With the States in the final days until the premiere of the second series of Downton Abbey on PBS’ Masterpiece and the UK only days removed from the Christmas Day conclusion of series 2 on ITV, it seems only fitting that the BBC has begun to fight back against those in the post-Downton Abbey era that think there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to quality drama both with ITV (Downton Abbey) and Sky Atlantic which bring the likes of American drama imports such as The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men across the pond.
With that, Ben Stephenson,controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, commented recently that, “…It’s about fighting back against any perception that we don’t make the best drama in the world.” The recent announcement of Birdsong, which stars Clemence Poesy (Harry Potter) and Eddie Redmayne in the two-part television adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ 1993 novel, will attempt do just that. “Birdsong will be a signal of intent in terms of the scope and ambition of BBC One drama”, added Stephenson.
Given the strong critical-acclaim and high audience numbers in the UK this past week for the BBC production of Great Expectations and the announcement of Birdsong for 2012 broadcast, the BBC is primed and ready to reclaim their place as creators of the best drama in the world. PBS Masterpiece viewers be alerted that Great Expectations will air beginning April 1, 2012 and Birdsong is tentatively scheduled for an April 22, 2012 premiere.