Friday, 9 October 2015

Jonathan Norrell and Mr Strange

Based on a book which I kind of now want to read, this is a seven part series done by the BBC, because, I’m guessing, they could delve into their costume department for everything.

Magic has faded in Britain, but Mr Norrell can still perform a good trick. And with his resurgence another player steps forward, eager to learn from the master, and Jonathan Strange enters the picture. As Jonathan learns, Norrell is quite strict about what kind of magic can be done, and what can’t. Dealing with fairies is right out (although, psst, he did himself to help bring a woman back from the dead). As Jonathan gets deeper into using magic in warfare he gets into the old ways, and soon comes up against the king of the fairies and against what Norrell has done.

There is a lot of mythology here, but it is presented well enough that it’s easy for those of us used to this sort of thing to keep up. Norrell is nearly presented as the villain, but more of a pitiful one (and it’s clear the fairy king is keeping a hand on goings on), and Strange clearly has the grasp on magic although it can be faltering. Both are presented with challenging how far they are willing to go to find out the answers they want, and we are with they as they go.

Magic is also presented as quite powerful, and CGI is in full reign to present it. It works well, although does give magic a rather imbalanced idea as so powerful why isn’t everyone trying it?

I could easily see a second season, but I gather there would need to be another book first?


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