BBC

Watch: The First Trailer for J.K. Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy'

The BBC has released the first trailer for its upcoming adaptation of J.K. Rowling'sThe Casual Vacancy, the Harry Potter author's first attempt at a novel for adults following the conclusion of her blockbuster teen wizard series. The drama stars a bevy of recognizable British faces, including Potter film franchise alum Michael Gambon alongside Line of Duty’s Keeley Hawes, The Hollow Crown’s Rory Kinnear, Appropriate Adult’s Monica Dolan, Miss Marple’s Julia McKenzie and more.

First Look at 'Call the Midwife' Series 4

It’s official: It’s almost time for a new season of Call the Midwife! Everyone’s favorite tear-jerking period drama is headed back to our screens for a fourth season (it’s already been renewed for a fifth, by the way) and the BBC has finally released the first trailer the show’s return. It is, as you might expect, a rather potent mixture of tears, laughter, drama and a proposal for one of our favorite characters.

This season will mark the first without original Call the Midwife star Jessica Raines, but as we saw in the recent holiday special, while Nurse Jenny Lee is certainly missed, the show is more than capable of carrying on merrily (or sniffle-y or whatever you want to call it) along without her. In her absence, a few new faces will be joining the crew at Nonnatus House – Fresh Meat’s Charlotte Ritchie and Lark Rise to Candleford’s Linda Bassett, who will play nurses Barbara Gilbert and Phyllis Crane, respectively.

Get Your First Look at ‘Death in Paradise’ Series 4

Mystery series Death in Paradise was faced with an unenviable task at the beginning of its third season – how do you reinvent a show whose premise is based on a rather grumpy detective sent to investigate murder in a tropical paradise when the actor who plays said detective has decided to leave the show?

As Season 3 began, that’s exactly what happened. Despite the show’s popularity, star Ben Miller, who played DI Richard Poole, decided he wanted to try other things, and was subsequently written out of the show. He was replaced by Kris Marshall, an actor whom many Americans had probably only known as Colin from popular Christmas rom-com Love Actually until that point. (He’s the guy that travels to Wisconsin in hopes of finding an American girlfriend.)

Watch: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis in ‘Wolf Hall’ Trailer

The BBC has released the first trailer for the highly anticipated Tudor drama Wolf Hall, which will adapt author Hilary Mantel’s bestselling pair of Booker Prize-winning novels (Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies) for the small screen.

The six-part drama will follow the meteoric rise of Thomas Cromwell, from lowly blacksmith’s son to one of the most powerful men in England as chief advisor to King Henry VIII. Cromwell was one of the main architects of the English Reformation, helping to engineer the dissolution of Henry’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon so that he might marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. Cromwell was also instrumental in negotiating Henry’s fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves, and instituted widespread, extensive religious reforms.

First Look at the ‘Call the Midwife’ 2014 Christmas Special

Rejoice, Call the Midwife fans – it’s almost time to return to Nonnatus House for the midwives annual holiday episode, and in celebration the BBC has released the first trailer for this upcoming special.

The clip is all sorts of festive, featuring Christmas crackers, an enormous tree, a nativity play and a handful of platitudes, all backed by a moving over of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. It’s pretty much a textbook holiday spot, and it’s enough to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside after just 30 seconds. Of course, there’s also a dash of the standard emotional angst, and adorable newborns, but, hey, that’s fairly standard fare for Call the Midwife.

And, while it’s strange to see a clip without star Jessica Raine – who departed at the end of Series 3 – it’s equally as strange to feel okay about that. The show looks pretty much the same – and by that I mean I think we can assume it’s going to be just fine.

Natalie Dormer to Lead Cast of BBC’s ‘The Woman in Red’

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer has been tapped to lead the cast of upcoming BBC Two production The Woman in Red, a factual drama meant to explore the scandalous life of Lady Seymour Worsley, a woman whose very virtue was put on trial in 1782 when she dared to leave her husband and elope with his best friend.

The ninety minute drama will focus on the very public court case brought on by Lady Seymour’s first husband, Sir Richard Worsley, which became something of a forum to debate a woman’s worth and challenge the idea that a wife was merely an extension of her husband’s property.

 

The First Image from the ‘Sherlock’ Special Has Arrived

So, apparently I should write more features about Sherlock because it seems to invite some kind of cosmic magic wherein I have to write another new piece within 24 hours because some new bit of information has surfaced.

I mean, I’m okay with that if y’all are.

Anyway, what’s up today is that it looks like the first read through of the “Possibly Non Christmas” Christmas Special (there appears to be some debate about this) took place, and in honor of this momentous occasion the first official photo from the forthcoming one-off special has been released.

And it’s… rather not what anyone expected.

Preview the ‘Doctor Who’ 2014 Christmas Special

Doctor Who Series 8 wrapped up last weekend with a finale that included Cybermen, the return of an old enemy, difficult emotional choices, and the first reference to Gallifrey’s continued existence we’ve heard since the 50th anniversary special last year.

This season – the first for Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor - has proven a bit divisive among Who fans and the finale (entitled “Death in Heaven”) is certainly no less contentious, depending on how you felt about a variety of topics, including Cybermen in general, the identity of Missy, the handling of the Clara and Danny relationship and whether the whole Nethersphere explanation worked for you. (I have a lot of thoughts about this, but you can probably extrapolate most of them based on my previous ramblings on the first half of Series 8. In short, I love Capaldi, but I’ve found this season largely a frustrating one.)

At any rate, no matter how you feel about the conclusion of Series 8, season finales always bring at least one thing all Whovians can get excited over, the trailer for that year’s upcoming Christmas special! And the 2014 version promises us the most Christmassy of all trappings – Santa Claus himself.

Shakespeare and Benedict Cumberbatch Remind Us Why We Love BBC Drama

Benedict Cumberbatch has been everywhere lately – appearing on The Graham Norton Show, getting his own wax figure, filming the sequel to The Hollow Crown, and doing loads of press for the impending release of his latest film, The Imitation Game. And now, apparently, he’s serving as a BBC spokesperson these days – starring in a fantastic new clip that highlights the corporation’s impressive drama line-up.

But honestly – and I say this as a fan – Cumberbatch is probably the least exciting part of this clip for those of us who love British drama, as he very rightfully plays second fiddle to the outstanding parade of quality BBC programs featured.

 

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