Lady Marjorie and a few of her friends, including Lady Prudence, Lady Fairfax and the very rich South African Mrs. Van Groeben are planning a outing for their and others servants. Their idea is to rent an omnibus and take them out to a park or the country where they will benefit from the fresh air and sunshine. With Mrs. Van Groeben visiting regularly, scullery maid Emily makes the acquaintance of her handsome young footman, William. They start spending a considerable amount of time together and the hapless Emily, who spends as much time daydreaming as she does work, is hopelessly in love. She learns the hard way however that William's ambition - and Mrs. Van Groeben's interest in William - may outweigh her own wishes. On the day of the servants outing, tragedy strikes. Written by
I wish I could comment on the characters, but to do so would unveil the story. Needless to say this is tragedy at its finest, and moved me.
The utter unfairness in turn of the century England when it came to the working class is shown. The little maid from Ireland reminds me of a few people I've known, and seeing her plight and fate should bring utter outrage to the viewer. The upper classes hold near divine social power over the working classes, and we see this all too clear as machinations and jealousies rear their disgusting heads when two people find one another interesting and absorbing.
But fate and the reptilian instincts of the matriarch who employs the male reveals her true colors and own twisted domination. One of the maids coworkers tries to help in her own brute tongued way, but can the Irish Catholic girl, the one with a proper upbringing, one whose heart is open and full of wonder all at once, as well as full of giving and desire for better circumstances, accept some of the hardships and realities of her time? Possibly, if things are delivered in a manner she can understand. To find out what happens, you have to watch the episode.
It is a grim reflection on how jaded and emotionally spoilt today's generations are when it comes to matters of the heart. With sexual trysts of all sorts running rampant in society, with divorce at an all time high in my country, the United States of America, one wonders if any of the self serving who have been in several relationships have ever considered just how fortunate and lucky they are to found someone of interest who likes them. One wonders.
But, this is after all a TV show, and it is fantasy. From that standpoint you can see the show as being almost comically melodramatic, as much of the show might be interpreted with a different frame of mind. But, when viewed as a hard drama, this episode in particular, is moving.
Technical notes; the actors, particularly actress Evin Crowley, all do a bang up job of bringing us Edwardian characters. Shot on PAL video the data I streamed from Amazon was as near crystal clear as the technology of the time would permit. As with all or most British dramas of the time, we're seeing video tape used for interiors, and 16mm used for what few exterior shots there are. An economical if marginally distracting avenue of presentation, but this episode does not suffer for it.
High drama at its best, it would be nice if there were some repercussions for the characters. Oh well.
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