Upcoming Things of Interest

Period Drama 'The Crimson Field' Begins June 21 on PBS

Heads up for those who love dramatic World War I stories! Period drama The Crimson Field finally comes to America this week on PBS stations nationwide.

The six-part series tells the story of World War I’s frontline medics – their hopes, fears, triumphs and tragedies. In a tented field hospital on the coast of France, a team of doctors, nurses and women volunteers works together to heal the bodies and souls of men wounded in the trenches. The hospital is a frontier: between the battlefield and home front, but also between the old rules, hierarchies and a new way of thinking.

Game of Thrones Oona Chaplin, MI-5’s Hermoine Morris and Scott & Bailey’s Suranne Jones star as volunteer nurses who must deal daily with injuries, casualties and death. (In some ways it’s a bit like Call the Midwife but set during the Great War.) These women arrived in France in 1915, as part of the Voluntary Aid Detachments (or VADs), who were the first volunteers at the field hospitals there.

Period Drama 'Indian Summers' Comes to PBS Stations This Fall

Lavish period drama Indian Summers – which tells the dramatic story of the twilight of British colonial rule in India – has an American airdate!

The nine-part series will begin on Masterpiece this Fall on PBS stations nationwide, starting September 27.

The drama stars Academy Award nominee (and everyone’s favorite Harry Potter parent) Julie Walters as the glamorous doyenne of a group of English socialites living in India in 1932 during the time of the British Raj. The series explores the collision of the high-living English ruling class with the local people agitating for Indian independence. As the drama unfolds, the two sides alternately clash and merge in an intricate game of power, politics and passion.

Queen Victoria’s Early Life to Get the Period Drama Treatment From ITV

In their ongoing search for an heir apparent to global hit costume drama Downton Abbey, which is ending after its sixth season, ITV has decided to greenlight a new dramatic adaptation of the life of one of England’s greatest monarchs, Queen Victoria.

This ambitious eight-part drama – titled simply Victoriawill focus on the beginning of her lengthy 63-year reign. Queen Victoria ascended to the throne when she was just eighteen years old, so, happily there’s plenty of story there.

 

Watch: New Previews for the ‘Poldark’ Remake Coming to PBS

With the US premiere of Poldark, the splashy remake of the classic period drama of the same name, less than a month away, the PBS promotional machine has begun to kick into gear. Which, happily, means more trailers, more footage and more fun things for us to look at featuring this series’ exceptionally talented (and yeah, pretty attractive) cast.

Based on Winston Graham’s popular series of novels, Poldark stars The Hobbit’s Aidan Turner as a swoon-worthy Ross Poldark, a long-suffering hero who returns home from fighting in the Revolutionary War to discover that his father is dead, his sweetheart has been pledged to marry his cousin and his family mine has been lost. So, you know, drama. Turner is joined by The White Queen’s Eleanor Tomlinson as maid turned eventual love interest Demelza, along with Heida Reed, Kyle Soller, Phil Davis, Jack Farthing and more.

PBS and Masterpiece have released a couple of new trailers to help us all get in the proper period drama spirit, and, man, does this show look beautiful.

Watch: Trailer for the BBC Adaptation of ‘Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell’

Rejoice, fellow book fans: The first trailer for period fantasy drama Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell has arrived!

The BBC’s seven-part series will adapt the massively popular book of the same name by Susanna Clarke, which stars Bertie Carvell and Eddie Marsan as two nineteenth-century men in an alternate history where magic is widely acknowledged but rarely practiced. The cast also includes Charlotte Riley, Alice Engle, Marco Warren, Samuel West and more.

 

‘Downton Abbey’s’ Julian Fellowes to Adapt Trollope’s ‘Doctor Thorne’ for ITV

Yes, Downton Abbey is ending after next season, but creator Julian Fellowes already has his next iron in the fire. The man behind the megahit costume drama is set to adapt another period piece, based on Anthony Trollope’s novel Doctor Thorne.

The novel tells the story of Thomas Thorne, who lives in the village of Greshamsbury in Barsetshire, with his beautiful niece, Mary, a girl blessed with every gift – except, as it always seems to go in these instances, money. Mary Thorne has grown up alongside the Gresham sisters – Augusta, Beatrice and Alexandrina and their handsome brother Frank – whose home is the great house and estate at Greshamsbury Park.

'Broadchurch' Series 2: Meet the New Characters

Think back to August 2013. Besides the fact that the weather was likely much warmer than it is right now, you may recall that was also when the very first episode of Broadchurch aired on BBC America. An eleven-year-old boy’s body was found on the beach and his death was ruled a homicide. And our minds (for the next eight weeks at least) were occupied with the question, “Who killed Danny Latimer?”

In the course of the investigation DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) pursued leads involving friends and neighbors of the Latimer family. Even Danny’s dad, Mark (Andrew Buchan) was considered a suspect at one point.

In the end, however, Ellie Miller’s own husband, Joe (Matthew Gravelle), confessed to and was arrested for the child’s murder. This bombshell shattered both of the families involved and shook all Broadchurch citizens, not to mention the viewing audience, to their core.

In case you weren’t aware, the US premiere of the next installment of Broadchurch is nigh. It’s Wednesday, March 4th at 10 pm on BBC America to be exact.

I’ve not watched any of the new episodes in advance but I as I understand it, old cases will be revisited rather than jumping into a whole new murder investigation. I also gather from the UK ratings that the series two started strong, dropped sharply in the middle and rebounded for the finale. Having read that series creator Chris Chibnall envisioned the story as a trilogy; it’s understandable that the narrative could have gotten bogged down in the middle. Hopefully an exciting conclusion is on the horizon, especially considering that series three has recently been commissioned.

Despite my stringent desire to avoid spoilers, I thought it might be helpful to introduce you to some of the new faces you’ll be getting to know in the weeks to come.

Watch: The Extended PBS Trailer for ‘Wolf Hall’

We’re a little over a month away from the US premiere of the highly anticipated Tudor-era series Wolf Hall and PBS has released a new, extended trailer with a ton of heretofore unseen footage from the period drama.

Based on the Booker Prize-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall tells the story of Thomas Cromwell, a blacksmith’s son who rose to greatness in the court of Henry VIII, ultimately becoming one of the most powerful and influential men in England. Cromwell, among many other things, was one of the primary architects behind the Protestant Reformation in England and helped engineer the dissolution of King Henry’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon so that he might wed his mistress Anne Boleyn.

Tony and Olivier Award-winning actor Mark Rylance plays Cromwell, Homeland’s Damian Lewis plays Henry VIII and Claire Foy plays Anne Boleyn. They’re joined by a rather fantastic array of British talent, including Jonathan Pryce, Jessica Raine, Mark Gatiss, Joanne Whatley and more.

This New Trailer for the BBC’s ‘Poldark’ Remake is Amazingly Good

The BBC has released a new trailer for their upcoming remake of classic period drama Poldark and it’s jam-packed full of dramatic music, war flashbacks, gorgeous scenery, romantic tension and more.

Happily, this clip is 100% different from the teaser trailer that PBS and Masterpiece dropped last month – more new footage for us! Another bonus, the BBC clip focuses on who the characters are and giving us a little explanation of what’s going on, so this is actually great for those viewers who may not now anything about the first Poldark but are curious about this one, since it’s such event programming for both the BBC and PBS.

Get Your First Look at Martin Clunes as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

ITV has released the first trailer for its upcoming three part series Arthur and George, a three-part drama based on an intriguing series of events in the life of famed Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Set in 1903, the story focuses on Conan Doyle’s real-life attempts to clear George Edaliji, an Anglo-Indian solicitor who is serving time in Pentonville Prison after being (falsely) accused of a series of attacks on livestock in Staffordshire that have become known as the The Great Wyrley Rippings.

Beloved Doc Martin star Martin Clunes sheds his Britcom snarkiness to play Conan Doyle, joined by The Guilty’s Arsher Ali as Edaliji. Other cast includes Hattie Morahan, Charles Edwards, Art Malik, Emma Fielding and Sandra Voe.

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