Mystery!: Cadfael (1994) - News Poster

(1994–1996)

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Graham Theakston obituary

My friend Graham Theakston, who has died of cancer at the age of 62, was a talented director of television drama over the past 30 years. He will be best remembered for Channel 4's The Politician's Wife, for which he won a Bafta award in 1995, and The Mill on the Floss (1997). He worked on many popular shows, including Cadfael (1994), New Tricks (2003-5), Sherlock (2002), Inspector Lynley (2007) and Blue Murder (2007).

Born and raised in Bradford, Graham went to grammar school and was the first in his family to go to college. He was originally intended for a career in architecture but was drawn to stage and screen after several inspiring visits to London in the early 1970s. His London friends musicians, actors, designers steered him towards a job in television and he got his break as a director, thanks to the producer Richard Bates, on a sci-fi series called Tripods in 1984.

Continue reading.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Margery Mason obituary

My aunt, Margery Mason, who has died aged 100, was an actor, writer and theatre manager. She was a founder member of the Actors' Company and made appearances in diverse productions, from Midsomer Murders to a Harry Potter film.

Born and brought up in Hackney, east London, she came from a modest background, and after rudimentary education left school at 15. Her parents ran a semi-professional dramatic company, from which Margery's acting career developed. Initially she performed in their company at working men's clubs in the East End of London, starting as principal boy in pantos, then succeeding to adult parts, sometimes competing with her mother for the starring female roles. Her father ran an early cinema, the Hackney Bioscope, and subsequently established the Impartial Film Report, which distributed weekly film reviews to the then many independent cinemas. Margery attended film trade showings, wrote reviews and helped produce the Report.

Before the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Margery Mason obituary

My aunt, Margery Mason, who has died aged 100, was an actor, writer and theatre manager. She was a founder member of the Actors' Company and made appearances in diverse productions, from Midsomer Murders to a Harry Potter film.

Born and brought up in Hackney, east London, she came from a modest background, and after rudimentary education left school at 15. Her parents ran a semi-professional dramatic company, from which Margery's acting career developed. Initially she performed in their company at working men's clubs in the East End of London, starting as principal boy in pantos, then succeeding to adult parts, sometimes competing with her mother for the starring female roles. Her father ran an early cinema, the Hackney Bioscope, and subsequently established the Impartial Film Report, which distributed weekly film reviews to the then many independent cinemas. Margery attended film trade showings, wrote reviews and helped produce the Report.

Before the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Six to watch: TV priests and vicars

With the current success of Father Brown and the past popularity of Rev, priests and vicars may be starting to take centre stage on TV. We pay homage to some of the best small-screen clergy

Traditionally, television has either dressed them up inWith straw hats and used them as the butt of jokes, or portrayed them as hapless victims in Agatha Christie adaptations. But it seems that priests and vicars have begun to take centre stage on the small screen. Following the success of BBC2's comedy Rev, there's currently another sympathetic ordinand on television: Gk Chesterton's prewar detective Father Brown, who has been appearing daily on BBC1 in the afternoons.

Brown is played by Mark Williams (of The Fast Show and Harry Potter fame). He would not have been my immediate idea for the part of Chesterton's squat and gentle character with the odd clothes and large brolly, but
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Classic British TV Series Being Streamed By Acorn TV

  • CinemaRetro
Cinema Retro has received the following press release:

The leading ‘Best British TV’ streaming service Acorn TV is now streaming full seasons of several popular British mystery and drama series, along with two critically acclaimed Canadian series. This week Acorn TV also has a special Memorial Day Weekend Midsomer Marathon with the first 22 episodes of its best-selling series,Midsomer Murders, and the U.S. debut of John Nettles final episodes.

Acorn TV is currently streaming a full season of Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect; the final seasons of the universally acclaimed Canadian dramedy Slings & ARROWSand Derek Jacobi’s mystery series Cadfael; the U.S. debut of the newest season of Murdoch Mysteries; Lynda La Plante’s Trial & Retribution; John Mortimer’s Under The Hammer; the final episodes of WWII drama Wish Me Luck; Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter) in Pie In The Sky; and John Nettles final episodes with Midsomer Murders,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid lead BBC romance 'Antony And Cleopatra'

Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid lead BBC romance 'Antony And Cleopatra'
Derek Jacobi has signed up to play the lead role in BBC One romantic comedy Antony And Cleopatra. The Cadfael star will appear opposite Anne Reid in the series, written by Scott & Bailey's Sally Wainwright. The six-part drama will follow childhood sweethearts Alan (Jacobi) and Celia (Reid) as they are reunited after 60 years and begin to rekindle their romance. Sherlock's Euros Lyn will direct, while Five Daughters star Sarah Lancashire, Spooks actress Nicola Walker, Fresh Meat's Tony Gardner, Life On Mars star Dean Andrews and comedienne Ronni Ancona will play supporting roles. "I can't remember being this excited about writing (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

BBC1 to screen War of the Roses epic

BBC puts emphasis on drama as it announces new series for year ahead

Having tackled the Tudors, the BBC is taking on the Yorks and the Lancasters in what promises to be an epic BBC1 drama about the War of the Roses.

In a twist on the male-dominated lens through which history is frequently viewed, the epic serial about one of the bloodiest periods in English history will be told from the point of view of powerful women who "shaped their men and who shaped history in the process".

They include queens, mothers, lovers and "witches" and the drama reminds viewers that at the time women could still be burned at the stake for sorcery.

The War of the Roses is an adaptation of Philippa Gregory's best-selling series of books The Cousin's War and is part of a renewed focus on BBC1 drama.

The BBC said that it is
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV’s Top Crime Thrillers

British audiences love a quality crime thriller series to immerse themselves into. To celebrate the release of ITV’s Crime Thriller DVD Collection (available now) and the upcoming ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards on October 11th, we have compiled a list of some of Britain’s best-loved crime thriller shows, complete with the iconic, sleuth characters that have since formed legacies of their own.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Jeremy Brett’s portrayal of the daring detective with his faithful sidekick, Dr. Watson, remains one of the most popular portrayals despite the numerous reimaginings of the infamous and ingenious super sleuth. Before Brett’s tragic death in 1995, he ignited new energy into the role of Sherlock Holmes that British audiences fell in love with, portraying one of the truest screen adaptations of the many Holmes tales. The answer to whether Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are incomparable to any other pair of detectives is elementary!
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

'Inspector Morse' prequel 'Endeavour' to air on Masterpiece in Us

'Inspector Morse' prequel 'Endeavour' to air on Masterpiece in Us
Endeavour has been picked up by PBS to air on Masterpiece Mystery in the Us next year. The ITV Inspector Morse prequel drama, starring Ashes to Ashes actor Shaun Evans, will mark the 25th anniversary of the iconic detective, originally played by the late John Thaw. The drama will be set in 1965 and follow the story of a missing schoolgirl in Oxford. It is written by Russell Lewis, who has also worked on Lewis and Cadfael. "Inspector (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

'Inspector Morse' prequel 'Endeavour' casts Shaun Evans - First Look

'Inspector Morse' prequel 'Endeavour' casts Shaun Evans - First Look
Shaun Evans has been cast as Endeavour Morse in ITV's prequel to the popular detective series. Endeavour, which is written by Russell Lewis (Lewis, Cadfael), will explore the origins of the character, famed for his love of crosswords, classical music and real ale. Evans, whose TV credits include The Take and Come Rain Come Shine, will play the younger version of the Oxford detective originally made famous to TV audiences by John Thaw. "Morse as a young man is a wonderful character that I'm very excited to be playing. My hope is that we can compliment what's come before, by telling a great story, and telling it well," said Evans. Endeavour will be part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the first episode of Morse, which aired on ITV in 1987. Thaw went on to film 33 more stories over the next 13 years. (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

DVD Review - Discovering Hamlet

It's always quite interesting to see television meet Shakespeare. Last year, Acorn Media gave us a brilliant meeting of the two in the Blu-ray release of the Canadian series Slings & Arrows, an utterly brilliant dark comedy that followed a dysfunctional theater troupe as it attempted to put on adaptations of Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear. Now, this year, Acorn Media's documentary imprint Athena will be putting out more Shakespeare, this time in the form of a documentary titled Discovering Hamlet.

Shakespeare isn't the only connection this release has to previous Acorn titles. The director of the play it focuses on is Derek Jacobi, who played the titular character in Acorn's November release Cadfael. Also recognizable is a pre-Harry Potter Kenneth Branagh, who stars in the production as eponymous prince of Denmark.

The documentary was filmed in 1988, and if it wasn't for the recognizable faces, you wouldn't be able to tell.
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Review - Cadfael: The Complete Collection

Cadfael is "enchanting." I know this, because that review (by the Washington Post), is on the covers of all four sets of the medieval mystery series. I don't need to be told that, though, because the series really speaks for itself. From the first moments of the opening titles, which show intricate and macabre carvings in a dim light, the entire tone of the series is set.

Derek Jacobi portrays the titular monk, who is essentially the only voice of reason for many of the show's thirteen mysteries, which are spread out over thirteen discs. Cadfael (pronounced Cad-file) as a character is fine, and Jacobi does a great job with the character. Meanwhile, some of the dialogue is a little cheesy -- too often we see the clear stereotypical line between mumbling lowlifes and eloquent, well, everyone else. As such, a lot of the acting is a little overdone. Thankfully,
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Win a Cadfael: Complete Collection autographed by Sir Derek Jacobi!

Seen on PBS.s Mystery! in the late 1990s and based on the best-selling books by Ellis Peters, Cadfael: The Complete Collection has arrived on DVD from Acorn Media, and M&C is giving away a copy autographed by Sir Derek Jacobi! Featuring all 13 episodes from the acclaimed series, Cadfael: Complete Collection sees Jacobi (I, Claudius; Gosford Park; Hamlet) in the role of Brother Cadfael, a warrior turned monk who solves crimes in war-torn medieval England. Filled with pitch-perfect period detail, the award-winning series also features stars Julian Firth (Sylvia) and Michael Culver (A Passage to India) and offers a riveting glimpse into the past. Once a Crusader, now a man of the cloth, the worldly but humble
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

Cadfael: Complete Collection - DVD Review

If you are at a loss as to what to give the mystery lover on your holiday list, consider the wonderful complete collection of Cadfael. Acorn Media presents 13 discs of medieval mysteries starring Sir Derek Jacobi as the intuitive Brother Cadfael. The adventures of Brother Cadfael are based on the novels of Ellis Peters (the pen name for the series of well renowned historian and writer Edith Pargeter.) Set in a time period not covered by many authors, a time of bitter civil war between two cousins Stephen and Maud for the throne of England, Cadfael brings to life the customs and styles of 12th century Shrewsbury centered around the monastery. Within the community the
See full article at Monsters and Critics »

BBC America gains Granada drama programs

BBC America gains Granada drama programs
BBC America said Monday that it has signed a two-year, multimillion-dollar deal with Granada International that will provide the channel with 160 hours of drama programming. BBC America said it will have access to a wide range of Granada's new and catalog drama titles through the deal, but the specific programs in the agreement have yet to be determined. Some of the titles under consideration are Sharpe, which stars Sean Bean; 40 Something, featuring Hugh Laurie, Caedfael, starring Derek Jacobi; Moll Flanders, with Alex Kingston; and A Dangerous Man, featuring Ralph Fiennes. It's likely that Sharpe will end up as one of the titles in the deal since BBC America announced in August that it is co-producing a new miniseries, Sharpe's Challenge, which also stars Bean and will air on BBC America next year. The mini is a Picture Palace/Celtic Films Entertainment/BBC America production.

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