This week in TV news, BBC responds to complaints about Doctor Who and David Benioff explains Bran’s absence from season five of Game of Thrones. Also, Netflix develops a Lemony Snicket series and ITV announces season six of Downton Abbey!
BBC responds to complaints about latest Doctor Who.
[Warning: contains spoilers.]
The BBC responded to viewers after receiving over 100 complaints regarding the latest Doctor Who episode, “Dark Water,” which aired on Saturday. In the episode, a character dies in a car crash, giving rise to the theory that people can feel pain in the afterlife — including the agony of cremation. In response to the complaints, the BBC issued a statement that said: “Doctor Who is a family drama with a long tradition of tackling some of the more fundamental questions about life and death. We were mindful of the themes explored in ‘Dark Water’ and are confident that they are appropriate in the context of the heightened sci-fi world of the show.” In the episode, the Doctor immediately disregarded the theory. The extended finale episode, “Death in Heaven” airs Saturday, Nov. 8. Season eight of Doctor Who is Certified Fresh at 91 percent.
Downton Abbey is served a sixth season.
More helpings of Downton Abbey? Yes, please! Season five, which will air in the U.S. on PBS’s Masterpiece on Jan. 4, finishes this week on the U.K.’s ITV. Plans are already in motion for a sixth season, announced Thursday by ITV and Carnival Films this week. “We have had an amazing reaction to the story lines, acting and production values of Downton Abbey this year and the whole team is thrilled to be moving ahead with a new season of the show,” Gareth Neame of Carnival said in a statement. Production begins early next year, with the already-announced Christmas special coming next month and featuring George Clooney who’s doing the project for ITV’s “Text Santa” charity campaign.
Netflix is developing A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Good news for Lemony Snicket fans! Netflix, which has already committed to family entertainment by picking up AwesomenessTV’s Richie Rich, will also produce a live-action Series of Unfortunate Events series, based on the popular children’s books. According to Deadline, the project is on the fast track and the search for a director is underway. Lemony Snicket, the pen name of author Daniel Handler, issued a funny quote about the project: “I can’t believe it. After years of providing top-quality entertainment on demand, Netflix is risking its reputation and its success by associating itself with my dismaying and upsetting books.” Netflix continued the bit with the following statement: “Mr. Snicket’s participation will be limited, given his emotional distress, but the project has the full involvement of his legal, literary and social representative Daniel Handler, who is often mistaken for him.” The 13 books comprising A Series Of Unfortunate Events have sold over 65 million copies worldwide in 43 languages.
Game of Thrones explains why Bran is absent from season five.
When actor Kristian Nairn let it slip in September that the characters Hodor and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) would be absent from season five of Game of Thrones, fans wondered why. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly this week, showrunner David Benioff explained the narrative choice. “We’re trying to keep the various storylines the same as the books and trying to keep them roughly parallel,” Benioff explained. “And last year we caught up to the end of Bran’s storyline [in A Dance with Dragons]. So if we pushed him forward this season, then he’s way ahead of where the other characters are.” Not to worry — Thrones has plenty of other storylines to catch up on during season five. In the meantime, Nairm should probably go back to just saying “Hodor.”