Arthur & George is not your typical Sherlock Holmes story with a dashing detective and clear sense of the villain by the end of the first 60 minutes. This three part ITV series is yet another twist on the many adventures of the famous detective. Adapted from Julian Barnes’s novel, Arthur & George, it focuses on the only case that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle ever solved himself.
Barnes is an award-winning English author whose book has become the basis for the show. The adaptation is mostly faithful, but lacks the detailed stories of the two main men, Arthur and George. The show seems to give you the sense of who Arthur is, while George takes a backseat.
Martin Clunes (as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and Arsher Ali (as George Edalji) are the new faces of the Sherlock franchise. Besides the main actors, the show itself differs dramatically from the most recent popular adaptation of Sherlock produced by the BBC.
Instead of the modern day twist, the show refocuses on the author of the famous detective. In his lifetime, Conan Doyle was approached on numerous occasions to solve real life crimes, but the case of George Edalji was the first and last time he became a real life Sherlock Holmes.
Viewers are transported back in time to 1903 to solve the case of George Edalji and the Great Wyrley Rippings. The first episode explains how George was accused and later convicted of violently mutilating animals and threatening to attack a school, and after serving seven years in jail he’s out to prove his innocence. George isn’t out to seek revenge, only to clear his name and make sense of the judicial system that has convicted him. Arthur’s job, along with his servant Woody, is to clear George’s name or have theirs tarnished as well.
Viewers are left to decipher much on their own since there are no dramatic murders or quick calculating problem solving that unfolds on screen. They truly get to follow Arthur as he finds his way to the answers. In a sense, there is more of a connection with Arthur because though he is a clever man, one may see him as an equal rather than a superior. Often in other versions of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, Sherlock is built to solve mysteries like a superhuman. One can most often see this in the BBC version, with Sherlock being played by Benedict Cumberbatch.
It isn’t interesting in the beginning because the characters aren’t flashy and the crime committed isn’t outrageously horrifying. However, curiosity grows as the show unfolds. You find yourself starting to care about the characters and debating the innocence of George. Did he do it? Is Arthur clever enough or even capable enough to solve the crime? Or should he just stick to writing about his fake detective Sherlock Holmes?
For those who want to ease into the stories of Sherlock Holmes, this is a great way to begin. It is slowly paced enough to follow and Arthur & George will give you context to the world of Sherlock. Even for an avid Sherlock fan like myself, this show is of interest because I get to see real life events unfold on screen. Fiction has become reality. Viewers will be able to explore a side of Sherlock they have never seen and understand the man behind the detective.
Arthur & George will première on ITV Monday, March 2nd at 9 pm.
ITV has commissioned thirteen-part drama Beowulf, an epic re-imagining of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring heroes.
Created by James Dormer, Tim Haines and Katie Newman, this action-packed series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, a place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures.
Essentially, a western set in the Dark Ages of Britain’s mythic past, the story unfolds on a huge canvas, filmed amongst the breathtaking beauty of England’s North East.
The first episode sees Beowulf who, after spending many years wandering as a mercenary warrior, returns to Herot to pay his respects to the recently deceased Thane, Hrothgar – the man who raised him. But when Herot is attacked by the terrifying monster Grendl, Beowulf has no choice but to hunt it down, winning favour with Herot’s new female Thane, and the wider community, in the process.
And so begins a personal journey that sees this mighty and capable man slowly reconnect with the notion of family and home.
Beowulf is a series about courage, greed, betrayal, revenge, loyalty, power, man versus wilderness and, of course love. It is a series that explores the notion of good and evil, heroes and villians. However, beyond these wider political undercurrents and inner personal turmoils are the excitement, danger and sense of adventure that any great Western has. Epic fights, thrilling chases, raids, celebrations and battles are an essential part of the promise.
James Dormer (Strike Back, Wallander, Outcast) who will write and executive produce said:
“Hundreds of years ago our ancestors listened to the story of Beowulf because it was a great adventure story – it scared them, thrilled them, made them laugh and cry. But they also listened because they recognised themselves and their fears in it. By holding a mirror up to them this story helped define them and thus – us. So it’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to make it relevant again for a wide audience – to let them own it again. To let them see themselves in it.”
Stephen Mulhern is back as host for another series of ITV2’s hit show Britain’s Got More Talent, ready to unleash more acts, more mayhem and more backstage antics.
The sister show to ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, More Talent is like your annoying younger sibling, creating general mischief, asking questions which no-one else would dare and making everyone laugh.
Stephen will once more be bringing a playful, cheeky charm to proceedings as only he can. Getting close to the action with exclusive unseen acts and backstage interviews, Stephen will be meeting the weird, the wonderful and the funny!
Stephen will also be getting up close and personal with the judges – Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – asking them what they really think of the acts and each other. He’ll also be pitting Ant & Dec against one another with a series of ridiculous games to see who is the best.
Speaking ahead of the series, Stephen said: “I’m back again and I couldn’t be happier. Britain’s Got Talent is one of the best jobs there is; where else could you spend your day interviewing roller-skating twins, a man who plays a pork chop or listen to a rap song about chicken. Unbelievable!”
Britain’s Got More Talent returns to ITV 2 in Spring
The award-winning drama series Foyle’s War, starring Michael Kitchen, will air its final episode on Sunday 18 January 2015 at 8pm on ITV.
Writer and creater, Anthony Horowitz OBE, has penned the iconic Foyle’s last ever case, Elise, which sees award-winning actor, Michael Kitchen star as one of television’s favourite detectives, Christopher Foyle, Senior Intelligence Officer for the secret service, MI5, for the final time in this two-hour drama.
In the dramatic finale to the much loved series, Foyle must re-examine Hilda Pierce’s top secret role during the war within SOE (Special Operations Executive) following an assassination attempt on her life outside MI5. SOE French section sent many agents behind enemy lines and Foyle suspects the shooting may be connected to the hunt for a traitor within SOE called Plato who could have been behind the deaths of nine agents in France.
Anthony Horowitz first thought up the idea of Foyle’s War in 2000 and has scripted twenty-four two-hour films. Foyle’s War has travelled from the start of the war to Dunkirk, the Blitz, VE Day and the Cold War with secret intelligence, Soviet spies and the atomic bomb. Along with the murders and mysteries, Foyle’s War has explored many remarkable stories including the quiet heroism of the SOE, the genius and original thinking of the men and women behind the bouncing bomb, the development of plastic surgery and the invention of radar.
Anthony Horowitz said: “It feels a terrible wrench to say goodbye to characters I’ve lived with for more than fifteen years. But the truth is that I’m not sure there are any more stories to tell and anyway it was always my intention to end on a high note and I think this year’s episodes are the very best we’ve done.
“I’m proud of what we’ve achieved with Foyle’s War and I’m very grateful to the audience that has stayed with us for so long. I’ve had a good war.”
Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s literary masterpiece will star Paul Dano (12 Years A Slave, Prisoners, There Will Be Blood), Lily James (Cinderella, Downton Abbey) and James Norton (Happy Valley, Belle, Grantchester), it is announced today.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest novels of all time, War And Peace will be told over six one hour episodes. Director Tom Harper (The Scouting Book For Boys, Peaky Blinders, Woman In Black: Angel Of Death) will bring this classic to life for a modern audience on a truly epic scale in what Davies calls “a thrilling, funny and heartbreaking story of love, war and family life”.
James Norton says: “I’m thrilled to be entrusted with Andrei in this exciting adaptation. It’s a privilege to bring to life one of Tolstoy’s wonderfully rich and conflicted characters. And to get to work alongside talents such as Tom Harper, Andrew Davies, Lily James and Paul Dano is very exciting – I can’t wait to get started.”
Paul Dano will star as Pierre Bezukhov, Lily James as Natasha Rostova and James Norton as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky. Also heading up the rich cast of characters are Stephen Rea (An Honourable Woman, The Shadow Line) as Prince Vassily Kuragin, Ade Edmondson (Prey, Blood) and Greta Scacchi (The Falling, Brideshead Revisited) as Count and Countess Rostov; as well as Jack Lowden (The Passing Bells, The Tunnel) as Nikolai Rostov, Tom Burke (The Musketeers, The Hour) as Dolokhov and Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, Good Cop) as Sonya.
Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman and Executive Producer for The Weinstein Company says: “I fell in love with Tolstoy’s War and Peace as a teenager when I read it for the first time. Putting an epic, iconic story like War and Peace on screen with a cast of this calibre is an incredible thrill. Lily, Paul, and James are all amazingly talented actors and it takes their level of talent to capture the scale of Tolstoy’s words. We are excited to get underway with Andrew Davies and the phenomenal team at BBC.”
The new, fifth season of Sky Atlantic’s Game of Thrones will premiere on the channel on Monday 13 April at 9pm, the day after it returns in the US.
Based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honour and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years.
Members of the ensemble cast for the fourth season included Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Natalie Dormer, Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner. Executive producers, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin.
Tom Bateman (Da Vinci’s Demons, The Tunnel), Richard E Grant (Downton Abbey, Dr Who) and Natalie Gumede (Coronation Street, Death In Paradise) join forces to star in Jekyll & Hyde.
From an idea conceived by acclaimed novelist Charlie Higson, the action and fantasy series has been inspired by The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and My Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Higson has written and will executive produce the drama which exudes mystery, fantasy, horror and sci-fi.
Set in 1930’s London at a time of Hollywood glamour, aerodynamic cars and monster movies, the drama will pay homage to the Stevenson novel, and focus on the young, attractive, troubled hero, Robert Jekyll, the grandson of the original doctor.
At the heart of the drama is Robert Jekyll’s quest to discover his real identity, his true family history and the nature of his ‘curse’. Jekyll transforms into Hyde in moments of extreme anger, stress and when his or the lives of others are threatened.
In the opening episode Jekyll is a newly qualified doctor living with his foster parents in Ceylon. He knows nothing of his family history or his inherited condition, which his foster father, Dr Vishal Najaran, is controlling with medication. The drama follows his path to discovery, which coincides with the transformative powers of his condition growing stronger and more disruptive. His journey will take him into a dark and unforgiving place, as his alter ego seems capable of anything. At the same time there are shadowy forces trying to find Jekyll and the source of his powers.
Further cast includes Stephanie Hyam (Murdered By My Boyfriend), Donald Sumpter (Game Of Thrones, Being Human), Amit Shah (The Smoke, Hustle), Phil McKee (Ripper Street, Dracula), Christian McKay (Rush, Theory of Everything), Ruby Bentall (Lark Rise to Candleford, The Paradise), Enzo Cilenti (Game of Thrones), Lolita Chakrabarti (The Smoke, Death in Paradise), Michael Karim (Inspector Lewis) and Ace Bhatti (Silk, Eastenders).
Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams are returning to the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel as the nation’s favourite talent show is back for another action packed series. Hosts Ant & Dec are also back to guide the audience through the weird, wacky and wonderful talents auditioning.
In their hunt for the best talent around the judges will set off on tour from the 19 January, kicking off in Edinburgh at The Festival Theatre. The action then continues in Manchester at The Lowry (29-31 January), Birmingham at The Hippodrome (5-7 February) and London at The Dominion Theatre (11-15 February), as performers try to impress and avoid the dreaded buzzers. Meanwhile each judge will be choosing the act that astounds them the most to send straight through to the live semi-finals, with the return of the Golden Buzzer. The show hits screens on ITV this Spring.
Simon Cowell, said:
‘I’m really looking forward to starting auditions on Britain’s Got Talent next week. I feel very confident in my role as a judge on the show and I look forward to hopefully finding a star. Amanda is so much fun to work with and has great instincts. Alesha has proved to be a brilliant judge, has an amazing eye for talent and is a pleasure to be around. And, then there’s David…’
Legendary dancer Michael Flatley is back on the West End stage with his most spectacular show to date.
An epic new staging of his original masterpiece, Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games, features a cast including James Keegan, Morgan Comer and Mathew Smith as the “Lords of the Dance”, and former world champion acrobatic gymnast Alice Upcott as “The Little Spirit”. Chart-topper Nadine Coyle (Girls Aloud) lends her voice to the show’s signature tune, playing the role of The Goddess Erin, as part of an new score from Ger Fahy.
One of the fastest selling West End theatrical productions of the year; Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games had its World Premiere at the legendary London Palladium with an exclusive 8 week limited run starting on 1 September 2014 before gracing Wembley Arena and touring more than 200 venues across 15 countries over the next 18 months.
Michael Flatley’s Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games Blu-ray DVD and Digital Download on 24th November.
See Countryfile as you have never seen before in this feature-length special which sees the Countryfile team traverse the breathtaking landscape of the United Kingdom showcasing each of our beautiful seasons.
Helen Skelton is in the Lake District, enjoying some of her favourite childhood activities, Ellie Harrison gets to grips with managing her Cotswold orchard, Adam Henson is on his farm in the throes of the harvest season, Matt Baker nets a Spring catch in Southport and John Craven is on the summer seas, hoping for a glimpse of one of our most mysterious marine creatures.
Countryfile: A Celebration of the Seasons is released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD on 24 November 2014