Tonight night (Saturday), BBC America is beginning a mini-series I mentioned here a while back, based on an odd, interesting novel I read, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
As I mentioned at the time, I have no idea how it will be, since the book was very literary (using footnotes as part of the fun). But the book ranged from offbeat but fairly good to terrific, and the trailers I’ve seen for it look like they may have pulled what what’s a very difficult story – basically creating a world of Victorian England that presupposed magic actually did exist, but got lost over time, and the door gets re-opened.
I'm intrigued by the production for another reason. For a feature film project I wrote that's being developed with a couple of terrific producers, we submitted the script last year to a wonderful British director Toby Haynes, who it turns out directed this. (He's largely done TV, though as this production shows, the kind of TV he does is the equivalent of high quality, if low-budget movies.) Alas, he passed, but to show I hold no ill will (or not enough...), I'm not boycotting the show. And wish it will, if only to justify our judgement.
Here's an extended scene from the production. it comes near the beginning of the story, when a couple of scholarly magicians, who basically do nothing more than study the topic and fancy themselves for their low-level efforts, come to visit the mysterious and reclusive Mr. Norrell, who is something quite different, an exponent of "practical Magic," and a person who looks down on all these other faux-practitioners.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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