Ripper Street Not Dead Yet?

Great news for Ripper Street fans: the drama could be back for a third series after all. But don’t put away your widow’s (t)weeds just yet…


According to The Guardian, Ripper Street production company Tiger Aspect is in talks with Amazon streaming service LOVEFiLM to secure a third series of the drama.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, LOVEFiLM would stump up most of the budget for Ripper Street Series/Season 3 in return for premiering it online in the UK. It would then air on BBC One shortly afterwards.

Should that actually happen, and should a third outing for Reid and the gang do well, then LOVEFilM would also have an option to commission a Series/Season 4.

Such a deal would be ground-breaking in the UK, but there is a precedent across the pond: cult fave (and subject of much lively fan agit-prop) Arrested Development was resurrected thanks to a co-production deal between Netflix and NBC.

A Tiger Aspect spokesman said, “The creative team have great vision and high ambition for future series of Ripper Street. It would of course be marvellous to find a route to make these plans reality.”

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC is looking at partnerships that could enable Ripper Street to return but at better value to licence fee payers.”

So there you have it. H Division could ride again. Stay tuned for updates!

Ripper Street is Cancelled


Ripper Street Is Cancelled

In news that will have even the most hard-hearted doxies, coiners and bludgers weeping into their hankies, it seems the time has come for Artherton to turn off the lights, lock up 72 Leman Street and post the keys back through the letterbox: The BBC has cancelled Ripper Street. (Sob!)


According to Jerome Flynn falling ratings were cited by the BBC axe wielder who cut off the bawdy drama in its prime. 

Flynn made the shock announcement during an interview on Simon Lederman’s BBC London show. Appearing on the show to promote Big Band Aid, Flynn stunned both Lederman and fans when he said, “sadly to say, and this might be the first mention of it publicly, but we found out this week that Ripper Street, that the third series of Ripper Street isn’t going [to happen] … We’re all in shock.”

He added, “It was up against I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and that’s been cited as one of the reasons in terms of viewing figures. … We’re all in absolute shock because it is a wonderful job and … it’s kind of unfinished work so we’re all hoping it will turn around. … It’s one of my most favourite jobs.”

Flynn said that the writers had mapped out some great storylines for Series 3. Shame we won’t get to see them.

As reported by MSN UK, a BBC spokeswoman confirmed the news, saying: “We are very proud of Ripper Street which has enjoyed two highly ambitious series on BBC One. However, the second series didn’t bring the audience we hoped and in order to make room for creative renewal and new ideas it won’t be returning.”

So there you have it. Schedule a creative, thought-provoking, tightly written ensemble drama with some of the best actors around up against a bunch of has-beens sitting around scratching their arses and occasionally eating arses, and what happens? More people watch the has-beens than the drama and so the drama is killed off.

That’s the way the TV industry works, kids. If Ripper Street had not been moved from its original Sunday night slot and been scheduled up against a ratings behemoth Series 2 may have attracted more viewers and thus survived. It may not have, of course, but now we’ll never know.

Welcome Back, Jerome Flynn

Ripper Street Gets a Second Series

The Game of Thrones Cast: Don’t I Know You From Somewhere?

BBC One Commissions Laurel and Hardy Biopic

“Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!”

laurel and hardyIt’s been announced that BBC One has teamed up with Harvey Weinstein for a Laurel and Hardy biopic.

Described as “an epic story about the world’s most famous comedy double-act,” Stan and Ollie is a BBC In-House Comedy/BBC Worldwide/Lookout Point co-production for BBC One. It will be exec-produced by Saurabh Kakkar for the BBC, Simon Vaughan for Lookout Point and Harvey Weinstein for The Weinstein Company.

Stan and Ollie will be written by the multi-award-winning Jeff Pope (Philomena, Mrs Biggs, Essex Boys).

Set in 1953, the 90-minute film focuses on Laurel and Hardy’s final, ill-fated, British tour. Intended to galvanize the comedy duo’s flagging career the tour started well but ended in tragedy when Hardy suffered a serious heart attack.

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, said, “Stan and Ollie is Jeff’s love letter to two pioneers and enduring giants of screen comedy. It beautifully captures the deep emotional bond forged over a lifelong partnership as they reflect on their roller-coaster careers through the prism of this final UK farewell tour.”

Lookout Point’s Simon Vaughan said: “This is the perfect BBC/Weinstein collaboration — a British drama with Hollywood DNA. Harvey’s talent relationships will help us bring this to the screen with huge ambition.”

No casting details have yet been revealed. Who do you think should play the iconic duo? How about Steve Coogan or John Culshaw for Stan Laurel? Jeff Garlin or Nathan Lane for Oliver Hardy?

Add your choices in Comments and let’s compile The TVClaw Stan and Ollie Casting Wishlist.


Atlantis And The Tomorrow People: Back To The ’70s
Come in number seven, your time is up (

“He’s the lone survivor of a lost civilization … thrust into ours!”

Okay, anyone hoping to see Mark Harris, a speedo-wearing webbed hottie “who is both human and a creature of the deep,” popping up in BBC One’s new drama Atlantis Saturday night will be sorely disappointed.

The replacement show for Merlin is not a remake of ’70s cult fave Man from Atlantis, so don’t tune in expecting to be amazed by Mark’s astonishing prowess at reading the newspaper underwater.

As casting director Andy Pryor tweeted, tongue firmly in cheek, “No Patrick Duffy but you can’t have everything.”

Not a pair of yellow swimming trunks in sight (BBC One)

Instead, this new drama concerns antediluvian Atlantis and boasts a killer cast (Mark Addy, Juliet Stevenson) battling their way through a mish-mash of  well-known myths and legends.

Apparently, the Minotaur used to take time out from chasing virgins through his Cretan Labyrinth to visit the other end of the Med. Who knew?

Meanwhile, fans chomping at the bit until the new Blake’s 7 reboot hits screens, can get a taste of yet another ’70s remake in the shape of The CW’s upcoming The Tomorrow People.

This season John and the gang will be mostly wearing sludge tones (
This season John and the gang will be mostly wearing sludge tones (

And there is great news for fans of the original.

Just as Ronald D. Moore’s Battlestar Galactica gave a tip of the hat to its predecessor by including Apollo Richard Hatch, TVGuide reports that The Tomorrow People will welcome back original star Nicholas Young (you know, the one who always looked like he should have been modelling knitting patterns) in a recurring guest spot.

Sadly, there’s been no word yet on whether Flintlock drummer Mike Holoway will also be back to quicken the hearts of his now-40-something fans.

Watch this space for updates. At the rate the ’70s are coming back, TVClaw wouldn’t be at all surprised if Pauline’s Quirkes made an appearance in the listings.

Check out the preview clip of The Tomorrow People and tell us what you think:

Atlantis premieres on BBC One in the UK, Saturday 28 September at 8.25pm

The Tomorrow People premieres in the US on The CW, Wednesday 16 October at 9pm ET

Doctor Who? BBC Reveals New Time Lord On Sunday

Catherine Lawson
Catherine Lawson

“The decision is made and the time has come to reveal who’s taking over the TARDIS. For the last of the Time Lords, the clock is striking twelve.”

Thus did Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat announce that the new Doctor will be unveiled to the world live on-air, Sunday 4 August.

It will be simulcast on BBC One in the UK, BBC America in the US and ABC in Australia.

According to a BBC press release, “The half-hour show will include live special guests, Doctors old and new, as well as companions and celebrity fans.”

By the end of the half hour white smoke will be billowing from the chimney of New Broadcasting House and Moffat will step out onto the balcony to declare, “HABEMUS MEDICUS!”

So, the all-important question is, who will play the Twelfth Doctor? Peter Capaldi may be the bookies’ favourite, but I’m not buying it.

Right now, in the absence of any hard evidence whatsoever, I’m going to speculate wildly and say: Tom Ellis.

No, the Miranda star didn’t make it onto the TVClaw Casting Wishlist, but his spooky drama pilot Gothica was passed over by ABC at the May upfronts and he seems to have cleared his other television commitments lately (something ex-EastEnders moppet Sean Maguire is rather grateful for).

Why Tom Ellis? He’s known (but not too well-known) to US audiences from his guest spots on Once Upon A Time, and his stint in short-lived BBC supernatural drama The Fades showed that he’s adept at playing roles other than eye candy. Diving into US pilot territory showed that he’s ambitious and keen to move out of Miranda‘s shadow. Plus, he’s Welsh so will obviously love filming back in Cardiff!

If not Ellis, then I’ll hedge my bets, go with the bookies’ picks and predict it will be one of: Daniel Rigby, Ben Daniels or Andrew Scott.

Am I right? Add your picks in Comments.

Stay tuned for updates!

Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor will air on BBC One, BBC America, ABC (Australia) on Sunday 4 August, 7pm BST

Check out the teaser trailer here.


Celebrity MasterChef 2013: Who’s Cooking?


It seems like John Torode and Gregg Wallace have only just put down their forks, but MasterChef is coming back.

The new Celebrity MasterChef line-up has just been announced, and it contains the usual random assortment of grannies’ favourites, sports stars and the odd “who he?”.

After a few years in the wilderness, airing first in the afternoons and then in the evenings on BBC Two,  Celebrity MasterChef  has been welcomed back into the BBC One prime time fold.

Battling it out three nights a week for six weeks will be: entertainer Les Dennis; actors John Thomson, Denise Black, Brian Capron and actor and musician Ade Edmondson; comedians Katy Brand and Shappi Khorsandi; TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff; triple jumper Phillips Idowu, cricketer Matthew Hoggard and boxer Joe Calzaghe; organic entrepreneur Jo Wood; singer Heidi Range, Mercury Award-winning rapper Speech Debelle and Boyzone’s Shane Lynch; and writer and broadcaster, Janet Street-Porter.

Executive producer for the BBC, Carla-Maria Lawson, says: “The return of Celebrity MasterChef to this BBC One peak time slot sees thrills and spills and some extraordinary cooking from our line-up of well known faces.  In this series, the contestants’ enthusiasm in their pursuit of the MasterChef trophy is palpable, often inspiring and sometimes very, very funny.”