TCA 2013: BBC America Expands Its Wondrous World of Dark Dramas and Sensational Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series

Over a decade in the making, BBC America has finally hit its stride with an all-star slate of original programming that has caught the American television audience’s attention.  In addition to fan-favorite DOCTOR WHO, BBC America has been slowly building up its programming with original series, such as: ORPHAN BLACK, COPPER, RIPPER STREET, LUTHER, IN THE FLESH, BEING HUMAN, BROADCHURCH, and its new series ATLANTIS. Between its Wednesday night Dramaville and its Supernatural Saturdays, BBC America has become a destination channel for fans seeking thought-provoking, gritty, intriguing and vastly entertaining television shows.

Without any signs of slowing down the phenomenal momentum of the last year, BBC America is aiming to carve out an even bigger chunk of the American television audience.  Offering both the 50th Anniversary Special of DOCTOR WHO on November 23rd and the special “An Adventure in Time and Space” (which tells the story of how the DOCTOR WHO series was first created 50 years ago), as well as simultaneously launch the new fantasy series ATLANTIS, which is the tales of a young man who finds himself trapped back in time in ancient Greece fighting such beings as minotaurs and befriending Medusa, BBC America hopes to attract even more fans. 

At a recent party celebrating its fine achievements, BBC America hosted with a dizzying array of stars and memorabilia.  In attendance were DOCTOR WHO stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman, along with ORPHAN BLACK’s Dylan Bruce, David Bradley star of “An Adventure in Time and Space” and BROADCHURCH, as well as Mark Addy and Jemima Rooper who play Hercules and Medusa in ATLANTIS.  There was also a special appearance by a few Cybermen and an Ood as they gave a live performance, and greeting everyone at the curbside were a Dalek and a TARDIS replica.   There was also a display of authentic DOCTOR WHO costumes and a few other delightful surprises.

BBC America also recently took the casts of DOCTOR WHO, ORPHAN BLACK and “An Adventure in Time and Space” to San Diego Comic-Con, where fans greeted them with overwhelming accolades and applause.  Here are a few press interviews with the casts at Comic-Con:

The cast of ORPHAN BLACK is clearly delighted and surprised to find their new show is an instant hit and the toast of critics and fans across the globe.  In fact co-star Dylan Bruce mentioned at the BBC America party that he hoped that ORPHAN BLACK will one day be as big as the ABC series LOST, a personal favorite of his.  When asked if he is the Sawyer of ORPHAN BLACK, he merely laughed and said he hopes he is.  As the series resumes filming in September, Dylan remains ecstatic that his character Paul has not yet fallen victim to death’s calling card on the show. Since ORPHAN BLACK puts its characters in enough jeopardy with a high body count his worries do not seem all that unfounded. 

Then as for the cast of DOCTOR WHO as they embarked on the final leg of Matt Smith’s journey as The Doctor, when asked what each had learned from their characters, Matt Smith said, “Courage and kindness. I just admire The Doctor.” While Jenna Coleman said, “Just go on the adventure and enjoy it.” To which Matt happily added, “Live in the moment!”  As for advice they would give their characters, Jenna said she’d tell Clara, “Trust him — he’s pretty cool!” and Matt said he’d tell The Doctor, “Just keep going, man.  Keep going — and running.”  To which Jenna cheekily added, “And don’t look behind!”

Also catching Jemima Rooper for a quick moment, she enthusiastically shared a few details about her character Medusa on the new series ATLANTIS.  She said, “What doesn’t draw you to a role like that?! Medusa as a character is all to come and I get to pave the way. I just hope the audience relates to her and likes her and hopefully falls in love with her a little bit.  At first, she is just a companion to the three main boys and there’s a blossoming romance with one of the characters. But knowing what happens to her, there’s a sense of impending doom. It’s going to be a long twisted journey. But right now the show is really funny, and warm, and sweet.”

While the BBC America series COPPER currently airs Sunday nights, soon joining the programming schedule is the drama series BROADCHURCH starring David Tennant, Arthur Darvill, Olivia Colman and David Bradley.  BROADCHURCH is a police drama investigating the murder of a young boy left on a beach.  The series offers more twists and more suspects than the average murder mystery and it definitely keeps everyone guessing to the bitter end. 

Then the acclaimed drama LUTHER returns for a limited run in early September.  The trials and tribulations of John Luther, phenomenally portrayed by Idris Elba, shall enthrall fans once again.  Plus, as a bonus, Ruth Wilson returns as the diabolical Alice to shake up Luther’s already chaotic world. 

Finally, November and December are big months for BBC America with the premiere of “An Adventure in Time and Space” and the new fantasy series ATLANTIS, not to mention the 50th Anniversary special of DOCTOR WHO followed by the annual Christmas special which will introduce the new Doctor.  Executive producer Steven Moffat has announced that he hopes to reveal the identity of the new actor portraying the 12th Doctor sometime in August, so be on the look out for that earth-shaking news.

BBC America is no longer just a channel rearing British original series, it is pursuing its own original programming with COPPER, RIPPER STREET, and ORPHAN BLACK.  For those who have not yet discovered these new series, the time is now to jump in and find out why critics everywhere are talking about these fine shows.  Plus ORPHAN BLACK star Tatiana Maslany, along with her co-stars Jordan Gavaris and Dylan Bruce are Hollywood’s latest addiction and craze.  For haven’t you heard yet: clones are all the rage this year — and there’s a good reason for it!

Discover and enjoy the incredible world of BBC America. It’s a television playground that you’ll find yourself spending more and more time in and you are going to love it!

Celebrating BBC America

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Video Credit: Tiffany Vogt, Photo Credits: Tiffany Vogt, Jennifer Schadel, and Genevieve Collins

Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).