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ON TV THIS WEEK, WE REMEMBER

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ON TV THIS WEEK, WE REMEMBER

We start this week´s review with a trip across the pond to America. You might remember us talking about Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids the other week, well this week it has been announced that their creator, Marc Cherry, has been commissioned to create a new series based on the Phantom of the Opera. No more details are available at this early stage, other than TV execs telling us that it will certainly not be a musical based show.

Meanwhile, based on the success of the latest Marvel Comics spinoff Gotham, which focuses on the early life of Bruce Wayne in the childhood before he came Batman, the next incarnation may well be an alien planet based series which looks at life on the planet Krypton, the original home to superhero Superman. Of course one of the most bizarre elements of Gotham is that it is largely based in present day, with modern cars and mobile phones, so a suspension of the Batman of our childhood is needed to really appreciate the character led stories unfolding before us.

Back to home shores, and this week the BBC is dedicating a fair amount of time in order to “pause to remember the fallen”, during their focus on Remembrance Week. Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, says: “It is incredibly important that every year the BBC marks Remembrance Week with a range of programming on TV, radio and online that brings the nation together and helps us pause to remember and commemorate those that made the ultimate sacrifice. This year has the added poignancy of the centenary of the start of the First World War and, as part of our programming, we will continue to tell the stories from that conflict to new generations.”

We already mentioned The Passing Bells last week, a powerful five-part drama, which sees the conflict of the First World War unfold through the eyes of two very ordinary young men. BBC One will also have a Countryfile special which explores Word War One’s lasting legacy on the landscape of the Western Front and the part played by those on the home front in winning the war. Meanwhile, an Antiques Roadshow WW1 Special sees Fiona Bruce and a small group of experts meet families bringing poignant stories of courage and humanity in wartime.

Meanwhile, in The People Remember, which is on every morning this week, Sophie Raworth and former Army Officer Andy Torbet honour heroes of war both on the battlefield and on the home front. The programmes, based at the Imperial War Museum in London, feature surprise reunions, inspiring stories of bravery.

On BBC One on Saturday the 8th of November, in the presence of HM The Queen, senior members of the Royal Family, political and military leaders, Huw Edwards presents The Royal British Legion’s annual Festival of Remembrance which pays tribute to all victims of war and conflict.

This year’s Festival will welcome 100 Normandy veterans as we pay tribute to the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The Festival commemorates the First World War Centenary with the cast of War Horse, and Joss Stone performs the official Poppy appeal single – ‘No Man’s Land’. The Band of HM Royal Marines will give a unique performance to mark their 350th Anniversary, there will be a display from the Queen’s Colour Squadron and all perform alongside The Massed Bands of the Household Division and The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra. The Festival includes the traditional two-minute silence as poppy petals fall from the roof of the Royal Albert Hall, each representing a life lost in war.

On Sunday the 9th of November, BBC One is live from The Cenotaph, where Her Majesty The Queen leads the nation’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations. The Prime Minister, leading politicians, representatives of many of the world’s religions, dignitaries from around the Commonwealth and military leaders join thousands of veterans from countless conflicts for the two-minute silence at 11 am UK time, the service and march past. All gather to remember those men and women who have died serving their country.

The film War Horse will premiere for BBC One on Remembrance Sunday. Stephen Spielberg directs this epic adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling book/play with a cast that includes Peter Mullan, Jeremy Irvine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Emily Watson, David Thewlis and Tom Hiddleston.

In other future news this week, Channel 4 has announced a new political drama, Coalition. Bertie Carvel, Mark Dexter and Ian Grieve will star as Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown in this new, original drama which also features Mark Gatiss as Peter Mandelson. Written by James Graham, the acclaimed playwright behind political hits Privacy, This House and Tory Boyz, Coalition charts the emotionally wrought, politically-charged and often frenzied moments which led to Nick Clegg’s astonishing rise from rank outsider to the man who would decide the fate of the country.

As for ITV, they will focus on rock band Queen next week. Having racked up nearly fifty top 30 hits, Queen are a national treasure whose music has rocked the planet for forty years. The Nation’s Favourite Queen Song uncovers the origins of their best-loved tunes and tells the stories behind the band’s bold and inventive music videos. Featuring interviews with celebrity fans and Queen friends including Katy Perry, Tony Hadley, Mel C, Tony Iommi, Al Murray, Noddy Holder, Dame Zandra Rhodes, McFly’s Tom Fletcher, and Arlene Phillips, this 90 minute special counts down Britain’s 20 favourite Queen songs.

And finally, we now have transmission date for the second series of The Fall, Thursday the 13th of November is the date for your diary, when we will pick up the drama where we left off, with Gillian Anderson at the helm as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson continuing her increasingly desperate hunt for the serial murderer Paul Spector, played frighteningly by Jamie Dornan. It has been ten days since Spector told DSI Gibson that she would never catch him. As Gibson tries in vain to help Spector’s surviving victim remember the identity of her attacker, Spector is forced to deal with the loose ends that he left behind in Belfast. His return to the city to discover that someone from his past has been helping police with their enquiries, forcing Spector to change his plans – with terrifying consequences.

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