39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
A remarkable series,
This review is from: The Jewel In The Crown: The Complete Series [DVD]  (DVD)
We're used to faster paced dramas today, but this epic series is a superb adaptation of Paul Scott's Raj Quartet, a four-part novel packed full of nuanced, fallible yet utterly compelling characters. I have to strongly disagree with "Captain-Wesker" (who posted the first review here), who perhaps was confused by the fact much of the social mores of the Raj meant that many British people in India fell into stereotypical behaviour, something which is accurately reflected in this dramatisation. But the central characters - Hary Coomer/Hari Kumar (Ark Malik), Daphne Manners (Susan Wooldridge, who brilliantly conveys Daphne's gawky character while somehow letting her tremendous candour and essential intelligence shine through), Sarah Layton (Geraldine James), Barbie Batchelor (Peggy Ashcroft) and even the twisted Ronald Merrick (Tim Piggott-Smith) - are all complex and multi-faceted, brilliantly realised by their actors. Added to this is the filming itself which captures both the squalor and the sheer beauty of India, all the more evident in this beautifully restored version of the series. Having remembered the series from my late teens, I thought I might see weaknesses in either the story or acting, but was astonished at how well both stand up today; in fact I often couldn't resist seeing two episodes at a time. Do see this series for yourself (you can always rent before buying).