Friday, December 30, 2011

Masterpiece Classic: 2012

It's that time of year again! Masterpiece Classic is getting ready to get into full swing for the 2012 season. There are a few new adaptations coming our way, so check your local listings and settle in for a good time this winter.

Downton Abbey Series 1 (December 18, 25, and January 1): Many PBS stations are currently broadcasting an encore presentation of this Edwardian period drama. It portrays life for both the family and the servants for the large Downton Abbey estate. Romance, treachery, death, and change all happen both upstairs and downstairs. The best series of the 2011 season and a must watch. If your PBS station is not broadcasting it, you can also find it on Netflix.

Downton Abbey Series 2 (January 8, 15, 22, 29 & February 5, 12, 19): The story continues for the inhabitants of Downton Abbey. World War I has begun, and it changes life for everyone on the estate.

Sherlock Series 1 (January 15, 22, 29): This is an encore presentation of Masterpiece Mystery's smash hit from 2010. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), this is the classic Sherlock story set in modern day London. Smart, fast, and funny this is a must see. Be sure to catch it if you didn't when it first came out. The 2nd series will follow later this year.

The Old Curiosity Shop (February 26): This is a re-broadcast from the 2009 season. Stars Derek Jacobi and Toby Jones in this classic Dickens story of a girl and her grandfather on the run from a ruthless moneylender.

Great Expectations (April 1, 8): The first of two new adaptations of Dickens novels, this remake stars Gillian Anderson (Bleak House) and David Suchet (Hercule Poirot). Young Pip is an orphan who comes into a large amount of money due to a mysterious benefactor.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood (April 15): Dickens' last (and unfinished) work gets its first television adaptation. It is a psychological thriller about a choirmaster's obsession with 17 year old Rosa Bud. Stars Alun Armstrong, Julia McKenzie, and Matthew Rhys.

Birdsong (April 22 & 29): Based on the Sebastian Faulk novel, this is the story of two lovers torn apart by World War I. Stephen Wrayford's pre-war affair with Isabelle Azaire continues to effect him as he fights in the trenches. Stars Eddie Redmayne (Tess of the d'Urbervilles, My Week with Marilyn) and Clemence Posey.

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