It was drama overload this past week in New Orleans at the BBC’s annual Syndication Showcase (insert how much you feel sorry for me being in New Orleans for three days screening brilliant telly here). I say drama overload in the nicest possible sense. Seems as though ever since that fateful day in January 2011 when that little series we know as Downton Abbey premiered on PBS’ Masterpiece series, the drama output from the UK, whether it be from the BBC or ITV has been beyond description. This past week was no exception. Programs screened this week will begin to show up on your local public television station in early 2015, some a bit later with a target transmission date in the Spring of 2015.
Some of these will be very familiar titles that Tellyspotting readers have been asking for for some time along with some new titles you may or may not remember. If you’re in the States, we’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts as to what you’d like to see in the coming months. If you’re in the UK and have already seen some of these series, what did you think?
Case Histories 2 – set amidst the iconic landscapes of modern Edinburgh, Case Histories brings to life the jigsaw puzzles of Kate Atkinson’s books. Jackson Brodie (played by Jason Isaacs), a former soldier and policemen, combines a tough-guy exterior with a compulsion for resolution and an innate inability to ignore the suffering of others. When series 1 was broadcast on PBS, one of the most hauntingly amazing things about this series is the soundtrack. Look for more of the same with series 2.
Doctor Blake Mysteries – many years have passed since Dr. Blake first returned home from war to run his father’s old practice. Unfortunately, there’s a new chief superintendent who doesn’t approve of Blake’s unorthodox methods and, despite the pathologist solving the crimes which continue to confound the police, he is determined to get rid of Blake for good.
The Fixer – Outside the law, there are no rules. That’s the world that John Mercer finds himself in. A modern-day gun for hire, Mercer lives in the shadowy world between right and wrong beholden to his sinister master but not the boundaries of the law. Unexpectedly released from prison early, Mercer soon learns that freedom comes at a price.
Quirke – adapted from the award-winning books by novelist John Banville, Quirke is set against the whiskey-soaked bars and elegant Dublin houses. Starring Gabriel Byrne and Michael Gambon, the series follows the path of a consultant pathologist in the Dublin city morgue in the 1950’s as he attempts to unlock the secrets to each cadavers’ death. The mystery and intrigue begins when a body vanishes one night from the mortuary.
Red Cap – Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) is the elite plain-clothes detective unit of the Royal Military Police charged with investigating serious crimes connected to members of the British Army. Tamzin Outhwaite (The Fixer, Paradox, New Tricks) stars as Sergeant Jo McDanagh, who has recently been promoted to SIB from Close Protection. With proven detective skills, Sgt McDanagh is thrown into the murky underworld of drug and gun related crime, human trafficking, espionage, political cover-up and terrorism.
Other can’t miss offerings coming soon to public television include the 4th season of DCI Banks, starring Stephen Tompkinson, series 4 of Death in Paradise, series 3 of everyone’s favorite priest (sorry, Geraldine) Father Brown, series 11 of New Tricks with Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicholas Lyndhurst and series 4 of the brilliant Scott & Bailey.
Now do you believe me that there was a lot of drama (the good kind, of course) in New Orleans. Not to worry, comedy fans, there were some great comedy offerings too!