The Last Kingdom

BBC Two to adapt ‘Sharpe’ writer’s ‘The Last Kingdom’

Sharpe Sean Bean

BBC Two has announced a new adaptation of Sharpe creator Bernard Cornwell’s best-selling series of books, The Saxon Stories.

Adapted by Stephen Butchard (Good Cop, House Of Saddam), the eight-part historical drama series is described by the BBC as “a show full of heroic deeds and epic battles but with a thematic depth that embraces politics, religion, warfare, courage, love, loyalty and our universal search for identity”.

The Last Kingdom is a co-production with BBC America and Downton Abbey makers Carnival Films.

The official synopsis reads: “Set in the year 872, when many of the separate kingdoms of what we now know as England have fallen to the invading Vikings, the great kingdom of Wessex has been left standing alone and defiant under the command of King Alfred the Great.

“Against this turbulent backdrop lives our hero, Uhtred. Born the son of a Saxon nobleman, he is orphaned by the Vikings and then kidnapped and raised as one of their own. Forced to choose between the country of his birth and the people of his upbringing, his loyalties are ever tested. What is he – Saxon or Viking? On a quest to claim his birthright, Uhtred must tread a dangerous path between both sides if he is to play his part in the birth of a new nation and, ultimately, seek to recapture his ancestral lands.”

The Last Kingdom begins filming this autumn.

Executive producer Gareth Neame commented: “Cornwell’s Saxon novels combine historical figures and events with fiction in an utterly compelling way.”

He added: “In the hands of Stephen Butchard we believe it will make original and engrossing television drama. In part the epic quest of our hero Uhtred, it is also a fascinating re-telling of the tale of King Alfred the Great and how he united the many separate kingdoms on this island into what would become England.”

Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “I hope The Last Kingdom will expand BBC Two’s distinctive portfolio of drama. It’s an epic narrative with an extraordinary creative team. It will feel like nothing else on television, with all of the scale and intrigue of the best fantasy stories but the reality of fact.”

The Independent announcement

Deadline Hollywood

Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes

The actor has tweeted a picture of himself in costume as an aged version of the sleuth in a film adaptation of Mitch Cullen’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind

Holmes … Ian McKellen as Sherlock

Ian McKellen has tweeted the first photograph of himself starring as a nonagenarian Sherlock Holmes in the Bill Condon mystery Mr Holmes.

The new film, which will hit cinemas next year, centres on an aged Holmes who becomes obsessed with one final case. It is based not on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original 19th century stories about the famous English sleuth, but the 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin.

Tweeted McKellen, 75: “Over 70 actors have previously played Sherlock Holmes. Now he’s 93 years old and it’s my turn.”

A Slight Trick of the Mind features Holmes as an elderly man unable to walk without a cane and with a failing memory. He lives with a housekeeper and her son, and makes an effort to talk with the son about his life before he forgets it entirely. Laura Linney will co-star in the film version, for which principal photography began last week on location in the United Kingdom.

Condon is the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Gods and Monsters, which he also directed, and the Golden Globe-winning director of period musical Dreamgirls. He also wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-winning musical Chicago and directed sex drama Kinsey. Condon’s most recent film is last year’s Julian Assange biopic The Fifth Estate.

Actor Factor – John Lynch

John Lynch



An actor whose sad eyes and brooding presence often get him cast as moody, tragic figures, John Lynch first lent his haunted charm to the title role of Pat O’Connor’s Cal (1984). Cast as a young IRA recruit who falls in love with the widow (Helen Mirren) of a man he has killed, Lynch earned wide praise for his sensitive, complex performance, and more than held his own opposite the more seasoned Mirren.

Born in Corrinshego, Newry, Northern Ireland, on December 26, 1961, Lynch was raised as the eldest of five children (his sister, Susan Lynch, also went into acting). He got his first break during his second year at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, when he was picked to star in Cal. Following his work on the film, Lynch dropped out of the movies for almost a decade, preferring to work on the stage in England and Ireland. When he resurfaced in front of the cameras in the mid-’90s, he began working steadily, appearing in films ranging from Agneiszka Holland’s celebrated 1993 adaptation of The Secret Garden, to Jim Sheridan’s acclaimed political drama In the Name of the Father (1993), to John Sayles’ similarly feted family fantasy The Secret of Roan Inish (1994), which also featured Lynch’s sister, Susan.

In addition to In the Name of the Father, Lynch did starring work in subsequent dramas that focused on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Among them were Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s Nothing Personal (1995), in which the actor portrayed an apolitical but conflicted Catholic; and Terry George’s Some Mother’s Son (1996), an account of the 1981 Belfast prisoner’s hunger strike that, in addition to casting Lynch as IRA prisoner and strike leader Bobby Sands, reunited him with Cal co-star Mirren. In 1998, he appeared in the little-seen This Is the Sea, a romantic drama about the relationship between a Protestant woman and a Catholic man living in post-1994 cease-fire Northern Ireland.

Lynch has also worked in films that have taken him out of the geographical and topical boundaries of Northern Ireland. Peter Howitt’s Sliding Doors (1998) saw him play Gwyneth Paltrow’s hapless, two-timing boyfriend, while Best (2000), which Lynch co-wrote with his wife, Mary McGuckian, who also directed, cast him as the title figure of real-life football legend George Best. And, like many actors hailing from that section of the world, Lynch has also put in time in various period dramas, including the 1996 TV adaptation of Moll Flanders. ~

Courtesy Rovi

Here is a clip of John Lynch in “The Secret Garden”

I have been watching Bleak House once again and wondered how many films he was in with the same hair style . . . long.  LOL

Here are a few and they way I always think of the man.

John Lynch - Black Death
John Lynch – Black Death
John Lynch - Bleak House
John Lynch – Bleak House
John Lynch - In The Name of the Father
John Lynch – The Name of the Father






John Lynch - Merlin
John Lynch – (in) Merlin
John Lynch - Sliding Doors
John Lynch – Sliding Doors
John Lynch - The Secret Garden
John Lynch – The Secret Garden
John Lynch in Moll Flanders
John Lynch in Moll Flanders



The 39 Steps

The Thirty-Nine Steps is an adventure novel by the British author (and future Governor General of Canada) John Buchan, first published in 1915. It is the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous habit of getting himself out of sticky situations.

First made into a film in 1935 by
Alfred Hitchcock,
this 2008 tv film features:
Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion)
Lydia Leonard (Casualty 1907)
Eddie Marsans (Little Dorrit)
Patrick Malahide (Middlemarch)
David Haig (My Boy Jack)
Patrick Kennedy (Bleak House)
Alex Jennings (Cranford)

The screenplay does differ from the book.
They added the character of Victoria Sinclair and renamed or omitted other characters.

>>PBS Masterpiece link


The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House (2011)


Based on true events, a Scotland Yard Detective Inspector investigates the horrific murder of a three-year-old boy.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher is based on Kate Summerscale’s account of a Victorian murder case that shocked the whole country.

Detective Inspector Jack Whicher finds himself traveling to a remote country house where he investigates the murder of a young child. He soon manages to discover a web of lies and concealment amid the family living there, which he thinks vindicates the xxxxxxxxx suspect in the murder case.

Ever After 1998

If Cinderella was a true story, it would be very much like Ever After. Danielle D’Barbarac, is the strong, fiery daughter of a dead nobleman. She works as a servant to her step mother, the Baroness De Ghent. One day, Danielle pretends to be a courtier to help a servant escape from being taken to the Americas. She captures the eye of the most unlikely person, the crowned prince of France! The two fall in love, but they are up against the ruthless Baroness De Ghent, and her spoiled daughter, Marguerite who are determined to see that Margurite becomes Henry’s bride. However with the servants, Danielle’s kind step sister, Jacqueline, and Leonardo Da Vinci on Danielle’s side, Danielle and Prince Henry’s love can survive even though he is a prince and she is a servant girl.

Drew Barrymore
Anjelica Huston
Dougray Scott
Megan Dodds
Melanie Lynskey
Timothy West
Judy Parfitt

courtesy of Enchanted Serenity