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 »
At age 10, Fanny Price is sent by her destitute mother to live with her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram. As a child she was often made to feel that she was the poor relation but... See full summary »
In London, four students have a call from the student accommodation office of the local university offering lodging in an old house. The psychic Jenny, the graphic design student Nick, and ... See full summary »
13 years after Bella, Martin and Lee were there, the manager of their children's home is retiring and the home being shutdown. As they meet up together at a reunion/retirement celebration ... See full summary »
In post-war London Viv Pearce, seeing married spiv Reggie, runs a dating bureau with Helen Giniver, who lives with her older lover, authoress Julia Standing. Viv's younger brother Duncan, a... See full summary »
Sally Lockhart attempts to find the meaning behind her late father's last letter which contained the phrase "the seven blessings" -- a cryptic message that can strike a man dead with fear. Sally is helped by her friends, including Frederick Garland, a photographer, and Jim, a young assistant at the family's shipping firm. The ever twisting mystery involves assassins, opium dens, Chinese gangs, and the Ruby of Agrapur. The priceless ruby is also sought by the ruthless Mrs. Holland, who is willing to kill to get her hands on it. Written by
"Ruby in the Smoke" really has lots of potential. It certainly has set the stage for future episodes. It's a Victorian suspense story (with excellent settings and scenery)based upon the original novel. PBS does its usual good job of making this one available. Alas, it has some serious shortcomings, especially for American audiences. Understanding the fast-paced "English" dialect was quite difficult, thus taking away from not only the plot and story line, but adding some confusion as well. Perhaps it's just fine for our friends in England, but the fact that I could not understand all the dialog was a disappointment. In addition. the characters just didn't come across as fully developed; Sally oftentimes was the weepy whiny Victorian woman and at other times, leaping into the 20th century with some of her "liberations." Greater interaction between the "good" characters would enhance the story (and hold viewers' interest more). Mrs. Holland comes across truly as the wicked woman she is and is perhaps the most convincing of the entire cast. Still, there are possibilities here and I, for one, am hoping to see this story developed into a more convincing series.
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