Paul Slippery (Hugh Laurie), a forty-something doctor, lives with his wife Estelle and three sex-obsessed sons Rory, Daniel and Edwin in the west London suburb of Putney. On top of coping ... See full summary »
James and his three closest lifelong friends go on an ill-advised trip to the stunning coastal area of Barafundle Bay in West Wales. What follows is a touching and comical adventure dealing with friendship, heroism and love.
In 1939 Hortense, illegitimate but intelligent and ambitious, is brought up on Jamaica with the family of charismatic, free-thinking Michael, who joins the Air Force when war breaks out and... See full summary »
A married couple move back to his childhood village to start a family but a surprise visit from the husband's brother ignites sibling rivalry and exposes the lies embedded in the couple's ... See full summary »
A short film starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Salmon and Nick Moran. LITTLE FAVOUR follows the story of WALLACE (Benedict Cumberbatch) when he is contacted by a former colleague to help... See full summary »
Patrick Viktor Monroe
A drama documenting the life and work of the theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking who, despite being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, has galvanized the ... See full summary »
Researcher Dr. Stephen Ezard returns home to the UK after the reported death of his brother, Michael Ezard, only to find that his widow, Yasim Anwar, is harboring a wanted yet deathly ill ... See full summary »
In the early 1800s young Edmund Talbot travels on a not too sea-worthy ship to New South Wales to take up a post with its governor. He keeps a journal, recording his impressions of crew and passengers. He gets on well with the Captain, Anderson, an amateur botanist who grows plants in his cabin, but, due to a social gaffe, well-meaning young parson Colley falls foul of the captain, later getting drunk and having gay sex with crew members. Despite Edmund's efforts to broker an understanding he remains in his cabin, where he literally wastes away. Edmund has a sexual encounter with the comely Zenobia, travelling with her parents, but he comes to realize that they are not related at all, merely a sexual threesome. Miss Granham, travelling to take up the job of a governess, falls for the older Mr. Prettiman, whom Edmund despises as a free-thinker, though they eventually reconcile. Prettiman is badly injured in a fall and Miss Granham agrees to marry him immediately, with flowers provided ... Written by
don @ minifie-1
The three-part series ended last night on PBS, which I believe was its first wide exposure to an American audience. The richness of its text and the unique quality of its filming are high points. It seems very novel to view and hear an action play employing the vernacular of Georgian England, Jane Austen's filmed drawing rooms being the primary example of that form of speech. Yet it is the scope of drama overwhelming the senses that makes quaint language fit perfectly into each and every scene. Such bold exposure to an old reality is evocative of literary giants like Tolstoy or Shakespeare while at the same time entertaining in the manner of a C. S. Forester or Patrick O'Brian sea saga. The universality of basic human condition lies at its center.
Narrator Talbot as played by an actor with the almost perfectly appropriate name of Benedict Cumberbatch (surely not even Dickens could beat that one!) alternates between stodgy jingoism and extreme vulnerability, an acting tour de force. Indeed, I cannot recall among this very fine cast any misstep of interpretation. That is a tribute not only to the actors themselves, but to the director as well.
The most impressive element, however, is how perfectly life aboard a man-of-war en route to Australia in the early 1800's is presented. That is especially true of how the motion of the ship becomes almost a character itself, something sea stories rarely take into account except as backdrop. Anyone who has ever experienced mal de mer in person will recognize it instantly, and appreciate all the more how difficult it must have been to recreate within the context of filming.
This is no fanciful Pirates of the Caribbean. Some effort must be expended in attaining an understanding of its nuances.
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