First Look at Doctor Who’s Alex Kingston in Upstairs Downstairs Series 2

The BBC has released its first image from the upcoming series of Upstairs Downstairs. The new photo features our first look at Doctor Who star Alex Kingston, who is joining the cast for Series 2, alongside Keeley Hawes.

Kingston will play Blanche Mottershead, the younger sister of Dame Eileen Atkins’ Lady Maud Holland. Atkins decided not to take part in the second season of Upstairs Downstairs last year.

Click through for a look for yourself!

12 Days of Downton Plus One: Five Reasons You Should Give Downton Abbey a Try

The wonderful Downton Abbey returns tonight at 9pm on Masterpiece Classic. To say that a lot of us are over the moon excited about this is a bit of an understatement.

The first series aired last winter, won four Emmys, and has become a pop culture obsession on both sides of the pond. If you’ve yet to experience the brilliance that is this wonderful period drama, WETA is marathoning the entire first series this afternoon, starting in just about half an hour, all leading up to the Series 2 premiere at 9pm.

If you’ve somehow managed to miss out on the excellence that is this show, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Well, right now is a perfect time to catch up and jump right in, and it’s highly likely you’ll end up just as swept away as the rest of us? Why? Click through and see for yourself.

Preview Sherlock’s "The Hounds of Baskerville" with Being Human’s Russell Tovey

The second episode of Sherlock Series 2 is airing in the UK this evening (lucky!), but we can still get a small Holmes fix in America to help tide us over until May.

“The Hounds of Baskerville” is written by Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss and features a guest appearance from popular Being Human star Russell Tovey. Based on what is arguably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most well-recognized story, “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” this episode is sure to dial the creepy, psychological horror factor up to eleven.

Click through for a look at the BBC’s promotional trailer, as well as a sneak peek scene from the episode. It’s not spoilery at all – though it does confirm that Sherlock is capable of sitting and having a pint like a normal person – so it’s safe for those of you who don’t want to know any significant plot details before you see it for yourselves. Sherlock will return to America as part of the new season of Masterpiece Mystery starting May 6.

The Great Doc Martin (Re)watch Begins: Series 1, Episodes 1 and 2

Starting tonight on WETA, we’re broadcasting Doc Martin from the very beginning, and going straight through all four series every Saturday for the next few months. It’s all leading up to something a lot of people have been looking forward to, namely, the long-awaited premiere of Series 5. (It's coming in April, so start getting excited.)

However, this title might be a bit misleading – while it’s certainly a rewatch for a lot (most?) of you, this will be my first proper trip to Portwenn. This should be a fairly interesting ride, as I know a fair amount of the basic big Doc Martin plot details as a result of just spending a lot of time around anglophiles, but I don’t know the characters or how they relate to each other at all. I’m intrigued!

So, I hope some of you – especially the big fans out there – will click through and come chat with me! List your favorite moments from these episodes in the comments, characters you like, funny lines, whatever strikes your fancy!

12 Days of Downton: Watch a Sneak Peek of the Downton Abbey Series 2 Premiere!

Series 2 of Downton Abbey starts tomorrow night at 9pm! (And how much fun is it to say that, finally?)

Click through and whet your appetite for tomorrow night with this sneak peek at a scene from the first episode, featuring a brand new character, an awkward Downton dinner party and the Dowager Countess being…well, pretty much exactly how you’d expect. It looks brilliant!

The Friday News Roundup: Late Night Edition

Blame the short week for the lateness of today’s roundup post – it’s possible that yours truly forgot that it was actually Friday today. Please keep laughing on that score to a minimum, if at all possible.

But, it is Friday, so that means it’s News Roundup time! Click through for updates on Upstairs Downstairs, Copper, Downton Abbey, Eternal Law, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Mistresses and more!

12 Days of Downton: Your Guide to the Downton Abbey Experience on Twitter

Two days until Downton Abbey is back! If you’re looking for a more interactive viewing experience during the premiere broadcast on Sunday night, you might want to check out the special events happening that night on Twitter.

The official Masterpiece account will be hosting a live Twitter event from 9-11pm Eastern time, featuring comedian and huge Downton fan Patton Oswalt, as well as contributors from Vanity Fair Magazine, Tom and Lorenzo (I love that site!), Austenprose. If you’re on Twitter and want to participate, just use and track the hashtag #DowntonPBS.

But, if any of you happen to be big Twitter enthusiasts – not that I would know anything about wasting hours of one’s life on Twitter, no... – then there are a few other accounts you might want to follow that will prove very relevant to your interests. Click through for a guide to the world of Downton on Twitter, including official accounts, cast members, fan sites, and a bit of fun.

Britwatch: Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Doctor Who’s Noel Clarke Join Cast of Star Trek 2

J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek sequel just got a lot more interesting for Anglophiles. According to industry mag Variety, Benedict Cumberbatch and Noel Clarke have been cast in two significant roles, joining fellow Brits Simon Pegg and Alice Eve.

Fresh off his recent film appearances in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and War Horse, Cumberbatch is apparently trading in his Sherlock coat for a black hat, as he will be playing the sequel’s main villain. Nothing further on who or what that villain may be (and how entertaniing is it that we actually have to add in the “what” here, as he could be playing any variety of alien, I suppose?), though if you’re interested in a good bit of incredibly detailed speculation, the internet is more than happy to provide that sort of thing for you.

Clarke is probably best known for his role as Mickey Smith, the boyfriend to Billie Piper's Rose Tyler on Doctor Who, though he has written, directed and starteseveral films (Kidulthood and Adulthood) since his time in the TARDIS. No word yet on what character he will be playing for Abrams’ film, though Variety reports the role is a “family man.” (I don’t know enough about the Star Trek world to hazard a guess, unfortunately!)

The Trek sequel is slated for release on May 17, 2013. And writing it out like that makes it seem very far away indeed, doesn’t it?

12 Days of Downton: What To Do At Your Downton Abbey Viewing Party This Weekend

With excitement high virtually everywhere for the Series 2 premiere of Downton Abbey this weekend (three days, hurray!), everyone is clearly thinking about how to appropriately mark such a momentous occasion. And, really, what better way to do so than by having your nearest and dearest period drama-loving friends over to watch along with you? (It’s what I’m planning to do, after all, so I’d like to hope I won’t be the odd woman out with this particular scenario…) So, if you think you might like to throw yourself a Downton viewing party this Sunday andcelebrate the return of the Crawleys to America, click through for a few suggestions about invitations, food, beverages and party activities that will make your get together the very envy of society. Or at least, get some tasty snacks out of the deal.

Heads Up for Doc Martin Fans: Rewatch From The Beginning This Weekend And Get Ready for Series 5!

Good news for our Doc Martin fans – this Saturday on WETA we’re starting the entire series of Doc Martin over with the very first episode, “Going Bodmin.” (The second episode, “Gentlemen Prefer,” will air immediately following.) Then we’ll run through all four series, finally leading up to the moment everyone’s been waiting for….the premiere of Series 5. Yes, you read that right. New episodes of Doc Martin, coming to WETA this April. Commence the celebration.

And remember when I said that I was going to marathon my way through all of Doc Martin and write about it? Well, now I have absolutely no excuse – and even a handy pre-determined viewing schedule - so stick around for a weekly walk down memory lane with me and all the folks in Portwenn, starting this weekend.

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