Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Ripper Street, Parade's End, Mr. Selfridge and more
Any fans of Matthew Macfadyen out there? You may want to check out Ripper Street, a BBC production coming to BBC America this Saturday January 19th at 9 pm. Called CSI Victorian London by The Telegraph, this is apparently a fairly gory but interesting and well produced crime drama, which just happens to be set in the 1880s.
There seem to be mixed reviews on this one. Some are really loving it, others are not so impressed. It is airing on Sunday nights in the UK right now and Mr. Selfridge, the much lighter-hearted story of the great retailer (ITV and Andrew Davies) is beating it out in ratings for the after Sunday dinner crowd. Any Brits out there who can weigh in on Ripper Street?
Parade's End, which airs on HBO on Tuesday February 26th is another one which is hard to make out. There are fabulous reviews and others ones which are lukewarm. Sumptuously filmed by the BBC, this adaptation of a classic English novel about the Great War may draw a few of us viewers just to see the gorgeous chameleon Benedict Cumberbatch. Apparently his fans in America (The Cumberbitches) will be thrilled. It is also packed with other stars such as Rebecca Hall, Rupert Everett, Miranda Richardson, Rufus Sewell, etc, etc. Too many to list!
I caught a snatch of this on YouTube before it was yanked and I liked it. However one viewer called it Parade Never Ends, so perhaps it drags toward the end. Again, anyone seen this and like to weigh in?
I am going to stick my neck out and predict that Mr. Selfridge, an ITV production written by the wonderful Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice, Bleak House, Sense and Sensibility) will be a little more universally appealing than the previous two offerings. Described as Downton in a department store, this one follows Harry Selfridge (Jeremy Piven) "The Showman Behind the Retail Empire" of Selfridges.
This one airs on PBS in March in 10 episodes (!!!) so all of a sudden, the winter looks shorter to me. Lots to look forward to.
The Bletchley Circle doesn't air until April 21 on PBS, but this story of 4 former code cracking ladies from Bletchley Park who find post-war Britain very dull and so move into solving a murder sounds like fun. Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House and Becoming Jane) is always wonderful to watch. We get the second season of Call the Midwife around the same time in the spring as well.
Not a period drama (but truly my cup of tea), Quartet is a light dramedy about the residents of a "retirement castle" (it is truly sumptuous) for classical musicians. The entire supporting cast are actually talented retirees and the stars are some of the best "experienced" actors that Britain has to offer. Dustin Hoffman directed this one and apparently had his hands full keeping Maggie Smith in line. I will be seeing this soon and will post a review.
Anyhow, there you have a sneak peek at some coming attractions. Anything else you are looking forward to that I neglected to mention? Or opinions on the above? Please comment below. We ALL want to hear from ALL of you!