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The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

‘Sherlock,’ ‘White Heat’ hit U.S. airwaves

By Kimberley Jones, 3:40PM, Sun. May. 6, 2012

'Sherlock'
'Sherlock'

Two BBC series cross the pond to debut on American television.

So what rabidly anticipated show returns tonight to PBS? If you’re at all an Anglophile then the answer is, of course, No shit. It’s Sherlock. To the uninitiated, that would be Steven Moffat’s modern spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s enduring duo. Benedict Cumberbatch (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is the socially malfunctioning genius detective; BAFTA award-winning Martin Freeman (The Office, the upcoming The Hobbit), his PTSD-afflicted right-hand man. Last season ended in an explosive faceoff with Moriarty; early word from England is that season 2 culminates in an epic cliffhanger.

The first of three 90-minute episodes airs tonight on Masterpiece Mystery! on KLRU at 8pm. Spoiler-free teaser trailer below.

Less explosives, but more acid and free love herald White Heat, a decades-spanning drama that starts airing on BBC America this Wednesday (5/9) at 9pm. The six-part series follows seven university students who come together as flatmates in 1965 as a kind of social experiment, hand-selected by their landlord, a rich-boy radical, for maximum diversity – the émigré, the closeted gay, the virgin waking to women's lib, etc. Each episode charts a different year, framed by a present-day story about the death of one of the former flatmates, which reunites the gang (reluctantly, it would seem) as executors. The historical and pop culture inserts can be heavy-handed, with set and costume direction set at overkill, but a terrific cast led by Little Dorrit’s Claire Foy and a feminist perspective on the swinging Sixties had me hankering for more by the end of the first episode of this solid soap.

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