RTS Programme nominations just announced

Sherlock and Parade’s End both receive nominations for RTS awards.  Steven Moffat also receives a personal nomination for best drama writer for Sherlock.

Surprised and disappointed that Benedict (and Rebecca) don’t get individual nominations for Parade’s End.


Gorgeous new promo poster for HBO’s Parade’s End

Gorgeous new promo poster for HBO’s Parade’s End

Parade’s End US premiere date????

Just spotted this on my Google alerts! 

Apparently HBO Watch have spotted in the Calendar pages on a TV Guide magazine that the premiere of Parade’s End in the US is 26th February.  However, this hasn’t been confirmed by anyone official yet. 

HBO Article here:


Fingers crossed for all of the US viewers, I hope a date for Parade’s End is confirmed soon.

Cumberbatchforum’s round up of a fantastic Benedict 2012 

If someone had told me this time last year that I’d have a fun filled year producing our Benedict Web Forum and going to some fantastic events that Benedict was included in I think I would have started laughing, but, it has turned out to be a lovely year and I have been so so lucky to produce the forum and go to such events.  Admittedly I did attend the Sherlock screening at BFI in the winter of 2011 and after a 5 hour queue I was able to get a ticket, even luckier a friend and I were sitting in the VIP section and we had Benedict sitting right in front of us “faint”. I did think at the time that would be the only time I would ever get to see him - luckily I was wrong. 


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Stephen Graham interview - Benedict’s impressions continue to astound…

There’s a new interview with Stephen Graham on Digital Spy.  Looks like Alan Rickman is still with us…

How was working with Benedict Cumberbatch? Some people seem to think he’s like Sherlock Holmes in real life…
"No, not at all, he’s very funny. He’s such a funny man. His impressions are fantastic; he does so many great impressions. He phoned my wife actually as Alan Rickman. His Alan Rickman is fantastic and I went to her, "Love, guess who I’m with? I just met Alan Rickman! Say hello!" - he’s brilliant and she actually fell for it."

More on Stephen playing MacMaster and Parade’s End here:


Parade’s End - full viewing figures
We now have the consolidated data for all five episodes.

**Please remember that the figures noted below DO NOT include iPlayer viewing stats**.

The average audience for the whole run was 2.47m, with an average share of 10.5%. Of the five episodes, the first one had by far the highest audience – 3.85m (share 16.3%). Ep two took 2.44m (10.1%), with ep 3 falling slightly to 2.26m (10%). Episode 4 had the lowest audience of the series – 1.81m (7.8%) with the final ep being watched by a total audience of 1.97m (8.4%).

As to demographic split, unsurprisingly there was a strong female skew (av. 61%). 70% of the entire audience was aged 55+ (again unsurprising both in terms of the type of genre and the scheduling). The social profile was skewed heavily ABC1 - again as you would expect with period drama of this kind.
More audience data info here:
Adelaide Clemens featured on the cover of today’s London Evening Standard magazine

Adelaide Clemens featured on the cover of today’s London Evening Standard magazine

Cultbox Parade’s End finale review

All good things must come to an end. But that doesn’t mean they can’t end well. In its final episode, Parade’s End provides its hero and its audience with suffering and triumph; an hour which forms a fitting finale to what has been a sorely undervalued drama.

Like a family who own a beautiful painting but aren’t sure of the best place to hang it, the BBC have ended up not giving Parade’s End the attention it’s deserved, resulting in fewer than 2 million viewers week on week. It’s frustrating, but oddly reflective of the events onscreen.

Sylvia and the upper crust out swilling and guffawing at champagne socials while men like Christopher Tietjens are fighting without fanfare mirrors the real life fact that we the Friday night TV audience are out enjoying a carton of vodka at our local discotheque while Benedict Cumberbatch acts his muddy socks off in the trenches.

In the stumbling months of the Great War, Tietjens is dispatched to the front lines for the series’ most visually interesting episode yet. The depiction of No Man’s Land is the stuff of Wilfred Owen nightmares: a shell-blasted heath, far from the green and pleasant land Tietjens rode through with Valentine in Episode 1, and of a quality worthy of being on the big screen.

The trench-level camerawork is immersive – the view making you feel closed off, claustrophobic, but also funnelling your attention directly at everyone’s performance, flinching only at the rattle of bullets into mud. One scene in particular, showing Tietjens plodding through knee-deep filth in a frosty trench, is so arrestingly bleak that it makes you want to pull a blanket over yourself and hug your knees.

Against what you’d expect it’s not the death and damp that changes Tietjens, but rather a moment which occurs offscreen, as the ancestral tree of the Tietjens at Groby is cut down by Sylvia. It’s a hugely symbolic event and a point of catharsis for Christopher, a character who would have come across as wooden as said tree, had it not been for the deft touch of Cumberbatch.

With the destruction of the family tree, and by extension the legacy of the Tietjens name, Christopher sees no further reason to continue to parade his code of morality and honour in the faces of others. And so we find him in the welcoming bosom of Valentine Wannop. It’s an upbeat end for him – a ‘happy ever after’ that might feel forcibly twee had he not earned it fighting the Hun and his machete-mouthed wife - and you can’t help but be pleased for him. Three cheers for Tietjens indeed.

And three cheers for Parade’s End, a drama that we’ve championed unashamedly. What at first glance seemed to be an impenetrable work of high-brow self-pleasure soon revealed itself as a compelling work of character.

To look at its forbidding bulk on a bookshop shelf and then at the finished televisual product, you can’t help but be impressed at Tom Stoppard’s adaptation skills, and the talent of every single member of the cast, for bringing to life a script filled with warmth, passion, and a surprising amount of humour. Parade’s ended, but let’s hope this one isn’t forgotten come awards season.

Den of Geek Parade’s End Finale Review

The final episode of the BBC’s superb Parade’s End concludes with an Armistice Day celebration…

This review contains spoilers.

TV audiences have seen the barbed wire trenches and corpses of WWI recreated on screen so often that the evocation of the tragedy can lose its impact. Moustachioed officers who dine on champagne and dramatic irony, earnest privates who traipse through sepia mud wide-eyed with love for their sweethearts, the unexpected bomb blast that sends khaki-clad bodies flying… The territory is so familiar to us that regretfully, inevitably, compassion wanes.

Not so in the finale of Parade’s End, which kept its heart very much beating underneath the uniforms, not least thanks to William Ellis’ hugely affecting brief appearance as Aubrey, the reckless, traumatised Commanding Officer of “the pals”.

Ellis wasn’t the only impressive member of the supporting cast; Miranda Richardson, Rupert Everett, and Anne-Marie Duff, though only on screen for moments, were also sheer class, in an adaptation that’s made good on its promise to deliver class in droves.

I’m still trying to pinpoint why the image of Christopher in the trenches, surrounded by death and damage, eating a sandwich from a china plate, evoked so much pathos in me. Perhaps it’s to do with his being a bulwark of English decorum, or maybe the bathetic incongruity of the meal and its surroundings – life, death… a sandwich. Whatever it is, I was in pieces, and as someone who giggled through War Horse, that’s saying something, even if I’m unsure exactly what.

Gladly, Miss Wannop got some more blood to her cheeks in this episode, spearheading a covert sex education programme at her school, declaring her willingness to be ruined by Christopher to her mother, then yapping at Sylvia - now an imperious and displaced Bette Davis in All About Eve figure - during that wonderful staircase confrontation. Benedict Cumberbatch looked impossibly handsome on those stairs, a slight twitch of his lip all that was needed to tell Sylvia just how serious he was about Valentine.

Yes, this week’s finale saw Sylvia beaten in her game by the Girl Scout, but not before she’d assisted the Hun in tearing up yet more of England’s green and pleasant land.

Even if you knew it was coming, the loss of the Groby cedar was still a thump to the chest. Christopher’s futile race to preserve the tree was a neat summation of his life up until that point; his struggle to conserve the past and then necessary forbearance when modernity (or more properly, his vindictive, desperate wife) obliterates it. That business with the logs won’t be soon forgotten either. Cumberbitches now have an object other than a deerstalker to tote at premieres in search of autographs.

Ever the resourceful pragmatist though, after breaking her five-year man-fast with the caddish Gerald Drake, Sylvia quickly arranged herself a new position as the future Viceroy of India’s consort, leaving - in this adaptation at least - Christopher and Valentine to their happy ending.

Even if Mrs Wannop’s Armistice Day cry of “Safe, forever” rang bittersweet with the hindsight of history, the episode signed off with an uncharacteristically celebratory air, a gift to the adaptation’s loyal audience. Officers and their girls jigged around Gray’s Inn, and as a reward for years of patience, while the remains of the Groby cedar fell to ashes in the grate, Valentine finally fell into Christopher’s arms, and into his bed.

Now, not only will there be no more parades, there will be no more Parade’s End. More’s the pity, because it’s hard to remember when we last enjoyed a drama with such wit, intelligence, and utter poise.


Missed finale of Parade’s End last night? It’s on Iplayer (for UK), along with the whole of the rest of the series, until Friday 28th.

Missed finale of Parade’s End last night? It’s on Iplayer (for UK), along with the whole of the rest of the series, until Friday 28th.