Regular readers of the Blog will notice I like to set a show "free" for the perusal of you, Dear Readers and let you decide whether you continue with it. Generally speaking if I have blogged it, I continue to watch it.
This year I decided to revisit a few once a month, just to see how things are percolating, so here is January's sample:
Now at Episode Nine, we are no nearer to knowing which of Dicken's Characters has Killed Jacob Marley. Sour and Dour Inspector Bucket is on the case though. He has accused sweet and gentle Bob Cratchett, arresting him on the day of his beloved eldest Daughter's Wedding. Not excluded from the investigation, Bucket is turning his attentions to Barbary and Fagin.
Amelia Havisham is being aggressively pursued by Compeyson who is a throughly nasty piece of work. Without giving away details for those who want to Binge Watch on BBC IPlayer or catch it on US TVs in due course, I can safely say he is the most evil character In the whole piece. Dickens fans will know he wrote him as a convict who got Magwitch arrested and his later incarceration resulted in his Death and also the man who pushed Miss Haversham into her bitter reclusiveness which almost destroyed Pip and Estella's lives.
The characters from no less than five of Dicken's works live in a dirty dark and dank London where Satis House is within walking distance of The Old Curiosity shop, the chambers of Jaggers and finance house of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Special mention should be made of Pauline Collins whose drunken Mrs Gamp is just the comedic addition needed to lighten what is quite a melodramatic series of vignettes twice a week.
War & Peace
The war with France Rages on.
Andrei,Boris & Nikolai meet in the field. Nikolai's boasting and gauche attitude annoys Andrei. Later though Andrei is seriously wounded in a massive battle, presumed dead. His family mourns but he arrives home in time to witness the death in childbirth of his neglected wife.
Pierre is married to Helene who keeps him wrapped around her little finger. For all his goodness and integrity he is led on a merry dance by her socialising, her stand offing ness about his wanting a child and finally in her affair with odious and oafish Dolokhov. He find some comfort in the home of childhood friend Natasha, but he is miserably caught in an untenable position.
Helene's Brother Anatole, egged on by their greedy Father attempts (and thankfully fails) in his attempts to woo Andrei's sister Marya They had not counted on the feminist attitude of Prince Bolkonsky who allows her to make up her own mind and whilst she is at first taken in by his charm, she realises he has a roving eye and does not allow herself to subject herself to the indignity.
The story speeds on apace, with James Norton, Jim Broadbent and Paul Dano standing out and is still thoroughly enjoyable.