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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
Please ignore those who have compared it to the brilliant Pride and Prejudice adaptation by the BBC. It is a totally different creature, but the novel it is based on and this adaptation , are utterly superb. Reviews are people's opinions and are to be used as guidelines, I'm so glad I had ignored the scathing reviews for P.D James's novel and read , and found it...
Published 11 months ago by Anthony Richardson

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars works as a period drama but not as a sequel to P&P
As previous reviewers have mentioned this really isn't a sequel to Pride and Prejudice.

Leaving the plot to one side for a moment, the main leads were totally miscast. Anna MM's performance lacks the spirit and energy which are part of Lizzie's character. As for her co star Matthew Rhys he lacks Darcy's passion.

Secondly, the main leads are far too...
Published 8 months ago by Rose


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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 31 Dec 2013
This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
Please ignore those who have compared it to the brilliant Pride and Prejudice adaptation by the BBC. It is a totally different creature, but the novel it is based on and this adaptation , are utterly superb. Reviews are people's opinions and are to be used as guidelines, I'm so glad I had ignored the scathing reviews for P.D James's novel and read , and found it excellent. If you choose to indulge, in the novel or this adaptation, you will find both, very worthwhile. Enjoy.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and well made: a second stay with the Darcys, 3 Jan 2014
This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
A decided improvement on the P.D. James novel, which, I felt, was slightly hamstrung by its consciously being a grateful follower-on to a brilliant original. I didn't find in the book the spark and intensity that, mercifully, the scriptwriter found for this TV recreation. Perhaps this was because the TV show benefitted from a visual grammar well known to its audience, and therefore easier for the scriptwriter to latch onto than it was for James to channel Austen's unique writing style.

I thought the casting and acting were all terrific: I'd enjoyed Matthew Goode in "Leap Year", and his Wickham was the man I'd always wanted to see in previous Pride & Prejudice adaptations, but never did: a truly handsome, likeable rascal. (Otherwise, how could the sensible, lively Lizzie have possibly been so blinded by him?) Nicely done. Matthew Rhys makes a really effective Darcy in a very short space of time, despite his character in the P.D. James book seeming to me really quite shadowy. They seem to have beefed up his speaking part for the TV show and brought him into closer perspective, the scriptwriter correctly spotting the opportunity to show Darcy not as Wickham's mortal enemy, but what in fact he was and had ever been - his reluctant friend. I believed in him utterly as the breathing lord and master of a vast estate and tremendous responsibilities, traces of the old awful, implacable self there, but kinder, with Lizzie there to tie him to his humanity - very impressive.

Trevor Eve almost stole the show as Sir Selwyn Hardcastle - he brought the man to life wonderfully from what, again, had seemed in the book very thin material. Likewise Eleanor Tomlinson and Jenna Coleman, who both created likeable and believable characters as Georgiana Darcy and Lydia Wickham respectively. But my best praise goes to Anna Maxwell Martin for her mature, calm, thoughtful Lizzie Darcy, perhaps no longer striding across fields and delighting us with her liveliness, but certainly bringing her own thoughts, and her own principles, to her new, grander life, in a way I hope Austen wouldn't have been ashamed of. Her Lizzie may not sound as though she was cut from the same glass as the really posh, but she exudes her own authority.

The production values were excellent, although I still don't quite "buy" the use of Chatsworth as Pemberley. This house seems to me slightly too showy for the part of the home of a gentleman, albeit a grand one, who is not after all a peer. But still they made exquisite use of its beautiful summer woodlands and gardens to create a sense of place, and of unease and anticipation. I thoroughly enjoyed this series...now I wonder if someone can be persuaded to cast this excellent incarnation of the Pemberley family in another spinoff drama...? The audience is out there, ready and waiting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pride has been subdued and prejudice overcome....again., 14 Sep 2014
By 
janebbooks (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
Elizabeth Bennet, the most successful disposal in marriage of the five daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet of Longboum, is a heroine to be admired in the books of Miss Jane Austen who wrote novels dealing with issues of manner, upbringing, morality, education and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th century England. In Austen's PRIDE & PREJUDICE (1813) Elizabeth, the second of five daughters, marries Mr. Darcy, the most desirable gentleman owner of the vast estate of Pemberley.

In 2011, in a witty and inventive homage to Miss Austen, P. D. James continues the story of Elizabeth and Darcy in DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY. James, the grand dame of British mysteries, the creator of Commander Adam Dalgliesch of Scotland Yard, throws in a murder in the woodland near Pemberley with apologies to "the shade of Jane Austen for involving her beloved Elizabeth in the trauma of a murder investigation." Well, something had to enliven the rather dull married lives of privileged Englishwomen of the period other than fancy balls and new gowns...and after all..."A murder in the family can provide the fission of excitement at fashionable dinner parties..."

Austenites in general were in an uproar. Especially the admirers of fair Lizzie.

And now BBC has released a 180 minute televised adaptation of DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY. The teleplay will be shown in America on PBS Masterpiece Sundays in two episodes October 26-November 2, 2014. Anna Maxwell Smith and Matthew Rhys star as Elizabeth and Darcy, now six years married with two young sons.

In her review of the BBC film adaptation for the British Society For Eighteenth-Century Studies, Marina Carlo-Lopez, clearly an Austenite, states the film is "a successful adaptation of a not so successful novel." I think what she's trying to say that Austenites and Jamesians may finally unite in approval of the continuation of the story. Rhys interpretation as P. D. James' Fitzwilliam Darcy will be the catalyst.

Welsh-born actor Matthew Rhys, when asked if he wanted to play Darcy, said "Absolutely not... The readership of PRIDE & PREJUDICE is so enormous, and Darcy has now become this iconic figure...part of the heritage." But his agent persisted, according to an Entertainment Weekly interview. And Rhys finally agreed that "This isn't the Darcy that everyone knows. This is a different Darcy... He's been mellowed by Elizabeth... As much as he is different and having [children] has changed him, he reverts back to who Darcy was, certainly in PRIDE & PREJUDICE, because his name is on the line, the estate is on the line, and those sort of intrinsic Darcy morals come back. So it's the best of both worlds."

Perhaps the admirers of Colin Firth's performance as Darcy in the 1995 miniseries will be disappointed. Rhys and his fellow actor Matthew Goode, who plays Darcy's brother-in-law Wickham, are not doing a white-shirt-in-the-pond scene. And fans of Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth will surely be disappointed in Anna Maxwell Smith as their beloved character. Perhaps a darker hairstyle and brighter gowns would have enlivened the rather plain Smith as the more mature mistress of Pemberley, once the wit of Longboum.

Early in the James' novel, when Elizabeth is thinking of her short courtship and subsequent marriage with Darcy, she muses: "If this were fiction, could even the most brilliant novelist contrive to make credible so short a period in which pride has been subdued and prejudice overcome?"

Yes, Elizabeth, it can be done in a 310 page novel by a modern day Baroness and a 180 minute film adaptation. But this time, to Austen's manners, upbringing and morality of a daughter who marries well, we add James' family loyalty and fervor of the gentleman who marries her and who successfully confronts a family scandal.

Pride has been subdued and prejudice overcome....again.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars works as a period drama but not as a sequel to P&P, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
As previous reviewers have mentioned this really isn't a sequel to Pride and Prejudice.

Leaving the plot to one side for a moment, the main leads were totally miscast. Anna MM's performance lacks the spirit and energy which are part of Lizzie's character. As for her co star Matthew Rhys he lacks Darcy's passion.

Secondly, the main leads are far too old. Several of the most important scenes from the PandP book are replayed in the drama as flashbacks and unfortunately they just don't work. Lizzie is meant to be about 20 in Pride and Prejudice and since this is meant to take place about 6 years later she is meant to be 26 or so. Anna MM is about 37. Rhys looks like he is meant to be Georgiana's father (she is now about 21) when in Pride and Prejudice he is about 26 so here would be about 32.

Oh and I agree with a previous reviewer as to the wardrobe malfunction. Why is Lizzie wearing the same green dress the whole time?

Having said this one of the most energetic performances came from Jenna Coleman as Lydia. She captured her spoiled character perfectly. I wonder what she would have made of Lizzie?

The plot works quite well as a mystery drama and we see the impact on the Darcy family of Wickams selfish actions.

Overall the acting isn't bad and Trevor Eve gives an excellent performance. I didn't enjoy it as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice but as a stand alone drama whose main characters happen to be called Lizzie and Darcy it works well enough.

It is a pity because had the main leads and possibly Wickam been better cast this could have worked very well. Unfortunately it felt more like a Dickensian drama (yes I know Dickens was Victorian not regency or Georgian) than a sequel to Pride and Prejudice. All of the characters seemed miserable and you really wonder why on earth Darcy and Lizzie got married.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth waiting for, 15 Oct 2014
This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
I've been waiting for years for some sort of sequel to the classic Pride and Prejudice - even going as far as to put together a what happened next to all the characters in my head. So l was really looking forward to this adaptation and l wasn't disappointed.

The characters are well cast, my favourites being Lizzie, Darcy and Lydia. Not sure l totally agree with the direction of the story particularly Wickham and Colonel Fitzwilliam as Wickham seems more a nasty piece of work than a chancer and opportunist. Whilst the Colonel had become so arrogant and abrasive, totally losing his happy jovial nature that there were times l just wanted to kick him!

I did however like the fact that the actor who played the Colonel was also in the BBC classic having played one of the officers - this gave it a sense of symmetry somehow.

I also liked the fact that Lizzie had lost none of her feisty tenacity or provocative sense of humour. Whilst Colin Firth will always be my favourite Darcy, Matthew Rhys did a good job particularly when he dealt with the Colonel. My only issue would be that there were times when Darcy appeared a little lacking in conviction particularly when dealing with Wickham. I would question whether Darcy with all his wealth and privilege would have behaved quite that way.

One final mention has to go to the costumes which felt just right however, contrary to some who have commented Lizzie is not wearing the same dress throughout but rather a series of dresses in the same colour! I would have liked a little more variety with her wardrobe but you can't have everything. Lydia wardrobe was gorgeous.

Anyway l have waffled on for long enough -suffice to say l enjoyed this dvd very much, so much so that l probably watch it at least once a week! Those who loved the BBC classic and don't mind a little bit of 'what if' should love this adaptation - those who believe the story ended with Jane Austen should avoid this drama like the plague !
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could have been a disaster, instead it was a triumph, 29 Dec 2013
By 
Brida "izumi" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
When I saw that P D James had written a sequel to "Pride and Prejudice", I must admit, I was sceptical. Perhaps it is a brave author who decides to take on such a classic and make it into something of their own. Brave, or reckless perhaps. Although I have not read the book, I have to admit that if the dramatization is anything to go on, James has done a fantastic job. She has managed to keep the important elements of Austen's classic - the characters have the same traits which Austen gave to them - yet she has also managed to put her own stamp on Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship. What James has managed to create is a period whodunit which is intelligently thought out and put together.
This was definitely one of the highlights this Christmas. I would certainly recommend it. It only makes me wish that I had read the book first.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well-made film for a pleasant evening., 9 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
I liked this mini series better than the book itself. P.D. James wrote a (rather mediocre) murder story set in Jane Austen's fictional Pemberley as a continuation of Pride and Prejudice, out of which an interesting film has been made that not only holds your interest but gives a very good view of the times and place.
Script, casting, sets, directing all get full marks.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 29 Dec 2013
This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
Having studied P&P at school this year the story of what happens after the end of Austen's book is, of course, an intriguing question, and this does not disappoint! I was hooked from the beginning! The acting is brilliant - and Elizabeth's distress when Darcy is ignoring her is, in my opinion, very sad, and almost moving.
A must see!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Ms Martin is not!, 3 Mar 2014
This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley (DVD)
Anne maxwell Martin is dreadful casting for Lizzie. A capable actress perhaps but I simply cannot see Darcy falling for a women with an attractiveness factor of 2 out of 10.
Ms Martin is completely miscast as the supposedly lovely Elizabeth, she actually put me off and it was difficult to get into the drama every time she appeared. A good drama nonetheless but such a shame about Ms Martin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 3 April 2014
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This review is from: Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] (DVD)
This is an absolute gem. Acting and directing excellent. The whole atmosphere created and attention to detail spot on.
Something that can be watched over and over again, very enjoyable.
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Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD]
Death Comes to Pemberley [DVD] by Daniel Percival (DVD - 2014)
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