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Great whether you like Jane Austen or not
on 12 July 2010
One of the best television series I have ever seen. May Jemima Rooper go on to become stupendously famous and win Oscars!
She plays a young lady in present day London who, fed-up with her ungentlemanly boyfriend, is reading Jane Austen's 'Pride & Prejudice (published in 1813) and wishes she could change places with that novel's heroine Elizabeth Bennett. Miraculously, she does.
Gemma Arterton is also very good as Elizabeth Bennnett, although we see much less of her and how she gets on in the Twenty-First Century than of how the young lady from our times gets on actually living in the world she has read about in Jane Austen's novels.
Although I have read Pride & Prejudice I am not usually a great Jane Austen fan. However clever some of her lines and character observations may be, I want a more adventurous story than just the question of who will marry whom. Done this way, with added time travel, we have just that
When I lent my DVD to someone who is fond of Jane Austen, she also loved it. For those who already know the story well, the introduction of a new character with ideas from a different time (I don't think Elizabeth Bennett would have kneed the odious Reverand Collins in the groin!) changes how several of the other characters react to each other and what becomes of them; so even someone who knows the end of 'Pride and Prejudice' by heart will be kept guessing as to how it will all finish up, and amused by the way that with the story shaken up, some of the lines end up being used by a different character in a different context.
Ditto, I now realise, references to another television series Hex - Season 1 [DVD] , which is about a competely different subject but in which Jemima Rooper also stars along with Christina Cole, who plays Caroline Bingley in 'Lost in Austen'. The latter contains a couple of 'in' jokes fro those who have seen both series [Jemima Rooper's character's adult reference to a 'landing strip' in the first episode of both series; and in Hex Christina Cole's 'straight' character refuses Jemima Rooper's lesbian character's advances, while in Lost in Austen it is exactly the other way round.]
Many thanks to everyone who was involved in making this unique series.