TORONTO, April 1 /CNW/ - In the beautiful seaside town of Market Shipborough, solicitor Peter Kingdom is a beloved and admired figure. With his natty suits and ties, his vintage roadster and his unfailing charm and politeness, he is the very picture of respectability and success.
So why does he wander alone to the beach every evening, staring for hours out to sea as if hoping to catch a glimpse of something on the horizon?
Kingdom, a UK drama series making its exclusive Canadian premiere on VisionTV, is the story of Peter, his troubled family and loyal colleagues, and the eccentric denizens of the close-knit community he serves.
British "national treasure" Stephen Fry - actor, author, entertainer and quintessential Renaissance man - plays Peter Kingdom, taking on his first weekly drama series role since co-starring with Hugh Laurie in the immortal Jeeves and Wooster.
VisionTV presents Kingdom on Wednesdays, starting April 21, at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.
As a small-town solicitor, Peter spends his days attending to lawsuits, wills and divorce papers, with the help of his level-headed receptionist Gloria (Celia Imrie) and his ambitious young clerk Lyle (Karl Davies). At home, he struggles to cope with his emotionally unstable, sexually aggressive sister Beatrice (Hermione Norris), who has recently moved in after checking herself out of a rehab clinic.
Only those closest to Peter know of the secret sorrow that hangs over him: six months ago, his half-brother and law partner Simon left his clothes on the beach and disappeared into the sea. His body was never found. Haunted by unanswered questions, Peter returns night after night to that lonely beach and ponders what went wrong.
Kingdom made its UK premiere in April 2007, and was an instant ratings success for ITV. Stephen Fry, who was honoured for his achievements at Britain's National Television Awards this past January, has said the show's popularity is a testament to the viewer appetite for "comfort television."
"With Kingdom, there is a familiarity and you can feel at home with the characters in it - and then they can surprise you."
Sometimes described as "one of the greatest living Britons," Fry grew up in Norfolk, where Kingdom was filmed. The beauty of the setting, he has said, is part of the show's appeal: "It instantly has its own quality. From the moment the first few shots were on screen, people knew it looked different."
Kingdom was created by Simon Wheeler and Alan Whiting (Wire in the Blood). Phyllida Law and Tony Slattery also star.
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