This week’s Movie Monday column is switching things up to discuss TV again, specifically BBC. It’s no secret that Seattleites love all things BBC, and Seattle posted the highest ratings in the country for the season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey. Two other programs – Call the Midwife and Bletchley Circle – have been popular enough that it’s made it to SPL’s list of Most Popular DVDs this year. To satisfy Seattle’s insatiable thirst for BBC programming, we’ve added some new series – check them out!
The Fall stars The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, a London DSI (Detective Superintendent) brought to Belfast to investigate a serial killer (Jamie Dornan) roaming the streets. Series 1 of The Fall has received rave reviews and is a welcome return for Anderson to television.
DCI Banks: Aftermath stars Stephen Tomkinson (of Ballykissangel) as Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Alan Banks. In Aftermath, the series pilot, Banks finds himself investigating a murder that is much more grim than it initially appears. Based on the Inspector Banks novels by Peter Robinson, the series is already in its third season on BBC and looks to have a long life.
Line of Duty features Martin Compston as Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott, who is transferred to the anti-corruption department after he refuses to participate in a cover-up in the counterterrorism department. In anti-corruption, he has to contend with DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James), who has much to hide. Line of Duty was a Hulu exclusive in the U.S. and is available on DVD for the first time.
In the Flesh is BBC’s take on the zombie apocalypse. Kieran (Luke Newberry) is one of thousands of people who died in 2009. However, they are all slowly returning to life as PDS (partially deceased syndrome) patients where they must face their family, friends, and deeds they committed before their deaths. The show has been credited for its originality and prominent gay characters.
The Thick of It is not new, but the entire series is available on DVD for the first time. This political satire explores the foibles of the British government through the fictional Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship with spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) at the center. This immensley popular program won numerous awards in Britain and is the basis for the film In the Loop.
The Hollow Crown is an ambitious program that takes four Shakespeare histories – Richard II, Henry IV Part I, Henry IV Part II, and Henry V – to create an epic account of British history. Produced by Sam Mendes and aired during the London Olympics, it boasts a cast that includes Ben Whishaw, Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons, Julie Walters, Richard Griffiths and John Hurt.
Although it’s not BBC, the Australian drama Jack Irish should appeal to fans just the same. Guy Pearce stars as the former lawyer who becomes a private investigator, a debt collector and an alcoholic after the murder of his wife. Series 1 includes the TV movies Bad Debts and Black Tide, and are based on the novels by Peter Temple.