Drama

First Look at Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall in “Parade’s End”

For those of you who are feeling a lack of Edwardian drama in your life thanks to the Downton Abbey hiatus, fear not – there’s more on the way! The first official photo from upcoming BBC/HBO drama Parade’s End has been released, featuring Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and The Town’s Rebecca Hall.

The five-part mini-series is written by acclaimed English playwright Sir Tom Stoppard (Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) and based on a series of four novels by Ford Madox Ford. I read some Ford in grad school, but unfortunately all I remember is that it was beautifully written and quite angsty. So I’m already into this, to be honest.

Click through for a synopsis of the plot and your first look at the stars, including Cumberbatch’s shockingly blonde new hairstyle which, in my extremely biased opinion, looks quite fetching.

CBS’ Modern Sherlock Holmes Pilot “Elementary”: Great Idea or Hot Mess?

As you have probably heard in some way by now, CBS is currently developing a series called Elementary, described as a “modern-day take” on the adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective Sherlock Holmes. In addition to the modern setting, the new CBS drama will transplant Holmes and Watson from London to New York City. And there are some, um, other terrible ideas big changes in the works, too.

The project is being helmed by former Medium producer/writer Rob Doherty, and the series pilot (all that has been approved at this point) will be directed by Homeland’s Michael Fuesta. Now that both Holmes and Watson have been cast, (though those particular bombshells are under the cut), it’s probably time to talk about it because, well, everyone else is, and I don’t think I can keep all the thoughts inside much longer.

I know the character of Sherlock Holmes is all kinds of trendy right now, what with the BBC’s popular Sherlock TV series and Guy Ritchie’s successful film franchise, but, CBS’s decision to move forward with this pilot just raises all kinds red flags for me. (And I don’t think I’m alone in this, given the general uproar that seems to be happening online.) So – is this show a worthwhile idea? Have we achieved Sherlock market saturation? Are there too many changes on the table? Most importantly, is this even going to be good television?

Click through, and let’s have a chat about it. I apparently have a ridiculous amount really quite a bit to say.

Julian Fellowes’ Titanic Gets An American Airdate!

If you’re really missing Downton Abbey, then you may want to mark your calendar for next month. Downton creator Julian Fellowes’ next project, Titanic, a mini-series that re-tells the story of the sinking of the famous ship, has an official American broadcast date at last.

The new four-hour drama tells the stories of both real and fictional characters aboard the Titanic. The series will air over two back-to-back weekend nights on ABC – April 14 and 15 – in order to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

The cast includes Linus Roache, Toby Jones, Geraldine Somerville, Timothy West, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Sophie Winkleman, Celia Imrie and many more.

Click through the cut for a look at the Titanic trailer!

 

ITV Announces a New Edwardian Drama in Wake of Downton Abbey’s Success

UK network ITV will follow up the success of costume drama Downton Abbey with another period piece set during the Edwardian era. The drama – provisionally titled simply Mr. Selfridge – will tell the story of visionary American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge who transformed Oxford Street with the store that still bears his name.

Per the official press release, “The drama will be set in 1909, at a time when women were reveling in a new sense of freedom and modernity. Harry wanted to indulge, empower and celebrate these women and so opened the doors of his lavish department store, on London’s famous Oxford Street. Click through if you'd like a few more details on the upcoming series' plot!

The Wait for Downton Abbey Series 3 Begins: New Casting Details and Our First Look at Shirley MacLaine

Production on Downton Abbey Series 3 is officially under way and filming started last week. This process will, of course, take quite some time, but it’s at least providing us with a few drips and drabs of new information to help get us through the long wait for new episodes.

Click through for a first look at guest star Shirley MacLaine on the Downton set, as well as some casting updates about several new additions we’ll be seeing next season.

Confirmed: Foyle’s War to Return for a New Series!

Good news for British mystery fans today – Acorn Media, ITV and Eleventh Hour Films have confirmed that detective drama Foyle’s War is set to return in 2013 with three new two-hour episodes.

Michael Kitchen will return as Christopher Foyle and writer Anthony Horowitz is also back on board. Also expected to return to the series is co-star Honeysuckle Weeks, who plays Samantha Stewart.

Click through for some early details on the plot of the new Foyle’s War episodes, which will take Foyle and his story into the post-World War II era.

Downton Discussion: What You Need to Know About the Series 2 Finale

Downton Abbey Season 2 officially concluded this weekend in wonderful fashion and I hope everyone is officially ready to wail and gnash their teeth with the rest of the world while we wait for word on Season 3. (As far as I’m aware it’s set to start filming any day now, which is some comfort, I suppose.)

This week’s finale brought us a little bit of everything – and I’m assuming that quite a few of you were possibly screaming over very pleased with the episode’s ending. So click through and let’s talk about it – the good, the bad, and the somewhat odd. And then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do while we wait for Series 3.

Get a Sneak Preview of the Downton Abbey Series 2 Finale!

Series 2 of Downton Abbey concludes tonight with loads of drama, romance, and Christmas cheer. Yes, America, we’re wrapping up the season with the Downton Christmas special, and I can promise many exciting things are going to happen – including, unless I’m completely mistaken – a rather lot of cheering by the end.

We aren’t so much into Christmas television here in America – for us, our main TV season tends to take a bit of a rest between Thanksgiving and the New Year. But in the UK, Christmas telly is a beloved tradition and many of the country’s most popular programs put together special episodes for the holidays. (It is certainly a tradition I wouldn’t mind us adopting from the Brits, that’s for sure!)

Click through for a look at tonight’s finale, featuring gift exchanges and holiday traditions from both upstairs and downstairs.

First Clip From Upstairs Downstairs Series 2 Features Alex Kingston!

The BBC has released the first official clip from Upstairs Downstairs Series 2! The thing most people will be excited about – I certainly am – is that this scene gives us our first look at Doctor Who’s Alex Kingston in action.

The clip features a few very mild spoilers – but nothing that feels too major. In this scene, Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes) returns to 165 Eaton Place with her new baby and is greeted by Sir Hallam's Aunt, Dr. Blanche Mottershead (Kingston). Click through and take a peek for yourselves!

Downton Discussion: What You Need to Know About Episode 6

We officially finished the technical Series 2 of Downton Abbey last night – though, don’t worry, we’ve still got the Christmas special to come next Sunday – and I don’t know about you guys, but I am just having emotions all over the place about everything.

So all over the place that I feel the need to caveat going in to this installment of Downton Discussion – that despite some (major) problems with some (multiple) things that went down in this episode, it was all around supremely enjoyable television. I was glued to the screen for two hours and sorry when it ended and I just shamelessly loved watching it, even when I didn’t love everything (a lot of things) that happened. I imagine a lot of folks may have felt that way too.

There’s a lot to talk about, of the positive, negative and “Wow, did that really just happen?” variety, so just click right on through and we’ll get started on that. (I think I should probably apologize in advance for the length of this. It’s…not brief.)

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