Grantchester: The Making of Season 2

Missing Grantchester already? Here’s a fun behind-the-scenes look at season two, featuring stars Robson Green, James Norton, and Tessa Peake-Jones, EP Diederick Santer, writer Daisy Coulam, dog handler Sandra Pearson, and more. They talk the Dickens’s stunt double, the atmosphere on set, and, well: “It’s like three puppy dogs, not just one.” Aww.

Belated TV Recommendation: War & Peace

War & PeaceLifetime and some of its affiliate networks aired the new BBC War & Peace miniseries early this year, and I finally had a chance to finish watching it last weekend. So I am here to tell you very tardily that you should catch it on demand immediately – here, at least, it expires in a few days – because it was just a delight. I’ve never read the novel, but this left me thinking “I can’t wait to read this book!” which is certainly a good thing for an adaptation to accomplish.

The story is, of course, sweeping and epic and so, so soapy, with all sorts of crazy interpersonal drama laid over an examination of aristocracy and social class in czarist Russia as well as, of course, Napoleon’s invasion. (Watching it made me want to read non-fiction about the time period as well as the novel itself, actually. I love TV that makes me want to read lots of things!) The cast is great – James Norton, Paul Dano, Lily James, Jim Broadbent, and many more – and the scenery and sets and costumes are all breathtaking. It’s just a highly satisfying piece of television.

Here’s the BBC trailer for the miniseries:

Anyone else watch it? Did you like it as much as I did?

War & Peace Casts Gillian Anderson & More

Gillian AndersonThe Weinstein Company’s War and Peace miniseries, directed by Tom Harper, keeps adding exciting people to the cast: Gillian Anderson! Joe Broadbent! Rebecca Front! Aneurin Barnard! Tuppence Middleton! The cast already included Lily James, James Norton (hi Sidney Chambers!), Stephen Rea, and more, so this is shaping up to be quite the star-studded adaptation. I’m pretty excited. (Will I be able to read the book in time? I need to make myself a schedule.) Variety has the full rundown on the casting news.

Grantchester Finale Clip + James Norton Q&A

GrantchesterHere’s a clip from the season finale of Grantchester, which airs this Sunday on PBS at 10/9c. Ooh, drama. Are they trying to get Sidney out? I love these reluctant bonding moments between Sidney (James Norton) and Leonard (Al Weaver).

And here’s a fun little Q&A with star James Norton in which he answers all-important questions like “Dogs or cats?” and “Jazz or rock?”

Grantchester Season Finale Preview

GrantchesterThe first season of Grantchester is coming to an end this Sunday, and I’m very sad about it – I’ve been loving this show. Anyone else? Season two has indeed been ordered by ITV, so hopefully PBS will air it next year. Cross your fingers! In the meantime, I’m planning to read the original books and blog about them, so look for that soon.

Here’s a preview for this Sunday’s finale, and I’m amused at the fact that it focuses completely on the personal drama and angst with barely anything about, you know, a mystery. But I’m very concerned about Geordie – he’d better be okay!

Call the Midwife Renewed + Masterpiece Premiere Dates: Granchester & Wolf Hall

Call the MidwifeWe’ve got a bunch of happy British TV adaptation news! First of all, Call the Midwife has been renewed for a fifth season by the BBC. No official word from PBS yet, but they’ll probably keep airing it. Season four production just wrapped recently. Season five will include a holiday special and will take the timeline of the show to 1961. Interesting!

And we’ve got two Masterpiece premiere dates: The miniseries based on Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall will premiere on PBS on April 5th. The Tudor story stars Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance. And mystery series Grantchester, starring James Norton, will come to PBS starting January 18th. The show is based on James Runcie’s Sidney Chambers mysteries and features a village vicar solving crimes in the 1950s. Anyone read the books yet? I’ll try to pick the first one up soon.

Jenna-Louise Coleman & More Join Death Comes to Pemberley

Jenna-Louise ColemanThe BBC has announced a bunch of casting for their upcoming adaptation of P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley, including Jenna-Louise Coleman of Doctor Who as Lydia (Bennet) Wickham. From the press release:

Further casting includes: Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Dancing On The Edge) as Lydia Wickham; Trevor Eve (Kidnap And Ransom, Waking The Dead) as Sir Selwyn Hardcastle; Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It) as Mrs Bennett; James Fleet (The Vicar Of Dibley, Little Dorrit) as Mr Bennett; Penelope Keith (To The Manor Born) as Lady Catherine de Bourgh; Joanna Scanlan (The Thick Of It, Stella) as Mrs Reynolds; Tom Ward (Silent Witness) as Colonel Fitzwilliam; Eleanor Tomlinson (The White Queen) as Georgiana Darcy; and James Norton (Doctor Who, Cheerful Weather For The Wedding) as Mr Alveston.

They joined the previously cast Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Rhys, and Matthew Goode. You guys, I am SO EXCITED about this one, I cannot even tell you.