In 19th century Victorian England, Mrs. Isabella Beeton produced what became an essential book for housewives of the day. She was married at a relatively young age to Sam Beeton, a ... See full summary »
In the mid 19th Century, an enigmatic young woman moves to Yorkshire with a young son. Distancing herself from everyone in the village and their prying questions, she remains totally aloof ... See full summary »
Sally Lockheart now runs her own financial consulting business, while her friends Fred and Jim have opened a detective agency. But when one of her clients looses money over a vanishing steamship, Sally and the young detectives join forces again. The mystery leads them to threatened stage magician and a medium with a dark vision. Sally must also face an old enemy. Written by
The Sally Lockhart mysteries proved to be a mild disappointment. They are not up to the usual BBC period drama standards - or rather they haven't gotten the period drama treatment. The story relies heavily on a Victorian atmosphere, but you rarely get this in the film adaptations. First of all, Miss Piper, lovely and talented as she is, has the least Victorian beauty imaginable. She is so much AD 2000 that every scene with her in it loses every kind of credibility. One can argue that women were born with different features in olden days - but they pretty much tried to rearrange their facial muscles to imitate the accepted standards of any given era. Where today's actresses try to make their lips appear lush and succulent, every Victorian girl would have subconsciously made every effort to make her mouth appear as a tiny rosebud. The same goes for eyes, hair, posture, gestures. Miss Piper walks straight out of 2007 and makes everything around her 2007.
Watching the adaptations, one also gets the impression that the Victorian society was very welcoming to different races and accepted them into the society with open arms. Almost in every single shot featuring the London society, there are Asian, Caribbean and Black people, the latter even boosting rasta hairstyle on one occasion. The golden truth however is that representatives of these races only got into contact with The Society as footmen and servants, and never ever mixed with them.
My overall impression was that these adaptations were meant for a young viewer who cares little for the authenticity of a traditional well mounted BBC period piece production. If you want some moderate tension and a fairly watchable entertainment with some good moments, don't hesitate to view these films. I don't regret sitting through them at one go, I only wish I would have been totally overwhelmed.
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