Author Topic: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011  (Read 65663 times)

BooksAdmin

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PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« on: December 30, 2010, 09:23:39 PM »
 
 

Masterpiece Classic 2011 brings back favorite authors and introduces new authors and programs. See the complete 2011 MASTERPIECE CLASSIC schedule.

CONTEST NEWS!
MASTERPIECE sweepstakes gives fans a chance to go on location
.....................................................................................
What better way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of MASTERPIECE on PBS than by touring some of the stunning locations from the series? The MASTERPIECE 40th Anniversary Sweepstakes runs until Tuesday, April 26 and will send the grand prize winner and a guest on a four-day, three-night trip to the United Kingdom. The trip includes VIP tours of Highclere Castle (DOWNTON ABBEY), Greenway (home of Agatha Christie) and Blenheim Palace (THE LOST PRINCE), while enjoying accommodations with MacDonald Hotels & Resorts in the historic cities of Bath (PERSUASION) and Oxford (INSPECTOR LEWIS).  Learn more at http://www.pbs.org/masterpiecesweepstakes


NOW DISCUSSING

Upstairs Downstairs
April 10, 17 & 24, 2011 at 9pm

Three 60-minute episodes
Upstairs Downstairs is an updated version of one of the most-loved television series. Jean Marsh reprises her Emmy-winning role as Rose along with series co-creator Eileen Atkins (Cranford). Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard and Art Malik (The Jewel in the Crown) also star.

COMING

South Riding
May 1, 8 & 15, 2011 at 9pm

Three 60-minute episodes
Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House) and David Morrissey (Sense & Sensibility) lead the cast in Andrew Davies's (Bleak House, Little Dorrit) three-part adaptation of Winifred Holtby's moving love story.

ALREADY DISCUSSED

The 39 Steps
March 27, 2011 at 9pm

One 90-minute episode
Secret agent Richard Hannay battles German spies on the eve of World War I in a riveting and romantic new version of the thriller by John Buchan. Rupert-Penry Jones (Persuasion) stars as Hannay.  Learn more about this series at http://www.seniorlearn.org/bookclubs/masterpiece/39steps/39steps.html.  Read some of Buchan's works online at http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/b#a285


Any Human Heart
February 13, 20 & 27, 9pm

Three 90-minute episodes)
William Boyd adapts his acclaimed 2002 novel about a man making his often precarious way through the 20th century. Matthew Macfadyen, Gillian Anderson, Hayley Atwell, Kim Cattrall and Jim Broadbent star. Watch online through March 22 at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch/index.html.


The Unseen Alistair Cooke
February 6, 9pm

One 60-minute episode
Told in his own voice and home movies, The Unseen Alistair Cooke shows America as the beloved Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke saw it — the raw material for a lifetime of journalism. (Repeat) Watch online through 2/13 at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch/cooke.html


Downton Abbey
January 9, 16, 23 & 30, 9pm

(Four 90-minute episodes)
A stately country house, a noble family and a succession crisis are the backdrop for this epic drama by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park) starring Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and others. Watch full episodes online through 2/22/11 at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/watch/index.html


My Boy Jack
January 2, 9pm

One 120-minute episode)
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) stars in a World War I drama about beloved storyteller Rudyard Kipling's only son, missing on the Western front in 1915. David Haig and Kim Cattrall co-star as the famous author and his American wife, Carrie. My Boy Jack offers an intimate portrait of a nation at war and one divided family. (Repeat)



Discussion Leaders:  JoanP and marcie


marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2010, 09:27:58 PM »
This Sunday there will be a repeat of a former Masterpiece Classic, My Boy Jack. Learn more at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/myboyjack/index.html.

rosemarykaye

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 07:08:23 AM »
I don't know if you will be getting this on PBS, but last night we saw a wonderful TV adaptation of Nigel Slater's book "Toast".  Nigel Slater is a very well-known and well-loved cook in the UK - he writes really good books and is not at all showy.  My favourite book of his is called "Kitchen Diaries" - he writes about what he cooks and eats over the course of a year - he lives in Islington, North London, and describes the street markets and ethnic food stores beautifully.  His writing about food is a pleasure to read, and he has two cats who also feature.

Toast is his story of his childhood and early adulthood (he must be in his 50s now I think).  He had a very sad childhood as his beloved mother (who couldn't cook at all) had severe asthma and died very young.  His father - a typical remote 1950s kind of man - then employed a cleaner, whom Nigel loathed, especially as she wormed her way into his father's affections by producing fabulous meals.  Eventually father married the woman, and Nigel's home life was most unhappy - but don't let that put you off, the book and the TV version are both very funny too.

The programme ended at the point that Nigel left home (aged 17) and found himself a job in the kitchens of the Savoy Hotel in London.  Nigel himself had a cameo part as the chef who took the young Nigel on.

So if this turns up on PBS - I recommend it.

Rosemary

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 10:36:44 AM »
That sounds great! We end up getting things a year or so down the line so will look for it, thank you for that recommendation!

Two big BIG things coming up on PBS for this year. One is a remake of Upstairs Downstairs (why would they remake it, just replay the first one), in April, but the second is Downton Abbey on Sunday January 9 at 9 pm, which they say is out of this world, and not to miss.

The writer is Julian Fellowes who wrote Gosford Park, it's got Maggie Smith, and  Hugh Bonneville (Notting Hill)   and Elizabeth McGovern as his American wife, their huge pile of a home in peril over an inheritance law.

There's a downstairs, too, led by Brendan Coyle, and the whole is very highly recommended. Sounds like the place to be on the 9th!

FlaJean

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 12:39:14 PM »
 :)

nlhome

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 10:19:18 PM »
Sounds interesting. I was a faithful viewer of the old Upstairs Downstairs, also some others on PBS, back in the 70's and early 80's.

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 03:09:17 PM »
Thanks, Ginny, for the info about Downton Abbey. There is some info about it at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/downtonabbey/index.html

Rosemary, Toast sounds very interesting. I hope we'll get it here in the States soon.

Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2011, 11:05:19 PM »
I just watched, off and on, My Boy Jack. It was rather compelling. What machinations they went through not to show too much emotion. The traditional "stiff upper lip" I suppose. He wasn't even 19, like many others. So sad.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=12868925

When you consider the carnage and major mistakes, on both sides, made during WWI, it is no wonder so many were anxious to avoid WWII at almost all costs. These two wars still affect the European mentality today.

Babi

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2011, 08:40:06 AM »
 I watched "My Boy Jack" and found it so sad that this boy was sent off
to war before he was even 18.  I know his Father meant well, but he
let his patriotism get in the way of his own son's well-being.  No one with
that boy's eyesight had any business on the front lines, no matter how
valiant he was.
  It was also shocking to learn in what terrible condition the Brtitish military
was at the beginning of WWI.  They were totally unprepared and unequipped.  Then, Lord help them, they made the same mistake again
and were caught unprepared for WWII.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

Aberlaine

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2011, 05:44:01 AM »
I loved the old "Upstairs, Downstairs" and will be watching the new "Downtown Abbey".  I can't wait for it to start.  With the exception of PBS, there is very little to watch on TV these days.

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2011, 08:00:40 AM »
That's the truth, I can't wait, either, tomorrow night in the US, they've probably had it already in the UK, since so many of the actors (Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi) are British. All the new shows of the new season, to me are a pass.  Entertainment Magazine has a huge new list of them, ugg ugg and ugg. Movie theater going is down for the first time in several years, network TV is off, so why not fill the slate with the same type of programming nobody is watching?  One wonders what they are thinking and the ages of those making the decisions.



Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2011, 08:21:09 AM »
For some reason I never got around to watching Upstairs/Downstairs. Can't imagine why, except that I am not a soap opera watcher and may have considered it a "dressed up" type of soap at the time.



Quote
why not fill the slate with the same type of programming nobody is watching? 

Right on Ginny! They keep adding new channels that just show the same things over and over. Not only that, but I guess you've noticed how the recycle older programs on different channels by renaming them. Sometimes the actually edit them slightly, but otherwise only the name has changed. Then they also have the audacity to re-date them in the listings to appear as if they are new. Oh, and they say, "Gee, aren't we nice? We are "giving" you these new channels, free". A month or so later they jack up the price. I just love paying more for channels I never watch, don't you?

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2011, 09:05:51 PM »
I was just able to watch MY BOY, JACK on my cable On Demand. I agree with you, Frybabe and Babi, about how compelling it was. I was crying even before the end since I knew the outcome. I thought that the actors who played Rudyard Kipling and his son, Jack, were excellent in those rolls. As you said, the conditions for the British during the start of WWI were terrible.

I am looking forward to watching Downton Abbey tomorrow. I really enjoyed the first several years of Upstairs, Downstairs. I'm not sure why I stopped watching it. Maybe it did get a bit like a soap-opera toward the end.

I agree that very few shows on regular channels  this past year have been of interest.


Babi

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2011, 09:49:53 AM »
 I checked my PBS schedule as was happy to find that they are starting
Downtown Abbey tonight.  The title does seem odd.  'Downtown' and
'abbey' do not relate properly in my mind.
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2011, 06:07:47 PM »
Babi, I kept reading "Downtown" also when it's actually Downton Abbey. Wikipedia says, "The Downton estate is centred on the fictional village of Downton, a place name in several English counties but not in Yorkshire, so that no exact location can be given."

I'm glad that you'll be able to watch it too.

CallieinOK

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 08:50:24 PM »
X marking my spot.  I'm looking forward to "Downton Abbey".

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2011, 09:43:13 PM »
Great, Callie. We'll all look forward to your thoughts about the new series.

salan

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2011, 07:26:03 AM »
Marcie, Thanks for clarifying.  I, too, kept calling it Downtown Abbey.  Funny how our eyes/minds play tricks on us.  I watched the first episode and enjoyed it very much.
Sally

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2011, 08:15:19 AM »
I watched it, too. I very much enjoyed it and found myself moving as if in a dream afterwards, where is MY household of 100? hahahaa  I thought they did a super job of making several key points:...well what struck YOU the most?

I thought the weight of that inheritance and the need to get American money in it was well shown and it's an ongoing and historical fact also. The entailment thing seemed grossly unfair to me, she lost all her money to a death at sea. Why do I think this long lost 3rd cousin who just happens to be an attorney specializing in wills can set things straight?

It's not Upstairs Downstairs, really, is it? it's Gosford Park. If somebody showed you 1/2 hour of all three movies you'd have no trouble putting it where it goes.  I think it's the staff,  the way they show the staff, closing in on their faces which have still strange watchful expressions;  it SO reminds me of Gosford Park which of course Julian Fellowes also did. Like a mini Gosford Park. Same writer, same producer.

When I was just in England this summer and touring Highclere where Lord Carnarvon  (he of the discovery of  Tut's tomb) lived, the tour guide taking us thru the house talked about the rumors...was Andrew Lloyd Weber (a neighbor)  really going to buy the house? Those tremendous piles apparently cost a fortune to run and maintain and the heir who inherits them has to somehow come up with the money or lose it all. Perhaps if England did something with their death duties the peers could keep their ancestral homes afloat without adding zoos and tours. Imagine, just imagine, the burden and cost, will you be the first in hundreds of years to let the family down and lose it all?  Still very much an issue today when titles can be bought as well as ancestral homes.


What didn't ring true? I was having a little trouble figuring out in a household so vast why, in the case of the new valet's not being able to "do his duties" (causing the scandal of a woman serving at dinner, a maid to have to wait on a duke),  (the duke in question I'd like to have seen serving his own plate, what a slime bag)  (and also probably accurate)...but why,  one wonders,  could not another male member of the staff be trained to do that also? There do seem no lack of servants about.

I like the Butler,  but there will never be another Hudson (Upstairs Downstairs). Or for that matter, Stevens,  in Remains of the Day. Great Butlers, all.  You know they are remaking Upstairs  Downstairs and will present it this spring. I wonder why. I hope they do a better job with it than the awful Brideshead Revisited remake.



 I guess my major complaint was the sound. Was it only my TV? They would deliberately mute it, once Maggie Smith and a couple of others began to speak, suddenly it would drop down, AGAIN,  and you'd have to turn it up. It ended up all the way full on volume and there's nothing wrong with my hearing,  then when regular programming came back on it nearly shot me from the chair at warp speed. What were they DOING with the sound? Did you experience the same thing? Maybe it's my own set here, I'll try a different one next week.

What did you think about last night's first installment? No Derek Jacobi, he must be in one of the last 3 to come.

Maggie Smith is a hoot, they need to take that filter off her, she is blurred like a ghost when she appears. "What is a WEEK...END?" hahahaa




Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2011, 08:50:34 AM »
What struck me was that some of the staff were deliberately undermining the valet, verbally (and at least once physically. Because they thought he wouldn't be able to suitably perform his duties, they set out to prove it. I didn't quite catch who tripped him in the line when the Duke arrived.

Babi

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2011, 09:16:22 AM »
 FRYBABE,  while all of the staff may be concerned, I believe it is only Thomas and his cohort who
are actively sabotaging Bates.  I believe that is OBrien, the lady's maid, who kicked Bates cane
away.  Vicious little .....well, being a lady myself, I won't say.  :-X
"I go to books and to nature as a bee goes to the flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey."  John Burroughs

rosemarykaye

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2011, 01:13:15 PM »
Ginny - you might enjoy reading some of James Lees-Milne's diaries (there are volumes of them) - he was one of the first employees of the National Trust, and he spent much of his time driving round to one crumbling pile after another to decide if the NT would take them on.  Of course the NT could not take them on unless there was some money with them - but in the UK if you leave your property to a charity it passes free of Inheritance Tax (death duties).

I found it amusing to read about the number of aristocrats who wanted the NT to take over all the expense, but who did not want to move out or to have anyone looking round their houses.  Personally I cannot see that these people have a right to live exclusively in vast piles at the expense of the rest of us, and I don't think they should be exempt from IHT either (unless they are giving their properties to charity).

Rant over!  did not see Downton Abbey - my mother said it was quite good but not perfect.  I agree wholeheartedly about the remake of Brideshead - what a disaster!  Anna and I went to see it at the cinema and thought it would never end.

nlhome

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2011, 02:14:04 PM »
I was able to watch Downton Abbey last night. My husband, who does not normally watch PBS programs with me unless they are music, sat through it. He's more used to be watching mysteries, like the Christie or Holmes programs, and he kept waiting for a murder. We talked about the times (the Titanic) and the entail, etc., and I had to translate a bit of the British accent, but I chuckled to see him watching and expecting some body to surface. When it ended, he had the strangest expression on his face and said "That's it? That's all?" and I realized I hadn't explained that it was a 4-part series.

He went to his computer and then emailed me a link to watch the program on line (which I of course already have) - do you think he was hinting?

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2011, 02:43:16 PM »
Rosemary, I would LOVE to read James Lees-Milne's diaries (there are volumes of them), I'm looking them up as we speak. I  have stayed several times in National Trust houses, but I did not know half of what you are saying:



Of course the NT could not take them on unless there was some money with them -


Will you  explain this?


I found it amusing to read about the number of aristocrats who wanted the NT to take over all the expense, but who did not want to move out or to have anyone looking round their houses


I did not know that happened!!! What, for the length of their lives or their children's lives? In other words they live there till they die and then the NT gets it? We have something like that here, a conservancy if land is involved, there are several kinds tho. But for your lifespan yes, there is one like that, but you have to let people in.

Nlhome, smart cookie your husband is, I did, too. And since it's so similar to Gosford Park I have a feeling he will be right!

I would be surprised if there weren't,  actually.

Brideshead! It made me go back and watch Jeremy Irons and  Anthony Andrews.  Trivia question for fans of the original Brideshead Revisited, do you know who this is? Mystery Man from the Original Bridehead Revisited

marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2011, 03:31:56 PM »
I too watched Downton Abbey and enjoyed it.  I appreciate everyone's interesting insights.

What struck me was the portrayal of the sort of class system/hierarchy within the staff. Everyone has his or her particular place above or below another staff member.

At first I was sympathetic to the younger daughter who seemed to sincerely love the cousin Patrick who died on the Titanic. Later she seems very vindictive toward Mary, the oldest sister. Also, as you've said, Mrs. O'Brien, the lady's maid, sure is a witch. This series seems to have more intrigue than I remember in Upstairs, Downstairs.

Ginny, your link to a Brideshead photo isn't working. I loved the original series. I haven't seen the 2008 film but can't imagine it being as good. Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews were iconic in their roles of Charles Ryder and Sebastian Flyte.

rosemarykaye

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2011, 04:21:07 PM »
Ginny - I too can't get through on the link you posted re Brideshead - so it is indeed a mystery  :)

What I meant about the houses needing "money with them" is that the NT could not just take on these people's houses, which were often in a terrible state, without also being given money to maintain them.  What some of these very upper class people were really saying was "you pay all the expenses of restoring and maintaining my house and I will graciously carry on living here, but don't let the scrubbers in"!  In fact I think Lees Milne did recommend taking on some without any attached funding in the early days of the NT, but I doubt if they would do that much now - in fact they are far more into land than buildings these days I believe. 

I hope you enjoy the Lees Milne diaries - he is an inveterate and priceless name dropper (he knew everybody), and I do find them quite addictive - I would suggest reading the ones from the 1930s before the more recent ones.  Somebody has recently published a biography of him - I read a good review of it but of course I can't remember who wrote it.

Which properties have you stayed in?  My friend's aunt used to be the custodian of Fyvie Castle - friend's children (with whom my children grew up) used to have a wild time when they visited her, running about in the castle when it was closed for the evening.

The remake of Brideshead had exactly the same effect on me - had to watch the DVD of the original series every night in bed for a week - and a great joy it was.  Jeremy Irons has of course played several high profile roles since then, though we don't hear so much about Anthony Andrews (who I think was the better of the two) - did he go and live in the US?

R

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2011, 04:22:55 PM »
Well I must risk arrest then and post it, fans of the original  Brideshead, who is this today?

I agree too on the more intrigue, almost somewhat sinister. Of course I have not watched Upstairs, Downstairs in years, I think I will, just to compare, my MEMORY is of happy people, happy staff cooperating as a family, but I wonder how realistic that really is/ was?

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2011, 04:45:39 PM »
Rosemary, how interesting, thank you. Oh I've stayed in a bunch of them,  at Cornwall, especially. It's been so long I can't remember the names, but I would if shown the photos.  Do they still have those wonderful catalogs?

The one I remember the best and can't think of the name to save my life was the first one I ever stayed in,  on a cliff near Port Isaac (I spelled it wrong, so much for my memory!) A  bunch of us spent a month in England, on that trip: a week in Cornwall,  at this place, a week near Hadrian's Wall, at another, etc.,  etc. All National Trust. I remember on the walk to the town how impressed I was that the entire little fishing village on the way was owned by the National Trust, only a few houses and small. What a romantic way to see a country.

I love those things. It faced the sea? And you could walk to Port Isaac which I fell in love with, but can't spell, and everything about it. This one  had a..."folly," they called it a castle but it was very small,  right on the cliff   apparently you could rent that too and no end of cliff walks, we stayed at another one on the Cornwall cliffs another time right on the beach  which was spectacular and huge also.

  At night the wind would shriek through the halls, and the lady who I guess oversaw it left us cookies, very nice of her.  I just loved the entire thing. It was romantic and marvelous. It had a washer and dryer in an outbuilding, the first British washer  I ever saw (gracious what a long time ago, I think maybe you always remember the "first" anything best).  I do think you really get the feel of the place doing that rather than the sterile hotels I now stay in.  It had been owned by a former....hmmm... prison superintendent? I'm sure that does him no end of disservice, truly it's been a long time for any of them. In my increasing old age I tend to stay where catered to rather than self catering, can just see self climbing up on a chair to turn on the electricity again. Or even having any vague idea how to do so. hahahaa   But I would not take anything for that experience and adventure.

How exciting, running through a castle when closed. I think it would be romantic to stay at Hampton Court, don't they rent out the grace and favor apartments?

I've only stayed in one "castle,"  something with a W, up near the Scottish border, actually not too far, drivable to Carlisle, used to have a friend who lived in Carlisle whom we'd also  visit and stay a night with,  and have just been trying to find IT and just looking at the pictures on the internet (none of which seem to be the one, I'll have to look further)....I mean WHAT a picturesque  area, castles (real castles) around every corner.  

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2011, 04:51:50 PM »
Anthony Andrews, whom I agree ran away with Brideshead, I was surprised to see, was  in one of those gardening mystery series  in Britain....Rosemary and Thyme. I liked that series, wish they had not taken it off.

He looks a little different, older, but still has that look? And there's no mistaking that voice, it brought me half across a room to stare at the credits.

Roxania

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2011, 05:21:00 PM »
Anthony Andrews did some TV movies--"Ivanhoe," a wonderful "Scarlet Pimpernel" (with Ian McKellan as Chauvelin!) that has been a favorite in my family for years, and an updated Agatha Christie thing--I think it was called "Sparkling Cyanide." 

I heard an interview with Jeremy Irons, in which he said that he had originally been cast as Sebastian Flyte and Andrews had been Charles Ryder, but they convinced the director to switch them around. 

I read somewhere that he retired for a time to lead the life of an English country gentleman--apparently he is very "horsey."

It took me a minute to recognize him as Prime Minister Stanley Baker in "The King's Speech."

I'm really looking forward to seeing Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) in the upcoming Showtime remake of "The Borgias."  It looks utterly gorgeous.  I'll have to wait for the DVD, though.

rosemarykaye

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2011, 05:35:16 PM »
Ginny, we still get Rosemary & Thyme - I must watch it now to see if I catch a glimpse!

I think Port Isaac is in North Cornwall, which I don't know very well - my mother's best school friend lives in Fowey on the south Cornish coast, so I have spent many happy holidays there.  I agree that it is much more fun to stay in these rather eccentric places.  Northumberland, which is I imagine where the castle beginning with W might be, is a wonderful part of the country with lots and lots of great castles - we have been on holiday there a few times, and love the beaches as well as the castles and the countryside.  Alnwick Castle (which is not owned by the NT) was, I think, used for some of the H Potter films.

Just by chance I have this evening received an email re my daughter's choir camp - each summer they go somewhere for a few days and sing at the local churches, cathedral, etc - last year they went to Oban and were able to sing on the island of Iona, and the year before they went to Holland.  This year they are hoping to stay at Carbisdale Castle in Sutherland, which is owned by the YHA - I just looked at the website and it is amazing - here is the link: www.syha.org.uk/highlands/hostels/carbisdale_castle.aspx

I am still just getting an unclickable red cross where the mystery person should be!  oh the joys of the technology  :)

Rosemary

Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2011, 07:39:56 PM »
Ginny, his name is Simon Jones. He played Arthur Dent in the unforgettable Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He and Douglas Adams were life-long friends. Adams died in 2001(?). I read the whole book series and now know the answer to the question of Life, the Universal and Everything  ;). Jones is also related to Daniel Craig. I am going to have to look for him in 12 Monkeys.

JoanP

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2011, 10:59:17 PM »
I find I'm always interested in the book - this seems to be an adaptation of a novel, doesn't it?  As far as I can see, after a bit of digging around, Downton Abbey was written for the film production by Julian Fellowes  - an actor, producer and a screenwriter.  He  did write several novels - one was recently published in 2004 - Snobs.

"Snobs focused on the social nuances of the upper class and concerned the marriage of an upper-middle class girl to a peer. Snobs was a Sunday Times Best Seller and has now been published in many countries.   In 2009 he published the novel, Past Imperfect, also a Sunday Times Best Seller. It deals with the Debutante Season of 1968, comparing the world then to the world of 2008. Despite its familiar territory, Fellowes insists it is not about class but about time, and what time does to lives. " Wikipedia

But Downton Abbey doesn't seem to have been published as a novel - yet! ;)

The screenwriter's background
- "On 28 April 1990, Fellowes married Emma Joy Kitchener, LVO (a Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Michael of Kent), the great-great-niece of the 1st Earl Kitchener, and subsequently changed his name to Kitchener-Fellowes.[6] They have one son, Peregrine, born 1991, and bought their home in Dorset in 2002.[7] In 2009, Fellowes was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the county. He is also the Lord of the Manor of Tattershall in Lincolnshire."Wikipedia


He seems quite familiar with the class system within the staff as Marcie has pointed out.
We went to see a really delightful revival of South Pacific at Kennedy Center last pm (even without Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin)  - and  missed Downton Abbey...then missed a rebroadcast this afternoon.  I followed the link you provided, Marcie - thanks!  I was able to watch it on my laptop this evening.  Back in the morning to compare notes...

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2011, 06:59:47 AM »
Frybabe, right, it's Bridey! How on earth did you recognize him? I would never have known him, I think he's changed a lot.

Almost feel like he's family, all grown up.  Didn't he do a great job in the original Brideshead Revisited?

I was sorry to hear Jeremy Irons say in the comments when the remastered Brideshead Revisited DVD came out that Jeremy Sinden (Boy Mulcaster) had died. He seemed a great favorite with the cast, and I thought he did a super job with that part, he's forever "Boy" to me.

Rosemary: I'm really looking forward to seeing Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) in the upcoming Showtime remake of "The Borgias." Oh wow, Jeremy Irons, too? Mark Noble (Suetonius in Warrior Queen Boudicca) is in that,  too, that's going to be some movie.

Carbisdale is something else! I couldn't get your link to work and ended up on another one by the name,  tell your daughter to pack a blanket, everybody who goes there seems to say it's cold! What atmosphere she'll enjoy, what fun!

Thank you Rosemary so much for your suggestion of  James Lees-Milne, (is he any relation to A.A.?) I've got two of his books coming, Ancestral Voices: Diaries 1942-1943, and Some Country Houses and their Owners (English Journeys).  I thought I'd start with those two.

I had never heard of him and isn't he perfect for this discussion! The reviews are out of this world, here's one:  


Quote
The delightful, gossipy diaries of James Lees-Milne describe his encounters with the owners of country houses – from eccentric lords and oil millionaires to raffish socialists – as he travelled over England saving properties for the National Trust. Here are sharply observed accounts of dinner with Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst; Winston Churchill’s bedroom at Chartwell; T. E. Lawrence’s dilapidated Dorset cottage; and war damage to a great house in Derby. All are infused with his love of beauty and his sympathy for those giving up their ancestral homes forever. Generations of inhabitants have helped shape the English countryside – but it has profoundly shaped us too.It has provoked a huge variety of responses from artists, writers, musicians and people who live and work on the land – as well as those who are travelling through it.English Journeys celebrates this long tradition with a series of twenty books on all aspects of the countryside, from stargazey pie and country churches, to man’s relationship with nature and songs celebrating the patterns of the countryside (as well as ghosts and love-struck soldiers).

About the Author

James Lees-Milne (1908–97) made his name as the National Trust’s country house expert, helping to rescue some of England’s loveliest houses. He is now best known for his diaries, published in the 1970s and hailed as a masterpiece comparable to Pepys.



Never would have heard of him if not for you and this discussion!


Pearson, I read Snobs after I saw Gosford Park which I had to see twice to understand,  it's excellent, I like Fellowes's writing  and had not heard of Past Imperfect, I'll look it up too.


I think Masterpiece Theater with their new theme song has a hit on its hands. I have seen a lot of comments on it, and everybody likes it. I'm with nlhome's husband, though, something's afoot, Watson, am just waiting to see what it is. There's going to be a mystery/ murder/ something here.  Do you agree? Or not? I keep trying to figure out who it will be.


Frybabe

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2011, 09:52:58 AM »
You're right, Ginny. Simon Jones has changed. I wonder if he had any plastic surgery. I remember his face as being more square-jawed in Hitchhiker's Guide. Anyhow, he's been keeping busy with plays and audio books as well as the odd appearance in movies and TV shows. Here is his website. A little sparse, but it does have a few old photos to compare now and then. http://www.simonjonesinfo.com/ and here is another just about his audio books. http://www.audiofilemagazine.com/gvpages/jones.shtml


marcie

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2011, 10:57:48 AM »
Thanks, JoanP, for the information about the screenwriter. I do think there will be a book out based on the series, if the series does well. It's already set for a second season in Britain.

Ginny and Frybabe, I think that Simon Jones has improved with age.

Thank you, Rosemary, for those great references.

I don't know about Downton Abbey turning into a murder mystery but I do think that little intrigues, such as the gay servant trying to blackmail the duke, will continue to pop up. Also, I think that Mrs. O'Brien is capable of about anything. She is mean!

rosemarykaye

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2011, 11:35:39 AM »
Ginny - I first picked up on James Lees-Milne when reading The Assassin's Cloak - there are a lot of extracts from his diaries in that - I had never heard of him myself before that.  Another writer that I "acquired" from The Assassin's Cloak is Joan Wyndham, whose book Love Letters is a wonderful evocation of Bohemian life in Chelsea before the war.  I ended up going through The Assassin's Cloak and making a list of all the writers I wanted to follow up, but not all of them were easily available - I think the diaries of Chips Channon would also be very interesting.  I do hope you enjoy the books you have ordered  (and the great thing is, if you do - there are loads more!).

It wasn't me who mentioned The Borgias -  it's Roxiania you need to thank for that!

Rosemary

ginny

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2011, 01:39:02 PM »
Oh and I will. Sorry, Roxania, such an interesting post, should have paid attention to who said it! And thank you,  Roxania, for this also:

It took me a minute to recognize him as Prime Minister Stanley Baker in "The King's Speech."

REALLY!! I have not seen that yet, I'll be on the lookout for him!! Irons seems to be in a lot of things lately.

I went when I saw your post to look up more about  Anthony Andrews and found the most wonderful quotes from him, a lot of them from an interview but some of them are absolutely stunning including the funniest thing I ever read of his first stage performance, when he played Athena, of the flapping skirts...it's an absolute  hoot: see it here:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000762/bio

He needs to write a book, he's fabulously funny.

He also said this: "...Never lose courage. Tomorrow is another day. Life is littered with obstacles, but the secret is not caring about what is going wrong; concentrate on getting enough courage, and protecting your self-esteem, until tomorrow." - 15 April 2003, Times Online

I love that.

Marcie you are so right about Simon Jones,  Frybabe's incredible link (the second one) shows a man who not only gets more and more handsome with age (why IS that, that men age so well and women need filters?) Anyway but he was just in NYC this holiday season,  I would have loved to have seen him if I had known!!

Rosemary, I've not read The Assassin's Cloak either, this is like a Pandora's box, and it's so exciting!  I've ordered Past Imperfect and now to look that up. They have already shipped the Milne, I can't WAIT! Thank you so much!

I see Downton Abbey is already for sale on DVD. I'd like to see it again and pause here and there, I wonder if Netflix has it yet.

OH MY WORD, I will shut up here, I promise, but I made the mistake of looking up Downton Abbey on Wikipedia to see when it was filmed. I kept thinking that the big house looked familiar!!!!

I was JUST there!  Barely 6 months ago! It's not easy to get to,  either.

"Highclere Castle in Hampshire was used as Downton Abbey, with the servants' living areas constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios."  Apparently they did the external and internal shooting there except for the servants' quarters.

Holy cow! I kept thinking it looked familiar!!!  hahahaha The joke is on me! And when I talked about Andrew Lloyd Weber earlier? That's the house! Which he has offered to buy! 

Wow talk about irony and life imitating art!

I went out this July in a pouring cold rain  because my daughter in law particularly is interested in Carnarvon (it was his house),  and his Egyptian explorations, and they were having an exhibit of the things he held back from the British Museum which were found after his death and a Tut Exhibit.  The gatekeepers wife invited me in their ...what...lodge...to wait for a taxi from town out of the rain.  So nice of her. We had a lovely discussion on dogs (she had brought her two from home), it was a lovely  memory.

Now I have got to get the tape or watch the link Marcie put up. What IS the use of travel if one thinks one is in St Petersburg half the time? hahahaha


FlaJean

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2011, 11:38:20 PM »
Such long and interesting posts.  I'm not much of a poster  :D.  My husband and I both enjoyed Downton Abbey and are looking forward to the rest of the series.

EvelynMC

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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic 2011
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2011, 04:44:22 PM »
I enjoyed Downton Abbey very much and am looking forward to watching the whole series.

All these posts were so very interesting.

Evelyn