BBC’S DRACULA MINI SERIES

CLAES BANG TO LEAD

BBC’S DRACULA MINI SERIES

Consisting of three 90-minute episodes, the upcoming Dracula series will re-introduce the world to the vampire who “made evil sexy.” Taking place in Translyvania in 1897, the series will find “the blood drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.” In a statement, Claes Bang said:


I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock. I’m so excited that I get to dig in to this iconic and super-interesting character. Yes he’s evil, but there’s also so much more to him, he’s charismatic, intelligent, witty and sexy. I realise that there’s a lot to live up to with all the amazing people that have played him over the years, but I feel so privileged, to be taking on this incredible character.

There have been quite a number of adaptations of Dracula since the release of the Bram Stoker novel more than a hundred years ago, but I’m willing to give Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss a chance to prove that they can do something new with the story. “It was one of those moments – who else could it be than Claes. He has it all. Brilliant, gorgeous, charismatic, lethal. Tall, dark and gruesome all at once.” said Moffat, Gatiss, and executive producer Sue Vertue. Director of BBC Content and Piers Wenger added, “Hell has a new boss… and BBC One has an outstanding new leading man. To say we have lucked out with Claes would be to underestimate the supreme talents of Steven, Mark and the team at Hartswood and their knack for choosing the right actor to redefine an iconic role. Seriously exciting stuff.” Production on the Dracula series is expected to begin next year. As I’m not overly familiar with Claes Bang, I’ll leave it up to those of you who are, does he have the right stuff to play Dracula?

Overview (3)

Born in Denmark
Birth Name Claes Kasper Bang
Height 6′ 4½” (1.94 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Claes Bang was born on April 28, 1967 in Denmark as Claes Kasper Bang. He is an actor, known for The Square (2017), Bron/Broen (2011) and Anna Pihl (2006). He is married to Lis Kasper Bang.

Spouse (1)

Lis Kasper Bang (? – present)

Trivia (3)

Graduated from the Danish National School of Performing Arts in 1996.
Name is pronounced “Class Bun-g”.
Apart from his native Danish, he’s fluent in Swedish, Norwegian, English and German.

Bright Star 2009 c. 1818

In 1818 Hampstead, the fashionable Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish) is introduced to poet John Keats (Ben Whishaw) through the Dilke family. The Dilkes occupy one half of a double house, with Charles Brown (Paul Schneider) occupying the other half. Brown is Keats’ friend, roommate, and associate in writing.

Fanny’s flirtatious personality contrasts with Keats’ notably more aloof nature. She begins to pursue him after her siblings Samuel and Toots obtain his book of poetry “Endymion”. Her efforts to interact with the poet are fruitless until he witnesses her grief for the loss of his brother Tom. Keats begins to open up to her advances while spending Christmas with the Brawne family. He begins giving her poetry lessons, and it becomes apparent that their attraction is mutual. Fanny is nevertheless troubled by his reluctance to pursue her, for which her mother (Kerry Fox) surmises, “Mr. Keats knows he cannot like you, he has no living and no income.”

It is only after Fanny receives a valentine from Brown that Keats passionately confronts them and asks if they are lovers. Brown sent the valentine in jest, but he warns Keats that Fanny is a mere flirt playing a game. Fanny is hurt by Brown’s accusations and by Keats’ lack of faith in her; she ends their lessons and leaves. The Dilkes move to Westminster in the spring, leaving the Brawne family their half of the house and six months rent. Fanny and Keats then resume their interaction and fall deeply in love. The relationship comes to an abrupt end when Brown departs with Keats for his summer rental, where Keats may earn some money. Fanny is heartbroken, though she is comforted by Keats’ love letters. When the men return in the autumn, Fanny’s mother voices her concern that Fanny’s attachment to the poet will hinder her from being courted. Fanny and Keats secretly become engaged.

Keats contracts tuberculosis the following winter. He spends several weeks recovering until spring. His friends collect funds so that he may spend the next winter in Italy, where the climate is warmer. After Brown impregnates a maid and is unable to accompany him, Keats manages to find residence in London for the summer, and is later taken in by the Brawne family following an attack of his illness. When his book sells with moderate success, Fanny’s mother gives him her blessing to marry Fanny once he returns from Italy. The night before he leaves, he and Fanny say their tearful goodbyes in privacy. Keats dies in Italy the following February of complications from his illness, just as his brother Tom did earlier in the film.

In the last moments of the film, Fanny cuts her hair in an act of mourning, dons black attire, and walks the snowy paths that Keats had walked many times. It is there that she recites the love sonnet that he had written for her called “Bright Star” as she grieves the death of her lover.

 

 

The ABC Murders

An Agatha Christie 1936 Novel    (rumored to release Dec 25th)

The ABC Murders   c. 1933



BBC One and Amazon have released the first photo of John Malkovich as Inspector Hercule Poirot in “The ABC Murders,” the upcoming three-part mini-series which Alex Gabassi (“The Frankenstein Chronicles”) is directing.

The series has once again been adapted by Mammoth Screen and writer Sarah Phelps following their limited series adaptations of “And Then There Were None,” “The Witness for the Prosecution” and “Ordeal by Innocence”.

Set in 1933, a serial killer is terrorising Britain – striking in a methodical pattern of killing people whose names and suburbs all begin with the same letter of the alphabet (eg. Alice Ascher of Andover, Betty Barnard of Bexhill) and leaving a copy of the ABC railway guide at the scene of each.

Poirot attempts to investigate but is thwarted on every front and if he is to match his most cunning nemesis, everything about him will be called into question: his authority, his integrity, his identity. Rupert Grint, Tara Fitzgerald, Andrew Buchan, Shirley Henderson, Kevin McNally, Gregor Fisher and Jack Farthing co-star.

I Capture the Castle 2003

The novel takes place between April and October in a single year in the 1930s. The Mortmain family is genteel, poor, and eccentric. Cassandra’s father is a writer suffering from writer’s block who has not published anything since his first book, Jacob Wrestling (a reference to Jacob wrestling with the angel), an innovative and “difficult” modernist novel that sold well and made his name, including in the United States. Ten years before the novel begins he took out a forty-year lease on a dilapidated but beautiful castle, hoping to find either inspiration or isolation there. Now his family is selling off the furniture to buy food.

The widowed Mortmain’s second wife, Topaz, is a beautiful artist’s model who enjoys communing with nature, sometimes wearing nothing but hip boots. Rose, Mortmain’s elder daughter, is a classic English beauty pining away in the lonely castle, longing for a chance to meet eligible and preferably rich young men. She tells her sister Cassandra that she wants to live in a Jane Austen novel. Cassandra, the younger daughter and the first-person narrator of the novel, has literary ambitions and spends a lot of time developing her writing talent by “capturing” everything around her in her journal. Stephen, the handsome, loyal, live-in son of the Mortmain’s late maid, and Thomas, the youngest Mortmain child, round out the cast of household characters. Stephen, a “noble soul,” is in love with Cassandra, which she finds touching but a bit awkward. Thomas, a schoolboy, is, like Cassandra, considered “tolerably bright”.   …more

 

 


 

Far From the Maddening Crowd 2015

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy 2015

THE STORY (no spoilers): Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) arrives to live with her aunt Mrs. Hurst on a farm in Wessex (a partially fictionalized region in south-west England) and befriends a neighbor Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts) who is renting a sheep farm next to them. He has loans but improving fortunes that will bring him prosperity and his own land someday. Bathsheba is intelligent and beautiful but has little fortunes of her own. Though Gabriel declares his interest in marriage, Bathsheba is independent and doesn’t wish to be tied down. The tide of fortunes will swirl for each of them and Bathsheba inherits a lucrative property of her own. She quickly proves that she is an able and benevolent landholder. Circumstances will bring the two together again, but Bathsheba will attract three potential suitors. A neighboring squire Mr. William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) is the wealthy gentleman to Gabriel’s noble-hearted worker class. Both seem a little awkward around women. Contrast that with the third prospect, Sergeant Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge) portrayed as a gallant and ladies’ man. Each of them will try to solve the puzzle that is Bathsheba EberdeneFar From the Maddening Crowd 2015

The Elephant Man 2019

The 2×90 minute drama biopic, from The Missing and Requiem producer New Pictures, will chart Merrick’s extraordinary story from his working-class beginnings in Leicestershire, through the work-houses, music halls and freak shows that punctuated 19th Century culture to his time at the London Hospital and his friendship with Dr Frederick Treves.

Commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and written by Neil McKay (Moorside), the series will be directed by Richard Laxton (Mum). Executive producers are Elaine Pyke and Charlie Pattinson for New Pictures and Tommy Bulfin for BBC. Producer is Tom Mullens (Poldark). all3media will handle international distribution and is associate producer.

The series will be filmed in Wales with transmission due next year with additional casting under way.

The iconic Merrick has been the subject of countless medical studies, screen and stage performances. Born in the UK city of Leicester in 1862, at the age of five he began to develop physical deformities to his skin, face, arms and feet. When he was 11, his mother died from bronchopneumonia, his father soon remarried and by 17 he was a resident of the workhouse after his relationship with his father deteriorated. Seeking to escape the workhouse several years later, Merrick found his way into a human oddities show in London where he was exhibited as ‘The Elephant Man’. He met Treves in 1884, after the doctor had witnessed Merrick being exhibited in a shop across the road from the London Hospital. Treves brought Merrick to the hospital where he lived until his death in 1890, aged 27.

Among the many performers to portray Merrick have been David Schofield, David Bowie, Mark Hamill, and most recently Bradley Cooper in his West End theatre debut. In 1980, David Lynch famously directed John Hurt in a haunting classic which won BAFTAs for Best Film and Best Actor and scored eight Oscar noms.

Heaton, who plays Jonathan Byers in Netflix smash Stranger Things and recently wrapped on 2019 Marvel pic The New Mutants, said, “I’m extremely excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to take on the portrayal of Joseph Merrick in the BBC’s adaption of The Elephant Man. This is such a special role and a challenge for any actor. Joseph has such an incredible story and I can’t wait to go on this journey and bring him to life.”

Pyke, executive producer for New Pictures, added, “Joseph’s determination to be his own man, to earn a living, to find a sense of freedom and to express himself is inspiring to all. Neil McKay’s beautiful script captures this extraordinary story and we are thrilled that Charlie Heaton is going to play Joseph.”

 

A Very English Scandal 2018

It is the late 1960s, homosexuality has only just been decriminalised and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, has a secret he’s desperate to hide. As long as his ex-lover Norman Scott is around, Thorpe’s brilliant career is at risk. Thorpe schemes and deceives – until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good. The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed society forever, illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment. The Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

3 Episodes  BBC One

 

 

 

Death and Nightingales BBC

 NEW BBC PERIOD SET SERIES

BBC Two

It is 1883 and the farms of County Fermanagh, on the border of Ulster and what we now know as the Republic of Ireland, are crisscrossed with religious, political, and generational tensions. Through the events of a single day in the life of Elizabeth Winters, we see decades of pain, betrayal, and resentment build to a devastating climax.

Against the fearsome beauty of the Fermanagh landscape, the fate of McCabe’s heroine, Beth, slowly and suspensefully unfolds. Born to a Catholic mother and an unknown Catholic father, conceived shortly before her mother’s marriage to Protestant Billy Winters, Beth has lived a life of silent suffering since her mother’s death. Determined to decide her own fate but doomed to repeat the tragic circumstances of her birth, McCabe illuminates her quiet, searing power with the tenderness of a poet, offering up a powerful, lyrical indictment of the tensions that tear families and nations apart.

The series will have three hourlong episodes

Mrs Wilson

‘MRS WILSON’  BBC SERIES
KEELEY HAWES, IAIN GLEN JOIN RUTH WILSON IN NEW DRAMA

BBC has revealed full cast and 1st photo for their new three part period set drama MRS WILSON based on memoir of Ruth Wilson‘s (she plays the lead) grandmother and her family’s complicated history. Iain Glen, our dearest Keeley Hawes and Fiona Shaw will also star!

YOUR HUSBAND IS MY HUSBAND  
Set between 1940s and 1960s London, the series follows Alison Wilson, who thinks she is happily married until her husband dies and a woman turns up on her doorstep claiming that she is the real Mrs. Wilson. Alison is determined to prove the validity of her own marriage – and Alec’s (Iain Glen) love for her – but is instead led into a world of disturbing secrets. Alexander Wilson was a writer, spy and secret service officer who served in the First World War before moving to India to teach as a Professor of English Literature, where he began writing spy novels.Biography | Drama | Mystery
The series will on PBS Masterpiece in USA

Ordeal by Innocence – Agatha Christie – Easter Sunday

The series starts this Easter Sunday

Although we thought Sarah Phelps’ adaptation of Witness for the Prosecution was ghastly bad last year at BBC, we did absolutely adore And Then There Were None the year before it, so we are ready to give ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE her latest Agatha Christie project a go when it starts airing Easter Sunday at BBC. It was originally supposed to air at Christmas but it underwent a 12 day reshooting in order to replace Ed Westwick with Christian Cooke in 35 scenes in which he appears in the three part mini-series. The reshooting wasn’t easy as they had to book the ensemble cast again and shoot in winter instead of summer while also booking all the locations and costumes again too. They have also changed the ending from the one in Christie’s novel for which they’ve got a special permission from Agatha Christie’s estate.

Bill Nighy leads the cast as the victim’s widower!