A new series of sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf has been ordered by Dave, the Home of Witty Comedy Banter in the UK.
Writer and series co-creator Doug Naylor is currently working on scripts for RDXI, with filming due to commence in 2014. The news has been widely expected for the past eleven months, following huge ratings in the UK for the sitcom’s 10th series, which was broadcast during October and November 2012 on Dave, the home of witty banter.
Robert Llewellyn, who has played the neurotic Series 4000 service mechanoid Kryten (full name Kryten 2X4B – 523P) since the sitcom’s third series, wrote on his blog Sunday: “We are officially making another series but we don’t know when. UKTV, the company behind Dave, who broadcast Red Dwarf X, want another series and we’d love to make one. It will be sometime in 2014, but I can’t be any more accurate that because we simply don’t know yet.
“As far as the main cast are concerned, Chris, Danny, Craig and myself are all very committed to making another series, Doug Naylor is working on it like a man possessed but beyond that it’s in the lap of the GELFS.” Hopefully, we’ll be seeing something along the lines of Kryten’s RDX message from back in 2010 posted in the not-to-distant further with news about RDXI.
Fans of the series calling North Texas home might remember that KERA, the PBS affiliate in North Texas, was the first and only station in the U.S. to air the series back in July of this year. Those in attendance will no doubt remember Kryten’s message to fans of ‘The Small Rouge One’ in North Texas.
Stay tuned to this space for word on RDXI when more information becomes available about taping and transmission dates, etc.
A familiar face to British television watchers will coming to a telly new near you in 2014…
Amanda Abbington, real-life partner of Martin Freeman, has confirmed that she is to play Mary Morstan in the third series of Sherlock. Abbington, having been spotted in numerous on-location production stills and cell-phone videos, had long been rumored to be portraying Morstan, John Watson’s love interest and eventual wife in the Arthur Conan Doyle books.
Already a familiar face and name to UK and U.S. small screen watchers as DC Louise Munroe, the dour Edinburgh cop in a perpetual love/hate relationship with private eye Jackson Brodie, played by Jason Isaacs, in the haunting BBC One drama, Case Histories, Abbington will also be back behind the counter as the formidable and lovelorn Miss Mardle, head of accessories, in the 2nd series of Mr Selfridge.
Abbington recently told The Scotsman that while she auditioned for the parts in both Case Histories and Mr Selfridge, Sherlock was a slightly different story. It seems that writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat wrote the part of Mary Morstan, Watson’s love interest, specifically for Abbington.
“We were at Mark Gatiss’s house when ‘The Hounds Of Baskerville’ first came on the telly. Afterwards they went into the kitchen and were sitting talking about the next series. I went in and sat with them. It had been mooted that I would be in it, might have a little part in it. They were talking about who might play Mary and I was like, ‘So, who are you thinking of?’ and they said ‘You’.”
Abbington might just be up against herself on Sundays in the UK as rumor continue to fly that Sherlock 3 will premiere in early 2014 on BBC One while Mr. Selfridge 2 with Jeremy Piven in the title role might just find itself opposite the long-awaited series on ITV1. No confirmed dates for either as of yet in the UK or the States on PBS but look for both in early 2014.
As 99.9% of Planet Earth is keenly aware, An Adventure in Space and Time, the 50th anniversary biopic written by Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss and starring David Bradley as the first Doctor William Hartnell, charts the sci-fi drama’s early years.
In addition to Bradley, also cast are Claudia Grant as Carole Ann Ford, who played the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan Foreman, Jemma Powell and Jamie Glover who portray Jacqueline Hill and William Russell, the First Doctor’s companions Barbara and Ian. Sasha Dhawan as director Waris Hussein and Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) portraying producer Verity Lambert. Brian Cox also appears as Sydney Newman, Head of Drama at the BBC in 1963.
In addition to Gatiss’ drama, the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special ‘The Day of the Doctor’, starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt, will air worldwide on November 23, 50 years to the day after the first transmission of the series back in 1963. While the trailer, which premiered last night on BBC One following Strictly Come Dancing, brilliantly shows all of the Doctors as they first appeared on screen, including William Hartnell in colorful grandeur for the very first time, it does not include any actual footage of the 50th anniversary episode. Departing Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith reminds us all that “I have been running all my lives. Every second of every minute of every day for over 900 years. Our future depends on one single moment of one impossible day. The day I have been running from all my life. The Day of the Doctor.”
Now more than ever, the world is more poised to #SAVETHEDAY for 23 November 13. How about you?
With a huge ‘tip of the hat’ to the Radio Times…
Television is better than cinema, according to Steven Moffat and both Sherlock and Doctor Who prove his point….in pictures. As the RT pointed out, there may be a bit of a vested interest from the current showrunner of both series, but his point is well taken, regardless.
“Television is better than the movies. Yes it is – it’s just better,” Steven Moffat said at a Radio Times-sponsored event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival last week.
As we leave The Big Easy in the Southwest jet’s rear view mirror, this year’s BBC Syndication Showcase was no different than any in recent memory. Nothing but good telly to choose from to bring to public television in the States for 2014. Here are a few of the comedy highlights that many of you can look forward to in the coming year….
Starring Darren Boyd (Whites, Dirk Gently), Rebekah Staton and Mathew Baynton (The Wrong Mans), Spy tells the story of Tim Elliot, a divorced and single father disliked by his precocious son Marcus and ex-wife Judith. He decides to quit his job as a sales assistant in a computing store learning of a data processing position in Westminster. Unknown to him, he is taking an exam for MI5, and passes to be a spy. When the bosses, including the Examiner (Robert Lindsay) learn of the misunderstanding, they still offer him the position anyway, and Tim accepts.
2. Twenty Twelve
Sporting an all-star cast, headed by Hugh Bonneville, Amelia Bullmore and Jessica Hynes, Twenty Twelve chronicles the work of the management of the fictional Olympic Deliverance Commission (ODC) as they plan the logistics of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Shot in the mockumentary style of both The Office and People Like Us, Twenty Twelve ‘organizers’ must overcome logistical difficulties, production errors, infrastructure problems and troublesome contributors.
3. Moone Boy
This Irish comedy features Chris O’Dowd as Seán, the imaginary friend of 12-year-old Martin Moone, the youngest child of a family living in a small town in the rural Ireland. Martin, aided by his imaginary friend, has a unique perspective on life. His imagination comes into play both in his childish drawings, which come alive through animation, and in the ridiculous schemes he comes up with, against Seán’s better judgement. With Seán’s help, Martin negotiates life as the youngest in a chaotic, scatter-brained family.
We’ll hit the dramas and docs tomorrow. Combined with the offerings coming directly from PBS and the BBC, it’s going to be a great telly year on public television.
As we sit through the first day of some outstanding BBC program offers at the 2013 BBC Syndication Showcase in New Orleans, the big news wasn’t only the brilliant comedy, drama, natural history and documentary programming that will be available to public television stations in 2014. There was news for fans of a current police procedural that has to represent some of the best television on television.
A fourth series of the brilliant detective show SCOTT AND BAILEY has now been commissioned. While no information has been released about storylines, we do know that series 4 will consist of 6 episodes (as opposed to earlier series which had 8 episodes). In addition, filming is tentatively set to begin in Spring 2014 with a potential delivery date of Autumn 2014 with all the main cast returning.
Besides reprising her role as the no-nonsense DCI Gill Murray who keeps the team under control in spite of the pressures she faces at work and in her home life, Amelia Bullmore will write four of the scripts for the new series.
Back to news from The Big Easy
In the comedy genre, the offerings were both laugh-out-loud funny and plenty. Fans of British comedy on public television can look for the possibility of Twenty Twelve, Spy and Moone Boy coming your way in 2014. From a drama standpoint, the standout offering already running on a number of stations is the quintessentially English mystery/drama series, Father Brown, starring Mark Williams of Harry Potter fame. Also in the drama pipeline, new seasons of Scott and Bailey, DCI Banks, Death in Paradise and newcomer, Frankie, starring Eve Myles from Torchwood.
If you are a fan of British telly, 2014 is looking good on both sides of the pond.
When the BBC recently announced that two Doctor Who episodes that were thought to have been ‘lost’ forever had been found, there was joy not only in Mudville, but across the Doctor Who Nation. Unseen by audiences for some 45 years since their original broadcasts in 1967-68, “The Web of Fear” and “The Enemy of the World” both featured Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, were recently discovered Phillip Morris of Television International Enterprises Archives (TIEA). With the discovery, Morris has earned the nickname of the ‘Indiana Jones’ of the film world for his recovery of missing episodes of the longest running science fiction series in the history of television.
It’s Morris and his team’s job to assist overseas stations with the storage and migration of their materials and, on the outside of that, they recover lost British television programs.
On finding two missing episodes of Doctor Who “The Enemy of the World” and “The Web of Fear” Morris revealed to Radio Times that simple masking tape played rather a crucial role in the discovery.
“These episodes were discovered on a project we were working in Nigeria. And they were found in a TV station in Jos. Just sitting on the shelf, which I can remember now seeing a piece of masking tape, which said Doctor Who on it.
“I thought ‘Oh, that’s interesting’, pulled the cans down I read the story codes. Instantly, of course, recognized what the stories were and realized they were missing from the BBC’s archive. A lot of Doctor Who fans around the world are going to be happy”, Morris added.
He continues: “These episodes had come from Hong Kong and they’d been on what’s called a bicycle system. So they travelled from this country to the next country to the next country and they came to be in Nigeria through this bicycle system. Not at the station in Nigeria they were actually sold to. They were at a relay station. The condition that those programmes were in when we found them, we were quite lucky, considering the temperatures we can be in the upper 40 degrees, luckily they’d been kept in the optimum condition.”
As many of you know if you’ve been either a regular or even a casual follower of Tellyspotting over the past 4+ years, October is the annual BBC Syndication Showcase. Each year, public television programming representatives descend upon New Orleans to sit in a hotel conference room for two days screening non-stop the best of the best when it comes to British drama, comedy and documentaries to determine what to add to each station’s PBS programming line-up. From a timing standpoint, most of what we screen this year will become available for broadcast beginning in early 2014. In years past, fans of British telly have seen the likes of MI-5, Hustle, DCI Banks, Scott & Bailey, New Tricks, Black Books, Lead Balloon, History of Science and much more come out of this meeting. This year will be no exception given the strong line-up in all genres that will be offered.
Mind the Gap — 270 times
So…with Tellyspotting becoming your eyes and ears this week in New Orleans for acquiring the best in British drama, comedy and documentaries on public television, we bring you a bit of across the pond travel-related brilliance to share amongst your friends as we make our way to The Big Easy.
If you are in the UK and you want to try to hit all 270 Tube stations to check the math to see that singer Jay Foreman didn’t miss any, you may not break any Guinness Book of World Records, as Geoff Marshall, 41, from Ealing, West London, and Anthony Smith, 28, did recently by completing the record in 16 hours, 20 minutes and 27 seconds but you can certainly give it a shot.
Your choice. Watch either video and decide your course of action. You can ‘virtually’ Mind the Gap 270 times in under 3 and 1/2 minutes or physically try for yourself to break the Tube Challenge record in under 17 hours. Your choice.
Both the BBC and PBS confirmed Saturday that Tony and Olivier award-winning actor Mark Rylance will play Thomas Cromwell in the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of the novels from author Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
The six-part drama, which will air on BBC Two and PBS’ Masterpiece series, will be overseen by BAFTA-winning director Peter Kosminsky (Warriors, No Child of Mine) and written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Straughan (The Men Who Stare at Goats, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Rylance, the former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater in London, has won Tonys for his performances in the Broadway plays “Boeing-Boeing” and “Jerusalem” and will next be seen on Broadway in a repertory production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III.”
Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning Tudor trilogy follows the atmospheric rise to power of Cromwell within Henry VIII’s court. The eventual chief minister to the King was born to a blacksmith in Putney and initially came to prominence when he served under Cardinal Wolsey before rising through the ranks to become Henry’s most trusted advisor.
The “Wolf Hall” mini-series will begin filming next spring for broadcast in 2015.
Sky diving off the roof of St Barts?
Benedict Cumberbatch has given the strongest hint yet as to how his brilliant 21st Century adaptation of Sherlock Holmes survived that ‘impossible’ plunge from the roof of St Bart’s Hospital at the end of series two. Sort of…
“Have you seen the winged suits on YouTube??” said Cumberbatch (jokingly) during a recent webchat on Reddit. “I told you I was into skydiving. How many more clues do you need people?” During the 2-hour long Q&A, Cumberbatch told one fan who asked him about his favorite places in the world: “Touching the earth after my first skydiving jump in New Zealand.”
Sherlock to Mind the Gap and go ‘Underground’ for series 3 premiere
In regards to how the first episode of series 3 plays out, co-creator/writer Mark Gatiss revealed during the recent announcement by the BBC of the discovery of two ‘lost’ Doctor Who episodes starring Patrick Troughton that the first episode, ‘The Empty Hearse’, will involve scenes set on the London Underground rail system and is influenced by the missing Doctor Who “The Web of Fear” lost episode.
“I am obsessed with the Tube and I think it all comes from that story when I was a kid,” said Gatiss. “The first episode of Sherlock is explicitly about the London Underground for exactly that reason, because I love ‘The Web of Fear’!”
Are you ready for some Sherlock? Unfortunately, still no official word out of the UK or U.S. as to when we’ll be seeing Sherlock but conventional wisdom says January 2014 on both sides of the pond.