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Category:Drama

David Tennant’s ‘The Escape Artist’ Heads to PBS Stations This Summer

Good news for fans of former Doctor Who star David Tennant! The Tenth Doctor’s recent BBC mini-series The Escape Artist is finally coming to America and will premiere on PBS stations nationwide beginning Sunday, June 15 as part of the new season of Masterpiece Mystery.

Created and written by David Wolstencroft, the three-part drama originally aired in the UK last Fall. It stars Tennant alongside a great cast that includes Sophie Okonedo, Tony Kebbell  and Ashley Jensen. It follows the story of talented barrister (that’s British for lawyer) Will Burton, who is known for never losing a case and for his ability to get obvious criminals out of tight legal corners. (That’s why he’s called “The Escape Artist”, after all!)

But when Burton agrees to defend a notorious murder suspect and manages to get him off on a technicality, the decision comes back to haunt him. Dun dun dunnnn! 

Category:Reality

'Top Gear' Series 21 Set to Premiere in America on February 10

Believe or not, the twenty-first series of modern classic automotive show, Top Gear, is airing this month. (It started this week in the UK and will make its way Stateside beginning February 10 on BBC America. And, yes,Top Gear is really that old.) 

According to the 2013 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records,the series is “the most widely watched factual TV programme”; however; the Top Gear of today is a far cry from its regional motoring magazine beginnings. Did you know, for example, that the show originally began in 1977? And that it used to look quite a bit different from it current incarnation?

In fact, you might be surprised by just how much has changed

Read on for a bit of a history lesson - and a look at some of the show's best moments!

Category:Other

Must-See in the New Year: Things We're Looking Forward to in 2014

Happy New Year, Telly Visions readers! From our family here to yours – we hope you all have a wonderful 2014: a year full of love and laughter and, of course, as much great British television as you can possibly cram in to 365 days. 

Luckily, there’s apparently going to be quite a bit in the way of quality options to pick from in the next twelve months. We take a look at a few of the most exciting options below.

Category:Drama

Watch: First Look at 'The Musketeers' with ‘Skins’’ Luke Pasqualino, ‘Merlin’s’ Santiago Cabrera and ‘Doctor Who’s’ Peter Capaldi

The BBC has released the first trailer for upcoming drama adventure The Musketeers, a ten-part drama series that attempts to capture the epic feel of Alexandre Dumas’ famous novel.

The adaptation stars several familiar British faces in the lead roles and looks like it’s going to be well worth our time next year. Skins star Luke Pasqualino (who played fan favorite Freddie) leads the cast as D’Artagnan, and is joined by Merlin’s Santiago Cabrera as Aramis, The Hour’s Tom Burke as Athos and theater actor Howard Charles as Porthos.  And, in what’s probably the most intriguing bit of casting – Doctor Who’s brand new Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi will be playing the villainous Cardinal Richelieu. How fun is that going to be.

Get more details and watch the first trailer for this new series below.

Category:Theater

'Great Performances' to Air National Theatre 50th Anniversary Celebration in February

Britain’s National Theatre celebrates its 50th anniversary this year – much like several other  well-known British institutions, including the Rolling Stones and, of course, Doctor Who. For those that don’t know, the NT is one of the UK’s two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company. It presents a varied program, staging everything from Shakespeare and international classic dramas to new and modern works by contemporary playwrights.

Many of the British actors we all love have done stints at the NT, performing a wide variety of roles in various productions.  And by many, we really mean pretty much everyone ever who works in British entertainment. Familiar faces like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi,  Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren and many, many more are all alumni of the National Theatre and clearly remain very fond of it.

Earlier this Fall, the BBC held an all-star gala event in honor of the 50th birthday of this cultural institution and the stars turned out in force to celebrate. The program was basically a dream for anyone who loves theater or has been any sort of fan of British television or film over the past couple of decades and we all were basically green with envy that we had to miss out on seeing this once-in-a-lifetime line-up for ourselves. Well, we can all turn a little less green – because the special is going to be aired in America.

Read on for more.

Category:Drama

Watch: The First PBS Promo for Upcoming Holiday Special ‘Mr Stink’

Mr. Stink, a feature-length drama adapted from the popular children’s novel written by David Walliams, will premiere this December as part of PBS’s special line-up of holiday programming.

Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville stars as the titular Mr. Stink - a role that seems quite a bit removed from the uber-posh Lord Robert Grantham. A particularly odiferous homeless man with more than a few secrets of his own, Mr. Stink is befriended by a lonely twelve-year-old girl named Chloe, who lets him stay in her garden shed.
Sheridan Smith, Isabella Blake-Thomas
and Johnny Vegas also star in this heartwarming holiday tale.

Watch the first trailer from PBS below to get a better feel for the show. It looks wonderfully ridiculous.

Category:Drama

Watch: Lavish Trailer for ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Sequel ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’

The new trailer for the new three-part series Death Comes to Pemberley has arrived, and it’s well stocked with familiar faces, lavish costumes, beautiful scenery and, well, murder. That last bit is taking us a bit far afield from the world of author Jane Austen, it’s true, but, here we are.

The new adaptation is based on the 2011 P.D. James novel of the same name, which picks up the story of famous Austen couple Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy six years into their marriage and combines a look at their life together with a murder mystery.

Category:Comedy

Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi’s ‘Vicious’ Coming to PBS Stations in 2014

It’s official: The first season of gay sitcom Vicious –starring acting legends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi – will be making its American debut next year. According to Deadline, Shine International has closed a deal with PBS to bring the comedy to local stations nationwide in 2014.

The comedy, which follows the adventures of an elderly gay couple who have been living together in the same Covent Garden flat for nearly fifty years.  An incredibly co-dependent duo, they spend most of their time bickering and walking the dog, but the couple finds their lives turned upside down with the arrival of their new young upstairs neighbor.  Harry Potter’s Frances de la Tour  and Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon also star.

Vicious bowed in the UK to mixed reviews but strong ratings, premiering as the highest-rated comedy launch of any UK channel in 2013 at the time of its airing. It went on to average around 3.4 million viewers an episode, which isn’t exactly Downton Abbey numbers, but is certainly nothing to sniff at either.

Watch the UK trailer below.

Category:Drama

Hugh Bonneville’s ‘Mr Stink’ Headed to PBS Stations This Christmas

Get ready for an unexpected and heartwarming treat this holiday season, coming to PBS stations nationwide. Mr. Stink, a feature-length drama adapted from the popular children’s novel written by David Walliams, will premiere this December, as part of PBS’s upcoming holiday programming line-up.

Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville stars as the titular Mr. Stink, a homeless man who is befriended by a lonely twelve-year-old girl named Chloe who invites him to live in the shed at the end of her family’s garden.  It’s a role that seems to be about 180 degrees removed from the ultra posh Robert, Earl of Grantham, which is part of the reason it should be so fun to watch. 

Read on for more details. 

Category:Drama

BBC Adaptation of Acclaimed ‘Wolf Hall’ Novel Will Be Coming to Masterpiece in 2015!

Exciting news for fans of both period drama and good literature! Casting has finally been announced for the upcoming BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novel Wolf Hall. And – even better news – the series is already confirmed for a transmission on Masterpiece in 2015

The six-part drama will adapt the Booker Prize-winning bestsellers Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies into one series, which follows the story of Thomas Cromwell, a key adviser to King Henry VIII. Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith, enjoyed a meteoric rise to power, first when he served under Cardinal Wolsey and later as chief minister to the king himself. Among other things, Cromwell was a chief architect of the English Reformation, helping to engineer the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon, in order to allow the king to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn.  He was also instrumental in Anne’s later fall from grace, negotiated Henry VIII’s fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves and instituted widespread (and extensive) religious reforms.

Mantel’s novels present a somewhat revisionist take on the infamous politician, as Cromwell has been historically presented as an unlikeable figure.  It’s also just an incredibly great story.  Read on for more details. 

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