Catherine Tate, known mainly to U.S. audiences from The Catherine Tate Show and Doctor Who has seemingly made it passed the initial interview stage and, according to Digital Spy, will possibly be joining The Office on NBC this Fall. Current show stars including John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer will all be returning this fall for the ninth season of the American version of the hit BBC series of the same name. The former Doctor Who companion and appeared as boss Nellie Bertram in the second half of the comedy’s latest season.
Tate, who seems to periodically be rumored to be the next (and first) female Doctor Who, would replace Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), who replaced Michael Scott (Steve Carrell), as manager of the Scranton division of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Though a frequent attendee of anger management classes, Andy’s resulting fit of rage following the discovery that he has been mysteriously replaced by Tate’s character was not a pretty sight to behold and he was subsequently fired paving the way for Bertram’s permanent hiring. Maybe a bit of ‘jumping the shark’ but the American version of The Office remains one of the best Americanized versions of British comedy greatness. Look for the ninth season premiere this Fall on NBC.
With the 2012 London Olympics a mere 55 days from today, PBS has announced a slate of programming that will give not only grant you unprecedented access to the Royal family but will also provide a bit of a glimpse of English history as a run-up to the Games, which begin on Friday, 27 July.
This is no surprise given the fact that PBS has always been known for being the best source for British programming outside of the BBC ever since the 1974 premiere of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on KERA/Dallas. Aside from the usual brilliance of the flagship PBS series, Masterpiece which will bring the likes of Endeavor, Inspector Lewis and Zen to Sunday nights this summer, public television will up the tradition ante this summer with the following series for your viewing pleasure….
Premiering Monday, June 11, this four-part series provides an exclusive look inside the modern British monarchy. As she turned 80, Queen Elizabeth II allowed creation of this intimate series, which shows the commonwealth’s most famous family as they travel abroad, work at the palace and meet people from all walks of life. Go behind the velvet curtain and see what life is really like as a member of the family firm.
Beginning Tuesday, June 19 at 7:00p CT/8:00p ET, this four-part series is both the story of a remarkable time in British imperialism and an engaging portrait of a Queen who ruled over a one-fifth of the world’s population.
Queen and Country
This summer, all eyes are on Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s second longest-reigning monarch, as she marks her Diamond Jubilee this weekend. Beginning Sunday, July 1 at 7:00p CT/8:00p ET, PBS celebrates her 60 years on the throne with Trevor McDonald’s Queen & Country, offering viewers a look at the customs surrounding the monarchy – from Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace to the Queen’s royal visits — and tours of historic royal places.
Premiering Tuesday, July 3 on PBS, historian Michael Wood filters the 2,000-year history of England through the story of one small town located in the heart of the country: Kibworth, Leicestershire. From the Roman era to the Norman Conquest, the Black Death, the English Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and World War II, the four-part series intertwines the local and national narratives, marking the milestones that changed the town and country forever.
British greatness on PBS doesn’t stop just because the Olympics are over….
Beginning this Fall, as previously reported, two eagerly awaited British series will be a big part of PBS’ Fall schedule. 165 Eaton Place once again opens its doors when Upstairs Downstairs returns with six new episodes beginning Sunday, October 7 as part of the Masterpiece series.
And, beginning the previous Sunday on 30 September, the critically acclaimed and huge audience hit, Call the Midwife comes to PBS. The series, which is based on the best-selling trilogy by the late Jennifer Worth, chronicles birth, life and death bringing mid-20th-century London to life, focusing on the joys and hardships of a group of midwives working in London’s East End.
The ‘Doctors’ new companion is “In”
Jenna Louise-Coleman, the new companion in the upcoming DW7 series, has begun shooting her first scenes this week. According to DoctorWhoTV, filming is taking place on location at the medieval manor of Plas Llanmihangel. While no details have been released, there is speculation Jenna’s companion could be from the past. Here’s an on-set shot from what appears to be the Victorian era.
Snakes on a Plane: Doctor Who-style?
In a bit of other Doctor Who news, DoctorWhoTV has also reported a rumor (heavy accent on ‘rumor’) by The Daily Star that one of the episodes of the upcoming season will be titled “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, somewhat based on the Samuel L. Jackson pic, Snakes on a Plane….without the language issues, I’m guessing. Will be interesting to see how the Doctor gets out of a confrontation with a T-Rex, stegosaurus, raptor and pterodactyl armed with a sonic screwdriver.
Plantation owner role up next for ‘Sherlock’
As if being having featured roles in the likes of Tinker Tailor, War Horse, Parade’s End, the new Star Trek movie and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey wasn’t enough to occupy one’s time between Sherlock series, Variety is reporting that Benedict Cumberbatch has just signed on to join the cast of 12 Years a Slave. With production set to begin in June, the film is based on Solomon Northrup’s 1853 nonfiction work and will star Chiwetel Ejiofor as the author, a free man kidnapped and sold into slavery. Cumberbatch will play a plantation owner who buys Ejiofor’s character and is won over by his engineering skills.
When it comes to good news, the always widely-quoted, ever-so-popular, never mentioned by name BBC insider has told the British Comedy Guide that there will be a new Jonathan Creek episode for BBC viewers to unwrap this year. The ‘insider’ continued by saying: ‘It’s definitely going ahead. We’re very excited to see Jonathan back on screen with a new mystery to unravel’.
With the script already written, filming is most likely to begin in September. Look for the great Alan Davies to reprise his role as the popular magician’s assistant/magic trick deviser turned detective with Sheridan Smith, hopefully, returning as his ‘sidekick’, Joey Ross. The one-off special is to be added to the BBC One Christmas line-up and, hopefully, will find its way to the States not too long after.
If you’re not familiar with the Jonathan Creek, the series was created in 1997 by David Renwick (One Foot in the Grave, The Two Ronnies), think about grabbing next time you hit the video rental store. Well worth the time.
Now…if they would just bring back Whites with Alan Davies, oh what a happy holiday it would be.
Mr. Peabody, set the WAYBAC Machine to September 2010 before any Sherlock program has been seen….
In what now seems to be a lifetime ago, Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat and producer, Sue Vertue, give a bit of what is now background greatness as to how they created one of the most inventive series in recent memory from developing their earliest ideas and the adaptation process right through to the production and casting process.
Interviewed as part of the Kaleidoscopic Adaptations Festival, it’s interesting to hear the interview after seeing all six episodes in the series so far as both Moffat and Vertue discuss the initial complexities of adapting a Victorian novel into a modern day television drama and hear why both strongly believe the screenplay remains faithful to Conan Doyle’s original work.
Sherlock 3 set to begin filming in January 2013 (only 215 days from now)
Co-creator Steven Moffat had some long-awaited welcome news for Sherlock fans worldwide recently when he gave Digital Spy a bit of a series 3 update: ”Well, we’ve had meetings about it. It’s certainly happening and we know when we’re filming it – we shoot in January. Obviously I’ve got quite a lot of work on between now and January! So yes, it’s all happening and we’ve had our first few meetings. I don’t think a word has been committed to paper yet, but nearly.”
It was also recently leaked by co-creator Mark Gatiss, himself, that he would be be writing the first episode of series 3 which will be based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original story ‘The Adventure of the Empty House’. Gatiss also revealed that Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) will be furious when his friend returns from the dead.
Andrew Scott ‘hinting’ at Moriarty’s return?
He may appear to be dead and gone but evil Jim Moriarty could make a return to Sherlock, according to Andrew Scott, who brilliantly played the one who told Sherlock that ‘we’re just alike, you know, only you’re boring‘. At Sunday’s BAFTA Awards, where he SO deservedly won the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor, Scott gave that evil grin to RadioTimes.com and said: “It’s very hard for him to come back. But nothing is impossible”.
With official celebrations set to begin this Saturday and running through Tuesday, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee commemorates the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II accession to the throne in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI.
Besides the ever-so-important, Bank Holiday Weekend, a number of events ranging from the Epsom Derby Race, a BBC concert at Buckingham Palace, a Big Jubilee Lunch, the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons, the weekend events will conclude with a Service of Thanksgiving, which will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 5 June.
There’s even an official Queens Diamond Jubilee song which will be launched on Friday and played for the first time on Radio 2 and the BBC’s One Show, Friday at 7:00pm. Both Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gary Barlow (of Take That fame) have been working with musicians across the globe to record the ‘official’ song for such an historic occasion.
Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen the center of controversy again after 35 years for much different reasons
Seems as though Universal Music is planning a 2012 re-release of The Sex Pistols classic punk version of God Save the Queen, which the band originally recorded for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee back in 1977. While the 2012 controversy centers around the re-release, the 1977 controversy centered around the album cover and the song lyrics. At the time, the BBC and commercial TV and radio refused to play it and many record shops and high street chains such as Woolworths and WH Smith were unwilling to stock it. Yet, amidst all the controversy, the song still made it to number two in the official charts.
Not everyone is happy with the 2012 re-release, including former Sex Pistols bass player, Glen Matlock, and Pistols frontman, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten). Both are strongly against the re-release of the song that was originally written to stop the English people from being ‘mistreated’, a veiled reference to the English class system. Lydon released a statement stating that the re-release “…totally undermines what the Sex Pistols stood for” adding further: “I am pleased that the Sex Pistols recordings are being put out there for a new generation, however, I wish for no part in the circus that is being built up around it. The Pistols were inspired by anger and poverty, not art and poetry.” You decide….
The 2012 BAFTA Television Awards have come and gone with the usual ‘some surprises, some expected’ best of the best in British television awards handed out on Sunday evening.
A couple of quick personal observations…accent on personal observations. Full disclosure – I haven’t seen either Appropriate Adult or The Fades so they could be quite deserving in their respective awards. Being familiar with the actors and series they beat out, they must be brilliant. Will have to check them out.
The most welcome surprise of the evening
The most surprising surprise of the evening x 2
The most-disappointing BAFTA of the evening
The toughest decision for BAFTA judges
The most deserving no-brainer BAFTA of the evening
Most concrete reason why Doctor Who and Sherlock should meet in a future episode
Other 2012 BAFTA winners amongst the complete list of winners include Jennifer Saunders for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Series and Coronation Street besting EastEnders, Holby City and Shameless in the Best Soap and Continuing Drama category.
Anyone have any thoughts about the BAFTA’s, both the winners and/or losers?
***SPOILER ALERT*** For those that have not seen episode one of Downton Sixbey, go to the bottom of the post and invest 8:15 before reading further. Then, come back to the top for 9:59 of Jimmy Fallon brilliance.
When we first joined the inhabitants of Downton Sixbey, Jimmy Fallon, the Earl of Downton Sixbey, split time between his job as host of a late-night talk show and trying to find the heir to Downton Sixbey. Now, with the new heir established, the Downton Sixbey clan figures out the future.
In episode one of Downton Sixbey, the late night inhabitants of Studio 6B search for the heir to Downton Sixbey
Loreen has triumphed for Sweden at the 57th Eurovision Song Contest, with her club track Euphoria. According to the BBC, the former Swedish Idol contestant led from early on in the voting and ended with 372 points, with Russia’s Buranovo Grannies finishing at distant second with 259 points. Host Azerbaijan finished fourth with 150 points. A combination of points from tele-voting and national juries decides the winner.
For those that need a bit of trivia to dazzle your friends at the next get-together, the Eurovision Song Contest was first held in Lugano, Switzerland, in 1956, with the winning song, Refrain, performed by Lys Assia.
Twenty six countries took part in the final in host country Azerbaijan’s Crystal Hall, before a live audience of approximately 20,000. Typically, the Eurovision Song Contest broadcast is the largest televised non-sports event with up to 125 million watching the annual contest on telly around the world.
British entry Engelbert Humperdinck, who opened the contest with his ballad Love Will Set You Free, finished second from last – despite high hopes. Humperdinck, who has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, received just 12 points – from Estonia, Latvia, Belgium and Ireland.
“I’ve had many highs in my career and Eurovision has been a wonderful experience,” Humperdinck remarked. “I want to thank everybody, especially my fans around the world for their words of support. I did the best for my country, the rest was out of my hands.”
Thankfully, Jedward, who represented Ireland for the second year in a row, finished 19th (out of 26) with a whopping 46 points. I’m thinking it would have been better for Ireland had Father Ted Crilly and Father Dougal McGuire been the representatives. You decide….
Jedward – Ireland
Father Ted Crilly and Father Dougal McGuire and My Lovley Horse
Sadly, another National Towel Day has come and gone. A day unlike any other day, National Towel Day was created in 2001, not long after the untimely passing of the great Douglas Adams on 11 May, 2001. What does one do to celebrate the day? Easy. You carry a towel wherever you go to demonstrate your appreciation for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and its author, Douglas Adams.
While I am late in my well wishes to all to have a wonderful day, I can tell you that I did, in fact, carry a towel through LaGuardia airport last night just to see if any closet H2G2 fans would openly identify themselves and give me that knowing nod to a fellow believer in the ‘importance of the towel’ when travelling. Sadly, only one person came up to me thanking me for the reminder of the day. Most everyone else at LaGuardia were carrying far more bizarre things so, unfortunately, for the majority of workers and travelers at the airport, the towel went completely unnoticed as I boarded the flight….but, on the upside, this ‘frood wannabe’ felt really safe for the entire journey home.
The importance of the towel, according to Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, chapter 3
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you; you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag means non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass means know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy means really together guy; frood means really amazingly together guy.