Drama

Parade’s End Finally Comes to America This February on HBO: Watch the First Teaser

Finally! Critically acclaimed BBC series Parade’s End has at long last gotten an American airdate!

The five-part drama is written by English playwright Sir Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Arcadia) and stars Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch alongside The Town’s Rebecca Hall, with Adelaide Clemens, Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, Janet McTeer, Freddie Fox and more along for the ride. The drama aired in the UK last Fall and made it onto several critics’ “Best of 2012” television lists (including mine) at the end of the year.

Based on Ford Madox Ford’s quartet of novels, the series follows the story of English aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (Cumberbatch) and his wife Sylvia (Hall) from the last years of the Edwardian era through the end of the First World War.

Parade’s End will officially screen over three consecutive nights – February 26, 27 and 28 – on premium cable network HBO. Even though this news was just announced at the Winter session of the Television Critics Association press tour, HBO has already released a teaser trailer for the series and it’s lovely. Check it out for yourself after the jump.

Downton Dish: Time to Talk the Downton Abbey Series 3 Premiere

Wow. It’s finally here – the long-awaited and highly-anticipated premiere of Downton Abbey Series 3 has made it to America at last and we can see what all the fuss is about for ourselves, talk about plot twists until we’re blue in the face, swoon over Matthew and Mary and just, well, everything.

The two-hour Series 3 premiere introduces us to life at Downton after the war – and the family and estate look a bit different. There are new faces downstairs, wedding planning is underway, Cora’s very American mother arrives and the family faces a financial setback. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot going on!

Click through for a rather embarrassingly in-depth look at all the twists and turns of the Downton Abbey Series 3 premiere and then let’s dish everything in the comments!

Downton Abbey Series 3: A Wishlist for This Weekend

This is a slightly modified version of a post that originally ran here at Telly Visions back in September. It was published at that time because I wanted to make sure I got all my Downton desires and thoughts down on paper, as it were, before I was influenced by any reports from British friends or exposed to any aspect of Series 3 at all. As such, it is completely unspoiled (though I’ve now seen Series 3 thanks to DVDs) and, as such, totally safe for all to read and debate amongst yourselves. PLEASE keep the big Series 3 spoilers out of the comments though, as much as you can? I appreciate it!

Since we’re just days away from the long-awaited Series 3 premiere of Downton Abbey, it seems like an excellent time to engage in some wild speculation and discussion about what we’d all like to see happen to our favorite characters over the next seven weeks. As mentioned above, while I’ve now seen Series 3 already, when I originally wrote this post I hadn’t, so what follows are my initial and totally unspoiled desires for the Crawley family and the downstairs Downton crew this year. This list is largely based around addressing some of the problems I had with Series 2 – most particularly as relates to the story’s overall pacing and some of the occasionally inexplicable character decisions (Sybil and Branson, I am looking at you). Will I get everything on my list? Of course not. But even if I only get a portion of the things I’ve laid out here this season, I’m probably going to walk away pretty happy.

Click through for my personal thoughts on what I’d most like to see happen in Downton Abbey Series 3 and add your own dealbreakers and wishlists in the comments. If you are already spoiled for the new episodes and know for certain whether I’m right about certain aspects of this list, please be considerate of those who have been so patiently waiting to see the new episodes for themselves and have avoided any updates on plot twists. I know that there is a big, big spoiler floating around the internet out there, but let’s just not talk about that bit just yet, shall we? We’ll get to it, after all! Why not just tell us what your ideal storyline or plot for the show would be instead? Thanks, guys.

 

British Critics Name Sherlock Best TV of 2012

In a move that probably seems pretty obvious to a lot (most?) of us, Sherlock has been voted the Top TV Show of 2012 by a poll of British writers and critics at the Radio Times.

The second series of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ modern-day Holmes adaptation edged out US critical darling Homeland and BBC Two’s Olympic mockumentary Twenty Twelve for the top honor. Everyone’s favorite costume drama Downton Abbey clocked in at Number 8 on the Radio Times poll.

RadioTimes.com editor Tim Glanfield said: "Sherlock delivered the TV event of the year with three perfect episodes. Nothing got people talking more than that cliffhanger series finale." Glanfield added that Sherlock won the vote “easily,” despite the fact that the series aired eleven months ago in the UK.

Responding via email to the news that his drama had nabbed the top slot Moffat wrote, “I've just had a word with all the others, and we're so pleased by this latest accolade from the Radio Times, we've decided to tell you how Sherlock survived the fall – oops, we're out of space!” (This would probably be a funnier response if we didn’t have the better part of a year’s worth of Reichenbach Fall “jokes” to “look forward” to, but it’s lovely that the creative team is chuffed about winning!)

See the rest of the Top 40 TV Shows of 2012 as chosen by the Radio Times pool of writers and critics over here.

First Look at Mr. Selfridge – Coming to Masterpiece This Spring

Now you can get your first look at Entourage star Jeremy Piven all dolled up in period dress, as ITV has released the first trailer for the new ten-part series Mr. Selfridge.

Piven stars as famous American entrepreneur Harry Gordon Selfridge, the man who reinvented the concept of shopping for Edwardian-era women. (And also launched a little London department store that you can still visit and shop in on Oxford Street today.). The costume drama will focus on Selfridge’s visionary business skills and love of putting on a show, as well as his quite colorful and dramatic personal life.

Piven seems a decent showman in this brief clip, though we certainly don’t get much by way of introduction to any of the (apparently legion) other/supporting characters. Take a look for yourself below.

The End of an (Arthurian) Era: Preview the Merlin Series Finale

Welp, the end is indeed nigh. For many fans of fantasy drama Merlin, the holiday season will be a bit bittersweet this year, as the popular series wraps up its five year run this Christmas with a two-part special called The Diamond of the Day.

It was a somewhat unexpected cancellation, from what I’ve been given to understand – and it seems fans are still processing it a bit (or at least it does from my quick glance around the internet at any rate). However, this just-released trailer for the series finale looks pretty fantastic, so it’s a bit comforting that it appears as though the series will at least go out on a high note. Not a lot, but, you know, some.

The clip features Morgana preparing for war on Camelot - again, apparently? – bolstered by a vengeful looking Mordred and some sort of magical-looking sword. We’ve also got Gaius sounding dire, Arthur riding with the knights whilst looking exceptionally somber and kingly, a Merlin who may have lost his magic and the Great Dragon swooping in to light something or other (that may or may not actually be the aforementioned pack of knights) on fire.

Benedict Cumberbatch Weighs in on the Future of Sherlock

Finally – a bit of good news for Sherlock fans in the wake of the announcement that Series 3 filming has been delayed! Earlier this fall there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth online thanks to an unfounded news report that claimed the drama’s third season was likely to be its last, citing the packed professional schedules of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

Despite the fact that this initial report came from “unnamed sources” and featured more than a few inaccuracies, Sherlock fans understandably freaked out because, well, it wouldn’t be the first time that a television series has lost out because stardom came calling for its leads. Cumberbatch is busy starring in what appears to be every other movie slated for release next year and Freeman’s professional dance card is about to get a lot more crowded, now that he’s playing Bilbo Baggins in this little trilogy whose first installment broke global records at the box office last weekend.

However, there appears to be little to worry about where the future of Sherlock is concerned – and that’s news straight from the star himself. In a recent interview with Yahoo UK, ostensibly to talk about his role in the upcoming Star Trek sequel, the actor did have one particularly interesting thing to say about Sherlock. Asked whether his current big screen success means that he might “get too big for Sherlock” in the future, Cumberbatch seems adamant that that will never be the case.

[Spoilers!] The First Trailer for the Downton Abbey Christmas Special is Here

SPOILER WARNING: While this trailer does not directly reveal any spoilers for things that happen during Downton Abbey Series 3, eagle eyed viewers will certainly be able to draw their own conclusions about a couple of key plot twists, just based on some of the things featured in this trailer. If you’re attempting to stay completely spoiler-free until the third series gets under way on January 6, I would strongly advise you to skip this post!

There, with that messy bit out of warning out of the way – let’s talk about the Downton Abbey Christmas special a bit! The special holiday installment is set to screen on December 25 in the UK – though apparently not against the BBC’s Call the Midwife, as many TV talking heads had initially theorized. Here in America, this episode will air as our Series 3 finale (on February 17 if my math is correct), so we’ll still be able to see everything that there is to see by way of new Downton episodes, we’re just going to take a little bit longer to get there. Read on for further details (which are going to live under this handy cut, for safety’s sake.)

Full Video: Watch the Downton Abbey Cast Dish Series 3 During Their NYC Q&A Panel!

Last night a lot of lucky people in New York City got to attend a special discussion and Q&A panel with the Downton Abbey cast and basically hear all about the drama’s upcoming third series straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. (No, I am certainly not dying of jealousy or anything. At all.)

Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton sat down with Downton Abbey stars Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Rob James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt, Sophie McShera, as well as producer Gareth Neame and moderated a panel featuring many questions from a (very excited) audience on a variety of topics. There are a few tidbits here and there about things we can expect to see in Series 3, as well as some very interesting insights into several beloved characters.

Catch up on Downton Abbey in Five Minutes (And Get a New Promo Too)

Series 3 of Downton Abbey is almost upon us! If you need a refresher on the many dramatic twists and turns travelled by the Crawley clan and their loyal gang of downstairs denizens, well, you’re probably not alone.

Between the arrival of a new heir (and his occasionally intolerable mother), Matthew and Mary’s flirtation, Sybil’s brief foray into politics, the battle over Downton’s entail, Edith forever being everyone’s second choice, Mary’s poor choices in men generally (x2), Bates and Anna’s romance, O’Brien’s basic evilness, Thomas’ thievery, Mary’s scandalous reputation, Bates’ weird leg brace, World War I, the arrival of Lavinia Swire: Dating Roadblock, Matthew’s paralysis, the death of Bates’ wife (surprise!), Sybil’s elopement, Daisy and William’s five-minute marriage, Robert’s almost affair with a random housemaid, the Spanish flu, Bates’s trial, Lavinia’s death, Matthew’s second proposal to Mary and approximately 15,879 acidic remarks from the Dowager Countess, well. It’s a lot to keep up with. It’s no surprise if you’ve maybe forgotten a few of the (millions of) details.

Luckily, if you need a quick refresher of the Downton high points before the January 6 premiere – or possibly you’re one of the few people in America who has yet to be completely overcome by Downton mania and want to see what the fuss is about – watch this super fun recap which conveniently fits over sixteen hours of drama, wit and fabulous outfits into a nifty little five minute package.

Pages