Supernatural Drama The Fades to Premiere on BBC America

BBC America’s latest addition to their Supernatural Saturday lineup will be fantasy/horror drama The Fades, premiering on Saturday, January 14 at 9pm.

Penned by Skins writer Jack Thorne, The Fades centers on a 17-year-old boy named Paul, who is haunted by apocalyptic dreams no one can explain. Unfortunately, it turns out the Paul’s visions are actually real, and he finds himself caught in a battle between the living and the undead. These undead are the titular “Fades,” or the dead who, for whatever reason, are trapped on earth and unable to pass on.

Iain De Caestecker stars as Paul, and he’s joined by Skins’ Lily Loveless, The Tudors’ Natalie Dormer, Daniel Kaluuya, Johnny Harris and more.

The BBC Three property has gotten strong buzz in the UK, and if you like Being Human, Misfits, or Skins, you’ll probably want to give this a look when it lands here.

Click through to watch BBC America's first trailer for the supernatural thriller.

12 Days of Downton: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About an Entail

Thirteen days until the premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2! Today, we’ve got a bit of a history lesson to talk about, centered around the one of the series’ most central and confusing tenets – that Lady Mary Crawley cannot inherit Downton Abbey, her father’s estate. The reason? Much like the practice of primogeniture that regulates the Royal succession (the Crown passes to the first born male heir), there are also special laws and regulations – many of which date from as early as the 13th century – specific to inheritance and how the assets of the peerage – titles, estates, and land – may be passed down.

The reason that Mary cannot inherit Downton is because the estate is entailed to a male heir. Yes, the property has an entail, as Lord Robert, Lady Cora, the Dowager Countess and many other folks kept reminding us during the first series. But what IS an entail, exactly? Well, a “fee tail,” or an entail is “an estate of inheritance upon real property which cannot be which cannot be sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the owner, but which passes by operation of law to the owner’s heirs upon his death” says Wikipedia. Great. So, what does that mean?

Click on through to find out!

Preview Sherlock’s “A Scandal in Belgravia”

All those lucky viewers in the UK have just under a week to go until new episodes of Sherlock to appear their screens. Here in the US, we’re waiting until May for Sherlock’s return, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy all the great promotional items that are cropping up on what appears to be a daily basis, thanks to the BBC.

Like this, for example – we can now see a full trailer for Series 2’s first episode, “A Scandal in Belgravia.” And it looks fantastic! Click through to take a look for yourself (I'm keeping these sorts of things under the fold, to make it easier for those looking to avoid anything potentially spoilery.)

12 Days of Downton (Plus A Couple Extra): Day One

Welcome to the first day of our Countdown to Downton Abbey Series 2! And, I thought, what what better way to frame it up than to have a special celebratory post pop up every day from now until the S2 premiere on January 8th? Much like the 12 Days of Christmas (though we'll get a couple bonus items because the math didn't quite work out exactly) we'll have different previews, discussion topics, wishlists and silly things every day for the next two weeks. We hope enjoy this whole series - it should be pretty fun! (And we're looking for suggestions on future features, so drop us a note!)

Click through for a Series 2 treat, and stick around over the next few days for more Downton-related fun.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas, Telly Visions readers! If you’re celebrating of course – Happy Sunday and long weekend, if you’re not. Hope Santa brought you something outstanding!

And, while there’s an opportunity, we’d like to reiterate how happy and grateful that you’re all here with us, reading and commenting and tweeting. It’s the best present a girl could ask for really. Well, that and maybe those classic Doctor Who box sets I don’t own yet. But you guys are still better than that.

Looking forward to a really fantastic 2012 with all of you!

Our Countdown to Downton Abbey Series 2 Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is fabulous, not only because it’s Christmas for those that celebrate, but because it officially marks two weeks until the premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2 in the U.S. Hurrah! (I’m almost as excited for the Dowager Countess’ return as I am for Santa; just saying…)

To really get in the spirit for our return to Downton, we’re planning a slew of features and fun things here at Telly Visions, as well on our official WETA website. Things are kicking off tomorrow afternoon with a marathon rebroadcast of Series 1, starting at 5pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. We’ll air the entire first season back-to-back-to-back-to-back, so this is a perfect time to refresh your memory about the Crawley family drama or perhaps finally see what all the buzz is about for yourself.

Here on the blog we plan to cover all the reasons you should watch this amazing show in the first place, dish about previews and cast Q&As, share some new photos, talk fashion, look at some history, and celebrate some of the amazing actors that bring the series to life.

However, I thought it might be fun to ask you, the readers – what about Downton fascinates you? It’s been ages since I’ve seen a series like this sort of capture such a large piece of the public imagination, and I think that’s awesome. So, what would you like to talk about over the next couple of weeks? And what do you think would be fun for those of us who are (I assume) all such huge fans of this drama? More history? Trivia? Character studies (from the in-depth motivational analysis to the more basic “Who are all these people?” variety)? Something silly? Open to any and all suggestions – and would appreciate it!


Have Yourself a British Little Christmas: Fun Holiday Traditions From Across the Pond

It’s Christmas this weekend – and though we have our own very American activities that are considered essential to properly celebrating this holiday (tacky lights tours, anyone? Just me?), we might do well to consider adopting a few of traditions that are popular in Great Britain at this time of year. (I vote for adding in Christmas telly and Boxing Day off for my part, but feel free to disagree with me in the comments.)

Click through for some tidbits on what makes Christmas in the UK special – feel free to chime in if you think something vital has been left off of the list, or if you know a place in America where someone might easily be able to get a bulk order of Christmas crackers for next year. Or both!

The Friday News Roundup: End of the Year Madness Edition

Happy Holiday Weekend Friday, Telly Visions readers! Hope everyone is gearing up for a great few days with family and friends and safe travels if you’re headed anywhere for the holidays today.

There’s a lot of fun stuff in the roundup today, and a little something for everyone probably – featuring Downton Abbey, Great Expectations, Sherlock, The Borrowers, Doctor Who, Julian Fellowes’ new Titantic miniseries, and a bunch more, so click through and start reading.

Telly Visions Goes to the Movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It seems strangely fitting that Cold War spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opened in the States – or at least expanded beyond two cities - the same weekend people started screening Mission Impossible 4 for the first time. Not because the two films are in any way alike, but because of the strong contrast they present to one another. (Full disclosure: I’ve not seen MI 4 yet, but I’m guessing that it’s not probably not moving the needle too far from its three predecessors in terms of tone.)

Tinker Tailor sits firmly on the side of the classic espionage thriller, the kind which does not rely on impressive stunts, nifty gadets or breathtaking explosions to carry the story. Popular mainstream spy films, like the MI franchise and others of its ilk (Looking at you Bond, Bourne) often appear far more interested in the trappings of spycraft than the people who perform it, or the often boring particulars of how they do their jobs. (I imagine it’s a lot more talking than car chases for those folks, most days.) Conversely, Tinker Tailor, as a film, feels a bit like watching a stage play – a good two thirds of it is comprised of various combinations of men sitting in variety of dimly lit rooms and talking, but it’s just as riveting as if things were exploding throughout. It does require you to really pay attention to the many twists, turns, and seemingly throwaway moments that turn out to be anything but.

The film is based on John le Carre’s 1974 novel of the same name, which was also turned into a very popular six-hour BBC miniseries starring Alec Guinness. (Personal aside: I’ve just gotten a coyp of this and can’t want to watch it.) The film’s premise is deceptively simple: it’s the height of the Cold War and there’s a Soviet mole/double agent operating at the highest levels of British intelligence. Gary Oldman plays master spy George Smiley, whose job is it to sort through the Who’s Who of British character actors that comprise the rest of the cast and determine which of them is passing secrets to the Russians.

So what can you expect if you see it? This is not a movie for everyone, first of all. It’s very intricate and a little bit on the slow side, and it actively requires that you, as a viewer, pay (a lot of) attention, because if you don’t you’ll definitely miss something. There’s a great deal of talking - there has to be, if they’re going to condense a 400+ page novel into a two hour movie – and less in the way of action than a typical MI-style spy film. But it’s a densely plotted mystery with many layers that peel back like an onion, and an extremely well done character piece. I loved it, but there will certainly be those that call it boring rather than intriguing. (I also think those people are wrong, but I can see why the argument is being made.)

If you’re curious about the specifics, click through for my take on the film’s highlights and occasionally problematic areas. If you’ve seen this – what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

In Case You Missed It: The Hobbit Trailer!

It’s likely that most of you saw this particular bit of awesomeness yesterday, but for those who somehow haven’t – the trailer for the first installment of Peter Jackson’s long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was released this week, and features a star-studded cast full of great British performers.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14, 2012, and stars Sherlock’s Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, alongside several members of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy cast including Sir Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, and Elijah Wood. They’ll be joined by a ton of new faces – most of them British – such as Stephen Fry, MI-5/Robin Hood’s Richard Armitage, Being Human’s Aidan Turner, Jekyll's James Nesbitt, Sylvester McCoy, Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch (eventually), Luke Evans, and more.

Click through to watch the trailer for yourself - it's really quite glorious, especially if you're a fan, and I've loved Tolkien since I was a kid. The Hobbit trailer is running in theaters before The Adventures of Tintin, so if you’re heading to the cinema this holiday weekend, you can see it on the big screen.

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