Diana Rigg and Rachael Stirling – former Avenger’s star Dame Diana and her daughter Rachael are to appear together on-screen for the first time in a specially written episode of Doctor Who.
Diana did of course play Emma Peel in the classic 60’s tv series. Her character was known for being a tough fighting feminist who had a penchant for leather and pvc catsuits. There was always plenty of flirting between Emma and Patrick Macnee’s character Steed and audiences were never quite sure if the two of them had had an affair, were still having an affair or were just friends who enjoyed plenty of flirting together.
Oh and in case being one of the hottest Avengers girls was not enough for her Diana also played the part of Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, later Tracy Bond, in the 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, where she becomes the only woman, so far, to marry 007.
Diana’s daughter Rachael Stirling is still best-known for her steamy television performance as Nan Astley playing opposite Keeley Hawes in the 2002 lesbian drama Tipping The Velvet. Although she does appear to have a reputation for tackling sexual roles on television, as she also played Ursula Brangwen in the 2011 adaptation of D.H.Lawrence’s Women In Love, Rachael has actually spent most of her career in very different roles in the theatre.
Diana and Rachael are playing mother and daughter roles in the new Doctor Who episode but there will apparently be a twist as they are described as having “a dark secret.” The episode has been specially written for them by Mark Gatiss and filming has already begun this week at the Roath Lock studios in Cardiff. The mother and daughter duo will be starring alongside Matt Smith as the Doctor and Jenna-Louise Coleman as the Doctor’s new companion.
Rachael said of her new opportunity: “What joy. I am looking forward to the madness of Doctor Who enormously. Mark Gatiss has written a gift of a script and an on-screen relationship between Ma and I that is truly delicious.
“We’ve never before worked together as the offers have not been tempting, but when such a funny and original script comes through you know the time has come.”
Doctor Who’s executive producer Steven Moffat said: “Dame Diana Rigg, Rachael Stirling and a Mark Gatiss script – a combination of talents you could only get in Doctor Who! Frankly, I’m terrified already!”
Although we don’t yet have an exact date for the episode airing on tv we do know that we will all have to wait until next year.
Elementary – satellite broadcaster Sky have picked up the CBS modern-day version of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
The CBS series seemed to follow on indecently closely to the BBC’s critical and viewer favourite Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
The US show has a number of twists with Sherlock being relocated to New York following a visit to a rehab centre there for addiction treatment. Sherlock is played by Jonny Lee Miller but in another twist his faithful sidekick is world’s away from both Freeman’s interpretation and the original Conan Doyle character with Lucy Liu playing the newly sober Joan Watson.
The part of the policeman DI Greg Lestrade from Sherlock (played by Rupert Graves) is turned into Captain Tobias Gregson of NYPD, played by Aidan Quinn. Although this might appear to be another deviation from the original Conan Doyle stories in fact there was an Inspector Gregson in a number of the stories including the original story A Study In Scarlet.
Gregson was described by Sherlock Holmes in A Study In Scarlet as so:”Gregson is the smartest of the Scotland Yarders,” my friend remarked; “he and Lestrade are the pick of a bad lot. They are both quick and energetic, but conventional — shockingly so. They have their knives into one another, too. They are as jealous as a pair of professional beauties. There will be some fun over this case if they are both put upon the scent.”
The CBS series has generally received less favourable reviews in the US than Sherlock, which aired on PBS, did but some reviewers have enjoyed the change in scenario offered by the move to New York. It does seem a shame that Elementary has made Sherlock’s sidekick a woman and seemingly introduced a romantic element to their relationship. This seems too obvious a move and just serves to turn the series into the usual formulaic style US tv series. Why everything has to be dumbed down for audiences these days I just can’t understand. With all if the channels that are available to people these days there are already plenty of “easier” viewing options out there.
One of the reasons that Sherlock has been such a success is the highly intelligent writing style which doesn’t treat the audience as the sort of people who need everything spoon-fed and explained to them every second. Also Sherlock’s relationship with Watson is a rare example on our screens of two friends being shown doing whatever they can for each other, even in the face of death, but also showing them getting more than a little cross and frustrated with each other.
Although we are more than confident that Sherlock will be the superior show you can bet we will be watching Elementary when it comes to our screens; if nothing else just to prove that we were right!
Elementary will be shown on Sky Living starting this Autumn.