Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, Smash), Zoe Boyle (Downton Abbey), and Catherine Steadman (Mansfield Park) team up for a medical series with astounding suspense, supreme satire, and smart sixties style on Breathless, airing in three parts on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!, Sundays, Aug. 24 - Sept. 7 on WILL-TV.
Also starring in this compelling drama about a vanished era and sensibility are Iain Glen (Downton Abbey), Natasha Little (Case Histories), Oliver Chris (Sharpe’s Challenge), Joanna Page (Love Actually), and Shaun Dingwall (Touching Evil).
Critics were hooked on Breathless during its UK broadcast. The Times (London) marveled, “Jack Davenport [is] a suave gynecologist with a glint in his eye, a revolver in his pocket, and a hospital full of nurses ready to start swinging as the 1960s hit Britain.” And The Independent (London) gasped, “Breathless looks absolutely lovely—it takes our breath away.”
Set in London in 1961, Breathless follows the exploits of doctors, nurses, and spouses connected with a busy obstetrics ward at a National Health Service hospital. It’s a time when gynecologists are all men and nurses aspire to a trip down the aisle with a good-looking doctor. Abortion is illegal, the Beatles are still nobodies, and society is on the cusp of profound change.
No one seems to have more going for him than Otto Powell (Davenport), a well-off gynecologist who can perform miracles in the operating room and has a trophy wife (Little) and a bright, well-mannered son (Rudi Goodman). Otto also has a wandering eye, which alights most recently on new nurse Angela Wilson (Steadman), who plays uncommonly hard-to-get.
Unknown to all, Angela is already married—although abandoned years earlier—and is the sister of another of Otto’s nurse conquests, Jean (Boyle). Jean is now engaged to Otto’s posh colleague Richard Truscott (Chris), due to failure to take contraceptive precautions. Angela and Jean hide their relationship in order to aid Jean’s climb up the social ladder.
Both sisters are mixed up in Otto’s occasional “specials”—secret abortions that he performs with anesthesiologist Charlie Enderbury (Dingwall) out of concern for the health of women in dire straits. All risk imprisonment for their deeds—a prospect that is increasingly worrying to Charlie. Meanwhile Charlie’s wife, Lily (Page), cheerily tries to cope with his strange moods, not helped by the arrival of an officious new anesthesiologist, Omprakash Mehta (Ronny Jhutti), who is suspicious of Charlie’s moonlighting.
The plot thickens considerably with the appearance of Chief Inspector Ronald Mulligan (Glen), an obsessed detective who thinks out-of-the-box. The dots he is connecting link some of the characters to events in another country and a different decade.
From “Love Me Tender” to “Only You,” “Wake Up Little Suzie” to “Dream Lover” and ” Long Tall Sally” to “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” this new special spotlights the happy days of the 50s and early 60s with archival footage of the greatest pop and rock hit makers of the era in their prime. Jon “Bowzer” Bauman, from the original Sha Na Na lineup, hosts.
50s and 60s Rock Rewind features these songs:
“Johnny B. Goode” – Chuck Berry
“Be-Bop-A-Lula” – Gene Vincent
“Bo Diddley” – Bo Diddley
“Willie and the Hand Jive” – Johnny Otis
“That’ll Be the Day” – Buddy Holly
“Only You” – The Platters
“The Great Pretender” – The Platters
“Wake Up Little Susie” – The Everly Brothers
“All I Have To Do Is Dream” – The Everly Brothers
“Lollipop” – The Chordettes
“Dream Lover” – Bobby Darin
“Personality” – Lloyd Price
“Ain’t That A Shame” – Fats Domino
“Lonesome Town” – Ricky Nelson
“Travelin’ Man” – Ricky Nelson
“Love Me Tender” – Elvis Presley
“Tequila” – The Champs
“You Send Me” – Sam Cooke
“Hey Paul, Hey Paula” – Paul & Paula
“Put Your Head On My Shoulder” – Paul Anka
“It’s Only Make Believe” – Conway Twitty
“Little Darlin’” – Dave Somerville and The Diamonds
“In The Still of the Night” – Fred Parris and The Five Satins
“The Leader of the Pack” – The Shangri-Las
“Calendar Girl” – Neil Sedaka
“Cara Mia” – Jay & The Americans
“Oh, Pretty Woman”/”Crying” – Roy Orbison
Watch a preview:
San Francisco Symphony
Herbert Blomstedt, conductor; *Augustin Hadelich, violin
*Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
Nielsen: Symphony No. 5, Op. 50
[SFS Encore: Brahms: Serenade No. 2 in A Major, Op. 16 (Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor)]
Join us at Clark-Lindsey Village, 101 W. Windsor Rd. in Urbana, for a special 40-minute sneak preview and discussion of The Roosevelts: An Intimate History at 7:30 pm Tuesday, Sept. 9. No RSVP is required.
After we view clips from the series, Presidential speeches expert John Murphy, University of Illinois associate professor of communication, and Mark Leff, professor emeritus of history, will react to the videos and make brief remarks before answering questions from the audience.
Murphy studies the rhetoric of the U.S. presidency and contemporary politics; presidential war rhetoric and campaign speeches. Leff specializes in post-1900 public policy and social movements, war and society, and civil liberties.
For those who live near Bloomington-Normal, there's another preview event, sponsored by WTVP and WILL, at 7 pm Monday, Sept. 8, at the Normal Theater, 209 W. North St., in Uptown Normal. New Illinois Public Media and WTVP CEO President Moss Bresnahan will be there to greet guests.
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History airs on WILL-TV over seven consecutive nights beginning at 7 pm Sunday, Sept. 14.
The film weaves the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics. The series marks the first time their individual stories have been woven into a single narrative.
“The Roosevelts have played significant roles in other stories we’ve told before, from the National Parks to World War II,” said filmmaker Ken Burns. “It’s impossible, in fact, to visit many parts of the American experience without encountering their presence. But beyond simply sharing a bloodline or political success, they each shared a passionate belief that America is at its strongest when everyone has an equal chance. And on a personal level, they each struggled to overcome their own fears while maintaining a public face of courage.”
The Roosevelts follows the family’s story for more than a century, from Theodore’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962. Over the course of those years, Theodore would become the 26th president of the United States, and his beloved niece, Eleanor, would marry his fifth cousin, Franklin, who became the 32nd president. Together, they redefined the relationship Americans had with their government and with each other, and redefined, as well, the role of the United States within the wider world. The series encompasses all the history the Roosevelts helped to make — the creation of National Parks and the digging of the Panama Canal, the New Deal and the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil rights at home and human rights around the world in which Eleanor Roosevelt played a central role. But it is also an intimate human story about love and betrayal, family feeling and personal courage and the conquest of fear.
Legendary actress Meryl Streep portrays Eleanor Roosevelt in readings from her personal letters and writings. Of her performance, Burns said, “As we’ve seen time and time again, Ms. Streep is a magician. Here, she completely transformed herself into Eleanor Roosevelt, simply through her voice. It was remarkable to witness. The entire cast delivers what I consider to be some of the finest voice-over work we’ve ever been fortunate enough to present.”
Joining Streep are Paul Giamatti as the voice of Theodore Roosevelt and Edward Herrmann, two-time Emmy Award nominee for his performance as Franklin Roosevelt, as the voice of FDR.
Rounding out the cast are Patricia Clarkson, Adam Arkin, Philip Bosco, Keith Carradine, Kevin Conway, Ed Harris, John Lithgow, Josh Lucas, Carl Lumbly, Amy Madigan, Carolyn McCormick, Pamela Reed, Billy Bob Thornton and Eli Wallach.
Watch a preview:
The Moth Radio Hour has joined WILL-AM’s schedule at 10 am Tuesdays, as NPR’s Tell Me More goes out of production. The Moth Radio Hour features true stories told live on stage without scripts, notes, props or accompaniment. Each show mixes humorous, heartbreaking, and poignant tales that captivate, surprise, and delight audiences with their honesty, bravery and humor.
The Moth was originally formed by the writer George Dawes Green as an intimate gathering of friends on a porch (where moths would flutter in through a hole in the screen). Today, The Moth is a nonprofit organization with ongoing programs such as StorySlam competitions that contribute their best stories to The Moth Radio Hour.
“I love the feeling of The Moth,” says program producer Jay Allison. “You can feel the risk each storyteller takes, getting up before us to recount something spellbinding and real. It makes you recognize how rare it is to hear truly honest, vulnerable voices on the airwaves.”
To replace Tell Me More, we’ll be offering a different program each day at 10 am Monday through Friday, with some of our most popular weekend programs repeated to give you another chance to hear them.
In other changes, This American Life moves from 1 pm to noon Saturday; Travel with Rick Steves moves from noon Saturday to 6 pm Sunday.
Here's the rest of the 10 am weekdays schedule:
Mondays: On the Media
While maintaining the civility and fairness, On the Media tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency .
Wednesdays: Big Picture Science
Big Picture Science takes on big questions by interviewing leading researchers and weaving together their stories of discovery in a clever and off-kilter narrative style. The show reveals science as an adventure.
Thursdays: TED Radio Hour
Hosted by Guy Raz , the program is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme, and injects soundscapes and conversations that bring these ideas to life.
Fridays: State of the Re:Union
Hosted by Al Letson, the program takes a journalistic, documentary-style approach, with each episode focusing on one city or region.