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Monday, March 16, 2009

David Copperfield: What Did You Think?

So I understand from the twittersphere that there was a lot more Copperfield action on local PBS stations last night. I thoroughly enjoyed Part II, particularly that HEEP of infamy. My only quibble is that it could have gotten the full 6-7 hour treatment, and almost felt too rushed at the end.

What did those of you who saw part I online or on tv last night think? Anyone else catch the conclusion?


  1. I caught Part I, although it was frequently interrupted by strange technical issues. Maggie Smith was wicked, I was so pleased by her Betsey Trotwood, and I thought Pauline Quirke's Peggotty was far superior to her somewhat-similar role as Dixon in North and South (but maybe I just like the character better? I don't know, I just thought it was a more nuanced performance).

    I missed seeing Uriah Heep's creepy orbs - was there no budget for coloured contact lenses in 1999?

    But that's just a minor complaint; my primary reaction to it was pleasant surprise. I haven't read the novel in so long, and yet it seemed like every other line or camera shot brought the novel back to me and reminded my why it was my fav. Dickens.

  2. Finally was able to catch up since my PBS affiliate aired it later than everywhere else. (Yes I'm a bit bitter.) Anyway I enjoyed it. Maggie Smith was her usual awesome self. I loved her smackdown of the awful Murdstone's. Also her general reaction to adversity.
    The "lower class" characters are meant to be kind, virtuous, and willing to work hard to overcome misfortune. I also loved Pauline Quirke's Peggotty. Her heart was so big, and her kindness so meaningful. Excellent performances.
    Clearly the director and script wanted to bring out the autobiographical aspects of the story. The adult Copperfield looked very similiar to Mr. Dickens. Also I think that the actress's cast as Dora and his mother were meant to look the same.
    The only complaint I'd say is an over-reliance on narration. No need to do that, audiences are smart enough to figure things out. It's a pretty dated technique of doing these things. I'd say it bit the dust in the late 90s unless it's an integral key to the drama. Anyway it was worth checking out. I can't wait for Little Dorrit!

  3. A bit late with comments....I was peeved at first that our local PBS delayed airing DC, but made good use of the time to read the book, which added to my enjoyment of a superb production.

    I own three miniature donkeys. Our jack recently had an unauthorized conjugal visit with his missus, and although we are not planning for a foal, if we get one we are so going to name it Betsey Trotwood or Trotwood - depending on its sex.

    Now, completely switching gears on this topic: Has anyone ever considered a sinister parody of David Copperfield? I mean, here his future father-in-law conveniently dies under mysterious circumstances the very day that he confronts Copperfield with discovery of the secret romance with Dora. Later, after marriage to Dora starts to become more obviously a mistake for a number of reasons, Dora handily passes away. Copperfield makes himself scarce by going abroad for a period of time - perhaps to make sure he is beyond reach until he is certain no one suspects he had a hand in Dora's illness?

    My mind is working strangely today. ;-)