Monday, 29 February 2016

TWO NEW EPISODES OF INSPECTOR MONTALBANO ON RAI 1

Hugely popular in his native Italy but very appreciated abroad too, Il commissario Montalbano is a detective drama launched in 1999 by pubcaster RAI and starring Luca Zingaretti as Commissario Salvo Montalbano. Montalbano is chief inspector of police in Vigàta, a Sicilian town in the district of Montelusa.

The series is based on the crime novels published since 1994 by writer, director and screenwriter Andrea Camilleri. It is aired in the UK by BBC Four as Inspector Montalbano and in France on France 3 as Commissaire Montalbano. Since 2012 there's also a prequel series called The Young Montalbano (Il giovane Montalbano), starring Michele Riondino.

Il commissario Montalbano returns today on RAI 1 for two highly anticipated new feature-length episodes: Una faccenda delicata  (tonight at 9.20pm) and La piramide di fango, aired next week. The former is based on a short story from the collection Un mese con Montalbano (1998) and on La povira Maria Castellino, a short story from the collection  Gli arancini di Montalbano (1999). The latter is adapted from the novel of the same name (2014). Livia Burlando is now played by Italian actress Sonia Bergamasco.

She's the third to perform the role of Salvo's permanent fiancee, after Swedish actress Lina Perned in the 2013 episodes and Austrian actress Katharina Böhm. Fortunately, Cesare Bocci (Mimì Augello), Peppino Mazzotta (Giuseppe Fazio) and Angelo Russo (Agatino Catarella) are back. As well as Roberto Nobile (Nicolò Zito), Marcello Perracchio (Doctor Pasquano), Davide Lo Verde (Galluzzo), etc.

Una faccenda delicata is adapted by Francesco Bruni, Andrea Camilleri and Leonardo Marini. La piramide di fango is adapted by Francesco Bruni and Andrea Camilleri. Both are directed by Montalbano regular helmer Alberto Sironi. Music composed and directed by Franco Piersanti. Franco Lecca is the cinematographer. Inspector Montalbano is produced by Palomar and RAI Fiction. Produced by Carlo Degli Esposti, founder and president of Palomar, and Nora Barbieri with Max Gusberti. Marco Camilli is the producer for Palomar and Erica Pellegrini produces for RAI.

Carlo Degli Esposti is also behind Braccialetti rossi, the popular RAI 1 version of Spanish drama Polseres vermelles (since 2014) and I delitti del BarLume (since 2013), adapted for Sky Cinema 1 from the crime novels of Marco Malvaldi. Inspector Montalbano is distributed by Rai Com. The first 22 episodes are available in France on DVD from Koba Films.

http://www.carlopalomar.it/ (The blog of Carlo Degli Esposti)

[Update - March 11, 2016]
 

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/03/inspector-montalbano-una-faccenda.html (Spoiler-Free "mini review" of Una faccenda delicata)
http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/03/inspector-montalbano-la-piramide-di.html (Spoiler-Free "mini review" of La piramide di fango)
 

See also: 

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2013/06/inspector-montalbano-french-region-2-dvd.html 
http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2013/08/inspector-montalbano-vol-2-french.html

Thursday, 25 February 2016

DEATH IN PARADISE - SERIES FIVE, EPISODE EIGHT (BBC ONE)

[Spoiler-Free] A student backpacker is found dead in the communal shower of a Saint Marie youth hostel, slumped against the door and with a gun in her hand. But DI Humphrey Goodman is not sure it's a suicide.

The fifth series of the feel-good detective drama created by Robert Thorogood ends on a nice note with this episode written by Matthew Barry and directed by Richard Signy. J.P. (Tobi Bakare) is about to marry Rosey Fabrice (Fola Evans-Akingbola) and Dwayne (Danny John-Jules) is his best man.

« He explained about what happened last night. About how you talked the groom down from the metaphorical cliff.
 - Dwayne used the word "metaphorical?"
 - No, I'm paraphrasing.
 - Ah. » 

Humphrey (Kris Marshall) tries a suit specially made for the wedding by a tailor recommended by Dwayne. It frightens Harry the lizard and Florence (Joséphine Jobert) suggests to her boss that he could borrow something from her brother, who's the same size. The inspector bumps into (well, sort of...) Martha Lloyd (Sally Bretton), an acquaintaince from England.

« You know who did it?
- Not a sausage. » 

In the end no murder is "impossible" for Humphrey, who finds the solution during the wedding party. On Wednesday it was confirmed that there will be a sixth series of Death in Paradise in 2017, which is no surprise given the ratings. Now a (long overdue) Christmas special would be great. Owain Arthur, Ariyon Bakare, Aimee Ffion-Edwards, Maggie O'Neill and Tom York are the other guest stars of this episode. Élizabeth Bourgine plays Catherine Bordey. Don Warrington is Commissioner Patterson.

Death in Paradise is produced by Red Planet Pictures for the BBC. Yvonne Francas is the producer. Robert Thorogood is the co-executive producer. Tony Jordan and Tim Key exec produce. Music composed by Magnus Fiennes. Produced with the support of Region of Guadeloupe and Film Commission of Guadeloupe.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/death-paradise-series-6-confirmed-7430051 http://dramaquarterly.com/highlights/paradise-found/ (An interview with Robert Thorogood)

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

NEW BLOOD ON THE DOCKS ON FRANCE 2 IN MARCH

At last! Deux flics sur les docks (Blood on the Docks), the excellent French crime drama launched in 2011, returns on pubcaster France2 for a fifth series of two feature-length episodes starting on March 18

Blood on the Docks is adapted from the Portsmouth based Joe Faraday novels by English crime fiction writer Graham Hurley. It stars Jean-Marc Barr as Capitaine Richard Faraday and Bruno Solo as Capitaine Paul Winckler, two police detectives working in Le Havre.

Until now the series was aired in Autumn. The first of this couple of brand new episodes is Longue distance and it is an adaptation of Touching Distance, which is in fact a book from Hurley's Jimmy Suttle series. The second is Visa pour l'enfer and it's an original story. They were filmed in Le Havre between February and April 2015.

http://www.grahamhurley.co.uk/
http://www.normandie-actu.fr/au-havre-nouveau-tournage-de-la-serie-deux-flics-sur-les-docks_114595/ 

Reviews of Blood on the Docks on this blog:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2014/10/deux-flics-sur-les-docksblood-on-docks.html (Episode 7)
http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2013/12/deux-flics-sur-les-docksblood-on-docks.html (Episode 5) 
http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2012/11/more-blood-on-docks.html (Episode 3)
http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2011/11/blood-on-docks-deux-flics-sur-les-docks.html (Episode 1)

UNFORGOTTEN ON FRANCE 3

French pubcaster France 3 has bought Unforgotten, the 6 X 60-minute captivating ITV cold case drama created and written by Chris Lang (Undeniable, A Mother's Son).

« Is a crime less serious because time's passed? Is it wrong... less wrong... because it was done 50 years ago, or 60, or 70? »

Unforgotten stars Nicola Walker (Last Tango in Halifax) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (Goodness Gracious Me, The Indian Doctor) as DCI Cassie Stuart and DS Sunil "Sunny" Khan. BBC Worldwide distributes it globally. France 3 is the French home of Midsomer Murders, Endeavour, Vera, etc. ITV commissioned a second series of Unforgotten last november. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/corporate2/mediacentre/worldwide/2016-crime-drama-pays-for-bbc-worldwide

You can find our October 2015 review of the first episode here:

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2015/10/unforgotten-episode-one-itv.html

See also:

http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/itv-commissions-second-series-unforgotten

Monday, 22 February 2016

EL MINISTERIO DEL TIEMPO - SERIES 2, EPISODE 2: EL TIEMPO EN SUS MANOS (LA 1)

[Spoiler-Free "mini review"] After last week's unexpected development, the Spanish sci-fi series goes Serpico and Life On Mars with this incredible episode introducing new lead Hugo Silva as undercover cop Jesús Méndez (nicknamed "Pacino").

Andrés Gertrúdix plays a ruthless adversary of the Ministry of Time. The series has a new intro. Great running gag about Méndez particularly upset that his new colleagues don't know the 1973 Sidney Lumet movie which inspired his nickname. El Ministerio del Tiempo is the epitome of "Must See TV".

Also starring Aura Garrido (Amelia Folch), Nacho Fresneda (Alonso de Entrerríos), Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene Larra), Juan Gea (Ernesto Jiménez), Francesca Piñón (Angustias Vázquez) and Jaime Blanch (Salvador Martí). Created by Pablo Olivares & Javier Olivares (Victor Ros, Isabel) and directed by Marc Vigil. Produced by Cliffhanger TV, Onza Entertainment and RTVE.

María Roy & Maite L. Pisonero (TVE), José María Irisarri & Gonzalo Sagardía (Onza Entertainment) and Javier Olivares (Cliffhanger TV) exec produce. Anaïs Schaff and Abigail Schaff are the content coordinators for Cliffhanger TV. Music composed by Dario González Valderrama. El Ministerio del Tiempo is distributed by Onza Distribution.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

THE NIGHT MANAGER - EPISODE ONE (BBC ONE)

Cairo, 2011. At the height of the Egyptian Revolution, Jonathan Pyne is the night manager of a luxury hotel. He receives a plea for help from Sophie Alekan, an elegant and enigmatic guest who's the mistress of playboy Freddie Hamid

Hamid has ties with Richard Onslow Roper, a British arms dealer posing as a businessman and philanthropist. Jonathan helps Sophie but makes a decision which has tragic consequences and marks him for life. Four years later, Pyne works for a prestigious hotel in Switzerland when Richard Roper arrives with his girlfriend and his entourage.

« You don't want to escape? » 

The work of spy novelist John le Carré (the pen name of David Cornwell) returns to television with The Night Manager, 25 years after the Thames Television TV movie based on A Murder of Quality and almost 40 years since the BBC version of Tailor Tinker Sailor Spy starring Alec Guiness. Hollywood tried to make the 500-page book (first published in 1993) into a movie a couple of times. The interest of the film industry for the bestsellers of le Carré goes back to 1965 (with The Spy Who Came in from the Cold) and is very active since 2001.

Stephen Cornwell and his brother Simon, the author's sons, are behind this ambitious adaptation of The Night Manager, under their prodco The Ink Factory (founded in 2010). For the big screen the company produced Our Kind of Traitor (2016) and A Most Wanted Man (2014), both from novels by le Carré. Commissioned by the BBC and American network AMC, the big-budget six-part drama (£3 million per episode) is written by David Farr (Spooks) and helmed by Danish Academy Award-winning director Susanne Bier (Serena).

The Night Manager has a very solid cast. Tom Hiddleston (best known as Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies) plays Jonathan Pyne, a discrete and helpful ex-soldier turned hotelier. His life changes forever because of a rare emotional entanglement which prompts him to enter in a perilous game of espionage. Hiddleston faces off against Hugh Laurie (House) as the wealthy, charming and extremely dangerous Richard Roper ("The worst man in the world"). Laurie, a huge fan of John le Carré, tried unsuccessfully to get the rights of the book when it first came out and wanted to play Jonathan Pyne.

The novel underwent some substantial changes with the blessing of John le Carré himself. The most talked about is the astute gender swap of a key character, spymaster Leonard Burr. Angela Burr, played by Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), runs the obscure International Enforcement Agency from a shabby London office. The Night Manager also stars Tom Hollander as Roper's right-hand man Major Corkoran, Elizabeth Debicki (Jed Marshall), Douglas Hodge, Antonio de la Torre, Russell Tovey, David Harewood, Neil Morrissey, etc.

Sophie Alekan is performed by French actress Aure Atika. Filmed in Switzerland, United Kingdom, Morocco, Spain and Turkey, The Night Manager has definitely a James Bond vibe (the Zermatt location is very On Her Majesty's Secret Service) reinforced by the classy Tom Hiddleston. It's an excellent blockbuster TV update of le Carré's book. Apparently a possible original sequel series is not ruled out, which would be a first for the iconic author. With Jonathan Pyne the BBC certainly holds its Jack Ryan or 007.

The Night Manager is produced by The Ink Factory in association with Demarest Films and Character 7 for the BBC and AMC. Produced by Rob Bullock. Exec produced by Stephen Garrett (former head of Kudos), Simon Cornwell and Stephen Cornwell. Music by Spanish composer Victor Reyes (Los nuestros). Michael Snyman is the cinematographer. Opening titles by Elastic (The Leftovers, True Detective).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/mediapacks/nightmanager
http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/berlin/the-ink-factory-the-story-behind-the-night-manager/5100489.article
http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2016-02-21/tom-hiddleston-on-the-night-manager-how-could-you-get-away-with-being-a-spy
http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2016-02-21/where-to-find-the-plush-hotels-and-lush-locations-in-the-night-manager

Thursday, 18 February 2016

DEATH IN PARADISE - SERIES FIVE, EPISODE SEVEN (BBC ONE)

[Spoiler-Free] A treasure hunter is murdered on his rival's boat. His body is thrown overboard and washes up on the beach the following morning.

The bottom line: The One before Episode 8.

We can really thank the region of Guadeloupe for the magnificent scenery because this penultimate episode of the current series, written by Will Fisher and directed by Richard Signy, is rather tedious. Soon after marine salvage hunter Tosh Walker and his team found £300,000 worth of ancient silver coins, Tosh has a run-in with his rival Newton Farrell. When he's stabbed to death on Newton's boat, Farrell becomes the chief suspect.

DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) and DS Florence Cassell (Joséphine Jobert) are surprised when they learn from Catherine (Élizabeth Bourgine) that Newton Farrell has a solid alibi. Meanwhile, Dwayne (Danny John-Jules) organises the stag party of a terrified J.P. (Tobi Bakare). Lorcan Cranitch, Jack Donnelly, Roger Griffiths, Jill Halfpenny and Ade Oyefeso guest star. Don Warrington plays Commissioner Patterson.

Death in Paradise is produced by Red Planet Pictures for the BBC. Yvonne Francas is the producer. Series creator Robert Thorogood is the co-executive producer. Tony Jordan and Tim Key exec produce. Music composed by Magnus Fiennes. Produced with the support of Region of Guadeloupe and Film Commission of Guadeloupe.

Next, please...

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

MIDSOMER MURDERS: HARVEST OF SOULS (ITV)

[Spoiler-Free] As the annual "harvest fayre" arrives in the Midsomer County village of Whitcombe Mallet, the owner of an equestrian centre is trampled by his horse. Except that someone encouraged the animal with a gunshot.

The 18th series of Midsomer Murders, the venerable ITV detective drama, ends its "extended" six-episode run with a very good episode written by Caleb Ranson and directed by Nick Laughland. DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) have to unravel a feud from the past between two families in and around the fairground on the village green.

One of suspects of the case is Butch Nevins, owner of the daredevil rider Wall of Death attraction. John and his wife Sarah (Fiona Dolman) prepare their holiday but the hotel doesn't take dogs and Sykes hates kennels. Kam (Manjinder Virk) and Charlie compete to keep the dog while the Barnabys will be away unless... Harvest of Souls boldly features some dialogues in French, an inventive murder and a Volkswagen camping van.

Overall this eighteenth series surprisingly managed to bring back a bit of dignity to Midsomer Murders. Anyway, there will (of course) be a Series 19. This final episode drew 4.9m/22.7%, giving this series an average of 5.2m/23.9%. Actor/director Seán Gleeson, Michael Higgs, Michelle Holmes, Amber Rose Revah, Helen Schlesinger, the great Meera Syal and David Yelland are amongst the guest stars of this episode.

Midsomer Murders is produced by Bentley Productions Ltd, an All3Media company, for ITV. Phil Hunter is the producer. Jo Wright exec produces. Music composed by Jim Parker.

http://www.midsomermurders.org/
http://www.visitmidsomer.com/

Monday, 15 February 2016

EL MINISTERIO DEL TIEMPO - SERIES 2, EPISODE 1: TIEMPO DE LEYENDA (LA 1)

[Spoiler-Free "mini review"] Sci-fi TV series El Ministerio del Tiempo, one of our favourite Spanish dramas of 2015 (if you followed us on social networks you know how much we like it), returned tonight on TVE's main channel La 1.

Created by Pablo Olivares & Javier Olivares (Victor Ros, Isabel) and directed by Marc Vigil, El Ministerio del Tiempo is about a secret Spanish government institution called The Ministry of Time. Its mission is to prevent anyone from altering the past. The premiere of this second series (13X70-minute episodes) really starts after a  long "Story So Far" sequence but the episode, centered on El Cid, undoubtedly worths the wait. Someone films a fight in 1079's Valencia. The status of a regular character is reassessed, with a radical consequence for the team.

Starring Rodolfo Sancho (Julián Martínez), Aura Garrido (Amelia Folch), Nacho Fresneda (Alonso de Entrerríos), Cayetana Guillén Cuervo (Irene Larra), Juan Gea (Ernesto Jiménez), Francesca Piñón (Angustias Vázquez) and Jaime Blanch (Salvador Martí).  Ramón Langa (Ambrosio Spínola) and Julián Villagrán (Diego Velázquez) are amongst the guest stars.

Produced by Cliffhanger TV, Onza Entertainment and RTVE. María Roy & Maite L. Pisonero (TVE), José María Irisarri & Gonzalo Sagardía (Onza Entertainment) and Javier Olivares (Cliffhanger TV) exec produce. Anaïs Schaff and Abigail Schaff are the content coordinators for Cliffhanger TV. Music composed by Dario González Valderrama. El Ministerio del Tiempo is distributed by Onza Distribution.

Friday, 12 February 2016

DEATH IN PARADISE - SERIES FIVE, EPISODE SIX (BBC ONE)

[Spoiler-Free] Robert Holt, a famous chef from London, is found stabbed to death (with one of his personalised knives) after the opening of his new restaurant on the island. 

His body was stored in a freezer so the time of death cannot be correctly determined. His partner says money was taken from the safe and the victim's smartphone is gone but not his prized watch. DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) tells Florence (Joséphine Jobert), Dwayne (Danny John-Jules) and J.P. (Tobi Bakare) that he rules out a robbery. Each person in the chef's life had a motive to kill him, particularly his staff. Gary Holt, Robert's brother, arrives in Saint Marie.

Jackson, a troublesome schoolboy, gives Dwayne the chance to repay an old debt. J.P. attends the inspector "movie night" ("the full big screen experience") and proposes to Rosey (Fola Evans-Akingbola). According to Humphrey 10% of all people are left-handed,  20% of Mensa members are, and apparently most parrots are left-footed (or is that left-clawed?) A mimic octopus may be the key of this case in this excellent episode written by Dana Fainaru and directed by Roger Simonsz.

Alexander Arnold, Martin Compston, Louisa Connolly-Burnham, Tara Fitzgerald, Alun Raglan and Andrew Whipp guest star. Jackson is performed by Dante Langlais John-Jules, 10, who's Danny John-Jules's son. Élizabeth Bourgine plays Catherine. Death in Paradise is produced by Red Planet Pictures for the BBC. Yvonne Francas is the producer. Series creator Robert Thorogood is the co-executive producer. Tony Jordan and Tim Key exec produce. Music composed by Magnus Fiennes.

Produced with the support of Region of Guadeloupe and Film Commission of Guadeloupe. Amusingly, Rosey's present to J.P. for their "two month anniversary" is a weekend in Guadeloupe.

http://writerscompany.co.uk/clients/clients-3/dana-fainaru/
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/entertainment/14269115.Paradise_found_for_Danny_John_Jules/ 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

MIDSOMER MURDERS: SAINTS AND SINNERS (ITV)

[Spoiler-Free] The bones of a saint are found by an archaeological team in the village of Midsomer Cicely. Soon after, the dig leader is murdered in a horribly ironic way.

As Series 18 is about to end its "extended" six-episode run, talented screenwriter Lisa Holdsworth returns to Midsomer Murders with this penultimate episode. Three series ago, Schooled in Murder, her first script for the venerable ITV detective drama, got noticed because of that famous scene where Martine McCutcheon met a giant cheese. Her second episode, last year's A Vintage Murder, was simply the best since Series 15. In this gem Naoko Mori basically played Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous (the actress was Sarah in Ab Fab).

DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) investigate the death of Dr Zoe Dyer, the lead archaeologist of the Midsomer Cicely dig, killed after her team found the remains of protestant martyr Cicely Milson. The site is regularly visited by "nighthawks", metal detectorists looking for a buried treasure. Villagers are upset by the discovery because they believe they already have the bones in the local church. Cicely is the subject of a feud between Reverend Peter Corby and his historian brother Christopher. By the way, Charlie plays tennis with Dr Kam Karimore (Manjinder Virk).

Saints and Sinners doesn't top or match Lisa Holdsworth's previous episodes but she displays her usual ingenuity for her annual Midsomer death tour. And there are two great scenes: the bonfire confrontation between the brothers, served brilliantly by Aden Gillett (as the historian) and Malcolm Sinclair (as a typical Midsomer County clergyman), and when the culprit threatens Kam. The choir who sings Glory to thee, my God, this night is the Wallingford Parish Church Choir and they clearly deserve to be mentioned.

Other guest stars include Ralf Little, Julia Sawalha (another Absolutely Fabulous regular) and Ruth Sheen. Fiona Dolman plays Sarah Barnaby. Midsomer Murders is produced by Bentley Productions Ltd, an All3Media company, for ITV. Phil Hunter is the producer. Jo Wright exec produces. Music composed by Jim Parker. The official Twitter account of Midsomer Murders gives amusing and (really) interesting Behind-the-scenes trivia during each episode.

http://www.midsomermurders.org/
http://www.visitmidsomer.com/
http://deadlinesanddiamonds.blogspot.com
http://www.wallingfordchoirs.org.uk/

LES MARIS DE RIVER SONG ON FRANCE 4

The Husbands of River Song, the 2015 Christmas special of Doctor Who, will be aired in France on France 4 on February 27.

You can find some words about it here:

Thursday, 4 February 2016

DEATH IN PARADISE - SERIES FIVE, EPISODE FIVE (BBC ONE)

[Spoiler-Free] Humphrey's most favourite aunt comes to Saint Marie and soon becomes the only witness to a murder.

Series creator Robert Thorogood penned this excellent episode of Death in Paradise, directed by Roger Simonsz. Mary Goodman, played by the great Wendy Craig, is the most favourite aunt of DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) because she inspired him his love of puzzle-solving. As she comes to visit her nephew on the island, the inspector picks her up at the "Saint Marie International Airport" with Florence (Joséphine Jobert). 

At her hotel Aunt Mary witnesses the murder of a fellow tourist, thrown from his balcony in the middle of the night. Keith Allen plays a British career criminal named Neil Jenkins, who's coincidentally (or not) in the same hotel. Meanwhile, J.P. (Tobi Bakare) takes relationship advice from Dwayne (Danny John-Jules) after confessing his feelings for Rosey (Fola Evans-Akingbola). Humphrey is pushed down the stairs by a suspect and ends up in hospital, where his aunt tells him something important. 

Harry is a guard lizard. Commissioner Patterson (Don Warrington) has a very Selwyn moment. A "good egg" is a "bon oeuf" in French. Humphrey remembers his aunt taught him the Epimenides Paradox. The episode also shows a great subtlety to deal with a sensitive issue. Susie Amy, Robert Daws and Eddie Nestor are also in the guest cast. Élizabeth Bourgine plays Catherine

Death in Paradise is produced by Red Planet Pictures for the BBC. Yvonne Francas is the producer. Robert Thorogood is the co-executive producer. Tony Jordan and Tim Key exec produce. Music composed by Magnus Fiennes. The series is produced with the support of Region of Guadeloupe and Film Commission of Guadeloupe

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

MIDSOMER MURDERS: A DYING ART (ITV)

[Spoiler-Free] Businessman and modern art lover Brandon Monkford turns into the macabre centerpiece of his new Sculpture Park when he's found dead during the launch night.

« You know how art imitates life?
- I've heard that rumour.
- Well, this is art imitating death. »

DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and DS Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) talk to  the victim's family. They also investigate amongst residents of the picturesque (aren't they all?) Midsomer village of Angel's Rise opposed to the park, and the artists rejected by Monkford. Series 18 of Midsomer Murders continues with a very good art themed fourth episode written by Jeff Povey (Holby City, Casualty) and directed by Matt Carter (Doctors, Father Brown). For their first gig on the venerable ITV detective drama they both show an appropriate sense of creativity (it's about art, remember) to surprise viewers. The second murder in particular is an instant classic.

« There's gonna be a doctor, a dentist, a guitarist/singer, even an artist.
- I seem to be surrounded by them at the minute. »

John is awakened very early by a phone call from Charlie and prepares to join him and pathologist Dr Kam Karimore (Manjinder Virk) during the opening credits (« I'm missing my beauty sleep as well. ») Sarah Barnaby (Fiona Dolman) reminds her husband that he must give a careers talk at her school. Baby Betty contributes to the art of the episode and Charlie argues with Kam about a dialogue line! David Bamber, Denis Lill, Cherie Lunghi, Saskia Reeves, Adrian Scarborough and Ramon Tikaram are some of the guest stars.

Midsomer Murders is produced by Bentley Productions Ltd, an All3Media company, for ITV. Phil Hunter is the producer. Jo Wright exec produces. Music composed by Jim Parker. The official Twitter account of Midsomer Murders gives amusing and interesting Behind-the-scenes trivia during each episode.

http://www.midsomermurders.org/
http://www.visitmidsomer.com/

LUCIFER - EPISODES 1 AND 2 (FOX)

Lucifer Morningstar, the Prince of Darkness, gets bored and abandons Hell to open a nightclub in Los Angeles. When a young woman he knows is murdered in his presence he imposes himself as a consultant to LAPD homicide detective Chloe Decker

Lucifer is intrigued by Chloe, who's immune to his charm and powers.
 
Lucifer, which premiered on American network Fox on January 25, is based on a comic book character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Keith and Mike Dringenberg for DC Comics' Vertigo imprint. The pilot is written by Tom Kapinos (Californication) and directed by Len Wiseman (Sleepy Hollow, Underworld). The premise of this 13 one-hour episode series (pilot included) is basically Death Takes a Holiday as a procedural or The Mentalist with a fantasy twist. But it's great fun mainly because of its star, Welsh actor Tom Ellis (Rush, Miranda) as Lucifer Morningstar.

Ellis does irreverence and dark comedy perfectly, with a posh Brit accent which sometimes makes the devil sound like David Walliams. He gives his character some necessary dose of threat and a bit of melancholy. Most of the humour comes from Lucifer being candid about his identity or making others telling the truth and confessing their hidden desires. He forms an unlikely sleuth duo with Chloe Decker, played by Lauren German. Chloe is the daughter of an actress (Penelope Decker, "Queen of '80s cheeseball sci-fi") and a police officer.

Before being a cop, she tried acting although her short career is only remembered for a movie called Hot Tub High School. Chloe Decker lives with her young daughter Beatrice, nicknamed "Trixie" (Scarlett Estevez). Her ex-husband, Dan (Kevin Alejandro, Nicholas Rodriguez in the original version of the pilot), is a LAPD detective too. Much to his annoyance, Lucifer Morningstar is regularly reminded of his duties by his brother Amenadiel, a dark-winged angel (D.B. Woodside), sent by their father to demand his return to Hell.

Lucifer's demon confidante and bartender Maze (South African born actress Lesley-Anne Brandt) seems to not enjoy Los Angeles as much as him and regrets his old personality. Lucifer discusses his interest and growing feelings for humanity with his very concerned therapist Dr Linda Martin (Rachael Harris). Lucifer is another police procedural but it doesn't take itself too seriously and it's a good thing because the plot of Lucifer, Stay. Good Devil (the second episode) could pass as an episode of Sledge Hammer or Police Squad

Tom Ellis makes the show pleasantly entertaining. The dialogues are fine, the rest of the cast is good and there's potential for interesting developments. Hopefullly 13 episodes will help to avoid fill-in hours. Lucifer is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Television with Vertigo (from DC Entertainment) and Warner Bros Television.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

NANCHERROW (FRENCH REGION 2 DVD)

Cornwall, 1947. When Colonel Carey-Lewis dies, his daughter Loveday inherits Nancherrow, the family estate. She wants to keep the ancestral home alive so that her son will eventually take over from her but her husband, a farmer, doesn't want to move to the manor. It's the start of a long struggle against financial problems that could even bring her supportive mother Diana to personal bankruptcy.  

Gus Callender, Loveday's true love, reappears in her life. Meanwhile, her friend Judith, married to Dr. Jeremy Wells, suffers a new miscarriage. The life of Jess , the younger sister of Loveday, takes an unexpected turn.

Nancherrow is the 1999 two-part sequel of Coming Home (1998), the adaptation of the 1995 namesake novel written by British romance author Rosamunde Pilcher. It's available since February on French Region 2 DVD from Koba Films (as La Dynastie Carey-Lewis - Nancherrow). Written, like Coming Home, by John Goldsmith (Danny, the Champion of the World, The Return of The Saint) and directed by Simon Langton (Pride and Prejudice), this 2 X 100-minute serial is once again an Anglo-German co-production from Portman Entertainment and Tele München.

Rosamunde Pilcher, who reached international recognition in 1987 with the bestseller The Shell Seekers, is particularly popular in Germany thanks to viewers of pubcaster ZDF. Since 1993, the channel aired more than 100 adaptations of her books in the Rosamunde Pilcher Collection. A majority of them are commissioned by ZDF and filmed in England, usually in Cornwall, with German actors and sometimes a couple of English guest stars. A few are international co-productions with a British main cast and some were simply bought for the collection.

Most of the cast of Coming Home is in Nancherrow: Joanna Lumley as Diana Carey-Lewis, Katie Ryder Richardson (Loveday), Patrick Ryecart (Tommy Mortimer), Susan Hampshire (Miss Catto) and George Asprey (Jeremy). There are a few replacements and the more noticeable is definitely Lara-Joy Körner as Judith, played by Emily Richardson in Coming Home. Philipp Moog, a familiar face of German television, plays Gus. Walter is performed by English actor Tristan Gemmill. Joanna Lumley shares scenes with the legendary Patrick Macnee, who appears as Lord  Awliscombe (both played of course in The New Avengers).

There's also Christian Kohlund, Austrian actress Senta Berger, Samantha Beckinsale, Simon Dutton, etc. Aired on ITV and ZDF during spring 1999, Nancherrow is a honourable follow-up to Coming Home. In France the former was coupled to the latter and shown on M6 in 2001 as La Dynastie des Carey-Lewis. Koba Films releases Nancherrow in a two-disc set with the original dialogue track (subtitled or not) and a good dubbing by Dub'Club (American Horror Story, White Collar). Jean Fontaine and Xavier Varaillon wrote the French dialogues.

LAST MONTH'S REVIEWS

Midsomer Murders and Death in Paradise returned last month on ITV and BBC One respectively. Stan Lee's Lucky Man premiered on Sky 1. We also had the first week of El Hotel de los Secretos, the Mexican adaptation of Grand Hotel (Gran Hotel). 

The revival of The X-Files premiered on Fox. Bajo Sospecha came back on Antena 3 and TF1 tested a new crime drama with the pilot of Instinct.

- Midsomer Murders (ITV, Series 18): 


- Death in Paradise (BBC One, Series 5):


- Stan Lee's Lucky Man (Sky 1):

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/01/stan-lees-lucky-man-sky-1.html (Episode 1)

- El Hotel de los Secretos (Univision):

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/01/el-hotel-de-los-secretos-univision.html 

- The X-Files (2016, Fox):

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/01/the-x-files-episode-1-fox_25.html (Episode 1) 

- Bajo Sospecha (Antena 3, Series 2):

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/01/bajo-sospecha-series-2-episodes-1-and-2.html

- Instinct (TF1):

http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/01/instinct-tf1.html (Pilot)

You can also find some words about Sherlock: The Abominable Bride and War and Peace in our Watched this week feature (http://tattard2.blogspot.fr/2016/01/watched-this-week-abominable-edition.html).