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August 30, 2015

New PBS Masterpiece Fall Dramas Coming Soon

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 10th 2010 9:15AM

The stars of 'Sherlock'Although there's a conspicuous absence of both corsets and Dame Judi Dench, PBS Masterpiece fans are still in for a treat this fall with a new crop of dramas from across the pond.

As reported in deadline.com, PBS has announced that the fall season will open Sun. Oct. 3 with 'Wallander.' This BBC adaptation of the bestselling Henning Mankell novels stars Kenneth Branagh as gloomy Swedish detective Kurt Wallander. Although this second season is darker in tone than the first, and Branagh was memorably described by one critic as "having the permanent mien of a recently slaughtered halibut," it won rave reviews and good ratings in the U.K.

The much-hyped 'Sherlock' follows, premiering Sun. Oct. 24. This modern-day reboot of the 'Sherlock Holmes' novels was a summer hit in the U.K. and has already been renewed for a second season. Created by Steven Moffat ('Doctor Who') and Mark Gatiss ('The League of Gentlemen') it stars up-and-comer Benedict Cumberbatch ('Atonement') as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman ('Love Actually') as Dr. Watson.

In November Trevor Eve ('Waking the Dead') stars in 'Framed' (Sun., Nov. 14), a gentle comedy that follows the clash of cultures that ensues after a curator at London's National Gallery has to move the entire art collection to rural Wales after disastrous flooding. A review in 'The Times' of London described it as being "so warm-hearted and well-intentioned that you'd have to work hard to dislike it."

The final offering from PBS has had a much more mixed reception in the U.K. 'Lennon Naked' stars Christopher Eccleston ('Doctor Who,' 'G.I.Joe') as the 30-year-old John Lennon. The drama examines Lennon's relationship with his drunken absentee father in the light of his own role as an absentee father to his elder son Julian. Critics in the U.K. said that the 46-year-old Eccleston was too old for the role, with one even going so far as to label him "disastrous." Viewers in the U.S. will get to make up their own minds about it when 'Lennon Naked' airs Sun. Nov. 21.

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"Lennon Naked" received a number of good reviews in the UK, and good ratings. Eccleston is one of Britain's finest actors. The storyline is brief snapshot of Lennon's life with Yoko and centers around the concept of fatherhood.

September 10 2010 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sunday is 24th though, so I went to check with PBS website and verify it.


September 10 2010 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sherlock is awesome, its just sad that its going to be on PBS and relabeled as Masterpiece Theater. I think if it was on basic cable (as a series of movies ala the Hornblower movies on A&E) and advertised properly it could spell decent ratings.

September 10 2010 at 11:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Kevin's comment
Craig Ranapia

Masterpiece Theatre has consistently shown British mysteries that networks (and basic cable) had no interest in because of the short runs and (often) movie-length formats. Why wouldn't BBC Worldwide place 'Sherlock' with a broadcaster that has a proven track-record with their mystery series?

September 11 2010 at 8:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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