Wednesday, July 27, 2016

BBC Miniseries: Death Comes to Pemberley

Hiya folks. Quick question for you. What do you get when you cross Jane Austin with Agatha Christie? Why a whirlwind of drama, deceit and quite possibly a murder or two. Crime writer P.D. James takes a childhood story and brings it to a dark place in her style not too disimilar to that of her detective novels starring P.C. Adam Dalgliesh. What horrors await Pemberley? This is Death Comes to Pemberley.

Dearest, the BBC ad is hurting my shins.

Six years after the happy ever after of Pride and Prejudice resulting in Mr. Darcy (Matthew Rhys of Titus, Brother & Sisters, Burnt, The Americans and Jungle Book) and Miss Bennet or Lizzy if you prefer (Anna Maxwell Martin of Midsomer Murders, North & South, Doctor Who, Bleak House, Becoming Jane, Free Agents, South Riding and The Night Watch) marrying, a formal celebration or ball if you will is under way bringing back several existing characters of said Austen title.

An argument between George Wickham (Matthew Goode of Match Point, Watchmen, A Single Man, Stoker, Dancing on the Edge, The Imitation Game, Pressure and The Good Wife) and Captain Denny (Tom Canton of Sh*tkicker, Death Comes to Pemberley and Blue Borsalino) in the carriage to said party with Elizabeth's sister Lydia (Jenna Coleman of Emmerdale, Waterloo Road, Xenoblade Chronicles, Captain America: The First Avenger, Titanic, Room at the Top, Doctor Who, Lego Dimensions and Victoria) stuck in the middle. The argument breaks out into a full on donnybrook as the two give chase into the woods.

So no tango lessons then, eh?

In no time at all, the crack of gunfire erupts twice filling the air around with cordite and the sound of two shots fired. News of this reaches Darcy who preps a search party to find the men in question when Wickham is found frantic and completely overwrought with what has become, clutching the limp body of Denny, blaming himself over and over for Denny's murder. The local um I believe the term was magistrate, Sir Hardcastle (Trevor Eve of Dracula, Shoestring, Lace, The Corsican Brothers, Shadow Chasers, Scandal, Parnell & the Englishwoman, Don't Get Me Started, Murder in Mind and Lawless) who does a precursor look about and claps Wickham in irons for murder.

Elizabeth keen to not see Wickham hang proceeds to deconstruct the events over the few days that may have lead to this meaningless death with cloak and dagger meetings, a sex scandal and possibly an illegitimate child. Will Wickham swing from the rafters? Can Elizabeth put off her festivities to save an innocent man? What will she uncover in the search for this truth.

This was an unusual viewing for me as I have not read the novel and going to rectify that tomorrow. A mixture of Midsomer Murders meets Pride and Prejudice. The language used still quite Edwardian that means a few blaggarts and rapscallions are well on their way. Once again the English whip our proverbial posteriors in time period drama as they have a country with hmm...castles, manors, hamlets and villages. Not to mention some exquisite manors.

Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell Martin completely dominate this 3 parter in every way from the regal clothing to the attitudes of the time piece. So if you happen to be an Austen fan and a lover of a good mystery or two, this one goes out to my readers as highly enjoyable and well-recommended. Yes, I am the guy that reviews slasher films. Your point being?

What do you mean I'm not allowed on Doctor Who anymore??!!