|Douglas Booth, aka "Pip" in this new Great Expectations, in the excellent Christopher Isherwood biopic Christopher and His Kind, based on Isherwood's wonderful memoir of the same title, where Dougie had rather a lot of gay sex with Doctor Who!|
...but it has lots of atmosphere, the scenes are excitingly staged, David Suchet is giving an interesting performance as Jaggars, and they hew closely to the novel.
But, and this is a HUGE "BUT," they've eliminated ALL of Charles Dickens's dialogue! This is tantamount to doing Hamlet and tossing out all of Shakespeare's "tiresome" poetry and writing their own dialogue.
Message to ALL TV writers everywhere: You may think you can write better dialogue than Charles Dickens did. Well here's your Reality Check: YOU CAN'T!!!! There's a reason Dickens is revered as the greatest English-Language novelist in history and you are not: BECAUSE HE IS! Do NOT rewrite his dialogue! The EGO! To rewrite Dickensian dialogue!
And especially, do not put in anachronistic cliches!
Pip: "Yes, but..."
Jaggars: "No buts about it!"
Pip: "Curiosity is natural under the circumstances..."
Jaggars: "Curiosity killed the cat."
Dickens never wrote that cliched, jarringly anachronistic crap.
Herbert Pocket is being well-played by a handsome and engaging young actor who happens to be Charles Dickens's Great-Great-Great-Grandson, Harry Lloyd. You may remember him in "The Family of Blood" on Doctor Who about five years ago. He should have DEMANDED his G-G-G-Grandfather's words be restored.
|This man has Charles Dickens's genes in his DNA. He even looks like Young Dickens.|
|Young Charles Dickens. See!|
And in the program intro, Laura Linney said that Dickens "wrote over 15 best sellling novels." Excuuuuuse me! I have read every word of every novel Charles Dickens ever wrote, and there are fourteen and one-half novels by Charles Dickens, and ...that's all! He wrote a lot of short stories and novellas. At usually 100 pages, A Christmas Carol is a novella, not a novel!
Foutreen and a half are not "more than fifteen." They aren't even fifteen. They are fourteen and a half. At best, they are "a bit over fourteen." But yes, they are all best sellers, all fourteen and a half of them. (The "half" is The Mystery of Edwin Drood. He died when it was exactly half written. He took who done it and what they done with him to his grave.)
|Charlie, thinking up better dialogue than 21st Century BBC writers can.|
In the words of Star Kist: "Sorry, Charlie."
|Charlie as drawn by Campbell Grant for Richard Armour's hilarious English Lit ReLit.|