Downton Abbey, Masterpiece Classic, Period Drama

Masterpiece Classic 2011 Season Preview

Masterpiece Classic logo

One of the consolations of being trapped inside during the cold, wet Pacific Northwest winter in the prospect of great television from Masterpiece Classic on PBS. Celebrating its 40th year on the air, the longest-running and most-honored drama series in primetime announced its new 2011 season this past week. There are some exciting new productions in the queue: Downton Abbey, Any Human Heart, Upstairs Downstairs and South Riding, and encore presentations of My Boy Jack, The Unseen Alistair Cooke and 39 Steps in store for drama lovers.

Since girlhood, I have been entranced by Masterpiece Theater, now Masterpiece, broken down into the Classic, Mystery and Contemporary seasons a few years back. This superbly produced series has for the majority of my life enriched my viewing experience and opened up new possibilities in reading classics which many of the shows are adapted from, and more recently contemporary fare with books and stories from the twentieth century. Continue reading “Masterpiece Classic 2011 Season Preview”

Masterpiece Classic, Period Drama

Retrace ‘The 39 Steps’ on Masterpiece Classic – A Recap & Review

Image from The 39 Steps: Rupert Penry-Jones © 2010 MASTERPIECEThe Masterpiece Classic 2010 season continued tonight with The 39 Steps staring British actor Rupert Penry-Jones (Persuasion 2007) in the classic role of Richard Hannay, a former British intelligence officer who is unjustly suspected of murder and must unravel a German espionage plot to save himself. Here is a brief introduction from PBS.

Newly returned to England on the eve of World War I, Richard Hannay’s (Rupert Penry-Jones) listless London life is about to spiral out of control. When a neighbor bursts in with a top-secret notebook full of cryptic codes and a frantic story of an impending assassination, unlikely patriot Hannay is soon on the run to save himself and his country. He bumps into feisty suffragette Victoria Sinclair (Lydia Leonard), and while their fates may be intertwined, their personalities aren’t. But like it or not, they’ll together navigate murder, betrayal and near death in order to untangle a plot of national importance, and understand the charms and challenges of human nature. A bracing and romantic thriller, The 39 Steps is based on the novel by John Buchan. (One episode; 90 minutes)

Continue reading “Retrace ‘The 39 Steps’ on Masterpiece Classic – A Recap & Review”

Jane Austen Adaptations, Masterpiece Classic, Period Drama, Persuasion Movies & TV

Jane Austen’s Persuasion (2007) – A Movie Review

Sally Hawkins, as Anne Elliot in Persuasion (2007)

A new adaptation of Persuasion will air on Masterpiece PBS tonight. Based on Jane Austen’s 1817 novel, its themes of patience, fortitude, and second chances ring true to today’s audience even after two hundred years. The story of Anne Elliot, a twenty-seven-year-old unmarried daughter of an aristocrat who was advised seven years earlier to decline an offer of marriage from a dashing young Royal Navy officer she loved because his social standing was not on par with her family’s rank, is one of Austen’s most poignant. When Wentworth reappears in her life as an established, wealthy, and eligible suitor, every unmarried young woman in the neighborhood takes notice. How the two react to this uncomfortable situation and work past their regret and disappointment is one of classic literature’s most endearing stories.

Adapting Austen’s story to the screen takes a highly sensitive writer and director. This new ITV/Masterpiece PBS production of Persuasion is the first installment of The Complete Jane Austen series this year on PBS which will also include new productions of three other new adaptations of her major novels, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility, and a biopic Miss Austen Regrets. There will also be an encore presentation of Emma (1996) and Pride and Prejudice (1995) to complete the lineup. This new Persuasion has a promising ensemble of accomplished British actors and crew to support Austen’s narrative. Being both a tragedy and a comedy, one really never knows how it will be handled. Continue reading “Jane Austen’s Persuasion (2007) – A Movie Review”

Persuasion Movies & TV

Austen countdown: 1 day to Persuasion

Image of the banner for the PBS presentation of Persuasion 2007 

1 DAY TO PERSUASION ON PBS

Sunday, the 13th of January, at 9:00pm

Pop the popcorn and plump the pillows on the settee! The long wait is almost over! What has been talked about and anticipated for some months, will shortly come to pass. The premiere of the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel of love and redemption, Persuasion, airs tomorrow night. Staring Sally Hawkins as our heroine Anne Elliot, and Rupert Penry-Jones as the dashing Captain Wentworth, it promises to be and grand evening presented by those great folks at Masterpiece Classic. Further details can be found at An Austen New Year Awaits. Don’t miss out on all the Regency drama and fun!

Jane Austen Adaptations

Austen countdown: 3 days to Persuasion

Image of Persuasion banner day three, PBS, (2008) 

 3 DAYS TO PERSUASION ON PBS

Sunday, the 13th of January, at 9:00pm

The excitement is building. Mark your calendars and set your watches for the premiere of the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel of love and redemption, Persuasion, staring Sally Hawkins as our heroine Anne Elliot, and Rupert Penry-Jones as the dashing Captain Wentworth. Presented by those great folks at Masterpiece Classic. Further details can be found at An Austen New Year Awaits. Don’t miss out on all the Regency drama and fun!

Jane Austen Adaptations

Austen countdown: 5 days to Persuasion

Image of the banner for the PBS presentation of Persuasion staring Rupert Penry-Jones 

5 DAYS TO PERSUASION ON PBS

Sunday, the 13th of January, at 9:00pm

Mark your calendars and set your watches for the premiere of the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel of love and redemption, Persuasion, staring Rupert Penry-Jones as the dashing Captain Wentworth. Presented by those great folks at Masterpiece Classics. Further details can be found at An Austen New Year Awaits. Don’t miss out on all the Regency drama and fun!