Series Previews

First Look: 'Death Comes to Pemberley' (and PBS)

Do you ever love a book and its characters so much that you continue the story in your mind? What happens after the happily ever after? Imagine it is 1803, six years after Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have married and started their family together at their lavish Derbyshire estate. The happy couple is busy planning their annual Lady Anne Ball when Lizzie’s spoiled flibbertigibbet of a sister, Lydia, bursts in the night before the festivities to announce her husband George Wickham might have been murdered in Pemberley Wood. An investigation ensues which spells mayhem and the potential undoing of the entire Darcy family.

This may not be the fan fiction in your head, but it is the premise of famed crime writer P.D. James’ sequel (of sorts) to Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. Released in 2011 and entitled Death Comes to Pemberley, the book received good reviews though most I read lamented the toning down of Lizzy’s much admired outspokenness and complained that the Darcys’ love had been cooled by boring domestic routine.

I’ve not read the aforementioned novel, so I can’t reliably comment on those claims. However, as one might expect in an industry eager to provide viewers with remakes and sequels featuring cherished characters that feel like family, Death Comes to Pemberley was adapted for the small screen and broadcast in the UK last Christmas. Masterpiece Mystery has picked up the series and will be airing it in two parts – Sunday, October 26th and November 2nd from 9:00 – 10:30 pm ET. Check your local listings for exact times and details.

Want an early look at this upcoming drama? Read on.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Prime Suspect

While Prime Suspect is not quite a “new” program coming to WETA UK – in the sense that this is probably not a show with which the vast majority of our audience is unfamiliar – given that we’ve aired it before, it’s nevertheless a show that I’m very excited to see as part of the new channel’s lineup, simply because it’s fantastic.

Though Prime Suspect is a program that we’ve aired fairly recently on TV26, if you’ve never seen the full series or only watched it in a sort of piecemeal fashion, now is the perfect time to give it a try. It’s a fantastically gritty crime drama that features one of the most iconic British acting performances I can think of (by a lady I admire tremendously no less). It’s well worth a try if you've never seen it, and certainly worthy of a re-watch if you have. Click through for some basics, including trailers and a look at the cast and premise.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Coupling

Another program coming to the WETA UK line-up this summer that’s worth checking out is the fabulous sitcom Coupling. Created by Steven Moffat - yup, the same guy that’s currently in charge of Doctor Who and Sherlock – the comedy focuses on the dating adventures and relationship mishaps of six friends in their thirties.

The series was inspired by Moffat’s relationship with his wife, producer Sue Vertue, to such an extent that two of the comedy’s characters bear their names. Honestly, for all that I struggle sometimes with Moffat’s writing of women in some of his other productions; he has a fantastic handle on relationships here. Coupling is very funny and surprisingly honest.

Coupling originally aired from May 2000 to June 2004, winning a “Best TV Comedy” prize at the British Comedy Awards in 2003. It had decent enough ratings in the UK, and developed something of a cult following here in America. It’s hilarious – well worth watching if you’ve never seen it, and deserving of a re-watch if you have. Click through for some basics and a look at Series 1.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Lark Rise to Candleford

Up next in our series of little mini-introductions to some of the great programming you can expect to see on WETA UK, is the costume drama series Lark Rise to Candleford. Based on Flora Thompson’s trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels about the English countryside, the series is set in the small Oxfordshire hamlet of Lark Rise and the wealthier neighboring town of Candleford towards the end of the 19th century.

This is one of the other WETA UK programs I’m most excited to settle in and start watching. I only ever caught a few episodes from the first series - I think I was in the process of moving around the time my local PBS station first started airing it and fell out of watching and never went back – but from what I can remember the show is wonderful, full of charming characters and sweet stories. I’m really looking forward to the chance to watch the rest of it! Click through for some basics and a look at Series 1.

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.

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.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Doctor Who

Continuing along with our series of little mini-introductions to some of the great programming you can expect to see on WETA UK, let’s talk about my all-time personal favorite television series of anything that has ever aired, ever. Which we are airing. Which I plan to campaign extensively to convince you all to try. (Fair warning. Just so you know.)

It’s a little science fiction program you might have heard of at some point or other. It's a show about an alien, some humans, a blue police box and their adventures in time and space called Doctor Who.

Click through for a brief (I promise) intro and a fantastic fan-made trailer that will help give those of you who’ve never seen this show a better idea of what it’s about.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Life on Mars

The most fantastic part about WETA UK coming to a TV near you very soon is that fact that there’s so much great programming in the line-up, I’m actually a bit spoiled for choice in terms of what to talk about first.

There’ll be many series-specific posts about WETA UK programs coming up here at Telly Visions over the next few weeks, mini series introductions like this one, as well as general why-you-should-watch-this campaigns for some of my personal favorites. Some of these programs have aired on WETA at some point in the past, some have not, but they're all great television and I hope everyone will find something to get excited about as we go along.

In the meantime, click through for our first series mini-introduction – get the basic details and take look at some footage from the fantastic drama Life on Mars!