Posts Tagged ‘BBC series’

Call the Midwife (2012)

In BBC, new, period drama, Recommendation, Review, series on 28/02/2012 at 10:13 pm

Don’t really care for watching a series about midwifery and babies? No, me neither.

This is an exception, though. One of those exceptions that led me to starting this blog in the first place: it transcends its genre (historical drama) and its theme (midwifery) with striking ease. Call the Midwife is a perfectly subtle, meaningful and very charming story about (mainly two) women who happen to be midwives London’s East End in the 1950s.

The young middle-class innocent new midwife Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine) starts work in one of the poorest and filthiest areas of London and she’s soon confronted with what poverty looks and smells like. This is just after WWII and the east of the city is still in ruins. These midwives provide life-saving care for the poor and are the beginning of what the NHS is now. It’s also the 1950s of course, and this drama nicely handles all the questions around the position of women as well as class without rubbing it in your face in any sort of annoying way.

It ticks all the boxes on engaging writing, good acting, brilliant production design and originality. Also look out for the voice of  Vanessa Redgrave and a great performance from (in her first more serious role) Miranda Hart.






Lilies (2007)

In Amazing, BBC, Giggles, period drama, Recommendation, Review, series, war on 02/11/2011 at 12:25 am

A gripping, moving, original and witty telling of the lives of three Catholic Liverpool sisters, Iris, May and Ruby, as they grapple their way through the first year after the Great War on the brink of poverty. Their ‘Dadda’ was widowed early and has a hilarious temper, their brother is being haunted for supposedly having been a coward. Ruby is an avid swimmer and she is cross with the boys coming back from the front for taking away her beloved job delivering the post.

This short BBC series (8 episodes) was much acclaimed but soon forgotten, which I think is a shame. After all, it isn’t often that a period drama is cheeky but not trashy, while it seeks out surprising topics taking unpredictable turns as well as deals with the pressing matters of the time (the rise of feminism, class divisions, inequality etc).

Especially recommended if you were disappointed by the latest series of Downton Abbey, which turned into a soap for lack of depth.

Here’s the first ten minutes of  Episode One.

The Fades (2011 -?)

In BBC, Horror, new, Recommendation, Review, series, supernatural on 29/10/2011 at 4:14 pm

Of all of this past year’s new productions, this was the last one I expected to actually be any good. Another supernatural series, now about the undead and an unlikely teenage superhero-in-the-making – uh-huh, good luck. But BBC Three went along and well surprised me: it’s nothing short of very good!

The Fades are dead people who got stuck in this world for no reason. They cannot touch, but they do wither with time. Some people can see them and might have some other powers, they call themselves Angelics. Problems arise when one of the Fades finds a way to come back to life. I won’t tell you how, but trust me: it isn’t pretty.

Young Paul (Ian de Caestecker), an unpopular teenager who is terrorised by his stuck-up sister Anna (Lily Loveless – Skins), is haunted by apocalyptic dreams and he soon finds out that he can see the Fades – as well as do a great deal more. The supposed good guy, an Angelic called Neil (Johnny Harris), does a great job at being a questionable and fanatic human being throughout, and tries to convince Paul to leave his normal life behind and save the world. Another former Skins star, Joe Dempsie, does a superb monster-villain with a story as John, and the series would surely lack depth without the part of Angelic/Fade Sarah (Natalie Dormer).

The Fades is very well plotted, acted and also very tense and not to forget proper horrific. I almost would go as far as to say it is a horror series. It’s very enjoyable nonetheless and I urgently advise against eating anything while watching.

2012 won’t see a new series made due to BBC cutbacks – which is a damn shame.