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Swiftly following its official premier last week, Apple TV+ original comedy Dickinson was the subject of an exclusive cast and creator panel as part of Today at Apple in London’s Regent Street.
Screen Times were in attendance for the panel which followed a brief glimpse of the shows first gorgeous, playful episode. Series creator Alena Smith, star and executive producer Hailee Steinfeld and Tony Award-winning actor Jane Krakowski sat down with Sunday Times Entertainment editor Scarlett Russell for a brief chat about the show, Emily Dickinson and plucking chickens for David Gordon Green.

Q: Congratulations on this amazing programme. Alena, I know this is something of a passion project for you, so tell me how the idea for the show came about.

AS: Well, I actually used to write poetry in high-school and I always liked Emily Dickinsons poems. When I was in my early 20’s I read a biography of hers and was so surprised at how much the story of her coming of age and her early twenties resonated with me and where I was in that point in my life. I guess she was sort of trapped in her circumstances, yearning for something bigger and finding ways to express the infinite in the very very small. That really appealed to me and just stuck with me. About a decade later I had the weird idea to make a half hour TV show about Emily Dickinson.

Q: For anyone who might not be that familiar with Emily Dickinson’s poetry can you explain why its so prominent today and yet so radical at that time as well?

AS: Emily Dickinson wrote almost 2000 poems. It’s one of the greatest bodies of work in the English language – certainly in American literature. The irony is that almost none of that work was ever published or recognised or even seen whilst she was alive. She wrote her poems and sowed them into little books and hid them. They were discovered after she died.

What’s so incredible about her work is that she reinvented the rules of poetry in private. She was sort of an outsider artist I think and she had these poems that on the surface seemed simple – sometimes like nursery rhymes – but have these dark paradox’s embedded in them with these incredible images that we take from in the show and use as jumping off points for storylines and plot as much as we use the facts of her life.

Q: Hailee, If I can come to you. How do you get involved in this project and was it something you instantly knew you wanted to do?

HS: Yes. I read the first two scripts and after the first one I knew. It was so special and so different. I was mainly incredibly intrigued as to how they were going to pull it off. Because its so different  and it is this period piece driven by non-other than her incredible poetry and complimented with her modern sense of thinking and this contemporary urban soundtrack. There were so many elements about that I was in love with. Having conversations with Alena shortly after I read the first two scripts any feeling was just completely reinforced. She had such a clear vision for this project and knew exactly what she wanted it to be and we did it.

AS: We were so incredibly lucky to get Hailee who is in almost every scene of this five hour long first season. [Hailee] is the anchor and the engine of the whole show. She just has gifts that go so far beyond what you would imagine someone of her age of possessing. Of course also her whole musical side is so important to this show where we use our contemporary soundtrack to show Emily’s inner-life doesn’t fit in with the confinement’s of her time. When Hailee wrote a song for us we were just blown away by how exciting it was for us all to be responding as artists to the work of Emily Dickinson.

LINKED BY Sigmund Judge

Apple has today released the full trailer for TV+ original ‘For All Mankind’.

Following on from June’s first look trailer – unveiled on-stage at this years WWDC – the new trailer offers more of a backstory for the show’s alternate-reality space race plot.

Launching with Apple TV+ on November 1st, the Ronald D.Moore executive produced original – set between 1969 and 1972 – sees the Soviet Union beat NASA’s Apollo program to becoming the first humans to successfully land on the Moon.

 
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Apple have started to roll out its new ‘under the sea’ screensavers to Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K users.

Produced in partnership with the BBC’s Natural History Unit and shot in 4K HDR, the new additions to Apple’s ‘Aerial’ screensavers offer multiple stunning looks at the underwater world.

Joining last years shots from space taken by the International Space Station and panoramic vistas shot around the world, the underwater clips round out what has fast become a signature feature of our favourite set-top box.

The beautiful footage which includes barracuda, palua coral and jellyfish is also joined by a handful of new shots from the International Space Station.

The complete list of new additions follow:

  • Space: Atlantic Ocean to Spain and France
  • Space: Australia
  • Space: Caribbean
  • Space: Nile Delta
  • Space: South Africa to North Asia
  • Sea: Barrucada
  • Sea: Bumpheads
  • Sea: Jacks
  • Sea: Kelp
  • Sea: Palau Coral
  • Sea: Palua Jellies
  • Sea: Sea Stars
  • Sea: Seals

To make sure you receive the new ‘Aerial’ screensavers promptly, simply hop into the screen saver settings and change the ‘Download New Video’ preference to daily.

Whilst you wait to for the download to appear, you can view all the new screensavers on demand by visiting the personal blog of Benjamin MayoOur esteemed friend hosts an archive of Apple TV’s signature screensavers which you can visit by clicking (Here).

LINKED BY Sigmund Judge

During Apple’s March event, after the warmest of embraces from Tim Cook, Oprah took to the stage and teased a future book-club project as part of many projects planned for the company’s upcoming TV+ service.

Oprah’s Book Club took the literary world by storm when it launched in 1996, catapulting many of Oprah’s book-picks to number one best sellers. Apple have now shared full details for Oprah’s Book Club which launches today through Apple Books and will debut on Apple TV+ on November 1st. The special cross-platform celebration of literary achievment will utilise both services to introduce bi-monthly book picks and encourage a new global audience to read.

Apple and Oprah Winfrey today announced Oprah’s Book Club will connect a community of readers worldwide to stories that truly matter by today’s most thought-provoking authors. Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN, will partner with Apple to build a vibrant, global book club that has the power to both transport and transform people — turning every book into an opportunity for self-discovery, and bringing the world together through reading.

“Winfrey’s first book selection is “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available for pre-order now on Apple Books in both ebook and audiobook formats, and debuting tomorrow.1 Winfrey will interview Coates for the first installment of her new exclusive Apple TV+ series, “Oprah’s Book Club,” premiering November 1. A new episode will be available every two months. For every Oprah’s Book Club selection sold on Apple Books, Apple will make a contribution to the American Library Association to support local libraries, fund programs that give access to everyone and create lifelong readers at an early age.

In a perfect partnership of both Apple Books and Apple TV+,  the company will also be bringing the project to a live audience; hosting Oprah’s author interviews at a variety of venues – starting with Apple Carnegie Library.

We can expect to see more cross promotion in-store as reported by Michael Steeber for 9to5Mac – Apple have launched exclusive Today at Apple sessions at its newly reopened Fifth Avenue Store, highlighting upcoming TV+ originals The Elephant Queen and Snoopy in Space.

It’s an exciting time for Apple customers and Apple creatives, as the company utilises its assets to once again offer experiences and services that push us to try something different. As someone who doesn’t find it particularly easy to pick up a novel, I’m not only excited and encouraged to experience Oprah’s Book Club for the first time, I’m excited to see what comes next. 

The first selection for Oprah’s Book Club is “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available now in written word or as an audio book performed by Joe Morton via the Books App.

 
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With Apple TV+ mere weeks from launching, it was inevitable that Apple would make their presence felt at last nights Emmy Awards. The Emmys celebrate the previous years television accomplishments and with big names and big money being funnelled into the production of TV shows by the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video and HBO you may not be surprised to learn that not one award was taken home last night by a show available over-the-air.

Apple’s heads of Worldwide Video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht will be more than aware that the company will want a healthy dose of nominations at next years awards show, with the hope that critical acclaim is forthcoming for the company’s original content lineup.

Joining the new 15 second spots for ‘Dickinson’, ‘For All Mankind’, ‘The Morning Show’, ‘See’ and ‘Snoopy in Space’ were the first teases for ‘Servant’ and ‘Truth Be Told’.

‘Servant’, from visionary M.Night Shyamalan received two creepy spots which whilst not giving away much, set the kind of foreboding tone expected from the writer/director. The supernatural show starring Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Rupert Grint and Nell Tiger Free follows a Philadelphia couple in mourning following a tragedy that creates a rift in their marriage whilst inviting a mysterious force into their home.

Truth Be Told stars Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul in a true-crime thriller with the teaser highlighting the two leads. Octavia Spencer plays a podcaster who reopens her investigation into a murder. With doubts and new evidence coming to light after her original evidence leads to a conviction, she is forced to reevaluate her investigation which made her a media sensation.

Both shows will premiere in the weeks following the launch of Apple TV+.

You can view all the new spots that debuted during last nights after the jump.

 
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Apple TV+ Original Dickinson has followed last weeks debut at the Tribeca TV Festival with a second trailer to celebrate the release of new Hailee Steinfeld single ‘Afterlife’.

The new trailer introduces new cast members whilst giving a better taste of what to expect from the modern take on the American authors life.The show also stars Wiz-Khalifa as Death and Ella Hunt as Susan Gilbert, the Apple TV+ original looks set to explore a popularised theory about the eponymous poet.

Promoting her new single ‘Afterlife’; Hailee Steinfeld told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe:

“One of the things I love so much about this show is that of course its a period piece about Emily Dickinson which takes place in the 1850’s but it’s driven by contemporary and urban music. When I read the script for the first time that was one of the main things that stood out to me.”

The singer and actress spoke about the TV project and her executive producer role:

“It’s been so incredible working with Apple on this project as it’s a new venture for them and for me as-well. I’ve never really done anything before in the TV space. A lot of how this all works is new to me to”.”I’m executive producing the show which is my first time filling that role. I wanted to show up  in a way that wasn’t just as an actor. I wanted to be a part of the decision making processes and see things through from the beginning, middle and – to the – end.”

On Rap star Whiz Khalifa being unveiled as a cast member earlier this week, Steinfeld had this to say:

“We have some amazing guest stars. Whiz Khalifa is in our show, which is crazy and amazing and weird and wonderful. It’s so funny to see what people have had to say about him being in the show. People are a bit confused but they’re going to be very very happy.”

You can watch Hailee Steinfeld’s Beats 1 world exclusive interview in full, as-well-as the new trailer for the modern period piece below.

Hailee Steinfeld’s new single ‘Afterlife’ is available to stream on Apple Music.

Dickinson is part of the launch lineup for Apple TV+ which launches on November 1st in over 150 countries at $4.99/month.