Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
on 6 September 2009
Shooting The Past - A country house full of some delightful and memorable characters. They face a fight to keep an amazing photographic collection intact. Like Perfect Strangers, this is all about history and family, and how the past affects us. Compelling.
The Lost Prince - Interesting and poignant drama telling the little-known story of Prince John, the youngest child of George V and Queen Mary. His illnesses mean he is kept away from society. The incredible world events of the time are glimpsed through the eyes of this boy in his hidden world. Sad and riveting.
Perfect Strangers - A rich, affecting and comic story of young man from the suburbs of West London who goes to a huge family reunion (effectively all strangers to him as his father has become estranged from) and meets a variety of eccentrics all with stories to tell. "Every family has three really good stories to tell" and some of these are astonishing yet believable. Gripping and humane, none of the characters are two-dimensional and the drama shows how little we often know about people, and how humanity always has the capacity for change. Some similarities with Shooting the Past - ie how so much can be contained within a photograph but that it just needs explaining. Great acting from Michael Gambon, Lindsay Duncan, Matthew Macfadyen, Claire Skinner, Timothy Spall etc. My favourite.
Caught on a Train - well liked by the critics but I found this a diverting though not gripping story of a young man and an elderly woman on an overnight train journey across Europe. A bit stagey.
Friends And Crocodiles - More affluence and country houses! A charismatic Great Gatsby-type man collects interesting people and has delightful parties. He gets an assistant to organise his chaos. We see their lives changing over the years after the parties end...
Gideon's Daughter - A PR consultant to the rich, famous and influential becomes disillusioned with his life as his daughter drifts away from him. Like Friends and Crocodiles I didn't find this as affecting as some of the earlier works but it's still an interesting study of love, family and relationships.
All in all I think this is an excellent collection of dramas relying on human interaction and relationships (often in adversity) for the thrills, rather than Hollywood-style action. I got this in a sale for a bargain £30 a while back and it was well worth it. In my mind it would have been worth it just for Perfect Strangers, Shooting the Past and The Lost Prince.