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Milz

The Jewel In The Crown

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I rewatched it also!  Heh, I'm not giving up my weekly fix of Charles Dance.

 

If I had to hang out with anyone from the show, it would so be Bronowsky.  He just always seems to know the best gossip.

 

I'm not missing a minute of Charles Dance either!

 

I love how dignified Bronowsky is when he's gossiping or fishing for information.

 

But this is an episode where you can see how much Sarah loathes Merrick.

 

Merrick: Sarah I think your father is tired.

 

Sarah to Col Layton: Ronald thinks you're tired.

 

And her slight "ick!" face she makes when Merrick kisses her cheek.

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I think I'd want to hang out with Lady Chatterjee at the McGregor House and go bashing off to places. Or I could help Mabel Layton with the deadheading in the garden at Rose Cottage (just for the view!) and slip inside to eavesdrop on all the smack Mildred and Nicky and Fenny are talking over bridge and gin fizzes.

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Dmitri definitely knows where all the bodies are buried.  Speaking of which, I've always wondered just how they managed to cover up Ronald's murder, and who was involved.  For example, were the servants bribed to disappear that night?  Who discovered the body?  Whom did that person notify?  Who got the doctor to say that it was a blood clot?  Who cleaned up the body so that it was presentable to Susan?  Who cleaned up the bedroom where he was killed?  Who disposed of the evidence (such as the axe in his chest, and his artificial arm)?  Did the killers deliberately choose a time when they knew Susan and the family would be away?  I imagine that it was mostly Dmitri's doing, since the police would have been under the Nawab's authority, right?  An awful lot of people must have been directly involved, and even more must have known.  Even the Nawab would have to have been informed, I think.  And of course Nigel Rowan knows everything too.  Do the books answer any of this?

 

Which brings me to another issue: who does Nigel work for?  Is he army intelligence?  Or in what the Brits call MI5 or MI6?  Or in the Foreign Office, or the Colonial Office?  He's sometime in uniform, yet I wonder if that's a disguise.  On the one hand, he's involved with Merrick and the Manners case, which seems to be a purely criminal matter; and on the other hand, he's trying to get the Nawab to agree to Mirat's incorporation into independent India, and that's a political issue. 

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I think I'd want to hang out with Lady Chatterjee at the McGregor House and go bashing off to places. Or I could help Mabel Layton with the deadheading in the garden at Rose Cottage (just for the view!) and slip inside to eavesdrop on all the smack Mildred and Nicky and Fenny are talking over bridge and gin fizzes.

 

Lady Chatterjee is the female version of Count Bronofski. I think she was a great character.  The first book in the quartet has many parallels to the remaining books. Daphne and Sarah, Hari and Ahmed, etc. with Merrick trying to marry his way up the class ladder in both instances. Unfortunately, he succeeded with the Laytons, what he couldn't with the Manners. Not to mention, in the book, Daphne was wealthy: she inherited a considerable amount of money from her parents and stood to inherit Lady Manner's wealth too. So if Ronnie had married her, he'd not only have the class but also the money. I'm not sure if Sarah or Susan were a financial jackpot like Daphne was.

 

 

Dmitri definitely knows where all the bodies are buried.  Speaking of which, I've always wondered just how they managed to cover up Ronald's murder, and who was involved.  For example, were the servants bribed to disappear that night?  Who discovered the body?  Whom did that person notify?  Who got the doctor to say that it was a blood clot?  Who cleaned up the body so that it was presentable to Susan?  Who cleaned up the bedroom where he was killed?  Who disposed of the evidence (such as the axe in his chest, and his artificial arm)?  Did the killers deliberately choose a time when they knew Susan and the family would be away?  I imagine that it was mostly Dmitri's doing, since the police would have been under the Nawab's authority, right?  An awful lot of people must have been directly involved, and even more must have known.  Even the Nawab would have to have been informed, I think.  And of course Nigel Rowan knows everything too.  Do the books answer any of this?

 

Which brings me to another issue: who does Nigel work for?  Is he army intelligence?  Or in what the Brits call MI5 or MI6?  Or in the Foreign Office, or the Colonial Office?  He's sometime in uniform, yet I wonder if that's a disguise.  On the one hand, he's involved with Merrick and the Manners case, which seems to be a purely criminal matter; and on the other hand, he's trying to get the Nawab to agree to Mirat's incorporation into independent India, and that's a political issue. 

 

"The strange and unsavory circumstances surrounding the death of Colonel Merrick" are strange and unsavory.  Susan was away in Pankot when Merrick was murdered so she wouldn't have seen the unsavory bits. I have to re-borrow the books because I wasn't able to read it before my time ran out and they didn't give me any renewals (someone else probably had it reserved). My guess is that the servants and the colonial government (Lord Mountbatten of Burma , I'm looking at you!)  were involved in the clean up and cover up. They didn't want Merrick's murder to add more tension to an already tense situation.

 

Nigel worked for the colonial government after the War, so he was in-the-know with a lot of things. I think he was with military intelligence during the war.

 

Pandit Baba and his followers are on the list for potential murderers. But I think the Havildar's friends/family could be on the list too. The Havildar was Muslim and suicide is a sin in that religion. Even if he was Hindu, suicide would still be taboo. Basically, anyone who had an axe to grind with Merrick (including Sophie Dixon and the crew provided they were still in India) would be suspect, imo. Ummm....I guess I've watch Murder on the Orient Express one too many times, because I can completely imagine everyone Merrick every slighted taking a stab at him.

Edited by Milz

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My guess is that the servants and the colonial government (Lord Mountbatten of Burma , I'm looking at you!)  were involved in the clean up and cover up. They didn't want Merrick's murder to add more tension to an already tense situation.

And, even without that, it might have been that no one was upset he was dead so let's not make a big deal about it.  Probably not that I bet they were thinking it.

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Watched The Mogul Room on WETA non-UK last night. It was a blast to see Leslie Grantham (Den Watts on East Enders) as the Signals Sergeant. That is probably my favorite episode in the series for the scenery: the scene of Charles Dance in the bath tub, the scene of Charles Dance only in his shorts, the scene of Charles Dance looking suave in his white shirt  unbuttoned at the neck, the scene of Charles Dance being caught off guard tucking in his shirt tail and not expecting to see Sarah sitting waiting for him,  the scene of Charles Dance standing against the fabulous background of the hills, the scene of Charles Dance standing in front of the window in the Mogul Room.

 

I wonder if he had told Nigel that Merrick read Susan's records if that would have prevented the marriage?  Mildred and Colonel Layton didn't seem pleased that Merrick and Susan were engaged.

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Another local PBS station had a Jewel marathon yesterday and showed the first 7 episodes!  But I was strong and only watched two other episodes on the other PBS stations.  What will I do when no one is showing it anymore.

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Another local PBS station had a Jewel marathon yesterday and showed the first 7 episodes!  But I was strong and only watched two other episodes on the other PBS stations.  What will I do when no one is showing it anymore.

 

Which station did the Jewel Marathon?

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I wonder if he had told Nigel that Merrick read Susan's records if that would have prevented the marriage?

 

Guy tried to tell Nigel at least once, when he asked Nigel who Mrs. Bingham (Susan) was.  But it was "a long story," as Guy said, and they were going to dinner -- at the Laytons'.  But did he ever get around to telling Nigel -- or, more importantly, Sarah -- that Merrick had been snooping?  Sarah knew that he had met with Dr. Sam, but I don't think she knew that he'd been in her files.  If she did know that , I think she would have raised bloody hell.

 

Is anyone struck by how much Geraldine James resembles Streep?   

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Is anyone struck by how much Geraldine James resembles Streep?

 

 

I was thinking the Redgraves (Vanessa, Natasha Richardson, otherwise known as Lady Manners' daughter and granddaughter).

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Which station did the Jewel Marathon?

I think it was the Howard University Station - Channel 19. 

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I think it was the Howard University Station - Channel 19. 

 

Dang! I missed that completely.

 

 

Guy tried to tell Nigel at least once, when he asked Nigel who Mrs. Bingham (Susan) was.  But it was "a long story," as Guy said, and they were going to dinner -- at the Laytons'.  But did he ever get around to telling Nigel -- or, more importantly, Sarah -- that Merrick had been snooping?  Sarah knew that he had met with Dr. Sam, but I don't think she knew that he'd been in her files.  If she did know that , I think she would have raised bloody hell.

 

Is anyone struck by how much Geraldine James resembles Streep?   

 

I don't think Guy ever got around to telling Nigel because they went to the Layton's for dinner and Nigel had to leave for Deli or Bombay early the next morning.

 

The only thing we know Guy told Sarah during their tour of the Mogul Room was that he remembered Hari from school.  And I agree with you if Sarah or her parents knew Merrick snooped in Susan's file, Merrick would have wished Pandit Baba got to him first.

 

Just a crazy thought, but wouldn't it have been a real twist if it was Sarah, Lady Manners, Lady Chatterjee and Hari Kumar who arranged for Merrick's strange and unsavory death?

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Hmm, Lady Manners might have at least been funding the group that went after Merrick.  Heh, doubtful -  she just wanted to move on but that would have been awesome.

 

 

Dang! I missed that completely.

There's always next week when they need to show the last half of the episodes - all those hours of Charles Dance.  I think the last episode they showed was when Sarah met that cad Jimmy Clarke.

Edited by M. Darcy

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Hmm, Lady Manners might have at least been funding the group that went after Merrick.  Heh, doubtful -  she just wanted to move on but that would have been awesome.

 

Yup. This is a job for FanFic! Lady Manners, Lady Chatterjee, and Hari would have banded together to kill Ronnie, especially after learning that  Merrick was using the Laytons and Susan. Sarah and Lady Manners were on friendly terms when they finally met at the Lake. Lady M was the one who suggested the book of poetry to give to the Nawab as a thank you gift. And who knows what Guy wrote to Sarah in that second letter which she did not answer. Perhaps he told her that Merrick snooped in Susan's records. Perhaps after that letter, Sarah got into contact with Lady Manners and joined the Club. And maybe Dmitri had a suspicion that Pandit Baba might not be involved when all of the Bibighar suspects were cleared of any involvement in Merrick's strange and unsavory death.

 

Anyhow, the more I watch the program, the more I get the feeling that Merrick's real target was Edward. A little child he could mold into the ultimate Sahib, the ultimate Merrick

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I'll say it again: Charles Dance naked junkies should check out "White Mischief."

And he's the only guy that gets Sigourney in the Alien series. Alien 3: very underrated movie.

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Anyhow, the more I watch the program, the more I get the feeling that Merrick's real target was Edward. A little child he could mold into the ultimate Sahib, the ultimate Merrick

 

I always wonder what would have happened there if he had not been killed.  When we last see him, he's telling Nigel that he won't go back to England after independence.  He wants to go to someplace like Peshawar, "up near the old Northwest Frontier."  After the Partition, Peshawar became part of Pakistan.  With her family back in England, Susan would have been totally isolated in a remote Pakistani town, and more dependent on Ronald than ever.  Creepy.

 

Long Island's public tv station (WLIW) finished up a couple of weeks ago, but WNJN in New Jersey showed The Moghul Room last night.  Among its many virtues is the best line in the whole series: 

 

"You fuck off, me so long."

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I always wonder what would have happened there if he had not been killed.  When we last see him, he's telling Nigel that he won't go back to England after independence.  He wants to go to someplace like Peshawar, "up near the old Northwest Frontier."  After the Partition, Peshawar became part of Pakistan.  With her family back in England, Susan would have been totally isolated in a remote Pakistani town, and more dependent on Ronald than ever.  Creepy.

 

Long Island's public tv station (WLIW) finished up a couple of weeks ago, but WNJN in New Jersey showed The Moghul Room last night.  Among its many virtues is the best line in the whole series: 

 

"You fuck off, me so long."

 

I agree with you about Susan. Maybe Edward would have been sent to Chillingborough like his grandfather, Col. Layton? Or would Merrick insist upon another school seeing how Chillingborough turned out "soft" white men like Col. Layton, Nigel, and Guy and allowed an Indian like Hari into it's sacred halls?

 

Scary.

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Interview with Tim Piggot-Smith and Susan Woolridge obviously done for a PBS pledge week back in the 80s.

 

Also, i'm looking for the song Guy sings while in the bath.

Edited by Milz

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Watched the finale again yesterday.  :-(  Poor Ahmed.  

 

What would be really really cool is when they stop showing Jewel all the time, PBS stations start showing Brideshead Revisited.  I wonder if its original run being on Great Performances and not Masterpiece Theatre is the reason, its never repeated. 

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Watched the finale again yesterday.  :-(  Poor Ahmed.  

 

What would be really really cool is when they stop showing Jewel all the time, PBS stations start showing Brideshead Revisited.  I wonder if its original run being on Great Performances and not Masterpiece Theatre is the reason, its never repeated. 

 

i think this year was Jewel's anniversary.  That said, it would be nice if they showed some of the other MT or Mystery! productions.

 

Frankly, I'm surprised PBS didn't show the Anne Of Green Gables considering that Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert Blythe) died recently.

 

Anyhow, I watched the marathon. I noticed a couple of things I never noticed before. Merrick's expression when Barbie tells him that he was famous/hero. He looks more proud when she mentions the Manners case than he does when she mentions him trying to save Teddy. The other thing was Miss Khyber Pass. When they drop Guy off at the Hospital's NCO housing, Merrick says good bye to Guy and in the background Miss Khyber pass has a silly grin on his face and waves good bye by waggling his fingers. It seems like an ad lib.

 

Another thing is Susan telling everyone that Edward will be called Edward, not Teddy because she hates diminutives for men. Yet when she marries Merrick, he becomes "Ronnie".

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It's interesting that WNET-13 in New York chose not to air Jewel again, but the PBS stations in New Jersey and Long Island did.  Speaking of Brideshead, WNET did air it in 2001.  I think they showed it in 2 mini-marathons over 2 Saturday nights.  IIRC, they may have even said that it was the last time they would be airing it because of of rights or whatever.  Maybe this had something to do with the DVD coming out?  Don't know. 

 

And speaking of Miss Khyber Pass, I always wonder if he was told by Merrick to tail Pinky.  He's clearly visible in the bazaar when Pinky picks up the Indian boy, but Pinky doesn't seem to notice him.  Or was it all just a coincidence?  Did Miss K. P. hang out there frequently, looking for trouble?  As Sophy Dixon says, "buggered if I know."

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And speaking of Miss Khyber Pass, I always wonder if he was told by Merrick to tail Pinky.  He's clearly visible in the bazaar when Pinky picks up the Indian boy, but Pinky doesn't seem to notice him.  Or was it all just a coincidence?  Did Miss K. P. hang out there frequently, looking for trouble?  As Sophy Dixon says, "buggered if I know."

 

I think Merrick had Miss K.P. tail Pinky. Maybe initially it was for Miss KP to swipe the files, but then Miss KP noticed Pinky was looking for a hook up in the local bazaar. I think it's the same reason Miss KP offered to procure whatever Guy wanted too (including a Hindu girl, Muslim girl, school teacher, gobble-gobble, chick-chick.)

 

I noticed during the marathon last week that the Auntie Mabel's lace changed appearance. When she gives it to Barbie: the butterflies are partly attached to a fine mesh. When Barbie shows it to Merrick, the butterflies are fully attached to the fine mesh. When Sarah shows it to Nigel, the butterflies are on a netting that looks almost like a spider's web.

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Anyhow, the more I watch the program, the more I get the feeling that Merrick's real target was Edward.

 

I just remembered that in the scene where he's showing Guy his bedroom, he says to Guy, "Daddy says Mummy once saw an angel in a ring of fire."  Interesting that he's calling his stepfather "Daddy" instead of something like, "Uncle Ronnie."  It's kind of surprising that Susan would have allowed that.

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I just remembered that in the scene where he's showing Guy his bedroom, he says to Guy, "Daddy says Mummy once saw an angel in a ring of fire."  Interesting that he's calling his stepfather "Daddy" instead of something like, "Uncle Ronnie."  It's kind of surprising that Susan would have allowed that.

 

Yup. I bet Edward didn't call Mildred "Grandmama", though I'm sure she called him "The Brat".

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Dumb question of the day: subject: Barbie's apostle spoons.  There were only 6.  Can I assume that there were 2 apostles per spoon?

 

 

I noticed during the marathon last week that the Auntie Mabel's lace changed appearance.

 

It did seem to go through a lot of wear-and-tear.

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Dumb question of the day: subject: Barbie's apostle spoons.  There were only 6.  Can I assume that there were 2 apostles per spoon?

 

 

I googled Apostle Spoons. From this etsy.com site https://www.etsy.com/listing/203727772/antique-english-art-nouveau-sterling?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_mid-home_and_living-spirituality_and_religion-other&utm_custom1=1de2567c-38bc-4e98-88f9-7c2ec4c6e009&kpid=203727772&gclid=Cj0KEQjwvuuqBRDG95yR6tmfg9oBEiQAjE3RQBpO3GWVNrkvK6JFS2tjP44iRC2iZNrGUpWlz9f1OywaAl6a8P8HAQ

 

It looks like there were 6 in a set. Heh, and they are worth $155 (I bet Edward's children are pissed at Mildred now!)

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I bet Edward's children are pissed at Mildred now!

 

Bet she's still trying to get the bloody things aborted.  "But Mummy, you cahn't do that, they're almost adults now."

 

Golly but I love Mildred. 

 

 

It looks like there were 6 in a set. Heh, and they are worth $155

 

Hmm, even if Barbie had sold them she wouldn't have gotten much.

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Mean Things that Millie did to Barbie: 1) returned the apostle spoons; 2) threw a pitcher of water in her face; 3) spread the story that Barbie was a lesbian (sort of true, but still awful); 4) held up Barbie's inheritance and 5) blamed her for Susan's attempted murder of her baby.

 

Did I miss anything?

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Did I miss anything?

 

Mildred did do #3, she did spread the story that Barbie was a lesbian, but that was only the half of it.  The really evil insinuation was that no young woman was safe to be around Barbie, that Barbie couldn't control her inclinations.

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Mildred loathed Barbie, like Merrick loathed Hari.

 

i wonder if Guy's Aunt Charlotte kicked Mildred's a$$ when they became in-laws?

Edited by Milz

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"You have the soul of a parlourmaid!"

I learned more about the English class system from that one remark than anything I've ever read.

 Those middle-class matrons could be bigger snobs than the upper class.

 

Mildred always came across to me as very unhappy and unfullfilled. Of course that doesn't excuse her being such a vicious bitch. It's really a miracle Sarah ended up such a decent woman.

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 Those middle-class matrons could be bigger snobs than the upper class.

 

Mildred always came across to me as very unhappy and unfullfilled. Of course that doesn't excuse her being such a vicious bitch. It's really a miracle Sarah ended up such a decent woman.

Mildred's "career" as a military wife was on track and progressing nicely until the war started and her husband's regiment was deployed very early on and captured almost immediately.  He spent something like 5-6 years as a POW, and his prospects for promotion, etc., were done.  He should have / would have made general, and they would have retired home to Blighty or stayed in Pankot (? been awhile since I read the books) as part of the Raj.  In addition to that, her stepmother-in-law (Auntie Mabel) "rejected the code" when she donated money to the victims of the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre instead of to the defense fund of the officer who gave the order...

 

Mildred hated hated hated Mabel, but could not express it because it would have been socially incorrect.  However, when her husband was captured, and she and her daughters needed to vacate their quarters, it was expected that they would "pig in" with Mabel at the (fabulous) Rose Cottage.  Mabel promptly filled the space with Barbie as her PG (paying guest).  Mabel was the better chess player, in no small part because she was willing to play this chess to the draw, instead of the win.

 

Judy Parfitt seemed to me to play Mildred as someone who could shriek like a harpy at any second.  She's a wonderful actress, but she has scared the hell out of me for thirty+ years, just because of this role.

Edited by kassygreene
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Mildred's "career" as a military wife was on track and progressing nicely until the war started and her husband's regiment was deployed very early on and captured almost immediately.  He spent something like 5-6 years as a POW, and his prospects for promotion, etc., were done.  He should have / would have made general, and they would have retired home to Blighty or stayed in Pankot (? been awhile since I read the books) as part of the Raj.  In addition to that, her stepmother-in-law (Auntie Mabel) "rejected the code" when she donated money to the victims of the Jallianwalla Bagh massacre instead of to the defense fund of the officer who gave the order...

 

Mildred hated hated hated Mabel, but could not express it because it would have been socially incorrect.  However, when her husband was captured, and she and her daughters needed to vacate their quarters, it was expected that they would "pig in" with Mabel at the (fabulous) Rose Cottage.  Mabel promptly filled the space with Barbie as her PG (paying guest).  Mabel was the better chess player, in no small part because she was willing to play this chess to the draw, instead of the win.

 

Judy Parfitt seemed to me to play Mildred as someone who could shriek like a harpy at any second.  She's a wonderful actress, but she has scared the hell out of me for thirty+ years, just because of this role.

 

in the books, Mildred's father was the brigadier of the regiment. So her military wife career was probably set back then. IIRC, she and Fenny had an elder sister who lived in England and considered a "failure" because she couldn't snag an officier.

 

It was really weird, but enjoyable,  to see Judy Parfitt as Mildred between 7-8 PM, then see her as Sister Monica Joan from 8-9 PM. 180 indeed.

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Judy Parfitt is a terrific actor.  Besides Jewel and Midwife I also enjoyed her very much in BON VOYAGE with Nigel Havers. Which was part of the Noel Coward Collection DVD.

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Judy is really great in the scene when John comes home, and we briefly see her standing out back.  The guilt is written all over her face.  And the way she clutches his cap.  Yet she doesn't have a single line in the scene.

 

I think someone on the other site who'd read the books said that it was made clearer in the books that she just fell apart when John was in the POW camp.  She was raised to be so stiff-upper-lippy that she couldn't share her anxieties with anyone.  That might explain her drinking and screwing, and letting Sarah bear all the burdens in the family.  It also might explain some of her nastiness to Barbie.

Edited by Sarcastico
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On my flight home yesterday, I watched Testament of Youth and there were two Jewelers in it - Nicholas Farrell and Nicholas Le Prevost.

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I picked up last weekend the complete Pallisers (used, for $32) and have seen one Jeweler so far -- Fabia Drake (Mabel).  I know Stuart Wilson (Jimmy Clark) will show up later.

Edited by Sarcastico

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Inspired by my recent rewatching, I'm currently trying to read the Raj Quartet.  I've had it for 2 weeks, have gotten to page 33, and am finding it a hard slog so far.  I want to like it, but honestly, I just don't give a damn about how Edwina Crane became a missionary teacher.  Those of you who've read it - please tell me it gets better.


I picked up last weekend the complete Pallisers (used, for $32) and have seen one Jeweler so far -- Fabia Drake (Mabel).  I know Stuart Wilson (Jimmy Clark) will show up later.

Pallisers, huh?  I wonder if the library has that on dvd.

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Judy Parfitt was also the most perfect Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the original BBC Pride and Prejudice (NOT the awful Colin Firth one) and as the bitchy rich lady in Delores Claiborne. She is scary!

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It gets better proserpina! But you're going to have to slog through a long chapter about Brigadier Reid before you get to Daphne and Hari. I've read the books at the least three times and found that I enjoyed those chapters more in subsequent readings. They're not so much plot as flavor (and Paul Scott does like to wander off into the weeds at times). Like Daphne and Hari combine to form the rock that's thrown in the pond and continues to ripple throughout the rest of the books, Edwina is Barbie's rock (and the original owner of the allegorical Queen Victoria print). Miss Crane's and Brig. Reid's chapters give you the mindset of the missionaries and the British Army at the period, but, no, they aren't essential to the plot. I never fail to be surprised that the entire first book was condensed down to the first two-hour episode.

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I was very struck by how much the older generation appeared to really love India and to be committed to it ... while the younger generation seemed much less certain ... as if it had become something dangerous and unattractive. It startled me because in so much -- at least American -- fare, the young are depicted as the brave, even fearless or reckless trailblazers. I would much prefer to spend time with Barbie and Mrs. Manners, hearing their tales of India ... I wonder if that's just my impression or if there was a sea change as the end of the Raj loomed on the horizon. 

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I was very struck by how much the older generation appeared to really love India and to be committed to it ... while the younger generation seemed much less certain ... as if it had become something dangerous and unattractive. It startled me because in so much -- at least American -- fare, the young are depicted as the brave, even fearless or reckless trailblazers. I would much prefer to spend time with Barbie and Mrs. Manners, hearing their tales of India ... I wonder if that's just my impression or if there was a sea change as the end of the Raj loomed on the horizon. 

 

I think Sarah and Guy definitely saw that the old system was ending and the lack of a peaceful transition was a product of the old system.

It gets better proserpina! But you're going to have to slog through a long chapter about Brigadier Reid before you get to Daphne and Hari. I've read the books at the least three times and found that I enjoyed those chapters more in subsequent readings. They're not so much plot as flavor (and Paul Scott does like to wander off into the weeds at times). Like Daphne and Hari combine to form the rock that's thrown in the pond and continues to ripple throughout the rest of the books, Edwina is Barbie's rock (and the original owner of the allegorical Queen Victoria print). Miss Crane's and Brig. Reid's chapters give you the mindset of the missionaries and the British Army at the period, but, no, they aren't essential to the plot. I never fail to be surprised that the entire first book was condensed down to the first two-hour episode.

 

The background of the first book is an unnamed reporter/author returns to India 20 or so years after the Manner's case to interview the people who were involved in it. That bit of information makes reading it better, because it's organized like someone going to one place, interviewing people, then going to another place interviewing people there, etc.

 

the first book has a lot of background information about India and the Raj, which helps you understand the rest of the series. You have the British class system, where missionaries like Barbie are "lower" than a military housewife, who's lower than the widow of a knight. And there's the Indian class system, where a Rajput princess like Lady Chatterjee is "higher" than Pandit Baba. And then there's the intersection of the British class system and the Indian class system. Lady Chatterjee and the Nawab  of Mirat are among the highest of the Indian class system, but they are lower than Barbie in the context of the British class system. And then there are the people who don't quite fit in like Hari and Merrick.

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Watching this for the first time on the local PBS station, which has aired the first two episodes so far (somehow I missed Jewel In The Crown when it first aired 30 odd years ago, though I don't know why.  I recall it as being kind of a big deal by PBS standards).

 

I'm enjoying it, but in some ways, Daphne reminds me of Merrick.  Sometimes I get the sense that she sees Hari more as a type than as an individual, only in her case, the prejudices are positive.

 

That being said, I've only seen the first two episodes, and only once each.  I haven't read the books.  Perhaps its fleshed out more there and it's simply a matter of television, even a 14 episode mini-series, being forced to compress some part of the story and character development.  Or perhaps, having only viewed the first two episodes only once each, I've missed things that I would pick-up on a rewatch.

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I hope you enjoy it. JiC is one of my all time fav Masterpieces (and I have lots of favorites!)

 

There's supposed to be a new drama this fall set during the final days of the British Raj. I'm looking forward to watching it.

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Episode 3, Questions of Loyalty, was on last night.

 

It went by fast.  Before I knew it, it was over, which is a testament to the quality of the show given that the episode largely served as character introduction and exposition dump.  I think there may have been as many as 7 characters, if not more, who made their first appearance in this episode.

 

Two or three times, Barbie talks about or shows the 'Jewel in the Crown' painting/engraving/drawing of Queen Victoria and Indian subjects.  A little ironic to be watch that the day after after Queen Elizabeth overtook Victoria as the UK's longest reigning monarch.

 

I'm guessing Sarah is supposed to be one of the (relative) "good guys" since she was the only one who bothered to visit Lady Manners and see Parvati (and after learning that Daphne named her daughter Parvati, I really wish I'd seen Jewel In The Crown before seeing Janice/Parvati Soprano on The Sopranos, and Parvati on Survivor).

 

Teddy, Susan's fiancee, seems to be a nice guy, at least compared to Merrick.  Nevertheless, it's interesting to contrast their opinions on why Indian POWs joined the INA.  Teddy thinks they're doing it as a ruse to get back to India.  Merrick, unsurprisingly, has a negative slant and thinks they actually signed-up to fight the British.  Yet in an odd way, Merrick's viewpoint at least seems to imply that Indians can make-up their own minds on how to run their lives, whereas Teddy's viewpoint is a bit more patronizing.  That he can't imagine they would want to be anything other than part of India as he understood it.

 

Merrick may be a sadistic asshole, but it looks as if he could be a great wedding planner.

 

Teddy seems a bit dim.  Susan too for that matter.  If you want to marry, you can't afford to dawdle.  This little thing called World War II might interfere with their plans.

 

It looks as if someone, or someones, is following Merrick and trying to psych him out (at least, at first).  I think that was Daphne's bicycle that was left at Merrick/Teddy's house with the sign on the floor that Teddy rubbed out with his foot.

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