Category:Drama

Crime Drama ‘Vera’ to Return for Series 5

Popular British crime drama Vera will officially be back for a fifth season!

Based on the characters from the popular series of novels by Ann Cleves, the show follows the obsessive and driven Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope as she tries to crack some of the toughest cases in Northumberland.

Brenda Blethyn will once again reprise her role as Vera; however, she’ll be getting a new sidekick this year. Long-time cast member David Leon, who played Vera’s loyal right-hand man Joe Ashworth, has departed the show, as his character has finally received a promotion. Vera will be joined instead by newcomer DS Aiden Healey, played by Stella’s Kenny Doughty.

Other returning cast members include Jon Morrison, Cush Jumbo, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Riley Jones

Category:Comedy

Preview 'Vicious' Starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, Premiering on PBS June 29

Gay comedy Vicious – starring acting legends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi – will premiere on PBS stations nationwide beginning June 29.

McKellen and Jacobi play elderly gay couple Freddie and Stuart, who’ve been living together in a small central London flat for nearly fifty years. Their co-dependent relationship is largely focused around the two of them sniping at one another and walking the dog, but the two love each other deeply. Their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of a new upstairs neighbor named Ash, played by Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon. Ostensibly, this will be a much less psychotic character than the one he plays in Westeros.

The sitcom aired in the UK last year, and its addition to the PBS roster marks a rather exciting foray into comedy for the network’s national Sunday night schedule which, I think it’s safe to say, is something we all hope continues into the future.

The first US trailer for the Vicious premiere at the end of the month has been released and, in an extremely pleasant surprise, it actually features different footage than the bits featured in the ITV promo last year. Huzzah. 

Patrick Stewart, Toby Jones and Benedict Cumberbatch Read D-Day Bulletins for the 70th Anniversary

BBC Radio 4 is observing the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasions today by featuring broadcasts of the BBC’s original news reports from 1944, read by such familiar voices as Sir Patrick Stewart, Benedict Cumberbatch and Toby Jones.

The first British and American airborne troops began landing in France shortly after midnight on D-Day, and the storming of the Normandy beaches began around 6:30am. News of the attack did not arrive for several hours, given the fact that there were strict wartime censorship rules to prevent journalists from providing the enemy with sensitive military information.

The D-Day news bulletins will be broadcast at the same time of day as the original transmissions.. The commemoration began this morning with Cumberbatch reading the 8am news bulletin on Radio 4, and will continue through the weekend, as the landings continued, ending at 9pm on Sunday night. 

Watch: An In-Depth Chat with ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Joanne Froggatt

Since we’re all undergoing fairly severe Downton Abbey withdrawal by this point, most of us will gladly sit through anything we can get that might even be tangentially related to the show. Luckily, getting to watch a fairly lengthy new interview with Joanne Froggatt, who plays everyone’s favorite housemaid-turned-ladies-maid Anna Bates, doesn’t even feel like cheating. So, why not do that?

Buzzfeed editor Jarrett Wieselman sat down with the Emmy-nominated actress recently as part of a special event for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation in Los Angeles, which involved a screening followed by a Q&A session. Happily, it was recorded for those of us who don’t have SAG cards. The two chat for about forty-five minutes on a variety of topics, ranging from Froggatt’s early days as an actress, to her initial reaction to the script for Downton Abbey, to her experiences filming on the set.

And of course, she really digs in to Anna’s character and the responsibility she herself felt in being truthful to the character during her intense – and much darker – scenes this past season.

It’s well worth a watch if you’ve got a few minutes to spare!

Category:Culture

Hugh Bonneville, Benedict Cumberbatch and More Read Children’s Stories at Hay Festival

Last week, BBC Radio 2’s The Chris Evans Breakfast Show ran a special competition meant to encourage children to write short stories. Called 500 Words, the annual event challenges children to compose a complete short story in – you guessed it – just five hundred words.

(Which is a task that, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time at all, we all know I would fail. Badly.) 

Category:Movies

A Look at British Road Trip Films

Summer’s unofficially here, the snow is but a memory (fingers crossed) and it’s a great time to think about planning a cross-country excursion.  

Road trip movies are basically a genre all their own in America – we are known for our car culture and love of the open highway. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t made use of this plot device in British films as well.  After all it’s not the distance travelled but the purpose behind the journey and what the characters learn about themselves along the way that’s most important.

So if you’re looking for a little of inspiration for your next holiday, perhaps you’d like to check out a few of these…

Category:Drama

Sophie Okonedo Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in the Cast of the Upcoming ‘Hollow Crown’ Sequel

Oscar-nominated actress Sophie Okonedo is joining the cast of the upcoming sequel to Shakespeare series The Hollow Crown.

Per a report in the Mail Online, Okonedo will play Queen Margaret (of Anjou), the wife of King Henry VI, who spends much of her reign fighting the York family for the crown of England while her husband slips between periods of madness. Incidentally, she’s also the queen who curses Richard III and is the only character who appears in King Henry VI, Part One that’s still alive at the end of Richard III

Category:Movies

Liam Neeson and Dan Stevens in the Trailer for ‘A Walk Among the Tombstones’

The first trailer for A Walk Among the Tombstones has been released, starring Liam Neeson and based on the bestselling series of mystery novels by Lawrence Block. The film, in which Neeson plays – surprise, surprise – an ex-New York City cop with a tragic past turned law-bending private detective, also stars Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens, Luther’s Ruth Wilson, Sebastian Roche, and Boyd Holbrook .

Interestingly enough, however, in role that seems particularly designed to be the anti-Matthew Crawley, Stevens plays a heroin trafficker who hires Neeson’s character to track down (and presumably do bad things to) the men responsible for kidnapping and murdering the drug dealer’s wife. So, not exactly a swoony romance, y’know?

Category:Drama

‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ to Air on Masterpiece This October

Heads up, Jane Austen fans – Pride and Prejudice sequel Death Comes to Pemberley has an official American airdate.

The lavish period drama was previously announced as part of the Masterpiece lineup on PBS for 2014, but dates have only recently been set for the premiere. Death Comes to Pemberley will officially screen on Sunday nights at 9pm from October 26 – November 2. 

More details below.

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