Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley: PBS Sunday Oct 26 & Nov 2

Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell Martin in Death Comes to Pemberley

I haven't seen a new Jane Austen adaptation in a while and boy did I enjoy Death Comes to Pemberley! I admit I was a bit nervous when I watched this, as I didn't really like the book, a murder mystery sequel to Pride and Prejudice by mystery writer P.D. James. The book was OK, but a bit of a yawn. Fan fiction by a 94 year old Jane Austen fan, albeit well written I suppose.

James Fleet and Rebecca Front as Mr. and Mrs. Bennett

However, add a few of my favorite actors (inspired casting to have Anna Maxwell Martin as our beloved Lizzy!) and set it at one of the all time top English Country Houses, Chatsworth, and I was hooked within the first few scenes. This is 3 hours of pure pleasure and I can't wait to see it again on my HD TV this time when Part 1 airs tomorrow. Having almost the entire three hours set in and around Chatsworth makes one realize how little we saw of it when it was used as Pemberley in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Matthew Goode as the wicked Mr. Wickham

Many familiar faces and fabulous actors flesh out the other roles (other than Lizzy and the filming location, which might have been enough for me). Matthew Goode as Wickham played the role with some depth, as did Jenna Coleman as Lydia. What a great take on the relationship which none of us had much hope for, including Jane Austen! And the chemistry between Anna Maxwell Martin and Matthew Rhys as Mr. and Mrs. Darcy caused me to rewind a few sections just to see the love and playfulness a bit more. Mmmmm.

Mr. and Mrs. Darcy- great chemistry not apparent in this photo!

Then add in James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sense and Sensibility) as Mr. Bennett, Eleanor Tomlinson and James Norton as Georgiana Darcy and her love interest and the awesome Joanna Scanlon (Mrs. Dickens from The Invisible Woman) as Mrs. Reynolds and you have a winner.

Too bad they made my beloved Colonel Fitswilliam into a creep (plot related I understand but still!) and Penelope Keith as Lady Catherine de Bourgh sounded a bit more like Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest but that is nit picking I suppose.

So just pour a cuppa and turn on the telly tomorrow and enjoy the ride. It might be a while before we get another one this good!



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