WILL Highlights

WILL - WILL Highlights - August 22, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Masterpiece Mystery!: Breathless

Starts 8 pm Sunday, Aug. 24, on WILL-TV: Jack Davenport stars as a brilliant London surgeon in 1961, when doctors were treated like gods and acted the part.

Jack Davenport at Otto Powell

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.



WILL - WILL Highlights - August 22, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein

7 pm Monday, Aug. 25, on WILL-FM: Entertainer and virtuoso pianist Hershey Felder brings Bernstein to life, combining with first-person narrative with Bernstein's compositions.

Leonard Bernstein

In the summer of 2013, Hershey Felder brought Bay Area audiences to their feet and got them singing with “George Gershwin Alone.” Now the master entertainer and virtuoso pianist is back with his popular and critically acclaimed Hershey Felder as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro, in which he brings one of America’s greatest musical legends to life. Conductor, composer, pianist, author, teacher, librettist, television star, and composer of “West Side Story,”,“Candide.” “On the Town,” and “Wonderful Town,” Bernstein become the world’s first serious-music media superstar. Felder combines first-person narrative with the compositions of Bernstein and others to draw us deeply into the maestro’s fascinating life, a life filled with tragedy and triumph … and music.



WILL - WILL Highlights - August 20, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Backyard Industry: Words on the plate

As summer draws to a close, Lisa Bralts happens upon writer Ava Chin's memoir, Eating Wildly, and discovers that being in the weeds isn't always a bad thing.

Words "eating wildly" on a plate


WILL - WILL Highlights - August 20, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Exuberant Spanish conductor makes CSO debut

7 pm Tuesday, Aug. 26, on WILL-FM: Pablo Heras-Casado conducts pieces by Ravel, Debussy and Falla

Pablo Heras-Casado

Tuesday August 26:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado makes his CSO debut

Ravel:   Le tombeau de Couperin
Debussy:  La boîte à joujoux
Ravel:  Pavane pour une infante défunte
Falla:   El amor brujo (Marina Heredia, flamenco vocals)
[CSO fill: Ravel:  Rapsodie Espagnole (2-piano and orchestra version) (Katia and Mariel LaBeque, piano; Semyon Bychkov, conductor) and Chabrier: España (Alain Altinoglu, conductor)]


WILL - WILL Highlights - August 18, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

The Bones of Badger Hole

8 pm Tuesday, Aug. 26, on WILL-TV: Time Team America investigates a bison kill site in western Oklahoma that dates to about 10,000 years ago.

The teeth preserved in this ancient bison jaw bone gave the team important clues about how people and animals may have lived 10,000 years ago.

At Badger Hole, Okla., the Time Team America crew excavates what may be the largest Folsom-period bison kill site in North America. Long extinct, Bison Antiquus roamed the plains 10,000 years ago. How were Paleoindian hunters able to kill so many of these massive bison—weighing 1500 pounds each—without the help of bows and arrows or even horses? The lives of these ancient ancestors seem elusive, but by investigating bison bones, arrowheads and more, the Team discovers clues about their habitat, hunting range, and their ingenuity that will help us understand them.

Watch a clip:


WILL - WILL Highlights - August 17, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Come to our preview event for Ken Burns’ ‘The Roosevelts’

7:30 pm Tues., Sept. 9: Get a sneak preview of the series and hear local experts react.

Franklin, Eleanor and Theodore Roosevelt

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.

Get more information about the series.

Watch a preview:



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