Drama

12 Days of Downton (Plus A Couple Extra): Day One

Welcome to the first day of our Countdown to Downton Abbey Series 2! And, I thought, what what better way to frame it up than to have a special celebratory post pop up every day from now until the S2 premiere on January 8th? Much like the 12 Days of Christmas (though we'll get a couple bonus items because the math didn't quite work out exactly) we'll have different previews, discussion topics, wishlists and silly things every day for the next two weeks. We hope enjoy this whole series - it should be pretty fun! (And we're looking for suggestions on future features, so drop us a note!)

Click through for a Series 2 treat, and stick around over the next few days for more Downton-related fun.

Our Countdown to Downton Abbey Series 2 Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is fabulous, not only because it’s Christmas for those that celebrate, but because it officially marks two weeks until the premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2 in the U.S. Hurrah! (I’m almost as excited for the Dowager Countess’ return as I am for Santa; just saying…)

To really get in the spirit for our return to Downton, we’re planning a slew of features and fun things here at Telly Visions, as well on our official WETA website. Things are kicking off tomorrow afternoon with a marathon rebroadcast of Series 1, starting at 5pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. We’ll air the entire first season back-to-back-to-back-to-back, so this is a perfect time to refresh your memory about the Crawley family drama or perhaps finally see what all the buzz is about for yourself.

Here on the blog we plan to cover all the reasons you should watch this amazing show in the first place, dish about previews and cast Q&As, share some new photos, talk fashion, look at some history, and celebrate some of the amazing actors that bring the series to life.

However, I thought it might be fun to ask you, the readers – what about Downton fascinates you? It’s been ages since I’ve seen a series like this sort of capture such a large piece of the public imagination, and I think that’s awesome. So, what would you like to talk about over the next couple of weeks? And what do you think would be fun for those of us who are (I assume) all such huge fans of this drama? More history? Trivia? Character studies (from the in-depth motivational analysis to the more basic “Who are all these people?” variety)? Something silly? Open to any and all suggestions – and would appreciate it!


Two New Clips From the BBC’s Great Expectations

The BBC has released two new clips for their new Christmas production of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. This adaptation stars Gillian Anderson, Ray Winstone, David Suchet, Vanessa Kirby and Douglas Booth. (You can see the promo for this special here if you haven’t yet.)

Anderson is the youngest woman to ever play the mad Miss Havisham and it certainly seems as though she’ll be marking her mark on the role in other ways as well. She is really quite creepy and disturbing. (Though somehow she manages to look exceptionally beautiful all done up in the white makeup.)

Click through and take a look for yourself. Great Expectations will be coming to a TV near you in Spring 2012 as part of Masterpiece Classic. We'll keep youp posted on an airdate as that develops.

Watch Four New Trailers for Sherlock Series 2!

Although we viewers here in the US will have to wait for May for new episodes of Sherlock to air on Masterpiece Mystery, the BBC has kindly given us a little something to help tide us over with the release of the first trailer for the new episodes. Well, not exactly, they've released four of them. To quote Sherlock himself, oh, it’s Christmas, basically.

UK fans get their first look at the new series January 1st on BBC One, and Sherlock will return to the States on May 6, with three feature length episodes titled A Scandal in Belgravia, The Hounds of Baskerville and The Reichenbach Fall.

Click through to watch all four new spots. Though they’re brief, they contain snippets from all three new installments. Rush Relents Rock, indeed. Or Secret Horns Lurk. Or Reckless Nor Hurt. Whichever anagram you prefer (and that will make sense in a second, promise), these are amazingly good!

First Preview for the BBC’s New Great Expectations!

As the centerpiece of their 2011 Christmas schedule, the BBC is presenting a new three-part, star-studded adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations.

The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson – who has already done fantastic work in a Dickens adaptation in Bleak House – stars as Miss Havisham, and is joined by Ray Winstone, Vanessa Kirby, Douglas Booth and Poirot’s David Suchet.

The first official promotional trailer was released last week and it looks wonderfully creepy. (And Anderson certainly looks the part of Miss Havisham, that’s for sure!)

Take a look for yourself via the clip below and let us know what you think. Great Expectations will be coming to Masterpiece and WETA in the Spring of 2012.

More New Sherlock Series 2 Photos Released and UK Airdate Announced

It’s official – Series 2 of Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will air in the UK on New Year’s Day on BBC One. We’re waiting until May 6 to see things for ourselves here in the states, but it’s still very exciting to start seeing more information surface about the new episodes after such a lengthy hiatus.

Along with the UK premiere announcement came a few more new promotional images, including a haunting new poster-style one sheet, new photos of both Cumberbatch and Freeman, and our first Series 2 shots of Andrew Scott as Moriarty and Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes. They’re all under the cut, so feel free to go stare to your heart's content.

The Countdown is On: One Month Until Downton Abbey is Back!

The wait is almost over! Downton Abbey returns for a second series on Masterpiece Classic one month from today, on January 8th!

And, a bit of extra exciting news – if you’ve been meaning to try out Downton, or just want to get in a little refresher before the new episodes begin, you’re in luck! WETA will be airing the entire first season in full, back-to-back-to-back-to back on December 25! So make sure to leave some room in your holiday plans to spend some quality time with the Crawleys.

In the meantime, start getting excited by watching another new promo for Series 2 – it looks really good!

New Sherlock Series 2 Promotional Photos!

As it appears everything is gearing up for premiere of the second series of Sherlock in the UK (though there’s still no airdate that’s been finalized there as yet), this means it’s time for fun promotional things to start cropping up in drips and drabs online. And so all win!

Click through for the first three promotional photos for Series 2, featuring the first two images of Lara Pulver as Irene Adler, as well as a shot of Sherlock and John. And start X-ing the days off of a calendar until May.

Christmas Telly in the UK: Downton Abbey Squares Off Against EastEnders

There’s basically no better time to be in Britain than Christmas – yes, the decorations are lovely (Regent Street!), the mince pies are delicious, the panto is usually pretty funny, and the Boxing Day shopping is great. But, the best part about Christmas there is, of course, the wonderful assortment of great television that’s just lined up back-to-back for your viewing pleasure.

We don’t really have an American equivalent of the British “Christmas Special” – most of our original programming tends to go on hiatus or into repeats sometime around Thanksgiving, give or take a week or two, and it’s a wasteland for new episodes of most major network properties until the New Year. The Brits take a much more sensible approach (if you ask me), and schedule new special episodes from many of their most popular programs over the holidays.

This year there will be Christmas specials from many British favorites – including Doctor Who, Absolutely Fabulous, Strictly Come Dancing, Coronation Street, an All-Star Family Fortunes in which The Only Way is Essex will compete against a team from the sitcom Benidom to win money for charity, and the BBC’s new Great Expectations adaptation (more to come on that this week), among others.

But, the big news for TV fans is that ITV has scheduled a Christmas installment of their hit costume drama Downton Abbey opposite beloved soap opera EastEnders. Both series have huge fanbases, both have loads of drama and romance, and both will be airing at 9pm on Christmas Day. It’s a pretty bold move by ITV to schedule Downton against a perennial holiday ratings heavyweight like Eastenders, which has become a Christmas tradition for a lot of people. Who will emerge victorious in the holiday ratings battle between Team Downton and Team Eastenders? What would YOU be watching if you had the choice?

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