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 Raymond James. Sponsors for MASTERPIECE on PBS are Viking Cruises, Raymond James, and The MASTERPIECE Trust.
Family — And FDR — Drew Kyle MacLachlan To MASTERPIECE
Warning: This episode contains spoilers for Episode Four of Atlantic Crossing.
The chance to play legendary American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was one big reason for Kyle MacLachlan to sign on to Atlantic Crossing. But it was the story of the young Norwegian Royal Family at the heart of the miniseries that made him commit to the role. MacLachlan explores Roosevelt, Agent Dale Cooper and wine with lifelong Twin Peaks fan, MASTERPIECE Studio host Jace Lacob.
Sofia Helin Shines As Crown Princess Martha Of Norway
Warning: This episode contains spoilers for Episode Two of Atlantic Crossing.
Norwegian Crown Princess Martha was born in Sweden, but Swedish actor Sofia Helin didn't know her story until she signed on to play the quiet Royal in Atlantic Crossing. But after coming on board the miniseries, Helin helped shape the story of the little-known Princess, bringing a surprising light to her powerful story. Helin talks royalty, FDR, and Saga Noren of Broen in a new interview.
Screenwriter Alexander Eik Brings Forgotten WWII History To Life
Warning: This episode contains spoilers for Episode One of Atlantic Crossing.
For American viewers, the story of Norway's Crown Princess Märtha is likely mostly unknown. But the Crown Princess' World War II influence was a surprise even for Atlantic Crossing co-writer and director Alexander Eik, who spent almost seven years researching his miniseries. Eik explains how he found the key to Märtha's story, and what viewers should anticipate in the next seven episodes, in a new interview.
Making MASTERPIECE, Episode Three: The "Downton" Effect
Even if you haven't been watching MASTERPIECE every Sunday for the past 50 years, there's a very good chance you tuned in to watch Downton Abbey. The six-season epic brought renewed attention to the drama anthology series when it first aired more than a decade ago, and we look back at the interconnected lives of the Crawley clan and their servants with a few of the people who helped the title turn heads and claim awards. And in this final episode of our three-part docuseries, we explore how MASTERPIECE might continue to evolve for the next 50 years, tackling the challenges and opportunities still ahead.
We speak with Julian Fellowes, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Lily Collins and more. See our website, pbs.org/makingmasterpiece for a detailed transcript, complete with references and links.
Making MASTERPIECE, Episode Two: Minorpiece Theatre
Masterpiece Theatre enters its third decade and settles in under its third executive producer, Rebecca Eaton, as new challenges pop up to make the Boston-based anthology series' life a touch more difficult. Cable TV competition, shifting public taste and limited funding lead Eaton and her team to make dramatic changes at the dawn of the new century. Fortunately for public TV viewers, those changes come just in time to scoop up some unlikely new hits — from Middlemarch and The Buccaneers to Prime Suspect and beyond, including a certain family drama set in a fancy Yorkshire estate...
In this second episode of Making MASTERPIECE, hear from Rufus Sewell, Laura Linney, Alan Cumming, Andrew Davies, Charles Dance and many more. See our website, pbs.org/makingmasterpiece, for a full transcript with links.
Making MASTERPIECE, Episode One: The Beginning
Five decades is a long time for any television series to air, but when a show hits 50, it's possible some people might start asking questions about where it all started. That's where this podcast comes in. Fifty years ago, a group of public television producers in Boston had the inspired idea to import British costume drama for American audiences. But they didn't come up with the idea on their own — there's a former FCC Chair, a popular soap opera, and a Polaroid exec with Julia Child's The French Chef on his mind involved, too. For three episodes, Making MASTERPIECE will show how the most unexpected and unlikely of series — Masterpiece Theatre — grew into one of the longest-running primetime television icons of all time. What are its origins? What actors, writers, and executives shaped its trajectory? How has it overcome numerous challenges? And what does it have in store for its future, 50 years on?
In this first episode, that origin story, featuring interviews with the series’ original executive producer, Sir Derek Jacobi, Glenda Jackson, former FCC Chairman Newton Minow and dozens more besides. See our website, pbs.org/makingmasterpiece, for a full transcript with links.
Long Song Not Given Masterpiece Full Rollout
There’s a lot to unpack in Long Song and some feels like ambivalence on part of Masterpiece compared to All Creatures and even the Miss Scarlet both playing same time. Those are Masterpiece de rigeur and All Creatures beauty and acting is an easy A. But Long Song is tremendous! If a bit threatening to the Masterpiece stalwarts like Victoria whose policies we see in action...and the beginning in which the narrator takes a delicious and gentle hit at heroines in other dramas...”this is not that story...”
The interview w Tamara Lawrence where Jace Lacob calls Miss July an unreliable narrator is an example. Miss July is sarcastic and plays w a touch of surrealism, not unlike trickster techniques in indigenous literature by Gerald Vizenor or even the idea of Jazz interpretations of musical traditions. But she doesn’t lie and not unreliable at all—-rather honestly reflecting intense trauma and remaining a storyteller not a therapy session. These innovations are ways to subvert form while showing a mastery of it, in the same way oppressed cultures are submerged by power but then come up w innovations and resistance and new forms of art with humor. Alive voices.
I say all this because I think Masterpiece, hilarious name in this context, is so steeped in one form of classics and training. And needs to read outside the box a bit more. Literary without a doubt but unsure when engaging other equally superb forms. Keep playing Masterpiece, so many forms of literature are pieces of excellence and don’t be afraid to learn especially when you get references, allusions, tools and techniques from outside English and French aristocracy. Jane Austen would encourage this! And don’t just tell One Black story in February. Keep going. There are a lot of incredible excellent stories out there. See Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo and The Roundhouse by Louise Erdrich. Best!
The word Masterpiece encompasses so much ... it really is a wonderful expression of the multitalented people that crest this program. I followed it for many year and for a while I lost contact due personal circumstances, but Great Creatures ... brought me back to the riches of this program. Thank you! It is wonderful to see characters like James and Helen and the rest of the community live in such harmony in the mist of all their differences. For those of us who live alone due to the pandemic , each episode is a breath of fresh air.
Excellent and SO interesting!
Such a great deep dive into a fascinating story!