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Today’s post is chockablock with news from and related to the world of British TV, so without any further ado…

Let the countdown to filming the third episode of Sherlock: Series 3 begin!

Martin Freeman finished his last shot and two and a half years of filming as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit Trilogy on Friday, and Peter Jackson shared these awesome photos of Freeman (along with Sherlock and Smaug himself, Benedict Cumberbatch) on his Facebook page.


Shooting for the third series’ last episode is slated to begin in August. In the meantime, if you’re attending San Diego Comic-Con this week, PBS announced that Sherlock creator, writer, and showrunner Steven Moffat, along with producers Mark Gatiss and Sue Vertue, will be on a panel hosted by James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly. Too bad that neither Cumberbatch nor Freeman will be there.

PBS also confirmed that Sherlock: Series 3 will premiere on the network in 2014, so for everyone stateside who was hoping for a concurrent UK/US debut later this year, it isn’t happening, even though Cumberbatch, amongst others, championed it.

Speaking of Comic-Con and Steven Moffat, author Neil Gaiman, who penned the Doctor Who episodes “Nightmare in Silver” and the award-winning “The Doctor’s Wife” for DW showrunner Moffat, will also be in attendance at SDCC.

And speaking of Doctor Who, David Bradley (Harry Potter, Broadchurch) has been cast as William Hartnell, the very first Doctor, in An Adventure in Space and Time, the docudrama tribute to 50 years of Doctor Who. Whovians will recall that Bradley has already had a stint on the history-making series, as Solomon in the episode “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.” Here’s to his playing a sci-fi hero instead of villain.

Downton AbbeyDaisy Lewis (Inspector Lewis, From Time To Time) has joined the cast of Downton Abbey as the live-in nanny for Tom Branson’s daughter Sybil, and word has it that romantic sparks will fly between her and Tom.

So, it sounds like another upstairs/downstairs relationship is in the offing and love will be in the air for both Tom and Lady Mary when Series 4 premieres on PBS in the U.S. on 5 January 2014.

MirandaFans of the brilliant Britcom Miranda, starring Miranda Hart (Call the Midwife), will have to wait until 2015 — two years! — for Series 4 to hit the small screen. According to Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning for television at the BBC:

“She’s really, really busy. There isn’t even time to make a Christmas special this year.”

In addition to playing new mum Chummy on the hit period drama Call the Midwife, Ms. Hart is busy writing material for her upcoming UK comedy tour, and is in “advanced talks” to star in her first movie. If that weren’t enough, rumor has it that she’s working on a fitness DVD that could be ready in time for the holidays.

Source: Mirror Online

War & PeaceAnd for streaming video enthusiasts, Acorn TV began streaming today the complete series of the hit Britcom Black Books, the epic miniseries I, Claudius, and the U.S. premiere of the 2007 internationally-cast miniseries adaptation of War and Peace, which stars Clémence Poésy (127 Hours) as Natasha Rostova and Alessio Boni (The Tourist) as Prince Andrej Bolkonsky, and features Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) as Prince Bolkonsky and Brenda Blethyn (Vera) as Márja Dmitrijewna Achrosímowa.

And if you missed the following programs when Acorn TV premiered them earlier this year, you can catch them now for a limited time: the dramedy Honest, starring Amanda Redman; Irish crime drama Jack Taylor: Series 1, starring Iain Glen; and hit ensemble cast drama The Syndicate.

As a side note, Acorn TV streams British TV programs on both its website and YouTube channel. Know, though, that signing up on the former gets you a 30-day free trial and costs $2.99/month or $29.99/year thereafter, whereas subscribing via the latter will only get you a 14-day free trial and cost you $4.99/month afterward.

VincentLastly, Amazon’s Half-Yearly Instant Video Sale is happening now, and while the pickings of British TV shows are slim, there are some goodies, including: select months’ episodes of the long-running soap opera Coronation Street, horror anthology Hammer House of Horror, miniseries Lost in Austen, documentary The Monarchy, and both series of the crime drama Vincent, starring Ray Winstone and Suranne Jones.


British TV Bits: Sherlock, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, and More