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…

BBC
BBC

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

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Breathless Trailer: The Doctor Is In The House

“Your mail, Doctor.” — “I know I’m male, and what’s more I can prove it!”

ITV
ITV

ITV has unveiled a trailer for new six-part drama Breathless, and it looks pretty good so far.

Written by Casualty co-creator Paul Unwin, Breathless is set in the Gynaecology unit of a London hospital in 1961.

The drama reunites This Life alums Jack Davenport (Smash) and Natasha Little (Case Histories).

They’re joined by Shaun Dingwall (Doctor Who), Oliver Chris (Green Wing), Zoe Boyle (Downton Abbey), Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey), Catherine Steadman (The Tudors), Sarah Parish (Atlantis), Ronny Jhutti (Vexed) and Pippa Haywood (Mr Selfridge).

No sign of Donald Sinden so far (we can but hope), but Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) is front and centre as he continues his bid to wrest the “Hardest-Working Man in Show Business” crown from Benedict Cumberbatch.

[vimeo 75765245]

Breathless premieres Thursday 10 October at 9pm on ITV

Celebrity MasterChef 2013: Who’s Cooking?

Shine
Shine

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.”

@TVClaw

Doctor Who Returns: Bells of St John Premiere Date, Steven Moffat Talks Spoonheads

BBC
BBC

Hey, Whovians, have you heard? Just when you’ll be at the end of your giving-stuff-up-for-Lent tether, a tasty treat: Doctor Who is back on Saturday 30 March.

As if that wasn’t enough excitement, showrunner Steven Moffat promises that in the Series/Season Finale, “the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!”

Series/Season 7 picks up again with “The Bells of St John,” a modern-day thriller set in London. Penned by Moffat it features such landmarks as The Eye of Sauron Shard, The Gherkin and Westminster Bridge.

And intriguing new villains, The Spoonheads,  will make their debut battling the Doctor (Matt Smith) as he discovers that something sinister is lurking in the Wi-Fi.

The episode also officially marks the debut of the Doctor’s newest companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman). Yes, yes, she’s already popped up twice now, but this time Moffat’s promised that this time she’s here to stay. (Or, at least, here for the next eight episodes.)

The rest of Doctor Who Series/Season 7 will bring some familiar (evil) faces with a new twist, and boasts an impressive line-up of guest stars including Richard E. Grant, Warwick Davies, Celia Imrie and Dougray Scott. Plus, the first-ever on-screen pairing of Diana Rigg and her daughter Rachael Stirling.

Here’s the gossip straight from The Moff himself: “It’s the 50th year of Doctor Who and look what’s going on! We’re up in the sky and under the sea! We’re running round the rings of an alien world and then a haunted house. There’s new Cybermen, new Ice Warriors and a never before attempted journey to the centre of the TARDIS. And in the finale, the Doctor’s greatest secret will at last be revealed! If this wasn’t already our most exciting year it would be anyway!”

Excited, much?

In the UK: Doctor Who premieres Saturday, March 30, on BBC One

In the US: Doctor Who  premieres Saturday, March 30, 8pm ET on BBC America

Welcome Back, Jerome Flynn

BBC
BBC

Do comebacks get any better than this?

From Soldier Soldier to chart-topping pop moppet, to … where?

Once one of the biggest stars — and most famous vegetarians — on British television Jerome Flynn has largely been off-screen for nearly 15 years.

While his erstwhile pop partner Robson Green was carving out a high-profile career in dramas like Touching Evil and Wire in the Blood, Flynn just dropped off the television radar.

And then in 2011 Jerome quietly returned with a small but pivotal role in Game of Thrones. Barely recognisable as Simon Cowell’s blond cheeky chappie protégé who’d outsold Oasis in the mid-1990s, veteran sell-sword Bronn was wrinkly, gaunt, dark and bearded.

Flynn displays a deft touch as the grizzled mercenary, and the interplay between him and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) is a joy to watch. If there was an Emmy for best double-act, surely Flynn and Dinklage would be a shoo-in. They steal every scene they’re in — not easy when they’re competing against such a stellar cast.

Just when it looked like Flynn was easing himself back into things, he turned up as Sergeant Bennet Drake in Ripper Street. And he is brilliant. Over the space of the first few episodes Flynn has transformed Drake from shotgun-toting, menacing sidekick to vulnerable, traumatised survivor via a series of riveting, understated performances.

In Episode 5, “The Weight of One Man’s Heart,” Drake is almost undone by his feelings for prostitute Rose (Charlene McKenna) and his vengeful former commanding officer, Colonel Madoc Faulkner.

Played by Iain Glen (here’s hoping Ripper Street is now officially “what I did on my summer holidays” for Game of Thrones stars) with a maniacal glint in his eye, Faulkner stirred some of the demons hidden behind Drake’s hard man public persona. Flynn’s nuanced performance hinted at the inner torment that he was struggling to contain. Every piece of him seemed to be tightly clenched.

With Game of Thrones 3 imminent, and the news that Ripper Street has been commissioned for a second series/season, here’s hoping that the renaissance of Jerome Flynn continues apace. Memo to Simon Cowell: keep your mitts off.

In the UK: Ripper Street airs on Sundays, 9pm on BBC1. Game of Thrones Series 3 premieres Monday, 1 April at 9pm on SkyAtlantic.

In the US: Ripper Street airs on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America. Game of Thrones Season 3 premieres Sunday, March 31st on HBO.

Ripper Street Gets a Second Series

Get your tweed on: Ripper Street will be back for more in 2014!

BBC
BBC

The BBC has commissioned an eight-episode Series/Season 2 of the bawdy, violent drama, due to air on BBC 1 and BBC America in 2014.

Starring Matthew Macfadyen (Spooks/MI-5) as technology-loving, forward-thinking Inspector Albert Reid, steampunky Ripper Street is not your grandma’s period piece.

Created by writer Richard Warlow (Mistresses, Waking The Dead), Ripper Street is set in the East End of London in 1889, just after Jack the Ripper’s infamous unsolved murder spree. It follows the fortunes of Reid and his motley band of policemen and hangers-on at 72 Leman Street, E1. (My first ever job was in Leman Street. I wasn’t a copper though.)

Never seen it? In brief, think: Deadwood with cockneys. But it’s more than that. Ripper Street has been building momentum over the first series with its grim, warts and all depiction of life in Victorian London.

The drama boasts a great ensemble cast — special mention has to be made to Jerome Flynn — ably abetted by an excellent roster of guest stars such as Iain Glen (Ripper Street is “what I did on my summer holidays” for Game of Thrones stars), Lucy Cohu, Patrick Baladi and Hugh O’Connor.

Announcing Series/Season 2, BBC drama commissioning controller Ben Stephenson said: “Quality and ambition run through Ripper Street, from Richard Warlow’s original scripts, the incredible cast and the captivating direction. … All combine to create a period series with a modern and gripping edge.”

For his part, Warlow said: “I am enormously grateful to have been given the opportunity to return to ‘H’ Division once more and will be working tirelessly to ensure that those who have joined us each week will find ever more compelling crime-fighting thrills down on Ripper Street the second time around. The series will move forward into the 1890s: the death rattle of a century coming to a close, the labour pains of a modern world on the rise. It is this sense of climax and calamity that, week by week, our heroes will confront with conviction and heroism.”

In the UK: Ripper Street airs on Sundays, 9pm on BBC1

In the US: Ripper Street airs on Saturdays, 9pm ET on BBC America

SAG Awards 2013: Who Won?

blog_header_960Having been shut out of the acting categories at the 2013 NTAs, would Downton Abbey get some love at the SAG Awards?

Would the magnificent Game of Thrones cast win the only award it was nominated for? (Paging Eunice Huthart: ditch Angelina Jolie and head over to GoT.) Read on to see if you’re surprised by any of the recipients …

The SAG Awards 2013 Winners:

THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE
Argo
Ben Affleck
Alan Arkin
Kerry Bishé
Kyle Chandler
Rory Cochrane
Bryan Cranston
Christopher Denham
Tate Donovan
Clea DuVall
Victor Garber
John Goodman
Scoot McNairy
Chris Messina

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook!
Just kidding … it was Dan the Man Day-Lewis for Lincoln

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Tommy Lee-Jones, Lincoln

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

PRIMETIME TELEVISION

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES
Downton Abbey
Hugh Bonneville
Zoe Boyle
Laura Carmichael
Jim Carter
Brendan Coyle
Michelle Dockery
Jessica Brown Findlay
Siobhan Finneran
Joanne Froggatt
Iain Glen
Thomas Howes
Rob James-Collier
Allen Leech
Phyllis Logan
Elizabeth McGovern
Sophie McShera
Lesley Nicol
Amy Nuttall
David Robb
Maggie Smith
Dan Stevens
Penelope Wilton

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
Modern Family
Aubrey Anderson-Emmons
Julie Bowen
Ty Burrell
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Nolan Gould
Sarah Hyland
Ed O’Neill
Rico Rodriguez
Eric Stonestreet
Sofia Vergara
Ariel Winter

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Claire Danes, Homeland

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Tina Fey, 30 Rock

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Julianne Moore, Game Change

OUTSTANDING ACTION PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Skyfall

OUTSTANDING ACTION PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A TELEVISION SERIES
Game of Thrones

Follow me on Twitter: @TVClaw