Desperate Romantics 2009 – A BBC Classic

This BBC miniseries brings to life the daring work and tempestuous love lives of the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of 19th-century British artists and playboys who yearned to reinvent Western art — and seduce a few lovely lasses in the process. As John Millais (Samuel Barnett), William Holman Hunt (Rafe Spall) and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Aidan Turner) paint for fame and fortune, they quarrel over model Lizzie Siddal (Amy Manson) and other women.

Desperate Romantics (2009) mid-Victorian



Meet the cast of Doctor Thorne

Meet the cast of Doctor Thorne

Meet the cast of Doctor Thorne

By Sarah Doran

New drama Doctor Thorne begins this Sunday 6 March at 9pm on ITV. The period drama is adapted by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and stars Tom Hollander and Rebecca Front. Find out more about the cast and characters here.

Doctor Thorne (Tom Hollander)

Doctor Thorne lives in the village of Greshamsbury with his illegitimate niece Mary, whose mother has left for Australia. He is also business advisor to railway millionaire Sir Roger Scatcherd and helps conduct his financial dealings with Francis Gresham, Lord of Greshamsbury Estate.

After winning a Bafta starring as Rev, Hollander has dabbled as Dylan Thomas (A Poet in New York) and can currently be found over on BBC1 as the unhinged sidekick Corky in The Night Manager. His earlier film roles include Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End, and satirical comedy In the Loop with the other Doctor, Peter Capaldi.

Mary Thorne (Stefanie Martini)

Mary is young and beautiful, but unfortunately she is also poor. Frank Gresham, the handsome son and heir of Greshamsbury Estate, wants to marry Mary, but she’s concerned about her low rank and breeding.

Stefanie recently featured in the latest series of ITV Morse prequel Endeavour, but this is her first full returning television role.

Lady Arabella Gresham (Rebecca Front)

The Gresham family fortune is on the rocks, and lady Arabella is trying to salvage the situation. She is keen to clinch an engagement for her reluctant son Frank with miss Dunstable, a rich American heiress, whilst keeping Mary away from Greshamsbury Manor. 

Well known for playing Nicola Murray in Armando Iannucci’s The Thick of it, Rebecca Front’s had a busy couple of years on screen. She was the scheming Anna Drubetskaya in the BBC’s War and Peace, and featured in the 2015 drama film The Eichmann Show. You may also have caught her in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy Grimsby.

Sir Roger Scatcherd (Ian McShane)

Railway tycoon sir Roger Scatcherd is largely confined to his bed as a drunken mess. Doctor Thorne comes to see him firstly to check on his health, and then to check on how much more land he wants to buy off Francis Gresham. Although Sir Roger is close to the doctor, there’s a dark history between the two men involving the details of Mary’s birth.

For TV viewers McShane will always be antiques dealer Lovejoy, but he’s also featured recently as movie villain Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. And he’s been everything in between, from having voice roles in Shrek the Third and Kung Fu Panda, to bagging rolls in season six of Game of Thrones AND the upcoming American Gods series (based on the Neil Gaiman novel).

Frank Gresham (Harry Richardson)

Frank has promised sweetheart Mary that he’ll marry her, and riles against his mum and his aunt when they try and talk him out of it. He agrees to visit Miss Dunstable out of courtesy, but their meting proves to be an unexpected surprise.

Doctor Thorne marks Harry Richardson’s TV drama debut.

Francis Gresham (Richard McCabe)

Foolish investments have squandered the Gresham fortune, and Francis is left to rue what his father had worked so hard to build. Despite their hardships, he still wants Frank to follow his heart and marry penniless Mary.

McCabe is known for his work onstage where he’s won both an Olivier and Tony award (both for his portrayal of PM Harold Wilson in The Audience). On TV he’s appeared in Peaky Blinders as Churchill, and featured in TV miniseries The Great Fire and Channel 4’s Indian Summers.

Countess De Courcy (Phoebe Nicholls)

As Lady Arabella’s sister, the countess is just as keen to see her nephew marry into money for the sake of the family. She approves of her daughter Augusta’s marriage to Moffat (despite his odious manner), as he is a man of good breeding and fortune.

In 2015 Nicholls has been involved with the historical fantasy series Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, as well as psychological drama Fortitude set in the Arctic Circle. She also worked with Doctor Thorne writer Julian Felllowes in Downton Abbey as the Marchioness of Flintshire.

Miss Dunstable (Alison Brie)

Miss Dunstable is the affluent new bachelorette on the scene, and she knows it. Rich and well bred, she takes a liking to Frank Gresham, but is weary of single men courting her for money.

American actress Alison Brie is probably best known for her starring turn in Community, but you might also have spotted her in Mad Men playing Trudy Campbell. She’s also featured in The Five-Year Engagement with Emily Blunt and the recent romcom Sleeping With Other People.

Augusta Gresham (Gwyneth Keyworth)

Augusta is engaged to Moffat but is not entirely thrilled by the prospect. She’s also excluded Mary from being a bridesmaid because of her mother’s snobbish attitude towards her.

Gresham appeared in the most recent series of Game of Thrones as Clea, as well as having a part in the Channel 4 fantasy drama Misfits.

Alexandrina De Courcy (Kate O’Flynn)

Alexandrina makes cattish remarks about Mary’s status and breeding. She also has a playful interest in Moffat, and toys with his affections right under Augusta’s nose.

Kate O’Flynn has featured in the police comedy drama No Offence as well as BBC’s Ordinary Lies. Her most recent film role was in the biopic Mr. Turner, with Timothy Spall playing the artist.

Beatrice Gresham (Nell Barlow)

Beatrice doesn’t understand why Mary Thorne is being excluded from Augusta’s wedding, and also wants Frank and her to be married.

This is newcomer Nell Barlow’s first role for television.

Mr Moffat (Danny Kirrane)

A man of good fortune and solid political prospects in the village of Greshamsbury, but not much more.

Kirrane’s been in TV series Trollied and science fiction film Automata with Antonio Banderas. Look out for him in the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Patience Oriel (Cressida Bonas)

Patience is a close friend of Beatrice’s.

Prince Harry’s former flame is an actress, dancer and model, with theatre credits including The Importance of Being Earnest to her name.

The Invisible Woman 2013

The Invisible Woman 2013

Synopsis by Jason Buchanan

Director Ralph Fiennes teams with screenwriter Abi Morgan to adapt Claire Tomalin‘s book detailing the clandestine, 13-year-long love affair between celebrated English author Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and 18-year-old actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), whose name was effectively erased from the history books following Dickens‘ death in 1870. Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander costar.

Medici: Masters of Florence


A visual delight for you today in the form of new photos from the sets of new eight part historical TV series MEDICI: MASTERS OF FLORENCE which will air sometime next year. The pics show our deeply beloved Richard Madden as a true symbol of super dashing Renaissance hunkiness! The eight part epic series will see him playing the lead role of Cosimo de Medici, the young prince of the political dynasty and their enterprising son, with Dustin Hoffman playing the patriarch of the family, Giovanni de Medici, as they ascend from simple merchants to power brokers.
is set in Florence in the early 15th Century. Cosimo de’ Medici (Richard Madden) finds himself at the helm of his supremely wealthy, banking dynasty family, when his father, Giovanni (Dustin Hoffman) dies suddenly. However Cosimo is concealing a dangerous secret – Giovanni was murdered. Now Cosimo must unearth his killer in order to protect the wealth and power of the family. It is this wealth and power that has elevated the family to a status equal to that of the nobility, much to the distaste of many of Florence’s old noble families. It is also this wealth and power that has brought much political and social influence to the Medici. However the Medici are unique in that they are neither nobility nor commoners, they are the new ‘middle class’. Aided by his brother, Lorenzo de’ Medici (Stuart Martin) and his trusted servant, Marco
Bello (GuidoCaprino), Cosimo searches for his father’s killer. Top of his list of suspects is arch-enemy, Rinaldo Albizzi (Lex Shrapnel), his one-time friend. Cosimo must also strive to maintain his father’s financial legacy but his ambitions are vastly different from his father’s. Cosimo is drawn to art and architecture and he embarks on the completion of the Duomo. Cosimo’s love of art will herald the birth of the Renaissance.
To be aired on RAI in Italy and sold for airing around the world as well, the series has been shooting in Rome and Florence, Italy, acquiring an unprecedented access to some historic sites where many of the actual events occurred, including Palazzo Vecchio, the Basilica di San Lorenzo, and the Duomo. It is created by Frank Spotnitz (‘The Man in the High Castle’ and ‘ The X-Files’) and directed by Sergio Mimica Gezzan (‘The Pillars of the Earth).
The Medici came to power at a time of great social and economic inequality and they were great disrupters since their banking practices led to the creation of a middle class, making them unimaginably wealthy. The Medici in turn used their vast power and resources to challenge traditional thinking, ushering in a new era of revolutionary art and science such as the world had never seen.

The Red Tent (2014)

The Red Tent 2014Artfully chronicling the Old Testament history of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, this two-part miniseries envisions the turbulent world of the ancient Holy Land through the eyes of Jacob’s four wives and his headstrong daughter, Dinah.

cast:  Minnie Driver, Morena Baccarin, Rebecca Ferguson, Iain Glen, Will Tudor, Debra Winger


Book:      The Red Tent is a novel by Anita Diamant, published in 1997 by Wyatt Books for St. Martin’s Press. It is a first-person narrative that tells the story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph. She is a minor character in the Bible, but the author has broadened her story. The book’s title refers to the tent in which women of Jacob’s tribe must, according to the ancient law, take refuge while menstruating or giving birth, and in which they find mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts.


click title for full screen

The Silver Chair


If you love legendary epic fantasy saga THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA from CS Lewis and are sad that the movie franchise ended last decade with The Silver Chair - Narnia 2016three films, do not despair because the fourth one is coming in the future. Producer Mark Gordon has announced that it will be based on THE SILVER CHAIR book and will be a reboot – a start of a new franchise with new actors, directors and team. The story follows Dawn Treader’s Eustace and his schoolmate Jill who end up in Narnia where they need to hunt down the ageing King Caspian’s missing son.
Speaking of book adaptations, Televisa USA will turn Daniel Peters‘ acclaimed book ‘The Luck of Huemac’ into AZTECSAZTECS TV series! MARCO POLO’s and BLACK SAILS’ MarkChernuchin will run the series about a family in the waning moments of a glorious but little known civilization as the Spanish invasion looms. As ‘Deadline’ reports the project will tackle of the subject of the pre-Columbian empire from the family’s vantage point, rather than that of Cortez and the Conquistadors. Intrigue, betrayal and romance told from the eyes of the people that built and lost this great civilization.