I'd like to think everyone is as much an Anglophile as I am. While I know it's not true, I do know that there are a lot of WKAR-TV viewers who really are enjoying all things British on PBS this summer. If you count yourself in that number, here are a few shows coming up that you won't want to miss!
About Queens Elizabeth II and Victoria
With Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in June, many came to know this remarkable woman in a new way. WKAR focuses on the Queen and the Royal Family in several upcoming series.
Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work (Mondays, beginning June 25) offers an exclusive look inside the modern British monarchy. As she turned 80, Queen Elizabeth II allowed creation of this intimate series, which shows the commonwealth’s most famous family as they travel abroad, work at the palace and meet people from all walks of life. Included are several encore episodes, as well as new ones.
Queen Victoria's Empire (Tuesday, June 19 & 26) looks at England’s transformation from a small island nation into an industrial superpower. With personal accounts and lush re-enactments, it is a story of influential men and a powerful queen who ruled over one-fifth of the world’s population for a remarkable 64 years.
Queen & Country (Sundays, beginning July 1) finds journalist Trevor McDonald offering viewers a look at the customs surrounding the monarchy – from Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace to the Queen’s royal visits — and tours of historic royal places.
Historian Michael Wood returns with Michael Wood's Story of England (Tuesdays, beginning July 3). Wood filters the 2,000-year history of England through the story of one small town located in the heart of the country: Kibworth, Leicestershire. From the Roman era to the Norman Conquest, the Black Death, the English Civil War, the Industrial Revolution and World War II, the four-part series intertwines the local and national narratives, marking the milestones that changed the town and country forever.
That's the history -- what about the drama?!
If you ever wondered what classic Masterpiece Mystery! detective Inspector Morse was like before he became the boss, check out "Endeavour" on July 1. You'll get the back story of the famed detective when Shaun Evans stars as the rookie constable who nearly resigns, until a murder turns up that only he could solve.
Morse's one-time sergeant returns in new episodes of "Inspector Lewis" starring Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox. The fifth season of the series once again finds the team tackling murder and mayhem in seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford.
Coming This Fall
Call the Midwife (Sundays, beginning September 30) is Based on the best-selling trilogy by the late Jennifer Worth. In the UK, it gave "Downton Abbey" a run for the money in the popularity polls! Call the Midwife is a fascinating portrayal of birth, life and death in a world drastically different from ours -- 1950s England. Offering an unconventional twist to Sunday-night British dramas, Call the Midwife and brings mid-20th-century London to life, focusing on the joys and hardships of a group of midwives working in London’s East End.
Masterpiece: Upstairs Downstairs returns in a six-part sequel. The saga continues at 165 Eaton Place offers new characters upstairs and down. Set in 1936, as the world goes to war, two new arrivals make their mark and Lady Agnes reveals a dark secret. Alex Kingston (“ER,” “Doctor Who”) joins the cast.
And just in case you were worried, "Downton Abbey" will return, first with encore episodes to remind you of the saga of the Crowley Family, and then with new episodes, featuring new cast member Shirley MacLaine.