Original British Drama: BBC preview

For those of you not watching Torchwood on Thursday, you may have missed the preview of the original British drama coming up on the BBC.

If you did, fear not: you can view it below, and then read a bit of an analysis of it below that. Lovely. Feel free to add any comments/speculation you may have below.

The Body Farm
The entire first section (0:02 to 0:11) appears to be dedicated to The Body Farm. We know from the BBC Press Release that this is a new forensic crime drama, and if the nine seconds we get to see of it are any indication it looks like it might be rather exciting

We have the main character, Eve (played by Tara Fitzgerald, for anyone with a secret fondness for Brassed Off. No? Just me, then) and one of her colleagues examining a crime scene with grim enjoyment. An explosion. A brief look at what might be the entire forensic team. A man carrying a body in pouring rain. People looking around. Eve in pouring rain looking sad. It tells us nothing, really, but it might be something to look out for.

The Hour
This has actually already started, but you can catch the first episode on iPlayer and the second one is on Tuesday at 9pm, BBC 2. It’s pretty much Mad Men, but British and about BBC broadcasting in 1956. It has a nifty cast though — Ben Wishaw (that creepy bloke from Perfume: The Story of a Murderer), Dominic West (that one from The Wire) and Romola Garai (the girl from The Crimson Petal and the White).

Anyway, from what we see (0:11 to 0:16) this all looks fairly conspiracy filled and exciting. The clip shows how stylised the show is, with shots of Romola, Ben and Dominic all looking cool in their 1950s clothes, but also that it’s got a bit of drama to it — a scared man running through (what I think is) an Underground station, and Ben looking with trepidation at a note saying “Come with us”. Again, not telling us much. But it looks like they’re going less along the explosions-and-drama route, more the creepy-thriller route.

Having seen very little of the new series but being a huge fan of Merlin, this excited me. It only runs from 0:17 to 0:23, but those six seconds are action packed.

Merlin looking scared. The knights of Camelot standing in a dungeon looking scared, brandishing swords and flaming torches. Morgana doing her “I’m evil now, see!” look and using her new, strong magical powers to fling knights around. A split second shot of the dragon swooping through the sky. More knights swinging swords and falling over. Merlin raising his hand as if to shoot magic (with his eyes going all freaky — possibly to signify an increase in his powers?) but a very glamorous and witchy-looking Morgana doing the same to stop him. Someone falling off a horse. Finally, Merlin screaming either “Wraggghh!” or “Noooo!” — I can’t tell if he’s angry or Something Very Bad has just happened.

So the new series of Merlin seems to have Morgana as the main villain (which we kind of expected), lots of knights getting their arses kicked by magic and lots of ridiculous, over the top action. Excellent. I genuinely can’t wait.

Page Eight
I hadn’t even heard of this until I saw this preview. The cast is amazing though — in the ten seconds we see of it (0:23 to 0:33) we get Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, Ewen Bremner, Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes. Excuse me whilst I let that sink in. It’s going to be INCREDIBLE.

According to the Press Release, Page Eight is a BBC original film. Bill Nighy is an M15 agent who gets left a dodgy file and then has to leave the service. He then also has to try and find the truth behind the file, whilst dodging M15. We know from Spooks that that ain’t easy.

The clip is basically showing off all the amazing actors they have. There’s split-second shots of Nighy, Gambon, Bremner and Weisz looking worried. There’s also hints to the action and suspense of the film, with a shot of Nighy lighting a sheet off a dead body, Nighy being all purposeful walking across a courtyard and a furious looking Fiennes saying “Right now, I’m working on you” to a nervous looking Nighy. I’d be nervous if Voldemort was standing above me, too...

Anyway. I don’t know much more about this, but I will be watching it when it comes on. To get that cast, the script must be amazing.

Doctor Who
This six-second clip (0:34 to 0:40) gives tantalising glimpses into the next series ... but in the next few days we will be examining the full length trailer, so we can leave it for here!

SPOOKS! We have 14 seconds (0:40 to 0:54) of pure excitement, here.

The theme of this clip seems to be a lack of trust. It starts with some kind of interrogation going on at the start; Harry (I think) is standing over the slimy male politician from previous series (I think) shouting at him. Later, Harry and Ruth are sitting in a car in an empty car park together, Ruth looking sad, with Harry saying “I don’t know who to trust anymore. That includes myself” Could this be a lack of trust in his colleagues after the whole Lucas debacle of last series?

Speaking of Lucas, he left so we need a new leading man. And I think that this preview gives us a brief glimpse of him — we see a blonde, good looking bloke brandishing a gun and later kicking down a door and storming a kitchen, anyway.

We get the usual shots of cars doing impressive stunty-driving things, groups of people looking solemn walking down tunnels, that kind of thing. It finishes with a shot of Harry looking miserable, with someone saying “You Brits” in a patronising tone over the top. If we add this to the bit at the start with Harry saying he can’t trust anyone, will there be a distinct lack of confidence for Harry this series?

It’s all very exciting.

Doctor Who

The long-running BBC TV science fiction series that started in 1963 and recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary. 2017 saw Peter Capaldi regenerate into the show's first female Doctor played by Jodie Whittaker. The Thirteenth Doctor's first season debuts in 2018, with Chris Chibnall replacing Steven Moffat as the current showrunner.

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