After the downfall of Cardinal Wolsey, his secretary, Thomas Cromwell, finds himself amongst the treachery and intrigue of King Henry VIII's court and soon becomes a close advisor to the King, a role fraught with danger.
Four friends celebrate at a bar graduating Hogwarts and contemplate their future, when an old rival arrives. Knowing what side Severus Snape will fight in the war, James Potter and The Marauders confront Snape for the final time.
When Parish Councilman Barry Fairbrother unexpectedly dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. An English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, Pagford is not what it first seems. What lies behind the pretty facade is a town at war - rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest battle the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations? Written by
If you've read the book, you'll hate what they did to it.
This series made me want to weep - at the senseless waste of acting talent and script material. For this is not a TV dramatization of "The Casual Vacancy" by J. K. Rowling. It's a TV dramatization of the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of The Casual Vacancy. What's more, it appears that slashing it down from a full series to a 3 part synopsis was done after filming already started, probably by the director tearing pages out on the set, rather than by intelligent script writers. How else to explain the presence of all the characters from the book, yet no role - not even dialog - for some of them? How else to explain all the setups in Episode 1 that are just left hanging with no follow-up? What does remain is excellent, completely capturing Rowling's characterizations and the petty snobbery of English village life, but the ruthless editing leaves too much out and too many loose ends. There's no exploration of the interaction between children and parents that is core to the book. There's no hint of who is behind the "ghost", a major plot device. Sukhvinder, who has a life-changing experience in the original, is literally seen but not heard. There's no resolution for the dysfunctional Price family. I don't know why the scriptwriters even bothered telling us Gaia's name, since she's reduced to a walk-on extra.
What's left, basically, is an excellent performance from Michael Gambon and Julia McKenzie as the Mollisons. It's worth watching just for that. But that's the tragedy of this series - these are the canonical Morrisons, nobody will ever do it better. And that means the series will never be remade, and the full story will never be told.
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