News

Stockholm Requiem, AP Bio and Sunnyside acquired; a new Christmas ghost story; + more

Every weekday, TMINE brings you the latest TV news from around the world

Internet TV

French TV

  • France 3 green lights: murder-mystery telefilm Le canal des secrets (The Canal of Secrets), with Annelise Hesme, Aurélien Wilk et al

UK TV

US TV show casting

New US TV shows

New US TV show casting

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Beecham House
BFI events

What more TV’s on at the BFI in April? Including Mark Gatiss, Helen Mirren, Beecham House and Peaky Blinders

Every month, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

As mentioned last time, the BFI still had a few more events to reveal for its TV festival with Radio Times in April. Some of them are quite good, too

  • A preview of ITV’s Beecham House
  • Helen McCrory and Steven Knight talk Peaky Blinders
  • Mark Gatiss discusses his love of ghost stories
  • Helen Mirren gets inducted into the Radio Times Hall of Fame

Full details are all after the jump. But first, Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape. Because why not?

Continue reading “What more TV’s on at the BFI in April? Including Mark Gatiss, Helen Mirren, Beecham House and Peaky Blinders”

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International TV

What have you been watching? Including A Ghost Story for Christmas, Plan Coeur and Counterpart

It’s “What have you been watching?”, your chance to recommend to fellow TMINE readers anything you’ve been watching this week

And we’re back in the room. Yes, TMINE’s back for 2019 and WHYBW is back on Wednesdays again. All is right in the world, non?

Runaways
Marvel’s Runaways

This week’s reviews

Obviously, TMINE’s been back for a few days now and I’ve done not one but two full boxsets this week:

  • Season 1 of Bloom (Australia: Stan)
  • Season 2 of Marvel’s Runaways (US: Hulu; UK: Syfy)

How impressive is that? Feel free to peruse their wisdom at your leisure.

Kevin Eldon in Cavendish
The actor Kevin Eldon

New shows

Both Canada and the US have started firing up their mid-season shows and offering previews of some forthcoming ones as well. As a result, between now and next WHYBW, I should be serving up reviews of:

  • Coroner (Canada: CBC; UK: Universal) – Serinda Swan and Roger Cross in a crime procedural adaptation of MR Hall’s novels
  • Cavendish (Canada: CBC) – comedy about two brothers who return to look after their ailing father, The Actor Kevin Eldon
  • Project Blue Book (US: History) – Aidan Gillen and Michael Malarkey investigate UFO sightings in the 50s. Not related to this show at all.
  • Deadly Class (US: Syfy) – adaptation of the graphic novel that sees Benedict Wong teach kids how to kill in the 80s
  • Black Monday (US: Showtime; UK: Sky Atlantic – probably) – Don Cheadle in a scathing satire of Wall Street in the 80s

And anything else that pops up, such as ABC (US)’s Schooled, which starts tonight (although that’s a spin-off from The Goldbergs so maybe not). Sex Education is on Netflix from Friday, so I might boxset it.

That’s a pretty full schedule, though, and as Deadly Class and Black Monday don’t air in the US for a couple of weeks, I might postpone them until nearer the time.

Plan Coeur
Plan Coeur

The regulars

After the jump, it’ll be just the usual regulars, as well as what I watched over Christmas: three full episodes of Counterpart, the remaining four episodes of Plan Cœur (The Hookup Plan), the penultimate episode of Happy Together and the season finale of Titans, as well as 2018’s A Ghost Story For Christmas. See you in a mo…

Continue reading “What have you been watching? Including A Ghost Story for Christmas, Plan Coeur and Counterpart”

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Lost Hearts
The Weekly Play

The Halloween Play: A Ghost Story For Christmas – Lost Hearts (1973)

It’s Halloween today. It’s also Wednesday. As it’s an occasional TMINE tradition to feature not only a spooky play at Halloween but also a play on Wednesdays, how can I resist featuring one today, in this year of all years?

But what to choose? Well, since I’ve been talking about The Haunting of Hill House quite a bit of late and since I happened to mention Lost Hearts in passing thanks to certain bad make-up decisions, there’s an obvious choice, isn’t there?

It’s Lost Hearts. Wasn’t that obvious? It was certainly as obvious as just about everything in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

A Ghost Story For Christmas

For those of you who don’t know, Lost Hearts was one of the much revered scary plays the BBC put out every Christmas during the 1970s, usually as part of the A Ghost Story For Christmas strand. As with most of the plays, Lost Hearts was an adaptation of a classic MR James ghost story. This one sees a young orphan sent to stay with his much older cousin at a remote country mansion. His cousin is a reclusive alchemist obsessed with making himself immortal and Stephen is repeatedly troubled by visions of a young gypsy girl and a travelling Italian boy…

Adapted by Robin Chapman and directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark, it’s notable as both the shortest of the Ghost Story For Christmas series as well as the only one to use hurdy-gurdy music to scare the crap out of the viewer.

Incidentally, this wasn’t the first British TV adaptation of Lost Hearts, since it was featured in ITV’s Mystery and Imagination series in 1966. However, just like The Road (recently remade by Radio 4) no copy of that first version exists, unfortunately.

Sleep well, everyone.

As always, if you liked the play, support its creators by buying it on DVD

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The Weekly Play

The Wednesday Play: A Ghost Story for Christmas – The Stalls of Barchester (1971)

It’s not quite 45 years since The Stalls of Barchester was first broadcast, as it aired on Christmas Eve 1971, but this is close enough and since when have I ever run TMINE’s The Wednesday Play feature on a day other than a Wednesday, hey?

The Stalls of Barchester was an adaptation of master ghost story writer MR James’ short story of the same name. It sees 1930s scholar Clive Swift uncovering a box in the library of Barchester Cathedral that contains the diary of the cathedral’s former archdeacon (Robert Hardy). Swift is able to work out from the diary that Hardy caused the death of his own predecessor at the cathedral and resultingly came under the curse of the man who made the wooden decorations for the cathedral’s stalls – a curse that ultimately leads to his own death…

Stalls was the first official entry in the annual 1970s BBC play strand, A Ghost Story for Christmas. It was adapted, produced and directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark, who had seen Jonathan Miller’s 1968 adaptation of James’ Whistle and I’ll Come To You and being a lifelong fan of the author, pitched the idea of another adaptation to Paul Fox, the then controller of BBC1. Fox agreed and Clark chose Stalls to be the first in a series he would produce, as well as largely write and direct. 

The slightly novice and unconfident Clark chose to follow many of Miller’s choices with Stalls, including building up tension and fear through suggestion and atmosphere rather than being overt, and shooting on location (Norwich Cathedral doubles for Barchester) using 16mm film rather than video; he even hired Warning‘s Ambrose Coghill to play the curator. Unlike Miller, however, he was able to shoot in colour – and rather tastefully, too, unlike many video-shot shows of the early 70s. He also reveals a bit more of the supernatural than James ever did in his story and despite a cast of actors known mostly for their roles in sitcoms, avoids the humour that Miller included in his piece. 

With no fixed run time thanks the scheduled late night time slot, Stalls was able to run to 50 minutes and proved so successful that Clark was able to make an annual return to James’ stories for most of the decade.

And it’s your Wednesday Play – enjoy!

PS Remember: if you like it, support the makers (ie the BBC) by buying it on DVD