Masterpiece Classic

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Beyond Television: A Look at 'Making Masterpiece'

As the blog’s name suggests, we normally talk telly here at Telly Visions, but today I’d like to share with you a book I’ve been reading that I believe is an appropriate subject for this forum.  It chronicles a television program near and dear to my heart and yours, I’m sure.

In Making Masterpiece: My 25 Years behind the Scenes at Masterpiece and Mystery! on PBS Rebecca Eaton, the executive producer of Masterpiece, tells two stories you’ll want to read if you’ve been a fan of the Masterpiece brand in recent years. The history of Masterpiece and Eaton’s personal memoir intertwine to create a compelling narrative about the ups and downs of a cultural institution and the woman who has been at its helm for the past quarter century.

Read on for more details.

Category:Drama

‘The Paradise’ Comes to Masterpiece in October: Watch the First PBS Preview

Costume drama fans rejoice! You can get your period drama fix once again starting this October on PBS stations nationwide. The new series The Paradise, which adapts Emile Zola’s classic French novel set in a Victorian-era department store premieres on PBS stations nationwide beginning this October.

The Paradise is a rags-to-riches tale set in the first department store in northern England in the late nineteenth century. It follows the story of Denise Lovett, a bright-eyed country girl who finds more than just shop work when she brings her clever ideas and ambition to the glamorous store called, you guessed it, The Paradise. She is plunged headlong into intrigue and romance as she catches the eye of the store’s dashing and enigmatic owner, John Moray, who harbors a dark secret. Drama, predictably, ensues.

Watch the first PBS preview for this new lavish costume series below – and get a sneak peek at a scene from the first episode! 

Category:Drama

Get a Behind the Scenes Look at Mr. Selfridge!

We're getting close to the premiere of new Masterpiece drama Mr. Selfridge. This period drama stars Jeremy Piven as visionary American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge and chronicles the founding of the famous Oxford Street department store that still bears his name today. I mean, of course it'll still be packed with loads of secondary characters and drama and intrigue and fabulous outfits, but that's the basic central theme of the thing.

Selfridge was particularly successful at restructuring the public's attitude toward shopping in the early 1900s, and turned it into a fun and desirable social activity for high society ladies. It seems like it ought to be pretty fun.

Get a look behind the scenes of this new series - including new footage and some backstage dish from the cast and producers, as they talk about the history of the period, including Selfridge's many accomplishments and rather dramatic personal life. Give it a look below.

Category:Drama

First Look at Mr. Selfridge – Coming to Masterpiece This Spring

Now you can get your first look at Entourage star Jeremy Piven all dolled up in period dress, as ITV has released the first trailer for the new ten-part series Mr. Selfridge.

Piven stars as famous American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, the man who reinvented the concept of shopping for Edwardian-era women. (And also launched a little London department store that you can still visit and shop in on Oxford Street today.). The costume drama will focus on Selfridge’s visionary business skills and love of putting on a show, as well as his quite colorful and dramatic personal life.

Piven seems a decent showman in this brief clip, though we certainly don’t get much by way of introduction to any of the (apparently legion) other/supporting characters. Take a look for yourself below.

Category:Drama

Entourage’s Jeremy Piven Cast As “Mr. Selfridge,” Series Will Air on Masterpiece in 2013

Entourage star Jeremy Piven – perhaps best known for his exhortation that we all just “Hug it out” – will be given the chance to show off his more serious side in upcoming period drama Mr. Selfridge. Piven will play the titular character, Harry Gordon Selfridge, the visionary American entrepreneur who transformed Oxford Street in London with the splashy department store that still bears his name.

Created by the Emmy Award-winning Andrew Davies (who also did Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House), the ten-part series will focus on the life of the “pioneering and reckless” shipping magnate who turned the act of shopping into an pleasurable and social activity for Edwardian-era women. The series will also deal with some of the same sorts of class issues as Downton Abbey, as well as highlight hidden moments in the history of women in fashion and domestic affairs.

Mr. Selfridge is currently filming in the UK and is slated to air in 2013, but exact dates for US and UK transmission have yet to be determined. (If you'd like an early look at Piven in some fairly fancy period dress, you can find a few filming shots here.)

The announcement that Mr. Selfridge will join the Masterpiece family brought with it some more great news: that the multi-series production co-production deal between Masterpiece and UK network ITV also includes further episodes of Endeavour, Inspector Lewis, Miss Marple and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. So we can now officially look forward to new installments of all four of those popular programs in the coming year as well.

 

Category:Drama

Get a Sneak Peek at Tonight’s Finale of Masterpiece’s “Birdsong”

World War I drama Birdsong concludes tonight on Masterpiece Classic! Did you enjoy part one last weekend?

I actually meant to write up a review of this film, but unfortunately didn’t get the chance yet. (Maybe I’ll do a cumulative one?) So, I will merely say in brief that Eddie Redmayne is really quite a good actor! He’s doing an excellent job.

Anwyay, get in the mood for part two - click through for a sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s conclusion, then tune in for the rest at 9pm!

Category:Drama

Watch a Scene from “Birdsong,” Airing Tonight on Masterpiece!

Premiering tonight on Masterpiece Classic, watch Part One of Birdsong, an adaptation of Sebastian Faulkes’ best-selling novel of the same name.

Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Maryiln, The Pillars of the Earth) and Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter, In Bruges) star in this World War I drama, which tells the story of Stephen Wraysford's all-consuming love affair with Isabelle Azaire and the enduring effect their relationship has on him as he fights in the trenches.

Click through for a sneak peek at a scene from Birdsong and get a feel for the film before you tune in tonight!

Category:Drama

Watch the First Masterpiece Promo for “Birdsong,” Premiering April 22!

Coming this weekend to Masterpiece Classic, watch the BBC’s adaptation of Sebastian Faulkes’ best-selling novel Birdsong.

Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Maryiln, The Pillars of the Earth) and Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter, In Bruges) star in this World War I drama, which tells the story of Stephen Wraysford's all-consuming love affair with Isabelle Azaire and the enduring effect their relationship has on him as he fights in the trenches.

The film is written by Abi Morgan, who also penned the recent critically acclaimed cinematic hits The Iron Lady and Shame. Birdsong premieres on April 22nd at 9pm.

Click through and take a look at the first Masterpiece promo for yourself. Get ready for angst and longing looks!           

Category:Drama

Tonight on Masterpiece: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Premiering tonight on Masterpiece Classic, see a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood, starring Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters), Tamzin Merchant (The Tudors) and Freddie Fox (The Shadow Line).

Drood was Dickens’ final novel, which was left unfinished at the time of the author’s death. The story is a psychological thriller about provincial choirmaster John Jasper and his obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud, the fiancée of our titular Edwin Drood. Dickens’ death leaves the ending unknown, though he did provide a brief summary of the story in a letter.

Supplying a conclusion to this story has occupied authors and Dickens fans from the time of his death, so it should be interesting to see how this adaptation (from the producers of Little Dorrit) chooses to tackle the unknown ending - as far as I’m aware this particular film’s ending is original.

Click through for a preview and a sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s adaptation. And let us know what you think!

Category:Drama

Good But Slightly Less than Great Expectations: Let's Dish Part Two

Masterpiece Classic’s newest adaptation of Charles Dickens Great Expectations concluded this past Sunday night. Much like the drama’s first installment, the conclusion is a bit of a mixed bag – several really fantastic performances from the cast, beautiful imagery, a few interesting departures from the source material, and a story that occasionally felt too heavy on the plot specifics and too light on the emotional payoff. 

So click through, and let’s talk about it. If you still need to catch up, you can watch both episodes online right now! (And then come talk about it.)

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