Binge-Worthy British Broadcasts
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Summer is quickly approaching, and with that comes time to try out new television shows. For those tired of American drama, here are some exciting new shows from across the pond!
Peter Capaldi (Paddington, World War Z) returns to BBC America this Sunday, April 15, for his last season as the 1200+ year old Doctor from Gallifrey. With the exception of the 2016 Christmas special The Return of Doctor Mysterioso, Doctor Who has been on a year-long hiatus. Capaldi will be joined companions Matt Lucas (Little Britain) as Nardole, who first appeared in The Husbands of River Song in 2015, and newcomer Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts. BBC announced that John Simm will be returning as the Master, and will face off with his future-self Missy, played by Michelle Gomez (Green Wing). The Doctor will continue to battle the Daleks and the Cybermen and new foes such as the Emojibots, and a villain played by David Suchet (Poirot). This will also be Stephen Moffat’s last season as showrunner. Seasons 1-9 of the rebooted series are available to binge on Amazon Prime, and new episodes will be on BBC America’s website as they air.
Her run of saving the Doctor over, Jenna Coleman moved on to ruling the British Empire, currently portraying Queen Victoria during her early years on the throne. For those wishing for more Netflix’s The Crown–like shows will enjoy ITV’s arguably better Victoria, where Coleman is joined by Rufus Sewell (Man in the High Castle) as Lord Melbourne and Tom Hughes (About Time) as Prince Albert.
The first season follows Victoria through her rise to the throne as an 18 year old, her fraught relationship with her mother, her passionate love affair with her husband Albert, and the birth of her first child, all while trying to securely and confidently lead the British people as their young queen. Following the trend of Downton Abbey, viewers also see a lot of “downstairs” drama amongst those that serve Queen Victoria in the palace.
Voracious readers may want to check out the new Brontë-centered drama To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters. Starring Finn Atkins as Charlotte, Chloe Pirrie as Emily, and Charlie Murphy as Anne, the movie addresses years when these women wrote their most famous works. They are joined by Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean series) as Reverend Brontë, and Adam Nagaitis as Branwell, their brother. The movie is based off of letters that Charlotte wrote.
Set along the stunning Cornish coast of England, Poldark tells the story of Ross Poldark, who upon returning home defeated from the Revolutionary War, finds his father dead, his love engaged to his cousin, and his estate in ruins. Starring Aiden Turner (Hobbit trilogy) as Ross, Heida Reed as old flame Elizabeth, and Eleanor Tomlinson (Jack the Giant Slayer) as unique country girl Demelza, the show follows Ross through his marriage and attempts to bring his father’s farm to solvency. The first season is available on Amazon Prime, with the third set to start airing in late summer. If long instrumental segments of brooding men staring out over dramatic ocean cliffs sounds appealing, this show does not disappoint!
Dark and Grisly
A far cry from her stint as sweet Anna in Downton Abbey, Joanne Froggatt stars in Dark Angel as England’s first female serial killer. According to Neil Armstrong of The Telegraph, in the late 1800’s, Mary Ann Cotton killed as many as twenty people via poison over a twenty year period. Her victims included her mother, some of her children, and her husbands. This two part drama will air on May 21st on PBS.
David Tennant, most known for his role as the Tenth Doctor, plays a small-town detective Alec Hardy in Broadchurch. The three seasons of the drama center around the murder of a young boy in the small coastal community of Dorset. Tennant is joined by Olivia Coleman (The Lobster) as fellow detective Ellie Miller. Doctor Who fans will also recognize Arthur Darvill in his smaller role as Reverend Paul Coates. The first two seasons of the show are available on Netflix, the show currently in its third season.
Finally, it was announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will be returning to television in The Child in Time, a co-production of BBC and Masterpiece. Based on a book by Ian McEwan (Atonement), the film will follow Cumberbatch as Stephen Lewis, who struggles with his wife after the death of their child. No release date or supporting actors have yet been announced.