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Old 19th Oct 2008, 12:13   #4
deserves a medal
vald's Avatar
Join Date: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 445
Default Re: Middlemarch - BBC 1994

I watched this again recently Col, and listened to the audio version, and have to agree with you. It is one of my all-time favourite books, and I thought that the tv adaptation was wonderful. I remember it being praised loudly at its first showing, and launched a pre-P&P Davies onto the world, as a brilliant period adaptor, although I know he had done other things. I thought all of the cast were excellent, but I particularly loved Douglas Hodge, starting with grand ambitions, but scuppered by his own weakness and silly wife. I also loved Casaubon and Dorothea, I couldn't fault them, and of course, Rufus Sewell, in full dark and brooding glory was, well....mmmm, (why isn't there a smiley for lip-smacking?) I didn't realise Elizabeth Spriggs had died, I loved her, and as you say, she had a great partnership with Robert Hardy. It was, in my opinion, the start of the great Beeb period back-catalogue, which includes P&P, Our Mutual Friend, Martin Chuzzlewit, Wives and Daughters, The Way We Live Now, He Knew he was Right, Cranford, etc. I know they have always done period drama, but if you watch the older stuff now, it does suffer, often looking stilted and slow, very ofen studio-bound, and leaving us (me) wishing they would redo them now with the time, budget, and technical advances they now have. Long, slow, leisurely series, without feeling as if they are dull and drawn out, given the treatment they deserve. But that doesn't mean that they always get it right, *cough OLIVER TWIST cough*. Even with a stellar cast and all the production credentials you could shake a stick at, things don't always come together. I'm hoping for great things from Little Dorrit, although I don't know much about the production, except that I saw it starts next week and has Matthew MacFaddyen in it, which is, for me, a good start!
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