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Doc Martin to make series 6 house call in 2013

October 24, 2012

Bad news for patients, but good news for fans of Dr. Martin Ellingham came Monday with the announcement by ITV that the Martin Clunes series, Doc Martin, has been renewed for a sixth series comprised of eight episodes. According to the ITV Press Centre, all regular cast members will all but take over the fictional town of Portwenn when filming begins next spring on location in the coastal town of Port Isaac.

For those that remember the ending of series 5, the Doc has, once again, reconciled with his long-time love interest Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz) after rescuing their son James from pharmacist Mrs. Tishell. Clunes recently mixed happiness with a bit of wondering out loud when thinking of his return to Cornwall to film another series. Clunes gave a few hints as to the direction the next set of programs by saying, “Our challenge this season will be to force Louisa and the doctor to live together with Baby James which as far as I can see has disaster written all over it. And then there’s the dog and Dame Eileen but not necessarily in that order!

Look for Doc Martin 6 in the Fall of 2013 on ITV in the UK and on public television stations nationwide, most likely, in January 2014.

Sir David Jason goes behind the camera for the Pearly Gates

October 23, 2012

Following years in front of the camera, first as Del Boy in the brilliant Only Fools and Horses, then as Detective Jack Frost in the crime drama, A Touch of Frost and, most recently, as the Queen’s incompetent minder in The Royal Bodyguard, Sir David Jason is stepping behind the camera for his next project. Pearly Gates, which stars The Fast Show‘s Mark Williams and is written by Ben Sweet, centers around a family-owned funeral business. Working with Jason on the project will be Gareth Gwenlan, former BBC Comedy head and Only Fools and Horses producer-director. Most recently, Gwenlan produced the OFAH ‘prequel’ series, Rock & Chips starring Nicholas Lyndhurst.

Not at all happy with the state of British situation comedy these days, Jason explained his thoughts behind the concept of Pearly Gates, “The subject of death and the funeral business is something that’s changed quite a lot over the years – it’s not all sadness, sorrow and grieving anymore. There can be quite a lot of humour as we celebrate someone’s passing. I thought of the idea of bringing a classic bit of British humour out of that scenario and creating a dysfunctional family of funeral directors who get up to a load of mischief as they go along.

A recent critic of the notion that Only Fools and Horses has been scheduled for an American re-make, Jason recently revealed that he has been negotiating to take Everybody Loves Raymond in the other direction and make a UK version. “I’ve always thought it needs a wider audience,” he says. “I could never understand why they didn’t put it out at prime time because it’s so good. And so I said: ‘Why don’t we do an English version?‘”

BBC’s REV to get U.S. re-make set in Chicago

October 22, 2012

What do you get when you come to the intersection of ‘Are You Kidding Me?’ Avenue, ‘This is Getting Ridiculous’ Boulevard and ‘Are There No New Comedy Ideas in America’ Street? The news that Rev, the award-winning BBC2 comedy starring Tom Hollander and Olivia Coleman, has been targeted for an American re-make, of course. Following the news in recent months that Spy, Whites, Only Fools and Horses and Gavin & Stacey will be remade for American broadcast, comes the news that Rev will be remade with Desperate Housewives producer Bob Daily on board to write the American version.

The British series has had limited success in the States with a short run on Hulu earlier this year. The series, which follows an inner-city vicar in London and his eclectic congregation, will now be seen on public television stations across the U.S. beginning in November. After winning the best sitcom BAFTA in 2011, the BBC renewed the comedy for a third series which will broadcast in 2014 on BBC2.

The U.S. version will center on an Episcopal priest who leaves a small rural parish in Wisconsin to take over a failing inner-city church in a deprived Chicago neighborhood. Hollander, who plays Rev Adam Smallbone, and who co-created the series, will consult on the US version with fellow creator James Wood.

At this stage of the announcement, no cast has been announced, no script has been written and no network has signed on as of yet. But, as with the British version, the congregation will include a homeless man and a crack addict. Somehow, that’s not much reassurance that this stands a chance given the brilliance of the British version. Another reason to adopt a wait and see mindset again.

Dr. John Watson hints at a ‘brilliant’ Sherlock 3

October 21, 2012

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….

From the Friday Vault – Lipstick on Your Collar

October 20, 2012

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.

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