Parade’s End

Tietjens should be bigger, a bit ungainly,  less well-dressed. But Benedict Cumberbatch is a very good actor, and communicates exactly Tietjens’ virtues, while making us understand why they annoy other people.

Rebecca Hall is brilliant as Sylvia. Despite her awfulness one can see why Tietjens married her (something that has puzzled me when reading the books). Adelaide Clemens was born to play Valentine.

In other words, it’s a very good series, intelligently directed and excellently acted.

But when I took down my copy of Some Do Not to check whether Tom Stoppard’s adaptation was accurate (It was.) and began re-reading…

Well, the conclusion I came to was that the TV series is very good indeed – but the novel is so much better…



  1. Posted August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s been a while since I read the book (and I too plan to take it down again), but I did enjoy the first part of the BBC series which I felt was going to be good right from the opening credits with it’s fractured mirrored views. It’s a very stylish and well-acted adaptation and I’m looking forward to the remaining parts.

  2. Posted September 8, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I’m starting to have doubts about this. We’ve had three episodes out of five, and have only reached the end of ‘Some Do Not’. Does this mean one episode for the War, and the last two books crammed into a single hour?
    I’m still enjoying the series, but wondering how well it communicates to someone who doesn’t know the novels. I wonder what proportion of the audience for episode three understood that a bounced cheque at that time meant social death, and that for an officer it could mean being required to resign his commission.

  3. Posted September 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    For an officer it could mean being required to resign his commission.

    I was thinking that myself as I watched it, and was surprised that the script didn’t spell it out a little more concretely – I doubt that most viewers would have appreciated this.

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