When the initial pitch for Doc Martin came from series star Martin Clunes and wife, television producer Philippa Braithwaite, through their production company Buffalo Pictures, early thoughts from ITV were along the lines of, “Well, it doesn’t sound promising, does it? We’ve got a show about a cranky doctor who doesn’t like anyone and no one likes him.” 10+ years, 5 series and some 39 episodes later, the series about ‘the cranky doctor who doesn’t like anyone and no one likes him’ has become one of the hottest television properties coming out of the UK alongside the likes of Downton Abbey, Top Gear and Doctor Who with 208 countries including, most recently, Iran have either bought rights to the original series or are making their own versions.
And…beginning Monday, 2 September, Doc Martin returns with the premiere of series 6 on ITV1. At this point U.S. fans who watch on public television can expect the series to premiere in a January/February 2014 time frame.
As production began this past Spring on series 6, Clunes, who brilliantly portrays the curmudgeonly medic with a blood phobia and zero bedside manner, eluded to the fact that the upcoming series would be the last. “Well, that’s the kind of thing that happens when they let me out on my own,” said Clunes.
Thankfully, that sentiment was short-lived as welcome news came this week for Doc Martin fans in all 209 countries (including the UK), gives cause for celebration as Clunes announced, “No, we’re not talking about ‘last series’ any more. I love being down in Cornwall and I love being rude and rough to the elderly and to children, too. It’s my dream job!”.
You’ll have to exercise a bit of patience if Clunes’ dream job, as he calls it, is to continue for a seventh series. Given Clunes’ commitment to family and other projects, down time between series have averaged in the neighborhood of 12-18 months. We all know it will be well worth the wait.
Since the beginning time, even though you have the Earl of Grantham, Matthew Crawley, Mr. Carson, Bates and Thomas, Downton Abbey has been all about the ladies for its first three seasons. As the Dowager Countess goes, so goes Downton, electricity or no electricity. Audiences can’t get enough of Ladies Mary, Edith and Sybil. Downstairs has ladies of its own with Anna, Daisy, Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes.
With series 4 just around the corner, it’s time to meet the men of Downton Abbey. Executive producer, Gareth Neame, attempted to set the stage for those counting the days to the premiere of series 4. “As much as people were devastated by the loss of Matthew, with some people almost grieving as they would for a real person, those are the dynamics of this show. No one is suffering more than widowed Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery). We do see quite a bit of the Mary she was before she met Matthew, that icy iron-maiden quality,” says Neame. “It’s going to take an awful lot to get her back to life.”
Series 4, which begins six months after the still unbelievably shocking death of Matthew at the end of series 3, will bring three new faces all willing to do what they can to ‘get Lady Mary back to life’. William Keck over at TV Guide put together a quick synopsis for those fans that can’t tell the players without a scorecard.
Up first is the dashing Lord Gillingham, an old family friend. Lord Gillingham (Tom Cullen) comes to Downton for a lavish house party in the second episode and offers Mary advice on inheritance taxes. “Mary is not looking for anyone to replace Matthew, but she is, of course, a beautiful, eligible young widow, so inevitably there is going to be quite a lot of male interest,” Neame says. “Gillingham is a very useful friend to Mary at a time when she’s not able to make decisions.”
In episode three, Mary’s loved ones convince her to leave the house. She accompanies Branson, Rose and Aunt Rosamund to London’s Lotus jazz club, where they meet Jack Ross, a suave singer from Chicago played by Gary Carr (Death in Paradise). “The spine of the new season is how Mary moves from total bereavement into turning to life again,” Neame says. “Ross is very positive, ambitious and charming. And we get to see him perform.”
Finally, in episode four, Evelyn Napier returns to Downton for the first time since his Turkish friend Kemal Pamuk died in Mary’s bed back in Season 1. He brings along a new associate, Charles (Julian Ovenden), to help Downton run more efficiently. Mary and Charles instantly dislike each other — kind of like how Mary first viewed Matthew. “There’s a bit of a difference,” Neame says. “Mary objected to the law making Matthew the heir to Downton. Blake is someone she just doesn’t like. He’s modern-thinking but does not share the family’s sentimentality about the past.”
Don’t know about you, but I am so ready for this….
Excellent news out of the UK Friday with the announcement by ITV that the brilliant Sally Wainwright police procedural series, Scott and Bailey, has been commissioned for a fourth series. Production will begin in Spring 2014. Based on an idea by Suranne Jones and Sally Lindsay, who plays Bailey’s sister Alison in the drama, Scott and Bailey follows two female detectives who are part of the Major Incident Team (i.e. murder investigation, etc.) in Manchester.
Wainwright, who also wrote Last Tango in Halifax, which will have its U.S. premiere on PBS beginning September 8, will also executive produce the new series which has not only become one of ITV’s most popular dramas (ok, it’s hasn’t entered Downton Abbey territory just yet) but has also become a favorite in the States as being authentic, pure and simple. It’s dark, gritty and humorous, at times. This is neither Luther, which is the definition of dark and gritty, nor is it Rizzoli & Isles. It’s real.
For series 4, Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones will reprise their roles as Janet Scott and Rachel Bailey with the great Amelia Bullmore not only returning as DCI Gill Murray but expected to write four of the scripts for the new series. While series 3 has already transmitted in the UK, it has yet to premiere on public television in the States, so we’ll begrudgingly resist the temptation to talk about it other than to say it only massively ramps up the real factor and that guest star Nicola Walker (Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax) is off the charts brilliant. But, we can show the promo…
So, if in the UK, sleep well with the knowledge that there will be more come Autumn 2014, most likely, while U.S. fans of the series get set for series 3 also knowing there will be more S&B greatness.
Thanks to public television stations, the U.S. is just now becoming familiar with the wonderfully inviting Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. At almost the same time, The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher returns home to Australia as series 2 premieres Friday 6 September at 8.30pm on ABC1. North Texas, through public television station KERA, will be introduced to Miss Fisher tonight at 9:00pm on KERA Channel 13. While she needs no introduction, here’s what you can expect and what Australia has patiently been waiting for.
Phryne Fisher is a fashionably beautiful investigator with a penchant for murder cases that take her through back alleys, jazz clubs and shady neighborhoods all with a twinkle in her eye that fits right in to the risque world of 1920′s Melbourne. Phryne Fisher is equally at home solving murders with her pearl-handled Smith & Wesson as she is with a cocktail in hand, charming paramours in her full-length white silk coat.
Thanks to the great folks over at Acorn Media, Tellyspotting recently caught up with Essie Davis, one of Australia’s most respected and acclaimed film, theatre and television actors, as she found a few free moments during the filming of series 2 of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.
Tellyspotting: With U.S. audiences on the verge of being introduced to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, who is Phryne Fisher?
Essie Davis: I guess Phryne Fisher is the female answer to James Bond, Indiana Jones or a combination of both. She’s an incredibly independent woman from the 1920′s, who was born in poverty and inherited great wealth. She’s incredibly skilled, she lives life to the fullest and is a woman who never wants to get married but loves life and loves men. She’s an advocate for women’s rights and the rights of the less privileged in the world and she’s got a knack for sleuthing and finding out ‘whodunit’. She’s both a mystery and a bit of a romp.
T.S.: The series is set during a time of incredible change for women. Phryne Fisher seems to be someone that really embraced the opportunity in front of her of being more independent. Her character would seem right at home in the 21st century given her ‘adventurous’ spirit don’t you think?
E.D.: I think, absolutely, that Phryne is a person that often finds herself more liberated than women are today and realizes the luxury of her independence. She knows what it is to have money, to own her own home, her own car and yet she’s not stingy with her money either. She’s quite happy to buy cars for other people. She is definitely someone who holds on to her independence. Many men would like to marry her but…she’s not the marrying kind.
T.S.: Your acting background features extensive stage and screen work. Has that helped for your work in television?
E.D.: Absolutely. I think certainly because the show has so much to do with language and the dexterity and fluidity of using complicated language it no doubt helps. I’ve done a lot of very complicated language on stage from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller to Tom Stoppard. Having done that work has really helped with the dexterity that Phryne has with language and her incredible wealth of knowledge. She’s kind of like a superhero that can speak a lot of languages such as Mandarin and French while at the same time dance a tango, fly an airplane, drive a car and do the foxtrot. She’s very surprising. Every episode she’s got another skill that nobody knew.
T.S.: Miss Fisher is not your traditional murder mystery in the vein of Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot. It’s irreverent and fun, but can you comment on the very dark undercurrent that runs throughout the series dealing with some very strong subject matter for the time?
E.D.: There is a very dark side to the series and there is lots of heavy subjects because it’s all set in the midst of real events that are going on in 1928, in particular, abortion, women’s rights, aboriginal rights and drug smuggling. And Phryne, herself, has a dark past that she’s trying to find out what happened to her little sister.
T.S.: As with many British comedy or mystery series that public television viewers in the States are familiar with, writing is considered a cut above the rest. Beyond the obvious, can you comment on the importance of good writing as the basis for any successful series?
E.D.: Well, it is the most important thing, I really believe. There’s nothing worse than average writing. No matter how skilled actors are coming together to do it, it can never work and can only be ordinary. It really helped that the first series came from the novels that Kerry Greenwood wrote. She has a great knowledge of the period as well as being incredibly witty.
T.S.: How important is it for you to dig a bit deeper and get a ‘beyond the surface understanding’ of a character you are playing, Phryne in particular.
E.D.: Absolutely. That’s where the novels came in incredibly handy. Kerry’s written a whole history and you find out more and more in each book about Phryne’s life and the fact that she worked as an air ambulance officer in the First World War then went off and modeled in France afterwards trying to make a living. All of the books gave me a huge background to her life. Each story will have something new about her history or where she’s come from. I read a lot of the novels during the first series to make sure I knew who she was. I hadn’t read any of the books before I was cast in the role and all of that helped immensely. Because the books have a massive fan base around the world, there’s no point in playing a character one way and then finding out that she would have thought something completely different if only you’d known.
T.S.: One of the most striking things about the Miss Fisher series is the level of detail that went in to the costuming to set the tone for the series. Has Phryne ever worn the same outfit twice?
E.D.: (laughs) Oh, I think there are a couple of repeats, probably shoes. Marion Boyce, our costume designer, has an incredible wealth of knowledge and is a fastidious designer who would never put me in anything that is not authentic to the period. She has beautiful collections of materials, buttons, buckles and gloves all from the period as well as designing me beautiful outfits. I often walk on set and everyone’s jaw drops and I smile and go…I know.
T.S.: Filming the series has to be exhausting. If you could speak to both the physical nature of the role and her ‘love of life’ adventurous nature and to what immediate challenges did playing Phryne bring for you?
E.D.: The biggest challenge is that there is very little time for rehearsals. Whenever I get a moment off, I’m doing a tango lesson or learning Mandarin. I think that was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do. But, I know my one sentence incredibly well. A year and a half later, I can still pull it out when needed. Certainly, all of the dancing, you’ve got two hours to learn how to flamenco and look like you’re brilliant at it. Because she’s really good at everything she does, trying to do each little part of it with great skill is very challenging.
T.S.: On the oft chance you do have a free moment, what do you enjoy watching from a comedy or drama standpoint?
E.D.: My favorite American dramas are The West Wing and The Sopranos. I love comedy. I love having a good laugh. I absolutely loved The West Wing because of the writing and the actors were brilliant and the politics of it all was fascinating. From a comedy standpoint, I love 30 Rock and I absolutely love Arrested Development. It’s brilliant.
T.S.: While Phryne is clearly the centerpiece of the series, can you comment on the ensemble cast that has been assembled for Miss Fisher and, in general, the importance of the strength of a supporting cast in a series?
E.D.: Very important. You can’t act on your own. The family of characters that the series brings together are extremely important. The overarching story is much more about this group of people who work together. The beautiful thing that happens between Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page), who at first finds Phryne a thorn in his side, and is then eventually very pleased that she can help by going about solving these cases in a less than conventional police manner is a perfect example. That’s why people want to watch. I think they want to see more of what happens between the characters and not just someone dies and a murder gets solved.
T.S.: Is there a little bit of Phryne Fisher in Essie Davis?
E.D.: I think so (laughing). I think every role that an actor plays has to have some element that comes from you. I’m very lucky in that all the characters I’ve played are very different from each other. I will say, however, that there is some part of Phryne that is me. You do learn a lot about yourself from the characters you play.
T.S.: For those that have never been to Australia, where would Phryne Fisher be apt to first take you to get the full Aussie experience?
E.D.: Well…I would say, a speedy drive along the Great Ocean Road would be a good start. Then go to some beautiful little cocktail bar in Melbourne and maybe scale the police and justice building and take you for a rooftop and then perhaps a little fly over the countryside.
T.S.: How about Essie Davis?
E.D.: I would take you to some remote beaches in Tasmania and to the southwest of Tasmania mountaintops and just home for dinner.
With that, my 30-minute brush with Aussie greatness ended. Oh well, I guess we’ll always have the possibility of driving along the Great Ocean Road and the remote beaches of Tasmania.
Definitely be on the lookout for Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, with Phryne solving murders and leaving a trail of men floundering in her rear view mirror, on a public television station near you in the not-too-distant future. FYI, KERA TV viewers in North Texas can see series one, Saturdays at 9:00pm beginning TONIGHT!.
Attention Australia: remember, series 2 premieres Friday 6 September at 8.30pm on ABC1!
The second series of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries builds on the meticulously constructed world of series one as it follows the independent, glamorous and unflappable leading lady detective Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) as she defends the innocent and juggles admirers with her usual panache, all the while keeping up her delicious dance around Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page).
In 2004, the world was treated to the great mind palaces Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg with Shaun of the Dead. While it seemed like an eternity, it was only short three years before we could stop wearing out the “Shaun” DVD and head to the cinema for Hot Fuzz, the second in what has now become known as the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a.k.a. Blood and Ice Cream trilogy.
Now, just a short 6 years later, Wright and Pegg have completed the Bermuda Triangle of movie trilogies with, perhaps the best of all three, The World’s End, which finds its way to U.S. theatres today. Gary King (Simon Pegg), the British equivalent to Matthew McConaughey’s character from Dazed and Confused, continues to be haunted daily with the thought that he and his five closest high school buddies never completed their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier. To rectify the situation, unshaven, never gonna grow up, substance-abusing Gary, seeks ‘closure’ when he attempts to get the band back together, “…just like the Five Musketeers,” he notes, to conquer the Golden Mile once and for all.
What ensues can be safely described as the pub crawl from hell as Wright and Pegg clearly let it be known that all those bittersweet coming-home films are pure fantasy as, in the case of the quaint little hamlet of Newton Haven, you can never really go home again, especially since alien invasion seems to have entered the picture. We’ll leave it at that to avoid any more spoilers for those who haven’t seen yet…
Sadly, for those in the North Texas area, no theatres are showing the entire trilogy while a mere 200 miles south in Austin, no less than six locations will be treating moviegoers to the full Cornetto trilogy experience.
If you’re in the UK and have already experienced The World’s End, it might be time to grab a couple of muskateers and tackle the Golden Mile, minus the aliens, hopefully. While the town of Newton Haven doesn’t actually exist, it is possible to enjoy a pint of bitter or lager in some of the real locations from the film shot in Hertfordshire’s Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. To get you started, the Radio Times‘ Jade Bremner has put together the Golden Mile film locations beginning with “The First Post” and ending where else but “The World’s End”.
The World’s End, starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike, opens in U. S. theaters nationwide today.
The World’s End, the third and final film in the aptly named Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy or the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy, crashes U.S. theaters on Friday. If you’ve seen the first two bits of brilliance from the minds of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, get in line now for the unofficial trilogy finale. If you haven’t, rent them, download them or stream them any way possible tonight and then get in line Friday for what is a fitting third Cornetto flavor in the trilogy.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost came through North Texas recently as part of their tireless promotional tour for the film. They graciously sat down with Tellyspotting the morning after a fairly late night at the local Alamo Cinema and Drafthouse for a screening of the entire trilogy. Life doesn’t get any better than this…
Tellyspotting: Most excited and/or nervous moment for both the whole of the UK and the two of you…the premiere of The World’s End, Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, the birth of the royal baby or naming the 12th Doctor on Doctor Who?
Simon Pegg: (laughing) Andy Murray winning Wimbledon was very exciting. But the film coming out is our big birth. It’s our third baby and Will and Kate are just having their first. For us, it’s the combination of 10 years of work and it’s super, super exciting.
Nick Frost: Andy Murray is Scottish, remember. Actually, we say British when he’s playing for us and winning. When he’s losing, he’s Scottish.
TS: The character of Gary King, from the outset, seems like someone with not much to him other than making sure he completes the Golden Mile. In reality, there’s a lot more to him than you see on the surface isn’t there.
Simon: He is complex. The central character in the first two film were very reactive. With Gary, however, he’s very proactive. Even when everything goes crazy, he continues on the same path he started on. Gary seizes on the craziness of what’s happening as an excuse to keep going whereas the others are on the verge of giving up on the night. He’s motivated by very complex issues. Initially, he’s very unlikeable. He’s annoying. He’s like Beetlejuice. But, you begin to understand he’s being driven by darker motives.
TS: Edgar likened Gary to a drunken Doctor Who. Fair Assessment?
Simon: Maybe a darker, drunken Doctor Who.
Nick: Gary has a better companion.
TS: Nick, your character of Andrew seems a bit like a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off. Kind of fun to be the mil-mannered but secretly angry adult of the bunch knowing that from an audience standpoint there’s a when is it going to happen Hulk-type moment later in the film?
Nick: Well, he’s been hurt. I kind of love the fact that Gary’s pull is so primal on Andy that within three or fours hours of meeting him after not seeing him for 16-17 years, it’s back on, you know. I don’t think he wants to do that but he can’t help himself. He has a beef with him and he has to get it off his chest. If that means he has to destroy 100 robot aliens then he’s going to do that. He’s a responsible man.
Simon: I think it also bothers Andy that he still cares. He’s tried to get passed this but there was never any closure between them.
TS: Beginning with Spaced and moving through Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul and now, The World’s End, it’s evident there is a definite love of cinema in the both of you and with Edgar. Where does that come from?
Simon: We’re both children of the 70′s, we’re movie brats.
Nick: The emergence of home video too. That was a big deal. I could watch a film at home growing up. I had parents who went to the pub on Sunday. Here’s two pound, watch whatever film you want. So I’d go the video store next door and get Exorcist or some other great family entertainment.
Simon: Nick makes a great point. We were there on the front lines when the film industry was de-mythologized and, suddenly, through technology, we had access to an entire back catalog of films and we could watch them in our living rooms. We both were resent where we took ownership of what you watched, unlike the cinema or even TV where someone else decided what you could watch.
TS: Regarding the initial writing of the film, Simon is it difficult to write for yourself?
Simon: It’s easier in a way because you know your strengths. For Edgar and me, it was easier to sculpt the script for specific actors like Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, etc. Either way, it has to serve a purpose.
Nick: I never felt that. With Paul, I never felt like I was writing something because “I” want to do that. It has to work in the context of the film first and foremost.
TS: What is it about a character like a Basil Fawlty or Edmund Blackadder that audiences or, in the case of Gary, his high school friends, feel a great deal of empathy for and really like despite all the reasons right there in front of them not to?
Simon: It’s partly being the underdog theory and partly, you just want them to catch a break for once.
Nick: It’s also, partly, you could be him or you could know someone like him.
Simon: There’s a great tradition in British sitcom, unlike American sitcoms where the lead character is sympathetic, there sunnier and you’re on their side, whereby characters like Basil Fawlty, David Brent, Alan Partridge, characters that are quite hateful, but at the same time, you’re desperate for them to catch a break.
Nick: I think in American sitcom, viewers tend to want their characters to succeed whereas in Britain, we don’t. We like to see them fail.
TS: The fight scenes were pretty cool. While I’m sure they were massively well scripted, were they fun to do? I mean, Nick, you got to do the People’s Elbow, didn’t you?
Nick: Without a doubt, the most electrifying move in sports entertainment.
Simon: ‘Pub-Fu’ as we called it. A mixture of wrestling moves and martial arts with two moves made famous by The Rock thrown in.
Nick: It was fantastic. We trained for about four weeks. Edgar had this belief that you don’t cut away from the actor. It’s exciting to see the actor do the bits. It’s so commonplace to cutaway and see the back of the actors head or falling through a table and then cut to the main actor getting up dusting himself off. That’s boring.
Simon: It was important to Edgar to keep the scene about the people that are fighting and not just about the fight.
TS: Are there advantages or disadvantages to have a film immediately compared to your previous efforts of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz?
Simon: We decided that if we tried as hard and applied ourselves that, technically, it should still work. Whether it’s an advantage or a disadvantage, it’s definitely an advantage. That said, it was very important to us that the new film stood beside the other two. A film like The World’s End demands to be seen more than once. You have to engineer it and make it complex enough for people to see more than once. You owe it to people to do that because of home video and download. We’re in the age of repeated viewing. You want someone to see it again and say, “Oh, I see, I get it now.”
Nick: We definitely don’t take anything for granted. We haven’t changed ourselves or would we ever think, well we’ve made these two films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and they were popular so now, we’ll just turn out rubbish and people will like it. That’s not how we work. We still work incredibly hard to be honest with ourselves.
TS: Nick, what’s the one thing Simon doesn’t want anyone to know about himself?
Nick: He is very messy.
TS: Simon, same with Nick. What’s the one thing no one knows about him?
Simon: Nick could be an amazing chef. He has amazing culinary skills…a kitchen artist.
Nick: When I get bored with acting, that’s what I want to do. Twenty covers, very simple, no menu, you get what you’re given.
TS: Could either of you see yourself in a walk on part in Downton Abbey?
Simon: Absolutely. Although, Lady Sybil is gone now, she was my favorite. I kind of had a crush on her, but now she’s gone. Everyone’s dying in Downton Abbey.
TS: What makes you laugh today?
Kind of says it all. With that, Simon and Nick were off to buy boots and head to Austin. The World’s End hits U.S. theaters on Friday. Go now and get a good seat.
While the world patiently (ha!) waits for any tiny hint as to how Sherlock Holmes survives his rooftop leap off St Barts, the cast and crew responsible for creating the best bit of television on television have returned to Cardiff to continue filming for episode 3 in this years Sherlock series on BBC One and PBS. With the first two episodes, “The Empty Hearse” and “The Sign of Three” shot and, for all intents and purposes, in the can, once filming and post is complete on episode three, “His Last Vow”, it’s only a matter of time before transmission dates are set on both sides of the pond. In case you haven’t seen the trailer for series 3…
Spotted on the streets of Cardiff during filming were series star, Benedict Cumberbatch, along with Martin Freeman (Watson), Mark Gatiss (Mycroft) and Amanda Abbington. Matthew Horwood took a number of great behind-the-scenes shots for Wales Online during filming. One particular photograph of note was that of Benedict Cumberbatch leaving his trailer with a message for some of the paparazzi taking photos. Essentially, how about turning their attention to the civil war in Egypt rather than trying to snap him filming the detective drama.
Not quite the moment Doc Martin fans have been waiting for but it’s about as close as we can get until the premiere dates are set for the return of the curmudgeonly GP with a phobia for blood. While nothing has been announced, UK views can look for an early Autumn return of the brilliant series on ITV1 with a potential early 2014 broadcast on public television stations in the States.
For those that have faithfully followed the relationship ups and downs of Dr. Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes) and Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz), you know that when we last visited Portwenn, the couple’s baby boy James was kidnapped by well-meaning but deranged pharmacist Mrs Tishell. The nightmare brought them closer together and prompted a second marriage proposal from the Doc to Louisa.
Doc Martin 6 trailer…can you say OMG!?
As series 6 begins, wedding bells are once again ringing and Portwenn is buzzing with arrangements for the wedding of the Doc and Louisa. However, if we’ve learned anything from five series and 39 episodes, it’s that nothing is easy when is comes to the Doc and Louisa. The question that will be answered over the eight new episodes that will comprise the new series is will they finally tie the knot, or will the villagers have to put the confetti back in the box one more time?
Produced by Buffalo Pictures and, once again, set in the idyllic hamlet of Portwenn, Doc Martin 6 will see all the regular members of the cast return, including Martin Clunes as Doctor Martin Ellingham, the grumpiest man in a white coat this side of Dr. Geregory House and Caroline Catz, who plays Doc Martin’s long-suffering love interest and local school headmistress, Louisa Glasson.
No matter which side of the pond you are on, can you possibly put into words what it means to have the Doc back?
Next time the Downton Abbey faithful in the UK get upset that American critics saw a clip of the upcoming series 4 before anyone saw in the UK, I might be inclined to point out that the brilliant BBC legal drama has run for two series on BBC One before U.S. audiences got even a shot at a series 1 broadcast. Finally, what BBC viewers have witnessed for two years will cross the pond this Sunday as PBS’ Masterpiece series premieres Silk, starring Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice), Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion, The Thirty-Nine Steps, Spooks), Neil Stuke (Reggie Perrin) and Natalie Dormer (The Tudors).
Peake is Martha Costello, a thirty-something, single, passionate defense barrister applying for silk. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ are four words she lives by. Clive Reader, played by Penry-Jones, is funny, gifted and dangerous. Both are applying for silk, or appointment to the Queen’s Counsel, so how they perform in court is vital to this process and Clive knows how to play the game.
Created and written by Bafta award-winning writer and former barrister, Peter Moffat, Silk provides an true insider’s view into this morally complex world of the British criminal justice system. Moffat explained: “Silk is based on my experience at the bar. I want to tell it as it really is. The extreme pressure, the hard choices, the ethical dilemmas, the overlap between the personal and the professional, principles fought for and principles sacrificed, the Machiavellian politics, the sex, the drinking, the whole story – life at the bar is the richest possible drama territory.”
Silk 3 to air this Autumn on BBC One.
Don’t fret, however, if you are a UK fan of Silk. Series three is currently wrapping up production and will air on BBC One this Autumn. As evidence of the fact, series star, Rupert Penry-Jones tweeted out this set pic the other day. It definitely is a good day on both sides of the pond….unless, of course, you’re a Downton Abbey fan (im)patiently awaiting the series 4 premiere, obviously.
Next to the Thrilla in Manilla in 1975 which featured the third and final meeting between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Championship of the World, Planet Earth has not had a day like this that they have been waiting for for almost 40 years.
While America, unfortunately, still needs to tap the breaks and continue to keep their finger on the ‘pause’ button while they await the January 4, 2015 PBS premiere of series 5 of Downton Abbey, there is joy in UK Mudville now that ITV has announced the transmission date for the premiere. Let the countdown begin to 21 September 2014 – a day that will forever be known as Downton Day 2014. What should cause excitement across Downton Abbey Nation no matter where you hang your hat is the fact that with ITV’s announcement comes the release of their first trailer for the premiere!
As you can see, while Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Elizabeth McGovern, Rob James-Collier, Brendan Coyle, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Lily James, Sophie Mcshera and Tom Cullen all return for series 5, there will also be a few welcome newcomers to Downton with the arrival of Richard E Grant and Anna Chancellor.
From the looks of things, series 5 will be drama, drama and…more drama. Al Jolson must not have been watching Downton Abbey when he spoke the first line that was ever ‘heard’ by the silent movie-going audience of the day which was “You ain’t heard nothin’ yet! otherwise, he would have definitely changed it to “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Looks like it’s going to be a good one. Must be the year of the fire what with Southfork burning on Dallas and all.