Misfits and Northern Soul star Antonia Thomas is leading cast alongside Luke Norris (Poldark) and Eileen Davies (Sightseers) on London-set thriller Thea, which is now underway in the capital.
Directed by Nirpal Bhogal (Sket, Misfits) and produced by Uzma Hasan (The Infidel), the film is co-produced by Gareth Roberts and Jezz Vernon.
Thomas and Norris play a young couple whose lives are turned upside down when the birth of their first child is accompanied by terrifying entities that threaten their newly formed family.
Paul Hyett (The Woman in Black) is the creature designer while the team behind electro outfit Gazelle Twin will be comprising an original score under the moniker Newt and Benge.
The film is a co-production between Little House Productions and Moli Films and is the first of a slate announced by Screen earlier this year for which Metrodome is selling internationally and releasing in the UK/Ireland.
The Musketeers continues tomorrow night with ‘The Good Traitor’, the exciting tale of a Spanish general (played by guest star Colin Salmon) who makes our boys an offer they can’t refuse – but to collect, they must first rescue his kidnapped daughter (Antonia Thomas).
Digital Spy grilled Thomas about her guest stint on BBC One’s romantic, action-packed period caper – and here’s six things we learnt about this week’s adventure.
1. This week’s Musketeers is a swashbuckling adventure with advanced war weaponry!
“I play Samara,” reveals Thomas. “She’s the daughter of a Spanish general, but they’re also Moors and they’ve been exiled from Spain – so they have to flee but on their way to Morocco, Samara is kidnapped in Paris.
“My father is trying to get me back and the Musketeers become involved. There’s this tussle over something which my father has taken – this advanced piece of war weaponry – which the Spanish army want back. It’s this exciting swashbuckling adventure, really!”
2. Antonia agreed to audition for the show before she knew anything about her character!
“I’m a huge fan of period drama,” she explains. “And I love The Musketeers – it’s a great show. So when the audition came through from my agent, I immediately jumped at it without even knowing the storyline.”
3. ‘The Good Traitor’ is actually pretty educational, honest!
“I read the script and it was really interesting looking at a part of history that maybe isn’t so well known to people over here,” Thomas suggests.
“The exile of the Moors from Spain is fascinating in itself and then Samara as a character is great because she’s a very stoic, strong young woman. She’s just a really interesting character and nothing like anybody that I’ve played before.”
4. Samara and Porthos grow close, but keep things strictly platonic!
“Samara is kidnapped, Porthos has also been kidnapped and so they’re locked away together. They have to get to know each other quite quickly and figure out a way of escaping.
“But they also bond because Porthos is part-Moor too – he has his crisis of identity and with Samara having been exiled from Spain for being a Moor, they talk about the whole idea of race and bond over that.
“It’s an interesting [relationship] – it’s much more about identity and issues rather than anything romantic, which is really refreshing. It doesn’t go that way which is really interesting and really great, that [romance] doesn’t come into it at all.”
5. Antonia wasn’t allowed a sword, but still got to kick some ass!
“There’s a little scene where I get to do some fighting – which is great fun. It’s so brilliant being on set when all of the big fight scenes ensue, with the guys and their swords. I really wanted to do some swordplay but I wasn’t allowed a sword. I did get involved though, just throwing the odd punch!”
6. Samara might be back on The Musketeers – maybe!
Thomas is staying tight-lipped on Samara’s fate, but admits she’d love to come back to The Musketeers in future. “I’ve no idea about how the storylines work, I’m not privy to anything like that,” she says. “I’d of course love to go back to The Musketeers because I had such a wonderful time doing it… but I can’t tell you anything about that!”
The Musketeers continues tomorrow night (Friday, January 16) at 9pm on BBC One.
You certainly can’t fault Elaine Constantine for her attention to period detail in this drama set in the Northern Soul scene of the early ’70s.
The colour schemes, clothes, hair and feel of the times are spot-on, but it’s a pity that the same care wasn’t given to the story and script.
The set-up is that of a frustrated outsider, John (newcomer Elliot James Langridge), who finds a purpose in life and a new best friend in Matt (Josh Whitehouse, another debutant), who introduces him to the delights of the Northern Soul scene, where obscure American soul tracks are the soundtrack and all-night dancing, fuelled by amphetamines, the rasion d’etre of their existence.
The pair have ambitions to start up their own club night, but while John is fastidious and clear in his ambitions Matt is a hair-trigger character, given to berating dancers on the mic if they don’t respond to the music he’s playing.
You can spot the rift coming a mile off, particularly when John falls for nurse Angela (Antonia Thomas) but while the film takes some odd twists and turns, not least in looking at the drugs aspect of the scene, you’re never really in any doubt about where it’s going.
That said, the music is fantastic (well, it’d have to be) and just about manages to cover up the film’s many flaws.
The old ones are the best: boy meets girl. Boy meets several more girls. Boy discovers he has contracted chlamydia. Boy has to revisit each girl in turn to warn them they may have contracted it too.
This is the premise of ‘Scrotal Recall,’ a six-part romantic-comedy series starring singer Johnny Flynn, which makes its debut on Channel 4 tonight.
It could be the first example of an STI-rom-com to grace British screens, but those tuning in hoping for humour along the lines of The Inbetweeners – or Embarrassing Body-style scenes of a graphic nature – will be sorely disappointed.
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Antonia Thomas has hinted at what to expect from her guest spot on The Musketeers.
The Scrotal Recall star will appear in series two of BBC One’s swashbuckling Sunday night series.
“I’ve always wanted to do a period drama,” she told Digital Spy. “I play a Spanish Moor and she’s on the run and been exiled from Spain.
“I get to do a bit of fighting, wear an awesome corset and I had a brilliant time! They have an absolute ball out there in Prague, it’s great.”
Thomas’s character Samara will be seen bonding with Porthos (Howard Charles) and is the daughter of the mysterious Tariq (Colin Salmon).
“He’s wicked,” she said of Salmon. “He’s so tall – I didn’t get the genes!”
The Musketeers will return to BBC One in 2015. Scrotal Recall begins tonight at 10pm on Channel 4