MASTERPIECE Studio is your backstage pass to the PBS series—from Sherlock to Poldark. After the show, turn off the TV and tune in to MASTERPIECE Studio for the scoop with host Jace Lacob. Listen for exclusive interviews with the cast and crew of your favorite shows. Get the history lowdown behind the people and places you see on screen, and hear revealing stories from the set. MASTERPIECE Studio is made possible by Viking Cruises and Farmers Insurance. Sponsors for MASTERPIECE on PBS are Viking Cruises, Farmers Insurance, and The MASTERPIECE Trust.
On this very first episode of Poldark, we meet all the key characters who will come to shape the series — Ross, Demelza, Elizabeth, Francis, Verity, Aunt Agatha, George, Prudie. We also meet our Mining Poldark podcast hosts — Robin Ellis, who the original Ross Poldark in the 1970s adaptation of Winston Graham’s novels, and Barrett Brountas, a MASTERPIECE staffer and Poldark superfan. Come along on our journey as we explore the entire scope of this beloved series, episode by episode!
The full first season drops August 26, so be sure and subscribe to Mining Poldark wherever you find your podcasts so you don’t miss an episode!
When Grantchester star Al Weaver was in drama school, his future Grantchester co-star, Tessa Peake-Jones, was his designated mentor. On screen this season, Weaver and Peake-Jones had a falling out, with their characters, Leonard and Mrs. C, nearly splitting after Leonard's relationship with Daniel came to light. But in a new joint interview, the actors reveal that the hardest part of their fictional fight was not having scenes together.
Detective Geordie Keating’s put-upon wife, Cathy, has faced marital betrayal, a growing family and a murder-obsessed husband with quiet grace, but this season in Grantchester, Cathy has her own career to worry about. Actor Kacey Ainsworth talks about working with Robson Green, the pleasures of a lived-in fictional marriage and how Cathy will deal with her ongoing workplace harassment in the upcoming season four finale.
The heavy burden of replacing Grantchester lead James Norton in the village vicar’s pulpit falls to none other than Tom Brittney, and it’s a role he’s thrilled to take up. With a warm welcome from fans and the on-set Grantchester family alike, Brittney reveals how it felt to motorcycle in to the sleepy village, and previews what secrets await viewers for the rest of this season.
With the recent departure of his friend and castmate, James Norton, from the fields and dells of Grantchester, Robson Green is quick to reassure fans of his series that his character isn’t going anywhere just yet. As the fourth season continues along, Green describes what it meant to say goodbye to Norton, what new changes await his Geordie Keating beyond a new parish priest, and how it felt to team up with Al Weaver’s Leonard Finch on a confusing murder investigation.
After a two-year gap, the crime-solving Rev. Sidney Chambers of *Grantchester *is back on the case — only to leave the village in pursuit of love and social justice abroad. We speak to series creator, head writer and executive producer Daisy Coulam about James Norton's final day on set, Robson Green's tearful goodbye to his on-screen partner and how it felt to write in Tom Brittney's new main character, the Rev. Will Davenport. Coulam also gives a preview of the mysteries still to come on this upcoming fourth season.
In this sixth season of Endeavour, series lead Shaun Evans slips behind the camera for a change in a dramatic second episode. It’s a move that Evans found easy — and one he hopes to have the opportunity to continue elsewhere in his career. He explains how he did it — and how his Endeavour Morse continues to crack complicated cases — in our new interview.
You already know the story…boy meets girl, pride meets prejudice, all in a beautiful wrapper: the dramatic Cornish cliffs and dazzling sea. And as we get ready for the final season of Poldark, we here at MASTERPIECE are starting a new podcast we’re calling Mining Poldark, so you can relive the romance, the adventure and the exploits of our flawed hero all over again.
Hear co-hosts Barrett Brountas and Robin Ellis — the original Ross Poldark from the 1970s adaptation of Winston Graham’s classic novels — preview the new podcast. Full episodes launching soon — subscribe now!
You can subscribe to Mining Poldark wherever you find your podcasts.
After six dramatic episodes and several decades of on-screen struggle, Andrew Davies' masterful new adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables has ended. In a special episode of MASTERPIECE Studio, we hear from Davies and series stars Dominic West and David Oyelowo about how it felt to bring the story of Jean Valjean and Javert to a close.
Spoiler alert: If you haven't seen the third season finale of Unforgotten, don't listen to this podcast.
Alex Jennings is already a MASTERPIECE regular, with his role as the suave King Leopold in three seasons of Victoria. He's become known for his ability to fully inhabit royal personas, like as the Duke of Windsor in Netflix's The Crown. As Dr. Tim Finch in the third season of Unforgotten, however, Jennings got to create an entirely fictional character. But Dr. Finch wasn’t exactly the easiest of characters to play.
Screenwriter Andrew Davies has been a true master of modern television adaptations, brining such iconic works as Middlemarch and Little Dorit to the MASTERPIECE screen for decades. Now, as he looks ahead to the end of his critically-acclaimed recent adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Davies also previews his charming new adaptation of Jane Austen’s unfinished final novel, Sanditon, set to appear on MASTERPIECE in 2020.
Actor Lily Collins tried her best to not lose herself in the devastating role of* Les Misérables*' Fantine. Collins explains how she stayed grounded on set, where she found inspiration for her iconic tragic heroine and why her onscreen injury was all-too painfully real.
In Victor Hugo's landmark epic, Les Miserables, the Inspector Javert is a hard, cold man with a unflinching pursuit of his own personal justice. But in the critically-acclaimed new MASTERPIECE adaptation of the novel, actor and series executive producer David Oyelowo brings a subtle, sophisticated nuance to his performance, adding layers of context to this memorable villain. He joins the podcast for a preview of the villainy still to come in this this critically acclaimed series.
After a career of playing notable villains, actor Dominic West says he’s ready to turn a new leaf. So his role as the tortured thief, Jean Valjean, in the new MASTERPIECE production of Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Misérables, is a helpful bridge to be a better man on screen. In an interview, he talks about what it means to play Valjean, how his character seeks personal redemption and what the rest of the series has in store for the repentant former prisoner 24601.
The story of Alison Wilson’s relationship with British spy novelist and actual spy, Alexander Wilson, almost seems too wild for reality and too bizarre for the author’s own fiction. But the history, beautifully brought to life by Wilson’s granddaughter, Ruth Wilson, was real. It’s a genre-busting journey where series writer Anna Symon always sought to highlight the power of family joy in this rather dark true tale.
When writer Chris Lang created the MASTERPIECE Mystery! series *Unforgotten, *he looked to capture the very ordinary extraordinariness of a modern police force. With a new season on the way, Lang explains what viewers should watch out for as Cassie and Sunny unearth another unidentified body beneath a London roadway construction site.
When actor Ruth Wilson's grandmother, Alison, died, she left her family a surprisingly candid memoir about her relationship with her secret agent husband, the mystery author Alexander Wilson. The truths that Ruth and her extended family came to learn form the backbone of the new series, *Mrs. Wilson. *Ruth explores how it felt to play her own grandmother on screen, and what it means to be a tragedienne in film.
Victoria star Jenna Coleman lead a smashing third season of the series, with her royal character growing in roles both maternal and majestic. As the season wraps up, Coleman explores how the young Queen struggles to keep control of her country and her growing family, and reflects on the highlights of a thrilling eight episodes.
The scheming Princess Feodora snuck into Buckingham Palace early in the third season of Victoria, surprising her half-sister, the Queen, and continuing to lurk in the background of the main royal drama. Actor Kate Fleetwood credits her just-so German accent for helping her sink into the role, but she also acknowledges she feels a certain kind of sympathy for the dastardly half-sister with few real friends. She talks Feo, Lady Macbeth and birthday cake in a new podcast episode.
Actor Alex Jennings calls himself “a common boy from Essex,” but his career on stage and screen has included at least four different royal roles. Victoria’s scheming King Leopold offers new insight into his role on the series, where he looks for inspiration when playing real-life characters, and why he sees Leopold as both a kingmaker and a puppet master.
Laurence Fox is well known to MASTERPIECE viewers after his eight seasons on the beloved series *Inspector Lewis*, so his appearance on Victoria as the devious UK Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, is a welcome return to the screen. Fox offers hints as to how he and actor Jordan Waller got up to mischief on set, as well as how the cane-twirling Lord Palmerston came to find himself with a cane in the series.
The irascible Nancy Skerrett snuck into her job as a dresser at Buckingham Palace under an assumed name, and came to win Queen Victoria’s heart in the past three seasons of the show. And as part of the audience-favorite couple, “Skerrettelli,” actor Nell Hudson has won viewers’ hearts as well. Hudson tells us why her Nancy Skerrett is an inspiration in her own daily life, and what she’s learned from playing so many period-drama
characters in her career.
From the very first episode of MASTERPIECE’s *Victoria, *Lady Emma Portman has been the center of royal intrigue, even if very little of the drama focuses on her. Lady Portman knows who loves who, who spurned who, and what Queen Victoria is really thinking as political favors wax and wane. Actor Anna Wilson-Jones relishes playing the dignified Emma, and has fun dishing the fictional royal gossip. Wilson-Jones charmingly reveals all that she knows on the podcast.
Among the many fictional Buckingham Palace servants and staffers on MASTERPIECE's Victoria, Ferdinand Kingsley's Charles Elmé Francatelli is based on an actual royal chef and author. Kingsley's cook is a slight bit younger — and a bit more of a rogue — than the actual Francatelli, but he's convinced his on-screen romantic pursuits are setting the character straight. Kingsley explains here — and Victoria creator, head writer and executive producer Daisy Goodwin returns for another round of historical fact or fiction.
Victoria creator, head writer and executive producer Daisy Goodwin already knows the real history of Her Majesty Queen Victoria’s lengthy reign on the throne. But it’s in the intimate perils of the day-to-day where her series finds its true highs and lows. Goodwin joins MASTERPIECE Studio with a special preview of the new third season, and offers some tantalizing hints on the historical drama on the horizon for the young Queen.
Debbie Horsfield, the executive producer and sole writer of MASTERPIECE’s Poldark, is ready for the fifth and final season of her series. After the drama and sorrow of the series’ fourth season, she offers some hopeful hints about the story still to come.
Elizabeth Warleggan, formerly Poldark and née Chynoweth, is far from the most beloved character on Poldark. Her shifting affections, wayward alliances and confusing emotional center could drive even the most devoted fan of the series to hold Elizabeth at a distance. But actor Heida Reed has always seen Elizabeth as a fundamentally good person, with the same flaws that any of us may try to hide. Reed offers her defense in a new interview.
The dashingly charming Spiros Halikiopoulos is based on a real-life friend of the actual Durrell family during their time on the island of Corfu. It's a big help for the cast and viewers alike that actor Alexis Georgoulis finds charm to spare in his portrayal of the unofficial mayor of the island. In an exclusive interview, Georgoulis offers a special behind-the-scenes look at his work on The Durrells in Corfu.
For almost 40 years, the MASTERPIECE Mystery! title sequence has offered viewers an ominous glimpse into the dark unknown. It's a vision made real by the masterful work of illustrator and author Edward Gorey, and his fictional affiliation with the criminal world continues in a special mystery-themed exhibit at the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth Port, MA. In a special bonus Halloween episode of MASTERPIECE Studio, producer Nick Andersen visits the Edward Gorey House to learn more about the man behind Mystery!'s uncommonly deadly masonry. Edward Gorey House curator Gregory Hischak offers his insight.
In lemon silks and too-tight breeches, the Reverend Osborne Whitworth is the gaudiest member of Poldark’s core cast. With extravagant tastes and a limited budget, the Reverend turns to darker quarters to fulfill his incessant appetites. Actor Christian Brassington, who put on more than 35 pounds to play the hefty Ossie, used careful voicework to find his place in the character — along with a diet of more than 3,500 calories per day. Hear the true story behind one of Poldark’s most reprehensible characters here.
While nobody in Cornwall seems to necessarily enjoy the company of one George Warleggan, even fewer appreciate his nasty uncle, Cary. As the sneering devil on George’s shoulder, Cary pushes George to be his worst self. So it’s a special treat to hear the care and thought that actor Pip Torrens puts into his icy portrayal of Cary Warleggan. He joins us to talk wigs, Cornish accents and how it feels to play an out-and-out bad guy.
Josh Whitehouse plays the dashing Lt. Hugh Armitage with an eye on the opportunity for capital ‘R’ Romance. But his character’s loyalties — and divided affections — heighten the stakes for the young actor, and often leave him searching for new motivations. In a new interview, Whitehouse talks Demelza, sand dunes, and more.
Debbie Horsfield is the only writer of every episode of MASTERPIECE’s Poldark, so she definitely knows what’s on the horizon in the series’ fourth season. Secrets, lies and parliamentary politics come to Cornwall in a big way this season. Horsfield — who is also one of the series' executive producers — offers a sneak preview of the surprises still to come, and reveals why Aidan Turner was always the only actor she would cast as Ross.
In celebration of the 100th episode of MASTERPIECE Studio, we bring some of our favorite moments from our conversations with MASTERPIECE’s actors and creative talents. From Downton Abbey to Unforgotten and everything in between, we’re delighted to share highlights — including some as-of-yet unheard extras! — from our first 100 episodes. Here’s to the next 100!
The beloved MASTERPIECE Mystery! series, Grantchester, is set to return to your screens in summer 2019. In the upcoming fourth season of the show, lead actor James Norton — and his character, the Rev. Sidney Chambers — is set to leave the idyllic Cambridgeshire village. Taking his place in the Grantchester parish is actor Tom Brittney, who will play the Rev. Will Davenport, an affable, energetic new arrival on the village green. In an exclusive interview with MASTERPIECE Studio, Grantchester creator Daisy Coulam reveals what to expect in the upcoming fourth season, and what fans have to look forward to with their new parish priest.
Actor Julian Morris is known for his darker characters — psychopaths, social outcasts and the like, who float around the edges of decent, common society. He says he loves the bombast such roles offer, but the pain and shame of his Adam Berryman in the new MASTERPIECE production, Man In An Orange Shirt, is a different kind of challenge. Morris reveals what drew him to the role, what is was like to work with Vanessa Redgrave, and more.
Do you miss Downton Abbey?
Well we do, and we're bringing back our conversation with Julian Fellowes—creator, sole writer and executive producer of the show—to revel in Downton's final season and six years of Downton magic one more time.
We released this interview previously—in two different places on the podcast—but now you can hear it all in one place.
How could we leave Downton Abbey without hearing from Lady Edith?
The Crawley's middle daughter has come a long way in six years—from an unlucky wallflower to the elegant Marchioness of Hexham. Now, Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith, joins us in an encore episode to look back on the finale, as well as all the years Edith spent fighting for her happy ending.
After her role as Marmee in the MASTERPIECE adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, actor Emily Watson has increasingly found herself wondering why she can't parent more like the March family matriarch. Marmee is wise, forgiving and subtle, and allows her four daughters to grow and learn from their mistakes. She revisits the novel, and the role, as well as her Oscar-nominated film debut, in a frank and intimate conversation.
Michael Engler knows first-hand exactly how much pressure comes with directing a "national treasure." In this encore "Directing Downton" episode, Engler takes us behind the scenes of the two season six episodes he helmed—the series finale and Lord Grantham's bloody dinner—and reveals what it took to bring those important chapters to the screen.
Annes Elwy and Willa Fitzgerald play two of the four beloved March sisters at the heart of the latest MASTERPIECE adaptation of Little Women, and their familial closeness echoes throughout our interview with the young actors. The on-screen sisters describe how they and the rest of the series’ cast bonded behind the scenes, and how their classic characters were granted a modern sense of discovery in writer Heidi Thomas’ elegant version of Louisa May Alcott’s charmed family.
He created Downton Abbey. And finally, he brought it to a close. Julian Fellowes—Downton's creator, sole writer and executive producer—takes us inside the series finale in this encore episode, and reveals why he decided to end the show after six wonderful years.
Also, our final Downton roundtable unpacks all of the finale's bittersweet moments—from Edith and Bertie's reconciliation to Thomas and Carson's new arrangement.
The Unforgotten detectives solved another cold-case murder. But the conclusion of the series' second season was far from neat. Lead actors Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar join the podcast for a look back at a surprising conclusion, and peek ahead at the upcoming third season, currently in production.
For actors Maya Hawke and Jonah Hauer-King — Little Women’s Jo March and Laurie Lawrence, respectively — watching a reel of outtakes from shooting became a reminder of how much they make each other laugh. Hawke and Hauer-King bring that infectious spirit to a joint interview on the MASTERPIECE Studio podcast.
Dame Angela Lansbury has been an acting icon for more than 70 years, bringing character and charm to stage and screen alike. The brand new MASTERPIECE adaptation of Little Women, where she plays the peppery Aunt March, is her first appearance with our program. She takes us through highlights of her prodigious career, reveals what she learned on the Little Women *set, and gives a preview of her role in the upcoming film, *Mary Poppins Returns.
Don't miss this extended encore version of our conversation with the actor who brought Lady Mary to life, Michelle Dockery!
Michelle takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of her six years at Downton Abbey: from her initial audition, to watching the penultimate episode with her real-life sister, and finally, to walking through the Downton set one last time in "floods of tears."
Writer Heidi Thomas is already plenty busy with the upcoming eighth and ninth seasons of her smash-hit series, Call the Midwife — but she knew she couldn’t say no when Louisa May Alcott came knocking. Adapting the author’s classic novel, Little Women, into a new television series would be a big challenge for Thomas, or any writer. It’s one the longtime fan of Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg March knew she could handle. Thomas explains what she had to cut from the novel and just how icy her Amy’s frozen pond adventure really was.
By his own estimation, Sanjeev Bhaskar started acting relatively late in life. He gives a telling preview of the stunning second season of Unforgotten still to come, and explains how his zany breakout comedy, The Kumars at No. 42 played better in the United States than it did in his native UK.