Drama

Get a Sneak Peek at Tonight’s Finale of Masterpiece’s “Birdsong”

World War I drama Birdsong concludes tonight on Masterpiece Classic! Did you enjoy part one last weekend?

I actually meant to write up a review of this film, but unfortunately didn’t get the chance yet. (Maybe I’ll do a cumulative one?) So, I will merely say in brief that Eddie Redmayne is really quite a good actor! He’s doing an excellent job.

Anwyay, get in the mood for part two - click through for a sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s conclusion, then tune in for the rest at 9pm!

“Upstairs Downstairs” Remake Won’t Get a Third Series

The BBC has decided to close the doors at 165 Eaton Place for good, as it’s been officially announced that Upstairs Downstairs will not return for a third series. The period drama, which aired the final episode of its second series in the UK last month, struggled with low ratings and behind-the scenes setbacks.

Unfortunately, despite the popularity of the original Upstairs Downstairs series, the new residents of Eaton Place never really made it out of the shadow of ITV ratings behemoth Downton Abbey, which more than doubled the BBC drama’s numbers. The shows aired close to one another and their similar settings and lovely Edwardian dress made it nearly impossible for viewers (and critics) to avoid comparing the two. In fact, the British press seemed to have something of a field day comparing the series’ ratings – in the UK, the two air on different networks. Audience numbers for Upstairs Downstairs declined steadily during its six week run, despite the addition of Doctor Who star Alex Kingston to the cast and several attempts to spice up the plot with more “controversial” storylines.

Upstairs Downstairs’ first series – though only three episodes long – was generally deemed a success. But then Dame Eileen Atkins quit the series last summer, citing her dissatisfaction with the scripts, and co-creator Jean Marsh suffered a stroke that forced her to scale back her involvement in the production. It could be argued that the series likely never recovered its footing after these events and may have lost its way a bit.

It’s a shame – while if I had to choose a side in the Period Drama Wars, I would have to say that I generally preferred the Crawleys, but I would also argue that Upstairs Downstairs had quite a lot to recommend it, including more balanced pacing. It’s unfortunate that apparently there can only be one left standing in this costume drama fight to the death, because I would have happily continued to make room for them both on my viewing schedule.

Americans will still get the chance to see Upstairs Downstairs Series 2 for themselves; its final set of six episodes is slated to premiere on Masterpiece this Fall.

Coming Soon to WETA UK: Life on Mars

The most fantastic part about WETA UK coming to a TV near you very soon is that fact that there’s so much great programming in the line-up, I’m actually a bit spoiled for choice in terms of what to talk about first.

There’ll be many series-specific posts about WETA UK programs coming up here at Telly Visions over the next few weeks, mini series introductions like this one, as well as general why-you-should-watch-this campaigns for some of my personal favorites. Some of these programs have aired on WETA at some point in the past, some have not, but they're all great television and I hope everyone will find something to get excited about as we go along.

In the meantime, click through for our first series mini-introduction – get the basic details and take look at some footage from the fantastic drama Life on Mars!

Watch a Scene from “Birdsong,” Airing Tonight on Masterpiece!

Premiering tonight on Masterpiece Classic, watch Part One of Birdsong, an adaptation of Sebastian Faulkes’ best-selling novel of the same name.

Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Maryiln, The Pillars of the Earth) and Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter, In Bruges) star in this World War I drama, which tells the story of Stephen Wraysford's all-consuming love affair with Isabelle Azaire and the enduring effect their relationship has on him as he fights in the trenches.

Click through for a sneak peek at a scene from Birdsong and get a feel for the film before you tune in tonight!

The Great Doc Martin (Re)Watch Continues – Series 4, Episodes 5 and 6!

The great Doc Martin viewing marathon continues here at Telly Visions – and we’re just one week from the Series 5 premiere! One week! And I’m so close to being all caught up! I feel all sorts of accomplished, you guys.

Anyway, we continue on with Series 4 this week, with “The Departed” and “Midwife Crisis.” These two episodes, while problematic in ways mostly pertaining to Martin and Louisa and the general feeling that their storyline just seems to have stalled emotionally, were actually very entertaining. And, while one did (once again) feature some more obnoxious and uncomfortable presentations of gender issues, it wasn’t nearly so rage inducing as “Driving Mr. McLynn” from last week. Maybe I’m just feeling kinder because I’m so close to completely the rewatch, I don’t know. But at least these episodes felt fun for the most part, even when heavier plots were featured.

Anyway, onward! Click through and come chat with me about the next two episodes in our rewatch, and feel free to leave your thoughts, favorite moments, funny lines, general rants, whatever, in the comments.

Sherlock Series 2 is Almost Here – So Watch Another New Masterpiece Promo!

FYI, the Friday News Roundup will return next week with a special double edition. With all this WETA UK excitement around here, it’s…possible that I am completely the tiniest bit behind on my news reading. Thanks for understanding, folks!

We’re just 16 days away from the Series 2 premiere of Sherlock on Masterpiece Mystery! That's like two weeks! Practically nothing! (You can all expect the use of exclamation points and all caps around here to increase in direct proportion to how close we are to these epiosodes airing. You have been warned.)

Anyone want to see another new promo for the upcoming (amazing) episodes? Obviously. So, click through and have a look at the second official Masterpiece trailer, just released last week.

David Tennant to Star in BBC America’s World War II Mini-Series “The Spies of Warsaw”

It’s David Tennant’s birthday today, so this post seems particularly appropriate. Happy Birthday, Doctor!

Former Doctor Who star David Tennant is set to star in BBC America’s newest co-production, The Spies of Warsaw. Based on the Alan Furst novel of the same name, the four-part miniseries is set in Poland, Paris, London and Berlin in the years leading up to World War II, as German and French intelligence officers are locked in a life and death struggle in the espionage arena.

The former Tenth Doctor will play Col. Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the first World War who is “drawn into a world of betrayal and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw" while serving as a military attaché at the French embassy. Janet Montgomery (Entourage, Black Swan) will co-star as Anna, a Parisian lawyer for the League of Nations, with whom Mercier has a passionate affair.

Other members of the frankly stellar-looking ensemble cast include Torchwood’s Burn Gorman, The Hour’s Anton Lesser and The Bourne Ultimatum’s Dan Fredenburgh and White Heat’s Richard Lintern among many others.

Filming is slated to begin in Poland next month. No word yet on an airdate either in the UK or here in the States, but the miniseries is slated to premiere as part of BBC America’s Wednesday night Dramaville block when it arrives.

I’m tremendously fond of Tennant (loved loved loved his Doctor) and have missed seeing him on my television screen the past couple of years. So, I’m extra pleased that this latest project of his will be airing here in America, as I don’t think his last one (Single Father) ever did. Very exciting news! Anyone else out there big Tennant fans? Are you looking forward to seeing him in a different sort of role?

Source: BBC America

Watch the First Masterpiece Promo for “Birdsong,” Premiering April 22!

Coming this weekend to Masterpiece Classic, watch the BBC’s adaptation of Sebastian Faulkes’ best-selling novel Birdsong.

Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Maryiln, The Pillars of the Earth) and Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter, In Bruges) star in this World War I drama, which tells the story of Stephen Wraysford's all-consuming love affair with Isabelle Azaire and the enduring effect their relationship has on him as he fights in the trenches.

The film is written by Abi Morgan, who also penned the recent critically acclaimed cinematic hits The Iron Lady and Shame. Birdsong premieres on April 22nd at 9pm.

Click through and take a look at the first Masterpiece promo for yourself. Get ready for angst and longing looks!

Tonight on Masterpiece: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Premiering tonight on Masterpiece Classic, see a new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ The Mystery of Edwin Drood, starring Matthew Rhys (Brothers and Sisters), Tamzin Merchant (The Tudors) and Freddie Fox (The Shadow Line).

Drood was Dickens’ final novel, which was left unfinished at the time of the author’s death. The story is a psychological thriller about provincial choirmaster John Jasper and his obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud, the fiancée of our titular Edwin Drood. Dickens’ death leaves the ending unknown, though he did provide a brief summary of the story in a letter.

Supplying a conclusion to this story has occupied authors and Dickens fans from the time of his death, so it should be interesting to see how this adaptation (from the producers of Little Dorrit) chooses to tackle the unknown ending - as far as I’m aware this particular film’s ending is original.

Click through for a preview and a sneak peek at a scene from tonight’s adaptation. And let us know what you think!

The Great Doc Martin (Re) Watch Continues - Series 4, Episode 4

The great Doc Martin viewing marathon continues here at Telly Visions this week as we continue on with Series 4. We’re two weeks from the Series 5 premiere, guys! And I’m so close to being caught up! It’s all very exciting.

Due to the fact that this series contains an odd number of episodes, we’re only covering one installment this week – “Driving Mr. McLynn.” There were apparently a great many things to say about this episode anyway (sorry in advance), and now we’re only four away from being all caught up, which means that I’ll finish Series 4 on the same day Series 5 premieres. How’s that for no waiting, huh? If only that could be arranged for every show I watch.

Series 4 continues to be this strange combination of interesting and intensely frustrating. “Driving Mr. McLynn” was an extremely strong episode though, and probably the best of the series so far, even though (as you’ll see) there are plenty of mindboggingly enraging character moments.

So, onward! Click through and come chat with me about the next episode in our rewatch, and feel free to leave your thoughts, favorite moments, funny lines, general rants, whatever, in the comments.

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