The greatness of The Simpsons have finally jumped on the Benedict Cumberbatch bandwagon. Seems as though the actor, known forever to all of us as the ultimate consulting detective, Sherlock landed a voice role in the animated sitcom following a chance meeting, reported In Style magazine.
“I was at a meeting in the same place ”The Simpsons” is recorded and heard there was a part going in an episode. I said, ”I hate to muscle in here guys but could I record it?” Next thing, I’m standing in a room with all those famous voices; Bart, Marge, Homer, Lisa,” Cumberbatch said.
No word on whether or not the production just found themselves one voice short of a full deck that day or if there was some amazing karma thing going on that would bring Sherlock and Homer together in Springfield. Thanks to Springfield Punx for the great graphic which has me hoping its the latter of the two. Would love to hear Sherlock’s reaction to Doh!
Think about the fact that Benedict auditioned for his role in the upcoming Star Trek feature via iPhone and now this. It’s always been said that it’s all about ‘location, location, location’. No argument from where I’m standing. Unfortunately, I’m not in LA outside where The Simpsons is recorded, however.
This just in…Case Histories II is coming to a telly near you in the not-too-distant future. Brilliantly adapted from the Jackson Brodie detective novels by Kate Atkinson, Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter, The Patriot, The Brotherhood), is a mix of cold case crimes and fresh bloodshed, all needing the unique detective talents of one, Jackson Brodie.
If you’re familiar with the first series, you’ll need no reminder of how the soundtrack should have been awarded a co-star credit given the major role it played in the original series. Atkinson brings private investigator Jackson Brodie vividly to life in words — and music. In this exclusive interview for Masterpiece producers, Atkinson explained her love of music, and how she worked with the Case Histories producers to create the haunting soundtrack of songs used so brilliantly in the series.
Atkinson explains: “Like me, Jackson is a long-term country fan and for each of the novels I’ve had a playlist — something which often evolves during the course of the novel, but which somehow points me to something essential at the heart of each book. Sometimes the tracks don’t seem particularly relevant, but they are to me (and Jackson)…
Jackson likes his women, not just Nanci Griffith and Lucinda Williams but also Iris DeMent, Gillian Welch, Mary Gauthier, Eliza Gilkyson and a host of others. I am (and thereby Jackson, of course) a total fan of both Lucy Kaplansky and Patti Griffin, neither of whom are feature here but would most definitely have been on Jackson’s playlist. Kris Delmhorst was a new artist to me but I’ve been listening to her a lot since discovering her on the soundtrack.
Jason Isaac and Kate Atkinson discuss Case Histories
If you aren’t familiar with the series, you need to be familiar with the soundtrack. Enter, PBS’ Masterpiece series who put together a complete Case Histories soundtrack songlist for you to begin to seek out. Get those iTunes gift cards out now.
And for no other reason than I love this trailer for the first series, here’s another look to bridge until series 2 comes our way, hopefully, in 2012.
Yet another ‘perfect storm’ happens in the UK this coming Sunday with the return of Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallander. The perfect storm being a combination of the brilliant writing of novelist Henning Mankell, the superb script writing by Peter Harness (Case Histories), the keen eye of Emmy-award winning director Philip Martin (Hawking, Murder on the Orient Express) who, along with Academy Award winning cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire) created a perfect visual style for the series and, of course, the genius talents of Sir Kenneth Branagh.
Series 3 begins Sunday on BBC One with the first of three programs, “An Event in Autumn”, that will focus heavily on Wallander’s relationship with his adult daughter after the death of his father. The third series of Wallander will premiere in the States on public television stations, Sunday, September 9 at part of PBS’ Masterpiece series.
Branagh, who so aptly described Wallander as “an existentialist who is questioning what life is about and why he does what he does every day, and for whom acts of violence never become normal. There’s a level of empathy with the victims of crime that’s almost impossible to contain, and one of the prices he pays for that sort of empathy is a personal life that’s a kind of wasteland.“, is brilliant, plain and simple. The fact that he has been nominated for an Academy Award in five different categories screams genius. Branagh, along with Bill Nighy, could simply read the phone book out loud and I’d be there.
If you’re lucky enough to be within sight of the BBC One transmission, enjoy. If you’re in the U.S., September 9 sounds like a long way off, but keep telling yourself it’s only 63 days until the PBS premiere. Piece of cake.
Arthur Mathews, one-half of the brilliant Father Ted writing team, alongside Graham Linehan, has written a new comedy for BBC Radio 4 about life in BBC Broadcasting House in the 1930s. The Golden Age will star Robert Bathurst who played Sir Anthony Strallan in that little-known series, Downton Abbey, and BAFTA winner Vicky McClure, from Shane Meadow’s This Is England trilogy.
Bathurst will play the BBC’s director of programs with McClure as his assistant, who have to deal with frisky band-leaders and depressed newsreaders. Scottish comedian Ford Keirnan stars as Lord Reith, the first director general of the BBC. His increasingly bizarre orders such as his demand for a program on grouse-hunting with artillery guns cause further headaches for the BBC executives. Sounds more like a documentary than a comedy series, unfortunately.
The three-part series will be broadcast later this year on BBC Radio 4 in the UK. Self-described as a speech station for curious minds, BBC Radio 4 has, historically, been home to some killer comedy (and drama), in addition to showcasing an amazing array of emerging talent around the UK. Unlike their American counterparts, radio drama and comedy are staples of UK radio listening and a great trial balloon for discovering talent. In many cases, the most promising pilots actually do stand the chance of being developed into regular programs on the BBC’s radio or television networks.
Diana Rigg, the hands down winner of a recent BBC America poll that set out to identify the Sexiest Female British Celebrity of Yesteryear has been cast in an upcoming episode of Doctor Who. Rigg became well-known to a worldwide television viewing audience of 1960′s teenagers as Emma Peel, one of the first ‘feminist heroines on television from the British adventure series,The Avengers.
Dame Rigg will join her daughter, Rachel Stirling, in an upcoming episode that will be written by Mark Gatiss. Cloaked in the usual Doctor Who secrecy, sketchy details so far have Rigg and daughter playing, you guessed it, a mother and daughter with a ‘dark secret’.
While the episode will not transmit until 2013, it begins filming in Cardiff this week and, obviously, feature Matt Smith as The Doctor and new companion, Jenna-Louise Coleman. Doctor Who show runner, Steven Moffat, said, “Dame Diana Rigg, Rachael Stirling and a Mark Gatiss script — a combination of talents you could only get in Doctor Who! Frankly, I’m terrified already!”
Here, as host of the PBS series, Mystery!, Diana Rigg ‘remembers’ one of the greatest Sherlock Holmes of all-time, Jeremy Brett.
RIgg sounded ecstatic about the upcoming episode when she commented, “…the first time Rachie and I will be working together is on an episode of Doctor Who specially written for us by Mark Gatiss. How lucky is that?”
The statement/question should be how lucky are we…
British situation comedy series come in all shapes and sizes. There are those that litter the airwave alleys which should have been commissioned for another season but weren’t for some unexplained reason (insert Whites, Dirk Gently and Grass here), there are those that have hung around too long (insert Two Pints of Lager and a Package of Crisps, My Family and My Hero here) and those cut down in their prime for one reason or another that you wish would have gone on for years (insert Black Books, Father Ted, Fawlty Towers, The Office and Supernova here).
With the news recently that Outnumbered will return for a Christmas special this year and a fifth season in 2013, you have a series that is walking the fine line of being both a series you want to continue forever and one that is endanger of sticking around too long.
When we were first introduced to the Brockmans, we watched in horror as Pete (Hugh Dennis) and Sue (Claire Skinner) struggled to control some of the most unruly children on the planet. There was Jake (Tyger Drew-Honey) living in a 15-year old world filled with sarcasm and an obsession with girls, Ben (Daniel Roche), a hyperactive, pathological liar who lives for hypotheticals and Karen (Ramona Marquez), a precocious 9-year old who asks too many questions and who imitates a lot of what she sees on television. The adult Brockmans never stood a chance.
The Gospel According to Ben
While there’s nothing new to the equation of this concept in situation comedy, Outnumbered was different….and brilliant. What made it brilliant is also what caused it to not be to everyone’s liking, including critics. The cool thing about the series is the semi-improvisational scripting with much of the children’s parts unscripted. The writers used the improvisation in order to achieve convincing performances from the child actors, creating a realistic portrayal of children and family life. Hugh Dennis explained that, “In most sitcoms all the lines for children are written by adults. So they are speaking the words of people 30 years older. And you really want kids to have their own voices, and say their own things.” So far, it has worked to perfection. With each series, I keep thinking that the kids are going to outgrow their parts and lose the ‘cute factor’. Hasn’t happened yet, but secretly, I’m hoping that the fifth series is the last and that we don’t find out that they should have bowed out at the end of the fourth.
The Gospel According to Karen
The one category we failed to mention, that of a situation comedy that should never be made, the Fox Network in the U.S. announced plans back in 2010 to produce an American version. At this point, thankfully, only an un-broadcast pilot exists along with several scripts, but no updates beyond the fact that the series was to star Cheech Marin, Cliff Chamberlain and Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty). There’s still hope…..
What does one do if, in a previous life, you were a humanoid lifeform living on a mining spaceship owned and operated by the Jupiter Mining Corporation and you had evolved from the descendants of a pregnant pet cat named Frankenstein? Oh, and you are vain, aloof, and love to dress in extravagant clothing? Easy. You head to the Caribbean, of course.
Danny John-Jules (Cat), most recently, has spent some quality time on a small Caribbean island as head of the local police force along with the newly arrived Detective Inspector Richard Poole (Ben Miller), filming Death In Paradise. DI Poole has been called in from London to investigate the suspicious death of a British cop in the Caribbean and encounters a somewhat more laid-back atmosphere that he’s used to in the Metropolitan Police.
While Danny John-Jules might not be initially recognizable from his days as Cat on Red Dwarf, you’ll remember Miller from his roles in both Worst Week of My Life and Primeval. Also in the first episode is Lenora Crichlow of Being Human fame.
While the series premiered in the UK to a few mixed reviews, it did garner some strong viewing numbers showing that after a couple of episodes you’re hooked. The second series is targeted for a late 2012, early 2013 broadcast date in the UK.
Those waiting for this in the States should begin setting the DVR’s for your local public television station beginning in early 2013. Yet another series that will be worth the hard drive space on your DVR.
As we approach the all-too-long awaited premiere of Doctor Who 7.1, news is starting to surface about Doctor Who 7.2, set to premiere in both the UK and the States in 2013.
Doctor Who Magazine recently revealed that Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine (Jenny Lee) will play a character named Emma Grayling in an episode titled “Phantoms of the Hex“ and will be headed by Primeval director Jamie Payne. Other guest stars confirmed for the new 2013 episodes include Dougray Scott (My Week with Marilyn), Ben Browder (Farscape), Rupert Graves (Sherlock), David Bradley (Harry Potter) and Mark Williams (Being Human). Raine and Scott will appear opposite each other in an episode written by Luther creator Neil Cross while the likes of David Warner (The Omen, Time Bandits, Tron, Titanic) and Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones, Outcasts, Strike Back, Merlin) will both appear in an episode written by Sherlock co-creator, Mark Gatiss, in the next series of Doctor Who which will feature new companion, Jenna-Louise Coleman.
ER √…Falling Skies √…Doctor Who ?
Add American actor, Noah Wyle, to the long and getting longer list of those interested in a guest role on Doctor Who. The former star of ER and current star of the hit TNT sci-fi series, Falling Skies, admitted to Digital Spy recently that science fiction was never his go-to genre, but added that he enjoys sci-fi “…when it’s done really well“.
Admitting to being a fan of the series as a child, Wyle said “…I enjoyed the various incarnations and it was sort of sporadic, although I’m told that I should really get back into it, because it’s been a radically reinvented franchise. In probably the greatest understatement of the 21st century so far, Wyle said, “…I guess the guy that’s now in charge [Steven Moffat] is quite brilliant, so I’m curious to see what it’s like.” Probably not the smartest comment you can make using your outside voice if you are trying to grab the attention of an acknowledged ‘brilliant showrunner’ when seeking employment.