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parrot_knight [userpic]

165 Eaton Place no more

April 23rd, 2012 (03:41 pm)

So, farewell then (again) Upstairs Downstairs, after an erratic second season which failed to satisfactorily build on the strenghts of the 2010 miniseries. There are petitioning groups set up on Facebook and Twitter in an attempt to reverse the BBC's decision, but any extension would have to see the direction of the series rethought. From her utterances on Twitter (where she was extremely courteous to my expression of regret), Heidi Thomas appears too exhausted by the job of running UpDown and the much more lauded Call the Midwife to be showrunner for two series at the same time, a reminder that British television series drama seems to rely too heavily on a small pool of talent. UpDown probably lost a valued champion when Piers Wenger left BBC Wales, and the absence of Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh from this series left a void: though there was much to enjoy, something died with Solomon the monkey.

ETA: Now also at The St James's Evening Post, slightly revised.

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/503818.html.


Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: April 23rd, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)

Probably because (as usual) I wasn't paying 100% attention, I am not sure what the problem with Solomon's death is.

I assume that the monkey concerned was not harmed in his portrayal of Solomon (if he was, then I do understand).

The way I percieved this story was that Solomon was chosen as being a mammal of appropriate size, to hand. I was slightly surprised that the character concerned would undertake such an experiment (someone who had a grammar school education, on the other hand, would be entirely believable).

I wonder if this is one of those things where I find that the 'young things' have got an _entirely_ different world-view to me (and the charcters in UpDown)?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 24th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC)

There are several issues, but I think the principal ones are the death of an animal being treated as entertainment (which relates more widely to the uncertainty of tone the whole series demonstrated); the likelihood of such initiative being taken by anybody; and the character fallout, which seemed unconvincing.

Posted by: muuranker (muuranker)
Posted at: April 28th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)

Yes, definitely the wrong age - or possibly just not paying attention tp "the death of an animal being treated as entertainment".

There is, I think, a distinction to be drawn between the purpose of a television programme, or more particularly, the role of the death within it. While one could argue that all TV is entertainment, there is a great deal of difference (to my mind) between a programme such as Panorama and one such as Britain's Got Talent. Within dramas, too, there is a range - and one drama may include elements which are light-hearted alongside the serious.

It didn't seem to me that the death was treated in an inappropriate manner.

I agree that it was unlikely (for the character concerned). I am not so sure about the fallout - but that may have been because of inattention.

Perhaps my inattention can be seen as a symptom....