Death Comes To Pemberley
This is a spoiler free review, so read on if you want to know whether the show is worth watching.
Well who’d have thought the sequel to Pride and Prejudice would end up being one of the best things on TV over the Christmas period? Death Comes To Pemberley is another period piece, of the kind that the BBC do so well, with a great cast of experience television actors. It also functions extremely well as a whodunit, a murder mystery that you’d normally see on ITV on Wednesday or the BBC on Sunday nights. So, Christmas mashup TV on the Beeb, what’s not to like.
It’s not giving too much away to say that the plot’s driven along by a murder and the fallout from that, along with the societal interplay that was the basis of the original book by Jane Austen. As this adaptation of the PD James book was played out over three parts the story has enough twists, turns, and red herrings to keep you hooked, with a large enough cast of characters to keep you guessing until right near the end. Of that cast there are a number of stand outs, the excellent as usual Matthew Rhys, fresh off The Americans, continues building his reputation with a perfectly pitched portrayal of the emotionally stunted Mr Darcy. Anna Maxwell Martin is also well cast as Elizabeth Darcy, playing her clever-woman-in-a-male-dominated-world role spot on. In meaty supporting roles both Tom Ward (he of Silent Witness) and Matthew Goode (recently seen on the big screen in Stoker) are both memorable as the pompous but well meaning Colonel Fitzwilliam and the sleazy cad George Wickham respectively. Then you’ve got TV stalwarts like Penelope Keith, Rebecca Front, and James Fleet is much smaller roles, and Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman in frothy, pea-brained mode as Elizabeth’s sister, Lydia.
Worth watching then? Absolutely. Its solid storyline, watchable cast, and satisfying conclusion puts it above most recent one-off TV dramas. It’s the period piece you should have watched this Christmas.
The see what you missed you can watch Death Comes To Pemberley on iPlayer now.