Upcoming Things of Interest

Christopher Eccleston to Star in ITV Drama ‘Safe House’

Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston has been tapped to headline a new crime drama for ITV called Safe House.

The new four-part series is described as a tense thriller set in the beautiful wildnerness of the Lake District, and its story is inspired by the life of a real couple. Eccleston, who has most recently been seen on HBO drama The Leftovers, will be playing Robert, a retired detective thrust back into the criminal world when he and his wife Katy are asked to turn their remote bed and breakfast into a safe house for protected witnesses and crime victims.

Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie to Star in John le Carre’s ‘The Night Manager’

Alert, alert: Tom Hiddleston is headed back to television!

Yes, America’s current British obsession – that isn’t Benedict Cumberbatch anyway – has lined up yet another major role for everyone to get excited about - especially as this time it’s going to be on your television set. And since this latest bit of casting awesomeness not only puts Hidldeston in a drama series opposite the great Hugh Laurie, it gives him a role in a project based on a 1993 John le Carre novel, well. There’s a heck of a lot to be happy about here.

PBS Releases New Trailer for 'Death Comes to Pemberley,' Which Debuts This October

Pride and Prejudice sequel Death Comes to Pemberley – based on the popular novel of the same name by P.D. James – will officially premiere on Masterpiece in the US beginning October 26.

The lavish period drama imagines the lives of everyone’s favorite literary couple – Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy – six years into their marriage. As the couple prepares for a ball at their magnificent Pemberley home, Elizabeth’s wayward sister Lydia returns, and brings a murder mystery along with her.

PBS has just released the first American trailer for the drama, which seems to assume (probably fairly correctly) that many of us haven’t read the novel and might need a little more backstory on this particular drama. It’s a pretty good overview of what the drama will look like, and features footage we didn’t see in the original UK trailer!

‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ to Air on Masterpiece This October

Heads up, Jane Austen fans – Pride and Prejudice sequel Death Comes to Pemberley has an official American airdate.

The lavish period drama was previously announced as part of the Masterpiece lineup on PBS for 2014, but dates have only recently been set for the premiere. Death Comes to Pemberley will officially screen on Sunday nights at 9pm from October 26 – November 2.

More details below.

BBC ‘Poldark’ Remake Headed to Masterpiece in 2015

Good news for fans of lavish period dramas – the BBC’s splashy upcoming remake of the classic period drama Poldark is coming to America on Masterpiece in 2015.

Interestingly enough, the original Poldark also screened on Masterpiece Theater in the 1970s, and starred Robin Ellis in the title role. Poldark was one of the BBC’s first costume dramas and remains beloved on both sides of the Pond.

Set in Cornwall in 1793, it tells the story of a man named Ross Poldark, a brooding British officer returning from the American Revolutionary War who finds his home life much changed. He finds his father dead, the family mine long since closed, his house wrecked and his sweetheart pledged to marry his cousin.

Julie Walters to Star in Period Drama ‘Indian Summers’, Slated for Masterpiece Airing in 2015

Prepare yourselves, Anglophiles, your next sumptuous period drama fix is here. Or it will be, in the not too distant future.

Titled Indian Summers, this forthcoming drama from Channel 4 and PBS stars iconic actress Julie Walters in a ten-part series focused on the final years of British colonial rule in India. Basically, it seems as though this series is meant to be a sort of Indian Empire Downton Abbey, telling the story of the decline of the British Empire and the rise of modern India, from all sides. (Or, that’s what I’d like it to be, so that’s how I’m choosing to interpret the initial plot synopsis at any rate.)

Walters, who is a two-time Academy Award nominee and played Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, will be joined by an all-star cast that includes fellow Potter alum Henry-Lloyd Hughes, The Borgias Jemima West, Bedlam’s Nikesh Patel, Lilette Dubey, Mr. Selfridge’s Alexander Cobb, Craig Parkinson, Fiona Glascott and many more. Indian Summers marks Walters’ first role since her appearance in Shakespeare miniseries The Hollow Crown a few years ago.

Read on for a more detailed breakdown:

Martin Clues to Play Sherlock Holmes Creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Worlds colliding! Well, sort of, at least. Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has signed up to play Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in an upcoming drama for British network ITV. Whilst it’s not exactly Clunes scoring a guest spot on popular mystery series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, it’s close enough for me.

The three-part series, called Arthur and George, will adapt Julian Barnes’ novel of the same name, which is loosely based on an intriguing series of genuine events in the life of Conan Doyle.

Set in 1903, the story focuses on Conan Doyle’s real-life attempts to clear George Edaliji, an Anglo-Indian solicitor who is serving time in Pentonville Prison after being (falsely) accused of a series of attacks on livestock in Staffordshire that have become known as the The Great Wyrley Rippings.

Damian Lewis, Mark Gatiss, Jessica Raine and More Join Cast of ‘Wolf Hall’

Homeland star Damian Lewis heads a rather lengthy list of impressive British talent slated to take part in upcoming period drama Wolf Hall, based on the pair of Booker Prize-winning, bestselling novels – Wolf Hall and sequel Bring Up the Bodies – by Hilary Mantel.

Mantel’s novels put a somewhat new spin on the story of Thomas Cromwell, a key adviser to King Henry VIII and a leading force behind the Protestant Reformation in England who has been presented as a rather unlikeable figure, historically speaking. Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith, enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame, first when he served under Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, then later as a key minister to the King himself. He was instrumental in bringing widespread religious reform to England, helping to engineer the annulment of King Henry’s first marriage and his wedding to Anne Boleyn, as well as her subsequent fall from grace. Plus a whole lot more.

Read on for details.

1960s Medical Drama 'Breathless' Comes to Masterpiece This Summer

It’s official: Splashy-looking British period drama Breathless is set to premiere on Masterpiece this summer.

The drama follows the lives of a group of doctors and nurses in a 1960s London hospital, a world in which everything and everyone has their place. But underneath this veneer simmers a cauldron of lies, deceptions and guilty secrets, driven by love, ambition and sex. To be honest, it sounds (and even looks!) a bit like a medical drama version of AMC’s critical darling Mad Men.

‘Vicious’ Starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi to Premiere on PBS Stations in June

It’s official: Gay British comedy Vicious – which stars acting legends Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi – will make its American debut this summer on PBS stations nationwide beginning June 29.

Vicious follows the story of elderly gay couple Freddie (McKellen) and Stuart (Jacobi) who have been living together in the same Covent Garden flat for nearly 50 years. An incredibly co-dependent duo, their primary activities seem to be centered around bickering with one another, making sarcastic comments and walking the dog, but there is, nevertheless a deep love between them. However, the couple finds their lives turned upside down by the arrival of their new young upstairs neighbor, played by Game of Thrones' Iwan Rheon in a much, much less creepy role then you’re generally accustomed to seeing him on Sunday nights these days.

Pages