Tag Archives: Masterpiece Mystery!

“Miss me?” Sherlock returns for Season 4 on Sunday, Jan. 1

“There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less and a cleaner, better stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.”
–Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “His Last Bow”

As the premiere of Sherlock’s “darkest season yet” creeps up on us this Sunday, a dedicated Sherlockian reflects on the BBC production’s relationship with the Canon: the original 60 stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Tune in at 8 p.m. on New Year’s Day (Sunday, Jan. 1) for the premiere of Masterpiece Mystery! Sherlock, Season 4 with “The Six Thatchers.” An encore of this 90-minute episode begins at 9:36 p.m.

Then, tune in at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8 for an up-to-the-minute encore of “The Six Thatchers,” followed at 8 p.m. by “The Lying Detective.” The finale of Season 4, aptly titled “The Final Problem,” airs at 6:30 p.m. – just before the series premiere of Victoria; how’s that for an evening of great TV? – on Sunday, Jan. 15.

And don’t forget: you can watch Sherlock from the very beginning starting 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 with “A Study in Pink.”

Continue reading “Miss me?” Sherlock returns for Season 4 on Sunday, Jan. 1

Sherlock, Dressed Much Like… Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are in the midst of filming a new episode of “Sherlock” for Masterpiece Mystery! A photo shared by Entertainment Weekly shows Cumberbatch dressed much like the Sherlock of old.

Benedict Cumberbatch filming a new episode of Sherlock. Read more at EW.com

Though the new episode of the modern day “Sherlock” won’t air until later in 2015 (no official dates have been confirmed), there’s plenty of drama ahead on Masterpiece. Downton Abbey and Grantchester are in full swing, and in March, Damian Lewis (Homeland) stars in Wolf Hall.

Also this week, Masterpiece announced another new series coming in 2015 that stars Martin Clunes as “Sherlock” author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Check out the Masterpiece site for more info on the new series Arthur & George and all your other favorites.

A Look Ahead with WPT's Director of Programming: Spring 2015

“My job is not to put great programming on television; My job is to keep really bad programming off television. There’s far more bad television than there is good television to consider.” – Garry Denny, Director of Programming

Each year, WPT Director of Programming Garry Denny sifts through a mind-boggling amount of content. Denny may have started his career entering logs by typewriter at Howard University’s WHMM (now WHUT), but for the past 17 years he’s ensured that WPT brings you – our viewers – the highest quality programming available on public television. With the New Year fast approaching, Denny sat down and told me about some of his upcoming favorites for 2015:

The Story of Cancer
In the short term, I think we’re all excited about the new production from Ken Burns Florentine Films. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies is directed by Barak Goodman and based off of the book, which did really well. The six-hour series is heartbreaking, but to some degree it’s also hopeful. The film will be broadcast in the early springtime, and it’s full of personal stories from cancer patients. Some of them do well and some of them don’t, but it gives you an overview of how cancer has really become this – as it says in the book – emperor of all maladies. It’s difficult to treat and it’s difficult to cure even 30 or 40 years after the Nixon administration launched a so-called war on cancer.

Bigger Than Vegas
Frontline has a new documentary which has been delayed and won’t broadcast until next fall because of continued reporting. They’re featuring Macau, a small region of China that’s become the gambling capital of the world. It not only rivals but outdoes Vegas in terms of the number of casinos and the amount of money that’s exchanged. The upcoming program talks about how corruption is prevalent because of all of the gambling.

I’m looking forward to seeing this episode, as I am with all new episodes of Frontline. I sit down to watch certain episodes thinking, “Well, I might be interested in this,” and then I get sucked in. They do a fantastic job. People can argue with me if they want, but I still think it’s the best journalistic documentary series on television anywhere. Continue reading A Look Ahead with WPT's Director of Programming: Spring 2015

Go Behind the Scenes of 'Masterpiece'

The past few years, the end of summer has brought increased anticipation for Masterpiece Classic “Downton Abbey” — and this summer is no different. Just yesterday, Masterpiece posted this behind-the-scenes photo of the kitchen staff.

The Downton Abbey kitchen staff behind the scenes.
Behind the scenes with the “Downton Abbey” kitchen staff.

And, this coming Sunday we all get to “Return to Downton Abbey” as host Susan Sarandon takes viewers on a memorable trip through the first four seasons. Return to Downton Abbey (6:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 10) also promises a sneak peek at Season 5.

Before we get to delight in the buzz of a new “Downton” season, Masterpiece Mystery! finishes another summer of great new shows with new “Miss Marple” and a brand-new series, “Breathless.” Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, “Smash”) stars as a doctor who’s hiding a dark secret. For the “Downton Abbey” fans, “Breathless” also stars Zoe Boyle, who you will remember as Matthew’s fiancée, Lavinia Swire, in Season 2.

Though “Downton Abbey, Season 5” doesn’t premiere until January 2015, the Masterpiece Classic season officially launches Sunday, Sept. 28 with “The Paradise, Season 2.” For even more behind-the-scenes action, check out photos from “The Paradise, Season 2.”

Behind the scenes of The Paradise
Behind the scenes of “The Paradise.”

Saying Goodbye to Hercule Poirot

David Suchet as Hercule Poirot on Wisconsin Public Television
David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

Updated 10/27/14: WPT has acquired the rights to broadcast the final three “Poirot” mysteries. Watch David Suchet in “Elephants Can Remember,” “The Labours of Hercule” and “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case” Friday nights at 8 beginning Nov. 7. View the full schedule.

Back in 1989, actor David Suchet took on the career-defining role of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. Now, after 25 years, the “Poirot” mysteries are coming to their gripping conclusion.

The 12th and final season of Masterpiece Mystery! “Poirot” kicked off last Sunday with “The Big Four” – a mystery that follows the Belgian detective into a world of global espionage prior to an impending World War II.

Sherlock fans will be delighted to know that writer/actor Mark Gatiss (who plays Mycroft Holmes), lent his writing talents to “The Big Four,” adapting Agatha Chrisite’s novel for television.

“The Big Four” is streaming online now as part of the Masterpiece Mystery! series and is the first of five new “Poirot” mysteries you’ll see on Wisconsin Public Television. “Dead Man’s Folly,” the second episode in the final season airs 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 on WPT and online. And the remaining three episodes? WPT has acquired the rights to the final three “Poirot” mysteries and will broadcast them in November. Stay tuned!

Want more Poirot? David Suchet unravels the mysterious appeal of the great detective in the film Being Poirot.


One More 'Last Tango'

The award-winning comedy drama Last Tango in Halifax ends its second season this coming Sunday. Fitting then that the show that’s all about second chances begins a second broadcast run tonight. If you missed the Season 2 premiere, catch it tonight at 9.

Last Tango in Halifax Cast
(From left): Sarah Lancashire, Anne Reid, Derek Jacobi, Nicola Walker

Tonight’s encore of the premiere kicks off a full Season 2 encore airing Thursdays at 9 p.m. (Note: The Season 2 encore takes a break Aug. 14, when we’ll air Being Poirot).

If a week is too long to wait between episodes, now is a great time for binge watching. Take in the Season 2 premiere tonight, then transition to video.wpt.org where episodes 2-5 are streaming for free. Cap off your Last Tango marathon with the Season 2 finale at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 on WPT.


Along with Masterpiece Mystery “Endeavour,” Last Tango has been one of the most popular video series on wpt.org this summer. Fans of the series should be delighted to hear production on a third season is already under way. We won’t spoil the plot, but will tell you that Rupert Graves (Sherlock) is joining the cast next season.

Click if you don’t mind Season 3 spoilers. But we urge you to wait ’til you watch the Season 2 finale this Sunday on WPT.

Let the Wait Begin – Sherlock is Returning

Our day got a lot brighter this morning when the news broke that our favorite sleuth and Dr. Watson are set to return in all new installments of Masterpiece Mystery! Sherlock. Even better, this go-round we won’t just be getting three new episodes – we’ll also see a brand new special starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

The only downside? According to our friends at WGBH and PBS, production on the new shows won’t even begin until January 2015. (That’s what we all get for making the two stars so popular and subsequently busy!) So, we have to wait awhile until the new shows arrive. But, that just gives us more time to conjure up all of the adventures we hope will be coming!

Click here to see the full announcement from PBS and read some comments from show co-creator, writer and executive producer Stephen Moffatt. 

"Sherlock's" Benedict Cumberbatch Reads News From D-Day

Today, BBC Radio listeners heard actor Benedict Cumberbatch read the original 8 a.m. news report that was broadcast 70 years ago on D-Day.

The original news bulletin offered the first warning to many Europeans that the D-Day invasion had begun. Throughout the day, the BBC will air several original D-Day bulletins read by the Masterpiece Mystery! “Sherlock” star and fellow actor Patrick Stewart. Listen to the recording below, and visit The Guardian for the full story.

Plenty of Drama Yet to Unfold in 2014

With the “Call the Midwife” and “Mr. Selfridge” season finales this coming Sunday, it’s time we take a look at what’s next for drama on Wisconsin Public Television.

You can always find familiar faces on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, but the big news this week is what’s coming to Masterpiece this Summer.

Masterpiece Mystery Summer 2014 features The Escape Artist, Endeavour and Poirot

This summer, “Endeavour” returns for a second season on Masterpiece Mystery! and David Suchet makes his final (so he says) appearance as Hercule Poirot. And, Doctor Who’s David Tennant returns to our airwaves in the two-part mystery, “The Escape Artist.”

Looking further ahead to Fall 2014, “Miss Marple” and “Inspector Lewis” return to the Masterpiece lineup followed by spin-offs of “Pride & Prejudice” and “Page Eight” – visit the Masterpiece site for full details.

But all this pales in comparison to the big news that Masterpiece is bringing back “Poldark” with Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) in the lead. Turner has some big shoes to fill … as one Facebook user put it:

“Oh my goodness how can they possibly improve on the first one – will have to check it out – only one Ross and Demelza for me, but you never know – they did Forsyte Saga again with Damian Lewis and it was awesome”

The reboot of the 1975 series is scheduled to air in 2015. Meantime, let’s enjoy all the great mystery and drama yet to unfold in 2014.