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Television Time: BBC Shows – June 2020

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Get ready for a month full of discoveries this June as the BBC brings mind-blowing animal truths and wallet friendly tips to your screen. Do cats always land on their feet? And does the colour red really agitate bulls? Join hilarious presenters Tim Warwood and Adam Gendle as they answer these intriguing questions and unravel some of the most common misconceptions of the animal kingdom. Gain insights on how branding can affect our purchases and how we can make more budget friendly choices without comprising our lifestyle in Shop Well for Less. Also, get a glimpse of what it was like living in times of war in the historical drama World On Fire, starring award-winning actors, Helen Hunt, Sean Bean and Lesley Manville.

BBC FIRST

Endeavour Series 7

This hugely popular detective drama returns for a highly-anticipated series. Shaun Evans reprises his role as DS Endeavour Morse, alongside Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday for a new set of compelling cases. In the new trilogy, Endeavour and his colleagues enter a new decade and era. Opening on New Year’s Eve 1969, the team reunites at Castle Gate CID, with Chief Superintendent Bright back in charge. However, the events of the past year have left their mark, and the new series will see old friendships challenged and new relationships blossom.

Catch the premiere of Endeavour Series 7 on Friday, 5th June 2020. Available on BBC First (StarHub Channel 502) and BBC Player – watch it on a bigger screen with Chromecast and Airplay.

World On Fire

Featuring a stellar ensemble cast including Academy Award winner Helen Hunt, Emmy and BAFTA winner Sean Bean, and Academy Award nominated Lesley Manville.

Catch this historical drama that follows the lives of civilians from Britain, Poland, France, and Germany, during World War II. Follow the lives of families from 1939-1940, from the Nazi invasion of Poland to the fall of Paris. The characters hail from different countries, playing different roles in the war, but are ultimately united by their struggle to survive in difficult circumstances.

Says writer and executive producer Peter Bowker: “The ambition of the piece was to tell a story that we all feel we are familiar with, that forms part of Britain’s national philosophy, but with a fresh take on it. To tell the stories that might not have been told before or at least not told too widely. I wanted to capture something of the global cooperation. It was possibly the first time in modern history that the world got to talk to each other and cooperate in such intimate terms.”

I deliberately set out to tell stories that weren’t traditional war stories. I wanted to write about what it was like to be a Senegalese soldier who found himself at Dunkirk. What it was like to be gay in Paris, when you’d escaped to Paris to celebrate your sexuality and then the Nazis invaded. What it was like to be a conscientious objector with two children. What it was like to be an ordinary apolitical German family, who just hoped Nazism might be a passing phase and who had a child that was at risk because she had a disability. They struck me as stories that have remained largely untold, but also struck me as contemporary in our current preoccupations with nationality and borders and refugees, and what constitutes a genuine refugee and what constitutes genuine need.”

Says cast member Lesley Manville: “The first thing you look at when considering any part is the writing and if the writing and narrative are strong then it becomes a much easier decision to say yes and this script is wonderful. It’s beautifully written by Pete Bowker and the characters are all very specifically observed. I love the way the story dipped in and out of all these different lives. Yes of course there are the central characters, but it’s a real cocktail of stories about how this epic and tragic event affected different people in different parts of the world. It looks at what the war did to peoples’ lives on a big scale, on a very small scale and on a very personal scale. What it does to love, relationships and families.”

Says cast member Helen Hunt: “It’s among the most compelling stories in the history of our life on earth, but it was Peter Bowker and our director’s joint objectives to tell it in such an intimate way that drew me to it. You need that intimacy to tell all these stories. I thought I knew a decent amount of detail about the history of the war, but I didn’t know hour by hour, day by day. One of the things that makes this piece unique is that our whole stretch of seven episodes is simply the first year of the war, and a lot of my work takes place on 30th August and 1st September, and then 3rd September, and I really didn’t comprehend what the first moments of the war were like.”

Adds fellow cast member Sean Bean: “It’s an amazing production that I became engrossed in as soon as I read the scripts. In some ways it’s like a completely captivating novel and every individual seemed to be portrayed as unique. They all have their particular ambitions, dreams and jobs before the war starts and then their fears and dread as events unfold are the same across all the countries we show. They are all coming to terms with the changes that are happening in their lives and realise that, for some of them, ridicule, intimidation and persecution are coming down the line because of their beliefs and simply for being who they are.”

Catch the premiere of World On Fire on Friday, 12th June 2020. Available on BBC First (StarHub Channel 502) and BBC Player – watch it on a bigger screen with Chromecast and Airplay.

McDonald & Dodds

Featuring contemporary crime stories told with warmth and humour, this series follows the investigations of a wildly mismatched detective duo. The ambitious DCI McDonald cracks cases through sheer force of will. The tortoise to her hare, Dodds is quiet and unassuming. This double act, thrown together with seemingly nothing in common, soon forge an entertaining and ultimately effective partnership. Faced with a greed-fuelled murder in the upper echelons of Bath society and an unexplained death in a hospital for recovering addicts, McDonald and Dodds soon realise that their differences will be their strength when it comes to solving these gripping mysteries.

On his role as Dodds, Jason Watkins comments: “DS Dodds is such a great character and so well drawn. I found the script immediately engaging. I always know a good script – when you’re reading it you start speaking the lines out loud, with ideas about how you might play the role. That doesn’t always happen, but I found that with Dodds. I also liked the fact that Dodds is not a front footed, thrusting copper. He is slow, interesting, very bright and slightly unworldly in some ways. He has this rather brilliant analytical brain and an open naivety about him. He’s such an interesting mix – a really honest person.”

He adds: “Everyone has iPads and Dodds still has his little notebook. That’s the way he has always worked. It’s not unfunny. He will go to the library and cross reference to follow a literal paper trail to come up with the concrete things that are needed. He comes up with physical, tangible evidence.”

On playing McDonald, Tala Gouveia comments: “McDonald bowls over everything in a rush to get things done, but looking at the bigger picture she doesn’t always take the time to notice small little details.”

On the challenges of the role, she adds: “Learning the lines! There are a lot of lines. They come thick and fast. Also finding McDonald’s real sense of authority. That complete command, plus the speed at which she moves and talks. My brain was trying to catch up with her brain. The scripts for McDonald & Dodds were superb and we had a lot of fun making it, while the combination of the two characters is really interesting. You can never tell until an audience watches something but it would be lovely to see these characters continue.”

Catch the premiere of McDonald & Dodds on Friday, 26th June 2020. Available on BBC First (StarHub Channel 502) and BBC Player – watch it on a bigger screen with Chromecast and Airplay.

BBC EARTH

Deadly 60 Series 4

Explorer Steve Backshall comes face to face with lethal beauties and killer beasts in his mission to find the world’s deadliest animals. Join Steve as he meets fierce forest elephants in the wilds of Gabon, searches Bali for the elusive sunfish, and experiences the ferocity of the South African serval. The series also looks at the perilous future facing some of these deadly animals, and reveals the remarkable work being done by wildlife conservationists to protect them. With stunning footage and fascinating facts, this is a chance to get up-close-and-personal with the natural world’s most fearsome creatures. Just don’t forget to watch your back.

Catch the premiere of Deadly 60 Series 4 on Monday, 8th June 2020 at 8.05pm.
Available on BBC Earth (StarHub Channel 407) and BBC Player – watch it on a bigger screen with Chromecast and Airplay.

Animal Impossible

Tim Warwood and Adam Gendle risk life and limb to uncover the truth about animals in this eye-opening and entertaining series from the renowned BBC Studios Natural History Unit. Do cats always land on their feet? Could a squid sink a ship? Is spider silk really stronger than steel? Endlessly curious presenters Tim and Gendle want to find out. In a fresh take on natural history filmmaking, the intrepid pair quiz experts and conduct audacious stunts (including a nerve-wracking swim with a great white shark!) to get answers. But they find more than they expected, discovering a whole host of strange and remarkable truths about the animal kingdom.

Catch the premiere of Animal Impossible on Monday, 15th June 2020 at 9.55pm. Available on BBC Earth (StarHub Channel 407) and BBC Player – watch it on a bigger screen with Chromecast and Airplay.

 

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