Coming Soon to WETA

Downton Abbey Behind-the-Scenes Special Coming This November

For everyone who’s marking off days on a countdown calendar until Downton Abbey Series 3 arrives Stateside on January 6, there is a little bright spot coming up over Thanksgiving weekend to give you a bit of a Crawley fix while we wait. (Our countdown stands at 53 days, just in case you were keeping track.)

PBS stations nationwide are set to air Downton Abbey Revisited, a behind-the scenes preview special that will refresh everyone’s memory about the events of the series’ first two seasons, as well as offer some hints at what’s to come for all our favorite characters in the new episodes.

Hosted by Angela Lansbury, the 90-minute special will premiere on November 25. It will feature clips recapping all the major plot points from the first two seasons – but, let’s be honest, us loyal Downtonistas already know all that stuff (hands up if you can recite most episodes?). Don’t worry, there will be goodies includedfor us too, such as behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creator Julian Fellowes and his Emmy-nominated cast and, most importantly, a few new clips and tidbits about the twists and turns waiting for us all in Series 3.

Click through and watch the promo for this special clip show - and let us know what potential Series 3 storylines you're most interested in finding out more about!

I, Claudius: Coming To WETA UK in September!

Exciting news about a bit of upcoming programming on WETA UK – I, Claudius, one of the most popular British mini-series of all time, will premiere on our all-British sub-channel channel starting September 1st.

For those of you who don’t know, I, Claudius is a thirteen-part series produced by the BBC in 1976 and it’s still one of the network’s most successful efforts. The drama stars Sir Derek Jacobi as Claudius and features a supporting cast that is stuffed full of awesome talent, including Sian Phillips, Brian Blessed, John Hurt, Patrick Stewart, George Baker, Margaret Tyzack, John Rhys-Davies and more.

Narrated by an elderly Claudius, the story follows the history of Rome from the death of Marcellus, nephew and son-in-law of Emperor Augustus, in the first episode, to Claudius’ own death in its last. (This is somewhere around from 24 BC or so to 54 A.D in Roman history. Ish.) The plot focuses on Augustus’ attempts to find an heir, the machinations of his wife Livia who wants to elevate her own son Tiberius, and what turns out to be several decades’ worth of plotting and double-dealing that culminates with Cladius’s own unlikely rise to power.

If you’ve never seen it before, I, Claudius is so well worth a look! WETA UK will be airing all thirteen parts in two separate blocks – we’ll be running four episodes at a time on Saturday nights starting September 1st. If you would prefer to see your Roman intrigue at a slightly more stately pace, we’ll also be running the whole thing on Mondays, one episode at a time (i.e. Episode 1 will air Monday, September 3 and continue on from there). Pick whichever airing schedule works best for you and mark your calendars now.

Thoughts? Have you always meant to try this classic out? Or are you looking forward to seeing the series again? Let us know!

Watch Three New Masterpiece Trailers for Wallander Series 3!

Sir Kenneth Branagh is back on Masterpiece Mystery next month in the highly anticipated third series of Wallander. Based on the character created by best-selling novelist Henning Mankell , the soul-searching Swedish cop Kurt Wallander returns for three new feature-length cases, starting Sunday, September 9.

Branagh, who has been nominated for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance in this role, will be once again joined by Sarah Smart (Wuthering Heights) as detective Anne-Britt Hoglund and Jeany Spark (Tess of d’Ubervilles) as Wallander’s daughter Linda. Prime Suspect’s Ingeborga DapkÅ«naitÄ— is also slated to guest star.

In the new episodes, Wallander’s hard-won and fragile new hope is put to the test when the most brutal of crimes – and his own demons – are unearthed. Click through for a look at three just-released previews – one for each of the new Wallander episodes. The new mysteries are titled An Event in Autumn, The Dogs of Riga and Before the Frost.

They look pretty good! Click through to get your first taste of Wallander Series 3 for yourself.

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!

Tune-In Alert: Doc Martin: The Movie Airs This Weekend on WETA!

Did you know that before Martin Clunes played Martin Ellingham in the series Doc Martin, he actually starred in a made-for-television movie of the same name? (This was news to me when I found out a couple months back, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t.)

Doc Martin: The Movie was conceived as a prequel to the 2000 film Saving Grace with Brenda Blethyn and Craig Ferguson, in which Clunes also appears. In the TV film, he plays the successful but unhappy Dr. Martin Bamford, who discovers that his wife has been sleeping with three of his friends. His world in tatters, Bamford flees London and heads for the small fishing village of Port Isaac, on the north coast of Cornwall, to try and work out the big questions in his life.

Some of that probably sounds pretty familiar, though some of the names and particulars have changed from this early version of the story to the series that we know. Obviously Martin’s last name is different, and the village he ends up in isn’t the same (though, oddly enough “Port Isaac” is the actual name of the real village that stands in for Portwenn in the seires!). This early version of Martin is also not nearly as curmudgeonly or grumpy as the man we’re used to seeing every week, those character traits were added in at Clunes’ suggestion to help sell the series to ITV.

Click through for a brief preview, airdate details for this Saturday and another (kiiiind of hilarious) promo photo.

 

Watch the First PBS Preview for Inspector Morse prequel Endeavour

Coming this July to Masterpiece Mystery, Shaun Evans stars in Endeavour, a detective drama that serves as a prequel to the beloved, long-running Inspector Morse series.

Set in 1965, Evans plays a much-younger Constable Endeavour Morse at the very beginning of his career on the force in Oxford, when he is given the career making opportunity to investigate the murder of a fifteen year-old girl.

Have to say, the photo of Evans leaning on a car that exactly mirrors an earlier image of John Thaw and his red Jaguar? Pretty awesome. Click through for a look at the first PBS promo for the mystery special, as well as an update on what we might expect to see after Endeavour’s conclusion.