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BS: Gormenghast

Rana 16 Feb 00 - 03:25 PM
Clinton Hammond2 16 Feb 00 - 03:35 PM
sophocleese 16 Feb 00 - 04:00 PM
Llanfair 16 Feb 00 - 06:56 PM
Clinton Hammond2 16 Feb 00 - 07:18 PM
DonMeixner 16 Feb 00 - 09:54 PM
GMT 17 Feb 00 - 04:33 AM
The Shambles 17 Feb 00 - 05:42 AM
GMT 17 Feb 00 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,artnsole1@aol.com 17 Feb 00 - 08:22 AM
Skipjack K8 17 Feb 00 - 08:28 AM
Rana 17 Feb 00 - 09:41 AM
Grab 17 Feb 00 - 11:45 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Feb 00 - 07:59 AM
AndyG 18 Feb 00 - 09:22 AM

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Subject: Gormenghast
From: Rana
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 03:25 PM

OK,

This has nothing to do with music (folk or otherwise) but I finally managed to watch Gormenghast over here (Canada) on Space - I saw the previews back in England over Xmas and thought no one could have the audacity to film this epic - my favourite work of fiction ever since I read it 25 years ago. The BBC managed to do the impossible in my opinion. The castle and its inhabitants were close to what I had envisioned. My only crique was the number of commercials. At least the BBC is commercial free. I'm just going to have to get the video when it is released.

Did any Mudcatters watch it , and what are your opinions.

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 03:35 PM

Ya... here I thought I was the only one... I stumbled over Gorm. while ghosting another MB about the Lord Of The Rings movie... some of the poeple there were yacking about the books, so I thought I'd give the show it's day in court...

It's day in court lasted all of 40 minutes into the first episode and that was all I could stand... it was too broadly acted, kinda a la Comedia D'el Arte, which I never could stand... and the story was a little tooVictorian for my tastes as well...

But the costumes were nice and the sets, although looking like escapees from "Gulivers Travels" were kinda cool too...

I'm hoping that Space will continue to pick up mini-series like this however... it'll beat having X-Files reruns on 10 times a week..

If ya wanna chat more about Fantasy/Speculative Fiction books, t.v., movies,what ever... feel free to look me up!

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: sophocleese
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 04:00 PM

That sounds interesting. I sank into Gormenghast years ago and haven't picked it up since as I didn't want to sink again. I know that I didn't like the Bakshi(sp?) version of The Lord of the Rings but I did like the BBC radio version. Radio is nice because it doesn't alter the mental pictures I've built up of the characters. If I Gormenghast on video I'll have a look at it. Thanks for letting me know it was out there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: Llanfair
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 06:56 PM

I'd never read the book and, although I felt that the storyline was a bit limited, I enjoyed the series very much, probably because I had no preconceived ideas about it.
We are spoiled in the UK, our TV drama tends, on the whole, to be of a very high standard. The comedy and game shows, however, seem to be directed at people whose IQ is on a par with their shoe size.
There are exceptions. Waiting for god, dinnerladies and goodness gracious me are the ones that spring to mind.
I also love Frasier, Friends and Due South.(the music in due south is wonderful, who does it?) Hwyl, Bron.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 07:18 PM

There's tonnes of good U.K. humour... Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Red Dwarf, Bottom.. All great...

I always felt that Fraiser, Friends and Due South were for the I.Q.=Shoe Size crowd! LOL!!

Ain't it a grand old world where people can be this different eh!?!?

my 0.02


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: DonMeixner
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 09:54 PM

Hi Rana

Is this the Mervyn Peake books from my dim past? Titus Groan, Titus Alone, ?,?

If the show was a slow and as wordy as the books I can see why you viewed it as impossible for the BBc to do anything with it.

But I value anyones taste and opinion so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I'd like the BBC to do a job of John Wyndhams, The Chrysalids or The Kracken Awakes. They did a fine job of The Day of the Triffids.

But what do I know, I loved all the Dr. Whos I saw, especially Patrick Traughton.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: GMT
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 04:33 AM

I didn't believe anyone could do Gormenghast either and truthfully I was a little disapointed that the enormity of the story didn't really come through. I watched it all anyway, if you don't they won't try again with something else.

Don, The Kracken Awakes would be great. There should be lots of locations where people have walled up supplies for the millenium and don't need them anymore :)

How about Sytranger in a Strange Land ?

Cheers Gary


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 05:42 AM

There was one 'gem'. The scene where The Old Earl was playing with his daughter. Her realisation that he had forgotten who she was was treated very well and was 'magic'.

It was a good all round attemptand it looked a treat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: GMT
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 08:16 AM

Yeah, the delightful expression on her face.

Spike was the only one whose real life persona could have actually come from Gormenghast !


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: GUEST,artnsole1@aol.com
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 08:22 AM

i read the first book 30 years ago, but couldn't manage the whole set.i think the beeb did an amazing job and watched the lot even tho it was a serial and i don't watch serials.all in all the bbc deserve a pat onthe back for daring to tackle such a difficult story and doing it so well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: Skipjack K8
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 08:28 AM

I fell at the first reading the Titus trilogy, and managed to miss it on telly.

However, yonks ago, I read Mr Pye (recommended by my Peake freak brother) and enjoyed it enormously. It is a morality fairy tale of the dangers of attempting to balance good and evil, set in post war in the Channel Island of Sark.

The Beeb then dramatised the book shortly after my reading it, and they made a fair hand of it, especially the femme fatale, Tantagieu wandering about in the nuddy. I qualify that by stating I usually avoid seeing "the film of the book" and any film with a number in the title (apart from Toy Story 2, with the children, tonight!!).

Critical acclaim of Gormenghastly over here has generally been good, and my sibling Peake devotee gave it his blessing.

Skipjack


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: Rana
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 09:41 AM

Hi Don,

Indeed it is the same book. I must admit that it took me a few attempts to get past p.200 in Titus Groan, then the shear imagination took over. The BBC did the first 2 books in 4 hours (maybe a bit fast) and kept the whole essence. A marvellous job I thought.

Steerpike had the right mix of insincere charm and evil. The twins were right on, as were most of the other cast. Watching Alf Garnet (ie Warren Mitchell) as Barquentine was another delight. I'm certainly going to see this over again.

Rana


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: Grab
Date: 17 Feb 00 - 11:45 AM

Great series. To be honest, though, the trouble it had was the same trouble with adapting anything famous. To work on the screen, it has to be tweaked, and then you get the book geeks complaining. There was a session on UK's Channel 4 where they had some 16-year-old complaining that it was all crap bcos the cat room set was the wrong colour!

Let's be honest, the trilogy isn't actually that good - Peake does some very good set-pieces, but all the characters are so caricatured that you never really care what happens to them, and the third book is such ridiculously pretentious 60's rubbish that it's not even worth talking about, so it's just as well they didn't try to include that. In a piece about the series, one of the actors (I think it was the guy who plays the older Titus) said that the problem with all the characters is that they're all written as monsters, so getting any depth of humanity in them was difficult - in other words, they had to put some depth on the 2-dimensional characters otherwise it'd never work.

Frankly, Gormenghast is a book that nowadays would have gone through a few bouts of editting and come out much better. Lord of the Rings is another victim, although Tolkien is orders of magnitude better as a writer so he gets away with it - even so, there's sections where you easily lose a page or two in the Return of the King without really noticing.

Grab.


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 07:59 AM

The BBC version was only of the first two books, Gormenghast and Titus Groan; Titus Alone is really on a different track. I think they wanted to capture the spirit of the Castle. It's been nearly thirty years since I read the books (took me a fortnight - oh to be young again!), so I've forgotten much of the detail. All the same, I was always aware of the story being condensed (otherwise it would run to ten or twelve episodes).

I felt Titus was not a particularly strong character; indeed, none of the characters was really well enough developed, except maybe Prunesquallor - and maybe that was just John Sessions' gift for playing that sort of role? It's always a problem with a dramatisation that, no matter how well it's done, what you get is a story - plot, dialogue, and so forth - but no literature; compare, say, the Inspector Morse programmes with the books - I have often laughed out loud at Colin Dexter's writings, but rarely at the screen Morse.

Aagh! Thread creep! Sorry,
Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Gormenghast
From: AndyG
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 09:22 AM

Given the overall constraint of condensing two full length (and wordy) novels into four hours of television I really believe that the series was a magnificent production.
It suffered only two problems, first the condensing mentioned above and second that there are no likeable characters in the story.
All the characters are insane, remember that Gormenghast is a society that hasn't changed for 1500 years (76 Earls), and is so introverted that insanity is the norm. I think the series captured that superbly. I rate it a success for the entire production team / cast.

AndyG


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