Watch a Scene From Morse Prequel Endeavour, Airing on Masterpiece Tonight!

Tonight at 9pm on Masterpiece Mystery, Shaun Evans stars in Endeavour, a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse series.

Set in 1965, Evans stars as a much-younger Endeavour Morse, back when he was a rookie Detective Constable cutting his teeth on his first cases in Oxford.

Click through for a sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s mystery special and get a bit of a feel for Evans’ performance in the role of Morse. What do you think? Will he be able to live up to John Thaw?

The Great Doc Martin Watch Does Doc Martin: The Movie

Housekeeping note: Technical issues waylaid the Friday News Roundup yesterday. (Hurray, storms!) It’ll be back next week. Hope everyone in the DC metro area is safe and sound – and staying cool!

Before Doc Martin the series existed, the character that would become Martin Ellingham made his first appearance in a 2000 film called Saving Grace. Thanks to the success of this film, two made-for-TV prequels were made, both featuring Martin Clunes playing the doctor who was then known as Martin Bamford. The character is a bit (lot?) different, the villagers aren’t the same, and the town’s called something else, but you can still see a few similarities to the show we all enjoy so much.

We just aired the first of these – called, simply, Doc Martin: The Movie –last weekend, and I thought it might be fun to try and dig into a little bit – both on its own merits and how it stacks up against Doc Martin: The Series. Plus, I’ll be honest, I’m missing the Great Doc Martin Rewatch and its fabulous discussion threads, and I’m already feeling cranky about the fact that they don’t even start filming Series 6 until next year. (Why does being a TV fan involve so much waiting?) So, please, indulge me.

Click through and come chat with me about Doc Martin: The Movie and, as always, feel free to leave your thoughts, favorite moments, funny lines, general rants, whatever, in the comments.

Time for a Sherlock Post: What Do We Know About Series 3 So Far?

Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m already having serious Sherlock withdrawal. (Ha, just kidding - I totally know about the rest of you, and I am willing to bet that you are too!) So I figured, since I desperately need an excuse to talk about it we have to do something to entertain ourselves during the Great Hiatus, why not have a semi-regular feature that rounds up all the news of importance and mildly tangential interest to Holmesians in one place?

Over the last month or so the first tidbits about Sherlock Series 3 have begun to make their way into the news – and though there’s not a ton to work with here in terms of official announcements, well, it’s still water in the desert people. Let’s cling to it.

Click through for the latest official word on Series 3 filming, what the first episode will be, whether we could be seeing Sherlock continue past the third series, and general series-related flailing. (I know it's nothing y'all hardcore types haven't seen already, but, indulge me, okay?)

Four-Part Series Queen and Country Starts This Sunday Night on WETA!

Since this is pretty much the Summer of London – thanks to Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee festivities earlier this month and the Summer Olympics right around the corner – we’re airing some great British and British-themed programming to celebrate, as part of PBS’ British Summer Holiday event.

New four-part series Queen and Country will premiere this Sunday, July 1. Veteran newsman Sir Trevor McDonald offers viewers a look at the traditions and institutions surrounding the monarchy, from Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace through the Queen's royal visits to some of the greatest historic royal palaces, and more.

Click through for a preview and an episode-by-episode guide to what’s coming up on the series.

Hugh Bonneville’s Olympic Mockumentary Twenty Twelve Comes to BBC America This Week

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville returns to American televisions this week with Twenty Twelve, a very contemporary, exceptionally dry comedy about the organizing committee charged with putting on the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Bonneville stars as Ian Fletcher, the harried Head of Deliverance for the London Games. He is joined by a strong ensemble cast, including Peep Show’s Olivia Coleman, Spaced’s Jessica Hynes, I’m Alan Patridge’s Amelia Bullmore, The Thick of It’s Vincent Franklin and Green Wing’s Karl Theobald. It’s also narrated by David Tennant, a guy you may have seen once or twice on Doctor Who.

Twenty Twelve premieres this Thursday, June 28th at 9pm on BBC America with three back-to-back episodes – but here’s where the scheduling gets tricky. The comedy will be moving to its regular timeslot of Saturdays at midnight, where it will join the network’s Ministry of Laughs comedy block starting June 30. BBC America will air both series of the show (13 episodes in total) over the next few weeks.

Click through to take a look at two trailers that ought to give you a pretty good feel for the comedy and its style of humor, as well as an interview with Bonneville in which he tells American audiences what they can expect from the show.

Downton Abbey Series 3 First Look: Shirley MacLaine Faces Off with Maggie Smith

Everyone's eager for Downton Abbey to return to our televisions in January – but let’s face it, what we’re really all looking forward to in Series 3 is seeing Dame Maggie Smith’s indomitable Dowager Countess go head-to-head with new addition Shirley MacLaine’s Martha Levinson. Right? Luckily, we can now get our first tiny sneak peek at what the confrontations between these two veteran actresses will be like!

The American Film Institute honored MacLaine with their 40th “AFI Life Achievement Award” last night and various celebrities paid tribute to the accomplished actress during the ceremony. One of the presenters was Downton’s Elizabeth McGovern, who introduced a brand new clip from Series 3, featuring MacLaine and Smith indulging in the sort of verbal sparring that makes you want to cry because we’re still over six months away from seeing this for ourselves.

When faced with Lady Violet upon her arrival at Downton, Maclaine’s Martha snarks, “Oh, dear. I’m afraid the war has made old women of us both.”

Yup, it’s pretty much exactly how you pictured it in your head, and exactly how we all wanted their interactions to turn out. She called the Dowager Countess old, y’all. Get the popcorn ready. It's on.

Click through to get your first look at MacLaine in action, and leave your initial impressions of Lady Cora’s mother in the comments.

Tune-In Alert: Wallander Series 1 Marathon on WETA Tonight!

Heads up for Masterpiece Mystery lovers! We’ll be re-airing Series 1 of gritty crime drama Wallander in full tonight starting at 8pm, running all three episodes back-to-back-to-back.

If you’ve not seen this before, Wallander is based on a popular series of novels by Swedish author Henning Mankell. The series stars Kennth Branagh as titular inspector Kurt Wallander, who has been solving heinous crimes for his entire career while watching his personal life increasingly spiral out of control.

The series is a strange combination of dark, existential, complicated and gripping. Wallander is not exactly what I would call happy viewing, necessarily, but it’s certainly compelling and the mysteries that the Swedish detective must solve are all extremely well done and will keep you guessing through most of the episodes. That the show is a bit bleak is, in some ways, appealing – it’s very unlike most procedurals and mysteries currently on-air and that, in its way, is very refreshing. Plus, it’s a fantastic performance from Branagh in the lead role, and the supporting cast – including Sarah Smart, Tom Beard, Jeany Spark, Tom Hiddleston and more – is top-notch.

Click through for a preview and some details about tonight’s marathon. Enjoy!

Andrew Scott, Martin Clunes and More to Star in ITV’s New Drama The Town

Sherlock star Andrew Scott is set to headline a new three-part contemporary drama for ITV called The Town. Scott will star alongside what looks to be a truly outstanding ensemble cast, which includes many names you’ll recognize, including Martin Clunes (Doc Martin), Julia McKenzie (Miss Marple), Charlotte Riley (DCI Banks), Gerard Kearns (Shameless) and Kelly Adams (Holby City).

Scott, who recently won a BAFTA for his portrayal of Holmes’ nemesis Moriarty, will play Mark Nicholas, a man who returns to his hometown after ten years away and struggles to reconnect with those he left behind – including his family, friends and former sweetheart, who is now married with a child. MacKenzie plays his grandmother Betty, Riley is his first love Alice, and Clunes is the town’s alcohol-soaked mayor, Len.

The Town is being written by Laurence Olivier award-winning playwright Mike Bartlett and produced by Big Talk Productions, the company behind Rev, Friday Night Dinner and Him & Her. (All of which are outstanding programs, so this bodes well!)

“We’re thrilled to be making our first original drama series for the fantastic team at ITV. At the heart of The Town will be a family struggling to come to terms with change,” said Big Talk’s CEO and The Town’s co-executive producer Kenton Allen. “It’s also our hope to paint a picture of contemporary Britain through the magnifying glass of an ordinary market town.”

“These communities are desperate for a sense of purpose and direction. They face the same challenges we all do. A shrinking economy, under-employment, crime and a struggle to educate our children. Mike's real skill is to craft a compelling and entertaining drama at the heart of such a world,” added co-executive producer Simon Curtis.

Filming on the three-part series began this week. No word yet on possible screening dates in the UK, nor whether this series will be broadcast internationally. Here’s hoping that US Sherlock-mania will help bring this drama across the pond!

The Friday News Roundup: Heatwave Edition

Happy Friday Telly Visions readers! Hope that wherever you are as we get the weekend underway, it’s someplace with air conditioning!

For those of you not in the DC local area, just an FYI, the heat has been brutal here the past few days. Sympathies to my fellow East Coasters, I know a lot of y’all have had things just as warm as we have!

Obviously, this means you should take a few minutes, kick back and stay cool by reading all the latest and greatest in this week’s News Roundup! Click through for bits and bobs on Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Doc Martin, Copper, that upcoming American remake of The Inbetweeners, a new series starring David Tennant called The Politician’s Wife and more!

New Series of Inspector Lewis Coming This July – Watch Four New Trailers!

Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox are returning to Masterpiece Mystery this summer a new series of the popular detective drama Inspector Lewis. The Inspector Morse spinoff will screen four new feature-length episodes on Sunday nights, beginning July 8.

Whatley – who played Morse’s Sergeant in the original Inspector Morse mysteries - returns as Robert “Robbie” Lewis to once again tackle murder and mayhem around Oxford with his partner DS Hathaway (Fox). Guest stars for the new series include Jane Eyre’s Toby Stephens, Little Dorrit’s James Fleet and Cranford’s Celia Imrie.

Click through for a look at four just-released previews – one for each of the new Lewis episodes. The new mysteries are called The Soul of Genius, Generation of Vipers, Faithful Symmetry, and The Indelible Stain (that’s also the order in which they’ll air, by the way). And they look pretty good!

Watch the four sneak peeks below for yourselves and let us know which of the set you think looks like it will be the most interesting mystery. And dont' forget to mark your calendars for the premiere on July 8!

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