Tag: British

First Look At Netflix’s Upcoming ‘Dracula’ Adaptation!

Sink your teeth into this, vampire fans. A new Dracula tv series, based on the original novel by Bram Stoker, is coming to Netflix and the BBC. While not airing for quite a while (the supernatural drama is expected to air in late 2019 or early 2020), what details have been revealed are quite salivating. According to The Radio Times  the series will be a collaboration between the BBC and Netflix, with the two corporations working together to air the series. Dracula will be helmed by the creators of SherlockSteven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. Dracula himself will be played by Claes Bang, a Danish actor who said he would be ‘thrilled’ by the opportunity. He was further quoted as saying:

 

“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Dracula, especially when the script is in the hands of the incredible talents of Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss and the team responsible for Sherlock.”

 

Bang will be joined by a wide ensemble of actors to help bring the bloody world of Dracula to life. Actors Joanna Scanlan, Chanel Cresswell, Matthew Beard, Lydia West, Dolly Wells, John Heffernan, Lujza Richter and Morfydd Clark, Paul Brennen, Sofia Oxenham, John McCrea, Phil Dunster and Millicent Wong will be joining the drama in as-yet unknown roles. Mark Gatiss himself will also be in the cast, having expressed an interest in playing Dracula’s mad henchman Renfield. But nothing is set in stone yet.

 

Image via The Radio Times

The show will last approximately three episodes, each of undisclosed length but since this is from the creators of Sherlock, we’re guessing each episode will be movie length in runtime, an hour or more to get their money’s worth of the material. The show’s plot will be, naturally, an adaptation of the Dracula novel but offering a new spin to make it relevant to modern audiences. Moffat said the show will re-centre Dracula as the hero of his own story, as opposed to the antagonist he was in the book and most other adaptations. He will be at the center of the action, as opposed to a more shadowy figure who makes fleeting appearances to menace the heroes. Moffat and Gatiss described the process as difficult, keen to give Dracula center stage but also not take away from his evil at all. They hope their hard work pays off and say they ‘handled’ making Dracula both the main character and truly evil. But we’ll have to wait to see how that plays out onscreen.

 

 

Image via The Radio Times

 

The series is currently in production, having recently completed its second episode. The show is currently filming at Bray Studios, Maidenhead, which was also the location of many classic vampire films starring Christopher Lee as the titular Count, made by Hammer Film Productions. Not much else is known about the show at this time, how closely it will adapt the book or even what the plot will be but the BBC released a short synopsis as a little teaser:

‘Three feature length episodes will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.’

We can’t wait to see this adaptation of a classic horror novel coming to television. We’ll keep our eyes and ears peeled for further developments. Until then, watch the shadows and keep your garlic close!

 

 

Featured Image Via SyFy 

Illegal Diary Provides Insights to D-Day

“What a day. Just hell,” Private Terry Parker wrote in his diary seventy-five years ago on D-Day. At the time, it was believed that if a diary fell into enemy hands then it could be used against the British army, ergo it was illegal and discouraged for soldiers to keep and write in a personal diary. Private Terry Parker nonetheless broke the law and wasn’t captured, and we’re lucky for it.

 

Private Terry Parker had penned a diary which expressed his fear about landing, he said he was worried about his mother

Image Via Daily Mail

Keeping a record of his involvement in the fighting, Private Parker sent letters to his mother and girlfriend, Jess, back home describing his feelings and what was happening not unlike the following extract:

Landing tomorrow and I’m wondering how many on this ship won’t see tomorrow night, I wish it were a month from now, god watch over me.

 

Before leaving Private Parker had gifted his girlfriend Jess a writing set which she used to send him letters
Image Via Daily Mail
At one point, Jess penned this to Terry:

Terry darling, I’ve been dying to try out this notepaper ever since you bought it for me and here is my chance, wherever you are, when you open this be good and look after yourself, all my love and kisses always, Jess.

 

In his diary he asked God to watch over him and said he wished it was a month from now

Image Via Daily Mail

Now, Christopher Jary has compiled Parker’s writings with several other writing at the time in order to create a comprehensive reading on what happened to those on the British front lines of D-Day in a book entitled D-Day Spearhead Bridgade: The Hampshires, Dorsets & devons on 6th June 1944.

D-Day, what a day. Just hell, too much to write here, heavy casualties.

 

Parker survived D-Day (soldiers involved pictured above) but was wounded in the face on 25 June

Image Via Daily Mail

Private Parker was a member of the Dorset brigade and had previously fought in Malta and had landed in Sicily, hence why he was chosen for the British front lines.

In an interview conducted by the BBC, Christopher Jary said the Hampshire’s and the Dorset’s were the first British inventory to land and, despite many problems and hardships, they achieved almost all their objectives on D-Day.

 

Private Terry Parker married Jess (pictured together on their wedding day) when he returned to the UK

Image Via Daily Mail

Fortunately, Parker survived D-Day. He returned to England after being wounded on June 25th. In a true happily ever after, he married Jess in 1946.

The Daily Mail writes that when Britain’s national day of commemoration falls on Wednesday, June 5th. There will be “4,000 military personnel, eleven Royal Naval vessels and 26 RAF aircraft will take part in events in Portsmouth” and “[v]eterans have already set off for France in large numbers to make it to Normandy in time for Thursday’s memorial services. 

This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of D-Day commemorations.

 

 

Featured Image Via Smithsonian Magazine

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost to Adapt Ben Aaronovitch’s ‘Rivers of London’

Exciting news! According to Deadline  Stolen Picture, a production company set up by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, is set to adapt the epic fantasy drama novel Rivers of London. The novel by Ben Aaronovitch follows Peter Grant, a former policeman who becomes a magician’s apprentice. The series of novels follows Peter as he solves magical crimes, blending urban fantasy with crime thrillers. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have previously collaborated to make films such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End. They will be developing the book as a TV series, with the two expressing great excited at bringing Aaronovitch’s world to life.

 

A portrait of London covered in rivers of blood
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Ben Aaronovitch has been brought onto the series as an executive producer. Simon Pegg noted this was important for him, wanting to make sure the creator’s vision is adhered to. Often, Pegg noted, writers are treated unfairly and have their ideas stolen rather than being creative partners. Making Aaronovitch a producer of the series will make sure his vision is faithfully adapted and allow him to create his world again onscreen. Each season is intended to adapt one of the books, with the first season slated for ten episodes. Currently, the team is in the assembly aspect of the series but hopefully, Rivers of Londons will grace our screens soon! It sounds like a great project and certainly something for any urban fantasy fan.

Are you excited? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

Featured Image Via Deadline 

Life, the Universe, and Everything: Happy Birthday Douglas Adams

Today is March 11th, which marks the birthday of famed British author Douglas Adams. Adams needs no introduction, being a prolific author, scriptwriter, humorist, and essayist with a profound influence on British culture. He wrote the famed The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxya comedy science fiction series first created as a radio drama before being adapted into books, a TV series, video games, and a feature film. Although certain details were changed between the various adaptations, the overall story remains the same: it follows the adventures of the last surviving man from Earth, Arthur Dent, after he is rescued before the Earth is destroyed to make way for an interstellar bypass and journeys across the galaxy, using the in-version guidebook The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for help. Along the way, he meets characters such as experienced hitchhiker Ford Prefect, the two-headed Zaphod Beeblebrox, and the depressed robot Marvin. The books have gone on to sell over 15 million copies worldwide.

 

The cover to the volume that collects all five books of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker Saga
Image Via The Guardian

 

The books sharply blended laugh out loud dry comedic wit with genuinely intriguing science fiction ideas. The series provides numerous iconic quotes and characters, from the alien Vogons reading awful poetry, to food items begging the protagonists to eat them in The Restaurant at the End of the Universeto the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything: ’42.’ The Hitchhiker series blended all these ideas masterfully and is just as likely to make you laugh as it is to make you think critically about the universe.

Of course, Douglas Adams’ career hardly ends there. He wrote numerous other novels, such Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency a humorous detective novel and The Meaning of Liffa dictionary for words that don’t exist yet. He also worked on Doctor Who during Season 17, helping write what is considered one of the show’s strongest stories: “City of Death”. Furthermore he co-wrote the sketch “Patient Abuse” from Monty Python’s Flying Circus’s final season, a satirical sketch that showcases the ineffectiveness of bureaucracy, a common theme through Adam’s body of work. In addition, he had a hand in scripting a few video games, such as Bureaucracy and Starship Titanic.  

 

Douglas Adams was an outspoken environmentalist, a lover of fast cars, and a proclaimed ‘radical’ atheist. (The radical part he added to show he was serious about atheism). He died of a heart attack in 2001, ironically in the gym with a towel in hand. This is ironic, as, according to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Fandom Wiki,

“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have….you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc…[and] is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”

 

Here author Douglas Adams poses holding a copy of the book which has "Don't Panic" written on the front cover. 29th November 1978. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Image Via Writer’s Digest

 

Nevertheless, Adams lives on, with his books remaining hugely popular and the phrases ‘Don’t Panic!’ and ‘42′ destined to live on forever.

Happy birthday, Douglas Adams! Do yourself a favor and read one of his novels today, while curling up with a towel. Just in case.

 

 

Featured Image Via BBC