Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Discover the role creative imagination has played in forging humanity as we survey the history of art, from antiquity to the present, on a global scale. Don’t miss CIVILIZATIONS, a new 9-part series – beginning Tuesday night at 9 on UNC-TV.

Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Judi Dench (As Time Goes By), Eileen Atkins (Doc Martin) and Joan Plowright (And A Nightingale Sang) – all Dames in their own right – let the cameras in on a friendship that spans a half century in a new movie titled Nothing Like A Dame. The film hits cinemas in the UK next month and airs on BBC Two during the summer. No word on a debut in the States (either in theatres or telly) but I’ll be on the lookout. Continue reading


A Batch Of Cumber

If you watched Benedict Cumberbatch in the recent MASTERPIECE presentation of Ian McEwan’s The Child In Time, you may not have realized that it wasn’t Cumberbatch’s first time bringing McEwan’s work to life. Hear the actor talk about time, trauma and the “cinematic” qualities of McEwan’s novels on the MASTERPIECE STUDIO PODCAST.

Where Do I Know That Actor?

This week’s Masterpiece featured a new TV movie titled The Child In Time. It starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Kelly Macdonald as parents forced to go on with their lives after their child goes missing. It was a heartrending tale that eschewed the usual police procedural aspect and ventured more into the psychological. There were also a few familiar faces that UNC-TV viewers may know from other shows we’ve broadcast.

Benedict Cumberbatch is the lead actor in the film (playing Stephen Lewis) and it should almost go without saying that while he is well known for his film roles (Doctor Strange, The Hobbit, The Imitation Game, The Fifth Estate, Star Trek: Into Darkness) the role that brought him recognition from most public television viewers is Sherlock Holmes on Masterpiece‘s Sherlock. Cumberbatch has also played Richard III on The Hollow Crown, Stephen Ezard on The Last Enemy and Edmund Talbot on To The Ends of the Earth. Continue reading

Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Dolores Huerta tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Cesar Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant – and unheralded – feminist activists of the 20th century. Meet Dolores on INDEPENDENT LENS – Tuesday at 9pm on UNC-TV.

Kenneth Branagh has begun production on his next film called Artemis Fowl (based on the Eoin Colfer books). The movie will feature Dame Judi Dench as “the steely leader of the fairy police force.” I’ve no idea what that means but my interest is definitely piqued. Continue reading

Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

Explore London’s incredible Underground and uncover the story of how this remarkable engineering feat was achieved. Go INSIDE THE TUBE – Tuesday night at 8 on the Explorer Channel.

Some of Downton Abbey’s actors are reuniting for a new movie. It’s not a Downton Abbey movie but it’ll be nice to see the gang together again. Continue reading

Monday Montage

What’s happening, what’s on and what’s interesting this week …

What does it mean to be American? What holds us together in turbulent times? Watch as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and historian David M. Kennedy investigate the idea of a unifying AMERICAN CREED. Tune in Tuesday night at 9 on UNC-TV.

Very sad news. Actress Emma Chambers has passed away at the age of 53. She will best known to public broadcasting fans as Alice Horton on THE VICAR OF DIBLEY.

The Harvey Weinstein scandal has rocked Hollywood and even sparked a wider social movement. See how the now-disgraced mogul allegedly sexually harassed and abused dozens of women over four decades as FRONTLINE presents Weinstein – Friday at 9pm on UNC-TV.

Did  you know actress Celia Imrie (Kingdom, After You’ve Gone) calls herself the Happy Hoofer and still grabs life by every second? Continue reading

My Top Five: Detectives

There are loads of private investigators to choose from on the many series UNC-TV has broadcast over the decades. One series alone (Mystery!) is pretty much devoted to the genre. So I started thinking: who are my personal favorite detectives?

I tried to gravitate towards characters that are sleuths first and foremost rather than police constables who utilize procedure to apprehend criminals. A fine line, I agree – but it narrowed the focus a bit.

As always, these are MY TOP FIVE. Not the best, not the most popular – just my personal favorites. Thus, without further ado, here are MY TOP FIVE: DETECTIVES…

5) The Gumshoes of ACME, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? – The sleuths of ACME come perilously close to falling under the “police” category since they are part of an organization, but they are gumshoes (it’s in their name) so I had to include them. Throw in Special Agent Greg Lee and Lynne Thigpen as The Chief and the WITWICS gumshoes will always be cool. Continue reading