Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley (TV, 2014)

Two-part miniseries, produced for British TV and aired on PBS as part of the "Masterpiece Mystery" anthology program. An elaborate yet tasteful adaptation of P.D. James' novel, which incorporates the characters from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" into a mystery plotline involving the murder of a British soldier in the woods on the Pemberley estate. I have not read the James novel, but it's an interesting concept to watch a murder mystery unfold in the world of Jane Austen with her familiar characters, and the adaptation to the screen appears to  have been served quite well by writer Juliette Towhidi. Director Daniel Percival manages to create real suspense out of the tensions between the characters and situations; his handling of the climax, with its last-minute race to the rescue, is especially effective. The production design is, not surprisingly, first-rate and at times stunning in its opulence. The fine cast includes Matthew Rhys as Darcy, Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth, Matthew Goode as Wickham, Tom Ward as Col. Fitzwilliam, and Trevor Eve as Sir Selwyn Hardcastle, who acts as the investigator in the case. Recommended for Austen fans and "whodunit" enthusiasts alike.

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