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September 20, 2014

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'Upstairs Downstairs' Star Jean Marsh Suffers Stroke, Will Miss Filming

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 3rd 2011 8:00AM
Jean MarshMore drama offscreen at the rebooted PBS drama 'Upstairs Downstairs.' It's been announced that star and co-creator Jean Marsh will miss the first few episodes of Season 2 due to illness.

The BBC reports that Marsh has suffered a minor stroke and that scripts are being rewritten to accommodate her absence before filming starts next week.

Marsh, who plays maid Rose Buck, is the only cast member from the 1970s original series to appear in the rebooted version. She won Emmy nominations for her work in the role in 2011, 1974 and 1976, winning the award in 1975.

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Hope, Famous TV Bear, Killed by Hunter in Minnesota

by Alex Moaba, posted Sep 29th 2011 1:00PM
Sad news for animal lovers: Hope, a black bear cub whose early life was chronicled in the BBC documentary 'The Bear Family and Me' and Animal Planet's 'Bearwalker of the Northwoods' has been killed by a hunter in Minnesota, according to a report in the BBC.

Hope's birth had been broadcast over the Internet by biologist Lynn Rogers. Later, wildlife filmmaker Gordon Buchanan filmed Hope as she was separated from and eventually reunited with her mother Lily.

It is believed that Hope was shot and killed in an area of Minnesota where hunting bears is legal. Hunters are discouraged from shooting bears who are wearing tracking collars, but Hope was the only member of her family not to be wearing one.

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Alex Kingston Joins 'Upstairs Downstairs'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 26th 2011 5:15AM
Alex KingstonThe runaway success of 'Downton Abbey' has led to big shakeups at rival PBS period drama, the rebooted 'Upstairs Downstairs.'

Following news that co-creator Eileen Atkins has quit the series, comes the announcement that 'ER' and 'Doctor Who' star Alex Kingston has signed on for a major role in the upcoming season.

The BBC announced that Kingston will play the younger sister of Atkins' character, Lady Holland, the racy-sounding archaeologist Blanche Mottershead.

"I simply couldn't resist the opportunity to get inside the iconic 165 Eaton Place," said Kingston, adding that Blanche is "a wonderfully, intriguing character ... who will over time reveal some secrets of her own."

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Production Gets Underway on the 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 21st 2011 8:30AM
'Doctor Who'Great news for 'Doctor Who' fans! Details of this year's Christmas Special have been unwrapped.

The BBC has announced that production is underway on the annual staple of the festive season, and it's expected to film until mid-October.

Matt Smith's second Christmas special as the Doctor will find him embarking on an adventure in war-torn England with a widow and her two young children.

He will be joined by guest stars Claire Skinner ('Outnumbered'), Bill Bailey ('Black Books'), Arabella Weir ('The Fast Show') and Alexander Armstrong ('Armstrong & Miller').

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Cast Announced for New PBS Masterpiece Drama, 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 5th 2011 1:00PM
Masterpiece logoIt's been announced that Masterpiece on PBS is set to mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth by producing an ambitious two-part drama based on his final, unfinished novel.

Described as "a strange, disturbing and modern tale about drugs, stalking and darkness visible," 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' is a is a psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster's obsession with a young woman, and the lengths to which he'll go to attain her.

Matthew Rhys ('Brothers & Sisters') has signed on to play the troubled, opium-addicted choirmaster John Jasper, with Tamzin Merchant ('The Tudors') playing the object of his affections, 17-year old Roza Bud.

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'Doctor Who': 'Let's Kill Hitler' Prequel Clip (VIDEO)

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 15th 2011 2:30PM
Doctor WhoThe wait is almost over! 'Doctor Who' returns with new episodes on Aug. 27, but to tide you over, BBC has released a new prequel clip to 'Let's Kill Hitler.'

Spoiler warning!

In the clip below, set between 'A Good Man Goes to War' and 'Let's Kill Hitler,' Amy Pond calls the TARDIS and leaves the Doctor a message on the answering machine -- yes, the TARDIS has an answering machine -- hoping to get some information on her missing baby.

The prequel clip was written by 'Doctor Who' showrunner Steven Moffat. He also penned 'A Good Man Goes to War' and the anticipated 'Let's Kill Hitler' episode.

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The BBC Cancels 'MI-5'

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 11th 2011 6:00AM
'MI-5'It's the end of the road for Harry Pearce and the gang. It's been announced that stylish spy drama 'MI-5' -- a.k.a. 'Spooks' -- will bow out at the end of the upcoming Season 10, which is due to air in the UK later this year.

In a press release, the BBC said that 'MI-5' "has been famous for killing off its much-loved characters in their prime, and now the series itself is going to be killed off at the top of its game."

Jane Featherstone, Chief Executive, Kudos Films & Television, the makers of 'MI-5,' said "It's hard to believe that as 'Spooks' enters its tenth series, the world prepares to face the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities. It feels like now is the time for 'Spooks' to bow out and make way for new spy dramas which reflect the changing world around us."

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'Torchwood' Returns With Immortality for Everyone Except Captain Jack (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 11th 2011 1:13AM
'Torchwood: Miracle Day' - 'The New World'After a two-year hiatus, another global incident means it's time to reassemble 'Torchwood' (Fri., 10PM ET on Starz) to figure out what's going on. This time, it looks like the gang is being forcibly relocated to the United States by a dead man.

But then again, that's the problem. 'Miracle Day' is the subtitle of this series of 'Torchwood.' Where 'Children of Earth' had every child on the planet impacted, this one affects every living person. And every living person is every person on the planet ... no matter what.

No one is dying, even the people who should be dying, including our friend who surrounds Gwen, Jack and Rhys at the close of this premiere. There's some strange connection to Torchwood and this global crisis.

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'Doctor Who' Star Matt Smith Returning for Season 7

by Chris Harnick, posted Jun 7th 2011 5:30PM
Doctor Who'Doctor Who' will be back for a seventh season, with current Time Lord Matt Smith in tow. The Guardian confirmed the news.

The series has been picked up for 14 new episodes despite rumors indicating no new episodes -- just four specials -- would air in 2012.

A "good chunk" of the new episodes will air in 2012, the BBC said.

"The new commission is a big commitment, not many other shows have such a commitment so far in advance," a BBC spokesman told the Guardian. "We do not know yet how many will air in 2012."

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Torchwood' Creator Russell T Davies on Captain Jack's Dangerous Secret and Much More

by Maureen Ryan, posted Jun 6th 2011 2:45PM
Some writers tinker around the edges with their shows, but Russell T Davies, the creator of 'Torchwood,' is not one to play it safe. For the acclaimed 'Torchwood: Children of Earth,' which aired in 2009, Davies redesigned the sci-fi thriller as a short-run miniseries to make it more accessible to newcomers. It worked: The propulsive 'Children of Earth' was a hit for the BBC worldwide.

This season, the drama will change networks in the U.S. -- it debuts on Starz July 8 -- and creatively speaking, Davies is not letting 'Torchwood' rest on its laurels. In the interview below, Davies speaks in depth about the changes he'll unveil in 'Torchwood: Miracle Day,' which stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Lauren Ambrose and Bill Pullman.

There's a doozy of a surprise involving Captain Jack Harkness, but don't worry, I've put that very spoilery stuff at the end of the interview, in case you don't want to see it. If you've never seen 'Torchwood' but want to know more about the show, or if you're a fan of past seasons, it's safe to read on.

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'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 6 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted Jun 6th 2011 2:25PM
doctor who the almost people['Doctor Who' –'The Almost People']

It sure was nice to see all of this "Flesh" and "Gangers" business finally lead to something truly shocking and intriguing for our time-traveling TARDIS crew on the latest 'Doctor Who.' Now -- for those of us who didn't skip ahead, of course -- begins the longest week ever: The wait for the eagerly anticipated 'Doctor Who' mid-season finale, 'A Good Man Goes to War.' Can. Not. Wait! Torrents. So. Tempting! Damn you, Memorial Day weekend!

OK ... where were we now? Oh, yes, 'The Almost People.' Right. Let's get to it then ...

The latest 'Doctor Who' double-episode arc began with a fun and insane gothic horror creepfest, 'The Rebel Flesh,' and things only got creepier and "more insanerer" with 'The Almost People.' This week's episode offered more horror and suspense -- and more disturbing questions about human perception and identity -- before delivering a brain-rattling freak-out of an ending. I mean, did you see what happened!? It was just so ... barmy!

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Ray Winstone to Star in 'Great Expectations' for PBS

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 31st 2011 7:55AM
Ray WinstoneIt's been announced that Ray Winstone ('Sexy Beast,' 'The Departed') has signed on to star in a new TV version of Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations.'

The three-part miniseries is a BBC/PBS Masterpiece co-production, and filming's slated to start in London in July. Producers describe it as "Part thriller, part mystery, with a powerful love story at its heart and Dickens' trademark wit and characterisation throughout.

Winstone will play the pivotal character of Abel Magwitch: "'Great Expectations' is my favourite novel, and I'm thrilled to be playing Magwitch. I've wanted to play him for ages ... and I can't wait to get stuck in."

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'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 5 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 22nd 2011 6:30PM
doctor who s06e05['Doctor Who' – 'The Rebel Flesh']

There's nothing quite like a good 'Doctor Who' creepfest to punch up a humdrum Saturday night. This week's episode was much darker and spookier than last week's zippy Neil Gaiman-penned hour, and, dare I say, 'The Rebel Flesh' was the best episode since the epic two-part series six opener.

I'm aware that many of you fell truly, madly, and deeply for 'The Doctor's Wife,' but Gaimain's 'Who' entry, while great fun and ambitious, felt a bit lacking in emotion and bite. I enjoyed that episode, especially the scene with The Doctor flying around in an open-air Tardis, but 'Flesh,' with its gothic elements and crackling combination of sci-fi and horror, was more engaging, and it played more into my wheelhouse (I'm a big fan of gothic horror and sci-fi movies).

This was scribe Matthew Graham's second 'Who' episode, and it easily topped his 2006 suburban-set offering 'Fear Her.' Like 'Fear Her,' 'Flesh' was loaded with mystery and scenes of terror and suspense, but this ep offered a full-on macabre nightmare scenario that raised some interesting questions about identity and ownership.

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'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 3 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 8th 2011 10:10AM
doctor who s06e03['Doctor Who' – 'The Curse of the Black Spot']

The Doctor set sail on a limey, low-budget adventure on this week's episode of 'Doctor Who.'

'Curse of the Black Spot,' while funny and genuinely rousing in places, felt like a letdown coming after the epic and cinematic two-part series six opener.

But, to be fair, almost anything that followed that brilliant, brain-searing opening arc was gonna feel like a letdown. Still, pirates? Yeah, OK ...

The Doctor and his companions landed on a 17th century pirate ship after the TARDIS picked up a distress call. Armed with his wits and trusty sonic, our man with the bow tie went up against a glowing sea siren, or, as he dubbed her, "a stroppy, homicidal mermaid trying to kill all!"

It was fun trying to figure out the mystery of the creepy siren/mermaid/demon thingy, but the most amusing thing about 'Black Spot' was watching The Doctor locked in a mini power struggle with Captain Henry Avery (guest player Hugh Bonneville).

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'Doctor Who' Season 6, Episode 2 Recap

by Mike Moody, posted May 1st 2011 4:30PM
doctor who day of the moon['Doctor Who' – 'Day of the Moon']

Last week's 'Doctor Who' series 6 premiere left us with a million questions, and this week's conclusion left us with a million more! Brain...melting! Confusion...winning! What. Is. Happening!?

Steven Moffat and crew hurled us straight into the deep end after leaving our heads spinning with the first half of this thrilling two-part adventure. We landed right in the middle of the story, three months after we witnessed Amy shooting the little girl in the space suit and revealing her pregnancy to The Doctor.

Amy, Rory and River Song were desperate and running from both The Silence and from Canton Delaware and his gun-toting G-men. Their bodies were covered with 'Memento'-ish marks and, of yeah, they all died in the first act. Died! Shocking, right? Sure, but not as shocking as the image of The Doctor sporting a wild Sam Beam beard.

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