Trailer: The Mystery of Agatha Christie

David Suchet as PoirotThis isn’t technically an adaptation, but I think it’s probably of interest – David Suchet (Poirot) is hosting a documentary called The Mystery of Agatha Christie, “a journey to discover the woman behind some of literature’s most famous characters.” I’m sure it will cover her famous disappearance, but plenty of other parts of her life would also make good material – she was a nurse in World War I, and had all sorts of adventures with her second husband, an archaeologist – so I’m hoping they’ll spend some time on those periods of her life as well. The Mystery of Agatha Christie premieres on PBS on September 28th at 10:30/9:30c, which seems scandalously late for the PBS audience. (Including myself.) I think that means it’ll be following The Paradise and a Miss Marple episode.

The Hollow Crown: Richard II

The Hollow CrownThe Hollow Crown premiered on PBS on Friday night with Richard II, and honestly, it was even better than I’d expected, and I expected it to be good. Ben Whishaw was completely mesmerizing as Richard – he plays insane so very, very well. The cast had a surfeit of talent – Patrick Stewart, David Morrissey, James Purefoy, David Suchet, Rory Kinnear, Clemence Poesy, Tom Hughes, Lindsay Duncan, and more – and they all pulled this off beautifully. Shakespearean language on screen can sometimes seem artificial or stilted, but this absolutely did not; it was natural and full of meaning and emotion.

If you missed it, you can watch the whole episode right here:

The series continues this Friday with Henry IV, Part I.

PBS Sets Dates for The Hollow Crown & The Paradise

The Hollow CrownPBS announced its fall programming slate and premiere dates yesterday, and there are a few items of interest for us. First, The Hollow Crown, based on Shakespeare’s plays Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I & II, and Henry V, will finally make it to this side of the pond on Fridays from September 20th through October 11th. The cast includes a lot of great British actors, such as Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston, Ben Whishaw, Patrick Stewart, John Hurt, David Suchet, and Michelle Dockery. You can check out the BBC site for the show here.

And in October, Masterpiece Classic will premiere an adaptation of Emile Zola’s novel The Paradise, about “a young woman seduced by the dangerous charms of the modern world set against the Victorian splendor of a British department store.” It stars Joanna Vanderham. This also aired on the BBC last year, so you can learn more on their site.