Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Is anyone else watching this? I am – a bit, sort of. I am not sure if I will stick with it. I’m not sure if I like it. It is based on the novel of the same name and is set in a world where magic is returning to England as part of everyday life. When I say magic, I wouldn’t like you to think of David Copperfield floating past the Empire state or even Paul Daniels and the lovely Debbie Magee astonishing us all with card trickery. No this is a much darker sort of thing and I think I am a bit uncomfortable with it.

I am also having a bit of trouble working out what is going on, There seem to be two magicians who are sort of in competition to be accepted in society or something. This is all very well until one of them steps over the mark and brings someone back from the dead and this has “unwanted consequences” These appear to be a man with nails that could do with a severe pruning back, coming in to the resurrected lady’s bedroom in the middle of the night and making her dance with a lot of people who look like they are auditioning for an Adam Ant video. Understandably she is beginning to find this a bit wearying and is getting very snappish. 

This week Strange has gone off to war to help Wellington, which seems to me to be cheating a bit. It isn’t exactly a fair fight when you conjure up all sorts of stuff to give you the advantage. 

It is, as usual beautifully shot and clothed – if a bit dark but I find it a bit draggy. We discussed whether it is our Christian background that made me uncomfortable with all the magic stuff and I think there may be something in that. All in all, I think I would rather spend an hour with Peter Kay. 



  1. June 1, 2015 / 10:22 pm

    I am entirely with you on this. The other thing is that The Gentleman with the awful white hair and eyebrows is played by the guy who was the baddie [ending up with an eye patch] from The Musketeers, and Wellington is Ronan Vibert who used to be Robespierre in Scarlet Pimpernel. And yes, it does sit uncomfortably with my Christian understanding of good and evil. Bring back Poldark!!

    • June 2, 2015 / 5:11 am

      I'm afraid I am considered a bit of a traitor round here because I didn't get round to Poldark!

    • June 2, 2015 / 11:02 am

      Don't worry, they will repeat it [often, I expect]

  2. June 2, 2015 / 8:00 am

    Agree with both you and Angela, I was uncomfortable just reading the programme details, and decided not to watch it.

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