BBC America took the stage Saturday at TCA with the casts of “Orphan Black,” “Blood Sweat and Gears,” and “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.”
Based on the novel of the same name by Susanna Clarke, “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” is an alternate history of 19th Century England that posits magic once existed and is brought back by Strange (Bertie Carvel) and Norrell (Eddie Marsan). After watching the trailer without any background on what the show was about, it appeared to be the offspring of a Harry Potter and John Adams mashup. After saying that, though, the show looks really intriguing and I’m excited to watch it when it premieres in 2015 (premiere date TBA).
When asked about his character’s attitude toward magic, Carvel said, “I think he’s quite bemused, excited because he suddenly has a vocation and a purpose in life. Ultimately, though, the only thing he really cares about is his wife, Arabella, and the magic becomes a means to an end of trying to reunite himself with his loved one.”
BBCA hopes they’ve found a sister show to their ever-popular series, “Top Gear,” with “Blood, Sweat and Gears,” a reality show competition pitting two car nuts against each other. Hosts Tom “Wookie” Ford and Jonny Smith each take a team and 24 hours to transform an everyday car into a behemoth of metal and gears.
Smith said, “Everyone’s got a good car story. And even if you’re not a proper car enthusiast, you still have a massive car story. Somewhere in your life, a car has played a part. It’s been instrumental into you. It’s influenced you.”
In anticipation of Season 3 of “Orphan Black,” BBC America brought the cast for a panel (with Tatiana Maslany joining remotely). Ari Millen is Project Castor – the male line of clones and we learned from co-creator Tom Fawcett that “The Scorpion” is a cast member. We also learned that Millen and Maslany actually competed against each other in an improv competition back in high school.
When asked about which character fans most relate to Maslany’s many incarnations, she said, “It depends on the demographic. Young women tend to really relate to Cosima, so they’ll sort of identify me as her a lot more often. But middle aged couples are really into Alison. I don’t know why she resonates with that group. I think mostly Sarah’s sort of the center piece of the story, so I think she’s kind of the default and the one that they associate me with the most. Not Helena, surprisingly.
If you’re still reeling from the finale of “Gracepoint” and David Tennant’s American accent, Season 2 of “Broadchurch” (and Tennant’s real brogue) premieres on March 4 on BBC America. The network released this sneak peek today.
Which BBC America series are you most excited to see?