Top critical review
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Good, Bad and Ugly
on 10 October 2006
- The visuals. The colour, background, sights, sounds and (imagined) smells of Victorian London are just wonderful.
-Kitty Butler; what a beautiful woman Keely Hawes is. Perfect for Kitty, that sort-of upper class cockney accent and she looks flawless (and hot) dressed as a boy.
-The acting in general; well, you'd expect that of a BBC adaptation, wouldn't you? Look at it's history - Narnia, Moll Flanders, Tom Jones; the BBC has almost always been spot-on with its casting.
-The faithful adaptation of a wonderful book; unlike the frankly heretical adaptation of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe done recently (film, not original adaptation), the script is pretty muchg bang-on the book's, which is great, as it was the fact that the book was so well written that made me watch the adaptation.
- A personal thing, I know, but Rachel Sterling's voice drives me nuts. As do her cow-eyes at Kitty for half the story. That apart, she makes a great Nan King
- The sex. Well it was never going to be graphic, that would be unfaithful, but it turned Nan's first lesbian experience into something frankly comic, as though that were the only way they'd get it on TV. Which is nonsense - Moll Flanders, anyone? It's a truly dreadful depiction which could have been handled so much better.
This is generally a good adaptation, certainly watchable and highly enjoyable for Sterling giving a performance worthy of her namesake, and of course Anna Chancellor makes the most wonderful "older woman fantasy type" in her role as Diana Lethaby.
Not a patch on the book, and disappointing in places, but well worth the watch. Just not with your Grandma, eh?