Thoughts on Death Comes To Pemberley

castYes, I enjoyed it but let me quibble. Because what else is blogging for? I loved Anna Maxwell Martin in The Bletchley Circle where she played a smart woman trapped by domesticity who brought her formidable intelligence to solving a mystery … oh. I see what they did there. Never mind. But Lizzie? Fine eyes and all that? There was some sweet lovie-dovey stuff with Darcy in the beginning (were they really planning an afternoon bedroom tryst or just planning to meet for a nice cup of tea?). After that she seemed to treat him like a large, unpredictable dog, lots of pats on the shoulder and consolatory treats for the Great Darcy.

No, really, the cast were all fine, although Sir Selwyn Hardcastle’s (Trevor Eve) facial hair scared me a little but I’ll get over it. The trouble is, that the depiction of  well-meaning people doing their best to behave well can be rather tedious TV, which is why Lydia (Jenna Coleman, and OMG that military hat and jacket) stole the show: all that screaming and swooning and deshabille made for a lot of fun. She even upstaged Mrs. Bennet.

castle-howard-antiquepassageBut this is a series where everyone is upstaged by the settings. Ooh boy. Pemberley is depicted by Castle Howard and Chatsworth House. Here is the Antiques Passage at Howard, where various characters stride. It is a space that demands striding. And here are Lizzy and Darcy in Chatsworth House:

chatsworthQuite a lot of the interiors were from Chatsworth, including the Turquoise Room:






hcragsHardcastle Crags in Yorkshire were used for the woodland and waterfall. In real life, the stepping stones across the stream lead to somewhere completely different, Stang End Cottage at the Ryedale Folk Museum in Yorkshire, a reconstructed early eighteenth century moor cottage. And I cannot Ryedale_CruckCottageresist pointing out that the Museum is at a place called Hutton-le-Hole.

Altogether I thought it was an excellent example of better TV from an indifferent book, and the producers certainly worked hard to make it entertaining and, I think, historically correct. What did you think of Episode I?

Filming at Chatsworth
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7 Responses to Thoughts on Death Comes To Pemberley

  1. ki pha says:

    Oh, Jenna Coleman was amazing as Lydia, though I highly disliked Lydia, but she made for a fun show to watch. And yes, “OMG that military hat and jacket!” was also what I thought! Love it!

    And as for the show, it was a good start. Love Matthew Goode as Wickham. He got the part down as the very rogue and scoundrel that Wickham is! Plus he’s a sexy swoon worthy man in a cravat~

    But yes it was good. I’ll keep on watching since well, seeing the locations and places they go to film it is just marvelously beautiful.

    • In a way I wished that Matthew Goode had been cast as Darcy because he was so much better looking (sorry, Mr. Rhys). But yes, he nailed Wickham (so to speak)!

  2. Amy Kathryn says:

    I enjoyed watching it as well but it won’t be something I go back to again. I am really glad that I had read the book over the summer or I would have been a little lost. So much took place in Lizzie’s head that is not able to translate well to furrowed brow on the screen.

  3. I agree, Amy. Lots of watching characters think in this series.

  4. I enjoyed it and will certainly watch the rest of it! I hadn’t read the book, so I don’t know what I am missing in Lizzie’s POV. I admit I kept dozing off, but I suspect that had more to do with the exhausting weekend I’d had than the slow pacing. It was such a visual treat (costumes and great houses and handsome gentlemen in cravats, oh my!), how could I resist watching the rest? Plus I was already a Jenna Coleman fan, and it is great fun to watch her play the histrionic Lydia. 🙂

  5. I liked it. The setting’s to die for and Darcy’s a dish. Wickham’s a proper scoundrel and in general, good casting and good acting all around. Lydia’s superb.

    But OMG Lizzie! Alas! For such a central character, she’s woefully miscast. What were the producers thinking? This actress is so colorless and lifeless. She has exactly one expression on her face the whole time.

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