PBS has set a very different fall season with a unique combination of literature, pop culture, and history. Great Performances takes four of William Shakespeare’s ‘history plays’ – Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I & II, and Henry V – and folded them into a single narrative; Superheroes is a three-part documentary miniseries that examines the growth of superhero comics from from their ten-cent-an-issue originals to the multi-billion-dollar, multimedia industry it has become, and American Experience: The War of the World’s looks at the elements that made America ripe to accept Orson Welles’ infamous radio production of the H.G. Wells novel as reality.
These programs barely scrape the surface of the diversity and quality of PBS’s fall schedule. Follow the jump for dates and times of the network’s complete line-up.
Continuing the trend toward great summer programming, PBS has unveiled its summer 2013 schedule – replete with mysteries (a new season of The Inspector Lewis Mysteries, the premiere season of the Inspector Morse prequel series, Endeavour and a new take on the Hitchcock classic, The Lady Vanishes), the documentary series Independent Lens (hosted by Stanley Tucci), intriguing looks at history (Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace, The Stature of Liberty – noted documentarian Ken Burns explores Lady Liberty’s creation and history) and much more.
Follow the jump for a complete list of PBS’ summer programming – complete with taglines, days, dates and times.
Modern methods of crime fighting owe much to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional ‘World’s first consulting detective,’ Sherlock Holmes. From his method of deduction to his use of blood spatter, fingerprints and studies of such things as the types of cigar and cigarette smoke, Holmes inspired methods now used around the world in the pursuit of criminals.
‘Sherlock Holmes is the grandfather of forensic science,’ states top forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee (pictured).
This fall, the PBS special, How Sherlock Changed the World will trace the path from Conan Doyle’s fictional detective to the modern forensics labs of Scotland Yard and the FBI. For details on the special, follow the jump.
Phil Ochs was a protest singer’s protest singer. He wrote what he saw, and what he saw was injustice. Unlike more famous and more lauded protest singers, he didn’t couch his songs in metaphor – he was incisive and disturbing.
On American Masters [PBS, 10/9C], Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune follows Ochs’ life and music from its beginnings in the early sixties to his suicide at 35.
Take one of the world’s best documentarians, give him complete access to one of the world’s premiere directors, and the result is Woody Allen: A Documentary [PBS, Sunday & Monday, 9/8C] – Robert Weide’s surprisingly intimate and candid portrait of the writer/director/actor/comedian/musician [how’s that for a multi-hyphenate?].
I’m playing catch-up in DVD reviews, this week, thanks to circumstances beyond my control. We’ll start with three entertaining titles from Paramount Home Entertainment: the slight, but entertaining Morning Glory; Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 religious epic, The Ten Commandments, and the innovative documentary series that raised the bar for all documentarians since its release, Ken Burns’ The Civil War.
Martin Scorsese is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, and yet very few people are aware that as influential as he is, he was influenced to the same kind of degree by Elia Kazan [On the Waterfront, Splendor in the Grass]. Scorsese’s documentary, A Letter to Elia, will run alongside Kazan’s America, America on September 27th at the New York Film Festival, and will be broadcast on PBS on October 4th.
Fox Home Entertainment’s The Elia Kazan Collection – Selected by Martin Scorsese will be released on November 9th and will include A Letter to Elia along with fifteen of Kazan’s films [including the three mentioned above].