McDonald and Dodds (ITV 2020)

4 Kernels

McDonald and Dodds is a new series now up on Britbox. There are only two episodes in the first series, but it’s been renewed for more.  It’s filmed in Bath in the United Kingdom, so you get to enjoy all that Jane Austen-type architecture throughout various scenes. However, it’s not the location that makes me like this series. It’s the characters. And believe me, they have character, which is the spice this show has that Wild Bill was lacking.

The first episode, entitled The Fall of the House of Crockett, was a delight. Meet DCI Lauren McDonald, a go-getter from London who has arrived in Bath for her new position.  She’s ready to take charge and solve crimes.  Instantly, she’s running about barking orders at the crime scene and getting her crew to realize she’s spot on the job.  When she meets the detective assigned to her by the name of DS Dodds, she’s aghast to find a man who, by all means, should be retired. He’s old and has sat at a desk for the past ten years. Outwardly, he appears like a doofus, who keeps losing his glasses. The audience soon finds out that he’s got a keen eye, although he can barely articulate a clear thought.  He sees things where others cannot. His type of investigation is old school, while McDonald’s thinks she knows it all in the modern age.

DCI McDonald is overseen and threatened with loss of job by a Chief Superintendent who is overbearing. He’s the typical pushy CS, get things done quickly, so I look good.  John Houseman plays that role.  Frankly, they could have eliminated that character and I wouldn’t have cared.  I guess though he’s needed to put the pressure on McDonald so she nearly cracks by the end of episode one.

The episode was engaging, fast-moving, and the murder interesting enough to keep you guessing.  Robert Lindsay played Max Crockett, and I was so surprised to see him.  It took me a while to recognize him under the aging face and spotty gray beard and hair.  He’s been a long-time favorite for me from the old show My Family, a British sitcom that I loved to pieces and own all the episodes on DVD.  He played the part of the suspect as quirky and well-acted as you would expect.

Well, the first episode has surely entertained, and I will be happy to see more.

Vera Season 10: Release Date & Where to Watch  

Vera returns for Series 10 in 2020. Yeah!  Four episodes coming our way.  Season 10 begins airing   January 12 in the UK and January 21 on BritBox for us USA folks.  Read more below.

Source: Vera Season 10: Release Date & Where to Watch – I Heart British TV

Sanditon Won’t Return for Series 2 on ITV – Radio Times

Although now likely, ITV’s cancellation doesn’t necessarily mean Sanditon will be forever lost at sea. As Davies told us: “The American co-producers are very keen to do a second series – we’re still living in hope.”

Source: Sanditon cancelled and won’t return for series 2 on ITV – Radio Times

Dangling more carrots in front of our nose.

Sanditon: why are Austen fans so enraged by Andrew Davies’ ending?

ITV’s dramatisation of the unfinished novel has offended the sensibilities of many Janeites. Alison Flood wonders if this makes sense

Source: Sanditon: why are Austen fans so enraged by Andrew Davies’ ending?

Soon Sanditon will be coming to PBS and those of you in the USA will be able to watch this production (January 12, 2020).  Having seen it myself, I can say there is much to enjoy and much to cry about as well.

Sanditon is a continuation of Jane Austen’s novel, but you’ll only see the first episode cover the eleven chapters she wrote. From there, the story unfolds from another pen — well many pens from book adaptation to screen.  It’s an engrossing story, not only about the main love interests of Sidney and Charlotte, but a story of endeavor, greed, foolishness, love, jealousy, and a myriad of other emotions all rolled up into wonderful characters. It will eventually grab onto you, hold your interest, and then break your heart cruelly at the end.  It has nudity, sexuality, and a few shocking scenes.

Those who enjoyed the series have ranted and raved about the ending, and are now campaigning, insisting, and stalking ITV, the stars, writers, and producers to finish the story in Season 2.  My gut tells me they won’t, but we’ll see.

The story is grossly unfinished, just as Jane died before finishing the book.  Is it worth watching?  Sidney and Charlotte’s journey is definitely worth the watch, the changing of a hurt man’s personality, the growing into womanhood of a young girl, laced with touching and beautiful scenes that will sweep you away in Episode 7 and early in Episode 8. There will be characters you love, hate, and could punch for their foolish ways. It’s heartbreakingly lovely altogether, and Sidney Parker definitely gives Mr. Darcy a run for his money.

Jane Austen’s Sanditon ‘Sexed-up’ in Andrew Davies Adaptation

The screenwriter says he used all the material from Austen’s work in the first half of the first episode.

Source: Jane Austen’s Sanditon ‘sexed up’ in Andrew Davies adaptation