Tag Archives: BBC One

This Year’s BBC Agatha Christie Adaptation — The Pale Horse

Under terms originally set forth in the Magna Carta, the BBC is required by law to broadcast at least one big new Agatha Christie dramatization every year. Since they can only remake And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile two or three times a decade, BBC management occasionally looks to Christie’s lesser-known works for inspiration.

This year, they’re giving us Christie’s witchy 1961 novel, The Pale Horse. Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple are absent from this one, but Ariadne Oliver—friend of Poirot, mystery novelist, and frequent stand-in for the author herself—plays a prominent role.

Here’s the trailer:

And here’s the cast:

The Pale Horse is available on BBC iPlayer in the UK, and starting this weekend, on Amazon Prime in the US.

From BBC Earth — A Glorious Seven Worlds, One Planet

For the past few weeks, a brilliant new nature series called Seven Worlds, One Planet, has been playing on BBC One. Each of the seven episodes focuses on a different continent; segments of the show were filmed in 41 different countries.

The narrator is naturalist Sir David Attenborough, as if it could be anyone else.

Here’s a sample, in which a Giant Leopard Seal pursues a Tiny Penguin:

Warning. The photography in the show is stunning, but Nature is not always pretty. Some viewers in the UK have responded to parts of the series with tears or nausea.

US viewers will be able to judge for themselves when Seven WorldsOne Planet premieres on Saturday, 18 January 2020, on BBC America, AMC, IFC,  and SundanceTV.


Survivor: Galápagos

From Planet Earth II — View in Full Screen

Remember the famous “Iguana vs Snakes” sequence from the BBC series, Planet Earth II?  When that little iguana made a run for safety as the rocks around it erupted with dozens of hungry snakes, we witnessed the most exciting chase scene in any movie or TV show released in 2016. I’ve reposted it at the bottom of this item. Three years later, it’s as breathtaking as ever.

Years and Years — Highest Recommendation

Just watched the sixth and final episode of Years and Years on HBO, and what a thrill ride that turned out to be!

The series follows the multi-generational, diverse Lyons family of Manchester, England, through the next 15 years, as technology keeps getting better, while life keeps getting worse. At the same time, it charts the rise of the populist demagogue Vivian Rook, played brilliantly by Emma Thompson as a cross between “Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher and a much smarter version of “Short-Fingered Vulgarian” Donald Trump.

Stand-outs, in addition to Thompson, are Russell Tovey as Daniel Lyons and Anne Reid as Muriel Deacon, the Lyons family matriarch. Reid’s monologue in the final episode will probably win her a BAFTA award next year.

Here’s the original BBC One trailer:

And here’s the one from HBO:

Years and Years was a huge hit in the UK, where it got rave reviews across the board.

I’m posting only one tiny spoiler beyond what’s in the trailers: In the final episode, the recounting of the fate of two famous buildings made me laugh out loud.

You gotta watch it yourself.

Another Highest Recommendation.

Four Weddings and a Funeral and a Red Nose

The immensely likable Four Weddings and a Funeral was released 25 years ago this week, and to celebrate, the surviving cast members have come together again on a new project for Comic Relief’s annual Red Nose Day fundraiser.

One Red Nose Day and a Wedding will premiere during Red Nose Day 2019 on BBC One on Friday, 15  March 2019.

Here’s the teaser:

Planet Earth II — Extended Trailer

Planet Earth II, the sequel to Planet Earth, Sir David Attenborough’s 2006 BBC nature documentary series, is finally making it to the US. The series ran last fall in the UK, where it was a huge popular and critical success. The Independent called it “undoubtedly the greatest TV nature documentary to date”, and The Guardian named it “The Best TV Series of the Year”.

The photography in Planet Earth II nothing short of amazing.

Each of the six episodes focuses on a different environment. Last November, I posted an item about a scene from “Islands”, the first episode, that showed a baby iguana attempting to escape from….

Well. just watch it, preferably full screen. It’s the most exciting thing you’ll see all day.

The first episode was scheduled to run in the States last month, but it’s been moved to Saturday, 18 February 2017. It will be simulcast across BBC America, AMC, and that sad little remnant of the once-great Sundance channel, which will interrupt its non-stop Law and Order SUX marathon for the show. That’s how good it is.

The Most Exciting Chase Scene of the Year — Iguana vs Snakes

Last weekend, BBC One ran the first episode of a six-episode series called Planet Earth II, which is a follow-up to the decade-old David Attenborough natural history series.  It included this amazing scene of racer snakes chasing a baby iguana on the Galapagos islands.

It went viral, of course.

Planet Earth II will begin its run on BBC America on 28 January 2017.