costume dramas

Television This Winter: 20 Shows to Keep on Your Radar Screen

via The New York Times

Aldis Hodge, left, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell in the period drama “Underground” on WGN America.

‘UNDERGROUND’ (WGN America, March 9) After “12 Years a Slave,” television gets its own realistic period drama about slavery. Aldis Hodge (“Leverage”) stars as a blacksmith who organizes a group of slaves for an escape attempt along the Underground Railroad. Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“True Blood”) plays another escapee and Christopher Meloni appears as the obligatory sympathetic white man. The soap-opera elements and rock and hip-hop soundtrack could help make it a hit.

War & Peace; great, but has anyone read it? Not the cast of the new BBC production


War & Peace, which took more than two years to make and included filming in three countries, brings together a crop of the finest young acting talent to play characters whose lives are turned upside down by impact of Napoleonic expansionism on Tsarist Russia Photo: BBC  | via @Telegraph

New ‘Ivanhoe’ Adaptation

Irvine Welsh, Jon S. Baird Reteam To Adapt Walter Scott’s ‘Ivanhoe’

– Iconoclastic Scottish writer Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) and director Jon S. Baird(Filth) are re-teaming for a bold new adaptation of the classic Walter Scott adventure tale Ivanhoe.  Jens Meurer is producing through his Berlin-based Egoli Tossell Film banner. Meurer previously worked with Welsh and Baird on Filth, which is how this latest collaboration first sparked.

Basil Iwanyk and his company Thunder Road Pictures are also on-board as producers, along with Stuart Pollok , and Film House Germany’s Christian Angermayer.

Very much the standard bearer for the knight in shining armour genre, Ivanhoe follows the story of a worthy and noble knight who returns to England after the third Crusades. He fights to restore the good King Richard, believed to be held captive in an Austrian prison, and depose Richard’s wicked brother John.

Scott’s iconic romantic novel, first published in 1820, has been adapted numerous times for the big and small screen, memorably in 1952 with a cast that included Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders and Robert Taylor as Ivanhoe.  The book is also notable for having first introduced audiences to the character of Robin Hood, known here as Locksley, and his band of merry men.



Downton Abbey in hot water over bottle blooper | Television & radio |

Downton Abbey in hot water over bottle blooper | Television & radio |

Downton Abbey promotional picture for fifth series, with modern bottle of water on mantelpiece. Photograph: @downtonabbey/PA

A promotional picture for the new series of Downton Abbey caused an online sensation when a sharp-eyed fan of the show noticed the very modern bottle of water on the mantelpiece behind Hugh Bonneville and Laura Carmichael.

Downton Abbey in hot water over bottle blooper | Television & radio |

Summer in February Trailer

I’m writing like crazy today so I can reward myself with this tonight.

Summer in February – Official UK trailer – In Cinemas June 14 (by Metrodomefilm)

Edited to Add:

Gentle Reader,

This will destroy you—in the best of all possible ways. And that stunning score—which I listened to all afternoon to the point that I feared I might have ruined the film viewing—well, not a problem. It was so seamlessly woven into the fabric of the story that it merely swept me along with the drama, with an underlying mental note that I would return to crank up the volume and revel in it later.