Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mansfield Park on ITV

I finally got caught up with some TV I'd recorded over the weekend including ITV's new adaptation of Mansfield Park. This is part of their Jane Austen season with 4 two-hour adaptations of the novels with Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Emma still to come.

I have to say that I was very disappointed in Mansfield Park. I thought Billie Piper (good actress though she is turning out to be), was far too feisty to be Fanny Price. Fanny should be extremely shy and reticent, almost insipid. Ms Piper was raucous and self-confident (not to mention far too striking) and showed none of the self-doubt and insecurity that should lie at the heart of Fanny Price. Aunt Norris, who is fairly central to the books, seemed to have no role in the TV drama and I rather wonder why they bothered with her. Really, two hours was not sufficient to do justice to the story, and contraints of time and, I imagine, budget, meant that there was no visit to Portsmouth and virtually no mention of Fanny's family, barring the sailor brother.

This does not bode well for the rest of the season. Northanger Abbey is a silly book at the best of times and the trailer makes it look like it will be a rather painful watch. Persuasion is my favourite Austen novel and I'm dreading what they will do to it. I don't suppose my trepidation will stop me from watching them though.

The BBC on the other hand is doing excellent work with the new series of Life on Mars. This series has produced some of the best lines I've ever heard in British TV drama. More stuff of the same caliber please!

The new series of Doctor Who starts next Saturday and is rumoured to be the last featuring David Tennant. I would like to put in a little word here in support of John Sim as the new Doctor. He does apparently make an appearance in the last two episodes of the series. I guess I'm asking too much for the return of Christopher Eccleston, currently appearing in Heroes. He is almost my favourite Doctor. No-one will ever replace Patrick Troughton for me though. Apparently it is possible to tell someone's age by their preferred Doctor. I couldn't possible comment (or admit to a slight hankering after William Hartnell, I'm way too young to remember HIM.)

Heroes, to my utter dismay, does not air again in the US until the end of April. I am getting withdrawal symptoms.

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