The Musketeers: First Official PicturesBookmark and Share

Friday, 26 April 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The first official images from the forthcoming BBC One drama The Musketeers were released today.

Luke Pasqualino stars as D'Artagnan alongside Tom Burke as Athos, Santiago Cabrera as Aramis, and Howard Charles as Porthos in this fresh take on the classic characters created by Alexandre Dumas. Together, they fight for what is just and are heroes in the truest and most abiding sense - men who can be trusted and believed in to do the right thing, regardless of personal risk.

Series creator Adrian Hodges, who is also co-executive producer and the lead writer, said:
The four actors look brilliant together and it seems like they have been working together for years. The camaraderie between them makes each action-packed scene exciting and authentic, and the images we have released today really encapsulate that.

Peter Capaldi
is Cardinal Richelieu, Tamla Kari plays Constance Bonacieux, Maimie McCoy portrays Milady, while Hugo Speer is Captain Treville in the ten-part series of one-hour episodes, which will air next year. Made by BBC Drama Productions, it is being co-produced by BBC Worldwide and BBC America. Jessica Pope is also an executive producer, while the producer is Colin Wratten.

Set on the streets of 17th-century Paris where law and order are more an idea than reality, the series follows Musketeers Athos, Aramis, and Porthos, who are far more than King Louis XIII's personal bodyguards, but ultimately stand resolutely for social justice: for honour, for valour, for love, and for the thrill of it.

D'Artagnan, a skilled fighter from rural Gascony, encounters the three Musketeers while on a mission to right the wrong of his father's death. Although he meets the men in unfortunate circumstances, he finds kindred spirits in the other soldiers.

Athos, who has rejected his noble roots to become a Musketeer, quickly befriends D'Artagnan but has a past that is shrouded in mystery and he is prone to getting into trouble. Porthos is a larger-than-life character who has come from humble beginnings to become a soldier in the most elite regiment in the land, finding a family in the other Musketeers. Never short of admirers, Aramis has an effortless charm that leads him in and out of love. Despite this, he is a shrewd pragmatist who is ferocious in battle and commands a key place in the brotherhood.

Constance Bonacieux leads a dull but comfortable life married to a cloth merchant, but her life is turned upside down when D'Artagnan tumbles into her world, and she becomes involved with the Musketeers.

Cardinal Richelieu, while striving to achieve his vision of a thoroughly modern France, is a shadowy character who will stop at nothing to achieve his objectives, and Milady is his secret weapon - the most mysterious and beautiful of villains whose motives are often concealed.

The king relies on the advice of the cardinal, his shrewd wife Queen Anne, and Captain Treville - the brave and respected commander of the Musketeers who keeps an eye on the soldiers to ensure they stay out of trouble.

Filming started last month, and Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC Drama, said:
The ambition of this drama is clearly illustrated with such a world-class mix of talent - the perfect team to take the audience on thrilling action adventures every week.

FILTER: - The Musketeers

Please Keep Shtum About Sherlock, Says VertueBookmark and Share

Thursday, 11 April 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Sherlock producer Sue Vertue has issued a plea for fans to keep quiet about filming on the new series.

In a statement to website Sherlockology, she wrote:
Hi, Sue Vertue here. As many of you are aware, we'll soon be embarking on our first London leg of filming for series 3. I'm also aware that there is quite a lot of speculation about where we're shooting when. I can't stress how much we the producers and Benedict [Cumberbatch], Martin [Freeman] and the rest of the cast appreciate your love and dedication to our show - we'll endeavour to live up to your expectations for Series 3.

What I am nervous about is that our London shooting schedule is punishing and will really give us very little time to interact with you. The actors really hope you understand that.

Also, and I know this is probably asking a lot, the majority of fans and indeed ourselves would REALLY appreciate it if you didn't post pictures or spoilers or ideally our daily locations.

Thanks for your understanding. Sue x

The first episode of the third series is called The Empty Hearse. It has been written by Mark Gatiss and the director is Jeremy Lovering, with Amanda Abbington joining the cast in a role described by the BBC as one "that significantly impacts upon the lives of John and Sherlock." Abbington, whose character name has not yet been announced, is the partner of Martin Freeman, who plays Watson.

The second episode in the three-part series will be called The Sign Of Three, the BBC has confirmed.

Colm McCarthy has also been signed up to direct the show.

(With thanks to Tony Clark)

UPDATE - 15th APRIL: Colm McCarthy will be directing The Sign Of Three, it was confirmed today. The episode, which had its readthrough this morning, has been written by Steve Thompson.

Principal photography has now finished on the first episode of the new series. Once episode two has wrapped, the team will break for the summer before starting the third and final episode of the run.

FILTER: - Sherlock

Marshall To Replace Miller In Death In ParadiseBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 9 April 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Kris Marshall is to replace Ben Miller as the lead detective in the third series of BBC One crime drama Death In Paradise, it was announced today.

Miller has played the character of fish-out-of-water Detective Inspector Richard Poole since the Caribbean-set show began, and was seen returning to the island at the end of the last episode of the second series, having had to take a captured killer to London. The details of how and when his character will leave are under wraps. The show had an average of almost eight million viewers tuning in to each episode of the second series.

Joining series regulars Sara Martins (who plays Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey), Danny John-Jules (police officer Dwayne Myers), Gary Carr (newly-qualified Sgt Fidel Best), and Don Warrington (Commissioner Selwyn Patterson) when filming starts on Guadeloupe (doubling for the fictional island of Saint-Marie) next month, Marshall will play the bright but rather disorganised and gawky Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman, who is stuck in a mid-life rut and looking to find a new life and fresh start.

Marshall, whose previous work has included Lightfields, My Family, and Citizen Khan, said:
I am thrilled to be joining Death In Paradise and finding out a bit more about what makes Humphrey tick. Six months filming on a tropical island with an amazing cast and glorious sunshine? What isn't there to love! I might even get myself a parrot!
Miller stated:
I have absolutely loved my time on Death In Paradise and am sad to be leaving such a successful show. However, DI Poole has made no secret of his struggle with the Caribbean heat, so I felt now was a good time to put him out of his misery! I know Kris will do a superb job and I'm delighted to be handing over the detective baton to him.
Co-executive producer Belinda Campbell, from Red Planet Pictures, commented:
Ben Miller is an excellent actor and has played the part of DI Richard Poole magnificently for two series, and we're very sad to be saying goodbye. However, we're thrilled to be welcoming Kris Marshall on board, who we know will be brilliant in the role of Humphrey. He will bring with him dishevelled charm, sparkle, quick wit, and a razor-sharp intelligence in solving crimes.
Ben Stephenson, the BBC's controller of drama commissioning, added:
Thank you to Ben for leading two hugely successful series of Death In Paradise. He is leaving on a high and handing over to the very talented Kris Marshall. I am looking forward to seeing Kris in his new role and what he does with his character.
The third series will air next year.

FILTER: - Death In Paradise

Blake's 7 Reboot Pitched To Buyers At CannesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 9 April 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The reboot of cult TV sci-fi show Blake's 7 is being pitched by entertainment company FremantleMedia International to buyers at MIPTV - the television and online-content market and creative forum in Cannes.

Currently in development with the US cable network Syfy, the series of 13 one-hour episodes will be made by Georgeville TV, the independent studio co-founded by Leon Clarance of London-based Motion Picture Capital (the financing arm of Reliance Entertainment), and producer Marc Rosen. It has been written by Joe Pokaski and will be directed by the award-winning Martin Campbell.

Pokaski is best known for his work on the TV sci-fi drama series Heroes, while among his credits Campbell has directed the Bond films GoldenEye and the Daniel Craig-starring Casino Royale as well as both TV and film versions of Edge of Darkness, winning a BAFTA for his 1985 BBC television production.

FremantleMedia has released the following teaser information about the new version of the show:

The year is 2136, Blake wakes up on one side of the bed. He reaches for the other side. There's nobody there. As reality sets in, this handsome ex-soldier sits up and looks at a photo of his wife Rachel. Beautiful. Deceased.

A revolutionary reinvention of the long-running BBC series, Blake's 7 tells the story of seven criminals - six guilty and one innocent - on their way to life on a prison colony in space, who together wrestle freedom from imprisonment. They acquire an alien ship which gives them a second chance at life and become the most unlikely heroes of their time.

David Ellender, the chief executive of FremantleMedia International and Kids & Family Entertainment, said:
Blake's 7 was such a forward-thinking concept that the show continues to have resonance with audiences today. Its complex characters and gritty storylines, coupled with the highly talented team and modern production techniques, are sure to appeal to both original fans of the show and new viewers.

Leon Clarance, the co-founder of Georgeville Television and chief executive of Motion Picture Capital, the finance arm of Reliance Entertainment, added:
Joe Pokaski and Martin Campbell have worked tirelessly with the Georgeville TV team to create an amazeballs reboot of this classic space opera which I watched with my father when I was a child. This reimagined classic for a new generation of science-fiction fans will enthral original and new fans alike. I couldn't be happier to have our beloved show handled internationally by the passionate team at FremantleMedia.

(Yes, Clarance really did say "amazeballs" in the press release!)

Blake's 7
was created by Terry Nation and originally ran for 52 episodes over four series on BBC1 between 1978 and 1981.

An April Fool was circulated last week via Twitter, claiming that Idris Elba would be playing Blake, and a copy of a fake "official" Blake's 7 magazine with Elba on the cover has been put on eBay to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Anyone interested in bidding for it should be aware that it has no content.

FILTER: - Charities - Blake's 7