I’ve spent the past fortnight enjoying “Parade’s End”, a mini-series that somehow ended up on Channel 9.
The first episode bewildered me: what was 9 thinking? This should be on the ABC or SBS – a superlative cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rupert Everett, Rufus Sewell and Miranda Richardson, written by one of the finest living playwrights, Tom Stoppard and based on the Ford Maddox Ford literary classic.
The right production and costume designers had been hired, and an adequate budget supplied – the result is lush and near faultless. It combines all the things that I love: art, literature and history plus the joy of Arts and Crafts interiors, grand architecture, cinematography that makes each frame look like a painting, plus bags of style and stellar performances all ’round.
Perhaps Channel 9 saw a few stills and thought they had another Downton Abbey on their hands? In any case, someone made a mistake and it was soon realised because the following week, Channel 9 had moved it to Gem. Tough luck if you pre-record your dramas!
The final episode should be on this week but it’s absent from the schedule so I can only surmise that they have taken it off completely. Unconscionable. Ratings do seem to be king at Channel 9 and this wonderful production is not a good fit for their audience. So we had to seek the conclusion elsewhere – and cross 9 off our list of stations that could be relied upon. Thankfully in the modern world we have alternatives.
Here’s some more eye candy – I recommend that you track it down, although the first episode can be a little heavy going if you’re used to light and fluffy or prefer less demanding productions.
Can’t wait to see the whole lot again, sans ads. Crikey have written a nice piece on the inequity of it’s poor treatment by Channel 9. I hope they do get around to screening it at some stage: it’s most unfair.
UPDATE: Channel 9/Gem have decided in their wisdom to grant us the final episode – screens on Gem this Wednesday at 10.30pm after a repeat of “Cold Case”.
UPDATE: The DVD is now available for sale – sans the multitude of ads that the commercial stations like to inflict on us. Here is a link for it at the ABC Shop. Many thanks to Annabel, the lovely Roadshow publicist for sending me a copy.