Day two – more screening, more wind, rain and cold weather, then more screening.
Another 10 hours of screening yesterday which means another opportunity to see some of the best television being produced today. Some highlights from the day:
Hustle – from the producers of MI5 (Spooks) and Life on Mars, comes a really great series about a group of 21st century con artists. Call them grifters or maybe a group of modern-day Robin Hoods, the whole idea of the show centers around righting the wrongs of the country or punishing the corrupt. Oh yeah, they also benefit handsomely from their conquests along the way. Immediately reminding you a lot of Oceans Eleven, the series stars Adrian Lester, Robert Vaughn and Robert Glenister (the PM in MI5).
The Last Nazis – the three-part series starts out with The Hunt for Dr. Death and follows an international manhunt for the world’s most famous Nazi war criminal. Then, Most Wanted, attempts to talk to some of the last alleged collaborators of Hitler’s Third Reich. Finally, Children of the Master Race is a really revealing story of what has become of individuals who were born and stolen to become part of Nazi Germany’s so-called Aryan Master Race.
Paul Merton in Europe – this six-part series follows the exploits of comedian, Paul Merton, as he discovers the wonders of modern Europe. Much different from the traditional travel series, Merton’s take on the unorthodox such as finding nude bowlers in Germany to finding a man that struggles with what his forefathers will think of his goal to break into the world of female synchronized swimming really takes center stage with some great finds and great writing. I will say, he did miss the Lenin-themed hotel in the former Soviet Union as this comes from another show screened later in the day. Again, I can’t make this stuff up.
21st century Sherlock
The evening brought some welcome news that will be of great interest for PBS and KERA viewers. We saw the first clips of the new Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement, The Last Enemy) and Martin Freeman (The Office, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). From writer and co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, this won’t make you forget Jeremy Brett, but this will be great television.
With both Cumberbatch and Freeman in attendance, the highlight of the evening was to see the genuine chemistry between the two and knowing that if even a portion of this translates to the small screen, this will be, again, great TV coming to PBS and KERA in Fall of 2010.
Cumberbatch was quick to understand the pressure he faced by portraying, without question, the most famous detective of all-time, but said that while it was daunting, there wasn’t too much pressure given the fact that the mini-series is set in the 21st century and is “incredibly loyal” to the original Sherlock Holmes character.
Freeman said that he thought the adaptation was “quite daring” and “very ambitious”. He also said that audiences will see something very special given “the extraordinary truth and clarity of the storytelling”.
Tomorrow, a look at Lead Balloon, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Rock n’ Chips, the 1960’s prequel to Only Fools and Horses starring Nicholas Lyndhurst.