A New Nemesis For SherlockBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The new nemesis for the third series of Sherlock has been revealed as Charles Augustus Magnussen and played by Lars Mikkelsen.

The announcement came via a tweet from the show's co-executive producer Sue Vertue.

The Danish actor is probably best-known to TV viewers for his role as Troels Hartmann in the Nordic noir drama The Killing. He also had a starring role in Borgen.

The announcement was made yesterday as principal photography began on Series 3's third and final episode, entitled His Last Vow, which has been written by Vertue's husband Steven Moffat and is being directed by Nick Hurran. The title is a riff on the Conan Doyle short story His Last Bow, but it is believed that the character of Magnussen is based on the blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton, who targets wealthy nobles in the Conan Doyle story The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.

Episode one is called The Empty Hearse, written by Mark Gatiss and directed by Jeremy Lovering, and the second episode is entitled The Sign of Three, penned by Steve Thompson and helmed by Colm McCarthy. The first two episodes were filmed before the summer, with a production break then being taken to allow for other filming commitments.

It is unknown as yet when the new series - which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson and is made by Hartswood Films for BBC One - will air.

FILTER: - Sherlock

Guest Stars Announced For Death In Paradise Series 3Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
A stellar guest cast was announced this morning for the third series of BBC One's Caribbean-set crime drama/comedy Death In Paradise.

With filming currently under way on Guadeloupe - which doubles for the fictional island of Saint-Marie - the line-up will include Michelle Ryan, Helen Baxendale, and Peter Davison. Other actors to feature in Series 3 will be Raza Jaffrey, Sophie Thompson, Adrian Scarborough, Hannah Tointon, Daniel Lapaine, Kathryn Drysdale, Sophie Colquhoun, Clarke Peters, Tristan Gemmill, Mark Bazeley, Tim Dutton, and Haydn Gwynne.

They will join new recruit Kris Marshall, who is playing Detective Inspector Humphrey Goodman, replacing Ben Miller as Det Insp Richard Poole.

Ryan said:
It's very exciting to be a part of this excellent series. I play an actress who is quite a handful with a dark past. The action element is always appealing for me and getting to film on the gorgeous island of Guadeloupe was incredible. We had so much fun!
Reaching ratings of up to 8 million viewers on BBC One earlier this year, the series follows the detective team - also comprising Sara Martins as Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey, Danny John-Jules as police officer Dwayne Myers, and Gary Carr as the newly-qualified Sgt Fidel Best - as they use their skills to uncover the truth behind murders on the island.

Belinda Campbell, executive producer for Red Planet Pictures, which makes the show, said:
We're thrilled to have another fantastic list of talented guest stars involved for the third series of Death In Paradise. We're very lucky to have such gifted actors and actresses to accompany our equally brilliant regular cast in bringing the twists and turns on the intricate mysteries to life. Hopefully the new series will help bring some Caribbean sunshine to the UK during the cold and rainy winter months!
It is made in association with BBC Worldwide, produced with the support of the region of Guadeloupe. It was created by Robert Thorogood and is executive-produced by Tony Jordan and Campbell for Red Planet Pictures and Polly Hill for BBC One.

The new series is expected to air early next year.

FILTER: - Death In Paradise

Lead Actors Revealed For Missing Avengers Episodes RemakeBookmark and Share

Friday, 26 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The actors playing the characters of Dr David Keel and John Steed in an audio re-creation of missing episodes from the first season of The Avengers were revealed today.

Anthony Howell
has been cast as Keel while Julian Wadham will play his sidekick Steed for the three volumes comprising 12 episodes. Only two of the season's 26 episodes exist in their entirety, with just 20 minutes of the first episode - Hot Snow - having survived as well.

Big Finish has signed a licensing deal with Studio Canal to produce full-cast audio dramas of a dozen of the missing episodes, including a full re-creation of Hot Snow.

Howell is probably best-known for his role as Sgt Paul Milner in 21 episodes of the ITV detective drama series Foyle's War, and he has recently filmed for the American series Dracula. His other work includes Dirk Gently - based on the books by Douglas Adams - and Dungeons and Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness.

Wadham, meanwhile, can count Downton Abbey, Midsomer Murders, Middlemarch, and Blind Justice among his TV pedigree. He has also appeared in the films The Iron Lady (as Francis Pym), War Horse, Maurice, The English Patient, The Madness of King George, and Exorcist: The Beginning.

Volume 1 of The Avengers: The Lost Episodes will be released in January 2014, with Volumes 2 and 3 following in July 2014 and January 2015 respectively.

FILTER: - Big Finish - Audio

Survivors - The Audio SeriesBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 9 July 2013 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Survivors - Big Finish (Credit: Big Finish)

Big Finish have announced an audio series based upon the classic television series Survivors, originally devised and written by Terry Nation.

Terry Nation’s classic drama comes to Big Finish

Big Finish has signed a licence with the estate of the acclaimed writer Terry Nation to make the 1970s post-apocalyptic drama Survivors on audio. The series ran for three seasons between 1975-77 and told the story of a small group of people who survive a plague that wipes out most of the world’s population.

Producer David Richardson says:
Survivors made a huge impact on me when I first saw it – as it did on many people of my generation. It’s long been a dream of mine to bring it back on audio, exploring the human drama and the many challenges in a world where the
majority of people have died and most technology is useless.
Executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery adds:
I am very proud to have another Terry Nation series associated with Big Finish. His influence on British television in the 60s and 70s was massive and I grew up knowing that any show with his name on it was going to be both exciting and thought-provoking. Survivors is one of the seminal series of the 70's, with themes that have been visited again and again over the years, most recently by series such as The Walking Dead. We all look forward to working on what we know will be a fantastic new audio series for Big Finish.
Executive producer Nicholas Briggs:
Over the years, so many people have asked us about the possibility of doing Survivors on audio, and now, with the right team in place and agreements signed, we can finally deliver yet another series that our loyal listeners have been waiting for. My early teens were haunted by Terry Nation's stark depiction of a world decimated by a virus, and I'm looking forward to being terrified all over again!

Like Nation’s TV show and novel of the same name, the audio series will begin with the terror and torment as a global pandemic breaks out, and gradually the very fabric of society falls apart. These terrible events will be told through the eyes of a handful of characters whose lives are changed forever...

A number of actors from the original TV series Survivors will be reprising their characters for the audios. These will be announced once recording commences later in the summer. Terry Nation’s impact on British culture is beyond measure – he famously created the Daleks for Doctor Who (for which he wrote 66 episodes), devised the enduringly popular Science Fiction series Blake’s 7, wrote the much-loved children’s novel Rebecca’s World, and contributed acclaimed scripts to successful series including The Avengers, The Protectors, The Persuaders and The Champions.

FILTER: - Big Finish - Audio

Original Blake's 7 Cast Reunite For More Audio DramasBookmark and Share

Monday, 8 July 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The surviving original TV cast of Blake's 7 are being brought back together again in six new audio plays.

The Big Finish dramas will launch in January 2014 with Fractures by Justin Richards, in which an escape from a Federation pursuit ship leaves the crew of the Liberator licking their wounds. As the dust settles, realisation gradually dawns that the trust and camaraderie that has built up between them is dissolving - and one of the crew is working against the rest.

The audios see the return of Gareth Thomas as Roj Blake, Paul Darrow as Kerr Avon, Michael Keating as Vila Restal, Sally Knyvette as Jenna Stannis, Jan Chappell as Cally, and Brian Croucher as Travis, while Alistair Lock voices the computers Zen and Orac.

The writers for the rest of the season are Andrew Smith, Marc Platt, Peter Anghelides, Mark Wright, and Cavan Scott.

The news follows the release earlier this year of Anghelides' audio drama Warship, which first saw the original surviving Liberator team reunited. David Jackson, who played crew member Olag Gan, died in 2005, while Peter Tuddenham - the voice of Zen and Orac on TV - died two years later.

Producer David Richardson said:
I was delighted that our first full-cast Blake's 7 audio, Warship, received such glowing reviews and a rapturous reception. I'm therefore thrilled that we're able to continue with more full-cast stories, which are set during the second season of the TV show, as a worrying revelation forces Blake to interrupt his search for the Federation control centre Star One.
The series is being released in a licence deal with B7 Media, and Andrew Mark Sewell, the executive producer of B7 Media, said:
It's great to be working with Big Finish on more full-cast Blake's 7 stories. Given this year marks the 35th anniversary since the TV series first aired, these epic-sounding audio adventures are a great way for fans to celebrate Blake's 7 enduring legacy.
After Fractures comes out, the other stories - whose titles are yet to be revealed - will be released monthly until June.

The TV series, created by Terry Nation, ran on BBC1 between 1978 and 1981.

FILTER: - Big Finish - Blake's 7 - Audio