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4.3 out of 5 stars289
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 28 May 2013
Being a fan of a good period drama, as-well-as a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch i naturally just had to watch this 5 part drama. 'Downton Abbey' it sure aint!! There's no comparison really, i find it a far more superior drama. It may not be to everyones taste and you really have to follow it carefully as it is based on the famous Ford Maddox Ford book which is a tough, but great read. Thankfully i read the book after seeing the series. So if you are into a good period drama which gives a good realistic insight into what life was like during the first world war, tackling society, class differences ....and a lot of 'gossip'!!!! and of course brilliant acting from an equally brilliant cast.....well this is for you.....and then go get the book!!
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on 2 November 2012
This is a wonderful dramatisation of Ford Maddox Ford's novel Parade's End, following the life of Christopher Teijen's, an Edwardian gentleman, through the early years of the 20th Century until the end of the First World War. The production is lavish and performances by Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, and other noteable British actors are sublime. Not to be missed, loved it and have sent it to several friends abroad!
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on 19 April 2013
This is a great adaptation of Ford Madox Ford's work by Tom Stoppard. The acting is uniformly excellent, but I particularly loved Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher Tietjens, quiet, closed in, but expressing his inner feelings by movement and facial expression. Equally good is Rebecca Hall as his wife Sylvia, playing a woman who is frequently a monster and making her totally believable and even, at times, sympathetic. The portrayal of a society changing from Edwardian values to more modern ones is totally believable, with a fascinating portrayal of the suffragettes, as exemplified by Christopher's real love Valentine, played well by Adelaide Clemens and World War 1 is shown as the horror it was.

The interviews with cast and production are interesting extras.
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on 9 September 2012
It was always going to be hard to capture the essence of the Edwardian era and the subtleties of manners of the time, as well as deciding what to keep in and what to omit in what was, already, a long, complex text. However, with a script by the very talented Tom Stoppard, a playwright with many intelligent and densely allusional scripts behind him already, some great photography (some of the shots look like paintings they are so beautifully composed) and some (although not all at all times) excellent acting, this series really shows what the BBC can accomplish when it makes the effort. The brief bits of humour also break up the intensity and provide some lighter moments. A Highly accomplished achievement. Do buy it.
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on 26 November 2012
Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed a fascinating and enigmatic character, rare in television drama. This was an absorbing, well-paced series, which I watched straight over again once the DVD came out in order to pick up nuances missed during the first television outing. Being a literary adaption however, the gaps were noticeable (I have not read the novels, but like most of these dramas compression of narrative sometimes leaves one wishing for a bit more - but perhaps that's the whole point). All the actors were, I thought, rendered their characters pretty much perfectly.
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on 19 September 2012
The acting from Cumberbatch and Hall (understated and theatrical respectively) is masterclass and fits Christopher and Sylvia perfectly. The script is genius and the photography breathtaking. The presentation of the story though is a bit different from the book. This is more Sylvia-centric (just count the number of monologues and screen time Sylvia has). The book on the other hand focuses on Christopher more. You get more from Valentine as well. Nonetheless, this is a reminder that the BBC makes period drama best.
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on 22 November 2012
The concept of Parade's End highlighted the behaviour of an era. And how life and love and war can change society. With the central character, a conservative English aristocrat, played by the delicious Benedict Cumberbatch, torn between two very different women. He, like his world, will never be the same. So beautifully shot, so brilliantly played, I watched it twice in a row!
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on 2 January 2013
I watched this wonderful period piece on TV and was captivated from the start. The character of Christopher Tietjens (a man of intelligence, honour and duty) is unlike any I have come across before. His unfaithful and acid tongued wife Sylvia loves him and hates him in almost equal measure - and in addition conspires to ruin him. Christopher however will not divorce her, but when he encounters a young suffragette (Valentine) his predicament appears to be coming to an end. However, war intervenes and Christopher joins up to fight. When the damaged hero returns 10 years have passed since he first met Valentine - who during that time has become devoted to him.
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on 4 October 2012
The 4 books are long, difficult...and rewarding: this was early modernism, and used an unfamiliar style, which aimed to unearth a deeper reality. I would suggest that Tom Stoppard successfully reflects this in his dramatization. Human thought is never linear and rarely coherent. The actors were spot-on: Benedict Cumberbatch is mesmerizing and Rebecca hall played Sylvia to perfection. I was entranced. A glorious piece of television drama - poetic, ethereal, gritty, wise and with that wonderful bleak humour....sheer bliss
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on 1 April 2013
I watched this on TV and have finally bought and watched the DVD. There is a beautiful light and shade in this programme both in the tenor of the script (do we expect less from Stoppard?) and the cinematography. Why this didn't win a best drama award is beyond my knowledge. Is there a current actor who potrays intelligence with such adeptness and humility than B Cumberbatch, was there such a tv debut as beautiful as Adelaide Clemens? I'd happily pay an increase in my licence fee if the BBC contine to make dramas as good as this
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