Drama

Tune-In Tonight: William & Mary at 10:30pm!

Heads-up for all our fans of William & Mary - tonight's episode will be starting a little later than the past few weeks, so make sure you've updated your calendars accordingly.

Due to the slightly extended run time of the special Mark Twain Prize ceremony broadcast, there'll only be one episode of William & Mary tonight, and it'll be starting at 10:30pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. Wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of this slight shift and didn't miss anything - and don't worry, we'll be back to showing two episodes of the series on Monday nights next week!

The Final Episode of Case Histories Airs Tomorrow Night

One of the most disappointing parts about Case Histories is simply that there’s not more of it. It’s an interesting and largely charming series, and there are definitely worse things that could happen to television than having Jason Isaacs’ Jackson Brodie around more often.

So, make sure you enjoy the ride through the last episode of this season of Masterpiece Mystery! tomorrow night at 9. Someone gets hit by a train, we sort of meet Jackson’s dead sister, and he acquires a rather fun new sidekick, the Kevin Costner to his Morgan Freeman, if you will. (And that joke will actually make sense once you see it, I promise.) Fair warning though, this last installment is a bit heavier on the drama than the comedy, compared to the first two episodes, and the end is a bit bittersweet. But it also feels just right, by the end.

And I have still never seen a better advertisement for vacationing in Edinburgh, immediately. Gorgeous!

New William & Mary Tonight! Martin Clunes Sure Looks Different, Huh?

Starting at 10pm tonight on WETA, we've go two more back-to-back episodes of romantic drama William & Mary. (For those of you keeping track at home, these are episodes three and four of the series’ first season.) In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that despite my vast personal knowledge of all sorts of British TV, I’m a relative newcomer to Doc Martin and the acting of Martin Clunes. In the interest of really full disclosure, I’ll even admit that I’m only on the first season! But, all that said, I can already tell why so many people love it, and I’m looking forward to catching up to the rest of you.

Anyway, despite my relative ignorance of Clunes’ acting resume, I still have to say that his performance in William & Mary is really charming, displaying a sort of quiet (even adorable) everyman appeal that’s almost a complete 180 degree shift from his role as the prickly, grumpy Doc Martin. He even plays the guitar in a band! I mean, just compare the two pictures after the jump, and that should kind of tell you all you need to know about just how far apart these performances are. (Plus, I had to come up with SOME way to share that - I just get a tremendous kick out of that William & Mary episode photo. It’s just so unlike every other image I’ve ever seen of Clunes. It’s awesome.)

Preview This Sunday’s Case Histories!

The second episode of Masterpiece Mystery!’s new drama Case Histories premieres this Sunday night at 9pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. Jason Isaacs remains tremendously dishy appealing, the writing remains snappy, and the mysteries remain intriguing, involving a drowned girl who may or may not exist, a crime novelist who witnesses a violent act, and a society lady who learns shocking secrets about her husband after he ends up in a coma. Don't worry, it'll all make sense by the end.

And for a hint of things to come: We’ll see some familiar faces from the first episode pop back up again, and get a little more insight into the events surrounding the death of Jackson’s sister.

Whet your appetite with a preview for Episode 2 below:

More New Sherlock Series 2 Promotional Art!

More new Sherlock Series 2 promotional art has surfaced! (Like water in the desert, hurray!)

Both images are included after the jump to protect those that are uninterested in seeing anything about the new series before it airs. So, you’ll have to click on through if you’re feeling brave.

NBC Really, Really Wants You to Try Their Prime Suspect Remake

NBC is doubling down (tripling down?) on their new Prime Suspect. If you’ve been curious to try the American remake, next week is going to be your chance. With the early demise of several of their new Fall offerings, the network is lining up a big push for the police drama heading into November sweeps. Repeats of Prime Suspect will air on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night next week, leading into the series’ regular Thursday broadcast.

If you're a British TV fan - should you try it? Well, maybe. But not because you loved the British version.

In all honesty, NBC’s Prime Suspect isn’t a terrible show. Yes, it has some issues (the relentless portrayal of every man on the police force as an obnoxiously sexist ogre is especially tiresome.) But, it’s well-acted, well-produced, and if detective/procedural shows are your thing, you could do a lot worse. The problem is, is that it isn’t Prime Suspect. Calling this series by the same name is not only, well, incorrect, but offers viewers no clue about what this series is actually going to offer them. British TV fans are no more likely to enjoy this show than anyone else, and will probably be predisposed to a let down once they actually try it out.

More after the jump!

Tune-In Tonight: William & Mary at 10pm on WETA!

Don't miss Doc Martin star Martin Clunes in a very different kind of role, starting tonight at 10pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. William & Mary features Clunes alongside Survivors' Julie Graham; the duo plays a pair of lonely hearts looking for love.

You’ll probably be shocked at just how different a role this is for Clunes! His character, undertaker William Shawcross, is a virtual 180 from his role as Portwenn’s Doctor, both in attitude (William is actually quite charming and nice and dare we say cuddly?) and appearance (Clunes gained something like 25 pounds for this role and as you can see in our photo, his hairstyle is quite a bit different!)

 

An Early Look at Masterpiece Mystery!’s Case Histories

The new Masterpiece Mystery! series Case Histories gets underway tomorrow night at 9, and introduces us to Jackson Brodie, a former police investigator turned private detective who's a bit different from most of the “types” in this genre. Based on the popular series of Kate Atkinson novels, Case Histories is very appealing — Harry Potter's Jason Isaacs shines in the starring role, the writing's witty, and the cases are intricate enough to hold viewers' attention and provide an entertaining pay off.

Take a look at this scene from the first episode to get a feel for the tone of the show and, if you're feeling brave, click through for some of my early (spoiler free) thoughts!

BBC Commissions Victorian-Era Jack the Ripper Drama

The BBC has commissioned a new eight-part drama series called Ripper Street, slated to go into production early next year. The Jack the Ripper-inspired tale is set in the East End of London in 1889, and takes place during the aftermath of the Ripper murders.

According to the BBC press release, Ripper Street explores the lives of characters trying to recover from the Ripper's legacy, from crimes that have not only irretrievably altered their lives, but the very fabric of their city. At the drama's heart our detectives try to bring a little light into the dark world they inhabit.” Cue suitably edgy and dramatic music!

The Guardian's coverage of the new drama suggests that, with Ripper Street, the BBC is attempting to capitalize on the worldwide success they've found with the recent revival of Sherlock. To be fair, that's probably true; so don't be too surprised if some of the main characters turn out to feel fairly familiar: my guesses include an innovative-but-rude Victorian police officer who loves science, or perhaps a dogged sidekick type who has extensive experience with firearms and really likes tea. Though, personally, I rather fail to see the bad in that... At any rate, the setting's fantastic. And aren't we all a little fascinated by that era of history? (Thanks, early sensationalistic press!) Ideally, this would end up being a mash-up of the cleverness of Sherlock with the period feel of Downton Abbey. (Well, if I ran the world, at any rate. Or at the very least the BBC.)

 

FYI: You Should Watch Hustle This Weekend

This Sunday night at 11pm, WETA's beginning the first series of Hustle, a super intelligent, exceptionally charming caper from the producers of MI-5 about a team of expert con men that stage elaborate setups or “long cons.” It's very similar in tone to films like Ocean's 11 or Catch Me If You Can, and if you've enjoyed any of the recent slate of American con-man style series — Leverage, White Collar, and their ilk — you'll love Hustle. It's also one of those shows I'm endlessly recommending to people who say they're tired of all the police procedurals in America. (I feel like Hustle didn't get enough love when it first aired in America ages ago on AMC, and it's such a gem of awesome Britishness that everyone should really see it if they haven't yet.)

The preview below doesn't explain the cons so much, but it introduces you to all our major players, including the always excellent Robert Vaughn (Albert), fairly adorable Marc Warren (Danny) and Philip Glennister's brother Robert (Ash, and the family resemblance is uncanny).

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