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  1. Jamaica Inn: Seeing sense in Aunt Patience's madness

    Thursday 17 April 2014, 15:53

    Joanne Whalley Joanne Whalley Actress

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    Joanne Whalley plays Aunt Patience who is living with her husband Joss Merlyn (Sean Harris), the landlord of Jamaica Inn, when she is visited by her niece Mary Yellan (Jessica Brown Findlay). She spoke to the BBC TV blog about BBC One’s adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s best-selling gothic novel.

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    Mary Yellan (Jessica Brown Findlay) arrives looking for her Aunt Patience (Joanne Whalley)

    What were your first impressions of the adaptation?
    When I read the scripts I got really excited because I thought Emma Frost had brought a really modern take on Jamaica Inn without changing anything.

    I read the book years ago and I’ve always had a lovely edition of it on a book tower by my bed. She illuminated it in a contemporary way that I latched on to.


    Can you tell us a bit about your character Aunt Patience?
    It’s a great love story but she is very damaged by it and she has this unconditional blind love that motivates her.

    She has put her lot in with Joss and is going to see it through all the way. I loved her commitment and I found her moving.

    I love how she changes and I love that sometimes she’s terrible. But then I understand why she’s awful sometimes.

    You would go a bit crazy stuck out...

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  2. The Crimson Field: Recreating a WW1 army hospital

    Friday 11 April 2014, 16:52

    Cristina Casali Cristina Casali Production Designer

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    As the production designer my job on The Crimson Field was to design the set: choosing the ideal location, deciding on the layout, designing all the different areas and selecting the style and decoration.

    I researched historical photographs and paintings found from the Imperial War Museum archives, which was important early on as they communicated the atmosphere and look of the production.

    I presented my design ideas to the producers in the form of mood boards, drawings, scale models and plans.

    My whole team then worked closely together to achieve the ambition of the production.

    The Camp Layout Drawing - The Crimson Field Early base camp layout plans: the pharmacy set across the square from the quartermaster's store Set layout in 3D - The Crimson Field Once the plans were finalised, I drew a 3D sketch of the whole site to bring it to life The Pharmacy Set Drawing - The Crimson Field My pharmacy design sketch detailing how the interior of the pharmacy would look The pharmacy under construction - The Crimson Field The construction of the pharmacy took three weeks, including painting the buildings The Pharmacy Dressing Plan - The Crimson Field The dressing plan detailed the location of the large furniture in the pharmacy The pharmacy set dressed with props - The Crimson Field Ready for filming: it took a week to fully stock the pharmacy with medical props Rosalie Berwick in The Pharmacy - The Crimson Field Marianne Oldham as Rosalie Berwick in the pharmacy

    During my research, I...

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  3. Shetland: The relationship between Perez and Tosh

    Wednesday 2 April 2014, 17:38

    Alison ODonnell Alison ODonnell Actress

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    I play the character of Tosh in Shetland, or Detective Sergeant Alison McIntosh if we're being proper about it.

    She is a young, bright, ambitious employee of the Shetland constabulary who has been promoted beyond her years by DI Perez who sees great potential in her.

    Jimmy Perez (DOUGLAS HENSHALL), Alison McIntosh (ALISON O'DONNELL) DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and DS Alison McIntosh (Alison O'Donnell)

    When I got the part I understood that the programme would be based on the books by Ann Cleeves but it all happened very quickly and I didn't have to time to do any reading before we started filming.

    When Shetland returned I read all of the books and enjoyed them immensely.

    I love crime fiction anyway, my mum is a great lover of Agatha Christie, and she passed this passion on to me.

    Although Tosh doesn't appear in the books (the character was created for television) it was extremely useful to understand how atmospheric the books are and how deftly Ann uses the uniqueness of the location to feed the sense of mystery and tension.

    My relationship with Douglas Henshall is not dissimilar to the relationship between Perez and Tosh in that he is a very experienced and knowledgeable actor, but this is my first proper television role so he has become...

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  4. Bluestone 42: New challenges in our second series

    Thursday 20 March 2014, 14:46

    Michelle Farr Michelle Farr Producer

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    I’m the producer of Bluestone 42, a comedy set in Afghanistan, following a bomb disposal detachment.

    I was incredibly excited to get working on series two, having had such a brilliant time on the first series.

    I couldn’t wait to get back out to South Africa in the sunshine with our fantastic cast and crew.

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    Mary and Bird disagree over how Bluestone 42 should wind down on a Thursday night

    Stellenbosch, South Africa is a really beautiful place to shoot in, even if it is swarming with deadly snakes. 

    A fact we did not know on series one, but are now all too aware of having had to employ a full...

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  5. Line Of Duty: Live Q&A with Jed Mercurio

    Wednesday 19 March 2014, 09:55

    Jed Mercurio Jed Mercurio Writer

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    Jed Mercurio is the lead writer and creator of the BBC Two police drama Line Of Duty

    He will be answering questions live in the comments below after the last episode of series two.

    The comments will open before shortly the web chat starts at 10pm on Wednesday, 19 March and will finish an hour later at 11pm. Jed won’t be able to answer every question submitted and we also ask that questions and comments fall under our house rules.

    Welcome to all our new users and apologies for any delay in posts appearing, we're working to get comments and replies up as quickly as we can. 

    Thank you for all your comments.

    To read Jed's replies please see the Editors' Picks below. 

    Line of Duty DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) DI Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes) DC Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure)

    More on Line Of Duty
    BBC Writersroom: Line Of Duty Series Two: Read a blog by Jed Mercurio
    BBC Writersroom: Script Library: Download the scripts from series two 
    BBC Media Centre: BBC Two announces Jed Mercurio's Line of Duty commissioned for further two series

    Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC. 

    Read more about Line Of Duty: Live Q&A with Jed Mercurio

  6. I Was There: The Great War Interviews

    Friday 14 March 2014, 10:19

    Detlef Siebert Detlef Siebert Director

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    More than two years ago, I learned that the Imperial War Museum still had the original interview rushes of The Great War series from 1964, which the BBC had produced in partnership with IWM.

    I was intrigued. Having worked on a few similar history series myself – such as Laurence Rees’s The Nazis or Auschwitz  – I knew that only a tiny fraction of the recorded interviews would have made it to air.

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    Never-before-seen footage: Watch the trail

    I reckoned many strong and insightful testimonies must have ended on the cutting room floor because they didn’t fit into the series’ narrative or...

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  7. Original Drama Shorts: I directed Flea

    Tuesday 11 March 2014, 10:51

    Vanessa Caswill Vanessa Caswill Director

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    I directed Flea, one of the three short films commissioned for Original Drama Shorts on BBC iPlayer this year.

    Of the three scripts, Flea immediately jumped out to me – actually that’s not entirely true.

    I read the first line of the stage directions and felt a bit disheartened. I’ve seen a lot of bleak British shorts set on estates and was hoping for something a bit more magical.

    Then I got to the dialogue, which is in spoken word, and the story jumped off the page! I loved it. It was different and bold.

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    'My world’s a tough world, a rough world, a kick-in-the-guts and a spit-in-your-food...

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  8. 37 Days: Changing my perspective of WWI

    Friday 7 March 2014, 10:42

    Mark Hayhurst Mark Hayhurst Writer and Producer

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    I’ve been interested in the First World War since I was a boy, but I’ve always found it so hard to understand how people allowed it to happen.

    The process of writing 37 Days gave me a real insight into why we went to war – something I hope the viewer will grasp as well.

    So how do you get your head around the few short weeks that changed the world forever?

    Well the producer Sue Horth and I compiled a 175-page 'war book', which broke down the 37 days.

    37 Days The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo set off a chain of events

    I traced every conference, every telephone...

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  9. Secrets Of Bones: The bony adaptations we missed

    Tuesday 25 February 2014, 10:55

    Ben Garrod Ben Garrod Presenter

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    I'm an evolutionary biologist, specialising in primate adaptation and evolution.

    My work now focuses on studying often-small physical differences in the skeletons of monkeys, to see how they change over time in different environments.

    When the idea for Secrets Of Bones came about, a six-part series on skeletons and all things bony, the next thing I knew I was having my skull printed off, building a silverback gorilla skeleton and watching a horse on a treadmill... it all happened so quickly.

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    Discover how the skeletal blueprint uniting all vertebrates has come to dominate life on earth

    It’s not...

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  10. Dissected: Getting under my skin

    Monday 17 February 2014, 10:06

    Paul Overton Paul Overton Producer

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    I had my reservations when asked if I’d like to produce Dissected, a series about the dissection of a human hand and foot. 

    Not because I’m particularly squeamish - I have made a lot medical series, including a stint in the main allied forces military hospital in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. I’m used to seeing the internal mechanics of the body.

    I was more concerned about whether this was something that people would actually want to watch. It was an intriguing enough proposition to make me want to do it.

    I’m very glad I did as it turned out to be a fascinating exploration into what makes...

    Read more about Dissected: Getting under my skin

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Get the views of cast, presenters, scriptwriters and crew from inside the shows. Read reviews and opinions and share yours on all things TV - your favourite episodes, live programmes, the schedule and everything else.

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Original Drama Shorts

Flea

"I saw it as a kind of Dr Seuss for adults"

Read director Vanessa Caswill's post

Flea is available to watch on BBC iPlayer

Bluestone 42

Bluestone 42

"South Africa is a really beautiful place to shoot in, even if it is swarming with deadly snakes." 

Read producer Michelle Farr's post

Line Of Duty

Line of Duty

BBC Two's police corruption drama is recommissioned for two more series

Writer Jed Mercurio answered your questions after the series two finale