Just Announced: BBC Hit Call the Midwife Coming to PBS This Fall!

Our PBS Annual Meeting is taking place in Denver this week– I’m not there, sadly, but I’m hearing about lots of great things and series announcements coming out of it already and it’s only barely under way.

The most exciting bit of news to emerge so far today – it’s been officially announced that hugely popular BBC One drama Call the Midwife will be coming to a PBS station near you this Fall. The series, which aired this past winter in the UK, was the most successful (i.e. highest-rated) drama for the BBC since 2001. (PS: It’s also really good!)

Want to know more? Click through for a quick synopsis and a look at the BBC’s trailer for the show.

'Sherlock' Series 2 Continues, Or, Why 'The Hounds of Baskerville' is My Favorite S2 Episode

The second series of Sherlock merrily rolled on last night with an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, re-imagined as The Hounds of Baskerville, complete with beautiful shots of the moors, a dodgy government research facility, lots of nods to the original stories, and some seriously fantastic performances all around.

To be fair, Hounds is not technically the best episode of Series 2 – that honor belongs to series finale The Reichenbach Fall and the subsequent intense emotional devastation it causes – but it is, hands down, my favorite, precisely because it manages to do so many things at once: terrify you, impress you, and make you really feel for the characters. It’s frightening, it’s clever, it’s a believable modern update of the Conan Doyle story that general audiences are most familiar with, it’s funny, and it’s full of really wonderful character development too. (I adore it so much!) Reichenbach is a better episode, probably the best the show's ever done, but Hounds is the one I can come back to over and over without the need for therapy or loads of Kleenex.

Why? Click through and find out!

 

Watch the Full Q&A Session From Masterpiece's 'Sherlock' Premiere Event in New York!

The recent Masterpiece Sherlock premiere event in New York was certainly one of the coolest events I’ve ever attended – and I think pretty much everyone in the crowd that night would probably agree with me. The event in and of itself was beyond fun, but the great fans and the palpable sense of excitement in the air just made it a hundred times better. So, while you’re waiting for Series 2 to continue tonight, why not pretend like you were there? (Speaking of tonight – “The Hounds of Baskerville” is my favorite episode this season, by the way. Not “best” – that’s “Reichenbach” – but the one I enjoy the most that doesn’t cause me extensive emotional devastation. More on that later!)

Over 10,000 people entered to be one of the lucky couple hundred that won a chance to attend this event. The Q&A panel following the episode screening was livestreamed all over the world, and the event was also recorded so that it could be made available online.

Click through for the full panel in all its glory – the 47 minute Q&A session with Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton, Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat, producer Sue Vertue and star Benedict Cumberbatch. It would be impossible to really capture the energy and excitement that was virtually vibrating all through that room, but this does give you a pretty good idea. And of course, our lovely panel is charming and thoughtful and wonderful throughout.

Some great questions were asked, so if you’re a Sherlock fan and you’ve not seen this yet, do yourself a favor and block off some time to sit down and give it a go. It’s fascinating and funny and really awesome.

The Great Doc Martin Watch Continues On with Series 5 – Episodes 3 and 4

Our Doc Martin viewing marathon here at Telly Visions officially kicked off our journey into Series 5 last week, at long last! (Unfortunately, we’re still a week behind here versus what’s currently airing on TV 26, but well, this is a lot closer to being “on the same page” with everyone than I’ve ever been, so I’ll happily live with it.)

Let’s continue right along with Series 5 this week, then, shall we? Up next are “Boho with a Shotgun” (that’s really the episode title?) and “Mother Knows Best.” On the whole, Series 5 is still much more appealing generally than Series 4, though to be honest there’s not a tremendous amount of forward story movement in either of these episodes. Though there are some great character moments for almost all of our major players and that’s what a lot of us tune in for anyway. It's easy to live with.

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

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.

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