Louise Penny’s Still Life – Update on the CBC Movie Adaptation

In August I posted about an interview with author Louise Penny that I heard on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) about her latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel, The Beautiful Mystery.  I mentioned that the CBC was adapting the first novel of the series, Still Life, into a tv movie.

Now, Ms. Penny reports on her blog that filming has already started in the Eastern Townships of Québec.  Also (very exciting) is the news that Nathaniel Parker of Inspector Lynley fame has been cast in the role of Gamache.  I take it as a hopeful sign about the quality of the production that such a well-known and accomplished actor is playing the lead.

In the coming weeks I’ll let you know about some brand new ITV and BBC commissions that we can look forward to, and I’ll also pass along the premiere dates for drama and crime shows debuting early in the new year.

In fact, now that I think of it, here are three that you won’t want to miss:

Ripper Street – January 19 and Spies of Warsaw – February 6 — both on BBC America.  Also, Justified – January 8 on FX.

Orphan Black – Another Original Drama Coming to BBC America

Following on the heels of the critical and ratings success of BBC America’s historical crime drama, Copper, comes Orphan Black.

The premise of the BBC America/SPACE co-production is as follows:  A street-wise orphan witnesses a suicide and decides to take over the dead woman’s identity.  It helps that the two women are so similar that they could be identical twins.  Of course the truth (or the beginning of the truth) is much more bizarre.  The dead woman is our heroine’s clone and suddenly she is in the midst of a dangerous, murky conspiracy.  She must uncover the truth about her own identity and past while staying a step ahead of the assassin on her trail.


Orphan Black is not being promoted as a crime drama – it will be broadcast as part of the network’s Supernatural Saturdays and the idea of human cloning is at its foundation – however as one of the producers says:  “Orphan Black has the perfect blend of excitement, mystery and action.”

A loner, underdog heroine with a past shrouded in mystery, a twisty conspiracy, an assassin on the loose…  I’ll certainly be giving it a chance.

The show is slated for release in spring 2013.  As we get closer and promos and teasers are released I’ll pass them on.

Note:  Copper fans will be pleased to know that BBC America has already renewed the show for a second season.

Crime Drama on BBC America – Copper, Ripper Street and The Spies of Warsaw (and a bit of Luther news)

BBC America has three new crime drama offerings coming soon that look interesting.

Copper – (BBC America) premiering August 19, 2012

A crime drama set in New York City in the 1860s centering around a former boxer who becomes a cop when he returns from the Civil War only to find that his wife is missing and his daughter is dead.  Scarred by his wartime experiences he must search for the truth about what happened to his family while fighting rampant corruption and violence.

Ripper Street (BBC America co-production) Dramaville Fall 2012

An eight part crime drama set in 1889 Whitechapel in the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders.  Great cast, producers, etc.  I have high hopes.

The Spies of Warsaw (BBC America co-production) Dramaville Fall 2012 (?)

A four part mini-series based on Alan Furst’s novel of the same name.  This series, starring Doctor Who’s David Tennant, is a spy story set in the time just before WWII.  The cast is fantastic and it looks like the production is going to be of a very high quality.

Luther Note:  I love this show.  I know that many people feel that it’s over the top but I am more than willing to suspend a bit of rationality to watch Idris Elba, Dermot Crowley and Warren Brown in action.  A third series has been commissioned but no word yet, so far as I know, on when it’s due to air.  I do know that it’s going to be the last series.  There has been some talk of a film being made but…

Unfortunately Ruth Wilson, who plays the wonderfully deranged Alice Morgan, is not listed among the principle cast for series three.  My feelings about the character of Alice Morgan remind me of a previous post about the character of Erica Burgoyne in Josephine Tey’s A Shilling for Candles – I know that there’s no possible, logical way that Alice could be a main character (she’s an escaped mentally ill killer on the run after all) but I don’t care.  More Ruth Wilson!  (Speaking of—if you do want to see more of her work I think that the Masterpiece version of Jane Eyre with Wilson as Jane is by far the best.)