previously, on Poldark: Behold the drama! The Warleggans are mad that this mysterious new smelting company has arrived on the scene and is forcing their company to pay more for the miners’ products. They vow to find out who’s behind this and ruin them (even though they’re pretty sure its Ross and his friends). Former Nampara servant Jim gets sick in jail and ultimately dies, basically because he was forced to live in horrible conditions in prison, and Ross is devastated. Meanwhile, Francis is terrible at being poor, Verity’s started seeing Andrew Blamey in secret again and the Warleggans throw a ball, which excites Demelza until she realizes that Ross has no plans of calling off the drinking bender he’s been engaged in since Young Jim died. Anyway, the party goes on, Ross gets wasted but still manages to bust George Warleggan’s friend as a card cheat after he nearly gambles his own mine away, and Francis finds out about Verity’s secret love life and forbids her from seeing Blamey ever again.

Oh, and Ross’ Cute-But-Dumb Doctor Friend has an awkward, ongoing flirtation with one of the village ladies, who is very married, and there’s all kinds of gossip about their relationship. (Which, wow, girl is like injuring herself on purpose to see him, so this relationship is all kinds of healthy on every level.) 

Whew. They pack a lot into an hour, let me tell you. Luckily, tonight’s season finale is a special two-hour installment, so prepare yourselves. (Warning: This means the recap is probably also going to be supersized, so bear with me.) 


'Last Tango in Halifax' Recap: Series 3, Episode 6

Previously on Last Tango in Halifax: Last week's recap is right this way. 

Here comes the bride and she’s none too happy about the whole thing. The sixth and final episode of this series takes place on the day of Gillian and Robbie’s wedding with quite a few flashbacks thrown in. Any more and we would have needed a TARDIS to keep up.

Because of so much back and forth, I’m going to structure this last recap a bit differently. I’ll narrate the wedding day as normal, but for the flashbacks I’m going to list the information learned in shorthand of sorts. The events that take place in the flashbacks will be designated with bullet points. Here we go!


Filming Set To Begin on Second Season of ‘Grantchester’

UK network ITV announced this week that filming is about to begin on the highly anticipated second season of popular mystery series Grantchester.

Based on a series of novels by James Runcie, Grantchester follows the story of a charismatic clergyman who turns accidental crimefighter when one of his parishoners turns up dead. He joins forces with an overworked police inspector and the pair form an unlikely crime-solving partnership and friendship.

Stars James Norton and Robson Green are back as Sidney Chambers and Geordie Keating, while Tessa Peake-Jones, Morven Christie and Kacey Ainsworth are also all listed as returning.  And Dickens too, of course – we know he’s the cast member most of you were probably worried about anyway, right?


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