Death Comes to Pemberley (TV Mini-Series 2013– ) Poster

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The characters are the same only by the name
ErinNavan3 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, I am a huge fan of "Pride and Prejudice", and before you say that this is a separate work of art, written by a different author and therefore a different thing, I would like just to add - if they didn't want to follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen, they should had written about new characters. However, they didn't.

Aside of that - story is stretched, unbelievable and unreal.

So... While I could get used to Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy and Matthew Goode (whom I really like) as Mr. Wickham, Anna Maxwell Martin doesn't have that "something" to be Elizabeth. Still, I could bear that - but each and every character (except for Mr. and Mrs. Bennett) had been so changed, that we wouldn't recognize them without their names.

Darcy is more narrow minded than in the beginning of P&P - although JA stated that marriage made him milder.

Elizabeth and Lady Catherine still can't stand each other - although JA made it clear that Lady Catherine overcame her share of prejudice and became a dear guest to new lady of Pemberley.

Wickham is all of sudden brave soldier, as if we forgot that he really had no qualities whatsoever, except his charm.

And, just when you thought you saw all, you realize that Lydia is a wise woman, devoted to her marriage, that deliberately closes her eyes to her husbands affairs. As if we don't know that she is spitting image of her mother - not deliberately blind, but truly blind. And while Jenna Coleman was the best casting part of the show, some things, like her recklessly throwing her coat behind her and generally wearing red, were just pushing over the borders of normal, even for Lydia.

Georgiana's falling on the floor in tears and despair in front of the servants is something that Georgiana would never do.

Mrs. Younge to be governess to Georgiana needed to be at least a decade, if not two, older and her being Mr. Wickhams sister is plain silly.

And, above all - The Fall of Col. Fitzwilliam is probably the saddest part of the show. Darcy, knowing him his all life, could not have been so blind about him.

And, just one more thing - the Darcys are one of the richest people in England of that time. It is: 1. Next to impossible that his grandfather nearly lost everything; 2. Impossible for him to lose reputation so easily and quickly, based on scandal with his brother-in-law; 3. Absolutely impossible to have that scandal ruin him financially that he would need to rely on Col. Fitzwilliam.


There are no elements of horror. They talk about a ghost, but that is all.
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Murdering Pemberley
EnglishBriarRose27 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The vibrant, funny, ironic and feisty Miss Elizabeth Bennett has been Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy for six years, and, despite an army of servants, almost unlimited wealth and an adoring husband, has dwindled into a care-worn looking woman who appears to be permanently worrying about the gas bill! We discover the incredibly wealthy and well-connected Darcy had a disreputable (great?)grandfather who nearly ruined Pemberley then killed himself. Darcy's father was still having to sell land to save Pemberley - and this is the family the maniacally snobbish Lady Catherine de Burgh wished her daughter to marry into? Hardly, I would think!

Furthermore, I am no student of legal history, but when the local magistrate discovers the body of the murder victim has been washed, he talks of "tampering with evidence" - I really cannot believe that such a concept would have existed in the early 19th Century! Indeed, in an age of faith - or lip-service to faith - the proper and respectful treatment of the dead would almost certainly have taken precedence over any other consideration.

Wickham is taken into custody on suspicion of murder even before, in the language of the time, a Coroner's Jury has "sat on the body" - that is, before the relevant legal institution has determined that it was murder, and not accident or suicide. Again, I suggest, unlikely.

I find the plot unbelievable and the acting, with a few notable exceptions - principally Jenna Coleman as the wonderfully ghastly Lydia - frankly mediocre. Elizabeth Darcy confesses to her sister that she thinks Darcy regrets his marriage to her; as Anna Maxwell Martin plays her, he probably does, but then, I wouldn't marry Matthew Rhys' Darcy either!

Sorry, but this genre-bender doesn't work for me!
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pawebster31 December 2013
I am sorry to disagree with the many fans of this. The dialogue is terribly anachronistic and a million miles from the style of Jane Austen. "Let's not overreact" from Darcy, for example, and worst of all from Lady Catherine de Bourgh, the world's most supercilious and conservative woman of her age, who says to Lizzie, "We need to talk". Need I say more?

I'm not an expert on legal procedures through the ages, but I strongly suspect that the court scenes were anachronistic, too. Others can probably give better information on this.

Also, I noticed very little chemistry between the Darcys, despite what some have claimed.
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Unbelievably naff,I'm afraid...........................
ianlouisiana5 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Regardless of its heritage,"Death comes to Pemberley"is badly written,carelessly cast and direly acted.Cliché follows cliché as the performers drop into their BBC Jane Austen mode with no attempt to get beneath their characters;offering only a rehash of the seemingly endless P&P reruns. The one performer with a bit of spirit is Mr T.Eve whose Magistrate is a straight steal from his Supt Boyd in "Waking the dead". The script is full of those embarrassing little mistakes that one would have thought might have been eliminated at a read through if anybody cared enough. Usually it's merely irritating,but with a major prestige production presumably selling abroad it is disgraceful that nobody further up the food chain didn't recognise sloppy writing - or,even worse,didn't think the audience would. "We need to talk"....well,somebody should have. Furthermore only the aforementioned Mr Eve looked as though he might possibly have lived in the early nineteenth century,the rest looking as though they were attending a rather expensive fancy dress party. "Death comes to Pemberley" looks like the product of a broadcaster so desperate to regain its reputation as a maker of quality drama that it has forgotten that the core audience for quality drama is still fairly literate despite the same broadcaster's ceaseless attempts to dumb them down.
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Gibbers Siemon29 October 2014
Ridiculous casting and story lines. Actress Ms. Martin looks sour, perpetually preoccupied, too old (remember, Lizzy was perhaps 21 when she married Darcy and therefore no more than mid- twenties in this new chapter) and she displays absolutely no playful energy or wit in the daily events. Rhys as Darcy is jarring and I'm on my guard lest he leap from my TV to challenge me to a fight. Whatever softening and life-enjoying qualities Lizzy was to have brought into Darcy's life is gone. He's back to angry, barking, arrogance. I actually like Wickham's actor (Goode) so nothing to challenge, there. Fitzwilliam's character has become oddly mysterious and mercenary; he acts like a pirate rather than an honorable officer in the King's army. No charm, even if he was a bit "empty" in the original. It's all just weird! Ms. James has not done well with these additions. I agree with other reviewers that the characters and dialog are way off-base with the Austen sensibilities so clearly and consistently written in her books.

Great idea, dreadful execution from Ms. James to these productions.
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Sadly Disappointing
D C3 November 2014
I was quite excited to watch this new series. However, after watching the show, one word comes to mind - disappointment. I have to be honest, I could not get over the fact that Elizabeth Darcy (nee Bennet) looked to be closer to fifty than to mid-twenties. I have no issues with aging actors - as I too am closer to fifty than to mid-twenties - but the role should have been cast to a more age-appropriate actor. Given that Elizabeth plays such a central role in the show, I found it painful to watch. Where was the youthful, fun-loving, playful, witty Elizabeth of Jane Austen's beloved Pride & Prejudice? Certainly not in this show...

I also found the story (as written) to lack depth. I did not walk away anxious for the next episode (or for a follow-on series). That special something that draws the viewer into the story was just not present.
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Loved it spite of the bad bits
mmsbk12 December 2014
First , I do have to agree with reviewers who noted anachronisms of language and highly unlikely behaviours - Georgiana falling to her knees crying in front of male servants in the public rooms being one of the most obvious. I do not believe for a moment in the central premise that Darcy and family would be cast into Outer Darkness socially because his brother-in-law was a criminal. Gossiped about undoubtedly, but bad apples among the aristocracy are hardly uncommon now or then.

I feel also critical of the costuming and general appearance of Elizabeth , it become clear at the end as to why she might have looked tired but why she should be so badly dressed is beyond me . One coat-like garment resembles nothing so much as a hessian bag and she appears to only wear two plain dresses for weeks on end. Georgiana seems to have only one - though it is a nicer one . And Elizabeth's hair seem so be permanently dishevelled for no good reason. While I'm carping , I also have to say I don't understand why there appears to be almost no upper servants in the vast edifice of Pemberley. Such an establishment would have a steward and/or butler, several footmen and under-footmen and Mrs Reynolds would have many maids under her . Ah well, no matter really I guess.

On the plus side, I thought all the acting was great , especially the female cast. Lydia was beautifully cast and played, as was Lady Catherine and Mrs Bennett . I wish they could have had bigger roles in fact . So, in spite of the above mentioned criticisms, I have to say it was a very watchable period drama and , actually, much more fun than the the book . I like PD James very much , but this was NOT her best work and frankly rather a tedious dry read .
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Fanfiction Comes to Pemberly
KurotsutaMurasaki11 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Let me just preface this by saying that I am a fan of both Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Rhys. Anna is a beautiful, wonderful actress. I've found her enjoyable in Bleak House (2005) and The Bletchley Circle. Matthew is a talented, insanely attractive Welshman with a beautiful, robust singing voice (as evidenced in the Mystery of Edwin Drood). They are both very skilled at what they do when they are in their element.

Regency England is NOT their element.

There are a lot of problems with Death Comes to Pemberly. Some I can't even put my finger on.

The biggest problem is that Anna and Matthew don't feel like Elizabeth and Darcy.

We'll start with Matthew - he's too high-strung for this part. As the conflicted John Jasper, he works. As the Upright and dignified (but still slightly awkward) Darcy - No. He's handsome, but in a very unconventional way, which does not at all fit with tall, dark and striking Darcy. He swings about quite a lot which, apart from being improper for the time period, is simply not a way one would describe Darcy as moving.

Watching Anna in this was not unlike watching her performance in the Bletchley Circle or Bleak House - the parts she plays in both of the aforementioned are women who have been through trials. That's what Anna Maxwell Martin does. But Elizabeth has spent most of her life in comfort without any greater trial than an insufferable mother and a sister running off and eloping. She shouldn't look this tired. The past six years of her life has been spent living in her dream home with her loving (filthy rich) husband.

And then there's the way SHE moves in the part. Setting aside the manner in which they have her speaking, there's her body language. The way she walks and holds herself is quite simply NOT ON for the Regency. At one point she faces a pillar and leans against it with one arm over her head and her other hand ON HER HIP. It's a very masculine post and not at all appropriate for a well bred woman of the era. At another point (when she is speaking with Lady Catherine no less) she is sitting at a table, leaning forward (once again) with her hand on her waist. I half expected her to cross her legs. To top this all off, when she walks away from Lady Catherine, she swings her hips.

Now let's consider Georgiana and the way she falls - sobbing - to HER KNEES in full view of the SERVANTS. This is another unladylike thing for a woman as demure and well-brought-up as Georgiana. Also it seemed like an overreaction considering the situation. Maybe she would react like that if she'd, say, just received news that her brother had died.

We see Lydia (who at least was well cast with Jenna Coleman) wearing QUITE a lot of scarlet. While I'm sure well all amuse ourselves imagining her pushing boundaries without a though for convention, wearing scarlet dresses in that time period is a bit much, even for her.

The story seems to waffle quite a bit as far as the "true character" of Wickham goes. Also, Lydia is way too self aware. Then of course we have magistrates talking about "tampering with evidence" and completely convoluted subplots concerning Darcy's Great-grandfather nearly losing Pemberly (?), Making Col. Fitzwilliam judgmental and of poor character (he's the frickin' nicest guy!) and Mrs. Young being Wickhams half-sister? What in the name of all that's holy?!

Basically, what this all boils down to is that this is an adaptation of... well fanfiction. Published fanfiction by a well respected author, but fanfic nonetheless. And fanfiction (especially of the Mystery genre) get's way to convoluted, way too fast.
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Horribly Mis-Cast
mrbell-111 January 2015
Had this pvr'd so didn't get to watch it until recently. The main characters were mis-cast. Rhys as Darcy just didn't work, but he would have made a great Wickham. Matthew Goode should have been cast as Darcy, and not as Wickham. And seriously, who would have thought to cast AMM as Lizzie? Her presence was paper-thin, and had difficulty carrying the role and the dialogue to make Lizzie spring to life and be the object of Darcy's adoration. And by the end of even the first episode, I was seriously tired of seeing her in the same, ugly blue dress. I was beginning to think it was the only one she owned until they came up with the same dress in episode two, but this time in green. And that little bolero jacket, and the pickle-barrel bonnet was just too much for me. For a woman of means, after 6 years of being married to a wealthy man and representing the estate, you would think she had more than two daytime dresses, that she wore everywhere. Did she get them at the church jumble sale or the bottom of the missionary barrel? And Rebecca Font as Mrs. Bennett? Really??? That was just too painful to watch.
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So many mistakes but still...
Cleo Smith31 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I know what you think if you have watched these episodes and I agree with you. In fact, I think I can enumerate every essential error this series has.

Character-wise it was most definitely not true to the book. Mr. Darcy would never treat Elizabeth in such a manner, he is a changed man after all. He is portrayed very harsh here and even though he is more animated(thanks to Elizabeth) he doesn't show real emotion, even reserved. Elizabeth was also wrongly illustrated. There was no liveliness about her, no spirit. She looked so tired all the time, which simply could not be possible since her way of living is utterly luxurious and as a notion it does not agree with her character. She is also a person with good judgment and self-awareness and she would not doubt her life the way she did in this film. She also wouldn't have taken things so seriously and would have tried to lighten the situation more. I will take this chance and complain about her wardrobe as well. I understand that the creators wanted to show that she didn't change her ways even though now she is incredibly wealthy. Still, three very similar and plain dresses is taking the matter too far. Even Lydia's clothes were better than hers.

Plot-wise, it had lots and lots of holes. I don't think the Darcys would lose their credit, their good name, their position in society and their friends just because Darcy's brother in law was convicted for murder. I am not that familiar with the customs of the early 19th century, but I think they have stretched things a little bit there. I also don't believe that they had a great grandfather who lost so much money, that they had to pay his debts for three generations in order to maintain their fortune. Such a story would be more likely to discredit them in society than Wickham. And relatives such as Lady Catherine would not be so proud to have them in their family. The plot is also problematic because it has relied a great deal on characters which were wrongly portrayed(especially colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgianna) so it loses a lot of credit from that(at least for me, as I have read the book and I am acquainted with said characters). I can also not forgive them for trying to show us a better version of Wickham. War hero, free spirited and broad-minded. Yes I am sure he and Lydia are a couple of liberal misunderstood people who want to live their lives to the fullest. YOLO etc. Utter nonsense.

In the end though, even if I saw and understood all that I was left feeling somewhat fulfilled. Because there were some parts along the way, where I would catch a glimpse of the original characters. They would somehow manifest themselves in the little things (like the way Elizabeth banters with Lady Catherine de Bourgh or Mr Darcy). And in my heart I would recognize these beloved characters. They greeted me like old friends. And even though it was for a very short while, the faint picture of how they went on, left a smile on my face and filled me with gratitude for the creators, who tried and ever so slightly succeeded in such a demanding task. But Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books so I guess I'm a bit biased. I would recommend watching it as a way to spend a light evening.
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Death may come to the viewer first
thrall72 November 2014
I had anticipated this series coming to American television, given the fine productions of Jane Austin's novels that have appeared over the years. While it is an imaginative storyline, it is one of the most boring "mysteries" ever presented on "Masterpiece Mysteries." The cast is outstanding, as are the costumes and settings. Those have become a given in recent years with such period pieces. However, the story takes forever to get organized, with people you really don't care for very much. I get the feeling that the producers had so much invested in the backgrounds, with the costumes and settings, that they felt it had to be a longer series. It didn't. This would have worked much, much better as an hour and a half, or maybe two hour, production. Instead, it became a tedious piece of television. The cast deserved better.
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Death didn't come soon enough
joesgirljeri21 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The book was an anachronistic festival of weak plot turns and loose ends, that the movie could have tightened up and made into a compelling story. The locations are gorgeous and the pacing has that deliberate BBC period drama feel. But that's about all that's good.

Darcy has regressed into WORSE than the beginning of P&P - an overbearing, bull-headed cuss with no regard for the feelings of his sister or wife.

Col. Fitzwilliam as the baddie? Puh-leaze.

In 5 years, Elizabeth has apparently aged into a nagging, care-worn fishwife. She is haggard and tired. Her dresses are dowdy. She was awful and I REALLY LIKE this actress.

And in all this mess, Wickham and Lydia emerge as the likable characters? I mean, Matthew Goode would be sultry and delicious playing a bridge troll. But the mis-casting is really obvious here.

Overall a swing and a miss. Watch it with no sound and just make up your own dialogue. It will be better. I promise.
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duck impersonating a swan
VimalaNowlis3 November 2014
This sequel to "Pride and Prejudice" is of the same caliber as the one that tried to follow up on "Gone With The Wind".

How did Lizzy become so ugly and so old? When did she lose all her charm? And there was absolutely no chemistry whatsoever between her and dear Darcy. It seemed they could hardly look at each other. What happened to that wonderful special love they had in the original?

If Darcy is so rich, why Lizzy and Georgiana only had 1 cheap dress each? Both girls wore the same frumpy dress every day for weeks on end. In fact, everyone in the show only had one outfit for the entire show. Even though aristocrats in that era strove to look sharp and spiffy, yet, the overcoats of all the men in this show were all crumpled. It made the whole show looked like a low budget production.

Of course, it had to be a "murder mystery" instead of a romance because murder is the vogue right now. What's next? Murder in Emma and Knightly's home?

Poor Jane Austen! She must be turning over in her grave!
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Austen meets the Poirot Christmas Special
alfa-1627 December 2013
Firstly, I hate fanfic. My teeth start grinding after a few paragraphs, even when it's written by PD James.

Secondly, if you're going to do anything with P&P you have to judge your two main casting decisions with a perfection required almost nowhere else. We all know Elizabeth and Darcy so well. So the producers of two productions which have dared to go off piste, Lost in Austen and this one, must have thought long and hard. Gemma Arterton did extremely well in Lost in Austen, a blend of period drama, summer RomCom and Dr Who, and Anna Maxwell Martin, as you might expect, is simply perfect here, in Austen meets the Poirot Christmas Special.

Anna gives us the mature Elizabeth, holding court at her more informal Pemberley, with an older Darcy who has recovered all his manly confidence in personal relationships and yet is even more deeply smitten. They have a son and are clearly wonderful parents. Both characters have changed in exactly the way Austen predicted in her last chapter. Elizabeth has risen in status and now wears the authority of Mistress of Pemberley, rationally softened, like its master. They are unusually sparkly together and very reminiscent of the Netherfield scenes. This is principally down to the extremely good performances from two actors and an their understanding of their characters which goes way beyond the script.

The whole cast is outstanding, the best in a period drama since Emma09 and the mystery is satisfyingly interesting. There's lots of clever 'dialogue' with the original and arch references to earlier productions (it's the 95 Pemberley).

What's not to like?

Can't wait for the next instalment, as Pemberley itself is challenged and their relationship is tested. I do hope the Bingleys, Caroline at least, turn up soon.

Of course, it isn't Austen. If it hurts to think that it is, then imagine it as a 100-year prequel to Downton Abbey, 10 times better acted and 50 times better written.
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Much better than the book
caitriona-shanahan29 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I am a Jane Austen fan. I also enjoy reading PD James, but in my opinion, her spare writing failed to make her sequel to "Pride and Prejudice" an enjoyable read. Surprisingly, and pleasingly, this adaptation is a great improvement on the book, and is an enjoyable piece of romantic drama.

The screenwriter moved Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship back to the core of this story, where it belongs. In fact, the screenwriter ensured that this entire story focused on the relationships between different couples, and the impact of societal norms, to great success. PD James, in contrast, focused on the actual crime, and individual characters such as Wickham and Col Fitzwilliam. The screenplay has a careful examination of the relationship between Darcy and his sister Georgiana, and the damage inflicted on that relationship by Wickham's original sin. Austen did not travel down this byway, but it is interesting.

The screenwriter also took the opportunity to add back in the characters of Mrs Bennett and Lady Catherine de Bourgh and to use their magnificent characters to create scenes that add little to the plot, but give us a chance to enjoy these legendary grands dames of literature. The comedy generated by Lydia and her mother is great fun, and adds some much needed levity.

The reveal of the instigator of Captain Denny's death is well handled, and the identity of the individual was a genuine surprise to someone watching with me, who had not read the book. But, in retrospect, it was not surprising - which is the hallmark of a good murder mystery.

As befits a BBC programme, the photography is beautiful, and the costumes and settings are gorgeous.

However, it's a long way from perfection. The screenwriter needlessly added some elements of overwrought drama - especially (spoiler alert) Elizabeth's overnight drive through the forest and dash to the gallows to save Wickham's life.

Others have commented on the use of contemporary language, which was disappointing, as so much effort was expended to have correct costumes and set design. However, the dialogue as not as grating as the casting of Elizabeth Bennett. Alone among the cast, she carries herself as a creature of the 21st century. Her walk and mannerisms are entirely inappropriate for the times. It should also be noted that she alone of the Bennett girls seems to have lost her bloom rather quickly. I understand that Darcy came to love Elizabeth for her fine mind and quick wit, but the book is clear that all the Bennett girls (with the exception of Mary) were English roses. This actress is more of a lily - striking and elegant, but lacking warmth.

Still, a pleasant experience and a far happier experience than reading the original book.
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Intertextual Combination of Heritage Drama and Whodunit, Inspired by the 1995 Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice
l_rawjalaurence27 December 2013
Daniel Peacock's adaptation of P. D. James' reworking of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE offers a fascinating combination of styles and stylistics. It unfolds in the leisurely manner of most British television detective thrillers, taking care to sketch in the characters and define their relationship to one another. A murder occurs two-thirds of the way through the first episode, and the remainder of the time is spent outlining the series of hypotheses, assumptions (some mistaken), and clues that lead to the unmaking of the culprit. DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY also situates itself squarely in the heritage adaptation genre, with plenty of exterior shots of the Darcys' house (I counted twelve in episode one alone), augmented with moments of period 'realism' as various types of coach and horse arrive and depart from the front entrance. The cast comprises a series of star names calculated to appeal to different generations of television viewers; Jenna Coleman from EMMERDALE and DOCTOR WHO shares the screen with Trevor Eve (WAKING THE DEAD, SHOESTRING) and Penelope Keith (THE GOOD LIFE, TO THE MANOR BORN). The acting is competent without being out of the ordinary, although I do wonder whether the Lydia Bennet of Austen and James would have reacted with quite such ferocity to her husband's arrest. What gives this production is true fascination, however, is the way in which director Peacock deliberately references Simon Langton's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995) throughout the mise-en-scene. This can be seen in the costume- designs (by Marianne Agertoft), as well as in the characterization: Elizabeth Bennet (Anna Maxwell Martin) communicates the same spirit of quiet determination embodied by Jennifer Ehle in the earlier production. She is also shot in much the same way, with the emphasis placed on her reactions to what happens around her. Her mother (Rebecca Front) seems completely oblivious to her offspring's feelings and shrilly complains of having had a fit should anything go wrong, in a performance inspired by Alison Steadman's reading in the earlier revival. Likewise her husband; James Fleet follows Benjamin Whitrow in maintaining a facade of polite loyalty to Mrs. Bennet, while searching for any opportunity to escape. The experience of watching DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY is a fascinating one, an exercise in identifying intertexts as well as understanding how adaptations are shaped as much by other adaptations as by their source-texts. Definitely worth watching.
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Very catchy plot!
tweatherlake25 March 2016
If you are like me and enjoy your Pride and Prejudice, and a good murder plot, then you would love this series! The choice of the victim is good, but the one of the suspect is very smart, and I also love the way it delves into the soft points of the characters - Darcy's possible regret of marrying Elisabeth, or her not understanding of duty. I was fascinated by the re-creation of an inquest and trial from that period (who knew that judges were allowed to drink brandy during the trial?) and particularly by the depiction of the characters. Elisabeth in particular is just like I would have imagined, she is the same spirited outspoken person we know and love, while Darcy is more brooding, quiet and responsible (while I may have chosen other actors in terms of appearance, I think they portray the characters very well as reactions). I also enjoyed the way Lady de Bourgh is portrayed, and remarkably, I even grew a different understanding of Wickam!All in all, definitively worth to watch by P&P wit a murder twist lovers!
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Excellent script by Juliette Towhidi
Jazzist-H-Crisp27 December 2013
Much praise has been lavished on the actors, director and producers of this wonderful adaptation. I agree entirely. The period setting, the acting, the mise-en-scene and the direction are all first-class, in my opinion. However, it seems to me that the script-writer has often been overlooked. She too has done an excellent job. Her script gives depth to the characters and it also provides timely moments of light relief, mainly through the characters of Mr and Mrs Bennet. I know nothing about Juliette Towhidi, but I do know that she is a script-writer of a very high calibre and I am sure that the quality of her work will be recognised in future productions.
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Interesting evening entertainment
emiliadaffodil16 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Darcy and Elizabeth are happily married with a young son, living in their glorious big house Pemberley and about to hold an annual ball. The night before the ball Elizabeth's estranged sister Lydia Wickham arrives in a carriage screaming. A man is subsequently found murdered in the woods nearby. The story is mainly about the murder, the reappearance of George Wickham and the subsequent effect of both on life at Pemberley.

Without revealing too much the story pretty much goes like this: Dark secrets come to life; Darcy goes all stoic and cold again; Lizzie gets frantic worrying he doesn't love her any more because she didn't come from money as he did and people are gossiping; Lydia and Mrs Bennett milk the Darcys' hospitality for all their worth; an innocent man nearly gets hanged; Wickham continues being a scoundrel and Darcy's little sister Georgiana has her hands full trying to choose between 2 men.

It goes without saying that you have to have read Pride and Prejudice first, or at least seen the 1995 version with Colin Firth. (The one with him in a wet shirt cliché). I haven't read the P.D.James novel so I can't comment on the similarity between the two. Watch if you like period dramas and murder mysteries, it combines them very well. It captures an accurate picture of what life might have been like 6 years down the line from Darcy and Elizabeth's happily ever after and life in Georgian England at that time.

The stories below stairs are fascinating although not seen very much. The setting and scenery are amazing. The score is surprisingly modern and sparse at times, very effective. Elizabeth is still a confident young woman and her relationship with her parents is much the same as the Austen novel. The relationship between Darcy and Wickham is explored in much greater depth albeit a murky, confusing depth. Georgiana has grown up although she still seems shrouded in cotton wool by her brother.

Highlights: Jenna Coleman's simply stunning portrayal of Lydia and Penelope Keith as Lady Catherine.

Downsides: Some of the secondary story lines can be hard to follow and seem irrelevant at times and there seem to be a few too many red herrings for me. I forgot how irritating Darcy is.

Verdict: Worth a watch for a few days entertainment. Not exactly great art but an intriguing mystery, good story and mostly well acted.
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If Jane Austen would have wanted a second part, she would have written it
ejordan-263-81541214 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It all boils down to one thing: there was a very good reason that Jane Austen stopped writing where she did, namely at the end of the book. If Jane Austen wanted to write about a death at Pemberley, if she would have wanted deaths, murders, ghosts and so on in her book, she would've written it. But she didn't. So there is no need for someone else to 'finish' what she left undid since there is nothing to finish. No one can out do her and continue the story. 'Death at Pemberley' proves just that.

P.D. James forgot that 'Pride and Prejudice' revolves around Elizabeth. In this book/film she's only a side character; it could have been anybody instead of Elizabeth. It also has nothing to do with Mr. D'Arcy or any of the others characters from 'Pride and Prejudice' since they could have been anybody. In 'Pride and Prejudice' it revolved around their personalities; about their ideas, feelings and guidelines they lived by. 'Death at Pemberley' is just an ordinary Who Dunnit. Change the names and no harm is done to the story - in fact, it would have been better if James had done that. She obviously is not good at fan fiction. Hers should have stayed in the drawer of her desk, to never see the light of publication.
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Excruciatingly Slow and Tedious
Shawn Spencer31 March 2015
I really wanted to like this. I loved the original book by Jane Austen but was intrigued by the idea of a twist in the "happily ever after" ending.

A great spoof could have been made, something like Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the Georgian era. Or it could have been a very genteel black comedy like Kind Hearts and Coronets or Arsenic and Old Lace. They could have played it straight and have Lizzie as Miss Marple...

But instead we get a slow, turgid, lifeless, incoherent story that takes nearly an hour before anything happens. And by the time it does, you just don't care...
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Great Story - Wrong Adaptation
critic_w12 November 2014
This would have been a great murder mystery had it not attempted a sacrilegious mangling of well know characters. It is Star Wars where Darth Vader is also Han Solo's father (think what that does to Han & Leia's relationship), or Gone with the Wind where Ashley poisoned Melanie so he could marry Scarlet; Great mysteries to unpack for your audience, but utterly and completely wrong for the original characterizations. Once de-shackled from Pride & Prejudice, this is a very solid mystery. Too bad, we just can't enjoy it in it's current disfigured form. It's simply too "Mission Impossible where Mr. Phelps is a bad guy."
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Not Pride and Prejudice but Okay Mystery
tklamb-0059114 March 2015
Being a fan of PD James and Jane Austin I was looking forward to watching this show. It took a while to get past Elizabeth being totally out of least from the stand point of Pride and Prejudice 1995 version. They dressed her down and made her look kind of dowdy and act miserable through most of the show. They didn't change the character of Darcy much--as my mother said, it looks like he has a toothache through most of the show. The colonel was also changed to be a rather secretive fellow, unlike his easy going character in P&P. The other characters seemed to mesh well with their original characters. If you have never seen Pride and Prejudice (1995 version) then you won't be disappointed. It is a good little English mystery.
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Loved it despite its flaws
Johnaricka24 February 2018
So many bad reviews that I'm surprised I watched it at all. I agree it was lacking in the costume department. Elizabeth seemed to wear the same dress or nearly the same one daily. A woman of her means should have better clothing. It also lacked in staff housing. No footman, not butler, not lady's maid. They're should have been a chef and a maid for the chef. All those maids in the kitchen should have been busy I'm the house. It wasn't true to the time. That aside I rather enjoyed it. I'm a sucker for period pieces. I loved seeing it all play out. I wanted more when it was all said and done.
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entertaining overall, but requires suspension of disbelief
katieo15621 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
To begin, I enjoyed this miniseries. The setting was incredible, it was shot wonderfully, and I'm a fan of a lot of the cast members. However, it's very clear that this takes place only at the shallowest level of the Pride&Prejudice world. The characters share the same names and relationships (for the most part), but there were scenes that were so out of character that it jars you out of the action for a moment. For instance, Georgina collapsing to the floor sobbing in front of servants is just too far from believable, especially considering the cause of her tears. (She's upset, yes- but upset enough to ignore all of the manners and excessively uptight social restrictions she grew up with? Hardly.) Elizabeth's wit peeked through at a few points, but overall she was far too passive for the character- she was afraid to contradict Darcy, which goes directly against a pretty large portion of their relationship in the novel. He also reverted back to the bullheaded character he was when the two first met, which erased a lot of characterization and also became a little confusing when the character jumped around from being open to Elizabeth and ignoring her. Jenna Coleman was excellent, and while her self-awareness was a departure from the book it was one that I loved. The secondary characters introduced for the mystery (namely Will and his family) were interesting and played well. I do wish there had been less anachronisms in the trial, but it could have been far worse and somewhat fit Henry's characterization as a man ahead of his time. Overall, a 7/10 and a fun watch once you separate it a bit from the novel it draws its characters from.
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