Death In Paradise Back Next MonthBookmark and Share

Saturday, 15 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The new series of Death In Paradise will start on BBC One on Tuesday 8th January, it has been confirmed.

The crime-drama-comedy stars Ben Miller as the quintessentially English and fish-out-of-water Detective Inspector Richard Poole solving murders on the Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, helped by his investigative team comprising Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey, played by Sara Martins, and police officers Dwayne Myers (Danny John-Jules) and Fidel Best (Gary Carr). Their boss is Commissioner Selwyn Patterson, played by Don Warrington.

As with series one, there will be eight episodes in the new run. The show is filmed on Guadeloupe, and episode one of the new series, which airs at 9pm, guest-stars James Cosmo as Roger Seymour, Tom Ward as Harry Seymour, Stephanie Beacham as Nicole Seymour, and Estella Daniels as Kim Neville.
Detective Inspector Poole is learning to cope with the tropical climate and laid-back atmosphere of Saint-Marie, but every day still presents a challenge for the traditional detective. When the owner of a former sugar plantation, Roger Seymour, is discovered with a machete in his back, Poole and his team have a seemingly impossible case to solve.

Despite countless suspects, the team struggle to pinpoint the murderer, as they all have seemingly cast-iron alibis – and many were together when the murder took place. Was it a disgruntled worker with a grudge? Was Roger's alcoholic ex-wife, Nicole, in an alliance with his adopted nephew, Harry? Or does Roger's new - and much younger - girlfriend have something to hide?

The team soon realise that the history of the plantation is just as key to completing the puzzle, but with the island celebrating Erzulie, the festival of love, Saint-Marie seems to be bringing out the unexpected in everyone – not least Richard and Camille . . .

Puppet From Captain Scarlet Fails To Sell At AuctionBookmark and Share

Thursday, 13 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
A puppet from the Gerry Anderson series Captain Scarlet that was estimated to fetch between £12,500 and £13,500 failed to find a buyer when it went up for auction yesterday at Bonhams' Entertainment Memorabilia sale in London.

The Captain Brown puppet consisted of an original, restored head with reproduction body and uniform. The character of Captain Brown featured in the first episode of Captain Scarlet as well as in flashback in the second episode. The puppet was then used for other characters in the series, including Major Reeves and Dr Conrad, before being "recycled" for other Gerry Anderson shows.

Approximately 22in (56cm) high, it also appeared as Dr Blakemore in the Joe 90 episode Operation McClaine and as Harry Sloane in Double Agent in the same series. In The Secret Service it portrayed several characters, including the spy George Grey and, with grey hair and moustache, General Brompton in the episode Hole In One.

A prop stardrive device from the Blake's 7 episode Stardrive (series 4, episode 4) went for £1,187, having had an estimate of £500-700. Meanwhile, a mothership model from Series 10 of Red Dwarf was bought for £562 (estimate £500-700), while an Annihilator model spaceship from the same series fetched £750 (estimate £500-700). All sale prices included the premium.

The auction was held at Bonhams' Knightsbridge saleroom.

Last Tango In Halifax RecommissionedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC One drama Last Tango In Halifax has been commissioned for a second series while the first one is still airing.

Written and created by Sally Wainwright and made by Red Production Company, the series - which sees would-be childhood sweethearts Alan Buttershaw, played by Derek Jacobi, and Celia Dawson (Anne Reid) reunited after 60 years - has been the biggest new mid-week drama on any channel this year, with the programme attracting an average consolidated audience of 7.1 million.

With episodes directed by Euros Lyn and with music by Murray Gold, it also stars Sarah Lancashire as Caroline Elliot, Nicola Walker as Gillian Greenwood, and Nina Sosanya as Kate McKenzie.

As with the first series, the second one is understood to be of six episodes, and a Red Production Company spokeswoman told News In Time And Space that filming was likely to start next June. The transmission date is yet to be fixed.

This recommission becomes the fifth successful new returning drama series to be launched on BBC One this year, with the others being The Syndicate, Prisoners' Wives, The Paradise, and Call The Midwife.

BBC One Controller Danny Cohen said:
Last Tango In Halifax tops off a fantastic year for new returning drama series on BBC One, making it five hits to celebrate. Sally Wainwright's scripts and the outstanding cast have unearthed an absolute gem that is captivating audiences of all ages, making it the biggest mid-week drama launch on any channel in 2012.
Sally Wainwright said:
I'm thrilled by the amazing response we've had to Last Tango. People seem to have really engaged with it, and with the wonderful performances of the actors, and I couldn't be happier about being given the chance to take the story further.
Ben Stephenson, Controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said:
The brilliant scripts, characters, and stories told in Last Tango In Halifax have been so affectionately received by the British public that we couldn't resist a second series. The wonderful cast bring Sally's extraordinary evocation of family life together with real originality and warmth, and I for one can't wait to see what happens in series two!
Co-executive producer Nicola Shindler added:
We're simply delighted! I've been overwhelmed by the audience's reaction to Last Tango In Halifax. With such great characters and fantastic scripts there are so many stories still to tell and we can't wait to get started in series two.
The final two episodes of the current series will air on Tuesday 18th December and Wednesday 19th December on BBC One at 9pm on both days.

Merlin: The Diamond Of The DayBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC One fantasy drama Merlin draws to a close later this month with the two-part story The Diamond Of The Day.

Written by Jake Michie and directed by Justin Molotnikov, it guest-stars Erin Richards as Eira, John Lynch as Balinor, and Peter Guinness as Ari.

Part 1: High in the mountains a great horde gathers. Morgana prepares for war, with a vengeful Mordred at her side. Merlin feels the weight of his destiny like never before as the ancient prophecies play out with terrifying accuracy. But before he can save his beloved Camelot, he must save himself. For it is not just the kingdom Morgana wishes to destroy – it is also Emrys.

Part 2: And so it seems the Prophets did not lie. As the great battle rages on Camlann's mighty plain, Merlin faces his moment of destiny. Can he find the strength to save the man he made a King, the Camelot they fought to build, and the brotherhood they shared?

Part one airs on Saturday 22nd December at 7.55pm, with the second and concluding part - the final episode of the show - being broadcast on Monday 24th December at 8.15pm.

Another set of pictures from the final episode has been released by the BBC:

A set from the last episode was also released by the BBC last month.

In addition, to mark the end of the series as a whole, a video interview with Colin Morgan, who plays Merlin, has been released by the BBC, in which the actor reflects on the show:

Wallace And Gromit's Musical MarvelsBookmark and Share

Friday, 7 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Tickets were going on sale today for a Wallace & Gromit show taking this year's special BBC Prom concert to a wider audience in Australia and England.

Wallace & Gromit's Musical Marvels, which takes place next spring, is billed as a family show with the audience invited behind the scenes as Wallace prepares to perform his Proms commission My Concerto in Ee, Lad.

As with the Prom, specially-filmed Wallace & Gromit animated scenes show the duo's backstage exploits as they prepare for the performance, with the audience being entertained meanwhile with classical favourites - this time including music by Mozart, Debussy, and Stravinsky. After the interval there will be a special screening of the multi-award-winning Wallace & Gromit film A Matter of Loaf and Death with the soundtrack performed live.

The music will be performed in Australia by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and in England by the Aurora Orchestra.

Merlin Crossingham, the show's creative director, said:
I am delighted that Wallace And Gromit's Musical Marvels is going on the road, after such a fabulous premiere as part of the 2012 BBC Proms. It is brilliant that more audiences will get the chance to experience this great show, featuring live orchestral music and bespoke W&G animation.
The concert dates and venues are as follows:

  • Friday 8th February: The Plenary, Melbourne, 7.30pm
  • Saturday 9th February: The Plenary, Melbourne, 11am
  • Saturday 30th March: Brighton Dome, 2.30pm and 7pm
  • Sunday 31st March: Hammersmith Apollo, 7pm
  • Monday 1st April: Hammersmith Apollo, 2.30pm and 7pm

Tickets were being made available via this link for the Australian concerts, this link for the Brighton Dome performances, and this link for the Hammersmith Apollo ones.

The Wallace & Gromit BBC Prom (number 20 in the 2012 series) was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Sunday 29th July.

Merlin: The Drawing Of The DarkBookmark and Share

Thursday, 6 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
Pictures from episode 11 of Merlin were released by the BBC today.

Written by Julian Jones and directed by Declan O'Dwyer, The Drawing Of The Dark guest-stars Alexandra Dowling as Kara and has been confirmed to air at 8.15pm on Saturday 15th December.

Mordred finds himself torn between loyalty and love, but little does he realise that the path he chooses will shape Camelot's destiny. As the drums of war beat ever louder, a desperate Merlin feels trapped by the cruel circle of fate. Is he powerless to stop his dreams of Albion from crumbling to dust?