The ABC has been showing the adaptation of Death Comes to Pemberley again, and I’ve been watching late at night.
Essentially a fancy fanfiction of Pride and Prejudice, it is more a murder mystery than anything resembling Jane Austen.
I wrote about the show in 2014.
Since I last watched it I’ve changed my mind about a few things, and think I enjoyed it more this time round. It’s FAR from perfect, but still worth watching.
Set a few years after Pride and Prejudice ends, the Darcys are now happily married with a son (the scene of him running through the property at the start is like a tourism advertisement for Chatsworth House!).
And then someone is murdered.
As before, I have issues with the producers making Chatsworth – one of the greatest estates in all of the British Isles – the home of plain old “Mister” Darcy, but it makes for gorgeous scenery from start to finish.
There was a lot of outrage of the (many think) bad miscasting of Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth Bennet. Apart from being too old for the role, her posture bothers me throughout. She slouches, walks around with her wrists propped on her hips, never wears gloves or anything on her head. I loved her in North & South, and she is a great actress, but mistress of Chatsworth House/Pemberley she certainly is not.
I still love Matthew Rhys as Mr Darcy, even though he was an unlikely candidate for the role. It says everything about his talent as an actor that he can pull off Darcy as well as he does his other roles, such as a Russian agent.
Eleanor Tomlinson is a wonderful Georgiana Darcy. Since then she has gone on to find considerable fame as Demelza in Poldark – another role I love her in (but then I’ve thought she was great since she played Young Sophie in The Illusionist).
And I still think current British actress-of-the-moment Jenna Coleman as Lydia Wickham overacts to the point she’d over-the-top in a pantomime! She is much a caricature as the shrieking Mrs Bennet of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.
Those are the actors who – for better or for worse – stand out for me.
This is an imperfect but GORGEOUS production that is worth a watch if it’s on repeat where you are.