Upcoming Things of Interest

Hugh Bonneville’s ‘Mr Stink’ Headed to PBS Stations This Christmas

Get ready for an unexpected and heartwarming treat this holiday season, coming to PBS stations nationwide. Mr. Stink, a feature-length drama adapted from the popular children’s novel written by David Walliams, will premiere this December, as part of PBS’s upcoming holiday programming line-up.

Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville stars as the titular Mr. Stink, a homeless man who is befriended by a lonely twelve-year-old girl named Chloe who invites him to live in the shed at the end of her family’s garden. It’s a role that seems to be about 180 degrees removed from the ultra posh Robert, Earl of Grantham, which is part of the reason it should be so fun to watch.

Read on for more details.

BBC Adaptation of Acclaimed ‘Wolf Hall’ Novel Will Be Coming to Masterpiece in 2015!

Exciting news for fans of both period drama and good literature! Casting has finally been announced for the upcoming BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novel Wolf Hall. And – even better news – the series is already confirmed for a transmission on Masterpiece in 2015

The six-part drama will adapt the Booker Prize-winning bestsellers Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies into one series, which follows the story of Thomas Cromwell, a key adviser to King Henry VIII. Cromwell, the son of a blacksmith, enjoyed a meteoric rise to power, first when he served under Cardinal Wolsey and later as chief minister to the king himself. Among other things, Cromwell was a chief architect of the English Reformation, helping to engineer the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Katherine of Aragon, in order to allow the king to marry his mistress Anne Boleyn. He was also instrumental in Anne’s later fall from grace, negotiated Henry VIII’s fourth marriage to Anne of Cleves and instituted widespread (and extensive) religious reforms.

Mantel’s novels present a somewhat revisionist take on the infamous politician, as Cromwell has been historically presented as an unlikeable figure. It’s also just an incredibly great story. Read on for more details.

David Suchet’s Last Case: Watch ITV's Bittersweet and Awesome Trailer for the Final Series of ‘Poirot’

David Suchet will reprise his iconic role as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot one more time for a final series of Agatha Christie’s Poirot. With the release of this new season, the actor will achieve his stated “life’s ambition” of filming the entirety of Christie’s Poirot canon. Suchet has been playing Poirot for over twenty years, so this is a truly impressive accomplishment.

The thirteenth and final series is comprised of four new feature-length Poirot films, which include The Big Four, Dead Man’s Folly, The Labours of Hercules and Curtain, the latter of which is the famous detective’s last case. ITV has released an official trailer for this final season, and it’s wonderfully bittersweet. With a tagline of “The End is Near”, the spot features new footage interspersed with classic clips from Suchet’s many previous episodes and a voiceover of the detective reflecting on his life and career.

It’s really rather lovely. Watch for yourselves below.

Get Your First Look at 1960s Medical Drama 'Breathless', Coming to PBS in 2014!

Another British series has joined the list of intriguing imports we can expect from across the pond next year – period drama Breathless will be coming to Masterpiece next year on PBS stations nationwide.

The upcoming six-part drama will focus on the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a London hospital in the 1960s. The series is set in a busy gynecology unit in 1961, during a time when abortion was still illegal, the contraceptive pill was only just available to married women and moral codes were shifting.

Read on for more details.

Brit TV Preview: Watch the Trailer for BBC's New Fantasy Drama 'Atlantis'

The first preview has been released for the highly anticipated new BBC fantasy series Atlantis, which is set to premiere on both sides of the pond later this year.

The drama is meant to be a replacement of sorts for popular sci-fi/fantasy drama Merlin which wrapped up last year and is headed by the same creative duo of Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy. While the streets of a mysterious lost city seem a far cry from the forests of Camelot, the trailer does have a similar feel – complete with mysterious prophecies, proclamations of destiny, fantastical monsters and a main character duo comprised of a strapping young hero and his occasionally goofy sidekick.

Basically this kind of looks like Merlin, but with Greek myths instead of Arthurian legend. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Watch the first trailer for Atlantis below and judge for yourself.

'Vera' Update: Trailer for Series 3 and Series 4 Already Confirmed!

Good news for fans of good stories and strong female characters: British mystery series Vera is returning for a third series in the UK shortly (and hopefully it won’t be too long thereafter for the rest of us, either!)

Based on author Ann Cleeves’ series of popular novels, the drama follows obsessive Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope as she tries to crack some of the toughest cases in Northumberland alongside her trusted right-hand man and surrogate son Joe Ashworth. Stars Brenda Blethyn and David Leon are both back as the series’ leads.

Watch the trailer for the new episodes below.

First Look at 'Whitechapel’s' Return: Watch the Series 4 Trailer

Good news for fans of dark and compelling crime dramas: Murder mystery series Whitechapel will be back for a fourth series in the not too distant future!

While few actual story details for Series 4 have been released, we do know that once again there will be three two-part stories spread over the show’s run, much like Series 3. Specifics of what those mysteries might be have yet to be unveiled, but the first trailer for Series 4 has been released and it looks so, so good.

Stars Rupert Perry-Jones, Phil Davis and Steve Pemberton are all back as DI Joseph Chandler, DS Ray Miles, and historian (of a sort) Edward Buchan.

In this new clip, it would appear that Jack the Ripper enthusiast (Ripperologist?) Buchan has released a new book with a brand new theory – that the neighborhood of Whitechapel is plagued with terrors because of the fact that some people believe the Gates of Hell are located in the shadow of Christchurch.

While the odds of Whitechapel Series 4 actually featuring a Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style battle against a London Hellmouth seem high, Pemberton’s delivery is nevertheless compelling enough to make you very interested in what the story is actually going to turn out to be. In short: This trailer is awesomely creepy. Watch for yourselves below.

'The Bletchley Circle' Series 2 Set for Spring 2014 on PBS!

Another fabulous bit of news coming out of the summer leg of the Television Critics Association Press Tour – PBS announced that the highly-anticipated second series of mystery hit The Bletchley Circle will air on Sunday nights in Spring 2014. Series 2 will once again be paired with Call the Midwife and Mr. Selfridge, when both those series return with new episodes. (This would seem to indicate that you can expect the series to air at roughly the same time it did this spring, but, of course, we’ll let you know an exact date once that’s confirmed.)

The second season will continue to follow the story of the four women – all former Bletchley Park codebreakers – who use their skill at deducing patterns and decoding puzzles to solve crimes. Series 2 will be comprised of four episodes, rather than three, which will tell two self-contained stories, each spread across two of the sixty-minute installments. Stars Anna Maxwell Martin, Rachel Stirling, Sophie Rundle and Julie Graham are all set to return.

Click through for more!

'Death Comes to Pemberley' Set for Masterpiece Airing in 2014

PBS is giving its presentation at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour this week, which means lots of information on new and returning programming for fans. Woohoo! One of the biggest announcements to come out of the TCA event this week is that Masterpiece has acquired period drama Death Comes to Pemberley and will be broadcasting the Pride and Prejudice sequel in 2014.

The three-part adaptation is based on the 2011 P.D. James novel of the same name, which tells the story of famous Austen couple Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy six years into their marriage and combines a look at their life together with a murder mystery. As preparations are being made for a ball at Pemberley, the discovery of a corpse brings an abrupt and shocking halt to proceedings.

“With its combination of Jane Austen, P.D. James, and this great cast, Death Comes to Pemberley hits the jackpot for MASTERPIECE fans,” says Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton. “Haven’t we all wondered what Elizabeth Bennet’s marriage to Mr. Darcy would be like? And there’s a murder!”

Read on for more details.

First Look: PBS Preview for Shakespeare Series 'The Hollow Crown'

The highly anticipated Shakespeare mini-series The Hollow Crown will finally air in America this Fall as part of PBS’s Great Performances series – and given the response online to the announcement of the series’ premiere date, a lot of people are pretty excited to get their Bard on. (No judgment, I am too.)

The star-studded quartet of films adapts four of Shakespeare’s most famous history plays – Richard II, Henry IV Part One, Henry IV Part Two and Henry V – as single chronological narrative, telling the story of the rise and fall of a dynasty. The series, which stars many notable British actors including Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Stewart, Rory Kinnear, Michelle Dockery, David Suchet, Simon Russell Beale and more, will run weekly on Friday nights beginning September 20.

Watch the first PBS preview for The Hollow Crown below – plus an extra bonus clip featuring BAFTA-winning actor Whishaw performing the deposition monologue from Richard II.