The BBC has already given a second season order of 8 episodes for the big budget TV adaptation of His Dark Materials, based on the books by Philip Pullman, and which just started filming in Wales, according to Deadline. In addition, it was announced earlier today that HBO has join as co-producer and distributor.
The series follow the young orphan Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen, Logan), who exists in a parallel world to our own where each person’s inner self, called a daemon, has physical form outside their bodies in the form of a sentient animal. Their form can vary when the person is young but eventually take a single form as they grow older. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon (who has not yet fixed form) discover Dust, a strange particle that was being researched by her uncle, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy, X-Men: First Class), and may hold the key to travel around the multiverse. The series also stars Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
HBO acquired the worldwide rights to the series outside the United Kingdom.
I am so sorry for the lack of updates lately. The last few weeks has been CRAZY. My oldest daughter graduated high school, and my youngest had her middle school play – we are heavily involved in the drama programs with both kids, and I emcee the annual high school drama banquet, which was a few weeks ago as well. And that’s on top of “normal life” – so it’s been tough trying to follow all the news – we’re very behind in all our RV shows as well, and I owe a friend a book review as well…but anyways, here is a rapid recap of the last week or so…
HBO has given a pilot order for one of five the potential Game Of Thrones spinoffs, this one for a prequel series set in the “golden age of Heroes”, which “descends into its darkest hour”, where we will learn about the white walkers, the Starks of legend, and more. Given it was just announced, there is no director, cast, etc. yet but it comes from Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) and George R.R. Martin, with Goldman acting as showrunner. Martin said on his blog he currently prefers the title “The Long Night”, but that isn’t definite yet. Martin also said that one of the other four ideas for spinoffs has been shelved, but the other three are still possible.
As for that other fantasy mega-franchise, Amazon appears to be banking on its deal for the Lord of the Rings franchise, having cleared a lots of its shows off the slate. The head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said in a Deadline interview that they aren’t going to try and compete at the volume level with Netflix, adding, “You can’t go big and go irrelevant.” While there is little to go on, they are currently only working on one series – “one big series,” and that while it isn’t remaking the movies, it will involve “it’ll be characters you love.”
Speaking of Salke and Amazon, she also addressed the idea of Amazon Studios picking up the canceled Lucifer. “I know that international, especially the UK group, was really bullish on that show, I haven’t checked in on that today (Thursday), but I heard conversations were ongoing on that yesterday.” So, keep heart, fans. Amazon recently rescued The Expanse after Syfy canceled the show, just as it was heading into the next phase of the story.
As for Amazon’s cross-net rivals, Netflix has given a 10-episode order for Away, about an international crew on a treacherous year-long mission to Mars, from Andrew Hinderaker (Penny Dreadful), Jason Katims (Parenthood) and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). It centers on an American astronaut who leaves behind a husband and daughter to lead the crew in a story of hope and humanity.
The upcoming BBC series His Dark Materials based on the novels of Philip Pullman has some cast…James McAvoy (the X-Men franchise) will play Lord Asriel, the father of the primary character Lyra (Dafne Keen, Logan), who discovers a way to parallel worlds. Clarke Peters (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) plays the master who raises Lyra. Ruth Wilson (The Affair) will play Marisa Coulter, Asrael’s former lover and appears to want Lyra for a mysterious purpose. Earlier this year, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns) was announced to play Lee Scoresby, an “aeronaut” who helps Lyra. Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) will direct.
I haven’t mentioned Marvel at all yet, have I? Well, Avengers: Infinity War became just the fourth movie to cross the $2 billion international box office mark, after Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it is still holding strong at the box office. On Marvel’s small screen, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger became Freeform’s biggest new series in two years, with an L+3 of 1.64 million, which also put it as the most watched telecast on the network in nearly a year.
And finally, we don’t talk much about MTV, but while the network might not be returning to its real roots in music, it may return to its past – a live action version of Aeon Flux, the sci-fi series that started as a series of shorts on the network’s Liquid Television block of trippy animated series. THe show was previously turned into a live action feature starring Charlize Theron as the tightly-clad assassin n 2005, but the movie flopped. Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf) and Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) are set to produce, with Davis writing.
BBC has finally announced the cast of the Doctor Who spinoff Class, which was announced last October, which was only surprising because they just started filming the 8 episode series today…
The show will star Katherine Kelly as a teacher at the Coal Hill School, where Clara Oswald was most recently employed but is also where Doctor Who got it’s start back in 1963. And apparently all that time traveling around it has caused the very walls of space and time to become thin. There’s something pressing in on the other side, something waiting for its chance to kill everyone and everything, to bring us all into Shadow.
Kelly most recently starred in Happy Valley, as well as Mr. Selfridge and Coronation Street.
Joining Kelly as students at the school are Greg Austin (Mr. Selfridge), Fady Elsayed (My Brother the Devil), Sophie Hopkins (The Meeting Place) and newcomer Vivian Oparah.
With the focus on the young adult audience, each of the students is described as having “hidden secrets and desires. They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow — and possibly the end of existence.”
BBC One has given a green light to an ambitious series based on the rich universe of Philip Pullman’s [asin=0375847227]His Dark Materials trilogy[/asin].
The series follow the young orphan Lyra Belacqua, who exists in a parallel world to our own where each person’s inner self, called a daemon, has physical form outside their bodies in the form of a sentient animal. Their form can vary when the person is young but eventually take a single form as they grow older. Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon (who has not yet fixed form) discover Dust, a strange particle that was being researched by her uncle, Lord Asriel, and may hold the key to travel around the multiverse.
The first book of the series, Northern Lights (a.k.a. The Golden Compass in the U.S.) was turned into a feature film in 2007 starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. However, the film suffered from starting in a world that needed a lot of exposition while trying to move the story forward at a rapid pace in limited time, as well as calls to boycott the film over the portrayal of parallel versions of the Catholic Church in the books (which was altered for the film to be less specific). It was a box office disappointment in the U.S. although internationally fared well, but it was decided not to press on with a sequel.
Production will take place in Wales for BBC One. Executive producers are Pullman, Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner for Bad Wolf; Toby Emmerich and Carolyn Blackwood for New Line; Bethan Jones for BBC One and Deborah Forte for Scholastic.
BBC America, which co-produces the series Atlantis with the BBC, has renewed the series for a second season after a very strong debut this past weekend, the highest rated Supernatural Saturday show premiere on the network. BBC had previously renewed the show, having aired it earlier this Fall.
Atlantis is a retelling of Greek myths from the creators of Merlin, and has a similar feel and how the characters differ from their traditional myths. Jason (Jack Donnelly), while searching for his missing father in a mini-sub, suddenly finds himself transported to the lost city of Atlantis, where he joins up with Pythagoras (Robert Emms) and Hercules (Mark Addy) as they encounter the myths of ancient Greece.
Wow…the saga continues. But this time it seems really real!
BBC News’ Lizo Mzimba says that BBC Worldwide will announce later this week that a number of Doctor Who from the First and Second Doctors have been recovered.
If you’ve been following, there was a rumor that as many as 90 of the 106 remaining missing episodes, all from the Hartnell and Troughton years, were recovered by archivist Philip Morris from film transfers sent to other countries for broadcast. But then he denied it, seriously dashing hopes. But now it appears to be true, at least in some respect.
No information yet on how many episodes (The Daily Mirror reports 106, but that would be all of them and highly unlikely), or which episodes will be announced – or even if they will release them all or just some, or how. That we will hopefully learn this week.
BBC, needing to cut costs, has reportedly canceled Doctor Who Confidential, the behind the scenes features that aired on their BBC3 channel right after each episode aired on BBC1, as it as done since the series revived in 2005. The specials also appeared in modified form on the US DVDs, and bits of them can be seen between some commercial breaks on BBC America.
Facing the need to cut 20% of the budget, BBC decided to cut the show and focus on more original content as part of a “Delivering Quality First” initiative.
However, I suspect that behind-the-scenes features will still be featured on future DVD releases, but perhaps not as much and less produced.
Following up on something I tweeted earlier today, BBC executive Sam Hodges broke the news on Twitter and Steven Moffat appeared to confirm that the BBC has commissioned 14 more episodes of Doctor Who, with Matt Smith returning as the Doctor. Since no other details have been released, I’m assuming the 14 episodes includes this year’s Christmas special.
The BBC is confirming today that there are no plans to film any additional episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures after the sudden passing of its star, Elisabeth Sladen, two weeks ago. However, they will air six episodes that had already been filmed at some point on CBBC, at a date to be determined.
Apparently Brit tabloid The Sun had claimed that production would continue – which would not be unheard of. After all, fans of British SF know that Blake’s 7 went two extra years after the title star left the show. This situation felt different, though.
With BBC America debuting the 4th series of Primeval on the same day as in the UK, 5 “prequel videos” to the 4th series (yes, it is technically the 4th…the first two were short and combined in to one DVD release, with the 3rd series billed as Volume 2 – confused me as well). Find out what happened in the present after Connor, Abby and Danny get stuck in the past…see below for all 5. Primeval Series 4 premieres on BBC America January 1st at 9PM ET.