Realizing it’s been a bit since the Sherlock Separation Anxiety Appreciation Society has met, let no more time pass before calling the meeting to order with a both of Sherlock 3 news. While Martin Freeman (John Watson) has had plenty to occupy his own personal mind palace as he spent the better part of the last eighteen months filming Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit in New Zealand, most of the rest of us on the planet have been left to wonder just how does the world’s greatest consulting detective survive ‘the Reichenbach Fall’?
Recently, at Channel 4′s Stand Up 2 Cancer event, Martin Freeman spoke exclusively with RadioTimes.com about what he knows of the upcoming Sherlock 3. Freeman did reveal he had seen a “rough outline” of the first episode of series three. He added that he has yet to see a written script but, “…the first one sounds brilliant“. Alluding to what producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have in store Freeman added, “Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss tell us bits about it so I know that all the clues were on screen. It’s not going to be a cheat – everything that we saw on that final episode offers hints as to how he did it.“. No matter how many times I see this brief reminder I haven’t been able to put the clues together just yet. You?
There’s no denying that both Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (John Watson) are brilliant. There were also some classic performances during both series of BBC’s Sherlock. Lara Pulver portrayal of Irene Adler comes to mind, Phil Davis’ taxi-driver character in “A Study in Pink” along with Rupert Graves as DI Lestrade and Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson. Even Sherlock co-conspirator, Mark Gatiss, is brilliant as Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft. The absolute best, however, is Andrew Scott and his wheel’s off depiction of Sherlock’s arch-enemy, Moriarty. Just so you don’t forget before the next meeting of the SSAAS. Be strong. Every day that passes makes us one day closer to the January 2013 date when filming on series 3 is set to begin….
I know it’s Saturday but….
Would love your thoughts about a new Tellyspotting feature on Fridays where we dig into the vault and highlight a classic Brit television series of any genre. The idea being to re-discover together a classic series or program that would be perfect for a power-watching session over the coming weekend. No better time to start this feature than at a time where winter is right on our doorstep and no better series to begin with than Dennis Potter’s 1993 classic, Lipstick on Your Collar.
While it was virtually impossible to equal his 1986 mini-series, The Singing Detective, Potter captured the essence of the British Military Intelligence Office in Whitehall during the mid-50′s to a tea. As the story goes, Potter looks in on a small group of foreign affairs analysts who find their quiet existence disrupted by the Suez Crisis. Mick Hopper (Ewan McGregor, in his first acting role) is completing his national service as an interpreter of Russian documents. Bored with his job, Hopper spends his days creating fantasy daydreams that involve his work colleagues breaking into contemporary hit songs. Sylvia Berry (Louise Germaine) is wife of the violent Corporal Pete Berry (Douglas Henshall).
Sylvia is an object of desire for Mick’s fellow clerk Private Francis Francis (Giles Thomas) and a middle-aged pipe-organist named Harold Atterbow (Roy Hudd). Unlike the street-wise Hopper, Francis is a clumsy Welsh intellectual whose academic career has been interrupted by his army call up. The appearance of the bookish niece of a seconded American officer enables the two conscripts to pair off with suitable partners, after initial mismatching.
The really great thing about the series is how the storyline is interspersed with some great music from the beginning of the Rock & Roll era. Reminiscent of being a precursor to Glee, CopRock, American Graffiti or any other drama with a musical storyline, the cast will start singing at just the right time. The mundane suddenly has an upbeat tempo to it. Much like the earlier concept of The Singing Detective, it works and it adds just the right touch to the storyline. Almost makes you remember all those times when you wish life was a musical.
So, enjoy the new From the Friday Vault feature and please, feel free to make suggestions as to what you might like to see profiled on future Fridays. Cheers.
U.S. broadcast networks have struck again and will try to mine a bit of UK gold with the announcement that the Fox network has ordered a pilot of the British comedy sitcom, Gavin & Stacey. This will be the second attempt at a U.S. version with the first being the 2009 ill-fated ABC version. Ill-fated from the outset given that the first attempt was not to be written by its British creators, James Corden and Ruth Jones, but instead, the writing duties would be by U.S. sitcom writers of According to Jim.
The British romantic comedy, about Gavin (Mathew Horne), a boy from England, and Stacey, a girl from Wales (Joanna Page) who fall in love over the phone, focuses on the situations that arise when their relationship brings their two differing families together. The newest Fox incarnation almost makes me feel a bit like Lloyd Christmas when he says “…So you’re telling me there’s a chance” to Mary Swanson. There is a chance that this won’t fall into the bottomless barrel of failed U.S. remakes along with Life on Mars, Red Dwarf, The IT Crowd, Coupling, AbFab and Fawlty Towers to name a few. The reason is that creators and stars James Corden and Ruth Jones will serve as executive producers on the American project with Henry Normal, executive producer of the UK version, who will fulfil the same role on the Fox remake.
That said, I’ll be interested to see how this can possibly translate to a U.S. audience given that much of the series storyline centers around two individuals and their families who come from decidedly different parts the United Kingdom. Just doesn’t quite have the same ring to it if Gavin is from Chicago and Stacey is from neighboring Milwaukee. Having the UK creators involved will help but writing and casting are still the biggest reason that U.S. remakes have not succeeded in the past. It’s going to be really difficult to duplicate the greatness of Rob Brydon along with others in both families.
Time will tell whether or not Gavin & Stacey can make the leap across the pond along with other upcoming UK comedies scheduled for American network remakes such as Whites and Spy. For now, let’s leave it that I’m not betting the farm on any of them just yet. You?
Being ‘human’ is hard enough for the average individual. Imagine how difficult it is for your average vampire, ghost and/or werewolf. Now, put them all in a flat in Wales and it becomes almost impossible to imagine. Being Human, the Toby Whithouse creation started out almost five years ago now as a series that bordered on equal parts comedy, equal parts horror drama with original stars, Lenora Crichlow (ghost), Russell Tovey (werewolf) and Aidan Turner (vampire). Over the past several years, the series has added new cast members, Michael Socha and Damien Molony, with the original cast moving on to other ventures such as Turner being cast in that little known Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit. The brilliant news is that the series continues to be a top-notch horror drama but has now begun to morph into a bit of a subtle commentary on humanity as we know it.
As most BH fans are already aware, back in March 2012, it was revealed that series 5 of Being Human would air in 2013 with six new episodes. Michael Socha and Damien Molony return in their respective roles of Tom (werewolf) and Hal (vampire) along with Kate Bracken as Alex, ‘the new ghost’. Hopefully, not a spoiler at this point for anyone, but Lenora Crichlow will not be returning for series 5 following last seasons finale where she detonates a bomb while holding Eve, apparently killing her and all the Old Ones as well. Annie finally finds her door, having fulfilled her purpose on earth and passes on into the afterlife.
Currently in production, BH5 has flown under the radar until a recent announcement that Phil Davis would join the cast as Captain Hatch. Phil Davis is one of those brilliant actors that you may or may not know the name, but you’ll definitely know his body of work (i.e. Sherlock, Whitechapel, Case Histories, Silk). One can only think of the evil that was Herrick (Adrian Lester) as show producers describe his character, “…Hatch embodies the worst in humanity – he’s bitter, manipulative, obsequious and cruel. And beneath his decrepit exterior there lies within him a dark and toxic secret that could rattle your soul with fear.”
I so can’t wait for this. You?
As we barrel head long towards Halloween, there will be a seemingly endless barrage of haunted houses and horror movie premieres at everyone’s disposal in the coming days. Let’s not forget the traditional ‘lady of the lake’ story that seems to fluctuate from urban myth to “..no, it really happened to my brother, I promise“.
Far more important from our perspective and in keeping with the focus of Tellyspotting, will be to turn our attention to the Top-10 Haunted Pubs in Britain this Halloween. While there are a number of top-10 lists floating around of Britain’s most haunted, one thing remains a constant as to why pubs are the way to go. As Spooky Stuff explains, “…all-night vigils in haunted buildings are all very well. But wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to wait cold and bored while hoping to see a ghost? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a bite to eat socialise with friends, maybe even quaff some cold beer while waiting for the spooks to appear?” Couldn’t agree more. Here are their top-10 to check out this year if in the neighborhood…
Grenadier Pub, London - once the favourite haunt of soldiers from the Duke of Wellington’s regiment, one unfortunate grenadier seems to still be hanging around. As the story goes, he was playing cards with his fellows guards and was caught cheating. Outraged, they beat him up and threw him down the pub stairwell. The poor chap died and is said to haunt the pub to this day. Numerous lists consider The Grenadier the most-haunted pub in London.
Golden Fleece, York – this pub is said to house both a ghostly pickpocket and a phantom curmudgeon who sometimes gets upset whenever a customer sits in what used to be his favourite seat in addition to a ghostly dog that tugs at punters’ trouser legs.
Red Lion, Avebury – amidst the stone circles, UFO reports and some fairly regular paranormal activity, be on the lookout for the ghost of a woman called Florrie who was murdered by her soldier husband in the 17th century after he discovered that she had been unfaithful to him while he was away at war.
The Kings Arms, Monkton Farleigh – filled with an array of ghostly patrons, head on over to the Kings Arms to maybe catch a glimpse of a monk who reportedly died in the pub in mysterious circumstances or a woman whose runaway carriage crashed into the building, killing her. There is also a mysterious key which was unearthed during recent building work on the site. Allegedly two ghosts appeared and warned the bar staff not to knock down the wall behind which the key was eventually found. The purpose of the key is still not known but it now hangs proudly on the pub wall.
St. Anne’s Castle, Essex – home to numerous ‘ghost hunter’ vigils, St. Anne’s Castle is the oldest public house in England and home to a woman who was burned to death as a witch in the early 17th century.
The Skirrid Inn, Wales - used as a place of execution in the medieval period, The Skirrid Inn has the dubious distinction of having been pronounced the most haunted pub in Britain by famed ghost hunter Richard Jones.
Devil’s Stone Inn, Devon – gets its name from the mysterious giant boulder which sits at the centre of the town. No one knows where it came from and legend has it that it was dropped by the Devil himself as he was flying overhead. Not really a reason to classify this as a top haunted pub but is, supposedly, haunted by quite a few ghosts. Most of these seem to have a fairly pleasant disposition save for the single curmudgeon who was believed to be a rent collector in life.
Seven Stars Pub, Sussex – with a history dating back to the Middle Ages, there are regular occurrences of phantom footsteps, shadowy apparitions, and dogs reacting to the presence of something unseen.
Marsden Grotto, South Shields – this private residence was soon transformed into an inn which became a favorite with the local smugglers. The spirit of one unfortunate is believed to be that of a smuggler who informed on his fellows and was brutalised by them after being caught. Psychics have claimed to detect a high level of paranormal activity in the building on numerous occasions.
If you’re looking for some closer to home options in Central London, theres’s always The Morpeth Arms, The Old Bull & Bush, The Black Cap, The Blind Beggar and The Old Queen’s Head. How can you not include the The Bucket of Blood in Cornwall, Ye Old Cheshire Cheese which is just off Fleet Street or The Lamb and Flag in Covent Garden?
Happy Haunting. Let us know if you are aware of any others or have experienced anything first hand….