Excessively Diverted Episode 19 – Death Comes to Pemberley

Sammi and Beau take a brief step back into the regency to watch the film adaptation of PD James’ Death Comes to Pemberley. A straightforward “Elizabeth Darcy Murder Mystery” was too much to hope for, and instead we get a dour miniseries with a convoluted plot and characters that don’t quite fit the Austen mold. We found ourselves unequal to caring about such questions as “Who killed Captain Denny?” and “Who is that hissing woman in the woods?” because we were so wrapped up in figuring out WHY Colonel Fitzwilliam was so aggro and why Darcy was ALWAYS SHOUTING.

Death Comes To Pemberley was directed by Daniel Percival and stars Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Rhys, Matthew Goode and Jenna Coleman.




The Good: 

Unlike a lot of movies we’ve watched for this podcast, the sets, costumes and production values were all first-rate. (Though Elizabeth’s gowns lived on the frumpy side). James Norton, Matthew Goode and Jenna Coleman were really invested in their parts and gave them their all, and we liked seeing glimpses of the childhood friendship between Darcy and Wickham. The Bennets and Lady Catherine being troublesome in-laws was a particularly nice touch but we would have liked to have seen more of them or at least gotten a glimpse of Bingley.

The Bad: 

Who are these characters? This unsure woman bears little resemblance to our witty heroine Elizabeth. This shouting man couldn’t be Mr. Darcy. WHO IS THIS GUY because that is NOT Colonel Fitzwilliam. We need more than Georgiana Darcy saying that Elizabeth has brought laughter to Pemberley, we need to see some laughter. The character misfires lost our attention and the many, many convoluted B-plots couldn’t make us care.

The Ugly: 

Do you mean to seriously tell us that ELIZABETH DARCY would get up on the gallows waving around a signed confession? That really was the low point for us, and thankfully it was nearly the end.


Watch if you want something to make you angry and bored at the same time.

Beau grew up in South Carolina but now calls Portland home. She can get by pretty much anywhere as long as she has her books, iPhone and Netflix.

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1 comment

  1. Sheila L. Majczan

    I enjoyed listening to this but with my senior citizen’s sense of hearing some parts were just difficult to understand; most especially when books and/or authors were mentioned or recommended. I agree with everything you noted: Colonel Fitzwilliam, mysterious woman in woods, Darcy shouting…at servants, Elizabeth allowed to rush onto the gallows. But I heard no mention of the bedroom scene?

    I have always said that the 1985 P&P movie followed the book best but David Rintoul is not my favorite Darcy. I did watch the Lizzie Bennet diaries…a while ago. Darcy and what is going to be your next subject ?

    What are the name of the books you recommended? I could not catch those.
    I did catch A Will of Iron: read & reviewed.
    An anthology of what?
    Read The Darcy Monologues.

    I have watched many of the PBS British mystery productions, even binge watching the one favorite one. Right now I am binge watching Elementary on HULU.

    Recommendations of murder mysteries with ODC:
    1.) The Inseparable Mr. and Mrs. Darcy by Jennifer Joy (and the others in this cozy mysteries series)
    2.) Pride & Prejudice & Assassinations (Pride & Prejudice & Assassinations #1) by Leo Charles Taylor and sequels

    I would have enjoyed seeing this more as a video with your faces, your expresses etc. I just find it very difficult to sit and listen to voices with my hands doing nothing…although I did try a few hands of Solitaire as it is not much of a though process which would distract me from listening to this podcast.

    Beau, that you for giving me the link to this. It is not a book or a movie I can recommend to others. But as you said the sets were beautiful.

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