Top positive review
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Brilliant British drama
on 10 January 2007
This is an emotionally absorbing, interesting, brilliantly acted and brilliantly directed T.V series. The start is breathtaking - Daphne Manners is enchanting and Hari Kumar is perfectly acted by the very attractive Art Malik.
The danger for this show was when, relatively near the start, both Hari and Daphne effectively vanish from the screen. Having become attached to these characters it is an act of will to continue watching. It is a testement to the series that it manages to make us do this. Although the few episodes following with Sarah and her family are not as absorbing and the storyline gets a little difficult to follow at times, the narrative soon picks up again as the central characters of Dimitri, Ahmed Kasim and Guy Peron (Charles Dance) are introduced. Together, they add a lighter touch and enable a connection with the viewer to be made once more.
Of course, the one constant throughout all 14 episodes is Merrick (Tim Piggot Smith). The character disintegration is brilliantly realised as the brief glimses of humanity appear less and less. The continuing motifs of the bridge, fire and the butterflies caught in the web are well handled and, cleverly, Daphne and Hari are never really forgotten. Their shadow pervades the whole 14 episodes, even when they don't appear.
This programme chronicles the tradgedy of India through the fates of its many characters. Its great success is that, throughout the whole epic series, we never stop caring about each individual character. The emotional impact of the last episode is as strong as the second.