Drama

Watch the Trailer for Julian Fellowes’ Upcoming Titantic Drama

Following the UK broadcast of the Downton Abbey Christmas special, ITV ran a new trailer for Downton creator Julian Fellowes’ latest historical drama – the four-part miniseries Titanic.

Titanic will re-tell the story of the sinking of the famous ship and is set to screen during the Spring of 2012 to commemorate 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.

ITV’s press release says that the drama will focus on a variety of different characters, from upper-class guests to steerage passengers and that their stories will all draw together by the series’ conclusion. It sounds a bit like Downton Abbey On A Boat, but if the trailer’s anything to go by, it looks well worth it. (And if it were Downton Abbey on a boat, would that be so bad?)

Check it out for yourself after the jump!

12 Days of Downton: One Week Until Downton Abbey Series 2!

It’s officially the New Year, and while that means fresh starts and new beginnings and all that manner of thing, it also means we’re officially one week way from the US premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2!

We’ve still got a whole week of Downton celebrations coming up for you here at Telly Visions this week, but do drop us a comment if you’ve something specific you’d like to see or talk about!

A couple quick Downton-related tune-in tidbits for you:

  • If you missed our re-broadcast of Series 1 and still need to catch up in time for the new episodes – or if you just want to see what all the fuss is about for yourself at last – we’ll be re-airing the entire first season one more time before new episodes start. Tune in at 3pm on Sunday, January 8, for another chance to see the whole thing. We’ll be showing all four episodes back-to-back-to-back-to-back, leading in to the Series 2 premiere at 9pm.
  • In case you weren’t aware, the Downton Christmas special that just aired in the UK last weekend, will be broadcast in the US, and you won’t even have to wait any extra time. It’ll air as the final episode in this Series 2 run, so we will be all caught up with the folks across the pond once we're through.

A 2012 Wishlist: 5 Things That Would Be Awesome To See in Sherlock Series 2

With the UK premiere of Sherlock Series 2 roughly 24 hours away (give or take a bit), the internet is flooded with pictures, promos, and a palpable sense of excitement. Some might even say euphoria. (Don’t believe me? Just check out the Sherlock hashtag on Twitter. It’s a bit busy!)

At the beginning of December, a group of seriously lucky people in London attended a screening of the first episode of Series 2, “A Scandal in Belgravia,” and if that weren’t awesome enough, they got to watch the new installment in the company of many of the cast an production crew who made it *and* attend a panel Q&A session afterward with Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Benedict Cumberbatch and Lara Pulver. (Watch a video of this panel here; beware, it’s a tiny bit spoilery.) I was not one of those people unfortunately, but the event did serve as a bit of a catalyst to start the personal speculation gears turning about what Series 2 might actually look like. (And if it has since given me an occupation that has distracted me from looking for reviews and spoilers the past couple of weeks, well, that’s all to the good.)

After all, this new series is tackling what are probably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most recognizable, iconic stories and, given the quality of the first season, there’s little doubt that the episodes will do the source material justice, it’s likely that both viewers and dedicated Holmes fans will have strong opinions on how they should be depicted. And from a personal perspective, I wanted to get this on paper before I inevitably found out too much about them. We will have to wait until May to see these episodes in America, but it’s never too early to start talking about them!

So, click through for some spoiler-free ramblings on what I’d like to see in the new series, and feel free to share what your ideal Season 2 would look like in our comments!

 

12 Days of Downton: Highclere Castle, or, The "Real" Downton Abbey

A character that is probably just as important to Downton Abbey as the Crawley family or the servants who work for them, is the house they all inhabit. Hands up: Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to live on such a gorgeous estate? I mean, just to get to stroll around those grounds regularly would probably be enough for me. It’s beautiful!

Click through for a look at the actual house that serves as our beloved Downton Abbey and learn about some of the things that make it unique.


12 Days of Downton: A Guide to Forms of Address and Other Social Minefields in Downton Abbey

For those of us who’ve grown up on this side of the Pond, another potentially confusing bit of Downton Abbey is the complicated system of proper forms of address among the all the British upper classes. (Also known as the “Who are these people?” or “Who are they talking about, again?” effect.)

For example, though I used “Lord Robert” repeatedly in my post about Downton and the entail problem for the sake of clarity, this is actually a huge faux pas, as he would never be called that by anyone he interacted with, be they servants, family members or peers. But, why? What are we supposed to call him instead? (Answer: it often depends on who is doing the talking.)

But, click right on through to the rest of this post, and I’ll try to explain some of the occasionally bizarre rules of the British peerage and the forms of address that would be used by the characters who inhabit the world of Downton. (And please, British scholars out there, jump on in if you’ve got more in-depth reasoning for some of these rules or if you can add some clarity!)

More New Sherlock Season 2 Goodies: Photos and Premiere Q&A Video

Those lucky folks in the UK are just days away from the return of Sherlock (days, the jealousy!), but at least we Americans can partially console ourselves with all the new interviews, photos, clips and other promotional items that seem to be all over the internet right now as we ramp up for the premiere of Series 2.

Click through the cut for a few Sherlock bits and bobs, including a highlight reel of the cast Q&A which followed the British Film Institute screening of Series 2’s first episode and some lovely new photos, including one that has instantly became my new desktop background.

12 Days of Downton: Celebrate Maggie Smith’s Birthday with the Best of the Dowager Countess

Happy Birthday to the Dowager Countess herself! Dame Maggie Smith turns 77 today.

The Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning actress is well known for fantastic performances on both stage and screen, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Travels with My Aunt, A Room with A View, Gosford Park, and her turn as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films.

Her amazing performance as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, is a major highlight of Downton Abbey. The delightfully imperious head of the Crawley family gets all the best lines, and Smith’s impeccable delivery is fantastic.

So, what better way to celebrate the birthday of such a great lady than to relive some of her best Downton moments? Click through for the most memorable scenes from the Dowager Countess – and be sure to share any favorites that may have been left out in the comments!

12 Days of Downton: Photos from Series 2!

We’re 12 days away from Downton Abbey Series 2 – and yes, that means our 12 days of Downton celebration is really going to be more like 14, but consider it bonus material, really.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the gorgeous promotional photos from Series 2, and, while we’ll get around to talking about Downton fashion later in the week, it seems necessary to say that every character just looks exceptionally lovely in these! I am apparently doomed to covet Mary Crawley’s wardrobe.

Click through for a look, featuring Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith and more.

12 Days of Downton: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About an Entail

Thirteen days until the premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2! Today, we’ve got a bit of a history lesson to talk about, centered around the one of the series’ most central and confusing tenets – that Lady Mary Crawley cannot inherit Downton Abbey, her father’s estate. The reason? Much like the practice of primogeniture that regulates the Royal succession (the Crown passes to the first born male heir), there are also special laws and regulations – many of which date from as early as the 13th century – specific to inheritance and how the assets of the peerage – titles, estates, and land – may be passed down.

The reason that Mary cannot inherit Downton is because the estate is entailed to a male heir. Yes, the property has an entail, as Lord Robert, Lady Cora, the Dowager Countess and many other folks kept reminding us during the first series. But what IS an entail, exactly? Well, a “fee tail,” or an entail is “an estate of inheritance upon real property which cannot be which cannot be sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the owner, but which passes by operation of law to the owner’s heirs upon his death” says Wikipedia. Great. So, what does that mean?

Click on through to find out!

Preview Sherlock’s “A Scandal in Belgravia”

All those lucky viewers in the UK have just under a week to go until new episodes of Sherlock to appear their screens. Here in the US, we’re waiting until May for Sherlock’s return, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy all the great promotional items that are cropping up on what appears to be a daily basis, thanks to the BBC.

Like this, for example – we can now see a full trailer for Series 2’s first episode, “A Scandal in Belgravia.” And it looks fantastic! Click through to take a look for yourself (I'm keeping these sorts of things under the fold, to make it easier for those looking to avoid anything potentially spoilery.)

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