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Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell


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#1 IslandBruja

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 05:25 PM

I'm surprised this BBC miniseries doesn't have a thread yet. I saw it when it came out a couple of years ago and just watched it again since it was added to Netflix (this time I could rewind the mumbled parts or turn on the subtitles if I still couldn't catch what was being said).

I loved it for its production quality, acting, and interesting take on magic (though being based on a book I haven't read (which is rare - I like to read the book first if there is one) I could only assume that stuff was left out/condensed with certain characters and plot lines that would have made more sense in the book).

The show is like if you combined Dickens with Labyrinth (without the silliness) and hmmm, I don't know - I can't think of a show that shows intentional magic use in this way, but the third element would be that - intentional use of magic and not just having magical things happen to the main character like in Labyrinth. Sorry for the convoluted analogy! :D

Has anyone else seen this yet? What did you think?

ETA: I've left out any spoiling info in this first post and kept it vague so as not to ruin any of the deliciousness of it so proceed reading below at your own risk...

Edited by IslandBruja, 08 September 2016 - 09:19 PM.

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#2 RapunzelGnome

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 08:47 PM

I loved it and when I described it to a friend of mine, I said "It's like Harry Potter meets Labyrinth meets Pride & Prejudice" Lol...great minds think alike.

I knew I was hooked in the very first episode when they introduced us to the society of dusty old magicians that never did any magic but we're very proud of their tiny collection of old grimoires.

I thought it was one of the most interesting fictional depictions of the "otherworld" that I'd seen....accessible through dreams and mirrors, madness & ritual....very relatable to a witch, though exaggerated.. Bargaining with evil fae, scrying and divining with tarot. The writer definitely knew her stuff. I've had the book sitting on my to-read pile for ages and now maybe I'll actually find time to read it.

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#3 Kalinia

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 08:51 PM

Ohhh this sounds like a must watch! Thanks
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#4 IslandBruja

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Posted 08 September 2016 - 09:16 PM

I loved it and when I described it to a friend of mine, I said "It's like Harry Potter meets Labyrinth meets Pride & Prejudice" Lol...great minds think alike.


Yes! Although I'd rather say it's more like Dickens (if you haven't seen BBC's Bleak House with Gillian Anderson and Charles Dance it's a must see!) because Jane Austen is much too light to compare this to - Dickens is appropriately dark ;)
 

I knew I was hooked in the very first episode when they introduced us to the society of dusty old magicians that never did any magic but we're very proud of their tiny collection of old grimoires.


Hahahaha - exactly. A fantastic opening scene and I loved the ongoing feuds regarding what is "respectable magic" and what's just "not done"    :eye: 

 

I thought it was one of the most interesting fictional depictions of the "otherworld" that I'd seen....accessible through dreams and mirrors, madness & ritual....very relatable to a witch, though exaggerated.. Bargaining with evil fae, scrying and divining with tarot. The writer definitely knew her stuff. I've had the book sitting on my to-read pile for ages and now maybe I'll actually find time to read it.


I really loved how well researched (or perhaps known) the author's specifics on the Tarot and other things referenced were so that when you saw cards being drawn, it wasn't just randomness. I actually wrote down "Is Jonathan the King of Wands?" while I watched it the second time during the scene with Childermass in the yellow tent - not remembering any of the details from watching it the first time a few years ago - and I cracked up when I saw him ride up to the vagabond with his "weapon" :D

Yeah, I've had it in my library queue since I first saw the show. Normally if I start watching something and I realize it was a book (happened to me at the beginning of the 2nd episode) I'll stop watching it and won't resume until I've read the book - I'm a super nerd like that). But it was all just so damn good I couldn't stop watching! (ahhh, the pleasures of binge watching :) )


Edited by IslandBruja, 09 September 2016 - 01:01 AM.

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#5 Belwenda

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Posted 11 September 2016 - 07:04 PM

I liked the book better than the TV series.


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#6 IslandBruja

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 07:44 PM

I liked the book better than the TV series.


This was one of the rare instances where I saw the film/show prior to reading the book (I'm usually quite fanatical about reading the source material first)... but I do have it in my library book queue.

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#7 westofthemoon

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Posted 17 December 2016 - 09:49 PM

I didn't like the book because there were no main female characters, but I'm picky like that! I'll give the show a go when we get better internet (Netflix really lags at my house).
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#8 Duchess

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 02:23 AM

I read the book years ago, and couldn't remember anything about it. I just finished the mini series and I'll add my name to the list of people suggesting it, the BBC did a great job.


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