Posts by Lacy Baugher

News of the Day: Downton Abbey Renewed!

 

Exciting news for Downton Abbey fans – the period drama was picked up for a third series yesterday by ITV! [Pause for happy dancing and various forms of enthusiastic celebration. A long pause.]

Downton’s second season, which wraps in the UK this weekend and will air in America starting January 8, has been doing fairly gangbusters ratings for ITV, so this isn’t exactly shocking news, though it’s certainly very welcome. Downton Series 3 will be comprised of eight episodes, set over the two year period of 1920 and 1921. Crowleys in the Roaring Twenties? Yes, please!

Obviously, as this news was just announced yesterday, there’s no indication of when Series 3 will debut, either abroad or here in America, and it's highly likely no one involved has given any thought to any of that just yet. I wouldn't expect to hear anything on that front for quite a while, actually, but stay tuned for updates as news becomes available.

New Downton Abbey Series 2 Promo!

We’re now 66 days from the premiere of the new series of Downton Abbey on January 8, 2012. Just over two months to go!

To help get through the wait, here’s a brand new promo just released for the new season, with a few superquick scenes which should probably get everyone chomping at the bit for Christmas to just get over with already. (Personally, I’m definitely looking forward to a visit from the Dowager Countess way more than I am from Santa, that’s for sure.)

If you need more ideas on things to do while you’re waiting for new episodes to return, why not let Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton offer her suggestions on how to survive the hiatus, including several great ideas for the history buffs in our crowd.

All Things Sherlock: Series 1 Rebroadcast and Series 2 Gossip

All of you who’ve been wondering what the big deal is about Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ modern retelling of the famous Sherlock Holmes story are going to get another chance to see what all the fuss is about.

Starting a week from today, we’ll be re-broadcasting the entire first series of my current obsession Sherlock, every Tuesday night for three weeks. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (♥) and Martin Freeman, Sherlock is a 21st century version of the world’s most famous detective (thankfully, minus deerstalker thus far), set in an exceptionally nice-to-look-at modern London. The first episode “A Study in Pink,” a retelling (mostly) of the story “A Study in Scarlet,” will re-air next Tuesday, November 8, at 8pm.

And, as I am always looking for an excuse to watch the trailer again, have a look at the Series 1 promo and get in the mood for a trip back to 221B Baker Street.

If that’s not enough Sherlock for you, click through and after the jump we’ve got some casting tidbits and Series 2 gossip that those of you seeking to remain entirely spoiler-free for the new episodes might want to avoid.

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!

Friday News Roundup Time!

TGIF! And Happy (almost) Halloween!

It’s time for another Friday Roundup of everything we thought was worth reading in British entertainment news this week. Click right on through for bits and bobs on Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Skins, Upstairs Downstairs and more!

What Will Be This Year’s The King’s Speech?

The end of the year is nearly upon us, which inevitably means the transition from “blockbuster”-type films and popcorn movies at your local multiplex to what can most aptly be labeled “Awards Season Movies.” Sure, there are still a few big Fall/Holiday releases slated – the new Twilight film (ummm), Happy Feet 2 (okay, kind of cute), yet another Mission Impossible (why??), along with a few others – but come December, it’s basically Christmas for the more serious film fans all month long.

Last year, drama The King’s Speech opened in December to gushing critical accolades (Rotten Tomatoes still lists it as 95% “fresh”), widespread audience acclaim, and a multitude of awards, including recognition at the Oscars, the British Academy Film Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, the British Independent Film Awards, etc. etc. Star Colin Firth won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a vertiable bucket of other accolades. Even the Queen liked it.

Now, of course, in the wake of The King Speech’s success, we wonder – what will be the next film to strike it big in America and clean up at awards time? Two upcoming British movies look especially promising, though both are quite different in tone. (And they both have Benedict Cumberbatch in them, which is really just an extra win for me.)

More (including trailers) after the jump!

Royal Ramblings: David Cameron Supports Historic Reform of the Monarchy

The British government seems poised to end primogeniture, a practice in place since feudal times guaranteeing that male children receive preference in the Royal succession. In the current system, a male child will always be first in line for the British throne, even if he has older female siblings. For example, this is how King Henry VIII’s youngest child, Edward VI, hopscotched over both his sisters Mary and Elizabeth to the crown, even though he was only nine years old at the time of his father’s death.

Only when there is no male heir at all is it possible for a female child to ascend the throne. Queen Elizabeth II became Queen only because she had no male siblings.

Now, however, Parliament and Prime Minister David Cameron are moving toward making significant changes to the law of succession. Cameron has written to British Commonwealth leaders proposing that the law which ensures male children automatically take precedence in the line of succession be altered. (The 16 nations who recognize the Queen as their monarch have to agree to any changes.) This proposed change would apply to any children produced by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, guaranteeing that if their first child is a daughter, she would be at the head of the line for the throne behind her father and take precedence over any subsequent sons.

More Royal-related rambling after the jump!

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.)

Britwatch: Catherine Tate to Return to The Office

Doctor Who alum and fantastic funny lady Catherine Tate is set to return to NBC’sThe Office this season.

Tate, who appeared briefly on the series last May, will return as Nellie Bertram, one of the candidates who interviewed to replace Michael Scott. If you didn’t catch her original appearance back when it aired, click through and watch the video below, because Tate’s performance is quite hilarious. (Apparently, she so impressed The Office producers that she was one of their top choices to permanently replace the departing Steve Carrell, though obviously that didn’t work out at the time.)

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