– After weeks of speculation, it was confirmed this week that Matt Smith would be hanging up his sonic screwdriver for good and leaving Doctor Who after four years on the programme. He’ll star in the 50th Anniversary Special, set to air in November, but the Christmas special will mark his last appearance as the famous Time Lord. In a statement, he said “Doctor Who has been the most brilliant experience for me as an actor and a bloke, and that largely is down to the cast, crew and fans of the show” and went on to add, “Thank you so very much for supporting my incarnation of the Time Lord, number Eleven, who I might add is not done yet”. So the search for the next Doctor begins and casting is apparently underway. But don’t expect news anytime soon. It’s likely that the lucky actor will be kept secret until the end of the year.
– BBC Two announced that a second series of its smash hit, The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan has been commissioned after its premiere was the channel’s highest rated in eight years. With rumours of a shocking cliff-hanger at the end of its current run, news of a second series was well received, although there are no details as of yet on where the story will go or how long the season would be. But the announcement came as no big surprise; The Fall has been highly praised by audiences and critics alike and Ben Stephenson, Controller of Drama at BBC said, “With more of Allan Cubitt’s intricate and thrilling plot revelations yet to unfold through the captivating performances of Gillian and Jamie, a second series is a must”. Filming is expected to take place once again in Belfast early next year.
– Channel 4 has announced that it will be showing the first season of the popular French series The Returned (Les Revenants) which will start at 9pm on Sunday 9th June. Set in a small village in the mountains, it tells the story of a group of people who return to their homes only to discover that they have all been dead for several years. The situation only gets more complicated however when a new series of murders are discovered to be remarkably similar to those of a violent serial killer from the past. The series stars Anne Consigny, Clotilde Hesme, Celine Sallette, Guillaume Gouix, Frederic Pierrot and Samir Guesmi and has an eight episode run.
– And finally, casting news has been coming out all week about BBC Two and Heydey Films’ adaptation of Diane Setterfield’s novel, The Thirteenth Tale with the latest announcement naming Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman as the lead. The novel tells the story of an eccentric novelist who employs a biographer to write her life story, including the events of her mysterious childhood at the now burnt down Angelfield House. Vanessa Redgrave, Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) Antonia Clarke (Lightfields) Robert Pugh (Game of Thrones) and Gordon Winter (Friday Night Dinner) have all been previously announced to star and the chilling drama is set to air this Christmas as a one-off, ninety minute special.