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Seperated from her prostitute mother as the woman flees on foot down the filthy mid-19th century streets of Newcastle from the police, ten year old Millie is taken under the wing of rag lady Aggie Winkovski and her crippled helper, Ben. Young Millie is a very well-brought up little girl, which Aggie questions and finds out that her mother had been a ladies maid before being forced into prostitution. Aggie ends up becoming Millie's guardian, protecting her from the local pimp, Boswell, who wants to have pretty Millie as part of his business, and we see Millie grow up to a happy, well educated young woman on Aggie's sparse finances; but is she still safe from the hands of Boswell and his customers? Written by
There are many good aspects of this BBC production: acting, sets, costumes, direction, and even sound. Unfortunately, the script undermines all of this.
The Rag Nymph is very quick-paced, to the point of confusion. I got the feeling the writers were trying to condense a textured novel into a flat television format and never quite won. The initial introduction of characters was good, but as the plot unfolds we lose clues about the characters' motivations.
What results is a rather confusing, thin storyline that hints at greater depth. Having not read the novel, and having seen several adaptations of Cookson, I suspect this picture would be much more successful if one read the novel first. Then one could infer character development and motivation, since there's very little in the script to help us along.
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