Yes, 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.
But 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:
Hardcastle 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 resist 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?