The Friday News Roundup: We're Back Again Edition

The Friday News Roundup makes a (another) triumphant return! Well, more like slinks backs into your lives after entirely too much excitement with Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch and Steven Moffat last week, but the first phrasing just sounds so much better. (There’s a chance this feature may ultimately end up becoming a biweekly one, but maybe not. We’ll see.)

Anyway, all is back to normal again and my life is sadly Cumberbatch-free once more except for my TV on Sunday nights, so let’s get back into what really matters, which is all the interesting bits and bobs from the world of British entertainment in the past couple weeks. Click through for tidbits about Sherlock, Downton Abbey, Parade’s End, Call the Midwife, Doctor Who, Top Gear, Rev and loads more.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Red Dwarf

Up next in our series of little mini-introductions to some of the great programming you can expect to see on WETA UK, the cult classic science fiction comedy Red Dwarf. The franchise primarily comprises eight series plus a smaller ninth mini-series type thing named Back to Earth. Red Dwarf originally aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1999 and then on Dave in 2009. The show has had such enduring popularity that a tenth series was recently commissioned and is set to air on Dave later this year, actually.

This is actually one of the WETA UK programs that I personally am most excited about, because I’ve never seen it and everyone I know that’s watched it just loves it to death. I tend to enjoy sci-fi, as a rule, and while I am slightly…well, the concept seems very hard to explain/get your head around, but I must admit I’m intrigued. Click through for some basics and a look at Series 1.

White Heat Comes to the States on BBC America This Week

Starting this week on BBC America, you can catch BBC Two drama White Heat. This six-part series chronicles the lives of seven friends over the course of five decades, following the lives, loves and destinies shaped by the political and social events of each era, connecting the dots of relationships born and broken over time until they are reunited in the present day by the death of one of their own.

Created by acclaimed British screenwriter Paula Milne (The Virgin Queen, I Dreamed of Africa), the drama follows the seven characters from 1965, when they share student housing, to Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979, to the end of her reign in 1990. The series is apparently somewhat autobiographical for Milne and focuses heavily on the women’s movement.

The cast of characters include the rebel with a cause Jack, played by Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), the beautiful artist Lilly, played by MyAnna Buring (The Twilight Saga, The Descent) and the radiant and fierce Charlotte, played by Claire Foy (Upstairs Downstairs, Little Dorrit).

White Heat premieres tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 9) as part of BBC America’s “Dramaville” block, but click through for a look at a trailer for the new series now.

Sherlock Series 2 is Here: Let's Dish "A Scandal in Belgravia"

Sherlock is finally back in America! (To say that I am so excited about this is probably the understatement of my year.) Series 2 premiered last night with the episode “A Scandal in Belgravia,” which is based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story A Scandal in Bohemia and introduces us to one of Holmes’ most famous adversaries, Irene Adler. (Fun fact: This is actually the only Conan Doyle story that Adler ever appears in – and the story itself is much, much shorter than this episode, actually. Yet, she is one of the most enduring figures in the Holmes canon.)

Series 2 really is probably the best TV you will watch all year. No, really. No matter what sorts of problems anyone might have with this episode (and, to be fair, I have a few), it’s really remarkable television and it’s just such a shame that we only get three episodes of this brilliance a season. It’s that good.

Anyway, if you’re itching to dish “A Scandal in Begravia,” click right on through for a wide variety of ramblings from me on the subject. And, as always, leave thoughts, comments, favorite lines, general likes, disagreements and other sundry items in the comments below.

The Great Doc Martin Watch Does Series 5 – Episodes 1 and 2

The great Doc Martin viewing marathon officially wrapped up our trip through the first four series last week, but as I’ve grown rather fond of the name, I am loathe to call this something else, though technically, it’s not so much a rewatch if this is the first time these eps have aired here. Oh, semantics, you are a cruel mistress! Thus, we’ve become just the regular “Doc Martin Watch” since we’re all at least mostly on the same page now – or at the very least, I am on the same page as what’s on our air. I’ll take it.

So, now that we’ve officially all grown up out of our “rewatch” stage, let’s start Series 5. Which, to be quite honest, I kind of don’t know what to make of just yet. There are some adorable scenes, and some funny scenes and some head-scratching “I kind of don’t know what is happening right now” scenes and I guess it’s possible we’ll just have to see how things go, huh?

Anyway, onward! We officially kick off Series 5 with “Preserve the Romance” and “Dry Your Tears.” Sorry to say that the write-ups have fallen about a week behind the actual on-air run, I got a bit distracted by all these exciting Sherlock events going on this week. Click through and come chat with me and feel free to leave your thoughts, favorite moments, funny lines, general rants, whatever, in the comments.

 

Masterpiece 'Sherlock' Series 2 NYC Screening & Q&A Report

This past Wednesday night in New York City, PBS and Masterpiece held a fabulous Sherlock Series 2 preview screening for several hundred lucky fans, with special guests Benedict Cumberbatch, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue all on hand to participate in a Q&A session and discuss the new season.

Now, originally, I meant to tweet most of this during the event as it was happening, but unfortunately, my dodgy internet/cell phone reception totally defeated got the best of me. (And then my phone battery died entirely at the very end of the event. I really did try, you guys, I did!). So, you’ll have to settle for my best attempt to write up everything that happened after the fact.

So, if you’re curious about everything that was said during the Q&A, or wondering if Mr. Cumberbatch really is as lovely in real life as you’ve always imagined, click on through for a full report. And, yes, there are lots of photos – though you’ll probably be able to tell pretty quickly why I’m a writer and not a photographer. But I’ll also make sure you link you through to some people who’ve clearly got much nicer cameras than my point-and-shoot.

Take the Masterpiece Mystery!: Sherlock Personality Quiz

We all love Masterpiece Mystery!’s Sherlock and even though Sherlock himself would say that virtually everyone is boring, we know the series’ characters are anything but. Find out your Sherlockian alter ego for yourself by taking our new Masterpiece Mystery!: Sherlock Personality Quiz, now available on the WETA website.

Would you be a high-functioning sociopath, a consulting criminal or a Scotland Yard detective? Maybe you fancy yourself the British government instead? Give it a try and find out.

 

Which Sherlock Character Are You?

So go ahead – take the quiz and let us know what who you got! (Personally, I get Mycroft if I answer all the questions honestly. The temptation to cheat until I am Sherlock is rather intense, though.)

Less than 48 hours until Series 2 premieres here in the States!

Sky1’s All Star “Treasure Island” Comes to Syfy This Weekend

Because I know what everyone probably really wants: report and pictures from the New York Sherlock Series 2 event should be coming tomorrow! But as this post is also relevant info for the weekend, wanted to make sure and share before it got outdated.

Sky1’s recent television adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island is coming to America this weekend. Per the official press release, in a special, one night only movie event, Syfy will present a fresh, new spin on the classic tale, Treasure Island. Stevenson’s swashbuckling adventure story about fantastical treasure, youthful courage and murderous greed will premiere this Saturday, May 5, from 7-11pm.

The cast in this production is particularly top-notch – comedian Eddie Izzard (The Riches, Ocean’s 12) stars as Long John Silver, and is joined by Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), Donald Sutherland (Ordinary People, Pride and Prejudice), Rupert Penry-Jones (Whitechapel), Daniel Mays (Outcasts), Philip Glenister (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes) and more.

Click through for an extended trailer that gives you a great look at the adventure drama and its fantastic cast.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: MI-5

Up next in our series of little mini-introductions to some of the great programming you can expect to see on WETA UK, the popular and critically acclaimed spy thriller MI-5. The series follows the work of a clandestine team of British Security Service agents that battles terrorism, organized crime and other threats to national security.

The drama originally ran for ten seasons in the UK and just aired its finale last October. It’s dark, gritty and suspenseful, with a wonderful cast and unpredictable storytelling. Click through for some basic details and a look at Series 1.

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!

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