TV Review: Death Comes to Pemberley

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

IMDB Rating: 7.3/10

Content Rating: 16+

IMDB Summary: Elizabeth and Darcy, now six years married, are preparing for their annual ball when festivities are brought to an abrupt halt. An adaptation of PD James’s homage to Pride and Prejudice. 

Cast: Matthew Rhys, Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Goode, Jenna Coleman, Eleanor Tomlinson

Trailer:

Mystery? Murder? Mr. Darcy? Welcome back to the beloved characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It’s six years after Darcy and Elizabeth were married, and they are just as adorable as ever. If for no other reason, watch Death Comes to Pemberley to enjoy more of their adorable relationship.

But it’s not all smooth sailing. A man gets murdered and George Wickham gets blamed.

This was a really fun mini-series; I, like every other female in the world, absolutely adore Pride and Prejudice (especially the Keira Knightly/Matthew McFadyen one; YES I have seen the 5 million hour BBC version and NO I didn’t like it better), so I jumped at the opportunity to watch a continuation of the story. This is an adaptation from the book by PD James, which I haven’t read, so I can’t speak to the accuracy. Sadly, the language of this mini-series is not as beautiful as Austen’s words (big surprise there, right?) but I, unlike other reviews I’ve read, wasn’t too bothered by that. It was slightly noticeable, but it didn’t mangle my enjoyment.

I thought it was cast very nicely; the only ‘big’ name I recognized was Matthew Goode as a rather sullen Wickham, although I recognized the actors playing Darcy and Elizabeth from other period pieces I’d seen. Anna Maxwell Martin is lovely as Elizabeth, showing us how perfectly and comfortably she became the lady of Pemberley (you may recognize her as Cassandra, Jane’s older sister in Becoming Jane or as Susan in The Bletchely Circle). Matthew Rhys is noble, reserved, and wholly endearing as Darcy. There are a few adorable scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth, and the two have excellent chemistry. It’s also very sweet to see Darcy interacting with their son. Lydia wasn’t as annoying as in other versions, although she was very definitely extremely talkative and quite hysterical at times. She was played by Jenna Coleman (Clara from Doctor Who) The rest of the cast was very good (these period piece mini-series are always full of great unknowns or lesser knowns).

While I enjoyed the mystery/murder plot involving Wickham, I, as a hopeless romantic, was slightly more interested in Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship and how the crisis affected it. There was a lot of turbulence for their marriage, and it was interesting to see them through that.

Georgiana’s storyline was not as interesting to me and felt a little forced, although I loved Eleanor Tomlinson in the part. I’ve seen her in a few other things and have really liked her. I thought she did beautiful work and had great chemistry with the two leads.

The production quality was very nice and the script, although not as elegant or well-written as Austen’s own work, was acceptable. All-in-all well worth a watch, especially for fans of Pride and Prejudice. It is, in essence, a fanfiction though, so if that bothers you, stay away.

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