British Television: New Series On BBC 2012-2013
So what’s new at the BBC? New British series are interesting not only because they might get their American version soon – but also, and mainly, because they are, well – slightly different.
With shorter TV seasons (here they call it ‘series’, so it’s Sherlock series 1, and not season 1, for example) and longer gaps between them, you have to define a very memorable setup and characters. Take, for example, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, or Episodes (which is a co-production of Showtime and the BBC).
And the BBC has recently ordered a bunch of new shows – check out the list below.
Fact: The comedy series started filming last month on location in Hebburn and in studio in Manchester, and it will premiere on BBC Two later this year. Hebburn is the home town of stand-up comedian Jason Cook, who has created this warm, true-to-life comedy, inspired by his own experiences of growing up in the North East of England. The series is directed by Chris Gernon (Gavin & Stacey), produced by Gill Isles and written by Jason Cook and Graham Duff (Ideal) – just another reason to keep an eye on this one when it comes out.
Plot: It tells the tale of the Pearson family and their impetuous and ambitious son, Jack, played by rising stand-up star Chris Ramsey, who has left Tyneside for the bright lights and glamour of Manchester. He has secretly married a middle class Jewish girl, Sarah, played by Kimberley Nixon (Fresh Meat), and realises that it is about time he introduced her to his family.
Fact: A new crime drama for BBC One. It’s not exactly a series in the American sense, as it only has two parts. The super mini series (a micro series?) will premiere later in 2012.
Plot: The powerful murder-mystery is set against the stunning Scottish backdrop of the Shetland Isles and centres on Detective Jimmy Perez. When a young archaeologist discovers a set of human remains, the island community is intrigued to know if it’s an ancient find or a contemporary mystery. And when an elderly woman is shot on her land in a tragic accident, Perez and his team find themselves at the centre of two feuding families whose envy, greed and bitterness has divided the surrounding community.
Fact: 6×60 series, created and written by Lucy Gannon (Soldier Soldier) for BBC One.
Plot: A modern and redemptive take on the life and work of a dedicated district nurse whose patients matter more to her than her personal life. It’s about ordinary lives which are often in huge domestic crisis. Our heroine, Frankie is a heroine for the modern age who looks life and death in the eye; her mission is to make a difference.
Fact: 10×60 series, written by Adrian Hodges (My Week With Marilyn, Survivors, Primeval) for BBC One.
Plot: A fresh and contemporary take on the classic characters created by Alexandre Dumas in his much-loved novel. The Musketeers are a crack-team of highly trained soldiers, far more than the King’s personal bodyguards, confronting impossible odds and fighting any battle if the cause is just. The series bursts with escapism, adventure and romance and is set to thrill audiences with cracking stories of the week. Co-produced with BBC WorldWide.
The Lady Vanishes
Fact: 1×90 single, adapted by Fiona Seres (The Silence) for BBC One Christmas.
Plot: From the novel ‘The Wheel Spins’ filmed by Hitchcock as The Lady Vanishes, this 1930’s thriller by Ethel Lina White has been adapted by Fiona Seres for Christmas on BBC One. When the spoilt but beautiful Iris returns home from a holiday in the Balkans, she is befriended on the train by an English woman she knows only as “Miss Froy”. Iris falls asleep, and when she awakes some hours later, Miss Froy has vanished. Fearing madness and risking death, Iris desperately tries to solve the sudden disappearance of her traveling companion.
In The Flesh
Fact: 3×60 event drama, written by Dominic Mitchell for BBC Three. New writer Dominic Mitchell’s first TV commission was developed by the BBC Drama Production team in Salford and discovered through ‘Northern Voices’, a BBC Writersroom competition.
Plot: After the Zombie Uprising has been quelled by the Human Volunteer Force, life is starting to return to normal. Any surviving zombies have been captured, medicated, held in an NHS holding facility in Norfolk and are being slowly re-integrated back into society, with the help of contact lenses and cover up mousse. The story follows teenager Kieran Walker and boldly goes where no zombie drama has gone before.
Fact: 8×60 series, Written and created by Bill Gallagher.
Plot: The story of a love affair set against the backdrop of the opening of the first department store. Smart, ambitious and big hearted Denise Lovett arrives in the city to seek work in her uncle Edmund’s shop. When he’s unable to help her, she turns to The Paradise and her eyes are opened to a whole new world of possibilities. This impossibly glamorous store provides the catalyst for her rags-to-riches story as she falls in love with the exhilarating and dangerous charms of the modern world.