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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 12 June 2018
Amusing escapist fantasy for Austen lovers who have often found themselves wanting to be in the novels, if only as serving maids, footmen, coachmen or boring vicars, excited about meeting people they’ve only ever known as ink on the page, images on celluloid, or phantoms in their imaginations, forgetting — conveniently enough — that they never existed anyway outside Jane’s own imagination. The power of fiction!

Darcy in particular fascinates, as does Elizabeth Bennet. Were his gentlemanly manners really as brightly polished as we think they were? Was Eliza truly so credulously blind to Wickham’s smarmy charm? Questions, questions — with Austen they are endless, speculation filling the gaps made by unsatisfactory answers. Thus the only way to really know how things were with these people is to mix in their circles, dine at their tables, dance at their balls, walk in their gardens, be in their theatricals.

Amanda Price thinks so too, held hostage to a life trapped in the wrong sliver of time, in the lousy sanctuary of the 21st century instead of the stately late 18th/early 19th century versions of time. Who needs cars, car parks and asphalt when they can have carriages, coachmen, liveries and fine horses? Who needs charmless men with awful diction and idiotic interests like football, beer and the lottery? Amanda, aged about 24, needs romance, courtship, flowery language and men with silk stockings and buckles on their shoes. In short, like millions of other women, she needs Darcy. But look around. She has. There are no Darcys anymore. Like the dinosaurs, they went extinct. Instead, there’s Michael, her deadbeat, dishevelled boyfriend. He would never read Jane Austen. It’s not that he’s illiterate. He can read The Sun and Daily Mirror and do the crosswords. He’s just culturally illiterate, like most of the rest of humanity. So, she loses herself in Austen, in a serene, elegant, beautiful world of knowable and manageable proportions.

How does this occur? Through a bizarre wormhole, it seems, one unaccounted for by Einstein’s two theories of relativity. Albert thought time flowed in one direction only — forward, barrelling into the future, powered by the thrust of the expanding universe. Not so, evidently, as one day Elizabeth Bennet, dressed in a flimsy nightgown and night cap, stands in the bathroom of Amanda’s tiny flat in Hammersmith, as dazed and confused as Robert Plant was in Led Zeppelin. Come to that, Amanda looks the same on discovering Eliza next to the sink and tub.

What is the wormhole? Just a simple door behind the bath that leads Alice-like through the looking glass into an alternative world — in this case, into the attic of the Bennet family house (Longbourn) in Hertfordshire, circa 1798. Amanda goes through the door, assuming Eliza will follow. But Lizzie locks it behind her, deciding to take her chances in the 21st century, marvelling already at its electric lights and toothpaste, thus abandoning Amanda to the pretensions of Georgian England.

A servant is the first to greet Amanda, then Mr. Bennet, who immediately finds her refreshing in her odd apparel and straight talk, her use of slang and strange metaphors particularly intriguing. The Bennet girls adore her too, the only family dissenter toward her Mrs. Bennet, who of course sees her as a rival to her daughters in the desperate game of securing husbands for her penurious offspring. It doesn’t help either that Amanda is very pretty, even sexy, though the word has yet to be invented for the condition. Amanda wears lipstick, eye shadow and earrings. Her hair is shoulder-length and straight, no attempt made to curl it with curling irons. Also, it’s worn in a fringe, her forehead hidden from view. Very strange indeed! What can it mean? Then there’s her apparel, raiment that catches even the rheumy eye of Mr. Bennet, a man who hasn’t been aroused in donkey’s years. She wears a one-piece tight-fitting dress made tight without the aid of a corset, the hemline amazingly short and most of her upper chest exposed due to the low cut that draws the eye toward the deep vertical line between her bosoms. She’s not a trollop but not a lady, either. Instead, something mysterious in the middle.

Back in modern Hammersmith before entering the wormhole door Amanda confesses frustration about her love life to her mother. But Mum, now divorced, is largely unsympathetic. Men are an abomination, she concedes, but what can you do? Marriage with all its faults is better than the lonely isolation of solitude made by a lack of matrimony. And she should know. She’s not handling her own solitude well, particularly missing the sex that love or lust brings. This is a drag, she confesses, as she takes another long drag on her cigarette.

Yet Amanda cannot marry deadbeat Michael. He’s a drunken, unromantic fool. He lacks manners, courtesy and decorum, qualities of gentlemanly behaviour well beyond his capacity to imagine, let alone adopt and imitate. He actually proposes to her, which is astonishing, but does so by producing a cheap ring during halftime of the football match he’s watching from her settee while drinking beer. She turns him down.

But — irony of ironies — the young Georgian men who seem so dashing and elegant in Pride and Prejudice actually pale in reality. Darcy is insufferably pompous, worse than Amanda imagined. Bingley’s a callow wimp, forever in the shadow of the domineering and judgemental Darcy. As for Wickham, we knew he was a worthless, selfish, scheming rogue. Jane Austen described him well, but alas not well enough. He’s despicable and Amanda says so straight to his face, an accusation so unadorned he’s unable to know how to answer it. Who is this creature, this bizarre female stranger? The buzz in Meryton (the village where the Bennets live) is alive in the same wonder.

Mr. Collins comes to Longbourn, he a young vicar and second cousin of Mr. Bennet. His intention is to inspect the Bennet daughters with a view toward marrying one of them. His reasons for doing so are sound. First, his patron (Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who is also the aunt of Mr. Darcy) advises it. Second, a man in his position in the church should be married and seen to be married. And third, it would aid in his own personal happiness.

Jane Bennet, the beautiful and serene elder sister of Eliza, is spoken for. The chatter and hope is that she will marry Mr. Bingley, as he has made overtures toward Jane, dancing with her several times at the Netherfield ball. The other sisters (Kitty, Lydia and Mary) are still too young (mid-teens). But how about Amanda, Lizzie’s good friend from Hammersmith? Oh! The withering, contemptible gaze Amanda gives him fails to register at first, as Collins is too thick to apprehend much beyond the comfort of his own high self-regard. Rejection is out of the question, so when it’s finally perceived by him the fault lies with Amanda, not himself.

No matter. Charlotte Lucas is in the wings. She shall be the rightful wife of Mr. Collins as determined by Jane Austen and Amanda. But the contingencies of chaos theory must be correct. Nothing is quite fixed, so when a new element is introduced into any system, random, unpredictable effects may be observed. Amanda is the new element; her presence has an effect. Charlotte, Lizzie’s good friend and neighbour, has pedigree to recommend her. Her father Sir William Lucas is a member of the landed gentry. But Charlotte herself is shy and homely, and at 27 teetering on the brink of spinsterhood. Even Mr. Collins has standards, it seems. Youth and beauty matter. So with Lizzie gone (partying in 21st century Hammersmith) and Amanda unavailable, his lecherous gaze lights on virginal Jane Bennet, aged 21. Perfect!

What will happen? Much is the answer, but to reveal more would spoil the delight of the story. Suffice to say that fiction is not all it’s cracked up to be. At least when matched face to face with reality. The world of a novel is comfortable because it’s fixed, unchanging, forever ossified. Time and again we go back to it for its comforts. This is its role and magic. But make it real, spoil its magic, and it falls apart, just as messy and unpredictable as life is. Worse, really, because at least life is honest, unfolding as it will. We have expectations in it, but these are only hopes, whereas the veracity of a novel comes from its immutability. Once read, we know what happens. And once read again, the same things will happen again. Only our imaginations colour events, changing them via interpretation, but the events themselves do not change. Thus Mr. Collins must marry Charlotte Lucas. It is written as things in the Bible are, and to many people Pride and Prejudice is the Bible, or even greater than it. So, to be blunt, you don’t mess with it and Jane Austen.

Where is Elizabeth? Lizzie come back! She’s the only hope for normality, for restoring the integrity of events in the novel. Amanda is desperate for her, Elizabeth the saviour of everything. Besides, Amanda is homesick, pining now for her rightful temporal place in the scheme of things. She thought Georgian England would be better. But she was wrong. She misses flush toilets, central heating, television, weekends, half pints of shandy, cigarettes. She likes to party but the stuffy Georgians never do, too inhibited to let their hair down or fling their wigs or clothes off. The best they can do are formal balls, which are dull compared to all-night raves once the novelty of them wears off. In short, life in all its heartaches and disappointments is better than the ossified world of novels. She wants to go home.

And Eliza? You can imagine. Facebook and English football were fun for a spell. But where is the poetry and elegant music of the pianoforte? Where is the countryside in lieu of lorries and dual carriageways? Where is birdsong instead of boom boxes and rap? Where is serenity and tranquility instead of decadence and hedonism?

We each have our place in time and space. Actually, they’re the same, as Einstein said they were, two sides of the same coin. We hurtle through space-time at 30 kilometres a second on our iron ball of rock, never feeling it, barely knowing it.

Moral of the story: you can never go back, as there’s no back to go back to. The universe is expanding, not shrinking. You can only live now, day to day, as the days carry you along as if on some cosmic river of time and space, a river we can rightly call the river of no return.
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on 29 February 2016
This far exceeded any expectations I may have had of it. Wow, this is pure escapist fun and I enjoyed every minute of it. It looked great, it was very competently acted and there was enough humour and romance thrown in to keep me happy.

The plot revolves around Amanda Price a die hard Jane Austen fan who discovers literally a door into the Bennett household and she and Elizabeth Bennett soon exchange places.

There is enough a recreation of Pride and Prejudice to keep traditional fans happy as well as people like me just dipping in and watching without background knowledge. I loved the blend of the modern world with Jane Austen's world.

Jemima Rooper is so adorable in her role and the supporting cast are very believable too.

This is pure escapism and the ladies will love it.
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on 7 January 2018
I love Austen, and when I discovered this little gem, I had no idea how much of a sweet and humourous mini series it would be. Albeit slightly cheesy at times (the whole ‘modern girl meets regency era, the period of her dreams’) I cannot deny how pleasurable this is. It might not be for everyone, but if you love romance, Austen and a bit of cheese, you’ll love this indeed. It’s also nice to see a bit of a variation of the story we all love so dearly.
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on 21 March 2016
If you're like me and love Jane Austen, then this is great! It's about a woman who lives and breathes in her book of Pride & Prejudice and one day, when things seem pretty low and rock-bottom, Elizabeth Bennett appears in her bathroom having come through a door between her world and the current one. The main protagonist is propelled into the world of courting, balls, soldiers and Pemberley but things are not as they seem nor are they as written in the book.

It's fairly cheesy and romantic but as I said, if you like Jane Austen, definitely give this a try.
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on 4 January 2014
A brilliantly written, superbly crafted and fabulously acted take on Austen which in fact is an homage. Jane herself would have loved it, I honestly believe. Darcy broods with Shakespearean intensity, Bingley is brilliant and Wickham a total delight. And all the Bennett sisters are fabulous, as is the interloper - watch the programme. However, watch out for Collins - Ben Hunt is the best Collins I have ever seen - and that includes the one in the seminal and never surpassed BBC Pride and Prejudice production. I never bother to find the names of the actors unless they truly mesmerize and are masters of their craft. Ben Hunt is one of them. Utterly brilliant, plausible and real - never once allowing his actorliness to get in the way of his character's portrayal, unlike the Darcy guy, once or twice. How Hunt manages to convey such creepiness, which hides those beautiful eyes and that sensitive face of his, is down to his genius. You'll see what I mean.
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on 13 January 2014
After reading about the 'deleted downtown' scene i was a bit unsure of buying this, it arrived and i put it in the player and there it was all intact , relief . So if your worried dont be . its the 2008 copy with the 5 cast members on the front ,ITV DVD top left corner.

Right now thats done, the drama itself. Im going to assume that you know the book or the film, Pride & prejudice, if you love that you MUST see this some how its got the same feeling of the original , its all MR so and so or Miss wotsit , no first names here. The twist being the a reader from the 21st century swaps places with Elisabeth Bennett and upsets the story , with lots of nods toward what should be happening for those not so familiar.

The making of , as always is worth a look , but just the once. The production value is not as good as film but a lot better than most tv. still very good.

Over all, for anyone who likes Austin get it you'll love it and laugh your ass off. Makes a great present for a fan. I told a work colleague about it and they didn't know the story at all , i think i outlined the first episode . the next day they told me that they had watched the second episode and loved it and wanted too see the rest of it. If that isn't the highest recommendation i dont know what is.
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on 3 September 2014
This is a fun romp through Austen's Pride and Prejudice. A 21st century Austen fan is transported within the pages of her favorite book, via a sort of time/fiction slip portal in her bathroom. She struggles to cope with the morals and the restrictions of the time,and the characters tendencies to act independently of the plot of P&P. She inadvertently causes major disruptions to the lives of the characters and has to try and put the characters back on track, whilst dallying with Darcy and trying not to fall for him, as she waits for the return of Lizzie Bennett who has escaped the pages of the novel to modern day London. A strong cast work well in this fantasy and fans of the novel will not be disappointed with this interpretation. There is even a nod to Colin Firth and 'that' scene from the BBC series.
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on 7 December 2015
an incredibly well done drama where a modern woman finds herself Living in Pride and Prejudice after finding a door in her bathroom and tries not to change things. I had to start from the beginning when my Sister decided after straying into the living room where I was watching it that she wanted to see it from the start. She doesnt like this kind of thing and I am very sure that she has never read Jane Austen in her entire life. Lose yourself for a while watching this.
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on 12 September 2012
Absolutely loved this!

Totally missed it when it originally came out and only became aware of it on Amazon.

I just watched three of the four episodes last night, the last part (episode 4) today. And then tonight watched episode one again with hubby! He found it every bit as hilarious as me.

Rarely do I find that something captivates me so much that at the point it ends I want to start it again immediately.

It's smart, funny heart warming. And managed to do something I simply didn't think possible - a new spin on Austen's "Pride and Prejudice".

I love the book, but in truth you could watch this without knowing the book. You wouldn't get all the in jokes if you haven't read the book but again it's just thoroughly enjoyable.

I just didn't want this to end. And I've found myself laughing just as hard watching the first episode again this evening as I did the first time (last night!)
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on 23 May 2011
this is a brill twist on a brill story.
if you love pride and prejudice your love this
5 stars!

this is a very cleaver twist on the story of p & p
its loveingly done costumes are brill, settings are the same!
Amanda Price, living in 21st century London, finds herself transported back to the beginning of the story of Pride and Prejudice. But she's there as herself "Miss Price" not as Elizabeth. The humour comes from the fact that she is so different ( in a 21st century woman way ) from the other characters but mainly because the story is coming out not as in the book. Everything she tries to do to get the story back on track with the "right" people marrying each other only seems to make things a lot worse.

This version is well cast as the bbc's P & P is. Pride And Prejudice - Special Edition [DVD]
This version of Darcy shows someone with a heart. This is the first time I have had any sympathy with Mrs Bennet. Alex kingston was brill in the part.

Anyone who knows the p & p story well, will remember MR COLINS the version of Colins in this will make you sick!!! his repulsive! the actor that plays him is truly fab!

lastly the DOWNTOWN!!!
OMG brillient so good I laughed so much
fab dvd a must for lovers of p & P
GIRLS you will defo fall for this MR DARCY!
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