Masterpiece Mystery

Sherlock Season One on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – A Review

Masterpiece Mystery Sherlock banner 2010

Guest review of Masterpiece Mystery’s Sherlock: Season One by the co-author of Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Recently, Masterpiece Mystery aired BBC’s contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, simply titled Sherlock. Now, I think I should admit up front that I am an amateur Holmes fan.  I enjoy the stories, and of course Holmes and Watson are classic, but that’s about as far as I go.  So the fact that the new Sherlock series changed a lot (according to Holmes-philes I know) doesn’t rouse in me the fiery indignation of, say, Donald Sutherland interviewing that his Pride and Prejudice 2005 Mr. Bennet was deeply in love with his wife.

I have some little experience with adapting a famous author’s work, and I think the trick with adapting anything is deciding what you want to keep and what you can afford to lose.  Just to take a Continue reading “Sherlock Season One on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – A Review”

Masterpiece Classic, Period Drama

Small Island on Masterpiece Classic PBS Survives a Cold Embrace by the Mother Country – A Recap & Review

Image from Small Island: Naomie Harris © 2010 MASTERPIECEThere is a lot of pride and prejudice in the story of Small Island, the new Masterpiece Classic two-part adaptation of Andrea Levy’s award winning 2004 novel. Not the Jane Austen kind of pride and prejudice, but the kind experienced by millions of people whose countries were colonized by Great Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries. This particular story involves Hortense and Gilbert, two Jamaicans who immigrate to England in 1948, but could apply to native East Indians, Africans or Asians whose young men and women proudly served their Mother Country during WWII only to experience the cold embrace of prejudice and poverty in their new home. This story plays upon the dark underbelly of postwar racial discrimination in England paralleling the intersecting lives of  one white and one black couple that is painful to experience but uplifting in its conclusion.

This griping story presents two women from modest beginnings born on opposite sides of the Atlantic, each with a strong desire to improve their lives but naïve expectations on how to achieve it. In 1939 Jamaica, Hortense Roberts (Naomie Harris) is a young black woman from a broken home who Continue reading “Small Island on Masterpiece Classic PBS Survives a Cold Embrace by the Mother Country – A Recap & Review”

Masterpiece Mystery

Miss Marple: Murder is Easy on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – Recap & Review

Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple (2009)The second episode of the Miss Marple Mysteries aired on Sunday, July 12th on Masterpiece Mystery with Murder is Easy. The new Miss Marple Julia McKenzie continues to improve in her interpretation of Agatha Christie’s amateur detective who may look like a harmless and kindly elderly lady, but is as sharp as her knitting needles.

Miss Marple (Julia McKenzie) meets a stranger on a train who claims “murder is easy.”  The doddering Miss Pinkerton (Sylvia Syms) is on her way to Scotland Yard to report two suspicious deaths in her village and shares some scattered facts with Miss Marple during their short journey. When Miss Marple reads in the paper of her accidental death in the train station on the same day as their meeting, she may be the only person who knows of Miss Pinkerton’s suspicion that the deaths are indeed murders. She travels to the village of Wychwood-under-Ashe to reveal what she knows and discover the truth. The villagers are Continue reading “Miss Marple: Murder is Easy on Masterpiece Mystery PBS – Recap & Review”