A new Doctor is coming. The BBC announced today that Matt Smith is poised to vacate his role as the Doctor on the wildly popular TV series Doctor Who later this year. The actor will appear in the 50th Anniversary special in November, and his final appearance as the Doctor will come with the show’s Christmas special, in which the Doctor will regenerate. Smith was the 11th actor to inhabit the role on the long-running show, making his first appearance as the Doctor in the 2010 New Year’s Day special. No specific reason is given for Smith’s departure, but all appears to be amicable. The actor recently started branching out a bit with his acting career, as he’ll be seen on the big screen in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut How to Catch a Monster.
Hit the jump to read a lengthy statement from Smith as well as a statement from Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat. The search for the 12th Doctor will begin imminently, so brace yourselves Who fans.
Quite the celebration is being put together for the 50th anniversary of the immensely popular BBC show Doctor Who. BBC America announced today that David Tennant and Billie Piper will return for the special alongside John Hurt, Jenna-Louise Coleman, and current Doctor Matt Smith. Fan-favorite Tennant starred as the Doctor in three series beginning in 2005 before he was replaced by Smith. The new special will be written by current showrunner Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran, with filming set to begin this week in the UK. No word on when the special will air.
Hit the jump to read the full press release, and click here to read our interview with Moffat regarding all things Doctor Who and Sherlock. An eight-episode run of new episodes of Doctor Who begins tonight on BBC America at 8pm ET/PT.
It’s an exciting week for fans of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ excellent BBC series Sherlock. We learned yesterday that season three of the show is set to begin filming next Monday, with the three new installments slated to begin airing on BBC One this winter. Now comes the even better news that Sherlock will be continuing even further, as star Benedict Cumberbatch has confirmed that he and Martin Freeman agreed to two more series, which means that season four is essentially guaranteed. Hit the jump for more.
Author J.K. Rowling’s first post-Harry Potter novel is getting the television treatment. BBC One and BBC Drama are teaming up on a series adaptation of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. The book hit shelves this September and was met with a fairly positive response, though Rowling admittedly wrote a novel that was wildly different from her beloved Harry Potter series. The story focuses on the lives of a number of people living in a small town who are affected by the sudden death of a town council member, but it’s not exactly that simple. Hit the jump for more details on the series.
Luther is back! Well, nearly. The BBC has posted a new video to answer fan questions about the its dark crime series’ return (which we have been salivating for for quite some time now, since the second season wrapped in June of 2011). Star Idris Elba had said he was confident that there would be a new season at some point, and it seems that finally the wait is over as far as confirmation goes: He’s baaaaack! Hit the jump for the details as well as the announcement trailer.
The wait for season three of the BBC series Sherlock just got considerably tougher. Series creators/showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss just revealed three tantalizing key words for the upcoming season, giving Sherlock fans a hint as to what classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories the show may be pulling from in season three. The modern spin on the Sherlock Holmes character debuted in 2010 to a wildly positive response. The chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock and Martin Freeman’s Watson is dynamite, and Moffat and Gatiss have thus far cooked up six 90-minute episodes of some of the most entertaining and enthralling television we’ve seen in quite a long while.
Season two came to a close with one hell of a conclusion/cliffhanger, and Moffat and Gatiss have now spoken up to tease what’s to come in the show’s third season (which will likely debut in fall 2013). Hit the jump to see what they had to say.
Andy Samberg‘s first TV project since his departure from Saturday Night Live will be the six-part comedy series Cuckoo, in which he will co-star with the fantastic Welsh comedian Greg Davies (The Inbetweeners) as “a slacker full of outlandish, New Age ideas.”
Executive producer of Cuckoo Ash Atalla (The Office) says, “We hope Cuckoo cements the special relationship between our two great countries. I imagine [Barack] Obama and [British Prime Minister David] Cameron will be watching closely.” For more on the project, hit the jump
The second season of the fantastically witty and fabulously acted series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson, returns to PBS on May 6th with three more 90-minute installments – “A Scandal in Belgravia,” “The Hounds of Baskerville” and “The Reichenbach Fall.” Set in 21st-century London, the updated duo battle the worst that modern criminality has to offer, including the unassuming mastermind of evil, James Moriarity (Andrew Scott), who wants to rule the world.
During this exclusive interview with Collider, actress Lara Pulver (who plays dominatrix Irene Adler) talked about how she came to be a part of the show, what attracted her to the role, the research she did to play a dominatrix, how anxious she was to be something of a love interest for Sherlock Holmes, filming the scene in which she is completely naked, working with her brilliantly talented co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and how she would love to return for another episode, if they find something great for the character to do. She also talked about her brief time on Season 4 of the HBO vampire series True Blood, what attracts her to specific projects, and how she would love to do a Broadway musical someday. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
A few new trailers for the second season of the BBC series Sherlock have been released. The show is one that I’ve heard nothing but great things about, and after watching these trailers I’m kicking myself over not moving season one up my Netflix queue faster. It’s a modern day revamp of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved detective stories and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) as Doctor John Watson. The show was created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss (Doctor Who) and it really just looks fantastic. Like season one, season two will be comprised of three 90-minute episodes.
Hit the jump to watch the trailers. The first new episode is set to premiere January 1st on BBC One.
On the AMC series Mad Men, the work of Elisabeth Moss is one many fine points on the period drama, and now she’s taking her talents to another television outlet between her steady work as Peggy Olsen. Deadline has word that the actress is in final negotiations to lead a new six-hour mini-series from BBC 2 called Top of the Lake. Writer/director Jane Campion (who won an Oscar for her work on The Piano) is working with The King’s Speech producers Emile Sherman and Iain Canning to tell the story of Robin Griffin (Moss), a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl, who is the daughter of a local drug lord. Campion not only co-wrote the script with Gerald Lee, but she will also direct the mini-series as well. Right now it doesn’t have a network home in the United States, but Sundance Channel is apparently interested in picking it up. Either way, I’m sure we’ll see it here in the States sometime down the road, and certainly in contention for the Emmys when the time comes.
Starz just debuted their new original series Boss with Kelsey Grammer on October 21st, and now the cable network is moving forward with yet another new series. Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions announced an adventure series called Da Vinci’s Demons. Writer David S. Goyer, the man behind films like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight will script the series which follows the “untold” story of the great titular genius during his raucous youth in Renaissance Florence. As a 25-year old artist, inventor, swordsman, lover, dreamer and idealist, he struggles to live within the confines of his own reality and time as he begins to not only see the future, but invent it.
Goyer says, ” This will be a show about secret histories, genius, madness, and all things profane.” Starz Media Managing Director, Carmi Zlotnik adds, “David has reimagined some of the most iconic superheroes of all time, and is again building an extraordinary prism through which to rediscover the world’s greatest genius and most mysterious man. If modern day has Tony Stark, the Renaissance had Da Vinci.” It’s interesting to hear a historical figure like da Vinci referred to as a sort of superhero, but that’s part of selling the series as an adventure. Likely this will be quite an exaggerated version of history to make for solid entertainment, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. For a few more details, hit the jump for the full press release.
Last September, we learned that Nine Inch Nails frontman and composer Trent Reznor was going to turn his lyrics and music from his band’s album Year Zero into a TV series. The album has been described as a musical chronicle that criticizes contemporary policies of the United States government by presenting a dystopian vision of the year 2022. We haven’t heard anything about the series since last year, but now THR has learned Fight Club screenwriter Jim Uhls will write the project which is now a miniseries set up at HBO and BBC Worldwide.
When the project was first announced, Carnivàle writer Daniel Knauf was said to be writing the series, but apparently the job is now Uhls to take. If it has the same grit and tone as Fight Club, then this should be a great miniseries for HBO down the road. For more background and plot description of the events that took place within the album and an alternate reality game that crafted the story and world of Year Zero before the album’s release, hit the jump.
Rowan Joffe (The American) has signed on to script a WikiLeaks movie co-produced by HBO and the BBC. According to Variety, Joffe’s script will focus on “the story of the database run by former hacker and internet activist Julian Assange and his operatives, whose mission is to collect and disseminate via the Internet private, secret and classified information from anonymous sources.” After releasing thousands of sensitive government documents, Assange was at the center of a maelstrom of controversy and news coverage last year, in turn multiple feature projects. Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) will produce one, Josephson Entertainment and Michelle Krumm Productions optioned an Assange biography in the works, and Alex Gibney (Casino Jack and the United States of Money) will direct a WikiLeaks documentary. Charles Ferguson (Inside Job) is on board as director for the HBO/BBC project.
Joffe’s feature directorial debut, Brighton Rock, premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. His most recent assignments are all adaptations: Before I Go to Sleep, Agent Zigzag, and Great Expectations.
As a fan of comedy from our friends across the pond in the United Kingdom, I pretty much love anything Ricky Gervais delivers from The Office to Extras. Now I’m currently eagerly anticipating another one of his BBC shows hitting HBO with Life’s Too Short, a series which sees Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick in the Harry Potter franchise and Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi) as an egomaniac dwarf who runs a talent agency for fellow showbiz dwarfs. Gervais and Stephen Merchant (who also crafted the two aforementioned British comedy series) wrote the six episode first season which is described as a cross between Extras and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Now the show is even more enticing with some great guest appearances from some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Deadline reports Gervais is in the midst of working out a schedule with Johnny Depp to have some sort of guest role on the show, and he’s also approached Jerry Seinfeld for a guest spot to play “quite a whiny Upper East Side Jewish guy.” Honestly, this new series can’t come soon enough. While no formal deal is in place yet, the series is expected to hit HBO at some point, so stay tuned for more news on the project coming to the States.
Gwyneth Paltrow is rumored to be kicking off the New Year as “The Blue Angel”, Marlene Dietrich. She is reportedly set to portray the legendary German actress and chanteuse in a two-part TV movie produced by Luc Besson’s newly-acquired EuropaCorp TV.
The project was initiated by the BBC and HBO and is based on Marlene Dietrich, the biography written by Dietrich’s daughter and closest confidante, Maria Riva, according to French magazine Télé 2 Semaines. More details after the jump.