An Early Look at Masterpiece Mystery!’s Case Histories

The new Masterpiece Mystery! series Case Histories gets underway tomorrow night at 9, and introduces us to Jackson Brodie, a former police investigator turned private detective who's a bit different from most of the “types” in this genre. Based on the popular series of Kate Atkinson novels, Case Histories is very appealing — Harry Potter's Jason Isaacs shines in the starring role, the writing's witty, and the cases are intricate enough to hold viewers' attention and provide an entertaining pay off.

Take a look at this scene from the first episode to get a feel for the tone of the show and, if you're feeling brave, click through for some of my early (spoiler free) thoughts!

BBC Commissions Victorian-Era Jack the Ripper Drama

The BBC has commissioned a new eight-part drama series called Ripper Street, slated to go into production early next year. The Jack the Ripper-inspired tale is set in the East End of London in 1889, and takes place during the aftermath of the Ripper murders.

According to the BBC press release, Ripper Street explores the lives of characters trying to recover from the Ripper's legacy, from crimes that have not only irretrievably altered their lives, but the very fabric of their city. At the drama's heart our detectives try to bring a little light into the dark world they inhabit.” Cue suitably edgy and dramatic music!

The Guardian's coverage of the new drama suggests that, with Ripper Street, the BBC is attempting to capitalize on the worldwide success they've found with the recent revival of Sherlock. To be fair, that's probably true; so don't be too surprised if some of the main characters turn out to feel fairly familiar: my guesses include an innovative-but-rude Victorian police officer who loves science, or perhaps a dogged sidekick type who has extensive experience with firearms and really likes tea. Though, personally, I rather fail to see the bad in that... At any rate, the setting's fantastic. And aren't we all a little fascinated by that era of history? (Thanks, early sensationalistic press!) Ideally, this would end up being a mash-up of the cleverness of Sherlock with the period feel of Downton Abbey. (Well, if I ran the world, at any rate. Or at the very least the BBC.)

 

FYI: You Should Watch Hustle This Weekend

This Sunday night at 11pm, WETA's beginning the first series of Hustle, a super intelligent, exceptionally charming caper from the producers of MI-5 about a team of expert con men that stage elaborate setups or “long cons.” It's very similar in tone to films like Ocean's 11 or Catch Me If You Can, and if you've enjoyed any of the recent slate of American con-man style series — Leverage, White Collar, and their ilk — you'll love Hustle. It's also one of those shows I'm endlessly recommending to people who say they're tired of all the police procedurals in America. (I feel like Hustle didn't get enough love when it first aired in America ages ago on AMC, and it's such a gem of awesome Britishness that everyone should really see it if they haven't yet.)

The preview below doesn't explain the cons so much, but it introduces you to all our major players, including the always excellent Robert Vaughn (Albert), fairly adorable Marc Warren (Danny) and Philip Glennister's brother Robert (Ash, and the family resemblance is uncanny).

First Promo for Julian Fellowes’ Titanic Miniseries

Julian Fellowes, creator of everyone's favorite period drama Downton Abbey, is writing a four-part miniseries about the sinking of the Titanic. It's set to air early next year, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking.

From the looks of this trailer, it's got a bit of a Downton Abbey on a Boat! feel, but let's not kid ourselves. We all know we're going to love it . (And if we could get a cameo from the ill-fated Crawley relatives, as a nod to Downton…well, that would just be the frosting of greatness on top.)

 

 

News of the Day: Sherlock Series 2 Gets American Air Date!

My personal Christmas has an official airdate! Yes, the much-anticipated second series of Sherlock is now, officially, set to hit American airwaves on Sunday, May 6th, per the latest from the lovely folks over at Masterpiece.

Now taking suggestions for any and all Sherlock-related countdown calendars, shrines to Cumberbatch/Freeman/Moffat/Gatiss, or other worthy "No, Really, Is it May Yet?" paraphenalia that is absolutely in no way for my desk. (Cough.) Pictures will totally may ensue.

 

Harry Potter's Lucius Malfoy Decidely Less Evil on Masterpiece Mystery!

Lucius Malfoy solves crime! Well, sort of. Jason Isaacs, whom many of you probably know as Draco Malfoy's impeccably coiffed evil father in the Harry Potter films, is coming to Masterpiece Mystery!  Beginning October 16 at 9pm, Isaacs stars in Case Histories, based on the popular detective novels by Kate Atkinson. Though, unfortunately, if you were hoping for a return of the impressive Lucius hair, you're sadly out of luck.

Sherlock Series 2 Poster!

Executive Producer Steven Moffat tweeted something which will probably be of great interest to our Sherlock fans - fairly amazing poster art for Series 2 featuring Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch), John (Martin Freeman) and Moriarty (Andrew Scott). And yes, to my great personal relief, the scarf is back!

Full image after the jump!

Inspector Spacetime and Cougarton Abbey: Is Being A Britophile Going Mainstream?

If you saw the season premiere of NBC's comedy Community, then you were probably pleasantly surprised to catch two references sure to bring joy to Brit lovers' hearts. Abed, Community's resident pop culture geek, is on a quest to find a new show to watch while his favorite American program is on hiatus. With some help from his friends, Abed is introduced to the joys of British television, namely two series called Cougarton Abbey and Inspector Spacetime. Sound familiar?

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