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Downton Abbey/Sherlock “How” – trailer gold from PBS

December 20, 2013

Just when the holidays come ever so close to getting the best of you, Santa drops a bit of brilliance into your lap to make the day pass all the better and everything seem….ok.

In this just released new teaser trailer for the upcoming returns of Downton Abbey and Sherlock,  questions to be answered are endless. How will Mary manage? How did Sherlock survive the fall? Save for those few that have been able to grab DA4 off the internet and will grab Sherlock 3 mere minutes after the first episode concludes in the UK on 1 January, PBS viewers and find out in a matter of weeks when Downton Abbey Season 4 premieres on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 and Sherlock Season 3 premieres Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, after Downton Abbey.

With both Downton and Sherlock airing back to back on Sundays, you might as well take Monday as a holiday for those three weeks beginning January 19 as you’re going to need that time to catch up on sleep. On second thought, you’re going to need people around to talk to and discuss so you’re probably better off just going to work tired on Monday. Enjoy.

A Festive Tube Map just in time for the holidays!

December 19, 2013

Still looking for that last minute way to pass the time until the premiere of Downton Abbey and Sherlock? How about a way to not think about all the great telly things coming your way on Christmas Day and Boxing Day if you’re in the UK such as new Christmas specials from Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Eastenders, Coronation Street and The Great British Bake-Off. And, I haven’t even touched on the special Sherlock mini-episode! yet.

Seven of London’s most influential bloggers have come together to create a special Festive Tube Guide, with each tube line representing their perfect Christmas in London. The cool thing is that you can click on the twinkling lights on the map in the link to discover more about each attraction or on the names of the festive tube lines to read the recommendations for the reasons to be in London at Christmas!

Festive London Tube map

Me? I’m going to check out the Nativity Line and try to hit the ice rink at the London Eye. You?

#SherLEGO Lives!

December 18, 2013

Aside from the precious few that were in attendance at the recent BFI screening of the premiere episode of Sherlock 3, the rest of the planet are in the unenviable position of taking anything ‘Sherlock’ we can get in the way of pics, trailers or rumors. On the heels of the announcement that “The Empty Hearse” would transmit on 1 January on BBC One and January 19 on PBS, last Sunday’s release of the first official trailer for the premiere episode was met with more excitement than the law should allow. We get our first glimpse of not only Sherlock, who has been removed from London for two years, but are faced (as is Sherlock) with a visual of an empty 221b Baker Street as everyone has moved on. Sadly, all it did was amplify how much I’m waiting for January 19.

With the never-ending need to feed the #SherlockLives beast, wireWAX came up with an interactive version of the BBC trailer which embedded additional video content from the actual series. Brilliant, yet all it did, again, was make me wish tomorrow was January 19.


Now, it’s LEGO’s turn to tease us until the premiere. There is a brilliant LEGO version of the BBC One trailer, complete with Watson sporting his post-Sherlock-life moustache. Check out the picture-in-picture in the trailer and compare the original teaser and the LEGO trailer. Photos, hearse driving around London, series trailer, interactive trailer, LEGO trailer. What could possibly be next from the Sherlock group that not only has created brilliant television but also knows how to market it. Can’t wait to find out.

Downton Abbey – The Historical Oracle

December 17, 2013

As we press ahead towards the day that all America has had circled their calendars since February 2012 when that still shocking conclusion to series 3 of Downton Abbey broadcast on PBS, it’s time to meet some of the folks that are behind the camera who are responsible for what has become the highest-rated drama in the history of PBS. Up first is Downton Abbey‘s historical advisor Alastair Bruce. Discover why the cast calls him The Oracle. Bruce seems genuinely touched with his cast given moniker. After all, he says, they could have called him The Nightmare or The Mosquito as he is a constant in everyone’s ear during filming.

As the historical advisor for Downton Abbey, one can only imagine the one-liner on his CV that would have landed him this position. Something like I know everything about everything comes to mind. According to Bruce, his is a simple job. It’s “…to make sure that every detail is as close as we can make it, in style, character and performance to the period“.

So, thanks to Alastair Bruce and all his efforts behind then lens. Think about Bruce on January 5, 2014 when Downton returns to the airwaves on January 5, 2014 on PBS.

How Sherlock Changed the World – A first look

December 16, 2013

As we march towards the series 3 premiere of Sherlock, we all are keenly aware how the world’s most famous consulting detective has changed OUR personal mind palaces. But now, thanks to PBS, we can definitely see how Sherlock Holmes changed the world’s mind palace in How Sherlock Changed the World. On Tuesday, December 17 at 8:00p CT / 9:00p ET on PBS, forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee, who has also been called ‘The Sherlock Holmes of Taiwan’, reveals how Sherlock Holmes’ method of deductive reasoning affects the way crime scenes are investigated and criminals are questioned.

Narrated by The Walking Dead’s, Andrew Lincoln, the 2-hour program is quick to identify Holmes as “the first CSI” because of his meticulous examination of crime scenes and deductive reasoning. Unfortunately, he just happened to be about 120 years ahead of his time. Two of the coolest things about the program begin with one, actual video of Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who died in 1930, and two, some interesting insights regarding Joseph Bell, the doctor who provided Doyle with real-life inspiration for the character.

To support the ‘first CSI’ claim, it’s pointed out that Doyle wrote “A Study in Scarlet”, the first Sherlock Holmes story in 1887, which happens to be a year before the Jack the Ripper murders rocked the Whitechapel area of London. Holmes’ painstaking approach to clues was light years ahead of the way London police would handle the Ripper murders where crime scenes were never ‘off limits’.

The only unfortunate part of program was the abundantly clear lack of footage from the BBC/PBS Sherlock series opting instead for re-enactment (which I personally am not a fan of in general) to prove its point. That said, all in all, to see present day forensic scientists get so excited when talking about Holmes’ influence on present day techniques is way cool.

How Sherlock Changed the World premieres tomorrow at 8:00p CT / 9:00p ET on PBS stations nationwide.

Downton Abbey cast talk series 4 in NYC Q&A

December 15, 2013

Normally, at this time of year, the phrase “…it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” is on everyone’s mind. For the past several years, however, it’s sounding more and more like “…it’s beginning to look a lot like Downton” as people begin to ready themselves for the January premiere each year.

In advance of the 2014 U.S. premiere of Downton Abbey 4, the band got back together in New York this past week for a live Q&A and discussion event in anticipation of the season 4 premiere on MASTERPIECE on PBS on Sunday, January 5, 2014.

The livestreamed panel was moderated by Bill Carter of the New York Times and featured series stars Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Rob James-Collier (Thomas Barrow), Allen Leech (Tom Branson), Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes) and Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) along with creator/writer/executive producer, Julian Fellowes and executive producer, Gareth Neame.

Much of the early part of the discussion centered on the past and the deaths of Matthew and Lady Sybil. Creator/writer Julian Fellows discussed the differences in having to ‘create’ the sudden nature of Matthew’s death and how, earlier in series 2, he was able to create a story arc that could dwell on Lady Sybil’s death.

The discussion quickly turned to the upcoming fourth series, which understandably centers around Lady Mary and her relationship with her family and her son, George, and even an attempt at finding another suitor. A couple bits of cocktail party trivia surfaced when Fellowes said the Grantham character was inspired by his father and then also revealed the inspiration behind the Grantham name as it was the name of the train stop where he was caught by police after skipping school with a friend.

While Downton Abbey 4 is just beginning in the U.S., UK audiences are readying themselves for the forthcoming Christmas Day episode which will serve as the finale of series 4 on both sides of the pond. Take heart, however. Filming for series 5 will begin in February of 2014.

PBS to ‘Unlock Sherlock’ on 1.12.14

December 14, 2013

One week to the day before the long-awaited/highly-anticipated premiere of the new third series of Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery!, PBS will go behind-the-scenes to uncover the genius underlying the modern incarnation of the world’s most famous consulting detective and most-portrayed literary character in the history of the big and small screen, Sherlock Holmes. On Sunday, January 12 at 10pm ET/9pm CT, Unlocking Sherlock comes to PBS, immediately following the second episode of the other long-awaited/highly-anticipated series return, Downton Abbey.
Sherlock 3

In Unlocking Sherlock, find out how writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss created the television worldwide phenomenon that is Sherlock, taking Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original adventures of the Victorian super sleuth and transforming them into a worldwide sensation.

Ultimate fanboys, Steven and Mark will take viewers through the various versions of Holmes that have inspired them – the original stories, the factual inspirations, the thousands of film versions – to arrive at the thoroughly modern Sherlock. The program will also go behind the scenes on set with the stars of Sherlock, featuring interviews with lead actors Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (John Watson), and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Given the picture below, going BTS on the set of Sherlock will be well worth the price of admission.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman clowning on set of Sherlock

If you’d like to get in a little light reading and pass the time until January, check out John Watson’s personal blog and Sherlock Holmes’ homepage, The Science of Deduction. And, finally, if you happened to have missed the first full-length trailer for the return of Sherlock…Cheers.


Check out this interactive SHERLOCK 3 promo trailer!

December 13, 2013

Ok, this is just about the coolest thing on Planet Earth. The BBC just released an interactive version of the Sherlock 3 teaser/trailer that while it’s mainly the same footage as the BBC One trailer, there is some embedded greatness. If you click at the right time on the words, “I want to know why”, “person that mattered most”, he’s got on with his life”, “an attack is coming” and “get to know London again” several exclusive show clips from series 3 are revealed.
Sherlock Series 3

As we are all acutely aware, the Sherlock 3 story picks up two years after the events of last season’s finale and reveals that Sherlock faked his own death to save the lives of Watson, landlady Mrs Hudson and Detective Inspector Lestrade. Had Sherlock been seen to survive, Moriarty would have had them all killed by assassins but as the villain is no more, his ‘resurrection’ is safe.

A exclusive embedded feature in the interactive trailer maps out a possible method for Sherlock’s dazzling illusion while another emphasizes the hero’s egoism as he utters the line “What life? I’ve been away”, after learning that Watson has left Baker Street and moved on with a new love interest.

Interactive viewers can then follow Sherlock into a restaurant to surprise Watson, hear him learn from his brother Mycroft that ‘an attack is coming’ and be introduced to possible new villain Charles Augustus Magnussen as he opens a case, enters a code into a keypad, turns a key and presses a button that can’t possibly activate anything that is good for us.

This is more brilliance than the law should allow, no questions asked. Click on the interactive trailer link and give it a go. And, remember, January is so close…


‘The Time of the Doctor’ video trailer – thank you Santa!

December 12, 2013

It’s hard to believe that the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who has only been in our rear-view mirror for less than three weeks. It was a great time to be a fan of The Doctor as there seemed to be something new and/or classic on the tube virtually every day. There has been a bit of separation anxiety ever since but, fear not, there’s always Christmas and the annual Doctor Who Christmas episode.
Doctor Who Christmas 2013

This year takes on a bit more importance as fans will ‘officially’ say goodbye to Matt Smith, who ends his tenure as the Eleventh Doctor, and hello to Peter Capaldi, the incoming Twelfth Doctor who will make his official debut in the Christmas and then return in late 2014 for his first full season as The Doctor. In this years Christmas episode, The Doctor must sacrifice everything to save a town called Christmas from the Time Lord’s greatest enemies. A change is going to come, and Silence will fall. This promises to be one not to be missed. Think about it. Besides a regeneration, it has Daleks, Cybermen, the Weeping Angels AND the Silence. This is going to be Doctor Who greatness.

‘The Time of the Doctor’ will air on Christmas Day at 7.30pm on BBC One, and then air in the US at 9/8c on BBC America. Tip: If you’re in the States, stay off Twitter and Facebook from around 2:30p-8:00p Christmas Day. Just trust me on this one.

What’s that in the air on PBS Dec 22? – It’s Mr. Stink, of course

December 11, 2013

I first crossed paths with Mr. Stink at the BBC Showcase meeting last February. At that time, we saw a simple one-time-only special with a big name cast grab the hearts of some of the most cynical television program executives attending the Liverpool screenings. Although it had already aired on BBC One on Christmas Day 2012, the hope amongst all attendees was that this would become the perennial holiday classic along the lines of It’s A Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown’s Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas in the U.S.

David Walliams’ best-selling children’s novel Mr Stink tells the touching, twisted and hilarious tales of Mr Stink, who is befriended by a local girl Chloe. Chloe sees Mr Stink every day, but she’s never spoken to him, which isn’t surprising, because he’s a tramp, and he stinks. (Good thing “Smell-O-Vision” or “AromaRama” never took off as a concept back in the 60′s, right?).

When it looks like Mr Stink might be driven out of town, Chloe hides her unusual friend in her garden shed. As she struggles to make sure no one sniffs out Mr Stink, her dad tries to hide a secret of his own, and the stage is set for an epic family confrontation. There is also one other person with an extraordinary secret: it turns out that there is more to Mr Stink than meets the eye… or nose.

Adapted by Walliams himself with Simon Nye of Men Behaving Badly fame and starring Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Twenty Twelve), Sheridan Smith (Jonathan Creek), David Walliams (Blandings, Big School, Little Britain) and introducing Nell Tiger Free as Chloe, this charming hour of family television comes to PBS on Sunday, December 22 at 7:00pmCT/8:00pm ET. Hopefully, it is destined to be a holiday classic.

What transpires over the course of the 60-minutes is as magical as the Jimmy Stewart film, It’s A Wonderful Life. All you have to do is believe….