October 5, 2006

Hoist the Jib!!!

This month PBS is really catering to my soft spot for English seafaring adventures. (I know, there's nothing romantic about foul-mouthed, rickets-laden sailors who could stand a little less grog and a little more personal hygiene. But still...)

Starting Sunday, Oct. 22, PBS's Masterpiece Theater treats us to a three-part adaptation of William Golding's trilogy To The Ends of the Earth. The story tracks a perilous 19th century ocean voyage from England to Australia. A hardened Captain Anderson helms the converted man-o-war ship with a passenger list that includes uppity British socialites and a salty crew.

You'll see some familiar faces among the cast including Charles Dance (Tulkinghorn from MP's Bleak House); Sam Neill (pictured, Komarovsky from MP's Doctor Zhivago); Victoria Hamilton (who has appeared in Mansfield Park, the Pride & Prejudice miniseries and Persuasion); and Joanna Page (pictured, Dora in MP's David Copperfield).

The BBC drama has already aired in England, so anyone who's seen it already should give us their thumbs' up or down. It appears to have gotten pretty good reviews.

Finally, don't forget to set your VCR or TiVo (or just tune in) to PBS this Sunday night to see Part I of Casanova. And check back on Romancing the Tome to get our review! -- Amy


  1. This is definitely worth a watch. Benedict Cumberbatch as the (anti)-hero of the piece Edmund Talbot is quite excellent. Edmund is not your regular hero by any means, and is really rather dislikeable for much of it. But we do go on this goddawful journey with him, for better or worse, ( a lot of worse actually), and without wanting to spoil anything, it becomes quite a moving tale of redemption. Victoria Hamilton is also great in this as an uptight, puritanical governess. I also liked JJ Feild as Lieutenant Deverel.

    I have never read the source books (still mean to), but I suspect this is in fact an allegory of some sort ... perhaps once the final episode is over we can discuss this aspect of it? Anyway, to sum up - I really liked this by the end of all - it really grew on me. It's pretty dark and miserable a lot of the time and not as majorly budgeted I think as many BBC period drama ventures and didn't achieve huge audience ratings if I remember as it was hived away to BBC 2 mid-week.

  2. You've sold me, Gallivant....thanks for giving us the 411. We'll post our opinion once it airs here at the end of the month. (I haven't read the Golding books either, but I may have to after watching.) I love "dark and miserable," and the characters you describe sound intriguing. -- Amy