There are two season finales on Sunday of note.  One is Poldark on PBS, starring Aidan Turner.  I’ve already seen the entire season as Amazon released the DVD already, so all I’ll say is there’s a cliffhanger.  A big one.

The other season finale is AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, with Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bishe.  If you saw episode 9, Kali, you know Cameron did something very naughty, and we wait to see what Joe is going to do about it.  We also wait to see if there will be a third season.

If you can find it, Ian McKellen’s flick Mr. Holmes is now playing.  It has an 87% on the Tomatometer, so that’s good.  McKellen also did a great interview on The Nerdist that’s worth a listen.  If you’re hungry, he gives instructions here on how to make really good scrambled eggs.  Always useful.

Sorry to bring bad news, but after shopping ABC’s former show Forever with Ioan Gruffudd around, creator Matt Miller says there are no takers.  At any rate, leading lady Alana de la Garza (Jo), has signed up with Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, according to CinemaBlend.

Warner Bros. has just put out a BTS look at The Man From U.N.C.L.E., with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer.  Just in time for the weekend.  Enjoy:

#TheManFromUNCLE #Poldark #HaltAndCatchFire #MrHolmes

James Bond Is Back…

…with a full trailer for SPECTRE (via Empire).

It has Daniel Craig again as Bond.  Ralph Fiennes has his first film as M, Ben Whishaw is back as a very young Q, and Naomie Harris returns as Moneypenny.

Guests this time include Christoph Waltz as baddie Oberhauser, Andrew Scott (Moriarty in the Beeb’s Sherlock), Dave Bautista, and Monica Bellucci.  Oh, and a slick new Aston Martin DB10.  Thanks, Q!

It opens on October 26th in the UK and Ireland, November 6th in the US, Canada and several other countries.

Craig has signed up for one more Bond.  After that, we’ll see if he returns again, or if the part goes to Henry Cavill, who was on the short list when Craig was chosen, but was determined to be too young for the part at the time.

#JamesBond #SPECTRE #007

Emmy Nominations!

The 2015 Emmy nominations are now out.  And finally – Tatiana Maslany gets a nomination for Orphan Black!  It took way too long for this to happen.  But all is not roses, the show itself should have been nominated but was not.

Downton Abbey is nominated in the Outstanding Drama Series category, and stars Joanne Froggatt and Jim Carter are nominated in the supporting actress and actor categories.

Alan Alda scored a nod for his guest arc on The Blacklist.

There were some headscratchers and some snubs, as per usual, but it was no surprise that Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, House of Cards and Mad Men received a plethora of nominations each.  That’s a lot of nominations.

Fox will broadcast the awards on September 20th.

The complete list of nominees is here on the official Emmy website.  Congratulations to all!

#Emmys #EmmyNominations

P.S. Re Podcasts

I had a lengthy podcast post already, but I’m back with some additional comments.

First, if you read my original post you’ll know I was not very impressed with Stuff You Should Know when I listened to their episode on ESP.  That one was a little rough.  However, I’ve listened to a couple of others, namely the one on Ouija Boards and one on the Deep Web.  Both of those were pretty good, and a definite improvement on the ESP one.  So give it a shot if you’ve a mind to, and you can find a subject that intrigues you.  That shouldn’t be hard, because these guys do episodes on anything and everything.

While you’re waiting for another season of Serial (and many of us are), there are some other criminal-related podcasts you can listen to.  One is from BBC Radio 4 and is called Who Killed Elsie Frost?  This series delves into the unsolved 1965 murder of 14-year old Elsie in an English town.  Her sister and brother are involved in the reinvestigation of her case and appear on this podcast, along with the investigators from iPM who are looking into the murder.

Another podcast that might be of interest is Criminal.  This one doesn’t follow a single case with multiple episodes like Serial, but each episode is about an individual case.  The cases might be large or small, but they’re all different.  For instance, Ex Libris is about a thief who only steals rare books, while Animal Instincts presents a case that may or may not be murder, with a resolution that may surprise you.  The title is a hint.

#Podcasts #CriminalPodcast #StuffYouShouldKnow #WhoKilledElsieFrost

The Hobbit and Poldark star Aidan Turner will star in an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel And Then There Were None for BBC1.  Aidan will be taking the part of Philip Lombard.

It will be in three parts, and will co-star Charles Dance, Sam Neill and Miranda Richardson, according to this article in The Guardian.  It will be produced by the same company as Poldark, which has been extremely popular and has turned Aidan into a hot property.

Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors.  And Then There Were None is, IMHO, the best Christie novel, despite it being devoid of one Miss Marple.  The BBC bought the exclusive rights to Christie’s works recently, closing the door on any more Miss Marple episodes with Julia McKenzie, which had aired on ITV.

The article says the mini-series will come to the US next year, but it looks to be a Christmas-time treat for the UK.

#AgathaChristie #AidanTurner #AndThenThereWereNone

The BBC’s Sherlock series now has an official Twitter account, @Sherlock221B, if you want to plug into it.  They have been tweeting from San Diego Comic-Con, where Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue and Rupert Graves just finished doing their panel.

Sherlock_2015_specialMoffat announced that the Sherlock special will be shown in certain theaters around the world.  It has already been filmed, and is set in the Victorian times of the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories.  Here is a promo pic of Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in their Victorian duds.  The episode is a standalone and is not attached storyline-wise to the modern-day series.  It will be released around Christmas, at least in the UK.  No word yet on whether it will be released at the same time elsewhere.

Here’s hoping that Rupert Graves’ appearance at SDCC means he’ll be doing more Sherlock than he had been.  I’ve missed his Lestrade.

Moffat says he and co-creator Mark Gatiss have not started writing series 4 yet.  We’ll have to wait a while for it, I believe it won’t be out in the UK until 2017.  The creators have said they would like to tighten up the amount of time between its appearance on the BBC and PBS, so hopefully that series will be shown here in the US shortly after its UK run.  Of course, there are ways to see it before the PBS run, but hey, I’m no snitch.

Also released was a teaser for the Christmas special – this is so weird, seeing them in Victorian times.  Look at Mrs. Hudson!

Sherlock is a production of Hartswood Films.

#Sherlock #BenedictCumberbatch

If you miss young Han Solo, take heart.  StarWars.com announced today there will be a standalone movie to tell the story of how Han became the lovable rascal Luke and Leia first ran into way back in 1977.

It will be directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (The LEGO Movie).  Writing duties will be shared by Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote one of my all-time favorite films, Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as some Star Wars flicks — and his son Jon.

Miller and Lord put out this statement:

This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.

Question: will Chris Pratt play Indiana Jones in a reboot of that franchise, take on Han Solo, or neither?  Disney owns Star Wars just like it owns Marvel, but it might be a bit much to expect that Pratt will have the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and end up in a Star Wars movie too.  The casting for this will be interesting.

The film is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018.


Poldark was a massive hit over in the UK, and now it looks like it’s also a big hit here in the US on PBS’ Masterpiece program.  The 2015 remake of the 1970’s version starring Robin Ellis has The Hobbit’s “hot dwarf” Aidan Turner and a whole legion of new fans on both sides of the Atlantic.  Poldark is being called Aidan’s “Mr. Darcy” role, and everyone knows how near and dear to many women’s hearts Mr. Darcy is!  It is, in short, catnip to anyone who loves romance, sweeping views of Cornwall, British historical dramas, horses, and/or a gorgeous badass gentleman with a heart of gold and a rakish tri-cornered hat.  I’m in.

With Downton Abbey ending next season, the BBC was hoping for a hit with Poldark to take its place, and it looks like it has it.  They’re so happy with the production that they have signed Aidan to a multi-year contract, and with 12 Poldark novels from author Winston Graham there should be enough material for several additional series, the second of which begins filming this September.

Series 1 is available for pre-order on Amazon and will start shipping next week.  As anyone who has ever compared the BBC and PBS versions of previous series knows, PBS cuts some time out of their version to allow time for their promos and commercials.  The DVD and Blu-ray covers shown on Amazon has the PBS logo but also says on the front that it’s the full UK version, so that’s good news.  Amazon has followed that up with buying exclusive streaming rights to the series, as well as some other Masterpiece programs like Wolf Hall.  They currently have exclusive streaming rights already to Downton Abbey.

Poldark also has its first award nominations.  The series, Aidan and co-star Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) have received TV Choice Award noms.  Congratulations!

Here’s a promo for the third episode, coming up this Sunday:

Poldark isn’t the only thing occupying his time, however.  Aidan is currently filming Look Away with Chloe Sevigny and Matthew Broderick in the Hudson Valley of New York, according to Deadline.  He’s already finished filming The Secret Scripture with Rooney Mara, Vanessa Redgrave and Eric Bana.  That one is an Irish film, filmed in Ireland and funded by the Irish Film Board.  Which is appropriate, because Aidan is not, in point of fact, British – he is from Dublin.  The film was directed by Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot).

#AidanTurner #Poldark #LookAway

Benedict Cumberbatch is going back to his radio roots in a new Rumpole of the Bailey, Rumpole and the Portia of Our Chambers on BBC Radio 4.  The series starts tomorrow, Friday, July 3rd at 2:15 p.m. London time.

Benny has voiced the part of the younger Rumpole several times.  Radio Times has the story here.

batmansupermancomiccon_deadlineEntertainment Weekly has six photos from the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  This is just in time for San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), which begins July 8th with Preview Night and continues through the 12th.  The complete program schedule is now online here.

Batman v Superman star Henry Cavill will be a busy guy at SDCC.  Not only is Dawn of Justice going to have a major presence, but he will also be part of a panel for his upcoming flick The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with co-star Armie Hammer.

And yes, geek favorites Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk (Firefly) will be there on behalf of their crowd-funded web series Con Man.

Image: Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice via Deadline

#SDCC2015 #BenedictCumberbatch #HenryCavill

The Brits got to see the new series of Poldark months ago, now it’s our turn.  PBS began the first series on Masterpiece this past Sunday.  It stars Aidan Turner, best known for the BBC’s Being Human and for playing dwarf Kili in The Hobbit trilogy.  It also stars Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza and Heida Reed as Elizabeth.

Just a short synopsis… Captain Ross Poldark, an English gentleman from Cornwall, returns from the American Revolutionary War to find his father has died, his lady love Elizabeth is engaged to his cousin, and his lands and the mines that comprise his inheritance are in ruins.  He saves what he believes is a teenage boy from a beating, only to find that Demelza is very much a girl.  He takes her in as a kitchen maid but sparks soon fly between the two.  That doesn’t mean Ross and Elizabeth no longer have feelings for each other, though early on Elizabeth does get married to Francis, Ross’ cousin.

Poldark_PBSI have started reading the books by Winston Graham, the first one of which was published back in 1945, the last in 2002, so there’s enough reading to last you quite a while if you’re interested in the novels.

There will be eight episodes of Poldark in this first series, but don’t despair, a second series has already been commissioned.  Series one was based on the first and second Graham novels; it’s expected series two will cover the third and fourth.

If you remember the very popular Poldark series from the 1970’s you’ll remember the title character was then played by Robin Ellis, who turns up as a parson/judge in this version.

Turner is not the only Hobbit dwarf to have television series success.  Graham McTavish (Dwalin) has also found a great gig in Starz’ Outlander.

Image: Aidan Turner and Heida Reed in BBC/PBS’s Poldark

#Poldark #AidanTurner

Podcast Palooza

I’ve been getting more and more into podcasts recently, partly because I have a fairly long drive to work and partly because I’m over listening to music.  I can turn on the news on Sirius XM, but I’ve usually heard it all by the time I get to the car in the morning.  So podcasts it is, or has been recently.

I’ve downloaded some episodes from NPR.org before, mostly Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me! which is a very entertaining and funny game show.  I decided, though, that I should have some variety, so after searching for what are deemed to be the best podcasts out there, I found a few that looked interesting and downloaded a sample or two from each series onto a memory stick for playing in the car.

One of the podcasts that turns up on almost all the lists of Best Podcasts I’ve seen is The Nerdist.  The Nerdist is hosted by Chris Hardwick who, along with a couple of his nerdy friends, usually spend the hour interviewing celebrities.  I downloaded a couple of episodes, one of which was Benedict Cumberbatch’s interview from December when he was promoting The Imitation Game (and before he was announced as the star of Marvel’s Doctor Strange – that’s serious nerd cred there).  You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Benedict, he of the lovely cultured English accent and sonorous tones, make every kind of fart noise he can think of.  That’s Nerdist.

A very recent Nerdist podcast had the guys interviewing Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt, along with Jurassic’s director Colin Trevorrow.  Pratt seems like such a nice guy you can’t help but just be happy for him for his recent success, especially when he talks about things like his early auditions (for jerk roles) or his struggles with his weight.  Awwww.

If you’re really, really into comic books, The Nerdist also has a Comic Book Club Channel.  Immediate geek cred given for listening to that one.

One of the other highly-recommended podcasts I listened to recently was from How Stuff Works.  There are actually several series here to pick from, including the original Stuff You Should Know, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Stuff To Blow Your Mind, and Stuff They Didn’t Want You To Know, among others.

Stuff You Should Know is hosted by two guys, Josh and Chuck, who talk about topics like How Autopsies Work, What’s The Deal With Blood Types? and How Junk Food Works (not sure why anyone would be confused about how junk food works, but I digress).  The episode I downloaded was How ESP Works.  I thought this one would be fun, since I am a big skeptic about things like clairvoyance and the ability to talk to the dead.  They hit on several such topics and not just on ESP, but I’m not sure I really learned much of anything I didn’t know already.

I’m in the meh category on this one, but it could be just the episode I listened to.  It took the guys a good 15 minutes of chit-chat and commercials before they really got into talking about ESP and related subjects.  What is up with all the chit and the chat?!  A little is good before you get into the subject at hand, but 15 minutes?  During the course of the episode they strayed from the topic as well and went off on a tangent before finally remembering they were supposed to be doing a show about ESP.

They should compare notes before they hit the Record button also – if one of them tells an anecdote about some past research trial and the other guy then tells him it was determined later that it was pretty easy to cheat on that trial, it’s clear they’re not spending enough time beforehand discussing what they’re going to say.  And one more thing – anyone who researches such things for a podcast should also know that name of the so-called “medium” who had the show called Crossing Over is John Edward, not Edwards.

Suffice it to say I’d have to listen to some more of this series’ episodes before I say skip it, but if you’re looking for tightly researched scientific knowledge on a subject this podcast is probably not where to find it.  It was somewhat entertaining, nonetheless, so I don’t want to be too down on it just because the episode I heard was a little rough.

I’ve mentioned NPR’s very popular Serial podcast on this blog before, which focused on the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed.  If you were hooked on the Syed case after listening to that series, you might want to pick up on Undisclosed.  This podcast picks apart the details of the case that sent Syed to prison for life 15 years ago.  He recently won a court victory that may lead to a new trial.

I’ve added a podcast category in my links and listed some of the ones I’ve been listening to there.  If you have some other suggestions use the comments below and let us know what you recommend (or not).

#TheNerdist #BenedictCumberbatch #ChrisPratt #StuffYouShouldKnow

It’s been quite a few days for Benedict Cumberbatch.  He and his wife Sophie Hunter have just announced the birth of a baby boy!  No details were given, but I’m sure the little one has inherited some great genes.

Recently Benny was also honored by the Queen with a CBE, or Commander of the British Empire.  This is a higher honor than an OBE, or Order of the British Empire, and just below a knighthood (which he will probably also have at some point).  The award was given for his work in the performing arts as well as his charitable work.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, who starred with Benny in 12 Years A Slave and will again be alongside him in Doctor Strange, already had an OBE but was awarded the higher CBE.

Eddie Redmayne received an OBE, as did Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat.  Kevin Spacey, who ends a long run as the artistic director for London’s Old Vic theatre later this year, was given an honorary knighthood.  Because he is an American, Spacey can’t use the title Sir, but it’s a lovely honor anyway.

Congratulations to all!

#BenedictCumberbatch #ChiwetelEjiofor

Warner Bros. has released a second trailer for the upcoming Henry Cavill/Armie Hammer fun fest The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

I’m guessing you’d rather just watch that than read a long post, so here it is:

#TheManFromUncle #HenryCavill #ArmieHammer

Deadline is reporting that Chiwetel Ejiofor will join Benedict Cumberbatch in Marvel’s Dr. Strange flick.

Cumberbatch will be playing Strange, and Ejiofor’s role is said to be Baron Mordo, a villain in the comics, but according to the article he may not be quite so bad in the film.  We’ll have to see when the movie premieres next year.

This is not the first time these two guys have worked together.  In 12 Years A Slave Ejiofor played the title character and Cumberbatch played one of his masters.

But what an impressive cast this movie is gathering, including Tilda Swinton, who will playing a gender-switched Ancient One.

#ChiwetelEjiofor #DoctorStrange #BenedictCumberbatch

Sir Christopher Lee, best known for his roles in several Dracula films and as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, passed away June 7th at the age of 93.

CLee_LOTR_FellowshipSherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss tweeted that Lee was “a Titan of Cinema and a huge part of my youth.”  As he was to many.

Lee also appeared in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, the 007 flick The Man With The Golden Gun, and played Sherlock Holmes (more than once), among the many roles he took on over the course of a long and varied career.

Lee is survived by his wife and a daughter.

R.I.P. to a legend.

Image: Christopher Lee in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring



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