GEEK ALERT! BBC: Matt Smith Leaving ‘Doctor Who,’ The Search For Number Twelve Begins…

Doctor-Who 50 tardis

Via The Official Blog:

The BBC is today announcing that Matt Smith is to leave Doctor Who after four incredible years on the hit BBC One show. Matt first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and will leave the role at the end of this year after starring in the unmissable 50th Anniversary in November and regenerating in the Christmas special. During his time as the Doctor, Matt has reached over 30 million unique UK viewers and his incarnation has seen the show go truly global. He was also the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA in the role.

Matt quickly won over fans to be voted Best Actor by Readers of Doctor Who Magazine for the 2010 season. He also received a nod for his first series at the National Television Awards, before winning the Most Popular Male Drama Performance award in 2012.

Matt has played one of the biggest roles in TV with over 77 million fans in the UK, USA and Australia alone!

Doctor-Who 50Matt Smith says: “Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show. I’m incredibly grateful to all the cast and crew who work tirelessly every day, to realise all the elements of the show and deliver Doctor Who to the audience. Many of them have become good friends and I’m incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the last four years.

Having Steven Moffat as show runner write such varied, funny, mind bending and brilliant scripts has been one of the greatest and most rewarding challenges of my career. It’s been a privilege and a treat to work with Steven, he’s a good friend and will continue to shape a brilliant world for the Doctor.

The fans of Doctor Who around the world are unlike any other; they dress up, shout louder, know more about the history of the show (and speculate more about the future of the show) in a way that I’ve never seen before, your dedication is truly remarkable. Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet, I’m back for the 50th anniversary and the Christmas special!

It’s been an honour to play this part, to follow the legacy of brilliant actors, and helm the TARDIS for a spell with ‘the ginger, the nose and the impossible one’. But when ya gotta go, ya gotta go and Trenzalore calls. Thank you guys. Matt.”

Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, says : “Every day, on every episode, in every set of rushes, Matt Smith surprised me: the way he’d turn a line, or spin on his heels, or make something funny, or out of nowhere make me cry, I just never knew what was coming next. The Doctor can be clown and hero, often at the same time, and Matt rose to both challenges magnificently. And even better than that, given the pressures of this extraordinary show, he is one of the nicest and hardest-working people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Whatever we threw at him – sometimes literally – his behaviour was always worthy of the Doctor.

But great actors always know when it’s time for the curtain call, so this Christmas prepare for your hearts to break, as we say goodbye to number Eleven. Thank you Matt – bow ties were never cooler.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now – all unknowing, just going about their business – is someone who’s about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that’s still so exciting!”

Having starred alongside three different companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and most recently Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), Matt’s Doctor has fought Daleks and Cybermen, as well as Weeping Angels in New York. Regularly heard shouting ‘run’ and ‘Geronimo’, through Matt’s Doctor fans have been introduced to a new culinary combination – fish fingers and custard!

Matt’s spectacular exit is yet to be revealed and will be kept tightly under wraps. He will return to BBC One screens in the unmissable 50th anniversary episode on Saturday 23rd November 2013 – TUNE IN!

We’ll have exclusive quotes from Jenna on this site tomorrow and a special video from Matt – coming soon!

BBC: ‘Being Human’ (U.K. Version) Canceled

Being Human series 5

Via Press Release:

bbc3_logo-418x215BBC Three’s supernatural trio will confront the ultimate evil in the final episodes of Being Human.

It was announced today that the current series of Being Human will be the last, as the supernatural drama on BBC Three reaches an apocalyptic end, with our heroes facing their toughest adversary yet… the Devil!

Being Human first aired as a stand-alone pilot in 2008 and soon became a popular addition to BBC Three’s schedule. It has gained a loyal Sunday night audience, with a ratings high of 1.6 million and a highest average audience of 1.2 million.

Being Human’s extraordinary mix of drama, comedy and horror has earned the programme awards: The Writer’s Guild Award for ‘Best TV Drama Series’ in 2009, 2010 and 2012, as well as ‘Best Drama Series’ at the 2011 TV Choice Awards.

The show’s success is a combination of innovative storytelling and dark humour which shines a light on the human condition through its supernatural characters.

At its heart was always the supernatural trinity of a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost: three beings attempting to live normal lives among humans, often with disastrous consequences as they fight against their unearthly powers.

Rob Pursey, the show’s executive producer, Touchpaper says: “Working on Being Human has been a truly great experience. From the first one-hour pilot, all the way through to this climactic series, we’ve been given real creative freedom and encouragement. It’s a credit to BBC Three that such an unusual idea has been allowed to flourish and evolve in its own unique way.

“I’d like to take the chance to thank Toby Whithouse (creator and writer) for his incredible writing and storytelling; the other screenwriters who’ve made the series their own; the three producers who’ve nurtured the show; and the many directors who’ve helped us establish the show’s unique tone. Being Human has also opened the door to new acting talent, including some incredibly exciting younger actors, which is a legacy we all feel proud of. We will miss Being Human, but feel inspired that there is a place for series like this on British television.”

Being Human started with Mitchell (Aiden Turner), a 117-year-old vampire with the gift of the gab who refused to prey on humans; George (Russell Tovey), a reluctant werewolf with an extraordinarily high IQ; and Annie (Lenora Crichlow), a murdered woman who returns as a ghost and eventually saves the world.

The show has also attracted a great number of all-star guests, including Mark Williams, Mark Gatiss, Steven Robertson, Donald Sumpter, Lacey Turner and Robson Green, to name a few.

Zai Bennett, Controller, BBC Three, says: “Being Human has been a fantastic and faithful friend to BBC Three. It’s featured some truly exceptional actors and storylines through the years and I’d like to thank Toby and the production team for their vision and passion. However, all good things come to an end and at BBC Three we’re committed to breaking new shows and new talent and who better to pass that baton on than Toby.”

Series five sees our supernatural trio facing their own personal demons, and matters become more complicated with the return of Mr Rook, the shady figure whose government department protects the human world from otherworldly beings.

But Vampire Hal (Damien Molony), Werewolf Tom (Michael Socha) and Ghost Alex (Kate Bracken) don’t realise they face a bigger threat than the Men in Grey, when they stumble across the decrepit and repulsive Captain Hatch (Phil Davis).

Unknown to our trio, Hatch’s feeble exterior hides an ancient evil… because Captain Hatch is the Devil himself and has been trapped in human form for centuries!

Now the father of all evil is just itching to inflict chaos on mankind, but can our heroes survive the oncoming Armageddon unscathed?

Toby Whithouse, the show’s writer and creator, has posted a statement on the Being Human Blog here.

Don’t miss the ultimate apocalyptic conclusion to BBC Three’s popular fantasy drama Being Human, Sundays at 10pm.

BBC America To Co-Produce ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Special TV Movie

Doctor-Who 50

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part Two of Season Seven starts this Saturday, March 30th on BBC America with series premiere of Orphan Black immediately following!

Via Press Release:


Jan 29, 2013 | BBC AMERICA

Harry Potter’s David Bradley, Call the Midwife’s Jessica Raine and The Bourne Supremacy’s Brian Cox to star

Doctor-Who 50 tardisBBC AMERICA will co-produce and premiere An Adventure in Space and Time as part of the channel’s celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. An Adventure in Space and Time will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who – which first aired on November 23, 1963 – and the many personalities involved.

Announced today, David Bradley (Harry Potter) is set to play the first ever Doctor, the iconic William Hartnell, in the drama written by Mark Gatiss (SherlockDoctor Who), who will also serve as executive producer alongside Steven Moffat (Doctor WhoSherlock) and Caroline Skinner (Doctor WhoThe Fades). An Adventure in Space and Time (1×90) is a co-production between BBC Cymru Wales and BBC AMERICA. The drama will premiere later this year on BBC AMERICA.

The BBC’s Head of Drama Sydney Newman, credited with the creation of the show, will be portrayed by Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, Bourne Identity) and the producer, Verity Lambert, by Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife). The director of the first ever episode An Unearthly Child, Waris Hussein, will be played by Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango In Halifax).

Mark Gatiss, writer and executive producer said: “What a cast! I’m utterly delighted that everyone’s favorite Time Lord will be in such brilliant and stellar company. We have a terrific team who can’t wait to tell the fascinating and surprising story of how the Doctor began his journey through Space and Time.”

Richard De Croce, SVP Programming, BBC AMERICA added: “We’re excited to work with BBC Cymru Wales on this co-production, allowing us to bring An Adventure in Space and Time to Doctor Who fans on both sides of the pond. Mark and the talented team behind the project are sure to create a special that will delight audiences while commemorating this incredible series’ 50th anniversary.”

Commenting on his upcoming role, David Bradley said, “I’m absolutely thrilled.  I first heard about this role from Mark while watching the Diamond Jubilee flotilla from the roof of the National Theatre.  When he asked if I would be interested, I almost bit his hand off!  Mark has written such a wonderful script not only about the birth of a cultural phenomenon, but a moment in television’s history.  William Hartnell was one of the finest character actors of our time and as a fan I want to make sure that I do him justice.  I’m so looking forward to getting started.”

An Adventure in Space and Time is a co-production between BBC Cymru Wales and BBC AMERICA. Filming begins at the beginning of February at BBC’s Television Centre in London before moving to Wimbledon Studios. The drama is produced by Matt Strevens (Misfits, Skins) and directed by Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad, The Street).

Doctor Who recently delivered record ratings for BBC AMERICA when the Christmas Day special Doctor Who: The Snowmen became the channel’s best ever telecast in demo, delivering  2.4 million total viewers and 1.3 million A25-54 in Live+7, rounding out a year of success. Doctor Who returns on March 30 as part of BBC AMERICA’s Supernatural Saturday programming block, alongside world premieres of new original series The Nerdist and Orphan Black.


Twitter: @BBCAMERICA @BBCDoctorWho #DoctorWho

Facebook: and


BBC AMERICA delivers U.S. audiences high-quality, innovative and intelligent programming. Established in 1998, it has been the launch pad for talent embraced by American mainstream pop culture, including Ricky Gervais, Gordon Ramsay, Graham Norton, and successful programming formats including ground-breaking non-scripted television like Top Gear and top-rated science-fiction like Doctor Who. Owned by BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, BBC AMERICA has attracted both critical acclaim and major awards including an Emmy®, five Golden Globes® and ten Peabody Awards. The channel attracts one of cable’s most affluent and educated audiences and is available on cable and satellite TV in more than 80.7 million homes. It broadcasts in both standard and high-definition, with content available On Demand across all major digital platforms. Online, is the place to go to dig deeper into pop culture with a British twist. Find out more by visiting or follow us on

BBC America: ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special To Air On December 25th, Details About Season 7.5

What better way to celebrate Christmas Day after all the presents are opened, you’ve visited your friends and family and finally settled down at the end of the day then to enjoy the latest adventure with your favorite time-traveling Time Lord and his newest companion?  we certainly cam’t think of any and if you haven’t seen any of the Doctor Who Christmas specials in the past, you are in for a treat.  Last year’s The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe was by far the best of the lot and just a fantastic adventure for the whole family.  Below is the announcement on BBC America’s website regarding the latest entry following that is the press release providing all sorts of cool news about the upcoming second have to season seven.

From BBC America:

Doctor Who Christmas Special

Following the epic mid-season finale, the Doctor gets in the holiday spirit in the all-new Christmas special written by lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock). Accompanied by his newest companion, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, the Doctor’s latest adventure through space and time sees him once again crossing paths with the homo-reptilian Silurian Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her cohort Jenny (Catrin Stewart). The Doctor Who Christmas Special premieres December 25, 9:00pm ET. Twitter: #DoctorWho

Via Press Release:


Nov 07, 2012 | BBC AMERICA


BBC AMERICA confirms that the Cybermen will be menacing the universe once again when Doctor Who returns for a run of eight epic episodes in spring, 2013. The iconic enemies will be featured in an adventure directed by Stephen Woolfenden and written by the acclaimed Neil Gaiman whose previous Doctor Who episode, “The Doctor’s Wife,” garnered a Hugo Award. 

Starring Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as the new companion, the episode co-stars Warwick Davis (Life’s Too ShortHarry Potter), Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders, Law & Order: UK) and Jason Watkins (Being Human, Twenty Twelve) as a band of misfits on a mysterious planet…

Steven Moffat, Lead Writer and Executive Producer, told us, “Cybermen were always the monsters that scared me the most! Not just because they were an awesome military force, but because sometimes they could be sleek and silver and right behind you without you even knowing.” He added, “And with one of the all-time classic monsters returning, and a script from one of our finest novelists, it’s no surprise we have attracted such stellar names as Tamzin, Jason and Warwick.”

The Cybermen last appeared in 2011’s “Closing Time,” but debuted in 1966 opposite William Hartnell’s Doctor in the classic “The Tenth Planet.” Over the years they have proven constant in their attempts to terrorize the Time Lord, invade our planet and destroy humanity… Secrecy surrounds all future adventures but we can’t wait to find out more about the Cybermen’s latest deadly gambit.

Doctor Who returns to BBC AMERICA on December 25 for the Christmas Special and is back for a run of eight episodes in spring, 2013.

REVIEW: ‘Elementary’ (CBS – Thursday, 10:00 p.m.)

EDITORIAL NOTE: To understand how we do our reviews, please refer to our review of Revolution, here.

ELEMENTARY stars Jonny Lee Miller as detective Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson in a modern-day drama about a crime-solving duo that cracks the NYPD’s most impossible cases. Following his fall from grace in London and a stint in rehab, eccentric Sherlock escapes to Manhattan where his wealthy father forces him to live with his worst nightmare – a sober companion, Dr. Watson.  A successful surgeon until she lost a patient and her license three years ago, Watson views her current job as another opportunity to help people, as well as paying a penance.  However, the restless Sherlock is nothing like her previous clients.  He informs her that none of her expertise as an addiction specialist applies to him and he’s devised his own post-rehab regimen – resuming his work as a police consultant in New York City. Watson has no choice but to accompany her irascible new charge on his jobs.  But Sherlock finds her medical background helpful, and Watson realizes she has a knack for playing investigator. Sherlock’s police contact, Capt. Tobias “Toby” Gregson (Aidan Quinn), knows from previous experience working with Scotland Yard that Sherlock is brilliant at closing cases, and welcomes him as part of the team.  With the mischievous Sherlock Holmes now running free in New York solving crimes, it’s simple deduction that he’s going to need someone to keep him grounded, and it’s elementary that it’s a job for Watson.  Rob Doherty, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly and Michael Cuesta, who directed the pilot, are executive producers for CBS Television Studios. – CBS

Score:     88 out of 100

Initial Impressions (September 6, 2012):

Shawn:  When we first heard about Elementary, we wanted to repeatedly punch ourselves in the face because we are kind of tired of seeing the U.S. television industry lazily copy the success of magnificent BBC programming by stealing their shows and then thoroughly screwing up what has made the BBC versions so great to begin with. To make matters worse, someone thought it was a great idea to send Holmes to New York and making matters even worse, casting Lucy Liu in the Watson role.  So, unlike the BBC’s Sherlock, which we’ll go as far to say may be the best show on television regardless of what side of the Atlantic you’re on, this adaptation of Doyle’s masterpiece not only has set the characters and the story in the modern era, but they’ve also gone so far as to change the locale to a completely different continent, ergo, destroying part of what makes Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes, and they’ve changed Doctor Watson from a male, British Army Doctor to a female Asian-American surgeon.  Fantastic.  Despite that, after watching the trailer, it really doesn’t look bad.  Don’t get us wrong, it’s no Sherlock, but it doesn’t look awful.  That being said, don’t fool yourself, the lame suits at CBS have brought us, yet again, another police procedural with a gimmick (see: Numb3ers, Unforgettable, CSI and The Mentalist for recent examples of CBS doing this).

Initial Impressions (September 8, 2012):

Redeye:  Lucy Liu  in what could be a compelling crime procedural show. Only problem is, it’s a crime procedural show.  Won’t someone  please tell CBS that those are played out already?

The Review:

Shawn:  We both got it right and I am relieved to say that although Elementary is not as good as the BBC’s Sherlock, it’s still an incredibly worthy entry in the mythology of the Doyle franchise.

I wanted to bring Sherlock up immediately and discuss it regularly because it’s the biggest elephant in the room of all and it needs to be addressed so we can move on.  Elementary is not Sherlock but how the hell could it be? BBC shows are in a completely different class than American shows.  It’s not even a fair fight.  The BBC is a government-owned entity and has been its entire existence and is not nearly as dependent on advertising and 18 – 49 viewership as privately-owned American networks are.  When the BBC greenlights a project, it’s from a perspective that quality programming begets more viewership.  That’s not how it works in the U.S.  The model here is to present a product that has the most likelihood of gaining the attention and eyes of the 18 – 49 crowd on a weekly basis, quality of programming being a secondary consideration.  This really is an apples and oranges comparison.

There is ZERO chance that Sherlock could ever be produced in the U.S. with its 90-minute feature-film run times and three-episode seasons.  It just isn’t possible except for maybe on a premium network like HBO.  It’s not a coincidence that the vast majority of BBC programming that has found its way to this side of the pond has found its success on PBS (including Sherlock), a not-for-profit entity funded exclusively by donations and government grants.  So, as someone who enjoys quality television programming, not only am I thankful for what the the BBC offers, I’m beginning to appreciate the government-funded model for the arts (because television is an art) that has been the tradition in the U.K. since the BBC’s inception and I would actually prefer that the U.S. follow their lead.

That being said, I am aware that the possibility of that occurring is slim to none and I’ve come to accept how the U.S. television industry works, warts and all, and that quality programming is possible even when working within and around the standard guidelines. I’m reminded of shows like Lost that managed to find an audience on ABC because it was three years into the series before audiences realized that they were watching a Science Fiction serial, which they had generally given up on a decade earlier. The fact is that 22-episode police procedurals generally succeed in the U.S. by just moving the pieces around and cutting and pasting and that, to an extent, is why Elementary works here so well.

As I’ve noted, what’s become more and more commonplace is the the police procedural with the main character possessing some kind of uncanny and unique ability that’s not supernatural, however it does give them an advantage and greater ability to solve crimes. These shows have found a lot of success and though I’m generally skeptical of them because I come from the perspective of “you’re not fooling me, I can smell a generic procedural a mile away,” that didn’t happen with Elementary because like its BBC counterpart (which I grant is far more epic), it’s not about the ability, it’s about the characters of Holmes and Watson themselves, and they are portrayed masterfully through both writing and acting by Miller and Liu.

One of the things that needs to be noted as to why Sherlock is so good is because, frankly, Steven Moffat is a better writer than Doyle ever was and his main character’s persona being that of a self-described “high-functioning sociopath” (which was easy to call before he even admitted it) elaborates on themes only hinted at in the original work.  Why it works is because the writing never strays from that model nor do they stray from Watson’s model of the damaged, somewhat angry and lonely former soldier trying to make sense of it all while possibly being the only person that is capable of reigning in the eccentric consulting detective.  The point of this is that Moffat has smartly taken the template for the classic characters and re-imagined them while staying true to Doyle’s original intentions and this is exactly what Elementary does and it should be celebrated for doing it as effectively as it does, despite the handicap of being on American network television.

Miller is as perfectly cast for this Holmes as his long-time friend Cumberbatch is cast for his Holmes on the BBC’s hit.  Shockingly, Lucy Liu is an excellent Watson who serves to bring fresh perspectives that Holmes is frankly incapable of due to his inability to maintain normal interpersonal relationships, regardless of who’s writing the character.  As brilliant as Holmes is, even Doyle made a point to highlight his many weaknesses and in this version there is far more emphasis on the implied drug abuse issues than have been in the past. Other than the drug abuse issue, Holmes’ biggest character flaw is that though he may understand the human psyche and mentality, his own ego and inability to experience empathy has always been his downfall as well as ignoring the obvious when sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.  A strong Watson is an absolute necessity in order to humanize Holmes and Liu does it aptly but don’t expect any romance between the two because it’s not even hinted at a little bit and I think the writers are aware that going that route would effectively be the sign that the show has officially jumped the shark.

Rounding out the trifecta is Aidan Quinn playing the role of Lt. Gregson (basically the equivalent of the D.I. Lestrade character on Sherlock), an NYPD detective who has had experience with Holmes and his unique abilities since his stint in London post-9/11 and respects his insights greatly to the point where he depends on them.  I like Quinn in this role – again, another perfect job of casting.  Quinn’s best performances in my opinion are where he plays the strong every man. I think he’s been short-changed in his career in a lot of roles where the attempt has been to portray him as the larger than life leading man or the villain.  He’s far more Jimmy Stewart than he is Cary Grant and his understated performance here brings a calming influence yet he still exudes a sense of leadership despite the fact that much to the dismay of the younger detectives under his command, he often defers to the expertise of Holmes.  Gregson comes off as a character who has had enough experience professionally to know that in order to be as good as he is at what he does there is a greater wisdom in deferring to the experts at the sake of even your own ego, even if that means placating Holmes’ already massive ego.

One of my biggest concerns was that Elementary was set in New York City and not London and that’s because if you’re a fan of the franchise, you know that the city of London is as much of an integral character to the stories as any of the actual performers.  I’ve noted several times how effective a locale can be for a series when done correctly.  Think of Los Angeles for  The Shield or Albuquerque in Breaking Bad or the biggest example, the island in Lost.  London in my mind has always been just as important to this franchise.  The truth is that Elementary is so well-rounded that the locale is almost insignificant and New York works nicely for it.

This being a standard 22-episode American series, don’t expect the writers to re-imagine classic Doyle tales the way that Sherlock has done (there’s simply not enough of them to do this with and 43 minutes isn’t enough time to do them justice), but it is apparent that the writers for Elementary have been chosen well and have a masterful ability to weave a good yarn in the traditional Holmesian style.  The pilot was incredibly impressive despite the fact that it was a one-off, killer-of-the-week story that is the hallmark for all procedurals.  That being said, the best part of the story was being engaged in Holmes’ process and his uncomfortable interactions with other characters and most importantly there was no Scooby Doo ending and that alone makes it a winner.

Brilliantly cast, brilliantly written with no sense of needing to prove itself, Elementary is by far one of the best new dramas of the fall and it stands alone as an excellent tribute to the classic detective.  The biggest issue I have with the series is that CBS, being the scared little babies that they are, actually used the hashtag #Sherlock during the pilot to generate buzz for the series.  That’s cheap and unnecessary and it shows that as much confidence that the writers and producers have in the series, CBS is a little more skeptical and is hedging their bets.  Dumb across the board.

Chance of Renewal:  100%

It’s already huge and with Person of Interest as its lead-in, CBS has a one-two drama punch on Thursday that’s going to be impossible to beat.

Watch Elementary, here.

NETFLIX ALERT: ‘Sherlock’ Season Two Now Available For Streaming

Season two of the BBC hit and highly-acclaimed drama, Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the contemporary version of the eccentric sleuth, is now available on Netflix’s streaming service.  If you haven’t seen this masterpiece, now’s your chance to see the series in its entirety (so far), in full 1080p HD whenever you want it.

We hate to gush, but the BBC catalog on Netflix streaming is reason enough to subscribe if you haven’t already.

SyFy Announces Hit Fantasy Adventure Series ‘Sinbad’ For Spring 2013

Via Press Release:


NEW YORK – September 6, 2012 – Syfy today announced it has acquired the international hit series Sinbad from BBC Worldwide America, Sales & Distribution. One of the most enduring stories of all time, the imaginative and fantastical quest of Sinbad will premiere on Syfy in April 2013.

Starring newcomer Elliot Knight in the title role, the 12-part series follows Sinbad’s sea-bound journey after he is forced to flee from his home town of Basra. Surviving a violent and magical storm, Sinbad embarks on an emotional journey to embrace his destiny.

Naveen Andrews (Lost) stars as Sinbad’s nemesis, Lord Akbari. The series also features appearances by Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda, The Secret Life of Bees), Timothy Spall (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech) and Dougray Scott (Hitman, Mission Impossible: II).

On board “The Providence,” Sinbad is joined by an intriguing band of travelers including Norwegian sailor Gunnar (Elliot Cowan), the jewel-thief Rina (Marama Corlett), and aristocrat Nala (Estella Daniels). Completing the ship’s complement is the Cook (Junix Inocian) and the cerebral doctor Anwar (Dimitri Leonidas).

In making the announcement, Chris Regina, Senior Vice President, Programming & Original Movies, Syfy, said: “When mystical meets muscle, anything can happen in this exciting, action-packed series. With its strong production values and rich story, Sinbad will be a terrific addition to our primetime lineup.”

Matt Forde, EVP Sales and Co-Productions, BBC Worldwide America, said: “This new version of a timeless classic is going to take American audiences by storm. Syfy is the perfect home for Sinbad.”

Sinbad is an Impossible Pictures Production for British Sky Broadcasting in association with BBC Worldwide. The deal was brokered by Jemma Adkins, Senior VP Sales and Co-Productions, BBC Worldwide America.

About BBC Worldwide America Sales & Distribution

BBC Worldwide America Sales & Distribution is one of five core businesses operating in the U.S. under BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of the UK public service broadcaster, BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). BBC Worldwide exists to maximize the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the UK license payer, and invests in programming in return for rights. The Sales & Distribution business negotiates, sells and distributes television programs to networks and secures co-production partners in the region.

About Syfy

Syfy is a media destination for imagination-based entertainment. With year round acclaimed original series, events, blockbuster movies, classic science fiction and fantasy programming, a dynamic Web site (, and a portfolio of adjacent business (Syfy Ventures), Syfy is a passport to limitless possibilities. Originally launched in 1992 as SCI FI Channel, and currently in more than 98 million homes, Syfy is a network of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. (Syfy. Imagine greater.)

REVIEW: Primeval (BBC America – Tuesday, 8:00 p.m.)

When rips in time called anomalies started opening across the UK, dangerous creatures from the past and future began appearing in the most unexpected places, endangering lives and placing the whole of humanity at risk.

A crack team of specialists were appointed by the government to investigate and control “creature incursions,” creating the Anomaly Research Center (ARC), which was later privatized. Matt, Abby, Connor and Becker do the field work while Jess mans the ARC control station under the leadership of government official James Lester and the mysterious scientist, Philip Burton.

From creators Tim Haines (“Walking with Dinosaurs”) and Adrian Hodges (“My Week With Marilyn”), Season 5 sees dark secrets bubble to the surface, testing relationships to the limit. As anomalies become more numerous, unpredictable and dangerous than ever before, the end of the world seems to be just around the corner… will the team be able to stop the approaching apocalypse before it’s too late? – BBC America

80 out of 100

Primeval is a science fiction television show from the BBC that premiered in 2007, has spent time on SyFy and is now on BBC America in the U.S. It  recently has wrapped up its fifth season (or series, for our British friends) and we had the pleasure of watching the last two seasons which only consists of six to seven episodes each, making it an easy commitment.

Douglas Henshall plays the leader (replaced in seasons four and five by Ciaran McMenamin) of a secret military/scientific group that investigates “anomalies” that keep occurring around modern day London that link the past and future to the present. It usually ends up with prehistoric creatures coming through these anomalies and wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting masses. The rest of the team played by Andrew Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt and Ben Mansfield help to wrangle up these creatures and get them back to the anomalies and save the public. Ben Miller wonderfully plays the ever serious and stiff Mr. Lester who has to rein the group in in order to protect them from themselves.

Season four introduces Alexander Siddig (who SciFi fans will remember as Dr. Julian Bashir, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) as a shady Mutli-Millionaire with a strange agenda involving the anomalies and the future of mankind.

The show is smart, well thought-out and just plain fun. It never relies on pretense and delivers exactly what it promises. Dinosaurs (sometimes done with shoddy but serviceable CGI) come out of the anomaly, an alarm goes off at “The ARC,” the team heads out and has to square off with t-rexes, velociraptors, aquatic monsters and various other beasties. It’s fast and furious SciFi action that is surprising and even a bit tongue-in-cheek.

The characters are all dynamic and they all play off of each other very well, especially Spearritt and Potts, who by season four and five have fallen into a groove of sorts. They end up caring and loving each other even though at times when trouble arises they often butt heads. Their exchanges are funny and endearing at times. Potts is the awkward computer geek and Spearritt is the animal loving pacifist who cares for the prehistoric creatures that come through. Henshall’s character, Nic Cutter, is replaced mid-season three by the always fun to watch Jason Flemyng (Clash of the Titans, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) as Danny Quinn who takes over the ARC team but gets stranded in the past. Ciaran McMenamin joins the cast as the leader, Matt, but he, as well, has secrets he’s keeping close to the vest concerning the fate of modern London and the ARC. McMenamin is a bit stiff at times and has only two facial expressions. He doesn’t fare well as an intriguing part of the cast but he is very physical and gung-ho during the action scenes.

Primeval serves as a well above-average SciFi series. One of the great aspects of the show that  really makes it work where your typical hour long procedural often fails is that it’s not always tidy and often, things do not go as planned for our heroes. Also, like a lot of the best shows, the audience becomes aware very quickly that anyone at any time could be killed-off, i.e., there isn’t the  predictable “Redshirt” factor that’s on every other show.

Ben Miller, Mansfield, Spearritt and Lee Potts are what propel this imaginative little series into a memorable bit of humorous schtick. Yes, at times it has, putting it kindly, iffy-looking CGI beasts and some corny SciFi dialog like, “The Mammoth is charging the freeway!” and countless B-Movie scenes of people running from monsters while they scream at the top of their lungs, however, but, despite the obvious corn factor, the show maintains a very high level of entertainment value. The characters and the stories are well fleshed-out despite some episodes suffering from the “Monster of the Week” vs. “The Anthology Plot” problem. Primeval prevails as a quick fix for fans of Dino-Monsters, conspiracies, time travel and ex-Star Trek actors looking for work. We recommend the show for it’s quirky British spirit.

Enjoy, fellow geeks.

REVIEW: Sherlock (PBS – Sunday, 10:00 p.m.)

A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. Co-created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Coupling) and Mark Gatiss, Sherlock stars BAFTA-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (Hawking, Amazing Grace) as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Office, Love Actually), as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves plays Inspector Lestrade. The iconic details from Conan Doyle’s original books remain–they live at the same address, have the same names and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary, action-packed and highly modern-day adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth. – Amazon

100 out of 100 

Sherlock, a new British Television series, really took us by surprise and has us hooked. It is the best drama series to come out of the UK since the impressive Foyle’s War. It is an updated and contemporary re-telling of the exploits of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson and we are thrilled to say that the title characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are in good hands with creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

The first season consists of three 90-minute episodes that find our sleuths solving cases, getting into trouble and irritating Scotland Yard to no end. The first episode, A Study in Pink, introduces us to John Watson, played brilliantly by Martin Freeman (The Hobbit). Watson is a war vet and has been wounded in battle. After his discharge he returns to London, desperate for room and board and for some company. Well, he does find this and more in the form of a tall, lanky and messy-haired private dick named Sherlock Holmes, played with incredible flexibility by Benedict Cumberbatch. Holmes eventually dissects Watson after meeting up with a mutual friend at a crime lab. This is the first of many wonderful scenes where we watch Sherlock deduce, examine, take apart and observe the world around him. He is arrogant, aloof, methodical and impertinent. He is even a bit unstable and Watson is even warned to stay away from him as he is considered a bit on the dangerous and reckless side.

Holmes and Watson take a trip forward in time... but not this far.

Cumberbatch and Freemanare perfectly cast in the title roles of these classic characters. Cumberbatch’s Holmes is a quick-witted thinker and is always one or two steps ahead of everyone. He and Freeman are incredible to watch since Freeman’s Watson is the more, somewhat “cooler head” and not so spontaneous, quick and less face it… impulsive. Freeman plays Watson as an injured soul who desperately needs action and misses the war. He has seen some atrocities and wants to move ahead with his life but finds it hard to adjust. He is then at the mercy of Holmes who makes Watson’s world a living hell. And there’s where this breezy, smart show turns comical. Watson is always trying to keep up with Holmes and at one point Holmes even allows Watson to get arrested.

Sherlock is very strong in dialogue and rooted in the basic tradition that incorporates the Holmes canon. There is, of course, Holmes’ addictive nature, however, instead of cocaine and many of the other vices the original regularly would partake in, in this verison, our hero is addicted to nicotine patches that he claims “help him think.” So, no traditional pipe. He has a landlady named Mrs Hudson, who is constantly being yelled at by Holmes and they, of course, live at 221B Baker Sreet.

Holmes also butts heads with Inspector Greg Lestrade, played by actor Rupert Graves. Lestrade constantly requires Holmes’ help but can never admit it out loud. He is frustrated by him but admires his ability. Holmes makes it a priority to always insult the Scotland Yard authorities. When things click and mesh between Holmes and Watson (which takes a while) that is when the game is afoot!  (Sorry… but we just couldn’t resist.)

By the second episode, The Blind Banker, Holmes and Watson are settled in with their routine of solving very strange and difficult cases. Cumberbatch is athletic and the camera movements are fun to watch as the show is framed perfectly in order to keep up with the mobility of the characters. London has never looked better. It is bustling, raw and alive. Just the perfect place for mayhem and murder.

What makes the show work besides its great production values, smart scripts that never insult your intelligence and complicated mysteries, is the insanely well-timed chemistry of Cumberbatch and Freeman. They are so much fun to watch. When they argue we can’t help but smile. They are best friends but Holmes’ eccentricities madden Watson. More than once, Watson gets locked out of places that Holmes is in. These small things just endear us to them. Holmes manages to spit out the witty dialogue with machine gun rapidity and at times may even lose the viewer (we often have to turn the subtitles on to catch some of this rapid-fire dialogue) if they do not concentrate on the events at hand.

Sherlock never insults or panders to us. We get totally immersed and involved in the updated world of these two icons. Where the old Holmes may be a bit stiff and rigid, this new Holmes is energized and quick on his feet. It is indeed a new Victorian interpretation for these modern times. What we admire is the respect given to these wonderful characters and Professor Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott, does make his appearance in The Great Game and we are in for some fantastic confrontations between he and Holmes.  Of course Watcon asks the question that we’re all thinking: “Does anyone really ever have a arch-nemesis?” Watch and find out if it’s true between Holmes and Moriarty.

The three episodes of season one are currently airing on PBS (check your local listings, here.) and season two will begin on May 6th.  In the meantime, Netflix customers have the entire first season available in full 1080p HD for streaming at any time.  So watch Sherlock,  and remember, it’s “Elementary.”

REVIEW: Prime Suspect – (NBC – Thursday, 10:00 p.m.)

Based on the critically acclaimed British television series of the same name, “Prime Suspect” has been redeveloped for American audiences by writer Alexandra Cunningham (“Desperate Housewives,” “NYPD Blue”), director Peter Berg (NBC’s “Friday Night Lights”) — and stars Maria Bello (“A History of Violence”) as tough-as-nails Detective Jane Timoney. Timoney finds that being a homicide detective in New York City is tough enough and having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. She’s an outsider who has just transferred to a new precinct dominated by an impenetrable clique of a boys’ club. Timoney has her own vices too — with a questionable past — and she tends to be forceful, rude and reckless. But she’s also a brilliant cop who keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. – NBC

80 out of 100

DISCLAIMER: The ‘Tastic, through our continuing efforts to be relevant, will not be reviewing, rating or otherwise judging this show in comparison to its BBC predecessor. They aren’t the same show and it’s embarrassing for us to see critic and fan reviews that take this route which they seem to do for every flippin’ show that crosses the pond.

Regular readers of The ‘Tastic know that we have a long list of types of shows that we simply hate and ranking high on that list is the police procedural.  They are all the same (which is why they’re referred to as procedurals… duh) and it’s incredibly rare that any of them really stand out from one another.  And then there’s NBC’s Prime Suspect which is really one of the best procedurals we’ve seen in years.

Why is it working where most others fail?  Well, we think that part of it comes down to a relatability factor with the characters.  All of the detectives seem more like people you would know in your neighborhood and family with all of the regular personality and ego quirks normally associated with familiar acquaintances.

But the key to this show’s success, quality-wise, is actually the investigations themselves and Bello’s honest portrayal of Jane Timoney, the no-nonsense detective that the show centers on. Timoney is a flawed character, but she’s very good and has a keen intuition and is very down to earth.    Many police procedurals try to portray their lead-character detectives as superheroes, seeing things that  no one else would ever possibly see because of their keen intellect or special ability that puts them a step above their colleagues (e.g., CSI, Unforgettable, The Mentalist, Numb3rs, etc).  Prime Suspect doesn’t waste the audience’s time with this and in fact, it goes out of its way to show that Timoney is human and does make mistakes and is dependent on the other detectives, whether she likes it or not.

Speaking of the other detectives, the supporting cast of this show is an all-star lineup of veteran film and television actors that complement Timoney perfectly partly because some of them don’t even like her, yet.  With a lineup that includes Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, and many, many others), Kirk Acevedo (Fringe, Oz, Band of Brothers), Brían F. O’Byrne (Brotherhood, FlashForward) and Tim Griffin (known as “the actor who is in everything” for good reason) this show really can’t do much wrong.

One of the problems we often have with police procedurals is of course, the formulaic and procedural nature to them which lends itself to having no emotional attachment to the victim.  This is a failing of procedurals and over the years it seems that producers just stopped caring.  What’s one more dead guy, right? Prime Suspect breaks out of this by avoiding the common pitfalls associated with the genre.  There aren’t always going to be twists, misdirection and mistaken identity on Prime Suspect.  Sometimes it’s just a straight-up investigation and yes, the spouse did do it.  Any police officer or detective will tell you that criminal investigations are rarely as complex as portrayed on Dateline, 48 Hours or the myriad of police procedurals on television (most cops hate police procedurals). However, there’s always a story and subtext to any investigation and this is what Prime Suspect exploits very effectively and by doing so, the audience has no choice but to be sympathetic to the characters (especially the victims) and in spite of the fact this is a police procedural, you are sucked into the narrative.

It’s very rare, to the point of nigh-impossible, that a police procedural made us misty-eyed over one of its victims.  This one did last week when the victim was a five year-old boy whose alcoholic/pill-popping mother was hungover and hit his head against the wall and he died two hours later at school. Throughout the entire episode they kept showing his little body covered on a table in the medical examiner’s office.  If you have kids, that’s the some hard-hitting stuff and they were so subtle about doing it that it worked brilliantly as a plot device.

There’s only one aspect to the show that we can do without and that is that we don’t give a sh*t about how much of a total lunatic bitch her husband’s ex-wife is.  We don’t mind the interaction with Timoney’s own family (her father and her sister, in particular) because it serves  to develop her character but the scenes involving the husband’s ex do nothing to advance the plot, in fact they are a drain on every episode and the time could be better spent on other areas… like watching Timoney get a cleaning at the dentist.  They are so bad as to make you want to turn off the damned show whenever they start.  Also, the trailer above really is embarrassing because it cheapens just how good this show is.

Realistic and gritty, all in all, Prime Suspect is a great show and a surprisingly well-done police procedural.

You can watch full episodes of Prime Suspect, here.