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Many of us eagerly await new tidbits on Julian Fellowes’ American 19th century television series, The Gilded Age, while simultaneously lamenting the demise of the beloved Downton Abbey; a side comment flashes large there might be a Downton Abbey movie! Oh goodness! For the lovely of everything Holy, why do you tease us like this Mr. Fellowes! *insert dramatic Shakespearian anguished wail here*

As we continue to wait and be teased beyond mercy, there are other 19th century films, television movies, mini-series and television series coming (or have started) this year and next. The list below is to whet your appetite with excitement for things with more of a finite date. Truly. Thus said, sometimes the powers-that-be send great ideas to what is referred to “development-hell.” Let us hope none of these get black listed. Are you currently watching or now pending to watch any of these movies or television shows?

Arthur & George (2015) PosterArthur and George

A TV series currently airing on iTV. According to Internet Movie Database, the show is rated rather favorably. It is based on the book by Julian Barnes of the same name which is based on actual historical events. Did you follow all of that? Succinctly summarized as “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle recaptures his zest for life by pursuing and challenging a notorious miscarriage of justice.”  I began the book version years ago but found it a bit disturbing and never finished.

Banished (2015) PosterBanished

Another television series currently airing via BBC2. It has a higher rating than Arthur and George according to Internet Movie Database. It stars Ewen Bremmer, who is known for his roles in Trainspotting, Snatch, and Black Hawk Down. “British convicts have been sent to Australia as punishment for their crimes. As they try to live their new lives, they have to live with the new rules. The soldiers also have to adjust.” Unfortunately, word came last month the series will not be renewed. Hopefully, this does not deter your desire to view the show. Australia does not get fair representation in the United States so I am a bit curious.

The Nightmare

A feature film coming out later this year, which is NOT to be confused about another documentary film of the same name about sleep paralysis (that one sounds utterly terrifying!). The 19th century Nightmare, I speak of is billed as “The ‘true’ story behind the experience and writing of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” – the very first American ghost story. It places a young Irving as an active participant in the Sleepy Hollow story in 1809.” It stars a one, John Pagano. Personally, I am not a horror fan. Quite the pansy, I am! I will be passing on both Nightmares and stick to my pleasant ‘daydreams’ instead.

The Black Riders

A Made-For-Television-Movie coming out some time this year supposedly. At the moment it is classified as In-development. “The Black Riders use their roles as slave smugglers for the underground railroad as a cover to raid and plunder wealthy plantations.” This is an American Civil War Era piece, which is always has high interest demographic in the United States.

Morgan Kane (2016) PosterMorgan Kane

Also due out in the United States on May 26, 2016, this is a full length feature film. “On the wild frontiers of the Old West, lightning fast gunslinger Morgan Kane narrowly escapes death by joining a dangerous gang of Mexican outlaws run by a feared bandido — Coyote. They become fast friends and are feared through all of Mexico. But when a powerful landowner hires the men to destroy his longtime rival, Kane and Coyote are forced to choose between loyalty and the way of the gun…and the legend of Morgan Kane is born.” Who ever said, the American Wild Western genre was dead, does not know what they are talking about. The lead roll goes to Norwegian actor Kristoffer Joner whom is known for Next Door, King of Devil’s Island, and The Monitor.

The Kitchen House

This full length feature film pre-dates the American Civil War and is an adaptation of the New York Bestselling Book written by Kathleen Grissom. The book received a 4.5 out of 5 from close to 4,000 reviews. It was actually a contender for my library’s Literati Book Club this up-coming season. Alas, it did not make the final cut. “The Kitchen House is a tragic story of suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail. When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family.” The film is supposed to hit theaters in next year, but there are still no actors or actresses attached to the project.

Lewis and Clark

This television mini-series will air next year and I shall absolutely watch this show!! Why? Because I am actually related to the famous American Explorer William Clark on my father’s mother’s side. The Belgian actor, Matthias Schoenaerts will be portraying my ancestor. He will have to dye his hair ginger for the part. “The story of American explorers Lewis and Clark as they lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rockies and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean in 1803.” Mr. Schoenaerts, please do me proud!

War and Peace

Also next year, the famous novel War and Peace will be adapted as a television mini-series. “A story that revolves around five aristocratic families, set during the reign of Alexander I, and centered on the love triangle between Natasha Rostova, Pierre Bezukhov, and Andrei Bolkonsky.” Staring Paul Dano, of Little Miss Sunshine fame. He also starred in Looper and Prisioners. This book has had countless screen adaptations, hopefully this will be a good one.

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