Harry Potter Actor to Play William Hartnell for Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Film

It’s a big year for Doctor Who fans around the world – the iconic sci-fi series is turning 50 this November. Many plans are currently under way to celebrate this momentous occasion – including a new TV special based on the series’ origins.

An Adventure in Space and Time is set to dramatize how Doctor Who first got started way back in 1963 and explore the many personalities who were involved in bringing the show to life. The feature length biopic will be penned by current Who writer and general fanboy (as well as Sherlock co-creator) Mark Gatiss, who has called his involvement in the project “quite simply a dream come true”.

Actor David Bradley – though if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll know him better as Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch – will star as William Hartnell, the actor who was the first to take on the role of the mysterious Time Lord known only as the Doctor. Hartnell played the First Doctor until 1966, when his deteriorating health and occasionally fractious relationship with the Doctor Who production team lead to his exit from the show. (His departure from the show served as the catalyst for the idea that the Doctor could regenerate, and Hartnell become Patrick Troughton in the fourth episode of serial The Tenth Planet.)

Get your first look at Bradley in character, as well as a peek behind the scenes of the new special.

Downton Dish: Let's Talk Everything You Need to Know About The Series 3 Finale

Previously, on Downton Abbey: Bates (FINALLY) got out of prison, Thomas made a move on the Hottest Footman in Northern England and got shot down, sending the house into a tailspin of drama, Bates saves the day by blackmailing O’Brien with her ladyship’s soap, Matthew and Tom join forces to run the estate, Mary has some unidentified surgery for some unidentified lady problem, Edith finds out Dishy Editor has Mr. Rochester syndrome, and also there’s a cricket match.

How is it possible we’ve reached the end of Series 3 already? It seems like we just started! The finale will take us through a time jump, a trip to Scotland and what’s possibly one of the most shocking moments in Downton to date. Obviously, we’re going to have a lot to talk about. So, let’s go.

Amazing Internet Things: Jimmy Fallon Takes Us Back to “Downton Sixbey”

Now that we’re well into Downton Abbey Series 3, late night host Jimmy Fallon has brought back his hilarious parody of everyone’s favorite costume drama, Downton Sixbey. In fact, Fallon’s been so on top of his game the past couple of weeks that there are two new episodes of the skit, which both offer send-ups of various Downton plot points from this season, including the Crawley’s money troubles and a family wedding.

While some of the humor in these skits is a bit…well, I imagine Carson would refer to it as low-brow, Fallon’s re-imagining of the characters and events of the popular British soap is hard to resist. Click through for a look at the next two installments in Downton Sixbey – and here’s hoping there are more to come in honor of Series 3 wrapping up.

Rare Dame Maggie Smith Interview Set to Happen on 60 Minutes

All Downton Abbey fans are probably going to want to make sure that they tune in to CBS news program 60 Minutes this weekend (February 17) because it’s going to be a rare opportunity to see an interview with the Dowager Countess herself, Dame Maggie Smith!

We all love Dame Maggie and her fantastic portrayal of Downton’s indomitable Dowager Countess, but it’s common knowledge that the star rarely makes public appearances like this. The two-time Oscar winner has a shelf full of awards for her portrayal of Violet Crawley , including multiple Golden Globes and Emmys, but the actress has never picked any of them up herself. Smith is notorious for never attending awards shows and the actress hardly ever does promotional appearances or interviews like this. (Read: Also pretty much never.) Get a sneek peek at Dame Maggie's CBS interview after the jump.

'Call the Midwife' Renewed for Third Series and Christmas Special

Woohoo! It’s confirmed: Popular BBC drama Call the Midwife has been officially renewed for a third series by the BBC! We’ll be seeing a lot of the ladies of Nonnatus House in future - the series will return with another special holiday installment this Christmas, followed by an eight-part third season slated to screen at some point in 2014.

The period drama is the BBC’s biggest new drama series in the last decade, and it’s doubtful that anyone is surprised by its renewal. (The first episode of Series 2 scored the drama’s highest tune-in figures to date.) Per the official press release, Call the Midiwife Series 3 will take us to 1959 and the eve of the “Swinging Sixties”. The winds of change that are blowing through the country will impact Nonnatus House as well, as its residents all wrestle with their own momentous changes.

Interestingly enough: Call the Midwife’s run up to this point has been based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth - and by the time we get to Series 3, the show will have run out of stories to adapt. Showrunner Heidi Thomas, however, has said that Worth had already given her blessing for the show to move past her original stories before she died in 2011, so it seems a safe enough bet that someone will be found to pen new original adventures for Nurse Jenny Lee and company.

Series 2 is currently airing in the UK and will premiere here in America on March 31 on PBS stations nationwide. Though the series can occasionally toe the line of dangerously saccharine, it’s got a tremendous amount of charm and heart, as well as a great set of characters, so I’m personally pretty excited we’ve got more Midwife to look forward to. What about you? Pleased that we’ll get more time at Nonnatus House? Let us know in the comments.

The Hour’s Time is Officially Up: Newsroom Drama Canceled by the BBC

Upsetting news for fans of the BBC’s 1950s drama The Hour – we won’t be going back to the newsroom for a third series. The Radio Times has confirmed that the award-winning period piece starring Dominic West, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw as the staff of a fictional BBC current affairs program has been axed by BBC2 and will officially join the ranks of great shows left unfinished. (Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth from everyone who saw the Series 2 finale. Seriously, that’s unfair.)

“We loved the show but have to make hard choices to bring new shows through,” the BBC said in a statement. The Hour was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries last year and its second series received a fair amount of critical acclaim. Sadly, the drama’s ratings weren’t particularly strong, especially as compared to its first series totals, and it struggled to find an audience last winter.

This news is especially disappointing given the fact that Series 2 ended on a cliffhanger and left a number of significant plot points unresolved. While The Hour’s news team successfully broke the organized crime story that served as Series 2’s central mystery, we’re going to be left forever wondering whether Whishaw’s Freddie survived a brutal beating at the hands of gangsters, what exactly was meant to happen with West’s Hector and his wife’s marriage and whether Freddie and Garai’s Bel Rowley ever worked out all their relationship issues or not (the show’s centerpiece will they/won’t they romance had finally managed to confess their feelings in the series’ final episode). Seriously, the last shot of Series 2 was gutwrenching – Freddie’s broken body lying in front of the BBC offices while he struggled to say Bel’s name – and it’s even more so now that this will serve as the final image for the show, too.

Obviously, I’m quite heartbroken at this news, as I quite loved The Hour’s smart writing, fantastic cast and commitment to presenting viewers with intelligent television (that you actually had to pay attention to). Given the way the last episode of Series 2 concluded, it would seem that there was no way that those involved in producing the drama expected that they wouldn’t get a third series (you don’t leave a major character in jeopardy like that if you don’t think you’ll get to tell people what happened afterward).

Apparently thousands of fans have already started a petition to convince the BBC to resuscitate the show. You can sign it here – in all honesty, it’s unlikely that any petition like this would do anything to move the needle once the network’s decision has been made, but if you’re a fan of The Hour it might make you feel a bit better. (Over 7,000 people have already signed it – so clearly those of us who are in mourning for the show are not alone!)

How about you all - will you miss The Hour?

More Parade's End Goodies: HBO Releases New Trailer, Cast Conversations

Premium cable network HBO has released some more goodies for those of us who are eagerly anticipating the American broadcast of Parade’s End, starring Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch alongside Rebecca Hall.

Am I spamming you guys about Parade’s End? I feel like I might be. But, I so want everyone to watch it and get swoony with me and I’ve been swooning in a fairly limited bubble since October so my basic feeling on this topic is hurry up, HBO! The five-part drama premieres on February 26 and will air over three consecutive nights.

However, HBO apparently approves of my at least being quasi-spammy about it, as they keep releasing new things for us all to look at. Click through for a look at a new trailer and a new cast conversations clip where the stars and production team discuss the project.

Downton Dish: Let's Talk Everything You Need to Know About Episode 6

Previously, on Downton Abbey: Tragedy drives a wedge into Robert and Cora’s marriage, Isobel tries to make a kind gesture, everyone gets in arguments about a variety of topics from religion to Ethel’s PROSTITUTE ways, I am the only person in America who is apparently on Team Robert, Violet awesomely brings her son and his wife back together, and Bates is finally going to be released from jail, for reasons that really don’t bear looking at too closely.

We arrive at the penultimate episode of Series 3 tonight (can you believe it’s almost over?), but at least it’s a two-hour installment so there are plenty of new things to discuss. This is also probably the part where I should apologize for the length of this post in advance. (Just remember, it is two hours! A lot happens!)

Benedict Cumberbatch Guest Stars on The Simpsons

Awesome news: Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch is lending his (distinctive) voice to long-running animated series The Simpsons this weekend, on Sunday, February 10.

Sad news: His appearance will not be as the world’s only consulting detective, despite the fact that I couldn’t resist using this amazing Sherlock fan art as the main image on this post. Yes, I know, I was pretty upset about this revelation too. I can only imagine how his particular brand of Sherlock Holmes would feel about the residents of Springfield (What’s it like in your funny little brains/it must be so boring?)

Anyway, because we all need to take what bits of Cumberbatch we can get as we suffer through our own personal versions of the Great Hiatus, it’s likely that we’re all fine with this. And what better sign that an actor we all love has really hit it big than the chance to do The Simpsons? (Everyone, it would seem, has done a guest bit on this show.) Go on, you know you want to read more.

Amazing Internet Things: The Office Meets The Hobbit

Apologies for my slight absence around here – yours truly’s been laid up with the flu. Downside: It’s gross. Upside: I’ve had a lot of time to look at random things on the internet, one of the more interesting of which is below.

This is one of those Amazing Internet Things that’s simultaneously awesome and sort of really creepy – so, sort of, the internet, in a nutshell, at times.

Long before Martin Freeman played the world’s most famous crime-solving sidekick on Sherlock, he was known for starring as the put-upon but loveable Tim Canterbury on the original UK version of The Office. (If you’ve never seen the UK version of this series – for shame! –Tim is the equivalent of Jim in the American adaptation.) Given his recent turn as Bilbo Baggins in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy, this mash-up should probably not be entirely unexpected. The real surprise it’s probably that it’s taken this long.

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