Victoria starts Season 3 production

 ITV has started with the production on the third season of their epic saga VICTORIA which will be set in 1848 a turbulent and uncertain time for both Europe and the monarchy. With revolutions on the continent and the Chartist movement reaching its peak in London, Victoria is under pressure from the government to leave London for her own safety.
Laurence Fox is the new foreign minister!
ITV has also revealed new cast members! If you were in tears after Leo Sutter‘s character was killed in the last season finale, do not despair, a new hunk is arriving to the court: Laurence Fox will play Lord Palmerston, the

Lily Travers and David Burnett are the new additions at the court!

wayward Foreign Secretary! Kate Fleetwood will portray Feodora, Victoria’s mysterious sister who makes an unexpected return into the Queen’s life. The eight episode season three has also added John Sessions as Prime Minister

Kate Fleetwood and Nicholas Audsley have also joined the cast

John Russell, Lily Travers as the Duchess of Monmouth, Nicholas Audsley, David Burnett and Emily Forbes to the cast. The series will air this Autumn in UK and probably next spring on PBS in USA.

Summer of Rockets (BBC 2 series)

First look at Keeley Hawes in the series!

The six-episode hourlong series is set in the UK during the Cold War period of the late 1950s, a time when the UK, like much of the world, was dealing with the threat of international espionage and nuclear armageddon.

Helen Flint (Patrick Melrose) will executive produce for Little Island Productions and Lucy Richer for the BBC. The drama was commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and will be distributed internationally by BBC Studios. Filming has begun in and around London and Oxford.


The series follows Samuel (Stephens, pictured at right in a first look at the drama), a 40-something Russian Jewish émigré, inventor and designer of bespoke hearing aids, whose clients include former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. The drama follows Samuel and his family, wife Miriam and children Hannah and Sasha, as he is approached by MI5 to demonstrate his work.

It is not his inventions the operatives require, however. Instead Samuel is tasked with the secret mission of obtaining information about his charming, newly acquired friends Kathleen (Hawes, pictured below left) and her husband Richard Shaw MP (Roache) through whom Samuel also meets the impressive Lord Arthur Wallington (Spall). Writer-director Poliakoff’s Russian-born father was a naturalized British electronics engineer, inventor and businessman.


Rounding out cast are Lily Sacofsky (Bancroft) as Samuel’s daughter Hannah, Lucy Cohu (Ripper Street) as his wife Miriam, Gary Beadle (Grantchester) as his right-hand man Courtney, Mark Bonnar (Line of Duty) as Field, Ronald Pickup (The Crown) as Walter and Rose Ayling-Ellis (Reverberations) as Hannah’s friend Esther. Further casting includes Greg Austin, Jordan Coulson, Matthew James Thomas and Fode Simbo.

Said executive producer Flint, a longtime collaborator with Poliakoff on productions such as Close to the Enemy, Shooting the Past and Perfect Strangers: “This piece set in 1958 is hinged at the pivotal point of world history where the past and future are pulling in equal strength and human beings, young and old have little control over the eventual outcome.”

Stephens added: “It’s great to be working with Stephen Poliakoff again after such a long time. I loved working with him on Perfect Strangers; he’s such a unique and original voice in British television. It’s also good to be filming something back home in the UK for the BBC. It’s been a while.” Said Hawes: “I have wanted to work with Stephen for years, so I’m delighted to be part of such a wonderful cast, and can’t wait to spend the summer with them all.”


First look at Toby Stephens in the new series!

In Script Status – mid February

The Lost Viking


THE LOST VIKING is actually out next week on DVD! Directed and written by Emmet Cummins, it stars gorgeous Dean Ridge as the Viking who dreams of adventure. The cast also includes Ross O’Hennessy, Kezia Burrows, James Groom, Ian Virgo, Dan Styles and others.

THE LOST VIKING is actually a young Viking called Vitharr who arrives in Britain with dreams of conquest and adventure, but when his family and clan are ambushed and killed, he must survive alone in this strange, dangerous new land as he searches for his Uncle’s settlement.
 The Lost Viking is out on DVD and VOD (iTunes, Amazon Instant Video) on May 28th. Get it on Amazon or from major retailers.


The Reclusive Aristocrat – Part Forty-Eight

Chapter Twenty (completed)

London, March 17th, 1816

Her beautiful chocolate eyes were boring into his with gentle compassion, yet he was not sure on whose behalf, his or Carlisle’s, damn it. Alex found himself wondering what the bloody devil was wrong with him at being so rattled by what she made him feel.

What exactly was it he was feeling? Multiple things, for sure, envy being one of them. He envied Carlisle because his wife felt compassion on the demise of that sorry excuse of a third son. She had loved the bastard, he knew that, but surely she must have come to her senses by now. On the other hand, losing a son, even a third one, must be incredibly hard. Alex had no inkling how he himself would feel, all the more that Carlisle must know of the blackguard’s many faults.

“Alex, please?”

He jerked back to the present and tried to focus on his pleading wife.

“We have to find out what he knows about Johnston,” he replied and pulled his hand from hers. “Does he know his son was a deserter, a seducer, and a general ne’er-do-good?”

She clucked and shook her head. “I have no inkling, Alex, but we cannot leave him unaware of the fact that he has a granddaughter.”

“What? No, Rowena!” Alex felt sheer panic at the thought of having to present his daughter to Carlisle. “Carlisle has three surviving sons and two married daughters. In all he has ten grandchildren, including an heir and a spare by his eldest son, the marquess of Windermere. I dread to think what might happen if he knows of Emma Rose’s existence.”

Rowena was perplexed. “And what would that be, Alex?”

“Carlisle is extremely possessive about family. He would demand you hand her over to him, so that she can be brought up amongst her cousins. He would claim that, because she is illegitimate, she would have better chances for her come-out with him, due to his elevated state as a member of His Majesty’s government.”

“Dearest Alex,” she said fondly and stroked his face with the back of her hand. “Have you forgotten that you adopted her? She carries your name, husband! If she needs protection from whoever tries to claim her, you of all people are best placed to protect her.”

Rowena’s heart swelled with love for her kind, gentle husband. “You protect and defend, Alex. You told me that long ago, and I know it to be so very true. I have every confidence in you, my brave husband.”

For the life of him, Alex was at a loss at what to make of her.


After they sent their luggage on its way home under the care of Porter and Trixie, Rowena and Alex called on Lord Carlisle on the appointed hour of noon. They had discussed their stance for hours the previous evening without having reached a common viewpoint but it was agreed that they would both play it by ear, Alex taking the lead in the conversation with Rowena stepping in when female support was necessary. Rowena had to take Bessie and Emma along, since the infant could not be without nursing for too long. They were shown into a parlour and told to wait for his lordship’s pleasure by an impressive, elderly butler.

Alex did not like it at all. He was not keen on telling Carlisle about the baby but after mulling over it for half the night, he reckoned it would perhaps be necessary. Illegitimate or not, having a grandfather and a father being earls of the realm, might prove to be fortuitous for little Emma in the long run. She was an aristocrat’s child, on both sides, and at one time she would have to marry, preferably into the aristocracy.

When the butler finally returned, looking very much down his nose at them, he ushered them into the drawing room. Lord Carlisle was standing before the hearth where a large fire merrily blazed, and next to him in a winged armchair sat a lady. His Lordship introduced her as Lady Petronella Johnston, the countess of Carlisle. She was pleasantly rotund and somewhat plain, but she held herself regally, and was elegantly clad in a simple day dress.

Rowena curtsied to Peter’s mother who invited her to sit down in the chair next to hers. Alex made his bow and was shown to a chair opposite the ladies. Carlisle stayed where he was, his face inscrutable.

“My dear lord and lady Ketteridge,” the countess said, her voice a warm contralto, “I understand that you have information about our son Peter? He has been a great source of concern to us both and to his siblings as well. His death was reported to us by the cavalry regiment he served in, just two days ago, which was a mystery to us. The commander of that same regiment had informed us that he was a deserter after Waterloo and that he was therefore thought to be having gone missing in Flanders. And now we hear that he died a violent death in the village of Ketteridge, Leicestershire, in a manner which is even too distressing to speak of. We are greatly confused, Lady Ketteridge, so if you can enlighten us, we would be ever so grateful.”


Rowena looked at her husband with a silent plea for help. He cleared his throat.

“Lady Carlisle, first allow me to express our deepest sympathy. It must have been thoroughly distressing to find out that your son shirked his duty to his country, although I would be the last to condemn him for his actions. Waterloo was terrible, in fact so vilely inhuman, that he was not the only one to have lost his head. We counted many young men, both in the cavalry and infantry, who could not countenance the cruel slaughter of their comrades. I myself occasionally still suffer from nightmares and I have only recently somewhat recovered from my injuries.”

The countess dashed away a solitary tear but smiled at Alex, while the earl coughed and looked away. “There might be, however, more to know about your son, your ladyship,” Alex continued. “He had an acquaintance with Sir Roderick Drake, baronet Daveston. Were you aware of that?”

“We knew of the friendship,” the earl spoke up. “They were at Oxford together and stayed friends. I suppose you are going to allude to the connection Peter had to Daveston’s sister, the current Lady Ketteridge?”

Alex nodded, but Carlisle was looking at Rowena now. “I believe he promised you marriage?”

“Yes, he did,” Rowena replied quietly.

“We were opposed to the alliance,” Carlisle stated gruffly. “Peter told us he broke off the engagement, when he came to say goodbye before he left for France. There is one thing we want to know once and for all, my lady; were you pregnant with Peter’s child? He swore to us that he had not … erm …”

“My lord!” Alex sprang to his feet in indignation. “I am asking you most urgently not to offend my lady wife by implying impropriety.  Yes, she was with child, and your son fathered Emma Rose, who now bears the name of Raventhorpe. Both she and her mother are under my protection, and I will not stand for offence.”

Carlisle straightened, his eyes blazing, and was on the cusp of violence. Alex readied himself for battle, although he was reluctant to fight an older man. Then, out of the blue, came Emma’s furious cry of protest; she was hungry and her mother had neglected her for too long.

All eyes turned to Bessie who had been cradling the baby, while she sat on a chair next to the door.

“Oh!” Lady Carlisle rose and hurried to the pair. “Is that my granddaughter? May I hold her for a while, please?”

Bessie, greatly in awe of a countess addressing her without any condescension, handed her the child. Lady Carlisle returned to her chair with Emma Rose who was now howling in earnest. “Shh, little one, shh, oh, you are so beautiful …”

“Annabelle, it is only a baby, for heaven’s sake,” the earl admonished gruffly but he sank to his knee beside his wife’s chair and peeked at the screaming infant with reluctant interest. “Hey, my gal, what ails you, eh?”

At the sound of the unfamiliar, deep voice, Emma stopped crying and looked her grandfather in the eye … and smiled. Carlisle gasped and his wife gloried. “Oh, she looks so like Peter when he was a babe! Is she not beautiful, Terrence?”

Alex and Rowena stared at each other and at the couple in sheer astonishment, not quite sure of how to proceed the interrupted conversation. Who would have thought it would end like this?



Chopin: A Desire For Love 2002

A full-length movie on you tube.

The film starts when Frédéric Chopin is still a young man living with his parents and his two sisters in Warsaw where he frequently plays the piano and composes music for the decidedly unmusical Grand Duke Constantine. Shortly before the November Uprising, Chopin’s father urges him to leave for Paris, which Frédéric does. Once in Paris he meets novelist George Sand, who has just split from her violent lover Mallefille. Although he is immediately drawn to Sand, he initially refuses her advances. However, after several months, their mutual friend Albert urges Chopin to get to know George better and a passionate romance starts to build. During their affair, Chopin is diagnosed with tuberculosis and has to cope with a declining health. The relationship is further complicated by George’s two children: Maurice and Solange. While Maurice’s near-hysterical hatred of Chopin leads from one escalation to the other, Solange develops an obsessive love for Chopin which leads to a rivalry between Solange and her mother. After several years of constant fighting between Chopin, George, Maurice and Solange, the relationship ends and Chopin calls for one of his sisters to help him get through the last days of his life.


Part 1 of 4


Part 2 of 4      |      Part 3 of 4      |      Part 4 of 4

The Spanish Princess

Charlotte Hope will be Catherine of Aragon!

I‘ve already told you before that after the success of The White Princess, which was probably one of the best epic series last year, Starz is making THE SPANISH PRINCESS sequel series also based on Philippa Gregory‘s books, and now they’ve announced the cast too led by Charlotte Hopeand our dear Elliot Cowan!


Continuing the saga of the Tudor dynasty, it will be a powerful, epic story that not only returns the audience to the world of royal court intrigue as seen

Alicia Boracherro, Elliot Cowan and Alexandra Moen will rule the courts

uniquely through the perspective of the women, but also sheds light on a previously untold corner of history – the lives of people of colour, living and working in 16th century London.


In the focus of it all is Charlotte Hope as young Catherine of Aragon! Promised in marriage to the future King of England Prince Arthur (Angus Imrie), Catherine is the source of curiosity, resentment and suspicion among

Olly Rix, Richard Pepper and Philip Cumbus will hunk up the cast!

her new family; the formidable Margaret Beaufort (Harriet Walter), Arthur’s guardian Margaret (Maggie) Pole (Laura Carmichael),   Arthur’s charismatic brother Prince Harry who will become King Henry VIII (Ruairi O’Connor), his sister Margaret (Meg) Tudor (Georgie Henley), their father

Alan McKenna, Jordan Renzo and Aaron Cobham!

King Henry Tudor (Elliot Cowan) and mother Queen Elizabeth (Alexandra Moen). Philip Cumbus will play famous Thomas Wolsey. When Prince Arthur dies shortly after their wedding, Catherine finds her future as Queen in question and at the mercy of a divided Tudor court under the threat of

Angus Imrie, Laura Carmichael and Georgie Henley!

enemies both abroad and closer to home. Catherine’s ladies will be played by Nadia Parkes, as Rosa, and Stephanie Levi John, as Lina de Cardonnes! Aaron Cobham will play a young soldier of the Spanish court, Oviedo. Alan McKenna will be Tudor noble Richard Pole with Richard Pepper as Thomas, Earl of Wiltshire! Our dear Olly Rix will play Edward Stafford and

Stephanie Levi John, Ruairi O’Connor and Harriet Walter.

Jordan Renzo will be Charlie Brandon. Daniel Cerqueira will be De Fuensalida, ambassador to England and loyal servant of Spanish Queen Isabella, played by Spanish star Alicia Borrachero! PS in other news from the period set TV series front, The Durrells is getting the fourth season, and there are rumours that Lord of the Rings series at Amazon might focus on young Aragorn, prince of Gondor!