A Christmas Carol *** FX – Dec 19, BBC Dec 22

    ‘A CHRISTMAS CAROL’ OR
 MORE LIKE A HALLOWEEN ONE

As somebody noticed around the internet, it is beginning to feel a lot like… Halloween. Yep, Halloween, not Christmas, as British national broadcaster has decided to swamp us with nasty horrors in what is definitely

The series will air on FX and BBC this month

the worst holiday program scheme they’ve ever had. You can already see from the dark posters that their central series A CHRISTMAS CAROL won’t be filled with jingle bells but with creepy sounds, monsters and fog. It is interesting that it will first air in USA on FX on December 19th before moving to BBC on December 22nd!

Christmas Carol
is a unique and original take on the Charles Dickens’ iconic ghost story by Steven Knight and a haunting, hallucinatory, spine-tingling immersion into Scrooge’s dark night of the soul. The three-part special follows Ebenezer Scrooge (Guy Pearce), the miserly cold-hearted boss, as he is visited by ghosts from the past, present and future, on a freezing

Guy Pearce takes the lead role in the new series

Christmas Eve. Forced to face up to how his self interested, penny-pinching behavior has impacted his own life and those around him, is it too late for him to save the spirit of Christmas, and himself? Andy Serkis as Ghost of Christmas Past, Joe Alwyn as Bob Cratchit, and Jason Flemyng as Ghost of Christmas Future also star.

ToGo *** Dec 20, 2019

THE UNTOLD TRUE STORY

Here’s a trailer that I forgot to show you earlier this week, but it is not too late, I hope, to do it today. If you don’t know what to watch this Christmas

Togo will paw its way into your home December 20th

Disney is ready to release their new period set adventure TOGO on December 20th at their Disney + streaming service! Willem Dafoe is a rather strange choice for the lead role in a family movie based on the untold true story set in the winter of 1925 that treks across the treacherous terrain of the Alaskan tundra for an exhilarating and uplifting adventure that will test the strength, courage and determination of one man, Leonhard Seppala, and his lead sled dog, Togo. It is the story of the sled dog, Togo, who led the 1925 serum run, but was considered by most to be too small and weak to lead such an intense race. The movie was directed by Ericson Core who worked on epic TV series Of Kings And Prophets and Still Star Crossed.

The Noble Coachman Chapter 10

The Noble Coachman – Amazon Kindle

Chapter 10
The Haunting

 

Squeaks spent her mealtime with her father, telling him about her day, and the chaps she was coming to know. She produced the sketch, and that seemed to cheer her father as he sprouted a big smile.

“Kip did this . . . from memory?”

“No, Father. I never posed or sat for him.”

“He seems to have a gift.”

“When we go riding, he has asked to sketch my face. He says he is just starting on portraits, as he’s been drawing landscapes on his waits.”

“I assume you said yes.”

“Yes, I did. However, he said he wanted it for himself.”

“Oh, he did, did he?” Clyde chuckled. “Now it seems that Kip has been at Parliament twice or is it three times, without a passenger. Is that right?”

“Has it been three days? I don’t know. I asked him to be there tomorrow, too. I want to talk with him about night driving with the lamps.”

“And, of course, he said he would be there.”

“Yes, Father. I know what you are thinking … and you may be right. He could have a bit of a fancy for me. I must say I am flattered and hope that it is true. I approve of him a great deal.”

“Approve? You sound like the lady of the manor. I believe his feelings are becoming stronger if he is giving up fares to be with you.”

“I asked him why, the other day, why he was abandoning his fares. He said he had his priorities. I think he may have meant me.”

“It would seem so. Have there been any words?”

“Not really.”

“What does that mean?”

“Today, he said he had an interest in my safety. Furthermore, he did say he favors me, and it becomes more difficult to leave.”

“Oh, those are words all right. How do you perceive them?”

“I am pleased to hear them. No one has ever said words such as those that make me feel giggly.”

“That’s not what I meant, but it answers my question. So, you are taking a fancy to Kip?”

“Right now, I want to, but I don’t know if I have a fancy or not. I’m not sure about what is a real fancy.”

“Are you attracted to him?”

“Yes.”

“Do you wish for him to be attracted to you and be near you often?”

“Yes. Very much and often.”

“Then you fancy him.”

“Should I tell him?”

“Well, you have me there. Women usually don’t speak such thoughts first. The man does. He is very careful with every step he takes. He’s likely ensuring you are ready or willing to accept his advances. But I hardly know much about that, as your mother was as headstrong as you.”

“He cautioned me not to wear a scent when I work.”

“He did? That was proper thinking on his part. You need nothing to lure men to you, my dear.”

“I told him I wasn’t wearing any. He didn’t take it that well,” she laughed.

“Well, if Kip is to be the first man in your life, I think you are starting out well with a fine gentleman.”

“First? You think he’ll be the first of how many?”

“I have no idea. It will depend on how well you get along. If you cast him off, you will have others standing in line.”

“That sounds cruel. Cast him off, as if I can throw away my fancy. I would hurt his feelings, would I not?”

“A fancy is not quite love; you see. It’s an interest is in someone … keen interest. It may not be love for him. You do not know. You are not at that point yet. Has he tried to kiss you?”

“No, he’s been a complete gentleman.”

“I have no doubts about that. There is something different about him. He’s been reared as a true gentleman, I believe. I know nothing about his past.”

“He did say his master was able to educate him.”

“That seems to shine through once in a while, but it’s as if he tries to hide it. Enough of this. His Lordship would like to see you this evening. Here, take your sketch.”

“Yes, I wanted to show it to his Lordship, although I think Kip is embarrassed that others are seeing it.

 

“Enter,” Squeaks heard from the other side of the door.

“Good evening, Your Lordship. You wish to see me?”

“What have you there in your hand?”

“It is a picture of me next to a big horse.”

“A picture?”

“A sketch, really. Driver Kip drew it at home. He thought it was funny because I am short, and the horse is tall.”

Lord Stokes unrolled the sketch that he had seen earlier in the day. “It is a good likeness of you.”

“I thought so, too. I asked Kip if I could bring it to you and father to show you. He said I could keep it if I wanted it.”

“Kip, you say?”

“Yes, sir. He seems to have taken over as security for me for an hour or so, in the mornings. Yes, the lads are at my coach. Kip watches over me since he knows them. I am sure he would warn me about the unsavory ones, and he hasn’t, as yet.”

“Does he drive a Lord in the morning?”

“No, he comes just for me.”

“Is that so? And what do you think about that?”

“I like it. In fact, I asked him to be there tomorrow, too.”

“And why would you do that? Are you taking a fancy to this coachman?”

“Father and I just discussed that. It would appear I am. I certainly enjoy talking with him.”

“Squeaks, I know I am an old man, and I am prying into your adult personal affairs. I should not be doing this.”

“I don’t mind, milord. I will stop you if your questions become too bold,” she smiled.

“You will?” he laughed. “That is good then.”

“When I have my day off, he is going to take me riding and allow me to rein his pair of fine horses. I will feel like a queen holding those reins.”

“I have not heard of his horses.”

“You must be the only one, milord. Excuse me,” she paused. “That was improper.”

“That would be improper for everyone except you. However, even though I am a Lord of the realm, I do not know all. Someday, after you rein these grand animals, you must come and tell me about them.”

“I will be excited to tell you, sir.”

“I was going to ask your father this, but I have decided to ask you. You can tell me you don’t want to talk about it if you wish.”

“What is it, milord?”

“For your personal needs when out for the day, is there any trouble finding facilities for women?”

“No, sir. Not where you go.”

“Where I go? What do you mean by that?”

“You only go to where the high-borns would have been driven by an in-service coachman. There are facilities for drivers at all the finer places.”

“For women, too?”

“Well, no. I use the gents. Father would stand guard.”

“And now?”

“Until I can find a trustworthy coachman, such as Kip, I carry a canning jar under the bench. I see that look on your face. Yes, I get in the coach and close the shades. I hope that is all right.”

“I guess it will have to be,” he laughed. “You know Parliament is becoming enjoyable again, as Lords approach me, knowing of you being my driver.”

“I hope you are not embarrassed, milord.”

“Embarrassed? No, I am quite proud and delight in calling them jealous. The rumors are just beginning to circulate about you. I will have more fun going to work in the days and weeks ahead.”

“I hope I never disappoint you, milord. You have been remarkably kind to father and me.”

“I received more than I gave, Squeaks. All right, off with you. Oh, one more thing. Do you feel you could take me to an affair on Saturday night?”

“Yes, sir. That is why I have been asking Kip about night driving.”

“You knew of this affair?”

“Kip did. I believe he has a client that night, too.”

“I wonder who that could be. Perhaps, this person’s staff driver will be unavailable or sick. Be ready to drive by 8:00 p.m.”

“Yes, sir. I am looking forward to it.”

“I wish my life were as simple as yours.”

“Being a girl is not all that simple, milord. I don’t think you would like it.”

Lord Stokes laughed heartily and waved her out of the room.

 

#

“And?”

“Trevor didn’t you hear what I said. Mary is haunting the manor.”

“Son, something is going on within our home. Listen to your brother. He’s most upset with the staff or whoever is playing these pranks.”

“In what form are these pranks being played, Gus? Are people seeing the ghost of her? Is she lifting people to the ceiling, frightening them to death?”

“I can see you’re not taking me seriously. We have seen her name smudged on the outside glass of the window in her room. That area is unreachable without hanging from the roof.”

“Interesting,” Trevor smiled. “And you have questioned every one of the staff and have concluded that Mary is haunting the house.”

“The staff are frightened. I am worried they will start leaving.”

“Trevor, you know something, don’t you?” His father eerily remarked.

“Yes. Yes. I do know who’s doing it. I just didn’t expect it at the Manor house. I find it fascinating that an actual physical movement of dirt on the window could be accomplished.”

“Trevor!”

“Hmph, I guess I am not the only one she warns. Your prankster IS Mary.”

“Trevor, don’t blaspheme her memory.” Earl Caldwell, full of sadness, said emphatically. “Explain that comment.”

“You both remember before I left here how I talked with Mary. That has never stopped. She often comes to me in dreams, swirling her image. On several of these extraordinary occasions, I believe she was trying to warn me. However, I am unable to discern if the warnings are for danger or not.”

“Lord Caldwell stood and began pacing the floor in front of his son.”

“This has been happening since you left home?”

“Yes, but she has become more active since the other Caldwell woman went missing. I must admit that even I began to worry about my passionate belief that she was watching over me, until a few days ago. There is much talk about the coach which departed with Lilith Caldwell, which I believe the coachmen are going to solve. But what the two men look like, only one person knows, and that’s the cousin who was in attendance that night, who I happened to drive. Within a night or two, Mary swarmed into my night. I wasn’t sure if I was awake or asleep. What she presented to me is beyond belief. I saw the man that was raping her, through her eyes at that very time. Unfortunately, her eyes were full of tears, and the image was blurred. I will not explain what I felt during the session, that I now call it, because it is too horrible to hear. Until then, until she showed an image that I could not have made up myself, all the encounters could have come from my own need to see her. This was different. The event at the Manor confirms it to me. I believe she is trying to tell us something. It is my fervent hope that she can lead us to her killer or to Lilith Caldwell. I suggest you keep a diary of anything such as what you’ve seen.”

Lord Caldwell dropped back in his chair, long ago. The room could have heard the proverbial pin drop. It took some time before anyone could speak.

“It will be unbearable to think she hasn’t completely passed over.”

“Father, I have agonized over that myself. I feel she is here for a purpose. Once that is resolved, she will continue her journey. I believe she senses my guilt and is trying to relieve me of it.”

“Why haven’t we seen her so vividly in our dreams?” asked Gus.

“Since I was always closer to her than anyone else in the family, is my only explanation. Now that a coach is involved with Lilith, that is a path to me.” Kip walked over and refreshed his drink. “I don’t understand any of this, but I do know that I do not fear my visions, if fact, I welcome them. She must know that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t think these manifestations would be so pleasant.”

“Trevor, I am glad you have found a way to accept whatever may be happening. There certainly is no precedent for it.” His father had exhausted all his words on Kip’s extraordinary experiences.

“Trevor, I don’t know if father has told you, but I have a lady friend. Would you think she could be in any danger?”

“I wish I could voice an opinion. We don’t know what has actually happened to this Lilith. Is this a coincidence or is there a vendetta against our family? We can find no cause for that. When you return, settle the staff with my feelings on these strange happenings. Someone should talk to Chandler in regard to any type of motive, no matter how vague. He has been at the manor since father was a boy. He’s the one with knowledge of our family. See what he knows about our uncle, Nathanial.”

“It seems you have been giving this quite a lot of thought, Trevor.” The tenor of the Earl’s voice signaled the end of the conversation.

 

Des 2020

ITV has announced details of a new true crime drama series.

Des will follow the arrest and trial of serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the early 1980s.

Based on Brian Masters’ book Killing for Company, the three-part mini-series will dramatise one of the most infamous cases in UK criminal history.

The story will be told through the prism of three men – Dennis Nilsen, played by David Tennant (Broadchurch), Detective Chief Inspector Peter Jay, played by Daniel Mays (Line of Duty), and biographer Brian Masters, played by Jason Watkins (The Crown).

Des will explore the personal and professional consequences of coming into contact with a man like Nilsen.

Executive producer Kim Varvell commented: “Dennis Nilsen’s crimes shocked the nation in the early 1980s. Our programme focuses on the emotional impact of those terrible crimes, both on those who came into contact with Nilsen himself, and also on the victims’ families. We’re thrilled to be working with Luke and Lewis on this project, as well as the incredible cast.”

The official synopsis reads: “Nilsen murdered boys and young men in his flat from 1978 to 1983. He was undetected for five years, and it was only when DCI Peter Jay was called to 23 Cranley Gardens on 9 February, 1983, to investigate human fragments of flesh and bone clogging the drains, that the police realised they had a serial killer on their hands.

“Dennis Nilsen was arrested and convicted at the Old Bailey of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, which was replaced by a whole life tariff in 1994. He died in May 2018.

“Told from both the police and Masters’ point of view, Des will explore how a man like Nilsen was able to prey on the young and vulnerable in 1980s Britain. The series will not only highlight the police investigation and trial but also the effect of the media coverage on public perceptions of the victims at the time, raising questions of just how far have we really come since then?”

Des will air on ITV in the UK in 2020.

The cast also includes Ron Cook, Faye McKeever, Chanel Cresswell, Barry Ward, Tony Way, Bronagh Waugh, Laurie Kynaston, Ross Anderson, Ben Bailey Smith, Jay Simpson, Silas Carson, Stuart McQuarrie, Jamie Parker, Lex Shrapnel, Gerard Horan, Joel Morris, Jonathan Coy, Amy Booth-Steel, Ken Bones, Andrew Woodall and Amaka Okafor.

Vienna Blood PBS 01/19/20

 

BBC Two has acquired thrilling new crime drama Vienna Blood from Red Arrow Studios International.

The three-part, feature-length, series, written by acclaimed screenwriter Steve Thompson (Sherlock, Deep State), is based on the best-selling Liebermann novels by Frank Tallis.

Starring Matthew Beard (The Imitation Game, And When Did You Last See Your Father?), and Juergen Maurer (Vorstadtweiber, Tatort), Vienna Blood is set in 1900s Vienna, a hot bed of philosophy, science and art, where a clash of cultures and ideas play out in the city’s grand cafes and opera houses.

Max Liebermann (Matthew Beard) is a brilliant young English doctor, studying under the famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud. When Max comes into contact with Oskar Rheinhardt (Juergen Maurer), an Austrian Detective Inspector struggling with a strange case, he offers his assistance. Max’s extraordinary skills of perception and forensics, and his deep understanding of human behaviour and deviance, help Oskar solve some of Vienna’s most mysterious and deadly cases.

The series, filmed in English on location in Vienna, also stars Conleth Hill (Game Of Thrones), Charlene McKenna (Ripper Street), Amelia Bullmore (Gentleman Jack), Jessica De Gouw (Dracula) and Luise Von Finckh (Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten). It is produced by Endor Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, and MR Film (Austria).

Sue Deeks, BBC Head of Programme Acquisition, says: “Vienna Blood is a unique, ambitious and compelling crime drama, set in glorious Vienna during an extraordinary period in its history. We are excited to be bringing it to BBC Two.”

Hilary Bevan Jones, Managing Director of Endor Productions, says: “We are delighted BBC Two has acquired Vienna Blood. We are proud to have brought Frank Tallis’ outstanding novels to life in the historic and beautiful city of Vienna. The chemistry between the lead actors Matthew Beard and Juergen Maurer creates a fresh and unique TV partnership which is wonderfully complemented by an exceptional international cast.

 

Bo Stehmeier, President of Red Arrow Studios International, says: “Vienna Blood is a great example of the kind of bold, ambitious drama we are passionate about at Red Arrow Studios International. With its combination of gripping storylines, compelling cast and talented creative team, I’m sure the series will be a hit with viewers in the UK.”

Oliver Auspitz and Andreas Kamm, co-managing directors of MR Film, say: “Vienna Blood is no longer just a best-selling novel, it’s now a TV drama with global appeal. Produced in the heart of Austria as a UK-German-Austrian co-production, we are thrilled to be part of the story and looking forward to seeing the series make its debut on BBC Two.”

Red Arrow Studios International have led the co-financing of the series, and are the international distributors. Germany’s ZDF and Austria’s ORF are co-production partners and will premiere the show in their respective territories. Other funding partners include Televisionfund Austria, TV-Filmfund Vienna and Niederoesterreich Kultur.

Vienna Blood is directed by Academy award and Emmy nominee Robert Dornhelm (Anne Frank: The Whole Story) and Umut Dag (Cracks In Concrete). The producers are Hilary Bevan Jones and Jez Swimer for Endor Productions and Andreas Kamm and Oliver Auspitz for MR Film. Executive Producers are Steve Thompson, Klaus Lintschinger (ORF), Wolfgang Feindt (ZDF) and Bo Stehmeier and Carlo Dusi (Red Arrow Studios International). The series will air on BBC Two this year.

The Noble Coachman Chapter 9

Chapter 9
Early to Rise

 

His day was at an end. Kip looked forward to keeping company with Miss Squeaks tomorrow. As he began to undress for the night, he found a pittance of money in his pocket. This was a rare day for him, but it had all been of his own choosing. People were coming into his life, which held far more value to him. For a year, he had avoided his family because of his decision to leave home, but there had been no attempts to change his mind. His father was more devastated by his daughter’s loss than he had let on at the time. Why did nobility feel they could never show their true emotions? The peerage of the land seemed to have been taught to take the overwhelming news with composure. No one dared show weakness.

While sliding off his boots, he wondered what he and Squeaks would talk about. Kip had given no thought to his future since he left home. If he did find a woman, he wanted to spend his life with, what would be her opinion of his choice of trade or being titled?

 

Kip rose early, thinking of his dream and Squeaks’ magnetism. Was it the novelty of her being the only female driver? He knew it started there. He had never thought about someone to love who could man a team of horses. Nevertheless, she was there, almost in front of him. Never having seen her hair unfurled, it was black and shiny as jet glass. Little dimpling cheeks, rosy from the morning air, and no muscular stature for someone in that trade. He imagined her riding a horse. He pulled out his pad and began to draw; her head reaching just above the stirrup. As the charcoal in his hand swept across the canvas, he pictured her being boosted into the saddle by a groom from the stable. Perhaps they had a concrete step, as many riders needed those. Finished sketching his fancy, he donned his daily dress and harnessed the horses.

Kip was there early, ensuring they could park next to one another when she arrived. There were very few teams in the yard as he pulled in. He didn’t care what the others thought when no passenger disembarked. He rode straight to the waiting area and parked an hour before the Stokes’ coach arrived. Kip watched from a distance as her rider exited. She headed towards him looking like a child on the bench. If she wasn’t known, one might be prompted to rescue the little boy on the runaway carriage.  Seeing the black ribbons from her hat flapping in the wind, made his heart soar. Squeaks would look magnificent in a rain cape that billowed out behind her as she raced the team to shelter. He started to analyze his own reactions to seeing her. His pulse quickened; heart raced, and a strange nervous state came over him. If she turned from him, it would be a serious disappointment. I think I am falling in love.

As she pulled around behind and came to rest beside him, facing the building, she smiled.

He tipped his hat, “Good morning, Squeaks. I watched you trotting in. You are so petite that one would think you live in a dollhouse.”

“Good morning to you, as well. May I come aboard?”

“You may indeed.” Kip gave her a broad smile. “You know you’ll get a reputation sitting with me.”

“Tsk!”

She said it again. She makes me laugh too easily.

“They will get to know me someday and know the way I am. I merely wish to see your harnessing.”

Kip feigned an arrow through his heart by clasping his chest with both hands. “You wound me, young woman. I thought it was I who interested you. Alas, I am but the humble servant of these horses and tack. You bestow us your presence at a price to my very soul.” He smiled.

“I hope not. I wish to know your heart and soul someday, not the cost to it.”

Kip was momentarily stunned. Did she really say that? “You know Squeaks; you cost every man here some form of restraint.”

“What restraint? What do you mean by restraint?”

“Miss Squeaks, could I caution you to resist applying a scent before working? The control these men are putting forward will become even more burdensome. I know what they tolerate and have a concern for your welfare.”

“Tsk.”

“Tsk? Don’t you know your own attraction here?”

“Not really. Novelty maybe. Nevertheless, I am not wearing any scent.”

“Dear God,” Kip sighed.

“I think you are having fun with me.”

“I wish that, but I am serious about the scent and the restraints.”

“I would like to accept your offer to ride the next time I am available; when is not clear yet.”

“Squeaks, I am in anticipation of the day.”

“If I wasn’t on the Stokes estate, I was riding with my father. I have only seen London from up here. It would be a delight to get out of the city. Shall I pack a lunch?”

“My very thoughts. Speaking of reading my mind, let me show you something I did last night.” Kip reached under the bench for his folio. He opened it and flipped a few pages until he came to the sketch of her standing next to a large horse.

She clapped her hands as she giggled. “I am most impressed by your drawing ability, and you have caught me utterly. Oh, Kip, this is grand. How did you learn to draw?”

“It was something I picked up during my waiting times. Eventually, you will find something that entertains you. I have little talent.”

“I think you are wrong there. I believe this is exceedingly well done. It isn’t a masterpiece, but quite accurate. Could I borrow it? I think His Lordship and my father would enjoy seeing it. And you say you did this from memory – well, of course, you did. I didn’t sit for this.”

“Would you mind if I sketched you on our day out? I would like a picture of you.”

“Me? You would?”

“I think you know I would, as any man here.”

“Can you not speak for yourself, Kip?”

Confused, Kip asked, “Am I not speaking for myself?” Quite in doubt of her meaning.

“Not really. When you want to pay me a courteous remark, you add that all the other men would feel the same. I would rather hear your own thoughts.”

“Tsk.”

“You astonish me. I knew I was doing that but never suspected it to be seen through. The truth is, I do fancy you, and every time I see you, it becomes harder to leave. I fear it is too early to say words like this, but you have forced me into this admission with your astuteness. I hope you cannot read my mind.”

“Give me time. Your face is starting to tell on you. It is you who I cost restraint, is it not?”

Kip was grateful it was only his face giving him away. “Please, do not make me admit that. I am one of many men who you will make the acquaintance of, and I daresay, most will react the same.”

“Tsk.”

“You like saying that. You dismiss any warnings that I give you. Why is that? After all, you have forced out of me this morning, you must know I have an interest in your safety.”

Squeaks is the most un-noble woman I have ever met.

“Am I not among gentlemen? I have you here and Boots for the rest of the week. Let me enjoy this time before I start to worry for myself. My father and Lord Stokes do the worrying for all of us. I do carry a pistol and am skilled in its use.”

“Do you have it with you? May I see it?”

Squeaks took the wheel peg down and ascended to her bench. Under her seat, she extracted an antique pistol.

Kip, taking it from her lifted hand said, “This … this is what you were trained on?”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“It’s a relic. It belongs in a museum. It has probably been on the Stokes property for a century or more. It’s a flintlock. I will get you something you can handle. They actually have firearms that shoot more than one round before reloading,” he laughed. “I’ll show you mine someday. I can’t believe this is what you and your father have been relying on should the time come.”

“Back to my drawing. Yes, you can borrow it or have it if you like, but would you sit for me when we travel into the country? I mainly want to sketch your face. I am just starting to try my hand at portraits. Everything has been landscape until now.”

“I will consider it an honor to sit for you. I would imagine it shall be within a few days. You will come to pick me up?”

“Which coach do you wish: The Queen Mary or this one, The Butler?”

“I think this one. Should some accident befall us from my driving, let it be in this coach.”

Kip hardly noticed the yard filling. A footman from the Parliament building was heading his way. He thought it awkward when the man handed him a sealed missive.

He opened it.

Your brother will be here today. Come dine with us at 7:00.

Kip closed the message and placed it in his coat pocket.

It wasn’t long after receiving his note that drivers were descending on his horses and guest. Warrior might be put out if he knew he was now the second favorite. Kip rolled up his sketch and handed it to Squeaks.

“I guess I should withdraw to the ground like all the other drivers,” she said.

“I will join you for a while. I forgot to tell you that we will meet on Saturday night at a gala that my rider and your rider will be attending.”

“Do you mean in the dark?”

“Do you fear the dark or could it be me?” he smiled.

“No, but I have rarely driven at night using the lamps. Could I beg your company for a brief time tomorrow, so you can explain any tips? I will ask my father, as well. Perhaps His Lordship will not allow me to be there alone in the dark,” Squeaks said, as she placed the sketch in the coach.

“Yes, I will be here tomorrow if you wish it.”

“Yes, I do wish it of you, along with the other hundred women waiting in line for your charms.” The inclination in her voice sounded far more than asking him to be there for night-driving tips. She wondered if what she felt that moment was called jealousy. It was a new and very uncomfortable emotion.

Kip felt a thrill run through him. He wondered how she saw their developing relationship.  She couldn’t feel as he did. Right now, because her father knew him and liked him, he was her safe haven. If that’s all it was, he would be happy to have that. For a moment, sadness crept through his mind as once someone else counted on his safety, and now she was dead.

As Kip’s feet landed on the ground, he began conversations with the others. He did not want to draw any more attention to people thinking they were a couple because they weren’t. He purposely had his back to her, as he didn’t wish to see her being ogled. Kip heard someone talking about her livery with the skirt and top hat. Many of them wanted to know how it was to work for Lord Stokes, but she never gave them any information. On his wait times today, he would begin a list of important facts to know about night reining. An hour later, Kip left her with the others talking about their jobs.

 

Kip spent the balance of his day picking up standard fares, thinking of Squeaks, wondering if he should come to the front or back door of his father’s suite, and thinking about night driving. Tomorrow night he had a special fare for an evening event. He would wear his tails and drive the Queen Mary. Then, if his luck held, he would see Squeaks at the Saturday ton. The full moon was just beginning to wane.

 

Squeaks spent her morning getting to know the other drivers and who they worked for. Several times she heard an apology for their language, but this was the life she had always wanted, and words like that came with a gathering of men. She never heard any talk about women, of which she was glad. As much as she wanted to know the sincerity of men loving women for more than their bodies, she wasn’t willing to learn from overhearing conversations and boasts.

 

Lord Stokes hailed her near 1:00 in the afternoon.  Squeaks drove him to a nice restaurant. Entering the coach, he saw the rolled-up heavy paper and had a look at it. His first impression was laughter. After that, he wondered when that was done and where was she. As she matured, he had struggled to stay out of her private life, but it hadn’t been easy. He had only one son. They never bore a daughter, and he had wished to have had one. Squeaks filled his want of a daughter, but she was an adult now, and there was little he could say. He would wait to see if she told him about the sketch. He hoped she had packed her own lunch. For some reason, along with the thought of her meal, he wondered about her personal issues while out on the road. Men had no trouble taking care of that function, but she would need to seek privacy. He decided to ask Clyde, about such problems for her. Stokes was still hearing from his fellow Lords about glimpsing his new driver. “You Lords, are just jealous,” he told them.

Lord Stokes was returned to Parliament for the rest of the day and did not leave until near dusk.

Squeaks lit the lamps with the help of some young man lifting her instead of doing it for her. This would be her first drive this late. It wasn’t dark, yet, but the sun was going down. The tall buildings in that part of the city allowed little twilight to filter through. It seemed easy to tell how close to the road edge she was but found herself coming up on a coach ahead of her a bit tricky. It was hard to tell if they were moving or stopped. What would she do when she drove where there were no gas street lamps?

 

Kip arrived home, bathed and changed into his tails, which was expected at his ancestral home – one always dressed for dinner. Arriving at his father’s suite of rooms, he could only park in the rear. That was settled, as he would not leave his team on the street. A groom ran over and took the reins. “Water them, please,” Kip asked. “How do I enter this building?”

“Sir, it depends on if you want the front door or back door.”

“I’ll use the back door.”

“Yes, right through that alcove, into the courtyard. You will see steps to the back.”

“Thank you, my lad.” Kip wondered where his father’s driver was. He knew that he would recognize him. This was going to be an exciting night.

He walked from the below stairs area to the upper hallway, becoming Lord Trevor again, Chandler was there to greet him.

“Lord Trevor, I am most happy to see you. I hope you have been well.”

“Chandler, I believe I am improving. Do you know what I do these days?”

“Oh yes, sir. We know it is to be confidential at your request.”

“We?”

“That would be Briggs and me, sir.”

“Thank you, Chandler, and Briggs, too. No doubt our coaches will pass someday.”

“Sir, I believe that has already happened. This way, sir. Your brother is anxious to see you, as we all are. Your usual scotch, sir?”

Kip smiled, “You remember!”

“Oh, yes, sir.”

As Trevor Caldwell entered the study of his father, he saw his brother rushing over to him. At first, there was a handshake, followed by a hug, with back-slapping. “Good evening, milord,” Kip greeted the title first, with a head bow. Then turning toward his brother, “How are you, Gus?”

“I believe your brother has some disturbing news from home. Sit down, sons. Here comes Chandler with your drinks.”

Kip flipped his tails up so as not to crease them, crossed his legs, taking the crystal glass that was handed to him. The large study was that of a working Lord, and warmth billowed from the hearth near his desk.

“Thank you, Chandler,” he said.

Chandler bowed and left the room, closing the double doors.

“Trevor, you look marvelous. Getting much of the sun, I see. When we have a long time, I would like to hear what lures you to this trade of coachman. There must be something for you to settle for a profession like that.”

“Gus, I am not ‘settling’ for anything. I am happy with driving. Yes, we will talk more, but what is this news you have from home. Is it about, Mary?”

The room grew quiet. Gus shifted in his seat and pulled on his scotch glass before starting.

“Trevor, I think Mary may be haunting Caldwell Hall.”

 

 

 

 

 

Medici The Magnificent – Final Season

 ‘MEDICI THE MAGNIFICENT’
THE FINAL SEASON OF THE EPIC SERIES STARTS NEXT WEEK
Netflix will air the series around the world

Medici: The Magnificent was definitely a far cry from the marvellous first season Medici: Masters of Florence, having none of its great cast and masterful storytelling, as its lead star Daniel Sharman showed a rather shocking lack of acting chops, charisma and any kind of expression or even screen presence, and given that Italian National Broadcaster has decided to air all episodes of the final third season MEDICI THE MAGNIFICENT: FINAL SEASON aka The Beauty and the Power (titled in Italy Medici: Nel Nome della famiglia) in just two weeks to be quicker done

Lorenzo’s and his wife now have tons of kids and it seems his treacherous sister is back after betraying the family and getting her own brother killed

with it, it seems the last season won’t be much better either. We will, of course, still give it a go. First four episodes will air Monday and Tuesday December

The final season starts tomorrow in Italy

2nd and 3rd on RAI and then the last four on December 9th and 10th. Netflix will air the eight episodes at the beginning of 2020 in the rest of the world as their original series!

  Who Is In The Family?  
Beside Sharman’s Lorenzo Medici with a much longer hair and older looks (he is supposed to be over 40 in the final season), who is now the undisputed ruler of Florence, we will also see Sanditon’s Rose Williams who is joining the season in the role of Caterina Sforza Riario, a historical figure known as the Renaissance lioness whose defiance and ruthlessness have made

Ray Stevenson, left, plays King Ferrante in the series

her a tyrant. She was a daughter of the Duke of Milan and the wife of Girolamo Riario (Jack Roth), Pope Sixtus IV’s nephew. Reign’s and Last Kingdom’s

Daniel Sharman returns in the lead role of Lorenzo Medici

Tobi Regbo is also joining the cast as painter and architect Peruzzi.  Synnøve Karlsen, who was rather unimpressive and unnoticeable in the previous season, returns as Lorenzo’s flimsy wife, Sarah Parish as his

Sinnove Karlsen returns as Lorenzo’s helpless and weak wife

mother, with new cast additions being Francesco Montanari, John Lynch, Johnny Harris, Callum Blake, Aurora Ruffino! Sebastian De Souza returns as the famous painter.

Medici: The Power And The Beauty

has the story set after the terrible Pazzi Conspiracy in which Giuliano Medici (Bradley James) lost his life. Lorenzo is tormented by the desire for revenge against Pope Sixtus IV (Raoul Bova), who authorized that bloody attack, and

Alessandra Mastronardi returns as Lorenzo’s shameless mistress

towards Count Riario, the last survivor among the conspirators. His beloved wife Clarice (Synnove Karlsen) tries to convince him to find peace with a compromise that would save both his soul and the city. He does not see much

John Lynch joins the cast as Pope Sixtus

hope even after the discovery that Giuliano left a son, Giulio, who is welcomed into the family. Lorenzo is determined to save his family and Florence even at the price of losing his soul. As the bank’s situation becomes increasingly

Francesco Montanari is Lorenzo’s new enemy Savonarola

unstable, politics pushes Lorenzo to give up the ideals of the past and his relationship with his wife Clarice also suffers, especially after he meets

Rose Williams joins as Lorenzo’s new lover Caterina Sforza Riario

beautiful lady Sforza. He also continues to finance the world of art, meeting the great artists such as Leonardo and Michelangelo. In affirming his ever-

Toby Regbo is architect Peruzzi, Lorenzo’s friend

increasing power, however, Lorenzo clashes with an unexpected enemy, the Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola (Francesco Montanari), who inflames the people of Florence with his sermons against the tyranny of the Medici.

 

1917 – USA Release Dec. 25, 2019

At the height of the First World War during Spring 1917 in northern France, two young British soldiers, Schofield (George MacKay) and Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are given a seemingly impossible mission to deliver a message which will warn of an ambush during one of the skirmishes soon after the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line during Operation Alberich. The two recruits race against time, crossing enemy territory to deliver the warning and keep a British battalion of 1,600 men, which includes Blake’s own brother, from walking into a deadly trap. The pair must give their all to accomplish their mission by surviving the war to end all wars.  Source: Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

  JUSTIN KURZEL TO DIRECT
 THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP

The novel won The Man Booker prize in 2014

NORTH WW2 MINI SERIES

After The Railwayman with Colin Firth we are getting a new movie on the horrors of infamous railway in Burma during World War II! As ‘Deadline’ reports, director Justin Kurzel has boarded Freemantle’s small screen adaptation of Richard Flanagan’s acclaimed novel THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH which has the story set against the backdrop of the horrific Burma Railway in 1943 and across the Pacific during World War II. The mini series will chart the cruelty of war, the tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love, as seen through the eyes of an Australian doctor and prisoner of war.
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