There was joy in Mudville recently with the news from the BBC that the brilliant crime series, Broadchurch, had been commissioned for a second series. Following the series’ critical acclaim and audience success, this would seem to have been a no-brainer but with the streets littered with only one season of the likes of The Hour, Frankie and Whites, one can never be sure. With David Tennant still not ‘officially’ confirming his return due to the fact that the American version of Broadchurch begins shooting in January, news comes from creator Chris Chibnall that the greatness of Olivia Colman will reprise her role as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller. While Tennant has signed on for the Fox’s American remake, currently with the new title of Gracepoint, Colman will not follow.
Coleman ‘revs’ up for series 3 of Rev
Sorry, couldn’t resist the obvious. 2014 is shaping up to be a busy time for Colman already as she gears up for a return to Rev and her role as Alex, wife of vicar Adam Smallbone, played by Tom Hollander. Filming has begun for the third series of Rev which will transmit on BBC 2 next Spring. Series 3 follows Alex and Reverend Adam Smallbone as they face up to the pressures of parenthood. Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville will reprise his role as Adam’s arch rival Roland Wise.
While, technically, the video that surfaced recently isn’t really an ‘episode’ of Only Fools and Horses and, I guess, was never actually ‘lost’ but it is 30-minutes, features the cast of the most popular British situation comedy of all-time, and hasn’t been seen outside of classrooms in a really long time.
The first part of this special infomercial episode of Only Fools And Horses that, understandably, has never broadcast on television mainly because it was an advertisement funded by the oil industry. It was filmed in 1984, funded by the Maureen Oilfield Consortium to encourage children to train for careers in the oil and gas industry and shown primarily in schools. How 80′s is that?
Because it wasn’t filmed in front of a studio audience, there is no laugh track. Actually, don’t think it would make a difference as it really isn’t funny. The plot of the story is how Del Boy ‘educates’ Rodney and Grandad in all things oil and how, next year, they are all going to be ‘millionaires’. At the risk of sounding like JR Ewing, Del begins to school young Rodney on the benefits of oil, North Sea oil in particular, telling them of its many by products such as methane, propane, butane, and how it affects us in everything we do. From the Corn Flakes we eat in the morning to the clothes we wear and the fertilizer we use on the allotment. They then watch a program ‘on BBC 2′ about Oil Exploration.
After watching the documentary Rodney asks the most poignant question we are all thinking, which is ‘What I don’t understand Del is why you’re so suddenly interested in oil?’ Del’s obvious response is ‘co’s we are gonna earn out of it’. He then tells Rodney and Grandad that he has bought an oil rig for £400, and how it is in a lock up in Catford. Rodney then explains how this cannot be possible, and Del finally realizes he has been conned. Sadly, this was the last episode that Lennard Pearce, who plays Grandad, filmed. He died shortly afterwards.
Only Fools and Horses – Licensed to Drill, part 1
Only Fools and Horses – Licensed to Drill, part 2
At long last, the BBC has revealed a few bits and bobs with regards to that anniversary coming up in just over two weeks for a little-known science fiction series named Doctor Who celebrating its brief 50 years in existence. Seems as though the Doctor’s ‘greatest adventure’ will see the likes of murderous plots, ancient battles, devastating conclusions and the awakening of a dangerous past.
“The Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this 50th anniversary special,” reads the synopsis. “In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.”
The Day of the Doctor will star Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as different reincarnations of the Doctor, as well as Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and Joanna Page.
Ho hum. Another day, another early Christmas present for fans of brilliant telly….
Now that we have thrown a morsel at those patiently waiting for the U.S. premiere of Downton Abbey, we turn our attention to the equally as anticipated return — Sherlock. While there is still very little video out there on the Internets to give any clues as to just how Sherlock survives the fall from the St Barts rooftop, there is now a ‘first official photo image’ from the series that, in the States, returns on Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 9:00pmCT/10:00pm ET on PBS as part of the Masterpiece Mystery! series.
In a scene reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’ in which three customers all seem to be endlessly lost in their own thoughts, John Watson seems to be envisioning his life going forward in a world without his best friend. Eerily, with the Sherlock image, however, you have the added element of Holmes outside the window seemingly wondering just what he has done, how will his best friend react and what lies ahead?
Speaking about the return of the series, executive producer, writer and co-creator Steven Moffat said: “It’s been a long time since Sherlock Holmes jumped off that roof – it’s time to reveal the truth about what happened between him and the pavement. In just a little over two months, we’ll finally know how Sherlock faked his own death but also, and maybe more importantly, how will John take the news that his best friend faked his own death?
John’s new love interest Mary Morstan, played by his real-life partner Amanda Abbington, is described as “sensible, quick-witted and not at all taken in by Sherlock’s posturing”. I think we can all see where this is headed…it is a drama, after all.
As the UK enters the Downton Abbey series 4 finale this coming Sunday, the remainder of the world that has not been privy to its broadcast as of yet are left merely with simple behind-the-scenes bits and bobs until it premieres. As of today, there are a mere 60 days until the U.S. premiere on PBS’ Masterpiece series. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either 60 excruciatingly long days left since that fateful day of February 17, 2013 when series three ended or there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s just a short two months until the wait is over. Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Either way, you are in need of a Downton Abbey energy boost. It’s time to call the quarterly meeting of the members of the Downton Abbey Separation Anxiety Group to order and take a look ahead to what’s in store for the forthcoming series 4…
First and foremost…a new teaser trailer for series 4 with new footage!
Dealing with Downton Abbey sans Matthew
Downton Abbey creator/writer Julian Fellowes and Executive Producers Liz Trubridge and Gareth Neame on Dan Steven’s (Matthew) departure from the series, and what it meant to the plot.
The importance of that Downton Abbey look
Downton Abbey actors and production crew on creating the costumes, and making the distinctive visual sets for the series.
Daisy’s BTS tour of Downton Abbey
Sophie McShera, who plays shy kitchenmaid Daisy, gives viewers an exclusive peek at what goes on behind the scenes at the Earl and Countess of Grantham’s stately home.
Now, doesn’t January 5, 2014 seem just a whole lot closer now? Everyone together now…breathe in…breathe out. Repeat until 01/05/2014.
As if anyone needed additional proof that there is pure genius behind Comic Relief and the greatness of the Red Nose Day sketches. In years past, there have been brilliant send ups of Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and Vicar of Dibley.
Back in March of 2005, Spider-Plant Man took on the Spider-Man franchise, and made this Comic Relief appeal which aired on BBC One. It featured Rowan Atkinson as Peter Piper/Spider-Plant Man and Rachel Stevens as his love-interest Jane-Mary (Mary Jane Watson). You might also recognize Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/The World’s End greats, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, as Batman, and Tony Robinson as Robin.
Can Spider-plant man defeat Batman in this classic sketch?
Let’s see. Where do I begin with the laundry list of failed American attempts to remake British telly. Oh yes, that would be Life on Mars, Prime Suspect, Coupling… and while CBS’ Elementary is far from a failed attempt, it’s definitely not Sherlock. American versions of Vicar of Dibley, Spooks, Gavin & Stacey and The Thick of It have been rumored but, thankfully, yet to be seen.
Now comes word that the newest target is the BBC’s romantic drama, Last Tango in Halifax, which has just completed its first series run on PBS in the States. The critically-acclaimed drama centers around two widowed and retired septuagenarians (Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid) who were briefly childhood sweethearts that rekindle their romance via Facebook. A second series has been filmed and is set to transmit later this month on BBC One with a 2014 broadcast on PBS. In addition, a third series has already been commissioned.
Diane Keaton (The Godfather, Annie Hall, Something’s Gotta Give) has acquired the rights to the series for a US version that will air on HBO…someday. I say ‘someday’ as it is now being reported that the Keaton HBO-remake is “…on hold due to the original UK version of the drama transmitting on PBS”. At this point, it remains a question as to whether or not Keaton plans to appear in the HBO remake.
Sally Wainwright (Scott & Bailey), the show’s creator/writer and executive producer has said that she would have an associate producer role on the US version, but did not expect to be closely involved.
In another ‘Christmas comes early’ moment for fans of brilliant telly, word came down yesterday that the long-rumored Spooks movie is in the works. Known as MI5 in the States when broadcast on public television stations, the brilliant spy drama series which had an incredible 10-series/9 year run on BBC 1 has always been, in my mind palace, the best television on television. Ok, maybe I made that comment “BS”, as in before Sherlock, but still…
Peter Firth, who seemed to always manage to escape the choir invisible more times than the law allows, will reprise his role as MI5 chief and Head of Counterterrorism, Harry Pearce, with production set to begin in early 2014. Spooks: The Greater Good picks up right where the series left off in the suspense department as terrorist Adam Qasim escapes from under MI5 noses during a handover to the head of counter-terrorism (surprise!). The blame is placed solely on the shoulders of Pearce, who then mysteriously disappears one night off a bridge into the Thames. Unfortunately, for Harry, there’s no turning to Tom, Adam, Lucas, Ros or Erin this time around for help. This leaves his protégé, Will Crombie, to help uncover a conspiracy extending from Vietnam to the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, in typical Spooks fashion, a devastating attack back home on London is imminent. Cue: suspense.
Besides Firth, who appeared in all 86 episodes of the series, the big-screen adaptation will also see original series director Bharat Nalluri (Torchwood, Hustle, regular series writers Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent and will be produced by Jane Featherstone and Stephen Garrett who were at the helm of the TV series.
Other cast members have not been announced but one can only hope that Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) will be featured prominently.
Vicious’, a.k.a. Vicious Old Queens, starring Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi, will make its way to PBS in the States beginning Summer 2014. The British comedy, which aired on ITV this past Spring in the UK, tells the story of a constantly bickering couple who have lived together in a small Covent Garden flat for nearly 50 years. But underneath all their vicious co-dependent fighting, they deeply love each other.
Freddie (McKellen) was a budding actor and Stuart (Jacobi) a barman when they first met but their careers are now pretty much over and their lives now consist of reading books, walking their dog and bickering. Today, Freddie is an over-the-hill actor whose career consisted mainly of bit parts. Although his career never really took off, he insists on behaving as if it did and still does. Stuart is a former bar manager with an aged mother named Mildred who remains clueless as to her son’s relationship with Freddie.
The original title for the series was to be Vicious Old Queens. It was changed to Vicious when, jokingly, McKellen took offense to it stating, “…I’m not old!“. The six-part series, which was recently commissioned for a second series amidst some mixed reviews from critics for series 1, also stars Frances de la Tour (Harry Potter) and Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones). The creator/writer for Vicious is former writer and executive producer of Will & Grace and Family Guy, Gary Janetti, with veteran sitcom director, Ed Bye (Red Dwarf, My Family, directing.
For UK fans of the series, a new Christmas special of the series is in the works for a 24 December broadcast on ITV.