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.
The new BBC America drama series Orphan Black tells the story of Sarah (Tatiana Maslany), a young woman whose life changes dramatically after witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks just like her. She hopes that cleaning out the dead woman’s bank account will solve all of her problems, but quickly finds herself caught up in the middle of a mysterious and deadly conspiracy.
During this recent exclusive interview with Collider, co-stars Jordan Gavaris (who plays Felix, Sarah’s foster brother and her one true confidante) and Dylan Bruce (who plays Paul, the dead woman’s boyfriend) talked about how they each came to be a part of this intriguing new series, how the story will continue to keep viewers guessing, how much their characters know about what’s going on, and what they might do, if they came face-to-face with a clone. Check out what they had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Some renewals for some popular cable television programs have been ordered. Briefly:
- Showtime has ordered new seasons of Shameless, House of Lies, and Californication to air in 2014.
- Cinemax has renewed True Blood creator Alan Ball’s new series Banshee for a second season that will debut in 2014.
- BBC America has ordered an 8-episode second season of the mystery series Ripper Street to air in 2014.
Hit the jump to read the press releases.
The setting of the grimy, gray world of 1889 London, patrolled by a brilliant detective may seem familiar, but BBC America’s new series Ripper Street manages to give fresh life to an old tale. Ripper Street picks up six months after the last (canonical) Jack the Ripper killing, and while the first episode does lean heavily upon the hysteria of the famed murders, it is luckily not the show’s only reason for existing.
Detective Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew MacFadyen, playing the real-life detective who was brought in to help the seemingly incompetent police division) is in the tough position of investigating crimes in London’s Whitechapel district (perhaps more familiar to modern audiences as the setting of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes film). Whitechapel is a small neighborhood with an incredibly large and impoverished population, and plenty of seedy characters for Reid to go up against. Hit the jump for more on Ripper Street, as well as how the show deals with the infamous killer, and more.
The Whovian ranks seem to be growing steadily, as this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special episode “The Snowmen” brought in 1.4 million viewers for BBC America. While those numbers may not seem huge in the scheme of things, it’s quite a coup for the cable channel, and makes it the second most-watched episode in its history. The special went up 54 percent from last year overall, and up 60 percent among adults in the highly targeted 24-to-54 age demographic.
There’s plenty more in store for the series, which returns in April with the back half of its seventh season. For one, Jenna-Louise Coleman‘s character Clara looks to be a little more interesting than fans originally thought, as Matt Smith‘s Doctor’s new companion. Hit the jump for the trailer, as well as a few thoughts about the upcoming episodes (spoilers if you haven’t seen the Christmas Special!).
The BBC America drama series Copper – from Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson, Emmy-winner Tom Fontana and Academy Award-nominee Will Rokos – is set in 1864, at a time when disorder and mayhem were the law of the land, and New York City was filled with intrigue, corruption, mystery and murder. The show also stars Tom Weston-Jones (as Irish immigrant Detective Kevin Corcoran), Franka Potente, Anastasia Griffith, Kevin Ryan, Kyle Schmid, Ato Essandoh, Dylan Taylor, Kiara Glasco, Tanya Fischer and Tessa Thompson.
In this exclusive interview with Collider, co-stars Kevin Ryan (who plays Detective Francis Maguire, Detective Corcoran’s closet friend and partner in the Sixth Precinct), Kyle Schmid (who plays Robert Morehouse, a handsome Manhattan aristocrat) and Ato Essandoh (who plays Doctor Matthew Freeman, who secretly assists Corcoran with his work) talked about their audition process, how they got comfortable with this type of stylized dialogue, playing characters that live in the grey area, working on such realistic sets, and their favorite moments for their characters. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
BBC America’s new original series Copper seems an odd foray for a cable network built on rerunning some of the best programming from across the pond, though Copper is itself a bit of an amalgam of foreign and American interests (although in this case, Irish rather than British). It’s 1864 New York, and Irish immigrant police detective Kevin “Corky” Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones, MI-5) is exactly the type of ruggedly handsome, clever, morally complex hero with a tragic backstory you would expect to anchor such a work. And as of the first two episodes, Weston-Jones does an adequate job in charming viewers enough to take an interest in Corcoran as a protagonist and hero as he fights against (and occasionally participates in) a corrupt police force in a corrupt city.
Copper comes out of the box with violence and grit and doesn’t easily let up. It relishes portraying the slums of the kind of day where you could punch a man carrying the corpse of a dead child for interrupting you being pleasured (or about to be) by another child. There’s plenty of liquor, fighting and busty whores; this is a series for adults, and Copper doesn’t let it be forgotten. Though it could be compared to — and does borrow from — series covering roughly the same time period and themes (Hell on Wheels, Deadwood), it owes the most to Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, taking place just after the New York Draft Riots of 1863 which acted as the climax of that film, and in the same Five Points slum. But for more on why Copper may be worth a trip into the gutter, hit the jump.
The new comedy Friday Night Dinner, premiering tonight on BBC America, follows the Goodmans, a traditional but not strictly observant Jewish family whose weekly Friday night dinners see brothers Adam (Simon Bird) and Jonny (Tom Rosenthal) act like kids again, and Mom (Tamsin Greig) and Dad (Paul Ritter) are as embarrassing as they’ve always been. With grandma in a bikini and a creepy neighbor who’s terrified of his own dog, there is never a dull moment at the Goodman residence.
During a recent interview to promote the show’s premiere in the States, actor Simon Bird and show creator/producer/writer Robert Popper talked about how much of the series came from personal experience, the difference between American comedies about Jewish families versus this UK family, and how everyone can relate to having embarrassing parents. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
We’ve already journeyed into the historical Five Points neighborhood of New York City in Martin Scorsese’s fantastic film Gangs of New York, but now BBC America will venture even deeper in the same location and time with their first original scripted drama series called Copper. Tom Fantana (Oz) and Will Rokos (Southland) co-created the series with filmmaker Barry Levinson (Rain Man) and executive in charge of Mad Men, Christina Wayne, executive producing the series which follows a young Irish cop in the Five Points Irish neighborhood of New York City in the 1860’s where he must navigate the unruly and sometimes violent currents of his immigrant neighborhood, while simultaneously interacting with uptown Manhattan high society and the emerging black community in Harlem. Honestly it sounds like a series set in the heart of Scorsese’s film, and that sounds fantastic. Production will begin later this year and the series will premiere on BBC America next summer, so stay tuned as this project develops.
British housing officer turned writer Ben Richards has become known for his work on such television series as BBC’s MI-5, The Fixer and Party Animals. Now, he has created the sci-fi epic drama Outcasts, expected to air on BBC America in late 2010/early 2011, that will take viewers into a new world as it explores survival, politics, sex and the drive for power in a post-Earth era.
With Earth no longer habitable, a group of pioneers have traveled to the planet of Carpathia to begin again, giving its inhabitants a second chance to create a new and better future. Led by President Tate (Liam Cunningham) and his team – which includes Stella (Hermoine Norris), Cass (Daniel Mays) and Fleur (Amy Manson) – they’re determined to run the civilization in a democratic way, but quickly realize that may not be as possible as they’d hoped, especially with the arrival of the last known transporter, containing mysterious American Julius Berger (Eric Mabius) on board.
In this Collider exclusive interview with show creator Ben Richards, the writer talked about avoiding the pitfalls and cliches of sci-fi in creating this new world, filming in South Africa, and thinking ahead to future seasons and weaving threads into the story that will make that possible. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
In the BBC America crime drama Luther, premiering October 17th, actor Idris Elba plays John Luther, a brilliant detective tormented by the darker side of humanity. He looks into the hearts and minds of psychopaths and killers, in order to solve the cases that haunt the darkness of his own soul. In this six-part series, the self-destructive homicide detective meets hit match in the beautiful, near-genius psychopath, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), an intriguing young woman who forces him to question his own moral code as she pulls him toward the very edge of temptation.
During a recent interview, co-stars Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson talked about what makes their characters so intriguing, playing out the complex relationship between cop and murderer, and their hope for a second season. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
On the surface, a television series about a vampire (Aidan Turner), a werewolf (Russell Tovey) and a ghost (Lenora Crichlow) who all share a flat together sounds like something that would be more campy than anything. But, in its two seasons, the BBC drama Being Human – a witty and extraordinary look into the lives of three twenty-somethings and their secret double lives – has become a fan favorite and a cult sensation.
During a recent interview, co-stars Aidan Turner, Russell Tovey, Lenora Crichlow and Sinead Keenan talked about expanding the world in Season 2, hinted at the possibilities of Season 3 and revealed how lucky they feel to be a part of something that is so special to them. Check out what they had to say after the jump:
Being Human is a witty and dramatic look into the lives of three twenty-somethings and their secret double-lives, as a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost. They struggle to live normal lives that blend in with the human population, despite their strange and dark secrets.
After the death of vampire leader Herrick at the end of Season 1, the supernatural friends hoped that they could get on with their lives, but quickly learned that an even greater danger was lurking within the very human world of which they so desperately want to be a part. Religious zealots Professor Jaggat and her cold-hearted colleague Kemp have discovered the existence of vampires, werewolves and ghosts, and are determined to carry out brutal experiments and destroy them, with consequences that will be devastating to everyone.
Although Season 2 has not yet finished airing on BBC America, Season 3 is already well into production in the U.K. In a recent interview, creator/executive producer/writer Toby Whithouse talked about the intense emotions of Season 2, what can be expected in Season 3 and that the threat will come from within. He also discusses his thoughts on the American version that will be going into production soon. Check out what he had to say after the jump:
It’s a big day on the isle of Elba. You can check out Idris Elba (The Wire) in this newly released trailer for Takers, BBC America has committed to airing the UK psychological thriller Luther he headlines in the States, and the actor has signed on for the Showtime comedy The Big C. EW reports that Elba will appear in at least four episodes of C, which stars Laura Linney as a suburban mother diagnosed with cancer.
In Luther, Elba plays an “intellectually brilliant but emotionally impulsive murder detective.” The Neil Cross-created show will air on BBC America later this year. Hit the jump for the full press release.
BBC America has successfully bid back the right to air their parent company’s signature sci-fi series “Dr. Who”. The series will move from its American home on the Sci-fi Channel over to the BBC’s stateside representative beginning next month. The deal was announced by BBC America on Wednesday and includes the last five “Dr. Who” specials starring the most recent actor to inhabit the Doctor persona, David Tennant.
According to Variety the final five outings of Russell T. Davies’ incarnation of the venerable BBC series will begin airing on BBC America with “The Next Doctor” on June 27th at 9 pm. “Planet of the Dead” will follow in July with the dates for the final three specials yet to be scheduled.
The network, which is already airing the Davies spinoff “Torchwood”, has to be feeling a sense of satisfaction at this turn of events. The fact that BBC America launched sans the new “Dr. Who” has always seemed like an oversight to me. BBC America president Garth Ancier would seem to agree, saying today that – had he been in charge – “we wouldn’t have sold it, to be quite honest.” So thanks for all your hard work Sci-fi Channel – now suck it!