Other Sellers on Amazon
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Gormenghast [VHS] 
|You Save:||£10.00 (50%)|
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
The kingdom of Gormenghast rejoices when its ruler, Lord Sepulchrave (Ian Richardson), produces a son and heir: Titus, 77th Earl of Groan. However, scheming kitchen boy Steerpike (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) himself dreams of taking power, and sets about driving Sepulchrave insane. He also seduces Titus' sister, Lady Fuchsia, planning to seize the kingdom through her. It seems that Steerpike cannot fail in his plans - only the timid Titus himself, young and inexperienced, stands in his way...
The BBC's lavish, glowingly designed adapation of Mervyn Peake's eccentrically brilliant novels Titus Groan and Gormenghast is a triumph of casting. Ian Richardson's Lear-like depiction of the mad earl of a remote, vast, ritual-obsessed building is matched by the brutal pragmatism of Celia Imrie as his wife, the synchronised madness of Zoe Wanamaker and Lynsey Baxter as his twin sisters and the duplicitous charm of Jonathan Rhys-Meyer as Steerpike, the kitchen-boy determined to take over no matter how many deaths it costs. John Sessions is surprisingly touching as Prunesquallor, the family doctor who realises almost too late what Steerpike intends.
It is always tricky to film a book dear to the hearts of its admirers: Wilson and his design team achieve a look rather more pre-Raphaelite than Peake's own illustrations, shabby velvets, garish sunlight and dank stone passages. The score by Richard Rodney Bennett is full of attractive surprises--fanfares and waltzes and apotheoses--and John Tavener's choral additions are plausibly parts of the immemorial ritual of Gormenghast. --Roz KaveneySee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
The first problem is the format. There is no way that the first two books could be filmed in 4 hours, whilst keeping the narrative and dramatic integrity of the books. When lesser, mainstream and unimportant "pap" series can command six 1 hour episodes, and considering the amount of time and money involved in bringing the production to the screen, it is frankly amazing that the Beeb would cut the legs from under the production before it was even made. The end result is comparable to driving through the centre of Florence at high speed! Many beautiful impressions appear fleetingly, with the next vista appearing before the previous can be digested. Subsequently many wonderful plot and character details are cut from the work to fit the time constraints. The greatest example of this is the removal of the Keda's life and loves.
The second, and to this reviewer, even more serious flaw, is in its handling of the most important character, and one of the few with whom the reader forms an emotional bond: namely Fuschia. In the first book she is a 15 year old girl, given to a life in her own imagination, through her alienation from her family and those around her ( Nannie Slagg apart). What do we get?Read more ›
Now for the issue of the book versus the televised version. As previously said, I watched the television series when it was first broadcast. I managed to wade my way through the trilogy of books (the last of which is not included in the adaptation) in the last year. It is true that the adaptation makes necessary exclusions and changes to enable it to be digested on film. My opinion on re-makes and adaptations is that if significant changes have been made, it can only be chastised if it affects the enjoyment of the original: in the case of Gormenghast, when I read the novels, the television adaptation soon lost its influence; I saw nearly all of the characters differently (apart from the sister Clarice and Cora) and enjoyed the books on their own merit.
Therefore, despite the changes and somewhat misinterpreted characters (such as Fuschia - a character I empathised with in the books, but cannot in the film) I think the BBC adaptation is a beautiful, exciting, disturbing achievement and should be enjoyed alongside the books. Well done, Auntie!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a Total fantasy tv series on DVD Brilliant escapism for teenagers and adults alike although it is set in a starnge world its entertainingPublished 1 month ago by tried it
Saw this on TV back in 2000. Whilst looking through books I noticed the series and wondered why the BBC had never shown it again. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mrs. C. A. Harris
Brilliantly dark series, complex and deeply bizarre - labyrinth meets the Tudors. Jonathan Rhys Meyer in the lead role is as always; faultless.Published 5 months ago by sarah
A brave attempt by the BBC to dramatise the first two books of Peake's trilogy for the small screen, and it works. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MR C.