Things look very bad for Wickham as Hardcastle learns that he fathered Louisa's baby. Meanwhile Louisa tells Elizabeth that Denny was arranging for her to have the baby adopted by the woman seen in ...
In the 1840s, Cranford is ruled by the ladies. They adore good gossip; and romance and change is in the air, as the unwelcome grasp of the Industrial Revolution rapidly approaches their beloved rural market-town.
Emma Woodhouse seems to be perfectly content, to have a loving father whom she cares for, friends and a home. But Emma has a terrible habit - matchmaking. She cannot resist finding suitors ... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller
Royal Navy captain Wentworth was haughtily turned down eight years ago as suitor of pompous baronet Sir Walter Elliot's daughter Anne, despite true love. Now he visits their former seaside ... See full summary »
At 10, Fanny Price, a poor relation, goes to live at Mansfield Park, the estate of her aunt's husband, Sir Thomas. Clever, studious, and a writer with an ironic imagination and fine moral ... See full summary »
Jonny Lee Miller,
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 »
The series tells the story of Amy Dorrit, who spends her days earning money for the family and looking after her proud father, who is a long term inmate of Marshalsea debtors' prison in ... See full summary »
Set in Victorian London, Gwendolen Harleth is drawn to Daniel Deronda, a selfless and intelligent gentleman of unknown parentage, but her own desperate need for financial security may destroy her chance at happiness.
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.
28 of 64 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this